It’s been one year since the road broke under the tires of our RV and our family became homeless for a month after a towing company totaled our camper.
Somewhere in the middle of my prayers last year in August I felt we were to go to Bellingham for a while and not to go through Canada …but we were trying to head through anyway (3 times, you know, because… I don’t even know why…)
(Ever feel called to do something but don’t do it? I’ve read these kinda stories in The Bible and have heard a few in my lifetime, too.)
I didn’t understand why I felt we were supposed to go to Bellingham at that time (and there are probably a hundred more reasons we won’t even understand til Heaven) but we can see many wonderful and interesting things God’s been teaching our family over the past year.
I love this lesson because even when we are heading the wrong way God can always redirect us – and He does this amazing work where He makes something good come out of something that we don’t think is good.
(I mean, get this. We were going the way I didn’t believe we were to go and the road literally broke under the tires. How’s THAT for an answer to prayers asking Him to lead?!)
We have learned so much through experiencing homelessness for ourselves that we could never have learned in any other classroom.
We can see that God took care of us even through homelessness and now we can better serve some other people who also know this kind of life but who don’t want to stay there.
God is the greatest Teacher and when we commit our lives to Him He will teach us what He knows we need to learn to fulfill His purpose for us.
People are constantly trying to test the limits of these physical bodies God gave us – but when God tests our faith or we have to grow spiritually, so many times it’s Whine Time.
If a soldier in training for any other battle whined like we do about this, we’d probably lose a little respect.
Like it or not, we are each a soldier in training.
I have learned this. Since we felt called and shared this with several people over the past three years, we’ve met many others who also feel called to move, too, and some, also to Alaska like we do.
Think God is up to something?
Perhaps… He’s working on a little something called The Great Commission?
He knows what He’s doing. And no powers of hell can stop Him.
Mark 16:15-16 The Great Commission – And He said to them, “Go into all the world and preach The Gospel to every creature. He who believes and is baptized will be saved; but he who does not believe will be condemned.
A few weeks ago we told a girl we met that ever since we’ve shared that we feel called, several Christians have told us that God doesn’t lead people anymore.
She gave the best answer we’ve heard, “When did He stop?”
Prayer unlocks doors that nothing else in this world can unlock.
When we stop fussing about changes that happen and just ask God to reveal why and lead us through each thing, He does it.
He’s not in a hurry like we are most of the time. This is a lifelong obstacle course and each experience we live through has important stuff to teach us.
People spend billions of dollars on obstacle courses and creating manmade adventure in this world but God already wrote it into our being. When we open our eyes, hearts, ears, and focus on Him leading through prayer, we find adventure and clues all over the place.
I wonder if God’s sometimes thinking, “Don’t you understand I’m training you for your purpose? Stop complaining so much and start trusting Me!”
Read more about our walk in faith to move from Texas to Alaska to open a homeless teen place here.
As parents, we think it’s cute when our 2 year old wants to help sweep the floor.
What about when our 10 year old helps fold clothes? We’re proud (even if he doesn’t do it the way WE would do it.)
When our 15 year old does the dishes we still like the help (most of the time.) Sometimes teenagers show a little attitude and decide they know best. They’re still learning – and learn quicker if we let the consequences do the teaching. (Of course – there are times to remove the phone, computer, music, or activities. We give and sometimes we take away.)
It’s pretty amazing when our kids ask us what job they can do and ALSO listen to how to do a job (though there is still some very important learning that takes place when they don’t ask for our guidance.)
Honestly, we CAN do all these jobs on our own AND we actually would do a more careful and more thorough job on each one of them.
The thing is when we ask God what job He wants us to do, incredible things happen. He’s not going to make us ask Him. We just (hopefully) eventually get around to realizing this is the best idea.
God does not NEED us to help. He WANTS us to help Him. He ALLOWS us to help Him. He LOVES for us to help Him.
But God is God and He does not NEED us to take care of stuff.
He is MORE than capable of doing everything on His own. He created the whole universe and everything in it WITHOUT our help. (It’s a bit egotistic to think He NEEDS us to do anything, isn’t it?)
When He calls us to do a job, He doesn’t expect us to then go off and try to do it on our own. He expects us to keep asking for His guidance.
Sometimes we (grown ups) decide we know best and we learn from consequences, too. We give God a little attitude sometimes, don’t we? (And He gives and sometimes He takes away.) Yet, He’s still in our corner, cheering us on, always hoping we’ll turn to Him for help.
Sometimes I envision Him looking at me while I try to do a job without Him (which has happened plenty over my lifetime.)
He’s smiling while shaking His head and just waiting for me to ask, “Daddy? Please help?” EVERY time I ask He is there and He is always more than capable.
Sometimes you just know stuff – just because you do.
