Thursday, December 19, 2013
This week has been full. Crazy. Joyful.
We were able to have a special Kingdom Kids Christmas party yesterday afternoon and what a time of celebration it was! We played Christmas Bingo, Pin the Nose on Rudolph, listened to a mini-concert from the 5th and 6th grade band members present, and ate spaghetti and drank Tang.
The children listened and watched, rapt, while Mary read the Christmas story from the Jesus Storybook Bible and Heather did a live illustration on the easel - which, when flipped upside down, was a picture of the Nativity (it was so cool and the kids gasped in awe when she flipped it. I thought about the upside down nature of true Christmas - a King become servant, unimportant shepherds important enough to be the first to hear the news...) We decorated sugar cookies and there were presents for everyone, most of which had come from supporting churches. Incredible, the excitement and joy of these children whose suffering I can scarcely comprehend, who experience death and sorrow as constants but who somehow remain soft and oh-so-beautiful.
We don't share a lot publicly about the things we experience as spiritual warfare because we don't like the emphasis of our life to be on the work of the enemy and because God is mighty and in control, and all things work to His glory. But can I just share that we have had SIX major unexpected needs this month, three of which were in the $300-$400 price range, and the incredible news is that we have had enough money to take care of them without extreme stress; AND have enough for Christmas expenses. We went from working out our regular budget at the beginning of the month and having enough for our regular needs, but wondering where a Christmas budget would come from-- to this over-abundance of provision in time of great need. Hm... it is like God is saying "TRUST ME, TRUST ME, TRUST ME. None of this is yours anyways - not the burdens and not the money, it is all mine!" And I marvel at that fact that maybe I am finally learning to respond to the kinds of trials we face with faith and expectant waiting for how He will take care of us. This is a miraculous thing, because on my own I am a doubter, a controller, a worrier. But this month I have been able to laugh immediately even when things are going wrong because it is so clearly an attack from the enemy of our work and our souls - and it is like God has had him tethered, as if he has said "You can touch their appliances this month, but you can't harm my children."
So when the cat needed to stay overnight at the vet because of an abscess we discovered - we were under-budget at the end of last month by almost the same amount, and He provided.
When the sink suddenly needed a new drain line - He provided someone to come and repair it who refused to take more than $10 to go get himself lunch.
When we attempted to change internet providers to get faster/cheaper internet but had a huge hassle and no internet for a day and a half while we wasted time on the phone with bad customer service - our old company happily hooked us back up with service and no extra charge.
When Jesse's car needed to go into the shop for an emergency repair - He provided a gift from a friend that covered the $300 bill.
When our heat pump motor went out and we had no way to heat our house - He provided space heaters from friends for a day and then the money for the repair.
When my car spent a weekend in the shop- He provided money for the repair and a vehicle swap with friends here so we could transport all five kids we had for the weekend to a fun outing we had planned.
When we needed to purchase gifts - He provided an offering that a church surprised us with.
His provision has allowed us to continually place our focus on Him and the kingdom work He has for us here without (too much) distraction, and we thank Him and praise Him for that.