We have been praying that God would tell us by His Spirit about Dan keeping this job he has been working at this week. He leaves the house at 5:30am (we get up at 4:30) and gets home at 5:30pm. We eat dinner and watch the news, he reads to the boys from the Bible story book, and after we put them to bed we are in bed by 9:30.
I believe I’m hearing from God through my Bible reading. Moses was sitting alone all day as judge over the people from morning to evening. His father-in-law saw that was happening and said:
“The thing that you do is not good. Both you and this people who are with you will surely wear yourselves out. For this thing is too much for you; you are not able to perform it by yourself.” Exodus 17:18
We just went though this unbalanced lifestyle when Dan had full responsibility over building the church. He worked extremely long hours and I had the boys extremely long hours. It became too much for both of us.
Is this the right job for Dan??
Later: A check from Life Center arrived. $1,100!! Tom Ballard called and said pastor took up a special collection for us. PRAISE GOD!!
Is God saying He is our Provider and to trust Him with another job??
Psalm 106:8, Nevertheless He saved them for His name’s sake, that He might make His mighty power known. Then they believed His words. They sang His praise.
Praise God. I’m singing Your praise! Yesterday in the kitchen Markie, age 4, trying to open it, pulled the 5 foot tall metal cabinet full of dishes down on himself. A wardrobe box AND ANGELS stopped it from falling on him.
Then hours later Daniel, age 2, did the same thing (I had changed the location of the majority of the dishes so there was not much in it). This time the cabinet doors popped open and propped the cabinet up! so it did not come down on top of him. Two things broke each time—2 casseroles and 2 Pyrex storage containers. No one was cut or hurt.
PRAISE GOD FOR DELIVERING US FROM TROUBLE—PRAISE GOD!
The fist accident occurred after I’d been talking to the boys’ friend Chris’s mom on the front porch. Her name is Leslie and I found out later that she is a Jehovah’s Witness. The second accident occurred after the boys and I had been at Leslie’s sister Julie’s house while I got a haircut and gave my testimony of how personal God is and how He speaks to me. She seemed very interested. She is Mormon.
The Lord was with us and He used me with both ladies. Was there some spiritual warfare involved or just little boys acting goofy? Whatever…we were covered by Him.
Later after the kids were in bed for the night and Dan was studying, I went to the store. God reminded me that I have been up every day this week for one hour of prayer before the kids get up. Thanking Him for fulfilling my heart’s desire. And for using me with my neighbors who are becoming my friends.
Exodus 16:4 The Lord said to Moses, Behold, I will rain bread fromheaven for you; and the people shall go out and gather a day’s portion every day, that I may test them, whether or not they will walk in my instruction.
I was encouraged in reading about God providing for the Israelites…so I asked God for an invitation out to dinner because I needed one more meal in the week’s menu.
Janet came by unexpectedly with a bag of groceries that will carry us through this week and into next, saying, “the Lord told me– as I was walking through the store asking Him who could use this, and this, and this—that YOU could!” Janet has been such a faithful friend to us!
Exodus 17:1-7 [The story of water coming from the rock—afterMoses took the people’s complaints to God.]
This story led me to something in my life: the three younger boys would be satisfied to play here at home, I think. But Tim is restless and wants friends his age and more things to do.
So – I bring this complaint to You, Lord.
I have no ideas, no car, no money, no friends to call on. How can I help my son?
And I rebuke fear.
Exodus 17:8-16 [The story Moses interceding for the people during the battle with the Amalekites.]
I will intercede on Tim’s behalf. I will pray about this.
Many times, just like this, the Bible is my guide. I write down a verse or many verses while I am reading. Often God ‘speaks’ to me and answers my questions and gives me advice. It’s pretty amazing… It’s a relationship that is built day by day.
Little did I know that within a few weeks, Tim would be a first grade student at the elementary school across the field. It wasn’t my choice, but it answered my prayers. Did the Lord lead me to intercede for Timmy so that I would be a bit more prepared for what was going to be happening. I wouldn’t be surprised.
Since I have been REALLY praying about homeschooling—GOD PLEASE MAKE THIS WORK OR ELSE I DON’T KNOW WHAT TO DO—it is going VERY well. I mean, VERY VERY well!
