74- An Active Life

74- An Active Life

I remembered today (March 18, 2017) that I had a box of our old calendars in the garage. It appears I have all the years from 1977 to 2016!

Consulting the 1982  wall calendar, I noticed we had a very busy life: we scheduled lunches and dinners with friends 3 or 4 or 5 times a month and caught every special speaker at church. Dan was working part-time in the next town, Carson City, pre-recording his daily program at KNIS, the Christian radio station. We were sick quite a bit with colds and went to the pediatrician’s office for well-baby checks and sick visits a couple or a few times a month. Dan was attending the leadership class at church called the Servant’s Class one night a week, and the boys and I were in a Bible study/mothers’ support group a couple of mornings a month at my friend Michelle’s house.

Subtract the dog, add two speeding boys and another kitten, then color her hair brown!

We hosted a Bible study on Wednesday nights at our house and later attended one at the home of another family.

AND THEN, I was strongly encouraged by a good friend to take a position at the Christian school teaching science to the junior high kids. I was not qualified and not confident and I can’t fake anything. Yet, I succumbed to her enthusiasm that I could do it and that it would be great. It lasted a month and my journal reports that it was encouraging to be with the other solid Christian teachers and school staff and that I did okay with the students. The good that came out of it was that I knew I wanted to raise my kids myself, and not turn them over to a babysitter for a few hours every day and have her raise them. So that was that.

We tried the Natural Family Planning system of birth control through the Catholic Church. I had to do a daily charting which I will not describe, and a nun wearing a gray and white mid-length dress and a headscarf, Sister Julianna, came to see us once a month for consultation. After dinner one night, I remember her good-natured laugh as she watched Timmy and Stephen zipping gleefully around the living room: “They feed off each other, don’t they?”

Best friends, Timmy & Stephen. And their cute baby kittens.

And they did.

The new baby, now four months old, would be be joining their rambunctiousness soon. [And with another new little brother joining the ranks in a year-and-a-half, it was a bustling life we lived, especially as little boys are tireless!]

73- A Plan with Dan and a Plan with God

73- A Plan with Dan and a Plan with God

The Plan with Dan:

This is Mark’s baby dedication. We were once again on the fast-track of God’s plan and it was challenging but it was good, and He was faithful.

July 11, 1982 Father, I know that I need to spend much more time with You. When I shared this with Dan and said I needed his help (which I have asked him for before), he said, “ok, we need to get to bed by 9:15 and be asleep by 10, then we can be up at 5am for our individual devotions.” Praise You, Lord.

We decided that either Thursday or Saturday will be for having friends over for dinner, so Monday and Tuesday can be study nights and bread baking nights. Then whichever night we are not having company can be our family night. Father I have desired this. Please work this out. Then Sunday is church and Wednesday is Bible study here or at a friend’s home. Friday Dan works late at KNIS.

I’m not sure how long this lasted, with long busy days and with kids not sleeping consistently through the night, but we kept spending time daily with God as our goal.

The Plan with God:

God has plans and purposes for His people. Mary had no clue what was in store for her when she said YES to God. She went by faith that He would be trustworthy. And He was faithful.

July 23, 1982

Sometimes I look at my life and am distressed because I am using the comparison of other lives of people who are doing great things for God.

But last night God gave me quick victory.

I felt He said: “Remember you wanted to be a missionary? Well these stresses—your husband’s long working days and lots of hours at church, imperfect living conditions, continual financial crunch—are all the same sorts of things that would be issues on the mission field. So think of yourself as God’s special missionary to the Lemaire’s and the Renoites and trust Him for your life.”

I immediately felt a sense of adventure rather than a heavy burden.

65- Pride is the Problem and Jesus is Calling

65- Pride is the Problem and Jesus is Calling

Nov 2, 1981 – We are still attending The Pursuit of Holiness (A.W. Tozier) Wednesday night classes at church under Gene’s teaching. Last night I felt I heard from the Lord: “Pride is the problem I am dealing with in you. PRIDE is the root of your discontent. I see your trials.” [Specifically: home alone day after day with the boys, pregnancy and its limitations, being a homemaker (not out in the workforce), bronchitis, anemia, having to quit babysitting, being of little use in ministry.]

This morning, weakness was overtaking me. All I could think is, “I cannot cope.” The boys’ whining put me in tears. I thought of all sorts of escapes—leaving them with a friend for the day, staying in bed all day, going for counseling. But a verse came to mind from class last night:

Romans 8:26-27 And in the same way the Spirit also helps our weakness; for we do not know how to pray as we should, but the Spirit Himself intercedes for us with groaning too deep for words. And He who searches the hearts knows what the mind of the Spirit is, because He intercedes for the saints according to the will of God.

I prayed this, having not the gift of tongues, but desperately asking the Spirit to pray for my weakness.