That’s a God thing.
These things are called your talents.
Some of the most profound words my youngest child ever said was when she was about 10 years old.
“Sometimes I don’t even know I know stuff until I say it out loud.”
(When I remember her speaking about this epiphany it still makes me smile!)
I told her those are God-given gifts and to always be proud of them. He has given these to us on purpose and for a purpose. We need to ask God what He wants us to do with the talents He gave us. When we do this, it honors Him, gives our lives meaning, and helps us understand more about the reason we’re even here on this Earth.
I used to tell my husband, “I don’t like to learn.”
After years of feeling this way I realized something. I realized that actually I VERY much like to learn.
I like to learn about people and why they think the way they think. I like to learn why people react or respond the way they do to different things in certain situations. I find it fascinating to learn why people are the way they are.
Honestly, if we would work more toward asking God to reveal our kids’ (and our) talents and encourage, research, pray over those more than the school subjects we’re “supposed” to learn “just because that’s how it’s done” maybe more people would be doing what God intended for them to be doing in the first place and not find themselves in dead-end jobs at age 60.
Sometimes you just know stuff – just because you do.
Teens, and pre-teens, since I know there are a few of you guys here online, I just wanted to tell you I am SO proud of how you stand up and share your faith! This is a REALLY tough time to be a kid. I am proud of your modesty and how you stand up and speak out when friends are talking you into and making not great choices. It’s really tough. You have GREAT courage!! I just wanted to be a voice thanking you for standing out instead of trying to fit in. You guys are making a difference.
That being said, PLEASE Please talk to us (parents and grown ups) when you do mess up. We will love you through mistakes. Yes, we may be sad and a little disappointed just as you may be when we mess up as grown ups, but we ARE here for you and we DO get that life is really tough as a teenager in 2014. We do not expect you to be perfect and I apologize to anyone who feels like you are held to a “perfect” standard. We mess up as parents and we know you guys mess up as kids, too. I love you. And I just wanted to tell you that you DO have people to talk to when life gets you down.
There are a lot of tough jobs in the world but marriage… just wow! I know we’re not alone when we say this.
Many people share great ideas and it’s always fun to learn new things that work for other couples.
I’m always trying to figure out how to make our marriage better and help others at the same time. My husband is a praying man and asks God how to be a better husband to me and better daddy to our kids. And I ask God to show me how to be a better wife and mommy.
Here is something we started about a year ago. It’s helped us sometimes when we argue. God put this idea on my heart and I shared it with my husband. We didn’t waste time getting to the store.
We bought a ball (A 12 to 15 inch ball is best. And NO. Not a baseball or bowling ball even though it’s something that some people may think they’d like to do sometimes – Just don’t.) and when we’d argue, we’d pass the ball back and forth.
It is harder to stay angry when we are playing catch.
We both take turns talking (Toss it. Don’t hold it. That’s the point. It’s easier to talk this way sometimes.) and maybe a few times we threw it rougher than we should have but it really helps during fights.
You could try it and see if it helps for your marriage. If someone can learn anything from our mess we’re glad to share.
We really do like each other. It’s just that sometimes we forget.
Note: If you play ball in the store, they may -or may not- appreciate it so very much. You probably don’t need to ask us how we know this.
A) hear all the good things everyone thinks about you?
B) hear all the negative things everyone thinks about you?
C) hear both the positive and negative stuff people think about you?
D) not hear anything people think about you?
You know, I used to feel strongly that I’d want B- hear all the negative things everyone thinks about me because then I could decide where to spend my time trying to clear up misunderstandings. That would take a long time. And the truth is that nobody is going to like me all the time or even understand where I’m coming from because nobody has walked the life I’m walking.
Then later in life I decided that C- hear both positive and negative stuff would be best because some negative (spoken in love) would be good to help me know what I needed to change about me – and there are certainly things I work on every day to be a better mommy, wife, friend, and leader. And I’d also get to hear the positive things because sadly most of the time we ALL (and I rarely use the word ALL but in this case I believe it fits) don’t speak blessings over each other often enough.
For a little while I thought strongly about A- hear all the good things everyone thinks because possibly that would help with how I think of myself. – Or would it make me conceited? Don’t know but I don’t think so.
Someone shared a story about being deaf and not hearing what people say about you and that maybe not knowing would be best because you don’t hear the “noise” and the haters. – I believe deaf people do hear clearly some things that “hearing” people do not.
I think I will choose D and not hear what people (who do not know me) think of me. I will concentrate on what my Jesus thinks of me above anything else.
Just stuff I like to think about.
And I haven’t told you today that I’m glad you’re here in this place with me so I will now. I’m glad you’re here. You matter. I pray blessings over your life so big that you can’t help but see Him.
