Moving Out, Moving On, Moving Up – Part 9


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I was down with some bug the week after Christmas, and then, of course, that means Brendan succumbed the week after New Year’s. Whether the flu or some new random variant of covid, as far as I’m concerned it didn’t really matter. I did the same thing I do whenever I get sick: drink lots of water, let the fever do its thing (God created fever to kill germs so why would I interfere with that?), and rest in bed away from other people. No one likes to be sick. It interferes with life in so many ways, not to mention feeling crummy. But I have now seen almost every Christmas movie on Pure Flix so I had my fill of that.

It also put a damper on our house hunting so we’re still hanging out with our Jesus friend. God’s done incredible things while we’re here, and I’m so grateful. I’m also ready to move on whenever a door opens. (Literally.)

In the meantime, God is still pulling my attention to REST. Not the napping kind, even though I still need that every day, but the kind of rest that happens when I stay in the mind-set that God has everything in hand.

Rest in him. His rest.

I’m good at it for a while. I do whatever he says and it’s all good. But then circumstances don’t line up, and I start wondering why nothing is happening!

I start vacillating between what I’m certain God spoke—those promises he’s given us—and what’s actually occurring. Did I hear him correctly? Did I miss something? Am I obeying like I think I am?

So, I start trying to figure things out.

Trying to figure God out. As if that’s even possible.

Sometimes I’ll be taking steps I’m sure I need to take (you know, the things that he never said to do but that make sense), and it’s almost like I can hear him whisper

What are you doing, daughter?”

I’m…uh…I mean shouldn’t I…uh…doesn’t it make sense to…?

Always. Always. It comes back to God’s plan, God’s timing. Always. He knows what he’s doing. Everything is so much better when I throw up my hands and say “I don’t know.” I get into trouble in my spirit when I try to know, to figure it all out.

Typically, God gives me a word for the coming year. But the new year approached, and I heard nothing. Granted, I was sleeping with a fever and ongoing Christmas movies that week so maybe I wasn’t in a great attentive mode, but I think the delay was purposeful.

The New Year came with a promise of acceleration.

Yay! We’re moving on!

In rest.

What? How does that work?

Joseph Prince gave a great illustration for this 2022 promise. Resting in God while he accelerates us is like the travelator at an airport. If we’ve got our bags and we stand on one, it moves us ahead more quickly while we rest. I love that picture. Thank you, Jesus and Joseph.

Here’s the trouble.

I usually walk briskly on those things. I figure if it can move me quickly, won’t my walking move me even more quickly? Of course, it will. Makes sense. Right? But there’s no rest in that.

I guess that’s the point God is making. Let him do the work. It’s much easier when I don’t try to add my efforts to his already perfect plan. It tires me out. I end up feeling discouraged. Getting some place faster isn’t always better. Often, it’s not even right.

After this first week of the New Year, I was feeling a little discouraged. It’s a new year, why isn’t everything new? A place to live would be a good start, God…

Then our pastor’s message for this month is Ready. Set. Wait…

Of course, it is. This girl is raring to jump into the new thing God is doing. Now! And God is saying “rest, wait, be patient, let me do it in my timing.”

Finally, God gave me a word for the year yesterday. (Apparently, he wasn’t in the same hurry I was.)

RESTORE.

I’m excited to think that he will be restoring things this year. There are plenty of areas that applies to. And then one of those light bulbs went off in my head.

REST begins restore.

Point taken, Lord.

Today, I’m resting in him. Waiting on him to renew my strength. Exchanging my burdens for his lighter ones. Trusting that he knows what he’s doing. Only he can restore. And it has to begin with me resting. In. Him.

Moving Out, Moving On, Moving Up – Part 8


It’s the day after Christmas.

And all through the house…it’s quiet even in the late morning hours. We celebrated with family and friends and way too much food. I’m sure many people did. Then we sobered for a few moments to lift up silent prayers for those who were without running water and food to nourish them let alone satisfy their cravings. Even without many things, we are so incredibly blessed, aren’t we?

