Thursday, January 30, 2014

Gomer's Healthy.

Hello, friends of Gomer.

Just in case you were worried, we didn't just sit back and coast through our week. Our sweet girls came down with a gross tummy bug. It was one girl after another getting sick over and over. This lasted from Thursday to Sunday. Denbigh and I didn't get sick like the girls, but it sure knocked us down. Thankfully, it seems all are rested and recuperated. I had to miss the baby shower of my dear friend, but I was thankful to care for and snuggle my sweet babies. Mr. Denbigh did laundry for several days straight while I cared for the girls. I am thankful for him.

One of the things God is continually telling me to do is to share my life and allow it to encourage others. The good, the bad, and the vomit. One thing that is really important to me is my marriage to Denbigh. There were many marriages in the generation before us and so we pray that God will redeem this by stirring our hearts to covenant. I'm currently in the middle of Praying For Your Husband From Head To Toe. This has led me to a renewed effort to finish our bedroom and create a space of sanctuary and intimacy. I found these great Mr. & Mrs. pillows to remind me to continually be in prayer for my man and for how I show Christ to him as his wife.

He did manage to get a little bit of wrap and foam up in our bedroom...even through all the sickness. I took his picture and he told me that he better not see it on the internet. Maybe he won't read this post. Have a blessed week. 

You know, I was thinking about our homeowner wanting more money at the end. I also thought about how I kept comparing this payoff to 
It's A Wonderful Life. It only makes sense that "Mr. Potter" would try to rear his ugly head at the end. 
*I'm praying he sells his possessions and is called to the mission field.

Love y'all.

Give to Gomer's House.

Thursday, January 23, 2014

Hosea: Buying Our Gomer Back

Hello friends of Gomer, 
as you may know, we refinanced our house. It has no doubt been the craziest ride. Wednesday night I called my husband at worship practice and told him that I wanted him to come home right then. I was feeling really odd. For a woman who is never ill, it was disturbing me. On Thursday, my left arm had gone numb along with the left side of my face. These are symptoms of a stroke and a heart attack. I headed to Urgent Care that evening and received my first EKG. I rocked it. Apparently, there is some inflammation in my neck from the car wreck. They couldn't pinpoint the source of the facial tingling, but he thought it might be viral because of my other symptoms. I don't currently have insurance (you can pray for that) so I was worried about the cost of all this. We were handing over everything we had the next day. Someone came in to the Urgent Care that night and paid my bill. I couldn't make this stuff up, beloved. That was the night before our closing. 

Friday morning, we still hadn't heard a time for our closing and we didn't have an itemized total that we needed to have with us. The title company was really bad about communicating with us. We finally receive our total and it is about four thousand more than we expected. It seems that our home owner decided to add in the taxes for the last year (which we already paid him) and add two thousand dollars to our total. Deep breath. We contact the title company. He can't double charge us the taxes, but they cannot challenge what he says is due (even if it defies our contract). Denbigh calls my parents and has them wire the money to us as a loan. It arrives at 2:30 into our account. We purchase our cashier's check for $27,000 and we are off. My friend Jen graciously offered to watch the girls at the park while we closed. She offered that day by God's grace. 

Then we were off. I was holding a check for $27,000. That was a first for me. We signed our papers and thanked the Lord for this miracle He performed for us. Back to the park to hang with my friend Jen. To celebrate, we went and dined on some Mexican food at a local favorite. Now we are rebuilding. 

When we lived close to Buda, we used to drive down Cherry street all of the time. It just made me happy. There was a house at the end of the street that I just loved. I'll post a picture at the bottom. I was in love with this house. I stared at it for a minute. It looks remarkably similar to Gomer. God has a way of giving us the desires of our heart...even if we come the hard way. 

Hosea redeems. Hosea 3:2
He is a picture of Christ to us.

Love y'all and buy some art from me. Valentine's is coming and I have the greatest jewelry hangers. 

Cherry Street House we loved years ago.
P.S. Thanks to Bandera State Bank for funding our loan.
You can support Gomer's House by making a one time donation or with small monthly gifts.
Give to Gomer.

