CategoryMinistry Miracles

I Have Never Seen the Righteous Forsaken

Once again I am in complete awe of the way God provides.

In sales like we are, income is unpredictable. The slow times make us even more grateful when the sales do come in. But things have been slow.

On Thursday of last week, I stood looking in the fridge and prayed for God to provide once again. My fridge and pantry were getting empty again.

Friday morning I got a phone call. Our pastor’s wife had been asked to clean out someone’s house, and she wanted to know if I could use the food.

I cried and said yes.

She wanted us to come pick it up immediately.

It filled a huge tote box and then some. What was amazing to me was that while it was non-perishable foods and canned goods, much of it was food that we do regularly eat and some were items we don’t buy often but that we really enjoy. There were tons of peanut butter, beans, and rice, and canned vegetables. All things we definitely use and needed.

We had to rearrange the pantry to make room for all the food.

Once again, God provided for our needs, exactly when we needed it.

God Provides Again

Last week someone dropped by, and brought us $200 for groceries. It was right after we had used the last of the grocery money I mentioned before. My kids drink over a gallon of milk a day, so groceries add up quickly. This was an incredible blessing.

Today someone dropped by the house because they had something to bring us. It was ANOTHER $500 check for clothes and shoes for our family. I’m floored. Oh, and this was not the same person that sent the first check. They didn’t even know about the first one.

Several of the kids still needed shoes. I bought what I could with the previous money God sent our way, but hadn’t been able to get all the shoes we needed. Now I can finish looking, and have the added money to buy new items where we need to.

Living by faith isn’t always easy, but God always provides.

More of God’s Provision

God has provided again. Over and over and over. It’s been amazing.

I got a phone call, asking if we could use money for clothes, and if $50 a person was enough. I said yes (and thank you). When the check arrived, it was for $100 more than $50 apiece, AND they had included money for Stephen and I for clothes as well.

The next day, a friend stopped by with a $100 Aldi gift card. I cried. We didn’t have money for groceries, the pantry was bare, and I didn’t know when we would get to go shopping. So God brought the money right through my door.

We went to Value Village for clothes and found a TON of what we needed……then off to Aldi for groceries.

We knew we needed it and had been praying God would provide. He did, right when we needed it.

A friend had gone junking in the “rich district” and brought over 3 bikes for my kids…..bikes they needed because theirs were broken.

And then today God provided just a plain want. For years I have wanted Le Creuset cookware. Today, a cousin who works at the Le Creuset store brought a bunch of things to the family reunion. One was a stock pot, and I got to take it home. It matches my kitchen perfectly. It’s like God said, “Here’s even something you want, just because you wanted it.” We could have made do with what we have for longer, though it is wearing out. But no, God just blessed me with a completely new, gorgeous pot, that matches my kitchen.

I’m so blessed.

God will provide

These past few weeks have been intense.

In February, one of the platforms we sell on had a huge financial mess. Things were slow before that, but afterward, views and sales there have been almost non-existent. I’ve averaged 17-20 sales a week since then. Across ALL shops.  Together.

This business has been our sole income.  We don’t have a second job or a fall-back.

Honestly it’s been terrifying. Watching income dwindle instead of rising is scary. But it has been a wild ride too…..

Every step of the way, God has provided what we needed, just when we needed it.

We had one week where I didn’t have the money to even ship the orders that came in. We started selling off the old design stamps I don’t use. There was more than one time when the money would come in Paypal just in time to transfer it to pay for shipping.

It’s like the woman and the cruse of oil. There is just enough money, every day, to do what is needed. Not any extra, but we have not overdrafted. It’s been really hard.

It been hard to run my business too. I haven’t had the money to buy supplies when we need them. I’m making necklace cards again, stamping boxes myself, using different sizes instead of what I prefer, to use what we have. I started making necklace chains again, because making them is a cheaper investment than buying chains (and from a supplier with $100 minimum).

This is not how I imagined we’d run our business.

Last fall, Stephen and I both felt God calling us to shut down the supplies arm of the business. That was great at first, because of the extra family time it gave. We were free.

Then time went on and it set in that we weren’t making the money we used to. It got tight. Then tighter. And even tighter. And then terrifying.

We both feel that shutting down supplies was the right thing to do.

So the purpose of this post is to document to see what God does. He has truly supplied everything we have needed, right when we needed it. We are truly living by faith. It’s both terrifying AND freeing at the same time.

One thing that really encouraged me was watching how God has provided other needs when we needed them. On Wednesday right before supper, Anna was telling me she thought she’d need a pair of size 4 tennis shoes next time she gets some. We’ve been super gluing the soles on her shoes for a while now. I prayed right there that God would provide new shoes for her.

