Thursday, June 30, 2011


“I will repay you for the years the locusts have eaten— the great locust and the young locust, the other locusts and the locust swarm[b]— my great army that I sent among you." Joel 2:25

Crazy things have been happening in the midst of God's crazy love. I have been waiting, probably a year, to see God's hand move in regards to our mortgage situation. He revealed to me, in a particularly wonderful time of prayer and worship, that fraud had been committed and He showed me how He would remedy it. If you've read earlier posts, you know the amazing things He has already done here in regards to sparing us from foreclosure. That is all God my friends. There is no human who could do that on their own. Not with the cards so horribly stacked against us. Soli deo Gloria - all for His Glory, once again!

Yesterday God gave us a precious gift through my mother-in-law. It was a simple card rack and I don't know that she can begin to understand what it meant. It was beautiful. This card rack was white, pure, clean and new and I didn't catch the symbolism of that until just now. Weird to describe it that way and you probably wouldn't see what the big deal is about it. Seeing it brought back memories of all we had gone through in this house. All the pain, all the struggle, all the heartache. We had owned card racks just like it when we were attempting to turn the house into a scrapbook retreat to bring money in. Memories of losing my Tupperware business came flooding in. I've come to realize that in that situation, satan had stolen my joy and I had believed lies and that's what destroyed my ability to want to keep going. I loved that business and I was good at it. God had blessed my efforts and it was easy. I came to feel like I was trapped there because I "had to" keep working it to pay the mortgage. I believed my Tupperware income was saving our house. Ha! That was a big fat lie. God was and is and always has been our Provider. And now with the card rack, God was telling us that He was going to "give back all that the locusts had eaten". God is a complete circle. I cried tears of sadness for the losses and I cried tears because God's goodness is so overwhelming, all at the same time. It's crazy how beauty and pain can coexist in the same space. He doesn't have to do a thing for us and over and over again He does. He is the God of the impossible and a generous giver.

Friday, June 24, 2011

God's Gifts Are All Good

Our weekend away was to a prayer cabin in Wisconsin. While we were there, Dennis and I both sensed a move to Siren in our future. We also both got from God that Dennis would be quitting his job and we've been desiring to home school Faith for some time. She is extremely bright and extremely sensitive. We think she could benefit greatly from more experiential learning than traditional school can offer. With Dennis at home, she'd have an exceptional teacher. Dennis has wanted to live on a lake for as long as we've been together and Siren is literally surrounded by lakes. You'd have to try hard not to live on a lake :) I'm kidding of course but if you know Siren, you know what I'm talking about. We both felt like God was offering us the gift of our dream life. And thinking of Dennis and the move to Siren, homeschooling Faith, our lives together as missionaries, ministers, business partners. The Hope Chest, mom and me, and the other things whirling around in our lives, how can one not see the Glory of our God?

God is a complete circle

I don't fully comprehend what the title of this post means but I am trusting that I will someday. Maybe you will too :-)

Mom is here and as always it is a joyous occasion. It's not joy as one might have when they are expecting their first child. It's a much quieter joy that makes the days great. We are on the verge of opening The Hope Chest (the date set is next Saturday the 1st of July which is July 4th weekend) and I am happy we are together as God has been laying on our hearts to be praying daily. The enemy is strong but he is a defeated foe! Amen. Nothing good happens in this world without God and thankfully He made a way through Christ for us to have the direct connect with Him of prayer. Isn't He amazing? Anyway, it's interesting to see how God has brought mom here on this weekend before opening instead of us going there. She said she knows it's a time of relaxation and renewal and in our experience He seems to do that before a new project. "I will take my children into the wilderness and there I will speak tenderly to them. I will restore their fruitfulness and turn their valley of trouble into a door of hope." Hosea 2:14-15a He is so very good to us.

I was reading through the first two posts of this blog about The Hope Chest and so many things are coming to mind. It feels like it's been a long journey. Only two years really but so much has happened and changed. It feels like the growth in our lives has been at the speed of light, which could only happen by God's grace. It took mom and I about 6 months to a year to recover from the hurt around not opening. And then another year to grow into this amazing sisters-in-Christ relationship we have. It's been utterly painful and absolutely beautiful and everything in between in that stretch. God is bringing to completion a number of things in our lives. I actually rejoined Tupperware, maybe to begin again more intelligently, maybe to be able to end in victory? Maybe just because while I was in I had a sense that this is what God made me for? I have no clue, but it feels so odd to have so many things coinciding. I left Tupperware as God was making the invitation to open The Hope Chest. That decision came after months of praying that God would change my heart about not wanting to do it anymore, and I believe I had given Him full access to my heart to do that, and He didn't. Then The Hope Chest didn't open and we were without a church home, which still I perceive as one of the worst times since I've become a Christian. And then we decided to join the Maranatha family the weekend we didn't open The Hope Chest. And now a sense for both Dennis and I of a new mission field. And the question came "Will we be leaving Maranatha too?" Thank you Father that you are always with us.

Friday, June 10, 2011

My Chains Are Gone

I've been set free... My God, my Savior has ransomed me.

Dennis and I went to counseling together this past Tuesday and Dennis lovingly shared that he felt I had a problem with authority. The pastor at our church that I am closest to also indicated that. I believed him when he said it, but I couldn't immediately see how it was working in my life so I prayed for God to show me and He answered. When I saw it, I was in shock - a GREAT shock, but a shock no less. And for the second time in a couple months I have been set free of something that has had me in bondage for years. Gone were the days of not being able to hold a job. Gone were the days of starting out loving and respecting the authority figures in my life and ultimately being so afraid of them that it would turn to dislike. Gone were the days of condemnation and fear being allowed to run wild in my mind. Gone was the victim mentality. And in this process, God reminded me of a prayer I had prayed and how dropping all these chains was an answer to that prayer. Recently I had asked Him to show me why some people are so joyous in their conversion experience that they want to go and tell the whole world. I wanted to see for myself because it wasn't like that for me. And even now it wasn't that all chains dropped at once, but it is happening so fast really. I am so grateful to God I don't feel like I have words to accurately describe the depth of it.

Thursday, June 2, 2011

Seeing the Big Picture

Dennis and I are looking forward to a weekend away after about a year and a half of full-time mommy and daddy duty. This is a very exciting prospect for us and our destination is a surprise to Dennis. I am extra excited because I not only know the destination for the weekend, I get to see the pieces falling into place before we get there and I am sensing that God is working toward a beautiful change in our lives. I don't think Dennis has a clue how much bigger this is than just a weekend away because he can't see the whole picture. Even I can't see the big picture, I just see a little more than he does. I believe this is how it is with God and our lives. He has such amazing, wonderful plans for us and we see a fraction of it. Like my husband in our weekend get-away, all we know is there's a destination that sounds great.