A life of love

A life of love
Everyone should have a Great Pyrenees

Monday, March 22, 2010

And the sun still shines....

I reread the last post, and am so thankful to have moved through that day and others like it, not that they won't come again. But, today is full of sun!

Grief is still there, but there is some peace too. Lots of confusion about where we are to go, but some bits of the road laid out for us. We will complete the homestudy, simply to be open for what God might have planned out. It would seem so silly to not complete it - we are within basically a signature of approval of having it done - all the background checks done, the physicals, the self-studies, and on and on.

The only catch is that since there isn't an imminent child, they want us to have a second bathroom instead of trying to get an exception for that. Not real sure how we will bring that about, but we will work on it. This week I will likely try to find someone who might work with us on this. I don't know how we will pay for it, or how it might work in our old house, where we might put it, but somehow God will show a way. The last estimate we had on it included running the plumbing up an old chimney that is unused. If you took pause at that, so did I. I am not sure that is a good option, but I am far from an expert on plumbing and all that. So, I am planning on several estimates to get several plans. Someone suggested an addition of a sunroom type room with a bathroom in it. We still have the issues of plumbing and how to run it as all our plumbing is on one side of the house! We certainly could use more room in the house! I will have to see who we can talk to about that too. It seems like it will all that needs to be done, that we cannot afford it, but surely we have seen God perform greater miracles!

And about miracles.....

Some acquaintances of ours from church own a car dealership and heard that our van didn't have heat - the blower motor for the heater was dead and though it was on the list, it wasn't at the top! Well, they asked to take the van and fix it for us!!! What a huge, huge, huge blessing!!!!!!! Talk about rejoicing at the house. How do you thank someone for that??? You pray for them every time you turn it on!!! And be very grateful and try to pay it forward whenever you can!

Well, they loaned us a minivan - small for our family, but we could get around - gratefully!

After about a week, we were all set to get it back - these friends had hooked up with friends of theirs from church who have an auto repair shop - and they all put their heads together and were worried about a few other things on our van - "U" joints were mentioned as well as some other things. So they asked to keep it longer to address those things. What can you do but say "Thank you!"?

A few days later, I got a call from the gentleman who owns the dealership. Well, the van is "pretty tough" as he put it, to which I replied that I knew that, but it was doing okay getting us around. It was what we could afford and got us through and we were thankful. Well, he reported that he had been looking around the state and 15 passenger vans were hard to come by - again, another reason we were grateful for what we had!

Going through my head is the knowledge that we have NO car payments and our vehicles get us from A to B.

Well, he said he had located a van coming to auction in a couple days, one that he had checked on and it was in good shape. It is a 2003 (ours is a 1997), and he is going to get to the auction and try to get it for us.

I am then trying to figure out how to gratefully decline as we just cannot do a car payment - we don't want to be dependent upon the future - we try to pay cash and stay out of debt. How do you gracefully decline?

But then he says that if he can get it, they want to trade us straight up for our van.

Silence on my part as my head just empties!

Huh? Our beat up, certainly in need of work over time, farm van that has hauled everything under the sun, van (that we are grateful for), complete with ripped up seats, a falling headliner, headlights that don't go the same direction, and on and on van - for a clean, nice 2003 fifteen passenger van?????? How can that possibly be a straight up trade??? There is no way that their value is the same! No way under the sun.

Except that someone really wanted to do this for us. For our kids, to bless us with every mile we drive.

Talk about being totally emptied, overwhelmed, numb, in shock, and amazingly grateful! I don't know that I can even accurately describe how I felt! Like outside of my own head - this is something that happens to others, in storybooks, not in real life. We work hard for everything we have, for everything we do, and gratefully. How can we be given something like this???

I tried to argue that the value wasn't the same, only to be told that "it isn't mine, I am just the manager, it all belongs to the one who created the heavens and the earth".

Humbled, overwhelmed, thankful, amazed.

In the midst of our pain, God sent a glimmer that He is still in control, and He has His plans and they are not finished. We are not abandoned, even though we walk through such pain and confusion.

So, last Wednesday the kids and I picked up the most beautiful van ever. Beautiful, loaded (CD player, tape player - we listen to lots of books on tape as we travel, cruise control, AC, HEAT that WORKS!!!, complete seats, and on and on). Sitting there numb, just looking at it.

I signed the papers, signed over "The Monster" - as the kids had named our previous van, and was handed the keys to this newer van!!!! Thanking these amazing people, trying not to cry, laughing as the kids clambered all over, checking it out, exclaiming over soft seats, claiming seats, and laughing the entire time. How do you thank someone for this?? Thanks and hugs and gratitude and oh, my!

Then to top it off, we were instructed to bring it back to the repair shop for all its service, it is taken care of by these two families who own these two businesses! For the life of the van! Huh???? More tears, more hugs, more thanks. The wife of one was so sweet, as we were just about to leave and things had quieted down some, she talked with me about our baby and how sorry she was. It was so wonderful. Those words all mean so very much to us. This was all in motion before he died, God certainly knew something.

So, it has been an emotional week.

And the sun is out. We are feeling better. Grief is grief. But, each day we walk with it and work with it. It is like childbirth pains, you have to work with it for the ultimate goal. It is there for a reason and if you don't fight it, but work with it, the job is much easier.

And so, a new week is starting!!!! We are up and at 'em and getting ready to head out to our Monday nursing home church service that we do and some errands. I don't work today and we are enjoying a total of three new baby goats - including a DOE!!!! For a dairy operation, that is the best thing ever!!!! We had the best night last night - the kids got into a squabble about who could look up Bible verses the fastest (huh, why argue about that??), so I challenged them to challenge each other and prove it. My head was pounding and I just couldn't listen to ugly voices - I never do anyway, it isn't allowed here - we don't talk to each other that way!

Well, they asked for more Bibles. Huh, we have lots of them.

Well, they wanted English Bibles for each kid (five of the kids have Amharic Bibles). Okay, we have lots of Bibles - so we collected them.

Well, then they asked if I would be interested in helping them.

Huh, what were they up to?

Turns out they decided to prove their points, but they needed someone to give them verses to look up!

OKAY! I'm no idiot!

So, I gave them verses to look up while all eight scrambled to find them! And then read them!

I was supposed to be helping Steve cook dinner - he looked at me and said "Keep going!" - neither one of us was going to stop THIS for chores! So he made dinner while we did this for over an hour!

Wow, was it great! Of course, the most competitive child won every time (I bet you know who if you know our kids personally), but eventually the ones who found the verse would then help the others find it and everyone took turns reading the verse and talking about what it meant!

Way cool!!!! Couldn't orchestrate that!!!!

We do lots of that with our life - taking advantage of the moment and capitalizing on it, and get way more benefit out of that than if I had tried to plan it out!

Have a great day! We are off to enjoy it.

Hugs and blessings to all!

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