Friday, July 30, 2010

Going to be a Working Woman....Maybe?

I just applied for a job. I am still in shock. Greg just told me that now that I am almost employed he is going to take a nap. Whatever. I applied for a job as a greeter at the Hartland Meijer, but Greg is calling my mom to tell her that she should apply. I cannot believe this. I am going to get this job - I just know it. I was just in Meijer and looked at a girl working there, noticed her khaki pants and navy shirt, and thought that I could do that. I walked in the door here at home and Greg told me about the job. I am just going to be working there. I know it.

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

No Go on DHS - Our Choice

So, we did not proceed with the DHS filing. We went there and sat for 50 minutes waiting for our appointment. The longer we sat, the more we thought we were not supposed to be there. I do not mean that we were "too good" to be there, I mean that we were not "desperate" enough to be there. OK I WAS desperate, but we did not need like the people there did - yet. Oh there were some who I almost think wanted to be there, but then there were others.....oh Greg and I had tears in our eyes as we watched. We were finally taken back for our appointment and our "case worker" was the sweetest lady. As all 6 of us huddled in her cubical, Greg and I started to explain that we did not think we needed to be there. But we (OK I) was so scared, that I just ran in there without even really thinking (or praying) it through. As I was sitting there I started crying again. Jacob was standing next to me, and he looked at the lady and asked her if she had any tape? She looked at him with a puzzled look, and he said "so I can tape her mouth shut". He was referring to me. He did not mean it to be mean. Rather, he was so tired of watching me cry in public he just wanted to keep me quiet. I love that. He is really so sweet.

So we decided that we would wait 30 days before proceeding - as that is how long our application is good for. As we were walking out, Greg was talking to the lady about how we could help out or give back. How cool is that? We have not even gotten ourselves out of our valley and he is already thinking about how he could help others. That is crazy cool. Jesus be praised!!!!

Monday, July 26, 2010

Major Humbling

Today was a different sort of day for me. After taking the kids to the dentist, I stopped in to the Department of Human Services and ended up crying at the counter. I inadvertently walked into the WIC (Women, Infants and Children) office and the sweet gal behind the counter rubbed my hand as I tried to tell her my name. I had 3 of 4 kids there with me and was totally choked by the words "my husband just lost his job". She kindly told me that they could definitely help me and then tried to get my information. I could not even get it out. I was a wreck. My kids were trying to get me to stop crying and that made me feel even worse. Finally I was able to get an appointment set up and the lady there encouraged me to go next door to the "bridge card/medicaid" section and "apply for everything" - which I aptly did. Even more humbling. After filling out the 20 page application, I was given an appointment to come back tomorrow for an interview. I'll let you know how it goes. But one thing is for sure, I have a new understanding for people like me - people who are down and out, for whatever reason - I'll bet they enjoy it as much as I did. It is horrible, but it is nice to be able to get assistance when you need it. (I am already assuming that we are getting it) God is really stretching and growing us through this. As with all growth - I HATE IT!!!! But I know that there is blessing hidden around the next corner, and God's blessing is worth some pain. The Bible is filled to overflowing with promises that I am holding tightly to. Without God, a time like this is miserable at best. Knowing that God is for us and has a plan to prosper and not harm us (Romans 8:31; Jeremiah 29:11) is what makes going through a time "such as this" (Esther) stomachable.

Greg had to go to the unemployment office while I was at the DHS. His experience was relatively similar, exceptionally humbling and very eye opening. He thought he was going to run into a snag because we have been in 2 state over the past 18 months and he did. However, he was able to connect with a persn who was able to help him. After a waiting period, we should be geting the unemployment checks. The companies still have opportunities to refuse us. I can't even imagine how that is possible, but apparently it is. We are praying feverishly that this does not happen, and even more feverishly that the right job will materialize. Until then we MUST "Praise the Lord, and carry on." Otherwise, the complete stress of a situation like this will eat us alive. Jesus, be praised!

