It Seemed Like Such a Simple Plan – MY Plan

I was planning to write a post bewailing the fact that everything always has to be so hard. Nothing ever just falls into place for us. We always have to wait and wait and wait until the victory comes.

We had it all planned out. We would move our stuff out of this house and have all the kids set up in our new house, then I could come back to this house and clean it and it would actually stay clean because the kids wouldn’t be here. We were going to do it calmly and methodically, step by step and it was going to be wonderful. But my plans fell through with a crash when the house we chose and put down a deposit for and paid for half a month’s rent was never cleaned and made ready for us as we had been promised it would. We finally had to get out of the contract, and now the houses that we saw online that would work for us have all been taken.

We are in a pickle. I’ve been emailing, calling, going to see houses and trying to figure out what to do for the last week. So I was going to write about it and complain. But then I read this article on Robin’s Heart of Wisdom blog. I now realize that I got caught in the do-dos again. As many times as I have had to wait on God and depend on Him, you would think I would have learned by now that the best thing I can do in a crisis is to wait before the Lord in prayer and ask Him to move on our behalf. Shawn was telling me this last night, but I wasn’t in the mood to hear it. Now I get it. So instead of writing a whiny blog post, I’m going to get down on my knees right now and do the most effective work I can do to bring about our solution.

The Saga Continues

We still don’t have a new house to move into. I thought we had found the “perfect” house, similar to the “dog” house, but clean and fresh and well-taken-care-of. It looked wonderful. We all liked it, the ones who were there anyway. But then we saw it – animal hair!!! Aaaaah! Anna noticed some in a vent. Then Gary said he saw a lot in the garage. Then I admitted that I saw some on the welcome mat. Not a welcome sight! We still held out hope that somehow the house could have been pet-free and that somehow all that hair just materialized out of thin air in all of those places. But Gary started having problems breathing, then his eyes started itching. Then he knew the truth. The previous tenants must have had a cat. The worst of all pets for him since he’s so allergic to them. I’m starting to really dislike indoor pets. I never wanted them myself, but now I’m starting to wish nobody had them. They are keeping me from getting the house I need.

I don’t know how other people feel, but shouldn’t the health and comfort of people be more important than having your pet inside?

Present house we're renting
Present house we're renting
This house is for rent.  I wonder if they had pets in it...
This house is for rent. I wonder if they had pets in it...
Id like to live in the country but...
I'd like to live in the country but...
Now thats more like it!
Now that's more like it!

We Refuse to Become Homeless!

We had a new house to move into. Past tense. Now we’re scrambling to find a house by this Saturday. We’re moving 10 kids and need time to clean this house so the owner can return to a house that’s in move-in condition. I wanted to have several days after this house was empty to clean it so that the kids would be somewhere else instead of messing everything up as soon as I clean it. It looks like that’s not going to happen. And even more upsetting is that we don’t know where we’ll be moving to, and the houses that looked like they would be perfect for us have already been rented.

It has been tense around here lately. The circumstances that brought us to this point are less than pleasant. Gary is having to stand firm for us in a battle against a property management group that does not have our best interests at heart. They tried to convince us that a house had been professionally cleaned when it still smelled like dog and there was dog hair on the carpet that I could scoop up with my fingers. We were able to finally get out of the contract because they absolutely refused to clean the house adequately, saying that it had already been cleaned, and we absolutely refused to move into a dirty house, but we lost $800 in the deal. And now we’re having a hard time finding a house that is big enough with a rent that we can afford. We are expecting God to give us a great deal on the perfect house for us.

