Promises Kept

These people all died controlled and sustained by their faith, but not having received the tangible fulfillment of [God’s] promises, only having seen it and greeted it from a great distance by faith, and all the while acknowledging and confessing that they were strangers and temporary residents and exiles upon the earth. Now those people who talk as they did show plainly that they are in search of a fatherland (their own country). If they had been thinking with [homesick] remembrance of that country from which they were emigrants, they would have found constant opportunity to return to it.  But the truth is that they were yearning for and aspiring to a better and more desirable country, that is, a heavenly [one]. For that reason God is not ashamed to be called their God [even to be surnamed their God—the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob], for He has prepared a city for them.
Hebrews 11:13-16

If you are anything like me, reading these words gave you a sense of sadness followed by relief. Sadness because verse the first lines describe how so many died knowing their promises, but only from a distance; they never experienced them. Relief because of their faith, they knew those promises were going to be fulfilled either on earth or in Heaven. I just wish I always had that kind of faith.

Please know I am the first in this list of “we” that follows…

We have this sense of entitlement. We believe we are owed so many things…a happy marriage, well-behaved and healthy children, a stable and unthreatened life. We, not only believe we have the right to these things, we try to claim them no matter the cost.

The truth is we have been promised love, peace, and joy as children of God, so no matter whether or not we get it today, tomorrow, or not until we get to Heaven, we need to live knowing we will one day receive what has been promised to us and trusting the One who has made the promise to us because He is faithful.

For the revelation awaits an appointed time;
    it speaks of the end
    and will not prove false.
Though it linger, wait for it;
    it will certainly come
    and will not delay.
Habakkuk 2:3 

It Takes a Village…

One of the benefits of living in a small town is having the support of so many people, with the same Christian values as I do, to help me with Jake…

Jake is a great kid! He is sweet and kind-hearted, but he also thirteen. His parents were divorced when he was two years old and has been raised by a mother who has no prior experience of raising a godly man…I should not only have a college fund for him, but also a fund for all the therapy he will need. 🙂

I have for years prayed for a godly man to take Jake under his wing and nurture him, but it’s been hard to find that. Now, Jake doesn’t only have a man, but a church full of them and not only older men, but also young men who have been raised to seek God and bring their younger brothers up in the Lord on the same path. His friends at school are his friends from church and have even encouraged Jake to bring his Bible to school!! We are truly Blessed!

In addition to the church full of men, Jake is now living with 3 parents instead of just 1. I think he found this to be fun in the beginning, but is now realizing there are three times as many people (in the same household) holding him accountable. He now has to answer to Mother (me), Mom (Brandi) and Diddy (Michael). Yes, I do, have the final say, but since the house belongs to Michael and Brandi, they have every right to make/enforce house rules and assign punishment when needed. Plus, I have never been the type of person who rejected any help, encouragement or constructive criticism that would help me be a better mother and Jake a better man. (I do have to say though, that overall, the 4 of us get along great and laugh a WHOLE LOT!)

I will be the first to admit that I am not the perfect parent. Along with the many great things I have instilled in Jake, I have also allowed and passed along plenty of not so great things. But this is just another area that the Lord is working on and I thank Him everyday for His faithfulness. Another reason I love Thomasville? Because I knew it took a village to raise a godly child, but I am learning it also takes a village to raise a godly mother!

Father God, may I never be at a place where I am not teachable! May I always seek You, Your Truth and Your will for my life…even if requires some changes and/or sacrifices on my part!

Never Alone

Who am I that You are mindful of me? That You hear me when I call? Is it true that You are thinking of me? That You love me? It’s amazing!

Day after day. Request after request. Answer after answer. You are there. You continue to amaze me. To blow me away. To sweep me off my feet. Who could ever possibly love me like You do? What could actually make me full and complete other tha You, Lord?

I have a bad dream and pray to You to cleanse my mind of it and You do. My flesh cries for affection, and You provide even before I finish the thought. The storms rage, the people chatter, the enemy attacks and at the moment I cry out to You, they are all still and silenced. My hope is found in You and nothing else. My heart and my flesh may fail, but You are the strength of my heart and You are my portion forever (Psalm 73:26).

You hold my hand and guide my steps. You never leave my side. How I love and serve only You! The voices in the world will not overpower Your sweet whisper. You lay out my path and I choose to walk on it. The world may not think it to be smart, but I would rather be wise in You than considered smart by this world.

I praise You for those who have been placed in my life to help me see the Truth. Thank You for giving me such confirmation at every step because You know I often second guess myself. May I continue to seek Your mighty hand in everything; everything from conversations, billboards, signs or the laughter of my son.

You are too good to me! May I never walk away from this path You have. The terrain may be rough, the turns may be sharp and unexpected, but as long as You hold me by my right hand, guide me with Your counsel, I know You will take me into glory (Psalm 73:23-24). Thank You, Jesus! Thank You for Your precious blood! May I never forget what You have done for me!

Daddy Knows Best

Less than a month from our return to the States from our summer adventure in Guatemala, Jake and I moved to Thomasville, Alabama. There are many reasons I can say why we moved to Thomasville, but the biggest and most important reason is because it was where the Lord wanted us and He is confirming it with every day we are here.

We arrived in Thomasville on Friday, August 31. I can’t believe it has only been 13 days and we have accomplished so much. Jake and I are living with my kindred spirit which I met in Guatemala, Brandi, and her awesome husband, Michael. The Saturday after we arrived, Jake went on a trip to Six Flags in Atlanta with the youth group of our new church, Thomasville Baptist and I had a job interview…Note: My prayer for a long time has been to be a home health aide because I prefer caring for people on a one on one basis versus the 20+ patients in a hospital or nursing home enviroment. I specifically prayed for the opportunity to work for a single family.

The interview I had was to be a caregiver for an elderly couple who has been homebound for about 3 years.  In addition to that job, I also had a job offer from a nursing home and a potential clerical job. If you haven’t noticed that is 3 job opportunities in 1 week in a town I had never been to or even heard of less than 2 months prior.

I began working for Mr. John and Ms. Elsie Merle this past Sunday. Mr. John is 88 and Ms. Elsie Merle turned 87 yesterday. They are the sweetest couple and have embraced both Jake and I as part of their family. I praise God for allowing me to care for them and have thoroughly enjoyed every moment. God is so good!!

My cell phone service does not work here and Brandi and Michael do not have internet access at their home, so our contact with everyone outside of Thomasville has been limited. Every time I have the chance to get online, a storm has prevented me from it or my laptop was low on battery. I think God is trying to tell me something!

The past 13 days have only been a continuance of how the Lord has been so faithful to us!! Just from the time I have begun to blog, He has proven Himself time after time. So, as He continues to reveal Himself and His plan for us, we will try everyday to walk in obedience no matter what He has in store, because even if it is not what we would choose for us, He knows best!