Saturday, April 28, 2012

Trusting God

Trusting God is not easy.  Oh when things are going well in our lives yes it's easy to trust God.  But when you get fired unexpectedly, you have $12 in savings because you just got back from a wonderful vacation seeing family and friends, sharing tons of hugs and giggles with the grand-kids, and you have to scramble to find a place to park your home on wheels, you are trying to figure out how to get some medications, and trying to hold your head up high in the middle of chaos and confusion trusting is hard.  But we do trust.

We move one foot in front of the other.  We call our praying friends, we continue to be honest with our words, we don't argue or yell or throw a temper tantrum, we move one foot in front of the other and we keep trusting.  We read God's word, claiming his promises like in Jeremiah where we read    "I'll show up and take care of you as I promised and bring you back home. I know what I'm doing. I have it all planned out—plans to take care of you, not abandon you, plans to give you the future you hope for.  Jeremiah 29:9-11"      and then we laugh as we see how God really is in control and does know what He is doing and knows what is good for us.

And as we step forward some times the fear/worry creeps in we wonder how are we going to make it, how are we going to ever find another job much less get there ~ remember our home on wheels needs gas to get us down the road.  And then the Lord surprises us with a couple gifts of money that were totally unexpected and lovingly accepted.  And we follow God's leading, stepping out in faith that the doors that are opening are really his leading.

So we continue to see his way.  Asking for prayer, getting encouragement in phone calls, emails and Facebook comments.  And we step out, load up everything we have and drive 800 miles to a place we have never been and what a beautiful place it is ~ Branson, MO.  And we continue to trust for full-time employment and thank God for the part-time work I have.  We take advantage of Ron not working as he gets some much needed personal business taken care of.  And we meet new people and make new friends. 

We talk about needing to find a local congregation so we can worship our heavenly Father with other believers.  And out of the world of Facebook he leads a gal to comment on a comment of mine and now today I am getting ready to go to a Ladies luncheon at the Friendly Baptist Church (that really is the name of the church).  I am so excited to fellowship with other women who love the Lord as I do.  We get invited to another church service that starts at 9 a.m. ~ which works great for our schedule as we need to open the campground office at noon on Sunday's.

And we continue to pray, trust, and yes even have a little melt down so you send out a panic email, continue to trust and seek full-time employment.  We know what we would like to see happen but is it what God wants?  Is it what will happen in the real world?  We send out more prayer requests and then have a great interview and are offered full-time employment as managers of the campground where God has led us for part-time work. 

And then this morning I am pleasantly surprised by a reminder from God in my devotion that even though we didn't know what was going to happen or even why certain things were happening God knew.  This morning's devotion started with a reading in Ruth where Ruth tells Naomi she will go wherever she goes.  I claimed that verse when Ron and I moved to Blaine in 1989.  I would go wherever Ron wanted to go and I would keep the advice I received from Col. Nutt in 1978 that my job was to make our home a happy and welcoming home wherever we were living (we were in the Air Force at the time and stationed in Holland and I was wanting to go home!!) because if Ron had a happy home he could do his job wherever it took him.  And that has been one of my goals ~ to always have a happy home for our family no matter where we were living.

And then the devotion moved to Prov. 20:18 "Every purpose is established by counsel (the LORD)."    And reading 'We all go through tough times.  It is how we deal with them and what we learn from them that defines who we are.  The Lord has a purpose for them all."  and "It was as if God had been working in ways known only to Him, to bring us together." and then closes with this prayer: "Father, your purpose is our good.  Let us be aware of the ways you work in our lives." (By Brock Kidd in Daily Guideposts 2012)

And I think about a comment a friend made:   You come across so calm in all of this.  So you are an encouragement to me. :)   And I think if you only knew about my mini-melt down the other morning and then I think, okay it was only a mini-melt down, not a full blown anxiety attack where I feel paralyzed and freak out and fall apart and make matters worse than they are (remembering some of my behaviors when I was worried sick when Jamie was in Iraq or totally panicking because we didn't have any money for groceries and feeling like I needed to beg any and everyone to help us).  And then I say "Thank you Lord for your love and grace and mercy in my life.  For loving me through the tough times and helping me to grow and trust in You even more."

