Saturday, December 31, 2016
Refurbish is the main word for my OLW (One Little Word) this year for 2017... I really feel that is what God has planned this year and I am going to plaster that word all over the place so I don't forget... so I remember to pursue that word this year. There are a lot of other "re" words that fall into the same category that I feel are kind of my word too. I found this on the Merriam-Webster Dictionary website while I was looking up the definitions of these words together that I want to share. I will post the link after the quoted text.
Renovate, renew, restore, refresh, and rejuvenate all mean to make like new. Renovate (a word ultimately derived from the Latin verb novare, meaning "to make new," itself a descendant of novus, meaning "new") suggests a renewing by cleansing, repairing, or rebuilding. Renew implies a restoration of what had become faded or disintegrated so that it seems like new ("efforts to renew the splendor of the old castle"). Restore suggests a return to an original state after depletion or loss ("restored a piece of furniture"). Refresh implies the supplying of something necessary to restore lost strength, animation, or power ("a refreshing drink"). Rejuvenate suggests the restoration of youthful vigor, powers, or appearance ("she was rejuvenated by her new job").
All of those above words describe what it means to be refurbished as well. I feel so connected to these "re" words and I find that this is what I desperately want for this New Year. I want God to come in and renovate, renew, refine, refresh, rejuvenate and refurbish me this year. I want to walk out being a different person and I plan on making goals this year to help me to stay focused and do just that. One of the things I plan on doing is blogging on here more throughout 2017 and hopefully I will be sharing the things I am learning as I seek out this OLW this year. I plan on reading some really great books to get me through the year... ones I didn't finish from privious years words. I also plan on trying my hand at a couple new crafts this year... something to do for me... to learn something new and to do something with my hands. I have really neglected myself and it has manifested in ugly ways to my family... I do not take enough time out to care for my own mental wellbeing so this year I plan to change that. I don't plan on neglecting my family, or my childrens needs of me... but I do plan on making more of an effort to do things for me that I enjoy. I want to focus on the good and not focus so much on my flaws. I consume myself with hating myself because I focus too much on the things I dislike about myself or places I can improve (it's never bad to be aware of ones places where we can improve but if it's all we focus on it becomes unhealthy). I know I will make mistakes in this new year but I will not let any shortcomings allow me to make the excuse to stop trying each new day. You don't fail unless you stop trying. I'm excited about this New Year and I pray 2017 brings out the best in all of us.
Monday, May 11, 2015
Thursday, January 1, 2015
Last year my word was Provider. God spoke to me and said He was going to show us, show me, that He is Jehovah Jireh. I learned tonight that although I had been seeing the ways He provided for our needs I missed the biggest way He provided for me this year. 2014 was full of stress, challenges and heartache... all of which taught me something but within the darkest, hardest times God shed His gracious light on my life. I saw this blessing throughout the year but I didn't see it quite as clearly until just now.
God doesn't just provide for our physical and financial needs, He provides for our Spiritual needs as well. The Lord knew what I would face when the year started and He started planting the seeds of my provision before the year began. I have had the pleasure of "meeting" some amazing people online through Instagram. One of the remarkable women I have met started a group called Heart 4 Hearts and asked me if I'd like to join. It's a smallish ministry of women who build each other up and encourage each other through all life throws at them and work to be the hands and feet of Jesus when they see a need that can be met. Before I became part of this group I was a hot mess of not feeling like I fit in anywhere, I felt far from God and I was incredibly lonely which made me pretty depressed.... now, mind you, I am STILL a hot mess but I have a spiritual support team now that I didn't feel I had before. These women are remarkable. They are not perfect. They are not super Christians who never mess up.... they are raw, real and flawed and that's what makes them REMARKABLE. There is no fear in sharing our struggles or being judged by what we share... just pure genuine love and support. It's the most beautiful thing I have ever experienced. God knew where I was spiritually at the beginning of 2014 and He also knew that near the end of 2014 I would face some of the hardest news and losses that I would not have survived in the spiritual state I was in if He had not made the moves He did in my life at the time. I am SO thankful for my h4h sisters. I am thankful for a God who cares enough for me to pull me out of my funk and get me set back on the right path.
My word for 2015 is ROOTED. I'm excited about this word this year as I feel it is tied in with my word from last year. He provided a Spiritual group of sisters to plant me back where I needed to be and this year He's going to teach me how to re-root myself into His word and into Him in a way I never was. He is going to root me in ways I know I can't even see or fathom at this time but I know this year I'm going to be more intentional in seeking out being rooted. I am excited about 2015 in whatever it holds and I am deeply thankful for the amazing women of God who have come into my life through Instagram... both in my h4h group AND those He has brought into my life outside of that group.
