My story, your story, His Word for us

joyBy Trillia Newbell

My Story

I remember it like it was yesterday, I was pregnant with my son. It was an exciting time and a scary time. I had previously had two miscarriages so the jitters came fairly quickly. After 10 weeks I had a complication that I was sure would result in yet another miscarriage. We prayed and had friends and the church praying. By the grace of God, I did not miscarry but due to continued complications my husband and I thought it would be a good idea for me to come home and stop working full-time.

When I stopped working we lost my income and would have lost my benefits but decided to pay Cobra insurance out of pocket to continue my pregnancy coverage. Most insurance companies have a one year waiting period for prenatal coverage and they would have considered my pregnancy a pre-existing condition. Armed with that knowledge, we thought we had no other option than to buy Cobra. We realize now that there probably were other options but we didn’t explore them. The good news was our son was born healthy in 2006. The bad news, we had accumulated debt to pay for the astronomical monthly Cobra payment. The bills were beginning to feel like a pressure cooker and after a year of staying at home with my son, we decided I would need to find work.

Getting Creative

Being at home with my son was a delight. I wanted to be with him. This bears repeating, I actually wanted to be with him. My heart was content to be at home. I was very career minded and had the potential to be successful in whatever I would do. It was simply miraculous that I would want to be home with my kid. But the reality was I needed to work. We just weren’t making it on my husbands’ income alone.

We didn’t need for me to work full-time so I started to search for how I might put my gifts and interests to work from home. I began working at my local fitness facility as a group fitness instructor. I was really enjoying my fitness work and we were thankful to be able to pay down the debt we accrued from the Cobra insurance. My husband led Crown Financial Courses at my church and really urged me to read books about money and God’s view. His guidance and advice was preparation for what was to come.

A few years later I was pregnant again. I continued to work my flexible job and continued to build a very small fan base on my fitness website. In 2009 my baby girl was born. It was a wonderful time! In the midst of her birth there was also something brewing in the economy.

Desperate Measures

Towards the end of my pregnancy with my daughter the economy came to a massive halt. My husband’s real-estate business began to slow and we began to struggle financially. Eight months pregnant, it didn’t seem reasonable to try to find a new job and definitely not a full-time job. Who would hire me? My husband decided it was time for him to broaden his credentials and switched companies. The job transition would prove to be a smart one and God’s provision, but not at first.

The months preceding my daughter’s birth my husbands’ pay had dimensioned significantly. He had missed a month of work during the transition. The month my daughter was born my husband received a dismal pay check. That December was the same and his work was very slow. In January of 2010 I knew I needed to go back to work right away. The adjustment to having a new born and trying to work off-site administrative hours became increasingly difficult.  I prayed about what to do next and decided to open a small fitness studio inside a gymnastic gym and hired childcare as I taught classes. Unfortunately, business was still slow, his industry was continuing to experience hardship and our costs continued to increase with two children.

By mid-year we were struggling in our faith, anxious about what to do and clearly burdened. For us it wasn’t as simple as me finding a full-time job. We looked into the possibility and by the time I would have paid for childcare for two children I’d be making the same as I was staying home and working part-time. We were still considered middle class and made too much money for assistance.  I decided to shut the studio down and began teaching at a gym again.

After meeting with our pastors and financial counselors we began to make some major adjustments to our budget. It was during this time that a friend and assistant editor to my local paper suggested I try to write as a freelance writer.  My desire was to continue to be able to work from home or at least flexible jobs. I had written before, though on a much smaller scale, and if anything I had to try.

I pitched an article to a senior editor and it was accepted! I couldn’t believe it! It was so exciting to think that I would be able to write this article from home and be paid for it! I knew that in order to make “full-time pay” from home I would need more freelance writing gigs. I began to research and pitch and by the grace of God started writing for several magazines nationally, internationally and online. Over the course of the year I wrote at least 100 articles on faith, family, fitness, business, and feature stories. I look back and still cannot believe God’s faithfulness and creativity!

