Seeking out the message

Life is crazy and insane.

It will take you on a journey.

Because that’s what life is all about.

It’s not supposed to be easy.

As an Orthodox Jew my faith is very important to me – it is who I am. My father died in my preteen years and as a teenager I questioned – a lot, but I got my answers and more.

As an artist, I see God’s beauty in everything I paint. The ocean is not just blue, but a myriad of various colors; blue, green, purple, and white. Nature and God work hand in hand to create an awesome world.

As a mother of 5, I see God at every moment. At the birth of my healthy children, at the time when my 2 and ½ year old speech delayed son said Mommy for the first time, and at bedtime when they are each tucked in safe and sound at the end of the day.


Three months ago my husband lost his job.

Three weeks ago my home was destroyed in a massive leak. It is no longer habitable.

Five day ago my business account was hacked and someone charged over $1,000 worth of fraudulent debits.

Why would God take everything away?

My husband’s income – gone.

My studio and income – gone.

Our home – gone.

And then my rebbetzin yelled at me.

It’s not why Abbey, but WHAT. What is God trying to tell you? God doesn’t call you on the phone and tell you it’s time to change things up. You’ve got to look deeper and see what the message is.


All I have left are the most important things to me – my kids. Maybe God wanted to tell me that I’m just a bad mom. I work around the clock way too hard and don’t give them enough of my attention. Perhaps he took everything away – my home and my income – so that I would value my children more. Isn’t it the mom who makes the home? Maybe my home was just really bad so he took it all away from me to start a new one.


OY, Abbey. It’s not like that. If you break your arm it’s not because you were using your arm for bad things. It’s not that simple AND don’t say that God took everything away from you! You will rebuild your home and your husband will get a new job. We can’t know why, we have to look at the WHAT. What is God trying to tell you?


No clue. What’s the message???

I guess it’s time to try to start figuring that out.

My friend tells me I need to look at the positive.


I have a wonderful marriage.

He’s my best friend.

I have five beautiful children.

I live in a wonderful community where everyone comes together and helps in a crisis.

Life is like a wheel and it turns.

When I look back over the past three months since my husband lost his job, I can’t help but think that although these bad things have happened, God has been with me the whole time — helping me through.

The moment my husband lost his job, my work (which was pretty dead over the summer) all of a sudden kicked into high gear. With the Jewish holidays in September and October, the income that I made really got us through, and just as we used up the last of our savings, my husband found a job. Thank God. He started a week ago.

So maybe the wheel is turning.

Perhaps the message is that we shouldn’t value material things.

As a child, I remember my mom had a famous saying, “You can replace things, but not people.”

We are so consumed by our “stuff,” we lose sight of what really matters.

When we are stripped of everything and left with nothing, we can see that what we have is everything we need to survive.

Nothing belongs to us.

It all comes from God.

I am a survivor.

I can do this.

It’s time to rebuild.

About the Author
For the past 12 years, Abbey Wolin has been bringing creativity back to the classroom. She has held positions as a regular ed and special education teacher in various schools and yeshivos. She is currently the lead designer and founder of Not 2 Shabbey. A company specializing in hand painted personalized gifts. You can reach Abbey Wolin at