Monday, April 29, 2013
I started my last blog off talking about being transparent, honest and open as I feel it is important especially being a Christian so I am here again to share some more of my life to help encourage others that you are not alone in your feelings.
I got a few responses from my last blog, two really that have spurred this blog on... one especially from a lovely young lady I know that texted me tonight and was a conformation from God that I needed to share more in depth from that last blog. To both of you ladies, you know who you are, I hope this at least will give you some peace that you are not alone.
In my last blog I made reference to the fact that I really had no interest in finding my biological family for a while but then I started thinking about them and wondering about them... and so we start at this point where my journey of wondering and thinking began.
A few years ago I lived down in Grandview and attended church/events at the International House Of Prayer (aka IHOP). I had a dream, honestly it was a nightmare to be more accurate, about my biological father... whom in all reality may or may not even know I exist... the one of whom I have probably wondered the most about... like whether he would want me if he knew I existed or whether he knew about me and wanted nothing to do with me by choice and asked to never be mentioned on the birth certificate or otherwise... but I digress.
I was being chased by a tiger. It was hunting me. I ran into a restaurant and called out to a man with his back to me. He was my biological father. I couldn't see his face but I kept calling out to him and asking him to help me. I was terrified and desperate... I wanted, I needed, his help to stay alive. He arose from his chair and whipped around to face me and then looked at the tiger. He replied, "Kill her for all I care. Eat her and make it painful. Tear her limb from limb. I never wanted her. She is nothing to me. I don't want to know her and I never want to see her again." He turned to me and said, "I knew of you and want nothing to do with you. You are worthless and are better off dead. The world would be better off without you." Turning back to the tiger he said, "Kill her. I will not stand in your way." With that, he disappeared and I was left cowering in front of this tiger just anticipating it's lunging to devour me as its muscles tightened as it crouched into striking position...
Wow, horrible right? Just imagine, that was just a dream... sadly I am sure there are people who have been told that by their fathers. But regardless, Satan will attack the orphaned and fatherless. Even those who are placed into a loving family or maybe their parents remarried are not shielded from the attacks of Satan on their lives and their worth. I am proof of that because I have an awesome dad but through that dream I was attacked and hit really hard.
I went through the emotions of questioning my worth, wondering if it was a sign of how my biological father really felt. For a while it solidified my decision not to find my biological family because it was hard enough to face that kind of rejection face to face... or the even on the phone or by letter... however it may happen. But through the pain it actually drew me closer to God and over time He slowly healed that wound and changed my heart as a result. I can't give anyone a five step plan on how to "fix" these feelings but I can tell you how I delt with them and allowed God to heal me. Forgiveness is very freeing. It doesn't mean you condone how you were treated by the person or even that you have to forget... forgiveness is for you, not them. To refuse to forgive people who have hurt you means you are refusing to let yourself be healed and have a happy fulfilling life.
Unfortunately, this was just one of many things at IHOP that I would face that would challenge my relationship with God. I faced betrayal and a fall out with a girl I considered a best friend and a boy I was sure was the one for me. Thank the Lord, He had better plans... but I wouldn't see that until after a very small rebellious streak. Thank You, Lord, You were there to anchor me down and sent me the perfect friend to keep my head above water. I dated a boy just to be dating and I knew he was not the right one for me. The funny thing in all this is that He brought two guys into the mix to knock some sense into me. One was a guy friend who was like a big brother to me and a non-Christian... he said he wanted to meet the guy I was dating. My initial reaction was, "Oh crap! He's gonna meet this boy and ask me what the heck I'm doing because this boy and I are so not made for each other! We are so beyond opposites!" So, I texted said boy that my guy friend wanted to meet him and if my guy friend didn't approve of him then we would no longer be dating. Of course said boy flipped out saying he didn't need anyone's approval.... eeeehhhh WRONG ANSWER BUDDY.... aaaand that ended that rebellion. The other guy friend God made prominent in my life during that rebellion was my "Jesus life raft" and kept me from straying too far from God during this rough time... he would end up becoming my husband, but that is a story for another day. ;-)
I decided to go to beauty school while all this took place... when the rebellious streak ended and my talks with my future husband ensued I would spend what felt like hours staring at myself in the mirrors in our classrooms seeking to see what God saw in me. I would sit and talk to Him about how empty, worthless and ugly I felt. I would tell Him how desperately I wanted to see myself as He saw me. I knew the only way to be healed was to seek my worth in Him. Days and weeks passed of this seeking and speaking to God... waiting, listening and expecting. Eventually I could look into the mirror and see something different in my eyes (your eyes are the mirror to your soul, don'tcha know?) Instead of the deadness I started to see life and light in my eyes. I saw the churning of a sea after a storm... I saw beauty and depth in all the experiences, challenges and storms I had been through. I started to see beauty and worth in myself. I then began to seek answers and healing about my biological father. But the answers I sought were not answered in the way I originally sought them out.
