207 ~ Be Selfish or Serve Others

207 – Be Selfish or Serve Others

September 6, 1986

I have become so disgusted with myself—and while repenting and broken I came upon the book by Charles Swindoll, Improving Your Serve-The Art of Unselfish Living.

I have been here before, and I am here again. Self-centered.

I’m too concerned with ME, my shower, my letters home, my Bible study, my nerves, my image, my mouth—and I have been becoming angry over so much waiting, my imperfection, kids’ imperfection, etc. Unwilling to make the real sacrifices in time (up early) and attitude with a cheerful heart.

But Lord help me to be more willing to die to myself and to be a servant. Like my husband. But especially like You. Dan is looking to You, looking to serve You. I want to, too.

Matthew 20: 25a, 28 But Jesus called them to Himself, and said, “You know that the rulers of the Gentiles lord it over them… just as the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give His life a ransom for many.”

1 Peter 5:2a Shepherd the flock of God which is among you, serving as overseers, not by compulsion but willingly…

Thank You that You give me attitude adjustments and do not leave me to myself. There is ALWAYS hope in Christ my Lord.

206 ~ Release and Cleansing

206 – Release and Cleansing

Sept 1, 1986

This is rewritten from a long entry in my journal:

Last week I had asked Dan to pray that if God had something to show me He would. Then yesterday at church at Elim, Brother Edwards, the president of the school, spoke of the spiritual renewal he had received over the summer break. He believed that on this day there was an anointing for liberation from bondage to sin and from past crippling memories.

The Lord brought to mind some incidents in my life as a young child that made me feel dirty every time I thought of them. I joined the scores of people filing forward to the front of the church. The prayer was a release from bondage into the wholeness of Christ.

Today in my regular devotions in Leviticus 18, I read about specific awful sins and how sin has the inevitable result of cutting us off from the people we love, and from the Lord.

Hebrews 8:12 For I will be merciful to their iniquities, and I will remember their sins no more.

Hebrews 9:13 For if the blood of goats and bulls and the ashes of a heifer, sprinkling those who have been defiled, sanctify for the cleansing of the flesh, how much more will the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered Himself without blemish to God, cleanse your conscience from dead works to serve the living God. 

Praise God Praise God Praise God Praise God Praise God Praise God Praise God Praise God

Now all gifts, blessings, fruits, life, fullness of the Spirit I receive from my God, from the Holy Spirit. I receive this revelation of the Word and feel spiritually prepared for the class I am beginning tomorrow night on campus. I receive release from illness and courage to lead these boys into relationship with Christ and into the rest of their lives.

My extended devotional time took place between 2-3:30 while Daniel was napping and TSM were at the neighbors. Dan came home at 4:30. I got to go out on errands till 6, so I got a real break today—Thank You, Jesus!

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

201 ~ Wearing Ourselves Out

201 – Wearing Ourselves Out

July 17, 1986

We have been praying that God would tell us by His Spirit about Dan keeping this job he has been working at this week. He leaves the house at 5:30am (we get up at 4:30) and gets home at 5:30pm. We eat dinner and watch the news, he reads to the boys from the Bible story book, and after we put them to bed we are in bed by 9:30.

I believe I’m hearing from God through my Bible reading. Moses was sitting alone all day as judge over the people from morning to evening. His father-in-law saw that was happening and said:

“The thing that you do is not good. Both you and this people who are with you will surely wear yourselves out. For this thing is too much for you; you are not able to perform it by yourself.” Exodus 17:18

We just went though this unbalanced lifestyle when Dan had full responsibility over building the church. He worked extremely long hours and I had the boys extremely long hours. It became too much for both of us.

Is this the right job for Dan??

Later: A check from Life Center arrived. $1,100!! Tom Ballard called and said pastor took up a special collection for us. PRAISE GOD!!

Is God saying He is our Provider and to trust Him with another job??

200 ~ Deliverances

200 – Deliverances


July 17, 1986

Psalm 106:8, Nevertheless He saved them for His name’s sake, that He might make His mighty power known. Then they believed His words. They sang His praise.

Praise God. I’m singing Your praise! Yesterday in the kitchen Markie, age 4, trying to open it, pulled the 5 foot tall metal cabinet full of dishes down on himself. A wardrobe box AND ANGELS stopped it from falling on him.

