Adoption Fundraiser

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Wednesday, December 29, 2010

2010


















Aside from getting married or giving birth this has been one of the most eventful years of my entire life. 2010 brought us a flurry of change, trust, love, trust, snow, change and more trust.

January
I should have known all that this year had in store for our family considering God started us off with a BANG. The 15th was the night God pricked our heart about adoption. My husband heard the call and we were both thrilled!


February
My husband was laid off from his job of 6 years. It was hard to believe, yet almost expected. The Florida unemployment rate was on the rise due to a bad economy and non-existent new construction. We prayed and asked for wisdom about whether to stay in Florida or seek employment in our true love-Virginia. God answered and we felt like it was time to make the move. We just needed a job first.


March
Still no sign of a job after many, many resumes were sent off. We enjoyed this month just spending time together. We took a trip up North to visit family. While we were there my husband's grandmother passed away. It was a bitter sweet time as we were sad for her departure but were able to make sure she was on her way to the King!


April
This was the month of transition. My husband found a job! We won't talk about what kind of a job it turned out to be. Well, maybe I will bring that up in a few months down the page...
My husband moved to Virginia to start his job. I stayed back for one week and packed up the entire house. It was a hard week being in Florida (with no car) and trying to get a grasp on the fact that my home state of 11 years was about to come to an end. The next week me and my girl moved to Tennessee to live with my mother for the next 3 months. My husband continued to work and try to find a place for us to live. Talk about living by faith. I still can't believe we made a blind move to a place where we did not know one person!


May
I turned 30! Scary and sobering. I had a revelation that I am not getting any younger. Surprise!
Still being separated from my husband and only seeing him every other weekend is taking its toll. He is about to have a breakdown in Virginia and I am feeling lost and disconnected from him more every day. His job is not going well at all.


June
My husband finds our (now) home church. God uses the preacher to speak to him about a lot of stuff. My husband has a heart change and is like a new man. God does a miracle. We spend a lot of time at Dollywood.


July
Praise the Lord we are together again! We head down to Florida to pick up all of our stuff and hit the road back up to Virginia. We move in with someone who needs help around the house. Things are hard but we are in Virginia. I fall in love with the area and the mountains. I find refuge in our new church. God does amazing things to our hearts.


August
My husband gets fired from his crappy job! We trust in the Lord and we have peace. Its still hard living with a total stranger and we are having a hard time. The summer mountains are beautiful. We enjoy time together as a family and pray for a new job. The men at church lay hands and pray over my husband. The Lord provides a job that we didn't even apply for.


September
My husband starts his new job. Its the first time he has worked inside for as long as I've known him and longer. He enjoys it. He starts working 12 hours a day 7 days a week. We know that you have to be careful what you pray for because God answers. We hardly see my husband and miss him. The pay is good.
We feel that the Lord is leading us to stay in this area instead of building our house over an hour away. We are excited but sad at the same time.
My girl starts Kindergarten at home.

October
My husband turns 42. We begin to look for houses. It is very strange. The overtime has calmed and we are enjoying a good life in Virginia.


November
We find a place! It is a church and we are having a hard time getting financing. We keep praying and asking the Lord for His will only.
We celebrate Thanksgiving with family. I feel very thankful this year for all He has done for us.
My girl starts ballet. It makes me happy.


December
Still waiting on financing. At this point we are asking for God to just close the door because we are tired of this ride. He doesn't close the door. Instead He opens it up a little wider each week.
We are excited to get settled someday in our new place. This means that our adoption process can begin.
Christmas is wonderful. Its quiet and just us. We enjoy time together and look forward to our new year in the mountains.

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

December

I can't believe it's been over a month since I posted. Since then we ate a lot of pie, my girl turned 6, God provided a memorial box!!!! and we are in the process of buying a church! So much going on. We are trusting God for a lot right now. But aren't we always?
My ten year anniversary is in 2 days. I cannot believe it has been ten years. Christmas is in just a few weeks. We are spending more and more time at our church's Christian school. I am subbing and my daughter is experiencing life in a school setting.
We had our first big snow this past weekend. And almost ended up in a ditch. While it was beautiful, it was scary.
Life is hard at the moment. I know it is for a lot of people. And probably more hard than I ever have to deal with. But the good news is that God cares about each and every single one of us no matter what we are going through. Be it big or small. He cares. And He calls us to cast it all upon Him. Praying for Hope in your Christmas season.

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Memorial Box Monday


Visit A Place Called Simplicity for more stories.

God hears our prayers.

What? You knew that already? Yeah I did too. But there is still something so awe inspiring when you see it first hand.

Years ago when I had a little girl I could hardly wait for her to do all of the girly things. One thing I was so excited about was ballet.

I also had a husband that had a lot of baggage. This is a fact: When you marry a man with a previous marriage, you get all of him, baggage and all. They will more than likely come with their point of views about certain things. The only problem was that his point of view came from an ex-wife and an ex-marriage. Divorce is ugly all the way around. God can bring beauty from ashes, but you will be finding ash in everything over the years. Just like when you play with glitter. You can seriously be finding that stuff for years and years. Same thing with the ash. You will find bits and pieces of it for a long time. It will pop up in the most unusual spots. But God eventually turns that bit of ash into bits of beauty.

Back to my story. My husband has 3 boys. Well, they are men now, but one time they were boys. They played every sport imaginable, including gymnastics. This makes me smile because two of them are in the Marine Corps. I can just imagine their drill instructor getting a hold of this information. Anyway. They played a lot of sports. Sometimes two sports at a time. This made for 3 busy boys. Luckily they had grandparents that would pitch in and help take them to games and all of the hundreds of practices.

My husband worked a lot. He was self employed. He worked out in the hot Florida weather every single day. He missed a lot of their games. Now, I could get into all of the details about why my husband had to work so many hours. It had a lot to do with credit card bills that would mysteriously show up in the mail box. Sometimes they would show up in his in-laws mailbox. He wouldn't know about these for a long time. Needless to say, he had to make a certain amount of money to keep the family in the green. He was shamed over and over again for missing games and practices. He is still haunted by the memories of dissapointing his boys.

Fast forward several years. My daughter takes a huge interest in ballet. She dances around the house at only 2 years old. Most girls do this. My husband is very against the idea of enrolling her in class. Or any sport for that matter. Ouch, I just got some ash in my eye. Where did that come from?

Well, I knew that arguing would not matter. I accepted his verdict. My parents and sister kept pestering me about putting her in class. What do I say? I try to keep it neutral and explain to them that she won't be taking ballet classes at this time. NOW QUIT BRINGING IT UP!

I prayed a lot about this. I knew God could change his heart. I just didn't know if He would. It took 2.5 years. Then not too long ago, out of the blue he said he wanted her to take ballet class. I think I was standing in the kitchen. I tried not to let the surprise show on my face. I calmly agreed with him and was profusely praising God in my heart at the same time. God was softening my husband's hard, hard heart. He turned that bit of ash into some beauty. The result? My girl will go to her very first ballet class today at 4pm.

She is over the moon. And my husband? Well, he has been working overtime like crazy. And most of it is mandatory. He doesn't have a choice. Some of it he does choose to work. I have assured him over and over again that he is not required to come to ballet practice. And if he misses her first recital I will take lots of pictures and video and he will not be shamed.

God is turning my husband's ashes into beauty as well. Even after almost 10 years of marriage, he is learning that he is safe. That I love him. And God continues to soften his heart. The other day he asked me why he has turned into such a cry baby. This former marine with a hard heart has cried more this past year than he has his whole life. The only answer I could give him was that God was softening his heart. The very thing I had been praying for years.

Thank you Lord for answering prayers.

Ballet pictures to come soon.

Saturday, October 30, 2010

Can You Afford It?

Adoption, that is.

I can't.

I recently read a blog post where someone ranted and raved about all the fundraising going on to bring home one's child. They basically said that if you can't afford to adopt, you shouldn't. Huh? Well, I am actually very glad this person has the money in their bank account to bring home a few children to call their own. I don't. Does that mean we can't or shouldn't adopt? Does that mean an orphan (or millions of them for that matter) should sit in an orphanage the rest of their childhood only to be cast out on the street corner (literally!!) because we don't have the money to adopt them? I'd like to think not.

Aside from the language used, I'd have to say from the overall tone of the entire blog that this person is not a follower of Christ. Now before you call me judgemental because I don't believe someone is a Christian, lets just remember that the Bible says a tree is known by it's fruit. A follower of Christ will not have "perfect" fruit. But it should have some flavor and an overall good taste. You should also be able to recognize this fruit for what it is supposed to be. So for that reason I will conclude that this person is not a Christian. Yes, I could be wrong. And if I am, I will admit to it.

