A Prayer Request

Every day I pray that God will give me a chance to glorify Him.  Yesterday, I think He answered my prayer.

I was at the store.  The phone rang, I opened with my, "thank you for calling (redacted) pizza, will this be for pick up or delivery?"

The voice at the other end was hesitant.  He asked for a manager.  I offered to help.

After much pause and almost stuttering, he said, "I'm homeless and was wondering if you had any pizzas that customers didn't pick up that you would be throwing away."

I told him to come in to the store and I'd make a pizza up for him.  And I prayed for God to use me, if this man came in.

About 20 minutes later, he opened the door.  Slight, stooped, unshaven.  Almost scared.  I asked him if he made the call earlier, and when he said yes, asked him what he'd like for lunch.  I had to ask him a few times before he gave an answer. 

When his pizza was in the oven, I went out to the lobby and sat next to him.  He jumped, like no one had done that in a while.  Oh, my heart twisted!  I asked him how he was doing.  If he was okay. 

He asked about my bracelet (I wear a rubber cause March of Dimes bracelet from the batch we gave out at Leila's due date).  I told him we lost a baby last year.  He couldn't seem to get over that.

Then he asked me, in this plaintive voice, "why are you doing this?"  I can't really remember my answer, because from there it wasn't really me speaking.  The Holy Spirit had firmly taken over my tongue.  We talked about God, and he said he knew the Bible.  I asked if he had Jesus in his heart, he said he wasn't sure that Jesus would want him.  He had tears in his eyes.  He talked about how scared he was, that he was an alcoholic and had stooped as far as drinking hand sanitizer to get his fix. 

We talked about church some more, and my faith in God and how He got me through the worst year of my life.  I went back to cut and box up his pizza.  Came back out with his food and my number written on a paper.  Gave him a hug, told him that God loves him where he's at.

And I'm praying for him.  That he'll call or stop in.  Or a miracle, that he'll show up at church on Sunday. 

My God is the God of miracles!

Please pray for my friend...


Sometimes You Need the Benefit of Hindsight

I have a friend out there, who received some wonderful news this week.  Except the timing is wrong.  Finances are unsure.  Life isn't going as smoothly as she'd like it to be when the stick turns pink.

To this friend, I have a story for you.

Six years ago my husband bought a pizza delivery franchise.   It was the heyday when we plunked down our carefully saved money, everyone was doing booming business.  We were going to be rich someday and have a wonderful life for our son and the rest of the family that God had yet to give us.

A few months later, on a lick and a promise, we built a 4-bedroom house.  For all those kids we're gonna have.  Because we can afford it (someday), right?

Then, over the next few years, the economy stared slipping.  Sales dropped.  Minimum wage went up.  So did insurance premiums.

A few more years, and we reached the point where paying ourselves was no longer a given.

Another year, and it was no longer an option.

And you know what happens when you don't pay yourself?  You don't have money to pay for the house.

We prayed and prayed for God to intervene.  To bring sales up.  To help us save our home.  But He had other plans.

We lived in that house for 17 months after we stopped making the payments.  We were able to put away a little money to help with the pending move, but not much more than that.

Right around 18 months, the store was doing well enough that we were able to pay ourselves.  Not much, certainly not what we used to, but it was so strange filling out a deposit slip for the bank again!

I believe that God intervened on our behalf, but we needed hindsight to see how He worked.  If we would have made mortgage payments during those 17 months, we would have lost our business.  AND we would have been homeless, eventually.

And there has been other "a-HA" moments, looking back.  Like how, because of our low income over these last few years, we've qualified for Medicaid.  That is a Godsend to us, since our health insurance inexplicably went up 200% as of the July renewal and is completely unaffordable to us now.

We need to keep foremost in our minds that we serve a GINORMOUS God, and He loves us every bit as much as we love our own kids.  He has the all-encompassing sight to know what's coming down the road.  He will carry us along.  He doesn't promise it's all pleasant, but He does know what's best for us.

M., I'm almost done reading Jon & Kate Gosselin's book Multiple Blessings, and I can't tell you how many times I thought of you and L.  I hope you get a copy from your library and read it. 

Homeschool Freedom

We started our 2010-11 school year on Wednesday.  And we're off with a bang - Andrew's enjoying the more relaxed atmosphere, and I'm rising to the challenge of finding our learning tools for free (or as cheap as possible).

We're armed with out 2nd grade requirements lists.  But outside of that, we're all eclectic this year, baby!

Some things we're using:

Head of the Class:  a fairly comprehensive that gives the "instructor" a good bit of control.  Printable worksheets.  Covers math, writing, spelling, reading, and Spanish.  And, maybe best of all, completely free!

IXL:  Math, intensified.  Online tests (paperless!).  You can pay for the service, but the free end of it seems to be sufficient for our needs.

Making Music Fun:  I thought this was going to be more helpful.  As someone who is "financially challenged", I struggle to get the music and arts into our days.  MMF has offered some basic worksheets on the composers (we're working our way through Bach now), but we're still left filling in gaps.  Thank God for the library and it's resources.  And the internet, of course (when it comes to music, YouTube is awesome!)

Andrew's Blog:  I'm really, really hoping this takes off.  He was so very excited about having his Very Own Blog.  And, so far, the posts are coherent.  BUT, his attention issues are painfully obvious.  We've got our work cut out for us.

Taste of Home Kids Coloring Cookbook:  We have a LOT of fun with this!   We started doing this last year - we'll take pictures while making the recipes, slide the colored sheet into one of those clear plastic sheet protectors, put it in his 3-ring binder, and glue the pictures onto the backs of the pages (when we finally get them developed). 

That's just some of the online programs we're using right now. Every day we stumble across another useful resource, bookmark another site. 

What are you using to enrich your child's education this year?