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Chapter 2 – The Big Move

Dear Diary,

It’s been awhile.  I figure I had better finish up my story on our family’s move from Michigan to Georgia before it hits the year 2020 and I forget the details.

We packed up the house, the cat, and our three kids in September of 2015, and began our journey to Georgia.  The drive was long, 15 hours to be exact, but we made it…across 4 states and 5 lanes of heavy Atlanta traffic with an oversized U-haul.  The lights of Atlanta were by far the highlight of our drive.  Atlanta is absolutely beautiful at night!

The first day in our new rental house involved unloading the massive truck, which was packed solid with our belongings, like a can of sardines. Up the ramp, and down the ramp, Scott and I lugged out box after box, and all of our furniture.  The house was awesome.  It had a fenced in yard (a BIG deal for us since Bubba loves the outdoors and wants to spend every waking moment outside) filled with rose bushes and hydrangeas, and a huge master bedroom complete with a sitting room, a walk-in closet (which was the size of another bedroom), and a master bath.  Another exciting part of the house was the large office space.  It was perfect and more than I could have asked for!

The house was great, but I felt like an emotional wreck.  I knew this was where God wanted us, but we were in a foreign city, void of all family and friends.  I laid in my large closet, flat on my face, and cried.  I cried, and I prayed, and I called my best friend back in Michigan, and I cried some more.  I hated leaving her the most.  She would talk me through my crazy emotions, and I would be ok again for a while.

I had just finished bawling my eyes out, and was making supper, when I heard a knock at the door.  Scott answered, and it was our new neighbors.  They had come to greet us and had brought us cookies.  My eyes were red from crying, I looked like a wreck, and I was in no shape for visitors.  I stayed in the kitchen.  They handed the cookies to Scott and left.  I sunk down to the floor and began crying again.  They probably thought I was unfriendly, and I felt like I had messed up.  How was I going to make friends this way?  I calmed myself down the best I could and walked over to their house to invite her over sometime. We ended up becoming friends, and I KNOW it was God who brought us together. Suddenly living there became more bearable…fun even!

After getting the house situated, it was time to figure out where to send the kids to school.  We did a bit of research online and found a few schools we believed would be the best for our children.  One of the first schools we visited was just a short distance from our home.  We enrolled Josephine, then continued on to the High School to enroll Maxwell.  No sooner did I walk in the door to the High School, then the fire alarm went off!  Everyone was ushered out the door, and I watched as every student in the building was paraded before me.  Judging by appearances isn’t the norm for me, but this time was different.  The kids looked like they could potentially tear my sweet little Maxwell to shreds!  They were scantily clad, chains hung from their pockets, the majority of them were dressed in black, and it was a disturbing sight.  I took the fire alarm as a sign from God, and we high-tailed it out of there. We returned to the school we enrolled Josephine in, and un-enrolled her.  Scott and I continued searching for the right school.  We met with the most rude people, and were eventually told that Georgia does not have school of choice (as we were used to having in Michigan).  I sat in the office of the final school and cried.  The secretary was rude, and I didn’t know what else to do.  It was at this time we decided to suck it up and home school our children.

I had fought homeschooling for years.  I would tell others there was no way I would EVER home school my kids.  One day in Michigan, I had received a huge home school catalogue in the mail.  I said to myself, “Who sent me this?!”  It later became apparent that God was working on me, and wanting me to homeschool our kids.  It took Him moving me to a new state, and positioning me in a place where there was no other option.  And so it began.  I ordered our curriculum, and it turned out to be such a blessing.

We lived in our rental house for approximately 6 months when we heard the Lord give us the go ahead to start looking for a house to buy.  Our house in Michigan was still up for sale, but Scott was now making enough that we were able to make payments on both. This was only by the Grace of God.  When God calls us out, or asks us to do something, He will ALWAYS provide what we need to accomplish what He has asked of us. Sometimes His provision involves us doing things that are uncomfortable for us, which was our case.  Scott’s new job required him to work a LOT of overtime on a less than desirable shift. We weren’t able to see him much, and he wasn’t enjoying his job due to a poorly run company and poor management. We had to continually remind ourselves that “this is God’s plan, and we are in the center of His will.”  The overtime Scott received was God’s way of providing for us, and is what made it possible for us to make payments on two houses.

