Monday, March 31, 2008

Extreme Home Makeover: KS Edition

It all started last fall when a gentleman at one of the PCA churches in the area (Jason had been preaching there) approached Jason. He said the Lord had laid it on his heart that he needed to try and help us with our house in Kansas, he said he felt he would be disobedient if he didn't act. Thus begins the miraculous way in which the Lord answered mine and all of your prayers for this house that's been on the market for five years. We only knew him in name and the Lord so convicted him. From that point it was just meetings with him and other men from the church involved in some way with property (real estate, insurance, mortgage broker, etc.) As it turns out, he was somewhat of an expert at remodeling houses and then selling them. We felt that the advice this "round table" gave us on what steps to take next was THE answer to prayer- people to counsel us. This alone gave us a sense of relief. But, the Lord had more in mind and these men decided to make our house the mission trip for the church that spring. Yep, raise money, send a team, work, the whole nine yards. A scouting trip was made in December '07 and it was decided what the plan was as far as things to remodel to make it more sellable and it all followed from there. Eventually 13 men and women signed up to go leaving in cars to drive the 17+ hours from WV to KS. Jason rode in one of the cars and Ruby and I flew out there to meet them (nobody in KS had met Ruby as we hadn't seen them since we moved 5 years ago.) Over the course of 6 days our kitchen and bathroom and kitchen was completely gutted and remodeled, all of the inside walls were painted, a subfloor was laid in the attic with wiring (in hopes this wold inspire a buyer to see the potential of finishing the upstairs for more rooms), central heat and ac installed, and the yard as well as the inside just got a good "tidying" up. Are you amazed?! I was- these people were up at all hours, some of the men sleeping there. Only the Spirit at work can accomplish what I witnessed. Many in Kansas also pitched in with housing, meals,and stopping by with words of encouragement. It was all very humbling, to be the recipient of a mission work. I fought it for a while, it's not like I'm a Katrina victim or HIV orphan in Africa- we felt embarressed that this church should do what we don't deserve. Maybe buying this house in the first place had been our mistake, why should they pay? That same gentleman said-"isn't that what grace is?" WOW! I thought of this the whole time and it will be a story passed on to the next generation of how the Lord showed His grace even in this thing.
"For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith- and this not from yourselves, it is the gift of God- not by works so that no one can boast." Ephesians 2: 8-9
The "after shots"- 1.the outside of the house; bathroom tub, toilet, vanity, tile, floor; kitchen cabinets, sink, counter, tile floor, stove; 4.master bedroom; 5.front entry with new paint; 6.Ruby after a hard day's work

Friday, March 7, 2008

Fall Creek Falls

I am a little late on this post, but wanted to be sure and relate what a blessing it was to be able to go to the TN, KY, AL, and now WV (we're the only RUF in this state) spring conference. Six students joined us at Fall Creek Falls in TN, about a 7 hour drive. Although that part was hectic with a two year old, it was worth it. After being able to sit under a lot of the campus ministers during classes they taught, I feel even more honored and humbled to be counted among those that minister the gospel, especially with RUF. What amazing hearts and minds these ministers and their wives have. To see over 500 students learning, worshiping, and fellowshipping to the Glory of God is just what I needed. Even though I always remind myself of the bigger picture, it can get kinda lonely starting a new campus, with few students, far from family, and in a new place. I was able to sit under teaching that convicted me, but it felt good. It reminded me that the conviction of the Holy Spirit is gentle, loving, and freeing and what I often feel as a mom, wife, nurse practitioner, and friend is the devil's accusations that I am not good enough. The truth of the gospel is that indeed I am a sinner, fallen very short of the glory of God, but as His child I am more than enough in Christ. I can be wrong and sinful but have hope that what is at work in me was finished in Christ and it is enough, more than that it is perfect! Oh, and on another note- Ruby absolutely loved being among all those students getting lots of "AWH, isn't she cute" as she walked by. She met her friend Knox for the first time, but I think she thinks his mommy's name is Knox as she always yelled it at Meredith.

Ruby with some of our students at large group

Meredith and Knox Westmoreland

Ruby loved running in the great outdoors after 7 hours in the car