Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Great and mighty things....

I sit in the dark, shadow's of boxes are all around me. Signs that a big change and move is on the horizon. Much like a Kansas sun rises over a field of wheat, the glow coming before the sun...telling you to make way, the sun is coming. I spent my childhood in Kansas. I have wonderful memories of cheering on the jay hawks on weekends, listening to my Dad teach as the youth pastor of a flourishing church downtown, learning to ride a bike with my Grandfather holding on behind me, watching parades, playing in the fountains on the KU campus, spending the night with my parent's best friends in the KU couples dorms, watching my Dad graduate with his Master's from KU. Truly, I had a wonderful childhood in Kansas.

Then my Dad got a job in Alabama, SOUTH Alabama, back woods, Alabama. I would tell my friends in Kansas, where I was moving and immediately get a "Where?". No one had ever heard of it. And yet, in that small southern town, as a pre-teen, I made long lasting friendships. People who pointed me in the direction I would take my life. I have great memories, riding my bike to piggly wiggly to get a gallon of milk for my Mom. Sure, it was quite the culture shock. But, I can see God's hand, protecting me and shaping me in those years.

Then my Dad got a job in NORTHERN Indiana. Amish Country to be exact. I was entering high school. I was really not happy about that move. I remember our Pastor's wife saying to me as we were saying our goodbye's at church "Maybe God is moving you to meet your future husband?". I thought she was crazy. But I did what all good southern girls do, and said a "Bless your heart" and hugged her neck. She was right. I can't say I particularly ever fit in, in Indiana during highschool. And I visited Alabama any and every chance I got. But, I did meet my Husband. And for that, I am so incredibly thankful.

And here we are, back in the south again. Won't lie, I love living in the south. I love the warm temperatures. I love hearing my children say "Yes, ma'am.". My youngest boys have picked up little southern drawls. And it's the cutest thing you ever did hear. My girl doesn't stick out wearing her big bow's to church, and my boys fit right in with their matching shirts. I was born in Florida, and you can take a girl out of the south, but you can't take the south out of a girl!

The time is fast approaching when we will be loading up the last box onto the truck, and moving to another city. I've done this many, many, times in my life. I believe this is move number 13 for me.

But one thing is for sure, in all of those moves, I have seen God's hand. He put me exactly where He wanted me. He will be faithful to do that again.

This move especially was completely unforeseen. It's been a huge step of faith for us.  I prayed Ephesians 3:20-21 over this move. Believing God would go before us. Believing He would provide just the house. Believing He could do Above and Beyond all we could ask or imagine. Boy did He!

Remember how I said I grew up in Kansas? Well wouldn't you know, a dear friend, who babysat me as a child, lives in the same town we are moving to! The church we attend, has a campus right up the road from our new house! Why do I tell you all of this?

Because, God's promises are true. His word is the same, yesterday, today and forever. He goes before us. When my anxiety and worry hit a fever pitch, I sat down, and wrote every anxiety on a 3x5 card. I literally tossed one at a time onto my desk saying "I choose to lay this at Your Feet. You paid it all, so I don't have to. I choose not to dwell on this a moment longer."

 I laid every little thing before the Lord. Giving it all over to Him.


Be encouraged friends. If you feel a silence right now, that is deafening. Looking for the music, trying to find a song. Maybe you've piled on expectations and lot's of blame, maybe it's been done to you. Maybe you did it to yourself. Maybe life has been so hard for so long, you can't remember a time when it wasn't painful.

This life is hard. I know this well. I am telling you right now, if I were to make a list of everything that has happened to us, some we did to ourselves, some done to us, it would read much like a ticking bomb. One tick away from exploding into a million pieces. And it should have.

But God. He restored what was taken away, He healed what was so hurt and scarred.When it felt like it would never end, He would bring us Hope. He spared us from sorrow upon sorrow. He has been so faithful. He will do the same for you.

I look at my little boys who beat the odds, my girl who persevered, my oldest boy who is a fierce protector, my loving and hard working husband, a new home that is more than we could have imagined. It all scream's of God's goodness. Blessing upon blessing. More than I could ever deserve. He promises to restore what the locust has taken. What they swarmed and devoured. His promises are true. His word doesn't change. 

"Call to me, and I will answer you, and show you Great and Mighty things, 
which you do not know." Jeremiah 3:33

Tuesday, May 13, 2014

Trust and Two Years...

