Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Happy New Year!


Ok, so I didn't get my "Christmas card" blog done this year, so it's turned into a "Happy New Year card" blog instead. And if you read my blog, then you pretty much know what went on in our life this past year. And if you don't normally read my blog, well, you can go back and read it all, or you can do it the easy way, and just continue reading now as I try to sum up what this year in our life was like. Of course, if you want more details, then you still might want to read my old blogs, but here is my summary of our year, 2010....

Before I get started, I just want to say that we enjoyed the few Christmas cards we received this year. It seems we get fewer and fewer each year, but then I totally understand that because I don't actually mail out Christmas cards anymore, either. Instead I've truly entered the age of electronics, and now "do" our Christmas card here on my blog. And I've enjoyed reading the "Christmas card blogs" that many of you also did! It certainly simplifies a part of the very busy Christmas season to be able to do it this way! So, even though you can't put these cards up on your wall, I am all for the convenience of doing them this way. With that being said, here I am sending ours out AFTER Christmas! However, this has been a crazy and tumultuous few months for us, and if it weren't for that fact that I CAN do our cards this way, you probably wouldn't even be getting one at all. And there will be a LOT more pictures than I could fit in a card! :)  So here we go....

January 8
The year started on a happy note with Rachel turning "sweet 16".


And then, on the very same day, our world suddenly turned upside down. I was shopping for Rachel's birthday dinner when I got the call. I remember feeling like suddenly I was in this horrible surreal dream that I would soon wake up from. Unfortunately this wasn't a dream, but all too real, so we made plans to drive to northern California for the funeral and just a few days later started the long drive up there.
My daughters and a friend comforting my niece, Lexi.
My mom.....


It was a beautiful funeral with lots of great remembrances of my brother. Some that made us laugh and some that made us cry. He would have loved it! The girls and I sang "I Can Only Imagine", one of my brother's favorite songs and I even learned things about my brother and the impact he had on so many people's lives that I had never known before. Finally it was time to go home and even that turned into a drama filled trip with some heavy rain and then snow! We barely made it through Cajon Pass (Grapevine was already closed before we got there). We were glad to get back home to sunny Arizona!




 Once we got back from northern California, it was time to set aside our grief and really celebrate Rachel's "sweet 16" birthday. My dear friend, Lu, took over the party planning, and she transformed our house into a beautiful festive place for Rachel's Sweet 16 masquerade ball.....
Beautiful cake!




Hannah - Rachel - Sarah



 April.... Sarah & Rachel were in our community theater's production of "Father of the Bride". Bob was the director and I did the stage makeup.
Rachel the "maid"

Sarah the "caterer"




 May... another loss for me. My dear friend, Cathy, finally succumbed to lung cancer after a 6 year battle. I still miss her SO very much! And sadly she leaves behind 4 beautiful children and a loving husband. I can't begin to imagine how much they must miss her!



June... Bob and I celebrated 22 years of marriage, Hannah left on her musical mission trip with the Young Continentals, Sarah turned 19, and The Wizard of Oz production opened at our community theater. Once again, our family was very involved with Bob and Sarah doing back stage, Rachel was a jitterbug dancer and singer, and Pam once again did makeup (which was SO fun!)...
Rachel the "jitterbug"

Cast party and also celebrating Sarah's brithday.


The Young Continentals



Lu and me
 August brought another loss, in a way... my dear friend, Lu and her daughter, Amanda, moved away to northern California. Lu is my best friend and like another sister to me, and I really miss her!

Bummed to see our friends leaving.


We also experienced another loss in August... our church home and family.  It was heart breaking, and I learned a HUGE lesson regarding judging others. I pray that I will NEVER do to someone else, what was done to us. It STILL hurts so very much! And that's all I'm going to say.


September... Hannah, my "baby", turned 14 years old!
 September was also the month that we got the devastating news that our mortgage lender did not accept the pending offer on our house so that we could short sell it. Instead they chose to foreclose, and so the process of moving out of our dream home began.