Even as we acknowledged how good God is and has been to us, my heart broke for a dear friend who discovered a deep betrayal on Christmas day. We chatted about how much it costs to follow Jesus. Sometimes it means people we love will walk away from us. Or it may mean we live without something we long for in order to be part of a bigger plan God has for impacting others’ lives. Through our tears, we agreed that it’s worth it. As hard as this past season has been, we wouldn’t change a thing.

All of the wonderful celebrations praising God at church, hearing that many gave their lives to Jesus, eating and laughing with friends and family, and considering the evil and hurt ravaging the world leaves me pensive. This morning as I reflect in the quiet after a time of silently worshiping Jesus through headphones so as not to disturb those sleeping in peace, I’m stirred in my spirit for the days to come.

God is doing something new.

I read a passage in John 8 (our church’s S.O.A.P. plan verses) that reminded me of a few things.

  • I don’t see all God’s ways. My perspective is limited to the world around me and my experiences. I can’t judge things by human standards. God’s kingdom is another realm that he’s created us through and for. He’s everything from before our human time began to the rest of eternity. He sees all and has already been where I’m going. So, every day I ask God to see from his eyes. I want to take in all he wants me to know and trust him for what I don’t.
  • I want to say and do only what God tells me to. Jesus said he did nothing on his own, but only what his Father taught him to say. If I believe that God sees and knows everything, then why wouldn’t I rely on him to give me words and direct my steps in the very best ways? Besides, I want to please the Father like Jesus did. He loves me, and I want to show that love back to him.
  • I pray that everything I take part in would cause people to put their faith in Jesus. Every single person is created by God, and he longs for a relationship with them. His love means he won’t force anyone, but would persuade us of his love so people would choose to respond. The passage says that after Jesus spoke to the people, many put their faith in him. Are my words and action helping others to see God more clearly so they will choose a relationship with him?

There are only a few days left in this year. I want to make every single day count.

It’s not like on New Year’s Eve everything will shut down (that’s an entirely different subject). But moving into 2022, I want to be ready for whatever God has for us.

I believe that also includes a more permanent place to live. 😉

What are you focusing on this last week of the year?

PS. If you aren’t familiar with S.O.A.P it means we read a Scripture, write our Observations, think about how it can be Applied, and Pray about all of that

Moving Out, Moving On, Moving Up Part 7


Christmas 2013 at the Bennet house

Christmas.

Different this year. Not only for us, but for so many people. Loved ones lost, jobs in limbo, crime escalating through the world.

But even though it may be different because we don’t know where we’ll be, and our Christmas decorations are in storage, is my lack of a Christmas tree going to change the fact that Jesus was born for us?

I don’t think so.

I’m realizing that in the grand, eternal scheme of things much of what we do at Christmas will not make or break it.

Aww…but I want to bake, and decorate, and hang the stockings with care.

Yet, God wants us to reframe our lives and our business to function from a place of his direction. He wants to clear out any distorted thinking, pride, fear, or self-reliance. The Lord is showing us how to live like the original followers of Jesus, funneling his provision through each other to help whoever needs it whether in the church or outside it.

His heart and focus are on those who don’t know him yet or have moved away from him.

He wants us to literally lay down our lives, die to self, and put others needs and interests ahead of our own.

Hey, isn’t that what Christmas is really all about?

God, the Word, came to us in the flesh. Not as God, but laying aside his position, his rights, his authority to be born in a dirty, smelly place with animals. Appearing to the lowliest of the community, the shepherds—who, by the way, knew what it meant to lay down their lives—the angels gave them the privilege of being the first to meet their Savior and spread the news.

After all, who else better to recognize the Lamb of God?

I’ll bet people thought they were crazy.

Maybe they were mocked. Ridiculed. What would a shepherd know about a bright light and a baby king? Did that make any sense?

The mother was a mere girl not even from their town. Really?

Rumors seeped through the community that her husband wasn’t really the father.