And I was IMMEDIATELY strengthened in His might. Amen. I was immediately strengthened in my attitude and my emotions and even physically. Amen. Praise God!

My perspective changed. I was able to meet the boys’ needs, be kinder. I got my eyes off of me me me and experienced the love and joy of the Lord.

Jan 20, 1982  In praying, God revealed the great LOG of PRIDE toward most of humanity! He was pointing out that I have been gravitating toward the COOL people! I am shocked, but it is so true. I have been getting strokes from having friends of a certain status, thinking that associating with them makes me ‘okay.’  At the same time I have been distancing myself from certain other people. WRONG!

I was thinking of a really pious note I could write to Jim and Lissa about being glad I could identify with the drunk, the whore, the drug taker, the liar –since I was once there. And yet here I am now relating to a proud group of people and enjoying it. JUST AS BAD!

So I timidly say, “Lord, change me.”

I no longer say, as I did when I was single: “change me whatever the cost.” Then, it was only me that would suffer. Now I could lose so much—Dan and the boys.

Pull me back, Lord. I hear you calling me!

Jesus is calling!

62- One Sunday in September

62- One Sunday in September

Sept 20, 1981 4:30am

Father, I am so tired, physically and so tired emotionally—Dan’s long work hours, plus his traveling to Carson City to volunteer on KNIS radio, my two kids plus the two I am babysitting, plus one on the way. Plus cooking and cleaning. When my tummy and body get so tired, I get worried about my pregnancy. I know the enemy wants me to be discouraged. And I also know You want to bear this burden, thank You. I’m reading about Jesus, Your Son. I’m Yours, too. I know Jesus bore so much more…but You did give Him Simonthis man they pressed into service to bear His cross. Matt 27:32

I need help. It really humbles me to say this, because maybe you’ll give me help in a way I won’t like or from someone I won’t approve of. I must take the chance because I am so tired and really cannot go on like this. Bowing my head in surrender, and lifting my arms as Timmy and Stephen do, I say: “Daddy, pick me up. Bear me up. I need You.”

At the end of myself and totally surrendered to Jesus. Crying out for His help!
At the end of myself and totally surrendered to Jesus. Crying out for His help!

Thank You for being so available, Lord, for being so humble to take me seriously. Thank You that I got up at 4:30am to pray, thank You for Michelle offering to take the boys while I shopped, and for Auntie Yvonne taking them tomorrow afternoon! Quick answers!

Later after church: There was prophecy this morning by our visiting speaker, Claire Lasher: God is breaking the shackles: He is healing and releasing, so that we may be instruments of healing for others. After that, Cynthia  said she wanted to get to know me better; Lynn encouraged me to come to the morning Bible study; Erin invited several of us over after church. Also Diane H, Carla L, and Ann Harris SOUGHT ME OUT in church! The effect of all this was: “I am loved, so I can love.” I felt lovely and lovable to myself and to Dan. We do so need expressions of love and attention from people we admire. It helps us to know God’s love, and to really believe in God’s love.

Thank You for such a rich and blessed day. My heart feels like shackles have really fallen off. I feel a new intimacy with Dan—I feel respect from him, and being cherished. Thank You.

In the day of my trouble I will call upon You, for You will answer me. Psalm 86:7

56- Normal Mom Experiences, Normal Christian Life

56-Normal Mom Experiences,

Normal Christian Life

 

Leaving the story of the third pregnancy, going back a few months to my slender green journal, this was the normal Christian life: my daily experiences taken to Jesus.

 

Feb 21 1981 Possibility of Stephen going to hospital, sick with bronchitis, cough, diarrhea.

From my devotional, Springs in the Valley: The things which happened unto me have fallen out rather unto the furtherance of the gospel. Phil 1:12 We cannot learn much of the life of trust without passing through hard places. When they come let us not say as Jacob did, “All these things are against me.” Gen 42:36 Let us rather climb our hills of difficulty and say, “these are faith’s opportunities.”

For to you it has been granted for Christ’s sake, not only to believe in Him, but also to suffer for His sake. Phil 1:29

Do all things without grumbling or disputing. Phil 2: 12

Rejoice. Phil 2:18

We saw Stephen through this illness at home and saw the hand of the Lord move as he accepted the bottle of mineral water time and time again. Praise You Jesus.

Feb 23, 1981 Dearest Lord, I would love to write and write all of my thoughts and blessings, all of Your encouragements to me, all of my victories, all of the times I see You move in my little world. It brings me to great emotion to think how real You are to me as I stay in close communion with You moment by moment. But, no time– there’s the house work and making tonight’s dinner while babies are sleeping and before that Bible reading and some prayers.

