Everyday Miracles

Posted By on April 8, 2010

I am a single mom and I am a homemaker. Now, now, now… before we go any further, let’s be honest. I know what you’re thinking: how does a woman manage to stay at home without a husband to provide? How can she make ends meet without an outside job bringing in income? I suppose that I could give you a long, drawn-out answer complete with thrift-store-shopping tips and recipes for dinners-under-a-dollar. But I won’t. Because, really, that kind of answer misses the point. The real explanation, the only explanation for how I manage, is by the grace of God. By the grace of God. Day by day He provides our family with everything we need and a goodly portion of what we want. He called me home, and He blesses me with the contentment, peace, and material provision to stay here.


It hasn’t always been this way, though.When my husband left our home, one of the first things I did was run out and get myself a job. I just couldn’t conceive of any other means of providing for my children. I told myself I’d get used to leaving the children and spending hours at a desk away from the familiarity and warmth of home. In time, we’d get used to our new life and be the better for it, I told the children. I thanked God for my job and headed off to my office every morning, trying with all my might to be happy. But instead of getting easier, as the months went on it got harder. Instead of getting used to the demands of the working world, my longing for my babies and my own four walls grew until it was an almost physical pain. So I prayed. I fasted. I reminded God of the promises in His word. I begged God for some kind of miraculous breakthrough… maybe a large check would come in the mail, maybe someone would anonymously pay my mortgage, maybe there was some kind of single-mom-who-wants-to-be-a-homemaker grant out there, maybe, maybe, maybe. I came up with all sorts of great ideas for God. Not surprisingly, He didn’t take me up on any of my fantastic plans. So I got up every morning, put on a happy face and toddled off to work… and every night I prayed my heart out.

Then one bright and beautiful August morning, something happened. I woke up that day with a single, crystal-clear question in my mind: Do I trust God or do I not?

“Yes,” I thought sturdily. “I do trust God. I am willing to depend upon Him.”

So that very day, I gave my two weeks’ notice, and, instead of being irritated, the agency director was understanding. She told me one week’s notice was sufficient. She told me that the door was always open should I decide to come back to work. She hoped I’d consider them first when looking for employment. And so right from the start I was struck by God’s graciousness. His graciousness has daily humbled me ever since.

Ever since then, I have been a homemaker. I homeschool my children and bake our bread and sew much of our clothing. While our income is very low, we have never had to do without. Certainly, we live frugally and make the most of simple pleasures but (even without debt or government aid), our lifestyle far outstrips our income. My children eat well and dress well. They have toys and books and ballet lessons. We have a large, warm home and a spacious, reliable vehicle. Daily the Lord shows us His grace by providing for us in concrete, tangible ways.

Just last summer my children befriended a stray cat and … as stray cats are wont to do… she became great with kitten. I stalwartly insisted that she would not be coming in to the house. We couldn’t afford a pet, and the children all knew it. But it seemed that events (and my own pathologically soft heart) got the better of me. The stray cat indeed made it into the house, and in a rather embarrassing turn of events, actually gave birth to her two little soot-colored babies under my very own bed. Yeah. I know. Eventually we were able to find a farmer who was willing to take in mama cat, but by then we were all hopelessly in love with the kittens. But what could we do? They needed hundreds of dollars worth of veterinary care, and I certainly did not have hundreds of dollars to spend on it. Then a friend emailed me with word of a program that provided free vet care to families like ours. All of the slots had been filled for months, but a family had unexpectedly dropped out, leaving room for two cats. Two cats. Free vet care. Would I be able to drop the kittens off the next day? Why, yes, yes I would be able to do that. Oh yes indeed!

And then my ironing board broke.

“Lord, you know I need a new ironing board,” I prayed one day as I was driving along with the children. As I came up over the very next rise, what should there be on the side of the road, but an ironing board. Bright, clean and almost new, someone had put it out with their trash. I pulled over and stowed it in the van. Just like that, I had my new ironing board.