I’m pretty sure there are a few folks who wonder what the heck we’re doing. Temporary housing, couch surfing, letting our son fend for himself. (He is a nineteen-year-old college student with a solid job, not twelve, after all.) If I were looking at my life from the outside, I’d wonder what’s going on with us too.

It makes no sense.

Unless…God.

Praying, waiting, worshiping, waiting, reframing our thinking, waiting, searching, waiting…God has given us specific visions. It doesn’t make sense. Nothing can happen without his hand moving mountains. But he fed thousands of people with a few fish and loaves of bread. We’re opening our hands and hold out what we have, believing he will do miracles with that little bit and our sometimes-shaky faith.

Michael Todd, Pastor of Transformation Church in Tulsa, OK in his messages of crazy faith and crazy(er) faith says

“It’s only crazy, until it happens.”

Michael Todd

That’s what Mary and Joseph must have thought when Jesus was born. Maybe it’s what Simeon and Anna, who had waited and prayed for Messiah thought when they met him.

“It’s only crazy, until it happens.”

Then, can we acknowledge that it’s God?

Moving Out, Moving On, Moving Up Part 6


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I’m fighting the urge to make something happen.

The past few days have felt like we’re slogging through deep waters. Or for those of you who love winter snow, it’s that thigh deep, barely moving a trudging step at a time. It’s not bad, but it’s hard and tiring and leaves you out of breath.

I feel the weariness of our situation.

Our Jesus-friend host is so kind and gracious, as are her sons, and we all know that we are exactly in the right place at the right time, but…

Suitcases are challenging to live out of and sometimes you just want your own bed. (I’m sure she’d like hers back!) At times, it’s a perfect harmony of our little community here. Ahh…the flow moves smoothly. On rare occasions, I sense we’d all like a little breathing room.

God is working. It’s good. Deep issues rise to the surface. We’re embracing those places God reveals that still need refining in each of us. It’s what we want, but that doesn’t make it easy.

Forging a new path, taking a road less—or never traveled means moments of fear, doubt, uncertainty along with exhilaration, anticipation, and excitement.

In all of it, we also keep checking our armor. The enemy is in full attack mode. Family members ill, migraine headaches, unexpected business issues, and inexplicable situations, like the key breaking off in the lock of our storage unit, ravage our places of peace. On one hand, we cringe and cry, but on the other, we celebrate.

If we weren’t headed in the right direction, the enemy would have no cause to disrupt or distract us.

Yay, God! Yay, us.

For me, waiting patiently is one of the biggest challenges. When God gives a vision for what is ahead, I’m like a little kid rushing ahead, pulling away from my daddy’s hand to get into the new place, the exciting place, this next place. I often don’t want the journey; I just want to get there.

Photo by Anastasia Shuraeva on Pexels.com

Are we there yet?

That’s when I have to fight the urge to make something happen.

But if I push too fast, too quickly, there isn’t time for everyone to grow into what God’s doing. We won’t be prepared like we need to be. I can become bossy and miss my calling of encourager. Even when I know that only God’s way in God’s timing will bring the best result. That’s what I really want.

So, all day, God sent encouraging words and the listening ears of a friend.

I love that about our God. He sees our human frailty and knows exactly what we need when we need it. I think I may have written that a few posts ago, but it’s so true!

This morning, as I cried out to him, he answered me with two prophetic words, Bible verses, and sentences from a book I’m currently reading. (The Jesus Hearted Woman by Jodi Detrick )

“I believe you, Lord!” I silently shouted into the semi-darkness. “I believe you.”

The day held tears, laughter, some progress, and some frustration.

But a ferocious focus on Jesus.

The author of our faith. The one who wrote it into being and will keep perfecting it until the end.

How was your day?

To be continued…

Moving Out, Moving On, Moving Up Part 5


Sometimes we just need to remember what really matters.

In the midst of waiting, confusion, confession, and learning to surrender it all, an unexpected reminder brings us to our knees in humble recognition of the main thing.

Jesus.