Feb 24 Silence can be so welcomed when it is mixed about in the day with the children’s squeals and squabbles. I would miss them too much to want a silent house.

 

Ruth, bringing in the sheaves
Ruth, bringing in the sheaves

March 12 What a wonderful blessing: Ruth 2:12 May the Lord reward your work, and your wages be full from the Lord, the God of Israel, under whose wings you have come to seek refuge.

March 13 Dearest Lord, today I begin Samuel. What a thrill to read steadily like this, day after day.

40- Leery of Reading the Word

40- Leery of Reading the Word

February 8, 1979

Problem: Fear about reading the Word, in studying, and in doing devotions—that I will be led astray. Lack of full trust and dependence on the Holy Spirit—my heart says: remember what happened before and how far you got into a lie (when I believed as a new Christian that God was telling me that I was going to marry a particular person and I was derailed….)

Lord, I just want to hear from you...
Lord, I just want to hear from you…

Realization: I did not have awareness then in my first few months of being a new believer of my deceitful heart. I was immature. I did not know the difference between my voice building me up and the spirit of the evil one (I will be God, I will be lifted up) and the spirit of submission to the almighty Lord, the spirit of humility.

Application: Joshua 6:1-20 God gave a promise. God gave instructions. God expected obedience and God would give victory. OBEDIENCE isn’t an OPTION. Trust and obey. For me: the promise of a child who is a reward [The fruit of the womb is His reward. Ps 127:3]  –and is who is blessed. Walk by faith. Trust Him. Obey Him. ‘Don’t shout’ means to me: don’t complain, murmur, worry aloud, doubt aloud. Take your woes to Daddy and your heart should be abundant with faith in Him.

29- Our Family Planning

29- Our Family Planning

 We needed to consider birth control.

I mean, that’s what responsible people do, right?

Dan would be turning 30 four days before the wedding, and I had just turned 33. I had been on birth control pills starting in my fourth year of college, and afterward. We were not sure if I would have trouble getting pregnant.

Once again, I am not a dreamer or much of a planner. I had not thought about how many children I wanted or how many boys and how many girls. I hadn’t thought of boys’ names and girls’ names. In fact, eight years of teaching school had filled my maternal need very nicely. I wasn’t not wanting children, I just didn’t have any thoughts on it. Dan did not have a strong opinion either.

            What we realized was that we both wanted to trust God with our family planning and that is what we did.

Continue reading “29- Our Family Planning”

14-Summer at Camp Bloomfield

14- Summer at Camp Bloomfield 

This story happened 2 years before I met Rory. It was a memorable summer, a significant part of my history. My goal is to show more of my mindset in my early twenties.

All through college I stayed in contact with Nancy, my best friend in high school. In 1967, we had the idea of finding summer jobs where we could help people in some way. Nancy’s older sister, Carol, whose personality and advice had already been so impactful to us years before, was following John F. Kennedy’s call and serving in the Peace Corps in Kabul, Afghanistan, as a Registered Nurse. I’m sure this impacted us greatly.

Nancy heard about summer camps for blind children, so we sent out several applications, hoping to spend the off-school months working together in the same location. But that did not pan out.

Nancy took a position in a blind camp in northern California. I accepted a job with the Foundation for the Junior Blind in southern California. The camp was seven miles inland from that glorious spot of warm, sandy, Pacific-Ocean-beach called Malibu. Unfortunately for those of us who liked to body surf and tan our bodies, we were not allowed off site except on the weekends or for emergencies. Continue reading “14-Summer at Camp Bloomfield”

1-Nice Girl Gets Divine Leading

My life story is an example of a life that shows that –

      with God you can do much much more than you ever thought you could do…

 My blog posts are going to be in consecutive order, starting from when I was fourteen. I am quickly laying the groundwork for my emerging relationship with Jesus and my marriage to Dan. From there I will be telling our God stories.          

1-Nice Girl Gets Divine Leading

 

Nice Girl age 17
Nice Girl age 17

I was a nice girl in high school in the early sixties (1959-1963). Anyone would have told you that. In fact I remember the general feeling when I entered Oxnard High School as being wholesome. The times would be changing very quickly, the country was teetering on the brink of the sexual revolution. But at that time it was still cool to be a good girl.

Through my relationship with my best friend, Nancy, I had come out of painful shyness and timidity. She and I were in a core group of besties we had bonded with from junior high school days, but we also had friends in all of the social groups.

Nancy’s sister Carol was a senior when we were freshmen. Beginning the previous summer, she prodded us to jump right into all of the school activities, run for class office, decorate the homecoming float, join clubs, dress up for pioneer day, and go to all of the games. And she called us dorks if we showed any sign of wimpy-ness. Her goading was the best thing that could have happened to us because we had a really fun time in high school. Continue reading “1-Nice Girl Gets Divine Leading”