And I will never forget the morning of April 4, 2012 as we were being fired and thinking about God's promise from Jeremiah 29:11 "OK Lord, I think you need to share with us now what those plans are because this is not making any sense to me at this moment."

And we are now employed at a small campground, in a beautiful part of this country.  We are nestled in among some beautiful shade trees, have a swimming pool and exercise room to use whenever we want.  We have an opportunity to find the church where we know God will use us and we will feel like we are home.  And we feel a peace and calmness surrounding us that is a blessing all of its own.

So today I give thanks for how the Lord works in our lives even when we don't understand!  He does know the plans he has for us.  Sometimes we just have to be open  to follow where He leads.

And this is view that we see each morning from our new home where the Lord led us!!

Thursday, April 26, 2012

Making Dinner

Making Dinner ~ it shouldn't be a hard decision but sometimes it takes me forever to figure out what to cook.  I enjoy cooking I just hate trying to figure out what to cook.  And I really don't like it when I ask hubby "What would you like for dinner?" and his response is "I dont' care."

So this morning while I was working on the laptop I asked hubby if he would get out some meat from the freezer for dinner.  He said "OK."  And promptly opened the freezer and jumped back as something fell out.  Dinner tonight is broiled pork steaks (that's what fell out of the freezer) and home made potato salad (with the left over egg salad from lunch dumped in) and for dessert (which we don't have every night) is banana nut chocolate chip bread.  And now looking at this I think we need a vegetable.  It will be either green beans or corn ~ whichever hubby gets out of the tote.

So how do you decide what to make for dinner?

Oh, one more thing ~ who does the dishes at your place?  Since moving into the motor home full time and there is only room for one person in the kitchen area we made a deal.  Who ever cooks dinner gets the night off from doing the dishes!!!  So I really don't mind cooking because that means I don't have to do the dishes.

And the Adventure Continues!

No one could ever say our life is boring ~ if they did they would be so wrong!

We were sad to hear that Carol & Kevin would be leaving Branson View Campground to go on a new adventure for them but we are so excited to announce:

We got offered the full-time manager's position and we accepted!!

God is so good to us and sometimes we don't understand why things happen but like His Word says  in Romans 26-28 Meanwhile, the moment we get tired in the waiting, God's Spirit is right alongside helping us along. If we don't know how or what to pray, it doesn't matter. He does our praying in and for us, making prayer out of our wordless sighs, our aching groans. He knows us far better than we know ourselves, knows our pregnant condition, and keeps us present before God. That's why we can be so sure that every detail in our lives of love for God is worked into something good. 

We don't know why we got terminated the way we did from the Alamo Area SKP Co-Op (yes we know what we were told, we know also what has come out since we left the park ~ only God really knows the truth) but we do know that God is in control of our lives.  We trust in Him, we love Him and we seek His guidance in how we live our lives.  

And God has truly turned a very uncomfortable and unsettling situation into a wonderful thing for us.  And that is full time work, in a setting we enjoy and in an area we have never been before.  And it gets us closer to Georgia where we hope to meet up with some good friends and Ron's Uncle Mervin and his family.  

Thank you all for your encouragement and prayers as we moved forward in a blur, with one foot in front of the other and now rejoicing in the clear skies, lovely sunshine and lots of green trees here in Branson, MO.

Friday, April 20, 2012

First Waking Thoughts of the Morning ~ Terminated

Woke up this morning from a dream where I was back at the Lone Star Corral, doing something in the clubhouse kitchen and a couple of guys were in there with me.  E was asking me a question about something I had written up and R was kinda ignoring me but I could tell he was listening to the conversation.  And then "TERMINATED" was said in a sentence and I just stopped dead in my tracks and woke up.