My Work

Now I continue to freelance for my paper, am the Editor of two online ezine’s, I teach fitness classes three to five times a week at my local gym and teach a P.E. homeschooling coop class at my church. Because of my writing I have been asked to write press releases and do other various freelance work for national and international companies.

My husband needed me to work and our desire was for me to work from home as much as possible. The benefits for us having me home were simple: We’d save money on daycare; I’d be able to spend more time with the children while they are young and I had complicated pregnancies.  God helped me to discover my gifting and put them into action to be a helpmate to my husband. Generally, I’m doing this work in my pajamas, at Panera Bread or while my sweet kids are watching Sesame Street.

Your Story

We can get caught up in the romantic view of being a stay-at-home mom. The reality is, for many of us, working to make money is a necessity for eating. Despondency, condemnation, and even the fear of man can cripple women who work outside the home or work in the home but have limited or interrupted time with their children.  The fight for faith can be lonely and at times feel like an uphill battle. But this season of life doesn’t have to be one filled with battle wounds and scars. The Scriptures speak about God’s unfailing love, favor and Jesus victory over our sin! A woman can have joy in this season of life!

But how can you have joy when the dishes aren’t done yet again because you needed to take that phone call. Or your husband and kids are eating a TV dinner for the third night in a row because you have to work. What about the laundry, or that messy room, or-you fill in the blank. Being a mom is work enough- great and lovely work- but hard work. Add anything to it and at times it might seem an impossible task.

But, then you have that one day, one week, one month, where it seems things are running smoothly. The tasks that have been looming over your head are finally completed. The household is taken care of and are thriving. All seems right in the world. During those times, it’s easy to have joy. Isn’t it.

Here’s the good news, you can have joy in the struggle of balancing work and home because God loves to lavish His grace upon you and all you need is found in Him.

His Word for us

God has given us His Word so we can fight the fight of faith, know how to live, and know Him and His great character.

Are you condemned- feeling guilty because you need to leave your children for a period of time during the day or perhaps you must entertain them with a video to get work done? Do you believe God is disappointed with you?

God’s Word says, “There is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus. For the law of the Spirit of life has set you free in Christ Jesus from the law of sin and death,” Romans 8:1-2 ESV.

Are you seeking God’s Kingdom but still fear that your children will not be taken care of?

God’s Word says, “As for man, his days are like grass; he flourishes like a flower of the field; for the wind passes over it, and it is gone, and its place knows it no more. But the steadfast love of the LORD is from everlasting to everlasting on those who fear him, and his righteousness to children’s children, to those who keep his covenant and remember to do his commandments. The LORD has established his throne in the heavens, and his kingdom rules over all,” (Psalm 103:15-19).

Do you fear that God may not provide for your family though you seem to be working so very hard and diligently?

God’s Word will help guide us to learn how to trust Him. King David says, “I have been young, and now am old, yet I have not seen the righteous forsaken or his children begging for bread,” (Psalm 37:25).

Do you struggle with comparing and believe God must relate differently to you verses the mom who does not have to work?

God’s word says that we are all the same at the foot of the Cross and “for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, and are justified by his grace as a gift, through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus,” (Romans 3:23-24 ESV)

God also wants you to feel safe and secure in Him. “The fear of man lays a snare, but whoever trusts in the LORD is safe.” (Proverbs 29:25 ESV)

God is calling all of us to trust Him for all of our needs. We need Him to accomplish anything. And it is because of Him that we can fight the fight of faith, care for our families and help our husbands provide and still have joy!

“Let those who delight in my righteousness shout for joy and be glad and say evermore, “Great is the LORD, who delights in the welfare of his servant!” Then my tongue shall tell of your righteousness and of your praise all the day long,” (Psalm 35:27-28 ESV)

The joy of the Lord is my strength!

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...

Comments are closed.