Boy, I never truly realized how much we look alike until I saw this picture. Like mother, like daughter.
What a busy weekend we had. Not with doing things but with all of the miracles God is working in our lives. There is so much going on I feel like I could write 50 posts! My head is spinning trying to get things all worked out in my head. There are some wonderful things I'd like to share.
1. Hubby came back from his retreat a changed man. Literally. He came home just after 11pm Saturday smelling like BBQ. He said they had a bonfire going and that is where they had their devotionals and cooked all the food. So manly. That night we had some firsts. For the first time my husband and I prayed together. He took my hands and prayed out loud over our marriage. I was stunned. He asked me if I wanted to say anything but I really couldn't because I was too in shock and I was crying. That was a huge step for him, it couldn't have been easy to put himself out there like that and his prayer was like one of a seasoned pastor. He couldn't have done it better. So happy for him. Another first..... I asked him how was the retreat and he said with a smile "I'm still filled with the Holy Spirit.". Now that was huge. He has been so frustrated that he has never felt called to God or that close personal relationship that some of us have. He's never felt the Holy Spirit he would say. He finally received, he was finally called to God. He was pulled in to an everlasting embrace. He is forever changed and I can't begin to convey my feelings on this subject.
2. The answer to countless prayers has been answered. My family as it functions is changing to a biblical one. My husband is now the spiritual head of the home. He loves God now and seeks a personal relationship with Him. The function of the home is different when both parents have a love for God and pursue him passionately. It's less about us, more about Him. It's just way different around here, that's all I can say. He has filled up my husband with love and peace. The answer to countless prayers is happening right before my eyes. Not only did God answer the prayers for my husband but he has done it in a big way. No small gift, Mike is on FIRE. In such a short time he has seemed to learn so much and be able to apply it to his and our lives in such a way that it is just stunning. Only God's grace is capable of this. I simply cannot believe my eyes, truly, it is just beyond what I could have ever imagined or asked for.
3. God gave me favor at Ingles Monday. We have been eating scraps and whatever was hanging around, which was fine. Nobody was dying over what they had to eat. But let's just say the fridge and pantry were empty on Monday. We were told we would get paid Tuesday so I went shopping for food praying the check would be there. Anyway, God knows I had the bare minimum to spend and I planned out budget meals for practically nothing and planned to spend as little as possible. I followed my list and when I was done I had a full cart past the brim of the cart. I feed six y'all. When I was done I couldn't believe it. I thought, how can I have all this stuff when I planned for so little? But I felt like I should not put anything back so I checked out. My bill was $130 and the pantry and fridge is completely full. Normally I struggle to pay between $180 to $200 for our groceries, we're still in diapers & those bad boys are expensive too. I claim that is favor as I have never spent $130 on groceries for food for a week. I have to feed myself, Braxton and Brandon lunch everyday too. It's not like I can only buy cereal and stuff for dinners. So I just took it as favor. Thank you Lord.
4. Lysa TerKeurst's book "What Happens When Women Say Yes To God" is just flipping amazing. I read something last night that I think I shall never forget. It was this, "Each time I feel my heart being pulled down into the pit of ungratefulness and grumbling, I recognize it as a call to draw near to the Lord." I was a major grumbler the last couple of years. Last year especially was hard on our family financially and I just fell into the trap of why me. Why me Lord when I have been such a devoted daughter? Having a baby & two year old who is just beyond anything I can control doesn't help either. I became very negative and a major grumbler. I set about in November to conquer this bad behavior and these words really helped me. Even this weekend I felt myself falling into the trap of grumbling about us not having the ability to buy food or some necessities we need. But after reading these words now I think instead of grumbling I will turn my thoughts to God and draw near to Him. There is so much good stuff in this book. I am so grateful to Kelly for giving it to me.