We began our search for a new home, and found one we loved right off the bat.  It would require Scott to drive an hour to work each day, but he assured me he was willing.  After all, he had driven an hour to work each day in Michigan for over 12 years.  We put in an offer on the house, but it was too late.  Someone else had beat us to it.  The next house we looked at was perfect as well. It was in the country on 1 acre, it was newly built, and it was beautiful.  However, we felt God saying it wasn’t the right one.  Our realtor then mentioned a new subdivision he was selling homes for.  He informed us that it would be a great investment as the price would be going up drastically in the next five years due to the town’s expansion.  The house was not even finished yet, but as we walked up the sidewalk to look at it, the presence of God was all over me.  I knew it was the one.  More confirmation followed as we walked around the house and I found a yard full of white magnolia trees.  I had wanted white magnolia trees for quite some time, and to me it was God saying, “I did this for you. This is it.”  We put in an offer on a shell of a house, not knowing what to expect on the inside as there was no flooring, cabinets, etc. and it was near impossible to envision what it would look like when it was finished. We weren’t thrilled with the idea of living in a subdivision, but we knew we would only be there for a short period of time as we’d be soon be continuing on toward our goal – South Carolina.

The house was soon finished, and this time we loaded up our vehicles and the trailer of one of Scott’s work buddies, and moved on over to our first brand new home.  It was a dream come true!

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Adventure Time 1.1

“What are you waiting on?  God has already given you an exit strategy!  He has provided a way of escape for you!  Get up and use it!  Take your life back, take your joy back, and take your peace back!” 

Dear Diary,

I’m back with part two.  When we left off, our family had just found out that my husband got the job in Georgia, and that we would be moving.  I had been sitting on the couch feeling hopeless when he received the call, and that all changed in the blink of an eye.  I burst into tears yet again, but this time it was out of relief, and I began praising and thanking the Lord.

I’d like to say it was all easy-peasy after that, but it wasn’t.  My parents were not happy that we would be moving.  When I mentioned it to my dad, his reply was, “The Holy Spirit wouldn’t tell you to move away from your family.”  My reply was, “Well, I guess you don’t know the Holy Spirit very well then do you?” All throughout the Bible we see God sending people out from their homeland to another of His choosing.  My friend would always tell me, “Our ministry is geographical,” meaning God will move us to where He can use us. He may move us across the world simply to minister to one person.

The attack on the kids began then.  Dad would tell me that the kids would suffer if they were away from their grandparents; that it would not be good for them.  I would tell him, “God will take care of them.”  After all, God loves my children more than I do, and I trust Him to not do something that would be detrimental to their well-being.  I thought of all the missionaries who have moved away from their families, and all of the others I know who live far away from their families, yet their children have not suffered in the least bit. They’re ok!

Dad knew he couldn’t get to me using “the kids will suffer” anymore, so he took to the kids.  He began asking the kids if they were going to miss him, and telling them all the things they were going to miss out on.  He would ask them about our financial situation, and what we would do if our house didn’t sell.  Fabulous idea. Let’s lay a guilt trip on three young children and attempt to instill fear in them (insert sarcasm).  Now here’s the awesome part – my children would ALWAYS come back with the Word of God!  They would tell dad that they’re going to be ok, and that we have to do what God wants us to do.  They are fully aware that the blessing is there waiting on the other side, and that God is good to us and will do us no harm! Boy was I one proud mama!

It was finally time for us to make our first trip to Georgia.  We would be needing a place to stay, so my husband and I set out to find a house to rent, being our home had not sold yet.  I had a total meltdown in the driveway of the very first house we looked at.  The realtor had taken us through the house, which was ok UNTIL I opened the refrigerator, the stove, and the toilet seat.  Bugs fell out everywhere!! Not just little bugs.  They were big bugs!  I was horrified to say the least. I was ready to give up already and forget about moving.

