Is it crazier that it has been 5 months since I last blogged or that 5 months ago I had just made it through and wrote about an extremely similar trial as what I am going through now? It is so interesting to me how I can have several recurrent themes in my life, and how I seem to repeat the same difficulty/struggle until I have gotten it right at least 3 times or more.
Since i last blogged, my birth services business has boomed. As of early this month I had 15 midwife clients and 6 doula clients. I have already been a part of the birth of 9 babies this year, and am averaging 1-2 births per month. I have backed down the number of shifts I work at the hospital to only 1-2 per 2 weeks on average. In fact, for 1 complete month, I did not work a single shift at the hospital. Which brings to my current trial.
I had a few prolific months in the pay department from my business, that came just before a very difficult, emotional time, in which I decided to take a few days off from hospital work to spend with my family. Although at that time I had already backed down to 2 shifts alternating with 3 shifts every other week, I was getting so busy with my business that I never felt like I had a real day off. So, with only gentle nudging from my husband, I took a hiatus from hospital work. Next thing I know I had chosen not to work at the hospital an entire month.
It was great, I got caught up on sleep. I spent time with my children and my family and had plenty of time to devote to my business, although it still didn't feel like enough time. However, we had not closely examined our finances and I do not believe now that I had prayed enough or put enough forethought into that decision. If I had, I may have avoided the situation I find myself in now.
Over the last month, as we had no hospital income coming in, life happened. We managed to deplete our emergency fund to cover unanticipated expenses. For the last 2 weeks we had less than $1000 to last us for groceries, gas, and any other bills that were due, including two car payments that were past due that together were about 2/3 of that money. Add in the electric bill we just received, the first high summer bill of the year at almost $400, and anyone can understand why I was feeling stressed.
However, I continued to pray and even fasted a couple of times. I started working 1 shift a week at the hospital again. We patiently awaited 2 insurance checks from a previous client's birth. My husband and I were super careful with the little bit of money we had. I even had old friends come visit for the weekend, and although I was quite tempted to borrow money against the checks we knew would be here any day, we resisted.
I felt very strongly that us not receiving those checks prior to my friends' arrival was a blessing in disguise. No doubt, if we had received the checks when we anticipated them, we would have spent more than we should have. Instead, we had to be very prayerful and judicious with every dime. What a great reminder it was of the importance of being prayerful in the use of our finances and resources and in how mindful Heavenly Father is of us at all times. Even though we certainly weren't deserving of his blessings, he generously bestowed them on us, in the appropriate timing so that we could learn important lessons.
The other interesting part, is that I had received no calls for new clients for a couple of weeks, and in the last week have received 4, 2 of which look promising. In the mean time, while I waited, I learned. I prayed. I thought. I pondered. I discussed over and over again a plan of action with my husband. I waited some more. Finally, we made it through that trial and passed. Hopefully, we can keep it up. Not looking forward to repeating this one again, but at least I know where to turn for help.