Last night, Brendan took our friend and me to see The Chosen Christmas movie. It was a good thing I had a pile of tissue in my purse. The two words that circled my mind during our time in the theater and long after were brilliant and anointed.

Not only is this a top-rate production from every aspect, but it also sent chills through us the entire time.

The music, from old classic Christmas hymns to what will be a couple of new favorites, was superbly done. Children and strings added another layer to the musical treat.

Interviews with the musicians gave us a glimpse into the reality of every day life framed with the message of Christmas.

Each season, we talk about the Christmas story, but never in my life have I ever seen anything like this portrayal. The Bible came alive.

And as if that wasn’t enough—truly, it would have been—in between the magnificent musical numbers and interviews were dramatic monologues given by some of the Chosen actors who spelled out God’s loving plan for the salvation of his children from the beginning of time through today.

It was an evening of awe, worship, and the stunned shaking of our heads at the incredible message handed to us in the most beautiful package.

I’m still marveling at the truth and simplicity of it all as well as the God-given inspiration, talent, and resources that made it happen.

We can’t wait to see it again. And again.

The most important part is that I was reminded of the magnitude of God and his love for us. That we have no way of comprehending his intricate plans for our good. And overall, nothing really matters except for having the most intimate relationship with Jesus who came to us as a baby to be crucified so that through his resurrection, we could be living eternally with our God.

In light of that, our current journey takes on a new meaning.

God has miracles for us. His plans, if we choose to accept them, lead us into great things that will open up the way for others to come to know him. And through it all, he draws us closer to him where we get glimpses of his heart of love for all of us.

What a tremendous reminder.

Today, everything looks different. And so does this Christmas season.

To be continued…

https://www.fathomevents.com/events/The-Chosen-Christmas

Moving Out, Moving On, Moving Up Part 4


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In the upper room, the disciples waited for the Holy Spirit to come fill them and direct their next steps. I can imagine that after watching their leader crucified, even though Jesus rose from the dead and visited them, they were struggling with a variety of emotions.

Maybe at first, they were terrified. Disciples of The Way were being hunted and persecuted. It’s no wonder that they huddled in fear, praying and questioning what was going on.

They may have settled in after a week or two, but forty days is no short stint by our human standards. By week three or four, they might have begun asking if they heard correctly, or maybe they misunderstood.

“Wait for the gift…” he told them. “…when the Holy Spirit comes on you…” He promised them power in the midst of questionable circumstances.

While they waited, they prayed constantly. Peter reminded them of what the Scriptures said in Psalms as they looked for direction concerning filling the position of Judas who betrayed them all.

Wait.

That’s a tough word to carry out for most of us. Whether waiting in line, waiting for dinner, or waiting for something serious like a prognosis or response to a job interview, it’s not easy for us to wait.

So, while we’re staying with our same Jesus-friend once again (weren’t we here three months ago?) we sense God saying “wait.” Like the disciples in Acts waited for the gift of the Holy Spirit, we wait for his instruction. Common sense says look for some place to live. One comes up and we sense “no.”

Really?

We feel guilty for not running after the possibility.

The places we’ve felt led to pursue have offered no response. Nothing of it makes sense. Everything feels backwards. And yet, there is peace even in the waiting. We see God changing our perspective, showing us his heart, teaching us how to trust his plan that is outside the box and far from our comprehension.

Is that how the disciples felt as they waited?

Of course, we know the rest of the story.

Forty days later (so many places in the Bible reference forty days…), the Holy Spirit showed up exactly as promised. Jesus’s followers would never have imagined the scene. Tongues of fire over their heads, speaking in languages they didn’t know, peace, excitement rushing through them as the violent wind of the Spirit blew through the crowd.

Such an unusual situation, that outsiders attributed it to drunkenness.

And then, confirmation.

Peter spoke the scriptures, reminding the people of the prophetic words spoken by Joel. (Joel 2:28-32)

It’s always easy to believe after the fact.

But in the middle?

While the crowd is pressed up against the Red Sea? When the doctor says “cancer”? When the hundredth job interview in two years is a decline?