So I guess it would be kinda easy to understand where this person was coming from. To them, they are just getting a daughter or son. A lot of people adopt like this. They adopt, they get on with their lives. I don't have a lot of room to talk because before this year I wouldn't have even adopted. But God is changing my heart. He is softening it.

But what in the world is the matter when someone asks for a little help to bring home their child? If you don't want to contribute, then don't. No one is forcing you. But I bet you will put your money into saving the rainforest. I bet you will be the ones to contribute to planned parenthood.

*****(((Which by the way, look this up, call them up, investigate this...do Susan G. Komen foundation affiliates contribute to planned parenthood?)))*****

The point is that most people give their money towards something they believe in. Why would someone get so bent out of shape because we ask for help to bring home an orphan. For crying out loud there are people asking for money to kill babies. Real babies. Killing them. And they ask for money to help do this. So get off your high horse and let someone raise funds to GIVE LIFE to a baby instead of taking it away!

"A father to the fatherless, a defender of widows is God in His holy dwelling. God sets the lonely in families" psalm 68:5,6

God Himself is setting the lonely in families. I don't know about you but I want to contribute to God's work.

Happy Birthday


Happy Birthday to a wonderful husband, loving daddy and devoted Man of God
I love you.

Friday, October 29, 2010

Cleaning House

Cleaning house is such a bitter sweet thing. I love the result. Sometimes I even love the chores. It just depends on my mood. I have a pretty clean house. But for some reason I can't keep it clean. Oh, I clean bathrooms once a week usually. I vacuum several times a week. But the minute that floor is cleared of junk, more junk starts appearing. And its not just the girl's fault. Its all of us. I'd love to be one of those people who hangs up and puts away immediately. And sometimes I am. But most of the time things get piled up and thrown around. I can't stand it.
Right now on my floor in my own "grown up" bedroom I have:
a basket of clean clothes
a walmart bag full of garbage
clean and dirty clothes
tons of books beside my bed
dog leash laying in the middle of the floor
men's dress shoes
a clip board
various school supplies
barbie jeep with 2 barbies inside
one of my tennis shoes with a barbie inside
a computer mouse
a scrap of yarn
a pirate patch
dog chew toys
halloween candy
jar of peanut butter
2 things of body wash

Now yes, all of this is in my bedroom but you have to remember that we have a roommate. My family lives in the upstairs 2 bedrooms. My bedroom is like the living room. And before you call the "hoarder" tv show to come to my house I still have a lot of empty floor space.

This will all get cleaned up today but I can't promise you that 50 other things won't take their place tomorrow. Or tonight for that matter.

What does your house look like?

Friday, October 15, 2010

Update

I know I just posted about 5 minutes ago but I was rereading some things I had written a few weeks ago and just had to share a little bit more.

I did go through a week of pure pit. I was in the pit. It seems that I begged the Lord to pick me up. I couldn't put my finger on it and had no reason for my heart to be so down. One morning I just tried to sit down with my Bible and read and ask God to be near me. At some point during my time with Him a thought slammed into my heart like a speeding car slams into a wall. It hit me so hard and so fast that I didn't know what to do.

The thought? We will adopt a girl around the same age as my girl. I know this is so silly to you. Why all the drama and then a silly thought? Well I don't know why my heart was so sad, but I knew it had something to do with adoption. I am still not very good at hearing the Lord speak to me. But He did. He told me that our daughter was to be older than we had anticipated. And you know what? I closed my Bible, got off my bed and went about my day. My heart was happy again, my soul was lifted and I KNEW that I had to come to a place where I was desperate to Hear Him. He brought me to that place so I could hear what He had to say.

After thinking about it for awhile it totally confirmed something I thought He was saying to me awhile back. A few months ago I was going through my girl's clothes and I felt like He told me to start saving them. I believe I blogged about this, but I can't remember. I thought, Ok Lord, I will save them. And then we can just buy whatever sized we need until she starts fitting into these 5's. Well, hello!!!! Apparently I didn't get it then, but I get it now! My girl will be that age when she comes home to us.

A week later our church prayed over our situation. Two days later I came across the face of a beautiful 5 year old girl waiting for a home.

God is at work! And I am anxiously awaiting to see what happens.

Virginia Mountains






This doesn't even show how the leaves are changing now. Just wait until I get those pictures.

I know its been quiet around here. Truthfully its hard to get motivated to post on a blog that nobody reads! But I keep it up because I love to go back and read my own stuff. Its like a journal.

This will probably become some sort of adoption blog. Its just where my heart is right now.

We have to wait until July next year until we can start any type of adoption. I'm not very good at waiting though. So it will be a long road.

I still love living in Virginia. Its like we were always meant to be here. Even though there is so much unrest about so many things in our lives right now, I am at peace knowing I am surrounded by such beauty. I've always responded well to the beauty of God's creation. I feel closer to Him when I am outside. The wind on my face comes at just the right time to let me know He's near. The beauty of the mountains makes me in awe of His majesty.

Homeschooling is going extremely well. I love it! My girl is learning to read and she is so super smart. Its so fun because there were a couple of days that I was feeling dumpy and we just did school work in my bed! How cool is that? I may have said this before but I love the time I get to spend with my girl. Yeah, of course there are times when I am over talking to a 5 year old. Sometimes I just need to be alone and it never happens. Especially to a homeschooling momma whose husband is working 12 hour days, 7 days a week. (Not complaining, just trying to be real!) But I am cherishing the time I get with her. She will be 6 soon and I am alarmed at the speed in which she is growing up. I try and always have a view of the future.

I guess that about sums up whats been going on here. Not much. We have have plans in the works and I will be back soon to talk about those.

Friday, September 17, 2010

The Lord has spoken

Just a quick little note to say that the Lord met me where I was. I was close to the pit. I couldn't figure it out. I prayed and begged Him to speak, or show me what was wrong. I couldn't put my finger on it. My husband would come home from his 12 hour shift and I would tell him how I felt, but I had no words for it. I'm sure he thought I was losing it. We are so new to this adoption thing and havn't even begun the process that I am scared of scaring him away from it. He is for it! But I have a tendency to talk, talk, talk about whatever is exciting me. I guess I just felt so consumed with orphans and didn't know how to deal with the reality of it. So to talk so much about it and try to figure it out would have freaked him out and I know his eyes would eventually glaze over. I've seen it happen before.

So I couldn't really get all of the yucky out of my heart. I was confused about some things and just plain overwhelmed with THE WHOLE ORPHAN CRISIS. I was just having a hard time processing so much.

And to tell you the truth I feel like satan was trying to discourage me by overwhelming me. And it was working. I started to doubt adoption period. In the midst of this my emotions were shutting down.

But last night our preacher brought it! And the Lord spoke. And it changed me forever. I will have this child. She will be my victory. I will hold fast to this promise from a God who has heard my cries this week. He has seen my broken heart. He has heard my prayers for a changed heart. He has given me a promise of victory.

My emotions are in check, I have a full out joy for this promise. I am functioning with a real smile on my face today. I am at rest in Him.

Thank you Father.

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Adoption Fears

A few nights ago I laid awake and realized that I am very fearful about adopting. I put aside my excitement about having another child, about seeing God move in miraculous ways and about the adventures we would go on. I laid aside those things and got real with myself. Really, real and raw.

What if my daughter is jealous?

What if I don't bond with her?

What if my husband doesn't bond with her?

What if I don't feel the same love for her?

What if I regret adopting?

(And here is where it gets really bad)

What if I am a better mommy to an adopted child than to my own flesh and blood?

What if I have more patience with this child than my own?

What if my girl becomes bitter because I am a better mommy to her new sister?

You see, these may sound silly to you but they are real to me. And maybe its just not adopting that brings out these fears. I only have one child so I don't know. I do know that when you are a first time mom you seem to be more rigid. And then with each child you relax a little bit.

I have lost my patience with my girl more times than I can remember. I make her feel bad (sometimes) for things that aggravate me. We spend a lot of time together. She has never been to preschool and we home school. We are together basically anytime we are awake. So in the middle of the night I don't feel like sitting in the bathroom with you while you go poo poo. I want to sleep. I am not proud of these things and I try to do better. But she will remember these.

So, what if her sister wakes up in the middle of the night and wants me to sit in the bathroom with her for-EVER? How will I handle this? If I handle it right, will my girl become bitter and jealous?

So you see? There are many issues going through my head and heart. I know the Lord will work through these with me and for me. I know that satan HATES adoption. He HATES orphans and he HATES families that want to love on an orphan and bring them home. Satan will do everything in his power to discourage us, I know this and I am expecting it.

