praise you, Lord!

Wow. I’m feeling a little wind-blown this morning. As in blown away by God and how He moves and works and provides and loves. Wow.

Again, little stuff to the average onlooker. Huge stuff to me and mine. First of all, I got a little package in the mail yesterday. My friend Joanne went to the Lake of the Ozarks with her family and brought back a little somethin’ somethin’ to give away on her blog. A Yes-and-Know book (you know, with the magic ink marker) and 2 old-school Travel Bingo cards. I won the drawing!! And my perfect-for-zoo-trips package arrived yesterday afternoon, COMPLETELY brightening my day. Thank you so much, Joanne!!

The girls and I took a box of books and stuff to Half Price Books yesterday. The girls like to guess how much we’ll get. Last time I told them not to get their hopes up, because we didn’t have much, and they don’t pay a ton. I said maybe $5 max. It was $10, and the girls were thrilled.

This time Livi asked if I thought we’d get $10 again. “I don’t know, honey. Probably not. Maybe $5.” How about maybe $25!! I about fell over when the guy told me. (and his last name was Glaviano! he said he’d never met anyone with so many letters in common with his last name. ha!) I talked the girls into just taking $5 each and letting me put $15 in the Zoo Fund. They were happy to comply. 5-dollar bills are a HUGE deal.

Last night we went to a couple’s house for a little get-together with the leadership team at our new church. I had only met a handful of them before. It was a bit of a bummer at first, because we thought there would be kids for our girls to play with, and there weren’t. BUT that all worked out in a cool way AND I met the most amazing group of women. At first I felt like I was on the outside looking in, then all of a sudden, something happened, and we were all sitting around chatting like old friends and they were asking me about my books and getting all excited. And I told them about the zoos. And I found out all about them. And one of the gals has a daughter 4 days older than Nina, and her husband works from home, and she’s going insane (not literally), and my older 2 are going to school soon, and I’ve been asking God for friends with 2-year-olds to do stuff with. (I have a couple already–if you’re one of them, I love you!)

Could I write any more run-on sentences?? Oh, yes, I’m sure I could!

I have never felt so excited about a group of people and diving in to the work God is doing in a church. Oh my, oh my, oh my!

Oh! And then! One of the girls gave me $20 and asked me to bring her my books tomorrow at church. ZOO FUND!! (and I had another 3-book order from Iowa when I got home)

Oh, I hope all of this is coming across how I want it to. This isn’t some prosperity gospel stuff. Just pray and God will shower you with money. It’s, “trust Me, Marla. I will take care of you. I’m your God, and I love you. Enough to crush my precious Son and make Him suffer for sins you committed. (Isaiah 53:10) That much.”

Money’s not the issue. We’ve had money. It didn’t solve our problems. We’ve been married 10 years. A couple of those years we made six figures. A couple of those years we made one-sixth of that. Lots of years we were somewhere in between.

There’s nothing wrong with money. If you have a lot, that’s awesome. I love you, and I pray God continues to bless you and that you seek Him first as to how to use it best.

But for us (at least for now), God wants us to trust. He wants us to cash in our little retirement fund and pay off some debt. (and never retire–fine by me! i’ll write ’til I die!) 🙂 He wants my hubby to design web sites for ministries that can’t pay much. He wants him to do certain things for free. He wants to use Gabe in some incredible ways. And me too.

And I’m floored by that.

We’ve done some really dumb stuff with our money. But there is no condemnation in Christ. He’s giving us a fresh start. I’m saving money all over the place. Learning that making money isn’t always the answer. Spending less is. I’m learning that Aldi’s cheese crackers taste just as good as Cheez-Its. That Mountain Frost is better than Mountain Dew. That kind of stuff.

Ooh. Gabe and the girls will be home from soccer practice soon, and they’ll be uber-hungry. Thanks for listening. Love you guys!

Oh, and if you’re anywhere close to Ohio and want to come meet a bunch of us Xangals, check out Gail’s site for details on our Second Semi-Annual Xangafestapalooza. It’s September 27th, and it will be a PAR-TAY!!

Have an awesome weekend!!

12 thoughts on “praise you, Lord!

  1. lilriver

    I was truly delighted to hear that you got $25 dollars for your books at Half-Price! isn’t it great to be surprised by something like that? one of life’s small-but-big joys.

  2. ClutzyButtercup

    Oh Marla, you have communicated so well!  God is showing us some things about money (or the shortage of) as well.  At a time when we really need to be able to put some extra money away to be able to help our son finish his education, God has seen fit to put my daycare ministry in a place where I do not have a single person paying even close to full price.  I have a couple who are paying whatever they can afford (which means I never know when or how much I will make)…Isn’t that exciting!!!  My hubby would like to retire in 8-13 years because his body is not handling the physical labor the way it used to…Looks impossible but we know God is totally capable of taking care of that too! 

    Hope you have a great zoo trip!!!

  3. M3mine

    Marla, I have many things I could and would like to share with you about your main topic today—-perhaps I’ll share some of it this week on my Xanga.  We’re still on vacation with a really weak internet. 

  4. waterbrine

    I have to say I feel like I’m in the minority here reading your blog (a male), but I appreciate it none-the-less.

    You’ve been a great encouragement to me recently as Denise & I have had to drastically tighten our belts financially. This afternoon I even went to the library to “shop” rather than Barnes & Noble. Small step, but a significant one.

    Keep up the blogging!

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