Thinking about "terminated" my mind went back 24 years ago when we were moving from Federal Way, WA to Blaine, WA.  The situation at that time was that we were moving because there were just way too many people in the area.  At Christmas of 1988 Ron came home from running an errand on Christmas Eve and was very upset because it took him almost an hour to go 3 miles!  He was not a happy man and very stressed.  And then February of '89 we moved to Blaine doing two of the things I said I would never do: 1~move to Blaine and 2~live with Ron's mom.  Did both :)  And in making that move we had to terminate with our therapist who we had been seeing for 2 1/2 years.  And that scared me so much that I would find myself sick to my stomach quite often.  And I was even able to keep our last session for after we were moved and kinda settled into our new life.  So on April 3, 1989 we had our last session w/Tom.  And we talked about the word "termination" and why it scared me so much.  It just sounded so final, nothing after that and we had grown to love and appreciate Tom's Christian counseling and his friendship and the thought of that 'TERMINATING, ENDING, NEVER SEEING HIM AGAIN" was just plain scary to me.  How could I go on without him in my life.  He had helped me get through some really tough times: dealing with past abuse from my parents and how that in turn affected my life, my parenting, my marriage.  And what if something were to happen, what would I do if we were TERMINATED???

I will never forget that dinner.  We met at Black Angus in Federal Way.  Don't have a clue what we ate.  We met in front at 6:30 p.m. (well a little later because Tom was never on time:) and we left there at 12:30 a.m.  Six hours!!  We talked, laughed, discussed some things like the night in 1986 which happened to be the first Friday of the month and we were going to Enumclaw for their Christmas parade with the boys after our session and Tom asked Ron "Do you know what sickening sweet it?"  Ron replied, "No."  Tom described sickening sweet as taking a large can of Redi Whip and squirting the whole darn thing into your mouth and swallowing it (Tom's brother used to do that to gross his momma out:) and then he told Ron "YOU are sickening sweet."  I remember laughing to myself and Ron didn't say much.  That is, until we were in the car heading to Enumclaw and Ron went on & on about he was not sickening sweet and how dare Tom say that to him.  I bet Ron must have referred to that comment at least 5x that night if not 10x.  And quite often through the next week.  Did he say anything to Tom at our next session?  Nope, nada, not a word.  Never said anything to him for 2 1/2 years until that night we were saying our good-byes.  The funny thing is that Tom never even remembered saying that to Ron, but here 31 years later we both remember that night and now often will joke about "ew...that must be sickening sweet" and then laugh about it. 

We talked about my mom and our relationship ~ pretty nil at that time.  And how I felt like I didn't have a mom anymore.  And that hurt.  Thankful though that God healed that relationship for the most part and when she passed away in 2005 we were sharing our lives more with each other.  Not the way I always wanted a relationship with her but we did have a relationship and that is what is important.

And we talked about different things that had come up during the  2 1/2 years we met - like when I went on strike for almost 2 weeks.  Wonder if the boys remember that.  They were in shock that I said I was not going to do anything for them: no laundry, no cooking, no cleaning, nothing.  They wouldn't pull their weight in our home by doing their chores like cleaning their bedroom, putting their clean laundry away, setting/clearing the table at dinner time without complaining and so I went on strike.  Jamie got so mad that he called Tom and told him HE needed a session with him.  And so Jamie saw Tom alone one week and then we had a joint session: Jamie & I and left their with a job chart for Jamie and a new understanding of what it meant to be part of a family.  We all work together for the common good.

Oh the memories I could share.  But that is for another time.  Back to the word "terminate."  As you know just two weeks and two days ago we were TERMINATED from our positions at the Lone Star Corral.  And wow, what a difference to how I responded and handled the situation.  Never got sick, never yelled or even reacted.  Just did the business that needed to be done.  I am so thankful for my scripture that morning "I (being God) know the plans I have for you."  And while Marti was telling us we were terminated that verse went through my head and I thought "OK, God you need to start sharing those plans with us and hopefully you will do it soon:)." 

Yes, I was in shock, it came out of nowhere.  I was hurt by the lies that were being said about both of us.  And yet, I put one foot in front of the other and said a ton of prayers and continued to put one foot in front of the other going where the Lord would lead us.  Yes, I cried when I called Pastor Charles, Dee and Merel.  Ron and I cried together, shared our thoughts and put one foot in front of the other.  Yet God is faithful and he has led us each and every day since that day 16 days ago (like he has for the 36+ years we have been married). 