Thursday, January 16, 2014

Buying Back Gomer

Hello, friends of Gomer. It seems that we have house insurance again. Being in a renovation is always more complicated and more expensive. It's done though. The man that Denbigh talked to prayed for him on the phone. As soon as we are done with most of the work, we can drop the crazy high rate we must pay because we are in renovation. We have some deep love for all of y'all who come stay here. I hope you know it. I hope you look at us and see the love of God for you.

My man has been ripping down the ceiling in my studio. It's a fantastic space if you haven't seen it. It was a 30 plus foot sleeping porch that had been enclosed. There are windows wall to wall. There had been a bit of water damage on the ceiling and we had to take it down. That excess wood is what I am taking to make the signs that I am selling. The studio is on the second floor. When the ceiling is gone, it opens to the edges of the third floor. Some of the windows were broken up there and birds had moved in. Of course there were tiny mice and whatever else. This is a filthy, rusty nail kind of a job. Once all the old ceiling is down, we can put plywood and bead board up to separate the the second and third floor spaces. Currently, I have taken over our bedroom with the thirty or so paintings I do a week. There is canvas everywhere. It will be a while before I get my studio back, but I will be o so happy when I do. 

We haven't heard from the title company yet, but we are supposed to close on our refinance on Friday.    We are so thankful and grateful for God's provision. Thank you all as well. This really was a scene out of It's A Wonderful Life. 

Not only do we get to keep loving people through our house, we are blessed to take Gomer to the streets as well. The other day, as I was making my frequent trip to Hobby Lobby, Denbigh and Lulu noticed a man on the corner. As I went in to buy paint, they went and bought him some chicken. We were able to bless a minister with some new Nikes (beautiful are the feet that carry the good news). Lunches have been bought. Treats have been given. Guests have been loved. Thank you for helping us on this adventure.

Hosea buys Gomer back in Hosea 3:2 (Even though she is already his wife, he buys her out of bondage.). Thank you for helping us do the same.

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Talk to me, Abba.

Isaiah 61
A few weeks ago, I noticed a theme occurring in my art for the week. Several of the pieces that were ordered centered around Isaiah 61. Of course, it is a beloved verse to many. We had it read at our wedding. It has stood out to me over the the past almost eleven years as I remember it like a benediction on our hearts. 

They will rebuild the ancient ruins and they will raise up the former devastations.

As we are in the midst of all of this turmoil with redoing things for our house, our Abba was reminding me of a word spoken over my heart. He has restored family and friend. He has given us a heart to lavish the wounded with love and call it back to Him. Sometimes, He talks to me and my soul remembers. Rebuilding is hard. Restoration is akin to grace in the fact that it must keep coming even when things are looking quite bleak.
Blessed be His name.

Thursday, January 09, 2014

Saving Gomer

I have been praying for some time for God to pay off our house and redeem Gomer. Of course, the roller coaster of finance is never fun. As I look at it, I had to think that this might be the first leg of God answering my prayer...the first domino to fall. The fact that my man and I are going to be able to write a check for $25,000 is quite bewildering. To me, it seems somewhat miraculous. In September, our budget was nearing the bottom of the barrel. Look at us a few months later. We are going to write a check for 1/6th of what we owe on the house. Bless the Lord. I kept wanting to try to make the numbers come together, but God assured me that He was working. I took my friend a pie and was politely handed $2,000. A friend told us God had put us on his heart and gave another $2,000. Anonymous donations came in through our church. One of my friends gave up half of her 10 year anniversary vacation money. People we giving $10, $100, $250. I always notice that we will get the same amount of money from people who don't know each other at the exact same time. I think that is just God's way of helping us remember that even what we give to Him came from His own hand. So, we have our money for the loan. Let's all have a good Holy Spirit cry. Thank you, Jesus, for your tender generosity toward us. Now on to replenish our food and restoration budget for the year. Thank you for being good, kind-hearted, encouraging people. We relish your friendship and partnership in the gospel. Hosea 3:2

In other news: Art is selling strong. Also, I kept feeling like Jesus was going to keep working on our car situation. We received a call from a church in New Braunfels asking if we would like a truck because someone wanted to donate one. All we have to pay is the taxes. This is the fourth car we have been given in the last few years. Perhaps we can sell them all and get a Honda Pilot. I have been wanting a car big enough to accommodate our family and our guests that stay here. It would also keep us from taking two cars on the road all summer. With the band, we make 8. 

