August 6, 2010

Time to be Transparent

 


I don't know if you all know but this year has been quite a struggle for us in the area of finances.  

At the beginning of the year, my husband launched his business and within a few months he was off looking for a regular job. 

Not that the business failed....
It's just that money ran out for us and we needed instant money to pay our basic needs (rent, lights, gas, food, etc...) 

Around March or so my husband began working with his friend.
  This was a blessing since he didn't have to apply for a job. 
It was instant cash to meet our needs.  

I have to admit though, that during this time I struggled in my heart.
I felt somewhat depressed.  I stepped back a bit in my heart and reflected on life....
 asking the Lord where He was directing me to.  
and all of us....

I've had many mixed emotions 
Had many ups and downs about not knowing what would come next.  
Yeah....I know I just typed a blog post about this same thing, which I will clarify in a bit. 

I became bit discouraged with my life a bit. 
  But knowing that through all of these ups and downs.... God was still right next to me.

He was...
Holding my hand
giving me a hug
loving me through my confusion, depression, and down days

  I felt his presence even in the midst of tears and struggles 
of not knowing what was going on.  

I felt very weak in my faith and trust in the Lord.

  Many days I felt like just packing all of us up and moving far, far away.  
I didn't want to stay here anymore.  
But knowing that....
during these dark times.....I was going to be "saved".  
I knew I was going to see the full light once again. 
I was only seeing a bit of light....Like seeing the light at the end of a tunnel....
that's where I was in my inner strength and faith in God. 

Like I said...I knew He was there all along walking with me.  
Speaking words deep, deep in my spirit.  
He was speaking words but I just couldn't make any sense of them... 

I hope this all makes some sense to you.
This is the only way I can understand it myself.

I am sharing this to let you know that I am coming out of the tunnel....
The sun is shining in the deepest part of my heart and soul.
  I am hearing Him more clearly and I am feeling His love the evermore. 

I know He is a good God who has the best in store for me. 
Even though I might not see the full picture...
I am willing to trust where He is taking me.  

To fill you in...
my husband is no longer working for his friend. 

We are back to trusting God for our every need.  
Donnie is revamping the business...

So I thought I would share a bit of what God has been up to these past few weeks. 
He has shown up in little ways to say that He is taking care of us. 
This has been happening almost every day the past couple of weeks

So here it goes:  

Earlier last week a friend blessed me with an hour massage.  Oh yeah baby....an answer to my prayers.  I had been so achy for months and when my friend shared her gift with me...
I was dumbfounded. 
So the two of us went to the spa and had a massage. 
Lovely bliss!!


This is a blurry picture of me in my spa robe...ha ha

Then later that evening this same friend gave me some left-overs from a dinner party she had.  There was TONS of food left over.  I picked it up and we had dinner for at least two days.

I think that same night of picking up the left-overs from my friend another dear friend of mine (the one who lost baby Kara, at 49 days old) used one of her gift cards and bought diapers and grocery items for me. 

I was in tears by this wonderful act of kindness.

Then Sunday as I'm sitting in church, a single mom puts money in my left hand....I thank her....we chat a bit and then another single mom puts money in my right hand.

These two women don't know each other, but they both felt led to give to us.  
WOW!!!!....
I was blown away again by their kindness and of course being touched by God.  

Later that evening....
a single woman friend of mine calls and says she is bringing dinner over for us.  
Yay....I don't have to cook!!!  
Then, I got a chance to get to know her more.   :)

Oh...Oh....oh.... I forgot to mention that about a month ago a woman from church who has a farm wanted to bless our family with meat from her butchered cow and some veggies from her garden.  

We went over and filled up about two giant coolers full of meat and veggies along with some canned jellies.    And this happened a few weeks after another family in our church had just butchered a cow gave us over 20 pounds of meat.  My goodness...isn't that a blessings??!!!  I had to throw this in even though this happened last month sometime.  

Tuesday night, I went over to say good-bye to my "moving-on" friend Lena.  I came to her home to find she had saved all her cleaners and some refrigerated items along with some freezer foods all for us.  

Wow-weeee!!!  
I love my friends.....my sisters!!

Wednesday, one of the neighbor kids comes over with about a dozen boxes of cereal to give to us.  I have never met his mother, but she wanted to give them to us because she had to many.  She clips coupons and has a stock pile. 

Wow....I know this was the Lord speaking straight to her heart about giving to us!!

Yesterday was one of those pivotal moments. 
Let me give you a bit of history....

There is a woman in my neighborhood who doesn't have the best reputation, but my heart goes out to her.  From the little I have seen of her, I think she is a wonderful mother.  I can see it in the way she talks to them.  
I have still yet to make time to sit and get to know her better.  

Anyway....for a few years now the Lord has been placing it in my heart to befriend her. 
I, being busy with "life" have been making excuses.  
Not that I don't want to go over there and chat....time is my excuse.
  I know....my bad!!  

Lately, this desire to know her has grown stronger and stronger.  
Some friends have said "Make her some cookies and bring them over to her". 
yeah...I can do that....
but....yeah.... 
my BUT gets in the way.
  ha ha.  

Yesterday...I bumped into her at the grocery store. :)
It is quite funny how it all happened.  

You see...
I had just enough money to buy my basic needs. 
I didn't bring any other cash (not even my purse).  
I gathered all the food I planned on buying and then debated on buying some yeast and flour instead of just getting bread.  

I knew if I bought these extra items I would be over the amount I had in cash, 
but wasn't totally sure.  

I came up to the check-out and my neighbor was checking-out in front of me.  
We say hi...I say hi to her cute kids.  She does the same.

