Loss and Restoration

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This weekend we will celebrate 2 years since our house fire and 1 year being in our new home. Celebrate. Yes, you heard me right. We are choosing to celebrate the fact that God makes “beauty from the ashes.” The past 2 years have been days, months, and years of deep growth for me. I have learned so much about myself. God has revealed Himself to me in many ways. What I have discovered is this weekend in October will always be very special to me. It’s a weekend that merges together a loss and a restoration. I pray that I will never take this weekend lightly. I wish there was a word for this type of occurrence. But I couldn’t seem to find or come up with one such word.

Anyway, this weekend we will celebrate the following things:

  • God’s provision: He kept us safe. He provided for us when we were in need. He led us to sell our lot and move on. He worked out the details for us to live in Hunter’s Walk.
  • God’s blessing: We believe that everything we have is a blessing from God. We are just stewards of it all. Remembering this helps us to live with a Heaven perspective. We also still give God thanks for the many people that helped us over the last 2 years.
  • God’s teaching: God has taught us so many lessons this year. Mourning will be comforted, God will supply all we need, Grieving over loss takes time, God’s will always prevails, we make plans but God directs us, and many others.

Will you joining us in giving the Lord praise this weekend for all He has done? 

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And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose. Romans 8:28

“The Lord gave, and the Lord hath taken away; blessed be the name of the Lord.” Job 1:21b

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Great Are You Lord!

Last weekend, Greg and I went to the Tabernacle for the Crowder concert. It was such a great experience. That place was an amazing worship service for a whole evening. I’m a huge fan of All The Sons and Daughters. They played this song and it really moved us. So I just had to share with my blog readers. I hope it’s an encouragement to you as well!

The Refining Fire – The Ups and Downs

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Man, I am on an emotional roller coaster. I’m sure that’s normal. When asked how are you doing – my answer depends on when I’m asked. Today was no different.

It started with some great news. The kind of news that takes a load off your shoulders. Then I was given an anonymous gift that was just incredible. It’s very cool to see God so close to you. The way He uses other people is amazing!

Then the day got hectic with drop off, errands, phone calls, more decisions, etc. As the morning went on – I was sent a simple email with what I thought was unsalvageable items from our closets. Thinking it was simply a list, I opened the document. But to my surprise it was actual pictures of our unsalvagable items. Those pictures I wish I would have never seen.

Some of the items I had really been praying for them to be salvageable. Those items were things like Finn’s favorite stuffed animal – Big Al or the Selah’s newborn hat from Northside hospital. I know it seems like such silly things. But they were very special to me and my kids.

This process has shown me that I was much more attached to my personal belonging than I thought I was. My personal belongings, the sentimental items, and stuffed animals are really just comfort. Yet my true comfort and contentment should be fully coming from the Lord.

I am ever so grateful that I have an unfailing and unshakable Lord who cares for little ole me. What do people do without Jesus in these valleys of life?

God, my shepherd!
    I don’t need a thing.
You have bedded me down in lush meadows,
    you find me quiet pools to drink from.
True to your word,
    you let me catch my breath
    and send me in the right direction.

Even when the way goes through
    Death Valley,
I’m not afraid
    when you walk at my side.
Your trusty shepherd’s crook
    makes me feel secure.

 You serve me a six-course dinner
    right in front of my enemies.
You revive my drooping head;
    my cup brims with blessing.

Your beauty and love chase after me
    every day of my life.
I’m back home in the house of God
    for the rest of my life.

Psalm 23 MSG

The Refining Fire – Part 2

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Ok I think it’s time for me to document what happened on October 12 and the days after. I can hardly believe it’s almost been a month. Time just continues ticking along even though I feel quite stuck.

October 12 was a fun Saturday. Finn graduated to the next belt in karate and we had a little family party at the house. Afterwards, I was working on getting the kids in their room for rest time and Greg was cleaning up outside. As I was fighting with Finn to get him upstairs I caught a glimpse of flames outside the window. I ran over and told Greg – “there’s a fire outside!” He immediately said “call 911 and get the kids out!” Finn was screaming as the flames were scary. Especially when we heard the window cracking in before we ran out. The only thing I had time to grab was the kids and my phone. No shoes, no other items…

The next several minutes lasted an eternity. As I waited 10 minutes for the Fire dept to get there I watched my precious house go up in flames. Minutes. It was minutes. When the fire dept got there a caring neighbor ushered me and the kids away. It wasn’t healthy for anyone to watch that.

I sat in shock waiting to hear whats happening. I don’t think I’ll ever get the smell out of my nose. 2 hrs later we take the kids to my parents house. Still in shock.

Greg and I then spend the next several days salvaging whatever we can from the house.

In those days the house soured inside and the smell was awful. We were able to salvage about 4 bins worth of stuff. I’m grateful we were able to salvage anything. Those items that we did get out our treasures now for sure!

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I’ve gotten a lot of questions about how the fire happened. It’s not something I want to keep talking about. So I will tell you here. It was caused by an ash from a fire pit we had. And yes the fire started outside.

Anyway – God was there through it all. And I’ll explain that on the next post. That’s all for now.

The Refining Fire – Part 1

Good morning world!

It is therapy to me to be able to write. So that’s what I’m doing now. You will see a series of posts on the refining fire. That is what I’m referring to the fire on October 12th.

Last week I got caught up on my study for Community Bible Study. The lesson was on suffering in the end times. During my study I came upon this verse. It touched my soul in a deep way…

“In all this you greatly rejoice, though now for a little while you may have had to suffer grief in all kinds of trials. These have come so that the proven genuineness of your faith—of greater worth than gold, which perishes even though refined by fire—may result in praise, glory and honor when Jesus Christ is revealed. (1 Peter 1:6, 7 NIV)”

I am going through a suffering trial. However God is using it to refine me. And at the end of the day I want to live this out giving Him all the praise, glory, and honor.

Through every trial and storm I’ve seen and held on to the promise that He is ALWAYS good. There is purpose in that!

Thanks for listening…

RW