Also, I have been praising Him more and more for what He HAS done already in the past and HAS done already in the future that I get to step into.
My countenance is changing into a more joyful and positive one. Also, I have been a better disciplinarian of the boys. More aware of what to do and not so double minded.
From the basement Dan brought up a huge old piece of furniture that we are putting all of the homeschool books on. Perfect!
Yesterday I faced that I really love to sleep, confessed my self-centeredness, and asked God from there, from square one, to give me His motivation to pray early. HE DID!
Honesty with the Lord is the best policy. I need to just talk to Him. Just be real. Tell him the truth all the time: this is what’s going on in me, Lord! It seems to me that the Holy Spirit is the One who helps me be honest and not act like there is nothing going on.
The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked; who can know it? Jeremiah 17:9
The Holy Spirit knows it
My Lord knows my heart. As I lean into Him talk to Him about everything, then trust Him fully–and pray hard–He will always be my strength and my song!
“Behold, God is my salvation, I will trust and not be afraid; for the LORD GOD is my strength and song, And He has become my salvation.” Isaiah 12:2
But if the Spirit of Him who raised Jesus from the dead dwells in you, He who raised Christ from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies through His Spirit who dwells in you. So then, brethren, we are under obligation, not to the flesh, to live according to the flesh. Romans 8:11-12
My spirit wants to be free of the bondage of the flesh. My spirit wants to get up EARLY, be loving, teach my children the Word of God and the ways of Jesus Christ, honor my husband.
But my flesh is strongly advancing its own causes: sleep, more rest, say what’s in front of my brain without control, be bossy, be controlling….
I heard again,Let my peoplego, that they may serve Me. Exodus 9:1
Is this You, Lord, talking about me letting the boys go to public school??? I feel greatly concerned about this. I know I am not meeting my high expectations of homeschooling, but to let them go into the world?…..
I met Stevie’s Vacation Bible School teacher and she is involved in court proceedings over homeschooling her children! THAT is NOT interesting to me AT ALL.
But to let them go???
Last night Dan and I let Timmy and Stevie go with Mrs. West, our next door neighbor, to see fireworks at her cottage at the lake. They left at 8:45 in the evening and returned at 11:15pm.
Once I had FINALLY made the decision that YES they could go, God gave me TOTAL peace. Getting past the vain imaginations and fears was HORRIBLE!!
You, therefore, beloved, since you know this beforehand, BEWARE lest you also fall from your own steadfastness, being led away with the error of the wicked, but grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. 2 Peter 3:17
For this past month I have been reading my Bible but not writing in my journal. I have been walking in our neighborhood almost daily and praying.
I have been reading in 2 Peter and the insights about being aware of wicked men SEEM to be about a person we met here—the FIRST person we met here. He is a retired school teacher. He has been over often, giving gifts, being too friendly. Yesterday morning I had a good talk with God on my walk and asked for information about child molesters and JUST HAPPENED later that day to make my first visit to the Livonia library. And there on the front desk was a pamphlet: Protect Your Children.
After lunch I set Timmy, Stevie, Mark down for school and we had health.
I was quite frank and open and used this man as an example of someone we do not know well who might be crude or nasty and for them to be careful. Tim, 7, and Steve, 6, understood, but I am not sure about how well Markie, age 4, understood.
Mr. XX was here 1 ½ hours in the morning and two or three hours in the afternoon.
I believe this is the man You were warning me about last month. I will be on the alert.
I have asked God to render this man powerless over me and Dan and the boys. I felt I was to start talking about God to him. Then we went to a Camp Meeting last night at Elim and the message was on “let the redeemed of the Lord say so!” We are to speak about our redemption. Our WORDS are life and valuable.
Praise God for the precious work of the Holy Spirit.
By the way the boys have responded well to our discussion. I feel we all feel closer to each other. You shall know the truth and the truth shall make you free!
I had read Exodus 1 this morning and it told how God BLESSED the midwives for obeying and honoring Him and not killing the boy babies. I shared this with the boys –that to honor God brings us blessings even if someone else tells us to do the wrong thing.
We were vigilant. God was faithful. I thank Him today for the warning. The man was our neighbor. He brought huge pumpkins for the boys which was OK, and wanted to take them for rides on his tractor. NO.