October... I was SO blessed to be able to attend the Women of Faith conference here in Phoenix with my dear friend, Donna, and her sister and friends. The seats were the BEST, right by the stage, and thanks to Donna's sister, I did not have to pay for my ticket. A very timely and much needed Spiritual boost!
Donna and me

 October was also a good month, as Bob finally got a job and started working full time. Yes!



Our current home
November was a busy, emotional and chaotic month! It started with us moving into a rental house and out of our dream home. This move took it's toll on me with illness striking me down the week before we moved, and a couple more times since then. And our whole family still deeply feels the loss of our dream home, but we are also settling into our "cozy" rental house and slowly turning it into home.

 Also in November, Hannah and Rachel were in our community theater children's production of "Alice in Wonderland". This was particularly exciting for Rachel as she got her first really big role... the caterpillar/butterfly! Hannah was in the ensemble as a "Wonderland dancer" and singer. And yes, I did the makeup. :)

Hannah the "parrot"

Look at all those arms!






 Another exciting event in November was Sarah being in the Miss Arizona USA pageant as Miss San Tan Valley! She didn't place, but she had an AWESOME time and made many new friends.

Opening dance



Dressed up & ready to go to Bob's company Christmas party
And that brings us to December... this has probably been the hardest year we've ever had with SO many losses, and just hard all around as we struggled each month to pay just our necessary bills. But God has been faithful, and I can honestly say He has never let us down! So we continue to trust in Him and also to count our blessings as we go through this Christmas season and look forward to 2011! We hope that you have had a wonderful and blessed Christmas and that this will be a happy and blessed new year!
Hannah (14)  Sarah (19)  Rachel (16)

Thursday, November 25, 2010

What a Difference a Month (Plus a Little More) Makes!

Well, life got really busy and it's been a while since I've written anything. Much has changed since my last post. We are moved, into a much smaller house, which was expected, and we did find one that we liked with nice paint, and trees in the yard! I can't tell you how many houses we looked at that were in a "wasteland" of gravel, one or 2 bushes and NO trees! So I feel blessed that we have trees in the front and back yard and even a patch of grass in the backyard! :)

It hasn't been an easy time, though. Packing up our dream home was hard, and then the week before we were supposed to move, I got really sick! All I could do was lay down quietly and rest. And even when I finally started feeling better, I had NO energy and would tire very quickly once I got up and started doing something. NOT a good way to be the week before moving. My girls were a complete blessing, though, as they finished up most of the packing including the hardest room of all... the KITCHEN! I have to say that it's been interesting unpacking some of those boxes as my 14 year old's way of packing is a little more, shall we say, creative than my way of packing! ;) But I am NOT complaining! In fact, I am grateful for my 3 girls who once again showed me that they are girls of character and they stepped up and did what needed to be done.

So, the weekend of November 6th, we moved. We actually started on the 5th, and we didn't completely finish until the morning of the 9th! So many odds and ends of stuff! And that brings up another HUGE blessing! All of our friends, and friends of friends, who came to help! Everyday, starting on the 5th through the 9th, people showed up to help us! You all know who you are, and I am SO grateful for you and feel as though I can never express enough thanks for your help in our time of need! You all were angels with skin on, truly!  And I don't know what we would have done without you! This was the hardest move we've ever had to make, and it has definitely taken it's toll on us, for me both mentally and physically as I've still not been completely well for several weeks now! When we turned our keys in on November 9th, it was with many tears and emotions. And I still feel sad about our loss and will for some time, I think. It's almost like a death in many ways, and we just have to go through the mourning process. And sadly, we have had to mourn another loss, our church home. I have felt that loss very deeply as we've gone through this move, because I always thought our church family would be going through this with us, coming along side us and helping us. Instead, except for a very few, they chose to judge us and criticize us and gossip about us, and then shun us because we did not respond to their judging and criticizing as they thought we should. I am still working through the pain from that. But, I'm also doing my best to rise above this and focus on what we DO still have, and that is our family which has remained fiercely in tact throughout this storm, our true friends who have come along side us and been there for us, and a stronger and a deeper faith in God.

Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up. Therefore, as we have opportunity, let us do good to all people, especially to those who belong to the family of believers. ~ Galatians 6:9-10


So now, we unpack, get rid of more stuff, because we still have WAY too much of it! And we make this smaller house into a home. Actually it already is, because we are here as a family! I'm also grateful that my parents and sister are here for the week and we'll be spending Thanksgiving together. My energy finally seems to be returning and my health is improving, so I'm finally feeling like I'm making some progress getting settled in, and it's great having my mom and sister's help this week, too! :)  Bob's new job is going well. He finishes his training this week, and then will start his regular shift of 2:30 to 11:00pm. I'm not crazy about those hours, but it's a full time job for him and for that I am grateful!

The LORD is my strength and my shield; my heart trusts in Him, and He helps me. My heart leaps for joy, and with my song I praise Him. ~Psalm 28:7

And speaking of being grateful, Thanksgiving is almost here, and I truly AM grateful for so many things! Family, friends, a roof over our head and food in the pantry. God has provided for us each and every month over the past year when we had no savings left and it seemed like we'd never make it. Each month the necessary bills somehow got paid and we never went hungry. So I am grateful! I am grateful for a God who loves me and cares for me. I am grateful for my family, and that because of Him, we are still together even though we've come through some of the worst trials of our life! I'm grateful for my friends, my true friends, who have stuck by us and helped us in so many different ways! I'm just grateful!  So HAPPY THANKGIVING everyone!!!!! May you and yours be blessed as you celebrate a day of giving thanks.

Shout for joy to the LORD, all the earth. Worship the LORD with gladness; come before Him with joyful songs. Know that the LORD is God. It is He who made us, and we are His; we are His people, the sheep of His pasture. Enter His gates with thanksgiving and His courts with praise; give thanks to Him and praise His name. For the LORD is good and His love endures forever; His faithfulness continues through all generations. ~Psalm 100

Friday, October 8, 2010

The Good and the Not so Good...

Today is October 8, 2010. One month from today, we have to be moved out of what was our dream home. That's hard enough, But I'm also feeling on the edge of panic as I look at all that still needs to be done between now and then! I think I've come to terms with losing this house. I mean, it was never ours to begin with, and we weren't in God's will in building it, so we've known for a while that this day was coming. I think the hardest part is having to start all over again. We're back to square one, where we were 22+ years ago when we got married. We were younger then, with life stretching out ahead of us full hopes, dreams and plans. Now we're further along in this journey of life, and the prospect of having to start over again is just not the same as it was over 20 years ago. In fact, it's downright scary! I'm just grateful that I can trust in God and in His plan for us as we journey through this valley.

Why are you downcast, O my soul? Why so disturbed within me? Put your hope in God,  for I will yet praise Him,  my Savior and my God. ~Psalm 42:11


With that being said, I am grateful! I am grateful because my husband has finally been hired for a full-time job! It's not the job he had envisioned... in fact he is having to start in an entry level job doing something that isn't even in his field of expertise. But this is the job that God has provided for him, so we are grateful and will do our best to be good stewards of what little money we have. I am grateful for our three daughters who are weathering this storm with us and growing spiritually as we go through this as a family. I am grateful that I haven't heard one word of bitterness or "why me" coming from them! They, too, are learning to trust in the One who has everything in His control and know that even when things are dark and scary, He is there carrying us through it. I am grateful for friends and family like you who have been praying us through this. I am grateful for your encouraging words, and I am grateful for those of you who have blessed us with gifts that always come at just the right time! My heart is overflowing as I thank God for each one of you who have been walking this journey with us.

I thank my God every time I remember you. In all my prayers for all of you, I always pray with joy because of your partnership in the gospel from the first day until now, being confident of this, that He who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus. ~Philippians 1:3-6


Of course, this journey is not over yet. We are now working on finding a place to live when we move in a month and trying not to worry about that. It's going to be a challenge based on the salary Bob will be making with his new job. And then there are the deposits and all. And finding a place that will be big enough for a family of five, and it's no longer us and three small children, but rather three teenagers. Well, we'll need at least TWO bathrooms! LOL. So we pray and look and trust that God knows where that place is that will be our new home and that He'll lead us to it. And we pray that we will wait patiently without worry or fear as we wait on His perfect timing.

