Sanders Family Unabridged Part 21 (February 2016)


Wednesday February 3, 2016

We’ve had crazy bad weather…for Tennessee. Haha! Church was canceled on Sunday because the roads around it take longer to melt off than other roads in the county. We went to Gateway Church instead, since they were still having their afternoon service. That’s where we went last year when Grace Center canceled because of the weather. 🙂 They are near the end of a 21 day Daniel fast that they were doing as a congregation. The pastor announced that he had a book for each family to take home that was about fasting. I was so excited!! I had been feeling like I needed to do another extended fast. The last time I felt I needed to do that a book about fasting had been given to me and it was happening again!! Yay!! After service one of our friends introduced us to a friend of hers, Kevin, that had just moved here with his wife from Colorado and this was their first service. I said, “Wait, Colorado Kevin?!” Yes, it was! This is the guy that we had heard about. He sold everything he had and moved to Colorado to create a retreat center for people in ministry to come to rest and connect to God away from everything. Aaron had wanted to talk to him ever since he’d heard about him and had wondered how he was going to get to Colorado to meet him. He didn’t have to, God brought him to Tennessee! Ha!! He said they were here because they felt like God was calling them to be where the musicians are, but they’re not sure what they’re going to do. Aaron exchanged email addresses with him so they could stay in contact.

Thankfully we have been in a hotel right now. The weather has been crazy and Jack has been complaining about his ears and throat. We always know when he’s not feeling well because he is very quiet. Haha! School was canceled on Monday, so we were able to just sit in the hotel and Jack slept for the majority of the day. He had a fever that started on Sunday and by Tuesday morning was still there and his ears and throat felt worse. There was school that day so we dropped all the other kiddos off and brought Jack to one of the minute clinics. He ended up having strep and an ear infection and wasn’t going to be able to be back to school until Thursday. We had only reserved our hotel through Tuesday morning but decided, since Jack wasn’t feeling well, that we’d extend the stay through the weekend. It ended up being a good call because school was canceled again on Wednesday and Friday and the bad weather continued all weekend.

I joined a book club! Yay!! I asked two of my other friends to go with me and we went to our first meet and greet on Monday night. None of us had ever been to one and we were completely book nerd excited. We had a wonderful time meeting the other ladies, there are 7 of us in all. We decided that we are going to read C.S Lewis’ “Mere Christianity” first.

Aaron had a Facebook message from his friend, Kevin, who lives in China with his family. (Yes, another Kevin in our life! We call this one China Kevin; we’re really clever like that) They are in China to start a farm for the girls that have grown too old to be in the orphanages. They will be teaching them life skills and giving them a place to be safe until they’re able to be out on their own. Kevin mentioned that they were in the States visiting family and wondered if Aaron would mind chatting on the phone sometime soon. They’ve never actually had an opportunity to talk to each other on the phone. They met through Kevin’s blog and have always communicated via messages. They had a great time catching up voice to voice and Kevin had some insightful things he shared with Aaron about living out faith. One of them was about listening to your children and letting their voice be yours. They haven’t been tainted by the negativity of life yet so more often than not they are closer to God’s heart and perspective than we are. He also said that we don’t need to worry about what to do next. When it’s time for the next step God will place it in front of us. And again we hear, “step into it”.

We had friends open their home to us for the weekend again. Their home is one of those places that has a no strings attached feeling of love and welcome. It was wonderful!

Pastor started going back over the Gospel to help people really understand it. Right now the message of Jesus Christ doesn’t move people. We’ve become inoculated to it, but it most definitely moved the first church. What changed? One of the things pastor pointed out was the difference between the tree of life and the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. This totally lit Aaron up and caused him to write a blog post about it. Jeff and Becky were at the doors as we left and gave us big hugs and Becky kissed my face. They wanted to know how we were doing and we told them to keep praying! A ladies Bible study had been announced during service and Becky invited me to come to it and told me the church would pay for my registration fee. I had wanted to go when I heard it mentioned anyway and since I ran into her and she invited me again I figured it is probably something I should go to. I’m not sure how I register online and say “the church is paying for my registration” so I’ll just go ahead and pay it. haha!!

I was invited to a group called “Girls Write Out”. It’s a group of women that gets together to encourage each other, worship God, and talk about the real life stuff of writing, being signed/published, how to market yourself, etc. The speaker the first night talked about God giving us a vision of what the end of a specific journey is going to look like, but He doesn’t give the whole plan on how to get there. He wants us to trust Him for each step. When it’s time to step into the next part of the journey, He will place it in front of you. She shared her own story and what it looked like for her to trust God for each step. What is up with all this “next step” coming at us from every direction?!! I think God is trying to tell us something! Haha!!

We asked the kiddos, again, how they’re feeling about van life. Is it wrong? Are we wrong to be reserving hotels? Are we wrong to be staying with friends? The consensus was that it doesn’t feel wrong to be in the van, but it doesn’t feel wrong to stay in a hotel or at a friend’s house either. It does feel wrong to try to make either of those things happen. If we don’t feel a “click” about one of those things, then they’re good staying in the van because that feels better than staying in a place that we shouldn’t be in, even if it is more physically comfortable.

Monday Febraury 8, 2016

We’re out of money until Aaron is paid on the 15th, so we’ve been in the van for the most part. Not a big deal really because we’ve done it for so long, but I think we kinda got used to being in beds from staying in hotels. We reminded the kiddos about talking to God about what we need. Thursday morning we checked our Paypal account and had been sent almost $300 so we stayed in a hotel over the weekend. When I picked Alex up from Pippin rehearsal at the high school that night I told him we were in a hotel and he said, “Thank you, Jesus!!” about a million times. He told me he had prayed that morning asking God if we could be in a hotel because rehearsals are starting to run late now that we’re closer to show time and he was going to miss showering for 3 days since the Rec. center is closed by the time he’s done. He was excited God answered his prayer to be able to shower!

