292 – Extra Children and Fruit

292 – Extra Children and Fruit

Romans 12:13 contributing to the needs of the saints, practicing hospitality.

February 1988

Timmy was at school every day.  I taught Stevie and Markie in the mornings, while  including Daniel as much as I could.

Our housemate Vivian married Tom and he had a 4 year old son, Darren. When we or they forgot to lock it, Darren was in and out, through our shared door in the living room, hardly able to contain himself as he waited daily for the boys to be free to play. “Not time yet, Darren,” Vivian would say as she led him back into their apartment, whispering apologies so as not to disturb us. 

Diane’s three children came over after school 2 or 3 days a week.

And now we had Michael, Justin and Brandi (ages 7, 6, and 14 months). When summer came, Jodie asked if I would continue watching them, but I needed the break and wanted to re-focus on my own kids. 

Having been an elementary school teacher for 7 ½ years (grades 1st, 2nd, and 3rd) I knew how to manage them. I did long for warm enough days so that they could all go outside.

February 28, 1988

Michael and Justin received Jesus. This was a great reward for me! Fruit for my labor.

so that you will walk in a manner worthy of the Lord, to please Him in all respects, bearing fruit in every good work and increasing in the knowledge of God… Colossians 1:10

One day I lifted Brandi up by her hand to move her across the porch, and her arm came out of its socket! While I was soothing her and feeling horrible, Markie said, “Are they going to arrest you?” That did not help! I fretted until her mom came. Jodie said—“Oh, it’s happened before.”

And, horror of horrors, a couple of weeks later I did it again! Dear God!!!

291 – Right Office, Wrong Day

291 – Right Office,

Wrong Day

January 21, 1988

Yesterday, I sensed spiritual warfare at breakfast.

Dan had already gone. The boys and I prayed and sang and read scripture. We got peace.

I prayed with Barb for Tim and Ben. [in public school]

Stevie, Markie, and Daniel and I went off to our WIC appointment. 

What a strange experience. The office was completely different. We sat down in the waiting room, feeling strange, trying to get our bearings. There was a large fish bowl with colored balloons or something in it on one of the tables. A sign said FREE.

I went up to the desk to check in.

I HAD THE RIGHT OFFICE BUT THE WRONG DAY.

On Thursdays the office was used for the Family Planning Clinic! The colored items in the fishbowl were ….uh oh!

As we left I explained to my sons as simply as I could, that women came to this office for counseling and help when they were thinking about aborting their unwanted babies.

Markie (age 6) said: How would they like it if someone did that to them! (aborted them)

We were very sad as we left the office. The boys were too young for me to tell them my story that day. When I was 22, in 1970, I had been prepared to leave the country to have an abortion. The only reason I didn’t was that time showed that I was not pregnant. For this reason I don’t judge anyone who has the mindset of aborting an unwanted child. It’s a complicated issue and never deserves condemnation. 

290 – I’m an Overcomer!

290 – I’m an Overcomer!

January 25, 1988

I am in victory. I can tell because I have a sense of order in me, not based on the surroundings. This is being an overcomer. It’s the life I was BORN to live and have to strive so hard to hold onto!!!

I have strength and resolve to stand in the Lord with Stevie during our reading lessons. His attitude has changed dramatically to submissive, cheerful, willing, eager!! It was FUN!

Diane has an acquaintance who needs babysitting for her children: two boys (second grade and kindergarten) and a 14-month old girl.

I have been praying for playmates for my boys—could this be the answer?

And BABY has been on my mind because of the recent dreams.

Donna said: this may not be how you want to win people to the Lord but this lady needs Jesus!

I have been praying about taking Signs and Wonders class. I felt God said I would be able to CHOOSE to take the class or to take the babysitting job. Dan and I prayed. We’ll see.

Karen will babysit tonight so I will go to signs and wonders class unless more snow or more illness blocks me!! Praying for God to make it CLEAR where I belong.

