We Shall Go out With Joy and Be Led Forth with Peace

For ye shall go out with joy, and be led forth with peace: the mountains and the hills shall break forth before you into singing, and all the trees of the field shall clap their hands.

Isaiah 55:12

We felt more joy and peace today than we have in a long time. God is removing fear and anxiety from our hearts. We trust Him no matter what. As we do that, He helps us to experience the feelings of peace and joy. I was able to worship the Lord when I woke up in the middle of the night last night, and I felt no fear.

I had been so afraid of the court hearing tomorrow.

Now I’m just sure that He will give me the words to say, and everything will be all right.

I’m going to take all 10 kids with me. When I realized that I didn’t have to go handle this all by myself, it helped to take the scariness out of it.

We have people helping us to get rid of stuff that won’t fit in the truck. Jeff is going to come over Tuesday and Wednesday and haul stuff away. I couldn’t figure out how we were going to do that. I met Jeff through Chad. I met Chad through Craigslist.

A man from another moving company warned me about American Van Lines and saved me from making a terrible mistake.

The teller at the bank told me how to put money in my account at a lower interest rate.

The timing is going to work out just right for the money to get to Texas to secure a house there.

God is speaking to us, inspiring us, giving us wisdom, showing us how to do things we can’t figure out by ourselves.

We are so grateful for the Holy Spirit and His guidance during this whole move.

Thank You, Lord, for Your provision, protection and wisdom. We have been reminded again of how much we need You.

65 You have dealt well with Your servant, O Lord, according to Your promise.

66 Teach me good judgment, wise and right discernment, and knowledge, for I have believed (trusted, relied on, and clung to) Your commandments.

67 Before I was afflicted I went astray, but now Your word do I keep [hearing, receiving, loving, and obeying it].

68 You are good and kind and do good; teach me Your statutes.

69 The arrogant and godless have put together a lie against me, but I will keep Your precepts with my whole heart.

70 Their hearts are as fat as grease [their minds are dull and brutal], but I delight in Your law.

71 It is good for me that I have been afflicted, that I might learn Your statutes.

72 The law from Your mouth is better to me than thousands of gold and silver pieces.

Psalm 119:65-72

The Enemy Attacks, But God Wins Again!

The mover I talked to who moved our new neighbor warned me not to look online for a moving company. Boy, was he right! Boy, do I wish I had listened to him!

At first, we took his advice and called ABF and hired them to bring a truck that we would load and unload and they would drive. But then we canceled our plans with ABF because they were only going to let us use half of a trailer. We figured we would need the whole thing. 16 feet didn’t sound like enough even with the extra volume. We have a lot of stuff, and I have lots of books! I called PODS and they told me that one POD was the same as a trailer and a half. So I decided to go with them. Shawn and I started figuring out how much space we would actually have. The person who was called my personal moving coordinator told me the actual dimensions of one POD are 8’by 8′ by 16′. When Shawn and I started figuring out how much furniture we have and how many boxes, we realized that we would need a second POD. Then when we kept on figuring, we knew that even that would not be enough.

I went on Craigslist and started trying to sell most of our furniture.

I advertised all of our dressers. A man called about one of them and told me he needed it for a group home for men just coming out of prison that he helps to get back on their feet. I had figured out the night before that we had 10 dressers that we needed to get rid of to make space for our move. He told me he was just starting a new house and he needed 10 dressers.

When I heard that, I told him that we had 10 dressers we wanted to sell. He asked how much I wanted for them. I went and talked to Shawn about it and told him what the man wanted them for, and Shawn said, “That sounds like a good cause, let’s just give them to him.” So I told Chad we would just give him the 10 dressers. It sounded like he almost dropped the phone!

He couldn’t believe that we were really going to just give him 10 dressers. But we really felt like God was telling us to do that. The more I thought about it, I realized that most of those dressers had been given to us in Kansas City. So it was only right that we would give them to another ministry when we were done with them.

Chad was amazed and said he would be right over with some of the guys from the home to get them. They came and loaded them onto a pickup truck, and we got to testify to them of all the great things God has done for us since we started our Journey of Fire in 2002, and especially since we lost our house in 2005 and went to Arizona by faith and God took care of us supernaturally. We told them that we had been homeless for a while and went to Arizona with $3000 and ran out of money, but God always took care of us. We were never hungry, never without a place to stay and never stranded. Chad pointed out to the men that we went from being homeless to living in a big, beautiful house like the one we’ve been living in.

And he asked what kind of house we would have in Texas. I told him it would be like this one or nicer. I know it will be. We will have one that has at least one more bedroom than what we have here.

But back to my moving story. Ugh, we canceled PODS because we knew that even without the dressers, we still wouldn’t have enough space for all of our stuff.

