The Lord is in the prayer-answerin’ AND expectation-surpassin’ business!

Wednesday night’s sermon was on Worship and Prayer. Now wait a minute before you run off. You will want to read this. Truly. I promise I won’t be recapping a sermon, but this definitely needs to be set up to make sense. I know I’ve already written one post on this and talked about how it struck chords with me. I also talked about what took place after the sermon. I’d like to give a mini-update on that, as well as tell you more about what happened during the sermon and what the Lord has done since.

First the mini-update: Saturday- not only did he do well I noticed something new and while I didn’t get a chance to mention it to him immediately, I did manage to commend him on it a little later. He had been messing with a trash-can cart in the front yard and Mike hollered at him to put it down and leave it alone. He did and then stormed off. Mike hollered at him to get back there and Matthew kept going. I reminded him from the sidelines, “no running off, son, remember?”, and the next time Mike said “Come back here”… he did! He walked right back, no slamming of anything down on the ground, no yelling, nothing. He just walked right back and listened while Mike explained that the cart was made of a lightweight metal and could break if Matt stood on it like he had been. I told him later that I noticed and he said Daddy didn’t. Poor kid, he so wants Daddy to notice.

Ok. So that’s the Matthew update…now for the BIG story…

So Wednesday’s sermon was on worship and prayer. One thing the pastor preached on was how oftentimes we don’t pray big enough. We tend to get lackadaisical about our prayers or we tend to think, “nah, I can’t pray for that, God wouldn’t answer that, it’s too much” or “that’s the kind of thing preachers pray for not everyday people, God wouldn’t answer mine” or any number of other excuses we have for not praying big. Thing is God is GOD. He can do anything He wants to. Big is relative. It might seem big to us, but it’s so very, very simple for God. The pastor offered a challenge to us that night. He challenged us to pray bigger prayers.

Well, somewhere along the way during the sermon, I felt like the Lord was reminding me that I had quit praying about something in particular. I had thought that the reason I had quit praying for it must have been because I was certain the Lord would answer it. And while that might have been partially true, the bigger truth was that I simply quit. That is I had gotten lazy about it, maybe discouraged a little because I’d prayed a few times last summer and nothing seemed to happen, and maybe even a little on the “that kind of thing is for preachers…God doesn’t do that for everyday people”, so I quit. Not smart, I know, but then I don’t remember claiming I was smart about God’s ways…just that I was trying to learn.

Sometime during the sermon I also felt like the Lord wanted this to be a family prayer. What I mean is at some point I had the thought, “I should get the kids praying, too”. I’m certain this was in part because of something I heard the pastor mention a little while back about how it was good for the kids to see God answering prayers for the family. I “got” that message at the time, and had been kinda stewing on it for awhile. Some point during Wednesday’s sermon it clicked that this was the kind of thing the Lord meant by that.

So during the invitation, I leaned over and whispered to Matthew (all the time thinking/wishing Meagan was sitting with me so we could all go down together), “Do you want to go down and pray with me?”

“No”, he replied. (Getting this kid to move out of the pew is HARD. I’ve only managed it once thus far. At the same time he totally panics and hangs onto my arm if I try to go down to pray by myself. I haven’t actually tried DRAGGING him yet, but maybe I should…)

“I thought we’d go down and pray for a new van”, I told him.

His jaw dropped and his eyes got HUGE. He gasped and then said “REALLY?!”

I nodded. He was gonna go! So I started to head out of our pew (we sit on the third row, so it’s not like we have far to go). Just at that moment someone knelt down at the pew in the walkway at the pew in front of us. (The altar was PACKED! God was absolutely meeting with us that night!) So Matt and I decided to pray there. I was going to say a prayer out loud, and asked Matt if he was ready and he said he was already praying.

“I was” he said, “I already told Him about the transmission…”

Little man had his eyes closed, standing there, praying…without me prompting! =) I said my own prayer then. We were praying together…just separately. About that time I saw someone start to trip over the one knelt at the pew in front of us. I looked up just a teensy bit and recognized…Meagan! “Great, she went down and we didn’t“, I thought. “How’s that gonna look to everyone?