January 26 

BARB COUNSELED ME TO FORGET THE SIGNS AND WONDERS CLASS AND FOCUS ON MY RESPONSIBILITIES AT HOME! 

She said: You are doing well, stay home and love your children! And take the babysitting job: you said you would take money however the Lord brought it!

She was pretty intense about it.

As iron sharpens iron, so a man sharpens the countenance of his friend. Proverbs 27:17

While praying about Barb’s exhortation, Psalm 25 flashed into my vision.

PERFECT: v. 12 Who is the man who fears the Lord? He will instruct him in the way he should choose!! Ok, keep on speaking, Lord.

Then it came to my mind that on Missionary weekend, Mr. Phillips said: people always want to know what they’re called to do for the Lord. What do you do well? That’s probably it.

That made me think immediately of  child training as something I have a lot of experience with …and I surrendered and I really meant it. Thank You, Holy Spirit!!

Darren came over after school and I already had the three Trimble kids, plus my four. With the three new kids that will be a houseful.

280 – Behold the Children

280– Behold the Children

November 1, 1987

Tony Martorana spoke on the Flow of the Spirit that he’s been privileged to be part of. God has been using him to  help people and see God heal them. He invited all of us, especially the children, to join him for the baptism of the Holy Spirit. He suggested the parents talk to their children and offer to come up to the front with them. Steve and Mark were enthusiastic to go up. It just happened to be communion Sunday so all the kids were in the service.

Dan took the boys up and Palmer Johnson (a beloved teacher) met them. He sat on the step and talked with them and they followed him in prayer.

Timmy sitting next to me, cried. He had told me a few weeks earlier that he was having some questions about the Lord. Perhaps being in the public school setting is stirring him up. I feel he will be able to fully decide soon. Dan is going to talk to him at home.

Stevie and I went to Elim for the evening service. A missionary who served in Jamaica spoke: Jesus is entrusting you with people He cherishes and we are to treat them carefully.

He said to them, “Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of God belongs to such as these.” Mark 10:14 

November 3

The kids and I had a good close time of prayer and talking before Timmy left for school. Then Stevie, Markie, and Daniel and I danced and sang and praised God!

I talked to Barb and we prayed for our sons in their second grade classroom. Downstairs Steve and Mark were singing a praise song where you have to scream and shout over and over!

Through the praise of children and infants you have established a stronghold against your enemies, to silence the foe and the avenger. Psalm 8:2

278 – Still Receiving

278 – Still Receiving

September 25, 1987

I had a wonderful experience this Monday night. When I grocery shopped I kept to my carefully planned list and spent only $63. I asked God to add to our provisions for the week and Donna brought a bag of groceries in which were two meals of pasta and sauce, plus a treat to serve at the home group on Thursday night. AND Donna said they are bringing us their our old couch!

Vivian’s boyfriend gave us a large box of powdered milk, government issue.

Our Reno church sent $60.

Praise the Lord, God is good!

September 28

After church at Elim, Joan offered to pay for me to go to Women’s Leadership Retreat. I was not very interested but I did not react negatively. I have put the matter in God’s hands. It would be a hardship on Dan because Tuesday through Friday he would need to take the boys to sitters as well as prepare all of the meals. He has been working at SouthCo (a manufacturing company) long hours and many nights for over a month.  Yet, the Lord could make this a glorious blessing for all. I feel I am neutral in this. To go or not go is fine with me. Joan called again, pressing me for an answer so she could register me. She offered to call Karen to see if she would be willing to babysit.

October 2

Dan said he REALLY wanted me to go to the retreat if I had the courage. I believe I do. Everything began to fall into place. Barb will keep Tim, Karen is very glad to watch the other three boys. So, Lord, by faith I have registered and called Joan. She will pay today.

I thank You in advance by faith and I will keep it in Your hands and pray Your all-sufficient grace is on the entire four days.        

