Friday, June 6, 2014

I have hurt a lot of people


Today, I came face to face with me. And it wasn't a pretty confession.
It's something I have felt, but never said out loud. 
Perhaps it needed to be said. 

Perhaps the urgency in my spirit to give all praises to God were worthwhile.
No. They must have been because what started with a morning song, became my prayer.  Just minutes after I walked through the door.

It was a telephone call. 
From some one close to me.
One where her frustrations with me broke me down one sentence at a time. 

Now, I have to admit. That in the minutes of our conversation, I wish that I would have responded differently. 
I wish I would have heard her hurt. Before I heard the silence on the other end of the telephone line.
I wish so many things. 

Things that I can help, some times. 
Things I can't. 
But I often find myself wishing.

Hurt. Is such an interesting thing to me. I find myself hurting often.
But then again. I see myself as the one that's hurt. 
Instead of seeing individuals as the people I have broken.

I have heard people say "I have been hurt" more often than I have heard people say
"I have hurt a lot of people"
I am confessing today, that the people closest to me, I have often hurt.

It was a sad realization and it  needed to be written out. To see each letter, each word for what it was.
I. have. hurt. the. people. closest. to. me. often.
Often. 

It was then that it occurred to me that today wasn't supposed to be about me. 
It was supposed to be about all the people whom I have hurt and all of the forgiveness that I have received.
I am so greatful that I have been forgiven, often. 

Especially by the people closest to me.

I didn't deserve what they, so freely,  hand out to me. 
I didn't deserve that kind of loyalty. 
But deep down, I knew that I was so grateful for all of it. 

Lord. 

Don't let the hurt I caused today, be something the enemy can use against me and my relationships. Instead, take the song I sang this morning and guide me to rise against what I am naturally lacking. Be the things I am not. In me. Until they become the only things I know.

I repeated my morning song, but this time it held so much more meaning. 
"Oh God you are my God, and I will ever praise you.
I will praise you in the morning, I will learn to walk in you way
And step by step you'll lead me , and I will follow you all of my days."

Step by step, is the hope I am hanging onto today, for what I hope,is  a brighter tomorrow.


Hope floats.

Wednesday, May 21, 2014

When life gets small

This week I realized that somewhere in the back of my mind, I am waiting.

By that I don't mean "waiting upon The Lord" kind of way.

But Waiting for more in the most worldly, snobby, ungrateful kind of way. 

Waiting to make more money, to buy a house, to be more successful, to travel, to have everything plus a little bit more. 

"I want a house." I said to my thoughts. "I want a yard, with pretty green grass, I want big windows that let a lot of light in, I want to be able to be noisy and not have our neighbors hear everything." I want. I want. I want.

I realized how quickly I allowed the desires of my heart to be replaced with the desires of the world. I realized just how shallow they were. How shallow I have become, and how they have held me back from seeing the fullness of God in my life.

And so, I said it out loud. I said it several times until the power of the words no longer had power over my heart.

"I may not get a chance to raise my kids in the house that I want." Deep breath.

"I may not get a chance to paint their bedrooms the colors they want, or have a play room, or have enough room."  Another deep breath.

"I might  have to live here longer than expected..."

"I may have to live here for a very long time."

Each thought settled in. Each thought released me from the disappointments that I walked in daily, wanting something different, wanting more instead of wanting what was needed.

And what I needed was this.

I needed to accept where we live, without any expectations set on moving.
I needed to allow the next season of our lives be a season of joy and of grate fullness.
I needed to be content, exactly where we were and where God placed our family.
I needed to save, not for something but for the freedom to move when God called us to.
I needed to invest into the memories of my children, more than the investments of things.

After I compiled a list of these things in my mind. 

I think I was ready to hear Him. God. This was what I heard.

"You are living in one of the best seasons of your life. I have restored the wealth of you family, I have rescued you when you needed me. I have answered every prayer you've prayed, and I have protected you from things only I can see. I have given you everything, all that you need, and I have always honored my promises to you. I have blessed you and will hold my word true over your life".

It was one paragraph that contained my entire life.

And finally,  I saw.

I saw my desires be filled with Gods promise and His perspective.

I saw the importance of our little yard. Our patch of grass and the new seeds that were coming through. I saw neighbors that worked for days trying to figure out the flooding problems and when they did, how grateful my kids were to them. That despite having a yard large enough to play in, what they saw was a yard large enough to grow a garden in. And through my kids,  my heart rejoiced because even they saw that we had more than enough. 

