I feel like I haven't blogged in forever ... but I did... just last week. I think because I have been so busy lately that I haven't kept up with some of my weekly blogs that I like to post.
I brought the blog "up-to-speed" so to speak last week with some little happenings around the Rainey household.
I am now in FULL party planning mode. I can't quit thinking about it. Seriously! Kobe's is easy. He is getting older and doesn't want a lot of "frills". He just wants to have five or six friends over to spend the night and for me to take them to play paintball the next day. No problem! I do have a super cute invitation that my best friend Lori is going to be making and I have my name on the best cake maker in town's (thanks to Lauren at Capes and Crowns for the recommendation!) calendar so that is pretty much all he really cares about. A cake. Paintball. PS3 Black Ops 2. There you go! He doesn't even want me to buy him a gift...he just wants cash! Easy enough!
Samuel has requested a cowboy/farm party. He requested the party to be at a barn and with animals to pet and look at and horses to ride! Good Grief! He is a child who knows what he wants! Luckily, I was able to secure a venue that is all of these things and more! I am really excited about planning this one. He is still little so I can decorate and make little party favors and he will still think it is cute and fun! I also have the cake for this party on the calendar with aforementioned cake lady! I have at least got the two biggest parts handled... venue and cake. Now, I have to try and get my creative side geared up for favors, food, and decorations! This is the first "real" party with friends from school. In the years past, I have always thrown him a party but it would mainly be adults friends of ours with their kids or friends from daycare and church. This year he wants to invite all of his friends in his Kindergarten class to come to his party. I am really excited and looking forward to this party!
John and I are hosting a small life group at our home every other Sunday and it is a real joy. I am really loving getting to know these people from our church and fellowshipping, growing, and learning with them. We are currently talking about trials in life. I don't post much on the "hard" times on this blog just because it is some what of a blog for my boys to have memories to pour over after I am long gone. BUT, something one of our life group members said really struck me. She said we need to journal down our "storms" in life and the trials and hard times and then document how God saw us through it because that is a gift to our children and not only does it help to build their faith...it stirs and builds ours as well. I decided to post a few things that have happened over the last couple of weeks:
We began our life groups on the second Sunday in January. Now, anyone who has ever stepped out in faith or got prepared to do something for the Lord (especially those things that cause freedom to be released in others and fellowship of God's people) knows that the enemy does NOT like it! You will be spiritually attacked from every angle and every direction possible. The enemy likes doing this because it takes our minds off of what we need to be focused on and in some cases, it causes us to question what we are doing, postpone it, or sometimes just back out all together! I knew that the life group was going to be GREAT! I knew that the Lord was really going to place the right people together and that we would all serve Him and live out some of our Kingdom purpose through this group and with these people. The Saturday before I was cleaning (which I do each Saturday) but I was cleaning a little extra... if I am being honest...and I am! I finally got done with most of the cleaning and decided to give the dogs a bath. It had been raining where I live for a week or more and the dogs are inside dogs but going out and back in had them so smelly! I just wanted to give them a little freshen up bath. I could not get the water to warm up ...at all. I asked John to take a look. He said that the hot water heater was out and went upstairs to check it out. I went to preheat the oven and it would never preheat... heating element was completely broken in half! I moved on to laundry... dryer...broken! I went to the bathroom to find a puddle of water beside the toilet... plumbing issue. I mean, one right after another these problems presented themselves. I could have gotten down...BUT I didn't. I went straight into the kitchen and I ripped my tithing check up...and wrote it for more. I was determined that the old devil would NOT get the best of me. I loaded the kids up and we went to my mom's to take showers... each night for five nights in a row! This was on a Saturday so I could not get any parts ordered or on their way until Monday. I just had to suck it up in the meantime. Our group met as planned the following night and it was a great time in the Lord! Throughout the first of the week I was busy calling around trying to find parts and pieces and get them to our home so I could cook, take a hot bath, and do laundry! I found out that the part on our hot water heater was originally "faulty" and that they had made a conversion kit for it...so I was able to get the part for free...just paid for shipping (expedited shipping!). On Thursday, I finally found a part for our stove at a nearby store. That same day the part we needed to fix the water heater came in AND (get ready) someone just gave us a dryer! Just out of the blue... gave us a dryer! John was able to fix the toilet issue. So, in one day all had been restored. I just felt the Lord telling me that the enemy may take things from us but He can restore them just as quickly. That wasn't just with appliances and household things either!
The following Monday when I got home I saw John pacing in the yard on the phone. The look on his face wasn't a good, welcoming kind of look. I knew something was wrong but I had no idea what. I walked over to try and see what was wrong and he kept walking away and talking on the phone. I stood there and waited. Finally, he told me that the utility company had contacted us to let us know that our main water line was technically placed on our neighbor's property ( I have live in this home for twelve years and never once heard a thing about this) and that we were responsible for moving it. John had gotten a rough estimate on how much that was going to cost... oh around $400-$500! He told me and without getting upset, down, or mad I just said, "Oh, OK! Let's go in and fix dinner!". I went on in the house I did not give this one more thought. I just wasn't going to let it steal my joy. The very next day, when I came home I noticed a HUGE muddy "trench" in my front yard. I walked in and asked John what happened. He said, "A miracle for God!" When we came home we found that for whatever reason...the utility company had come out and moved this water line for us free of charge. These are just a couple of examples of God's promises and goodness. He is a good, good Father. He keeps His word. He provides and takes care of us. He blesses us when we give Him our first fruits in our tithes, offerings, talents, and time.
I hope that you can find something in this tiny little testimony that can tug your heart strings and realize that God really does care for us...as people. He cares about what we care about...even appliances!
Sorry for the completely random thoughts today. I just had all of this on my mind and wanted to jot it down. I have been neglecting my blog lately and I need to get that under control...quickly!
I do have a prayer request. John has been invited to go on a mission trip to Haiti. It is just a guy that he serves with in ministry and he goes every few months. It will be John and three other men. The cost is pretty steep and there is a short amount of time to get this kind of cash together (a few weeks). I would like to ask for prayer for John to be able to get these funds together so he can go be a part of being Jesus' hands and feet!