The past 2 weeks the Lord has been speaking very clearly to my heart about something. He labeled it 'a spirit of poverty' which I understand can mean different things for different people. For me, it has been this mentality: "It's never enough", and I've had it pretty much my whole life. I remember when I was in college I had it. When Tim and I were dinks (Double Income, No Kids) I had it, and now that we have a lot less coming in, I have it. I've always had it....this mentality (let's face it - this fear) that I didn't have enough and I would never have enough. Even though I've largely had this amazing peace about where we're at right now, it doesn't mean I don't ever talk to God about it, or even complain about it to Him. And one day a couple weeks ago I was complaining to God that we didn't have 'enough', and I felt Him strike me with the thought, "You know, even if you had $100,000 in your checking account right now, it woudn't be 'enough' in your mind". That was SO true! Paul says in Philippians that he had learned the secret of being content in plenty or in want. Wow. I want that! So I started replacing the lie that I have believed my whole life, that I didn't have enough and I would never have enough, with the truth - Phil 4:19 And my God will supply all your needs according to His riches in Christ Jesus. Everytime I've caught myself with some version of the lie, I've combat it with the Word, and it has been really making a difference! You know, I go back in a week to get a cast of my tooth for my crown (I think that's what they called the procedure) and initially I didn't even want to ask them how much it was going to be because I just knew 'we didn't have enough'. But over the past week I have claimed that Phil 4:19 verse - that God would supply. So Tim had a couple come to him in crisis this past Thursday wanting to do a marriage intensive asap, so he went ahead and did that with them this weekend. He told me how much he was going to make so I called the dentist on Friday to see how much I would owe them when all was said and done. Guess how much? Pretty much the same amount of what Tim unexpectedly made this weekend. Pretty cool, huh? I think another reason we are where we are right now is this lesson I have needed to learn my whole life, but really wasn't interested in learning. As I look back over my life, I feel pretty foolish of all the time I have wasted on that mentality that I didn't have enough and would never have enough. I've ALWAYS had enough. My needs have ALWAYS been met, and probably most of my wants have, too. Why could I never see that? Paul said in Gal 5:1, "It is for freedom that Christ has set us free". Freedom. Yeah, that's way better than $100,000 in the bank. :-)
We went to pick up Tim at the beach yesterday and hang out there for a while, and I just have to say the weather and just the whole beach experience was...amazing, incredible, awesome, I can't think of enough words to describe it! The guy who hosted the guys' weekend, Scott, had his family come down, too, and we all hung out together for the day. His wife and I talked up a storm while the kids played in the sand - the boys dug caves and the girls built castles, and Tim and Scott tossed the football and waded around in the water. It was completely unplanned - Tim was going to come back Saturday night with one of the other guys. But he called that night asking how we felt about him staying another night and then us coming down there to hang out with him there on Sunday. Nicole and I were like, "Well, OK, I guess we could do that" not really wanting to make the drive down there and back. But now I'm SO glad we did!
This morning I was reading in Numbers 9 about how the Israelites stayed and moved at the Lord's leading. And this is how He led:
21 Sometimes the cloud stayed only from evening till morning, and when it lifted in the morning, they set out. Whether by day or by night, whenever the cloud lifted, they set out. 22 Whether the cloud stayed over the tabernacle for two days or a month or a year, the Israelites would remain in camp and not set out; but when it lifted, they would set out. 23 At the LORD’s command they encamped, and at the LORD’s command they set out. They obeyed the LORD’s order.
Sometimes I wish we had a cloud like that, don't you? A big visual sign! But I know we have the Holy Spirit - the still small voice, and I'm very grateful for that! Only the Israelites could enjoy the benefits of the cloud - now we all can enjoy being led by the Spirit who comes to live inside us when we ask Jesus into our heart. Very cool.
Well, I'll leave you with some pictures of our lovely time at the beach, along with a couple snapshots of the broken rearview mirror!
We were able to go down to Port Charlotte today to visit my mom and dad and sister, and my Aunt Deb and Jeff. It was such a nice time to be with family. We kind of surprised my sister with a little early birthday party for her that she wasn't expecting (her bday isn't until Monday), so that was really fun! Tim cooked one of her favorite meals that he makes, and Jeff made 2 scrumpdilyitious cakes for her special day. Then we all gave her cards and gifts, and it was just really nice to let her know how special she is to us! It was a real bonus to have Aunt Deb and Jeff around, too! Check out pictures from our day below.