"I am choosing to be grateful for our little yard. I will not let the enemy deny me that which you have blessed me with or let it hold me back from your provision. Those who are wise with little will be wise with much, you said."

I saw my two windows, that I usually complain too much about because of how little light they let in, be enough. I saw that how our home was placed in such a way that it allowed our backyard to experience full sun. And quietly, I knew that the light I desired in our home, was very relevant to how much I actually wanted our lives to shine Jesus. It was vital, really, as both my husband and I agreed that we were living in the season where, how we lived our life and who God was to us, was going to be the foundation on how our children saw and knew Him. 

"I am so grateful that you live in our hearts, God. I will no longer allow my disappintments to diminish your purpose and vision for my life or further, misrepresent you in my children's life. Be the light of the world, you said."

Lastly, I saw the noise that comes out of our duplex.  I saw the one wall that separated our neighbors and us and I felt that just like our actions should portray Jesus, so should our noise. It's the noise of the day to day that God will use to bring our neighbors back to him. Because what they need, is not a pretty picture of a family, they have lived that. What they need is the noise of ours. A full house of a family and every noise that it comes it. They need it more than we need our privacy. And so, the one wall between their lives and ours was just enough for God to work with. 

"I am so grateful that I have your word, living in and through the bible. I will no longer expect a private life, if it means living privately in my faith. Our words become our actions, you said."

This changed everything. It brought purpose and meaning to my seemingly simple life and it changed my heart. Perspective does that. 

And it touched every area in my home. Big things, and small things.
I was finally being grateful and excited. I was finally content, not because I had less, but because I saw how much I had been given. My perspective was broadened and it reached for the eternal like never before.

Hope floats.

Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Valuable things are rare



Today I chaperoned my son on a school field trip to a theater production titled Fancy Nancy. It was a full day of riding a bus packed with little children and filled with laughter of all who rode in it. I could hear a couple of the adults talking in close range of me, I  could see some of the kids sitting quietly in their seats. And I could also feel the bouncing of the seat behind me. My group, was in fact the more boisterous bunch. They were the ones who played the silly games, poked each other in the eyes, and had trouble containing their excitement on the tiny leather bench that obviously wasn't made to fit three active children. But for being the active little boys they were, they did good, they obeyed my nudges to settle down, made sure they always stayed near each other, and did a pretty decent job asking me enough questions to keep me occupied and smiling.  To sum up our day, my boys did what was asked of them. They obeyed the rules.

As the day came to a close, and a single line formed with the very much, still rowdy 6 year olds, a mother behind me praised her group.

"You were super stars". She told them. "You guys deserve medals for your behavior today".

She praised her team for their cooperation while I seemed to think that their obedience was already rewarded. It was their cooperation through out the year that earned them this trip and because of it they were given the opportunity to watch a children's production, ride the bus with their friends, and eat lunch together outside at the park. That was the reward. That was the medal.

I know she wasn't being literal. But that didn't change the emptiness of her words or the lack of substance in them.

That mother, just told her team that because they followed the rules made for the entire class, they deserved something. They deserved medals, in fact. That this field trip, wasn't good enough for their exceptional demonstration of cooperation and obedience. They deserved some thing more, they deserved individual recognition.

Today this is what grabbed all of my attention.

You see. It's not just her that is guilty of this kind of praise. I am just as much at fault.

Especially because it was made very apparent last week when I took my girls in for hair cuts.

They got the full treatment. Sweet smelling shampoo, pleasant conversation with the hair stylist, blow dry and blow out. They got it all, and the room was saturated with fun and with laughter.

After we had left and seated our van, I asked my girls if they liked their hair. I asked them if they enjoyed the experience. And lastly, I thanked them for behaving nicely.

I mentioned to them that because it went so smoothly, we had an hour to spare and enough time to drive some where.

"Maybe," I said.
"We could go to that thrift store you girls enjoy digging around in."

"Do I get to pick out some books?" Jenny asked.
 "As part of a reward for being so good?"

Ring a bell?

It sure did for me.

And yet again. I was shocked by the ideas that I myself had planted in my children.

Ideas that signified reward for good behavior instead of the experiences they get to be a part of because they have proved themselves obedient. 

But even with an explanation, it was apparent that I have fallen into this trap.

And it's probably been happening a lot. 

Praises that were empty and undeserved rewards, needed to become significant again.
They needed to mean something.
They needed to be forms of encouragement, up lifting and life giving.