But I will fight it. God says strong and important things about orphans and He will fight for them until the end.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Where I'm at...

Do you ever get in a funk and can't snap out of it? That is where I'm at. Deep down I know I have to just pull myself up by my boot straps and get on with life. But I don't feel like it.

It started on Saturday. It was a rainy day, which usually I love, but this day was not lovely. I did mundane things like lesson plans and clothes sorting. I felt a burden for an adoption that doesn't even have an agency yet.

I miss my husband. He has a wonderful job that he loves. They have made it mandatory to work 12 hours a day and 7 days a week until further notice. I miss him. It was hard to go to church on Sunday alone.

There are so many things I need to be thankful for though. My husband has a job!!! And I know there are families out there who need jobs. I also know there are families out there who work just as many hours a week, but don't get the compensation that we are getting.

I do not like this funk. I do not like doing school and faking a sweet voice to my girl. I do not like pasting on a smile because she deserves better than a momma in a funk.

These past few days I have consumed myself with things about adoption, orphans and things of that nature. I am frustrated because I do not know where to start. Do I need to wait until we buy a house next year? I'm frustrated at being frustrated. Adoption is not the only way to help an orphan. I know this and I want to do more. And its frustrating me because God is speaking to me and changing me. And I don't like the way it feels. I don't want to give up some sweet boots I've been eyeing and donate the money to 147 Million Orphans.

And truthfully, I've been hormonal this week and that probably has a lot to do with my funk. Its still not fun though. Well, it might be fun if I could just sleep all day and eat chocolate. But that is impossible. So, no fun.

But today I think of women who are going through so much more. And I am praying. Do you need prayer? I will pray.

Saturday, September 11, 2010

On my mind...

You. This blog. You have been on my mind. I have neglected you to no end. I did spruce you up a bit, but I'd like to do more. You know, like post more often. I'd like to add more pictures too.

My girl. I have spent the last hour changing out clothing for fall/winter. (Yes! You heard that right! This Florida, I mean Virginia girl is in need of her fleece pants today!!!) As I am cleaning out her closet and her drawers I am sad. She hit a growth spurt this summer that knocked me to the ground. My 5 year old is no longer my baby. I can still catch a glimpse of her smallness. I see it in her little hands as shes doing a puzzle. I hear it in her sweet voice when she tells me she loves me.

Our bedroom doors are on either end of a hallway. She was in her room trying on clothes and I was spying on her from my bed. It was like all of the sudden she was 17. I saw her taller, leaner and grown up. And it made my heart hurt.

Turning 30 this year has changed my perspective on a lot of things. I have realized that this is the only life I get to live. It is spiraling out of control very quickly, meaning, the time...where has it gone? At the same time I am realizing I no longer have a baby. I have a child. And I guess what I am realizing is that I have taken all of these years for granted. Oh, I adored her and couldn't get enough of her as a baby. But then something happened where it became all about me. (getting real here...)Her constant chatter annoyed me, she got in my way a lot, and in general I wanted to be left alone. I definitely had issues and I feel like I worked through a lot of them. I know I have considering I can look back and see all the bad. Realizing that things aren't going to slow down and this is my only chance with her has snapped me out of my funk.

I told my husband last night that I am so thrilled to get to home school her. I thought that when she is 18 and headed to college I will be so grateful I was able to spend all this time with her, because I know I am going to miss her. Think of all the time that could be lost at school?

I have also been thinking a lot of how content I am. Its not like we are settled. We are far from it. We had planned on building this year while we rented, but we think God is changing our plans to include buying a house in the area.
But something about being in the mountains, something about experiencing fall weather ALREADY, it just has me at peace. God is so good to us, and He is at work in our lives and I am so happy and peaceful.

My marriage has been on my mind. We will celebrate our 10 year anniversary in December. Our marriage has never been easy. We've had a lot of ups and downs. Too many to count, but praise God!!!! we are still going at it. Ten years is a long time to get to know someone. I am just finally learning to relax, not take things so personally and stop being so sensitive. Whew! It took long enough and I am sure it will take another 10 years before I feel like I've half way conquered them.

I have been thinking a lot about my other daughter. This past January God put a small Chinese girl in front of us and said I have this for you. We have had a little Chinese girl on our hearts whenever we talk about her or pray. but recently God has shown me that she may not be Chinese and would I be ok with that? Yeah, I don't really think He was asking my permission either. Lets just consider that a rhetorical question. After prayer and seeking Him, Yes, I am ok with that. So, now our next daughter has no face. But she does have a name. We havn't even started the process due to the fact that my husband just started a job this week and makes no where near the required income. (Does anyone have any loopholes around this)?

So, So many things on my mind these past few weeks. So lets just say that I am a happy and content woman who is loving on her girl like crazy, loving being married and dreaming of a little girl who will one day be mine. Life is good.

Monday, August 16, 2010

The Body of Christ

I cannot even begin to tell you how this new church of ours has ministered to our hearts. I've been there almost 6 weeks now and feel like I never want to leave. I know that the "honeymoon" phase will pass, but God has brought us to this place. I'm not really sure we would be doing as good as we are without this body of believers.

Remember the home school curriculum? Well, it turned out to be the complete Kindergarten set from A Beka. This is the curriculum that is used at the church's school. I do not have to buy one item for Kindergarten and it is top quality stuff. To think that God provided that for us before we even knew we needed it amazes me to no end. Speaking of their school, we were offered free tuition this year. Free private school tuition? Ummm, Wow! We have been asking the Lord for His wisdom, and I believe we are going to continue the plans to homeschool. I know...who turns down free private school education? Well, apparently we do. The final decision has not been made yet as we are still asking the Lord for an answer.

Last night the men laid hands on my husband and prayed that the Lord would provide a job for him that is beyond anything we can imagine. We have been asking the Lord for the same thing. My husband was moved to tears as he stood up and praised God for believers who fill up our spiritual tank. We leave there loved on and encouraged by every single person. They love on us like we've been members for 30 years. We are so very thankful to God for His provision in leading us to this church.

You know how you can just tell when God is about to do something really big? We have had that feeling these past few weeks. Of course then my husband lost his job. That's big. But God is about to do something bigger.

Speaking of big, a child was conceived in our hearts on January 15, 2010. We attended Winter Jam 2010. We sponsored a Chinese girl. Our hearts were moved. The Lord has been at work. He has used women of God in my life to speak truth about the orphan. I have learned so much and have been taught so much about God's faithfulness in adoption and I have been able to pass it along to my husband. Adoption is scary. International adoption is down right terrifying. The money? Forget about it. The travel? I've hardly left the east coast of the U.S. But disobeying God's prompting to adopt is even more scary.

He's been speaking about it though. He's been working on our hearts. He's given me a name. And I mean that there is no way that I will ever name her anything else. He has laid it on my heart to stop giving away my daughter's clothes. Usually I find a family with smaller girls and pass them on. Or I give them to my mom for her foster care closet. I didn't hear a voice, but I felt a gentle leading to stop. Just plain and simple, stop giving away the clothes. I can sense that He is working.

Let me just stop and clarify that last statement. I have never been one to hear God speaking to me. I have always wanted to, but didn't really know how to listen. But, again, thanks to Godly women, I am learning more. I try to soften my heart in so many ways. I lean in and listen. I have learned THE HARD WAY to listen good and when I think its the Lord speaking I better listen up and listen good. About 90% of the time, its Him and He means business.

So, I'm sensing Him move. All this during a time when we are renting a house that we can't afford. My husband has no job, our property has a foundation on it only. And we are not sure if we even have the money to finish it. We are caught somewhere in the middle. Now, this is a good time to see God work miracles in our lives. Can God work when everything is perfect? Oh sure. But I think we will be most likely to take credit for it ourselves. How does it go? When we are weak, He is strong. When we can't get our crap together, then the Lord can work. When we can't do it ourselves, the Lord steps in.

I just wanted to let you know whats been swirling around in my heart lately. I would appreciate your sincere prayers for our family. Praise God we are healthy! But its still hard when its finances. How can I pray for you today?

