Tuesday, October 30, 2012

37 weeks!

Just home from another midwife appointment and baby is looking great, BP is holding steady, and we're officially in the clear to welcome our little one whenever he or she decides it is time! We have so much to be thankful for...

Of course there are struggles... new ones it seems each week.... but God is faithful and we are seeking to walk closer to Him each day and in each new struggle. January is looking incredibly uncertain at the moment and I feel at times that all is lost. But the same God that called us up here is the same God that we are still serving, who is the same God that provided for the Israelite people in the wilderness, parted the Red Sea, rose Jesus from the dead, and is still our provider. 

I recently learned of a proposed full time pastor's salary at another church and was asked if I felt that was fair. While not an exorbitant value, I realized I could not even dream that big. Money is not everything, but balancing eating and disconnect notices with no health insurance can be draining. It's a growing experience for sure.

We have so much to be thankful for....

Our health is good
We have a warm dry home to protect us from the weather
We have a prayer support team
Our families and friends who love us
The blessing of 4 children and this 5th baby on the way
Food in the pantry
The blessing of living in a state where home birth is a legal option
The opportunity to serve in Columbia City
The blessing of salvation

Will be posting more on Thankfulness soon...

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

God's GOT this!

I am 34 weeks pregnant and at the midwife appt this morning we discovered that the baby is not measuring where it should. The measurement today was the same as 2 weeks ago.... and 4 weeks ago.... 
Erring on the side of human error, the midwife suggested waiting 2 more weeks til my next appt and then if measurements are the same then we go for an ultrasound to check the baby.
Trying to not worry and take my cue from the midwife, we leave. A mile down the road the van begins violently shaking - we slow way down and it gets better but does not go away. A well placed slow moving tractor gave us cover and we crawled to the next gas station following this tractor. We make a couple phone calls, including Superman's brother, who is a car-repairman and he advises us to not drive it any further and believes the back end is going out. Threw out some possibility estimates (for parts alone) of between $300-$900. We drive a 96 .... it's not worth more than $1500 running great.

Oh. And we're broke :)

Against advice, we determine we are 45 minutes from home, and have no money for a tow, so we opted to attempt the drive home praying all the way.
Praise God we made it home safely.
After getting everyone a late lunch, I went for chocolate and a Pepsi (hey - basic necessities) and began sharing my day with a few people for prayer. As I was typing out a message to a dear friend of mine, I realized.... DUH! Things are going well at the church and there's a new possibility we haven't even shared yet and OF COURSE Satan's going to be attacking and discouraging us! And you know what??? Satan had to get God's permission to do it!
This means: God has a plan - He's GOT this! For up to the next 3 weeks, the kids and I don't have to go anywhere beyond walking distance and if he has to, Superman can ride his bike to and from work and anywhere else in town. 3 weeks is PLENTY of time for God to show His awesome and mighty hand and perform a miracle. At this point I think I'm going to pray that He provide us with a mini van - surely someone has a mini van not doing anything that they'd be willing to give to a pastor's family right???

My favorite verse in times like this:
2 Cor 4:8, "We are hard pressed on every side, but not crushed."

I've also noticed that sometimes God has allowed things to happen to use that we would not prefer, not just for our own lesson learning but for others to step up and serve too. Which reminds me of the verse in Phil 4 where Paul tells the church at Philippi "I rejoiced in the Lord greatly that once again you renewed your care for me. You were, in fact, concerned about me but lacked the opportunity to show it."

God is granting someone(s) the opportunity to show concern for us! And He's teaching us to trust Him! In everything! PRAISE GOD!!

God's GOT this.

Hush my child..... I will provide....

We covet your prayers as we watch on the sidelines to see God move on the vehicle situation. We also covet your prayers as we trust The Great Physician, the ONLY ONE who can help our baby grow, as the giver and taker of life, and will fulfill His purpose for us. We pray for the baby's safety and trust Our Provider with this child.

Monday, October 8, 2012

Psalm 57:2

"I call to God Most High, to God who fulfills His purpose for me." Psalm 57:2

This verse was written by David as he was hiding in a cave; hiding from King Saul who wanted to kill him because King Saul knew that David was to be the next king. 

Facing almost certain death against the mightiest king of the day, David cries out to God.... I don't know that I would have had the same wording.

When I am faced with adversary, I pray for deliverance.... how many times do I ACTUALLY then end with "not my will but Your will be done?" Or in this verse specifically the wording is "I call to God... who fulfills His purpose for me." What if God's purpose is the worst case scenario in your book? What if it means death? Death to you? Death to your children? Your spouse? What if that means a repossession of your home? Filing bankruptcy? A job loss for you or your spouse? What if any of those things is God fulfilling His purpose for you? For me?

My superhusband/pastor referenced this verse yesterday in his sermon and it struck me between the eyes and I almost fell apart right there. You see, I had just learned before walking out the door to church, that I have a friend who is expecting a child, and as they expect the arrival of that child they are preparing for certain death. Their baby has a rare defect and the baby has a zero percent survival possibility. Zero percent. They have been given no hope. They are making plans for delivery, burial, casket, etc.

"I call to God most high, to God who fulfills His purpose for me."