The best example I have of this, comes from my own mom.

She did what I believe every mother needs to do more. See saw the strengths in her children and encouraged those areas, but at the same time she was honest about our weaknesses and saw them as opportunities for growth.

Those were the types of things she told us. Not to her friends, not to our teachers, and not really to any one else. She simply told us. As for me, she told me to be better, strive higher and work harder. Until it was engrained in me.

It wasn't that she wasn't proud of us. She simply believed that teaching a child happens in the home and praise is the outcome that you receive from people outside of those walls.

She, like many parents already believed that their kids were the best.

Praise would hold little value if we just went on that alone.

Praise, I have learned should only be given out only when it is due.

Careful not to diminish it's worth.

Thinking about it, I would say that to this day, my mothers compliments to me always hit a bar so exceedingly high, holding such a high place that absolutely nothing or no one could make me think differently.

My mothers praise holds value.

And valuable things, are always rare things.

My mother rarely praised me. 

Hope.

Friday, April 25, 2014

Wall flower


One of my first deepest hurts was when I was called a wall flower. Unsure of what that even meant, it was defined for me. 

"Some one who does not stand out or stand apart. They do what the rest do. They merely exist."

At least that was the definition that I was given when I was a child. 

And I didn't really even get it.

But as I grew up. I realized that I have mostly been the person walking under some one else's shadow. 

Who ever my friends have been in the past, they were always people that I wanted to be a little more like.

And it was true, I would briefly live my life on their pretty little paper. 

 But I soon grew up. 

And I got married to my best friend.

And for a while I enjoyed nothing else. He was in fact everything I needed, because for the first time in my life, I fit into his life instead of on his wall.

The challenge was that I was alone a lot. I was in a new country, married to a man that wanted to create a future of finances for our life through business. Which meant he was away a lot. And I was completely alone for long periods of time, absent of relationships and people. That season was the hardest season to walk through, but yet, it was one of the most powerful ones that shaped me, my marriage, and ultimately my life. I know that it was in that season that God defined and secured himself to me. And I find myself coming back to it over and over again. All with praise. Every part of it I am grateful for.

And I prayed. I prayed as often as I cried, almost as if there were no other ways to pray.  I prayed that God would bring me friendships that were right in His eyes. People that would be everything that He first desired for me. Ones that would sharpen me as I sharpened them. Friends that would stick closer than family, friends that bring to me the pleasantness of relationship. And then I gave God the right to guide my steps through all of it.

And I began to see the gifts of people that God brought to me and into our family. We saw how every individual, couple, family, was orchestrated in such a way that the relationships we had could only be formed by God himself. And I knew that our prayers were heard. 

I knew that we were blessed. And I cherished those blessings as far as God would allow them to be.

But I have discovered that my weaknesses never really leave me. Some how they always manage to stand close by. 
 
And I believe that they serve me.

They serve me, they serve you, as reminders. My weaknesses are the things that get me to my knees. They are the things that I feel so deeply, that grab a hold so tight, that some times I can barely breath. Only cry.

Only pray.

I had one of these nights a couple weeks ago. It wasn't anything that I was going to share. But here I am, sharing.

The memory kept replaying in my mind. Certain words, repeated themselves, certain feelings, circled. And I just couldn't let them go. 

It was about 2 in the morning. When I finally got dressed, and walked down stairs. 

I didn't really know what I was doing or what I even wanted. Besides sleep of course. But there I was. Sitting.

I have learned to feel comfortable being alone, often, I enjoy the thoughts in those moments and the places of vulnerability it forced me into.

So I sat there in complete silence and just let the process of thought take place. I remembered opening the bible and pouring over the scriptures, hoping to understand my feelings.

One of those feelings was intimacy. I knew that every part of me desired a deeper relationship with our friendships. So naturally I was angry that my many attempts had failed as I watched relationships that should have been mine, flourish with other people. Better people. And there I was, stuck again in my pity and in my own despair. 

And for the first time, I prayed something that I had never prayed for before.

"GOD, I said, Take this precious time in my life to secure my relationship, deeper and more intimately with you."

The words seemed almost foreign. So much of me wanted the feeling of loneliness to finally leave me, leave my children, and leave my marriage. By no means did I want more of it.

So I sat there, kind of shocked at my own prayer.

Until I realized something.   

I have always played the victim. I have continuously chosen to feel sorry for my self. And I learned how to live with it because I thought that I didn't have another choice.

That was my mistake. 

