This past week I was corresponding with a reader named Meghann. Meghann and her husband met when they were merely twelve years old, and after living in different countries for a while, God brought them back together. Their love story is a beautiful one of a young faith-focused couple.
I just wanted to send you a few words of encouragement. I found a link to your blog through Women Living Well, and thought that your blog looked interesting, especially because of the wonderful vintage pictures–I love those, too!
As I began to read your posts, I found that while we may differ in some ways, I am really inspired by you. As a working (outside the home) mom and wife–who has very little time to spare–your tips on homemaking have been absolutely brilliant. The recent “25 Organizational Tips” post was especially helpful.
I struggle with trying to find a balance between home and work lives, and it is difficult, but for our family right now it is necessary that I have an outside job. My wonderful, hardworking husband was laid off from his former position and had to take a lower paying job for a while, so we need the extra income for the time being.
I also related to you because of your tender, yet frank, discussion and exploration of feelings about your miscarriages. I have had two babies born to heaven–one in October of 2009 and one in January of this year. It is always helpful to know that I am not alone in that.
We have an adorable two-year-old boy named Asher (named for the tribe of Israel who I think got the most fun blessing from Moses) and he loves helping me dust with socks on his hands–also your idea!
Anyway, it has been a rough 2010 in many ways for our family, but also one of growth and one of great blessings. I wanted you to know that I have been really encouraged by your blog and that I always look forward to reading it.
Thanks again, Darlene!
Thank you for your letter. I’m so glad that you have enjoyed the housekeeping posts. This is the first time I’ve received feedback from a working woman, so it’s refreshing to hear that the routine fits within the boundaries of your schedule. I imagine that with less time in the house, there is a greater need for organization and routine!
You said, “It is difficult, but for our family right now, it is necessary for me to have an outside job.” With that I’d like to offer my prayer that God will bring relief to your family and bless the employment of your husband. It’s honorable of him to continue working, even if it means receiving lesser pay so he can provide for his family. You must be so proud of him. And for you to step in when your husband needs you is nothing short of a blessing to him!
Reading your letter I’m reminded of the following scripture:
There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under the heavens:
a time to be born and a time to die, a time to plant and a time to uproot,
a time to kill and a time to heal, a time to tear down and a time to build,
a time to weep and a time to laugh, a time to mourn and a time to dance,
a time to scatter stones and a time to gather them, a time to embrace and a time to refrain from embracing,
a time to search and a time to give up, a time to keep and a time to throw away,
a time to tear and a time to mend, a time to be silent and a time to speak,
a time to love and a time to hate, a time for war and a time for peace.
~ Ecclesiastes chapter 3:1-8
Looking back on my marriage of 22 years I see that to be true. There have been tough times, and there has been laughter. We’ve seen death and experienced life. We’ve experienced the strain of unemployment, and the success of a growing business. We’ve shared joy and we’ve shared sorrow. It’s true. And with that I also see that, “He has made everything beautiful in its time.” (verse 11)
I pray that God will bring you much comfort as you move through the loss of your little ones. And while I mourn with you, I also rejoice in the blessing of Asher. He sounds incredibly precious as I imagine a little sock on his hand. I understand that his name means “happy,” so with that I pray asking God for a blessing of joy on him all the days of his life.
And yes, I do believe that Asher received an incredible blessing from Moses. I see the “oil” mentioned in the scripture as a representation of joy (as we also find in Isaiah 61:3). It’s a wonderful name, and one I wish I would have thought of myself!
“Most blessed of sons is Asher; let him be favored by his brothers, and let him bathe his feet in oil.”
~ Deuteronomy 33:24
You are loved by an almighty God,
Your wonderful response to my letter made my day. I know that you must get a lot of feedback, and I want you to know how much I appreciate you writing me such a thoughtful email. I’m enclosing a picture of my family just for fun so you can see Asher (not wearing the sock on his hand, but cute anyway). His middle name is Gabriel. We thought it a good combination to pair Asher (happiness) with Gabriel (God is my might). I think it shows in him. He’s strong and determined, but always joyful. I’m very blessed to have a happy, healthy boy and a wonderful husband.
Thank you for acknowledging that it is honorable of my husband to take a lower paying job to provide for his family. It is so hard for him, and so few people see that. Of course, he wishes he could be the provider without my help, but he is always so appreciative to me for working hard, too. He gets me flowers every weekend–a tradition since we began dating many years ago.
I told him that while we were strapped for money for a while, I didn’t need the flowers–we could save that money.
He firmly said, “No, that’s not an option. You deserve the flowers you love even more now, and you will always have them, even if I have to plant them and pick them myself.”
This summer, that’s what he did. We had a garden in our yard, and my blue vase was filled with flowers all the time. Then, this fall, when they stopped growing, he talked our neighborhood flower shop owner into letting him deliver flowers for a couple of hours on Saturday mornings so that he could get me flowers.
Now, his job is working full time at an upscale grocery store, as many hours as he can while he goes to school to get a second degree. They sell flowers at the store, and he brings them home to me every week. My favorite blue vase has not stood without flowers since we began these difficult times, and I know that my determined husband who loves me will keep it that way.
I am sure that even though I am the first working woman to write to you, I’m not the only one reading. I bet you are reaching so many more than you know.
Thank you for your support and prayers. I also love that passage in Ecclesiastes–I refer to it often. Please know that I will say a daily prayer for you and your family and that I send my continued appreciation for your blog and the encouragement it brings me, and I’m sure, many others.
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