Sunday, May 24, 2009

Character Holds on to Hope

"Character holds on to hope." I love that. It is certainly true that hope is something we can embrace or reject. I believe it is a gift of God, rather than something we produce of ourselves. By embracing God's gift of the cross--his greatest gift--we open ourselves up to freely receive all his other gifts. Still, like the cross, we have the free will to embrace or reject. us to let go of ourselves--get to the end of ourselves--so we can come daily to you, in joyful receipt off all your offerings.

Don's journey to attend computer tech school--a journey he stumbled upon seemingly by accident, through unemployment--will be put into the hands of committee sometime this week. He feels he has a servant's heart (very true), and answering employee need for tech help fits into that framework. While he doesn't pretend to have a brilliant technical mind by any stretch, he enjoys troubleshooting and developing relationships with people, one day at a time. He will enjoy the mix of people and machine. The machines will appeal to his logical, linear side, and the people to his connection-oriented, relational side.

He poured himself out to Lord, looking for wisdom--for direction. Along came the WIA grant, and later--after more prayer for specific direction--the computer field. All we can do in these situations is pray and wait. The outcome is in the hands of God. There is some concern that they will not award a $10,000 grant to someone who already has education. He did his best to address that concern in the personal letter (appeal) component, so now we wait..remembering that character holds on to hope.

Supporting a six-member family on a custodian's salary is really no longer possible, no matter how much we cut out. Now is the time for God to show that if you allow him virtual control over the womb, he will provide the "how", both in monetary terms, and in grace. The grace I will sorely need, in order to take over solo with the kids, once school mixes with work for Don.

One of the things that must happen before Don exits the house for most of the day and evening, is for Anna to be able to sleep safely in her crib, without a lot of help from me. The safety of the rest of the children demands this. My urgent prayer is that this won't entail "crying it out". For that would break my heart. And God knows that. Each time I sit here and write now, I place Anna in her crib behind the computer, providing opportunity for her to learn self-soothing techniques. This time, it worked. I hear her steady breathing, finally. Praise God!

Now for the short post that prompted my own post - from Howard Butt, Jr, of the HighCallingBlog:

In February 2003, Evelyn Husband lost the love of her life. Her husband, Rick, was on the Space Shuttle Columbia. Minutes before landing, it disintegrated, and everyone on board died.

In the wake of her husband's death, Evelyn began to see how every challenge in her life had fortified her for the next. Infertility and marital difficulties had built spiritual muscles that would help sustain hope during her life's greatest heartbreak.

This is Howard Butt, Jr., of Laity Lodge. The Apostle Paul tells us that suffering prepares us. It teaches perseverance, which produces character. Character holds on to hope. And hope, the Bible says, will not be disappointed . . . in the high calling of our daily work.

...we rejoice in the hope of the glory of God. Not only so, but we also rejoice in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character ; and character , hope. And hope does not disappoint us... (Rom. 5:2-5 )

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