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Memorial Box Monday


For more stories about God's faithfulness,visit A Place Called Simplicity

***Edited: My husband came home today without a job. How much more this story blesses my soul. Will you join me in prayer for our incredible God to do immeasurably more than we can ask or imagine?***

Its been so long since I've posted one of the these. I must be the worst blogger in the world. God is just so faithful in the small things and I need to mention this. My girl will start kindergarten in a few weeks. We homeschool and I am very excited. The bad thing is that we have zero extra money right now for curriculum. I found some books that I wanted to use and it would have cost around $50. We plan on utilizing the library a lot.
I feel like I should back up and say that we have money in savings. We are not destitute. We are trying not to touch that money because if we spend it, we are essentially homeless next year after our lease is up here. That money is for our small house we are building. The Lord is good and I'm so thankful that we have that money there anyway. So we are trying to live off my husband's paycheck and it just doesn't cover it.
Back to these books. I know $50 is not a lot. Especially for homeschool material. But this is kindergarten and really how much will I need? So I had my list and my husband said wait until payday to order it. My fingers itched and itched to just go ahead and order it, but I held off.
We are at church Sunday night and this lady comes up to me and tells me that some of the ladies have put together a basket of books for us. She says its probably everything I will need for kindergarten. Say what?!?!? She even included some supplies. Now, I don't know whats in this basket. The books may be old, used or not what I was planning on using. But the Lord knows better than me. He knows whats in there because He told them what to put in there.
We've only been at this church 5 weeks. My husband slightly longer since he was attending here while we were in Tennessee. But they really don't know us. But they took the time to put together some things for us.
The way we came to this church is another God story by itself. Only by His will did we come here. And without this church we would probably be in pretty bad shape spiritually. We have a preacher who preaches the truth.
We are doing so good. And thanks be to God for His goodness to our family.

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Guess who just walked out the door?

The sweet blessed man who possesses the talent of bringing internet into my house.

Being without internet for right around 3 weeks changes a person. I'm kidding of course. But its good to be back. I'm a resident of Virginia. Officially. Well, I havn't got the $48 to change my license from Florida to Virginia, but thats right in line behind getting my gas money, grocery money, getting my oil changed and maybe paying my rent.

Wow, it didn't take long for me to start whining about money. Sorry about that. God is so good to us. And there is just something about not making ends meet that makes you cling to the Lord in a way that you never have before. I'm confident that this will make us stronger in so many ways.

And the funny thing is that during this time of the small paycheck, God is getting me more excited about adopting. We still don't know what that looks like for us, but I'm still excited.

And at this point somehow I just erased the last 4 paragraphs. Hmmm. Internet, we have such a love hate relationship. So, I've got to go clean something right now, but I will be back more often.

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Droopy, Slobbery, Floppy and Stubby

Two days ago I anxiously found my way to A Place Called Simplicity. I love the Memorial Box Mondays. In the midst of life, it is a refreshing way to read about God's faithfulness in the lives of others. It also makes you think about the stories in your own life.
Well, this past Monday I logged on and saw that it was a "rerun". I am a lover of rerun shows, especially if its a good one. I saw the title, "Ezra" and I almost, almost skipped it. I had read it a few times before and knew all about that cool rooster. But I love Linny and I think she's fabulous! So read it again. And I am so glad I did. Little did I know how I would need this story this week.

We are scheduled to move into a rental July 1st. Somehow there has been confusion about the pet situation. We have a small dog who is no trouble at all, but as it turns out, the owner wants no pets. Let's not forget that the people living there right now have a poodle. UhhhhHH!
My husband told me about this last night and I was not happy. Now, after being apart for many months I have learned to let things go. I know it was not his fault and I was proud of myself for holding my tongue. Worst case scenario, my dog will go live with my inlaws. That is, if they agree. For a year. Best case, she will have to live in the detached garage for a year. Now, I love my dog. She is a Shih-Tzu and not the kind of dog who wants to live alone in a garage. My heart is broken. But as I was talking to my husband on the phone last night I remembered Ezra. Immediately I calmed down and knew right then that the Lord was speaking to me. He cares for Maggie just like I do. He will take care of her.
I also saw this teaching moment for my girl. I asked her to pray with me that God will care for Maggie. I want her to know how God will provide for us.
And I trust that no matter what the outcome, I chose to trust Him.

Okay, well today I've had more fears. I do not want my dog living with my inlaws and I do not want her all alone in a garage. I was near tears today while we were playing at a park. We were packing up to leave and my mom told me to look and see what was coming. I turned my head not knowing what I was looking for. Then I see them. A pair of Basset Hounds. Two beautiful basset hounds. Droopy eyes and floppy ears. I was so excited I could have jumped all around.

You see, I want a basset hound. In the worst way. I am in love with basset hounds. I want a male and I want him as droopy as possible. One day I am hoping that my husband will surprise me with one. I am obsessed with them. The funny thing is I have never seen one up close. I fell in love with them only through pictures online. Not until I came to Tennessee did I actually see one for myself. I was on my mom's back porch back in April when I spotted this beauty named Biscuit next door. I have never been over there to pet her and have only watched her from a distance. So, to see these two up close today and get to pet them and get slobbered all over, I knew it was God. Some may argue that it was a coincidence. My God knows my fascination with these dogs. And the fact that my heart was broken over my dog, I knew He was all over this "coincidence".

And while this is not a Memorial Box Monday post, I still want to remember God's faithfulness on this journey. And it came in the form of droopy eyes, floppy ears and short stubby legs. Maybe one day I will own one and will always remember how much God cares for even the smallest worries in our heart.

*UPDATE*
I just wanted to say that the landlord is going to allow us to keep Maggie in the house for a refundable deposit. Praise God.
Now if I can just pry the deposit from my husband's balled up fists, we will be all set.

Monday, June 14, 2010

Memorial Box Monday



I love Mondays! I love to thinking about God's Faithfulness and I love to read about it too. Please visit A Place Called Simplicity for more stories of God's goodness.

Today's story is just another chapter in this great adventure. It is short, but powerful.

We have a house that we have been trying to sell since April. It is a mobile home and it sits on borrowed property. We have lowered the price and lowered the price. Lots of inquiry, but no bites. It is almost as if the Lord was saying,"wait on Me."

Of course we still listed it, because, duh, we are trying to sell it.

Once upon a time I felt the need to give it away. Yes, I said give it away. Give away an asset that would secure our future. Give away a profit that would ensure the funds to finish our house. I know how outrageous that sounds. I was scared of the idea, but excited at the same time. But, I'm the woman and I don't get the last say so. And that is well and perfect for me. I talked with a super cool chick about my grand idea and she prayed over me. Then I talked to my husband. Hahahahaha! Picture me laughing right now. It didn't go well. While my husband is a true follower of Christ, he declares he is not without his senses. He totally opposes the idea and I stand firm, but step aside. He is my husband and the Lord has put authority in him.

Let me back up a minute and tell you that I wanted to give it to a missions pastor and his family to live in. They are incredibly in love with Jesus and were very much without a home.

I wanted to just give it to them in the name of Jesus Christ and allow God to bless that in whatever way He wanted.

But it wasn't to be. So we have been trying and trying to sell it.

On one of the "on" weekends we get visits from my husband we were worshiping in church together one Sunday. This particular Sunday the church was taking a final offering to retire their mortgage early. It had been a huge campaign to pay off a huge debt that only a huge God would pull off. The pastor called for everyone to make a sacrificial offering. We took it to heart and placed a check in the offering plate. I was very excited because before the service I asked my husband if we would and he said yes. He threw out a number that matched the number in my own mind. I was initially shocked because I thought my number would be too high for him. God had spoke to both of us. Love it!

Three days later we get an email stating that someone from our Florida church wanted to buy our mobile home and give it to the church under the condition that this missions pastor could live in it for 2 years. Even as I type this, it astounds me. I had told a total of 3 people of my wanting to give our home away. One person thought my idea was crazy, one person lives across the country and one person was my best friend who doesn't talk about our conversations with others. Only God could orchestrate that plan. He knew in my heart that I wanted our home for this particular family. And He made it happen.

Now, my heart turns in 2 directions here. I am so excited that our home will sell and we will get the cash we need to proceed and hopefully finish building. But I am a little sad that someone will get this blessing. Yes, we are getting the blessing of income. I know this. But I wanted the blessing of sacrifice. I wanted to give it away so the Lord could stretch our faith. But He still works. He heard my heart. I feel like there are 2 blessings in this story. And I want to remember that check we put in the offering plate and how the Lord saw it and blessed us with the sale of our home. And I want to put a picture of our home in my (non-existent) memorial box to remind myself and my family that the Lord gives back to those who give away.

But I also want to remember that the Lord answered my prayers for this family to get my home. And to me, that is the biggest blessing of all!

Saturday, June 5, 2010

Lyrics

It's time for healing time to move on
It's time to fix what's been broken too long
Time to make right what has been wrong
It's time to find my way to where I belong
There's a wave that's crashing over me
And all I can do is surrender

(Chorus)
Whatever You're doing inside of me
It feels like chaos but somehow there's peace
It's hard to surrender to what I can't see
but I'm giving in to something Heavenly

Time for a milestone
Time to begin again
Reevaluate who I really am
Am I doing everything to follow Your will
Or just climbing aimlessly over these hills
So show me what it is You want from me
I give everything I surrender...
To...

