God Always Provides

What a busy few weeks it’s been.

The fuel pump on the big van went out. We got a call before we took it into the shop, asking how much it would cost to fix. “I’ll bring a check by tonight.” And just like that, God provided the money for the van to be fixed.

We went to Stephen’s parents’ church Sunday night, to see everyone and say our goodbyes. Stephen was asked to share his burden about Maine and to preach, our family was asked to sing, and they gave us a special monetary gift for our trip as well.

Before we left, they had us stand at the front of the congregation for everyone to hug us, shake hands, etc before we leave. One person gave me a hug and said, “I know the church already gave you something, but God told me to give you this” as something was pressed into my hand. I opened my hand later to see that it was a $100 bill.

When God first told us to move, we knew He would need to provide for it. It’s already gotten much more expensive than we ever expected, but every step of the way, God has provided what we needed right when we needed it.

Piano Lessons

Looks like I’m going back to teaching piano lessons again! I’m excited.

I closed my studio when I was pregnant with Esther, because we needed the bedroom for kids to sleep in instead of using it as a piano studio. We didn’t have room anywhere else in the house to give lessons, so I closed my studio and stopped teaching.

Lately I’ve been asked about giving lessons again. Since we still have the space issue, I’ve turned all the requests down.

Then I started to hear about teachers offering FaceTime lessons. The thought intrigued me. I kept hearing about it, and started to mull the concept of live video lessons over. I’ve been thinking about this for months now.

I asked about it on my Facebook page to see if there was any interest if I were to offer video lessons, and was surprised by the response.

There’s a lot to figure out before our move, but after we get settled, I don’t see why offering video lessons wouldn’t work. Honestly, I’m pretty excited about it. I love teaching piano lessons and have missed it these last 8 years. Since I kept everything, it should be really easy to reopen and start teaching again.

Faithful is He

It sure has been an interesting couple of weeks. All I know to say is my God is faithful.

Our house here and the house in Maine are both under contract. We’re having some back and forth with the bank about requirements for the new loan – there is confusion on whether or not the new house is multifamily or not. Lord willing that will be sorted out ASAP. If it’s found to be multifamily, I have to take some sort of landlord classes….and time is running out to be able to do that.

The official countdown is 22 days until we move.

Yesterday we got a call that the movers we were going to use can’t move us. That was a bit of a shock. I think our current new plan is to have Stephen’s dad drive up with us to help drive the rental truck, and we’ll fly him back home. The kids are thrilled with this plan, of course.

Then our family van decided to start acting funny. Turns out it needs a new fuel pump. One of our best friends is our family mechanic and he can get it fixed this week (which is good – we’re using it to haul a trailer to move Stephen’s grandma into a nursing home at the end of the week!).

It seems like everywhere we turn something is coming up to complicate things. Honestly we expected the devil to fight us, and fight he has. I’m so excited to see what God has in store for our family.

My God will Supply

Once again God has supplied our needs in a mighty way.

Yesterday I got a phone call from someone who wanted to help us with our trip. They are sending us money for us to get a hotel during our trip so we don’t have to drive thee 20 hours straight through, AND enough money for us to buy all our meals out, instead of packing meals to eat while we drive.

What a blessing.

Then on Saturday, I got a text from our pastor’s wife, asking what size tops I wear. She said she was cleaning out her closet and had some things I might be able to use.

I love to wear sarcastic t-shirts most of the time around here, but I don’t feel like that’s clothing I want to wear as a pastor’s wife. I was just thinking the other day that I was going to need to get some different clothes for running errands and stuff. I hadn’t even prayed about new clothes yet; just realized I needed some.

God sent them before I even prayed about it. It was a huge tote bag full. Almost all of it fit. What was even more amazing is it was exactly the styles and items I’d been needing! It was almost all long sleeves, and one top was exactly the style of one I’ve been wanting to get. Not only that, but many of them still had the tags still on them. What an encouragement!

My God is Awesome

Monday we paid for the property assessment.

Tuesday we mailed our earnest deposit.

When we started this process, we forgot that these deposits are due right away. We had enough money in our savings account to pay for them, but the money was set aside to buy the kids’ schoolbooks for this fall. I took a deep breath, transferred the money, and sent the payments.

