Monday, April 28, 2008

Stretched so thin

I feel like my nerves might just snap! My regular readers will notice that Like Merchant Ships has lost a lot of its spark lately.

Will you hang in there with me? We're waiting on some job news this month.

I think this is the hardest part of being a stay-at-home mother. My husband provides marvelously for us, but my not having control over his job (and our lives) is an exercise in grace.

65 comments:

Anonymous said...

Meredith, I once heard a story of a man, who after having climbed to the top of the "ladder of success" realized that his ladder had been leaning against the wrong thing. Those of us who read your blog realize you place a higher value on home and family than on money and success. I'm sure you've expressed that to your husband.
BTW, your blog is just fine! I wish you lived next door.
Mrs. L.

Elizabeth Sue said...

I am praying for you.

Nancy said...

Hang in there Meredith. God will see you (and the family) through this. If you lived next door, I'd ask you over for coffee this morning.

martha said...

I understand your position, Meredith, having been there several times myself.

Amazing thing is, God keeps working out His will through us, in more pleasant ways than we deserve. I am sure He will do the same for you.

Jeana said...

Hang in there! It would be pretty hard to shake me off. I'm not going anywhere!

Praying for your husband's job situation. I know God's got the perfect plan for you.

Shannon@Idylwild said...

That's the hard thing about the internet - you can only share so much.
I agree with you - it is so hard to let go of that feeling of control. Especially when it involves moving and budget adjustments. The waiting to see can be very stressful, especially when you're trying to plan for the new baby! I wish I lived closer - I'd love to fix lunch for you! We could hash it all out while the kids play:) None of those jobs happen to be in Middle Georgia? :)
In the meantime, I'll be praying that God will lead y'all to just the right situation and that He'll give you great peace while you wait!

Janel said...

We're in Job Option C and have been there for 3 years. God is bigger and has other plans. Pray & wait...

In the mean time... {{HUGS!}}

Anonymous said...

Meredith you are a woman of fatih. You know this will come out the way the Lord wants it to be. I know that it is not easy to wait. Patience is not easy to have sometimes when you have 2 children and a 3rd baby on the way. Your readers are faithful and loyal. I am sure we will all be around to see how you handle this with the grace God gave you. If you were close by me I would love to have you over for lunch. This morning is cool and sunny here. The kids are going to enjoy a picnic lunch on the patio this morning. Take care. My prayers are with you. Roxie

Queen of Carrots said...

I know that feeling. DOB decided to quit his job (with no prospects--not as crazy as it sounds as he wasn't really getting paid anymore) the day after D2 was born. We wound up moving three months later. All that uncertainty on top of new baby is crazy! Praying for peace and that things will settle down soon.

Cyndi Lewis said...

The Lord's timing never seems to be my own. My husband gets transferred frequently. It is about time for another but we never know when it will come or where it will take us. So we sit in the holding pattern and thank God for our current blessings; cheap rent, good friends and a great church. I'll be praying for you.

Niki RuralWritings said...

A poem quoted by Elisabeth Elliot
Do The Next Thing

"At an old English parsonage down by the sea,
there came in the twilight a message to me.
Its quaint Saxon legend deeply engraven
that, as it seems to me, teaching from heaven.
And all through the hours the quiet words ring,
like a low inspiration, 'Do the next thing.'

Many a questioning, many a fear,
many a doubt hath its quieting here.
Moment by moment, let down from heaven,
time, opportunity, guidance are given.
Fear not tomorrow, child of the King,
trust that with Jesus, do the next thing.

Do it immediately, do it with prayer,
do it reliantly, casting all care.
Do it with reverence, tracing His hand,
who placed it before thee with earnest command.
Stayed on omnipotence, safe 'neath His wing,
leave all resultings, do the next thing.

Looking to Jesus, ever serener,
working or suffering be thy demeanor,
in His dear presence, the rest of His calm,
the light of His countenance, be thy psalm.
Do the next thing."


