Wednesday, March 02, 2011

Mustard Seed

Through the different subscription services and bookmarks, there are over 250 people regularly reading the blog. We have had over 100,000 recent hits. That's not bad for a blog about a family. Thank you to those who have prayed for us. Thank you to everyone who has called, dropped by or written. We still have e-mail to go through, but I will try to answer each one.

One of Clint's and my constant prayers is that He will use us. "Lord, don't let me/us/our family be a waste to You." We want our time here to count for His glory. So much has happened since we started praying this prayer. Clint and I took a verbal accounting of the events this week.

I can't remember all of the smaller floods that flooded our barn, killed animals or destroyed property, but I do remember Hurricane Isabel flooding our home while I was in the hospital having Bethany. The FEMA agent told us he had been to houses all morning on either side of us. Our house was the first he did not have to declare uninhabitable.

A little while after that, our well collapsed. Many people's did due to the flood, and the wait list for a new well to be dug was LONG! We went 13 weeks without running water in the house.

There was a flood a couple of years ago that nearly flooded the lowest part of our house, but somehow didn't. We took measurements of the exposed floor joists; we have no explanation why water wasn't an inch deep in our home office. Clint had a dream of a wall that was built around that section of the house to keep water out the night before.

Our home has been threatened by fire twice. The first time was like being on a movie set. Every thing seemed surreal. I drove over burning pieces of debris. I thought immediatley after that, "Well, that is probably the scariest experience with fire we will ever have."

Coyotes ripped open our goats and left their young in the amniotic sac on the ground. They plagued our place for weeks until neighborhood hunters finally shot them after I took the pictures door to door.

Clint and I were nearly killed in a head on collision. I had enough time to think "LORD, MY CHILDREN!!!" as a plea for their well being. The truck swerved at the last minute and the driver's body was cooling off when Clint got to him.

A man jumped out in front of our car while we were driving 55 mph. If Clint had gone into oncoming traffic to avoid him, we would have died.

Amanda has sleepwalked out of our home twice. She could have been abducted, injured or killed. God kept her safe. After the second time, we were reported to social services who told us they had to investigate, but found the claims of letting our children play with sharp objects and not giving them medical care invalid. (The person who reported us got in trouble when I reported her for not doing her job. The social worker basically said in a round about way that she knew the claims were bogus but she had to follow them up anyway.)

Brandon walked through our back yard just moments before an illegal hunter shot through it.

I was washing laundry on the back porch when a man popped up at the screen door and said "There are runaways hiding in your barn. We are going to search it. Go inside and stay inside!" I looked across the yard and saw a deputy running with his gun pulled.

A woman jumped seemingly out of no where to in front of our car at a stop light and started doing hex signs at us and calling on satan.

A man we do not personally know will stare strangely at us and will loudly blaspheme God every time he sees us.

Clint was hit by a drunk driver who drove off in October.

I have been nearly hit by a car twice.

We have had family members walk away from us. We had one we had to ask to please leave us alone because he could not show love and had publicly wished harm to come to our family.

We had a lady give us a horse in the fall and then try to steal it back in the spring. Neighbors saw her sitting at the end of our lane calling the horse when we were not home. The horse was seen running in the other direction. We were about to give it back to her because Scripture says if a man tries to steal from you give it to them and add to it. Then God revealed through another person she had run the scam for years and likely would continue. We also found out through another way she had harmed the animal. After much prayer and discussion with godly friends, we gave the horse to someone who took it where she could never find it.

So much has happened. We have so much to rejoice over! We have seen some incredible displays of God's protection, perfect timing and provision. We have literally asked God for needed physical provisions during emergencies only to have Him put it in our hands moments later. Through each thing God has shaped us. Our children are learning such incredible lessons about walking by faith not sight. They have some amazing character traits.

Someone told us it seems like we "breeze" through these things. In the barn fire, we were very afraid for our children and then for our home. Clint and I both had trouble sleeping the first few nights. We have felt very stressed. When the hunters shot through the yard, I didn't stop what I was doing and start praising the Lord. I went outside and got ahold (verbally) of some hunters. Then, I called law enforcement and my husband. AFTER THAT, I praised the Lord. We are not perfect people, but God's grace doesn't require us to be. He loves us just as we are. He does not require the mountain sized faith, but desires only the little speck of faith the size of a mustard seed. That is enough for Him to bestow His protection and provision on our family time and time again.

God is taking care of us and will continue to do so. Please turn your prayers for 17 month old Silas' life and full recovery.

Ephesians 6:10-20 Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord, and in the power of his might. Put on the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places. Wherefore take unto you the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand. Stand therefore, having your loins girt about with truth, and having on the breastplate of righteousness; And your feet shod with the preparation of the gospel of peace; Above all, taking the shield of faith, wherewith ye shall be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked. And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God: Praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, and watching thereunto with all perseverance and supplication for all saints; And for me, that utterance may be given unto me, that I may open my mouth boldly, to make known the mystery of the gospel, For which I am an ambassador in bonds: that therein I may speak boldly, as I ought to speak.