So, out of desperation, we looked online for a moving company.

Never do anything out of desperation. Especially the thing you were warned not to do.

We went with the first company that called us after we put in our information on a website. They charged us a huge deposit of over $2500, and I foolishly gave it to them.

Right after that another moving company called me and I told him we had already chosen somebody. He asked the name. When I told him it was American Van Lines, he yelled “NO!” I wondered what was wrong with him. He proceeded to educate me about how to find a good moving company. He told me to do a google search of American Van Lines and see all the bad reviews about the terrible things that American Van Lines did to them. We did and found out he was telling the truth.

Then I did as he told me and found out that lots of moving companies hold your stuff hostage until you pay more, stuff gets damaged, movers don’t show up on time, all that kind of thing. Then I didn’t know who to trust.

I felt so dumb for being so gullible and misled. I felt like I had really missed it and not heard what the Lord was saying, even though I had a great time with the Lord that morning and had spent two hours just praying and meditating.

I felt really out of sorts and upset, not to mention worried about getting the money back that I had been paying all of these moving companies. I called Chad to ask him to pray for us. He told us that he has a buddy who has a moving company here in York. He gave me his number. His company is called The Friendly Movers, and they try to help people. The owner’s name is Jeff.

So I called him and asked if he could move us to Texas.

I gave him some details about what we have, and he said he would do some research and call me back. His was not the lowest quote I got, but being able to trust him and getting the help we need will be worth the extra money. Plus, we know that our money is going to good people.

So we chose to go with The Friendly Movers.

Gary looked at a house yesterday, but the house he really wanted to see became available again, so he is going to look at it today. We were approved for two different houses, but Gary wants to make sure we get the right one. We were approved for two different houses! That’s a lot different than it was when we moved here to PA! And he is looking at houses with 5 bedrooms, not just 4, and the rent is lower than our rent here!

So there is a lot to rejoice over.

But the struggles have been really hard and humbling. And I have battled lots of fear. My day in court is coming up Monday about the bogus charges the property management group has brought against us. (They say we didn’t pay trash and sewer, but I never got a bill, and they say we have unpaid rent. The unpaid rent is for July – NEXT month.)

But I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me. And he leads us from victory to victory, glory to glory.

We have all been growing closer to each other, and I see spiritual progress in my children, especially Patrick.

That is worth it all.

Father’s Day in Snatches

This is the tale of a father of 10 who spent a year without his children.

He only saw them for a few days each month.

He made the most of each moment he had with them when he came home.

He never wanted to leave them. The job was not secure. It was based on 3-month contracts each quarter for a year. We could not afford to move again so quickly after moving from Illinois to Pennsylvania in December. So we held out here while he worked in South Carolina. He missed his family terribly. We missed him terribly.

We went to visit him in South Carolina for 2 weeks in July.

He was able to buy us a new van with the money from his job in South Carolina.

But he missed being with them for a whole year of their lives.

He finally found another job that signed him for a 6-month contract – in Texas. So we are all packing and moving. We’ve saved up enough to make another BIG move. And we’re going with him this time, because none of us want to spend any more time apart.

He came home for a week before his new job would start in Texas. He made sure he was there for Morgan’s recital. He wouldn’t have missed it for the world. Then the following Saturday he had to drive to Texas – without us.

Now he’s in Texas for Father’s Day. And he is alone. Without his children. He had few days with his children throughout the year. I think each of those days was Father’s Day for him. Better than this day called Father’s Day. But soon we will all be together again. And every day will be Father’s Day. And we will rejoice and be glad. And never take our togetherness for granted again.

Happy Father’s Day, Gary. Those snatches were wonderful, but we can’t wait until our days are filled with your presence in our lives again.

Morgan’s Recital

Getting Ready for the big night.

Morgan got a haircut.

So did Emma, Fiona, Garrett and Abby. Even I got my hair cut.

Waiting for the recital to start.

Doesn’t he look handsome in his tux?

Fancy and proud of it!

His teacher, Mrs. Janet Walsh is in the red jacket.

Here’s the big performance. I missed the first 3 notes in my recording.

Kelsey and Morgan stayed inside a little longer listening to a young man (Mrs. Walsh’s son) play the piano. Before they came out, I got everybody in the van. I was worn out from keeping Emma and Abby out of trouble the whole time. But it was a night to remember and worth every bit of preparation and work. We love you, Mrs. Walsh, and we will always remember you. You gave Morgan the best start with violin that he could have had. You were a wonderful teacher. We hope to find a good one in Texas, but you will always be his first violin teacher.

Resting in Him

Here’s one of the ways we’re resting in Him during the turmoil of the current storm.

We’re having fun with fruit!

Garrett liked it so much, he wanted to make one, too!