Tuesday, October 26, 2010

My Strong-Willed Cowgirl

Our little cowgirl was supposed to have four teeth extracted today. Epic fail. Again.

She's had 3 or 4 other teeth removed before - you'd think she'd know it isn't all that bad. Especially with the use of nitrous oxide. But, once in the chair (of course, after the numbing has taken place), fear sets in, and he closes her mouth. Or runs away. Or both. Sigh.

The very first tooth extraction was a breeze. Well, almost. She started to freak out with all the wiggling and manipulation in her mouth, but she let the dentist finish his job. The second time, she knew what to expect, and she ran away. Like, ranawaysoIcouldn'tfindher ran away. But that was after she locked herself in the bathroom. And the van. We rescheduled for a later time, and with the use of gas, she did just fine.

Fast forward to about three weeks ago, but add a few extra kids into the mix, and you have another epic fail. Unless you were the other kids, getting to pick a few things from the treasure box to keep busy while Mommy tried to convince a frightened cowgirl that getting four teeth pulled was in her best interest! At least Caitlin didn't run away this time, but she about broke my heart when we were talking in the bathroom, and looking up at me with tear-filled eyes she said, "I'm just too scared. I can't do it Mommy." So we rescheduled.

Here we are today, after failed attempt #2. We are going to be referred to a pediatric dentist for the extractions. Let's hope they have better luck than our poor dentist!

Now to look at these experiences in a different light...

After replaying the situation and her reaction to it on the way home, the thought came to me, "Sound familiar?"

Too many times, I run away, locking myself away from what God wants me to do, because my feeble, naive, human brain tells me my way is better. I can read and hear over and over that His plans for me are for good, that His ways are not my ways, but there are times in life that it doesn't make it out of my head. When it's just in my head is when I do not put my faith in practice. When I think I know better, and seek my own counsel instead of seeking counsel from the One whose ways are perfect, and are in my best interest.

I see the picture of Caitlin, scared because she knows she has to lose a few teeth prematurely. She knows we would never ask her to have her teeth pulled for the fun of it. She knows that by pulling teeth now, she saves herself pain from a crowded mouth, embarrassment from a crazy toothed smile, and time that she'll need to have braces. She knows that. She wants to get it over with. But when push comes to shove, and she's all numbed up in the dentist's chair, she locks up in fear. The head knowledge that this is for her best interest isn't enough to help her overcome her fear and open wide. She needs to believe it down to the core. She needs to believe it so much that even if it did hurt (which it hasn't in the past), she's ready and willing to to face it and get it over with.

Ever have times where you feel God is leading you one way, but the fear (and, quite honestly, logic) comes into play, and we look for the Easy button, or resist a new change? We know God will take care of us. We know His ways are better. But yet we still want what we think is best. And maybe it really seems to be best, but God is thinking eternally, not earthly.

*****Edit: We just were made aware of some bad news today, the day after I wrote this post, about the guy who works for Robert.  Robert will be flying solo for now, and we have to rely on God more than ever before. But that changes absolutely NOTHING from what I typed last night. God's hand is still moving through all of this. He put Robert where he is today, and we are going to put our faith into practice, continuing on this journey, trusting that God i with us every step of the way. *****

We are having to put our faith into practice now. I'm sure the small town rumor mill has already shared its many versions of our situation, but unless you hear it from us, don't believe a word. I don't know what's been said - I can only imagine, if past rumors are any clue - but I do know that people have been talking. So here it is. Straight from my mouth. Er... keyboard.

The bio diesel plant Robert has worked for over the last 4½ years laid off nearly every employee, starting in the spring. Robert was laid off in August. I think. I can't remember exactly, but I'm thinking it was August. The last month or two have been such a blur...

Anyway, if you remember this post, and then this post, you have a general idea of what big changes have taken place. What you may not know is all the stress, the uncertainty, the questions, and doubts that abounded.

It's one thing to believe that God gave Robert a great talent in the field of computers, and that Iowa Computer Depot (ICD) was a great provision for an outlet for that talent, but it's a whole other thing to believe that God will provide for and sustain our family with that talent!

It was easy to start working full time as the computer guy when there was an unemployment check coming every week. But there was always the question, "What if the plant goes back up? What do we do?" We both knew that we wanted Robert to be just the computer guy, but that didn't mean we were ready to say, "Now is the time - no going back!" We wanted a neon sign from God telling us what to do.

Well, the neon sign didn't come, but what did come was a lot clearer than any neon light!

Robert had been looking into renting a building for his company. He came close to actually going through with one building, but he decided last minute it wasn't right. Robert just decided he would make his office space in the Howard Center and at home work for as long as he could. Then he got a call that changed everything.

There was a guy (Tim) who opened up a computer business in the same town as ICD last winter (I believe). One day, about a month ago, Robert got a phone call from him. He needed some computer part, and asked Robert if he had any available. Then he threw in that they should join forces. He didn't necessarily want to have the stress and responsibilities of owning/managing his own company, he just wanted to repair computers.

So, Robert met with him, and they came to the agreement that they would join forces, and ICD would 'take over.' It was a blessing for Tim, because, as he told Robert, if Robert hadn't agreed to taking over, he was going to have to close up shop.

So, the next week, contracts were written and signed, Robert moved into the building and changed everything into his name. We had just under two weeks to get everything ready for the ribbon cutting, so we got busy. Amazingly, it all came together just in time!

The ribbon cutting was October 5th. Fast forward to a week and a half ago, and Robert got another life-changing call. The plant was starting back up. Long story short, Robert said he wasn't going back. And now I'm finally getting to the point of all of this.

We are having to completely put our faith into practice now. So many probably can't even begin to comprehend what that truly is. How can you put faith into someone you can't see? Well I'm here to say we can see Him. And in this particular situation, His presence is undeniable. Robert was practically handed his opportunities on a silver platter, and the timing of it couldn't have been more perfect. Of course, the whole thing is scary, and it only seems logical that he should go back to the refinery, but this is where we need to fully believe, down to our core, that God is our Provider. He gave Robert the talent and the opportunities to get to where he is today. Robert had to make the very conscious decision to follow where God was leading, knowing it wasn't going to be easy, that it was going to be downright scary and uncertain.

I had a thought pop into my head, right before that call from the refinery. God told Noah to build an ark to save his family and every kind of animal from a flood. A flood that was coming when it had never rained before! He provided Noah with instructions, the means to build, and even brought the animals to Noah! All Noah had to do was obey - put his faith into practice. God did the rest. Though, not to be mistaken for it all being easy! Sometimes, what's best for us is the blood, sweat, and tears. Remember, God doesn't think in earthly terms, but in eternal.

Personally, I'm very glad Noah chose to obey, being mocked and ridiculed, working hard day in and day out, and living with a ton of smelly animals on a boat for over a year.

Because I wouldn't be typing this if he hadn't. ;)

And that, dear reader, is what I learned from my strong-willed cowgirl.

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