Four Things I Learned From Taking a Year Off, Part 1: We Are Not the Providers, God Is - Sarah Mae
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Four Things I Learned From Taking a Year Off, Part 1: We Are Not the Providers, God Is

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My man doing his wood-working thing

It’s a wonder how fast a year goes.

When I made the decision last January to take a year off from the public life, I made it because I felt a heaviness at the thought of regretting my life. More specifically, regretting my mothering years. I wanted to make sure I gave my best to the people God had directly put in my care; I needed to step back and take time off in order to get my priorities in order and to rest and be fully with my family.

And while this year was full of togetherness and intention and rest, it was also full of so much more. I’d love to share some of those things with you. Today I share part 1.

We Are Not the Providers, God Is

After telling my husband that I decided to quit for a year, we both had to face the reality that our lives were going to change because our income would be significantly reduced. But we would be fine because we have always lived off of his income (for the most part) and he had a steady job that brought home the bacon. We might not be able to afford the extras, but we’d make it.

Plus, getting de-stressed, being able to focus on mothering and homeschooling and homemaking, and supporting my husband as he uncovered and pursued some of his God-given longings was worth it to me.

And then came August.

My husband took a HUGE jump of faith and did something my steady, rock of a husband said he’d never do: he went self-employed.

That’s right, he quit his secure, health-insurance paying job and decided to follow the stirring in his heart. But it wasn’t a selfish thing, it was an offering from the Lord for my husband to begin again. You’ll learn more about his story and our adventure of faith in my upcoming book, but for now I want to focus on the fact that we now had no steady income.

Oh, my husband is wise and he was careful before leading our family on this new adventure, but as it is with self-employment, guarantees are much less to come by.

But bills add up and expenses increase (hello health insurance) and life gets a little tighter.

As my husband’s stress level increased, my natural inclination to rescue kicked in. I can earn the money, I can help us, I will make things better.

Except that not only did I not feel the freedom in my heart to jump in and rescue, the times I tried seemed thwarted. On top of that, any trickling income I did have had all but disappeared. And there it was, in the quiet of my heart: wait on the Lord and trust Him for your needs.

The Lord would provide for us. I didn’t need to rescue.

And you know, even during the hardest times when no work was in sight, we were okay, we always had enough. And work would show up last minute.

Through this experience, we have learned so much about depending on and trusting in the Lord for our needs. At one point, to encourage us, the Lord brought a timely word from George Müller, and it was this:

My dear brother, it is not your work that supports your family, but the Lord.”

It is God who takes care of us, no matter what happens to us financially or otherwise. He is kind and good and cares for us. Further more, it has been cemented in my heart that the Lord’s love language is not money. If we were to lose everything, we’d be okay, because we have Him.

So this year, I learned in a deeper way that the Lord is our provider, and we can trust Him as we walk by faith in this journey.

The Next Three Parts:

Counting the Cost is Wise and Practical

I Am Still Me

If You Are Burned Out, You Will Not Be As Effective in the Kingdom

Love, SM

P.S. TOMORROW is the FREE Own Your Life Webcast over at Sally’s blog; do come join us? Click here for information!

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  • shawnsmucker

    I’m so glad you’re back, Sarah.

    • http://www.likeawarmcupofcoffee.com Sarah Mae

      Thanks, Shawn! 🙂 By the way, Jesse is loving your book! I have to steal it back so I can finish it!

  • Serena

    Hi, beautiful. This line -> “And work would show up at the last minute.” My husband and I are both self-employed and this year, since about the same time (August), has been rough. That’s the best adjective I could come up with. I would drive down the road and see squirrels dodging my car as they picked up walnuts off the road. I would think “Even squirrels find nuts. They may have to go through the stress of dodging traffic, but they find nuts.” Then, later down the road I would see a couple of vultures huddled around a squished squirrel, so that wasn’t always helpful. But, the last minute thing is the most annoying, true thing. It dismantles self-sufficiency. It really is all up to Him, the busy and the slow. Then, this line is carved in the rock foundation of faith -> “If we were to lose everything, we’d be okay, because we have Him.” We should be like Joseph in the good years and store up grain for the famines. Right now, my “grain” is patience and peace while I dodge traffic and wait for another walnut to fall. 🙂

    • http://www.likeawarmcupofcoffee.com Sarah Mae

      Serena! Hi, friend! The squirrel thing made me actually laugh out loud!
      I like what you say about Joseph, good stuff, and true.

  • http://myfreshlybrewedlife.com/ Barbie

    God is faithful, isn’t He? When we cease striving and just wait on Him, He always shows up. Welcome back to the blog world.

    • http://www.likeawarmcupofcoffee.com Sarah Mae

      Always faithful, yes! Thanks!

  • Danielle Hull

    Glad you’re back! Excited to hear about your journey! Blessings 🙂

    • http://www.likeawarmcupofcoffee.com Sarah Mae

      Thanks! It feels great to be back!

  • Heather Bixler

    I really love this. My husband just recently took a leap of faith, too. He left his old fire department and 11 years of seniority to become a probationary firefighter at a different fire department. Huge pay cut and he is basically starting all over again in the fire service. However we did this because we felt like God was calling us to this specific part of our state. But God truly is our provider, and you know we have more hope and even more faith. That’s what I love about God, the bigger the risks we take the more we get to see His faithfulness. 🙂

    • http://www.likeawarmcupofcoffee.com Sarah Mae

      It’s so true, about His faithfulness. He wants to show us how He loves!