Sunday, July 25, 2010

Hearing from God's Word

I can hardly believe how God's Word is speaking to me each day.

Sunday, July 25, 2010

Therefore, since we are receiving a kingdom that cannot be shaken, let us be thankful, and so worship God acceptably with reverence and awe – Hebrews 12:28

Commentary: The Scripture is clear that God has a fierce love for us. So fierce that He will shake anything that tries to compete with Him. Why do many of our plans come into opposition? Could it be from the One who will not allow the deceit of success to carry us away from Him? This is not to say that God is against success – He wants to bless His children. But He knows where false worship will lead us and will shake everything until even success takes it’s place under His majesty and glory. He will bring us back to the first commandment to have no other gods but Him.

Was success getting in the way of complete worship of God? If I am honest, I would say yes. Not totally - but even a little is too much. Even though it was false, I know I held onto security in a job.

Monday July 26, 2010

Remain in me, and I will remain in you. No branch can bear fruit by itself; it must remain in the vine. Neither can you bear fruit unless you remain in me. – John 15:4

Commentary: This is both sobering and liberating! To experience a growing, vibrant spiritual life with Jesus is not just an intellectual exercise. Nor is it and exhausting series of good deeds. It is in remaining in the vine that our fulfillment comes. From the vine comes knowledge and good works, but now it’s from a position of having experienced God’s love and acceptance. We must resist the urge to do things to get God’s acceptance. He is offering us a resting place with Him with amazing results.

The neat thing about this is that I was really concerned today that we were "doing more" than we should. I was running errands and so was Greg and for a minute I thought that maybe WE were doing too much and not letting God. Then I talked to Krystel and she was telling me about an email (although fictitious) about a poor woman who died and when she asked God why He did not help her, He asked her why she did not take advantage of all the programs He put into place. Now - these programs are clearly governmental (and very scary) but I think that when used properly can be a great assistance to those who need them.

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Thursday July 22, 2010

Today it happened. The long and short of it is that Greg got "let go" from Lear. I am at Krystel and Steve's house - not even home to be with him. But there is so much good that is coming from this, that we cannot even see the "bad".

- No more stress for Greg from LP at Lear - no more dreading going to work.
- Greg was able to go up north with his dad for the golf outing a day earlier than he had planned.
- DBV for today: Trust in the LORD with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make your paths straight. – Proverbs 3:5-6
Commentary: To live by God’s words will challenge our current understanding of “the way things ought to be”. One of the things that make the Scripture alive is that it cuts across our habit patterns and ways of thinking. This is painful, but if we surrender to God’s wisdom, we find that many of the bad decisions we used to make start to diminish. To venture into the uncomfortable views of the Bible is greater than staying in the familiar patterns of our own understanding. This is how HE will make our paths straight.
- Neither of us (Greg or I) are worried, afraid or concerned (and this is HUGE!)
- Greg has been talking to some different people and there may be some possibilities, which before I put the cart before the horse, I am entrusting to God.
- In fact, we are trusting EVERYTHING to God because He will take care of us.

Let's go back to the not being afraid thing.....this is so amazing to me. I was talking to Greg about this and he told me that he was not afraid either. Then I laughed. Rather...giggled. Greg asked me if I thought this was funny. I told him no, but I was tickled by the whole thing. This is so much a blessing that we can't even see the bad parts. I mean, we don't have a job and the insurance runs out, but God provides and I trust with all that I am that He will provide here. It is so exciting for me - in fact, I am sitting here smiling (which I have done a lot today). And this is certainly by the precious grace of God - giving me peace and comfort in the midst of a dark time. Oh yeah.... I was reading in my NLT Bible this afternoon and this is what I read:

Psalm 23 (New Living Translation)
A psalm of David.
The Lord is my shepherd;
I have all that I need.
He lets me rest in green meadows;
he leads me beside peaceful streams.
He renews my strength.
He guides me along right paths,
bringing honor to his name.
Even when I walk
through the darkest valley,
I will not be afraid,
for you are close beside me.
Your rod and your staff
protect and comfort me.
You prepare a feast for me
in the presence of my enemies.
You honor me by anointing my head with oil.
My cup overflows with blessings.
Surely your goodness and unfailing love will pursue me
all the days of my life,
and I will live in the house of the Lord

Let me tell you about this.....

