Blessed Beyond Comprehension. Part 4.

If you aren’t caught up yet, check out Part 1, Part 2, and Part 3 – then come back here.  I’ll wait.

While we were waiting to hear from our lender not just about approving the sale, but also about how much of the deficiency we would have to pay back, we got a call from my Uncle.  He sent us a check to help with moving expenses and let me know that the final settlement from my Grandmother’s estate would be coming through in a few days.  Wouldn’t you know it, the settlement check covered the truck rental exactly.  Yet another blessing from God, we had the money to move, without drawing more out of our meager savings.

Tony put in a transfer request at work.  In yet another blessing, one of the two stores he requested responded within the hour that they were desperately in need of a furniture guy, and when was the earliest he could get there? We were planning to move the second weekend of May, but knew there was a lot of repair work to be done once we got there, so we gave the start date of June 1.  It was accepted and our plans continued to move along so smoothly that it could only be the hand of God.

Then we got the letter from the lender, about 5 days early.  Not only had they approved the sale of the home, but they had also completely forgiven the deficiency!  It was a miracle from the Lord!  We had become only the second client of Advance Short Sale Service to have the deficiency forgiven by our particular lender. We would be walking away from the house debt free.  Let me say that again.  DEBT. FREE.

I cried when we got that news, or I would have if crying didn’t give me a migraine. It was such a relief, like a 50 pound weight being lifted off your back after you’ve carried it uphill for weeks on end.

We got word that Closing wouldn’t actually happen until the end of May, but proceeded with our plans because we had already lined everything up, and mom had already gotten a couple of guys from the church to help us unpack the truck.  Thing was, we couldn’t schedule the utilities to be shut off.  Instead, the buyer agreed to switch the utilities into his name, meaning we would NOT have to pay disconnect fees, & he wouldn’t have to pay connection fees.  Win for both of us, so of course we said yes.

In the end, we made our way to my mom’s house, and spent a few weeks making it home.  There’s still some work to be done, but we continue to be blessed. With the move, we gained an amazing church that support special needs kids amazingly well, and really listens to the kids and the families.  The store management has already recognized my husband’s hard work and has taken steps to get him the maximum hours allowed.  We also got much closer to my middle sister and her kids, who love to play with their cousins.  Mom got a membership to the local pool, so the kids are finally learning to swim.  And in the midst of it all, I had a problem with my website, and a good friend who works for my new hosting company, Arvixe, looked out for me and moved my site to a better server.

Throughout this whole process, everything went so smoothly, and all of the pieces just clicked into place so easily. It could only be the Hand of God, directing us, and leading us all along the way.  While the living situation isn’t the most ideal, and it was hard to lose the home we had poured our blood, sweat, and tears into for seven years, there is no doubt in my mind that we are right where God wants us for whatever reason.  There is no other explanation for the shower of blessings that got us here.

I’d like to thank everyone who helped us and prayed for us throughout this whole ordeal.  God is amazing, and He can work miracles. He did for us many times over.

Blessed Beyond Comprehension. Part 3.

Quick recap – we were losing the house & almost broke, but we had a place to go and a great realtor who we trusted.  However, we had no showings, a poor housing market, and a bad economy.  But the blessings God had in store for us were just beginning.

Original image from West U Methodist's website.

Have you tithed this week?

One day in late March, a discussion about tithing broke out on my Facebook Debate Club group. While defending the practice to a young man who thought it was all a scam, it dawned on me.  When was the last time we’d tithed? See, we weren’t physically attending church due to various sensory issues and work schedules.  However, we continued to “attend” by watching sermons and tithing online.  We’d usually tithe a few weeks at a time, so I asked Tony to check.  Turned out, we were overdue.  Tony logged in and paid up our tithe right away.

About a week later, we got the phone call we’d been waiting for! Finally, a showing! Considering the house down the road hadn’t had a showing in months, this was great news! I didn’t want to get too excited, but still, a showing!  Two days later, we had three showings in one day.  That night, we had three offers! It was a miracle!

