126- Following God’s Trail – #8

126- Following God’s Trail – #8

June 1 –Although we sold our house for $8,000 less than the appraisal, bought a car we cannot afford, have not gotten the obstetrician I wanted, the peace of God is totally meeting me. It’s wonderful. We’re in a dimension of faith that is far beyond us. We have over-extended ourselves in faith. We are in His grace. Yet, I can’t think too hard about the new car. It’s done. Dan agrees. We have to rest and trust Him.

A few hours later, Reno Dodge called for us to return the car!! It had already been sold to another man who was irate when he came to pick it up and it wasn’t there. OH NO! But what a relief! Dan said when he prayed last night, wondering if we’d done the right thing, he’d felt God had said, “There’s a way out.”

This was amazing. We learned some valuable lessons without a tragic mistake. The air cleared and we could see that the car was not big enough and not gutsy enough. Praise Jesus—You saved us once again!

June 2 –packed boxes, called mom about selling the house and told her the car story.

June 3 –people in my Bible study are praying about my doctor’s stand-in ob/gyn and the house sale and the car!

The reason having baby number 4 early was so important to me is that my babies increased in size: #1 almost 8 lbs, #2 almost 9 lbs, #3 was 10 pounds. I wanted #4 to be more in the 8-9 pound range. My lady friends were taking up my cause and praying for the doctor to say okay to an early delivery!

Dan did a devotional at the church property, excellent! Praise God.

June 4 – worried about taking a newborn baby across the country in July. All the boys will have just had their birthdays: Tim 5, Steve 4, Mark 2.  Did not get into the Word today—it shows.

Dan did finances—bummed out. “God, if You want us to go to NY we will need to raise support here and I will have to work there.”

Met the on-call doctor since mine will be out of town at the time of the birth – professional, caring, compassionate. He will deliver ten days early.

HH at Elders’ meeting told Dan to “go home and ask God if you made a mistake on house sale.” (taking such a loss). He thinks God is able to deliver us from a bad decision, like He delivered us from the bad decision on the car! We do feel we were hasty, so we are before the Lord.

June 5 – I fell down out by rabbit cage two times! The second time it felt like I was PUSHED! Shaken and very worried about my baby. Called Karen to pray. Dan prayed. Worried. Called doctor. No spotting. Rested.

June 7 – Bob & Berta came by wanting advice—they are pursuing YWAM. They prayed about everything with us and we prayed for them!

June 9—signed escrow papers.

June 10 – Woke up before 5 and began thinking. BAD. Got uptight. Finally went to the Word. I felt very clearly led to psalms and felt that Ps 71:6 will be our baby’s testimony: By You I have been sustained from my birth; You are He who took me from my mother’s womb; my praise is continually of You.

June 11 –When I got up at 5:30am my Bible was opened to our guest speaker’s text yesterday at church: Isaiah 35:6b-7a For waters shall burst forth in the wilderness, and streams in the desert. The parched ground shall become a pool, and the thirsty land springs of water. Speaker said revival is coming to this valley very soon.

What am I to do with this Lord? You know our lives are before You. We would change our plans if we thought You wanted us to stay here more than going to NY. Speak, Lord, Your servant is listening.

Dan and I prayed both morning and evening – long prayers.

54- My Relationship with Jesus

54- My Relationship with Jesus 

When I came to the Lord, I gave everything to Jesus and pursued our relationship with a consistency not my own.

The desire to please Him and to know Him came with the bundle of salvation and the depth of my continued commitment has been steady. I believe it helped that I had traveled, had owned a fur coat, a sports car, art work, and had had a career. I had satisfied my worldly curiousities. I think it helped that I had been raised in a good home, in the Catholic faith, and had that as a spiritual foundation, even though I had walked away from it and into the world’s thinking for 8 years. I believe that from a child I had a special faith in God and a relationship with Him.

By the time I was 29 years old and became born again, I had had enough of the world and its ways and my primary life interest was a spiritual journey with Jesus.

