Friday, March 28, 2014

Waiting on the Lord

I posted this to my facebook account on March 11: A word the Lord has given me this month...wait. Not my favorite word for sure but He alone is worthy! "Wait for the Lord; Be strong, and let your heart take courage; Yes, wait for the Lord." Psalm 27:14

We have been in a constant state of waiting on the Lord for the right people to purchase our home in Cushing. Waiting. Trusting. Leaning into Him. Hiding in His wings. Relying on His provision. 
This time the sale of a home has been different. In Tulsa when we prepared to move to Cushing, the Lord did something completely different. He spoke to our hearts to put our home up for sale six months before we were to actually move to Cushing. We prayed. We packed. We cleaned. We bought a for sale by owner sign and put it in the garage. We wrestled with the Lord. Dustin was in residency and we had three small children; in fact, Abigial was about seven months old. We had no idea where we would live if we sold the house so soon. We trusted God's plans were best. One day with his leading we put the sign in the yard...and TWO HOURS later just as I had finished cleaning the house and put lunch on the table...I looked out the front window and someone was getting a flyer off of our sign. Ten minutes later Paul and Krista Smith were in our home with their realtor. They were the new owners. We had a contact signed that evening. The realtor was actually a member from our church and we had taught her daughter in youth. We had never met her before. They "just happened to be" driving through the neighborhood looking at a few other homes and saw our sign. They were looking for our home! It really was their home the whole time. I remember standing in the entry way talking with them that day. No shower. A little bewildered at all that was happening so fast. I was juggling children and showing them our home. Paul asked, "Why are you selling your home." I remember looking at him and thinking he is truly going to think I am crazy when I answered, "The Lord is moving us to Cushing in about six months and He kept telling us to get ready...the new owners are coming." He asked me, "How long has it been for sale." When I replied, "Two hours." We were all quiet. I truly believe seeing God's hand that day was such a blessing of obedience. We could have just not listened to the Holy Spirit's leading. We could have just put it up for sale a couple of months before we were to be in Cushing. It wasn't easy. It wasn't comfortable at the time at all. God's best for us is not always easy. It is not always comfortable. God's best for us was to listen to His leading or we would have missed out on his provision. And we so love the Smith's. They are such a sweet couple that loves the Lord and we have been able to keep in contact with them and share life with them as we have all grown in the years since then. God provided that day. In TWO HOURS I met the new owners of our home. He provided a rental home for us that was perfect for our needs. We packed everything except what we really had to use for six months and packed the garage of the rental. We were able to purchase a home in Cushing without the headache of a home needing to sell and close beforehand. This is the sign that was in our yard. God provided for sure!

 This past January I led a ladies bible study in my home and was reminded of this so much. God provides for His Children. In one of the workbook pages it asked...what is your biggest go God story? A time in your life where you without a doubt saw the hand of God move. I thought about it for a while and knew that the sell of our home in Tulsa really was my biggest go God story. The next question kind of blew me said, "What is your biggest doubt right now." Oh my. Well was the sell of another house. Another story but connected indeed. We had been waiting on the sell of our home in Cushing for 18 months. Um, yea. 18 months. That is a long time. Again we followed the Lord in obedience and came to serve in Morehead, Kentucky. We knew without a single doubt that He was working and that He was providing every step of the way before we moved here. We trusted that He would take care of all the details. We moved to Kentucky December 28, 2012. One of the big details was the sell of our home in Cushing. As month after month drew on I found it easy to get upset at God. I found that Satan loved to put his little foot into my heart and cause doubt that the new buyer was never coming. We were to close on our home in Morehead in March 2014 and we honestly believed the Lord would provide a buyer before then and all would go smoothy. The end of February came and we had no buyer. We continued to pray. How could we even afford two homes or qualify for two mortgages? Our realtor here in Morehead, Margie Elam, is a blessing from the Lord. She gave us great wisdom, prayed with us and for us. She told me, "God will make a way where there seems no way." She was so right. God provided again and again. We continued to trust Him. We continued to pray every day that He would bring the right buyers to our home in Cushing. God HAS provided. We are set to close on our home in Cushing in His perfect timing. April 18, 2014. It is not surprisingly Good Friday. It will be a very special Good Friday for our family as we see again in such a tangible way that the Lord hears our prayers and truly desires the best for us. Waiting on the Lord is honestly not fun. In my selfishness I much rather liked the TWO HOUR wait for God to provide the right buyers over our NINETEEN MONTH wait. Do know what has been awesome through this all? Sharing this journey with our children. They have prayed every day with us through this. Last week we spent some time talking about it. I asked them, 'Do you think it makes God any less faithful to provide if it took nineteen months...longer than we had wanted?" The truth is He provided every month during that whole nineteen month period. We were never for want. We have been able to give and serve in Haiti. We have been provided for more than I really can even explain right now as I am writing this. His hand has been upon every detail perhaps just to remind us again that He loves us, desires His best for us, and will continue to be the Good Shepherd that He promises to be to those that love Him, obey His word and walk in His ways. As we have waited He has taught us so much and we have grown in our faith and in our walk with Him. I guess waiting is a good thing. A really, really good thing. He alone is worthy! Thank you to all that have prayed with us and walked with us during this journey. We are so thankful for your love.   
"And my God shall supply all your needs according to His great riches in Christ Jesus." Philippians 4:19

Promises of Spring

 It is warming up around here so we are taking walks to the park. The boys are so sweet to the girls in helping them ride on the scooters up the big hills!
 We finally got the girls quilts I made back from the quilting shop. They are ready to go and just perfect!! The girls love them!