The best offer was for a few thousand more than the appraised price of the house, but the buyer wanted us to pay closing costs.  We weren’t financially able to do so, despite the hefty tax refund that had just come through.  So, at the advice of our realtor, we sent a counter-offer. The buyer would get the house at the appraised cost & pay closing. The total came out to about a thousand more than the buyer had offered.  Then we waited.

Malachi 3:10

Malachi 3:10

The buyer accepted our offer.  Now we just had to wait for our lender to approve the sale, and find out if they would come after us for the $80,000 difference. We had been informed that our particular lender had a reputation for demanding repayment of the difference. This was concerning because there was no way we’d be able to help mom with our part of the bills, pay off the difference, and save anything to try to get back on our feet.  The guys at Advance Short Sale Service warned us that they’d only had one other client with our lender who’d had the difference forgiven.  The most they’d been able to get from our lender was 50% off the difference. So while we prayed for the best, we prepared for the worst, and waited to hear from the lender.

The buyer had asked to close in just two weeks. We still hadn’t heard from the lender, but time was running out to get a truck rented.  So we once again stepped out on faith.  We rented the truck and made final preparations to move to mom’s house on the second Friday in May. God had already poured out so many blessings on me and my family, but He wasn’t done yet.

Stay tuned for Part 4.

Read the whole story:

Blessed Beyond Comprehension. Part 2.

our VA Home  It wasn’t easy to face the fact that we would be losing our home.  Believe me, I fought it.  I begged the mortgage company to reconsider, I applied for work to try to help make ends meet.  The more I fought it, the more anxious and upset I became.  So I prayed.  We prayed then discussed it, and decided to stop trying to fight it.  We decided on a Short Sale, and made plans to move into my mom’s house with her & my sister & brother-in-law.  The instant we came to that decision, a sense of peace filled me.  It was such a relief after weeks of fighting the inevitable. I know we were blessed to have a place to go, but the blessings didn’t end there.

We needed a realtor, and fast.  I knew the woman who had sold us the house was no longer a realtor, but we figured she’d know someone we could trust.  Laurie Wagner had been amazing when she helped us find the house, and really trusted her.  A quick google search found her new contact information, and phone call later we had a referral.

Buck Heffernan was an answer to prayer.  A former Navy guy, and a solid Christian, he had such a calming influence from the moment he stepped in the door.  He let us know what we would need and who we would need to talk to to make this happen. He was a God-send. If you are in the market for a realtor in the Hampton Roads area, I highly recommend Mr. Heffernan.

Thing was, the housing market in our neighborhood was dismal. Not much had sold in the past 2 years, and there were houses on the market for over a year.  We needed to sell quickly.  It wasn’t looking good.  Then the state government enacted the tolls, and the city council made noises about raising the water rates again and other market-killing moves, and it seemed like all hope was lost.  But despite that, I just knew the house would sell.  I felt like we’d be out by the end of April – an impossibility considering the market and the amount of hoops and paperwork we had ahead of us, but still, I just had this peace about the whole thing.  So we put the house on the market and stepped out on faith.

February passed, and no showings.  March was almost over without a showing.  I started to doubt just a little.  I started thinking, maybe June? Hopefully? We kept praying, and trusting God to make this happen.  I researched truck rentals and started packing boxes.  The books were first.  We use LibraryThing to catalog our large book collection, so I used that to mark which books were in what box.  Before long, most of the books and everything else we could live without was packed up. Now there wasn’t much to do but wait.

We’d already been blessed with a place to go and a realtor with connections to make this happen.  But with no showings, things were looking bleak. On top of that, our mortgage hit the 7-year mark and our payment increased. Would the blessings continue?  Was this a test of my faith? Stay tuned for part 3.

Read the whole story:
Part 1

Blessed Beyond Comprehension. Part 1.

What a difference 6 months can make.

