Power’s Out [part 1 of 4]
By Christian and Christie Skoorsmith of Seattle, WA, USA
Then Jesus was led up by the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted by the devil. He fasted forty days and forty nights, and afterwards he was famished. -Matthew 4:1-2 NRSV
We returned from overseas in 2009. Having lived frugally and saved our pennies, we had enough to put 30% down on a small house in one of the cheapest neighborhoods in Seattle. We splurged for 900 square feet due to the arrival of our daughter a few months before. Two years later another surprise turned into two-twins (and a vasectomy)! The undertow of life with three-under-three nearly sank us: depression, frustration, sleep deprivation, disappointment, and a perennial and profound financial crisis.
To be clear, the kids are great. Really! Angels most of the time. But if you’ve had kids you understand…
- the depression that comes with the loss of your old life and the career you had been building.
- the frustrations of this new life and constantly changing demands of little people who are entirely dependent on you.
- the sleep deprivation that comes with three children who wake individually, then wake each other, multiple times per night. (There’s a reason why sleep deprivation is used as a form of torture.)
- the disappointment at all these feelings when you should be delighted to be with these little gems (the stay-at-home parent), or the disappointment at not being able to be with them more (the employed one).
Even if we were fabulously wealthy, it would have been difficult. (Oh, how I wish for that curse!) But after the birth of the twins we were unable to meet our expenses.
Thankfully and fortunately, both of our parents were in a position to help us financially. Without them we don’t know what we would have done. But we were in survival mode, so “reflective thought” was a luxury. After two years raising three kids started getting a little easier, and we had the energy to really look at our situation. We couldn’t believe it.
And it needed to change.
God, may my deep hope align with your deep vision. Release in me anything that keeps me from freely following your Spirit. Amen.
Invitation to Spiritual Practice
Breathe deeply as you enter a time of silence. Become gently attentive to what may be restricting you from faithfully responding to the divine invitation in your life. Are there priorities, attachments, tasks, or motivations competing for your response? What does freedom for God look or feel like in you this day?
Today’s Prayer for Peace
Engage in a daily practice of praying for peace in our world. Click here to read today’s prayer and be part of this practice of peace.