Be still before the LORD and wait patiently for Him... ~Psalm 37:7a


I wish I could say that I'm not struggling with all of this, but I am. Honestly, I'm struggling on a daily basis. I wake up at night wondering how we're going to get moved out of here, and how we're going to find a decent place we can afford to rent. But then I have to stop and listen for my Savior's still small voice and trust Him. Why is it always so hard to just TRUST Him?! Maybe someday I'll finally learn how.

Be still, and know that I am God... ~Psalm 46:10a


Needless to say, we still covet your prayers. We feel like we're finally seeing the light at the end of the tunnel, but there's still a ways to go until we actually will be able to emerge out into that light.

And the journey continues......

But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus. ~Philippians 3:13b-14

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Small Update & More Prayers

We finally were able to talk with someone regarding a move-out date for us. We're very thankful that we will have until November 7th, to move. And they even told us if we needed an extra day or two, that would be ok. So another small sigh of relief, on the one hand. And then I take a look at all that needs to be done and I start to panic again! Lord, give me strength!

And then my sweet daughter, Rachel, has been quite sick this week, with what we think could be Valley Fever! Please lift her up and pray for healing for her. It's always so hard to see one of my kids feeling as sick as Rachel has been feeling. We are hoping to get her in to see a doctor later this week, although everything I've read on the internet about Valley Fever says that for an otherwise health individual, medical treatment is usually unnecessary. I guess I just want to make sure that my "diagnosis" is accurate. Anyway, with Rachel being sick, packing is going slower because I don't have her help. So between her being sick and the slower process of packing, you could say I'm stressing out just a little! LOL

So that's our latest update for now. Please keep the prayers going up, if you will. Thank you so much.

So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God.  I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with My righteous right hand. ~Isaiah 41:10

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Prayers Update

Well, our first prayer has been answered. :-) We did find out that our house sold at auction, but that's not the answered prayer. The answered prayer is that we're being offered a program called Cash for Keys. What that means is the buyer will give us cash based on how fast we can move out. The longer we take, the less we get. Our choice is 15 days, 30 days or 45 days. 15 days is OUT of the question. 30 days we MIGHT be able to do, but now that I got this job during the month of October, I just don't think 30 days is feasible. So we're going to go for the 45 days. We'll only get $1000 instead of $3000 (or $2000 for 30 days), but we'll take it and be grateful! :-)

I will lie down and sleep in peace, for You alone, O LORD, make me dwell in safety. ~Psalm 4:8

But this is just the first small step. There is still SO much up in the air, and uncertain. Of most importance of course, it would be really good if Bob got a better paying job that is just one job and not several part-time jobs. He did have a group interview with a local company today and he did well enough in this group interview so that he is scheduled for a one-on-one interview with them on Monday. This is great, only it is an entry level position in their call center, and the pay is still barely enough for us to survive on. However, if that is the job that God wants for him, then we will be grateful. And once he is employed there, he could hopefully transfer to a job within that would pay better and be more in his computer line of work. And there is also the possibility of a job as a project manager with a hospital corporation, but it would be in California! Southern California to be exact. Moving back to CA was not something we thought we'd ever do, but then we never thought we'd be in the place we are in our life, so if that is where God wants us then California here we come...right back where we started from! :)  Anyway, if Bob gets a job here in the Phoenix area, then obviously we'll be looking for a house to rent. If he gets the job in CA, then our stuff will go into storage, Bob will move into something temporary in CA, or maybe even stay with my parents, and the girls and I will look for a temporary place to stay until Rachel and Hannah's play is over and Sarah is done with her semester of college. So please pray that we find out soon about the CA job. The good part about it is that the pay is much better than this other job Bob interviewed for. But then we'd be moving back to southern California so we'd need more money for sure! So anyway, still lots to pray about there! :-)

Though I walk in the midst of trouble, You preserve my life; You stretch out Your hand against the anger of my foes, with Your right hand You save me. The LORD will fulfill His purpose for me; Your love, O LORD, endures forever—do not abandon the works of Your hands. ~Psalm 138:7-8

