"It is He who reveals the profound and hidden things; He knows what is in the darkness, and the light dwells with Him." -Daniel 2:22
"Do not fear, for I am with you..." -Isaiah 43:5
"...we are not presenting our supplications before You on account of any merits of our own, but on account of Your great compassion." -Daniel 9:18

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Are We Just Dumb or What?

Al just did our income tax. Are we just dumb or what? We didn't read the fine print on that stimulus check the government gave us last year. We didn't know that it was a loan that had to be paid back! It would have been nice to know we had a choice about whether we wanted it or not. There is just no relief - is there?
I trust You, I trust You, I trust You.
So far, Charli's pregnancy seems to be okay. She may be one of those who just has to take it easy for the next 8 months. The sonogram pictures show No. 8 is just a miniscule bump, but a bump none-the-less. Praise the Lord.
I trust You, I trust You, I trust You.
If we can get all our garage sale stuff sold (it looks like rain on that weekend), then we can get the house cleaned up and on the market for about the price we were hoping to get for it. Got some cleaning and painting to do. More stuff to put in storage. May have to come up with another plan for garage sale besides here.
I trust You, I trust You, I trust You.
No luck, so far, on the job search. No one is even offering me an interview. After I get all this other stuff out of the way, I can spend more time on that project. The Lord knows our need and His timing is perfect.
I trust You, I trust You, I trust You.
Al's health just doesn't seem to be improving. We had hoped that after getting off the pain meds after surgery, that the neuropathy would have gone away. No such luck. His sleeping is very irratic. He is awake most of the night, but then comes home and crashes for a few hours. The diarrhea continues to cause him to lose more and more weight. Because he can not keep any neutrients in his body, his energy level is still very low. We go back to the doctor on April 10. Hopefully he will have some answers.
I trust You, I trust You, I trust You.
We are trusting in the Lord for the answers and explanations to all these things going on in our lives right now. We know that He has a perfect plan and all things that are happening are for the good of the Lord. We are happy to serve His Kingdom.
Please pray for us to continue in His will and to not get discouraged. That He give us the strength to withstand all that is thrown at us, through our relationship with Him. That He provide for us in every way, what we need, most especially the stamina to just get up each day and face the task at hand.
Blessing to you all, in the name of the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit.

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Clean Attic & Bye-Bye Sofa

Our attic is clean! Keith even picked up all the trash and loose socks & such that gets dropped. There is one thing left up there - Amber's toy chest. My sister, Joette and her daughter, Amber have lived with us several times. When she was young, Al was into wood-working. So he built her a toy chest. If you know Al, you know he doesn't like to do things on a reasonable scale. He is a man of extremes. (But, God is teaching him things about that) Anyway, the toy chest is made of cedar and measures about 3' tall, 3' deep and 4' long. It's big! Amber could have played house in that thing. I think we built this house around it! It will have to stay up there until Joette has a place for it or Amber comes from North Carolina to pick it up.
It is great to have the attic clean. I think I heard the house sigh from relief last night. Now I have to finish sorting it all out and burning all the old records. I think we had 15 years worth up there. Thanks so much to Mark, Keith, Kim, & Justin - they are great kids! But it's not over yet - we still have the barn to go. Fun times.
Another God-moment yesterday: Jacob and Rachel came to pick up the sofa and living room tables. I had been thinking, months ago, that if we were going to stay in this house, I wanted new furniture in the living room. So I asked God what He wanted me to do. He told me to offer our furniture to them. They have been married a year and just bought a house. They are our new youth directors at church. Perfect! Our sofa has seen many sleepovers with kids from our church over the past 15 years. It was very fitting for it to continue to be used for that purpose at their house.
God left out the part where I wouldn't be getting the new living room furniture for a while. Jacob wanted to pay something for it - I told Rachel that if they paid us, then I would be forced to clean the thing. But if they took it without any payment - she would have to do it. Besides, we will get payment before this move is over. We will be calling on Jacob and JW to bring the JH and HS guys over to help clean out and move stuff from the barn!
With each piece of furniture and each job accomplished around here - I feel the weight easing more and more from my shoulders. Everyone seems to think we are doing them a favor by giving them our stuff, when, in fact, they are doing us a favor by taking it!
I see God's hand in each and every move we are making here. I see how He is orchestrating our lives. To think how beautifully He is doing it just makes me cry.
Our freezer went to our daughter, Kim and her husband, Mark. It was huge! (do you see a trend here?) The biggest one Sears makes. Our lives have gotten to where we could not use that thing to it's fullest advantage. They have four boys & had been shopping for one. For the first time, she can buy ice cream at the store and stock up on frozen pizzas!
That sofa was a big sectional. It was perfect for this house when Justin was younger and while we were able to have parties for the youth. But it's days were numbered. It has ink stains and holes beginning to form. It is perfect for the youth to jump around on at the Holmes' house.
We have outdoor benches that we are donating to the Campfire Creek Therapeutic Riding Center. They have just about completed the awesome barn, and covered arena. Work has started on the bunkhouse/studio. (Another God project) I hear they had 25 people show up at their volunteer orientation last weekend. We are looking forward to getting this move behind us to that we can help out there, again.
Please join with us in our Praise to the Lord of our lives. Our prayer is to continue to follow Him. We are so thankful that the things He has blessed us with over the years, will continue to be used for His glory, long after our need for them has past.
I will look at each and every item we have and make sure He does not have a plan for it, other than my own selfish ones. When I get my new living room furniture - it could be in heaven! Praise the Lord. And all God's people said......