Found online somewhereIn January, we were informed by our mortgage company that despite all of our best efforts to reduce our bills to the lowest possible, cut our spending down to nothing but the necessities, and do everything we were supposed to do…  the economy had taken it’s toll on our finances.  We were given two options:  Wait it out until our bank accounts were completely dry and our credit wrecked then go into foreclosure, or we could try a short sale.  (If you don’t know what a short sale is, check out this YouTube video, I’ll wait.)

What a lousy choice. Either way, we would be losing our home.  It had been our home for 7 years, the longest we’d been in one spot in our entire 15 years of marriage!  This was not easy to hear.

For what it’s worth, I meant it when I said we had done everything we were supposed to do. We had worked hard and paid off both cars while the military was providing housing.  When we paid off a car, the payment went into a separate bank account so we could “pay ourselves” and build up a nice savings account.  Our credit was excellent.  We paid off our credit card every month and were never late with a bill payment.  We even planned well when we bought the house, so that our mortgage payment would equal what we knew DH’s military retirement check would be – that way the mortgage would always be paid.  DH got a full-time job at JCP when he retired from the military, and we continued to save what we could.  When JCP started to decline fast under Ron Johnson, DH was a casualty.  He got laid off from his full-time position.  We immediately took measures to cut our bills to the barest minimum possible.  Then several Obamacare regulations kicked in, including the one that effectively reduced part-time hours to 29 a week instead of 39.  DH was able to find a part-time job with Big Lots, thanks to a good friend.  But you can’t support a family of five on 29 hours a week.  So we cut every penny out of the budget that we could, and started enforcing strict energy & water usage rules.  Then the City Council raised our property taxes and our water bill by 10%.

We filed a hardship packet with our lender, and in the process spoke to two different credit counselors & walked them through our budget.  Both were blown away by how tight we’d managed to make our budget, and neither could find a single thing to cut or reduce any further.  We were done for.  We’d already burned through so much of that nice savings accounts, we would be lucky to make it another 6 months.

I can already hear you asking, “But, where’s the blessing in this? You’ve lost your home, you’re pretty much broke, how is this good?”  Stay tuned for part 2.


God made
Adam bit
Noah arked
Abraham split
Joseph ruled
Jacob fooled
Bush talked
Moses balked
Pharaoh plagued
People walked
Sea divided
Tablets guided
Promise landed
Saul freaked
David peeked
Prophets warned
Jesus born
God walked
Love talked
Anger crucified
Hope died
Love rose
Spirit flamed
Word spread
God remained.

Sarsasm. God haz it.

I read Isaiah 44: 12-19 this morning, and was struck by God’s sense of humor and sarcasm. Love this!!

God is totally dissing the idea that anyone could form a god for themselves., in this case out of wood.  Luv it. Especially verse 19:

No one recalls, nor is there knowledge or understanding to say, “I have burned half of it in the fire and also have baked bread bread over its coals.  I roast meat and eat it. Then i make the rest of it into an abomination, I fall down before a block of wood!”

LOL.  Dude. God is awesome.

Pure Joy.

BigBoy decided Friday night that he wanted a Bible of his very own.  His big brother received an Adventure Bible a few years back.  thePinkDiva has commandeered the Read To Me Bible we have for the kidlets.  So off we went, bright and early Saturday morning, to the Christian Bookstore down the road.

BigBoy took his time, looking over the selection of Bibles at the store.  I’ll never forget the look on his face when he made his decision and carefully picked out the Bible He wanted.  He clutched the Bible to his chest, and told the cashier how happy he was to have his own Bible.  He carried it so tenderly to the car.  He gazed lovingly at it as we drove home, talking excitedly about how he couldn’t wait to get home and show the rest of the family.

We found the cutest Veggie Tale Bible.  It’s an actual Bible, with all kinds of goodies like verses to remember, and information at the front of each book telling a bit about it.  Plus, several of our favorite Veggie ‘toons have been turned into short comic strips and interspersed through out the Bible, complete with references to locate the actual Biblical story.  It’s so cute!