Oswald Chambers
Oswald Chambers

My journals to this day, 40 years later, are about me pouring out my heart to God and seeking his consolation and His leading, and then reading the Bible and listening for the Holy Spirit to speak to me. I have been an avid note-taker during sermons, and when watching teaching DVD’s, and I underline in every book I read. In later years when I understood more about the prophetic, when someone would say they had a word for me, I would write it down. A few years ago I felt that the Spirit told me I was a scribe: I write what I hear about Jesus and His life and the Christian life. I write down prophetic words that others give me.

This steadfastness is fueled by continuous surrender to Jesus and also because I married a man with the same passion for Jesus. We have had an exciting life of faith and my God stories would fill a book, which has recently become my goal –to write a book.

George Muller
George Muller

In the first 7 years I was a Christian, I was being mentored by reading books by George Mueller, Oswald Chambers, Mrs. Charles E. Cowman, Hannah W. Smith, and especially the Bible. These men and women and many others’ books I read were serious-about-God, sort of old-fashioned books. Their lives were examples of total yeildedness and their purpose was bringing glory to God however He would ask. I was very submissive, always analyzing myself and striving, always striving, for close personal relationship with Jesus with the fruit of Godly attributes.

All of this does not mean in any way that I have been without faults. It means that I have seen my faults, sometimes right away, sometimes eventually, and been sorry, maybe cried, and repented, always trying to stay close to God. I am a melancholy temperament who wants to please the Lord. Like Billy Graham’s daughter, Gigi Tchividijan said on p 142 of her book, Thank You Lord for My Home: “I have always been a good repenter. Perhaps God made me this way because He knew that I would have much for which to say, ‘I am sorry.'”

We have been very careful with our money. We have been givers more than spenders. And that put me in a position of humility–always asking for God for what we needed. Always walking by faith that He would provide.

Jan 3, 1981 Thank You that Stephen has been waking up at 6:00 sharp 3 or 4 days in a row—this means that I can have quiet time before he wakes up! Thank You for the clothes and the book JoAnn brought me, Father; You are faithful!

Jan 6 Father, it seems so silly—and certainly unimpressive—that I should need faith in such petty matters—such as the boys napping and not waking each other, a joyful attitude for this very plain day, energy to meet the physical demands of the day, patience to put off making apple butter and cookies—the things my flesh wants to accomplish—so that I can focus on playing with the boys today. But these are the mountains in my day, and so I turn to You: Jesus said, “Have faith in God.”

Thank you for the 50 minutes I had for shopping on Saturday—and alone! Thank You for the money from Mumbo to buy sleepers and a bumper pad on Sunday. Thank You for my willing heart to offer and to stay in the nursery Sunday, and for the warning and preparation from You in my heart that morning. Thank You for $11 in my purse today so I didn’t have to write a check at the doctor’s. Thank You that we could share a meal with Nancy and Mike.

Later: After a hard afternoon with the boys—I don’t even want to go to Japan to be missionaries. How did I ever think I could manage that when living here is so difficult so often…

Hannah Whitall Smith, another mentor
Hannah Whitall Smith

*The Christian’s Secret of a Happy Life -Hannah Whitall Smith

*The Autobiography of George Mueller

*My Utmost for His Highest (devotional) -Oswald Chambers

*Springs in the Valley (devotional)

Mrs Charles Cowman

49- Still Agonizing Over Going…

49- Still Agonizing Over Going to Another Planet!

History: Although I had spent six months of my first pregnancy in a foreign country, I had been somewhat familiar with western Europe, having spent most of two summers there. Yet the looming challenge of the lengthy flight with an 11-month old baby, being five months pregnant, and going into a country completely alien to me seemed like we were heading for another planet.

In the meantime, we continued to be an adventuresome family, we were not strict homebodies: we had taken 4-month old Timmy camping for a weekend with friends, and had flown with him to Oxnard when he was 6-months old for my sister Connie’s wedding.