277 – New Faith Territory

277 – New Faith Territory

August 31, 1987

Talked to mom, and she encouraged me to let Timmy go have the experiences that will be offered to him in the public school. She related how difficult it was for her to let us go to school, to college, to leave home!! THAT HELPED!!

And I finally got to talk to Donna’s friend, Diane. She called me four times and finally reached me at 9:30 pm! She pursued!! I was impressed.

She faced this same trauma of letting her children ‘go’ last January. They left the Christian school and went to the public school. She has nothing negative to say about it. She said the principal is a born again Christian! She and her husband have even prayed with him! He only hires teachers with high moral standards. He has strong convictions. PRAISE THE LORD! She even said to pray about Stevie going to school also because the first grade teacher is a Christian man who is excellent with the kids. So we are praying.

God, you are setting me free by loving me, leading me gently. You are explaining, comforting, encouraging me. You are wonderful. WONDERFUL…

So, Timmy was released by Dan and I to go to public school. He loved it every day. Steve stayed home with us and we hired a woman to tutor him in reading, and he excelled. The Lord provided a prayer partner who was an Elim friend, Barb. She and I prayed passionately for our sons almost every day on the phone. They both came through unscathed.

O you of little faith, why did you doubt? Matthew 14:31

I doubted because my Lord was taking me into brand new territory!

(v 32 – sort of) And when Georgann got into the boat AND TRUSTED JESUS, the wind stopped!

God always meets me when I come to Him. I just have to stay connected for the journey of faith.

276 -Still Working Something Out with Jesus

276 – Still Working Something Out with Jesus

August 28, 1987

The pain continues over whether Tim is going to Christian or public school. Dan and I prayed yesterday before he went to work, and talked, and I don’t feel QUITE so uptight.

And Jesus cried out again with a loud voice, and yielded up His spirit. Matthew 27:50

I know my God will save me, He is faithful. He can change any situation into a blessing as He pleases. The results of putting Tim in public school, as I give up my spirit and my will, could be absolutely wonderful. It could result in relationships and conversions that lead to salvations that absolutely could not happen otherwise.

August 29

Do not be afraid, for I know that you seek Jesus who has been crucified. Matthew 28:5

The disciples were paralyzed with fear, but their fears were calmed by God.

Then Jesus said to them, Do not be afraid… Matthew 28:10

I have been praying and little by little I have received peace.

And You are saying this to me. I hear You, my Lord.

Make it real to me, Jesus. Love me in the way I need to be loved, and have it make sense to me. Encourage me by giving me unshakable faith and peace and joy. I really need You. This is a trial of my faith and I know You will be faithful.

275 – Jesus Died, I Must Die

275 – Jesus Died, I Must Die

August 26 and 27 1987

Gramma Fern must have sent us a good amount of money. How to spend it was the topic of several of Dan’s and my conversations in my journals and many days of seeking the Lord’s will. We went back to seriously thinking about Christian school for Timmy—at least I did.

This confuses me, Lord, and I need to hear from You. It feels we are getting ‘tossed about’ over this!

Lord, You know the whole issue, but now Dan feels very strongly that Timmy should go to public school. I sort of stormed out of the house and headed out to the country roads. I took an hour and a half brisk walk and confessed all my pride and rebellion, pouring out my heart’s confusion and sadness.

All I could say at the end of praying and praising and seeking You was, “Lord, carry me through this.” I definitely cannot cope.

I was wanting someone to pray with about submission who could be neutral and non-judgmental and give me wisdom. Donna brought a friend she had not seen in years to our Bible study after she ran into her at her son’s soccer game. I almost opened it up, but I didn’t want a big discussion with everyone’s advice and people hearing our problems without Dan there. But this Diane had moved her kids from the Christian School to the public school! I felt in my spirit that she would have encouragement and wisdom to share.

Matthew 27:43 …He trusts in God, let Him deliver Him now if He takes pleasure in Him…

People were saying of Jesus–HA! Let God deliver this man from the cross! I feel this is happening to me—I cannot come down from the cross. There are mockings and insults all around me. I feel I let my children down because they did not do well on the SAT test. I feel foolish and misunderstood by the neighbors AND the homeschoolers.

