Monday, April 27, 2015

Feelings......

...they are running the gamut in my life these days.

Excitement

Over our new ministry and home.  Seeing God answer so many prayers and take care of each detail.  Excitement that our new grand baby is a GIRL!!  Excitement in finding lost treasures deep in closets....a long lost bible, my daughter's Ragedy Ann doll I thought I had lost, fun pictures, lost videos!!  So fun!

Exhaustion

As we just finished going through the LAST closet/storage area.  who knew you could collect so much junk?  We were so excited about the storage areas in this house....now I dislike them...because we filled every.single.one.  But we have worked hard to go through them all!!  and we are tired.

Sadness

We have been trying to cut down on our moving expenses, so we have made tough decisions to get rid of things we've had for a long time, some since we first got married.  Most of those things are going to our kids, which makes me happy, but some of them have been sold in a garage sale or gone to goodwill....and that has made me sad.  It's hard to let go of things. However, I was reminded in a quiet time this weekend that these are just "things" and only bring joy for a short time.  What brings joy for a lifetime doesn't take up much room....except in my heart!  :)

It's also been sad as we start the "goodbye" process.  This is never easy and comes with lots of tears. 

Stress

This is a feeling that really has no place in my life....I trust God completely to put all the pieces of the puzzle together.  However, I live in a human, fallible body and stress sneaks in when ever it can.  The item causing the most stress is the sale of our house.  Still waiting on that one.  So each day, and sometimes many times in the day, I have to let go and lay that stress at the feet of Jesus.  We are boldly asking God to sell our house by May 1st....with the knowledge that His plans are best and we want His plan.

Another stress inducer is our schedule. as we get close to the end of our time here, we have so many people that want to meet with us one last time, going away parties to attend, packing to do, a 60th wedding anniversary to attend for my parents, a trip to Indian to make, friends to see and plans to be made.  When I look at my calendar it is overwhelming.  However, God reminds me that He will give me the strength for EACH day and so I take it one at a time!

Encouragement

God always brings encouragement just when we need it most!  through friends, special mail, answered prayer, scripture that speaks to my heart and in so many other ways!  

Blessed

This is by far the feeling I feel the most.  To look back at the year and see how God has taken care of us, how many amazing friends I have praying for us and looking out for us, how I have such a loving family that supports and encourages me and brings me so much joy and a God who promises not only to take care of me but has wonderful plans for me.

I am truly blessed.

For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord. Plans to prosper you and not to harm you.  Plans to give you hope and a future. Jeremiah 29:11


Sunday, April 19, 2015

refocusing...

This week has been hard.

After the excitement of finally seeing where God wants us to serve next, we came home and put our house on the market.

4 days later, God brought us a buyer and by the next day we had a contract...amazing!  How cool to see God work so quickly.

So, I made plans to fly to Arizona to find a house and to start interviewing moving companies (which we could only do with a contract on our LR house).  I flew to Arizona the next week and found the perfect house for us.  God moved some obstacles and on sunday, last week, we signed a contract.  Every thing was in place and for the first time in a year felt out of "limbo".

I flew home Monday and 15 minutes after we walked in the house from the airport, we got a call from our realtor that the contract on our house here had fallen through.

We were shocked.
the inspection had been Friday and when the inspector left, he told Steve there were no major problems with the house. Steve had met the couple at the inspection and said they were very nice and he was excited he had been able to tell them all about how to take care of the pool, etc.

So, what happened?
Well, we don't know.  We are assuming buyers remorse and maybe they got nervous about the work involved in caring for a pool, they had never had one before.  But we really don't know.  They just backed out and Arkansas law lets them.

honestly, that started a week of fighting doubt and anger.

While these people got to just back out and go look for a new home, we had to deal with having missed 2 weeks on the market and now having the title "back on the market"....which to most realtors means...there is something wrong with that house.  We had already put a contract on another house that now was in jeopardy and also signed with a moving company.  It was hard not to be angry.

For the whole week, not one person has asked to see the house.  We have tried to remind ourselves of EVERYthing God has done this year and how He has worked all these things in our favor, but our eyes were focused on our house.  We sat each day, with nothing to do, just waiting for the phone to ring for a showing and the stress level just creeped up until it filled the house.

