Humble Circumstances

Believers in humble circumstances ought to take pride in their high position.

James 1:9

If you’re anything like me, you’ve known a humble circumstance or two. It’s okay. It’s necessary. It’s even preferable, especially if those humble circumstances help us (remind us, compel us) to rely ever-more on God’s promises.

Knowing Our Why

When our son, Simon, was born, suddenly everything changed. It wasn’t just about us, anymore. Now my husband, Lance, and I had a mission: We were raising a mighty man of God. (Even the humble tasks of changing a dirty diaper and 2 a.m. feedings took on an elevated status, when viewed in that light!)

It was just a given that Simon would eventually go to a Christian school, when the time came. Specifically, a Missouri Synod Lutheran School, from kindergarten through high school. That was our plan, anyway.


Simon was about two years old when I scoured the (Lutheran Church Missouri Synod) website for a K-through-8 school in commuting distance of a Lutheran high school, for when the need arose. A further “filter” on my search was the opportunity of employment for my husband, Lance.

Such a school existed, in Seattle, Washington. At the time, however, we lived in Connecticut – on the opposite end of North America.

Humble Circumstances, Here We Come!

When Lance finished up his M.B.A., we prepared our 1875 New England home for sale, then drove a small caravan of trucks home to Washington.

No home, yet. No Job, yet.

We found refuge in the 3rd bedroom of my sister Beth’s home. She graciously allowed us all to stay with her, and to consider her home our home, while we were looking for a place to live.

A safe neighborhood. A roof over our heads. Not too shabby, really!

Looks Can Be Deceiving

From outward appearances, the three of us, living in one bedroom at my sister’s house might have seemed like humble circumstances. However, Beth never once made us feel humbled! And, Simon had both of his parents around, 24 hours a day, seven days a week. What kid gets that? (You know, before the Great COVID-19 Quarantine…)

While Lance was looking for work, and while we were looking for a place to live, we also had the fun bonus of meeting my big sister at the movies, or at a local restaurant from time to time. (For dinner, sure, but really for the air-conditioning in the hot summer!)

Just What We Needed – Just When We Needed It

Our task to enroll Simon in school and to land Lance a job ended in the same week that year. Lance started at his new position, just a couple miles away from the school where Simon started full-time Kindergarten.

Eventually that fall, we found a home – an early 1960’s rambler that was nearly equidistant from Simon’s school and Aunt Beth’s house. Perfect.

Not So Fast

It took several more weeks of commuting, though, as our “new” house needed the floors refinished, the interior painted, and some curtains before we could move in.

For Lance, commuting from my sister’s meant getting up before dawn, and enduring halting traffic (when traffic was good). Commuting to Simon’s school meant getting him up and dressed in his uniform, packing a lunch and eating breakfast, then spending 70-90 minutes in the car. One way.

I learned every conceivable route from Buckley to Seattle. I also found every possible place to stop to use the bathroom on the way.

Were These Humble Circumstances?

Sure. Maybe.

We were on a mission, though, so we knew we’d do whatever it took: Leaving the house early enough, sitting in stopped traffic, not being in our “own” home, being far from work and school every day, and getting schedules, meals, and homework figured out. (Yes, you read that right. Homework in Kindergarten…which was really the First Grade, but that’s another story.)

Maybe it was just the three of us, figuring out life. Life that included a Christian education for Simon. It was, indeed, that important to us. We were raising a mighty man of God, after all!

When you’re striving for your mission, it doesn’t feel all that humble at the time, unless you dwell on it. Dwell, instead, my friend, on the promises of God to get you through, and remember your why.

Humble is, as humble does.

Do your humble circumstances with pride, Sister!


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