Sanders Family Unabridged Part 9 (March 2015 Cont.)

2-corinthians-5-7

Monday March 9, 2015

We had a great weekend with my in-laws. They came to see Alex perform in Grease. Unfortunately, we had another ice storm that turned their 5hr trip into a 2 day journey. Paducah, KY is the half way point in their trip and it had snowed 2 feet there. They were going to try to push through it anyway, but when it took them 35 minutes to go 1 mile they decided they’d best just hunker down for the night. They endured a few more hours of road madness the next morning, but eventually arrived safely.

We stayed with John and Cindy, at their hotel, while they were in town. On Saturday night Max piped up and said, “I think that when we have money we should just spend it on what we need instead of trying to make it last. God knows what we need and maybe he is waiting for us to show him that we trust him by doing that.” I honestly don’t know if he had heard us talking about that a couple weeks ago, or if he felt that on his own. I thought we had the conversation while they were at school, but I don’t remember. Either way, the post “Things Aren’t as Bad as You Think” came out of his words of wisdom. The missing days, from this post, are covered in that post as well.

A lady, that I haven’t seen or spoken with since I was a child, contacted us and told us that she read our blog and was very excited about our faith journey. She sent us numerous messages sharing how she had been in similar circumstances and how God had provided for her and brought her through them. We’re thanking God for another encouragement in our faith. It came at just the right moment.

My momma called and said the company she’s working for merged with another company earlier than expected and she only has 3 weeks of work left. She said she’s going to go visit Rachel for a week and then she is going to come visit us for a week. Yay!!! She hasn’t been able to visit yet, so I’m super excited! She’ll LOVE Nashville!

The topics of prayer and fasting keep coming up at church, books we read, Facebook statuses, and our devotions. I wonder if God is trying to tell us something… We’re going to fast this week and hopefully connect more to God and be able to hear what we’re supposed to do. We’re still clueless here.

I told Aaron that I do not want to go back to our friend’s house after spring break. It doesn’t feel right to be there and truthfully we’re an inconvenience to them. Why do we keep staying on when we know it’s not right? I sent a text to my friend telling her of our plan and she was ok with it this time. Haha! She told me we were welcome to stay there and house sit for them while they go on vacation, which happens to be the week after spring break. So, we kind of know what life is going to look like for the next 3 weeks. That’s a rarity around here.

In spite of what seems like advances in faith and trusting God, I’m still incredibly weary of all of it. Just last night I told Aaron that I can’t take any more of this. I know it’s not right that we’re at our friend’s house, but we also don’t have any other alternative, other than living in the van and that can’t be a long term thing. I said that when we get back from spring break we’re going to get jobs. I’m done with not having anywhere to live and with provision only eeeking in. I decided I would work daytime hours, because I think Aaron needs to be available to people, and he can work overnights. He agreed and looked up jobs at Kroger. They are currently hiring for the overnight shift. I told him that I wanted to wait until after our week of fasting and spring break to apply for jobs. If we haven’t gotten any words from God, or seen any action on God’s part by the time we get back from break, we’re getting out of this situation ourselves because I can’t take it anymore.

I know I’ve said that at least 100 times, “I can’t take it anymore.” and every time I’ve said it God has come through with provision, words of wisdom, or encouragement. I’m open to any one of them, but I need to hear from him. I know he’ll do something, I don’t know what, but I know he will. I’m trying to keep myself from thinking too far ahead. What will happen when we’re back from spring break? Where are we going to live? Is God going to keep providing or are we getting jobs? This time of waiting is really tough.

Thursday March 12, 2015

Aaron and I were discussing what God could be doing in our lives, what we should be doing and whether or not we are even hearing God on this adventure, when Aaron remembered that his dad had given us the book “One Hundred Days in the Secret Place” to read. It is a devotional compiled of works written by three different authors, dating back to the 1600’s; Jeanne Guyon, Michael Molinos and Francios Fenelon. The book was amazing! It spoke directly to the thoughts that we had and even some of the circumstances in our life. All three authors talked about the importance of letting God “hurt” you, because the suffering prepares you to fulfill your purpose. People do not want to see that God allows suffering and pain, but without it we are not able to grow and mature. As we read, we realized a lot of our actions and reactions have been a result of “self-love” as these authors called it. Instead of being still and allowing God to speak to us, through these difficult circumstances, we have been trying to find ways to have it make sense to ourselves and show others that we are still working for God. What if our work right now is to be still? What if it is not time for outward work, but time for inward work? Are we ok with that? Are we ok with resting in him, being still, listening to his voice and letting him do “heart” work when outwardly it looks like we’re being stupid, lazy and not following him at all? We need to remember “the Lord sees not as man sees…the Lord looks on the heart.”

Monday March 23, 2015

We spent spring break in Illinois with my in-laws. We had wonderful conversations about what God is doing and the many things we’re learning and unlearning. It is difficult to stay in the fire of our situation, when there are so many places where we could go to be safely done with it. We know that if we jump out before God is done refining us, we will not be the vessel needed for the work he is calling us to. While it is hard for us to go through, something I noticed this week is that it is really hard for our parents to watch us going through it. Parental instinct is to rescue your child from what is hurting them. Kind of hard to do when the one allowing the fire is God. We talked about having to unlearn the need to earn our privilege to talk to God, or have a relationship with him. We have realized that so much of what we do is because we think if we don’t do it a certain way God will ignore us or punish us. Faith is such a fine line. Yes, God has expectations of us, but at the same time if we fail that doesn’t mean our relationship is over, or that we have to earn the right to talk with him again. We have heard that we can’t earn our salvation our entire lives, but somehow we fell into that trap anyway. Instead of “working out our salvation with fear and trembling” we’ve turned to doing what we’ve been told God expects, and when we fail we busily try to do more to make up for where we failed, in hope that God will listen to us. His mercy is far greater than we can ever understand. He is the epitome of the patient Father that wants the best for his children and is helping them learn how to get there. He isn’t waiting for us to fail, so he can walk away and leave us. He’s there for us, so when we fail we have loving arms to fall into and a loving father to show us the right way. Why do we keep taking the painful route of penance?

During my bible reading this week I came across 2 Corinthians 5:11-15. I love it! It is our heart’s desire written right there in the bible:

“Because we understand our fearful responsibility to the Lord, we work hard to persuade others. God knows we are sincere, and I hope you know this, too.

Are we commending ourselves to you again? No, we are giving you a reason to be proud of us, so you can answer those who brag about having a spectacular ministry rather than having a sincere heart.

If it seems we are crazy, it is to bring glory to God. And if we are in our right minds, it is for your benefit.

Either way, Christ’s love controls us. Since we believe that Christ died for all, we also believe that we have all died to our old life.

He died for everyone so that those who receive his new life will no longer live for themselves. Instead, they will live for Christ, who died and was raised for them.

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Author: Jen Sanders

I'm the wife of a gorgeous hunk of man named Aaron and momma of 4 beautiful offspring that occasionally make me want to pull my hair out. My life goal is to be like Jesus.

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