He started out revealing the dream to me. The tiger represented Satan hunting me. Satan wants to devour those who follow God, the ones who He calls His own, the ones who are His children. Satan doesn't attack those who are not a threat to him, he attacks and drags down the ones who are a threat to him... the ones God has shown their worth to. The biological father not only represented my real fears about my biological father but the unspoken fears in my life as a whole. I sought refuge, comfort and protection in things or people I couldn't rely on because they were all temporary. The one who could protect me was God and God alone. He began healing that fear of rejection from my biological family. He taught me through my quiet times and the reading of scripture that He was my Father, Daddy, Abba. He would never reject me, He was my protector... and He would continue to remind me of that in the future (Psalm 91).
I read once in a Donald Miller book that we often see God the way we see our own fathers... distant, cold, unreachable, uncaring. Thankfully I have had a wonderful father in my life who was anything but that so it was easier for me to draw close to God as a loving Father with an attainable relationship. But to those who haven't been so lucky, God loves you more deeply than you know. He desperately wants a relationship with you. His love is more fulfilling than any other and He can fill the fatherless void in your life. He will take the sting away and sometimes He will put a physical man in your life to be that father figure you need if you are willing to let them in. I know its not quite the same as being loved and acknowledged by the one who shares your DNA... but it can sometimes be so much better and rewarding... just think, that person CHOSE you... Just like God chose you. You are worth so much more than you realize and if your biological father walked out on you it is not because there is something wrong with you but there are things wrong with them... like blindness and selfishness... but seek that God would change YOU first. Open yourself up to God to be changed, to be able to love yourself, to love and forgive the one who has hurt you, to be healed and freed from all the hidden things that have left you chained and empty... and pray that God would soften and change their heart for their own good for those who don't repent for their sin and turn from their selfish ways will meet a firey torturous eternity. No matter how we are treated, we are commanded to love regardless and we should wish no one to meet that kind of an eternity.
Monday, April 22, 2013
I thought I would let y'all in on my life a bit. I have always believed that transparency was always the best way to live one's life... especially being a Christian... over the years I have learned to guard my heart but still follow through with my open book policy. If you ask me a question about myself or my life I will give you an honest answer... I am an open book.
So, let me start from the beginning. Hello, my name is Beverly but you can call me Bevy, all my friends do. I was adopted when I was 7 months old. My parents thought it important to bring us up knowing we were adopted (my brother is adopted too but I will delve into that in a moment). They would tell us in a bedtime story. It was actually my favorite bedtime story and I would ask my mom to tell it to me all the time. It went something like this:
"Once upon a time, there was a couple who very desperately wanted to be a mommy and a daddy but they were unable to have their own children so God brought them a little boy and they were very happy. A few years later they wanted a little girl and God brought them a little girl and their family was finally complete and the mommy and daddy were so happy and they lived happily ever after."
I know it probably sounds cheesy now, and I'm sure I improvised some since it has been a long time since I was told this story but you get the jist. My parents made sure to raise us knowing that we were loved and special because we were adopted and that it didn't make us any less of a family because we weren't blood.
Growing up knowing I was adopted never really bothered me in a lot of ways but I always had this hidden fear that my biological mom would decide she wanted me back and would come take me away from all of the people I loved... take me away from everything I knew. I would actually have nightmares about it. I wasn't old enough to understand that legally that couldn't happen.
I was never really interested in finding my biological family. Friends would ask me that a lot and I would tell them no. Apparently that's not the answer people normally expect. Haha. So they would ask why not and this is why. I was satisfied. I had a mom and dad who love me and a big brother I adore and an extended family I love. Why would I need to seek out what I already had?
