All the Details

July 11th, 2018

Thank you, sweet readers & friends for following along with our journey and for the many encouraging cheers after my last post. I read each of them aloud to Don as we barreled down interstate 90 to our beloved Montana life. We both cried and again praised God for such a force of love behind us. You will never know how much we have needed each of you and at JUST THE RIGHT time God has used one or the other’s of you to lift us up and push us forward.

Giving up has been one of our biggest challenges.

We arrived in Bozeman on Monday afternoon. As God would have it, He provided brand new friends through our dear & faithful small group leaders back in Indiana. Instead of having to drive around looking for a place to park Imagene, God made sure we had a warm welcome in Brooke & Paul. They talked us up to the top of their beautiful mountain farm and I may have thought I’d hit heaven. Who lives like this? When I picture Montana, this place is pretty much exactly what I imagine.

It is view-tactular! No matter which way you turn…..incredible views!

If you have ever wondered whether God is in the details of your life, let my own be a prime example. Brooke & Paul fed us, talked with us and listened to our hopes for this new beginning and offered options to help us get this show on the road. After dinner, they drove us down to a property they own and showed us around to see if it would work to park our camper and live there while we get our feet back under us.

What?

Getting sent to Bozeman, Montana is thrilling! The fact that over 10,000 other excited newcomers are joining us in the search to put down roots is over-whelming! In the last 3 years, that’s the number of newbies have hit the streets of this mountain wonderland!

Housing. Nope. Not happening.

So, the details.

When we sold our house in Indiana…we made enough money to pay off some debt, put our belongings in storage, purchase a new camper and live off of the small amount that was left.

We. Were. Believing. God. Was. Opening. A. Door. Soon.

If not, we were going to work at Costco, Lowes, someone’s farm…whatever! Forget about education or degrees in this or that. None of it seemed to be working all these months, so….

We hit the road, traveled our way to visit Don’s parents and continued to apply for jobs EVERYWHERE in the country. Time just kept screaming by and nothing. Until June 29th!

Details. God is in the details.

We were almost to the end of our moola. I could really get sad and complain but I am eternally grateful that we were not completely tapped out and hungry. We can pay our bills, carefully and with great discipline. But there AIN’T no downpayment for a Montana house.

July 16th was the decided start date for Don at Bozeman Health. Yesterday, his new boss called and said it just wouldn’t work for them. They needed to push him off to the 30th! We were really hoping to get started and begin bringing in a real paycheck again. Instantly, I knew what that extra few weeks meant….

Our whole house is in a storage in Indiana.

We haven’t hugged our beautiful grown up kids since April & December.

Don has been out of his very important medicine for over a month and needs to see his Doc in Indiana.

We will not have time to go back and move our house to Montana once he starts work.

DETAILS.

Look, I could not…even in my pushy make things happen personality orchestrate all these very important details. God knew exactly what we needed and He managed to make room for every little issue. We need this extra time. We have to get our things here and this could not have worked out any better.

I want so badly to find a place to move my house into but there is just no opening for us financially right now. However, if I’ve learned anything through this last 2 years….it is DO NOT PUT GOD IN A BOX! He is in the details!

What I see as impossible, He proves over & over to be a matter of details.

I’m not worried, like before.

I’m not afraid, like before.

I’m not in a hole of doubt, like before.

I’m not concerned about the other 10,000 people searching or competing for a space to live, I believe God will provide for them and for me. No need to fret.

I’m not bummed out that I have to move from one storage to another right now. I’ll at least be able to get to my things again.

I’m not going to doubt God, He is working. Look where I am today!

(Denise, I TOOK THESE PICTURES!!)

The dark spot is a black bear on Ted Turner’s ranch.

FYI:

There are no parks with openings to set up our camper. None. They have waiting lists. God knew that so he gave us Brooke & Paul. They have property and even rental homes if the need arises.

Storage companies do not have any available space for the size of our house items. NONE! Again, waiting lists. I called a guy yesterday who flat out told me, I have NO SPACE. Before we hung up, he offered me a 10 x 20 storage space for $65. I pay $130 in Indy.

My dog Miss Lizzy has been very sick. The vet in Washington discovered heart disease and put her on 7 different medications. She just wasn’t improving to us. The first words out of Brooke’s mouth when we pulled up were YOU DO KNOW I’M A VET, RIGHT? Come on, Lord!

We are going to be okay.