On the drive back tonight we dropped Tim off near Bradenton Beach with a few other guys who were getting together for a guys night and day out tomorrow, and then we drove back home to the camper. As we neared our exit off of the interstate I noticed that there was a sign saying the exit was closed and the right 3 lanes were closed. So I merged over 4 lanes (on the 5 lane highway) and thought I was fine until I saw the car in front of me getting squeezed between the barrels on their right and the car in the outside lane to their left, and in short order I found myself in the exact same predicament. I came very close to hitting the car on my left, but thankfully missed it. Unfortunately my review mirror on my right side hit one of the barrels which smashed it to smithereens with a loud BOOM! It scared the kids, especially poor Nicole, a lot, but I was so thankful it wasn't a full fledged car accident I felt more relieved than anything. Noah was so concerned others would have the same problem since their sign was wrong (it should have said the right 4 lanes were closed) so I called FHP and asked them to correct their sign. I only hope they did. My review mirror looks like it was chopped in half with wires dangling, but tonight the kids said thankful prayers that the mirror gave up its life for ours! :-)
I hope everyone has had a nice Valentine's Day! My hubby took me out yesterday afternoon for a small bite to eat and then we went and looked at the Valentine's Day cards together - it was so much fun! I love doing that - we did that last year - he'll select various cards and have me read them, and I'll select various cards and have him read them, and then at the end we'll both pick our favorite card we would get the other person if we were buying cards and 'exchange cards', read them, kiss, and put them back. People around us thought we were nuts - it was hilarious. That's the good news.
The bad news is I noticed part of my tooth wiggling last night. Not good. I called my dentist this morning, and he actually called me back (still this morning) and had me come in at 3:30pm today. He took one look at my tooth, shot me with novocaine and pulled out a broken piece of my tooth. He then gave me 2 scenarios.
1. I could let him try to save the rest of the tooth which meant removing some of my gums and grinding down some of my tooth and the bone or
2. Go to an oral surgeon to have my tooth removed and come back for an implant.
He said if it were him, he would try to save the tooth, and then he said if I did let him try to save the tooth and we just couldn't he would apply everything I pay him for that towards an implant. I really didn't want to go to an oral surgeon, I didn't want all my time and money I put into the root canal to be a waste, and I didn't want to deal with an implant if I didn't have to, so I went with the 'trying to save the tooth' route. He spent two hours working on my tooth and when he finished he put a temporary crown on and said he thinks we have a 70% chance of it working with a permanent crown. He wants it to heal for 3 weeks and then I'll come back so he can see how it looks and hopefully be able to put on a permanent crown. I had no idea 1 tooth could cause all this craziness! I feel kind of stupid asking people to pray for my tooth, but that's exactly what I'm going to do! Please be praying it can be saved and the doctor's heroic efforts (and all the pain I went through today) will not be in vain. :-)
Well, it was a year ago February 8th that the Lord spoke to me and then Tim about selling the house and going on the road that year. If I hear the question "When are you leaving?" one more time I'm gonna....be graceful and say we don't know. :-) We're currently in our old neighborhood a few doors down from our old house camped in our friends' back yard. I'm helping their business in the mornings every week day (not allowing them to pay me) and Tim is working to build up his counseling practice again. So, by all looks of things we are here indefinitely. I love Nicole's blog from Friday - it is such a great representation of where we are at. We still have amazing peace - it doesn't make any sense. I look at the house we used to own and love and have no desire to be living there right now, and the kids have said the same thing. Our lives are pretty simple, and evidently, that's exactly how the Lord wants it for us at this time. We really have had more time to strengthen other believers right here as we have come in contact with more and more people is such relational pain. So we are doing that while we wait on God's green light to go again. While there is a slight melancholy to celebrating the year anniversary of God speaking to me about going on the road and the fact that we are not on the road, there is more peace (grace much more abounds). :-) Please be praying that we not miss all God has for us in this waiting time.
I know, I'm already posting and I just posted last night! But last night I was on the phone with a friend recounting the events of the day and realizing just how incredibly thankful I was! Then I read Nicole's post about being thankful, and I just wanted to share the things that happened yesterday that I was so thankful for!
