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 . It was the culmination of the summer program and 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.

August 14

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


-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 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.


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. Hers 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 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, making sure the boys were well occupied in the playroom.

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.

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!

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.

192 – We’ve Left Them All

192 – We’ve Left Them All

June 14, 1986

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 left our 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 sodas for 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.

188- “Moving East?”

188- “Moving East?”

May 3, 1986

The church had given us a SUBURBAN, as a thank you gift to Dan for his work on building the church (and for my long suffering support of him!).

Our plan was to drive the Suburban across the US and to primarily camp out each night in our huge army tent and stay occasionally in motels. On my prayer list was our need for a way to get our furniture and belongings to our new place.

Our friend, Jan, called about an ad she saw in the local paper.

A Reno High School teacher was going to Cleveland, Ohio with a large truck to pick up a backhoe and wanted to take a load of stuff for someone who would pay his gas money! He had some large shipping crates. 4 ft wide x 8 ft high x 12 feet long.

Dan said we could fill three of them with our washer, dryer, fridge, dining room table, chairs, bunk beds, toys, and boxes of household items and clothes. The man wanted $600-$800 for gas money and said he would call us back by May 25. His plan was to leave June 5. The ad will run another week. He’d had 10 calls already. PRAISE GOD! THY WILL BE DONE!

This was a total Godsend! He chose us! Prayer and prayer support is amazing!

He dropped off the cartons, we packed them. We took the scenic route, he drove direct. He left Reno after we did and arrived in front of our house in Livonia, NY, 30 minutes before we rolled into the driveway!!! (No cell phones then, no coordination but God.)

Men from the school came to help Dan do the unloading!

This is one of our most favorite miracles of all the ones God has done for us!

180- New York is On Our Minds

180- New York is

 On Our Minds

January 27, 1986

Were we supposed to wait on God and keep waiting?  Or were we supposed to grab His hand by faith and go forward with Him? We had already been delayed a year and a half. We were ready to leave home, friends, church, city, and launch out into our preparation for our calling to be missionaries to Japan.

Dan and I agreed that we are to begin planning to go to Elim.

We also believed that there is wisdom in counsel.

…in the multitude of counselors there is safety. Proverbs 11:17

I asked Jeanette, Betty, and Bev to pray. Dan had already talked to several men and is talking to pastor right now. May Pastor Dave have the discernment from Jesus to guide us, the foresight, the faith, the courage necessary to release us or not, as God Himself wills for us. Amen

Pastor advised Dan to go into pastoring–to find a church or plant a church–not go to school. But he said he would support us whatever we choose. 

We kept praying and seeking God.

February 7

We had dinner with Norm and Marge. They paid for the baby sitter. $12. We found out that they know about Elim and the Spencer family (founders). They are excited for us! They encouraged us and prayed for us. We were very lifted up in our spirits.

Our Pastor agreed with the district supervisor that we plant a church. They believed Dan was ready to minister and not in need of further schooling. 

Norm and Marge agreed with Paul and Karen–that we begin planning to attend Elim. 

In hindsight we were doing a bold thing to step out in faith and trust God. And we have done many bold things since. 

We had just received a letter from Elim requesting: $75 fee, reference letter from our pastor, phone interview with their Dean of Married Students, list of indebtedness while attending, and our  means of support while attending the school. We replied and mailed it.

March 26

Palmer Johnson called Dan from Elim:

   ……..they want us! All is go!!….