Grateful for Grace hosts a Memorial Stone in Words carnival on the 30th of each month. From her blog: "In history, the Israelites often were told to make memorial stone pillars. These were piles of rock that were to remind the people (and tell others) that God had done something big in their lives. God knew (and still does) that people benefit from visuals. These memorial stones gave the people a chance to tell the story again, either to those who were there and need to be reminded, or to those who were not and needed to know what happened. It also was an opportunity to be refreshed in their faith."
When my husband and I got married, I was going to finish my college degree, go to grad school, and then my husband would go to school. We weren't planning on having children. We said maybe in 10 years. I don't honestly think we would have made that decision if God hadn't intervened.
I graduated from college and was accepted into a physical therapy school. I was very excited to have a wonderful career as a physical therapist and make something of myself. Three months into the two year program, I discovered that I was pregnant. We were very poor, living on student loans and my husband's low paying job. We didn't know what we would do. I was very scared about having a baby, and being pregnant while going to school in the medical field is a very bad idea. You study all kinds of abnormal development and all the things that can go wrong. I was convinced that our baby would have all kinds of problems. I tried very hard not to bond with the baby to protect myself if something went wrong.
Well, our first born, Han, was born and was perfectly normal. And I feel deeply in love with him. When I first held him, every ounce of ambition fled my body. I was totally unprepared for the emotions that I felt, and all I wanted to do was stay home and be his mommy. However, I had to finish school and I had to get a job in order to pay off the loans for school for a degree that I no longer wanted.
So hubby stayed home with the baby and I went back to school when he was 12 days old. I was exhausted and cried every day because I did not want to leave him and miss out on his life. I graduated when he was a year old and went to work. The day after his second birthday, we had our second boy, Obi. I got six weeks of maternity leave and then, heartbroken, I went back to work.
My hubby was going to school part time to get a degree so that he could eventually get a job and I could possibly stay home. But, we didn't know if it would ever work out. He wasn't happy staying home full time, and I wasn't happy working. But, there was nothing else we could do at the time. I cried out to God to save us, to help us. My life was bittersweet. I actually loved my job, but I felt bad missing the boys and I felt like I was missing out on their lives while I was gone. My hubby was going to school, but didn't really know what he wanted to do. He loved spending time home with the boys and we were grateful they weren't in daycare, but men are not made to stay home.
We had our first (and only) planned child, Luke, almost 3 1/2 years after Obi was born. This time I had 12 weeks of maternity leave. I so loved being home, but everyday was one day closer to going back to work, and it made me very sad. The night before I went back to work, I was crying out to God about my desire to be home. God gave me the verse from Joel 2:25a And I will restore to you the years that the locust hath eaten.
Now, that verse made no sense to me. How could God give me back the time I had lost with my boys? How was there any end to our situation? We even thought that my hubby would graduate and that both of us would end up working to support our family. But I hung on to that verse for dear life.
Another verse that became very precious to me is Jeremiah 29:11 For I know the plans I have for you," declares the LORD, "plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. I chanted this verse at times to reassure myself that our life made sense to God, and that he did indeed have a good plan for us.
Hubby changed his major, went full time, and the end was in sight. When Luke was 2 1/2 years old, our first girl, Leia, was born. I went on maternity leave with her the day my hubby started an internship during the day while going to school at night. We were praying this internship would turn into a job. On the day that I needed to give my notice if I was not going back to work, my hubby got and accepted a job offer. I couldn't believe it. I was going to stay home and hubby would be working! And I remembered the verse. But it still didn't make sense to me. But I finally had a baby that I got to stay home with. (Actually, I did work about 6 to 10 weekends a year until Yoda's birth.)
We had started homeschooling Han when he was in first grade. This was hubby's last year home, and he was the primary teacher. When I started staying home, I took over. Han was in second grade and Obi was in kindergarten, which mostly involved playing with toddler Luke so we could do Han's school work! God's calling us to homeschool allowed me to be home with the boys even though they were of school age. One of my fears had been that I would finally get to stay home, but the boys would be gone to school all day.
Three years after Leia, along came Padme, and four years later, we have baby Yoda. God has given me three babies that I got to stay home with, in addition to homeschooling the others so that I had plenty of time with them. God's way of restoring the years that I felt I lost by working. Isn't he good? And so faithful. There were many hard and dark days for me when I despaired of our situation, but God had a plan, and it was better than what I had even hoped for.