Tuesday, May 13, 2014

One Year Down...

Within the past year, we have sold our home in North Dakota, moved ourselves across the country to North Carolina to attend seminary. We have gone from "plenty" to "want".  We have gone from "big" to "small".  We have gone from full speed ministry to rest.  

We've seen that when you move out of your comfort zone, you can see God so clearly.  Well, there are times when He's quite hazy and you're really not sure if He's there or not, but then He shows up to remind you, "I'm here....and in case you were wondering, I got this."

I think I've blogged all year of our "struggles", which we now view as blessings.  The past few weeks have been quite the "struggle", or blessing, I guess.  :)  Sometimes the college life, the endless studying, the working of crazy jobs at crazy hours...it all gets the best of you.  We live on the tightest shoestring budget we've ever lived on in our life.  But God is good.  And He provides...in crazy ways, but it's still provision, and we continue to make sure He gets all the glory for it.

Michael has a cool opportunity to study in England for a few weeks this summer.  There is an underlying God story to how he's able to go (for free), but that's another blog.  There is a ton of reading that must be done before he goes, while he's there, and even after he returns.  The whole summer will result in 6 hours of coursework.  He's super excited!  We sit down with the reading list and immediately Michael gets overwhelmed.  He's not a reader, by the way!  And the cost of the books is pretty steep.  Yes, we can get things cheap on Amazon, but when your budget is already stretched as tight as it can possibly get...well, think of the squeezing blood from a turnip analogy.

So, we turn to facebook to see if any of our friends might possibly have these books we can just borrow for a few months.  Most of them are C.S. Lewis books.  Great books to add to our ministry library, but that will have to happen another day.  For now, Michael just needs the books in his hands to start reading (for he will need all the time he can find to read them!) We were totally NOT prepared for what happened next.  Seriously.  God's crazy provisions, I tell ya.  

First, a fabulous Thrive friend from eons ago offers to buy us one of the books.  Then a girlfriend from high school offers to buy another book, calling it an investment.  Wow.  Thank you, God, for that little tidbit of encouragement  thrown in to remind us that we are walking the straight and extremely narrow, hard path, (one that we feel like hopping off of almost every day!) but affirming it as the right direction for us.  Then my dad shows up buying us the monster book that is 600 pages!  Eeek! Then my aunt chimes in to buy a book.  Then 4 other fabulous brothers and sisters in Christ throw their pennies in our hat.  Blown away.  We just wanted to borrow some books, but God chose to use His faithful followers to bless us another way.  We don't take that lightly.  Anytime God chooses to provide, it's HUGE for us!  It's huge because you allowed us a glimpse into the face of God.  I ask frequently for just a glimpse....today, He honored that request.  

This song has been reverberating in my soul for the past few weeks.  If it ever gets sang in church, my heart may just explode with the love of God.  We made it through a year.  And only with God's strength can I write that sentence.  Keep praying for us.  We have a few more years to go!  Blessings to all you big-hearted friends out there!  We LOVE YOU!