Sunday, August 30, 2015

Themes in Life

It seems when I'm consistently in God's Word, I find themes come up in my study time over and over - not only in my personal quiet time, but in podcasts I listen to, teachings in church and Sunday school. . . all over the same theme can come up over and over.

Currently the theme for me is prayer.  I've been convicted of my prayer life not being all that it could be or should be.  During the last few months as we've been trying to think through building or buying a house, I've tried to stay open to God's plan for us.  I've prayed over and over that God would guide our decisions and keep me from being stressed trying to decide for myself what's best.  I know He has a plan for us.  I want whatever happens in our life to ultimately bring glory to God.

One radio broadcast I listened to one day last week, a man was being interviewed about prayer.  He was saying that we should just ask God for what we want.  Sometimes He will say no, but He knows our hearts and what we want anyway, so we should be bold in asking.  So that day, I prayed boldly...I wanted that house for sale that we'd been looking at and had made an offer on.  I didn't want to make a foolish decision, but I wanted this to be the house for us.  The next day (Thursday) we found out that the counter offer came back and we'd decided that we couldn't justify paying anymore than our last offer, so we walked away.  I was disappointed, but I knew that there was a reason.  I figured I may never know the reason, but I want to bring God glory, and I knew that I had to trust.

Thursday night Joel and I discussed all of the different things we could plan and do. . . what builders to talk to, places to possibly build. . . We went to sleep much later than normal and unsure of the future, but knowing Who held it for us.

Friday morning we woke up to find out that our realtor had agreed to reduce her commission and because of that the bank accepted our offer.  I am so humbled that this woman, who prayed with us over the contract, would make this sacrifice for us.

Speaking of prayer, the new Kendrick's brother movie, War Room, is out, and Joel and I are looking forward to seeing it Tuesday night.  It should fit right in with the prayer theme in my life!

Here is a picture of the 3 big kids in the "secret hideout" in our new house.

Thursday, August 27, 2015

When God Says "No"

Our little family has now grown to 7.  Elijah, our 5th child, was born in February 2014.  3 bedrooms and 2 bathrooms is plenty, but we'd like more.  We would like to have a house large enough for all of our kids to come back home with their families and plenty of room for our grandkids to come and stay (I'm counting on that as my reward for not killing these kids some days!).

So, we've been  praying.  We drew up house plans, we have talked to a builder, we've pinned hundreds of ideas.  Then there was a house in our town, just a stones throw out of the city limits actually, came available for sale.  It was foreclosed on, so the bank owns it.  It has everything we need.  5 kid rooms, school room, play rooms, beautiful yard, lots of closets. . . it's perfect.  Well, the 90s counter tops and brass fixtures everywhere aren't so perfect, but that's an easy fix.  We've been through a process - making an offer, countering, etc. all while praying that God would guide our steps.

Well meaning folks have prayed for us and encouraged us and oooohed and ahhhhed over how perfect it is for us.  I've asked God boldly for Him to let us have this house.

Today, we learned that the door is shut.  Prices were just more than we were willing to pay for a 20 year old house that needs some work.  He answered our prayer.  He said no.  I've confessed to God and to Joel that I really, really wanted this house.  I've mentally decorated and filled the closets.  I've set bird feeders in strategic locations, set up my sewing area, and planned my sitting area in the fabulous bay window in the master bedroom.  I've reminded myself all along that God knows what I don't know.  He sees things that I can't see.  My prayer has been that wherever He puts us, it will be a place that will be used for His glory.

The door has been shut, but the story isn't over yet.  I don't know the next chapter.  I don't know what tomorrow will bring in this journey.  I've cried and I've had my pity party.  Then I mowed the grass and sewed a gift for someone.  I've thought about the things in our dream of houses that this one wouldn't have allowed.  Chickens.  Horses.  Goats.  Sunflower patch.

Tonight I won't tell God how disappointed I am.  I'll tell Him thank you.  I'll thank Him for loving me when I'm unlovable (when I'm stomping my feet and whining about not getting my way).  I'll thank him for this room over our heads.  I'll thank Him for blessings that He gives me everyday so that I take them for granted - healthy children, godly husband, friends, food in abundance. . .  and I'll ask Him to continue to direct my paths.