I received a letter when I turned 18 that gave me all the information that was known about my biological family, which wasn't a lot. My biological name was Carolyn Ann. I had one older half brother who was 3 1/2 years older than I who was adopted by his biological father... I believe his name was Vincent. I have at least one sibling who is younger than me but not by a lot as my biological mother was pregnant with another child when I was adopted. My biological mother was a truck driver and had no idea who my biological father was. She didn't even know how to hold me when I was born.
At first reading this information made me furious. It made me feel like my biological mom just slept around a lot and popped out kids like it was no big thing and just tossed us in the system like she didn't care about us at all. I hated her for a while. But God has always been at work in my life and constantly had His hand on my heart making me compassionate and melting any anger or hatred away. He did it here too. He changed my heart towards her. He made me question how lonely she must have been because a trucker's lifestyle was a lonely one and she must have been looking for something to fill that void. He made me realize she wasn't selfish because she put me up for adoption... she cared enough to give me a chance at life... a good one at that. A single mom on the road all the time was no kind of life for a child to be raised. No matter how selfish I thought I could make her out to be, God came back with all these reasons for me to love her for what she did. I think I really do love her too. Even if I were to meet her and she was awful and hateful and wanted nothing to do with me, I would still love her because God has made me that way. Any wounds I might sustain I know He would heal. He always does. Although I fear if I try to find her one day that might be the outcome, a feeling deep inside that's as soft as a whisper tells me that she wants to know me and that she needs to know she is loved. I wonder if she is lonely or if she has settled down and started a family. Sometimes I wonder if she thinks about me or wonders how I turned out. But I always wonder if she filled that void I never felt.... I wonder if she found the love and forgiveness of Jesus.
Lately I have felt something I never before felt being adopted. Isolated. Its easy to belong in a family but there are things about a biological connection you can not have being adopted. Heritage. I have no heritage. I know not of what lineage of people I come from or who I am connected to. I have no idea what kind of health history runs in my bloodline. I believe having my daughter has made this feeling worse for me. I know people don't mean to be hurtful when they say, "Honey, she looks like a Cook. I'm sorry, but she does. She's all Cook." But trust me, it really hurts when you already feel isolated... like you don't belong anywhere. I'm glad Alexa Grace has that though, she has a heritage... she looks like she's part of a family. I love my in-laws and I love that Alexa Grace is part of such a wonderful family that adores her. The icing on the cake though is when people think my sis in law is my daughter's mother. It makes the isolation so much more painful... like I have no connection to anyone, not even my daughter. I know this is all lies from the enemy though. She may be mine by blood and look nothing like me but she is all God's in the end. It doesn't matter who she looks like because in the end I am just blessed with the opportunity to raise her with the time on Earth that I have with her. God created her and He has already spoken for her and that is all that truly matters.
Now the disclaimer, I have only ever shared these feelings with my husband so this is the very essence of transparency. This in no way reflects ill feelings to anyone mentioned in this blog it is strictly just a view into the heart, feelings and mind of an adopted. I wanted to share my view on things... the "daily" struggles I face being adopted and the aspect that I am human... no matter how confident I seem, comfortable in my skin, satisfied with who I am and what family is to me, I still struggle with insecurities like everyone else. I must also add... I have felt this way but no longer feel isolated in the sense I mentioned in the above paragraph... and in no way has my family (immediate, extended or married into) made me feel these things by anything they did or did not do. These are just internal things I believe any adopted person struggles with and faces at sometime in their life.
Through all the struggles, especially lately with isolation and heritage, I know I am God's and I am a part of His family. He has adopted us all and loves us just as my parents love me. He doesn't care what our heritage is or what kind of background we come from. We are all His children and He loves us deeply. I will always belong to Him and so I will always belong somewhere and in God's family we all look different but are part of the same family. I will never be alone. I will always belong. Jesus was sent to cleanse us of our sins and to welcome us home into God's family. All you have to do is accept the grace He has provided.
Being adopted also fuels my adamite stance of Pro-life. I do not believe that because it is your body that you have the right to end the life growing in it. You never know who that child growing in you may become and how they may change the world. I am so thankful my biological mom chose life for me. I have had plenty of heartache, pain and struggles in my lifetime but I am so glad I have been given the ability to live through them and experience them. I also know how important it is to be adopted... to feel like you belong to a family and to feel loved. I plan on adopting some day and am eager to see how God develops our family.
