Month: May 2015

Isolated Showers 

When I was a child, I remember riding down the highway with my mom. It was raining heavily and then, as we drove farther along the road, it completely stopped with the sun shining. I asked her about it, and she explained that it was called “isolated showers.” I still remember how amazed I was that it could be storming in one location, while the sun shone just a short distance away. 

Now fast forward to the lowest time of my life. My husband wants a divorce, has moved out, and is seeing another woman. I’m surrounded by the storms of life, and I’m overwhelmed by my circumstances. As I’m driving home one day, in the middle of all this turmoil, I drive through a huge downpour. Then, as I keep driving, the rain clears and clouds disappear leaving sunny skies up ahead. At that moment, I heard the Lord speak. He told me that all the circumstances in my life were just isolated showers and up ahead were sunny skies. Although it was hard to believe, and I didn’t know how long it would take, I trusted Him to know my future. 

You know what? Although that was the most painful storm of my life, God was right. It was but a brief shower followed by continually bright weather. Keep that in mind as you face hard trials. Although circumstances may appear dark, God’s forecast brings a lot of light. 🙂

Our house continued 

The tides change…

One obstacle was sickness. Our toddler had the croup and a bad cold within two weeks from each other, both lasting a week each. Once he got better, the baby and I both got it! Our family went to the doctor seven times that month! Since we didn’t want our 4 month old baby to get as sick as our toddler had been, JW and I decided to fast together and pray for her. Looking back now, we realize it was the first time in 12.5 years of marriage that we had fasted and prayed together!

Anyway, that very day I get an email about a house for sale less than a mile from our family and land. It’s a nice two-story brick house with an open floor plan like we wanted in a very prominent neighborhood. What grabbed our attention was the price. It was a foreclosure!

We were able to look at the property that very day. Because we had put our house for sale and were thinking of listing it with an agent, we had a realtor contact that was able to bid for us. It was a small window of time to bid, so we prayed for God’s wisdom and guidance.  We also found out that same night our cousins had a contract to sell their house after only two weeks for sale! They were ready to start the process to buy our house!

So, we bidded an amount that we felt was still an excellent deal for the property, then prayed and fasted for the week we had to wait. And wouldn’t you know it? We got the bid! 😀 We’ve been earnestly awaiting the appraisal. We found out Monday that the house, “as-is” and only needing minor repairs, appraised for $65,000 more than our bid price! Not only that, but the square footage had been way off too. Our current house is 1,733 sq. ft. This house is over 2,600 sq. ft.! We’d been praying for room to grow and God answered. Actually, God answered exceeding abundantly above all that we asked or thought to ask…just the way only He can and does! 

Because God recently provided bonus money through JW’s work, we have the money to close. And due to the small loan we were going to use to complete the tiny house on the land, we have money available to make the minor repairs needed before we move in. And to top it all off, the sale of our current house should pay off the new house and all debt! When God works, He goes big! He has truly blessed our socks off. 🙂 **Update: Since the purchase, we’ve discovered our bid price was only $2400 more than another! God just let us know we didn’t waste any money overbidding!**

I forgot to mention, the day JW placed our bid I read the following in my devotional: 

Lift up your eyes from where you are and look north and south, east and west. All the land that you see I will give to you. (Genesis 13:14–15)
No desire will ever be placed in you by the Holy Spirit unless He intends to fulfill it. So let your faith rise up and soar away to claim all the land you can discover. S. A. Keen…Look as far as you can, for it is all yours…As He opens your understanding, enabling you to see His fullness, believe He has it all for you. Accept for yourself all the promises of His Word, all the desires He awakens within you, and all the possibilities of what you could become as a follower of Jesus. All the land you see is given to you.

Isn’t that amazing?!

Isaiah 64:4 (NIV) Since ancient times no one has heard, no ear has perceived, no eye has seen any God besides you, who acts on behalf of those who wait for him.

Our house

Since the Lord has opened my womb and blessed us with children, we’ve run into the wonderful problem of having a house that is shrinking with every new birth! 😉 

We have loved our house and put a lot of ourselves into it by gutting and remodeling it. However, we need room to grow. So, we’ve been praying now, for quite awhile, about what to do. With two small babies and much older ailing parents, we finally agreed to move back to the small town in which we grew up. There, we could help our parents much more, and they could help with the babies. Also, there is JW’s family land where our children could safely grow up and play. 