Laughter. Nicole went with me to the endodontist so that we could run by the mall after my procedure and look at more frames for her and check prices at the 2 eyeglass places in the mall. Well, as you can imagine, I was talking pretty funny with one side of my face pretty much dead, and I was looking pretty funny, too. So I had to have her do all the talking at the eyeglass places we went to. One of the places the guy kept looking at me even though she was talking, so I finally told him I had had a root canal and that's why I wasn't talking much. He literally backed away and said he would leave us alone, like I had something contagious!! Nicole and I walked out of there and burst out laughing, which made me look even funnier, which made us laugh harder! We then stopped by the health food store, and while I was in the check out line the guy in front of me was talking to the clerk but was looking at me. He reached into his wallet to pull out his card to give me, and I thought he said something about being a lawn guy. So I meant to respond with, "Oh, I don't own my own home", but I ended up saying, "Oh, I don't have a home" which made me sound pathetically homeless. He looked at me funny and said he owns a salon and does hair and liked my hair (I got lawn and salon mixed up!). So then I told him my neighbor cuts my hair like every 3 months, whether I need it or not. I hadn't realized I had just said I was homeless but had a neighbor! Plus one side of my face was still dead, so I can only imagine how I looked. Nicole & I got another great laugh out of that!
No pain after the novacaine wore off!! Can you believe it?? I'm still amazed! I was able to drink water last night with no pain! I was able to rinse my mouth after brushing my teeth with no pain! I had forgotten what that would feel like!
My credit union requires a form to be filled out in order to transfer money into your health savings account, which I wanted to use to pay for my procedure. Since my HSA uses a debit card, I needed the funds available in order to use the card. I tried to call the one guy who processes the forms yesterday morning, and at first I was told he wasn't in. But then I was told he was, and they transferred me to his phone, where I got his voicemail. I left him a message letting him know I needed the money transferred within the next couple of hours to pay for a root canal and asking if he could please call me back, not really expecting much. Well he called back like 15 minutes later saying his wife is going through tooth problems herself with a cracked tooth and wanted to do whatever he could to help me! Wasn't that awesome?! He stayed on the phone while I scanned and emailed him the form so he could be sure he could transfer the money right away.
There's so much more I'm thankful for, but this is getting long and I have to get started on my day. I just wanted to give thanks to God for His tender loving care. Blessings!
I finally saw a different dentist yesterday. He was really great! He walked in and asked me why I was seeing him, so I had the opportunity to tell him what had been going on. I don't know what made me say this, but I said, "I think I can predict how this visit is going to go". Instead of being offended (as I'm sure I would have been had I been to years of medical school and some housewife tells me basically how to do my job) he was amused and wanted to hear my prediction (which was that he would send me to an endodontist for a root canal and then I would come back for a crown). And instead of being threatened, he complimented me on being so well prepared. So, after poking around a bit and looking at the x-rays I had brought he referred me to an endodontist, which happened to be the same one I had already picked out, and I had the happy fortune of visiting the endo today. That at was at 2pm. It is now almost 8pm and I still can't feel that side of my face (probably a good thing!). The endo was amazing (he said he ought to be good since that is the only thing he does every day, 20 times a day). :-) After he shot me up with novocaine I could still 'feel it' so he had to do several more injections (I think some directly into the tooth after he had drilled a bit). He indicated that some rare cases have that kind of sensitivity when the pain has been going on for so long. I've really never had tooth problems before this fiasco, but once you've been through it, it really makes you more compassionate on others! Anyway, two weeks from now I'll go back to the dentist for the crown episode of this saga. Will keep you posted! :-)
I think this is the longest I have ever gone not posting since we started this thing. So sorry for the delay - it's been a whole week! I just look at what we are doing now compared to all the other stuff we were doing on the road and it seems so mundane! Nothing really to report. I did go onto the MOSI website and saw a bunch of free or 50% off stuff we could do all within just a few hours of here, so I'm thinking we need to take advantage of that. This past week was just a blur of homeschool, laundry, grocery shopping, etc... We did have a nice visit with my parents from Michigan on Friday, so that was good. The weather was pretty hot here as it got into the 80's that day. It's so hard to believe people are shoveling snow and we're walking around here in shorts and t-shirts and the kids are riding their bikes and playing basketball. Nicole and I took a nice walk around the circle today here in our old neighborhood while Nicholas rode his bike. It was really nice. Tomorrow afternoon I go to the dentist so I'm really looking forward to that - ahah. I AM looking forward to getting this tooth thing behind me, which I know won't be after tomorrow. I believe the scenario will be I'll get sent to an endodontist for a root canal, and then back to the dentist for a crown. Nicole & I looked at some frames for her that we both liked from Walmart this week, and I want to take her to a few other places this coming week to see if there are any other better deals and/or better frames out there. Like I said, just the normal mundane stuff happening around here. We had a great time at Little Church this morning, and are enjoying a nice day of rest. Hope everyone is enjoying their weekend! Blessings.
Tim & Jodie