 This is Carson and Abigail. They have a wonderful relationship right now. Abigail loves her Carson. She loves to torment him with her love. He does not return the embraces and sweetness. She calls him her "cutie pie". She teases him and says, "I love Carson soo much. I love him more than pizza. I love him more than Rastus. I love Carson!" He just shakes his head and wants her to go away. In school the other day she was to draw someone she loved in the heart shape and guess whom she chose....Oh, Carsy! You can tell from the picture above that he thought it was awesome. Abigail's love for Carson is Awesome! Everything is Awesome! The other day in the car she was singing, "If you just tell me you love me I will stop singing...lalalalala...all you have to do is tell me you love me boys and I will stop singing"....and it was the song that never ended on that car ride...the boys chose to endure the singing over telling Abigail that they loved her. I smiled the whole ride home! So funny that girl!
 This blesses my little heart. Today I came upstairs to find these boys curled up with good books. I love that they love to read and it wasn't even book time!
 Took this picture on my walk this morning. The trees are still barren but there is great hope in the promise of spring. The birds are singing as they welcome new growth, new beauty, and new life! I can't help but think of God's great love story written to us and displayed for us in springtime so many years ago with a cross and an empty tomb. As we look around may we remember the new hope we have in Jesus that brings us new growth, new beauty and new life!

Tuesday, March 4, 2014

This storm has been a brewing...Self-Control

Idolatry, in the case of food, means the consumption of ill-sized portions and unhealthy choices because we feel like we deserve it or need it to feel better. We are to flee the control food can have over our lives. I am not on a diet I am on a jouney with Jesus to learn the fine art of self-discipline, self-control for the purpose of holiness. -Lysa Terkeurst from her book Made to Crave: Satisfying your deepest desire with God, not Food

This is the storm. It has been brewing in my heart for awhile now. A long time. I have been avoiding it again. I love food. I think about food. I reward myself with food. I find joy in eating food that is just not good for me. This joy does not last and instead leaves me with regret and bondage. Bondage means the state of being a slave to some external power or control. I do not want food to have control over my life. That control is the enemy. He wants me to satisfy myself with temporary things that will not last. He wants me to find joy in anything other than the Lord. He wants to control me in any way he possibly can. Here's the thing. I am learning because I am redeemed and have a relationship with Jesus, I have the gifts of the Holy Spirit living in me. The fruit of the Spirit that is so ready to grow and flourish: love, joy, peace, long suffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Did you catch that? I have the fruit of self-control in me that is a gift from my Heavenly Father that I can use, develop and grow in my relationship with Him. It is a tool I can use to fight the enemy that loves to war against me whenever He can. "You say, "I am allowed to do anything"--but not everything is good for you. You say, "I am allowed to do anything"--but not everything is beneficial." 1 Corinthians 10:23 Letting food have control over me is not in any way beneficial to me. It is idolatry for me. It is a way that I choose something else to replace God in my life. I recognize that. I surrender that to Him. I am so thankful I serve a most gracious and patient God who continues to pursue me, guide me and keep me always within His very best for my life. He alone is worthy! My only thought today in sharing this storm and struggle in my life with you is that perhaps you too might find yourself in this storm today. Maybe you didn't even realize the power it has over you...I want you to know you were made for more. I want you to know that God can fill all of your empty places and He desires to be your all in all. I am praying Ephesians 1:17-20 over you today. "I keep asking the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the glorious Father, may give you the Spirit of wisdom and revelation, so that you may know him better. I pray also that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened in order that you may know the hope to which he has called you, the riches of his glorious inheritance in the saints, and his incomparably great power for us who believe. That power is like the working of his mighty strength, which he exerted in Christ when he raised him from the dead and seated him at his right hand in the heavenly realms." This storm does not have to engulf you. This storm will not engulf me because I have the power of Christ in me whom has given me everything I need to fight the enemy who still rages for my heart...for my joy. I have the gift of self-control and I am learning there is great victory and joy in denying myself and fully surrendering to all things. "For he chose us in him before the creation of the world to be holy and blameless in his sight." Ephesians 1:4

