These days, I can’t do what I want with my time. My time now belongs to a sweet-faced baby girl who came into our lives at a most interesting time. At one point in the early days, Chris asked me, “why did we do this now?” He meant, why on earth did we have a baby now, when we need two incomes to pay the mortgage on a house we couldn’t sell if we wanted to, when we’re raising support for full-time ministry and when we have piles of books to read and classes to take to prepare for that ministry. My answer? There really wouldn’t have been a good time for us, but we were willing, even desired, to learn the lessons God had for us to learn through parenting.
The myriad lessons.
So, not only is my time not my own because Susanna eats every three hours, sleeps upwards of six hours a day, and is a total inconvenience when it comes to running multiple errands in one day; I can’t do what I want because I can’t spend any money. Which is what I would do if my time was my own. Target and me, we’re good friends. (See also: Etsy and Value Village). I don’t write about this issue to air dirty laundry. It sort of goes without saying that since I quit my job to care for our baby and we are raising support to go on the mission field, money’s tight. Here’s the God-part: I am thankful for it all. I am thankful for the savings we have that God obviously ordained for this time, and I am thankful for the stretching we’re enduring, financially. I am thankful for the constant opportunity to check myself and my sins. Jealousy? Check. Coveting? Check. Resentment? That’s the one that really rears its sinful head when you’re raising support. When someone buys something expensive, I can quickly divide the cost of it by 12 and judge a person based on how much they are NOT investing monthly in our ministry.
But it is sin. It is disfiguring and ugly and it separates me from God.
Susanna is God’s answer to these temptations. No matter how much money I don’t spend this season of my life, I will not regret sweet moments on the floor with my wiggly, giggly baby girl. I don’t have a fall wardrobe, but God has given me a little milk tank to fill every couple of hours. (It would be covered in spit up anyway!) Some of my friends are out in the evenings purchasing new furniture and redecorating rooms and hosting fall parties and planning extravagant Christmas presents (all things I LOVE to do!). My evenings are spent in my warm home giving my sleepy child a cuddle and a prayer before she goes to sleep.
God was kind to allow this struggle at this time, because I am doing exactly what I am supposed to be doing with my time. Not what I want, but what HE wants. And, being in the center of His will puts me in a place to acknowledge that He is sovereign over our support-raising process as well, and He will call each of our partners to support us in His time.