Sunday, March 15, 2009

A Leap of Faith

Just to let you know what has been happening at our house this week. We are packing, moving, cleaning out the attic! We have no offers on our property. We don't even officially have it on the market. But God has put an urgency inside of me that won't let up. So, we are working by faith. Faith in God's plan.
I find myself saying to God several times a day, "I trust You". "I trust You". Because it just sounds silly to anyone who is not a believer that we would be doing all this without even knowing we can sell the place. It is all backward by most standards.
Our older kids had the time this weekend because the weather rained out all the baseball games, so we thought we would make good use of them. We got a lot accomplished. Kim is a speed-packer, her husband, Mark, is strong and our oldest son, Keith, is the comic relief.
Keith came and replaced the guest bath facet, which Al bought, but just can't sum up the energy to get done. This house is starting to show her age. It's time.
Mother has had the offer from a good friend of a spare, big room to move into, which will allow her to stay in Waxahachie. She will be able to continue working until it's time to quit. My sisters came down this weekend to get her started packing. We will get her all moved in the next few weeks.
Picking through 25 years of your life is a long, slow process. It will take us the next 3 weeks to get prepared for an Estate Sale the first weekend in April.
Please pray for us as we slowly, but surely go through all our things and determine the best place for it: storage, kids or trash!
We have found out this week, also, that we will be grandparents to No. 8 by the end of the year. Please pray for this young couple to seek God in every decision they make.
Pray that whomever is suppose to buy our property comes forward at just the right time. That I would find that job when it is needed.
Al continues to be in pain with his neuropathy. The hip and knee he is still learning to walk on. They lowered his chemo dose, but have not seen the effect that may have, yet. Even when he was not on chemo this past week, he still did not feel well (stomach) and still had very little energy. It may take some time for him to build up those red blood cells.

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

The Hits Just Keep on Comin'

Last week Al and I decided that we were going to put our house up for sale since things just don't seem to be getting any better. As a matter of fact, it looks like his boss is building a case against him that will make his firing look like he was not doing his job. This has been confirmed, at least to me, several times over in the last few days.
On Friday, the boss called to give Al a chewing about how little his department profited the last few months. Never mind that the numbers he quoted were not correct. He says the bonus we received last month was not correct. Al doesn't do the figures. That is all done through the corporate office in Houston.
Then today Al's office got a call (while he was at the doctor), telling them they would not receive any bonus this month because they got too much last month. So it looks like that part of our salary will be null and void. We aren't talking that much money, but it was enough to make a difference.
All this does is confirm to me that we are doing the right thing. Putting our land up for sale and looking for me a job. I hope that you will pray with us about these issues. There is so much going on right now that it is hard to keep up. We are feeling a little like Job. The ashes just keep piling on.
But, in the words of Job:
"Naked I came from my mother's womb
And I will be stripped of everything when I die.
The Lord gave me everything I had
and the Lord has taken it away
Praise the name of the Lord!"
Then in chapter 13 he says: " Though He slay me, yet will I trust Him"
That is where we are at in our lives, along with many others these days. We are trusting in our Heavenly Father to provide for us in ways only He knows.
Al finally made his peace with giving up our place to God. We are not only okay with it, we are excited about the next chapter in our lives. Wondering what God has for us in this next leg of our journey.
Al felt good enough over the weekend to drag his smoker and a few other items (with the truck) to a friend's house. We are going to be sorting and packing over the next 3 or 4 weeks. Our daughter, Kim, will come over on her days off to help. My sisters are helping my Mom to decide what she can and wants to do, then get her packed and moved. I know she would love to stay in Waxahachie, but her income is not what would allow her to rent. My niece is checking to see if she is entitled to any more assistance from SS.
There will be a big Estate Sale out here the first weekend in April, so mark your calendars. We have a 72" projection tv that we are going to sell. Justin has a four wheeler he wants to sell.
There will be all kinds of things. I think JW is going to bring over some JH guys to help us get things out of the attic and maybe even help move more stuff to storage.
Pray we sell the land quickly and that I find a job quickly (with good benefits). Pray that Al's energy level would get better. The doc lowered his chemo dose to try to get the red blood cell count up. Let's pray that it doesn't allow the cancer levels to rise.
Pray that Justin would recover well and quickly from the oral surgery he had today. (Wisdom teeth)
Let's see, did I leave anything out? Told you there was a lot going on around here.
We have a plan. That plan is to continue preparing for Christ's return and in the meantime, follow His lead. I have felt Him pulling us to get ready for another change. Well, the time for change is here. When our place sells, we have a place to store our things, we have several offers of a place to stay. We have already given away a few things and have more to get picked up. When God is ready - we are ready to move!
Join us in Praising our Lord for His goodness and faithfulness to us - forever and always!
May the Lord Bless you and your loved ones as bountifully as he has ours.