One of my favourite poems, by one of my favourite Christian writers.
I pray this blesses and encourages you to simply "Do the Next Thing"
Niki

Anonymous said...

Waiting has got to be one of the hardest things God asks us to do! We, too, on this end feel as though we are taking things day by day....I wish I could DO something.

Whether A, B, or C, I hope your path will be shown to you soon, Meredith.

Brenda

Amy said...

We were in the same spot last year as you and I know how challenging it is to wait. I will continue to pray that the right opportunity opens up for your family.

Don't be discouraged about the blog- I know that just adds to your stress levels.

Sarah said...

Ah, I'm in a very similar situation and understand what you're saying! Waiting is hard for me, because I crave security. But truly, that security only comes from God.

hollyberry2 said...

I'll hang in there with you!

jay n tricia said...

Your blog is really great...please do not stress over it. I am praying for you today, and certainly understand the stresses associated with job concerns, and waiting for information, especially when there is a baby on the way. Thank you for sharing so we can hopefully help encourage you!

Anonymous said...

I understand the stress you must be feeling, but just knowing that the possiblity of paying cash for a home is there is beyond most of our imaginations! Having the burden of financial stress removed should lighten the stress of job uncertainty (not WHETHER there is a job but WHICH job) and moving. I don't been to diminish your worries and concerns, but when put in perspective, I hope you find some comfort knowing they below what many face every single day with a pretty bleak-looking future to boot. I don't mean to be unkind - just expressing what I am thinking. I do hope your situration works itself out to be a wonderful one for you and your family.

eleanor joyce said...

This too shall pass. It will. In the meantime, God promises his peace which passes all understanding. It's not a glib pronouncement - I've been where you are - a few times in fact! God already has it all mapped out. Just do the next thing, each day, and pray. One piece of advice that I've come to appreciate over the years is this. When you don't know what to do, don't do anything. God will step up and make things very clear. When my dh was out of work for a year, and we didn't see how it could be God's will for us to ever move away from our little farm, we prayed he would close every door except the one we were to go through, so that we would not make a mistake. We sure didn't like the door that was left open - but we had no choice. 6 years later we can see God's hand in it all. He has a plan for you too.

Tamara said...

Meredith,

I thought of this scripture as I read your post:
"Many are the plans in a man's heart, but it is the LORD's purpose that prevails." Proverbs 19:21.

The waiting and the time of uncertainty are the hardest. Once the decision is made, you can figure out a way to deal with whatever issues arise. But not knowing frustrates us! It helps me to remember that it was never God's plan for me to be in control of the future.

Perhaps in this season in your life, God wants to use your blog in a different way. Perhaps you need a break. Your faithful readers will be happy to wait for your return. Or, perhaps, God will teach you how to deal with the frustration of waiting so that He can use you to encourage and edify other women facing the same frustrations. Which reminds me of these verses:
"She is clothed with strength and dignity; she can laugh at the days to come. She speaks with wisdom, and faithful instruction is on her tongue." Proverbs 31:25-26.

I will be praying for you and your family.

Kacie said...

I'll be a-prayin' for ya! It's a difficult time, for sure, but things will ultimately work out.

Steph said...

Meredith, I can empathize with your feeling of being "in limbo" - it definitely is not a comfortable state to be in. And being in limbo when you are pregnant, I can only imagine how that is butting heads with your desire to nest. (((((HUGS)))))) "This too shall pass." Lather. Rinse. Repeat. :)

Jennifer said...

I hate not knowing about uprooting your family! We went through the same thing 2 years ago right now. It was so frustrating! And then we knew we were moving cross country, but didn't know what to do while waiting for the house to sell. 10 days before dh was leaving, we found a way for us all to move with him, even though our house hadn't sold. I had 10 days to pack up the house and be out! It was a crazy time, but worth it in the end. Try to be patient and I know that is easier said than done!

Mama Squirrel said...

Meredith, I am right there with you--I mean literally. I feel like we're standing on the head of a pin right now for several different reasons. And I've also found blogging somewhat difficult, or at least different, over the last while. What goes on in our off-blog lives tends to colour what we feel like writing about.