(Chorus)

Time to face up
Clean this old house
Find More lyrics at www.sweetslyrics.com
Time to breathe in and let everything out
That I've wanted to say for so many years
Time to release all my held back tears

Whatever You're doing inside of me
It feels like chaos but I believe
You're up to something bigger than me
Larger than life something Heavenly

Whatever You're doing inside of me
It feels like chaos but now I can see
This is something bigger than me
Larger than life something Heavenly
Something Heavenly

It's time to face up
Clean this old house
Time to breathe in and let everything out

Santus Real "Whatever Your Doing"

Thursday, May 27, 2010

A Good Fit

I've been thirty years old for about 16 days now. I slid into my thirtieth birthday quietly. It was like slipping my foot into a fine leather shoe. It went in smooth and comfortably. Ahhhhhh.

I've worn it around town, through the country and I have to say in some rough parts of the city. And you know what? I like it.

Yes, after only 16 days I have put many many miles on "30" and it has worn nicely. No real blisters yet.

In 16 short days I have thrown caution to the wind. Wear that new shirt that makes me look pregnant? Heck yeah. I'm thirty so who cares if people think I'm pregnant when I'm not.
Buy those cute wedges even though I really wanted a closed toe? Yes, please. I'm thirty and I should really stop obsessing about how ugly my feet are. If somebody doesn't like my long skinny toes, who cares! I'm thirty!

We went to a picnic with some of my step-dad's friends. I happen to think they are quite snooty so I spent the evening sitting outside the circle catching up with my husband. And did they think I was snooty? I'm sure. But I'm thirty years old now and if I want to act like a snob I'm going to and not care what they think about me.

I've also looked deep inside myself. I need to figure out why I am who I am. Why I do things I do and think things I think. I need to know who I am. Not who I am in other people's eyes. Who I am. Period.

Not fun people. While I have enjoyed the freedom that has come being thirty, it has kicked my butt. I'm asking questions that I have been scared to ask. I'm coming to realizations that are devastating to me.

On top of this soul searching, I am missing my husband, very over-tired and pre-premenstrual. Not a good combo.

I could really use some prayers for wisdom. Thank you.

Updated: I just realized that I intended for this post to be happy and upbeat. I wanted to let you know how much I am enjoying this new chapter of my life. But somehow it ended up making me feel hurt and lost. I am growing and it hurts. I hope you saw my heart in this post.

Monday, May 24, 2010

Memorial Box Monday



Today is Monday and I havn't done a MBM post in a while. I havnt done much of any posting in awhile. Forgive me for this being quick, but I just wanted to share it.
Last week was particularly frustrating for many reasons. I won't go into them because I have already gotten into them at one time or another on here.

As I was laying in bed waiting to fall asleep I felt the Lord tell me to fast tomorrow. Now, I'm new to this whole fasting thing. The most I've ever fasted was one meal. I was very afraid. I asked the Lord if I could fast until 5pm. It would have ended up about 23 hours of not eating. This includes sleep time which kinda doesn't count. But 2 meals is a big deal for me.

I prayed the next morning instead of enjoying my daily cup of coffee. Oh my word.

About 10am my husband texts me and says he is in a meeting with his boss over something that was found on his background check. He's been an employee almost 2 months mind you. And they are just now finding something from over 20 years ago. Immediately I knew why the Lord had me fast that day.

I prayed all day for this situation and for all the other things that we need answers to.

The Lord worked everything out for our good. The boss lady was very familiar with wayward young Marines and was willing to overlook this incident. My husband still has a job, Praise the Lord.

How cool is God that He would put this woman in our path? That she would understand that young Marines get into a lot of trouble? That she would be so willing to overlook this and let him keep his job? (This company has very very specific regulations for their employees.)

I was so thankful that the Lord's favor was over my husband.

I am going to put a small Marine Corps emblem in my Memorial Box. When I get one!

Do you have anything to put in your Memorial Box?

I know this post is full of grammatical and possibly spelling errors. Forgive me?

For more fabulous stories visit A Place Called Simplicity.

Friday, May 14, 2010

This is the way

"Whether you turn to the right or to the left, your ears will hear a voice behind you, saying, This is the way, walk in it."
Isaiah 30:21

I had this posted in our house in Florida. We desperately wanted to be in God's will and to hear His voice. We didn't want it, if God wasn't in it. We both truly thought a move to Virginia was the thing to do. We prayed about it, and felt a peace that we should pursue jobs up there. After 2 months my husband got a job offer. We were so excited and felt like the Lord provided.



Fast forward a few months and we are starting to second guess. Don't you hate that? I do. A lot. We keep trying to run things through our head. We want to justify all the things that are going wrong. But the whole time we have only wanted what the Lord would have for us. We just got to a point where we needed to make a decision since we didn't believe one was just going to fall from the sky. Actually we thought it did in the form of a job offer.



But folks, things are just going all wrong. We really thought things would work out perfect. I hate when our expectations are so high. But really, shouldn't they be? But husband's job is NOT what he thought it was going to be. He's not making enough money for us to live off of and that is a problem. Our living situation that we were trying to work out with this gentleman has not worked out. We have no place to move to and no money to live on when we got there. Our mobile home is not selling so we can't really move forward on building our house either. We are stuck and, literally, only God can help us. We can't help ourselves. It is a scary place to be. But I wonder if this is exactly where God wants us.



Remember in another post I mentioned how in the past I have opened up my Bible to a random scripture and God spoke to me loud and clear? While I don't believe this happens every time and I believe that we need more than just random openings, it is still scripture. Tonight I got off the phone with my husband and felt totally hopeless. His down moods don't help, I'm sure. I immediately went to my secret place (Matthew 6) and just poured out my heart to the Lord. I got up and opened my Bible and turned right to Ps. 37:7-"Be still before the Lord and wait patiently for Him." How much clearer can it get? Be still. Let the worry go. Let the Lord work.

I'm sorry if these posts are so random. Your getting things as they happen. Live. It's like we are the knitting needles (ha!)and we are only going stitch by stitch. But eventually all these stitches will make something.





We love the movie Facing the Giants. One of the themes repeated throughout the movie is praising God no matter what. And so I am going to praise God right now, even when I don't feel like it.

Praise God for my husband who works crappy jobs even when he doesn't want to because he knows the importance of providing for his family.

Praise God for my daughter who is the bestest daughter in the whole wide world.

Praise God for friends who have been with me through it all, even when they shouldn't have been.

Praise God for my parents who graciously opened their beautiful home to me and my daughter.

Praise God that my parents have such a heart for the orphan (even if they don't know the mighty importance of that) that they open their home to as many foster children as their house can hold.

Praise God that we can do fun things even when we don't have the funds.

Praise God that my mom is generous enough to drive through Sonic whenever I want and buy me as many diet coke with vanilla Route 44's as I can drink (or my bladder will hold.) And that she will buy me a Bump-it knowing that I will wear it 2 times and let it fall to the bottom of my hair accessories basket never to see the light of day again.

And I Praise God for you. I know you pray for me and you have no idea who I am or what my name is. I am so thankful for every one of you who read even one sentence of my blog. I pray for you too.
Once again I just ask if you would lift up my family to find a place to live together. And that my husband would have the Lord's favor at his job. And will you ask at least one of your friends to pray for me too? I believe in prayer and petition.
Thank you and God bless you.

Friday, May 7, 2010

My life: Then and Now

I'm flirting dangerously close to 30 these days. Have I mentioned this? I think it is throwing me off. And it is making me think and analyze. And I'm starting to like figure things out. Whoa. Is this normal?? I'm sitting here with cute pigtails in my hair and Life is a Highway stuck in my head. Yes, the Rascal Flats version. Its fabulous.

I just painted my nails on my bedroom floor. I've longed to do black but my mother won't let me. Thats ok, neither will my husband. I will submit to my authority. So I found this funky shade of metallic silver that has a funky shine to it. It will do. My mind started playing tricks on me though. It was like I was thrown back into the 90's.

15 years ago I would have been sitting on the floor painting my nails and flipping through a 17 magazine. Remember the Taylor sisters who were on more than one cover?
Tonight I was flipping through my Bible.

15 years ago I would have just gotten off the (corded) phone with my best friend and we would have talked about every kind of drama we were enduring in our teenage lives. I just got of the (cell) phone with my husband where the stress level was high and I can't fix it.

15 years ago I would have had homework and school books laying all over my floor. Tonight I have bills. Oh yeah, lets not forget the knitting needles and (black)yarn.

15 years ago I would have been stressing in the mirror because my hair was impossible. I would fret over the state of my uncool hair many many many a night. Tonight I wonder where we will live next month.