So we're breathing a little sigh of relief that at least we won't have to move within days from now. Thank you, God! I think that was weighing the heaviest on my mind. That along with the money issues with rent deposits and all. But hopefully with the Cash for Keys program along with my job and hopefully a more full-time job for Bob, we'll be able to pull it together. In any event, your prayers are working! So please keep them going! Thank you! :-) Oh yeah, and I actually slept last night for more than an hour or two. YES! :)

Your kingdom is an everlasting kingdom, and Your dominion endures through all generations. The LORD is faithful to all His promises and loving toward all He has made. The LORD upholds all those who fall and lifts up all who are bowed down. The eyes of all look to You, and You give them their food at the proper time.  You open Your hand and satisfy the desires of every living thing. ~Psalm 145:13-16

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Prayers....Prayers....Prayers

As the title may imply, we need prayers! And here is why.....

Most of you know by now that my husband lost his job/business over 2 years ago now. He has been looking and looking for a job ever since with no good results. We were able to survive for a while on our savings, then our retirement savings, and then our home equity line of credit and our credit cards (very bad idea!). When all of that was exhausted, we didn't know what to do! We had already cut just about every possible extra expense we could think of. But we still had our necessary bills and of course now we had credit card payments. We were able to muddle through a few more months, but then we realized we were finally in a place we never thought we'd be. We couldn't pay our mortgage payment. There was just no way! Our hearts just sank and we started down a road we'd never been down before. The road of going into default on a loan. And just a few months later, we also had to stop making payments on our credit cards. Bob and I had always had a stellar credit rating, now it's, well, not so stellar. Bob finally realized that he had to start looking for ANY job. So he applied at Home Depot, Lowe's, various restaurants, other stores, and more, all to no avail. He was able to work for the U.S. Census for several weeks, which was helpful, and then a friend of ours from church started asking Bob to come work for him doing various handyman type jobs. Thankfully, this has continued, although somewhat sporadically, but it has at least helped pay the bare minimum bills. Our church also helped us out for a few months with our utility bills. Bob has also started another part-time job with an events company. In spite of all this, the day came when we had to go down yet another road we never thought we'd be on. We realized we needed to apply for government assistance. We immediately got some help for food expense, and have now also been approved for health coverage. Thank you, God! We are still waiting to see if we will qualify for some cash assistance. In May of this year, we decided to put our house up for sale as a short sale, to try to keep it from being foreclosed on and going to auction. We got an offer on it very quickly, and breathed a little sigh of relief thinking we'd avoid the foreclosure. Well, a couple of weeks ago, we got a notice from our lender that they had turned down the offer on our house. The same person almost immediately re-submitted a higher offer, but apparently our lender didn't accept this one, either, because we found out this past Monday night that our house went up for auction this past Friday (Sept. 17). We don't know yet if it actually sold, but this has rocked our world a bit! 

I cried out to God for help; I cried out to God to hear me. When I was in distress, I sought the Lord; at night I stretched out untiring hands and my soul refused to be comforted. I remembered You, O God, and I groaned; I mused, and my spirit grew faint. You kept my eyes from closing; I was too troubled to speak. ~Psalm 77:1-4

So how am I dealing with this, you might ask? Well, my sleep has definitely been affected. And not in a good way -- I'm just not able to sleep much. And when I do, I have dreams about packing and moving and strangers coming to our door and telling us to move. It's not that we didn't know that this might happen, and we absolutely knew we were going to have to move and that our dream house, that we designed and built just a few short years ago, was lost to us. But we really had high hopes that our lender would postpone the auction date as they had been doing, since there was a new pending offer, and that we could continue living here for just a little bit longer. But, that was not meant to be and instead the storm is getting more intense and therefore I've not been sleeping well (Bob either!) and also have huge knots in my stomach most of the time anymore.

