by adustyframe ~ November 25th, 2009

I am thankful for so many things. I try to practice gratitude on a daily basis.

Counting our blessings and thanking God for all things big or “small” keeps our minds focused on Him rather than our circumstances. Believe me–watching our circumstances is not a good thing.

One thing for which I’m incredibly grateful for this year is Gleaning the Harvest.

Last December, Lee went back to prison and I was abruptly left with no income. We had started our Dave Ramsey program and had the emergency fund saved up. I lived off of that for the first month and started praying like crazy.

At the same time, I was very angry at my husband, and very worried about money. I had long discussions with those who love me about jobs I can do or what they felt I should do.

I repeatedly said, “I know that God wants me to homeschool James and so whatever it is I find to do has to work with that.”

I tried to set up piano students–they all fell through.

I looked into watching children at my home.

I scoured ads for jobs.

I applied for things.

I worried and prayed more.

Everything I tried to start or pull together fell apart.

I distinctly remember sitting in the dentist’s office while James had a checkup. I wrote down all the bills and the money coming in and felt sick.

I spoke to God in exasperation, “God! If you want me to homeschool this child, you’re going to have to take care of us.”

(Oh ye of little faith.)

I didn’t see how homeschooling him was going to be possible anymore, even though I knew God wanted me to do it.

When I first heard about Gleaning the Harvest (I think someone emailed me the link), I thought, “hmmm this seems to good to be true.”

Then I thought, “They probably won’t think I qualify because I’m married.” or “They won’t like that my husband is in jail.”

I almost decided to skip applying but as I prayed, I felt that I should at least try.

I sent them my information, and Mrs. Dixon spoke with my pastor. Then she let me know I was approved to be one of their families.

I continued to sell online and keep my eyes open for a part time job, but people started sending me gifts of all sizes from Gleaning the Harvest.

I was (and continue to be) amazed that people from all over the world agree that it’s important for a single mom to have the opportunity to homeschool too. They agree so much that they are willing to “chip in” to help.

Those who aren’t in a position to “chip in” pray and encourage and promote. It’s been an amazing humbling blessing.

I’ve never enjoyed needing help. Whether it’s physical help, car help, babysitting, or assistance, I don’t like it at all. My pride continues to stubbornly hold firm. God still works in my heart about that!

I’ve not done a ton of promoting because I felt that would be like begging since I’m one of the families. However, in December I will not be one of their families.

Even though we have bills to catch up on and Lee doesn’t live at home (which means a LOT of extra expenses), I truly felt it was time to say, “Ok, we’re going to trust God now” and I told Mrs. Dixon it was time for me to step down.

I can’t even BEGIN to express how much each Gleaning the Harvest partner means to me.

Imagine it’s you. Imagine your life today exactly how it is. Your husband is working. You get to stay home with your children. You homeschool or care for your families in the way you and your husband have chosen to.

Life isn’t necessarily easy. Money isn’t exactly plentiful, but your blessings far outweigh the hard times and you’re grateful.

You’re serving the Lord as you can. You’re part of a circle of friends at church.

Then something happens. (I know it’s hard to think about but just bear with me.) Your husband is killed by a drunk driver, your husband leaves, your husband goes to prison.

BAM! Like that you’re in this world that you never knew existed and everyone in your old life has no clue what you’re going through. They try to understand and help (for awhile) but life goes on and they’re busy.

Now you’re a single mom and suddenly everyone expects you to get a job and send your children to school and you’re sitting in your home looking around thinking, “How did this happen? How did I go from being a homeschooling Christian church lady to a single mom that’s so needy?”

What if that were you?

That was me. I was a “Church lady” stay at home mom. (Well, I did have that store for a few years, but I took my son with me) I was serving the Lord, living my “normal” life when my situation changed.

The funny thing is that I didn’t change. I was still me. I still had the same priorities, dreams, and goals. Just like you would if your life bottomed out one day.

