Thursday, April 2, 2020

Back to blogging again

I have been most remiss in keeping up this blog because I got way over busy trying to run a business.  I did continue to keep my journal (which I’ve done for so many years); however, even by 2019, it got very sketchy in parts.  I’ve notice that I haven’t put up a blog since Jan. 2018, so I’m going to start putting my journal entries into the corresponding dates (start to look for dates between now and Jan. 2018 so as to catch up on what we’ve been learning and doing).

After almost 2 years in business (and ministry), we sold our store (God’s House of Vision/Art Gallery and Studio), Aug. 31, 2019, and moved (July) into a house we bought in May.  It was too much work to run a store and do the work at our fixer-upper, 122-year-old house.  I was so run-down emotionally and physically by Sept. that all I could do was just sit on my front porch (or inside) for hours on end doing nothing for a few months before I recovered.

During that 2 years, not only did I give art and piano lessons, sell art supplies and art work, we also held weekly music/jam/karaoke nights to have fun and to minister to others by way of a weekly potluck, gave out encouragement and sleeping bags/clothes and other items as needed, singing Christian music (as well as secular), and at times William preached.  We also held another night (sometimes more) of pure ministry and discipleship).  See more pics of what we did at that store:   God blessed us there so greatly during that whole time.

It’s been a rough winter in some ways, but great in others:  the great part was the weather – it’s been such a sunny, mild winter overall.  In fact, most of Feb. was high 60s and low 70s and sunny.  It’s been a rough winter for William and all his hard work – he’s just plugging away 36-40 hrs. a week, at almost 62 years old, doing construction!  We’ve had to constantly keep in prayer about his health and his back staying in place.  He’s going to cut back on hours and that type of work when he starts taking is retirement in June.  Hopefully, we’ll have more freedom – we want to get back out to the streets to do ministry like we used to, plus some.  I’m pretty much at home most of the time – I’ve only gotten to use the car 3 times in the past 4 months, so I only go where I can walk – and everything I need is within walking distance.

In January, I started teaching the kids again (even though I had been giving piano lessons in my home since Sept).  I started when the homeschool moms got together and asked if I’d go to the Art Center in Coquille to teach the kids – I have 13-16 who regularly come.  One of the moms pick me up on Monday mornings to go, they usually give me a gallon of milk from their cows!  Such a blessing!

I had a very bad February – I was sick the entire month!  Literally!  And it wasn’t even my fault this time!  My body went wonky around the first of Feb. – literally blew a fuse on the hotflash business – I went for 4 solid days/nights with no sleep, totally wired, and mega hotflashes constantly.  It was so intense, I started to get nauseas by day 3 and once my stomach got involved, then it was off to the races with 2 solid weeks of vomiting because of the inflamed ulcer – but ….. I had no more hotflashes (at least until the middle of March when they started coming back).  Weird!  Then, I start to get better and start eating again (by week 3, I had no more than 5 hours of sleep in that 3 weeks – literally – and no food.)  I didn’t get dehydrated this time; however, since I forced liquids.  I then got ear infections that lasted for a couple weeks.  So … an entire month mostly in bed!  I read a lot of books – at least 1 a day.

I barely got started with the kids again in March when the country shut down.  Then, William was sick for 2 weeks with a chest infection.  Anyway, he didn’t work for 2 weeks which of course means no income at all!!   So, on Wed. when the little boy came for his piano lesson (they always pay at the beginning of the month), and she hands me an extra $40 and said, “it’s God’s money” – such a blessing because we’re out of bread, butter, eggs – which is what I said when she also said how they have chickens and asked if I wanted eggs!!  The day before, when I went to the store, I could only get 1 stick of butter and ½ doz. eggs which came to $3.60, but when I dumped out all my pennies, nickels, and dimes out onto the counter and saw I didn’t have enough, the guy behind me said, “here add this to the bill and I’ll pay it all.”  Wow!  That blew me away.  But even more so, a few days after, that same mother of the piano student came over (having just gone to a food pantry) and brought me 3 boxes of food (including butter and eggs!) AND prepaid me $50 for piano lessons for next month!  God ALWAYS provides no matter what!!

Even though I wasn’t earning much any longer with my online teaching (Indiana Wesleyan U quit giving me classes Nov. 2018, and I’ve not had any since, and Taylor Univ. has almost disappeared (only 2 students left, who will be done in April and no more coming – both universities say “it’s due to lack of enrollment), God has always provided for our needs – even when we were homeless.