Hang in there--take a break if you need to, but just know how much of a blessing your writing, photos and ideas have been through our own difficult months.

Ewokgirl said...

I understand completely, especially that comment about feeling like you have no control. I've been there, and it can be hard. Just pray that your husband will accept the right opportunity at the right time that will be the right fit for your family.

Don't stress yourself about having to perform on your blog. Yours is my favorite to read, and I'll admit that I'm disappointed when there's nothing new for a while. However, if you need a break, you need a break. If you need to attend to your family or refresh yourself or whatever, then don't worry about what it does to your blog. Your readers will understand.

Anonymous said...

It's okay to tell God you are frustrated ... He already knows :) and He can take it. I find doing a gratitude list and saying "God, you take it - this is making me crazy" and then starting in on whatever it is I'd be doing (dishes, lunch, sewing) if I were not waiting for news makes change more bearable.

Stopping my life doesn't make things happen faster . . .

Long-time wife of self-employed person,
Gail

gracemercyandpeace said...

Tamara's Prov 19:21 quote can't be improved upon : )

We have recently had to accept a version of your 'option C'. I am asking God, that when all is said and done, I will have gone beyond grinning and bearing to resting and flourishing in His choice.

This was a heartfelt post, Meredith, blessings to you.

deb meyers

Renae said...

We are in the midst of this turmoil, too. Except ours has lasted for over a year. Ugh!

Trusting God to use someone else to provide for my family is difficult. And even though I love that someone else with all my heart, he is an individual with goals and dreams that don't always match mine. I find it requires grace and a lot of faith to be in this dance. May God give you peace.

Anonymous said...

Sending hugs and prayers! We are in a similar boat since dh was laid off from his programming job 6 weeks ago. I don't know what the future holds and it is stressful.

Hugs,
Kathy

artgirlATL said...

hang in there sweetie. The place he and your family are meant to be will be where you end up. Not saying not to try to improve... not at all. But rather when the lord is with you nothing can stop something from happening that he is behind. Chin up!

It's a Mom Thing said...

Keep your chin up. You know God will work all of this out in His timing.

Those hormones probably aren't doing you any favors as far as wanting to be able to control these situations yourself.

Bloom where you are planted!

TJ said...

I'm praying for you Meredith! It is hard even in a 2 income home. I so want to make my husbands work life better, but all I can do is pray. It's all in God's hands, and I know he has a plan for us all!

Cheryl (Copper's Wife) said...

Of course we'll hang in there with you, dear one. Asking the Lord for widsom for your husband and an extra measure of grace for you. How are you feeling, by the way??

Anonymous said...

Meredith,
We have gone through that many times, as my husband's field is one where he is expected to "trade up" frequently. Those almost always seem to coinside with a pregnancy, adding double stress to both of us. This is my first pregnancy where we are not moving (knock on wood). You both will make the right decision and the right option will be clear once you move forward with a decision. It is just the waiting that is hard. But hang in there. This will turn out to be a blessing once it all works out. Heavenly Father is mindful of you and your family's needs, of that I am sure.
Angel

Scout's Honor said...

We are in the same spot. Stay at let my husband be an unrecognized, underpaid doormat, but continue the wonderful part of him working from home and them paying a portion of his MBA. But seriously, doormat. Two percent raises for the last five years straight. Seriously, they just hired someone who will work under my husband that makes $15k more a year than he does.

Or, look for a new job with instability and most assuredly a commute that wouldn't allow him to work from home or see us even 1/10th of the time. It's so scary.

I hear you, my friend. I hear y.ou

Lisa said...

I know how that is right now because we are doing the samething here with DH's job. Being a SAHM all i can do is listen and be supportive with whatever happens...my prayers go out to you.

Darla said...

I'm not going anywhere. You do what you need to do.

I hear ya on the exercising grace. Oyyyy. I do like my control.

Amy said...