 

Another planet named Tokyo...
                Another planet named Tokyo, Japan…

Summarized from February 22 in journal: Even though we had purchased our tickets and were scheduled to leave for Japan in one month (on March 23), I was still praying for the basics which had not lined up: 1) for a place to live for six weeks that would have reasonable rent, be furnished, and be in a good location for what we wanted to accomplish; 2) for edible and healthy food; and 3) for fellowship with the Lord and with English-speaking people. I was reminding the Lord that we would need: 4) a stroller for Timmy, toys, a crib. And 5) I was asking for confirmation or denial of our ‘calling’ to Japan. My prayers were answered amazingly. But first, more of my thinking, more of my interaction with Jesus as a six-year old Christian who was Much-Afraid* and always taking my anxieties to Him.

February 26- I heard a spot on KNIS: I care for you. See the scars on My hands if you need proof.

I said, “BUT LORD, just tell me PRACTICALLY that this is a good idea—maybe from someone who has taken a toddler to Japan…”

Moments later I heard on KNIS: God required Abraham’s only son…Abraham believed, gave the sacrifice God asked. And God spared His son.

I made a transaction with God and gave Him our son in faith, like Abraham had given Isaac. I put him on the altar with trust that Timmy was beloved of God and in His capable hands. And I received PEACE from God.

March 6, 1980 Paraphrased scriptures from my journal: Hebrews 3:12 Unbelief is the only thing that can keep us from God’s love and from all He has for us. Hebrews 3:18-19 Disobedient people cannot enter into His rest. Unbelief is disobedience. Hebrews 4:11 Be diligent to enter that rest.

Lord, what do You mean by REST?

The next day….

March 7 – ANSWER TO MY QUESTION ABOUT REST!

Ps 112:1,6,7,8a  Praise the LORD! How blessed is the man who fears the LORD, who greatly delights in His commandments. For he will never be shaken; the righteous will be remembered forever. He will not fear evil tidings; his heart is steadfast, trusting in the LORD. His heart is upheld, he will not fear…. This verse helps me to this day, reminding me not to fear but to steadfastly trust the Lord. And trusting Him would bring my REST!!!

The E-Free missionaries were thrilled to hear that a prospective missionary candidate and his family were scheduled to come to visit. The families in Tokyo, one family in particular, prepared an apartment for us in the Christian Academy in Japan, CAJ, and we were humbled by kitchen hand towels, dish soap, an alarm clock, furniture, sheets & towels, scripture plaques on the walls, a crib and a stroller and many toys for Timmy, as well as food in the refrigerator!

*Reference to Hannah Hurnard’s character in Hinds’ Feet on High Places, which I had read as a new Christian. It’s a classic and gives perspective on the ways of God’s leading in the Christian life, with the central character being a girl named ‘Much Afraid.’ I highly recommend it.

45- The Lord’s Leading

45- The Lord’s Leading

October 9, 1979 We listened to a message on KNIS by the radical Christian, Art Katz: “What are your Isaac’s that you need to lay on the altar to be able to do God’s full will?” They are: my family, our meager, but cherished, possessions, our new washing machine, our popularity here in Reno, humiliation of moving again, possible pregnancy. Then he asked: “And, do you fear God or man?” I told God, I fear man!!!

God is speaking to us! Dan was re-inspired while attending a church meeting in which missionaries serving in Japan were speaking. And yesterday we met the lady who owned the antique store on the corner—Yoriko!! She is from Japan!

My worries: We don’t have a lot, but we’d need to store everything and let go of this house. Where would we stay in Japan? We need money for plane tickets and money to spend when we get there. How about Timmy’s well-being on the long flight? And health considerations for him once we get there?

Oct 11, 1979 My devotions: Matthew 17:27 Take up the fish…MONEY inside!! and v 7 Jesus told the disciples to not be afraid. Message on KNIS by Bob Mumford–die to self, and God will resurrect you!

Oct 14- Ps 96:1 Let the isles be glad! (Japan is an island) v10 Say among the NATIONS that the Lord reigneth.