As we got in the van that night and started backing out of our oil-ridden spot, I told Meagan again how I wished she’d sit with us. That I’d wanted us all to go to the altar together, but I couldn’t get ahold of her since she wasn’t with us. “I went down” she said.

“I know, but we were all going to go down together. Instead Matthew and I were there in the pew praying for a new van.”

“I was praying for a new van, too.” Chill bumps begin now.

Later, at bedtime, the kids and I recapped the event sotospeak. We talked about how God knew we needed a new van, and so He would provide for us. We talked about what we prayed for and (on my end) what we should pray for. I’ll admit right here and now that I wasn’t thinking/looking at this through the eyes of a totally trusting child. Meagan prayed for a van like (another mom at church)…with 2 sliding doors and captain chairs. Matthew prayed for a new van. I told them that we should not worry so much about things like that, that the important things were that it would be reliable, something I’d feel comfortable driving (since I’d be driving it most of the time), something safe, and that wouldn’t cost a whole bunch to maintain. I also reminded them that the Lord knew we were going to need a new van before we did, and already had the perfect one picked out for us, and so we should pray that He’d help us…help DADDY…to find the right one. The one that the Lord had in mind for us. I also reminded them that we would need to just keep P.U.S.H.ing (Praying Until Something Happened) because since it was something we needed and God wants to provide for us, we could be sure He would eventually. The kids came up with comments like these:

“One that we don’t have to worry about breaking down all the time.”

“And one with a DVD player and headphones so we can watch movies.”

“Our van might not even be made yet!”

I shared most of this with Mike later that night. While sharing, I told him that I was getting the idea that the Lord didn’t want us to worry about getting a new van. I shared a story or two I’d heard of people having needs and the Lord answering their prayers super quick and/or in time with $$ to meet them or with the item itself. I told him that I didn’t know if God meant He was just going to hand us a van over or what, but that I totally did get the idea we weren’t supposed to worry. I even suggested that I thought it would be good for the kids if we included a new van in the prayer at mealtimes. I told him I thought it would probably be good for the kids to hear Daddy praying for one, too.

Then I was sure to add also (lest he think I was trying to tell him what to do…like “quit looking for a van” or “pray this in front of the kids”) that he was in charge of the decision-making, so it was totally up to him. We’d do things however he decided, but I had just wanted to share what I felt like the Lord was telling me…“don’t worry, I’ve got it taken care of”.

After that I didn’t do much of anything in terms of talking about prayer with Mike. I do NOT want to overstep my bounds. (I’m trying to do my part to get things in line with God’s plan, remember? And that means Mike at the head of the family. Period.) Sooo, the next couple of days were spent in much discussion about the upcoming spring break and the maybe vacation.

We’d kinda been planning a trip to Washington-on-the-Brazos for a couple of days. Mike had said a few weeks ago we’d have to rent a van, as mine just would not make it. No way. This week, though, we were talking and we came to the conclusion that perhaps the thing to do was to spend spring break looking for a new van. I was a little bummed about the no-trip thing, but it did make sense to postpone it in the hopes of not having to also rent a vehicle. Plus, since Mike was beginning to think maybe we’d look at dealers as opposed to individuals, we were going to need time to go look together over in the metroplex. So the plans started to take more of a shape of: look a little online at classified ads, or at the Kia website, then Mon-??? rent a car to go to the metroplex to shop around for a new van.

Neither of us knew any reputable used car dealers or knew a thing about the vehicle lines or about cars in general, really. So in brainstorming how to find a decent lot to look at, Mike asked me if I knew of any. (Ummm…not the most intelligent question, I have to say…I don’t know a thing about buying used cars from a lot as I never have and he knows it…haha) So I said no, of course, and then said I could probably ask (another mom at church) as I was pretty sure they’d just bought a new used car. (Turns out it was NEW new…shows how car dumb I am, huh?!) So I asked and got the name of where they got their car. So that was our tentative plan as of Friday evening…go check that place and however many more come Monday morning…in a rental.

Well, it’s Sunday night and I’m typing. Keep reading to find out why… =) This gets even better.

