What a year! I can't begin to wrap my brain around all that took place this year. You may know that I like to ask God for a 'word' or 'vision' for the upcoming year. Some years I wasn't patient enough to wait and listen for it, other years it's been almost audible. Three years ago He said it would be a 'hard' year, but I felt His presence in it and was not discouraged. Two years ago He said "No yet....keep hanging on. Just wait". Last year He said "a year of blessings"... holy cow was it ever!!!! I can't even list everything on here, but I'd like to try...I want to give Him glory for what he's done.
Our faith and confidence in God's goodness grew by leaps and bounds through our home-buying process. Intertwined with that was the foreshadowing of Lenny being let go from American Airlines. God told me to ask Him for this specific house, even though we were about to lose our income. We were turned down by multiple lenders and many loans fell through. But God had given me 2 verses to stand on. It wouldn't have been so easy to stand in confidence if He hadn't given me those verses. I learned to 'pray and speak scripture'...sending it out with confidence in Jesus' name to not return void. All along we asked God's direction on everything we did. I so thankful for those friends and family that literally prayed over the property with us.
God answered prayers and provided more than we needed when Len was laid off with a severance package and got 8 weeks to stay home with us before finding another job...this time, as a boss, in a totally different work environment than his old cubicle job. (Which we had been praying for him to get out of. Sucks...the...life...out...of...him) That job was an immediate pay increase. Len then got another job opportunity that would initially be a pay decrease but could quickly become a large pay-increase. He accepted that job offer and had to give his job a 30 day notice. They let him go that day without a severance. Here comes my work story...
I had to leave the YMCA due to Kennley not handling missing her am nap well. I immediately found a job doing night reception at a car lot. 27 hours a week. It was a lot of time to be away from my family....I would leave as soon as Len got home from his job. But it provided the money we needed to close on the house and almost everything we needed right away to spruce up the place. (There were no blinds in any windows, that kind of thing) Once we got moved in, we felt that I should quit my job...it was too many hours. I needed to make like $100 to stay in the budget I had set so I thought I would be able to find some way to do that each month. Well, the day after I gave my notice at work, the pharmacist from my extern site called and asked if I could work any hours at all...I was like...*silence...pause....are you serious? :) (You don't typically find flexible hours at a pharmacy.) I started working once a week up to twice a week in the evenings. We Len left his last job I received double the hours each week. It's just amazing how God aligns everything to provide for us, isn't it?! I receive so much joy from helping the customers that come into our pharmacy. It's weird how much of a customer service person I'm turning into. That's a whole other thing...
God has moved again on my heart in ways only He can. I am 200% more flexible than I used to be. (like spontaneous, not like limber) :) I LOVE change. I LOVE meeting new people! That was my #1 least favorite thing in high school! The joy I get from making new connections with people is making me giddy. I'm afraid I freak people out sometimes...I had a customer jump when I greeted him at work and literally just stared at me from several seconds trying to understand my 'chipper' disposition and called me 'goofy'....me 'goofy'...has anyone ever called me that? No! I'm sorry, I don't know how to process this joy...it either spills out in tears or in my smile and 'goofy' demeanor.
Warning: I know people don't like to talk about finances, but I think it's completely tied to our faith so I will be totally open about it. Two years ago we started the year with an offering. Not tithe, but an offering. It was the first time for us to give a big offering, you know, more than like $20 at Christmas. Last November Len felt led to give all the money in our savings (which really wasn't very impressive) but still, it was our security blanket in a time of job uncertainty. We gave it all and expected God to do what He said he would. "see if I will not open the floodgates of Heaven for you". One year later in Nov, we had double what we gave in that offering. When Len was blessed with his new job after 8 weeks of unemployment, we gave the whole first check as an offering. (and it wasn't even a 'sacrifice'...we didn't need the money...we were taken care of.) Then God provided this new upcoming job that could potentially double what he was making! God is getting ready to finance all the things He put in our hearts!! I don't want to miss a whisper of His direction. I pray that we will remain close to Him, hear his leading, see His heart and learn to better love what He loves.
I can't explain what peace beyond understanding feels like, but you know if you've ever had it. Well I have it everyday. It's like a can't have a bad day...I can get frustrated for a moment, but His joy breaks through that so quickly. Can you imagine what that looks like from Heaven's view where they see in more dimensions than we can. To literally see the joy breaking through my heavy frustration like rays of sharp sunlight until the gray can no longer be seen, but just a yummy yellow glow all around me. Sure, I can choose to block the light, but when you remember that it's right there waiting and wanting to break through, it's easy to remember to let go of what you're holding onto.
I am wrapping up this year in a warm fuzzy blanket of great memories, in a wonderful 'testament house', with a new heart and a fantastic little family! I am so curious to see what God has for 2013. What is the vision? I can already feel a desire to be about more than just my little family...to get outside of ourselves. We are starting the year off, on Jan 1st, by having a student stay with us for 4 months. He has not given us any indication that he knows Jesus. I really am excited to have him join our family for awhile. Len starts his new job on the 7th and we'll go from there! God bless you as you try to draw near to Him and seek His desire for you and your 2013...well technically, it's His 2013, we just get to live in it. Use His time wisely. :)
You can read last year's New Year post here: http://fortheloveofallthingspaintable.blogspot.com/2012/01/ive-never-been-one-to-make-new-years.html