Things that would have littered my floor in 1995:
Magazines, hair products, clothes that were way dorky, my backpack, pages ripped out of surfer magazines, cassette tapes, other uncool stuff.

Things that litter my floor in 2010:
A towel with my hair in it from when I used my new thinning shears last night, a box of tissues, nail polish remover, did I mention the knitting needles?, barbies, kid size 11 shoes, hair products, a wet (pink) wet towel.

How did I live without these things in 1995:

My V.S. padded bras. And I'm a much less insecure person these days because of them.

My cell phone. I can say that I was a teenager who lived without a cell phone. Or texting. Just call me mamaw.

Leather handbags. Am I considered cool now?

My laptop. I am blogging. I'm pretty sure the internet wasn't even a twinkle in Al Gore's eye back in the mid nineties. I'm just kidding. I really don't know when he invented the internet.

My croc flipflops. I know, I know, these aren't cool.

The 5 year old amazing little girl asleep 3 feet away. I'm pretty sure that my 15 year old self greatly appreciated that I waited on having babies. But honestly, I can't even imagine my life without that little stink head.

Even though 30 is starting to fahreek me out, I'm loving every minute of it.

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Its the thought that counts

In this case, it really really is.
You see my husband hates spending money. I've come to find out that my love language with him is gifts. And only because, well, I do love getting gifts, but I know it comes from a place deep within his heart for him to want to spend money.

As you know he is living 3 hours away right now. We havnt seen each other in almost 2 weeks and he is missing me.

He told me last night that he was at walmart looking at the cameras. I'm not sure why, that's just weird. But he saw one for $700 and wanted to buy it for my birthday. What?!?!?!?!? He must be absolutely delirious. We don't spend that kind of money on ANYTHING. And obviously we are trying to build a house on a very small budget and we don't even have that kind of money. But he said that if he had sold his truck he would have totally bought that camera for my gift, he misses me that much.

I'm sure the thought was fleeting and he came to his senses. But in this case, it really is the thought that counts.

But man, oh man, I would love to have had that camera.

Monday, April 26, 2010

In the Midst of Life...

I am so tired today. I am finally shaking off my sinus infection. Praise God! I thought it would never go away. But tired I am. And unfortunately I am pretty cranky on top of that.

My mom comes back into town this evening. I have been watching her 3 foster children since Wednesday and am ov.er.it. Not that I havn't tried to put on my big girl pants and just get through this week, but really. Over it.

The upside was that my husband came in this weekend for a short visit. It was so good to see him. It will be about 2 weeks until he can come in again. It will be for my 30th birthday. Funny. I had such big plans to celebrate turning 30. Now, I'm living at my mother's, we have no money and my husband has to drive 3 hours and he won't even be with me on my actual birthday.
But you know what? There has to be blessing in it somewhere, and I am going to look for it. I tend to be a negative person, but just maybe I can start looking for the positive in this situation.

I am getting lazy with my homeschooling. I know its just preschool and she knows so much already that it is hard to stay on task when we are out of our routine. Really, I have no plans to put her in school, but if preschool is this hard to get motivated to do what in the world am I going to do when she's 15?

Being up here in the mountains has been so amazing. When you've lived in flat land for so long you can see the same view over and over again and still be amazed.

They finished the foundation to our house this past week. Who ever thought I'd be excited about a bunch of blocks? Oh, but I am.

I'm off to try to doze for a few minutes before I have to pick up the kids from school. I feel like maybe I'm about to be closer to 40 than 30.

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

My prayer Request

Ok, so its not something so life altering. But I believe that it is still important to God.
I miss my husband. This has been really hard on us and it looks like we might be apart for about one more month. I am praying that the Lord will work out our living situation where we can all live together for very little money.

We also really need to sell our house. Its just a mobile home so we won't get much money for it, but we need this money to finish our house. I know the Lord could provide for our house without that money. And I trust Him to do so. But we are having such a hard time waiting on His timing.
And this makes no sense why we can't be patient, because He has proven Himself so much, especially here lately, that His timing is perfect. Yes, we do believe it.

I have had a sinus infection for a week now and either nobody will take my insurance or they won't take new patients right now. It seems to be getting better, but I am taking care of 4 kids this week and I'd love to have some relief.

There are also a few others that I don't want to put on the blog. So please take time to pray for those as well. They are just as important.

I would love the opportunity to pray for you. Please leave your requests in my comments and I will lift them up.

Thank you! All of you! I don't even have a reason for this blog. But for some reason you still come and that is so lovely. Thanks so much!

Sunday, April 18, 2010

A List

I'm a little concerned that I'm reduced to making lists now. I was trying to put together a post about what happens to your mind when you move in with your parents but truthfully, I can't bring my thoughts together to form anything that you would understand. I'm not even sure if that sentence made sense or if your even still reading.

So, here is a list of what happens when I start losing my mind:

1. I can't form thoughts or sentences

B. I fight the urge to lapse into what I like to call the teenage throwback stage. You know what this is! It's when you get to your parent's house and revert back to a 14 year old who is lazy and leaves their crap everywhere. You (I?) lay around on the couch and watch MTV (not really MTV but definitely any reality tv that I don't ever usually watch, but once again, the teenage throwback stage...)

This time I have fought really, really hard. I have fought so hard that I have cleaned windows, blinds, baseboards, offered to cut the grass, and managed to pick up after myself. I have also made myself sick, apparently because my body doesn't know what to do. It must be in shock. Actually, I think it must be the pollen considering after I wiped down the patio furniture with homemade windex and a paper towel I went out 3 seconds later and the pollen (green gunk?) was slathered on so thick I thought Slimer had paid us a visit.

Moving right along....

3. You know you are losing your mind when the highlight of the stay so far is setting up my mom's Mexican foster children to watch Nacho Libre and silently and inwardly rejoicing when they laugh at all the right parts. Also when you are silently and inwardly disappointed that they didn't "get" some of the funniest parts. Ahhh, good times.

4. And there really isn't a 4th thing on my list, it just seemed like a shame to end with only 3. Any ideas for surviving this stay which may last 1-2 months? Did I mention that I have no spending money and no vehicle to call my own at the moment?

I feel the need to explain, because I can't remember if I have already or not, that my husband is working in Virginia and rooming with a gentleman who is being very generous while letting my husband stay for free in return for help around the house. (I only WISH I could see this.) In the meantime I am at my mom's with my girl and we are dealing with it. I miss him. But we met half way today to go to church together and eat lunch.

Tomorrow I will have up a prayer request to go along with these circumstances.

Friday, April 9, 2010

Did I mention I'm packing this week?

Some things I know:

Almost all of my shirts have small holes around my belly. Why, oh why do they do this?

My daughter has one heckuva imagination. Oh yes she does.

God is very faithful. Oh yes He is.

My husband has been hearing really freaky things in this house he's been staying in.

Really freaky things.

Wearing fleece lined crocs in 80 degree weather while you pack is NOT a good idea.

I am a child of the LIVING God. Love that.

I miss my husband, but shhhhh, I might be enjoying this time more than I should. (the toilet seat is always down!!!)

I have a lot of crap jammed into our 700 square feet of happiness. (Our nickname for our house.) Yeah, we are very sarcastic.

If my daughter will still claim me after this week, then I am very blessed.

If I will still claim myself after this week then I'm in good shape.

If I am even coherent after this week then, wow, that would be amayzin.

We have used an unusual amount of toilet paper this week. Weird.

I can't blame that on my husband anymore.

I have too many clothes. I am not even really a fan of most of them. I blame it on clearance racks. They suck me in and I can't walk away without at least one piece of mismatch.

There is a huge box that I know I would fit in. I have contemplated emptying the contents and climbing in. I have a sudden urge to get away from it all and suck my thumb. But that would require me to unpack a box.
hahahahhahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahah, yeah right.

I am trying to convince myself that when you move out of a house you don't really have to pull out the appliances and clean under them. I know. Shame on me. Don't tell my mother. Ok, go ahead and tell her. It will guarantee her arrival in the next 9.5 hours.

I've packed up all my food. Smart choice? What do you think? But do you think in your right mind I am going to unpack one single box of food just to eat? Your crazy.

Besides my girl and I are getting along just fine consuming large amounts of Easter candy.

We're just fine I tell ya.

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Seriously

I'm packing this week.

Seriously.

Does anyone enjoy packing? I despise the idea of it. What is worse than figuring all your belongings into hand me down boxes and hoping they will hold up in transit? But then there's the unpacking. In my case I will be packing again in the future. I can't even stand the thought of it. Originally we were going to sell of everything we could before we left. But as I have been rummaging through my belongings I realized that I am thankful for them. I want them to be a part of our new beginning. They been through so much with us that I want them to share in the excitement of a little cabin on the edge of a hill.