How would you keep homeschooling? How would you keep your children’s life on an even keel if you suddenly had to work full time?

Just because a mom is single, doesn’t mean that she’s not just like you. Her children are just like yours.

If it were you, wouldn’t you be thankful to find others who agree it’s still important for you to homeschool? Wouldn’t you be glad that there are people who understand and don’t counsel you to abandon what you know to be God’s plan for your life?

I understand that lots of you don’t homeschool or stay home. I’m not debating whether or not you should. I’m just sharing that it’s been a tremendous encouragement to me to find people who are committed to help single mom’s homeschool their children.

Gleaning the Harvest relieved huge burdens this year. God is good.

Now that I am stepping down as a family in need, I’ll definitely be stepping up as a promoter.

If you don’t have much, do you know that not one of the moms would look down their nose at $1 or $2. You can’t even imagine what a blessing that is to people with very little.


8 Thoughts Shared to Thankful

  1. Jacque

    Awesome Lizzie. We are so blessed by every penny that is given to each family at GTH. It is wonderful to be a part of something that consists of so many others praying, promoting and giving.

    It is so true that any amount is a blessing. Promoting Gleaning the Harvest is so simple and such a great big thing too. Even joining our FaceBook Fans and inviting others helps introduce the families. So many small things that mean so much. 🙂

    We are blessed to have met you and will continue to pray for your family.
    Love to you all from the Dixons~

    Thank you! I am the one blessed though.

  2. Melissa

    Wow, I am so glad to hear about this organization- I love this. I really am blessed to learn of ways that we can sort of function as one big Christian family, where each shares out of what he has to help those moms in need at the time. Thanks for introducing me to them.

  3. CM

    Thanks for that post. Just a few short months ago I nearly became a single mom. The bottom nearly fell through in my marriage. I started to think like a single mom and could not even imagine. My judgemental heart will never be the same.


  4. Christin

    Amazing. Thank you for sharing this beautiful testimony. It has been on my heart to give to such a beautiful ministry. It would be something I would need to discuss with my husband and also convince him that it is not a scam – just because I am on the internet you know. He doesn’t read all the things I do everyday. He doesn’t converse with Jacque and her family as I do (not that he doesn’t trust me, but —- is this making any sense? LOL)

    ANYWAYS, all that to say that for now, as I pray and seek the Lord, I want to at least promote this wonderful ministry and do what I can, when I can (sometimes my hubby surprises me with “allowances” when he has extra money). 🙂 I would love to share your link on my blog as a testimony.

    I think when people see these things they are hesitant because they want to be sure it’s legit and not a scam, and this will really help solidify that. 🙂
    God bless you and my prayers are with you and your family.

    Thank you for stopping by and for your kind words. I think that the fact that the Dixons “vett” (or however that’s spelled) each of us helps people to know it’s legit.

  5. (((((HUGS))))) sandi

    I am in TEARS! *THANK YOU!* for sharing so much of yourself~as a new reader to your blog I had no idea of your struggles. GIRL! GOD BLESS YOU AND YOURS! ALL of ya~the hubs too! I LOVE Gleaning the Harvest and only wish I could do more, as it addresses one of the most dear issues to my heart. (((((HUGS))))) sandi

    Thank you, Sandi for stopping by. Don’t be a stranger.:)

  6. Amanda

    so happy that Mr. Norris is gonna be home and able to provide through God for y’all! Very happy that we could support you through GTH.

    He’s not quite home:) But he can hold a job and that’s a huge blessing.

  7. MaggieRaye

    It’s amazing to have watched where the Lord has brought you from and what He’s carried you through. When I “met” you, you still had the store.

    It just strengthens my faith, reminds me to let go of my ungrateful attitudes and to be thankful we have so much!

    Blessings, MaggieRaye

  8. Patricia (Pollywog Creek)

    Wonderful testimony, Lizzie – your life and this post! (((Hugs)))

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