Monday, August 29, 2011

Trusting God in School (Upper Room Devotion)

Yesterday I felt the need to pray for my kids for their upcoming school year. I prayed for them and their teachers, but most specifically for their friends. None of my kids have any real good friends. So, my prayer was for good Christian friends - I am talking about REAL friends. Not the kind that come and go, but real friends. I pray that my kids will make an impact (for the good) on other kids.

So, last night at 10:15pm, I sat down to do my devotions. Late? Yes. But I still did them, right? What was so cool about it though, was God spoke directly through that devotion to my mother's heart. The Scripture was from Matthew 7:7-11:

“Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives; the one who seeks finds; and to the one who knocks, the door will be opened. “Which of you, if your son asks for bread, will give him a stone? Or if he asks for a fish, will give him a snake? If you, then, though you are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give good gifts to those who ask him!

Ask and it will be given to you. My Father in heaven will give good gifts to those who ask. I am asking and He is speaking. Praise God in Heaven that He is the Ultimate Father. The One who knows how to give even better gifts. There are not words that could explain the elation I went to bed with last night. My Father in Heaven is eternally praised!

Oh yeah! And the devotion was from a 10 year old boy, who trusted his school year to the Lord. Hello? And then the prayer focus was for elementary school students. Oh praise the Name of Jesus!

Want the truth? I really prayed for Jacob. Yes, I prayed for all my kids because I want this for them all. But, my Jacob seems to have the most difficulty making friends. Maybe it is because all his life he has had a best friend in his cousin. Maybe it is because he is first-born and is a bit like his mother. Whatever it is, I do not know, but I do know Who can help him overcome. The One who overcame the grave. Jesus, Savior, Lord, Friend. Forever.

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

A "REAL" Estate Investment

Today was our entrance into the world of real estate investing. And, almost as quickly as we entered, we exited. Through the course of Greg meeting people at his new job, we found out about a house that was going for auction, that is near the area where we would like to live. So, for the last few months, we have been researching (and protecting) this house. We have shielded this house from scandalous realtors and even got to put up the foreclosure notice (although this is not as glamorous as you might think). Yesterday, we were faced with information that we had not researched. This did not entirely affect what our plans were for today, but it certainly made us a little nervous. We have prayed and researched and prayed and researched and then prayed some more about this. Personally, I think that I knew that we should not go to the auction, but I kept pushing this to the back of my mind, because I thought that getting this house would be the absolute right thing. However, in the course of my prayers, I prayed that God would really slam the door shut if this was not supposed to happen. Well, talk about answered prayers! And, I had 2 of them today - that I know of! I will have to go out of order to tell you about them though. So, back to the slamming door. The minimum bid for this house was $400. When the bidding began, the guy behind me said $400. I quickly responded with $500, and almost before the words left my mouth, some other guy from a group (which I think were from the bank) yelled out $20,000! So, since this was my threshold for what I was going to spend, I knew I was out. But what an immediate answer. We sat through so many bidding wars on other properties that went back and forth in $50 and $100 increments. To have ONLY our property jump immediately from $500 to $20,000 was unheard of. God was definitely in that place (but what place is He not in, really?)

The other answer was really kind of neat. As my mom and I were waiting in the hallway to register, I prayed out loud, but under my breath, that I would meet a nice Christian person that I could talk to. I meant that I could talk to about the auction, but God certainly had other plans. Within minutes, this family came up next to us and were talking amongst themselves. I overheard the mom telling the others (dad, son, grandpa and grandma) that they just needed to pray. Oooooohhhh! My ears perked up! I stepped into the middle of their circle and said, " I think we are going about this thing the same way." We instantly connected and after a few moments of talking the mom decided to go out to the courtyard to pray. I watched her go and decided to follow after her. I sat down next to her, put my arm around her and started to pray. I love how the Spirit works, especially when we are obedient, right? She then told me her whole story and she NEEDED the house they were bidding on in a major way. I told her I would pray for her, and I did, but sadly they did not win the property. I still pray that something will work out for her family. But God provided me with EXACTLY what I prayed for - someone, who is a Christian, that I could talk to.

It was a VERY intense day. I was excited, nervous, terrified and amazed all at the same time. In fact, after mom and I walked out of the hotel, I started shaking. We even had to changed seats and have her drive home because (I think) the adrenaline release was WAY TOO MUCH. I am very much at peace about this situation. It did not turn out the way I had hoped, but I know that this is God's will for us and THAT is right where I want to be. Praise the Lord of all the Earth! Praise His Name Forever! I really did not think this part of the process would be so easy, but praise God, it is!

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Back from Vacation

I still have to tell you all about our Oscoda trip, but first I have to do some thinking. I am back. Back to routine. The 37 loads of laundry are done AND put away (almost). The 1/2 of the beach that we brought home with us has been swept from the laundry room floor and been properly discarded. I have been back to the gym for 2 days now and, most importantly, I am back to my early mornings with God and coffee. THAT is where I really love to be. We have, just since we have been home, experienced a lot of sad things. An acquaintance from our old church (and mother of 4 precious kids) lost her battle with lung cancer and passed away. Another friend's father-in-law died very unexpectedly. And yesterday, we notice a baby bunny living in our backyard that is covered with tumors. Why, you ask, does that have anything to do with anything? It was Grace's words that made me think about it. We have Spencer and Seth here too, so that made 6 kids staring out the window at this baby bunny, wondering exactly what these big red lumps on its legs meant. The main question was.....was it going to die? I am not a vet, much less an animal expert, or even an animal lover, so I told the kids that I had no idea, but sometimes people and animals die from things like that. And sometimes they don't. So Grace says to the other kids, "Let's just watch a movie, so we can forget about it." Was she heartless in this response? Heck no! She was trying to divert her sadness. She was trying to be strong for the other kids. I think this is what we do too. I know for a fact that I do it. I think I still do it today when I think about my own brother. Especially when people talk about BT around my mom, I know I do it. Divert the sadness. But we are supposed to feel sadness. Do I want to? Absolutely not! But, we live in a world, beautiful as it is, that is fallen and broken. We live in a world that needs Jesus more than anything. We need to realize it. We need to fall to our knees and seek forgiveness that only comes from the King of Kings - King Jesus. My heart is breaking for those kids that lost their mom. But you know what? Their momma loved the Lord with all her heart and she knew before she died where she was headed. She left a legacy for her kids, so that they too would know, that they too could be prepared. What comfort in a rotten time of grief. Trust me...I've been there. But to know that the end is not the end is a BIG deal. To know that the one you have lost is not lost forever is HUGE. What is sadder than a situation like this one is one in which the people do not know Jesus. Where they do not have a personal relationship with their own Savior. Jesus died for each one of us. He loves us more than we could possibly ever know. He wants to take away our grief and replace it with rejoicing. Think of the difference between a funeral for a person who has a relationship with Jesus and a person who does not. One is a celebration of life, both past life on earth and new life with Christ in Heaven, and the other is sadness and grief and the end. Oh, they are both the earthly end. I am not delusional. This is not false hope. Christ is real and true and living. And He is not just for me. He is for you too. Turn to Him. Fall on your knees before Him. Love Him. Accept Him. He gave His all so you could have everything.

Monday, August 15, 2011