Our next stop was to Scott’s new workplace to sign some papers.  Upon arrival, the secretary handed us a packet of papers with information about a house that was for rent. We went and looked at the house, and I about fell over.  God had it all planned out! He picked out our rental house, which was PERFECT in my eyes! We didn’t have to continue looking (we were also on a really tight schedule)!  It had just went up for rent, and we were the first ones to get to it.  The house was painted in all my favorite house colors, the backyard was fenced in and full of beautiful rose bushes and hydrangeas, and it was huge compared to what we had been living in.

We went back to the hotel that night and I had another breakdown.  I felt so weak I could barely sit up in bed.  My husband had to fetch the ice bucket for me because my dinner was about to make a reappearance. I prayed, he prayed, it all left, and I was able to sleep good the rest of the night.  Good thing because the drive home, and the packing would begin the next morning.

The Word the Lord gave me that I held onto during these times –

“What are you waiting on?  God has already given you an exit strategy!  He has provided a way of escape for you!  Get up and use it!  Take your life back, take your joy back, and take your peace back!” 

To be continued…

Adventure Time 1.0

I laid flat on my face in my bedroom one night crying out to God, and wanting to die.  My prayer was, “God, you’ve GOT to get me out of here!”

Dear Diary,

I’ve been waiting to give an account of my current adventure until I had completed enough to write about.  I also had quite a few emotions I had to work through before I tried to write about them.

The years 2014-2015 were two of the hardest years I have ever faced.  These were the years God began stripping things and people away from me in preparation for my future. These were the years when lies were spread far and wide about me – beginning in the church and ending with my own family.

I loved my church, and my pastor.  I was with them 100 percent despite my parents trying to persuade me to leave.  I always stood up for my church family, and gave them the benefit of the doubt.  I continued to grow in the Lord, and one day the church and I began to clash.  I believe it began one night during Bible Study when the pastor began to say God doesn’t know what we are thinking, or what we are going to do next. Immediately I heard the Holy Spirit speaking to me, giving me Scripture after Scripture proving that what the Pastor was saying was wrong.  It was then that I really began to question what was being taught, and it was then that I began to realize a lot of what was being taught was unbiblical. I knew what I had been learning – what the Holy Spirit had been teaching me – and I felt the burning within me to speak what He was saying, so I took to social media and wordpress.

Shortly after, things started to go downhill. I had the church “spies” taking everything I said on social media back to the pastor.  Nevermind that what I said was straight out of the Word of God.  Lies were formed about me, the Pastor’s wife was against me, they wouldn’t let me teach the kids during VBS anymore and discreetly put me in a position they created just for me, hoping I wouldn’t find out.  Despite my asking, they refused to tell me what I did wrong.  I was told I could leave and be a nobody, or I could sit in the back and wait until everyone forgot about me.  I left, but not as a nobody.  I left as a   somebody who was beginning to learn to be under the control of the Holy Spirit and not the control of man.

After leaving the church, my parents didn’t talk to me as much.  Before, they would always ask me how church went, and what the pastor spoke on, but they were always trying to get “dirt” on the pastor.  They were curious as to what he was preaching that was wrong, who he wronged last week, who was on the worship team, and who took over so-and-so’s position.  When I began to attend another church and tried talking to them about it, they turned their backs to me, and they never asked me again how church was.

Family continued to spiral downward, as did my marriage.  It didn’t help that my husband and I were on very different levels spiritually, and my parents continually bashed him and accused him of having a deaf and dumb spirit.  I was tired of standing up for him, and answering the many questions of, “Why didn’t he do this?” and “When is he going to do that?”  My husband was in approximately 4-5 car wrecks over the same number of years, which added not only to our financial issues, but our marriage issues as well. Instead of  helping me/us through the mess of our marriage, my parents continued to speak badly of my husband, offering no solutions, and I myself met with criticism, slander, and lies as I searched for a way out.

I began attending an all black prophetic church with my friend, who God so graciously gave to me, and the first bout of criticism, aimed at me, from my father began.  He didn’t believe I should be attending an all black church.  It was his belief that I needed to be in a church close to where we lived, with people of our color.  His church preferably.  He was the pastor of a small church, and believed his children should be there to help run it.  However, that’s not where God called me to, I am not in agreement with most of what he preaches, and his character had/has not been very God-like. He was not pleased when I finally told him why I would not be attending.