Thursday, March 7, 2013
I get frustrated when I hear people complain about things their parents do or don't do. Parents aren't perfect, they make mistakes and they are human. But realization has dawned on me lately as I have heard complaints on parents from family, friends, youth students... Random people I meet... It's everywhere really. We live with such high expectations that our parents should do things certain ways or do certain things for us. Everyone has their opinion on "good" or "right" parenting. Our main expectations of our parents should be to love us and to do their best to provide for our needs until we are able to provide for our own. Past that we set ourselves up to be angered or disappointed when they don't meet our expectations. We have a tendency to think that we do nice things for them when they don't ask it of us so down the road, when we need something, they should be at the ready to give us what we want or need. Each parent is made differently and responds differently to their children and it doesn't make them wrong or selfish. Parents who help their children are just as much of a blessing as Parents who dish out tough love and teach their kids how to swim on their own. Each has their benefits.
The problem lies in the fact that as we grow we somehow get the notion in our heads that our parents owe us something. A lot of us are lucky to have parents who have shown us their mistakes so we may learn from them and make good decisions so we can avoid some of the same troubles. A lot of the time we don't realize all the sacrifices our parents made for us along the way so that we could have what we needed or even sometimes wanted. We don't learn to adequately appreciate our parents for all they did or what they went through for us until we ourselves become parents. Some parents are lucky to be able to pay for their kids' education while others have spent their whole lives working themselves to the bone just to make ends meet. Our parents don't owe it to us to pay for things like college, etc. it's a nice blessing but I think those who pay for it themselves are better off. Yes it is incredibly hard and you face crazy difficult times trying to pay for school, food, car, and other bills but you learn to manage and budget... You appreciate it because you are sowing into it yourself. Those who get it handed to them don't appreciate it. They take it for granted and some squander it.
I know because I was in that latter category... I was young and unwise. Looking back I regret not working hard and making my parents proud. I wasted my A+ program at community college. I didn't know what I wanted to do with my life and squandered a good education but now I will pursue it with my own money and time... And eventually will finish and have a degree. I know now what I want to pursue as a career. Like I said, nothing I am proud of... But I digress...
I dunno, long rant to come to this conclusion I guess but in noticing this in conversations I've had lately, (it always turns a spotlight on yourself internally ya know...) that we (myself included here) have a tendency to think that our parents owe us something... And just not something but to whatever our specifications are. Our parents may give us what we are "owed" but not the way we expect or we imagined it.
In this same way we treat God. Oh boy, I think in some ways He gets it worse than our own parents from us. We serve, we give our time and money to God... We live our lives to "His standards" and then feel that He owes it to us to give us the life we want with all our expectations and specifications. GOD OWES US NOTHING! He gives and He takes away but in everything He does, He sees the bigger picture. He knows what is good for us and what is not. God gave us His Son so we may have LIFE! What is a greater gift than eternal life?! What could He possibly owe us??? How we treat people in our life directly reflects how we treat God. YIKES! Thankfully He loves and forgives a lot better than we do. I am so thankful for a loving, forgiving, merciful God.
Lord, we are sorry for acting like You owe it to us to do things our way. Give us the faith of Abraham. Draw us ever closer to You and teach us to love and serve with the only expectation to bring Your name Glory. Amen.
Friday, February 1, 2013
Last year my husband's dream of serving in the military was shattered. It was so closely within his grasp and then it was taken away. This is the second time this has happened to him. It's hard to help others understand what your heart feels when you know how deeply important something is to your love, the one you share your life with... to see how deeply crushed and shattered he was. It was devistating. But it wasn't just his crushed spirit from that being taken away.... there was so much more than just that that rocked our world
We serve a wonderful and beautiful God who provides for us. There are times in our journey that we ALL question His plans, why things happen.... no one is a SUPER Christian where they do NOT experience that at some point. We're still on the healing journey from that.
My husband has dreamed of serving in the military his entire life. He grew up in a military family and knew that is what he wanted to do his whole life. I wasn't keen on him joining the Air Force when he first brought it up to me a little after we got married. I had told him if it was a door God had left open then He would let me know and I would be in agreement with it. So then he told me he wanted to be a police officer. I said no way. But I felt God speak to me one night while I was doing my quiet time. He spoke to me through Psalm 91 and said that my husband was not mine, I needed to trust Him to take care of what was His... it was time for me to let my fears go and give my husband back to Him. He would take care of Brent. At that time I had peace and we started the process to get him into police academy. For a year and a half he was unemployed and we lived off of what I made at my job. It was far from easy, but God provided and we kept on but it just seemed like the police academy door just kept slamming shut in our faces but we kept on trying. In November of 2011 I was let go from my job and now both of us were unemployed. YIKES! It was a very scary stressful time but my husband ended up getting a job with Target for seasonal work and we started discussing him joining the Air Force again. I felt peace in my spirit so we started the process of signing up with a recruiter. Finally things were finalized and we were just waiting for the day he would depart for boot camp.
