CategoryMinistry Miracles

Venison

Monday night we were given fourteen packages of venison. We LOVE venison!

Some of the things on this week’s menu got changed around some as a result – yesterday Stephen put some stew meat in the crockpot with some onion. I thought I was going to go crazy because the house smelled SO good ALL day! LOL! We ate it with some brown rice and green beans. Yum.

Today the leftover broth and rice will be turned into tonight’s soup. We already had soup on the menu, so that works out well. It’ll be similar to New England Boiled Dinner, but there will be some brown rice in it instead of potatoes. The broth had such a rich flavor yesterday that I’m sure it will make delicious soup for tonight. I might make some whole grain rolls to go with it, but I haven’t decided on that yet.

How’s this for God’s timing? I bought groceries last week, but didn’t buy all the meat that was on my shopping list. I have a couple rainchecks I was planning on using, but they were for a different store that I didn’t have time to stop at that day. I hadn’t made it there since then to get the meat yet, and we were almost out of meat. Then God just dropped all that venison into our laps. :O) I love it. God provided, right when we needed it. It’s also an encouragement to me because the stew meat and cubed steak are cuts that I rarely buy. I try to buy those cuts when they’re on sale, but it’s been a while. It was so nice to be able to enjoy them again! I love it when God provides – and when He provides things that are normally once-in-a-while items for us – it’s even more of a blessing!

Pink shoes

God has done it again – He provided a whole bunch of new-to-me clothes! I am so excited!

A lady from church had gone through her closet and had some things for me. It was so fun to go through everything. She has such a classy sense of style and all the clothes were in great condition.

There was also a bag of shoes. It’s crazy – she and I are almost the same size in both clothes AND shoes. There was a brand new pair of navy shoes in there, which fit perfectly. I’ve been wanting a pair of blue shoes to go with my navy skirts. But an incredibly fun discovery was a pair of pink pumps. I’m not sure if I have anything to go with them but they fit and are SO cute.

Stephen had a great time laughing at me while I tried everything on. Some of the jumpers and sleeveless dresses were snug in my shoulders and he thought it was pretty funny watching me trying to fit into them.

There were quite a few things that almost fit but are still a bit too small. They’re going into my back closet for now – but are definitely motivation to get more of this weight off. But I did get into a size 8 skirt – it must be an awfully large size 8 for me to get into it, lol.

It was also neat to see some of the things she had paired together. Basic jumpers, but with blouses or pretty sweaters layered over top. I have a bazillion jumpers, but often forget that tops can be worn over them for a totally different look. And being able to mix and match all of those layers – wow. It puts SO many more options in my wardrobe.

It was a massive encouragement. I’ve been slowly building my wardrobe back up while I work on losing weight, but to have some more nice clothes -right now- is a real blessing.

Isn’t it neat how God knows just when to provide some of our wants along with our needs?

Answered prayer

Our air conditioner has been thinking of dying for a while. Last summer, it quit working, and we had a friend of the family out here who has a heating and cooling business. He got it running, saying it was a simple fix. I don’t remember what was wrong with it.

A few weeks ago, it started getting warmer and warmer in here. We figured it was related to the several days of 100+ degree weather. Well, that, and the sliding glass door that is a huge heat/air loss. The temps went down and things got better.

Then a few days after that, it started making this weird popping noise in the middle of the night. It turned out that it had frozen up and the popping noises we heard was the ice on it cracking. We turned it off to thaw it out.

We called someone the next day to come fix it, but found out that while it seems to be a rather straightforward fix, it was more money than we had in the bank at the time. So we decided to wait it out.

Today I noticed that the air wasn’t blowing very hard. . .again. . .so I checked the unit. Sure enough, it had frozen up again. I called Stephen and told him.

Tonight, the phone rang. It was someone that Stephen had spoken with today, telling him that he was going to give us the money to get the air fixed.

Stephen had only made an offhand comment – more mentioning that we needed to go ahead and get it fixed. But God laid it upon this man’s heart to give us the money.

So. I don’t know when the a/c guy will be out here to fix our air, but I’m thankful that it’s only supposed to be 86 here tomorrow instead of 95 or more.

Isn’t God good? It is SUCH a blessing to me when He answers my prayers in ways I’m not expecting!

Faith booster

I just love it when God does things that just remind you that He cares.