God,
You see every need before I do. Thank you for working out all the details and I appreciate how you remind me to be patient. Good things really are coming!
Amen

It’s Moving Time

July 9th, 2018

After 658 long, beat-the-bushes, cry in your beer (we don’t drink beer, but you get the point) and about 2400 resume changes along with hours spent filling out applications for jobs that force you to jump through a hundred ridiculous hoops and then never email or call you back to say, NO days….

My hubby has accepted a J O B !!!

By the time you read this post, we will have probably arrived in our new “home” town and we are flippin’ out!

Oh the places we’ve been the last few months since we left Indiana! We have pinched ourselves over & over from all the incredible jaw dropping moments. Oregon Coast? Hands down, my fantasy land! I don’t know why it affected me so deeply, it will stick with me forever! Love it. And, Washington is a wonderland itself. The USA is beautiful and I’ve seen firsthand the rolling fields, snow-capped mountains, deep whale infested waters, waterfalls, red canyons, stood on the top of mountains…animals of all kinds and eaten donuts in every state. My life is one to desire, honestly. I ain’t kidding!

We feel incredibly blessed, in spite of the rocky road we’ve traveled personally. Life is challenging, for everyone. I could probably write a novel of all the ups & downs but I’m really tired of being a dang Debbie downer! It is time to pick myself up and get back to being ME!

In all our miles and out of all the many states, we did not step one foot in this particular state during our travels. Not because we feel indifferent, but because we planned to enjoy it on our way back home….only God had other plans.

I mean, really crazy plans.

First, let me say….I am really missing my people back in Indiana (& Ally in Florida). I’ve wished I was home a million times to hug my kids, have a meal together and just be normal. That isn’t easy to do when you’re on the other side of the country. So, I stuck it out. Okay, maybe I’ve threatened a few times to arrange a flight home and never leave again. But that was just the mama in me talking. I MISS MY DANG KIDS!!!

I won’t miss the Indy traffic, well, maybe somedays.

I might need a bit more cold weather items, perhaps a 2nd pair of Sorel boots (huh, babe?). I’m so glad I bought a pair last year! Oh, and you betcha we’re going to add to our fishing equipment!

It was voted #10 in the best places to live in the USA! That’s gotta count for something, right?

Have you guessed yet?

It’s cold. It’s mountainous. It’s expansive & expensive! It’s far from Indiana, like 23 hours far. It’s full of stuff to do, places to see and I’m certain… GOOD PEOPLE!

I am so excited!

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I bet you had it figured out, I just wanted to be dramatic. Thanks for hangin on!

It all began when my hubby saw a PART TIME job opening at a hospital in Bozeman, MT. He applied only because we were traveling and thought we could park our wagon there to do a p/t stint while still beating the jobhunt streets for a full-time real life j o b!

Then, they called. Called again. And then called several more times.

The funniest part? From the first call, the HR gal got acquainted with our situation and knew we were ON THE ROAD traveling. Every call, she would ask where we were. Never, not once did she say…I wish you were close-by so we could actually interview you in person. Each call, she was encouraging and made arrangements to skype talk or connect with other HR folks to talk with Don too.

It started to get annoying.

Weeks seemed to keep zipping by and no offer. We crossed them off the wish list. According to her, they wanted to hire by June. Yea, June was flying by too. We gave up. Done. Bye, Montana!

Friday the 29th will forever be etched into my brain because it was more like a Friday the 13th. Emotion over-load. Stress, frustration and defeat pounced like a roaring lion on both of us. We argued, blamed, threatened, planned to pack up and head home….and we cried.

THE
STRESS
WAS
UNREAL

I mean, seriously!!! How long can this craziness go on? What is the deal? Why is no one offering him a job? HE IS AWESOME!!! I’m not the only one who loves my husband! Really!

We scraped ourselves together and decided to get out and explore to drown our sorrows and to regroup. We were a m e s s! While I was locking the door, hubby came running over showing me a missed call on his phone. EYES BULGING!!!

We stood there stunned out of our minds at the timing. Then, ran inside and began praying! Minutes later, the call came again and the rest is history!

Or future. Cause, we’re moving y’all. Bozeman, Montana is our new town!

Not only is it a beautiful place, the job offer was primo and NOT part-time! So good, so exciting and so answered prayer. 2 long ugly years of praying! God provided a better job than he had before, higher pay and excellent benefits to boot. PLUS, WE WILL LIVE IN MONTANA! What?

I can’t wait to get this next chapter started!

Lord,
You have remained steadfast, even when I whined & cried and lost all sense of faith. Thank you, for loving me anyway and for providing every single meal, bed to sleep on and people to love me. I want to be useful, no matter where I live and Montana will surely do.
Amen

Did y’all hear me? They hired my guy without ever having an in-person interview. For a management job? Come on, that’s Jesus at work!