I then noticed she is digging through her pockets for change. 
I noticed she was about to put something back from her groceries....
A-ha....I thought.... my chance to be a blessing...
remember I didn't have enough for all my items.  

I say to her "I'll buy it for you." 
She says  "NO WAY....I'll tackle you down if you do that.  No way!!"  
she's saying all this in a funny way.  

Anyway....we go back and forth and she refused to let me pay for her item.  

As we were saying "good-bye"....
The cashier rings up my groceries and guess what.....?
I was OVER by $1.41!!  

We all laugh and I say "now, I'm over!!"
My neighbor then hands the cashier $2. 
I look at her and say "What are you doing!!??"  
She says "If you don't take that money, I'll tackle you down along with your kids" 
(I had a couple kids with me).  

I just look at her and say "Thank you for being such a blessing".    
By now she is walking out the door with her kids.  

I looked down into my hand and realized I didn't have enough money to get water 
(we buy bottled water--the big jumbo bottles). 
I only had .50 cents.  

I walk to the van and search for change. 
I look under the drink holder and there they were..... 4 quarters!!

  Why is this such a big deal??
  I knew immediately this was from God.  He had set this whole thing up, and this was the way He told me. 
There was no other change there but the 4 quarters to get my water refilled. 

As I drove home, I thought about the whole incident.....
you see I wanted to buy the item for my neighbor....
I wanted to be a blessing to her, but God gave her the opportunity to bless me
which opened the door for me to do something for her....

Voila....
I now have a legit reason to bake something yummy and bring it over to thank her.  

The Lord gave me the idea of baking a few loaves of bread for her since without her $2, I wouldn't have the flour. 
Isn't that awesome??!!  

Later on that day my mother-in-law unexpectedly shows up at my door with a car load of food she had left over from summer school 
(she works in the public school cafeteria...yep, she's a wonderful lunch lady)
:)  

The kids have their fill of little chocolate milk cartons, corn dogs, frozen pbj sandwiches, chips, personal size fruity cheerios, apples, cheese sticks, and lots of extra goodies.  


The biggest blessing thus far has been that we are not having to move!!

  You see we really don't have money to pay rent this month 
We weren't sure what was going to happen to us. 

The plan was to pack up and move in with my in-laws.  
The Lord has been working in my heart in a very deep way.  
Much peace was consuming my heart and I was willing to do what we had to. 

I was willing to put everything in storage and bunk up with my in-laws.  
They were so gracious to let us stay.  
They are oh so wonderful to us!! 

The good news is that our landlord said he can work with us!!
  We've been renting this home for about 4 years now and it's been these last 6 months where paying him has been very hard. 
He has been such a wonderful landlord, though. 

What have I learned and am learning during this journey???
Trust
Patience
Faith

 Even though things might not look like "they should" according to my eyes. 
I came to a place of complete trust and surrender.....

A place where I am saying 
"Lord....whatever you want for us....please do."  
I came to a place of willingness. 

I didn't realized I was so set in my ways.  
You know when you think you have it all figured out....
ha ha....surprise.  

I am still learning and I am still trusting.  
I am still living day by day.  

The business is still alive but we are yet to make something. 
My husband is applying for jobs in different cities in Florida.  
So.....yes.....things still remain uncertain.....
 But I am ready to do what the Lord leads us to.  

I will continue to fill you in on our journey. 

To be completely honest with you...I struggled with the idea of being so transparent on my blog but the Lord reminded me about who I am.....

  I am VERY transparent.  
If we sat down with a cup of coffee in hand....I would share my life story with you. 

Yep...so why not do this on my blog, right? 
I have come to realize.... I have nothing to hide.  
I don't want to put up an image which I'm not....
(not that I have been..) 

Plus...this is a perfect place to truly journal how God is bringing us through these times.   Blogging about this journey, helps me to see...

God is with me ALL THE TIME!!!

4 comments:

Mrs. Taffy said...

That last picture of your husband literally brought tears to my eyes...Chris, you are just where we were a few months back. It is such a scary place being completely and totally dependent on God. It's humbling. It's thrilling too and it's just where He likes us to be! Giving Him the credit and worshipping Him through your struggles and your blessings is walking out your faith!


If God didn't love your family so much, He wouldn't take you on this journey of faith and growth! I'm so proud of you! So thankful to God for moving on your behalf! I will continue to lift your family up in prayer!

Much love and a great big hug from a sister who's been there!

love you,
Carissa

Cinnamon said...

What an amazing testimony of God providing for your dear family. We have been in situations like that many times. Total strangers have blessed us beyond belief. Non believers have come to our aid at just the right moment. You are so right it is like God shouting in my ears "this is just for you!" and I feel so blessed.

I'm so glad you shared your struggles and joys. What a wonderful way to get to know you more. What fun it would be to stop by and have a break baking day and then go bless all the people who blessed you :-)

Hang on, the ride only gets better~

~Cinnamon

Rosemi said...

Oh how beautiful. I think my eyes are getting in a habit of watering through your posts. You are a very good writer. I love how you are transparent and can show us your journey holding God's hand. It blesses my heart so much. Thank you Chris. ♥

Amanda said...

I love, love, love, reading stories like these, where the Lord takes care of His children.

You know Chris, I would rather have little, even not know where my next dollar is coming from, then have so much money I need never worry. Why? Because in this place, the Lord shows us who our true Provider is. I have been a single mother (I came to the Lord separated from my 1st husband). In that place, I can tell you, were my richest memories of my walk with the Lord.

You learn to appreciate every single blessing that comes your way and take nothing for granted. Sometimes we think we are walking by faith in God, but really are hearts are secure in the bank balance. It is only when we are tested by this, that we see how much our dependency on God really is.

Love the last photo... do you live near this beach? It is similiar to the beach out front of my house!