Aaron took Bella to the daddy/daughter dance at her school. She was absolutely adorable! The theme was “Candyland” and we had gone out hoping to find a good deal on a dress that would look good with that theme. We found a dress for $7 that had different colored macaroons all over it. So perfect!! God even cares about Bella having a cute dress for her date with her daddy! 🙂

We’re pretty sure there were bed bugs or flees in the hotel we’d gotten. Aaron had bites all over, at least twenty. So gross!!!

Tuesday February 9, 2016

It snowed for most of the night and when we woke up at 5:00 to start getting ready for the day it was still snowing. We assumed there wouldn’t be school but we still hadn’t gotten the call that it was canceled. We continued to get ready so we could get Aaron to his bus on time. The call came at 5:20…when we were leaving. Poor Aaron was up for the day since he does not go back to sleep easily once he’s awake. We were a little bummed school was canceled because we had to find things to do with the kiddos all day. Since it’s so cold and snowy the only options we really have are the library and the Rec. center and there’s only so much time one can spend at either of those places. Really, Aaron is the one that ended up having to find ways to keep them occupied. It was my best friend’s birthday, so I spent the day out on birthday adventures. She loves the snow (in small doses) so that didn’t stop us from venturing out.

Wednesday February 10, 2016

Our tax refund came in this morning so we booked a hotel for the next 2 weeks. We’ll see what happens after that. We always hope that God is going to have opened the door to our own home again. One of these days that’s what will happen! 🙂

Wednesday March 2, 2016

Super behind in writing again. The date is March, but all of what I’m writing about happened in February.

I was still on my fast for our anniversary on the 14th so we didn’t go do anything. We don’t normally do anything on our anniversary anyway since it’s Valentine’s Day. It’s way too crazy everywhere. Poor planning on young, lovesick hearts 18 years ago. It sounded sweet and romantic at the time…and we never forget our anniversary…

A big majority of the past couple of weeks has been spent getting ready for Alex’ play Pippin. All day on Saturdays for all of us and every evening for Alex and I. It was AMAZING!!! I tell ya, those kids are awesome and Alex did a fantastic job!! He was Pippin’s brother, Lewis; an absolutely perfect role for him. Granny and Pop came to see the play and to celebrate Izzy’s birthday. She wanted to go to Cracker Barrel for her birthday lunch because she loves the little bottles of syrup they give you. Ha!! How cute is that???

I started the ladies Bible study at church. It’s a video series on the “Joy of Intercession” by Beni Johnson. I don’t know that I’m necessarily and “intercessor”, but the principals on prayer that we have been discussing have been amazing! It’s completely changing my prayer life!

I was talking to God one Monday morning about my desire to go to Nashville with the family to walk around, experience the culture down there and help out at some of the ministries for the homeless and low income they have there. My heart really wants to have some kind of ministry here in Williamson County, but I’m not quite certain what it looks like yet, so I want to interact with ones that are already in place because I feel like what is floating around in my head is a mash-up of different things. About 45 min after I had that conversation with God I received a text from a friend asking if I’d like to go with her to People Loving Nashville some Monday night. People Loving Nashville is a ministry that feeds the homeless every Monday night. How awesome is that? Ha! God provided direction right away!

Last Wednesday Aaron and I were heading to the high school a little before 11:00 a.m. for some last minute costume alterations I needed to make. We were talking about doing the things we fell God has placed in our hearts and I told Aaron that I had been feeling like more needs to be done with our family YouTube channel and that I’d like to save money to get an iPad mini or a new phone or something, so that I could video more things that happen. I am forever running out of room on my phone, so I don’t post half the things I’d love to on our channel because I don’t have space to record anything. Aaron said, “Let’s pray about it and see what God wants to do about it.” Ugh!!! I hate it when he says stuff like that! Ok, I don’t really hate it, but it does get annoying because I just want to do something other than wait! Aaron checked his email after I went inside and at 11:05 a friend from Minnesota had emailed him saying he’d been thinking of us and he thought that we should have a YouTube channel because we have such a compelling story. He said if it was anything we were interested in he could give us information on how to promote our channel and video tips, etc. Aaron emailed back right away telling him about our conversation just minutes before and that we had a YouTube channel but hadn’t really done much with it and would love some help. Our friend was excited and sent us some links with information and said when we had gone through those to let him know and he’d help us in whatever way he could. Awesome! It wasn’t a new iPad or phone, but it’s info. I didn’t have on how to better our content, which is probably more important than new technology in the long run. Another answer right after we ask!

I had a conversation with a friend about the need for a place for people to go to that is safe, entertaining and doesn’t cost anything. She has noticed the same thing we have, when there is a government holiday or bad weather the only places available to go that don’t cost anything are shut down. Those that have a bad home life or are struggling financially don’t have anywhere to go or anything to do. It’s not very fun to walk around a mall for hours and not be shopping and it’s very uncomfortable to go hang out in a fast food restaurant for hours and only be able to purchase a drink. This is part of my heart for a ministry of sorts. I don’t even know if it could be called a ministry. I want to have a place that is open for people to come to to study, read, hang out, play air hockey, ping pong, video games, play music, whatever and just be safe and not have to pay anything. I’d even love to feed whoever is there supper every night or at least on weekends. I have no idea how to get anything like that started or what it actually looks like. Still asking God for direction on that. My friend texted a few days later saying she had come across a verse during her devotion time that made her think of us:

For the LORD grants wisdom! From his mouth come knowledge and understanding.

He grants a treasure of common sense to the honest. He is a shield to those who walk with integrity.

He guards the paths of the just and protects those who are faithful to him.

Proverbs 2:6-8


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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