Ezra 8.21 : Then I proclaimed a fast there, at the river Ahava, that we might humble ourselves before our God, to seek from him a safe journey for ourselves, our children, and all our goods.
Psalm 69.10 : When I wept and humbled my soul with fasting,it became my reproach.
Daniel 9:3 Then I turned my face to the Lord God, seeking him by prayer and pleas for mercy with fasting and sackcloth and ashes.
Acts 14:23 And when they had appointed elders for them in every church, with prayer and fasting they committed them to the Lord in whom they had believed.
there are many more verses i could pull out for you, but i pray that you see the repeated importance of prayer and offering the sacrifice of fasting before the Lord. i had the awesome experience during the month of september to be apart of a Daniel fast that many other leaders and members were participating in as we wanted favor and wisdom and insight for the opening of a new campus for our church, but this was also an opportunity to lay other situations at the Lord's feet and wait and pray for His perfect leading and wisdom. and while i am rather organic and natural in my diet, i do love a glass of lemonade or a couple peanut butter m&m's from time to time, which was not on the list of approved foods.
while praying for the Lord to bless and guide us in opening the new campus, that He would bring those that are lost and needing a church home to the new campus, i was also laying out a few things of my own... curious? okay, i'll share just a little...
i have longed to be a stay-at-home mama since Master 'P' was very little, and then it naturally got stronger after lil'Lou-Who entered the scene and my cutie Baby 'K' causes my heart to ache as he plays with his nanny as i run off to save the world of advertising for a few hours a day. while i don't have to work as much as many other mamas out there and have wonderful flexibility with my career (this is such a God thing to have) it still doesn't take the place of being able to be at home with the Posse on my terms 100%. so you can gather that i have prayed for God to bring this to reality for a long time, since i know it is a desire He placed in my heart, so He will of course provide, right?
and provide He most certainly will, yes indeed!! but it was never quite like i thought He would when i began praying and seeking for this many years ago (and wow!! it has been many, 'P' is 11 1/2 years old, Lou-Who will be 8 tomorrow!! geez i'm getting old). in the beginning i wanted God to somehow just make it all work out, like magic. that's great except God doesn't partner with david copperfield on tricks of illusion, nope! He's God, the Beginning and the End. so after much revelation and the Lord speaking into me, some talking with my Man about it, i began to change my prayers accordingly and prayed for a career i could do from home 90% of the time that would provide for
my shopping habit our financial needs. and God, being ever so faithful to His child, did speak into my heart that He was going to release me from that company, and i was thrilled!! so you know what i did? i just knew that the Lord would provide so i talked with all of my clients in a 2 day period, walked into my boss's office and resigned, full of hope and relief, excited by what God would do!!! the end, they all lived happily ever after...
wait... the pages on my fairy tale got stuck together... oh that's not it, there was still trials and struggles?!! what kind of story is this?!!
so i resigned, i got handfuls of job offers and i was feeling oh so blessed. but none of those paths worked out like i thought they would and then i started to become irritated and annoyed that i had obeyed and all i got was this!?! in hindsight and after even more revelation, the word from God was good and He had a great plan to get me home, but i had not waited for the Lord's timing. and knowing the will of God is simply not enough, but also knowing and waiting for the Lord's time is almost more important that the plan itself!
so i took an amazing career opportunity after much crying, pounding of feet, and whining that i didn't want to have to work outside the home again. but with the pesky habit of eating that our family has become accustomed to, i took the job and that's the career i have currently. and 90% of the time it is great gig and God has been faithful in assisting and guiding me and teaching me many things.
but i had been praying all wrong, come to find out, sometimes i'm a little slow. instead of thinking God would just do some magic trick, or jumping the gun or being annoyed that my Man wasn't more 'on board' with the whole SAHM* i had to be shone a few things about me as a wife and mama first.
Titus 2.3-5 Older women likewise are to be reverent in behavior, not slanderers or slaves to much wine. They are to teach what is good, 4and so train the young women to love their husbands and children, 5to be self-controlled, pure, working at home, kind, and submissive to their own husbands, that the word of God may not be reviled.
that while i am a great wife (per my Man, i need consistent Heavenly work), i did many times step in front of my Man regarding household decisions, financial investment, etc. instead of standing next to him allowing him to lead me. remember the little bit i wrote on submission, well this goes right along with that. being a submissive wife doesn't come naturally to me, or anyone i'd venture, but it is God's plan. at the beginning of my engagement and marriage i thought i needed to be rather outspoken and loud, and i'm not talking about yelling or arguing because honestly we have only had 2-3 really argumentative moments in our almost 14 years together, but i am talking about not allowing my husband to be the leader and head of our marriage and household. i have been shown that working on having a quiet spirit, a submissive heart, a controlled tongue, an attitude of love and respect at all times goes a long way in God being able to be the head of our marriage and family and allowing my Man to grow and lead our awesome bunch!!
i also had to make sure that my Man understood that i wanted to more than anything to stay at home to be able to take care of him even better, because i loved him so much and our Posse of Kiddos so much that i am ever devoted to being at home, in any home. my Man has the same problem many men have: i need to give my wife a super-big expensive house and car and blah, blah, blah. and you know what, i fear that i made him feel that way, like maybe he couldn't really 'be on board' with me being at home because i had certain expectations of how i needed to live that on one income maybe he wouldn't be able to provide. so i apologized for that, and stressed to him, that i am ready to be at home, in any home. you have no idea how God used that to speak to my Man..
because then i stopped praying "God please make a way for me to find a way to be home..." to something like "Lord it is your will that i be home without distractions to serve my husband and raise my kids to honor You. please give my husband the faith to believe that You will lead him and show us Your plan to work out Your will in our family". it is so not about me! obeying God is never about me or about you, sorry to burst your bubble! but if i want to experience all God has for me and be and invincible warrior-chic for Christ, then my desires have to be centered and focused on Him, not lil' ole me!!
my beloved Man, while praying at the beginning of this year got a word from God that we were supposed to have me at home, full-time. we were preparing and planning on that happening by the end of the year but now is looking more like spring. but regardless, see how God is working?! we will be putting our home on the market soon and thus looking for another home we can renovate and work on that is
oober-cheap more cost effective for a single income budget.
so during my time of fasting i really pressed in for more of the plan to be revealed in regards to where the Lord would have us move, or if jobs will change sooner, or this or that will happen now or later, etc. and i am excited for how the Lord will honor and go before us to give favor on this life change in response to my prayer & fasting.
i'd love your thoughts and comments on being a SAHM, maybe how your family does it.