Last night after church one of the men that counts the money from the offering approached my husband. There had been an envelope in the offering plate with his name on it. Inside it was $20.

I have no idea who put it in there, but it sure was a neat surprise blessing!

Food surprise

Stephen called me on his way home from work today to tell me he was stopping by his mom’s house. He said that they had some leftover food from the school for us.

Did they ever.

When I mentioned the other day that when God gives you free food, you don’t complain about it, I meant it. Well, this time, God gave us the kind of food that had me jumping up and down with glee (seriously).

Bags of long rolls – the kind of rolls you would make sub sandwiches with and then cut them into 2-3 sandwiches. One bag has several long wheat rolls – each 18 inches long at least. Two more bags have hoagie-like rolls in them. Big, eight-inch rolls to make big sub sandwiches from. One of the bags has at least a dozen rolls in it. I’m not sure about the other bag. It went right into the freezer so I’m sure it’s equally full.

There was a TON of lunchmeat. One thing we discovered a long time ago is that lunchmeat freezes well. There were two packages of roast beef and a HUGE party-sized package of several different types of meat. I’ll divide that into smaller packages so we don’t have to thaw the entire thing to get to the meat later.

A big container of sliced cheese. I ate most of the Swiss cheese :cool1_tb: but there’s a good bit of American left.

There were several containers of flavored mustards. . . and a big bottle of Subway’s sweet onion sauce. Yum.

There was also an ice cream bucket mostly full of hamburger patties, and four hamburgers made up with cheese and buns.

Oh – and an entire ice cream bucket full of corn.

Most of the food will freeze well, and the food that won’t will go onto this week’s menu.

Not only that, but when I went to go pick up the babysitter and her sister (her sister comes once in a while), they brought me a couple bags of salad. I had just bought a head of iceberg lettuce, but this was Romaine and spinach. Someone had given them some salad that was about to expire, and they passed some along to us. We’ll eat it soon enough so spoiling won’t be an issue. After all, salad is on the menu for tomorrow night’s dinner.

I’ll do a bit of changing around to our menu plan for the week. We’ll eat a lot of produce this week (my frig is packed!) and I’ll put what I can onto next week’s menu.

How cool is that? God has provided a ton of food for us – again. I’m incredibly excited. What a great reminder that He cares about our needs AND our wants!

New clothes

God is so good. S has almost completely outgrown all of his play clothes, so I started praying about it.

Stephen’s sister has a little boy who just “happens” to wear a size or two bigger than S wears. She just sent us two bags of clothes that her son outgrew.

It was so fun to look through the bag. There were probably a good 15 pairs of pants in there! The fun thing is that there were several pairs of play pants – which was one of the main things that S needed. They weren’t just any play pants either – they were sturdy play pants. For my S – that’s a fantastic thing because that boy is so ROUGH on clothes. I had to laugh at how nice the clothes all looked; I told Stephen’s mom that when S is done with play clothes, the never look nice enough to pass along to someone else.

That might have something to do with S’s love for mud, dirt, and all things outdoors. Like the other day when he tried to ride the dog like a horse. Or like two days ago when he decided he wanted to ride on the billy goat. Stain treatments only get so much red clay out of clothes. . .

Then I spoke with my mom the other day and she told me that she’s sending me some clothes she found for the boys. She loves to go thrift store shopping (and has some REALLY nice ones near her) so she calls every so often to ask what we need so she can go look for it. She found some play t-shirts for S (which he also needed) and some dressier shirts for C. I had dress clothes for C but most of them are long sleeved, so I’m happy Mom found some short-sleeved ones.

Right now, it looks like both my boys are completely outfitted for the summer. God has provided for us again!

A new (to us) car!

For months I’ve been praying that God would provide us with another vehicle. I love our van, but it is an ’89 Chevy Astro van with over 288,000 miles on it. It’s been a great vehicle, but it’s getting tired. So I began praying for the next vehicle.

To make a crazy-long story short, we have a new car now. Well – I say new, because it’s new to us. It’s a Toyota Camry. It’s a few years old, but is in great condition and drives well. I love it.

One thing I am thankful for is the gas mileage it gets. It seems like we can go for forever without filling up the tank – and compared to the 11mpg the van gets – I’m very thankful. Especially if you consider that some weeks Stephen drives as many as 500 miles for work (he does computer tech work, and drives to different companies each week).