You Don’t Deserve It

July 6th, 2018

I cannot wrap my brain around the part of our society that DEMANDS all reward and compensation be given to them. For doing nothing, just free.

I do not have a single thing in my life that I did not have to earn.

Nothing worth having is ever valuable to you if someone just hands it to you. Each of us have a responsibility to care for ourselves, help others we see in need and to honor God with our lives while doing both.

Look, I’m not talking down on any person who CANNOT physically work or help themselves. Please hear me with love on this, my husband hasn’t had a job in 2 years! Never did we turn to government assistance in all that time. We nearly lost everything we own because there was ZERO money coming in. Still, we pushed on and worked here & there just to make it. Taking jobs that were often out of comfort zones.

I cannot accept garbage posts on social media ranting about the atrocity of unfairness for subjects such as NOT PAYING FOR government EMPLOYEES TAMPONS. Really? No one I’ve ever worked for has ever GIVEN me any of my feminine hygiene products for free. Ever.

Who can honestly take this kind of outrage seriously?

Please. Tell me.

I’m listening.

The First 3 Rows

June 25th, 2018

If I were to ask you, “What are you doing with your life?” right this moment….how would you answer? Let me ask it another way, What are you living for? What gets you up out of bed and pushes you to do what you do? Why are you doing it? Are you simply on the treadmill of life, working a job every day…paying bills, waiting for that call to glory?

I only ask because so often many of us get trapped in this cycle of repetition and lose focus on the stuff that really matters in life.

As a woman, I’ve definitely relied on what the world has conditioned me to think was important for me and my life. I followed a plan. Not too risky, not too pathetic but just right as to not be judged or ridiculed by what society says is a worthy style of living. You know, tip-toe carefully around really living out loud.

Who wants to step on anyone’s toes? Not me.

From a graveside, I heard a gentleman describe his life in 10 year chunks. He was reflecting back on his relationship with his mother. She had been dead 10 years at this point and he reminisced about what life looked like when she was alive. He was B U S Y! He was on the hustle. He worked very long hours, he met with tons of clients and he spent hours on the phone with people who really have no connection to him or his life other than work. As he thought back, he realized most every person from that time period of his life were completely gone from his life. As in, no longer associated with through work or otherwise. They were gone. Not gone as in death, just gone. Many aren’t even in business anymore.

The person who mattered most to him during that time, his mother….she was gone too. Breast cancer ravaged her body and she passed away when he was 31 years old. He admits, he spent time with her and called her on the regular but many of those instances, he was pre-occupied or on the phone talking work. She always loved his visits, enjoyed every bit of him when he was around and was certainly understanding of work stuff.

Probably like many of you & me.

Work is work. It hogs up time. But, geez…we have to work. Bills don’t pay themselves. Not many of us are rolling around in dollar bills that afford us to just do whatever we want every day.

Truthfully? Even if we were able to do that, many of us would choose other things over the most important people in our lives anyway.

Imagine with me, if you passed away today….look at the first 3 rows of people sitting at your funeral. Who are they? Why are they there? Did you love them well? Did you give them your undivided attention and time? Do they know how much you loved them? Did you push them aside to chase other things? Things that don’t matter so much now?

I will tell you, the last 2 years of my life have given me such a different perspective on life. I never realized how much I took for granted until it was slowly yanked away. For me, no one I love passed away….only a job loss. Through that process, I’ve come to value the people in my life much more carefully than the pretty house, porch….flowers and freedom I once thought was so great.

Don’t misunderstand, stuff isn’t bad and neither is working hard a negative thing. Scripture is clear that we are to work and earn what we get in this life. The people in our lives, deserve to know how much we love them.

I see clearly the people in the first 3 rows of my life & death. They are there because of me. They loved me and I will make it my priority to make sure they know of my love for them. All the things of this world will pass away, so will the people. How well you and I love, how we’ve made others feel and the time we’ve invested will not fade away.

6 ways to show your first 3 rows people you love them:

1. Give them your time.

2. Be trustworthy.

3. Allow room for faults.

4. Speak up. Say meaningful words.

5. Forgive quickly.

6. Hug and hold tight. Physical touch is powerful.

Lord,
I’m here on this earth for a reason. Help me to show YOUR LOVE and my own love to everyone you place in my path.
Amen

5 Reasons To Put On Your Make-Up

June 21st, 2018

I know right out of the gate that some of you reading this post will tell me how much you hate make-up and never wear it. Go ahead, say it. I’m not going to argue any point or force you to do anything you don’t want to do. However, I will tell you….these are reasons I DO IT! It works for me. I’m a weakling, I need STUFF to fluff me up and put me on a path to feeling my best. Make-up, cute clothes and a hair-do/not don’t fill me with courage and confidence! The best advice I can give for the no make-up crowd, is do you. Do what works for you.