People tell you… culture tells you… you have to be good enough; great enough; perfect enough; BEST enough.
Jesus says lean on Him and HE will make you enough.
I don’t HAVE to be strong enough.
And I cannot be.
If I could be all that is needed, then WHY would He have DIED for me? It’s not just all about having fun and happy times. It’s about serving others and about doing the jobs we were created to do.
If I had to be broken so that Jesus could shine through me to show His Glory, I think I’m okay with that. ❤
Check it out. Jesus heals a blind guy.
As he went along, he saw a man blind from birth. His disciples asked him, “Rabbi, who sinned, this man or his parents, that he was born blind?”
“Neither this man nor his parents sinned,” said Jesus, “but this happened so that the works of God might be displayed in him. As long as it is day, we must do the works of him who sent me. Night is coming, when no one can work. While I am in the world, I am the light of the world.”
When we celebrate when celebrities fail or fall, WE are part of the problem. When we mock, tease, spread gossip, and laugh when celebrities mess up (or when anyone messes up, for that matter) we are hurting them; not helping them.
If we were 15 (or whatever age) and we had no privacy because of fame (which we may or may not have wanted) all our lives are on display; mistakes included.
Think about how a kid answers questions…
“Want your own show?” “Sure!”
“Want a puppy?” “Sure!”
I’m certain that most kids who get into show business do not understand the world they’re now part of and how damaging it can be.
And if we had Hollywood with its lack of any moral compass telling us that this really NOT good stuff IS “right” or “fun” or that we “should” or whatever… how would WE react?
This lifestyle these kids are in just breaks my heart. I cannot IMAGINE.
~~~> And the adults who promote it and stuff… There aren’t enough words in any vocabulary to say how angry and sad that makes me. Oh, how the adults are going to be held accountable for leading kids away from Jesus! <~~~
I’m just REALLY not sure anyone could say that these famous kids understand all they’re doing. (Probably no kids understand all the stuff they do.)
I’m NOT saying they’re not accountable. They ARE accountable.
We ALL are accountable for stuff we do and say. (Ours is mostly not in the public eye and THAT would make a huge difference.)
I AM saying that I remember in my 20s thinking that I knew some stuff when I was younger.
Then I remember in my 30s thinking I knew some stuff in my 20s. That’s even funnier.
But now in my 40s I thought I knew stuff when I was in my 30s… Just wow!
–> What I know is that God keeps teaching me. <– I have gray hair and I’m still learning all the time.
I’m praying for these young “stars” who are made to dance and act and say lines from someone’s script for “entertainment purposes” because I just REALLY don’t think they understand all of it.
If we were in the same situation, I’m not sure we would either.
(Grace and forgiveness. Yes. But we are accountable for all the moments of our lives. All that being said… I’m NOT okay AT ALL with what many young “stars” are doing. I am NOT excusing it.)
I AM praying over celebrities lives instead of spreading the rumors and pictures and I’m asking YOU to do the same.
Because if people stopped calling it “entertainment” and paying for it as “entertainment” maybe stuff would change. Please be part of the solution.
So… sometimes our kids are the best people to describe who we really are. Sometimes the answers make us smile. Sometimes not as much.
What would YOUR kids say YOU do? Encourage people or mock them?
When did we STOP cheering each other on and start looking down on each other for trying do accomplish something?
The news is most of the time… I won’t even say the bad words that flash across my brain to describe the “news.” They make fun of people and “report” some of the very worst stuff. We’ve all heard it “AT LEAST three people were injured.” SERIOUSLY?! “At least?!” Like they hoped MORE were hurt?!!
When our kids are little and learning to walk we cheer for them (and even tell our friends to cheer) until they can walk on their own. We encourage.
Now, as alleged adults, we mock and some people secretly actually enjoy others’ failures. That’s a sad thing in my opinion.
Are we all so jealous of someone actually succeeding that we find twisted comfort in ridicule?
Sometimes it may take a few attempts before we finally get something right. Lots of inventors come to mind. I sure am glad they kept trying.
Do your kids see you encouraging other grown ups or making fun of them behind closed doors?
Women who pose in pornography films and magazines are broken inside. Period. If you could just see the pain inside the heart of the girl in the porn video or magazine, you’d ache for her with a different part of you. You’d want to help her find healing. You’d treat her like the Child of God that she really is. She just doesn’t believe it yet or know that she really is yet.
She is somebody’s daughter. She is someone’s niece, aunt, sister, mom, grandma, but most importantly she is WORTHY of so much more than the life she’s trapped in.
Pornography was holding my husband’s attention and we did not realize HOW much it was wrecking our marriage. After a few months in marriage counseling my husband and a very great marriage counselor came to the same conclusion.