Saturday (yesterday!) morning I told the kids I’d pay them each $1 if they helped me scrub (by hand) the kitchen floor. So as we’re scrubbing, Mike is online looking at some van ads and van websites. He keeps calling me into the next room to look at this or that and the kids are thinking Mommy is ditching them to get out of work. HAHA Shortly, Mike announces he’s going to go out and check the 2 used car dealers we have here in town just because. He’d be back in a few minutes, he said.

And he was. Real quick, it seemed. He came in and dangled a key in front of me, and my heart jumped and I thought “Oh NO!”.

“Come out here. I want to see if you can drive this” (He’d asked earlier if a big car would do and I told him I guess, but I’m so short and have only ever driven a van and a van can haul more people and stuff and so no I guess probably a big car wouldn’t really work very well after all.)

“You, umm, you….surely….I mean….you didn’t just BUY one, did you?” I stammered. I was petrified he’d say yes…I mean I hadn’t even been with him, I hadn’t looked at anything. Nothing. If it’s gonna be mine, I wanna have a say (this was the control-monster rearing it’s ugly head…no really…it was totally a “I wanted to do it” thing).

“No, I’ve got one here for a test drive. I want to see if you think you can drive it.”

So I grabbed my purse (after the embarrassing early morning patrol stop where I was caught without my license on the way to drop Meagan off at school, I’ve been careful to ALWAYS grab my purse…even on teensy short trips!) and went outside in my water-soaked knees sweatpants to test drive something…I knew not what.

A shiny silver van sat in the driveway. Oook. I climbed in and it was brand new! Or at least it seemed that way. I was more than nervous, but buckled, and started out. I asked Mike where to go several times, because I get lost so easy and I was trying to focus on driving not figuring out where we were, and tried hard to listen to see if he answered over the overly-excited squeals of awe and wonder from the backseat bandits.

“This is so awesome!”

“Look, it’s got heaters.”

“And cupholders!”

“Sweet, look at this…”

It felt so very different from my van. It turned way tighter, the pedals responded way quicker, the ride was way smoother and quieter, the steering was way smoother and easier, everything just seemed softer and nicer somehow. I was scared I’d have big problems, as that is a fear I’ve had for YEARS….driving cars other than my own, because they’re different. I was surprised to find that while it was different, it wasn’t so different I couldn’t drive it. (I really was shocked…call me naive or dumb or whatever, but I really have not driven ANY other vehicle since I bought my van in 2002, and only one other vehicle -Mike’s ’97 Cavalier…the one I learned in- before that… I have purposely avoided all other cars like the plague, petrified I wouldn’t be able to drive them somehow…I was sooo dreading having to re-learn with a different van!)

So back to the house. We popped the hood. The engine looked brand-new. Call me stupid, again, if you want, but it was CLEAN! I didn’t see tons of greasy, oily, gunk. In fact I could still read ALL of the writing on ALL of the bits and pieces. It didn’t even look dirty with dust. I don’t think I’ve even seen an engine like that before!

We came in the house and Mike starts talking about doing a CarFax on it to make sure it hasn’t been in a flood, and he really seems like he’s seriously considering actually, you know…BUYING this van. I notice little wisps of anticipation and excitement stirring. The heater problem I thought was there, after all, turned out to be separate climate controls…the kids had the heater on in the back and we had the A/C on in the front…oh-my-goodness-did-I-just-say-heater-and-A/C-in-the-same-sentence??? As in if we actually get this I would have a functioning heater again? AND have a functioning A/C? Oh-my-goodness!

But wait. He said it was used. A 2003. Right. So maybe you should have it looked over before deciding, I suggested. “You can do that, right? I mean, they’ll let you won’t they?” I asked.

So he took it to a mechanic friend of his (this man also goes to the same church the kids and I do) and had him look it over. Mechanic says brake pads in front might need replacing, otherwise looks good. GASP! Oh-my-goodness-oh-my-goodness!

Meanwhile, back at the ranch, I have been looking online for reviews, ratings, etc on this van. I find good reports mostly. Higher than average ratings, and the negative I’m seeing is mostly to do with the power sliding doors no longer being power-capable….YES, you read that right!…and a ‘moldy sock’ smell from the A/C over time. Ummm, no way could it be as bad as the moldy mildew every time it rains from the old one, I thought. And besides I totally said I was going to let Mike lead the show on this, so quit picking….shut up, sit tight, and let the Lord work, I thought.