That was why I never moved too far away from it. That was why I never felt like I fitted in.

All of it was because I was meant to first secure my relationship with God. I needed to change the way I looked at lonliness, not in abandonment, but in the arms of love from a Father that desired me draw closer to Him. First. 

Never had I thought that my many failed relationships with people was Gods protection. Never had I thought that the people themselves were the doors being closed in my life. 

Never had thought that my feelings of lonliness were attacks from the enemy. Who whispered it until I believed it. Never did I ever think that my mentality as a victim discredited God of His protection and friendship over my life. 

So naturally, I was completely stunned.

And in my stunned state. I asked the next, most important question. 

What is loneliness or the absence of relationships,  intended for?

And this was what I got.

Lonliness heightens our dependancy on Him.
 In the seasons I was the lonliest, were the seasons that brought me to my knees. They contained more prayers than some times the prayers of an entire month. 

Lonliness is the absence of pressure.
Without the drive that preoccupies a person when we try to win people over, allows God to win us over. 

Lonliness is the absense of noise.
When there is no noise, no opinions, no pushed opinions from people. It creates the perfect environment for God to push His through. 

Lonliness gets us desperate.
So that we would step out into places we other wise wouldn't do on our own. It is in that desperation that allows God to create boldness.

Lonliness is God seeking us out.
Every time I felt lonely, my relationship with God was lacking. When I desired to have friendships, He asked me to be his friend first. When I asked him why they weren't growing any deeper, He asked me to go deeper with Him. 

After sitting there, in the middle of the night, I understood that loneliness was not intended to be a dessert time at all, that it isn't true of Gods desire for your life or mine. Instead God uses this fragile state in an individual to open a door into feeling secure.

I know this feeling better than anyone. I have experienced what it was like to be lonely and come out of it gaining a friendship with Him. I have felt jealousy surface when I watched people that I longed to be close to, were not mine to be close with. And I have gone out of my way countless times in every effort to deepen those relationships when I knew that I should be deepening my relationship with God. 

But today He told me why. He told me that my desires for intimacy can not be filled by people until I first searched out an intimate relationship with Him. My God. That those feelings only surface when I am lacking Him. And that my need for intimacy is really rooted in a desire to deepen my relationship with Him. First. 

I just never realized that this struggle wasn't just mine. It was my children's also. And tonight as I stayed up for half of the night, going back to old memories and some fresh hurts, I realized that those seasons shaped me, secure me and continuously draw me closer. But now, God was going to begin His work in securing my children and as the faithful God that He is,He wanted me to know just how important this next season was going to be. How vital it was going to be in my children. 

And I rejoiced. 

I was once called a wall flower, and some how that became one of the greatest compliments I have ever received. That day, God took me off the wall and poured so much water on me that I would never be any one else's flower, Except His.

Hope.




Monday, November 26, 2012

Thanksgiving Prayer

This Thanksgiving I had the honor of hosting the Chernichenko family meal and I was very excited about it. As I prepared the table, the food, the desserts, and a few hundred other details. I found myself grateful.

Perhaps it was because my kids and I have been making a list of "100 things we were grateful for" and watching my children write down letters to God can make any parent more appreciative.

Of course I had also looked numerous times at the list. I looked at Derek's countless entries on being able to serve and help others. I thought about Jenny's love for life, creation, and purpose. And then smiled upon Drakes joy in letters, language, and laughter. At the end of it, I was surprised that not one of them said anything about material things. No entries on toys, dresses, Barbies. Nothing on bikes, scooters, or cars. That even without me saying anything at all, they must have some how decided between each other that the most valuable things can not be bought.

I smiled at the thought of my children and the blessings they were to me. I thought about the amount of time I have left with them and the kind of example that I need to be. A person who goes above and beyond for family, because that's what I would want from them. That as I set the table and arranged the flowers, as I baked the cake and tidied the house. That is wasn't only for the people I would be serving, but more so, the way my children will one day delight in inviting to serve me.

Perhaps it was a bit of a daydream, but I enjoyed it. And I enjoyed the evening around the turkey, mashed potatoes, and gravy.

At the end of the evening. Genius and I went on our usual black Friday date. We went and saw a movie and walked around town like we did when we first met. But after the magic of the evening wore off and the almost 30 year old body got tired, I must have also gotten a little cranky.

In the moment between bliss and reality, it suddenly occurred to me that he had still not ordered the plane tickets to Canada. So in the most polite way, I shared my concern and asked him to buy them the minute we got in.