Then it occurred to me by the Spirit that Jesus did get off the cross. And so will I.

He got off when He died!I will get off —–when I die to this!

When I can really totally say, “Thy will be done.”

And when I do not get emotionally involved in what ANYONE thinks, but only in what YOU think, Lord.

273 – Interrogation

273 – Interrogation 

August 19, 1987

Bema was an 80 year old woman who lived in a cute green house with yellow-trimmed shutters directly across the street from us. She was Leslie’s and Julie’s mother, and the boys’ friend Chris’s grandmother. The daughters would gather daily to visit with their mom on the small patio. Bema and I really liked each other and oftentimes she would venture an opinion.

Yesterday Bema brought us home from Bingo at the rest home and voiced her concerns about homeschooling. She had decided that third grade was getting over my head when I‘d only taught first grade. What about preparation time and having the kids underfoot all day, every day?

I told her that I’d taught first, second, and third grades, and said just the right things, thank the Lord. I was surprised and caught off guard, but did not get defensive.

Just then Markie fell in the street while crossing it to get to our house. Praise God. I was forced, I should say– I HAD THE OPPORTUNITY, to leave the uncomfortable situation quickly.

Later in the evening Leslie came over with more questions about homeschooling. She had been sitting with Bema and Julie on Bema’s patio, probably chitchatting about us! I felt quizzed and uncomfortable. They were prying and I was trying to act like a Christian. This small town living is having its challenges.

Their concern was the prevailing attitude of the 80’s: how can a mom be smart enough and together enough to teach her kids at home, especially when there’s a bunch of them and they are all ages. AND how audacious are you to keep your children at home when they need the socializing that school offers.

All I knew was that the Lord had led me very clearly, Dan had agreed (reluctantly at first, but then wholeheartedly) and God had given me the verse: And when he brings out his own sheep,  he goes before them; and the sheep follow him, for they know his voice.  John 10:5

We did not want the boys to follow just any voice.

I had felt assurance that Jesus was with us in this endeavor.

272 – God Always Meets Me

272 -God Always Meets Me

August 13, 1987

I was in a deep quandary about homeschooling. I cried out to my Lord:

Be gracious to me, O Lord, for to Thee I cry ALL DAY LONG. In the day of my trouble I shall call upon Thee’ for Thou wilt answer me. There is NO ONE like Thee among the gods, O Lord; nor are there any works like Thine. Psalm 86:3,7

Mike, dean of married students, made an appointment to meet with us and came to our house. He asked us to be home group leaders. He also wanted to discuss homeschooling. Last year a homeschool family had caused havoc and ended up in court! He loves our testimony of homeschooling and he said that Elim would back our decision to homeschool UNLESS it went against the school district’s recommendations (which is what the other family had done). Here’s the rub: because of their scores on the SAT test, the district wanted Tim and Steve enrolled. I told Mike and he and Dan agreed it would be a good idea to enroll the boys in September. I was horrified.

I went to the Lord, crying, pouring out my heart to the Lord, trying to wrap my head around sending my sons away to school. (The school was in reality just a short walk across the field behind our house).

Then I went to the Word. Nothing really made clear sense in Matthew 10 and 11 that I could relate to our situation. Then the Lord met me with His words:

Matthew 12:25 Any kingdom divided against itself is laid waste; and any city or house divided against itself cannot stand.

Matt 14:25 TAKE COURAGE, IT IS I, DO NOT BE AFRAID!

We can not afford to send the boys to Christian school. So it was important that I surrender and not cause havoc in our home by my stubbornness. I needed to give in, honor my husband, and trust God for our sons’ welfare. And I needed to not be fearful but trust Him.

This brought clarity and the peace of the Holy Spirit. Not that I did not waffle in the days ahead–I did, and so did Dan.