Monday, March 3, 2014

A New Car

Well, if you had told me last week we would be trading our 2003 Suburban in I would have laughed...sometimes I just marvel at how the Lord puts things together so perfectly. Our beloved burb, Mr. Mervyn, was about to hit 150,000 miles and had started to act up quite a bit. We weren't sure what was going on but the engine started to rev alot in the winter and died on us a time or two. We bought the burb right before Abigail was born so we have had it almost 5 years now and have really loved that vehicle. It has grown with us as our family has grown. It had been a great car. We got a pre-approval notice via email on a great financing opportunity from our home bank USAA and we began to pray and look around. Maybe now was a good time to trade Mr. Mervyn in...we started looking at just replacing it with a newer model burb. Before we went to the aquarium in Newport we drove to see a 2008 Suburban with 73,000 miles that was just basic except it has leather seats. We liked the vehicle. There was really nothing special about it. We talked to them a little about a price difference but they were unwilling to negotiate. When we came home that night we talked about why we needed to replace with a burb only. I really liked the cargo space for one. The huge back trunk area was awesome. I really didn't like the was a gas drinker for sure. That night we looked at the best rated minivans and found that the Honda Odyssey was a top rated one so we decided to do a search on used ones in our area. We found one that peaked our interest and was a really great price. I emailed the internet sales department and heard back almost immediately. The next morning I told her that my husband was working all weekend and we would like to make an appointment on Monday to come look at it. She honestly told me that they had just lowered the price that morning another $1,000 and that a couple from Kentucky was coming that evening. She told me just to make sure we called before we headed that way because she had had so many calls on this van. I realize that this could have been used as a sales gimmick but I believed what she said...this van would not last long. It was a 2010 with 27,000 miles. The only thing it didn't have was a navigation system which I didn't need anyway. They had dropped the price to $22,900. I had many things to do that morning to prepare for a women's small group bible study I am leading in my home on Thursday nights but the Lord has been teaching me that sometimes I need to lay aside my plans so I can be a part of His plans for the day. What were His plans? Dustin was working all day and had a full day scheduled of clinic. He told me that I should go and look at the, we got dressed loaded up and drove to Huntington, West Virginia (only the second time we have been there. It is about 1 hr and 15 min away)...we drove to Moses Honda...I could not make this stuff up...yes, Moses Honda. We stopped at McDonald's for lunch and then headed to the dealership. We walked into meet Rebekah, the internet sales manager, who introduced us to Joe. Joe took us to see the van. I turned the van on and it was on the Christian Radio Station! I asked him if they turned all of their cars on the same station...I told him the radio station was playing Christian music. He asked me, "Is that a good thing?" Well, for me.. Yes! My major concern was luggage/cargo space in a minivan so I brought our two largest suitcases and our ice chest with me. I was so pleasantly surprised to find that there was a lot of space back there! The kids were immediately in love...sliding back doors...oh, my! Abby loved that the car sparkled. We took it for a drive and by the time we got back I had an utter peace knowing that this was indeed the car the Lord had instore for us. A car I hadn't even been looking for! A lady that owned a funeral home had bought it new..she buys the same van new and trades it in around 30,000 just so happened the van had been sitting on the lot 45 days and they were ready to move it. They were ready to make a great deal. I talked to Dustin and he agreed it was a great choice for us. We walked back into the dealer and the financing officer greeted us and showed us to the lobby and play area! They had a play area for kids! This to me was like finding a pot of gold at the end of the tunnel. They cared enough about their customers to have an area to relax and play too! All I can say is that I could not have bought this car by myself with four children under the age of 9...spending about 3.5 hours there to wrap it all up...without the well thought out plans of this know what else? My heavenly father knew that too! My kids were rock stars that day...everyone was so amazed at how well they played and were content for so very long, myself included! I was so proud of them. Abby told me, "Momma, I really couldn't have been here so long without the help of those toys." They were rewarded with big hugs, lots of complements, ice cream and play time again at McDonald's. We drove home that day so very thankful for God's provision once again. I never thought I would be driving a minivan but all I can say is I am so thankful for the great blessing that it is. I am thankful for a loving God that leads us and guides us and blesses us time and time again. Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and comes down from the Father of lights, with whom is no variation or shadow of turning. -James 1:17
P.S. And I guess it would only be fitting that we move to Kentucky and buy a blue car...seriously!

Fun Days

 The boys are still really enjoying art with Ms. Anita.
 We have had a few nice days and this was one of them. We walked down to the park and these two were having a great time. Carson and Claire have a special little connection. I love to see Carson take care of his sister. He was pushing her as she rode on the scooter because her legs were getting tired of walking.
This girl is so funny. She wanted her hair in braids just like Mommy this day and a little bit later she came in wearing a hat. Such a cute little copy cat!

Celebrating Andrew Maddox Cupp!

 This guy is now 8! He decided on a fun trip to the Newport Aquarium and a special discovery time just for him, Daddy and the penguins! What fun!

I look at this picture and think how on earth can this special little one be eight years old! He is such a joy. He is always full of energy and funny tidbits of information. He loves legos and art these days. We all had a great time of fun at the aquarium and told some fun Andrew stories last night at dinner. He chose funeral sandwiches, chips n dip, pineapple and cookie cake! Happy 8th Brithday to Andrew!! God has such great plans for you in store! We love you!