This Dream

August 25, 2011

I have this dream. It involves Jesse and I sitting on our couch in the morning. He’s sipping coffee and we are talking about the upcoming things in our day. Then, we hear ‘the sounds’ emanating from upstairs. And soon, six sets of little feet come pitter-pattering down the stairs. We help them grab their bowls of cereal and glasses of milk.  As we all converge around the living area, Jesse prays and reads something from the Bible.

That’s it. That’s my dream. Its simple. Nothing fancy. It has been my dream since I met him – Jesse. I always wanted a lot of kids and when he said 6 sounded fun – well, we were meant for each other. We got married and started building our lives together.

We bought a huge house and got pregnant. Our little lady arrived on the scene.

Around this time, we fell in love with the youth group at our church.  We felt God calling us.  At the same time, Jesse discovered a calling to return to college and study graphic design.  He started a work from home job and went back to school. I started working full-time.  We became the youth ministers at our church and we just felt so excited about the things God was bringing into our lives.  Soon, this little dude came too.  And we were very excited.

Jesse’s work-from-home job became demanding – they didn’t even give him 2 days off for Evan’s birth.  I had a c-section and had limitations – I couldn’t carry anything heavier than the baby.  This made it hard to care for our little ones.  In the end, Jesse had to leave that job.  We moved out of our gargantuan house and into a two bedroom apartment.  Six months later, we were officially in foreclosure.  I started working night shift. I got pregnant. We stepped down from ministry.  The bill tally was $1000 more than we made each month. Peanut butter and jelly was our daily staple.  It began to feel a little less ‘exciting’. 

In my third month of pregnancy, I developed kidney stones.  In my fifth month, overwhelmed by the circumstances around me, I became depressed and suicidal.   Our apartment lease ended and my parents offered to let us live with them. I think ‘very worried’ hardly described my mom’s feelings.

We moved in and welcomed some Good News.

At Evan’s 18-month check-up, the doctor was concerned about his lack of speech.  Soon we sat in a neurologist’s office and listened to his remarks that we were likely looking at ‘autism spectrum disorder’. 

In these moments, I felt so far from the patter of six little feet and Bible readings over coffee. Some days I still feel pretty far from it.  I wonder if it is even worth considering anymore. 

At the beginning of this year, a good friend of our’s prayed for us.  He told us that God was going to restore us this year.  I remember feeling hopeful and doubtful, all at the same time. 

Saturday was Jesse and I’s sixth anniversary.  Unfortunately, with my new job, I had not been able to request it off. However, that morning I received a call saying that I could have the day of.  Lying in bed, I began to think about the last year and the gratitude just overwhelmed me. 

We paid off over $30,000 in debt, when I only made $21,000 the entire year. We moved out on our own. Jesse got a job – a great one. I got a job – a great one, with great hours.  I’m starting to feel restored.  This morning, I had this song in my head:

It’s been a long, hard road these last few years. Yet, it seems we are finally rounding the bend.  In the end, all of the struggle, the pain – it led us straight to Him. We could not have survived it all without Jesus. It sounds hokey and cliche, but He truly has been our Savior. 

Which brings me to Evan…

I just hope this road leads him straight to You, Jesus.

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This week my mom fell and broke her humerus – near the top, just before the ball joint of the shoulder.  She has been in the hospital and had surgery and hopefully comes home today.  YaY! 

Unfortunately, I just came off a stretch of working 6 days in a row!  I think I have seen my kids for all of an hour each day.  My house is turning to chaos and the laundry is stacking up. 

Two nights ago, I was driving home from the hospital and thinking about the next day’s tasks.  In the midst of wondering when I would see my children and how my husband was surviving all of this, I turned on the radio (K-LOVE by the way).  Of course, they were doing this wonderful segment on the many roles of mothers and how to balance those roles!  Hmmm….God must be listening to the rambling in my head and decided I needed some encouragement!  LOVE it when He does that!

Needless to say, I have not learned any revelatory insights about how to balance my roles of mother, mother of a child with special needs, wife, bread-winner, homemaker, daughter, etc…

All I can say is that encouragement is the most important thing.  Some days you have to decide between one role or another – that’s just how it is.  There is always something that you can do to make a certain relationship or task better.  Perfection is impossible.  If I focus on it, then I become depressed.  Which brings me to encouragement…

Sometimes its unexpected – like Evan gave me a kiss yeseterday!  Sometimes its purposeful – like when my husband says I am the most wonderful wife!  Sometimes its divinely inspired – like on my way home in the car listening to the radio!  And other times you just have to find it yourself! 

Finding it yourself. 

I’m a big believer in the fact that God gives us all of the tools we need.  If we rely on Him and ask Him to show us encouragement, then He will do that.  You never know where or when it will come, but its there. 

Even when you think its not!

This is what I found today…

So what is encouraging you today?