Anyway, God has soooo blessed us even more that while William was sick, we’ve got back to listening to sermons, sometimes 2-3 a day, and in the Word so much, and in warfare prayer – it’s been such a blessing during this time.  God is teaching me not to worry (again)!!!  We found a new speaker to listen to:  Blake Curry – we’ve gotten so much out of his sermons and teachings!!

I was reading a book recently by Linda Nichols and just love the words to a song she quoted – an old hymn:

If I gained the world but lost the Savior,
Would my gain be worth the lifelong strife?
Are all earthly pleasures worth comparing
For a moment with a Christ-filled life?
Had I wealth and love in fullest measure,
And a name revered  both far and near.
Yet no hope beyond no harbor waiting
Where my storm-tossed vessel I could steer.
If I gained the world  but lost the Savior
Who endured the cross and died for me,
Could then all the world afford a refuge
Whither in my anguish I might flee?

Such good words – so important.  Her book “If I gained the whole world” was so awesome.

I’ve read the most awesomest books lately by Lynn Austin!  Chronicles of the Kings Series was sooooo awesome, about Kings Ahaz, Hezekiah, and Manasseh of Judah during the time of the Prophets Isaiah and Micah.  This author has brought the Bible alive and put living people to a rather boring story otherwise.
I’ve been reading a lot – probably 8 books a week lately, by Terri Blackstock, Jane Kirkpatrick, Kristen Heitzmann, Rick Joyner, and Lynn Austin (among others).  With the country being shut down as it is, all libraries, restaurants, etc. and etc., I haven’t seen many people or gone anywhere.  I’ve done a lot of little projects around the house, but pretty much not much is going on – I haven’t even had my piano or art students lately.  We’ve been very broke (by USA standards; however very rich by what most people in other countries live by), but God has provided for ALL of our needs and will continue to do so.  With the promise of the coming money from President Trump, that will help us get caught up and, hopefully, get to build my garden beds (we figure it will take about $300 to build 4 of them) as well.  I’ve already started a bunch of seeds; I keep them upstairs in my bedroom by the window (or outside as the weather allows), but lately, they’ve not gotten much sun since it’s been so rainy lately.

Since William went back to work, we’ve been listening to Curry Blakes videos every night now on healing (19 videos of a seminar he gives – very powerful); he said:  “Faith is when you stop believing what you see and start seeing what you believe.”  It’s all about knowing that the spiritual world is MORE real than the physical and how to operate in it!  That’s what we learned from Mel Bond as well.

I was reading one of the above books (can’t remember which) and found this quote: Belief in Yahweh doesn’t come with your mind, it comes with your heart, when you choose to believe only in the things you can see with your eyes and touch with your hands, its idolatry.  Trusting in [the government or anyone] on trusting in your own wisdom and intellect.  There is no difference in God’s eyes – it is all idolatry.

April 1 - Wow, God is sooooooo good!  He ALWAYS takes care of us - why do I ever doubt?  Today, Louise came over bearing gifts - toilet paper (among a variety of other things and food – including lamb steaks) - a commodity that is severely lacking in this area!  She had called this morning and said she had several things for me and that she had gone shopping and actually found 2 stores that had TP - wonder of wonders!  We were down to 1 roll for each bathroom and I thought I would have to resort to paper towels (of which I did manage to buy last week, since there seems to be plenty of that)!

God has always met our basic needs (and then some) so why do I start worrying?  That makes me realize how 'still in this world' I still am, like Jesus told His disciples “oh ye of little faith”….  God says to keep our eyes on Him and what He will do, not look to the world to take care of us (no food stamps!!).  I spend my days in constant prayer and praise to Him, read His Word, listen to praise and worship music, constantly battling the enemy to keep my mind on Him - so why do I let worry creep in?  God provides just enough $$ so I can walk over to the store and get what I need as well.  I do notice that I worry less and less as God provides for us in such a variety of ways.

I haven't gone anywhere for weeks (except to walk to the library almost daily to get onto the internet - since it's been closed for a couple weeks now and lately it's been so cold and rainy, I try to keep my time in the internet short and precise - just check what I need to check and upload what I need to upload). 
Anyway, we’re doing great now, car’s still working, God provides for everything we need, and my yard is coming alive with flowers and fruit trees!

Last fall, I went on a Women’s Retreat with the Arago ladies – such an awesome time!  Like I had been telling people for some time, my ‘fun factor’ was WAY down – I needed some serious fun and I got it!  I even got to go on a zip-line!  WOW, soooo cool!    But the best thing was the speaker:  Corine Stanley.