(And, in the interest of full disclosure, I have NOT been paid by Big Idea for this review.  I mean, I won’t complain if they want to send me a few of their new DVDs…  but yea, totes not compensated for this, ok FCC & Big Govt.)

When we finally got home from our errands, he ran into the house, threw himself down on the carpeted hall right next to the door, and pulled the slipcover from his very own Bible.  He lay there on his stomach, flipping the pages, pointing out comics and words he recognized for a good 5 minutes – which for a 5 yr old boy, is practically a lifetime.

His first Bible.

My heart filled with joy as I watched my son enjoying God’s Word.

Life goes on.

I’ve made it no secret how I felt about Mr. Obama.  But he won. As upsetting as this is, to borrow from Jon at Stuff Christians Like, God is still in control.

I’ve been studing Psalm 46, because of the election.  Reality, both Psalm 46 & 47 are very comforting this moning.  God is our refuge, our present help in troubled times.  Verse 2 of Psalm 46, “We will not fear, though the earth should change and though the mountains slip into the heart of the sea;”  Verses 5 – 7 say that God will help, He is with us, even when the nations totter.  46:10 is the one that everyone will recognize – “Be still and know that I am God.”   My NASB translates this popular verse as “Cease striving and know that I am God.”  The study notes say that this “Cease striving” points to quit battleing, stop the warlike activities and acknowledge God’s supremacy. Psalm 47 tells us to sing praises to our God, and reminds us in verse 8, “God reigns over the nations, God sits on His holy throne.”

So life goes on.  At this point, all we can do is pray.  Pray that God’s will be done.  Pray that the damage will be minimal.  Pray that the American people wake up.  Pray for God’s peace that no matter what comes, He is in control.

Meanwhile, I made a little blog giftie for my conservative friends. Feel free to snag the button for your own blogs, just please, no hot linking. right click, save as, and upload to your own servers.

***No Longer Available***

My source of Strength

When my heart was embittered And I was pierced within, Then I was senseless and ignorant; I was {like} a beast before You. Nevertheless I am continually with You; You have taken hold of my right hand. With Your counsel You will guide me, And afterward receive me to glory. Whom have I in heaven {but You?} And besides You, I desire nothing on earth. My flesh and my heart may fail, But God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever. For, behold, those who are far from You will perish; You have destroyed all those who are unfaithful to You. But as for me, the nearness of God is my good; I have made the Lord GOD my refuge, That I may tell of all Your works.

BLB: nasb. (my emphasis added)

Wow.  I so needed to read this this morning.  I’ve had so much stress the last couple of days, I just couldn’t handle it.  When will I learn?  Finally I asked the Father for some help.  Suddenly a switch turned on in my brain.  The shadows fled before the light.  All the doubts and stress just melted away and ideas poured forth.

Anyway, I need to get back to my lesson plans, but I leave you with this song by the Newsboys:

"But I seem to be struck by you…"

My Pastor has been preaching about Fear Factor lately.  Not the show, though he uses the idea behind the show to launch the sermons, which is pretty cool.  So far he’s preached on “the childhood fear” aka fear of the dark, “the adult fear” aka fear of the unknown, and this past Sunday it was “the paralyzing fear” aka fear of failure.
What it boils down to, is that fear of failure leads to inaction.   Our fear paralyzes us, to the point we start thinking what’s the point?  God knows we will fail, He said so in Matthew 26:31.  “You will all fall away because of Me this night…” It’s going to happen.  We will fail at some point.  We will disappoint ourselves and God, but He knows this.  And He is not surprised.  But, as pastor pointed out, there is something worse than failing.  Not trying at all.

Mary Anaa Radmacher said, “Courage doesn’t always roar.  Sometimes courage is the quiet voice at the end of the day saying, ‘I’ll try again tomorrow.’

Peter failed epically.  But, Peter also walked on water.  He tried.  He wasn’t afraid to try, he was willing to step out on faith.   But God has a way of turning failure into strength.  He will turn your experiences into something that you can use to turn around and help others.

The moral of the story:

Don’t give up!

Don’t give in!

Don’t quit!