When we’re sitting in a friend’s living room praying for the office, the home, the property to become a reality?

I’m sure others following God are experiencing similar journeys. And so, I’m sharing ours. Maybe in the waiting, someone will find hope simply knowing that they are not alone.

To be continued…

Moving Out, Moving On, Moving Up Part 3


Today God showed up again.

He always does exactly when I need him to.

The morning started beautifully in worship, prayer, and reading the Bible. We received a response to an inquiry on a rental place with the same words we’ve heard over and over.

“I already have numerous applications on that one, but I have another one available in two or three months. When do you need to move in?”

“Yesterday. LOL” I texted back.

But, no worries. God knows. This is no surprise to him. Carry on.

We worked on hours of compliance requirements for our business. Prayed some more, and then went to go get a box of my books out of storage since someone wanted to purchase my new series.

No problem I thought.

I was wrong. Big problem.

Simply being at the storage unit, seeing the mess of our remaining belongings, and searching for the elusive box triggered those frantic days of moving three and a half months ago. The uncertainty and exhaustion, the sorrow, grief and confusion. It all came rushing back.

I paced the hall while Brendan replaced the things he’d moved to search for my books. And then I remembered that the last time I was at the storage unit, that overwhelming day of despair, was also the day God did a miracle. He healed my broken foot.

It happened like this:

Brendan and I had the final load to put into the unit. The clock was ticking and time running out. The truck needed to be returned in five minutes, and we still had the largest piece of furniture to unload. Our bed frame is a solid wood, canopy bed with four-inch square posts attached to a substantial headboard. Our very strong son and Brendan could just manage it, but our son was at school so that left Brendan and me alone to navigate this extremely heavy piece.

I’ve mentioned my limitations. Something like rheumatoid arthritis has rendered the joints in my hands and wrists barely moveable – I can’t even drive – so lifting and maneuvering the bed with Brendan seemed impossible.

Somehow, we managed to figure out a way to position it on our dolly. It was a great plan.

Except for the fact that we didn’t realize the space it would rest on the dolly had precisely the same opening as the post. We slid it over, dropped it in place and it slipped through all the way to the ground.

On top of my foot.

Excruciating barely describes the pain that shot through my leg. I screamed. Brendan probably swore – I’m pretty sure I did. I knew my foot was broken. Fumbling to get it off my foot first, and then out of the way, we both cried.

But we had no options except to push forward and get the thing moved.

Gritting my teeth and praying for help, we muscled it into an open space. We watched a massive lump develop on my foot, but I told Brendan to go take the truck back. I would continue to move things the best I could.

He left reluctantly. I limped, dragging my broken foot as I loaded the cart to take things up to the second floor. Trip after trip, I cried and prayed, stating that Jesus is my healer and I would not let this injury be the final word of a terrible day.

That same incredible, Jesus-example friend I mentioned in a previous post, picked Brendan up from the truck rental place and brought him back to storage to get me. Our son arrived to help Brendan.

I decided not to go to ER, even though our friend insisted I probably should. I had faith that God was healing it.

“Let’s just wait and ice my foot,” I said to my friend.

Within an hour, the swelling receded, and I could move my toes again. Soon after that, I could put weight on it. A purple bruise spread across my foot, but faded quickly to yellow over the next few days.

I realize that without an x-ray, there’s no medical proof that my foot was broken and healed. But the evidence based on the weight of the bed, the pain and immobility, and the way the bruise spread and dissipated so quickly, indicated a miracle to us.

Today, I needed that reminder at our storage unit.

And as if that wasn’t enough, when we went to pick up our mail afterwards, we opened a letter from our previous mortgage company to find a check. A refund. Really?

God paid our house off, gave us money, and now was sending us another unexpected check?

Tonight, as I write this, I’m freshly reminded of the goodness of God. Even in the telling, there is a refreshing revelation that he has our back. He sees our pain. God knows exactly what we need when we need it.

I might think I need a home, but what I really need is that sweet grace of Jesus.

