Saturday, July 19, 2014

Learning to be Content


Yesterday I met with the house builder and we went over the house plans one last time.  We just "tweaked" a few things, nothing big at all.  Next week the permits will start being pulled!  All the plans are done, building, floor plans, electric plans....  this is so exciting.  Their goal is to have us in the house by Christmas.  Of course that is just a goal, you can never predict the weather in October, one year we had two hurricanes in October!  But if the weather doesn't slow things down, it will be on track for us to be in it in 5 months:)  

You know I don't want to come across as some heavenly minded saint but Jon and I never really worried about having a home of our own.  We've been in the ministry since the day we were married and never felt the pull to buy a home because we were never sure of the next step God might have for us.  We'd had pastor friends who had bought homes in certain areas and then relocated and ended up with a mess financially.  We wanted the freedom to be able to just get out of a lease and move if God opened a new door for us.  In all our ministry positions we were always committed to at least 5 years...now Jon has worked for the Department of Corrections as a chaplain for over 16 years and has pastored here for almost 9 years. 

After we adopted the girls, we felt a stirring inside of us that a BIG change was coming.  We thought that God might even be calling us to work in Ukraine as missionaries.  On the way up to NY, where the accident happened, we discussed several things we wanted to look into, some BIG changes.  Then our world collapsed.....

We still look forward to the adventure of life, but we feel with our situation with the children, especially Selah, that God is confirming to us THIS is where we will stay.  I'm not saying there will never be any changes to our lives but we are content in the season that God has us in. 

Over the years, I've seen God do so many things.  I still wake up with an expectancy in my heart for where God will lead us.  It may not ever be out of this physical area of central Florida but in this day and age, you can do a lot for God without leaving your home. 

One of my favorite  bible verses is
Philippians 4:11-13
11 I am not saying this because I am in need, for I have learned to be content whatever the circumstances. 12 I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want. 13 I can do all this through him who gives me strength.

God has taught me or helped me to learn to be content in my circumstances.  My circumstances might be better or they might be worse than your circumstances but God is teaching me to be content.  One version of that scripture says "for I have learned, in whatsoever state I am, therewith to be content."  I used to kid around with Jon when we traveled so much in the 90's that I was content in any STATE of the US:) 

Actually it took years for me to learn to be content.  But God was patient with me and helped me to learn to be grateful in my heart despite the circumstances. 

I'm not saying I went around saying silly Christian slogans while my world fell apart.....

But I could find peace and security even when there was little peace to find.  I think back especially of the five  months Selah was in the hospital and our family all six of us lived in one room in the Ronald McDonald House with none of our  own stuff except a few things we brought with us and some clothes we picked up in NY.  I look back and just wonder how in the world did we live like that with so much pressure and uncertainty?  But IN the situation, we had peace.  It's unreal and only by the GRACE of God.  We were separated from our home, our family and friends, all of our belongings. our pets, our home church, with dealing with a very traumatic situation but yet God gave us peace.  No one can ever tell me that God is far away and doesn't care for us!  I KNOW that He is close to the broken hearted and that He keeps us in the palm of His hand. 

So now is a new chapter of our life, a time to be settled and be able to take care of all our children, especially Selah in a wonderful way.  This new home will make Selah's life so easy for her.  She'll have a big room, her own bath with every thing she needs now and in the future.  Her room will even have a door to the carport so she can be transferred to the van without ever having to get rained on or be subjected to any adverse weather.  IF you know our house now, we have to take her from the farthest room out the door to where our cars are parked outside our fenced in yard.  It's probably 50 feet from our front door to where we park.  With the fence, there is just no other way to do things.  It's not the end of the world and we've been doing it now for almost 2 years but with our new home, things will be so much better for her. 

We are so grateful for this wonderful opportunity to have a home that fits our children's needs.  It's beyond anything we ever imagined being able to have for them. 

And if you are wondering, we will have a mortgage, taxes and home insurance to pay.  However with so many volunteer hours and donated material or things bought at cost, our monthly payments will not be anywhere near what they would have been if we'd tried to do this on our own.  I doubt we could have ever been able to do something like this on our own.  We are really overwhelmed by this whole experience, it makes us want to do more for others!   The staff at Habitat for Humanity are as excited as we are, just a great group of folks who really seem to care about what they do for others whether it is in their Restore/Thrift Store or through their homes they build.  

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IF you live in this area could you possibly consider doing some volunteer hours at either the Restore/Thrift store in Zephyrhills or the one in Dade City????  We have almost all our family volunteer hours done thanks mostly to Steve working in the Restore.  Steve has been offered a REAL job there once all the hours are in.  We had to have 100 donated hours besides our 100 hours in before he can start a salaried position there per their regulations and by laws.  He is really wanting to start working for a paycheck:)   From the first day he loved volunteering there and works his butt off.  I've got to go a couple of days and work but I can only do it when Jon is home to watch the little ones. 

We will need volunteers when the house is being built but we need some now too.  Please email me at theclanton5@aol.com if you are interested in volunteering.  It does have to be at one of those stores to count toward our family's hours.  

Steve would really appreciate it as he is ready to start working his first real job:)

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As you can imagine we are still watching as things unfold in Ukraine.  Our prayers continue for the families of the victims of this horrible plane crash.   
http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2696847/They-shouldnt-f-g-flying-There-war-going-Ukraine-intelligence-officials-release-phone-calls-claim-PROVES-Russia-shot-Flight-MH17.html  this article has pictures from Torez of the possible missile launcher.   Just so unreal to us.

There is so much conflict in the world right now 
Please pray for the people of Ukraine, there are many refugees, many Christians such as our close friends who have been threatened with death.
pray for the Israel conflict and for the peace of Jerusalem
I've heard reports of Iraqi Christians being targeted for execution in northern Iraq
So much heartache in this old world today. 
 

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