Then hours later Daniel, age 2, did the same thing (I had changed the location of the majority of the dishes so there was not much in it). This time the cabinet doors popped open and propped the cabinet up! so it did not come down on top of him.  Two things broke each time—2 casseroles and 2 Pyrex storage containers. No one was cut or hurt.


The fist accident occurred after I’d been talking to the boys’ friend Chris’s mom on the front porch. Her name is Leslie and I found out later that she is a Jehovah’s Witness. The second accident occurred after the boys and I had been at Leslie’s sister Julie’s house while I got a haircut and gave my testimony of how personal God is and how He speaks to me. She seemed very interested. She is Mormon.

The Lord was with us and He used me with both ladies. Was there some spiritual warfare involved or just little boys acting goofy? Whatever…we were covered by Him.

Later after the kids were in bed for the night and Dan was studying, I went to the store. God reminded me that I have been up every day this week for one hour of prayer before the kids get up. Thanking Him for fulfilling my heart’s desire. And for using me with my neighbors who are becoming my friends.

198 – Really Praying!

198 – Really Praying!

July 9, 1986

Since I have been REALLY praying about homeschooling—GOD PLEASE MAKE THIS WORK OR ELSE I DON’T KNOW WHAT TO DO—it is going VERY well. I mean, VERY VERY well!

Also, I have been praising Him more and more for what He HAS done already in the past and HAS done already in the future that I get to step into.

My countenance is changing into a more joyful and positive one. Also, I have been a better disciplinarian of the boys. More aware of what to do and not so double minded.

July 12

From the basement Dan brought up a huge old piece of furniture that we are putting all of the homeschool books on. Perfect!

July 13

Yesterday I faced that I really love to sleep, confessed my self-centeredness, and asked God from there, from square one, to give me His motivation to pray early. HE DID!

Honesty with the Lord is the best policy. I need to just talk to Him. Just be real. Tell him the truth all the time: this is what’s going on in me, Lord! It seems to me that the Holy Spirit is the One who helps me be honest and not act like there is nothing going on.

The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked; who can know it? Jeremiah 17:9

The Holy Spirit knows it

My Lord knows my heart. As I lean into Him talk to Him about everything, then trust Him fully–and pray hard–He will always be my strength and my song!

“Behold, God is my salvation, I will trust and not be afraid; for the LORD GOD is my strength and song, And He has become my salvation.” Isaiah 12:2

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.”

191 -Goodbye to the Familiar, and Onward ho!

191- Goodbye to the Familiar and Onward ho!


First week in June, 1986 – our church friends blessed us…

John and Jan invited us to spend the week with them so we could empty out and clean our 1200 square foot house. The boys slept on Kyle’s bedroom floor. Dan and I slept in the extra room, me on a twin bed, Dan on the roll-a-way. One night Janet brought dinner for the whole group!

Auntie Bev gave us a black account book to use as a trip log and to keep a record of our expenses. She wrote: A journal of the events of the Dan Lemaire family while on an adventure across this nation to a destiny of service to our Lord! God bless your journey and each of you!

Our garage sale brought in $200. Bill and Carol had taken the kids overnight and the whole day. Bill and Joyce brought Dan and I a special dinner of Bill’s famous beef and potato pasties.

The church gave us a money gift to add to the garage sale proceeds, and we stopped downtown and sold Dan’s silver dollars to add to our cash stash.

The Suburban was packed to the hilt with kids, camping equipment, coolers, camera, and clothes. We said tearful goodbyes to our friends and headed for the freeway. We could see our church up on the hill, and one of the kids yelled goodbye, and we all yelled good bye. As we passed St. Mary’s hospital where Dan and the boys had all been born, we yelled goodbye! In another mile, Tim pointed to the area where Jackie and John and their girls lived and we yelled goodbye at the top of our lungs.

The boys were 7, 6, 4, 2 years old. They were all in car seats or boosters so they could see the scenery for the next 3,000 miles.

We all felt the pangs of separating from our excellent friends and support system, but we were geared up for adventure!

First stop, just a two-hour drive to spend the night with my high school best friend Nancy and her family. We swam in their pool and had spaghetti for dinner and waffles for breakfast.

Second stop, four days with my family in Oxnard, CA –including a trip to Disneyland! Our brother-in-law Jerry surprised us by treating us to the Disney* tickets!

*In 1986, Disneyland adult tickets were $18 and children’s tickets were $12.95. As I am editing this post, February 2018, prices increased just today: adult tickets are $119 and children’s tickets are $113.