Friday, September 10, 2010

God's Blessings and Provision

I promised you a story of how God has brilliantly provided for and blessed abundantly through this fiasco of flooding, so grab a cup of tea or coffee and read away.

Back in July my mom was "given permission" to tell all us kids that Grandma Olive was giving away money. My Grandma Olive has been blessed with a very giving heart and loves to give money away to her kids and grandkids, she has also been blessed with the money to give away. We have been on the receiving end of her generosity many many times, and she has helped us through many tight months financially without knowing that it was indeed a tight month for us. God has used her so many times with out her really knowing it. Grandma does not know Jesus and we pray everyday that she might come to know him. So Grandma giving away money wasn't a shock or anything. What was different was that she was giving out a large amount to every grandkid all at once. We received a check from her on August 9th - 5 days before our house flooded.

If you remember Ivan had been to the emergency room and the Doctor's the week before and we were not overwhelmed because we knew about Grandma's money.

Then our house flooded. But we were not overwhelmed because Grandma's money was then residing in our bank account.

Let me back up a little. I'm sorry if this is disjointed, there are so many things I want to share.

As I've mentioned we are looking forward to selling our house and buying property to build our own house, a house that we've designed to house not only our growing family but hopefully use to bless friends and family. We were just a few short projects away from calling a real estate agent to list our house. But as I've been cleaning and looking around "objectively" I've started to realize how lived in our house really is, thinking, "Oh my, there's a nick/cut in the linoleum, the counter is slightly bubbled there, there's a rust mark from water and a cast iron pan I didn't get to soon enough, we shouldn't have gone with white carpets, I should repaint the laundry room (not everyone likes orange), I don't know if the grime from years of not cleaning the toe kicks on the cabinets will come off, I'm pretty sure there's mold behind our bathtub from when the house flooded before we moved in"....oh yeah, lots of unimportant things but things that might drive down the value or sell-ability of our home in a slow market.

Everyone of those "concerns" have been literally washed away by our house flooding. With grandma's money we are able to pay our home owners insurance deductible as well as replace carpet and linoleum in the back bedrooms and bathroom; rooms that were not damaged. We are getting all new flooring, a new kitchen and because the drywall had to be cut out in the rooms that were flooded so they could dry out the insulation they are repainting the walls, which means if I want I can change colors.

Now moving on.

While all of this is happening Erik is not working all that much, they are between houses and so the work is slim, so not only do we get to have him home with us but we can "save" money on the work to be done because the contractors are allowing him to do some of the demolition and we have no fear of not being able to pay our bills because we have the money from Grandma.

Our insurance is also paying rent for us to live somewhere else while our house is being fixed. That somewhere else is a house belonging to good friends of ours. I've posted pictures of the view but let me tell you about this little house.

Back in 1996 it was flooded. The house was raised but not much work was done to fix it up after that. Our friends bought it a few years ago but never with the intention of moving a family of 5 (now 6! Baby boy born this morning!) into it. Economy went sour and with it many dreams of an investment property and they moved into this house. A tiny house, partly unfinished with one small bedroom, small living area, small inconvenient kitchen for a family with food allergies and mold. Yep, mold. Nine months ago they moved into her parents' basement for a "short" stay so that they could finish up the unfinished part and clean out the mold. That short stay turned into a much longer stay than they anticipated and the house turned out to be a bigger problem than they anticipated. Slowly the work has pressed on, but a man must support his family and this house was not doing it, so the work on it was slow indeed and money for it was running out.

Then our house floods and we need a place to live. It was almost to the point of occupancy and a couple days hard work by the husbands and it had a toilet and running water, though no bathroom sink. Because of Grandma's money we were able to front the money to get it to the occupancy stage while we wait for the rent money from insurance. We get to finish up inside projects; something I've been dying to help with (I love these sorts of projects, it fuels my inner interior designer). Money for rent has paid for important things like a stack washer and dryer, a fence so that no kiddos fall into the river and drown, doors for the bedrooms and bathroom and many other projects small and large. Projects that make the house fully livable and move-in ready for them when we move out. Projects that probably wouldn't get done for awhile otherwise with a brand new baby in the house.

And we get to live here too! That is a huge blessing for us. It's a darling little house, right on the river with an amazing view. There is tons of natural light that comes in, the walls are painted a very light cheery yellow and the floors are cherry laminate wood flooring that just glow when a tiny bit of sun hits them. The sun rises just out the kitchen window and it sets out over the river which I can marvel at through the 10 foot slider. It's open and light and airy. Anyone need a vacation home?

It has been a rest for my heart, in spite of all the projects it has been a blessing to me to enjoy this house for the little while that we get to. I had a place to can all the peaches we will eat for the next year.

And more blessings for Grandma's money, we were able to give 10% right off the top to Ecola Bible School. I know that it will be put to good use there, and multiplied many more times as the school is used by God to teach many more classes of students about himself and living in relationship with him.

When we first heard that Grandma was sending us money we thought, "Yay, we can actually put some money in savings, set some aside to save for emergencies and someday."
But God had other plans; plans for provision and blessing for so many others instead of ourselves. Sure we don't have money set aside for a rainy day, to plan and provide for ourselves but God has proven over and over that He provides when we have need.

I've always loved these verses from Proverbs:

Proverbs 30:7-9

"Two things I ask of you. O LORD;
do not refuse me before I die:
Keep falsehood and lies far from me;
give me neither poverty nor riches,
but give me only my daily bread.
Otherwise, I may have too much and disown you
and say, 'Who is the LORD?'
Or I may become poor and steal,
and so dishonor the name of my God.

The only thing missing right now is my piano. When my heart is this full I just need to sing and praise God.


Debbie said...

Thanks for sharing this, Em. It encourages my heart. I look back and see the faithfulness of God in our lives, and I know His care is ever present, even when it seems the darkest, and I especially appreciate your story today.

Love you guys!

MamaGriffith, said...

God is good.

CandiandCoffee said...

Our God is so faithful, isn't he? Thanks for sharing this with everyone! Jehovah Jirah... my Provider. And we'll just have to talk to Him about your piano situation. I understand what a lifeline that can be... Have a wonderful week Emily!

Chelsea said...

I love stories like this! Awesome!