To be continued…

Moving Out, Moving On, Moving Up Part 2


On the day we were to move out of the vacation rental, I booked an extended stay hotel for a few days. (For previous post click here.) Within hours, friends called to offer for us to stay with them for a month. Their one-bedroom apartment unit and extra bedroom/bath worked well for us. Four days later, we moved in, grateful for this next leg of our journey. Even then though, I confess to having a melt-down. In exhaustion, even while standing in the kitchen area of our new, temporary lodging with a beautiful view I cried.

“Be grateful,” I admonished myself.

“The holidays are coming, and I don’t have a home.” I whined.

Weeks later, God allowed us a wonderful trip to stay with our oldest daughter and her family who were visiting North Carolina. We also made an unexpected connection with some old friends who had moved there. It eased my grief about holidays and not being in a home with family. God knew exactly what I needed.

Our one month turned into two with this wonderful couple. Because of a project they were developing, our stay actually ended up being helpful for them. Only God knew how perfectly the situation would benefit us all!

On Monday, our stay there came to an end.

During the past two months, one night while I made dinner, I felt God say to start looking again. Brendan concurred. We were led to a property that we believe we will purchase at some point in the near future. We went to look at it and fell in love with the potential, even though it doesn’t make sense. But we know God told us not to worry about whether it makes sense or not. He said to trust him, and he will give us this territory to impact the surrounding community. We started praying over the area, and continue to wait for God’s timing and resources.

Then in a dream a couple weeks later, I saw us looking at warehouses and office buildings. I woke up with the strong sense to look for an office. Maybe we would end up living there? I searched commercial property and one particular place caught my attention. It would be perfect for our business team. When we went to look at it, we immediately sensed that it was to be the location of our office. It’s bigger than we need, but the impression we had was that we were building for the future, not only the present. We would need the space to grow into. And God indicated that we will impact all the offices that fill the neighborhood. We’re still waiting for the owner to make a decision on our rental offer.

But still no living situation. It all makes no sense. But God’s peace has been undeniable.

So we packed up, loaded our cars, and didn’t know where we were going to go. We ended up at our church for a leader’s training and worship night. Our faith got a boost in that incredible environment. Our son had a place to stay, and we ended up at a hotel for the night.

Now we are at a friend’s house.

We all believe God’s saying for us to be here right now as we formulate business plans. Plans that are God directed and run. And while it makes perfect sense in the realm of the Kingdom, it makes no earthly sense.

But here’s the deal.

I woke up in the middle of the night and realized how peaceful I felt. In a hotel room with our belongings stuffed into our car and no solid place to call home, my heart was settled. I realized how much God had changed me over the past few months. The incredible things he’s working in each of us and our marriage as we journey through this “homeless” adventure are undeniable and valuable.

When I surrendered looking, I gave up my need to figure things out. Eventually, I let go of what I wanted and decided I wanted God’s will more. I choose to believe that no matter how messy and senseless our circumstances may appear, God’s plan is good. He is in control.

People need to know that. They need Jesus. And if our journey can further that in any way, that is what we want more than anything.

We don’t know where we’re going. We continue to wait and look as God leads. We’ve approached a few places as possibilities. Only God knows where the perfect fit is for us.

I’ve decided that it’s okay if I don’t know. He does. That’s all that matters.

In the meantime, we’re revamping our business. I’m writing new books. We’re discovering those areas God wants to grow us in, and we’re waiting expectantly and patiently for him to lead us. We’re speaking his promises and visions for us in faith.

That is where our strength is renewed.  That’s what God promises.

“Those who wait on the Lord will renew their strength. They will mount up with wings like eagles. They will run and not grow weary; they walk and not faint.” Isaiah 40:31

To be continued…

Moving Out, Moving On, Moving Up


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Life can be an interesting journey.

These past few months have been especially challenging, intriguing, and edifying. I just looked up the word edifying to see if I used the best word.

  1. Instructing; improving.
  2. That educates, informs, illuminates or instructs.
  3. That enlightens or uplifts.

Yep. That’s it.