Still don't like the word "terminate" and yes it is final but this time it has been quite refreshing and freeing seeing how God is working in our lives, my life and the doors that have opened for us and how exciting it has been to see him take a situation that for a few minutes seemed so devastating and bring glory and honor to our Lord.

Monday, April 16, 2012

From Hondo, TX to Branson, MO ~ Part 4

Woke up early on Sunday morning, checked emails, ate a banana, drank a cup of coffee and then got ready to get on the road for the final leg of our journey to Branson, MO.

We had spent Saturday night at Park Ridge Campground in Van Buren, Arkansas.  $28 for the night, very friendly staff  and easy to get into and out of the site.  Definitely would stay there again ~ thinking it would be a good 3 or 4 day weekend base to see Fort Smith and the surrounding area.

Got on the road  at 8:42 a.m. and our first ETA to arrive in Branson, MO was 11:22 a.m.

Saw some cute signs along the road; this one was on 540 N: Eat Butt Neked BBQ and underneath it said Clothing Required ~ Sauce Optional 

And then we saw the sign for Cracker Barrel and Ron started hearing whispers of "Cracker Barrel, Cracker Barrel, and the next thing I knew the motor home was exiting off the freeway and we landed here :)


What a great breakfast!  And boy could I have gone crazy in the store but Ron kept telling me "yes that's cute, yes that's nice ~ and I got the hint ~ keep on looking but no buying :)

After having a wonderful breakfast we went to leave the restaurant and was greeted by this:

Once we were in the motor home we got back on the road.  Our new ETA was 12:58 p.m.  And this is how the weather changed and things we saw:

Remember we stopped for breakfast at around 10:15 a.m. and so about 12:45 I asked Ron if he would like a Blue Shark Gummy!

His response was "How could you be hungry?"  My reply was "My teeth needed some exercise."  Ron was quiet for about a minute and then he said, "That's the most ridiculous thing he had ever heard."  Come on, it had been over 2 1/2 hours since we had eaten  :)

And then we saw this:

And Ron said we should buy that and convert it into a new motor coach.  What do y'all think of that idea?

And then we saw this:

And Ron thought it said "Lucky Vehicles Casino" when in actuality it said "Lacey Micheles Castle."

We stopped and got gas just after getting into Missouri (no sign welcoming us to Missouri because it just seem to come out of nowhere and the camera was off but we did actually arrive in Missouri.  And stopped for gas at Rapid Roger's.  What a surprise - you can buy alcoholic beverages (not just beer & wine) and so I just had to get Ron a bottle of

After getting gas we got our new ETA - 1:26 p.m. and we should be at Branson View Campground.  And we arrived at 1:36 p.m. !  Yeah!!  Thank you Lord  for the safety on the road, keeping the major storms from us, giving us the means to get here and nice places to stay along the way.

Carol & Kevin met us in the drive way with hugs and handshakes!!  First up was getting parked in our spot.  We are in spot #3 nestled between some gorgeous shade trees and next to the children's playground and swimming pool ~ can't wait to get into that pool!!!  Summer will be fun here :) A view of our home and where we are parked (more pictures to follow ~ remember it began pouring down rain just as we pulled into the park :)  Got set up and organized.  Here is a  glimpse of our home ready for us to relax, work, relax and meet new people and celebrate the many blessings of the Lord!

After getting hooked up to the power & water and set up inside:

We then visited with Carol & Kevin in the office and then headed off to dinner with them at Olive Garden.  Ron started with the chicken gnocci soup and also had Fettuccine Alfredo and I started with salad and then had the Tour of Italy (Fettuccine Alfredo, Lasagna and Chicken Parmesan.  It was delicious and I brought home the lasagna and chicken parm for lunch (had it today and it was yummy).

We had a quiet evening with watching some TV and just knowing we were parked at our new place for now.  And this morning look who was outside my bedroom window:

And now we step forward in our new journey.  And we have heard that cousins from California will be here in Branson the end of May for a week ~ having that to look forward to is fun to have on our calendar.  And we may see some of our Northwood family in the next wee if we can get it to work out.

Hope y'all had a great weekend and have enjoyed following us 
on this journey from Hondo, TX to Branson, MO!