- He is all I need
- Greg needs to rest and have his strength renewed
- As we walk through this "darkest valley", we are not afraid because He is with us (Praise Him)
- He will protect and comfort us (and He is)
- We are being blessed beyond imagination

God is so good to us. So infinitely good. I never in a million years would have thought that approximately 12 hours after my husband lost his job I would be so happy, but we serve an Amazing God, who is infinitely wiser than we could ever try to be and He knows what is best for us. Know what was not best for Greg? Working at Lear. Thank you Lord. Greg would never have quit because he was so miserable - he had responsibilities (his words, not mine), but because God loves him more than anything, He made a way for Greg to have rest and renewal. And I believe with all my heart that God has something so much better in store for Greg.

All of this and I am sitting in a comfy chair, with the widows opened and a nice breeze blowing in, and it is raining. God is so good to me!!!!! Oh yeah.....and I have never been more excited for my sweet husband's golf outing weekend. He deserves a nice rest and I pray that he will get it.

Just read the Daily GPS from Bloomington First Church of the Nazarene for today. It talks about anger. Fitting for today, huh? Then it goes on to talk about righteous indignation - anger that is ok. In fact, it is ok to be angry, just not to sin (Ephesians 4:26 KJV). I think (modestly so) that this is what happened today. Please understand that I am not "tooting my horn", just hashing thoughts and processing what I am learning. But I think that this is how both Greg and I handled this situation. I guess I can only really speak for myself (because I was not with Greg) but through God's grace (again) I was able to be angry at the situation and not really at the people. That is big - especially for the momma bear in me. Someone messed with my family and that does not please me. But vengeance is God's, not mine. Like a wise old man once said....."Praise the Lord, and carry on." And that is what we will do. Praise you forever, Lord, forever!

Sunday, July 18, 2010

Late Night Phone Call

Friday night (I guess it was Saturday morning) at 12:19am, my cell phone rang. Greg answered it and no one answered. I took the phone and tried, but my phone has been acting up and the screen does not really show who is calling. Oh, BTW - my kids were spending the night at grandma and grandpa's house. I was finally able to see that it was my cousin Becky calling me, so I called her back. Her phone went to voice mail, so I left her a message telling her to call me so I knew she was ok. I went back to bed but was very nervous, so I prayed for Becky. I must have fallen asleep because at 12:31am I woke back up and was worried that she had not called my back. I started panicking because "what if something was wrong and she called me because she knew I would follow through and make sure she was ok"? I called her again and again it went to voice mail. I left another message telling her no matter the time to call me back. I apparently fell asleep again. At 1:43am my phone rang again. It was Becky and she was ok! She was working and her phone must have dialed me from her bag. She laughed at my "worrywart" ways, but I was just glad that she was ok despite my lack of sleep.

More Insight

Saturday July 17 DBV

Romans 8:31-34 – If God is for us, who can be against us? I had just reminded Greg of this on this very day. I love how God is talking straight to us through this DBV!!!!

Sunday July 18

God also said to Moses, “Say to the Israelites, ‘The LORD, the God of your fathers—the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac and the God of Jacob—has sent me to you.’ This is my name forever, the name by which I am to be remembered from generation to generation.” – Exodus 3:15 This didn't speak directly to me until I read the commentary.

Commentary: "Notice that God refers to Himself as the God to be remembered from generation to generation. Many times we want to surround ourselves with just our age group, but God is multi generational. The young need the wisdom of the old, and the old need the innovation of the young. To get past our generational prejudices is essential if we want to glorify Him to the nations."

