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I guess this also could have doubled as an Inspiration Sunday post. But we all know I've been slacking/"busy" lately and haven't done one of those in awhile. (But I do have ideas in my head, so thats something...)
This will be my last week at work. It is so strange to say goodbye to something that has been such a major part of my life for the past seven years. When I am at work, I wonder why I would ever want to leave, but when I am at home, I understand completely. I do leave knowing that it is the right thing to do, however.
When we were first convicted to have me quit to stay home, we were wondering how we would do it, but of course we planned on that being a year or more away, and figured we'd come up with something. However since our plans were expedited, when I handed in my notice we still hadn't come up with how to make ends meet. Even though we knew it would be a very significant drop in income, we both knew it was the right thing and decided to take a leap of faith and trust that God would provide a way. (LDS friends: Bring a primary song to mind? "I will go, I will do, the things the Lord commands; I know the Lord provides a way, He wants me to obey!")
When I put in my notice at the end of December and knew for sure that I was leaving in a month, we did the financial math. If we changed our eating habits (from super cheap to literally beans and rice for every meal) and bought absolutly zero extras and had no health problems, broken cars, or home repairs, most months we would spend every dollar my husband earned, and fall short a few months since he is paid on commission. This is a scary thing to face, we've never had any debt aside from our mortgage, and have always maintained an emergency savings account. We decided that if something came up we'd have to sell my car to pay for it. But, seeing as we'd live, we did it anyway, still hoping that somehow we could come up with a way to earn an extra $100 or so each month.
A few days after I had put in my notice, a neighbor mentioned to me that she was looking for a piano teacher for her son. I taught piano before we were married and knew her and her son, so I said I'd love to teach him. Before the weekend was over, I had 10 other moms from the neighborhood ask if I could teach their kids as well. I didn't ask her to spread the word or anything, but somehow the word got out anyway and our prayers were answered three-fold - $300 a month from teaching piano! Something I never thought of doing, and didn't even try to do, it just fell into my lap.
A few days after this, a local boutique that I have sewn for in the past called up. They are looking to start manufacturing their own brand locally, and wanted to know if I would sew from home for them. They want at least 10 pieces a week for now ($200/month), with the possibility of me designing and drafting a children's clothing line for them later this year. So now our prayers for $100/month were answered five-fold. $500 a month in work (that I can do from home!) that was literally given to me. I never had to seek out these jobs.
About a week after I put in my notice and we were in awe of the miracle of the piano lessons and the sewing, some problems came up at hubby's office. One of his coworkers ended up quitting on the spot because she couldn't handle it. His direct superior asked if he would be willing to take on her responsibilities if offered a raise. As a part of this deal, he would also be put on salary, so we wouldn't have to worry about making more some months and less others. This raise resulted in about an extra $800 a month. When he called to tell me this, I was speechless. We would now be making $300 more each month than we had when I was working.
By taking that leap of faith and quitting when we knew it was right, even though we didn't know how to make it work, our prayers weren't just answered, They were answered 13 times better than we had hoped. We had asked for $100 a month, and were willing to work to find it. We were given $1300, which was handed to us without our seeking it. Our heavenly Father is wonderfully incredibly good. I am certainly not a perfect person, but just look what He has done for us! How could I ever doubt that this is the right direction to take, after witnessing such a miracle?
Back to the primary song mentioned before - remember the story of Nephi? (okay, you who aren't LDS won't remember because you've probably never heard it) Nephi was told by God to go into Jerusalem and get the plates. He knew only that he needed to, but didn't know how it would happen. I imagine he stood outside of the city and just stared, saying "I don't know how this is going to work, but I know it is right, and so I will do it." Previous attempts had made this task seem impossible. He walked into the city, "not knowing beforehand the things which I should do," and God showed him the way. We didn't know how we were going to make this work, but we did it anyway, trusting that God would show us the way - and He did.
I will close copying the words of Nephi, beacuse he said it better than I could:
"I know that the Lord giveth no commandments unto the children of men, save he shall prepare a way for them that they may accomplish the thing which he commandeth them." (1 Nephi 3:7)