Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Can I Get an Amen?

As if God had not already done enough for us this month.....

I finally have the great pleasure and excitement to announce to you guys:

Roman has found a full-time job!!!! 

*insert multiple happy dances here, lots of clapping and hollering, and maybe a few tears of joy*

He got the call yesterday afternoon. So now that all the interviewing is over and he's hired, I'll tell you where he will be working: Verizon Wireless. If any of you do not know Roman, then please know this: even though this is not a forensic science job, he will still be more than happy here. Why? Because my husband loves technology. I'm pretty sure he knows more about phones than the manufacturers do. Okay, maybe that's a little too much....but the man loves some phones and tablets and computers and stuff. So he will definitely fit right in. And I'm definitely about to hear more than I want to know about Verizon's phones and all the cool features they have. But I'm okay with that. And the best part? After he gets trained he will be working less than five miles from our new house.

Can I get an amen?

Roman's truck gets horrible gas mileage. Currently he works thirty-five miles from our new house. Which means we get the pleasure of putting almost 70 bucks worth of gas in that gas-guzzling monster every week. So even if he got paid less than minimum wage (which he won't be), it would be a major pay raise just because our gas expense is about to greatly go down.

Is my God good or what?

It's kind of funny how God works, because this whole year we have been dreading the month of August. Why? Because if you remember, Roman and I had agreed that if he had not found a full-time job by August, he would return to school to take one more class that he (unknowingly) possibly needed for his "dream job". This is what going back to school meant to me: cut in hours at his part-time job which meant a cut in pay which meant back to excessive couponing, late nights of studying for him which meant less free time for us, buying another darn $150 book, increase to the student loan, and a definite five more months in the trailer with the cruddy air conditioner. Not to mention the fact that we had just graduated and were enjoying not being in school, so Roman was just really dreading going back. Get the picture? So it's really funny that God picked the month of August (which we were looking at with dread) and turned it into (by far) the best month of our married lives.

Let's do a little recap on the awesome-ness of God in our lives in this grand month of August:
  • Found out Roman was not going to have to go to school (because we couldn't afford it). Even though this threw us for a loop, it was actually a blessing in disguise. No more school for him, no increase in debt for us, and it opened the door for everything else God did for us this month.
  • I got a new job. Something we've both been begging God about for almost two years now. Three. Days. Left. Until. I. Start. Hallelujah.
  • Moved into a new house. God totally took us by surprise by laying this house out for us. We weren't even looking for a house! (But we were sure praying about it!) In less than two weeks we saw the house, signed the lease, and started spending the night there. Have I mentioned yet that it has a dishwasher and a jacuzzi?
  • Roman got a full-time job. We knew God had to do something big.....we actually couldn't quite afford the new house with Roman's current part-time job. Yet we knew God wanted us to live here so we stepped out on faith and did something really crazy that makes non-Christians (and some Christians) scratch their heads. And like He promised, He came through for us. Yay yay yay!
And just for funsies, let's look back on all of 2012:
  • God healed me of CMV in January.
  • He then turned around and healed me of bells palsy in March.
  • He brought Roman and I through college. We both graduated in May with honors.
  • We went on a cruise in May to celebrate our two-year anniversary, our graduation, and our birthdays.
  • Roman's part-time job allowed him to work almost full-time for the summer, which gave us some really great financial relief for a couple of months where we could pay down some of our debt and save a little bit of money as well. Which is good because we had to use some of those savings to buy some stuff for our new place.
  • God revealed to me the true cause of my fatigue and overall moodiness: my birth control. I won't get into all of the details, but I will tell you that after I finished my last pack I did not start another one and even though it's only been five days, I feel so much better already. (But no, we are not trying to get pregnant right now, so don't get too excited)
Now please don't misunderstand this post: 2012 has also been our most difficult year of marriage as well. From sickness to financial strain to spiritual warfare, this year has definitely NOT been a walk in the park. So that is why this time of refreshing, renewal, and just all-around happiness is especially sweet for us right now. We can definitely appreciate the blessings God has dumped on us because we've walked through some pretty dark days this past year. We have had more arguments, more sicknesses, more migraines, less sleep, more stress, more spiritual attacks that I care to mention, and just a general feeling of being overwhelmed for a good part of 2012. And that is 100% okay, because you can't expect life to be 100% perfect and rosy 100% of the time. That's just not realistic. But now God has walked us out of a good part of that stuff which makes me do a whole bunch of happy dances.

