Why I think God may have sabotaged our internet…

So, the internet still isn’t working. (Then how, you ask, am I posting this? I’m on my husband’s work laptop while he’s out with a friend for the evening, using a unlocked network in the area).

Briefly tonight, the power went out twice and the laptop could no longer connect to the network and I just thought “huh… God must really not want me on the internet this week- would He seriously cause a power outage just to thwart my little plans?”

To be entirely real and vulnerable with you for a moment here, it’s actually been a blessed thing for me to have an unintentional internet/blogging fast these past couple of days. I’ve been feeling quite stretched as I seek to keep God first, my family second, and a whole lot of other things from creeping up into a place of idolatry.

I know that I became unbalanced during the last month or so (and likely long before that), trying hard to do what needed to be done for our students (who were the most challenging ones that we have ever had), keep up with my blog,;cope with a miserably teething baby and an extreme lack of sleep, a disobedient toddler (much of which I attribute to my own lack of schedule, lack of proper discipline and abundant poor attitude) and an absence of communion with my Savior. My husband suffered, my children suffered, my house suffered, and my heart has been anything but at peace.

Realizing all of this, I sent out the request for guest bloggers, which are all lined up and have put my mind greatly as ease already (thank you, thank you, thank you!). I was deeply challenged and convicted by Crystal’s post on overcoming the worn-out woman syndrome, and purposed to put my time with God back to a first priority in my mornings. I had a heart-to-heart chat with my husband about how I was feeling, and even the future of my blog, ebook and all that jazz.

Unbalance does not become balance again overnight. Exhaustion rarely reverses itself quickly. The consequences of sin often linger and require much effort and prayer beyond the point of the initial conviction and repentance. God has so, so very much more to do in me yet.

Today I spent some extra time with my children and read a couple chapters of Little House in the Big Woods to them out loud. I marvelled (and coveted, I confess) at Ma’s calm but constant work, her industriousness, her ability to just do what needed to be done. I recall reading a blog post many months ago, rejecting the idea of today’s mother hyper scheduling;her days and suggesting instead that we return to the;practice of just being aware and doing what needs to be done, without the;burden or expectation of a full-to-overflowing daily calendar.

I am a walking contradiction– the modern housewife who homeschools, bakes from scratch, gardens organically, runs an online business, serves in the church, irons my husband’s clothes and attempts to juggle it all while continually dropping at least one ball at all times, BUT wish that I was simply down to earth Ma, churning butter, hanging clothes out to dry, and mending;socks to the tune of Pa’s fiddle each firelit night. I often claim to have been born in the wrong century.

Providence, however, tells me that it is not so. Surely, God intended for me to live, work, struggle and grow right here and now. Right where I am. He makes no mistakes.

So to bring this rabbit trail of a rambling post back full circle to where it began, I’m so appreciative for these last few days of being internet-less… I’m grateful for the chance I’ve had to slow down, step back a bit and take a look at where things are at. There are things to consider, changes to make and areas to grow in. God has been gracious to reveal some things in my life that needed revealing, and I’m thankful.

Does anyone relate to where I’m at right now? Have you had times in your life when you realized that you were unbalanced and something had to give? What were the most positive changes you made during that time? Additionally, if you run a business or work from home, I’d love to hear what that looks like for you.

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  1. Oh, Stephanie you don’t even know! I am also trying to get my business up and running and it seems as though it is consuming my time and thoughts far too much lately. God has also pulled me back in and given me a little reality check recently too. Trying to balance all is difficult, but thankfully God always guides me when I am becoming imbalanced in my life. The key is to realizing it and then getting back on track, which you are doing! So many times I have had to repent, get my husbands input and tweak a few things to keep it all in check. I have come to realize that when I begin feeling overwhelmed and stressed, I know that it is time to step back and evaluate things.

    And rememeber, Ma is in a story. In reality, she probably struggled just as we do! Maybe with different things, but I am sure she had many of the same fears, worries, and struggles as we do.

    I will be praying for you, that you will feel refreshed and that He will guide you through this.

    God Bless!

  2. I just started my blog a couple of weeks ago and, even though it’s not a business for me right now, it is taking too much of my time! I’m so fascinated by it… but I must pry myself from my computer to get back to the basics. I read through the Little House series with my kids this year, too, and now we’re on the 5th “Rose years” book. Boy do those books convict me to keep it simple, in whatever way I possibly can in 2008.

  3. Thanks for sharing and being candid with us.

    I can definitely relate to the unbalanced life. It’s SO difficult. I had felt God nudging me in this area and I’m sad to say I was putting it off. I finally realized I was really being disobedient in this area and had to lay things down for a time, really prayed and sought him and what he wanted. If there were things in my life that needed to go and what priorities needed shifted.

    As he always does he met me when I truly sought his face. He showed me the areas I needed to change and balance. He renewed my love for staying at home with the kids and this truly helped my priorities shift during my day.

    All that rambling to say I do understand and it’s a tough spot to be in.

  4. Thank you for posting these types of things. Your shared thoughts challenge me to evaluate my own life! 🙂

  5. Oh, I often come (back) to the place where I realize there is too much on my plate to do any of it well. Gently returning to what is most important seems to work very well, being critical of having done it again seems to add to the misery…suffering over my suffering. If our lives were static we’d have it covered, but they’re dynamic and sometimes it takes a while for me to pick up on the signals. I work at home. It looks like meandering and sometimes like controlled chaos! My daughter is older and the kind of structure she needs is different from that of toddlers, considerably less hands-on time. I don’t always work set hours, especially when she’s home in the summer. I cook and bake from scratch ala Nourishing Traditions, volunteer, try to make a set time for prayer and meditation, and we do a lot of work on the property to get it ready for gardening and small animals. Sometimes for me it’s just a matter of recognizing what is enough in any activity and overall, and being a little more than two dimensional in my own thinking. Being aware of what is called for, as you mentioned. Even though we do make linear to do lists with check boxes and time frames, our lives and accomplishments seem to take more of a circular, spiraling path.

  6. Thanks for being so candid. A thought provoking book is called Better Off. I think that you would be challenged and encouraged by it (I was, at least!). The author basically decides to live without technology to see whether or not it actually makes your life better. What he challenges his readers in the end, is to really evaluate whether the technology you allow in your life is actually making you have a better life. You don’t have to be a “slave” to technology, and can live as much like “Ma” as you want. You just have to choose it. 🙂

    Blessings and Hugs.

  7. I’m in the midst of reading the “Little House” books as well! I just finished Big Woods, and am 3/4 of the way through Prairie. I, too, love the simplicity, and strive for that.

    I know, once school starts (I am a teacher – my dh cares for our son and my other children at home, since my job both paid more and provided those much needed health benefits) that simplicity will be more of a struggle to maintain, but I’m hoping that our recent major de-cluttering adventure will enable us to keep it through the school year, even with learning a new position within my district. (prayers to that effect would be most welcomed!)

  8. Wow did this one hit me where I am right now; or rather where I’ve come from. My life got uncomfortably out of balance and I just cannot operate that way. I’ve made some changes in the way I’m doing things, the way I’m spending my time and so forth. Doing things the simple way, the slow way, the stop and smell the roses way is what I am trying to get back to. Thanks for a beautifully written and well thought out post. I’m going to try to link to it because I’d like to reread it over the next few weeks.

  9. Stephanie,

    I appreciate your vulnerability in this post. I can definitely relate to what you said, and I often also feel that I can be a “walking contradiction.”

    I replied to your e-mail while on vacation, and am willing and interested if that would be helpful to you. Blessings!

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