He tells me to have the kids clean out the old van and for me to find the title just in case and sit tight and he might be calling me to come up with the van and the kids in a little while if he decides to take it. I also went back online to see about running a CarFax for him. Clean, I reported, although there was a safety recall done on a power steering hose that shows to not be taken care of yet. Mike says good, that’s what we wanted to know there.

MAN were the kids ever pumped when they heard that! They cheerfully went right to work emptying the van while I did the CarFax thing. Especially since I told them I’d pay them to do it. (I found out later that Meagan was guessing I’d pay $50 for the job, and that Matthew guessed I’d probably only pay $25. I heard this after I’d offered $1 a piece…same as the kitchen floor. Still thinking big, those kids!)

I had kinda tried to not look at too much of the interior while test-driving, for more reasons than one. I hadn’t wanted to get my hopes up, for one thing. That sucker was just TOO NEW for me. TOO GOOD, ya know? Not my type. My type is more the ol’ clunker junker. Nothing working on it except the engine…barely. Trashed out seats, busted everything…no A/C, etc. However, even though I’d tried not to look, I had noticed a CD player in the radio.

That CD player was beckoning to me. =) Last summer when I’d first prayed for a new van, I’d told the Lord that I didn’t want to put any restrictions or whatever on Him when it came to what the van was like, but since I’d just had a conversation with a friend about my kids’ praise music and not being able to listen to them and her suggesting I listen in the car and I told her I couldn’t because they weren’t on CDs and besides I didn’t have a CD player in my car, she said, “ya know, God can give you one. You can pray for your wants, too.”….. I thought I’d add that I wasn’t necessarily asking outright if He didn’t want to do it, but it sure would be nice if my new van had a CD player, too…if that was ok…because I sure would like being able to listen to the kids’ praise in the van and after all, I HAD found a place to get them put on CDs about a year earlier, it would just cost about $30 a piece. And ya know? I kinda got the feeling that my new van just might!

So I was feeling all “oh-please…hush be patient… oh-Lord-could-it-be… be quiet no one has said he’s buying it… it-has-a-CD-player-Lord!-is-this-really-it?… oh how can it be it, dodo? this is too new and nice it probably costs a fortune you can’t make the payments you’ll go broke you knew you shouldn’t have let Mike handle it he’s gonna buy and then where will you be broke that’s where and besides how smart is it to buy the very first van you see that could be disastrous… it’s-so-nice-Lord-it’s-so-new-and-clean-and-it-has-all-its-seats-Lord”

I went and knelt down in the pantry and prayed again my prayer for wisdom and guidance for Mike…specifically with THIS van this time. I asked that if this wasn’t the van the Lord had in mind for us, that He please stop Mike from buying it by showing him somehow before he signed any papers, because it sure looked like that’s where he was headed…for the paper-signing.

Then Mike called again. I had to get explicit directions (I’m directionally challenged) on how to get to the dealership. I loaded up the kids and we headed out. I pulled out of the driveway and called Mike back to ask if I’d have enough gas to get there. My gas light had been on for two days. He’d said he’d re-fuel for me Friday, but then he forgot. He said I should be fine but if I was scared, I could stop and get a gallon.

I didn’t stop because I was worried I might have difficulties getting back on the right road in the right direction and also? I don’t like pumping gas. At all. Ever. Or going in and paying for it, and that’s what I’d have had to do. By myself. ICK!

I made it to the dealership and parked beside Mike’s car. Then I called him to find out where he was. (I told you I was directionally challenged!) We went inside and the salesman offered $50 for the old van. We laughed not because we thought it was too little, but because we were surprised they would give us anything in trade for it. It was that bad. Really.

The kids and I went to read magazines and eat popcorn. I did this on purpose, because somewhere in the last week or so I just started feeling REAL strong that I needed to leave absolutely everything to do with the van-shopping to Mike. Period. This was his do. So I was trying real hard to do my do. That is…keep out of the way and keep the kids in their place, as well.