In February of 2012 we found out I was pregnant. Oh what joy we felt! We were even more excited because the timing just felt God appointed. I was due in October, Brent was to leave in May for boot camp and would get back from tech school the end of September. He would be making good money and we could afford where our life was going. He would be home in time for the baby's birth. So we went along with life as it went by. We set things into motion before he left. We found out we were blessed with a little girl and set up with the apartment complex to move out by the end of July when our lease was up. I would live with my parents until Brent got back from boot camp and we would look for a house when he returned.
May 15th came and it was time for me to send off my husband to boot camp in Texas. That was one of the hardest days of my life. Cody (our pup) and I moved into the computer/guest room at my parents house that day. I got MAYBE one phonecall a week from Brent while he was in boot camp. Waiting for those phone calls felt like eternity.
The first phone call home after his first week on base was not good news. He may be discharged for a previous health condition because MEPS didn't send him to get the proper paper work. He was taken out of his Flight and placed in Medical hold. He was in medical hold for two or three weeks before he was sent home. It was so hard. The phone calls in those times were wonderful because I got to hear from him but they were devistating too. He was so broken. This wonderful man that I sent off to Texas was now shattered. He didn't even seem to be the same man I sent away. I was optomistic though. I knew God had something special in store. I will admit, I was nervous at times as to what we were going to do when he got home but I still felt like God had something fantastic up His sleeve... that it would all be ok.
But Brent came home and soon after Satan started eating away at my soul. I had pushed Brent to go for police academy and it never happened... and then I supported and pushed him to sign up for the Air Force... sure that this was the direction God was sending him. That this was what God created him for. He had placed this passion in Brent... SURELY this was right.... but if it had been God's plan then WHY was he sent home? Maybe I didn't hear God's voice. Maybe I have never heard Him.... maybe everything I was so sure of, all the things I was sure that I had heard from God really weren't Him but just me. I started to doubt everything. I didn't want to spend time with Him anymore because I was so confused. I wasn't sure if I was actually hearing from Him. Satan attacked both my husband and I. We both questioned our worth. We questioned WHY.
Brent came home mid-June and God sent someone to encourage me. It was a hard place to come back from, but I worked on trusting God AND myself again. We moved out of our apartment, put our things in storage and moved into my parents house. Then Alexa Grace came in October (our pride and joy.... oh we love her so!) It's a hard transition, living in a room so small for three humans and a dog. I'm constantly frustrated when I trip over things or its hard to keep such a small space organized. There isn't much room here... or privacy. We live across the hall from my parents. Our entire way of life has changed. We never cook or eat at home like we love doing... we always eat out (mainly just to get me out of the house since I'm here all week long except for the days Brent is off). There are a lot of things that are stressful about not having our own place. We question God about why we feel stuck in this place.
There are things we know we need to work on discipline wise while we are here. Every time we try to do something on our own it always falls through and it gets mighty discouraging. Recently we made plans to move out but it was going to be ridiculously tight. Well, needless to say God had other plans. We just bought four brand new tires for our car, we need an oil change and our alignment is wonky (which lead to us needing the new tires). Needless to say, we aren't moving anytime soon. I think we have both accepted this knowledge. We have discussed staying where we are at least until we get the car paid off sometime next spring/summer. Sometimes it is best to stay where you are even if its not where you want to be because God's plan is so much better. I can't fully see His plan but we are working to make the best of it. He has work for us to do here if we are open to being used and learning what He has to teach us we will be much happier than if we keep fighting it to do our own thing. I want to be obedient to God. There are a lot of benefits to us staying where we are. I am going to work on getting my own business started up and established... much easier to do here where I have the help and financially easier too since moving out would get rid of any wiggle room I could use on that business. Whatever season you are in at this time in life, you may or may not see where God is taking you, but if you go along for the ride I guarantee that you will end up where you want to be in better circumstances. It will not be easy but it will be easier than trying to do things in your own timing. Just because I am encouraging being content where you are doesn't mean I support giving up all together. Make plans for the future, settle in for now and make goals so you can get to that spot you want to be at. Just make them reasonable and make sure you follow God's direction. Things go smoother that way. Also, don't be discouraged that you have moments of frustration or doubt for where you are or the season you are in. It doesn't make you less Christian it just makes you human.