We’ve definitely been instructed, improved, informed, illuminated, enlightened, and uplifted. All of the above.

As a matter of fact, it’s so much of all those things that I feel led to share it as it unfolds. Hopefully, you’ll find that our story leads you into some of the list above, but at the very least, may you find it entertaining.

The beginning of the story can be found in #3 miracle in my previous post. If you want the overall details of what began this moving story (no pun intended), you can read that post here.

After we lost our house in the auction that rocked us and left us questioning how God could direct us in doing the right thing only to have it blow up in our faces, we frantically began packing up our house.

I have to say right here that in the previous post, I described the miracle as we see it now. However, at the time, while we believed God must have a plan, and we said we were trusting him (and we were to the best of our ability), frantic does accurately describe how I felt. I confess that I lost it more than a couple of times during those three weeks.

That is because:

#1 – we didn’t know where we would go

#2 – we were being threatened by the new owner that any day a sheriff would throw us out

#3 – my physical limitations made packing difficult and painful

#4 – Brendan was working extremely long, physical hours in a town an hour away

#5 – we were working with a company to help us claim the money that was allegedly ours, but we didn’t know if we should trust the legal system (that had just burned us), and the company – to us and many others it seemed pretty unbelievable that these laws existed (see previous post)

On the night before the sheriff would show up at 7 a.m. the next morning, according to the very nice, and cautious (can you blame him these days?) officer who posted a notice on our front door, we were giving things away, selling items, and throwing whatever we could in the truck. We booked an extended stay hotel for a few days so we could figure out next steps.

That’s when the real fun began.

Brendan showed up to check us in around midnight. I had called the hotel earlier to let them know we would probably be checking in very late so they would be aware. An extremely helpful, kind young woman assured me it would be no problem and made a note at the front desk in case we arrived after she left at eleven.

All good, right?

Wrong.

The hotel wouldn’t allow us to stay there because we were locals.

I know. Crazy, right?

Apparently, there are hotels in the area which are frequented by local people involved in drug and sex trafficking so those establishments have decided that no one who lives within fifty miles can stay there. We don’t understand the logic.

Granted, Brendan in his sweaty, dirty, packing and loading a moving truck attire may have appeared less than respectable at the midnight hour, but still. Seriously?

Thankfully, God intervened in the form of a dear friend who rescued him, took me home to her house, and went back to finish loading the truck with him until 2 a.m. That is Jesus in action, my friends. She gave us her bed and slept on the couch!

We debriefed and rested for a few days at her home while she was on a family trip.

I cried a lot. Prayed even more. Okay, so maybe I cried more?

I don’t know. Don’t judge. Trusting Jesus is a process. Which is why I’m telling this story. Because where I was then and where I am now is miles apart.

Except the crying thing. Sad, happy, or moved with the Holy Spirit and my love for Jesus, I cry. I think my husband is finally learning to accept this.

During those days, we found a vacation rental and booked it for a month. We hadn’t found anything permanent. The market here is insane right now. Very few rentals with outrageous prices are snatched up within hours. Houses are selling at equally crazy prices.

The condo was a nice place on a lovely golf course ideally suited for Brendan and I with our youngest son. Those first couple of weeks went by without us finding anything to rent. We waited for the funds from our house sale.

Then we felt as if God said to stop looking. What? That made no sense to me. You need a place to live, you scan all the ads each day to find one. But it seemed that God had something different for us. It was a process for me to not look. Whenever a new listing popped up in my email, I’d look, then quickly delete it. Next time, I’d delete it sooner. Then one would seem good, and I’d check it out. For days, I fought the urge, gave up, gave in, and let a day go without succumbing. Finally, I surrendered and quit totally. Then the money from the house came through.

Coincidental? I don’t think so.

Since we asked the owner, and it seemed like the place was available, we assumed we would be able to extend our stay, but that didn’t end up working out. So we were on the move again.

Moving out, moving on, and moving up?

