...And there are also many other things that Jesus did, which if they were written one by one, I suppose that even the world itself could not contain the books that would be written. Amen! [John 21:25]
I feel like this verse is more than adequate to sum up what has been going on in our home and hearts over the past year. If I listed all that Jesus has done, you'd be reading this for a long, long time! And though I want to share all He's done, I know you have other things to do and other blogs to be reading and Facebooks to be checking, and I have a home that needs cleaning and a puzzle that needs putting together - so I'll cover the highlights.
Highlight #1: The Bible House is still open. Oh, friends, that the Bible House has not closed again is purely by the staying hand of the Lord and His blessing!! The inventory is still small, because we find that certain companies and indivduals (like our landlord) would appreciate that we continue to pay them what we owe - thus, no splurging on massive amounts of Bibles, books, music, etc for the store yet. We pray and hope that some day the Lord will provide for those things, but for now about 80-85% of the business we do is still from special orders and church groups, so having a large inventory isn't necessary. I cannot explain to you how thrilling it is to be used of God in this way - to be running a Bible bookstore right smack in the middle of downtown Jaffrey - when really Will and I have no business running a business. We have no business degrees, financial training, or anything that would qualify us to do this, except that God has asked us to do it. It may not be a success the way you define success, but we know that God is being glorified because we are walking in obedience to His calling on our lives!! And that is 'success' enough for us!
Highlight #2: Elizabeth is doing much better. As many of you remember, Elizabeth was hospitalized for about a week up at the Children's Hospital at Dartmouth (CHaD), because of some lifelong digestive troubles that got grossly out of control. I'll spare you the details if you haven't already heard them, but since we came home we have been so thankful that the Lord has been healing her slowly and surely. We've been taking her to see Dr. Josh at Jaffrey Chiropractic and we have been very pleased with the results that we've seen from good chiropractic care! So good, in fact, that Hannah has also started seeing Dr. Josh - she loves being adjusted, and we've seen major progress in her movement since she started going. This ties into...
Highlight #3: Hannah has the same struggles as Elizabeth did when she was younger. Low, low muscle tone and hyperflexibility mean that Hannah (at 10 months) has not rolled over yet, nor can she bear any weight on her legs. We praise the Lord that we have already walked this road with Elizabeth. The doctors at Dartmouth had prepared us to expect that Elizabeth might never walk or speak - and look at the work the Lord has done in her! So, whatever the outcome with our sweet Hannah - we know that the God who created her did it perfectly [see Psalm 139:13-14] and His purposes will be accomplished through her whether she ever walks or not [see Romans 8:28]. But we are very hopeful that Hannah, like her sister, will be fully mobile and talkative in a relatively short period of time!
Highlight #4: We have been without a van since April. The week before Elizabeth's trip to the ER that ended up in her being transferred to CHaD, our van sputtered out completely after a few months' time of almost-being-dead. And since we didn't have the money to a)have it towed, b)have it fixed, or c)fill the tank with gas anyway, it's been sitting there for the last five months. The Lord has been mighty and gracious to provide transportation to and from the grocery store and to do laundry about once every two weeks. Running errands, play dates, and other side trips have not been able to happen. And, if I may be so bold - spiritually speaking this is one of the best things that has ever happened to me (and consquently, my family). God has taught me how to love being home - really BEING home instead of being a 'stay at home mom' who is outside of her home more often than not. [Read my post Busy, busy, busy to get a glimpse into the work the Lord's been doing in my heart over the past 5 months!] I've gotten used to not having a way to get around whenever I want, and now that I've adapted, the Lord has seen fit to send the money and resources to fix our van. We received an amount of money recently equivalent to the garage's estimate of what it's going to take to fix the van. The garage called tonight, and as long as I can pay to register the van (pray with me! We don't have the money!) soon, the van is done and just waiting for us to pick it up!
Highlight #5: Elizabeth and Abby start kindergarten very soon! At home! Yay! The theme for this year's curriculum for History/Geography/Reading is Intro to the World: Cultures. Science is an experiment-based introduction to biology, earth science, & physics. Bible stories, Memory Verses and the Firm Foundations weekly study make up the faith curriculum! Sonlight's Language Arts focuses on learning to read, and we use Alpha Omega's LIFEPAC Math program - which you can order through the Bible House!
There are many, many more great things which He has done. Our marriage, which has been rocky over these past many months, is being renewed and restored by a God who is about the business of binding up broken hearts. We are seeing the fruit of His Holy Spirit grow in our sweet children as they come to terms with their own sin and process the message of the gospel. He brings people into our home who need the love and hope of Jesus Christ poured into their hearts - and He has been pleased to let us be the hands, feet, and words of a Savior who rescues to the uttermost they that come to Him in faith!! He has miraculously provided for each of our needs in our most desperate hours (like when we can't afford toilet paper - toilet paper! Have you ever taken that for granted!? - and a friend shows up with a bag full of the stuff on your doorstep when you're down to the last roll!!). God has supplied toothpaste, deodorant, shampoo, paper towels, soap, diapers, wipes, and iced coffees [ok. That last one isn't a necessity...] in direct answer to prayer when we lacked the money for them. And although He has not provided all of the money to pay off all of our bills yet, we know it's because He doesn't recognize "cell phones" and "car insurance" as needs. But He has not once left us without food or clothing or shelter. He has not ever failed us. And we are so thankful to be His and to be daily dying to self to see Jesus Christ magnified as the Lord of our hearts and home!
Friend - oh, friend! Trust Him in all things. Following Him to the ruin of life as you know it is exciting and beautiful. And it is of eternal worth.
All for His glory and honor!