Monday, September 26, 2011

God's Protection

"And it shall come to pass, that before they call, I will answer; and while they are yet speaking, I will hear." Isaiah 65:24
Yesterday was such a busy day! It was Moving Day!
The kids and I had went back up north to Mondovi to our home to get a head start on cleaning and more packing. Friday night Jason came home with a dump truck and a 20ft trailer. Saturday morning we loaded things in to the dump truck first. By the afternoon, we had help from Mike and Kris, which was such a big help! As we emptied out rooms, I would shampoo the carpets. By evening, we were done! All we had left were items to get us through the night and more cleaning supplies.
Saturday night we took memorable pictures with the Schlagel's kids, Casey and Carter (Colin was home and was probably sad for missing out on pictures...ha!). Then we took pictures with our neighbor, Mrs. Marten.
Sunday morning, we finished loading the truck and trailer...it was packed!! The little neighbor girls came over and we were able to get pictures with them too. Jessica was sad to leave them :(
I finished cleaning the house and then we were off...well, after a doughnut pick-up and a gas fill-up :)
Jason had wanted me to follow him so I could keep an eye on the truck and trailer so we didn't end up having an interstate rummage sale...which wouldn't have been so bad considering that we have SOOO much stuff!! Haha!
As we started out, I quickly saw that we needed more bunggie cords. So we stopped and picked up a few more. Once secure, we hit the interstate. 20 min. later I see my first bunggie cord go flying through the air then another and then the tarp was on the verge of uncovering our stuff!! I called Jason and we pulled over. Rain was also in the forecast, so as we are pulled over and Jason is trying to secure the tarp, it starts to rain. We finally get the tarp secure with some rope and with a little bunggie cord rearranging.
Earlier, before we left, I quickly said a prayer for safety, but as we started out on the interstate once again after fixing the tarp and me following behind, I prayed more specifically! I prayed that no more bunggie cords would fall off and that the tarp would stay on securely. I wasn't even finished with my prayer when I had a vision of God's Hand coming down from heaven and placing it around the truck and trailer. At that same moment His Spirit came across my heart and soul and reassured me that He was protecting us. I was speechless as I felt His presence and tears filled my eyes...tears of joy and peace in knowing that we would make the trip.
After driving through a few rain storms, losing an empty oil bottle, one potty break, a lunch stop, and a few adjustments with the trailer lights...WE MADE IT!!! No more trouble with the bunggie cords or tarp!! Thank you, Lord!!
My sister and her kids had come on out to help us unpack. All the kids helped and did a great job!
After unloading the trailer and nearing the end of unloading the dump truck, Molly noticed some green fluid running under the truck. We soon realized that it was brake fluid! The line had a leak and it all came out. After Jason had taken a look, he said, "We are lucky we even made it home". He backed the truck up a little bit more once we had everything unloaded and he said the brake pedal hits the floor. There was no way he could take it back to his friend's house...the brakes were gone! God's protection went beyond what we had ever expected!! He most definitely protected us!!
I was in awe last night and was still in awe this morning!! I felt the verse I wrote fit perfectly with how our trip went. He was already protecting us even before we asked.
I am thankful that the worst part of moving is over! Now the "fun" part begins...trying to figure out where to put everything! This house is smaller than our other, so it's going to be a bit of a challenge of trying to figure out where to put things, but it will all work out and will all come together.
Thank you to all who prayed for us these last few months of searching, then finding, then moving. We appreciate it so much!!
Please continue to keep us in prayer during this week as we unpack...or should I say, "I unpack"...haha!! :)
Sent from my Verizon Wireless BlackBerry

Friday, September 16, 2011

God's Hand Was in it All from the Beginning!!