My friend and new church family helped me more than anyone knows.  I received many prophetic words and teachings which kept me going.  They helped me deal with the lies from my father, which he spread from family member to family member, such as: I only lost weight to attract men, that I was moving out of town so I could be closer to another guy, etc.  My mother was no help and would trap me in the car so she could question me, and preach to me, but refused to listen to anything I had to say.  My whole life had been this way – everything I said to my parents fell on deaf ears.  I didn’t know how to handle them, but thank God for the help I received from my friend who had been through all the same things I was going through.  She would listen, tell me how she handled her situations, tell me what God had to say about the situations, and never once condemned me.

Soon, my husband and I began talking about moving out of state.  We always joked about it before, but this time it was different.  Neither one of us could take anymore and we knew it was time to leave. We had to get out of there.  My life was on the line.  I laid flat on my face in my bedroom one night crying out to God, and wanting to die.  My prayer was, “God, you’ve GOT to get me out of here!”  My husband came into the room and all I could say was, “Get me out of here!  You have to get me out of here!”  He promised to do everything he could to get me out.  We put our house up for sale, and he began looking for a new job out of state.  Shortly after another attack from my parents, as I was sitting on the couch with tears streaming down my face, we received a phone call.  He got the job!!! We would be moving to Georgia!

To be continued….

A Family of Misconception

“These people honor me with their lips, but their hearts are far from me.” Matthew 15:8

My dearest diary,

Today I am seeing first hand how God must feel about His children who say they love Him, and say they know Him, yet their hearts are far from Him.  They draw near with their words, and honor Him with their lip service, yet their hearts are not with Him (Matthew 15:8; Isaiah 29:13).

I have been the daughter of my Mother and Father for 36 years.  We’re family.  It is a well-known fact that family is supposed to know you better than anyone.  However, that doesn’t seem to be the case in my family.  Let me tell you why.

First things first – my relationship with my Heavenly Father.  I have spent years growing closer and closer to my Father God.  His face, not what He can do for me or give to me, is literally all I seek. I have spent much time and energy learning how to help people break free from their bondage, and how to deliver them from evil spirits. I have went through many great trials and tribulations, learned from them, and became even closer with my Heavenly Father.  Through everything I have learned who He is.  I have seen how He responds to the things I do, I have learned the different ways He talks to me, and I have learned what His character looks like.  I can accurately determine what is of God, and what is not.  I can accurately say what God would or would not do in situations.

My Father God also knows me.  He knows what I like, what makes me happy, how to comfort me, etc.  He knows how to get through to me, and delights in teaching me new things.  He doesn’t accuse me, speak falsely of me, nor slander me and talk bad about me to my brothers and sisters in Christ.  He has spent every waking minute with me, and knows me from the inside out.  He knows why I do what I do.  He knows my heart.  He knew everything about me before I was even a thought, and He is patient with me.  I know my Father and my Father knows me.

Now, regarding my earthly family…

We have spent a copious amount of time with each other.  As I said above, I’ve been here for 36 years.  One would think my parents would know me fairly well by now.  I found out differently these past few years, and was hit with another round of “I don’t know you, nor do I care to” again today.  What I found is my parents have only had their eyes on themselves.  They have failed to see ME in these 36 long years.  Their goal has been to try to turn me into a spitting image of themselves through use of control and manipulation, and to get what they can out of me.  It’s as if they believe I was put on this earth as their servant.  If they would have spent any time getting to really know me over these years, they would know of my deep relationship with my Heavenly Father.  They would know I walk according to the Spirit of the Living God, and not according to my own flesh.  They wouldn’t call me rebellious, because they would know better.  My mother wouldn’t believe I’m entertaining demons in the night hour, because she would know what I believe, who I am, and how I respond to things like that. She would know how much I have grown in the Lord, and that I am not responding out of anger, nor am I home throwing a temper tantrum, when I confront her on the things she says about me. She would understand that when I speak to her about the things she’s doing to me, it’s out of love for her, and not because I want to hurt her.  She would also know better than to come against God’s anointed, but unfortunately, she doesn’t.