To be continued…

Want to See a Miracle?


So do I.

And the truth is, I’ve seen God do incredible, unbelievable things – miraculous things.

But here’s another truth: They don’t always look like what we expect, the way we expect, or in the timing we expect.

Here are a few examples:

  • When my husband (then fiance) and I were applying to get him a visa to come to California to marry me, he had to file a cleared police report. He turned in the paperwork and was told it would take a number of weeks to process. We didn’t have weeks. Our wedding was planned according to when we felt God said to wed, and each step of the visa acquisition was specifically timed. We prayed. Brendan called a couple of week later. They lost his paperwork. That was NOT what we expected or wanted to hear. BUT…because they lost it, they put a rush on redoing it and getting it pushed through – faster than it would have originally been done. Miracle.
  • Brendan took the kids and flew to Sydney to turn in the final paperwork and pick up his visas. On their website, it stated that he could pick them them that same day if he waited for them after turning in his documents. When he arrived, however, they told him they would mail them in six weeks. Except he was booked to fly out for our wedding in only a few days. The kind gentleman entered Brendan’s information, even while insisting that there was no way it would be approved that quickly. A few seconds later, it was approved. Brendan’s visas were in hand. When he called to give me the good news, it was 5 a.m. my time. We realized that no one but God could have made it go through.
  • A couple of years ago, I asked God to give us the house we’d recently purchased free and clear, wiping out the debt after Brendan lost his job and I was unable to work due to physical limitations. It was a stretch to believe God would do that, but I kept praying while we also worked with the mortgage company to modify our loan. After six months, we were given a deferred payment, and then Covid hit. We made those payments, but when it came time to get a new payment, the mortgage company didn’t respond to our many attempts to settle it. In the meantime, one of the HOAs in our community decided to sue us for back payments. We spent six months negotiating with them to try and pay them off, but they kept refusing our offers. Even on the day before they were going to auction the property, we spent the entire day, cash in hand at the court and the HOA’s lawyer’s office trying to make the payment while they stalled and then raised the price more than $2,000.00 putting it far out of our reach. We left as the court closed, stunned and not understanding what had just happened. Our house was auctioned the next morning. BUT…in Florida, when a property is sold at auction, any outstanding debt becomes the responsibility of the new buyer (who knew??), and the money paid to purchase the property (after the debt is paid) goes to the owner (that would be us.) Again, we had no idea. In the end, we lived in our home for 2 1/2 years, paying the equivalent of about 6 months payments (due to unforeseen circumstances, not our negligence), the debt was completely wiped out, and we ended up with an unexpected chunk of money. Not at all what, when or how we expected, but God answered my prayers. Miracle.

And those are just a few.

I’m not going to say they have been without heartache. Mostly because at the time, we struggle to trust when circumstances don’t look like anything good can happen. I’ve grieved over losing our house and having to quickly pack and move at a horrible time in the market. But even now, as we wait for what God has next, we’ve learned to trust more, take riskier steps, pray bolder prayers. We want to see God do miraculous things. Not just for us, but because every time we share the miracle, it encourages someone else.

That money we ended up with?

We’ve been able to be generous with some situations that have blessed others. Yay, God!

Miracles aren’t just for us, they are to show people that God is real and almighty and desires good for us.

But as Chris Sonksen says in his book, indispensable church,

“The hard truth is that most of us will never see a miracle because we’ll never do anything that requires one.”

So, where have you seen a miracle? Or where is God urging you to step out in faith, trusting him for one? Has he called you to give, write, speak, start a business? Where have you pushed aside that nudging to make a difference in you family, your church, your city?

I’m thrilled with the things God has done in our lives and the lives of others who boldly step out in faith to bring God’s kingdom into our physical world. I can’t wait to see what he has coming next. But I do know that whatever he has, it’s because he loves us and wants us to know it.

Open your eyes and get ready to see a miracle.

If you’d like to read about the many miracles God did that brought me and my Aussie husband together, you can read our story in The Miracle of Us: Confessions of an Online Dater.