PS. I’ve got a face full of freckles. Make-up helps me cover what has been sprinkled across my window to the world my whole life and I LIKE IT!!

1. You WILL run into someone you know.

It is a dang science (okay, my kinda science anyway) that you will most certainly run into someone you admire or find important if you run out in the world sans the make-up. Don’t believe me, try it.

2. It gives you confidence.

True that. I feel awkward without some make-up on. I don’t even wear very much anymore. Just a bit boosts my self-esteem and makes me a bit bolder. It feels awesome to look good.

3. It hides stuff.

No joke. I’m getting “older” and nothing looks like it used to. Wearing a little make-up covers up a multitude of aging issues. I don’t have young bouncy skin anymore….a good & light foundation is magic!

4. It releases some unicorn power.

Whatever. You have to admit, if you go scroungy….your whole attitude feels scroungy! If I get up, get dressed and throw on some face —> I am much more productive! AND HAPPY!

5. You shine.

Who cares if it’s a bit superficial to wear make-up. It’s not like you’re hiding TOP SECRET emails or filtering money to an overseas account. It’s make-up, dang it. Wear it and I guarantee, you will shine with lovely!

I am on my way out the door today. I’m planning on smiling, having some fun and shining for God with a beautiful face!

Maybe for me, one more thing make-up does is changes my attitude. I feel nicer, happier and THE WORLD SURE NEEDS MORE OF THAT!!

On Purpose

June 20th, 2018

Why is it that when we’re hurting or feeling lost, we feel as if we’re the only one?

The last few days have been a series of feeling very sorry for myself and hating everyone who speaks to me. Even nice people, not just jackholes! Turns out, I’m pretty ugly inside. So, who am I to hate others?

How crafty is the enemy, huh?

I’ve danced around in all the waiting; felt hopeful, fell hard on discouragement, lifted my eyes to Christ, cried out in despair, jumped up and down with joy at prospects, wrecked hard in the face of rejection, got up and kept going, laid down and cried, looked ahead with faith….took a punch to the nose of nothing happening!

It is a constant battle.

The hard truth is that I’m a mess. God has his holy hands full with just me and my issues. Yet, He sticks with me in spite of me. I don’t deserve His gracious mercy but He just keeps coming at me with it.

Thank you, Lord.

While wandering along in this wilderness season, I’ve been more raw and vulnerable than I’d like to admit. There’s something pretty embarrassing about being broken. No one likes to be around it. It’s yucky and honestly, it GETS SO DANGED OLD!

You think I don’t get tired of it? (says me, the lady looking ahead but constantly being reminded of all that’s behind!)

For the last 2 days I’ve wrestled with even getting up out of bed. That’s not who I want to be. I am so tired of all the waiting. I want God to move. Move every mountain He says He will move. Or move me.

Trouble is, am I actually listening to Him or am I reinterpreting my own message from Him? Is it mature to ask God to repeat something? In case I didn’t hear it the first time? (Asking for a friend)

I’m rather good at racing ahead.

Nobody wants to be happy and live life to the fullest more than me. If you were stuck with me in person right now, you would LAUGH at such a claim. I’m miserable and I am on a quest to take everyone else down with me.

Beware.

Run from me.

No, pray for me. Pray, because the enemy is smothering me with discouragement and blanketing me with a spirit of despair so heavy that I can’t kick the covers off of me alone.

Listen to me. I am in one of the most difficult seasons of my life. It’s not the end, I know this (logically) but my weak little heart is convinced that I need rescued.

No matter how I feel, I know that God has a purpose for me. I woke up today just like yesterday and I have every bit of my faculties which opens up a whole world for me to see, love and share. My job is to keep on keeping on. God needs me to love you. He wants me to knock off all the worrying and the spewing of doubt.

Who can love such an unlovable creature as God does me?

Oh Great God,

You are unfathomable. Even in my weakest state, you push me to be strong. I beg you, forgive me for every self pity hole I dig and jump into. Your love is unending, your grace over-whelming and your promises FILL MY HEART to capacity. Help me focus on YOUR PURPOSE for my life and thank you for reminding me…..it’s not all about me.

Amen