This morning, in my quiet time, I was reading Oswald Chambers and this is what he wrote:

...You may have just victoriously gone through a great crisis, but now be alert about the things that may appear to be the least likely to tempt you. Beware of thinking that the areas of your life where you have experienced victory in the past are now the least likely to cause you to stumble and fall.
We are apt to say, “It is not at all likely that having been through the greatest crisis of my life I would now turn back to the things of the world.” Do not try to predict where the temptation will come; it is the least likely thing that is the real danger. It is in the aftermath of a great spiritual event that the least likely things begin to have an effect. They may not be forceful and dominant, but they are there. And if you are not careful to be forewarned, they will trip you. You have remained true to God under great and intense trials— now beware of the undercurrent.
Wow.
It hit me square between the eyes.
We have been letting the sale of our house not only become our focus but we have also allowed it to take our eyes off our future ministry.  We have spent the week praying for a buyer (not a bad thing) but had stopped praying for our future ministry and the people there without even realizing it.

We have come through this year depending on God in one of the hardest times of our lives and then, just like that, allowed doubt to take over.

I can just visualize God shaking His head.

ugh.

So, today I refocus!
I am focusing on this amazing ministry God has for us in Arizona and letting God work out the details of getting us there.....He's better at it anyway!  :)

And just like that, the stress balloon in this house was burst!






Sunday, March 29, 2015

Our Story

As I sat in church today praising God, I realized I needed to tell our story.  

As the Psalmist said 57:9-10....

I will praise you, Lord, among the nations;
I will sing of you among the peoples.  
For great is your love, reaching to the heavens; 
your faithfulness reaches to the skies

I realized I need to tell of His faithfulness to us...

A year ago, my husband lost his job.
It is hard to believe it has been a year.  
But the Sunday we were extended a call to pastor a church in Arizona was a year, to the day, that the elders of our last church announced they were letting us go.

It's been a year of ups and downs, of trusting God, of finding out what that really looks like, of having everything I thought I could control ripped out of my hands and finding in that place of utter dependence on Him.....there is peace.

But I started out that year hurt, angry and worried.  

God immediately started working on the hurt and anger.
First showing me my pride....in thinking that if I was serving him faithfully in ministry it shouldn't be this hard.  And revealing to me that I had my fists tightly clenched on things I considered "off limits" to him... as he slowly peeled them away.

He showed me his sovereignty in that though the elders had made the choice of letting Steve go, He ultimately was in control.....so who should I be mad at?

And slowly and gently He brought me to the point of complete trust.  To the place where I could honestly say.....I trust you Lord, my times are in your hands. (psalm 21:15)

Over the year, we had many situations that tested that trust....

*our transmission started going out in my car in June.
dash lights going off, bad noise when shifting gears.  So we prayed about it, asked God to take care of it and took it in to the shop.  We got a call the next day that they could not find one thing wrong with the car and to come get it.  God has miraculously sustained our car this whole year, even with the lights still going off!!

*our severance ran out.....he has provided everything we needed.  
Right before Christmas, a friend told us that God laid on their hearts to give us $250...an unbelievable gift!  When we got home from Houston the 1st of January, we found that our upstairs heater had quit...ugh. So we had the repair man out and when he handed the bill to Steve it was.....$250.70....no kidding.

*We came in 2nd at SIX churches.
As we started this process, Steve and I prayed that at each church we talked to we would be able to first and foremost leave them a little closer to God from spending time with us...no matter the outcome.  We received emails from people on many of those search committees later telling us how we had changed them and our vision had caused them to look at their lives differently.
One woman had been living in her neighborhood for 5 years and had never had contact with her neighbor across the street...in fact she had been warned to stay away from him because he was a bit crazy and had guns.  After talking to us (our passion is reaching out to neighbors....those God places in your immediate life) she began praying for her neighbor and within a few days the neighbors wife knocked on her door with some fresh strawberries from their garden!  And a door was opened to a new relationship!!

But through it all, I knew that God had a place for us and that He just wanted us to wait on Him for it....no matter how long it took.

I prayed that where ever that place was, that they would want us....we wouldn't be a 2nd choice.  That they would really see that the gifts Steve and I had to offer were a perfect fit for their church.

And deep inside, I prayed my hearts desire...that I would be closer to my parents.  I have always lived so far from them and as they grow older, it is my desire to be near them.

We began talking to the church in Arizona in the fall.  Since all of my family is in Arizona, I tried not to get my hopes up!

In Feb, they told us we were 1 of 2 final candidates and that they would like to have us come out and visit and have Steve preach.