Soon after we arrived in Livonia, Ted Kryzinski, a student from the Bible School, arrived to greet us and tell us to call his friend, Mike, the new Dean of Married Students. We had told Mike of our arrival date and he had sent Ted to greet us. (no cell phones!) Mike invited us to dinner, so we piled into our Suburban and Ted led the way to Mike’s house in the next town. Lima was 12 miles away and was the tiny town where Elim Bible Institute was located. What a blessed welcome!
Mike’s wife, Tish, was a wonderful hostess and a great cook and also brought dinner to our house the next night!
In the morning, our landlady appeared with 6 blueberry donuts for breakfast and later our down-the-street-neighbor, Cheryl, came by with coffee cake and a cooler of juice and paper cups. Elim students Rich and Brent arrived from Lima and helped Dan unload the containers and carry the furniture and the cardboard boxes into the house. They stored the empty shipping containers on the property.
I turned the black account book we had used as a diary of our trip into a FORGET-NOT-HIS-BENEFITS journal and listed all of the letters and cards and money gifts, which arrived often from our families and our Reno church. They took special offerings for us every couple of months. Our families and friends remembered our birthdays and sent the boys $1 bills or stickers on Halloween and Valentine’s Day. We also received money gifts from our Elim married student’s group and rides to appointments (we had one car which Dan took to school and work). We were given grocery bags of food at Thanksgiving and at Christmas and other random times, often left anonymously on the doorstep. We received clothes bags of used clothes for the whole family (which we had become used to receiving in our Reno church).
The grandest blessing of all was that 90% of the students were living by faith in God and depending on Him for their jobs, rent, and school fees. We weren’t weird anymore–like the ugly duckling we had found our flock!! And that brought us a deep comfort.
We made friends with the neighbors and two boys who were cousins, David and Chris, became great friends to all 4 sons.
Our house was on Big Tree Street, aptly named. Every 10 or 15 feet there was a giant and grand old tree. There were no fences between the houses, but acres of green, green grass. At harvest time, the apples and corn and berries ripened. Often our neighbors and new school friends shared their produce with us. Our garden grew giant pumpkins, tomatoes, corn, and the blackberry bushes thrived. We planted a several rows of veggies but could not keep up with the weeds and did not have much success.
We quickly became part of a small home school group which was part of the greater homeschool group from the Bible School. We met for weekly get togethers, celebration of holidays, crafts, fun foods, and outings to the playground.
Gramma Fern and Auntie Yvonne came for a visit and we went to Niagara Falls. Gramma treated us all to an exciting ride on the Maid of the Mist tourist boat that went up close to the falls.
On Day 15, Dan and I were up at 5:30am to pray together for God’s order, as we do daily, His direction, and His life in us. We also prayed for our first impressions of Livonia, where we would make our home for the next season of our lives. We prayed about our first impressions of the house and the people—and their first impressions of us. We prayed that the unpacking would go smoothly, and asked again that the power would not be too expensive. Also that Paul Ripley, our mover man, would have a ‘supernatural experience’ to relate to us about his journey—and that he would be saved and become a Christian. We prayed that our Life Center church friends would walk in what the Lord taught them yesterday at church.
One of our favorite family stories of God’s wondrous worksis that when we arrived at our awesome 100-year old twostory house in Livonia ($385 month), Paul Ripley had JUST pulled his trailer loaded with our household goods into the driveway thirty minutes before. There were no cell phones then. God coordinated it.
Another God-thing — all of the downstairs windows in the Victorian house were framed in lovely old oak. And hanging in each one were beautiful lace curtains. Unbeknownst to anyone, having lace curtains in the house was a special request I had asked of God. I was stunned to behold them! I felt like He was saying to me:
“YES!! It’s Me! I’m here! I got you here. I want you to remember that– as times get tough and as you come upon things you do not understand.”
We stopped in Denton, TX, to see my sweet 94 year old Christian aunt, in a rest home there. She thought we had more children and kept looking for them! It was hard for me to leave Aunt Harriet, knowing I would not see her again.