Just as we were getting ready to head out to church, I read this. And we have been looking (before Illinois and now too) for a smaller church that combines the old with the young. I agree completely with the commentary that we all have something to learn from each other. This is why we are looking for a church like this.

Then we went to church. The church that we are going to now is Brighton Christian Church. They do communion every Sunday and someone different does the communion devotion. The gentleman that got up to speak today spoke God's words directly to Greg. He first started talking about casting our cares on God - and how that means "throwing them fast and hard", not slowly pushing them and then taking them back. And then as if that was not enough, he said that he felt that "someone in the room" needed to hear the words from Psalm 91.

Psalm 91
He who dwells in the shelter of the Most High
will rest in the shadow of the Almighty.
I will say of the LORD, "He is my refuge and my fortress,
my God, in whom I trust."
Surely he will save you from the fowler's snare
and from the deadly pestilence.
He will cover you with his feathers,
and under his wings you will find refuge;
his faithfulness will be your shield and rampart.
You will not fear the terror of night,
nor the arrow that flies by day,
nor the pestilence that stalks in the darkness,
nor the plague that destroys at midday.
A thousand may fall at your side,
ten thousand at your right hand,
but it will not come near you.
You will only observe with your eyes
and see the punishment of the wicked.
If you make the Most High your dwelling—
even the LORD, who is my refuge-
then no harm will befall you,
no disaster will come near your tent.
For he will command his angels concerning you
to guard you in all your ways;
they will lift you up in their hands,
so that you will not strike your foot against a stone.
You will tread upon the lion and the cobra;
you will trample the great lion and the serpent.
"Because he loves me," says the LORD, "I will rescue him;
I will protect him, for he acknowledges my name.
He will call upon me, and I will answer him;
I will be with him in trouble,
I will deliver him and honor him.
With long life will I satisfy him
and show him my salvation."

I could barely contain myself. This is really the best time in my life!!!!!

Friday, July 16, 2010

God Speaking

I am going through my emails and it appears that I have not been on here in a couple of days. Each day I get a Daily Bible Verse sent to me and it is so cool to read through them.

From Wednesday July 14 (the day I spent time crying out to God in my prayer room, not even knowing what to pray for, but knowing I needed Him to work in the situation)
For this is what the high and lofty One says— he who lives forever, whose name is holy: “I live in a high and holy place, but also with him who is contrite and lowly in spirit, to revive the spirit of the lowly and to revive the heart of the contrite. – Isaiah 57:15

Then this is the commentary that followed the verse. "The way that God reveals Himself in Scripture is dynamic! He is far beyond all we can comprehend, and yet He knows every detail of our thoughts. This means that God not only hears the cries of our soul, He has the power to do something about it! To humble ourselves before God is to open the door for renewing our lives." Totally amazing!

Then from July 15 (the day that we had the facials)
I pray that you may be active in sharing your faith, so that you will have a full understanding of every good thing we have in Christ. – Philemon 1:6

Then this commentary followed: "Many Christians feel that we need to learn more in order to grow in spiritual maturity. That has a truth to it, but the passage reminds us that we also grow as we share our faith with others. We will encounter questions that we don’t know the answers to, and so we study to understand. We will learn how to be sensitive to those who don’t agree with us, and we grow in compassion. Many times we don’t need to learn more, we need to live out what we already know with those around us." Are you even kidding me? More amazement of God. This is so freaking awesome! Each day, although I was not reading it, God was speaking to my EXACT situation through His Holy Word and the DBV.

And this from today July 16
But you are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people belonging to God, that you may declare the praises of him who called you out of darkness into his wonderful light. Once you were not a people, but now you are the people of God; once you had not received mercy, but now you have received mercy. – 1 Peter 2:9-10

Commentary: "God’s eternal plan was to create a people for Him. This is more than an individual plan for our lives. God’s plan is a community. To walk alone is cross grain to God’s purposes for our lives. God mercy was not to enable us to do our own thing, but to get a new identity with other people who are called out by God. Now we stand before God as priests who are brought together, each with the same story of being called into light. If you don’t have that identity, seek after that community this week. Don’t miss this important part of God’s will." I prayed this morning that Greg would find a real friend today at his company picnic. A friend would could not only encourage him at work, but also in his growth in the Lord.