As Steve prepared his sermon before we left, he told me that God had actually given him the sermon back in the fall.  He felt it was what he was called to preach wherever he was sent to candidate.  And as he put the final touches on it, he said "Sara, if I don't get the job it won't be because of my sermon."

We went out to Arizona for the weekend and fell in love with the people.  The other candidate had been there the week before and we knew they had liked him. We expected to find out who they felt called to in the next week or so.  However, on the Sunday that Steve preached they extended us the call!!  We were having a potluck after church and the committee had been meeting while we were visiting with the congregation.  When they announced it to the people at the potluck (after talking to us and our accepting...and my crying)....the people stood up and CHEERED!  The excitement was amazing and a true answer to my prayer.

Later, as we talked to someone on the committee, they told us that it was Steve's sermon that pushed them over the edge toward us......another answer.

So, after waiting and trusting for a full year, God has brought us to a place that is a perfect fit for us.  A place where the people see our gifts and are excited to come along side us to do ministry.  

And to top it off, I will be moving to the place that is the desire of my heart!!  Arizona!!  I grew up in Arizona and I will be only 4 hours from my parents.

Let me tell you today....

God's love never fails!

Psalm 37:3-4 
Trust in the Lord and do good; dwell in the land and cultivate faithfulness. Delight yourself in the Lord; and He will give you the desires of your heart.



Thursday, March 26, 2015

So much to be Thankful for today!


I am joining Rebecca Jo today for Thankful Thursday.  I thought this would be a perfect day to announce our good news!  If you are friends with me on FB then you have already heard but....

We have a job!



A year ago, the elders of our church let my husband go as they decided to go in a different direction than he was leading.  It was a very hard, hurtful and difficult time for us.  However, we felt God's hand on our lives, directing us through it.  We trusted that He had a plan for us and was calling us to wait on Him.

For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord.  Plans to prosper you and not to harm you. Plans to give you hope and a future.  Jermiah 29:11

We were in God's waiting room for a year, almost to the day.  I won't say it was easy, because many parts of it were hard..... but in placing all my trust in Him, knowing He had a place for us, I had so much peace and very little worry.  Oh, there were times when my heart cried out to God in fear and doubt!  But those were honestly few and EVERY.single.time He met me gently and returned my focus to Him.....restoring that peace in my heart that only He can give.

Be assured that if God waits longer than you could wish, it is only to make the blessing doubly precious. --Andrew Murray

So today I am thankful for being without a job for a year and the amazing things that came from it.....

I'm thankful for:

*the opportunity to draw closer to God and see Him work in ways I had never experienced before
*discovering the difference between waiting on an answer and waiting on God
*the opportunity to display what trusting God in hard times looks like
*finding God always has some one/place for us to serve where we are..no matter our circumstances
*being available to serve and take care of Steve's mom this summer when she fell
*being available to take care of our daughter during her illness
*the opportunity to see my children step up and minister to us
*the amazing friends I knew I had, but had no idea just how amazing they were
*truly feeling the covering of prayer my friends/family provided us
*seeing God meet every.single.need we had, sometimes miraculously
*being able to find joy and contentment in the middle of hard times
*God's Word, that carried me through
*our new church family He has led us to
*the answers to multiple prayers that clearly showed this was the place for us

But most importantly, I am so grateful for my relationship with God.  And grateful that though He is so big, He cares for me and the details of my life.

And you will make a new start, 
listening obediently to God
keeping all his commandments 
that I’m commanding you today. 
God, your God, 
will outdo himself in making things 
go well for you...

Friday, March 6, 2015

Sovereign Over Us

This song is resonating with me this morning.




For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord.  Plans to prosper you and not to harm you.  Plans to give you hope and a future.
Jeremiah 29:11

But I trust you, Lord.  I say "You are my God.  My times are in Your hands"
Psalm 31:14

So do not fear, for I am with you.  Do not be dismayed for I am your God.  I will strengthen you and uphold you with my righteous right hand.
Isaiah 41:10

But I am like an olive tree flourishing in the house of God. I trust in God's unfailing love forever and ever
Psalm 52:8

Lean on, trust in and be confident in the Lord with all your heart and mind and don't rely on your own insight or understanding.  In all your ways, know, recognize and acknowledge Him and He will direct and make straight and plain your paths.
Proverbs 3:5-6


Thursday, March 5, 2015

Just a few....

