We’ve had a number of “family firsts” recently. Our son is dancing competitively this year with a team at our local dance studio. This past weekend he participated in his first competition, and the team won a first place trophy with their ballet performance and a gold medal for their jazz performance. He was so excited, and though stressful in getting everyone in place for him to dance at 8 a.m., we had a fun time as a family.
The youngest lost her first tooth. She was so nervous about losing a tooth until she wouldn’t let anyone touch it to check its progress. I kept trying to placate her by showing her how skilled her brother was at the “tooth care” process (he’s lost 3 in the last 2-1/2 weeks), and talking about the fact that losing teeth is a part of how our bodies are divinely designed. She kept saying with all the faith and innocence of a 4-year-old, “I sure wish this wasn’t a part of God’s plan.” Well, she was playing with her brother when POW! Out pops the tooth. All I can hear from downstairs is him as the veteran running around with her, equally excited, trying to get her to the bathroom to rinse, and trying to bag the tooth for the “tooth fairy”, who, between the two of them, is now happy for her part-time job. The youngest is yelling, “My tooth came out! My tooth came out!” Now the same child who wouldn’t open her mouth when asked wants to show off her open space to everyone, and is looking forward to the next one coming out, which looks as if it’s only a few days behind the first.
I had a first, too—turning down an opportunity to make more money. I took a part-time position last fall teaching a couple of secondary-level classes at our local homeschool store. Though the experience has been rewarding, I chose not to return. My husband and I were talking about some of what I was sacrificing to meet this commitment–writing, family ministry, and just spending time with the Lord—and Rick Warren’s words from The Purpose Driven Life hit like a ton of bricks. It might be good, but this is not where I’m supposed to be. Yet, I have to admit that saying no thank you to the chance to return next school year was hard. The money wasn’t much, relatively speaking; praise God that since I came home, we’ve not skipped a financial beat. Talk about the Lord supplying as He gives direction. We now tithe as much as my husband made at his first job. Anyway, the issue was moreso the idea of walking away from cash money. I came from two very hard workers who were children during the Great Depression, and I’ve never been taught to walk away from the chance to make a few extra ducats. I also thought of the many homeschooling families who struggle to educate their children at home and maintain a household. Am I looking a gift horse in the mouth? Am I closing the door to a blessing? So in my humanness, wavering after being very clear in my direction, my last words to the director were, if you reeeeeally need me, I’ll come. So much for that. She let me know that she’d found two replacements for me already. They call that confirmation where I’m from. So after I dusted off my ego, I laughingly thought about my parents, who are probably taking turns rolling over. Thankfully, I’m at peace that I’ll get to share with them one day what the Lord did once I set my sights back on Him and His plans for me.