I kept Joy home that night because she’d been sick. Anna walked in the door with a bag of clothes from Stephanie. In it was a pair of almost brand new Nike shoes, a size 4. Of course. 5 hours after I prayed God answered my prayer……and He had provided the shoes for that need before I even prayed for it.

That’s my God.

It has been amazing to watch. I can’t wait to see how else He provides.

Hysterectomy – God’s Provision

I received a puzzling call yesterday that resulted in me being on the phone for what seemed to be all day long.

The hospital billing coordinator I’ve been working with called me yesterday. I had called asking for an itemized bill to submit to Samaritan Ministries so we can start paying on it. She returned my call, but had a question.

She said I was no longer in her division for me to set up payments. My bill has been transferred to another division and I am no longer responsible for paying this surgery out of pocket.

I spent quite some time after that on the phone trying to fully understand the details. After all that time, I learned that yes, my surgery really is being paid for.

We prayed that God would provide. We trusted that He would. And He did, in an amazing, incredibly huge, way that we NEVER expected. I don’t feel completely free to share all the details how and why publicly, but wanted to shout loud and long that my God WILL provide! He DID provide!

I went in to this surgery anticipating needing to make payments on a $50,000+ surgery while we wait for the money from Samaritan Ministries to come in. They have always been fantastic with our other medical procedures.

God had an entirely different idea, and chose to have someone else pay for it.

I’m humbled to watch how God has worked it out.

God’s Amazing Provision

My God is so amazing.

My surgery is 11 days away and I am so ready for RELIEF.  But physical relief isn’t the only thing that has me excited.

First, I should tell you that I don’t have health insurance.  Instead, I’m a Samaritan Ministries member.  I go through my surgery as an uninsured patient, handle the bills myself, and am reimbursed shortly afterward through Samaritan.  We’ve had two pregnancies and my surprise D&C through them, and it’s all been handled very smoothly.

When they called to schedule my hysterectomy, I was told I’d have to pay my surgeon’s fee of $3100 first.   I cried.  We didn’t have an extra $3100.   While I was expecting this, it was still an amount I didn’t have.  

We chose a December date for the surgery, so that the surgery wouldn’t impact our busy holiday schedule with the business.  We’d also have time to get the money saved up.  It was four months away – I really didn’t want to wait that long, but we didn’t want to close the business during the busy season either.  We also decided to get on the cancellation list and see what happened.  I got off the phone and prayed.  

Less than two hours later, the phone rang again.  It was my surgeon’s office, calling with a cancellation for October 3rd.  I asked if we could talk about it overnight and let her know the next morning.  

That night, Stephen and the kids went to one of our sister churches (long story) while I stayed home with the baby, who was sick.  I prayed the whole time they were gone, asking that God would show us what to do.  When they came home, Stephen told me he mentioned my surgery as a prayer request, saying that we needed to pay the surgeon fee first, and asked that they pray with us that God would provide.

That weekend we got a phone call.  The person on the line offered to loan us $3,000 toward the fee.  I was so humbled.

Then the next day, we got a phone call saying the church had taken up an offering for us as well.  I was blown away.  The amount was well over what we needed for the surgeon, so I planned to put the rest aside to pay medical bills with after the surgery.

Four days after I found out we had a need, God supplied it.

It gets better.  God provided what I thought was extra, because I didn’t know the hospital would also call, wanting me to pre-pay.  I was able to put the extra toward what the hospital wants, and I didn’t even know I’d need to prepay the facility.

Isn’t God and His provision absolutely amazing?

New Clothes

Anna, in one of her new dresses

God is so good to me.

A few weeks ago I was praying about clothes for Anna.  She just went through a growth spurt and most of her clothes are now too short.  I didn’t have the cash to go buy her a whole new wardrobe, so I prayed that God would provide clothes.  I didn’t tell anyone what I had prayed.

Last week, I got a Facebook message from a friend who lives an hour away.  “A family from church asked if I knew anyone who could use some girls clothes.  I told them you could and will pass them along to your pastor’s wife, because I’m seeing her tonight.”

I finally got the clothes and had a chance to go through them.  It is a garbage bag, absolutely STUFFED full.

Probably 80% of it is all Anna’s size.  Everything is gorgeous.  Sunday dresses.  Skirts, leggings, tshirts (long and short sleeved), cardigans, and more than one winter coat.  Nice brands, ones that hold up well.  Everything was in wonderful condition.

The clothes that aren’t Anna’s size are Esther’s size.  She didn’t need the new clothes as badly as Anna did, but she can definitely still use them.

God provided exactly what we needed, right when we needed it.  All I did was ask that He would provide.  He did.

I love how God works

This winter, our lawnmower died. Monday we picked it up from the shop. Tuesday, Stephen mowed our lawn for the first time this spring.

