me and my books

Okay, so I have been reading an enormous pile of books on how to live a better life. I am really excited to share some of my ideas on them…

Me and Husband are in Financial Peace and so of course I am reading books on how to be more thrifty, on how to control spending and to be responsible with money. Mr. Dave Ramsey has a saying, “Live like no one else now so you can live like no one else later.” This will be our third time taking this class/group. It inspires me each time. When at the library I pick up several books on living a financially responsible life. As a woman, my thinking is less linear and more creative and rabbit-trailish so I have a hard time making a strict budget, but that doesn’t mean I don’t believe in budgeting. It’s hard for me to be so cut and dry. Thought this meant there was something wrong with me, but there’s not. It’s my personality. I’ve read that it’s the wonderful thing about being a woman, all of the ideas that roam through my head at once. We, women, can handle many different ideas and inspirations at the same time. One passion sparks another and another and then it leads to dipping my hand into several pots at once. My husband is the yin to my yang; he is the black and white thinker when it comes to money. He is the one who draws up the budget and I am the one who lets him know if I think any of it needs changing or if I think we are spending too much in one area, but not enough in another. Honestly I don’t even want to look at the budget, but I enjoy reading all the books that inspire me to save, save, save. At one time I thought my constant stream of ideas were a bad thing. I have told several doctors that I thought I was bipolar because of all my ideas… seriously… I love to brainstorm and try to bring those dreams to reality. Then I learned that those ideas are not only good, they are not bi-polar. My favorite doctor even loved my ideas:)

Next, I have been reading books about how to be a better wife. Self-explanatory. We can’t change others, only ourselves. I once believed the lie that everyone else’s marriage was better than mine. After reading books written by both men and women, I have dismissed the lie that my marriage is the only one that is difficult at times. Put two people together for years and years and years and iron will sharpen iron. Speaker, pastor, husband, and author, Todd Wilson has said that after counseling many couples he has noticed that men tend to believe their marriage is as good or better than everyone else’s. Women believe the lie that our marriage is the only one that struggles. Anyone who says their marriage never goes through rough patches and some real hard times is either a newlywed, or putting up a front.

The final collection of books I’ve been reading is a large pile written about homeschooling/parenting. After feeling pretty down about myself for not feeding the homeless every night, it was another homeschooler who pointed out the importance of my work at home. How pretentious of me to think that works are more important than my family, in hindsight. My family is what the Lord has put in front of me and the sooner I see the importance of this, the less I believe that my life is about me and what I can do for the Lord. That is what makes life joyful. I don’t have to try to be anything. God has already placed me in high places with Him and practically, my place on earth is making sure my 3 men grow up with me. Not strangers in a school building for the bulk of their childhood. One of my children has ADHD ( I know, I know… I didn’t think it was real either until I learned first hand that it absolutely is real. My kid has it at an “8” on a scale of 1 to 9 ) and my middle child is… let’s call it “slow.” He does not have downs syndrome, but is a special needs child and I am not going to label him on here. We thought it was autism until about a year ago when I learned that it was more serious than that. Let’s just say that he can not go to a normal public school and he is doing a fabulous job learning at home. The few times we’ve tried to make him some friends we realized just how hard it would be for him. He doesn’t understand that when kids call him ugly or make fun of him, that it’s a bad thing. My husband pointed out that it’s probably the best thing about his condition, he doesn’t understand when people are being mean to him. We are able to shield him from truths that would hurt him. His brothers are so protective of him and I am glad that we are such a tight unit. And it was through reading some of my parenting books that I realized this didn’t happen by accident. It has only been through the foundation of Jesus Christ that we are able to shield our little ones from the world while at the same time guiding them through the process of becoming men.

I wouldn’t give up one day of my place in this family to be “out in the world” serving others. I don’t get credit and I don’t get to be a hero, but leaving my own to fend for themselves with people who don’t love them the way I do is not worth saving the world. Our circumstances have forced me to put my dreams on hold and I thought I would have to wait to be fulfilled. Then I read about what the definition of a fulfilling life really is. A fulfilling life is one that is devoted to the Lord and the things of His heart and His mind. Yes, it is the church’s responsibility to care for the poor and the down and out and I will get to do those things, but not at the expense of raising my little men. The easy thing would be to let someone else care for them while I lived my dream of working at the women’s home full-time. The hard thing is putting my dreams on hold in order to do what He called me to do first.

This is what I have learned. I know it’s not the path everyone should take and my convictions and realizations are not yours. The thing is, I have not been at rest in a long time. I felt like every choice I made was wrong because I wasn’t saving the world, or my marriage isn’t perfect, or I am not good at sitting down and writing a boring budget (although I will stick to one). I have been learning that I am exactly where I am supposed to be. And it’s not feeling bad about where the Lord has me. And no one has been judging me this whole time except me.

Have a good week guys.

Love,

Jackie

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