I am so thankful for the people that God has brought into my life and am so thankful for Facebook!! :) Facebook has allowed me to keep in touch with my family and friends from back home.
Ever since announcing that we were moving back, I have had several people eager to help us find a place to live! I want to thank all those who have passed along rental information. I called pretty much every one of them!
Craigslist is another wonderful asset. I was stalking craigslist several times a day! It was sad when I would wake up in the middle of the night and check craigslist or it be the first thing I'd check in the morning.
As I had mentioned in my previous post, there were days when I felt discouraged and thought we would NEVER find a place, where I would just cry out to God and ask, "Where do You want us to be? What do You have in store for us? Please show us!"
A few weeks ago, we truly thought we had found a place and that the couple were going to rent out the place to us. All of it was perfect: 3 bedrooms, garage, basement, and a great secluded location worry free of crazy neighbor kids! Then after coming down, even with cleaning supplies to clean "our house", it was given to someone else...ugh! The frustration really played out in me that day...if you read my post "Frustrated". Satan was attacking me at every angle, every thought, everything! After a few hours at the park with the kids, I began to pray and give it back to God. Peace washed over once again...it's such an awesome feeling to take the burdens off and place them at the feet of Jesus!!
The kids and I came back home up North last Sunday. Monday morning a friend of mine passes along some info on a rental. She told me to look her up in her friends list. So I did. After a few emails of getting information and setting up a time, I was trying not to get my hopes up after getting several disappointments for the last month. Tuesday morning she called me. Sometime during our conversation, I began to feel the presence of God and as the day progressed, I truly felt His hand moving and working! By evening, I couldn't sleep! I was overwhelmed by all that took place that night! It was truly indescribable! I KNEW this is where God was leading us to!
At times I felt, maybe I gave her too much information, or maybe she thinks I'm a nut case and will change her mind! Lol! You see, I found out she was a Christian in our Tuesday morning conversation. As the day progressed, I was surprised that she sent a "friend request" to me on Facebook. I thought, "great, she'll for sure see I'm a nut case!! Lol!! Jk ;) So I risked it and thought, "why not?" Ha!
I also wanted to make sure she knew that I truly wanted her to feel God's leading in who they chose to rent their place out too. She later shared with me what God had laid on her heart to share with me. It touched me more than she'll know!
So things were looking up! She told me that our current landlord gave us and "excellent" report and that they're sad to see us leave....I'm sad too :( God has blessed us with a wonderful rental here and blessed us with two wonderful neighbors and blessed a blossoming friendship with my friend Kris. So yes, I am sad to leave, but am looking forward to what God has in store for us!
Thursday we were still kinda waiting for that final "Yes, it's yours" type thing when she emailed and said she was waiting for an email back from his job. We thought, "great, they will never reply!". I still felt that it would all work out. Later she pretty much said that it was hopeless to wait for their response and for us to START PACKING!!! Haha!! I was thrilled!! The kids were saying, "YAY! We finally have a house!!". Jason was relieved! I was happy just to stop making my cardboard house plans! "Thanks, Brenda for saving your cereal boxes!" Lol!!
It has been no fun being separated as a family and now finally it's all coming together :)
We truly felt blessed these last several days and are in awe of how He worked everything out! God is amazing :)
Ok so, it's a 3 bedroom duplex with 2 bathrooms (praise God! Lol!), two car garage, and is in Lyons. And we can move in now! Now, "I" have yet to see it and had totally put my trust in my husbands judgment!! Lol! I'm sure it's perfect :)
Our plan: ok, we have no plan, but if we did have a plan, here's what it would be: Jason is coming home tonight with a trailer. Tomorrow we are going to the dump to get rid of old couches and our dead tv and entertainment center. (Again, God's hands has been it all...Jason's sister didn't know we were getting rid of our couches and she had offered to give us a couch she didn't need AND an entertainment center!!). Then on Saturday after the dump, we'll pick up another trailer from the Schlagels, come home and load up the trailers. We are hoping to move in two weekends to avoid a moving truck.
That's all I know for now :)
Anyways, thanks again for all those who helped and prayed!! I hope after reading my blog, you could see how God was working in our lives.
Sent from my Verizon Wireless BlackBerry

Thursday, September 15, 2011

The Search is Over!!

