Last year, I did a word of the year. It was Peace, you can read about that here if you’re curious. I wasn’t necessarily going to do one again this year, but God kept pushing me towards it.
I kept fighting and resisting. Because the word He was pushing me towards was “surrender”. That’s a scary word, you guys. Much like praying for patience, it means that God’s going to put you in situations where you’ll have to practice.
I don’t want to have to practice surrender. That means bad things are going to happen this year. Things where I’ll have to admit that I’m not in control.
But as with most things with God, I eventually gave in to His insisting and agreed to my word for the year.
Let’s Get This Party Started
God didn’t waste anytime getting to work. The very next day, we got word that Jordan’s daily driver’s transmission went out. The estimate to fix that car was thousands of dollars. It was the third car repair we’d had in the past two weeks, but this was by far the biggest one.
We’ve saved up for car repairs, house things, you know…life. But last year’s furnace, dish washer, garbage disposal, water heater, some medical stuff and a slew of other things have taken up a big (more like huge) chunk of that.
We wrestled with ideas on how to deal with the situation. Fix the car that was only worth $1300 and still needed new tires? Buy another car for about the same price, but risk getting something that needed more hidden repairs?
We prayed, we sought council and just as we were about to pull the trigger to fix the car, Jordan’s Dad offered to sell us one of his cars. He needs to get a few things figured out but we’ll hopefully be able to have a second car by the end of this month.
Living with One Car
For the past 3 weeks, we’ve only had one car. Jordan drives the family car to work every day and I stay home with the kids.
We don’t exactly live in a good location to be a one car family. Jordan works 40 minutes each way from work. We live out in the country so we can’t walk to a park, grocery store or library.
On the days when I need the car, which I’ve narrowed down to once a week, we have to get the kids fed, dressed and in the car by 6:20am. Then drive through rush hour to pick him up by about 4:30 and turn right around and drive another 40 minutes back home.
Scheduling doctors appointments and all that fun stuff has been interesting. Since we’re already in town, it doesn’t make sense to drive all the way back to our house.
So we have to figure out how to amuse ourselves at 7am in the morning until our appointments that don’t start until 8:30 or 9.
The Pruning Process
When God takes the pruning sheers to your life, it hurts. It means sacrificing and being uncomfortable. It means mixing up routines and moving things around.
And having only one car was just that. Now that we haven’t had a car for about a month, I’ve come to realize that this was God’s way of forcing me to slow down.
I was using the car to run away from things at home. Kids fighting? Let’s go for a ride. Don’t feel like doing housework? Might as well run all those errands.
Don’t feel like playing with them and reading to them and in general being present? Take them somewhere else to entertain them.
I had to cut out literally every activity the kids were a part of except for Noah’s CGS class once a week.
I’ll be honest and tell you that the whole thing made me cranky. Money is stressful. Being stuck at home is stressful and annoying. And quite frankly, not being in control stinks.
And then, I took some previous life experience and decided to kick my bad attitude to the curb and make the best of our situation. Being stuck at home meant I could finally do a whole house purge.
I’m getting caught up on all those little things I didn’t have time for. Sewing on buttons, mending pocket holes, deep cleaning light fixtures, cleaning kitchen cabinets…all of it.
The kids and I are spending more time reading, coloring, and playing in general. Without a place to rush off to, we’ve been able to slow down and enjoy each other.
Since then, we’ve had another car repair on our only working car. And a few other things are coming down the pipeline that we’re going to have to deal with.
Every time I turn on the radio or open a book, He brings up the fact that He always provides for today. He gives the Grace to deal with today, not the what if’s coming up.
So I’m focusing on being grateful for our blessings and leaving the rest up to God. He’s calling me to stop worrying, stop fighting, stop trying to control the situation and surrender to His plan. And it’s hard. It’s so hard. But I suspect will be very worth it in the end.
What about you, did you pick a word for the year?
Photo credit: Pexles