Gods In It…(Pt.2)

It was in May of ’08 that they re-possessed my car, a 2003 Subaru Brat, and within a week or so I was given a car to use that had been given to my pastor at the time by one of his congregation. Losing that car was hard, but it was fortunate for me in that by doing so I became eligible to receive food stamps without which my wife, daughter and I might have gone hungry! This was also the last month that I was able to make my mortgage payment of 700.00 on my home and 63 acres. It was along about this time I started thinking something was up and that my circumstances were a conspiracy of sorts.  The things that I was able to do successfully were quite limited and for many months consisted of going to the grocery store, church, writing and an occasional venture into West Plains to Wal-mart or Aldi’s for necessities. One day I was reading another blog and I came across this bit of wisdom which seemed to describe my situation, it said…

“Sometimes when it seems as though you’ve lost everything that’s the time when God shows you He’s really all that you need!”

Those words seemed to bring me comfort because more and more I was understanding their truth and relevance in my life. I spent that summer blissfully unsure of whether I was in a state of grace or one of perdition. Despite the fact that my world was crumbling around me and I was apparently unable to do anything but watch it happen, this was an incredible time of  spiritual awakening within me. I’ll always remember things like walking down my driveway at sunset talking to the Lord in the cool of the evening, or how even though we had hardly any money we always had gas to go into town to church and we even paid tithes!  We still had a roof over our heads and plenty to eat and I wrote some of my most heart felt blogs about my deepening relationship with Christ and my total dependence upon Him. It was my “surrender” that allowed me to have peace knowing that there was a purpose to all that my family and I were going through.

My inability to pay my child support became a huge issue, I was summoned to court to show cause and I tried to explain my predicament to the judge. There was absolutely no way in the world that I could get a job without my having a drivers license which they had suspended! I was asked to return again at a later date which I did although the situation remained unresolved. My third scheduled appearance I was unable to make because I didn’t have the 100.00+ it cost’s in gas to make the five hour trip so I faxed the prosecutor asking for a continuance.  Very soon after that I was told about the possibility of getting a job driving a school bus. I knew that you had to have a background check done to get it and that I probably had a bench warrant out for me so I stopped in at the sheriff’s department one afternoon and sure enough I was a wanted man! They seemed pretty shocked by what I was doing but dutifully took me into custody. I spent the next ten days in jail, after two days they sent a car for me to take me back to Cass county, it was a five hour ride in the back of a cop car with my hands tightly cuffed behind my back “Cass-catraz” I believe the inmates called it…

After I got out I didn’t get the first job that I was after but within a few weeks a friend at church told me about another school that was looking for a driver and eventually I was hired! One of the things that was so incredible was that I was hired with barely enough time for me to work and receive a paycheck so that I could make a 400.00 support payment that the judge ordered me to make! When I first got this job I was so broke, I remember that I had to ask the superintendent to loan me twenty bucks until I got paid so that I’d have enough gas to get back and forth to work. That was in October of 2008, and for the next eight months nothing really changed except that I added “Go to work” to my routine and had a little more money. Speaking of money, here’s something that will put my financial situation in proper perspective…In 2008 I made a total of 2950.00! I actually paid more in child support than I made the whole year, they took my 3900.00 tax return and I paid them over 600.00 to get me out of jail, 400.00 to keep me from going back to court and two or three hundred more in Nov. and Dec.

My home mortgage was almost a year behind by now, and even though my banker was a very kind and patient man who tried to help me avoid losing my home we both knew what was coming. My house had been on the market for over a year and the only real offer I had was for 100,000 which was rejected by our sales person without bringing it to us first for being too low.  Ironically our house ended up selling for about 25% less than even that offer when it was all said and done!  My house and property was appraised by the bank and came in at 148,000.00 I owed about 72,000 which is what the bank sold it for, I walked away with nothing…


Living On “Y” Hwy…

Ronald Reagan contemplated death many times–how it might come and how to graciously accept it. He hated to fly. Every time he got in a plane he prayed. “Do you pray that the plane won’t crash?” his daughter Patti logically asked him. “No,” he answered, “I pray that whatever God’s will is I’ll be able to accept it with grace and have faith in His wisdom. We’re always in God’s hands. Sometimes it’s hard to accept that, so I pray that He’ll help me just to trust in His will.” He instructed his daughter, “When we die is God’s business as is how we die. President Ronald Reagan

I happened across this as I was browsing one day, I thought it was interesting so I copied and pasted it into a blog draft. Now, several months later, it seems like a good jumping off place for me to write this blog.

