Sunday, November 28, 2010

* Thanksgiving *

Thanksgiving was a whirlwind! It came and went and I hardly felt like I had a chance to blink. Its a good thing I snapped a few pictures, or I may have forgotten I was even there. We spent the day with our dear friends Eric & Tisra and their kids. Here are my favorite highlights....

Sandy had to stay outside...

The lovely Miss Tisra

The boys made these adorable place tags

Oh the wonderfulness of FOOD!

ANd now.....its time to play!

OK ~ now who is gonna clean up this mess!

Thank you Eric and Tisra for making us feel so welcome in your home, and for making it a Thanksgiving to remember!

Thursday, November 4, 2010

The way God works

So...we were in Mexico and now we are not. How did we get from there to here. I will do my best to give a brief synopsis. The long and short of it is God. And as I look back on all the small in between details, it becomes even more clear to me that it was ALL God. We are currently in Franklin, Tennessee. And we are more aware than ever that this is where we are supposed to be. Yes I have said that before. In fact I said that about Mexico. But there were lessons that had to be learned, and experiences we needed to have.
So lets rewind to the end of Sept. We knew it was time to leave Mexico. But we did not know where we were supposed to go. So we asked our friends, Matt & Tracee if we could stay with them until we could find a place. They happened to live in Spring Hill, TN. So GT put me and the kids on a plane to Tennessee and Matt flew to Mexico to drive all of our stuff back through Mexico with GT. 

What GT did not know was that though the hurricanes had not affected us in Mexico, they had washed out many bridges and roads in other parts of Mexico. So the trip for GT and Matt looked a little like this...single lane roads, bridges
bad gas
dirty cops stole all his money
car broke down again
detour to the pacific side of Mexico
more cops
more fear
we prayed
someone showed compassion and fixed the car and stood up to the cops for them
they made it home. 

So now that our families are all here the stress set in. We are 12 people in a small 3 bedroom house and 4 of those children are not in school. So after the second week, we thanked them for sharing there home with us, but the stress was to much to do to friends. So we moved into a motel until we could find a house to rent. 

Here is a tidbit from a journal entry....."Our one room home. I never thought I would see the day my family would be homeless. I know we all have to start over somewhere, but I did not see this coming. And to top that, we are still fighting lice. Not sure what I am supposed to be learning, but I have absolutely have no more pride."

And to be honest, the kids handled it very well. I think it was harder on GT than any of us.  Well the kids and GT and I needed some encouragement and knew we had to find a church. There is no shortage of Christian churches in the Bible belt but a friend suggested we try a church called Conduit Mission. It has no church building, they meet in a local High School to keep the cost of the church down and have the ability to send the majority of their funds to missions. We loved this church and they took us under their wing in an amazing way.

Another journal entry.... "After the service, our new friends Tim and Angie asked if they could take us out to lunch at Jason's deli. Gt cried as he accepted. We had a great time getting to know them better. They invited us over to watch football, but I wanted to finish washing ALL or clothes and do one more round of lice treatment. So we took a football rain check. After we got home I got a text from pastor Darren. He said he had a target gift card for us and he had made some great contacts for job opportunities for GT. God is taking care of us, even if for the time being we are without a home or a job."

"Today was another challenge cause I have the flu. So my view was from my bed all day. Gt took the kids to Barnes and Noble so I could sleep and then brought home soup and juice for dinner. Gt spoke with Derrick about our situation and Derrick and June spent the day crying and praying. Then Derrick called and said he just felt like Gt should talk to the Pastor here. It just so happened that while Gt was talking to Derrick, I was getting a text from Pastor Darrin asking if Gt could meet with him tonight. So God is starting to put things in motion. Not sure how or even what, but if its Gods doing, it won't really matter."

"So it has been one week that we have been looking for a house while living in this hotel room. We have had many disappointing days as people have repeatedly told us no. But we had a chance to hang out on friday night with our village and we were very encouraged. Then today during the church service it just felt like everything was going to be okay. God is going to fight this battle for us. Praising was easy today and was such a joy. Unlike last week when praising was almost painful, today it was a welcome relief. God has much in store for us here. Sabrina is spending a second night at Darren and Shannons with Ashleigh, her new bff! And my flu has turned into a chest cold. I think my body will appreciate the rest when we get settled. The stress is too much. Soon we will have a home."

We did finally have someone tell us Yes. It was someone the Pastor here had a connection with and it is a small condo. It also had a coffee table and a family room armoire. But what we did not have were a fridge, beds for the kids, a dryer, kitchen table, vacuum or any other bedroom furniture as well as winter clothes or even school clothes. Just lots of swim suits and shorts.
This was our bedroom, and then someone gave us an armoire. 

This was our pantry, without any sort of shelving. Until someone gave us some shelves

And then there have been the clothes people have brought continuously, the meals, the groceries, the beds, the refrigerators, and more love than I have ever experienced in all my life. I was making a list of all the blessings and answers to prayers and the list was getting so long I stopped writing them all down. I would just lay awake at night and cry...because I could not contain all the gratitude in my heart!

And this is our little home! We are so grateful to God for providing for our every need. 

Luke 12:22
 Then Jesus said to his disciples: “Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat; or about your body, what you will wear. For life is more than food, and the body more than clothes.  Consider the ravens: They do not sow or reap, they have no storeroom or barn; yet God feeds them. And how much more valuable you are than birds! Who of you by worrying can add a single hour to your life[b]?  Since you cannot do this very little thing, why do you worry about the rest?

    “Consider how the wild flowers grow. They do not labor or spin. Yet I tell you, not even Solomon in all his splendor was dressed like one of these.  If that is how God clothes the grass of the field, which is here today, and tomorrow is thrown into the fire, how much more will he clothe you—you of little faith!  And do not set your heart on what you will eat or drink; do not worry about it. 30 For the pagan world runs after all such things, and your Father knows that you need them. 31 But seek his kingdom, and these things will be given to you as well.

I have come to KNOW this about God. 
He is my creator, the potter. I am His creation, the pot. 
Only God knows what His plans are for our lives.
 Only He knows what He has designed us to be. 
Am I a plate made to feed others, a vase created to showcase something beautiful, 
a bowl designed to hold large things? 
This much I also know...we all start out as a slab of clay. And as the potter spins his wheel and adds water, we start to take shape. But the process of becoming what He is creating is not painless. And there are many rough edges that need to be smoothed. But I would never presume to tell the potter what I am and how I was made.  This process of moving and relocating and being homeless and unemployed has clearly taught us that we are incapable of even keeping our own heart beating.
 And the security we thought we had was only a facade. 
Our security lies only in our creator. 

So we are taking one day at a time. Without knowledge of what tomorrow holds. Only knowing that God has got our back. Praise be to Him alone. =)