Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Of Houses, Wood Cook Stoves, and Shoes

Truly, sometimes I nearly feel guilty for how much our family has been blessed.
  If I were to take you an a tour through our home,
I could tell you story after story of how nearly every piece of furniture
and nearly every decorative item has been given to us.  
I could tell you of times when we asked God to heal 
and he did. 
I could recall times when my flesh was failing and I called out to God for strength,
and He gave it.
  I would remember situations that had me completely stumped so I prayed for wisdom, 
and it was given.

God is a god who cares. 
He cares deeply. 
He cares about the little things.  No matter is too small.

I have a story to tell about how God cares, how He provides. 
This very week, the hand of providence blessed us again...

But really, to tell this story right, I should go back into time about 11 years.
  We had 4 children, with baby number five on the way, 
when my dear husband felt called to become a pastor. 
In our interview with a mission board, we had declared that we were a quiver full family, 
so the question came up of how we expected a church to accommodate a large family,
being that each church in our mission comes with a parsonage.  
My husband bravely answered that should God bless us with a large family, 
we would trust Him to provide for their needs, including adequate housing.
  Little did we know... We could not have possibly imagined.... how God would do that. 
A few years later, with children sleeping on the floor, on the couches, in our bed, 
our little parsonage was bursting at the seams. 
If you haven't read way back on this blog, 
you may not be aware that it was then
that God moved a man in our church to give us several acres of timbered land. 
Our family then began building a large log home on that land.
  We had no idea what we were doing.
We could not get a loan.  
But 7 years later, we moved in.

That was almost two years ago now. 

The Lord has been munificent beyond all our biggest hopes and dreams.  
He is a VERY trustworthy, capable loving Father who loves to give good gifts to His children! 
As we put our trust in Him with our family size, with our life, even the small details,  
He has shown us He is faithful. 
There is a long, long list of the ways He has heaped blessings upon us,
furnishing us this life that one reads about here.

The latest of these good gifts to arrive at the lodge 
is a gorgeous Home Comfort wood cook stove in great condition. 
We had always wanted to put in a wood cook stove, for additional heating in the coldest of weather, allowing a savings on propane from our giant Wolf stove for cooking during the winter,
and for general preparedness sake,
but we lacked the ability to purchase one when we put the kitchen together. 
Still, I had hoped and planned a location for it, 
and held on to the idea of some day having a wood cook stove.
Then a few weeks ago I got an email from a friend who had a stove that they wanted to give us,
and they would bring it out to the lodge for us!
(Snoopy dancing)

This stove is yet another testament that God provides, and we can rest in that.  

We can move on it too, like we did when we began building. 
You see, we didn't know how we were going to do it, 
but we started in faith, having a very keen sense that it was God's hand guiding us.  
Sometimes it means waiting for God to do something,
instead of running out and gaining the whatever.  

It is really all about relationship... 
Talking to the Creator who made us and knows every hair on our head,
keeps our every tear in a bottle.

The very first instance of experiencing God in this way that I can remember was nearly 20 years ago when John was about 9 months old. 
I prayed, "You know Lord, we really need to get a pair of shoes for John who just started walking. We trust that in your way and your time, you will provide." 
My next trip to town, I headed for the thrift store, a few dollars in hand, praying all the way.  
I went directly to the children's shoes,
hoping that by some miracle I would find something to fit his fat little feet. 
I remember believing God would supply.  
What I didn't count on, was the shoes being a pair of like new, leather, double E, Stride Rights!
  They were $2.98, and I had in my pocket three dollars and some change.
  Right then and there I knew that this was real. 
This was no fake religion, some crutch, with some false, dead god.
  My God is real.
  My God is living! 
And it floors me to this day to know and see day after day
how He cares about the little things in my life. 
Little things like shoes,
or big heavy things like cook stoves,
or a big house for crazy people with 9 children.

We need to believe God, to trust Him, to go to him with our needs time after time, 
for the big things and the little things.... 
looking to Him for wisdom,
strength for the day.
  He cares. 
He knows our needs. 
He knows our situation.  
He loves to give.

  Sometimes, I think,
He is just waiting for us to ask, and trust.


  1. Yes. That's our Father! I praise God, with you, for the latest of His loving providences. I recognize that walk of faith for the ordinary and the daily that leads us to pray and lean and trust and rest and move with full confidence. It increases my faith to hear your stories and to see the beloved signature of God's dealing in you, as well. Thank you, as always, Julianne for your faithful sharing here.

  2. Thank you for this encouraging post! Our God is a good God...


  3. I am sitting here in tears as I read this. I know God guided me to your blog. My husband and I have four children and for the past few years have begun to question our choices on letting God control our family size. We still are studying on this issue to know God's plan. We have listened to what everyone tells us that we can't afford more. Well, by wordly standards this is VERY true. We barely are able to make ends meet. Times are very hard. My husband works very long hours away from the family. He has been unable to find anything else. Times are very difficult for us right now on so many levels. But despite what our mind tells us my heart keeps whispering this isnt' right. I need to trust God in all areas. Everything I read shows God thinks of children as something wonderful not a burden. I can't imagine my life without my four. But yet I'm SO scared! There is no one I know in my life other than my husband of course who would support this belief. People in our Church who I love dearly do not have large families, our familes already think we are crazy for having four LOL. I'm terrified about how hard it might be with others against us, having no money, I worry about my age, I worry, I worry, I worry LOL...I need to learn to trust and obey, trust, trust trust. Your post has really helped encourage me that things can work out somehow. I might also add that it is my heart's desire to one day have an off grid homestead. I was so meant to find your blog for so many reasons. This may be the first blog I ever sit down and read start to finish :) Thank you for sharing this. Know that it has truly made a difference in the life of a complete stranger!

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- Blessings!

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