Praise You, Holy Lord, for showing Yourself so clearly to me today. I love it when You do this! Thank you.

He Will NEVER Cease to Amaze Me

Wow! I was praying this morning, while Greg was getting ready for work. I prayed for each of my kids and their unique personalities and then I prayed thanking God for the "olive branch" extended to Greg at work yesterday (ie, kind words and a brownie). We also had an answer to prayer regarding a presentation he had to give. A few minutes later Greg came in and I asked him if he wanted to pray with me. We sat there quietly together for a few moments, then he started to pray. First for each of our kids and their "unique personalities" and then for answered prayer for a good day for him at work yesterday. Wow! I mean.....EXACTLY what I was just praying. It is so cool how God is drawing our hearts together in Him - even in our prayers! There is never going to be a time when God ceases to amaze me! How He works and in what ways He works are infinitely endless - way beyond what I could even think. I love that! I love that He knows and I do not have to worry.

Yesterday I had a very nice day. I spent the day with my mom and grandma. The girls went to a friend's house and the boys were with grandpa. First we went to see grandma's new condo, which is going to be nice when it is all fixed up. Then we had appointments for 90 minute facials (I'll tell you more about this in a minute), but mine ended up being 120 minutes - oops! Too bad for me (note the sarcasm). Oh yeah - the facials were FREE!!! Woo hoo! Then we went and picked up my aunt and all 4 of us went to lunch, where I totally monopolized the conversation. I felt bad afterwards, but I always seem to have so much to say. Maybe this is not such a good thing, or maybe it is. I also felt bad physically because I talked while I was eating and think I ate a ton of air with my salad. Oh well. Then we went and did some shopping. It was a very good day.

Back to the started with the girl (Jill) telling me to sit because she was going to wash my feet with a salt scrub. I said "Like Jesus?" Thus began our conversation. So while I was having this amazing (and did I say FREE?) facial, which included her massaging my shoulders, arms, hands, legs, feet, and head, I had a nice talk with her about God and His greatness. It was interesting to me that I felt so free to talk like that, but what made the floodgates open was her responding to me. It ends up that she is also a Christian and actually goes to CEPC. As I was talking to my mom afterwards, I think she may even be the daughter of the old secretary of BE. Wild, huh? We had such a nice conversation. What I am seeing happen even more lately is that I am having more opportunities to talk about God, yet each time they are with people who are already Christians. What is neat about that is that I am being encouraged and strengthened in my boldness to talk about God, so that when the time comes to talk to someone who is not a Christian, I will be ready. I love how God is working in me - for Him!!!!And even through the girl doing my facial??? See how He never ceases to amaze?

Monday, July 12, 2010


Grant.....what can I say? I have never needed a break from any child before. I NEED A BREAK!!!! I mean, I love him desperately, but he is really driving me crazy. After the light bulb debacle, I thought we would have some peace. But no. This afternoon for lunch I made ravioli - you know - the canned kind (ick). Grant was done with his lunch (did not eat any of the ravioli) and apparently I did not take his plate fast enough, because he proceeded to drop the whole thing on my light beige shag rug under the table. For over 2 hours I scrubbed, and cleaned, and soaped, and Woolited and Oxy-Cleaned to no avail. My carpet is still stained. I am praying the Greg will be able to get it out - he is good with this kind of thing. So after this, I decided that Grant's chair will be off the rug when he eats. [Let me interject here...that I purposely got this rug BECAUSE it hides stains very well despite it's light color....but this one was BIG.] So Grant had his dinner on the wood floor. While I was getting something for someone the stinker took his fork and flung food all over the floor. THAT WAS IT!!!! I was ticked. Oh, I spanked him alright. I showed him that food on the floor was NOT OK. And I took away his food and he will go to bed without anything else (and so will any of the other of my kids that choose to not like what I have prepared for dinner). So there.