The things she said to me today got me thinking about God, and how He must feel when His children say they love Him, say they know Him, but they really don’t.  All they care about is what He can give them.  All they care about is what He can do for them.  They’re not concerned about really getting into a deep relationship with Him, spending that time with Him, to get to really know who He is, and what His character is like.  Matthew 7:21-23 says:

“Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but the one who does the will of my Father who is in heaven.  On that day many will say to me, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name, and cast out demons in your name, and do many mighty works in your name?’  And then will I declare to them, ‘I never knew you; depart from me, you workers of lawlessness.’”  

Love is not about what you can do for me.  It’s about entering into a relationship where you are genuinely interested in who the other person is.  It’s crushing when you’ve known someone your whole life, yet they never take the time to really know and understand you. It painful when they’re too busy trying to teach you that they fail to hear anything you say.

My earthly family may not know or understand me, but I am thankful there is One who does – my Father God.

Mi Dia (My Day) Begins Now

Good morning my dear online diary! Boy is it a windy one today.  We had two days of tornado watches and warnings, only to top it off with a wind advisory.  I love the wind, and a non-destructive storm, but the thing is we live right next to the woods.  Who knew trees could bend down so far without snapping in half? Please don’t snap in half!

Our family just received good news this morning.  Someone put in an offer on our house! What? You say you’re moving? Oh, dear.  I guess I forgot to fill you in on all the details.

Here’s the deal – Scott started a new job in South Carolina at the beginning of March, so we’ve been living apart for the past month while (patiently) waiting for our house to sell. It hasn’t been the easiest thing I’ve ever done and I am in no way envious of single parents.  Between preparing the house for showings, hauling the kids out every time there’s a showing, homeschooling the kids, keeping the kids fed, and chasing Bubba from one corner of the house to the other, there hasn’t been much time to relax.  While I’m excited to finally have an offer on the house and have Scott rejoin our family, I find a twinge of anxiety and fear knocking on my door.  “What if I have to move into the yucky little trailer he’s staying in?  What if we run into trouble getting the loan for our new house? What if, what if, what if?”  Blah!! I will once again shut off the negativity and turn on the truth – At least I will have shelter while God works out all the details.  God always works everything out for our good, and perfects those things which concern us.  He’s aligning things in our lives right now, making a way where there seems to be no way, and in the end we will look back in awe and say, “What a ride! I wouldn’t change it for the world.”

One upside to receiving the offer at this point in time is Scott’s mom and brother are flying in tomorrow to stay with us for a week.  Can you say “Help packing?!” Hip hip hooray! It might look like a coincidence to some, but to me it’s a divine appointment orchestrated by the Living God.

Enough talk about moving.  I can’t afford to think too much about that today.  Maxwell’s birthday is Saturday, and with our visitors arriving tomorrow I have to finish making her cake today.  Maxwell, for some reason, believes I am a master baker and each year insists on a cake with a higher level of difficulty.  This year I will attempt to create a stained glass cake.  The stained glass cake involves drawing and painting flowers directly on to the fondant. In between storm warnings yesterday I was able to bake the cake and make a batch of marshmallow fondant (the only kind that is truly edible in my opinion).  Today I decorate my masterpiece, but not until I eat breakfast….

 

Exercising Prophetically

Dear Diary,

I was just blocked on Facebook the other day. Can you believe it?! You can’t? Well, I can. It’s funny how when you expose the enemy, he gets pretty upset, and therefore the people he’s messing with get upset too. The person that blocked me is the head of two “prophetic” groups. I simply stated that I was leaving the groups because I found them to be practicing things that are un-biblical.

Anyway, here’s what is going on (what got her goat so-to-speak). Instead of writing it all out again, I’ll just copy and paste my recent Facebook status. Plus it will be easier for me to find again if I ever feel the need to re-read what I wrote.

