We Have More Than We Think We Have

The momma is finally going to share some of her thoughts! Have you been wondering where I’ve been this whole time? You’ve heard a lot from Aaron & his view of our whole new crazy life, but where have I been? I’ve been quietly in the background (you are allowed to take a moment to be shocked) slapping sense into everybody when they start freaking out. Haha! I’m only kind of joking. 😉

The main purpose for our blog is to try to keep our story documented for our children to look back & see what has happened since we “stepped out in faith”. We’re hoping that they’re going to see amazing things. Things that have been forgotten or are no longer believed in, i.e. blind seeing, dead living, lame walking, seas parting… you get the point. But, we also want them to see real life. I believe a lot of churched children become disillusioned as they get older because their parents have tried to protect them from real life & want them only to see God’s “goodness”. That isn’t a horrible thing, I want our children to see God’s goodness as well, but like with anything, there is another side to the story. So, when real life does happen (rats, huh?) if all they’ve ever been told about is how loving & giving God is, they may wonder where on earth he’s at when their life is thrown upside down. Is he even real? I thought I was supposed to have a perfect life. Even if it’s not perfect I’m supposed to feel like it’s perfect, right?

We had this conversation with the 2 big guys last Wednesday. Yeah, we’re dorks & we have our kids categorized. The big guys & the littles. We’re super creative.
The 2 littles don’t really seem to be having much of an issue with anything that has happened. Every once in a while they’re bugged because we can’t go to skate night at school or buy that super cool pair of baseball gloves, (they look just like Sonic’s gloves!) but for the most part everything is hunky dory. That’s not the story with the 2 big guys. For the most part they’re handling everything amazingly, but every once in a while, like last Wednesday, we need to have some serious venting time. So we went back to the beginning & talked about everything that has happened since we moved:

New state
New house
New school
New schedule
Jobless dad
Employed dad
Jobless dad
Homeless
Living with friends

That’s kind of a lot for anyone, let alone children. But, as I said, we want them to see real life, so we’ve been sharing with them everything that happens & asking their opinions. Wednesday’s opinions were “I’m at the end of my rope” opinions. 🙂 They were sharing that they’re quite angry with God for taking their money & their house. They’re thankful for David & Natalie letting us live with them, but they want their own house back. They want to be able to go to all the school functions again. They want to be able to go to the grocery store & get whatever they’re hungry for that day. They want to be able to buy new shoes when they need them. What did we say? Join the club. Haha! It’s not very fun not having much to call your own & having to pass on so many things that we used to take for granted. We let them know that it’s completely ok to be angry with God, but don’t stay there. Being angry isn’t going to solve anything, it will only make you a bitter person. Who wants to be around a bitter person? It’s really uncomfortable. You can feel it in nearly everything they say, like all their words are venom. So, we need to make sure that bitterness doesn’t take root in our hearts. How do we do that? We think of good things. Duh, huh?

One of the lessons we feel like we’re supposed to be learning here as a family is to rely solely on God. I don’t know if we’re really dense, or really materialistic, or greedy, or what, but the thing we relied on more than God was money. We’re pretty sure that’s why he took it away. Now, don’t be afraid! If you feel like God is calling you on a faith walk don’t assume he’s going to take all your money. 🙂 For some reason that’s what needed to happen to the Sanders family, that might not necessarily be your adventure. We reminded the boys that, unknowingly, we had been putting all our trust in our money. We couldn’t buy groceries for a needy family because we didn’t have enough money for ourselves. We couldn’t go help at a soup kitchen because we were too busy working to make money for ourselves. We couldn’t give people without vehicles rides because we were busy driving to all the places our lovely money was calling us to go. Sad part? We were making almost $80,000 a year. We couldn’t give someone $20 to help with their groceries, really?? That’s pretty pathetic. Now we’re on the other side of that story. And, you know what? People are amazing!!! I’m convinced we needed to be here to be able to see what we are really supposed to be. To be a help & an encouragement to someone who is completely helpless. When you don’t have anything, $5.00 is a LOT of money. I think the only way to understand that is to live it.

This is what our talk with the boys helped us remember: Nov. 8th we had $116 dollars to our name. Yes, we did have to move out of our rental house because we didn’t have the money to pay the rent. But, all of the utilities were paid. We’ve travelled to Illinois,twice, Wisconsin, & back to Illinois. Some people that gave us money knew of our situation, some didn’t. We were given an anonymous gift while in Wi of over $200 dollars. Someone just left it at the church in a container in a bag that said “Sanders”. Whoever that was, thank you!! Our family all pitched in & gave us money for Christmas, thus the ability to travel. Thank you!! At our stop in Il we were packed to the brim in our van with food from our family. Thank you!! We were able to save some of the money from Christmas & have been able to pay our storage rent & our phone bill. I had a rash of orders at my Etsy shop that brought in about $100.

All of these things happened right when we needed them. We needed to talk about them to realize how amazing it really is that a family of 6 has been sustained for 3 months on the love & generosity of others. And, because we are a family of faith, we believe that God has been orchestrating the whole thing. He’s been meeting our needs right when we need him to. Do we always like it? No, sometimes it really sucks! We’d like to have it all right now at our disposal. I think this is the part where he’s helping us to trust him alone. When we sit down & think about all that has happened, we see that he really is good. Life sometimes stinks. God is good. We talk about the fact that we have peace & it’s a real peace, the children will often be the ones to bring it up. They will say,”Remember when we prayed? I felt really nervous & worried when we started but now I feel like everything is going to be ok.” So, that’s what we do. We talk about what God has already done & we pray. We know that “ev’ry little thing, gon be alright”. 😉

One of the things I firmly believe is that the more thankful you are, the happier you are. Not because you have a lot but because you’re taking time to think about how wonderful it is that you have what you have. It might not be much, but you’re sure thankful you have it. The more you are thankful & spend time thinking about good things & less time dwelling on problems, the more joyful you’ll be. This is one of my favorite verses:
Proverbs 15:13
A glad heart makes a happy face…

Everyone needs to see a happy face. Be a happy face!

❤ Jen

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