Friday, March 6, 2009

Job Market

I have been pounding the keyboard this week filling out resumes. Boy, have times changed since I last applied for a job! Everything is on-line. There is almost no one to talk to about a job. So I apply and I wait. I bet I applied to about 20 different websites, not counting already being registered at Work in Texas. Not very much out there. I heard there were jobs at the post office, if you can figure out how to apply. My resume is not all that fantastic, since I have spent the past 15 years working part-time & mostly in ministry.
But I have faith that God will supply me with the job He wants for me, when the time is right.
I'm not sure what the outcome of selling the land and house will be - our brother-in-law was going to help us, but he just got put back in the hospital with heart problems. Will have to come up with another game plan. We have not had time to really decide what to do about that.
It's Friday and next week is another opportunity for us to do what the Lord puts before us. We know that we will be just fine. It's just the headaches of doing everything that has to happen to get there. Downsizing is no easy task, especially when you have so many variables in the mix.
Al is doing much better - as far as the operation goes. He has been walking with only one crutch for the past week. He drove himself to his doctor appointments on Thursday (so I could pound on the keyboards for many more hours), then he drove himself to work today. He went in early & it is now after noon. He will be wiped out when he comes in.
We won't go back to the surgeon for another 4 weeks, but will see the oncologist next week. Our prayer would be that the chemo keeps the cancer under control (it would be nice if they came up with a drug that would do the job without also killing all his red blood cells) and that he fully recovers from this surgery so that we can go ahead with the other surgery.
Thanks for the prayers, support and good wishes.

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

House for Sale! part 2

I have had several emails from those concerned with our situation. We definitely appreciate all the good advice, which is mostly - get a lawyer! I want to clarify what I said in part 1. They are not denying us disability based on what we own. We just have too much debt to be able to survive for months with no income, while they make a decision about him. While I am continuing to apply on-line for jobs, I haven't had any time to get out there and look in the marketplace.
I think we just need to find a lawyer who is experienced in disability and SS to help us figure out what we can do, what we are entitled to. So continue in your prayers that God will guide us. Thank you for all the help and advice. Keep it coming.

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

House for Sale!

Our visit to the Social Security office was an eye opener. No one told us you had to be debt-free and jobless to even apply for disability. So we are racing against the clock now. We need to sell our house, our land, our tractor, pretty much everything we own, in order to pay off all our debt and buy a smaller place to live.
My Mom will have to move to my sisters. Justin will be on his own. It's every man for himself! Al needs to have the 2nd operation while we have insurance. I need to find a job with good benefits. All this has to happen before Al gets fired.
Then...when we are down to bare bones (no pun intended), they will let us apply. So, we are really in need of your prayers. It is going to have to be a God-thing. So if you don't hear from me for a while, it is because I am job-hunting, driving Al to work, having yard sales, packing up stuff to give away, moving my Mom, cleaning out the attic, cleaning out the barn and everything else.
If there is something you need, give me a call, we might have one for sale.