This is hard! I hope you hear soon and I know it will all work out for the best!!

LynnMarie said...

It's the hard time that make us grow so just picture how much growth you will have when this is over. I know that it sounds simple and I know that waiting for God to work his plan is not easy, but we all faith in you. We all know that you can do this and that you will be blessed. We will all continue to pray for you.

SK and Family said...

Oh, I relate! It sounds like you will know the answers soon~just take it one day at a time (easier said than done, right?!).
:)Kat

Meredith said...

Thank you! We got out today, and sunshine plus all these encouraging words have really lifted my spirits.

Re buying a house with cash, it is a slim possibility. We have rolled cash from one house to the next (we're on our 4th house now). If--and it's a big if--we could find a fixer upper that's cheap enough, we could possibly do it.

It would mean a big move down in "lifestyle" but a big move up in security.

Mrs. Pharris said...

Meredith:

Come to Bowling Green!

Don't know why I said that, but I just did. LOL I'd run interference with your thrifting nemesis if you'd get me a paintable twin bed super cheap! LOL

Mrs. Pharris
www.adailyrate.blogspot.com

Mrs. Pharris said...

Not "get me" a bed...."find me" a bed...LOL

Julieann said...

I am not a regular reader--but I do pop in now and then --and I think you are very sparkly:) I always enjoy my visit here---I will say a prayer for you and yours today:)

(((Gentle Hugs from one SAHM to another))))

Julieann

nea said...

oh, i am right there with you. i hit my limit at the end of last week and am coming up for air now. hang in there and we will hang too. thanks for visiting my blog. virtual hugs.

Michelle Smiles said...

I hope that things resolve themselves in the way that is best for your family.

The lack of control is one of the hardest things I've found about becoming a stay at home mom. I trust and love my hubby but I've never had to place quite this level in trust in another person.

Tubo Family said...

quoting "My husband provides marvelously for us, but my not having control over his job (and our lives) is an exercise in grace." I hear you there! Hang in there and know this reader, along with many others, is thinking of you.

Jenni said...

I know a lot of women who would demand the control anyway. I speak from far too much personal experience! Good for you for stepping back. God has an awesome plan for your family.

Kimberly said...

Life's events cause changes--in our priorities, our writing--everything. I am typing this w/a baby on one hip, one in the womb, and one running around like a nut. I'm also finishing up supper duties. Most of us are in the boat right along w/u---just pulling those oars alongside. This is just a season. I know I'll stick w/u!!!

Janette said...

In my husband's ring (which is currently off his finger for the first time in 26 years because of surgeries) I had engraved,"no matter what". I had forgotten until now that I had put that.
We went through LOTS in the last 26 years and survived because of our equal love for the family we had created.
I hated every minute of the waits- but God did provide.
And- take a break if you need one. We will wait for you "no matter what".

Kelly said...

I will say prayers for you guys. Pregnancy hormones are probably giving you a real urge/need for stability, and this kind of drama generally doesn't help. We're going through something similar, so if you could pray for us too, I would really love it.

In fact, St. Joseph, please pray for all of us.

God Bless,
flighty girl

Jackie said...

Hang in there Meredith. I will say a prayer for you.

God bless.

Jane said...

You are such a great roll model for me and the way you share grace under pressure is really powerful. There are too few roll models of this type out there. Which actually makes me think...have you ever thought of teaching a community college class on frugal living? I am paying $40 per person for my husband and I to take one 4 hr. class on home buying from our local community school. I would pay another $40 to have a class with you and some handouts with your strategies. BTW, the handouts for this class are another $50 "Materials Fee." So, this could be a great side job for you one day. I also think you could be published.

kmom3 said...

Lifting up a prayer for you tonight.

Sandy said...

Yes, friend. Praying for you ...
Whatever job is in Oregon, TAKE IT! :) OK, I'm being serious now ...

Anonymous said...