I found 3 recipes I wanted to try in a magazine. Well, I found 2, Matthew found one. I copied them down.

Mike haggled. He hemmed and hawed when the financing wasn’t going the way he wanted. He called me in and asked me what I thought…they couldn’t get the payments lower than $300, and he hadn’t wanted to go that high. He thought we could, but he just didn’t like stretching that thin. I came *thisclose* to blowing everything right then. I sooooo totally did. Up until this point I had not one little inkling of cost. Not total, not payment. Nothing. Mike hadn’t said and I knew I wasn’t supposed to ask. God said. Not Mike…he’d have told me if I asked and not been upset at all at my asking, but I KNEW I wasn’t supposed to ask.

I have no idea if anyone caught the shock registering on my face, but I tried real, real bad to keep composed and not show that I was currently feeling this….

“WHAT?!?! ACKKKKKKKKKK!! THREE HUNDRED DOLLARS A MONTH? ARE YOU NUTS?! TWO HUNDRED AND FIFTY IS WHERE YOU’D RATHER DRAW THE LINE?!?! WE CAN’T AFFORD THAT! HOW DO WE SWING THAT?! NO WAY! Let’s go back to the $500-$2000 by-owners now, thank you very much. NOW!”

But I kid you not…I absolutely felt like the Holy Spirit was telling me “Careful! Leave it to Mike. Completely. Don’t give an opinion about anything. He needs to handle this.” And so instead I did this:

I put my hands up and said “Don’t ask me. You’re in charge of the budget. I’m in no hurry. I mean I don’t have to have a new car today. You want to go home and think about it, that’s fine. This is your deal, though.”

And so then Mike told the guy we’d just go home and he’d have to take another look at the budget and really think about it. The guy told him that was fine, but let him check on the other numbers before we left. Apparently they were still waiting on finance proposal from at least one bank.

So the dude took off and Mike followed me back to the waiting room and said something to me about he just didn’t know… I made my final suggestion then. “Pray about it.”

He left to wander back to the finance dude. I don’t have a clue whether he prayed or not. I just don’t know. But I totally felt like I had just done my do in this thing by suggesting it.

I admit, right about here I thought briefly, oh-no, it’s not gonna happen, we’re not gonna get it. *sigh* Oh well. You’d prayed the Lord would show Mike it wasn’t the right one if it wasn’t the one the Lord wanted for you, so if you don’t get it, it’s because it’s not the right one. Suck it up!

I went back to copying down recipes. At least in part because if I didn’t occupy myself with something I was going to think about that slick, new CD player-equipped van sitting outside, and I’d start getting excited and I didn’t want to get ahead of God.

Pretty soon the salesman went and drove the slick van away. Matt noticed and asked where he was taking my new van. I told him I didn’t know, but it wasn’t my van yet. Daddy hadn’t decided anything.

Several minutes later, salesman cam and asked for my keys again to the van. I gave them to him. He came back very quickly and then a little behind him Mike came by and told me the salesman would be wanting the keys to the van OFF the keychain shortly.

Oh-my-goodness-oh-my-goodness!

Then he came back by a little later and asked for the title to the van.

OH-MY-GOODNESS-OH-MY-GOODNESS!

And then the salesman and Mike both came back and they wanted the kids and I to go to some other office where I had to sign over the title to the old van! Apparently that finance proposal from the other bank along with a bit more price knock-down and a new offer of $100 trade-in (TOTALLY laughable! We so should have been paying them to take that sucker!) brought the payments to a place that Mike was comfortable with and he took it!

The new van is in Mike’s name and he’s been teasing me that it is his van and he’ll let me drive it if I’m real good. I don’t mind, because I know he’s teasing. And even if he weren’t. He is right, after all. He is the one that will we be earning the money to make the payments.