5. I realized this weekend that I had not given our money to God fully as I thought I had. I am so ashamed of myself. I have no problem tithing. Been there, done that. I was always taught that you were to tithe 10% of what you took home. Now being a bible reader I realize that the bible says 10% period. They obviously did not have payroll taxes back then. So all my Christian life where I have been I was told 10% of what you bring home in your paycheck. Well, my husband came home from this retreat telling me that we needed to begin to tithe. (Y'all we don't even know what his income even is. He gets paid, pays payroll, pays his sub contractors and the rest goes to bills. Whatever is left goes for groceries which sometimes does not happen and we eat scraps.) I want to tithe too and have felt bad that I was writing checks hoping it was close to what he brought in for the week. He explained that he met a gentleman who tithes his business to God. He is a general contractor like my husband is, doing remodeling work. The exact same thing as hubby. All income is generated from both these men's businesses. He said since it is the business that supplies the income the business must be tithed. His business is flourishing right now which is unheard of for construction guys. Soooo, I have no problem with that either really. A little scared because every penny is spent already for bills but I was willing to step out in that faith. Then, he said the guy told him 10% of gross profits and la de da my sinful little greed popped out. I said, it's supposed to be from take home pay. Hubby then proceeds to tell me that no, the word says 10% of your fruits. He says if the farmer planted and harvested a crop of 100 bushels of fruit he was to give God 10 bushels, right? Yes I said. Well, the farmer was still taxed on 100 bushels even though he only had 90 to sell. My mind begins to scramble at how I can argue this. But I was always told 10% of take home I say. He says no. If we are to do this correctly he needs to better track each job. We are to take our revenue from each job & pay the subs & his crew. Whatever is left after that is to be tithed and you know what? I was not happy about it. I just kept thinking but we are already broke!!! If we can't pay it all on time now what will happen when we are giving so much away? Then I realized I had not truly given our money to God. Oh boy. Then I also realized that it didn't matter who was right about what the true rule is which I still have to admit I'd like to know what the true tithe is biblicaly supposed to be. What mattered is that my Lord took my husband to another godly man who "just happened" to be in the exact same business as my husband and who faced the exact same challenges in this wretched economy and told my husband how he came to run his business on the tithe and he is now flourishing. My husband was brought to this man for a reason and my husband knows better than I do what bills we have. He works like an animal to pay them. And yet he still was excited and compelled to tithe 10% of the gross profits, meaning before taxes. That was all that mattered. I shut up. Lysa speaks in her book of having her fist closed tight around something in her life she did not want to give up and she had to learn to open her fist and present it to God. I thought I had done that with everything and God has shown me that I have indeed not done that. I am operating in the spirit of fear concerning our money. I prayed this morning and opened up my fists to God presenting him my holding back our finances to Him. That I was unwilling to give him more than 10% of net pay unless I chose to do was a sin. I only wanted that part to be God's so I could pay our already late bills. Then I was horrified as I prayed on my knees holding out my open hands to God giving him all of our money that I had thoughts of fear and doubt popping in right in the middle of my prayer!!! How horrendous is that? Here you go God, I have sinned and withheld what is yours, take it and please forgive me. Oh but what if I can't pay my bills? What happens if I write a check on Sunday and it literally leaves me zero dollars for food? I was actually thinking this as I wanted more than anything to give it all to God. Where did these even come from? I just began to talk to God at that point and gave him my concerns and told him that despite these horrid thoughts I wanted to give it to Him and to please help me conquer this spirit of fear. Oh boy. Now I still don't know if I gave Him our money or not. I guess we'll see on Sunday when it's check writing time right?
6. My new church has put me on the solo singing list!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Are you freaking kidding me? I have never sang a solo before. Who put me on that list? I never asked to sing a solo. NEVER would I ask to sing a solo!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! EVER!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!EVER!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I can sing but I don't think my voice is pretty enough for a solo. Really, I'm not just saying that. I spoke with the choir director yesterday and he just laughed at me and told me I was operating in the spirit of fear and doubt and I would do fine. June 28 I am to sing a solo. I told him I didn't want to and he laughed at me again and said I would be fine. But you've never heard me sing I said. He said, if you love to sing you will do fine. WHAT??????????????? I want to crawl in a hole. I've never even heard myself sing alone before. What do I even sound like? Lord, why are you doing this to me? Then I remembered that God will ask you to things that are beyond you. That is where he can operate and receive the glory. I love love love to sing. Oh, I love it. I have often in joking with God asked him to bless me with a beautiful singing voice. Oh Lord. Is this a God thing? This is so beyond me. The song "Hungry" came to my mind immediately as I was speaking to the choir director. Was that God? It's one of my most favorite songs. Oh boy.
Could there be any more going on over here? YES. This post got too long so I'm stopping. Sheesh. Yet I am feeling so wonderfully blessed. I also have a blog award I am going to post about this afternoon from Shanda at A Teachable Heart. Love her blog. I think I need to go conquer that cleaning list on my fridge right now, fun fun.
I am linking this in to Melissa's Beautiful Life series over at the Inspired Room. A great series with Mr. Linky, please check it out. Truly seeking God and allowing him to fully live out every aspect in our lives has just beeen a tremendous blessing.