One snowy winter evening my daughter, Amelia, and I were on our way home when I noticed that the van was almost out of fuel. I wasn’t worried, as there was a gas station just a mile up the road. However, when I saw an unexpected detour up ahead, I started to worry. And I was aghast when the worker waved me onto a side road and straight into no-man’s land. We were in a right pickle: the detour headed us for a village several miles away, much too far for our meager fuel supply. Always one for the bright ideas, I decided to work my way back to my original route, and hopefully the gas station. Well, instead of getting back on track, we became progressively more and more lost. I was traveling on roads I had never seen before, and even the houses were few and far between. By this time, the snow was coming down thick and fast and the numbers on the fuel gauge were ticking down, down, down; lower and lower. Amelia and I were verging on a state of panic when it suddenly occurred to me that we hadn’t prayed.  “Dear Lord, please help us!” I said aloud.  The fuel gauge ticked to zero; there was no fuel left. Just as a warning bell sounded from the dashboard, I looked up to see a gas station. Right there, seemingly in the middle of nowhere was a gas station. With an overwhelming feeling of relief, we glided in next to the pumps. And as if that wasn’t enough, I noticed a familiar building just to the south. Suddenly I knew exactly where we were and I knew how to get us home. “I don’t understand how people can not believe in God,” Amelia said as we pulled back onto the road .

And in that moment, I thanked God, not just for answering my cry for help, but for showing Himself both tender and mighty in front of my child.

Now, I’d love to tell you more: the bills that have come in several hundred dollars less than expected, the appliances that were handed down to us at the precise moment we had need of them, the godly gentlemen who have taken my son camping and taught my daughter to drive, the brand new computer that was given to us outright, the mentor who is teaching me the ropes of running a home business… on and on the stories of God’s provision go. I wouldn’t have the time and typewriter ink to tell you all of the miracles our family has witnessed, because miracles are an everyday occurrence in our lives. Why are we so blessed? Well, honestly, I’m not completely sure. I certainly have done nothing to deserve such bounty. I surely know that I am nothing special, nothing out of the ordinary.

But, just as surely, I know that our God is out of the ordinary. He has a special love for the widow, the fatherless, the weak… the sinful. When we are willing to be dependent upon Him, He takes us under His wing and gently cares for us. He has shown me that He is relentlessly dependable. Day by day by day, He meets our needs. I trusted Him and He didn’t let me down.



His compassions fail not.
They are new every morning:
great is thy faithfulness.
The LORD is my portion, saith my soul;
therefore will I hope in him.
The LORD is good unto them that wait for him,
to the soul that seeketh him.
Lamentations 3:22b-25

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About The Author

Diane Shiffer is a single homeschooling mom who is passionately in love with her Savior. She is gradually gaining victory over her apron addiction and hopes to catch up with her family's laundry sometime within the next decade. She covets your prayers.

Comments

13 Responses to “Everyday Miracles”

  1. Thank you, Diane, for sharing your story! What a blessing you are…you’ve really encouraged me tonight!

  2. Jennine says:

    What an amazing testament to the faithfulness of our Lord. The One who created the entire universe cares that we have an ironing board!

    Diane…you are precious in His sight. God bless you, Sister. I hope that we share a neighborhood in Heaven! ~wink~

  3. ladyscott says:

    Thank you so much for posting this! God has always provided for us when we’ve trusted in him, not only for our needs, but some of our wants, too. For example, for 2 years hubby and I wanted to get our son one of those John Deere Gators for kids he can drive around and help with the yard work. We knew it wasn’t a need and it was rather frivolous, but for 2 years we would try every birthday and Christmas but just didn’t have the money. This year hubby got a new job that paid more and we felt this was the year to get it for our son. Weeks before his birthday expenses piled up and we couldn’t afford the gator, yet somehow I just KNEW we’d be able to get one. His birthday came and went, no gator. Then the day before his birthday party hubby’s check came in and there was enough for the gator AND filling up our oil tank!

    Needless to say our son is thrilled with his gator and hubby and I are thrilled at God’s endless provision!

    For a moment I felt guilty about buying it. After all, there are so many other needs not only in our own lives but in others around us, but God has put peace on my heart that he will provide and just enjoy the gift he’s given us.

    I have to humble myself before the Lord again and trust in him as we face another seemingly uphill battle. Fear wants to grip my heart. But today I am ready to trust the Lord.

    I’m forwarding this article to my mother who is losing her job of 20 years due to cuts.

    Thanks again,

    Kate

  4. maria says:

    There is so much joy when you trust completely in Our Lord! His provisions are abundant, far beyond what we are expecting. He never leaves us nor forsake us. He is always right there with you as you walk on a day by day.