I’ve been emailing and calling people about houses like crazy the last couple of days. And I’ve been praying a lot. Gary has been very focused on what has been happening with that property management group, so I’ve been trying to find a new house for us. I didn’t realize how much it was wearing on me until I started talking to a woman I met at the park tonight. I wasn’t planning to go to the park, but Emma hijacked our walk around the block and insisted that we go to the park instead. I took her there even though it was late, and I knew we wouldn’t be able to stay long. A family came to the park right after we got there. They had a little girl that’s almost 2. The mother and I started talking, and she asked where we live. I told her a little about our situation. As I told her that we didn’t know where we would be moving to and the problems we were having, I almost started to cry. That’s when I realized how much this was bothering me. I stopped talking because I didn’t want to cry. She invited me to their church. It’s not a “churchy” church. They are meeting at the Elks Lodge right now. They’re casual and Spirit-filled. It sounds like the kind of place we need to go right now. I’m planning to go tomorrow to ask them to pray for us and to see if God will speak through someone to encourage us and help us during this difficult time.

I’m always amazed at how God shows us that He’s here with us. I know that He impressed Emma to insist on going to the park tonight and impressed me to give in to her insistence. I don’t usually let her boss me around, but tonight I was supposed to. I know that I was supposed to talk to Crystal. The Elks Lodge is really close to our house, so it will be really easy to go there tomorrow. How nice of God to make it easy to go and get some fellowship and encouragement.

Thank you, Lord, for the kisses of Your presence right when we need them the most.

Do You Really Believe?

Do you really believe in God and trust Him to take care of you? Do you think you have to figure out your life and make all your plans and then ask God to bless them? If that’s how you think, you might want to re-think some things. There is a difference between thinking and hearing from God. You hear God with your spirit, not with your mind. If you’re thinking, then you’re not listening.

You need to locate your spirit. It’s somewhere near your stomach region, near the center of your being. You know how the Bible talks about your heart and your bowels of compassion? That’s talking about your spirit. If you try to learn more and grow spiritually through your mind, you are using the wrong instrument. The Bible tells us to have the eyes of our heart enlightened, not the eyes of our mind enlightened. If you are trying to gain spiritual knowledge by feeding from the fruit of the tree of knowledge of good and evil instead of the tree of life, you will inevitably go in the same direction as Adam and Eve and be turned away from God rather than toward Him.

Faith comes by hearing and hearing by the Word of God, but you can’t hear the Word unless you can really hear God. And you can’t obey what God is telling you to do if you can’t hear Him in the first place. So you need to be able to hear from Him in order to obey Him.

We need more than just the general guidelines and commandments that are written in the Word. We need more than our own thoughts, opinions and ideas to go on. We are exhorted to live by the Spirit so that we will not fulfill the lusts of the flesh, not to live by logic, sound reasoning and what we consider to be wise counsel. The Holy Spirit was given to us to lead us into all truth. He reveals to us the things of Jesus. The Holy Spirit speaks to us through our spirit. That’s why we need to know how to listen with our spirit. We are living epistles being written by the Holy Spirit. There are situations in our lives that are unique and not already written in scripture, so we need to be able to hear from God today, because He has specific plans and purposes to be carried out in our lives.

How is making your own plans and asking God to bless them believing Him and trusting Him to take care of you? If you believe then you will obey. If you trust, you will follow through with God’s plans. You will know that His plans are better than yours. But to know His plans, you need to be able to hear His voice. Learn to hear His Spirit with your spirit, then listen to what He says and obey what He tells you to do. Then you will really be believing and trusting Him to take care of you and you will be fulfilling what He put you here to do.

Prov. 19:21 Many are the plans in a man’s heart, but it is the LORD’s purpose that prevails.

Heb. 3:7, 15-19 Therefore, as the Holy Spirit says: Today, if you will hear His voice… 15 Then while it is [still] called Today, if you would hear His voice and when you hear it, do not harden your hearts as in the rebellion [in the desert, when the people provoked and irritated and embittered God against them]. And to whom did He swear that they should not enter His rest, but to those who disobeyed [who had not listened to His word and who refused to be compliant or be persuaded]?

19 So we see that they were not able to enter [into His rest], because of their unwillingness to adhere to and trust in and rely on God [unbelief had shut them out].