Thank you for praying for us and being obedient to the point of sacrifice.
love y'all.
Give to Gomer's House.

Wednesday, January 08, 2014

Bringing Up Bébé by Pamela Druckerman

I enjoyed this book. I enjoyed it quite a lot really. Perhaps it was because it told much about French culture or because of the author's candor. Either way, I liked it. My school philosophy and certain parenting ideas are far from hers, but I enjoyed her telling of her journey. Pam talked about French day care, public school, eating out, having twins, infertility, and being a woman. I found her refreshing. 

We live in a society in America that seems to cripple our children from growing up. We do everything for them, over praise, micro-manage, put them in every activity, and never say no. In France, Pam noticed a remarkable difference in the polite behavior of the children there. She took note of so many things. The French never yell at their children. They are stern with saying no and do not answer every whim that their children have. They teach them to play and entertain themselves. They give them some autonomy. They learn how to be adults. 

Her talk about being afraid to talk about God because she thought it might confuse her children and how French parents let their kids have a private sex life blew my mind. I wasn't reading a Bible-based parenting book here. It was just one honest woman's journey. She wasn't out to impress me, her reader, with her high moral standards. I appreciated her truth. 

There were things in the book I adored that had nothing to do with parenting as well. She talked about how well French women cared for themselves, even after having children. They ate well. They made time as couples to enjoy their spouses. Their world didn't revolve around their children where they spent their lives running back and forth to their children's activities. They may be in one activity. There was a balance. They made time for amoré. They remembered that they were still women.

One of my favorite parts of the book was when Pam tells us that French women never complain about their husbands. This delighted my soul. I think we have it so good and yet women incessantly complain about their spouses. She tells a story of being away with some friends. The other woman's husband arose early and went to get pastries. As the wife came down and sat at the table, she proclaimed, "J’adore cette baguette!” (I adore this baguette!) Pam later relayed the story to her husband and he said that they needed more of that. Enjoy your man. Delight in his kindness. 
"J’adore cette baguette!”

Saturday, January 04, 2014

An Update on Gomer

Last year was sure one for the books. All the odds just started stacking up against us. If crazy attack out of nowhere is confirmation of calling, we are confident of our calling. There is much beauty and relief in being brought to your knees for a thing. Since purchasing this house, I have thought long and hard about Hosea purchasing Gomer back from slavery in Hosea 3:2. Hosea couldn't afford to just go pay cash when God told him to buy her back. He gave everything he had and paid the rest in barley. She was a pearl of great price in the hands of the Lord. That's where we sit. Our crazy house situation has left us needing to come to the table with $23,000 and closing costs. That's about $25,000. We cannot pay half in barley, either. 

I drew a deep breath when we received this news. I started looking at our funds. If we take our fund for our ministry car, our restoration and operating budget for 2014, and all of our Christmas money, we have $23,300. It actually blew my mind that we had this much money available to us. Jesus snuck up on me with His provision. So we skipped giving Christmas gifts to one another and we started praying. We only need a little over a thousand dollars. My mind is blown. Jesus is purchasing a house to bring love and healing to others. 

Please join us in prayer for the remaining funds to come in. If you are interested in helping to replenish the operating budget for the year, buy art or pie! We love HEB, Target, and Lowe's gift cards. Even $5 can help us on a project or to put a meal on the table. We love veggies from your garden. Thank you for helping us be the hands and feet of Christ. 

You know, I often feel like Mary Bailey from It's A Wonderful Life. She was busy fixing up her old mansion with a brood underfoot. I have felt like we have been living in the scene at the end of the movie where all of the friends of the Bailey family show up and start giving the little money they had to save George. Sure, there are Mr. Potters in the world, but Jesus is bigger. 

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