Monday, June 3, 2013

{The Lord's Provision}

This post is simply a public expression of thanksgiving to God for all that He has provided us over the past few months. Here are the specifics:

*We knew last summer that we would be needing a new(er) vehicle as TJ's van (our only vehicle that could hold all 8 of us) was showing signs of its age and wear, particularly with the transmission. The goal was to keep up the maintenance on it for as long as possible until it was no longer safe to drive. On one of our trips to Ohio, we drove a rented Toyota Sienna while TJ's van was being repaired after a minor accident he was involved in. It was very spacious and had plenty of cargo space for all of us plus our luggage and gear. As a result, we discussed buying either a Honda Odyssey or Toyota Sienna when the time came to replace his van. I will admit, I wanted a new van sooner than later, and hoped that TJ would one day soon announce his decision that it was "time".

When I found out I was pregnant in November, immediately we both knew that purchasing a vehicle was a priority because another baby meant we had outgrown a mini-van. That also meant our vehicle options were limited. We began to pray. We began to search out vehicles that could hold 9 people (comfortably) and still have room for strollers, groceries, etc. We had 3 options: a Chevy Suburban, a Ford Excursion, or an 11-passenger van. We researched all three of our options and concluded that the Ford Excursion was the best choice for our family. It is also one of the most expensive simply because of it's size and limited availability (they were only produced from 2001-2005). We began to pray some more. We needed finances along with a low-mileage vehicle that was in pretty good shape so it would last a long time. TJ spent many hours scouring the internet for one, and God provided just the right one! TJ was able to trade in his van for close to what we paid for it (over 4 years ago!) and was able to negotiate the price of the Excursion down another $1,500. It was truly amazing to see the Lord's hand in that entire situation!!

My "new" truck! :)
What I learned is that my plan is not always God's plan. I wasn't planning on another baby, and I am so thankful that (for once) I didn't repeatedly express my desire for a new vehicle and put undue pressure on TJ to purchase one. Can you imagine if we had gone ahead and purchased a new(er) mini-van last summer and then only a few months later found out about the pregnancy? That would have been a financial mess for sure! I also learned that I have to trust that TJ is going to make the best decisions for our family, and that the Lord will bless us when I submit to TJ as the leader of our home. This vehicle is certainly proof of that, and I would be remiss to not acknowledge the Lord's working in the entire situation.

*Taryn's birth meant that she and Tristin-Grace would share a room (since Annie & Teagan already share a room) once she slept through the night. Taryn is not a good sleeper so she continued to sleep in the crib in our room until she was only waking once per night. In early April, TJ and I felt she was finally sleeping well enough to move into TG's room. The problem- we only had 1 crib and I was going to need it for the new baby. I began to search for a 2nd crib. I inquired at the thrift store (they don't accept cribs because of all the recalls), I searched on two local buy/sell forums that I belong to (no one wanted to sell one for less than $75), and I posted my need on Facebook. I also prayed every night that the Lord would provide something, and that it would be cheap. I looked online and found one brand new for around $100, but I really didn't want to invest a lot of money into a crib since Taryn will be moving to a twin bed in the next 6 months to a year. God answered my prayer! About a month ago, a friend of mine emailed me one day stating she was moving her child from a crib to a bed and no longer had a need for hers. She didn't know if I wanted hers. Without hesitation, I said "Yes!!" and asked how much she wanted for it. Her response- no charge, just come pick it up. Wow!! TJ put it together last week and Taryn slept in it for the first time Friday night. She was unsure at first, but now loves her new crib in her new room!
Taryn in her new crib in Tristin-Grace's room
*Tristin-Grace has a full-size bed in her room, and with the crib and another dresser, there was barely room to turn around. The next item we needed to get was a twin bed for her to replace her full-size bed. TJ is going to build a guestroom/nursery downstairs off of our bedroom, and I am going to put the full-size bed in there. I again checked the thrift store for a twin bed, and we were able to get a mattress in excellent condition for free, but finding a twin bed that included the bed rails was not very successful. I again prayed about it, and the Lord again provided above and beyond my expectations.

One day a couple of weeks ago, TJ was working around the house when he received a phone call from a co-worker. She had a house not too far from ours that she was preparing to rent out. She had just cleaned out the attic and wanted to know if we needed a twin bed and frame. Coincidence? I think not! But, the blessing didn't stop there. Another friend of  mine is having a baby boy about 2 weeks before I am due. TJ and I decided to go ahead and purge the remaining boy items we had, so I texted her to see if she wanted the clothes. In return, she offered me a twin-size trundle bed, complete with mattresses, that she was getting rid of. For only the investment of bedding, we now have a bed for Tristin-Grace, Taryn, and an extra (the trundle) for friends.

 
It may seem trite to share these "stories" with you, but the Lord has been so good to us over the past few months. It's easy to see the Lord's hand in the "big" things in life, but it's also important to see it in the everyday moments. In all of these instances, the Lord answered prayer, provided for His children, and blessed beyond what was needed. In the process, I learned the power of prayer, the importance of waiting, and witnessed the goodness of God.

This hymn pretty much says it all:

Great is Thy Faithfulness (words by Thomas Chisholm, music by William M. Runyan)

Great is Thy faithfulness, O God my Father;
There is no shadow of turning with Thee,
Thou changest not, Thy compassions they fail not,
As Thou hast been, Thou forever wilt be.

Refrain:
Great is Thy faithfulness! Great is Thy faithfulness! Morning by morning new mercies I see All I have needed Thy hand hath provided Great is Thy faithfulness, Lord unto me!

Summer and winter and springtime and harvest,
Sun, moon, and stars in their courses above;
Join with all nature in manifold witness,
To Thy great faithfulness, mercy, and love.

(Refrain)

Pardon for sin and a peace that endureth,
Thine own great presence to cheer and to guide;
Strength for today, and bright hope for tomorrow
Blessings all mine, with ten thousand beside.

(Refrain).