It would seem simple enough that now we were in agreement, we could move forward. I laugh at that thought!  We’ve been through quite a few plans that apparently were not God’s. But, that’s okay because we continually prayed for His will and way above ours since He knows the future better than we do! 😉

1. Our current house is paid for. So, we were going to put a mortgage on it and add a large addition to an existing structure on our family land. Then, we’d sell this house, pay off the mortgage and remain debt free. Well, God stopped JW right as the paperwork was almost complete. Neither of us understood why. Two weeks later, we discovered we were pregnant with our second child! Even though this plan wasn’t God’s, He still ordained it, because we discovered all of our land hadn’t been deeded correctly, which we needed to sell our property down the road. 

2. Next, we decided to just buy a nice house close to family land and not deal with the hassle of building with soon-to-be two babies. We found an ideal place and were willing to get a $100k mortgage in addition to the sale of our current house. We figured that was the only way to get a larger house without remodeling. God didn’t agree. We could never agree to a reasonable price with the owner, so, another one bites the dust…

Meanwhile, I have to mention that the Lord led us to paint our current house and put it up for sale, even though we had no place to go!

3.  For our final plan, we decided to get a small loan to complete the existing tiny structure on our family land for a temporary residence. Then, we’d apply for a construction loan to build our forever home on the land. We got the small loan and went to work. Cousins discovered we were selling our house and decided they wanted it if they could sell their house first. Well, we tried speeding up the process, but we hit obstacle after obstacle never able to finish the tiny house, let alone begin construction on a larger one. Oh the frustration!

To be continued…

Five Smooth Stones

1 Samuel 17:40 (KJV) And he took his staff in his hand, and chose him five smooth stones out of the brook, and put them in a shepherd’s bag which he had, even in a scrip; and his sling [was] in his hand: and he drew near to the Philistine.

When Ian was 5-6 months old his eyes began to cross. The crossing was so bad, doctors said it would require surgery to try to correct them. Oh how we dreaded that day. We had to wait until he was over a year old to undergo anesthesia. We’d already been through eye patches, numerous doctor visits, and second opinions. We had prayed fervently against eye surgery, but through a series of events, God even brought confirmation that we were doing the right thing by surgery. 

In the wee hours of the night before Ian’s surgery, I wondered why we were going through this when I knew God could just heal his eyes. That’s when I heard the Holy Spirit say it was a smooth stone. So I thought about it. Prior to David facing Goliath, David went and picked up 5 smooth stones to put in his bag. David previously slew a lion and a bear, which gave him the confidence to face the giant. From his previous experiences, he gathered what he knew he’d need for battle: a satchel of stones. I believe those stones represent the very things we need before battle: faith, trust in God, prayer, and confirmation from His word. 

If Ian’s eyes had remained straight, or if God had miraculously healed them, we would never have had to face this battle. Our faith wouldn’t have grown. We wouldn’t have had to trust God to protect our son. We wouldn’t have been fervently praying, and we wouldn’t have needed God’s confirmation. 

I also loved how this reference to David aligned to something else I believe the Holy Spirit spoke to me soon after JW came back home. He told me there would be other battles in the future. I thought standing for my marriage was the equivalent of facing a giant. At first I was distraught to discover it to only be the first of a series in my life. But again, the Comforter spoke and gently explained that it was the lion or bear that was the toughest battle, because it was first. By the time David faced Goliath, he knew what God could do through him, because he’d experienced it multiple times before!

No battle will ever be easy, for then it wouldn’t be a battle, but we are promised that God goes with us; He fights for us; & they are His battles. We, meanwhile, pick up what we need to face these battles: God’s armor (Ephesians 6), God’s Word, & smooth stones…

We still have a long road to travel to straighten Ian’s eyes. He made it through surgery well, but has needed glasses since he was 18 months old. The doctor has mentioned more patches and the possibility of more surgery, but I believe God goes before us and will lead us in the way in which we should go. 

Isaiah 30:21 (KJV) And thine ears shall hear a word behind thee, saying, This [is] the way, walk ye in it, when ye turn to the right hand, and when ye turn to the left.