Saturday, September 19, 2009

Praise Anyway

So, last week I shared my overwhelming sense of anxiety relating to financial stress.

This week is different. I'm over the anxiety and settling into the praise. Sure, I hate that it took me several days..... but that darkness has been lifted. And I am so thankful.

I paid off 2 bills in their entirety! And I paid a considerable chunk toward a 3rd bill. One of my favorite things to do was this morning, when I wrote a charitable donation to my favorite radio station, WAY-FM....a Christian radio station that survives on donations only. My other favorite was booking my flights yesterday, to Zimbabwe in November. I received exactly $1,600 in donations for my mission trip, and I am trusting God to provide the rest (through Joe and myself). But bottom line, my flights are booked and paid for. This is a precious, wonderful, exciting, blessing!

Truth be told, I have 3 more bills that are not paid off. So....we are not out of the clear. But I can see the light ahead. I have more real estate closings scheduled. It could happen. It could really and truly happen......and I am believing God for that. Not because I deserve it......because I absolutely do not. But if this past excruciating 20 months or so of near financial disaster was supposed to teach me has. I believe with ALL of my heart that God does not allow us to go through troubled times without a purpose in His design. The Bible makes many explanations about suffering (of all kinds) to be a tool to develop perseverance and maturity in us. "Trouble" with a capital T is abundant in life. Troubles are everywhere, around every corner. Not much is easy. I want so much to be like the apostle Paul.... in the New Testament he expresses so much love and purpose and joy for Jesus. In 2 Corinthians 7:4 he says "in all our troubles my joy knows no bounds". That's the life I want to live, not for me, but for Jesus. And for anyone watching is contagious. I don't want it to merely hover over me....I want it spreading and sticking on everyone I meet. Man....wouldn't that be an awesome reward if at the gates of Heaven, the Lord would say..."Melissa, I love the way you tried to give away all the joy I gave you so others could feel it.". Oh Lord....if that could only be true.


Changing Subject Here

* Asher loves school so much that he cries when I pick him up.

* Shawn is talking more everyday....literally. It is beautiful. I am SO proud of all of the hurdles he is working so hard to get over. My little buddy is making such progress.

* Joe got a promotion at work. I wish this meant his paychecks would be getting ginormous, but it doesn't. However, he is being promoted to Executive Chef/General Manager of the "employee only" restaurant in the hotel where he works. They serve about 2,000 meals a day. This is going to be a GREAT opportunity for Joe. His hours and days off will change, but he'll still be home by dinner time and so he will get to see the kids every night!

* Per previous update, I guess I'll have to start cooking dinner more often.... I'm embracing this new gig with excitement. I have been SO spoiled for the last 3 1/2 years of Joe cooking most dinners. I hope I can handle it. Oh Jesus.... I might need some help.

* Zimbabwe 11/7 - 11/21




Sarah said...

Yay! So glad you're having a better week and that you can see how you've grown through your Troubles with a capital T.

Can't wait to hear about your next Zimbabwe trip. Maybe one day I can go with you.

Pete Ahlstrom said...

Wow! You've been busy writing (several since this one). Keep it up!

Have you found that going through hard times helps you understand and appreciate many more of our "neighbors" Jesus told us to love? It sure has for me. I had a lot of stereotypes about the poor, all negative, but going through tough times myself sure took them away. Guess that's God's school. (And I admit I was a slow learner.)

By the way, did you know that Jesus didn't just tell us to love others "as we love ourselves?" He also said we should love each other as much as he loves us! (John 13:34-35, 15: 9-12.) Talk about a challenge! I have a hard enough time meeting the FIRST standard. But can you imagine what would happen if we all met that second one!

Blessings - Pete A.