I thought about the former days, the years of long ago; I remembered my songs in the night. My heart mused and my spirit inquired: "Will the Lord reject forever? Will He never show His favor again?  Has His unfailing love vanished forever? Has His promise failed for all time?  Has God forgotten to be merciful? Has He in anger withheld his compassion?"  ~Psalm 77:5-9

We don't know, at this point, when we'll have to move. Obviously we are packing and trying to go through our stuff and figure out what furniture to sell and just get rid of as much stuff as we can. It's overwhelming right now! And ironically, after searching for a part-time job for myself for the past 2 years with no luck, I just got hired for a job at a place nearby that has a pumpkin chili festival during the month of October. So I will be working Thursdays through Sundays, throughout the month of October. Don't get me wrong, I'm grateful for this job (and Bob got hired, too! Yea!) However, I'm just a little overwhelmed when I think about the fact that I'm now going to be working part-time as I'm trying to get my house packed up as quickly as possible and maybe even be moving, all in the next several weeks! Of course, I also have kids to homeschool, a daughter in college who doesn't have a driver's license yet (can't afford the insurance), so I also have to get her to and from her classes on Tuesdays and Thursdays, and I still have my internet business that I don't want to abandon completely, along with all the day to day household chores and all. Wait! Maybe not being able to sleep at night could be a good thing! Like maybe I should just get up and work on packing when I can't sleep? Hmmmm. Something to consider. :) Probably the scariest part of this whole thing is, and what I'm losing the most sleep over is that we don't know how we are going to come up with the required deposits for renting a place, and we are also wondering HOW we are going to pay rent when Bob still doesn't have a full time job that pays a little better than what he's making with all the part-time jobs. Don't get me wrong, we are very grateful for the jobs he's working even though the pay is not nearly enough to sustain us completely. But when we add rent into the equation, well, we just don't know how we'll swing it. It's not a good feeling to not know how we are going to keep a roof over our heads!  Oh, and did I mention that both of our cars are having issues? They at least are running, but poorly and therefore just sucking up the gas. But we're grateful that they both at least get us to where we need to go and hope that they will continue to do so for a good while longer.

Then I thought, "To this I will appeal: the years of the right hand of the Most High."  I will remember the deeds of the LORD; yes, I will remember Your miracles of long ago. I will meditate on all Your works and consider all Your mighty deeds. ~Psalm 77:10-12

So we continue to trust that God is in control, and that none of this is a surprise to Him, and He will help us through this storm. However, we also covet your prayers as we go through this time. About the only thing that has truly sustained us as we've walked through this raging storm for the past 2+ years, is our faith in God and the prayers of all our family and friends. There have been days when I've been SO stressed out, tired and discouraged, and then something will happen to remind me that God truly does love me and is taking care of us even when I can't see it or feel it. Perhaps it was your prayer that lifted me up at that moment. So, if you would, PLEASE continue to lift our family up in prayer. We can feel them! 

Your ways, O God, are holy. What god is so great as our God?  You are the God who performs miracles; You display Your power among the peoples. ~Psalm 77:13-15

But now, this is what the Lord says: “Fear not, for I have redeemed you; I have summoned you by name; you are mine. When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and when you pass through the rivers, they will not sweep over you. When you walk through the fire, you will not be burned; the flames will not set you ablaze. For I am the Lord, your God, the Holy One of Israel, your Savior. ~Isaiah 43:1

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Updates and Prayers

Wow! I realized today that I am WAY overdue for an update here! Much has happened since my last post, so here are the updates....

When I last wrote, Hannah was off on her mission trip, and Sarah was preparing for hers to Chile. Hannah is now home after an amazing and life-changing 5+ weeks of rehearsal camp and then touring the western half of the United States singing and spreading the good news of faith in Jesus Christ! She got home on August 2nd, and is slowly getting back into "real life". She misses her tour buddies, but has fun keeping in touch through Facebook and Skype.

Sarah was also busily getting ready to leave on her mission trip on July 21st. And then just a few days before she was to leave, she got the news that the trip was being postponed. She was, understandably, quite disappointed but she is trusting in God and seeking His will in all of this. She is also looking forward to January, 2011, when hopefully the trip will be re-scheduled. In the meantime, she has started college! After taking a year off after graduating from high school, she is now enrolled at our local community college! So the college journey begins for her. I still keep thinking that I'm not old enough to have a daughter in college! LOL!

Life for us is still pretty much a challenge. After over 2 years of unemployment, Bob is STILL looking for a full-time job with computer programming. He has broadened his search to be nationwide, so we continue to trust in God and wait to see where He might move us!  It's truly an adventure and I am really learning to take each day one at a time, be thankful for that day and to praise God in everything!