Essential Oil testimonies from people in my downline.

Have you been hearing about Essential Oils and wondering what they are all about?  

Do you wonder if they really do work?

They do!!

Here are just a few testimonies from me, my friends and family in my downline using YL EOs that I thought I would share:



* my daughter has been struggling with sinus pressure and what she feared was the start of a sinus infection.  I had her dip a Q-tip in some olive oil with a drop of purification and then rub it inside her nose several times during the day.  This was her response at the end of just ONE day:  The purification in the nose is my new favorite trick!!  My sinuses feel SO much better!  And I was surprised that even though I put the purification in my nose, I don't feel the smell was over powering!

* my friend's husband suffers from sinus pressure migraines.  This is what she wrote to me recently:  using Pan Away and M-Grain are the only thing that gives my husband relief from terrible sinus pressure headaches...more effective than Rx strength Naproxen Sodium, Tylenol, Advil or Percocet!  Pass it on!

*Sleepease.  This is a supplement from YoungLiving.  I earned a free one and decided to try it while my husband is out of town (I never sleep well while he is gone...waking up with any noise I hear)  I LOVE it.  I have slept soundly each night and do not wake up feeling groggy.  I have never had success with melatonin and so I was a bit skeptical about this product but I really feel it has helped give me a good nights sleep!

*NingXia nitro.  I sent a box of these back with my son to school.  He is taking 18 hours+ and his schedule is quite daunting.  He has many long days and has said that the Nitros give him the energy he needs to get through with out any gitters or crashes.  He also feels the Nitros are helping with low blood pressure drops that he sometimes suffers from!  I love having these because they are small and fit in my purse to have any time I need them!

*I have been having some trouble with an ear ache.  I haven't been able to pin point what is causing it.  As I have done some research, I read about dabbing a Q-tip dipped in coconut oil and thieves inside your ear....for earache, mold in the ear, irritation....and it worked!!  my ear is feeling much better in just 2 days!

*during these dry winter days with the heater on, do you suffer from dry itchy skin or eczema?  I have been using the supplement sulferzyme each morning and evening and find that my itching skin has improved dramatically!!  Especially since I have to take several hot showers a day to work out my frozen shoulder...doesn't help the skin!!  but the sulferzymes are really working.

*my friend recently burned her hand on the oven element.  She put lavender on it right away and then several times during the day...by the end of the day she could not even see the burn!  She also used it on a burn to the roof of her mouth!  Though the taste is not great, it quickly brought relief!

Remember these pictures of my MIL's hand?  She had fallen and pulled the skin back and when I got there it was red and angry looking and very painful!  I just let the lavender drop on her hand 3 times a day....


Just TWO days later we saw amazing results!!!



*my mom suffers from neuropathy on her feet from type 1 diabetes.  She is using nutmeg on her feet and has not had any trouble with it at night since she starting using the nutmeg!


If you've been toying with the idea of getting an essential oils starter kit with Young Living, now is a great time to do it!!!  

 Sign up with me by the end of March and receive a FREE bottle of Valor and a FREE bottle of Peace & Calming (two of the most popular blends!). The kit includes what is seen below (11 bottles of oil, diffuser, samples) and the two extra bottles from me. 



Such a great time to join! 
Email me for details or go here to sign up!

Thursday, February 5, 2015

Thankful Thursday


I'm joining up with Rebecca Jo for Thankful Thursday today...

....I need a little "thankful" to refocus my feelings of depression over my frozen shoulder.  I have taken a few steps back today and am feeling a pity party coming on...

...Soooo....


** I am thankful for sunny, beautiful weather!  So much of the country has been snowed in or rained out and it has been simply fantastic here where I live!

** I am thankful for my health.  Though this shoulder is a pain (literally), I have very good health and have not been sick all winter.  I have many friends fighting much, much bigger health issues..so I am grateful today for mine.

** I am VERY thankful for my Essential Oils.....a BIG reason why I have not been sick this winter!!   

** I am thankful for interviews and job opportunities that remind me God is still moving us forward and toward that ministry that He has especially for us.

** I am so thankful for technology......for many reasons, but specifically today as technology allowed my son and daughter-in-love to hear their baby's heart beat for the first time!!  I remember that moment so well and my heart is over joyed for them!

** Today, I am thankful for my family, because.....well....mine is simply the greatest!! :)


Feeling better already!  :)

What are you thankful for today?