Thursday, July 31, 2008

Aha!


I had one of those "aha" moments the other day eating lunch by myself. I bowed my head to pray and thanked God for my food asking Him to bless it to the nourishment of my body. That's when it hit me... for the next 4 months, I should pray to bless the food I eat for the nourishment of our bodies. I'm praying for two!

Some days, being "pregnant" just seems like a new label with lots of less than pleasant symptoms. Other days, it hits me- I am carrying a tiny person with a soul in my womb that was created in the very image of God. It's hard to comprehend the miracle of life that I am experiencing first-hand.

I guess this was one of those simple moments where God's glory and goodness just seemed a little clearer, and I couldn't help but smile.

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Mini Epiphanies Along the Way


So here's the update on our house offer. The sellers were not willing to negotiate with us after all and stated our offer was too low to even consider countering. Of course, since that is pretty much getting slapped in the face in the real estate world, I was pretty annoyed and frustrated after we received the news. However, after praying about it, Bryan and I both agreed that this was just one of those times when God allowed a door to be slammed in our face to make it very clear that this was just not where we needed to be. We are viewing a couple of other homes this Friday... say a prayer!


We were supposed to renew our lease with this apartment complex by tomorrow. Otherwise, they have threatened to go up in rent month by month. Even if we do renew the lease, our rent still will go up to at least $900/month. Considering the current environment of our complex, I am not willing to rent there any longer than we absolutely have to, especially at such a high price. Unless God changes our hearts tonight, we are not going to renew the contract and are going to trust Him to provide us something more affordable and safe quickly.

A few things I have learned from this experience so far is:

  1. Feeling safe at home is very important to me- I would live in a lot of houses I would never have considered before just to be in a safe neighborhood.
  2. I like to plan and have everything organized- God doesn't always work that way.
  3. You pray a lot more when something really matters- I wish I could say I have prayed over the lost as much as I have prayed over finding a house lately.
  4. It's impossible not to become discouraged if you dwell on your problems instead of God and His promises to us.
  5. I'm a dumb sheep- I really don't know what I want or what I need or when I need it, and I am glad I have a Good Sheperd.

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Searching for Sunshine in the Rain...

Can I just say I am discouraged? Bryan and I finally made an offer on a house, and this morning, we received a tip from our Realtor that they are probably going to turn us down and not be very negotiable. According to our Realtor, they have already turned someone else's offer down that was the maximum amount we can afford to pay on a house right now with Bryan's salary. I am so disappointed. I really felt like this was the right house. I don't know whether to pray harder for God to perform a miracle or to try to cope with the reality that we will probably not be able to afford this house (even though it is only truly worth what we have offered... our offer was more than reasonable and fair). Even worse, I am not comfortable staying where we are any longer. Our neighbors are having serious issues with the law, and police officers have been over asking questions. I do not feel safe in my own home, and I really need God to come through for us right now with a new place to live. I feel backed into a corner and helpless, and all I know to do is to look to God and pray for His intervention. We don't have anywhere to go to from here, and either God is going to have to perform a miracle in these sellers' hearts or He is going to have to provide a new option for us that we cannot see right now. I don't even know what to pray for anymore. I am waiting for God. Surely, God will provide for us in this... Doesn't Jesus say that if we seek first His kingdom and His righteousness, all these things (talking about our needs) will be provided for us? We are trying hard to walk by faith and not by sight. I have to admit that things are not looking good. I am upset and confused. I'll keep praying and looking to Jesus, the author and finisher of my faith. God always provides for His children. He will meet our needs. I just sure wish I could see how now.

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

The Great House Search


Am I the only one or do odd things bring on crises of faith in other people? For the past 7 months since we have been on the Coast, we have been looking diligently for a house. Up until this point, we really have had no luck finding the right place to live. Last Thursday, Bryan and I confessed that we were both having a crisis of faith related to our house search. We were discouraged over how much houses cost post-Katrina and how little our ministerial housing allowance can afford. I guess this whole time we were just hoping a house would drop out of the sky into our laps, and the reality is that God may not provide for us a home in this way. We know rent is getting too high where we live now (thanks to FEMA), and we are really at the point where we need to move soon before I get any more pregnant.

We both know that God will provide for our needs, and we are clinging to the knowledge of who God is, what Scripture teaches us about God's providence, and what God has done for us in the past. We have always been blessed and have never done without. God has always made Bryan's pastoral salary stretch immeasurably, and we know that God will take care of us again. This past weekend was just one of those times where life was not as easy as we'd like it to be.

Friday, our Realtor, who has been great help in this process, showed us a home in our favorite neighborhood of Gautier. The asking price for the house is more than what we really can afford with the high cost of post-Katrina insurance, but it is in a wonderful, safe neighborhood. Much better than where we are now. Say a prayer for us as we carefully explore our options this week and are considering making an offer on the house. If this is the right place, God can bring the price down or provide the money we need to make this work. It's just nice to know that there is hope... maybe this will be the right place for our growing family. Either way, I know God will provide. He is Jehovah Jireh.

Monday, July 21, 2008

Crazy days come and thankfully go

Bryan left early this morning as part of the Jackson County Association's Disaster Relief Response team. He's on his way to Iowa to mud-out homes (basically get the gross stuff out so the houses can be rebuilt) with 5 other people from our association. Since I'm 5 months pregnant with our sweet baby girl (who's name has yet to be announced), I am staying behind with Peeperz (our friendly cockatoo) to hold down the fort here.

This afternoon I received the news that my Uncle Gene's heart surgery had went poorly and that he was probably going to die within the next few hours. Grieving and lonely, I poured out my heart to God until I couldn't cry anymore. I am so proud of Bryan's selfless desire to serve other people, but it was hard not having him home today with such bad news. God is so faithful, and He comforted me with a peace that passes all understanding. Tonight, when I expected to receive a phone call telling me about my uncle's death, I was surprised to receive the news that the uncontrolled bleeding was miraculously decreasing and that my uncle has very good odds of surviving this time. Praise God! I know He heard my prayers and the prayers of many others and has intervened in the life of my uncle.

I am so thankful that God is near when our loved ones cannot be. God is an amazing and intimate Creator. I just need to remember days like this...Be still and know He is God. He is enough.
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