So that brings me to the prayers part of this post. We do covet your prayers as we continue through this humongous storm in our life! You never think you're going to be in a place like this, but here we are! So we ask for your prayers as we continue to stay surrendered and seeking God's will as to what He wants us to do next and where He might want us to go. There have definitely been some circumstances that have come up lately that seem to indicate that God may be preparing us to move somewhere else soon. So we are waiting and wondering where and when that might be.

And if you would also keep Sarah and Hannah in your prayers. Hannah still has support she has to raise for the mission trip she's already been on. And Sarah has quite a bit to raise between now and January if she is going to go to Chile. All total, it's about $3600 they need to raise. So we ask for your prayers that God will provide and for Sarah that He will make His will known regarding going on this trip or not. Some have questioned us about letting them do these mission trips during a time of financial crisis for us. We understand and respect this questioning, and please understand that these decisions to support them in going on these trips were not made lightly and without MUCH prayer and seeking of God's will. The thing we keep coming back to as a family is this: our God is a big God! He is THE God who holds the world in His hands. We believe He is big enough to both supply our family's needs AND the needed support for these mission trips. We do seek His will over this everyday, and we are not doing anything that would jeapardize our personal financial situation anymore than it already is jeapardized because of long-term unemployment. We covet your prayers and ask that you come along side us in prayer as we daily seek His will in ALL things going on our life!

So that's it, updates and prayers. Hopefully our next update will be quicker than this one was! :-)


Here's a few pictures from Hannah's mission trip.....


Monday, July 5, 2010

Sarah - 16 Days & Counting and Hannah's Tour Begins!

Today Hannah's mission trip tour officially starts! She didn't quite make the $500 goal, but she is still able to go. Overall, Hannah is still about $1400 short of what she needs to raise in support, and it still needs to be raised even though she is already on her trip.

And in just 16 short days, Sarah leaves on her mission trip to Chile. She is still about $2200 short of what she needs to raise in support.

Many of you have stepped forward and helped by donating to Sarah and Hannah. To you we say, thank you SO very much! Many of you have also promised to pray both for the support to come in for Sarah and Hannah, and for their safety once they are on their trip. So I ask you today, as Hannah's mission trip begins, that you will pray for their health and safety as they travel. And I also ask that you pray for those who they will be singing and ministering to. Pray for their hearts to be ready to receive the message that God has for them.

I also want to challenge you. Many of us are experiencing financial difficulties due to our poor economy. When we look at the bottom line of our finances, it may look impossible to be able to give anything. But I challenge you to give anyway! It doesn't have to be a large amount. Just $5.00 or $10.00 still helps. Sarah and Hannah's combined needed support is around $3600. If 360 people give $10.00, then it's raised. Some of you can afford a larger amount then that, so we probably don't even need 360 people to give. But what if you are one of those 360 people who God is asking to give, but you don't step up and do it? It's easy to think that there will be 360 OTHER people who will step up and give, but if everyone thought that way, then nothing happens. I'm asking you to consider yourself one of the 360 people that we need. If you can only give $5.00 then give that $5.00. If you can give $25.00, $100.00, $1000.00, just please give what God is asking you to give. We believe that nothing is impossible with Him, and that works both ways for those of us who need to give, and for Sarah and Hannah to believe that God will help them raise this money. All I ask is that you come before God with an open heart and an open mind and ask Him what, if anything, He wants you to give to help spread His message of love and redemption to the world.

Items are still for sale in my store that will help their support, and you can also still order Gold Canyon Candles or Cookie Lee Jewelry that will also help them financially. Or you can still just make an online donation. All the info you need is listed below.

The Purple Picket Fence Store
Email JaNae Crosby to order candles & jewelry - mjanae99@yahoo.com

Credit Card Donations:
https://www.firstgiving.com/hannahcole
http://www.firstgiving.com/sarahcole2010

Paypal Donations:
http://sarahandhannah.chipin.com/continentals-mission-trip

Mail-in Donations:
Continental Ministries
P.O. Box 6972
Ventura, CA 93006-6972