“There’s a new deception going on in the church (new to me anyway), and many people seem to be falling for it. They call it “prophetic activation” and “prophetic exercises.” They claim that in order for you to step into your calling as a prophet, you need to be “activated.” Truth is, no man can activate you. That is up to Jesus. He is the one who decides who is a prophet before they are even formed in the womb (Jeremiah 1:5), and when He calls you a prophet, you are activated! When He says “GO!” and “Speak!” you go and speak! He says to DESIRE the gift of prophecy, not to go out and play prophet just because you want to be one. These people are also saying in order to increase “your skills” (what happened to it being a gift and ability from the Holy Spirit??) YOU can perform “prophetic exercises” which include looking at a picture or color and asking God what He’s saying in it. Other “exercises” include picking a person, and then others asking God who that person is, and then prophesying over them. All of this is divination. It is like Christians playing psychics, and performing card or tea leaf readings all in the name of “practicing” your gifting or sharpening “your gift”. They believe they’re hearing from the Holy Spirit, so they speak whatever enters their mind, but in reality they have positioned themselves to hear from the wrong spirit – familiar spirits. Folks, that is NOT how it works! We do not get to prophecy just because we want to. We prophecy at the leading of the Holy Spirit. 2 Peter 1:21 says, “For prophecy never had its origin in the human will, but prophets, though human, spoke from God as they were carried along by the Holy Spirit.” We are HIS mouthpiece, and we don’t get to tell Him what to do and when to do it! WE can’t increase our gifting by anything WE do. It’s through a close relationship with the Lord, and through obedience that He will speak through us more and more. It’s in spending time with Him that we will begin to hear and see clearer; not through “prophetic exercises.””

You know, I have grown prophetically over the past few years, and I have never done any prophetic exercises in order to grow. As my relationship with the Lord has grown, so has my ability to see and hear clearly. I have searched the Scriptures, but have not found even one prophet who has ever had to be activated by anyone, or who have had to go through these so-called prophetic exercises. People are so hungry for the supernatural, they are falling for everything and anything.

Well, I guess that’s all I have to say today other than I put my brand new grill to use, and grilled some beautiful rib-eyes and zucchinis this afternoon. It’s now time to kick my husband’s butt at another game of Phase 10. For some reason he thinks he’s going to be able to win…

A Mild Rant and a Little Rave

Dear Diary,

Do you know what drives me batty? People. To be more specific, it’s the attention seekers that get on my nerves. They spend endless hours each day on Facebook complaining about all their problems, yet when given a sound course of action, they refuse to take it. These attention seekers will throw out something that others will view as shocking or troublesome, and once they receive the response or pity they were craving, “Oh you poor, poor thing,” they’ll switch their story up once again. People! You’re driving the sane to the edge of the cliff!

The attention seeker often expresses a desire for change, but then continues doing the same thing they’ve always done in the same exact way. They feed off from the attention they receive and feel like a big fat nobody if they don’t get it. Attention seekers don’t normally like to hear this, but I’m going to say it anyway.  Anyone can change their life if they really want to.

A genuine desire to change one’s life brings a realization that it’s not possible to continue doing what they’ve always done and see different results. It’s important for the attention seekers to be honest with themselves, admit that they’re starved for attention, and start switching things up!  It’s also time for them to quit playing the victim…especially the Christian attention seekers.  This leads me to the next thing I find disturbing.

“I love Jesus, and I pray, but I don’t go to church, and I don’t read my Bible, but I am a good person and I do good things.”  (That is one crazy run-on huh?)  Unfortunately this is how many people sound to me – like nails on a chalkboard. They spew bucket loads of woe-is-me slime on social media, but they’re unwilling to do what they need to do to gain the victory. I know this sounds harsh, but it’s true. If they would just realize they’re getting nowhere on their own, seek Jesus, get to church, and get in their Bibles, they would start to make some progress! Changing the way they speak, to speaking life instead of death, would also catapult them forward into a better life. Death and life are in the power of the tongue, and people are running around destroying their lives instead of building them up! How awesome is it that the Lord gives us the ability to direct the course of our lives by simply speaking?

Well, I guess I’ll end my rant now.  After all, I’m not writing a book.  Good night.