Friday, March 21, 2014

Are You Following Where He Leads?

What do you do regularly?  Are you a homemaker?  A nurse?  A factory worker?  An office assistant? (I think you get the picture here).

Last night, on the drive home from church after the first night of Revival, hubby and I were discussing regrets and what ifs.  He told me something that has weighed on him significantly over the last nearly 30 years, a regret of sorts.  Had hubby done what he had *wanted* to do instead of what he did, we wouldn't be here today, he wouldn't have his family, we would have never met, most likely he wouldn't know the Lord as Savior, and he wouldn't be where the Lord put him.

Likewise, had I followed through on what I *wanted* instead of what I did, I would not have seen the state of Kansas, let alone live here.  I would not have my family, wouldn't know the Lord as Savior, wouldn't be in a solid, bible preaching and teaching church.

Through events there's no way either one of us could orchestrate, we are where we are.  Had we succeeded in pushing into another door or window, changed direction just one time, we wouldn't be where He led us.

Is this where we thought we'd see ourselves years ago as much younger folks?  No.  But, the Lord has led, and we've followed whether we knew we were or not.  God used our sins, our decisions, our actions, to lead us where He wants us to go.

I had been in tears this week, looking at the budget and the pantry, and feeling really sorry for myself, thinking "I don't contribute enough to the income".  I'd wanted to go back to school so bad to finish up my degree in nursing, to finally become an RN, to be able to make sure everything is paid and plenty of good foods available and properly fitting clothes in the closet.  I'd started this degree way back in 1997, while fresh out of high school, single, no children, and chipped away at it over the years as work loads increased and then children.  Circumstances left me with more dropped classes and even some rather nasty grades in classes I could ace if I actually had time to put in the effort, than classes completed and with good grades.  And debt, lots of debt.

Last night, I realized that I'm where the Lord wants me.  My dream of becoming a nurse and taking care of financial needs of our family will most likely never come to fruition.  Instead, I am where the Lord wants me.

At home.  Doing dishes, scrubbing toilets, sweeping floors, dusting, making meals from scratch a few times a day, day after day, wiping dirty faces (even on the oldest kids)....tending home and family.  In staying home, I can make those dollars stretch in the food budget, make the clothing last by mending and repurposing, beautify the home by planting and tending flowers and herbs and a garden, decorating inside and out with what I grow.  I can use worn out clothing and materials to make rugs and quilts and so on.

I can also be here to nourish the souls of those inside our home.  I'm here to make sure the kids have a mom figure, and they expect that I'll be home while they are in school, and that I'll be around day or night.  They expect to see me in the kitchen first thing in the morning making breakfast, in the evening cooking, donned in my apron as I go about the work of the day.  They expect to be able to tell me when they're sick, afraid, when another sibling hurt their feelings, ask when they can have computer time, if I'll do something for them...they expect me to be here for them.  A strong, stable figure that is also soft and lumpy and good to cuddle up next to on the couch.

This is where the Lord put me.  I've fought at times against this, believing the world's hype that leaving the kids for a career outside is so much better, that it's great to have the large paychecks and stress while the family suffers.  I've been led away a time or two into the world to follow that lie...when we've had "enough" and the Lord had provided just enough...and each time came back home knowing I'd left the path the Lord had laid before me.  I learned early on in parenthood as a single mom what that world was like, before I came to know the Lord, when I felt lost and seeking a direction and grabbing at anything I could hold on to.

Do you yet follow the path the Lord leads you on?  Whatever He has you to do, are you doing it?  Whether it is staying at home with your family, or going out and performing the tasks that the Lord would have you do, are you doing what He has been leading you to do?  Whatever the Lord has you to do, be encouraged--He is there where He leads you--He won't put you where He won't go Himself.  Where the Lord leads may not be what you were expecting in your life, it may not necessarily be where you thought you'd be--but He has greater and better plans, and His are always the best!!

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