By the time we got in and opened up the computer, it was 5:00am. Our tickets had also doubled in price and I had no other outlet then to blame my husbands procrastination. I was angry and he knew it. And honestly, I was struggling not to do anything that I would regret.

I watched the screen of numbers,I watched the air lines change, the depature dates, and the tabs open up with different search engines on cheap tickets. All of which did not help me with the state I was in. Things like, "I told you so!", "Why did you wait so long?" and "How was he planning to fix this?". Replayed in my mind.

As my circle of blame enlarged. A small voice reminded me of my earlier comment. I had seemed so grateful to God, I had so passionately expressed my gratitude for his grace on all of my problems and mentioned to Him how it easy it was just to give God all of them in exchange for peace.

Right in that very moment I knew that I shouldn't say anything at all to my husband but instead, use my words to pray. And I did. Right there beside the man I was so angry at. I prayed for God to fix the situation and take us back to the previous day when we were so excited to take a trip with the kids and see snow.

As it may, the minute I said "Amen". The screen in front of me changed and instead of being double or triple the amount we needed to spend. It was less! God is Good. And I am so grateful that I can come to Him ALL of the time. When I am angry or happy. He will always be there waiting for the moment I choose Him over my problems and my sometimes enlarged circle of blame.

Thankful for grace, Hope.

Thursday, August 23, 2012

Beautiful

Recently I received a compliment that I couldn't stop thinking about. I had heard it said only once before, its just that this time it took on a whole different meaning.

My close friend Maria was kind enough to say that when I enter the room, I don't just walk in, I seem to magically float in. If you are wondering what that even means, like I did, let me explain.

About 6 years ago my uncle married a wonderful girl named Irene. She was simple, kind, and had a wonderful heart for people. Just by talking to her I often felt that I was in the presence of greatness, and I couldn't even pinpoint why. All I knew, was that everything about her was beautiful to a point that it was even hard to take my eyes off of her.

The thing is, that Irene was pretty, but it wasn't her features that made her stand out, it was something else. Watching her, I knew that there was something deeper and more powerful than her outward appearance.

I soon began to want this kind of beauty for myself. I looked for it in the bible, in the people I met, and in the prayers that I prayed. I searched for it daily and stretched myself thinly.

I think the importance was significant to me because I felt that I wasn't the most beautiful girl out there. Coming out of a long line of pristine genetics, I was aware that I had some how fallen short on the scale, and weather it was because of the world and its fictitious models, or my own interpretation of perfection. I found myself often living a life of comparison because some how Gods "perfect" did not help in making me feel like I was.

Saying that, I find it amazing that when the time came and I searched for security in my youth, God knowingly sent me a boy. Meeting Eugene, it was his compliments and flattery that became a starting ground to believing that I was created, perfectly, by God.

Even to this day I feel that Genius plays a large part in how I view myself. It was freeing to think that I no longer needed to compare myself to others.
And being the God that He is, I think He used that small bit of acceptance into strengthening me spiritually. In the years that followed, as my marriage grew, love deepened, and a faith matured, beauty looked different to me. More and more of it became less of what I looked like and more of who I was.

I realized this a couple months ago when we took family photos. As they exploded over my face book page and instagram, the feed back I received was mostly good. All but one girl, said that my updo made me look older in the photos and my reaction to her opinion, shocked me. Because instead of feeling threatened by her youth and beauty, I took hold of my age and replied that my intention was not to look younger or prettier. If I looked older, it's because I am well aware that I am aging. And that if I look like a mom, it's because I am.

For the first time in my life, I felt totally okay with that.

I now understand that on my own I am not a very good reflection. That beauty was never meant to be given, or earned, but rather beauty was intended to take the shape of the work that God is doing in my life. As for compliments, they are not supposed to help my self esteem, instead they are conformations of what god is working out in my life.

So, it's that kind of beauty that floats. It surrounds us, follows us, and takes on a different appearance. First by believing we were created perfect and then letting God complete His perfect work in us. That is nothing short of beautiful.

Floating, Hope.





Monday, August 6, 2012

Our new place

Six years ago we built our perfect dream home. We built it with the vision to entertain and fill it constantly with people. Indeed, many people walked through those doors and we were blessed with many relationships. But, although we tried to live a life that would bless others we seldom wondered if were living out Gods plan for our life.

As the economy crashed and the harsh reality hit our home, it forced the question on us, had we lived a life for God or for people? And had we lived out His plan for our lives? It didn't take long for us to see that although we lived in a great house, it was built on our own vision and our own dreams.

