231 – Organized and Praising

231 – Getting Organized and Praising Jesus

November 17, 1986

Last week I was able to surrender organizing the house, I had been harping on it in prayer and grinding and striving about it in my mind. And then He came through for me. Praise the Lord!

I made a special trip to the campus book store to get the book Dan had heard about in a chapel service this week: The Organized Woman. Then on Saturday Dan provided the time and the Lord gave me clarity to work on the kitchen and the mudroom. The mudroom is huge and home to yard tools, winter boots, extra shoes, coats, outside toys, snow toys, washer and dryer, and laundry piles. These are the two rooms I spend my time in the most and that were the MOST important. The play room I had done last week, and it is still organized.

For God is not the author of confusion but of peace…. 1 Corinthians 14:33

I will continue praising and worshiping You today.

Let praises fill this house as You exhorted me 3 years ago. It has been happening. The boys are loving spending time praising You. Their Spirits become immediately joyful!

My lips will shout for joy when I sing praises to You. Psalm 71:23

…and those the Lord has rescued will return. They will enter Zion with singing; everlasting joy will crown their heads. Gladness and joy will overtake them, and sorrow and sighing will flee away. Isaiah 35:10

227 -Something Was Not Right

227 – Something Was Not Right

November 3, 1986

Suddenly something was not right with our home group leader. This man had seemed normal and stable. He was well liked. He did well in his classes at the Bible school. Dan admired him. And then one day he seemed to have a break with reality. There was a terrifying episode at the school and it was a very sad event on campus when Jimmy had to be restrained and taken to the hospital. An expanse of prayers went out for both Jimmy and his wife Josie.

Jimmy and Josie shared the two-story Victorian house with us in the village of Livonia, twelve miles from the school. They lived in the smaller one-story parlor, to which had been added a bathroom and a very small kitchen. We shared a connecting door at the base of the stairs. The door was kept locked in order to keep the two residences completely separate and private. (And to keep little boys from running back and forth.) Jimmy and Josie were second- year students and we, of course, were first-year students. They were in their 40’s like Dan and I.

From my journal the next day: Josie came over early this morning to discuss with us her intention of committing Jimmy to an institution. Jimmy was not in agreement and was still not acting in his right mind. We could hear him yelling and objects crashing thunderously. I was crazily worried that he would come bursting through our adjoining door.  

Dan had left for work hours before, and fear came over me big time. The boys helped me gather our school books and cheese and crackers and juice boxes we hurried up the stairs and locked ourselves in the boys’ bedroom! We did not get anything done. We huddled together and sent up some pleas to God to save us and to  protect Josie.

Several hours later Josie let us know that the ambulance had taken Jimmy to a facility. We were all badly shaken. We comforted Josie as best we could. She drove over to the hospital to sign papers then went to the school to talk to the administrators. She ate dinner with us that evening.

I found out two days later that one of the Elim women who led a prayer group on campus, fully aware of Jimmy’s mania, but not aware of our plight that day, had felt strongly to pray for our protection on Monday morning. On Wednesday she came to our house to encourage me and showed me in her journal that her prayers for that day included our names!

Thank You, Jesus! I am so grateful. Joan’s prayers were probably the reason I was not wildly over-reacting to the distress I heard and the distress I felt! Thank You for putting our dilemma on Joan’s heart.

Thank you for delivering us.

Because he has set his love upon Me, therefore I will deliver him; I will set him on high, because he has known My name. He shall call upon Me, and I will answer him; I will be with him in trouble; I will deliver him and honor him. Psalm 91:14-15

The fervent prayer of a righteous (woman) accomplishes much! James 5:16b

222 -Believe and Be Saved

222 – Believe and Be Saved

October 22, 1986

I have been reading my Bible and praying, more than writing in my journal. Praise God, it has been GOOD.

I have seen God taking over in me and in the circumstances!

Swindoll’s book, Improving Your Serve: When God is in control of the servant’s mind…life’s greatest joy is to give His love away. (paraphrased)

Fill me up today, Lord, moment by moment, so I can give Your love away.

Help me see the pitfalls that await me and remind me to call on You to get me up and over them and on the other side!!

And thank You for the invention of the telephone—we heard from Danny P, Auntie Bev, and my parents. So much love flowing our way…

Tim and Daniel stayed at the Pletcher’s while Dan and I took Steve and Mark to the Billy Graham movie, Cry From the Mountain. Both boys went forward when the invitation was given! Halleljuah!

Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and you will be saved, you and your household. Acts 16:31

205 ~ Sweets and Prayers and Horses with Hairy Angles

205 – Sweets and Prayers

and Horses with Hairy Ankles

August 13, 1986

The boys missed the party and movie over at the school today. It was the culmination of the summer program which the three oldest boys had participated in–crafts and indoor and outdoor activities. I just wasn’t excited about them going and told Dan that.

They accepted our ‘no’ beautifully. Praise God. We decided to have our own party of popcorn, peanut butter cookies, and a piece of candy. We walked along Big Tree Street counting the trees near the road (61) not the ones in people’s yards. We visited the Pletcher’s, and came home to watch Chris for 1 ½ hours while Leslie had some business to attend to. All four boys consider him their best friend and he is kind and gracious to all of them. He’s a mature only child. Thank You for turning the boys’ hearts toward home. There will come a day when the world will look more appealing…..and I will need to let them go.

August 14

Yesterday I overdosed on sugar. The after affects were the usual:

-self-hate

-anxiety, irritability

-craving for more

-slight headache

The adverse side-effects always get me back on the no sugar wagon–at least for a while!! I’ve got to make a big clean break.

August 15

Yesterday, Thursday, at 10am Daniel wanted to be held, he was very fussy. I decided to sit in the rocker and hold him and pray. He fell asleep and took an early nap, but I was able to intercede for a while. I had no idea for whom I was praying, but I just asked God to intervene.

Today I got a letter from Jan, written last week, that Kyle was having surgery at noon on Thursday–but then I got a call from Janet and she said Kyle had the surgery at 10am our time!! and that it had been a great success. WOW!

AND I GOT TO PARTICIPATE FROM 3000 MILES AWAY!

I trusted You and went to the Clydesdale exhibit with the neighbors. I didn’t really want to go, but the kids did. My kids were so patient and uncomplaining. Julie’s were awful and complaining loudly. Embarrassingly so. 

The next day she came over to ask what I used to spank them with and about the chores the kids do!!

202 ~ I Threw Myself On the Lord

202 – I Threw Myself On the Lord

July 18, 1986

During my early morning walk I prayed to be able to have discernment about the enemy’s tactics and have victory over my flesh when I find myself rising up and taking the enemy’s bait! And did I ever need that prayer….

The boys were across the street hanging out with their friends. Dan and I went to Beulah’s to pick up the kids so we could take them to the 4-H meeting. The ladies were gossiping, actually slandering someone. Praise God I kept out of it.

Then at the school where the meeting was, I became fearful and angry about something.

Then after we got home, sorrow came upon me because I had no car to use to get Dan a birthday gift.

Then disgust because the flour canister had a huge ant in it so I could not bake for him.

I THREW MYSELF ON THE LORD, CRYING OUT TO HIM FOR HELP,

Loneliness and lack of control over my life, overwhelmed me.

I almost called Karen for prayer support, because I don’t even have a prayer partner here! –amazingly, restraint came because it would have been a very unwise use of money to make the long-distance call across the country!

BUT GOD SAVED ME! without my calling anyone.

Peace came from God. My problems disappeared. We (the boys and I) would accept what we could not change and make do.

Then my mom called! GLORY! Someone who would understand!

Then my neighbor, Janet, came over and offered me her car!!

So I piled the boys in to the car and we went to the store and bought what we needed.

I had a major personal victory, and God worked mightily on my behalf! BLESS YOU, LORD!

The impact: self pity, a victim spirit, fearfulness, anger, loneliness, overwhelmingness—none of those things interfere with my relationship with the Lord if I just turn to Him and throw myself on His always-available mercy and grace.

So let us come boldly to the throne of our gracious God. There we will receive his mercy, and we will find grace to help us when we need it most. Hebrews 4:16

199- Asking God for Help

199 – Asking God for Help

July 15, 1986

Exodus 16:4 The Lord said to Moses, Behold, I will rain bread from heaven 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!

July 16

Exodus 17:1-7  [The story of water coming from the rock—after Moses 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.

196 -Beware!

196 –  Beware!

 

June 27, 1986

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.

195- We are Welcomed and Embraced

195 – We are Welcomed

and Embraced

June 23, 1986

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.

What a pumpkin! Danny 2, Steve 6, Mark 4, Tim 7.

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.

Mark, Tim, Steve on the Maid-of-the-Mist boat at Niagra Falls. Raincoats were distributed to all passengers. Danny was there also. 

194 – Lace Curtains and a Word from the Lord

194 – Lace Curtains and a Word from the Lord

June 23, 1986

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 works is that when we arrived at our awesome 100-year old two story 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.”

193 – On to Niagara Falls

193 – On to Niagara Falls

June 1986

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.