Pornography was destroying our marriage.
She was so wise. She said, “There is just NO place for it anywhere.” (I pray you have wise counselors who give this advice because I’ve heard of ones who don’t and that’s very unfortunate.)
But the problem is that even soft porn is EVERYWHERE. He has to “bounce” his eyes a lot. The sad thing is you cannot UNsee what you saw. Yes God CAN take the images out of your head but sometimes our brains hold onto stuff long after we don’t even want it there anymore.
Even now, 4 years after he’s been able to break free from that trap, and it absolutely IS a TRAP, set on purpose to enslave you forever, there are many times that the residual effects crawl out of the corners of the darkness and claw at our marriage threatening to destroy it.
One thing we’ve noticed is that after we’d be together, he wouldn’t speak to me much for about 3 days. This was killing me. I felt like he didn’t care. He sure cared enough a few days ago. After I finally figured this part out he said he didn’t even realize he was doing it. We figured out together that it was from the past of seeing pornography and then the shame from it just overwhelmed him. Well, if he’s feeling that shame, he may not want to talk to me because it hurt me and he knows it.
But this was our marriage and it was OKAY for him to be together with me. God designed sex for married people. It’s fun and healthy when there is never another person or any other living, breathing anything involved in any way. As long as you both consent, and it’s ONLY you, your spouse, and God, then pretty much your imagination is the limit.
But the trap that pornography IS does THIS kinda damage and lots of it. Sometimes we’re not even aware of as the cycle keeps on going; Together. He ignores me for 3 days. I feel like I’m invisible. And this is only ONE example of the damage pornography does.
He said this may be a forever thing he has to work on and he actually ONLY was able to break free because of God’s help.
If you are upset with me for writing about this I apologize. Kids hear stuff from other kids and teachers at school, online, at work, in youth group even, and unfortunately we as parents and people at churches mostly don’t talk about healthy sexuality but we MUST talk to our kids. They WILL learn about stuff somewhere and aren’t YOU the very best person to talk to him or her about such important things? I believe you are.
So I’m just putting this in here to say I’m very sorry if it offends someone to talk about pornography. It unfortunately is a bigger problem than lots of people realize and we have to take off blinders and masks and get rid of stuff satan uses to attack our families every day. It’s not easy to talk sometimes but we just have to.
I was married before. Yes, you’re reading this from a divorced and remarried child of The One True King. Trust me. I KNOW. You just DON’T get divorced. When I was growing up there was no, “but if you do get a divorce then this is what to do…”
But I was.
I was and I could not fix it.
Do you know what? I now know a little about why God says He hates divorce. Boy, I do too!! I HATE it! It’s awful.
God used a guy I really didn’t care for at work to get me to “wake up and live” after divorce. He said, “Well what are you going to do now?” I said, “What do you mean, ‘What am I gonna do now?’ Now I die.” He said, “No. You just turn the page.”
Isn’t it JUST like God to use someone you’re not particularly fond of to teach you a lesson He wants to teach? What a sense of humor, right? That happens often, doesn’t it? Or maybe that’s just me.
[My oldest daughter has come home saying someone was not kind to her and it’s really not fun to be around that person. My response is usually something like, “Well looks like God may have her in your life for a reason. Maybe one of you is there to teach or learn something from the other.” (Not her favorite answer.) But she usually responds with something like, “I know… I was afraid of that.”]
Anyway back to divorce, I’m telling you about my divorce to let you know my life is not perfection and just because NOW I can work on helping other people more, my life has not been where I felt I could do much for anyone.
Gotta lay down our pride if we’re going to love on other people and help them through stuff. And we’re layin’ it all down.
My life is full of not wise choices. And if it was perfect then maybe nobody’d want to hear what I have to say anyway. I’ve found it’s not much fun to talk to someone who clearly can’t seem to understand the struggles I’m going through. They cannot know the pain I know so I don’t want to talk with them because they kind of just wouldn’t understand.
Anyway, there is a lot of ash God’s turning into beauty in each of us SO THAT we can help pick others up outta their trash and so on.
The thing is, God can and does use the ugly stuff in our lives to turn around and glorify Him. He takes our trash and makes it a ministry. I guess I have a trash ministry.
And I’m proud to say it.
“What do you do?”
“Glad you asked. I have a trash ministry.”
I’m pretty sure you may just have a trash ministry too.
It’s sad when some people react like, “DUDE! Don’t you ‘know better’ than to say that kinda stuff?!” My answer is, “DUDE, don’t you know YOU NEED to talk about that kinda stuff?!” You NOT talking about it COULD be stopping someone God has put in your path who needs healing, but because you are afraid to speak, you are not helping them. Your testimony, no matter how big or small you think it is, is the key to unlock someone else’s hell.