Mike did good, very good, truly!, but it was the Lord Jesus who answered these prayers in one fell swoop. Some very, very quickly…others that had been prayed months before…

  • new van
  • NEW van (hey 2003 with only 54,000 mi is definitely within the realm of what I meant by NEW)
  • van like (another mom at church) in that it has 2 sliding doors and captain seats
  • van that we won’t have to worry about breaking down all the time
  • van with CD player
  • Mike take the lead more
  • wisdom and guidance for Mike in how to lead and take care of his family
  • Matthew to pray on his own

Just recently the Lord answered a prayer of mine in such a way as to make it clear that He wants and intends to provide for me through my husband. This was a lesson I sorely needed, and actually one I’m still working on learning. For a long, long time I’ve been looking at God providing for me independently of Mike. Except of course for the whole paycheck automatically deposited in the account thing. I hadn’t really been looking/expecting the Lord to get Mike INVOLVED personally. I mean, I’d hoped, even prayed, but it just seemed too…”not gonna happen”. It seemed more plausible that one or the other of us would die, than it did that the Lord would actually maybe repair and even make better an actual-honest-to-goodness-biblical-marriage between US.

It’s happening. I can see the beginnings now. It’s taken me awhile to SEE them, because I just didn’t think that could be for ME. But I see little things here and there that show me that Mike is softening to the Lord and His leading. =)

Also? I’m so very glad that just the other day the Lord provided that excellent lesson of providing for me through my husband. I’m thankful for the timing of that lesson, because without it being so fresh, I absolutely (and in fact even still have had to stop and remember!) would have been duped into believing that this new van was really only a blessing…an answered prayer…for the kids. After all, it didn’t happen until after they prayed. It has 2 doors like Meagan asked for. It’s even the same color as (another mom at church)’s. And just Wednesday night, Pastor prayed that the Lord would show Matthew that He would bless him if he obeyed. So see? THEIR prayers…THEIR blessing. My prayers must mean nothing, since I prayed several times for a van over the last several months…true not as often as I should have….but many times…and it didn’t happen until the kids and the pastor (in a sense) started praying.

Ah! But the Lord JUST showed me that He plans to provide from me through my husband. Mike totally was working on doing that, here. I mean it was Mike that made the decision to look at new-er vans from dealers. Mike that went van-shopping, not me. It was Mike that brought a van home for me to test drive to be sure I could drive it (how sweet is that?!) and Mike that made the call on whether to sign up for payments on such a vehicle.

I’m so glad, too. I know if I had been in charge I wouldn’t have spent over $2000 and I would’ve had another clunker junker like last time. That’s exactly what happened last time. I made the decision to buy cheap. I shopped. I found one to focus on. I made the call to buy it. It was a disaster from the start. Transmission rebuilt in only 6mo, for a start. Plus all the problems below except the heater did work to start with.

Look what God did! He didn’t JUST answer prayers. He didn’t JUST provide a replacement van. He went above and beyond!

  • I went from 1993 Plymouth Voyage to 2003 Chrysler Town and Country.
  • No A/C or heater to BOTH and with 3 climate zones!
  • Nasty, ickified, oil pourin’, smokin’ engine (it soaked a starter last year!) to the cleanest engine I’ve ever seen, with yellow-marked, easy-to-get-to fluid check thingys, and mechanic verified to be leak free
  • Cramped back seat (that is after I purchased a separate back seat…it didn’t come with one) to roomy flip-down-to-make-room-for-groceries back seat
  • Cramped mid seat to cushy captain seats with armrests
  • interior lights that were non-functional to all interior lights work…including those on the visors!
  • rear windshield wiper never worked to perfectly functioning…with soap even!
  • rearview mirror that was always falling off to overhead console with average gas mileage, compass, temperature, distance traveled, and some other stuff too I think AND side mirrors that are power-adjust and have little inset mirrors that I’m not sure what they are for
  • fallin apart seat upholstery to clean new-looking upholstery
  • luggage rack
  • CD PLAYER!!!
  • power adjust seats
  • power windows and locks
  • power sliding doors AND hatch!
  • one of those cool clicker keychains that unlock and even OPEN the doors for you (I’ve secretly wanted one for years!)
  • headlights so dim they really were more of parking or fog lights to parking or fog lights on the middle knob setting and BRIGHT headlights (before even turning on the brights) on the right knob setting
  • one of those step-up rails cause I’m short and that’s cool to not have to jump up!!
  • speakers that cut in and out to lots of purty speakers that all work
  • no spare to spare!
  • Gas light on for 2 days to full tank of gas
  • Clattering and knocking to quiet
  • Rough and bumpy to oh-so-smooth
  • no manual to owner’s manual AND maintenance log with little tear-out slips telling you what to have checked when. One of the slips is for 54,000 miles. When I pulled out at the dealership the odometer read 54,008. =)

And I KNOW I’m missing stuff. Oh, there’s a console with like cool locking compartments between the front seats…AND it comes up and moves between the captain seats if I want.