You know what chaps my butt about this whole thing? Earlier this afternoon I went to give blood and took Jacob, Jadyn and Grant with me (Grace is at her friend's house). They were so absolutely awesome! Two people who were working the blood drive even came up to me and told me that my kids were the "best behaved kids" they had ever seen. I was so proud of them and I guess I am glad that they behave out in public. Well, Jacob and Jadyn do is just you-know-who.

Grant Joseph.....I love you.......but SOMETIMES you need a cage!

Friday, July 9, 2010

My Heavenly Shield

This morning I was praying for my family that does not know Christ. Well, I am not sure what they "know". They all go to church, so they have some background. I do not really want to claim anything about them actually, other than I want them to know, love and serve Christ. So I am praying. Then this message came to me:

Sin was in the world. Sacrifice was the only way to get rid of sin. God sent His One and Only Son as the ultimate sacrifice. Jesus came to die and take sin with Him. Jesus died on the cross for everyone, taking everyone's sin - the deal is though that you must accept that He did it for you. And He did. So Jesus took the sin of the world to the grave, but the grave could not hold Him. Three days later He rose, triumphing once and for all over sin and death. You can never earn the salvation that comes from Jesus's death on the cross - never. You will never be good enough - never. That is the cool thing. We can't earn it - God, in His grace and mercy, just gives it to us - because He loves us and wants to spend eternity with us. All we have to do is accept it. It is so simple, so easy, so absolutely necessary!!

I think there was more, but it took too long to get the computer on and I have forgotten the exact wording of what I was thinking. It is too bad because it was so good. Oh well.

But then, I was reading in Psalm 5 and some verses jumped out at me.

Psalm 5:3 In the morning, O Lord , you hear my voice; in the morning I lay my requests before you and wait in expectation.
And I do - I love to spend time with God in the morning. It is the most amazing way to start my day. I am strengthened and encourage and schooled every morning.

Psalm 5:12 For surely, O Lord, you bless the righteous; you surround them with your favor as with a shield.
A shield - like a force field. Nothing is getting past this shield. I am surrounded and protected.

Then I checked my email and my DBV was Psalm 3:3 But you are a shield around me, O Lord. Oh yes!!!! More protection - more shielding - more guard. Praise you Lord!

And here is the kicker......I know I am shielded and protected. And so is my family. Last night as I was packing my kids clothes, Grant came to the girl's closet and was choking. Before I could get to him he pulled a night light bulb out of his mouth. Thank you Lord for protecting him (and me). My mind has swirled with the possible things that could have happened in this situation. Oh Lord, thank you for protecting us!!! Oh and a good friend posted this as a comment on facebook about what Grant did: What's the big deal? Moms always over-react. :) Glad he's ok. He just wanted to taste and see if the "light of the world" is good! Yes He is so good.

Finally Greg is still going through "stuff" at work. But an important meeting was "postponed" for today. With today being Friday, Greg was able to wear jeans. So he did, but went to work prepared. He took his dress clothes in case the "postponed" meeting happens to take place. I love that God gave him the thought to be prepared. Another shield.

I love having a Heavenly Shield. The One who knows beforehand and prepares or protects. I cannot praise enough. O God, you are so good - so worthy of all praise and adoration.

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Black Cotton Dress

Today I was wearing this black, cotton (maternity, but don't tell) dress as a cover-up. As I was making dinner Grant took to "hiding" under the dress. Everywhere I walked, he came too - under the dress. He was so funny. Then later tonight as I was putting the girls to bed, Jadyn was intrigued by the dress. I was standing by the girl's (bunk) bed, praying with Grace who was on top. I felt Jadyn's hand going up my dress, rubbing my leg, then eventually rubbing my stomach where it was sticking out between my bathing suit top and bottoms. When she decided to grab and jiggle my fat, I told her that was enough and that she had to get her hand out of the safety of my old "mommy" dress. Maybe it is time to get rid of the dress.....but it was so darn cute though.....maybe.