No, I’m not dying…(or flying)

"Y" Hyw by you.

I’m just moving to “Y” Hwy.

I’ve discussed at some length my various personal situations here in my blogs, so some of you know that I’m facing foreclosure on my home and 63 acres. It’s been a very long process that’s taken so many twists and turns, and now my majority feeling is just to get it over with. But as our late, great, elder statesman so bravely put it…

“I pray that whatever God’s will is I’ll be able to accept it with grace and have faith in His wisdom. We’re always in God’s hands. Sometimes it’s hard to accept that, so I pray that He’ll help me just to trust in His will.”

I’ll confess, that there have been many times during the past 2 years that I’ve completely “lost it”. I think that this experience has been one of the hardest things that I’ve ever had to face, why? because it’s never been just one thing at a time, (it’s several all at once) and also, because it just never seemed to end…(it still hasn’t)

At one point last week My A/C was out (it hasn’t worked all year) my well was malfunctioning, (no water for 3 days) the TV is history because of the digital changeover, (a mixed blessing) and my internet connection was also out for about 4 days, (ouch!) I have however, become a much more patient individual in the process. Stuff that used to really annoy me or that I wouldn’t of tolerated before just doesn’t seem to matter nearly as much anymore.

I thought it was interesting that I was moving to a house on “Y” hwy, a bit comical even! (when I’m not choking back my rage) The letter Y is somehow symbolic to me, if you consider that it kind of represents the proverbial “fork in the road” or a choice to make, which in my situation consists of…

A) Be consumed with bitterness and hatred for all those who are either directly or in-directly responsible (self included) for my circumstances. Wallow in a deep pool of self pity and resist any efforts made to extract me.

B) Be ever so thankful that my wife, daughter and I are not living under a bridge somewhere, that we’re actually living there rent free which will allow me to save money towards perhaps living somewhere else.

We can laugh or we can cry…I simply prefer to laugh!

Oh! you might find this interesting, right across the street from where I’m moving is a place called “Pigman Ranch” It’s claim to fame is that in the sixties the Beatles spent some time there just getting away from it all. Here’s a picture of the main house from my back yard

IMG_0076 by you.

Here’s where I’m moving into

IMG_0075 by you.

IMG_0074 by you.

Whattaya think? It’s a “fixer upper” right? Some curtains, a little paint…LOL

We’ve been spending a lot of time working on cleaning up the inside and I installed a new sink and toilet. We’ve also done a little sheetrock work and some painting trying to fix it up. I have some used carpet to lay down and of course I’ll have to scrape the house and paint it…

What I find most interesting is how I can see the Lord working in the circumstances of my life. For some time I’ve prayed for an opportunity to be used by the Lord in a greater way, and that He might be exalted and glorified through my life. I’ve been searching to find a place of ministry that would make use of the gifts and talents He gave me. I see whats happening to me simply as necessary steps in that process, the idea being that there’s no testimony without a test… A week or two ago someone told me a story about a cake and how if we were to receive all of the individual ingredients one at a time to make that cake we might not think it was such a great thing. Sort of like this…”Here’s a few cups of flour, open up!” or maybe,  “here, try some of this baking soda!”  or even, “Hungry? here’s two raw eggs” You get the idea?

I have no idea what stage of the process I’m in at the moment, it feels a bit like I’m in the oven lately…(lol) what with this heat we’ve been having. Thats good though because maybe it means that I’m nearing the end and that soon my life will enter the “cake” phase, which if I’m not mistaken is followed by the icing, I’m a big fan of both so I’m hoping that’s the case…