    What a great God we serve!!!!

    Thank you for sharing your story.

    Grace & Peace to you,

    Maria

  5. ByGrace says:

    I think you’ve given us a wonderful example of trusting in God’s mercy. Thank you for this. I was wondering though how you pay your mortgage and other bills without accepting government aid? God Bless you! Lisa

  6. Janel says:

    With God, all things truly are possible. Thanks for sharing your story Diane!

  7. Mrs. Eva H. says:

    Thank you for such a wonderful, positive story!

  8. ShalomHome says:

    Thank you for writing this! I am a grace widow with five blessings at home. I have never used govt programs/aid. God provides!! … in so many ways. My extended family is deceased. I do not receive support payments. We are debt-free! We tithe… which is key to our provision. We also find ways to give to others. Much more to this story but HE is faithful! Glory to God! …Home educating Sold out to Jesus Mom

  9. Rhetorica says:

    This is a lovely post, and is very much in line with my thinking of the last few weeks. I currently teach part time, although my income is pretty minimal after childcare (at home nanny, she’s a miracle). My principal REALLY wants me full time next year, and my husband, who also teaches, just got laid off for next year. It is really hard to say “Well, we have no idea what is going to come next, when Tom’s lost his job and there are 1,000+ applicants for teaching jobs in this area, but I think I’ll stay home.” However, I am discovering that I *know* God will provide.

    For example, we recently had a bit of a scare because our savings were so depleted by buying a house and then dealing with the immediate $1500 in unexpected repairs + Christmas, etc. However, Tom was offered some freelance webdesign jobs, and I picked up two tutoring clients (something I’ve wanted for a long time, since I love the one-on-one, and my baby is a little young for Charles Dickens), and a month later, we have found that not only has our extra income gone way up, but for some reason, it has become much easier to keep our expenses down. I also like that I have a window into how easily I can work from home if that is what I really want.

    Because of these much needed aids, I am realizing that the call I feel to be at home next year is undeniable, and that it was placed there by God.

    If he is calling me to commit myself more fully to my role as wife and mother, what good could really come of me saying “Nah, I don’t trust that you’ll provide for us, so I’m going to go out and exhaust myself as back up”?

    Also, we are aching to have another baby, and when I suggested we put it off until my husband’s job situation has firmed up, HE was the one who said “No, we need to go ahead with this.” I felt so blessed when I felt him taking the lead and gladly shouldering the responsibility of supporting us. This is a big step for us recovering feminists!

    Ms. Shiffer, thanks for the post and we’ll pray for you!

  10. Ladies…how I wish we all could sit down together, have a cup of coffee (I’ll take mine with extra caffeine please!) and just brag on our wonderful Lord Jesus for a good few hours while our kids make mayhem around our feet. oh. my. I so appreciate each one of your warm words and encouragement and I’ll be praying for you as you are for me♥

  11. jjsmom says:

    Diane,
    I have just stumbled on your post. It could not have come a better time. I am quitting my paying job at the end of this school year. Yes, that’s right. In the middle of the worst recession ever. AND My husband is a realtor (!) and we will have little or no income. Even the “believing” friends have questioned my sanity. The reason is simple. I belong at home. That is my true calling and direction from God. Therefore, I will trust that he will provide. I feel a sense of peace and relief that is indescribable. Your story has ebbed any crumb of fear and worry that I’ve had regarding my decision. May God continue to bless you and your family.

  12. jtaylor says:

    Dear Diane,

    Your post was such a blessing this morning. I’m single and at home with my children as well. I homeschool, too. Next week I’m starting a part-time temporary job in order to pay for several expenses that must be paid and I have been grieving over leaving my home for that short amount of time so your post really resonated with me. Being home with my children is one of the greatest gifts the Lord has ever given me and I thank Him every day for His provision. Your story has me praying about whether or not I’m trusting Him enough to wait on getting a part-time job in the fall. Thank you for making me think and pray this morning.

    Joy

  13. Merrygrey says:

    Bless you, Diane! That has to be one of the most inspiring, beautifully written essays I have read in a long time. Thank you so much for sharing it with LAF. Thank you also to LAF for creating a section for single mothers who long to be keepers at home–I almost thought I was alone in the universe!

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