Hi Meredith,

I am sorry to hear your suffering. Limbo is so hard. I have been there and the best advice I can offer is to "keep moving foward". All you can do in uncertain times is keep putting one foot in front of the other and focus on the things you can control. The rest will just work itself out. Try as much as you can to be in the moment. Savor the little things. Your kids eyelashes when they sleep, the smell of the garden in the morning, and the way your husband looks at you. It won't solve your problems but it can help the time pass more bearably.

I appreciate your honesty and the fact that you are so willing to share your struggles. I wish you only the best things.

Anonymous said...

Plan B sounds great, and I would not like plan A, yet I know you will make lemonade out of whatever letter happens! :)

Anonymous said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Chief Family Officer said...

I am praying that the job situation works out, and that you get your spark back! (Not that I've noticed anything missing, mind you, in spite of what you said.)

@anon right above me - You obviously haven't been reading LMS for long. If you were a regular reader, you would know that Meredith is one of the most humble, grateful women around. Why don't you stick around and find out just why her readers love her so much?

Rhoda @ Southern Hospitality said...

Hi, Meredith, just catching up with you. Glad your yardsale went well & that you got enough for tires, that's a great tradeoff. Hubby & I just had to get new tires on both our cars.

I really enjoyed the post on thrifting, since I'm a huge thrifter myself. I am in FL right now & have found a great thriftstore & bought my hubby 7 shortsleeved shirts for a fraction of new cost. He's a large size, so hard to find & I lucked up & found them. He will happily put on a clean used shirt, as will I. Scored last weekend at the yardsales for myself & found several items for $1 each. When you find things like that, it's very hard to go back & pay retail. I know I have a hard time with it. I do think lots more people are thrifting these days out of necessity. We aren't rich & I can have more by thrifting than if I saved up & bought retail prices, so I'm perfectly happy to do it. As for reselling, I do that too if I happen to find something great at a yardsale. I always have my eyes open for that sort of thing & have had a few valuables pass my way for reselling. I'm always grateful for those too. Just last weekend, I found some collectible pottery to resell & will do so. Most of my thrifting is a yardsales, since I do so well in that arena & not so well in the thriftstores.

I'm sure God will see you through this job decision. My most challenging times have been getting to the end of being in control. It's so hard, but I do think that's where we learn the most and trust the most. I've been there too.

Take care,
RHoda

Amy G. said...

My prayers for you and your family. It's so hard to not know for certain, and I think us at-home mothers crave security knowing we can't just "up our hours" and keep the money coming in. Whatever comes your way, I know you will handle it with grace and fortitude.

Kristy said...

I know how you feel!

During my last week of work before the arrival of our 1st child we found out that my husband's well-paid, but frustrating job was coming to an end. There went all our carefully budgeted single income plan.

Now we have a beautiful 7wk old and we're trying to decide whether my husband should attempt to work independently (a long held dream)or take another salaried position.

Thankfully God has been providing for our needs and we're trusting Him to continue. It certainly is a challenge though.

*j-u-l-e-s* said...

Praying that God will work it out for your good and His Glory!

Julie

And PS - I *do* live close to you. We should have coffee one day!

Ahorros y cupones en EspaƱol said...

Your Blog Its sparkling!
And your pictures are awesome!!
I wonder what kind of camera you use?
you are a genius!!

thanks for being here!!

Jennifer F. said...

What a tough choice! My husband and I went through a similarly tough choice about a year ago (and also a couple years before that), so I know how difficult that can be. One thing that has worked well for me lately (very, very well) is to take whatever is troubling me to Adoration and pray about it there. I am amazed at the peace and clarity that has brought.

Also, I can totally relate to feeling a temporary loss of spark in terms of blogging topics. I just came across this list of tips for offering interesting blog content on off days if you have any interest.

You'll be in my prayers. :)

Anonymous said...

Just a word of encouragement. I think your blog is amazing. I would love for you to be able to decorate my house with what we already have with some thrift store finds thrown in. That's the only way decorating is going to happen around here and I don't have your eye and your vision to accomplish what you have done with your home. I have learned a lot from your ideas, though. You are an inspiration.