  • http://www.TheBeautifulDeep.com/ Kristin

    Welcome back! I’ve prayed for you at different times throughout the year when God would put you in my heart. It’s neat to hear what God has been up to with you! Blessings, Kristin

    • http://www.likeawarmcupofcoffee.com Sarah Mae

      Thank you so much, Kristin! 🙂

  • Bonnie

    God is so faithful! I have so been feeling that in my spirit lately. He is steadfast and faithful. I admire that in our Papa 🙂 and I want to be like Him!! My husband and I have ventured out too in our walk and have learned along the way and even now in this season of our life, that God is our provider. Thanks for sharing. Looking forward to reading the next 3 parts!

    • http://www.likeawarmcupofcoffee.com Sarah Mae

      Steadfast. I love that. Yes!

  • http://www.reflectinghisglory.com Jacqui Hodges

    Sarah-Thank you so much for sharing this post today. It was so timely for my own personal situation. I am continuing to remind myself that God is the provider. My husband has a great job, that provides for us, but for some reason I’m always budgeting and planning as if I don’t believe God is going to continue to provide. This weekend it kind of all came to a head, and I had to really ask God what was the root of the doubt that I was having. Trust. I just am having a hard time trusting Him. Leaning into this issue and I know He will continue to graciously show that I can fully trust Him with everything in my life.

    • http://www.likeawarmcupofcoffee.com Sarah Mae

      He is, He really, really is our provider. Hang in there sister.

  • Rebecca

    Loved this! So timely for issues I am dealing with in my own life at this time! Thanks for sharing!

    • http://www.likeawarmcupofcoffee.com Sarah Mae

      So glad it was timely for you!

  • http://dianeshiffer.com/ Diane Shiffer

    When I first became a single mom, my immediate response was to rush out and get a job… worst thing I could have done! My kids needed me home and present more than ever now that I was the only parent. It took me several very long and miserable years of desperately praying/cajoling/attempting to manipulate God to make it somehow possible for me to quit…. until I finally realized that trusting God meant going ahead with what I felt He was calling me to do even if the provision wasn’t there. So I quit. And since then… I jokingly say that I’m livin’ the dream. Except its really not a joke. I am living the life I’ve always wanted- home, contented, a very slow and peaceful life. Some months I have no idea how I am going to get all of the bills paid, keep the heat on and put food on the table. But we always have MORE than enough. He is ssososososososo good! <3

    • http://www.likeawarmcupofcoffee.com Sarah Mae

      Diane, I love this. Wow. Amazing. AND YOUR FAITH!

  • http://anitadavissullivan.com/ Anita Davis Sullivan

    Oh how I needed this! I’m the provider, with husband disabled, and feel the weight of that daily. And I already know that my job will be ending next year and am looking at ‘What’s Next’ with a sense of excitement in some ways, but knowing that I do need to both trust him and also prepare myself to be used for whatever God says is next. It’s such a balancing act to be ready to be used, but not pushing forward to do what you want.

  • Jen

    Thank you for sharing this! My husband has been self employed for 8 years and it has definitely been a test of faith. I have come to know God as Provider in ways I have never known before. Even when my worst fear came true and we lost our home due to circumstances beyond our control, God redeemed the situation and provided the means for us to buy a (larger) home for cash. I still marvel at the ways I have seen Him provide in the darkest of times. Health insurance is insanely expensive for the self-employed (as you are discovering :). We opted to cancel our health insurance a few years ago and are members of Samaritan’s Ministries instead. It is much, much more affordable (We were paying over 1,000 dollars a month with horrible coverage) and it covers anything that is not routine. Paying out of pocket for well visits isn’t that much more than our co-pay was, so it hasn’t been a huge adjustment.

  • Heather

    The Lord’s love language is not money” mm mm mm preach it sistah!

  • john

    Hello, my name is Miss faith, I’m from USA. I want to inform you all that there is a spell caster that is genuine and real. I never really believed in any of these things but when I was losing Garvin, I needed help and somewhere to turn badly. I found consultant.odia spells and i ordered a LOVE SPELL. Several days later, my phone rang. Garvin was his old self again and wanted to come back to me! Not only come back, the spell caster opened him up to how much I loved and needed him. Spell Casting isn’t brainwashing, but they opened his eyes to how much we have to share together. I recommend anyone who is in my old situation to try it. It will bring you a wonderful surprises as well as your lover back to you. The way things were meant to be.” you can contact the spell caster on ogbonispelitemple@hotmail.com he’s very nice and great. ,…………..

  • Denise Australia

    Welcome back :). So true that God provides for us. I’ve too have seen Gods hand In my life challenges. We’ve had to depend on Him some days desperately but God always provided even if it was at the last minute. We are not out of the woods yet with our current adventure but god has really used this to challenge fe and grow our faith in Him. I think that sometimes God rips out everything else we are standing on so the only thing we are standing on and sometimes kneeling on the rock that is higher than I, God. Living freely in God is certainly an adventure. One that is filled with excitement, nervousness, freedom, strength, determination, prayer, love and tears and isn’t that the true spirit of an adventurer? I’m honking I’m liking this term adventurer of life, that’s a full Christian life now isn’t it?

  • lizbeth321

    Thanks for sharing! I’m a little “behind” on my blog reading but I so look forward to hearing more about your adventure. And, I can testify that God truly IS The Provider! My husband is self-employed and I stay at home with our 4 kiddos. We have been AMAZED by our awesome God many, many times. http://ponderingsfromlilli.blogspot.com/2014/12/the-month-we-survived-on-75.html

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