It is of the Lord‘s mercies that we are not consumed, because his compassions fail not. They are new every morning: great is thy faithfulness. – Lamentations 3:22,23
As a firefighter, my husband works a twenty-four hour shift, and then he is off duty for forty-eight hours. Through the years, he’s worked a number of second jobs during those two days away from the fire station – including loading sixty-pound bags of seed for a local seed company and laying pipe for drainage systems in farmers’ fields during the cold months between growing seasons.
But those jobs are seasonal, and the seed company was recently sold anyway, eliminating that job. My husband looked at the lost job as an opportunity to find another that would provide reliable, year-round work, and – as a bonus – perhaps not require him to work outside in winter temperatures or carry heavy seed bags.
After some research, he discovered a company that hires English speakers to teach English online to Chinese children. After weeks of learning the required teaching methods and earning various certifications, he was hired.
Now, he spends many mornings and evenings teaching little ones online. What an answer to prayer this job has been! But it has also provided our family an opportunity to show true, self-sacrificing love for each other.
We’ve had to work around each other’s schedules, as we all need to share our desktop computer and laptop for homeschool projects, blogging, teaching, my freelance writing work, and other aspects of our everyday life. We’ve come together to accomplish certain tasks for each other that we couldn’t do by ourselves, everything from autumn yard clean-up, to cooking and cleaning, daily workout sessions, caring for our animals, running errands, and shuttling my daughter to her daily driver’s ed class in town. We’ve had to be understanding of my husband’s need to teach in the pre-dawn hours, in our open office – with no walls to muffle his voice.
As I tend to be the last one up at night, trying to accomplish as much as possible to be ready for the next day, I’m not usually ready to wake up that early, and I crave that lost sleep.
But we all do! My kids’ load of schoolwork is heavier than ever before, and they are mentally and physically exhausted nearly every day. And of course, my husband is tired as well. He tends to fall asleep any time he gets comfortable on the couch.
But strangely, I’ve discovered that sleep deprivation has its benefits. While it makes us more likely to be irritable with each other, we manage to avoid being cranky most of the time. Instead, we laugh. A lot. We laugh, and we move on to the next task.
A merry heart maketh a cheerful countenance. – Proverbs 15:13a
We are more sensitive to each other’s moods and levels of fatigue, and we try to encourage each other. My kids and husband have surprised me more than once by offering to do a task that is typically my responsibility.
When I was a new mom, a mentor once told me that God doesn’t promise that we won’t get tired, but he does promise we’ll have grace for each day. In this season of life, I’m holding on to that promise.
And he said unto me, My grace is sufficient for thee: for my strength is made perfect in weakness. Most gladly therefore will I rather glory in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me. – 2 Corinthians 12:9
Are you going through an exhausting time of life? How are you coping? Do you have a favorite verse about God’s grace? I welcome your comments.