Seriously.

Ok, I'm going too far. I'm tired. You see I've been packing this week. Our whole house by myself. With a 5 year old. A bored 5 year old. Oh, help me!

Ok, but seriously.

With each box I pack I am getting a little closer to the mountains of Virginia. It keeps me going. Especially when I just want to cry in the floor from exhaustion. It keeps me from cryin for my momma.

Mother, where are you? I need you to help me pack and clean. Your so good at it.

Just kidding.

My mom doesn't even read this blog. She doesn't even know I have a blog.

Back to the boxes. Except I ran out of boxes. Did I mention that I don't even have a car this week? Yeah, no boxes, no car.

Seriously.

Mommy?

Monday, April 5, 2010

Memorial Box Monday-Hot off the Press





This Memorial Box is only about 12 hours old. The story is far from being finished, which I think is so cool!

Over the past 2 months my husband has been unemployed, he has probably applied for well over 50 jobs. He is a worker and a hard one at that. He can do just about anything so he didn't care what the job was, he just wanted one.

He was starting to become very discouraged. Especially after a trip up to the Virginia Workforce place. They basically told him he wouldn't make more than 8 or 9 dollars an hour. Talk about a let down. He came home and just kept at it. Finally one day we got a call for an interview. My husband was so ecstatic! He went up to the interview and it went fantastic. This was his first interview since he lost his job and he tried not to get his hopes up. But he couldn't help it. The interviewer was very encouraging and basically got his hopes up for him.

He said we would hear something within 2 days. Oh how foolish we were to believe that! Ha! Every time that phone rang, we dove for it and were let down time again. When were they going to call???
A WEEK later we were both beside ourselves. We knew we would hear something either way and the suspense was not working for us. Last Tuesday morning we woke up and both knew that we would hear something. We were both on edge all day. Its funny because we didn't talk about it until later. We were so tired of talking about it that we didn't even mention that we both thought it would be that day. Every time I walked by the cell phone my stomach did funny flips. Ahhhh!


Then the phone rang.


My husband walked back into the bedroom and answered it.


Then he gave me a thumbs up.


Ah, sweet relief. Tears immediately came to my eyes at God's faithfulness. He had given us just the right job. The income was more than we thought we would get. He didn't allow my husband to interview for a million jobs and be turned down. God is so good. He knew what we could handle and what we couldn't.

My husband started his job at 7:30 this morning. We are so blessed.

But, that is NOT what I wanted to write about. This Memorial Box Monday post goes a lot more in depth than that!!

My husband needed a place to stay up there for only one month. Our plan was to buy a camper for our property this month so we wouldn't waste money on rent. Not ideal because we don't like debt. And this would put us in debt for a long time and we don't even have a vehicle to pull the thing with.

My husband ended up renting a room from a man who had had a stroke 7 months ago. He has been in rehab and his house has sat empty. He was coming home in a few days and was moving out of this house by the end of the month. He only wanted someone there for the month of April. (My guess is to just have someone be there. The poor man spent 3 days on the floor before someone found him) Coincidence? Yeah, right!!

My husband went yesterday to meet this gentleman. They had a good talk and I believe both felt comfortable with each other.

Now, let me just say that this house is over 4,000 sq.ft. It sits on the edge of a ridge and has an amazing view. My husband spent the evening last night watching deer behind the house. His favorite thing to do! He agreed to pay $500 to stay in the house this month. A lot in my opinion, but its such a huge house and probably well worth it. So, the man asked my husband if he would help him pack some things up before the move he could stay for free!!!! That's $500 of savings we can use elsewhere. Thank you Lord!! Being the worker that he is, and the servant, he agreed.

This gets even longer. I know! This gentleman has a friend. Barely a friend actually. This other man, we'll call him Burt (watching sesame street, can you tell?) owns the property next to this fabulous house. He's the one who found this man after his stoke and has been sort of like a son to him. Making sure his bills are paid, looking after the house, even paying some of his bills to help him out. Talk about a servant!!!

We'll Burt is trying to find a rental for this man to live in. The one he found would be perfect but it's too expensive. The man won't be able to go back to work for several more months and would need a tenant until then. Enter my husband. Did I mention that we would only need a place to stay (the camper) for a few months until our house is built?

Burt (still taking care of specifics for this man) offered my husband and our family the main part of the house for less than $300 per month. The man would live in the finished basement and would only need meals and light cleaning.

$300 would be about the same as a camper payment (not including a down payment.) It would also mean we wouldn't be in debt for the next 10 years. It would mean we could stay in a nice house instead of a camper. It would mean we would get a chance to witness to this man and Burt also. It would mean we could store our belongings in the basement instead of a storage unit. It would mean a lot of good for our family.

How cool is God that He would be at work on behalf of our family? How awesome that He would orchestrate these events before my husband even got to Virginia? I am so in awe of what He is doing to take care of us. Seeing His hand at work for us is so humbling.

This story isn't over yet. It has only just begun. I can't wait to get up there and live out this God ordained circumstance. There is nothing better than living inside of the will of God.

Yall, I have less than a week left here and then I am moving. I will spend the month of April with my parents. In one month, I will be in Virginia. The place we have dreamed about for so long. To say that my heart is overflowing is a huge understatement.

I am so happy to share this story with you. Please come back and see what else God has in store for us. It is sure to be exciting!!!!

Sunday, April 4, 2010

Easter

We dyed eggs. We hunted them. We bought fancy new dresses. We pigged out from a wicker basket filled with yummy candy. My girl got a Barbie.


But make no mistake.


We are celebrating the risen Jesus Christ.

The One who was God and man. The One who went willingly to a cross.

Lately I have wondered who in my life truly loves me. I have been asking God to speak to me about this. I need His opinion. He spoke. Very vividly.

Picture the usual scene of the crucifixion. Remember how He was beaten and mocked and spit upon. Remember all of those intense details. Don't just remember them. Read about them. Put yourself there.

Imagine that all of this happened over 2,000 years ago. And then imagine that you were the only person on this earth who would sin. Imagine that Jesus would go willingly to that cross 2,000 years ago knowing that in 1980, the only sinner would be born. Can you imagine that He would still go through all of what He went through. Would He do that for me? If I were the only one ever to need a Savior, would He still do it?

It is hard to understand that kind of love, but yes He would still die for me alone.

When I close my eyes in the quiet of the night I picture Him walking with that cross. I see all of those people not understanding why He is putting Himself through that. They all wonder because there is not a sinner among them. But little do they know that thousands of years later one sinner would be born to need a Savior. Me. I believe He would have nailed Himself to that cross for me if He had to.

When I think that He would indeed to that for me and me alone, I know He is the only one that loves me like I need to be loved. I never have to question how much He loves me. I just need to close my eyes and watch Him go willingly to that cross.

It is truly unbelievable.

The reality is that we all need a Savior. When we think of it in such a broad spectrum like that, it is easy to feel left out. I do all the time. I think it is good for us to envision Him singling us out to love us so much.

Tonight I was having a conversation with my daughter about Jesus' second coming. We talked about watching the eastern sky and how He will come from the clouds to take us with Him to heaven. One of her bajillion questions was this:

What if Jesus forgets me?

I told her that when me, daddy and her go to walmart and we turn around and realize she isn't there, we start to look for her. We call for her. We don't stop until we find her.

I told her God will have thousands of people with Him (really a LOT more than that, but for the sake of her little brain I said thousands) but He would know if she wasn't there. He'd call for her and look for her until she was found. Again, its not likely that she won't be there since she has already prayed the sinner's prayer, but she can't understand the logistics of the 2nd coming. Heck, I can barely understand it.

The point is that God would know immediately that one of His children were missing. Immediately. And He would call for you.

It is a struggle for me to sometimes accept Jesus' love as personal. I envision Him loving the whole world. And yes, that world includes me, but I just can't personalize it.

When I get these little thoughts in my head, I sense that God is trying to grow me in this area. I never had a parent who made me feel special. My mom was a single mom with 3 kids. She was busy. My dad was an alcoholic. My step dad was, well, my step dad. I want that so badly that sometimes I make my poor husband miserable. But the Lord is the ONLY One who can love me like that.

His love is personal for each of us.

Happy Easter. I hope your celebration of the risen Lord was sweet.

Saturday, April 3, 2010

One time I prayed that God would somehow provide some praise and worship music for me for free. When I prayed this I envisioned someone walking up to me and giving me a great praise and worship CD. Even though a praise and worship CD would be something worth the money spent, I still couldn't justify buying anything that wasn't a necessity. Besides, wouldn't it be more fun if the Lord decided which praise He wanted me to have.