Two years...Today.

Two years ago today, my husband was hundreds of miles away from me. In a job interview. We prayed before the interview that if it was what God wanted, that they would offer him the job, IN the interview. God did more.

They offered him the job, and then he got a call from another company in the area (as he was walking out of the first interview) who he had applied with months before, and they wanted to interview him. Immediately. And they offered him a job, IN the interview. Two job offers. In one day. Only God.

Meanwhile back in Indiana, we were scraping by. We had no steady income for two years. Only because of precious friends and family, were we not homeless. Only God.

 I woke up the day after mothers day, and our son Elliott had a very high fever. A fever that would not go down. Then he began to have a seizure. It was terrifying. Elliott was hospitalized while a myriad of tests were done, at one point I was told he could have bone cancer. Literally, it seemed as if every hour another diagnoses was thrown around the room. Then tests would come back, inconclusive. I do not know what I would have done without our Church family. I was rarely ever alone in that hospital room. My other three Children were loved and doted on and I never worried about their care. God showed me, that no matter where we were, HE would always be with us. And using His Body of Believers to help us in our time of need.

Over all of it, I can look back and SEE God's hand. Protecting, guiding, comforting. He had to take us down that road, to make us realize that He would provide. That we didn't need everything we thought we did. That He can prompt complete strangers to step in and help you. Family can't and sometimes won't be able to help you, I learned to not put my faith in them. And to not hold them to that, it's okay.

I learned to put my entire trust and faith in God. Not people.

I get chills now looking back. I had NO IDEA what was going to happen after we got to Georgia. Thank goodness we don't know our futures. I have no doubt if I had known, I would have been paralyzed in fear, and never would have moved.

                                 (Riley in Intensive Care, a few months after we moved.)

Flash Forward to today, and we are scheduled to move again in two weeks to Atlanta. My husband has been offered a promotion through his employer. Something we never would have imagined or would have seen coming. All God.

 I have caught myself acting like an Israelite. Never heard of them? Well, they are God's chosen people, who God DID SO MUCH FOR! And they kept forgetting. Then worrying, and taking matter's into their own hands. Pretty much what I was doing last week. The anxious thought's of, "How will we ever find a house?", "How can I move again, to a place I am so unfamiliar with.", "How will I manage without family right next door?".....You name it, I've thought it. #lame.

And then I took these pictures, NONE of this stuff was our's two years ago! Sure, we had a few things we brought with us to Georgia. But, seriously. This living room, it was empty. This house, didn't look like this.

He lead us to a community that rallied around us, and helped us SO INCREDIBLY much! It's going to be so hard to say see you later to family and friends here. But I have a steadfast anchor of Hope for my family. 

Jesus has been with us through it all.

 In the dark lonely ER, in the ICU, in the empty house, in the church search, in the days and weeks of waiting for test results, in the diagnoses, in the treatment, HE has ALWAYS been faithful.

 He spared us from sorrow upon sorrow, we came so close to loosing our son, and then another son. And I can honestly say, had we tasted that bitter sorrow, we would still say "Blessed be the name of the Lord.".  I am so grateful we were spared that sorrow, but the truth remains, death will come one day. Loss will come one day. BUT IT IS NOT THE END! If you put your trust in Jesus, He will not leave you, and you will one day be with Him forever. In a BEAUTIFUL perfect home. How grateful I am for God's promises, I have claimed Isaiah 40 over these last few years of trials. And truly, can testify that He gives strength and hope, and restores what the locust has taken. I am just in awe of Him.

If you are struggling, 
and would like to hear a VERY encouraging message on overcoming darkness,
(He was guest speaking at this church.)
Do you not know?

     Have you not heard?
The Lord is the everlasting God,

    the Creator of the ends of the earth.

He will not grow tired or weary,

    and his understanding no one can fathom.

He gives strength to the weary

    and increases the power of the weak.
Even youths grow tired and weary,
    and young men stumble and fall;
but those who hope in the Lord
    will renew their strength.
They will soar on wings like eagles;
    they will run and not grow weary,
    they will walk and not be faint.

             Isaiah 40:28-31

P.S. If you or someone you know is looking for a house to rent in Warner Robins Ga, feel free to contact me. This house will be available soon! I want my brother and sister in law to have awesome neighbors! :)