THE LEAP OF FAITH IT TOOK TO CREATE MY HOPE
We all have something we hope for, even long for. Something that makes our spirit soar every time we think about it being a reality in our life.
Some of us have forgotten how to dream. Or we have dreamed for so long with no positive results that we have pushed that hope way back in the recesses of the brain and boxed it up tightly, not knowing when or how we'd be able to unbox it and bring it into our lives.
13 years years ago, I decided to go back to teaching, after having been a stay at home mom for 5 years to our two young daughters. I had loved teaching 6th grade- especially the 3 years I taught science at a middle school before our first child was born, so though I was nervous to be a working mother, I looked forward to the challenge of teaching again. We were moving from Pennsylvania to Utah, my husband having just finished his Masters at Penn State. I hesitated going back to work, but owning a home would be impossible without my income.
I ended up getting a job teaching 5th grade in the community in which we were looking to relocate. Once we were settled in our new home and neighborhood, I arranged to leave our 3 and 5 year old daughters in a neighbor's daycare.
Throughout the school year, I found myself longing to be at home raising them. My neighbor was doing an excellent job- to the point that sometimes they didn't want to leave her house to come home. I had some feelings of guilt as they would talk about their caregiver as if she was their parent. I'm so glad they were well nurtured, but I kept having the feeling that I wanted to be the one nurturing and raising them, not my neighbor. This conflicting desire was definitely a contributor to the fact that that year was the hardest year of my life. I touched on that experience in this post. The proof is in my forehead crease that was formed that year. It remains today as a reminder of hard times long past 😂
At the end of the school year, I had a choice to make:
Should I continue working to help pay the bills, even though it was my dream to be a stay at home mom to raise my kids?
Yes we had some money saved up, but our income without me teaching was not enough to meet our needs and we were already frugal. There was no tightening up we could do. If I stopped teaching, we would be short each month and have to continuously dip into that savings at a rate at which it would be gone within a year and a half.
Through much reflection and prayer,
I made the decision to take a leap of faith.
I finished out the school year and decided to not return to teaching, in order to be a stay-at-home mom.
This is how I felt:
I had no ideas when I decided to quit. Just faith that it would somehow work out since I knew God was on my side with the desire I had.
For me, that "invisible" bridge appeared after a lot of thought and prayer, and asking myself, what can I do to make money from home? What skills do I have? What are my interests?
Well that was clear to me: I had been playing and loving the guitar since I was 14. I could teach guitar lessons! That was my invisible bridge! So I have been teaching guitar out of my home for the last 12 years and have found great joy in watching my students make progress, hopefully many of whom develop that love of guitar and music I have experienced.
Through God's hand in my husband's career and my guitar income, and I believe, the law of tithing and charity, we have been financially comfortable ever since. What a good feeling that is!
I have loved and appreciated the ability I have to help with our family's income by working from home, and becoming the CEO of Family Affairs in the Brazell household Incorporated. 😉
» I decide what my priorities are,
» I create my schedule
» I have time for my kids, family and care of our home
I have been living this reality happily and comfortably for 12 years.
*NOTE: I hope you as the reader do not feel any criticism or judgement towards mothers who decide to or have to work outside of the home to make ends meet. I recognize that there are many paths for each individual and that we are each guided to different opportunities for our growth at different times in our lives.
This is my story of being able to create something I REALLY wanted that I didn't know how I'd achieve, by taking an inspired step of faith into the unknown and fully committing myself to the goal I had in my mind. I can think of a lot of things in my life it might be time to try this on again!
Over the past year, I started to feel a shift. In my gratitude for this blessing I have had, I started looking around me at all my neighbors and friends who are working mothers. Ever since that hard year as a working mother, I wonder how they are able to hold it together. Laundry, dishes, keeping up with kids' homework, appointments, etc. Moms who work full time are super heroes in my eyes!
Since all of my kids have been in school for the past couple of years, I have been pulled towards supplementing our family budget further so I can save and contribute to some goals that take....more money than we have. Mainly, the hope I have is to finish the rest of our basement - Make a nice family room with a cozy gas fireplace and built in cupboards. And, with our oldest heading off to college next fall and losing her bedroom to her younger sister, we will need a guest bedroom for her to come back to when she visits.
Up till a few weeks ago, I hadn't taken any action towards figuring out how to acquire funds because I was just content in the lifestyle I had created for myself.
But once I started talking about my hope to finish the basement and the need for funds
to do that, an opportunity presented itself when my neighbor said he could use help in his print shop. So now I find myself working about 15 hours a week outside the home, feeling rejuvenated because change is good for the soul!
Is there something you hope for that you are ready to pull out of that tightly packaged box in the recesses of your brain? There's nothing to lose by trying. Just pick something you can have patience creating to start with, and try some of the following key actions:
Specify your hope.
Say it out loud. Write it. And most important of all, SEE AND FEEL YOURSELF LIVING IT. Visualization is a great way to do this.
Live in gratitude
for everything you have now, and for the hope you know you will be creating.
Commit to creating your hope.
Take that leap of faith. Where there is a will, there is a way. You will find it if you can't hold on to your comfortable past. It might take some work, but if you're committed, the desire will be there to push you forward.
Know that the Lord knows the path that will be for your best good, so work on getting your will in line with His, and He will guide you. You'll know if your hope is for your best good at this time in your life, if you are able to #HearHim.
"And let us not be weary in well doing: for in due season we shall reap, if we faint not." - Galatians 6:9
Can't wait to be sitting in a comfy couch in my newly finished basement, watching a movie with my family, with the warmth and ambience of the fireplace in my periphery.
What hope are you going to work on?