By the next day I forgot I had prayed that prayer. Do you ever do that?

A few months ago our music minister approached me about singing on our church's Praise Team. I am not a professional. I love to sing and I can carry a tune. I was a little surprised, but I accepted. If anything, I could enjoy the singing. The "training" couldn't hurt either. And by training I mean the experience I could get being up on a stage in front of people without forgetting my words. I get bad stage fright. I block out the whole experience of singing special music. Sometimes I sit down and wonder if anyone clapped. Not that they should but I just couldn't remember if they did.

I have so enjoyed the experience. While our music minister probably wishes I had a little more stage presence, I am getting more comfortable. I can't exactly engage the crowd, but I can actually glance in their general direction for a few seconds. Besides, (here is where I insert my opinion) I'm not there to put on a show. The words to our songs are put on a big screen for the congregation and the musicians have one in the back as well. I need to look at those words. Being on the stage makes me nervous and I need the words. I don't exactly want to be fumbling for words into the mic while others are trying to worship. But that's not the only reason. If I keep my eyes on the words, not only can I keep my place, but I can concentrate on the words a lot easier. I can concentrate on the Lord.

Maybe that is why I will never be "good" at the Praise Team. I don't put on a show. I can't. I won't. I want to be transparent. If I'm feeling a little nervous or if I just want to concentrate on the words, that is what your going to see.

This week I have been packing. More on this later. Going through all the crap I have found numerous CD's shoved on, around and in my stereo. I grabbed the garbage bag, my best friend, and decided to just toss most of the CD's since I knew they were all practice CD's.

Then I had my aha moment. Practice CD's full of praise and worship songs. For free.

The Lord had heard the prayer I prayed in passing. He heard and He loves me enough to give me what I ask.

Lord, thank You for opening my eyes to Your great provision. And for Your great provision.

Thursday, March 25, 2010

The Ugly Duckling

We have a pond behind our house. Its sort of an oasis in the city. It usually stays dry. It takes a lot of rain to put water in it. And when that happens I always welcome my duck friends. We like to run out on the back deck and feed them. What is it about feeding ducks that makes us feel good?

I noticed the ducks today and had some old bread that I knew they would enjoy. We have a group of four. Three are mallards and I don't know what the other one is. One of the mallards is small. His feathers are slightly discolored and he usually stays back a bit from the group. It fascinates me. Maybe this is because it reminds me of myself.

So I snuck out to the porch because sometimes I'm selfish and like to feed the ducks by myself. Besides, the girl was sick on the couch and I was in need of a few minutes. I'm so very thankful for that 5 minutes.

I watched that ugly duckling try to get his fair share of bread. The others were downright mean. They would try to chase him away. I felt terrible for him. And I may have called them "freaking mean ducks." I'll never tell.

So I purposely threw bread in this little ugly duck's direction. He was elated. He would run in every direction to snatch up the bread. Maybe he felt special??? I hope so.

The other three snooty ducks got bored and made their way back into the water. My duck friend waited a few moments before he joined them. I noticed he never quite made it within 5 feet or so. One time he actually dared to join them in their circle. He was chased off immediately.

After a few minutes he came back to me alone and tried to eat up more of the bread. All along he would raise his head and make sure his "friends" hadn't left him.

My heart was broken. And I wondered if the Lord looks down on me with a broken heart. I want so badly to be accepted that I'm willing to follow along like a puppy dog. And really, why would I want anything to do with a person who treats me that way? I never thought I 'd be dealing with these emotions on the eve of my 30th birthday.

We want so badly to be accepted by those moms who have it all together. We are so insecure in ourselves that we waddle along behind our "friends" hoping that they will notice us. But in reality, we are lonely. Oh, sometimes we'll waddle back to the One who blesses us. The One who loves us and gives us extra bread and blessing. We'll spend a few minutes collecting our bread. But our heads always come up looking around making sure that we haven't been left or forgotten. Then we waddle back trying to fit in where we don't belong. In the world.

I am so thankful that the Lord gave this story to me. This doesn't happen often, so when it does I want to think it through and make sure I'm learning what I need to learn.

Insecurity has haunted me my entire life. I have vivid memories of being maybe 6 or 7 and asking a little girl to be my friend. She wouldn't. In kindergarten, a girl told me she didn't want to be my friend anymore. In elementary school my boy haircut, that my mom thought was so cute, made me an outcast. In middle school my clothes were so out of fashion. I hated the cheap shoes I had to wear because it seemed like everyone was always standing in a circle talking about how great their shoes were. In high school I was the third wheel plagued by depression and a suicide attempt. I didn't think my mother loved me. I didn't think anyone loved me.

I still have a hard time feeling like I'm loved by those around me. I feel like I'm one of those people you could take or leave. In my head, I know better. But to actually feel this in my heart, like I am loved, is a hard thing.
I could probably go on for a long time about how insecure I feel daily. I won't.

Instead, I am going to think on all the verses of scripture that tells me otherwise.

Got any good ones for me?

Monday, March 22, 2010

Memorial Box Monday


This is a very recent story. I hope you enjoy it and are encouraged by God's perfect timing.
It has been nearly two months since my husband lost his job. Right afterward I suggested that we go up north and spend some time with my husband's family. They really don't get equal time compared to my parents since my parents make trips south to see us often.
I knew that we could take our time traveling and even just go with the flow once we got there. It was sure to be a change from our hectic drive and spend a few days and drive again. My husband thought it would be nice but didn't want to spend the gas money for this 10 hour trip. I knew it was no use trying to convince him. (Have you ever noticed that it has to be their idea? Sometimes I know for sure that we are supposed to do something but he never listens. I've learned to let it go. It will eventually come around again if indeed God is in it. And the next time around, they will be all for it. Uhhh!!)
Fast forward a month. We "splurged" after church a few weeks ago at Micky D's since they had a great deal on their cheese burgers. We were enjoying "eating out" and my husband just casually mentions that he thinks we should go up to see his family. Here we go. I agree and we start to make plans. We seriously would have left the next day if it weren't for a prior engagement. It kept us in town one more week and we set off the next Sunday. One a side note even though it is slightly stressful that my husband is not employed I have truly enjoyed the flexibility with having him home all the time. It will be so sad when he does get a job and has to go back to a schedule.
God's timing couldn't have been more perfect. We left in the early hours of Sunday morning with no real set plan.

We stopped off in the beautiful state of Virginia to visit our property.
It still sits with the very beginnings of a foundation.

We were pleasantly surprised to see that we still had a lot of old snow on our property.


We had a blast playing in it since it had been years since we had seen any at all.

We took our time getting up to West Virginia where my husband's family lives. We got in late Sunday night. Monday morning we got up and walked down the street to visit my husband's very sick grandmother. We call her Mom. Mom and Pops. Mom had just gotten home from the hospital. She was in stage 4 cancer and just needed some blood. She lay very very still on the couch while we visited. It was still a great visit. Before we got to their house my husband walked down first. He truly felt led to speak with Mom about her salvation. Mom had been a hard lady. At one point she was walking with the Lord, but that had been a long time ago. My husband spoke with her and she gently reassured him that she had trusted the Lord with all her heart.
This was especially good because of some questionable practices by their church. I may be naive, but apparently they believe that your name must be on the church roll to get into heaven. Mom had been a member once many many years ago, but took her name off somewhere along the line. The preacher and some of the deacons were concerned for her salvation because she was not a member. My husband was borderline irate that they wanted her to come to church and join. This lady could barely move off the couch. I was borderline irate.
Let me just stop and say this. Jesus says in the Bible that He is the Way, the Truth, and the Life. No man comes to the Father but by Him. Period. Nothing else will get you to heaven. Jesus is the only way. And trust me, He's the only thing worth having.
Praise God that we all had such a wonderful visit with Mom. Two days later her wobbly legs gave out on her and she fell very hard against the gas stove, hitting her head. She passed away five minutes after arriving at the ER.

God allowed us to be there just the right time. Not only to get to see her one last time alive, but that my husband had the opportunity to speak to her about her salvation.
Had we gone when I wanted to it would have been a month too soon. Had my husband not had a prior commitment that kept us in town another week, it would have been a week too soon. I am so grateful that God cared enough about our family to get us there in perfect timing.

Sometimes it is hard to see His hand at work in our lives. But I am so thankful that He lets us get even just a glimpse to remind us that He is with us.
When we actually get a memorial box something will go in there with the word "mom" on it. It will remind us that God's timing is incredibly perfect.

Won't you head over to A Place called Simplicity and read other story's of God's greatness?