Friday, April 29, 2011

The King and His Bride

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So, I have a confession.  I am kind of pop culture junkie.  I was totally into all this royal wedding stuff.  You don’t even know how much I LOVED (stalked/obsessed/daydreamed its all kind of a blur now) Prince William in high school.  My locker was a shrine.  I knew I was marrying that boy.  I had the tabloids written…I would be the Kentucky Filly who Snagged Willy

I also had nightmares that they would run all my fat pictures with the heading Princess of Whales…

But I digress. 

So today, like countless other romantics out there, I watched as Will and Kate said “I do”.  The dress.  The vows.  The pomp and glamour.

I watched, I sighed, I swooned…

And I thought….(its a blessing and a curse folks)

You thought that this wedding was spectacular?  Church, you wait until our Bridegroom comes.

In scripture, time and time again, the church is referred to as the bride of Christ.  Revelation tells us that the Bridegroom will come for His bride, and when He does you better believe anything that you saw today will pale in comparison.

Fear not you hopeless romantics, your bridegroom is coming. 

Thursday, April 7, 2011

In His Time, Part 4….

image After a time of devoted prayer, Jeff and I felt like it would be ok to explore our options regarding home ownership. 

Now the housing bubble in our town has mercifully not popped, primarily because of growth at a nearby military base.  As a matter of fact the market is slightly inflated.  This is great if your a homeowner.  Not so great if your a perspective buyer. 

After meeting with a realtor and seeing some things in the price range we were comfortable with, Jeff and I both thought that maybe staying right where we were was the best option.  Jeff is in the ministry and everything we were seeing would require a lot of elbow grease and effort.  We are willing to work hard, but we are at a point where pouring into our own home would really take away from our ministry. 

We needed to own a house, not have the house own us. 

It looked like the door to home ownership was closing.  Surprisingly I was fine with it.  We really like our current place, our landlord, the price, the location and the neighbors.  There were far worse things then renting and continuing to pour into our youth and the church where we serve. 

Then Jeff had a crazy idea.  One of our youth parents is a contractor and a friend.  Jeff suggested we go to him and find out how much it would cost to build a home. 

I laughed.  Audibly.  Insultingly.  I was like Sarah mocking Abraham.  Yeah right, we’re gonna build a house. 

Jeff called anyway. 

Now, unlike the housing market, the building market is at a 30 YEAR LOW.  It was like the perfect little storm of circumstances….

And so, in late April, or early May, we will be the proud owners of our first home.  :)  A home that we got to pick everything from the fixtures to the flooring, the cabinets to the curtain rods.  All of it. 

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Is God good, or is God good!?!?!?! 

Note:  Now, we don’t subscribe to a prosperity gospel.  Our Gospel is based off of God’s mercy, and that alone.  Please now that I prayed for a long time in posting any of this.  We are only where we are because of God’s grace and glory.  We haven’t earned, nor do we deserve, any of this.  This is evidence of God’s work, not ours.  To Him be the Glory!

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

In His Time, Part 3…

image Months went by after my first taste of commitment.  Like most good things, it didn’t last too long.  Our family was hit with several trials, some health related, some financial, some spiritual. 

Our families answer to a crisis?  Prayer. 

We prayed for direction, conviction, and strength to go where God wanted us to go, do what He wanted us to do, and to not look back. 

The summer passed by, and we went into the fall with a renewed sense of vision.   Then the floodgates opened. 

We had slowly been chipping away at that pesky student loan debt of mine.  By November of last year, we made the last payment!   God blessed us beyond measure, and now we are a debt free household.  What’s better is God didn’t even need me working outside of the house to make it happen! 

Our life didn’t change the way that I thought it would.  Being debt free didn’t suddenly give us a whole bunch of money.  We kept our tight budget, except now we’re able to eat at the local Chinese buffet once every two weeks on pay day!  

The next step in our plan was saving, then we could start working on the down payment for a house…One day, like in 10 years…..

God thankfully didn’t need my time frame. 

This past December, we received an unexpected blessing, and doors started opening for us.  We started wondering if maybe, just maybe, we were being led into home ownership.  So we prayed.  And we waited.  Then we prayed.  And we waited. We prayed some more….

Then we waited. 

By January’s end, we had an answer.   

Monday, April 4, 2011

In His Time, Part 2

image That night on my drive I let go of several of my hearts desires.  One of the things that I had to let go of was the desire for a house. 

Let me clarify.  Now, wanting a house is not sinful.  It is not sinful to want a place to raise your children and provide a haven for your family.  It is sinful to lust after a house; you know, pick up a home magazine, look through all the pictures and gaze adoringly,  all in the name of “research”.  Its a sin to covet what others have, and to be so blinded by jealousy that you cannot rejoice in the way the Lord has blessed others. 

That is where I was with a house.  It wasn’t a good place.  I had to let it go. 

I tried for a long time, and I recruited a team of friends to help me let go of this desire for a house.

Slowly my eyes opened to everything that I already had.  We were more than provided for where we were.  We didn’t have a lawn to cut.  When something broke we called and someone ELSE fixed it, and paid for it.  When we had ants, we called and someone else got an exterminator.  We might not have owned a home yet, be we were able to own our time. 

At that point in our lives, time was far more a luxury than a home would have been.  I truly believe the Lord used the prayers of my friends and family to open my eyes to the blessings around me. 

When I least expected it something wonderful happened.  I found myself completely contented with my circumstances.  Ok, I had my moments of house wanting, but they were few and far between!  I knew that if we NEVER bought a house, I was going to be ok.  I looked around me and was able to see the blessings I already had:

When it was cold, I was warm
When it was warm, I was cold
When it was wet, I was dry
Our needs we’re met.  We didn’t have a house, but we had a wonderful HOME.

Suddenly I found myself in bed at night thanking the Lord for what we had, not begging Him for what I wanted.   I was humbled and amazed that He would give us all that we had. 

I truthfully got to a point where I thought “It really can’t get any better than this….

And then, it did.  

More on that later….