Dan surprised us by pulling in to a Ramada Inn, having decided it might be better to quit the day early rather than drive for 4 more hours as he had planned. Stevie prayed: “Lord, please get us an apartment and help us not to be rowdy.” The price was right–$38– and a swimming pool– with a restaurant and a Laundromat on the next block. Working though the mound of laundry took us till 8:15 pm. While the clothes were washing, Dan and Daniel went to get some dinner for us. They came back with deep-fried catfish and chicken nuggets. It tasted so good Dan went back for more. Our reward was a swim! Tim played with his raft from Auntie Bev, and the other boys took turns jumping off the edge of the pool into our arms, kicking wildly.
We started out early the next day after devotions and prayer together. There was a big cross in the sky which we watched turn pink with the sunrise. We called on God for all our needs—strength, refreshment, safety, good attitude. We laid ALL of our fears before Him.
On day 10, as we entered Chicago area, Mark piped up, “It’s a glory to God that we get to move, huh, Mom?”
Dan’s mom, Beth, who the boys called Bebo, had carefully thought out how we would spend our time with her. In the morning we took the train into downtown Chicago to see GrampAl at his job at Harza where he was an engineer. We went to the top of the Sears Tower, the tallest building in the world at that time. We loaded into two taxi cabs and went to the Chicago Institute of Art. We visited a hands-on area for children as well as exhibits in Arms and Armor, the American West, and a paperweight collection! Excellent, fun, interesting, stimulating. On the way home we let the boys spread out in the train car and sit where they wanted. The next day we went to a dairy and had ice cream sundaes for lunch!
In the account book journal I wrote down funny or insightful comments by the boys and Tim and Steve took turns doing art work about the sights and the bugs. I planned to attach photos and scenic folders or postcards, but that did not happen. Several years later I used the account book and my journals and wrote a 91-page book about our 2½ years in Livonia, NY. I had it spiral bound at Office Depot. We included 27 pages of photographs of family highlights and we gave one to each boy for Christmas that year.
We continued on our journey, going north through Indiana and Michigan and into Ontario, Canada. We stopped at Niagara Falls and took the tram ride up the hill to gawk and stare at the thundering tons of water crashing over the edges of the earth.
In two hours we would arrive at our new home and the end of this travel experience. God has been faithful every mile of the way.
And everyone who has left houses or brothers or sisters or father or mother or wife or children or fields for my sake will receive a hundred times as much and will inherit eternal life. Matthew 19:29
We left our awesome solar house that Dan built us. We sold it, expecting that we were headed out for Bible School in New York. We rented homes in Reno for two more years until we felt God released us to once again pick up the vision for further training in order to prepare us for our goal of being missionaries to Japan. And then we leftour brothers and sisters, fathers and mothers for His sake.
During our stay at my parents’ house Dan did some odd jobs and repaired our tent. One of my fillings fell out and I was able to get it fixed that day. I had to go back the next day because it fell out again! On Saturday, I took a half hour walk at 5:50am, we ate breakfast together, said tearful goodbyes, and began our road trip in earnest.
Timmy made up a longer game from ‘padiddle’ which is what you say when you see a car with one headlight out. ‘Diddle’ was for two lights on and Scriddle was for 2 lights off.
Bev had given us a goodie bag! Inside were four hedgehog puppets, all-day suckers, a music tape from Life Center Sunday worship. We all sang along to the familiar songs.
There were lots of power lines and cactus and big dips in the road. Markie, age 4, said, I think they made these dips just for the kids to have fun!
In Needles, California, it was 112 degrees. We got icy sodasfor everyone at our McDonald’s potty stop. Daniel spilled most of his on his lap in his car seat. It cooled him off but it was pretty sticky!
Part of the ‘hundred times as much blessing’ was that the boys had excellent behavior and excellent health as we traveled across the country from coast to coast. They were mostly happy and content.
The first night we spent $53 for a room with 3 queen beds in Kingman, AZ. The second night we set up the tent in an Albuquerque, NM, KOA campground. ($22.65). We ate cold canned tamales and chili beans, grapes, bread and butter and made the decision to eat in diners or fast food places for the remainder of the journey. And after putting the 10-man tent up (after a very long days’ drive) then taking it down in the heavy dew in the morning, repacking the car, and then traveling all day in the heat, we opted for motels for the rest of the journey. Time and efficiency were precious commodities.
The Lord is very very personal to his children, especially when we trust Him fully. I asked specifically and He answered specifically.