God's purpose is always first and foremost to bring Himself glory and no, that's not selfish - He's God - the Creator of the Universe. We are His instruments for that glory to be accomplished through.
I cannot begin to imagine all that God has planned for this couple and this tiny baby that is still alive at 26 weeks gestation despite all odds (and the fact that abortion is the most logical for this couple and they have received some pressure to do so), but one thing is clear, God is using this situation to fulfill His purpose in this couple. It's now part of their story - of their marriage, their family, their church family, and they have already been able to minister to many through this road God has chosen for them.

Are you truly content in Christ? Do you cry out to God in the midst of trials and struggles and joys and celebrations to fulfill His purpose for you? Do I? Not often enough I am afraid. Not often enough. 

Saturday, October 6, 2012

Hush my child.... I will provide

In one of my first posts I shared with you my struggle of following my husband to a place of great insecurity for me - greatly beyond my comfort zone - and God using that time in my life to teach me to trust Him in a whole new way. You can read that particular post here: http://www.areyouthepastorswife.blogspot.com/2012/01/lord-is-my-shepherd-i-shall-not-wait.html

Something else God used during that time I didn't share in that already long post - I wrote a song called "Provision". It's simple, unpolished, won't ever win a grammy kind of song, but it is very special to my heart and I have been amazed at how many times over the last 6 years the Lord has brought that song back to the forefront of my mind during a time of great struggle.

Yesterday was one of those days. The day started terribly and the whole day was just awful. The details aren't very important other than to say the lessons were financial.

Let me share with you the first part of the song I wrote....

I think I know what I need, but I'm just along on the world's ride
Until God brought me to my knees
Hush my child, I will provide. 

Life spins me in circles, Lord I can barely keep up! I need this, I want that, Lord WHERE ARE YOU?
Hush my child, I will provide. 

He grows grass for the cattle, and fruit for nutrition of man
He gives food from earth and water from the sky

In all that He shows, He will provide. 

Life spins me in circles, Lord I can barely keep up! I need this, I want that, Lord WHERE ARE YOU?
Hush my child, I will provide. 

So after this long terrible day, God brought me to my knees.... perhaps flat on my face if I didn't have a 8 1/2 month baby belly to keep me from doing so.....and now for one of my favorite word phrase in the Bible......

But GOD.....

At the end of the day just before the kiddos bedtime, Derin received a phone call from someone he hadn't heard from in months. The details can't be shared yet but when he got off the phone(2 hours later) and shared the information with me, I was literally dumbfounded and asked him to repeat himself.

You mean.... God HEARD me crying out and He was already working on an answer to the prayer I hadn't yet voiced??? Oh I am of little faith.

The information from the phone call must be proceeded with much prayer and caution, and yet it is an amazing possibility that is just astounding. I can't wait to share the details with you. In the mean time, let me finish the song....

He caught me when I was falling
He gave me everything I need
He heard me when I was calling
You showed me Lord, You did provide
I see now Lord, You do provide
I see now Lord........... You died to provide......

Amazingly I have to keep learning this lesson.... God is our Jehovah Jireh - our provider!

Hush my child, I will provide.....

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Seasons of Change

While it's my 2nd favorite time of year, I absolutely love fall. I love the cool air after the hot summer, the hot chocolate, hot tea, warm blanket, slipping into socks for the first time in months, the crisp fall leaves on the ground, the preparedness for Thanksgiving and Christmas.... it's a warm and cozy time of year.

This year fall is bringing about a huge change in our family. It began with a move from a small house to a large house that we are loving but still trying to unpack and settle into, and now as we settle into our school groove we're also preparing to welcome our baby #5, due Thanksgiving week. There must be something that happens as you have more and more children... I find I am far less worried about 'being ready' this time around....lol and yet I do have a list of things that need to be ready before the little one comes that really does need attention. :) I have begun to buy a few needed items, washed boy and girl newborn clothing (baby wouldn't cooperate for either ultrasound so we'll be surprised!), but that's about the just of my level of preparedness. I mean, I still have 3 weeks until my home visit with the midwife right? Jeepers....

I'm hoping to take only a week off of our homeschooling calendar after the baby comes.... with our late start due to the move I am not comfortable taking much more than that... but we'll see what happens.

The church is maintaining and is also turning a corner of change. The vision my husband has cast to the congregation is challenging and demands the people step up - if they are faithful, I have great faith that this model will work. I so admire the clarity God provides to my husband for direction and leading his flock.

This time of year always makes me consider Ecc 3.... there is a time for everything. Sometimes we are not fond of all of what "everything" means though. A dear friend of mine was just diagnosed with breast cancer, another friend is waiting on her father to pass away, a great person of faith whom I have never met lost his 15 year old daughter today to eternity. In contrast, we're getting ready to welcome a new blessing, we're in a time of health right now in our family although difficult challenges in other areas, the church is turning an exciting but a little scary chapter where we need lots of faith to press through, and people all around us are celebrating and mourning in their own blessings and struggles. Do we truly celebrate and thank God in each and every celebration and trial? Do you praise God when your home is broken into? Do you praise God when someone passes away? Do you praise God when you struggle with organization? Do you praise God when you are at your wits end with your spouse? I love the Laura Story song, "blessings".

"What if trials of this life, are His mercies in disguise...."

In this season of change and thankfulness.... let's truly give thanks both in the blessings and in the trials.