Where to begin? First and foremost, "Thank you, Jesus for providing a home for us and getting us through this journey!". Secondly, thank you to all of those who have faithfully prayed for our family. Your prayers were felt during our times when we felt frustrated or when we needed encouragement and strength.
We've grown closer as a family since we moved up North a year ago and I feel that in itself was a blessing from God. I didn't see it at first, but now I do.
I would have never thought that it would have taken us THIS long to be able to find a place to live, but I feel that God was teaching us many things: faith, trust, patience, peace, and to wait.
We stepped out in faith and sought Him when making the decision to change jobs and we knew that God would provide for us if that's where He wanted us to be. Now we needed to step out in faith in knowing that He would provide our every need.
"Wherefore, if God so clothe the grass of the field, which to day is, and to morrow is cast into the oven, shall he not much more clothe you, O ye of little faith?
Therefore take no thought, saying, What shall we eat? or, What shall we drink? or, Wherewithal shall we be clothed?
(For after all these things do the Gentiles seek:) for your heavenly Father knoweth that ye have need of all these things.
But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you.
Take therefore no thought for the morrow: for the morrow shall take thought for the things of itself. Sufficient unto the day is the evil thereof." Matthew 6:30-34
Once Jason had accepted the job, we knew what lay ahead...him going down and staying the week with his brother so he could start his new job and the kids and I stay up North and I would house hunt on line or by word of mouth. When we moved up here, everything took place within 3 weeks. The kids and I came up for a week and found a house within two days and we moved a week later...wa la!!
So sure, it was easy to say, "Oh, God will provide" but as days turned to weeks and weeks turned into a month, I began to doubt at times. The kids and I would come down and help look for places and we would find a place and say, "Ah this would be perfect!". We said that for many places. Or we would call and never get calls back, or we would call back only to find out it was given to someone else. Not only did we need faith, but we needed to trust.
"Trust in the Lord with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding.
In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths." Proverbs 3:5-6
Many times I would cry out to Him in frustration, "God! What are Your plans for us? Where do You want us? Please show us!" Immediately these verses came to mind:
"For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, saith the Lord.
For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways, and my thoughts than your thoughts." Isaiah 55:8-9
"For I know the thoughts I think toward you, saith the Lord, thoughts of peace, and not of evil, to give you an expected end.
Then shall ye call upon me, and ye shall go and pray unto me, and I will hearken unto you.
And ye shall seek me, and find me, when ye search for me with all your heart.
And I will be found of you, saith the Lord:" Jeremiah 29:11-14a
Now that we had put our faith and trust in Him in knowing that He would provide, we now needed to be patient, ask for peace, and wait.
"Knowing this, that the trying of your faith worketh patience.
But let patience have her perfect work, that ye may be perfect and entire, wanting nothing." James 1:3-4
"Thou wilt keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on thee: because he trusteth in thee." Isaiah 26:3
Days when I felt at peace, I had to work hard in reassuring the kids that God would provide, that He would work everything out, yet at the same time reassuring myself.
"And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose." Romans 8:28
I feel that God wanted our total surrender to Him, our total trust, and our complete faith in knowing that He would provide in His perfect time. We needed to be patient, have peace, and to wait on Him.
"I waited patiently for the Lord; and he inclined unto me, and heard my cry." Psalms 40:1
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Friday, September 2, 2011

The Back Seat Driver...Get to the End of the Story

Remember the days of learning how to drive and how you hated the way you were told "how" to drive? "Do this, don't do that, slow down, go a little faster, BREAKS!!". I would say, "I know how to drive, stop being my back seat driver".
When I got married, I found myself doing the same thing to my husband. "Slow down, turn there, turn here" gripping the side door or pushing my foot into the floor board "willing" the car to slow down! Lol!! Yes, his crazy driving scared me sometimes. I just wanted to take the wheel and take over the driving! I knew we'd be ok, I just had to relax and let him just drive and had been reminded a few times to "stop being a back seat driver".
Sometimes I am like that with God. I say to Him, "Lead me, Lord", but am I really willing to let Him lead me? I am too quick to just want to take over the wheel and say, "here, let me do it, this way is better".
I can be impatient at times. This summer I have thoroughly enjoyed reading! I get really involved with a book and will sometimes think, "ugh, hurry up with this story line and get to the point and the happy ending". The book will take you through a person's life and show you the many hardships the person had endured to get where God had wanted them to be. And in the end, God was glorified through it all. I sometimes have the same attitude with God. "Hurry up, God, get to the good part in my life where there's a happy ending!". But if He did, what would I have learned from it all? He has been teaching me sooo much these last few months!! Surrendering, faith, and trust. If we just skipped to the end and missed all the in between, I may have missed out on all that God has been teaching me.
God is my "driver", I am the passenger. I need to sit back and relax and know that wherever He leads, I will follow. At the end of my "story", God will be glorified.
Proverbs 3:5-6
"Trust in the Lord with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding.
In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths."
Sent from my Verizon Wireless BlackBerry

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Lead Us Lord....

My theme verse lately: Jeremiah 29:11 "For I know the thoughts I think toward you, saith the Lord, thoughts of peace, and not of evil, to give you an expected end."
You Lead ~Jamie Grace