Today, Stephen started it and the engine completely locked up. He called a mechanic friend of ours to see if he knew anyone selling a motor that would fit our mower. Our friend just “happened” to have one at his house. He said he’d been trying to sell it for two years and hasn’t been able to get rid of it. It’s the same brand we have in there already, and is a bit stronger too.

Stephen and I just stood there laughing. Moments earlier we had been trying to figure out how we were going to buy a new mower. We talked about getting a push mower, but with the size of our yard and the amount of other hauling we do it just isn’t a practical option. Then, with one simple phone call, we learned about a motor that was better than the one we had was pretty much waiting for us.

I just love how God works. Yes, it’s an expense we weren’t planning on, but this repair bill sure is better than trying to figure out financing for a lawn tractor with a price tag of $1,000 or more! It probably sounds like a “little thing” to anyone reading, but to me, it’s just exciting to see how it worked out.

The most expensive Valentine’s gift yet

Stephen got me the most expensive Valentine’s Day gift he has ever gotten me today. What was it, you ask?

It was the gift of running water.

Last night our well pump stopped working. Stephen had just put a load of dirty diapers in the washer, and supper was on the table. That was when we noticed the hot water heater was making a strange noise. It turned out that the pump in our well had stopped.

We have had problems with our well ever since we had a company out to fix it last spring. Their customer service was terrible so we just dealt with the problems. Until yesterday. We didn’t have a drop of water in the house. Why is it that you don’t realize how much you use something until it’s gone?

First thing this morning we started making calls, trying to find a good company to come out here. Finally, we found one that worked on our type of well and pump and started asking the fun questions. You know – things like a rough estimate to replace the pump, do they take payments, etc.

Well, they didn’t take payments, but the man said they do accept credit cards. The only problem with that is that we don’t use credit cards any more. We started praying.

I sat down and crunched some numbers in our budget to see exactly how much we’d have to be able to pay in cash today. We budget to the dollar each paycheck so we needed to see if there were any areas that could be temporarily cut back. Stephen made the appointment for the men to come out here, and we loaded the kids up and headed over to Mom’s house where we could have water for the day.

The kids and I arrived back home just as Stephen went inside and turned on the water. Praise the Lord! He handed me the checkbook and I glanced at the amount.

Our bill was $1 lower than the amount we had available to pay. God is so good. Well repair can get expensive (it wiped out our savings last year), but this time God worked it out so that we could pay the bill in full from one paycheck.

I am so glad. It isn’t the most romantic Valentine’s gift we’ve ever had, but I’m SO thankful to have a working well again!

God is so good!

We have such adventures with vehicles.

Last Tuesday, 45 minutes before my first piano student of the evening was supposed to arrive, Stephen called me. “My car just broke down on the highway. I called AAA and they’re sending a tow truck, but you will need to go get a babysitter.” I loaded the kids into the van as quickly as I could and rushed to go pick our sitter up. We weren’t even back at the house for five minutes before my student arrived. What a day for her to arrive early.

After that lesson I typically have a one hour break. We loaded back up into the van and went to take the babysitter home. Her dad is our mechanic, so Stephen had the car towed there. We picked him up, went through the drivethrough for supper, and got home just in time for me to teach the rest of my lessons.

After my last student left, the phone rang. It was our mechanic. “I’m afraid your car is dead. It needs a new engine.” The cost to replace the engine was more than the car was worth.

Great. Good thing we have a van for me to drive and Stephen’s grandpa’s old farm truck. Neither is optimal for the kind of miles Stephen drives in a week (some weeks he drives over 600 miles), but I was thankful it didn’t happen to our only vehicle. I started worrying.

Thursday morning Stephen called me from work to ask me to put the car on Craigslist as is. Less than five hours later, the car was sold and towed away. He received the exact amount for it that he had wanted. I was amazed. I never imagined that we’d have a car die and sold in two days’ time, but it happened. We were just thankful to have it be that easy!

But it doesn’t end there. Stephen has been looking for a new-to-us car for several weeks. He didn’t have a lot of requirements, but was having a hard time finding something that met all the things he was looking for.

We drove over an hour yesterday to go look at a truck. We got there and found out it had 50,000 more miles on it than the seller had told Stephen on the phone. Not good. We went home and Stephen kept looking. He found another car to go see and made an appointment for this afternoon.

Stephen just called me. He bought a VW Jetta. Today is Tuesday. His car broke down exactly a week ago, and today he bought a new car to replace it. God worked every tiny detail out – from selling the old one quickly to finding a new one just as quickly to providing the money needed to buy it.

I am so humbled. I had been worrying about how we were going to juggle everything, but God worked everything out far better than I imagined He would. How humbling. But we have SO MUCH to thank Him for!!!