Here's where I'm going to get all preachy and stuff, because I think this is one thing that God wants me and Roman to be open about through all of this. The #1 reason we believe that God has moved in such a mighty way this month is this: we have paid above and beyond our tithes in 2012. Even when we were having to get a student loan to pay for his last semester, even when we had to ask my parents to buy us groceries, even when we were transferring money from our savings account and credit line to buy gas, we paid above and beyond our tithes. Not because we expected something in return from God, but because we wanted to be obedient and give something back to our God who does so much for us.

Sweet people, please do not think I am being boastful of our faithfulness, because we have surely messed up in other areas of our lives. There were seasons in my own life where I would go over a week without opening up my Bible. There were seasons in my life where I would doubt God's love and allow bad thought processes to rule in my life. But the Bible is very clear: if you are not going to be faithful to God in paying your tithes, then you should not be surprised when your life is constantly a mess. We have to bless God first before He can bless us. And by bless God, I don't mean throw your tithes in the offering plate and immediately look to the sky and go "okay God, I did it, now bless me." I mean that we have got to be a people that rejoices in giving back to our Creator....a people that gives our 10% (or more) with a smile on our faces and joy in our hearts.

I will not lie to you, there were times when I signed that check with a prayer like this: "not sure how this is going to work Lord, but You see us and You see our situation." And did we ever miss a meal? No. Did we ever run out of gas while driving to work? No. Did we ever miss a rent payment or a utilities bill? No. So even though times were tight and we couldn't go on date nights regularly or shop for new clothes, did God take care of us? Absolutely yes. I can't count the number of times where God would make that gas in my car stretch farther than it should have, or when someone would offer to cook us dinner on nights when we secretly planned to eat cereal and sandwiches for dinner. He always always always always always took care of us in every situation. And in the month of August, He is just totally showing off. I picture God in heaven yesterday afternoon turning to one of the angels and going, "now watch this. I'm about to do something really cool" and then Roman's phone rings with a job offer and God just grins really big and then says quietly, "here ya go my precious son, I told you I would work it all out."  

I cannot tell you that if you go above and beyond your tithes that God will bless you in the same way He has blessed us, because God works in each of us differently. Sometimes we get blessed spiritually. Sometimes we get blessed financially. Sometimes we get blessed physically. Sometimes it is all of the above. Sometimes we may not receive our blessings until we enter into heaven. All I can tell you is that you restrict the blessings of God in your life when you hold back your checkbook from Him and refuse to be obedient to His Word. And I can also tell you that paying your tithes gives you a strange peace that everything is okay....even when your checkbook says it isn't.

So that is my testimony. Again, I am not boasting about our faithfulness, but I am boasting about the faithfulness of God. He's been more than good to us in 2012, especially in the month of August. And I would be a total jerk if I didn't share it with the rest of the world, because we are not supposed to keep our walk with Christ to ourselves.

To be honest, at this point I don't even care that my knee looks like a balloon today. At this point I wouldn't care if God told me my knee would hurt for the rest of my life. I'm so excited about everything else that it doesn't even bother me right now. You know that's a whole bunch of excitement when a wimp like me doesn't care about knee pain. (haha) 

Can I get an Amen?

"Should people cheat God? Yet you have cheated me! But you ask, 'What do you mean? When did we ever cheat you?' You have cheated Me of the tithes and offerings due to Me. You are under a curse, for your whole nation has been cheating Me. Bring all of the tithes into the storehouse so there will be enough food in My Temple. If you do, says the Lord of Heaven's Armies, I will open the windows of heaven for you. I will pour out a blessing so great you won't have enough room to take it in! Try it! Put Me to the test! Your crops will be abundant, for I will guard them from insects and disease. Your grapes will not fall from the vine before they are ripe, says the Lord of Heaven's Armies. Then all nations will call you blessed, for your land will be such a delight, says the Lord of Heaven's Armies." ~Malachi 3:8-12