God said He would provide, and God also tells us to trust Him. He called us to Maine, and He would have to provide the money to get us there. Moving that far is expensive, especially for a family of our size.

Then today. What a mighty God we serve.

Today we were given a large sum of money toward our move. It was enough to pay the movers, gas for our own van, and money to buy winter clothes for all of us too. We don’t move for six more weeks, and God has already providing the money for it.

My God is Awesome.

Well, that was fast

Things are moving so quickly with our move to Maine.

On Sunday, the church voted unanimously to have Stephen come as pastor. This was very exciting.

We put in an offer on the house we’ve been looking at. At this point, the offer has been accepted (with no counter!), we have a contract on our house here, and the appraisal has already been ordered on the new house.

We’re waiting to hear back from our buyer with when the contractor will be out here. We chose to work with Home Vestors (the “we buy ugly houses” people) because you sell your house as-is, and you set the closing date. Our house is an older mobile home, and we don’t have the time or skill to do the updates needed to sell the house with a traditional realtor. There are 8 of us in 1152 square feet….there’s no way we could replace all the flooring in the house while we live here! And that’s not the only thing they’d like done (we met with a realtor too, just to see our options). It’s just not possible with our family, the fact that we run our own business, AND are on a tight timeline.

So we are under contract for this house here as well as our new house in Maine. I’m so incredibly excited. The new house is more than twice as big as this house, so we’re all looking forward to having more room.

Blackberry Cobbler

We picked a gallon and a half of blackberries today. They’re huge!

The vines are still loaded, so I expect to be able to pick quite a bit more soon.

Since I made jelly and pancake syrup the other day with the berries we had picked, today I made a cobbler.

I used gluten free flour so that I could have some too. It was delicious.

The recipe we use for cobbler is here on Allrecipes.

Van Buren, Maine

God has called our family to plant a church in Van Buren, Maine. It is a little town in Northern Maine on the Canadian border.

Stephen just returned from his trip there, and he traveled all around the Saint John Valley while he was there. It is heartbreaking to see community after community without a clear Gospel outreach. Maine is a beautiful state with breathtaking scenery, but there are so many people there lost, dying, and going to Hell. God has burdened our hearts so greatly for these people.

There is a building with a few members we will be able to start with. This is a huge blessing we are thanking God for. We are anxious to continue this work and to see how God grows the church.

A Burden

When God first started working in our hearts about Maine, I prayed that if that is here He wanted us to be, that He would give us a crushing burden for the state. I was not prepared for how God would answer that prayer.

Stephen and I have been burdened for many years about the unchurched areas of the United States. We always thought we would end up in the Midwest.

Then God put us in contact with two different church planters in Maine, and He began to burden us for the communities there with no Gospel presence.

As we spoke with these two men (in opposite parts of the state), we began praying about whether or not God would have us there. Stephen was asked to go preach, so the airfare was bought and we kept praying.

Since then, God has burdened us immensely. We are so spoiled here in South Carolina, in the Bible Belt. There literally are churches on every corner. There are hundreds of churches within a short driving distance of our home. Granted, not all are solid, Bible believing, Gospel churches, but there are many near us.

And we sit here in our comfortable homes with our comfortable churches…..comparing our standards to theirs, our meetings to theirs, our music to how they sing…….and there are souls lost, dying, and going to Hell in our own country – because there is nobody in their communities to share Christ with them.

How then shall they call on him in whom they have not believed? and how shall they believe in him of whom they have not heard? and how shall they hear without a preacher?

And how shall they preach, except they be sent?

‭‭Romans‬ ‭10:14-15‬a

How will they know? How will they hear about Christ without a preacher? God has greatly burdened our hearts.

Currently there are two ministries we know of that need a pastor immediately. Both are remote. Both are small. Both are in need. Stephen will be up there preaching this weekend, and learning the area. We don’t know yet if God wants us at one of those two, or if He wants us to start a church in a different town entirely. We’re really looking forward to seeing what He wants for us.

Maine

God has called our family to serve Him in Maine.

We are currently working with two different church planters. Stephen is taking a survey trip soon to see both ministries and to see where God would have us.

We’re very excited to see what God has planned in this next chapter of our lives.