The Japanese islands.
Geographically, the Japanese Islands are slightly smaller than California.

Oct 18- I confess, dear Father, that I am impressed with the daily faith-building messages of truth that You are bringing us! I desire to stop calculating, doubting, worrying, being embarrassed. But I slip back into not believing that You spoke to Dan that You would work out the Japan vision!

I know me, Lord, and YOU know me: I don’t like to suffer! I am not a martyr! I enjoy a measured amount of adventure if my pocket is full of sufficient funds and I know where I am going. With You there is assurance of suffering and hardship in the exploit; there’s always a possible chance of martyrdom. Only YOU can give me the faith, courage and joy to do Your will. I am definitely willing to obey when I am assured of what You are asking me to do. Jesus take glory, take honor, be magnified through this. HERE WE GO, DOWN THE ROLLER COASTER!

roller coaster
I chose this picture to depict SOLD OUT CHRISTIANS who seek God and count the cost and then just GO!!!! Wheeeeeeeee! Holding on for dear life is A-OK!!

42- Home Again, Home Again…

 

42- Home Again,

Home Again…

Dan was very worried about me, and we were both concerned about our baby, due in six weeks. I was exhausted and half sick, as you can see in the picture, as I laid my body down in the airport during our layover at JFK after our flight from Zurich. On to Los Angeles, and a happy reunion with my parents and my sisters.

Tired mama at JFK
Tired mama at JFK, resting my weary bones!

 

The three of us at my parents (Timmy is hiding)
The three of us at my parents’ house (Timmy is hiding). It was always SO GOOD to be HOME!

My parents were so relieved that we were finally back on US soil. I’m sure my mom fixed my favorite foods, and everyone joined us in being concerned about my barely protruding belly and minuscule weight gain (14 pounds at this point, if I remember correctly). After a several days of family love, excellent food–and my mom’s prodding to eat hearty, and resting up, we returned to Reno, staying with Dan’s Gramma Fern for several days until we found a home.

April 4, 1979 Fears today. Little faith. I read Psalm 31, and then I faced my problem: feeling inadequacy as a parent, fear that I cannot give the love that our baby will need. We learned in our pre-natal class last night about some birth defects and genetic problems. My conclusion—we are all defective in our genetic makeup because of Adam’s sin. Everyone who ever existed is defective. Everyone, but our Lord Jesus. And someday we will all be like Him. In the meantime HE IS THE LOVE we need to accept each other as we are. He is the love I need to accept myself as I am. He is the love I need to accept baby Lemaire, just exactly as God has created him/her. If there are physical or mental deficiencies, we will be okay. By faith I married an imperfect man, (and look what love has blossomed)—and he married me! What faith. And by faith we conceived a child that we really wanted and assuredly the Lord will provide the bonds of love that will be a blessing to the three of us.

 

Happy happy little family
Our happy happy little family. Timothy means ‘honoring God’ and Micah means ‘who is like unto the Lord. Our good friend, Chas Sulita, from Bible School had shared with us using Micah as the middle name.

Timothy Micah Lemaire was born April 28, 1979, weighing in at 7 pounds 14 ounces! I had prayed that he would not be premature so that when people counted the months they would know he was a nine-month baby and that we had not fooled around before we got married. It was really important to me, because of my history of promiscuity. Thank You, Jesus! We had to leave Timmy in the hospital NICU (on IV antibiotics) for three days for jaundice and a suspected infection. That was SO hard. The three of us were soon reunited and snug in our little brick house on Cheney Street. Our mothers, who came to be called GG and Bebo, each came for a visit in those first few weeks, and Dan’s other grandmother, Mumbo, gave us a baby shower inviting Dan’s college friends. Dottie’s shower included friends from church and JoAnn’s shower included my teaching friends. It was humbling to receive SO MUCH! Dan bought us a small apartment-sized washing machine, and I washed the cloth diapers and hung them and everything else on the clothesline in the back yard.