I love seeing answers to prayer like this. I prayed that God would give us a car, and He did. We will save money on gas, and the cost of the car fits well within our budget. After being a one vehicle family for almost two years, I’m happy to have a second car again. I really don’t go much, but still, having a vehicle here with me every day is so much more convenient. I am so thankful!

A new computer monitor

This week, my computer monitor decided to die. Well actually, it’s been trying to for a while, but finally decided to give up the ghost this week. I turned it on one day to discover that everything was now displayed in different shades of blue. For email, I can handle that, but there’s no way I could do most of the other tasks I usually do on the computer. . .like upgrading the software for my jewelry store. . .I needed to be able to see that everything was displaying correctly.

Well, one day, Stephen came home from work with a 19″ Dell monitor for me. The plant he was working at that day was just throwing it away – even though it works just fine! They gave him permission to take it home for me.

What an encouragement! It’s larger, has a higher resolution, and doesn’t make funny noises when you turn it on like my old one did. I love it! AND – it takes up less space on my desk, even though the screen is bigger than what I had. How neat is that?

Just for the record, my old monitor was also a Dell – I’ve had it for 10 years myself, and it was our family’s computer monitor before that. So it was really old. And the fact that it was moved back and forth from MI to FL 4 or 5 times when I was in college, back to MI when I graduated, then to SC when I married. . .and to IN and back after that. . .I think that old Dell monitor was a good monitor, don’t you? I told Stephen it sure makes me trust their products.

Just thought I’d share my bit of encouragement for the week!

A new job

I just realized this morning that I never blogged about Stephen’s new job. He started today!

We’ve been praying for months that he would get a better job. Not that his previous job was horrible – but quite honestly, it didn’t pay enough. We weren’t being greedy – and I’m not going to go into detail here on the internet – but it wasn’t sufficient. It didn’t help that the plant was cutting down hours so that people were only working three and four days a week. So we prayed that God would provide a new job for him.

A few weeks ago, a friend of ours approached Stephen to see if he was interested in working in the computer industry. Someone he knew was looking to hire someone, and it seemed like Stephen fit what they were looking for.

To make that long story much shorter, Stephen was hired on and started his new job today. The company is a Christian computer consulting firm. It’s a field Stephen has been wanting to get into for a while, but has not found an opening to until now.

His commute will be a bit longer now, but his days start later, so no more hearing the alarm clock at 4:15 each morning! It was so weird to have Stephen leave so “late” this morning, even though it was a much more normal time to leave for work. Of course, that means he’ll get home a bit later too, but that’s okay. I’m thankful he has a new job!

An early Christmas gift

My parents came down for a short visit this past weekend. It was so nice to see them again – since they live fourteen hours away, we see my side of the family only a handful of times a year. This time Mom and Dad came now so that they could avoid driving through snow closer to Thanksgiving and Christmas.

Before they arrived, my mom warned me not to stock up on any more meat for the freezer, but not to second-guess any possible reasons. Too late for that one, Mom! But I didn’t dwell on the ideas that presented themselves.

They got here while we were at church Wednesday night, so when we walked in the door after church, there were Mom and Dad, along with three coolers on the floor.

Inside those coolers was a TON of frozen meat. They had considered buying us a side of beef, but we have an upright freezer that’s not too overly big, and they were concerned that everything wouldn’t fit. They opted for a new option that their meat market offers – instead of getting all beef, they got various cuts of beef, pork, and chicken. What a great idea!

The meat in those three coolers completely filled our stand-alone freezer, and quite a bit went into the frig-freezer as well. What an incredible blessing! And what an amazing example of God’s provision! It was really neat to put it all away and see what all the different cuts of meat were. Many of those cuts of meat were cuts that we haven’t bought in a long time – if I’m on a limited budget, I’m not going to go buy steaks when I can get more of a different meat for a much lower price!

There was steak, stew beef, roasts, sausage, ground beef, chicken, and more. And that’s not counting the fresh meat that they bought while they were here.

Dad told me later that my mom’s parents did that for them when they were newlyweds. My grandparents raised beef cattle, so they butchered a cow and split the meat between their four children and their families. My parents wanted to do the same for us. What a blessing.

It is so encouraging to me to know that there’s all that protein in the freezer! I was having a hard time getting creative with whole chickens and ground beef, since that’s what we eat most often. It is SO wonderful to have other cuts of meat to choose from now!

God is SO good!