When the house finally went into foreclosure and the banks asked us to move we began to ask God the questions we needed to. Our prayer was that we wanted to live out this next season of our lives, purposely seeking out His plan for our life. Saying the words then, felt exciting, it seemed honorable and brave. So that's exactly what He challenged us to do, except being called to bravery suddenly meant letting go of everything we were holding onto. This included the lifestyle we were used to and the expectations that we placed on God.

I believe that letting go, allowed God to use that room in our hearts as growth for our faith. And as we drove around our little town, we explained to our kids that we were searching for the home that God had chosen for our us. That He told us to go look for a place and that it would be perfect for our family.

I am not sure if my kids will fully understand the whole miracle but I do know that the minute we walked on the property of the house we are in now, that there was something different about it. That as our feet touched the ground, we knew we found the place we've been searching for.

Of course, our hearts finally felt a sense of relief but it wasn't for very long. Two days later we found out that there was a sale pending on it and that the process with the banks would take us past our move out date. We were nervous, scared, and unsure but we knew what we heard and we felt that what we heard was Gods promise to us. So we looked at the worst case scenario and then chose to wait for this home to become available. We felt that even in our uncertainty we needed to believe that Gods hand was on this.

And we did, but when the news came in that there was also a grace period, and an issue with the banks. The pressure settled in. We asked God if this was even the home for us. We questioned God because we began to doubt His voice in us. We looked at our eviction papers and wondered if the possibility of having no home to go to, was a foolish step? Or a step of faith?

As we battled between rational thinking and faith we wondered what stepping out in faith even meant? Did it mean throwing away all rational thought? Did it mean fighting for a voice that we thought we heard? Did it mean focusing less on our understanding an more on His? The questions followed us until we were certain that it wouldnt be called "stepping out" if it didn't require us to completely leave all rational thinking and just take a leap.

After that, we still continued to receive news that was not in our favor for the following weeks. By then, we were living out of our boxes because we were living after our deadline. We did not know if we would come home to locked doors or belongings on the street. The only thing that sustained us as a family was that God knew the day we would actually be moving out on.

To make matters worse, after the sale didn't go through the house that we had been believing for was taken into foreclosure. Confused, we knew that we needed answers that were real and tangible. But when we went to the owners of the home, we received a very unique answer. One reply was that" it was highly unlikely and that the circumstances did not look in our favor". The other said that "everything looked well and we could move in".

So the question that we had to ask ourselves was, Would we move into a home that we might have to move out of?

Wondering about this and trying to make our next decision the right one, it dawned me that I had thought a lot about our family and not very much about the family we would be renting from. I began to wonder what kind of things they going through and what kind of uncertainty were they under that they couldn't even agree on an answer to give us?

That day, I felt that our family finally had the perspective we needed. I felt that this process was not to make it difficult for us but instead break us out of selfishness. That although it was easy to focus on our families needs, it didn't excuse us from being considerate about some one else's. God revealed to me, that this family was in a need of a miracle themselves and that my prayer had been answered months ago, it was just hidden in people. Praying for them simultaneously opened the door to an answered prayer for us.

The prayers I prayed are as follows.

God, thank you for having a plan in times when we didn't. Thank you for having a compassion and mercy that is insurmountable. Thank you for giving us time and being patient with us. For helping us grow and giving us room to grow. Thank you for doing all of this without disturbing the peace of our home and for filling our lives with faithful people.

Thank you for every day that we have had in our home. Thank you for hearing our prayers. Thank you for for giving us another chance with the house on 30th street. We know that we have been blessed, but today I want to pray for them. That you would bring peace in their life. That you would help them figure out their finances as quickly and as painlessly as possible. That you would help them because they chose to help us and in the process would they see the hand of God. I don't know what miracle they need, or the details of their life, but since it's been aligned in such a way where our lives are so determined by theres, I ask for your hand to be upon them also. I am uncertain if it is their house that we want or this prayer that that they need, but I know that somehow the two will work together. So just bless their socks off with your love. Be so real and so powerful that they will bring glory to your name. In the midst of that, while we wait for your work to be completed, I ask that you continue to bring us peace and certainty in our faith!

Amen.

After a three month journey I find it so amazing is it that I serve a God who stands on his word and full fills his promises to us. He really showed our family what it meant to fight for Him, what it looked like to step out in our faith, and what it took to keep holding on to it.

Lots and lots of Hope.