The last 3 days Jacob, Grace and Jadyn have spent the night at Grandpa and Grandma's house. This has given me some alone time with Grant. It was interesting this morning as I sat and talked with him, then watched him play as I prayed. What came to my mind was that this is how it is when I get alone with God. I get this one-on-one time, where He is speaking to me and teaching me. It is different than when I am in a group. Grant was getting one-on-one time with me and this was so very different than the time he gets from me when all the kids are here. Now...I am not saying that God does not give one-on-one time when you are in church, or Bible study, or Sunday school....I am just saying that, for me, this time is different. And I love it! And I love when God shows me things like this.

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Godly Authorities?

I am sad. However, I am glad to be feeling this way. Weird, I know. I was praying this morning and was overcome with grief at the lostness of our country (and world). I was reading this morning in Romans 13 about submission to authorities. Verse 6 says, "for the authorities are God's servants, who give their full time to governing." I was many of "God's servants" (our authorities) realize that they are God's servants? I would guess that not many of them do, otherwise things would not be as they are. We have just celebrated our independence this weekend. How many of our authorities have mindsets aligned with our forefathers, who governed this country under God first? I bet not a lot. So sad. So sad that we think that we are what we are because of who we are. Without God, we are nothing. Because He is I AM, we are. This is making me sad. So....what am I going to do? That is my prayer. Where can I be of use to You, O God in Heaven? I want to make a difference for Your Kingdom. I will rejoice in the fact that I know The Way and I will share this with whomever I can.

Monday, July 5, 2010

Lots to Say

So many things, so little time. It seems that the Lord is talking to me about grace. No, not my Grace, but rather grace that needs to be extended by me. Saturday Greg told my dad he wanted to take our trailer out and clean it because the kids wanted to camp out in in. Later in the day on Saturday Greg decided he did not want to take the trailer out at all, so he told my dad so. On Sunday my dad asked my mom if he should pull our trailer out because Greg told him he did not want to. My mom told my dad to do it, that Greg was just hot and tired the day before when he was talking about it. My dad wanted to have it out and ready for Greg before he got there so he decided to pull it out by himself. In the process, he got our trailer stuck on one of his trailers and ripped the back end open. Oops. When we got there and saw it - it was bad. Long story short.......I was mad at everybody. First Greg because he even opened his mouth about pulling the trailer out. Then my mom for getting involved in something that she knew nothing about. And then my dad, well.... because he pulled it out alone and broke it. And I was not nice - mostly to Greg - but not nice. I was not mean to my mom and dad but I was not nice either - I was irritated. And poor Greg - got the brunt of it. I decided to go for a run this morning and it was there that I realized that "accidents happen". I mean this is not something new, but in this situation it was. Each one of these people was well meaning. They were all thinking of other people. But the lack of communication and course of events spiraled into a huge mess. Thankfully, the Lord took me outside to show me. I came back from my run and apologized to Greg - but he was not ready for it apparently. But the verse that kept running through my head was "I desire mercy, not sacrifice" - that is what God wants all of us to show others who have wronged us in any way - including me. Accidents happen and that is why they are called accidents - no one is trying to intentionally hurt anyone, but someone (or something) always ends up getting hurt. I gave up on being mad over this. When we got to my parents' house my dad had already replaced the back end of the trailer, so I hopped in to help him put the aluminum (or whatever metal it is) back on. After about 40 minutes or so, it was good as new. Grace and mercy are such amazing things. Give people grace to be who they are and mercy to allow them to grow from there. My dad did have an incident with the staple gun, which I hope he recovers from.