Also? No renting a car to go van-shopping in the metroplex. We won’t have to spend our spring break van-shopping!! Woohoo!! It was taken care of before the week even started! Full tank of gas, too. hehe

I’m so very, very glad I let Mike lead! We serve a great and wonderful God. The Lord is in the prayer-answerin’ AND expectation-surpassin’ business!

Lesson learned? God wants more and better for me than I do. So does my husband (I think truly a bigger shock!) My husband is better suited to being in control of the budget simply because he does take more risks. As long as the Lord is leading, those risks are not really risks at all, but I just can’t make myself step out of that comfort zone. Also? God really is workin’ on the kids, and they really are listenin’.

Here’s another quick case of me being sure something was a bad thing, but then finding out it was an answered prayer…

Tonight Meagan (of her own volition!!) sat with Matthew and me at church. =) Pastor asked for testimonials, so I of course had to share the Lord’s super-speedy answer to our BIG prayer. Since Meagan was sitting with me, I thought I’d take both kids to the altar to tell the Lord thank you. Invitation came and I asked both kids to go down to the altar with me. Both kids were resisting, saying no they didn’t want to. I told them I wanted us to all go and tell God thank you. They BOTH said “I already did”. As the invitation went on, I thought, “Man, we’re not going down, how is this gonna look? The pastor, his wife, probably the whole church is expecting it. ”

Almost immediately I thought, “You’re letting what other people may or may not think of you take control again. You’re not supposed to please man, but God instead.” So I tried to quit thinking so negatively.

The thought occured to me that we had prayed together…but separetely for the van and now we were praying together but separately to thank the Lord for it. Also, He had answered those prayers together…yet separately. We all prayed for a van, but we prayed different specifics. I prayed for reliability, wisdom and guidance for MIKE in what to do about replacing the van (i.e. how, where to look, how much to spend, etc), and a CD player. Meagan prayed for silver color, captain chairs, and 2 sliding doors. Matthew prayed for a new one (by this he was thinking ‘new’ as in…goodies and working goodies at that… year models mean nothing to the kids, as we consider anything later than 93-97 range ‘new’). The Lord answered each of those. Our combined prayer, AND our individual ones. Because He’s God, and that’s what He does. =)

Almost immediately after that, I thought, “hey! We’re not supposed to go down together right now about this. This is how He’s showing me a prayer answered…MY prayer answered…not the kids. He is listening to ME, too, He really is and He wants me to see that and be certain! I prayed that Matthew would start praying…that the Holy Spirit would remind him to pray and help him pray. He just told me that he had already told God thank you! I hadn’t reminded him! Also, I’ve prayed Meagan would sit with me and WANT to sit with, and she is…on her own! Everything really is going to be ok.”

Now I’m trying so hard to just hang on to that thought and not follow it with… “Why now? Do I really need pumped up because something bad is about to happen?”

I’m trying. I am. This is a recurring issue with me, this always expecting a horrible something must follow great blessings. I think part of this was fueled by WAY too much Hollywood for WAY too many years. In the movies that’s what happens. Lots of good building up to the big whammo! Pray for me, please.

Also pray for Mike. He is talking now, (again, but first time in years), about quitting smoking. =)

God is good. God is faithful. God answers BIG prayers and little prayers! God is bigger than every one of our problems and already has them all solved for us, if we’ll just be patient and listen!

A couple of pictures of the new perfect-for-us van that God picked out off the dealer website…I’ll post MY pics once I get them on the puter…

Front of my new van!

The dash. Look at all the controls and stuffs!

The dash of my new van!

When we pulled into the driveway, just before we got out to go in the house, Matthew said from the back, “Mom, God just majorally blessed us.”

I couldn’t have put it better myself, kiddo! He certainly did!

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