Over the past couple of years, there have been times I’ve been frustrated because circumstances were not what I wanted them to be, especially as it relates to our business and finances. One of the things that is challenging for me about having our own business is feeling quite out of control regarding the amount of work we have (and therefore our income level).
It isn’t like we work at a retail establishment and can simply ask the manager for more hours if we want to make some extra money. While we can actively look for new clients and opportunities, we really have to wait for them to come. So while we may be very motivated and wishing for more work, it isn’t always there. And when the work isn’t there, the money isn’t there either.
Funny how that works.
And so there have been moments when I’ve been tempted to wish that David had a regular job so we had a regular paycheck. Or I fantasize about David having a regular job and Caroline going to school so I am home all day by myself rather than all of us being together all the time.
But when I think about those possibilities, I really don’t want any of them. In truth, we are living out the life we wanted and prayed for. We can see how God answered those prayers so specifically and in His own time and way. We have a loving marriage, a home, a business that we can do from home, and a daughter that we already love to teach.
Whenever I become discouraged because things aren’t going exactly as I think they should, I just have to ask myself this: If God offered to change anything in my life such as giving David a regular job, would I want him to do it?
The answer is always no.
When we make choices, we have to be willing to fully embrace them, including the natural outworkings of them. I think it is easy to wish for something, pray for it, receive it, and somehow forget that we have to live with some of the negatives associated with it.
Contentment comes for me when I remind myself that these are the choices that we’ve made. Choices that God has apparently blessed. We need to live out our lives in joy and contentment and trust that God in His sovereignty is still working out the details for our good and ongoing sanctification and His glory.
I struggle with my husband’s choice of work, namely the amount of business travel he has to do. He is gone about 50 days a year, 2 or 3 days at a time, so let’s say 20 trips a year, or two a month.
But then I remember that this is part of his work, this is part of the deal and this is the reason why they pay him what they do (which is quite good). He works hard and yes, travels, so that I can stay home. His work and business travel allows us to have a nice home and not worry about money on a day-to-day basis. Not that we can spend as we wish, not at all. But our bills are nicely taken care of each month.
And then I also think about all of the wives (and husbands) whose spouses are off in Iraq for months and months, while the other spouse struggles at home trying to make ends meet oftentimes.
We do have to own our choices. My husband and I can’t sit here complaining about his business travel, because if we really can’t hack it anymore, then we need to do something about it (get a new job) and own the consequences of that change, which would probably be less money and also less job satisfaction for my husband.
I think the important thing to remember, and you did NOT say this so don’t take it as a criticism—-there are tons of us moms and dads out there who have to put kids in school and work “regular” jobs and we are not bad people because we choose to work a 8-5 job and use public schools.
Everyone does have a choice, and I am thankful for that. You know our situation well since I’ve explained it here on your blog and to you personally. I could continue to homeschool but we would be living well below the poverty level and we CHOOSE not to do that. Selfish as it may seem, I would rather my kids be in school and me be working than to explain to them over and over and over we can’t have this, or do that because Daddy has lost his job and we are poor.
To each his own, I guess.
That was beautifully put and a great reminder. How often does God bless me with my heart’s desires and then I turn around and focus on the negative aspects as opposed to celebrating the positive aspects and continuously thanking God for the blessings. I have been blessed with a wonderful husband- may I thank God for him everyday and celebrate his positive qualities- which are many!
I liked Ann’s comments. We have a similar situation. With the exception of some moments of unemployment, we have had a very comfortable lifestyle for many years. We praise God for it every day. Yet sometimes I ponder on why this is our life. We have always lived on only a portion of our income, tithe over 10% and give to several ministries. Yet many of our dear family in Christ suffer financially year after year.
I often ask God why this is. Is it that He doesn’t trust us with that particular challenge, or that others need less in order to build their faith? I don’g have any answers, just many questions about this issue. I don’t think it’s punishment since many of our Christian family live honorably and faithfully to Him. So, what is it?
Good thoughts. You know I was thinking about what NormalMiddle wrote and remembering a situation a couple of years ago. David had applied for a design position with a regional bank and was one of the final two candidates. I was actually excited about him potentially getting the job and also hoping he wouldn’t get it. As it turned out, he didn’t get it and we took that as an indication to keep on keeping on as we were. However, if he had gotten it, I would have embraced it as being God’s best for us even if it didn’t seem to be what we had thought we always wanted.
I remember when NormalMiddle said she was going to get a teaching job and my first thought wasn’t that she shouldn’t get a job. My first thought was what an awful time it is to be looking for a job in this economy. And yet God supplied one. Right away. She didn’t even have to wait all summer to find one. I, for one, am really looking forward to hearing how God works in that family’s life over the next year because I was just so blessed that she was provided a job period.
Ann and Jo Anne – We’ve been on the end where there was lots of money (relatively speaking). And we’ve been on the other end where there was not enough. And just about every place inbetween. People can glorify living with less and scraping by with joy all they want but given the choice, I will take the money every single time. Yes, I will choose to (try my best to) be content when there isn’t enough, but I don’t care what anyone says. Having money is much better. Much better.
Amy Jane (Untangling Tales)
My husband’s job is so *right* for him and our family. I need to remember this as his travel for work increases (thank you Ann for the specific reminder).
That God may “improve” our situation on one level just means he’s changing the “imperfects” I need to learn to be content with. And I’ve nearly got these ones figured out, so I’m not sure I want to change…
Thank you for this timely reminder, Sallie.
This might be something you could try out in-between times:
“If you’re looking for a way to start writing for money, Google as of today offers a new option.
Its new Knol – short for ‘a unit of knowledge’ – site is similar to Wikipedia in that anyone can write an article on (almost) anything. But where Wikipedia is a collective endeavor where anyone can both write and edit pieces, Knol focuses on preserving ownership of articles.”