On a different note, I really think the the stinking devil has been working overtime here. He has been causing Greg and I to be at each other all the time and over stupid little stuff. I have claimed my marriage in the name of Christ. Satan may try and in some cases may get a small victory, but he WILL NOT win the war. We belong to God, and already know who wins, and it is not the devil - no matter how mad he gets us at each other.

Also from yesterday......the kids had a 4th of July parade. Krystel, her friend Sadie and I were sitting at the pool when I heard Grace yelling to Grandma that they were having a 4th of July parade. I looked out and sure enough Jacob, Grace, Spencer and Seth were all on the "limo" having a parade. Jacob was driving, Spencer was sitting in the front holding a red, white and blue star decoration, Seth was in the back holding the same type of decoration, and Grace was also in the back holding an American flag. And they were driving down the driveway, past the barn, over the big hill, around the fenced area and past Grandma, who was sitting by her trailer. I told Krystel and her friend, and we decided to join in. We went and got a golf cart and chased after the kids. Our second time around Sadie grabbed one of those star decorations and I grabbed a tiara. As we rode around the second time I hopped on the back of the golf cart seat, put the tiara on and started to "princess wave" at Grandma. It was all cute until Krystel drove under a tree and a branch smacked me in the eye - not so cute. But the kids loved that we joined in and I loved that they were so smart to think about doing this. Our kids are so great!!!!

It seems that Seth thinks Grace is "his princess". He has been kissing her and telling her so. Grace asked Grandma today if this was appropriate. GRandma said it wasn't bad, but that they should not do anymore (kiss on the lips). Rather Seth could kiss her hand or cheek. Eeek! Is this what happens when we are not looking? Praise God that she asked!!

Friday, July 2, 2010

Not Mine To Struggle With

I am struggling with the financial difficulties that my parents are going through right now. The struggle, I think - after some talking through with the Lord - is being brought on by myself. Instead of turning my cares, concerns and thoughts over to Him (the Only One who can handle situations beyond our control), I wrestle with them myself, as if I could actually do something. I carry a burden WAY TOO HEAVY for me.
Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Matthew 11:28
So WHY do I always come AFTER I have worn myself down???? Am I so simple?? Maybe some of it is that I am removed from the situation right now and it is easier to hide from it here. But, honestly, after talking it over with God, I feel much better about the fact that I do not have control over this, I never will and that is ok. God does. And He is infinitely more powerful than I could ever imagine. AND......I have seen and experienced Him work in ways that I never imagined, so I know it is possible.

It is frustrating that I am so slow on the uptake though. I know God cares. I know He is there waiting for me. I know He can carry the burdens that are WAY TOO HEAVY for me. I know He wants to. So what the heck is wrong with me??? You know what? Nothing is wrong with me. I am God's and I am precious. I am His simple child and I know that He loves me and is waiting patiently for me, as I make my mistakes. Forgiving me and showing me ENDLESS grace and mercy. I love that He loves me so much. I love that in Him is the only place I can REALLY find safety and security. I am glad to realize that now, instead of wasting more time trying to find safety and security in the junk the world has to offer. STUFF that is here today and gone tomorrow.

I have been really wrapped up in the sentimentality of my parents' house. I want my kids to be able to grow up there and play and have fun there like I did. It is a great place. But when the rubber meets the road, it is just sticks and bricks. A hollow shell. Nothing. What matters is the people, the memories and the lives lived there. I learned this lesson the very hard way - by having to leave my own house. But I can easily say that, despite the fact that I thought it mattered, it doesn't matter a lick.

I want to help, but I am not the one to make the changes. I am excited to see the changes in my sweet husband as he tries to work the situation out too. I love that his heart is so soft to my family. I love him for that. But it is not up to us. We are bystanders on this one and the sooner I grasp this, the better off I will be.

Just writing about this has made me see a bit more clearly. I have to "trust in the Lord with all my heart" and stop trying to lean on my own (limited) understanding. I don't understand, not sure if I ever will. But I know the One who does. And in Him will I trust. And in Him will I make my home.