Thursday, July 3, 2008

A Call to Prayer

As many of you know, our family has entered a new and challenging phase of life in the past couple weeks. On Monday, June 23rd, my middle sister Michelle was diagnosed with breast cancer. Now, a week and a half later, we've learned that the cancer is in her lymph nodes as well. Michelle is scheduled to start chemotherapy this next Tuesday, July 8th. It is surreal at times to think of how quickly like can change...but we know God is faithful and He will be her Healer, her strength, and above all will be her constant companion through each phase of what is in store. Michelle is confident that God has directed her to the doctor she is supposed to be with, and she knows that He holds her life in His hands. We are now praying for miraculous healing, strength for Michelle, minimal side effects and pain from the treatments, and daily peace to overwhelm her spirit in the midst of this trial.
As if the spiritual attack on our family was not enough through Michelle's illness, last night I discovered that my Dad has a serious heart condition and will most likely be having heart surgery in the upcoming month or two. Apparently the valve on his heart is not working properly and he will be going in himself for tests just a couple days after Michelle is to start her Chemotherapy.
I feel that this is a spiritual attack against our family and beseech you all for your prayers in this time. "For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms." (Ephesians 6:12) I know that we are not defeated by these forces, for we have been given all authority in heaven and earth to overcome the enemy. I am confident that God is working in both Michelle and my Father. As Daniel is constantly reminding me, though the facts of life may be daunting, the TRUTH is not limited by fact. The TRUTH is that Michelle and my Dad are HEALED by the blood of Jesus. The TRUTH is JESUS CHRIST, and in that we should trust more than any fact.
I thank you all for your prayers, support and love in this time. I look forward to sharing with you all the joy of life on the other side of these struggles...of celebrating the day that both Michelle and my Dad are completely healed.
Thank you again and God Bless you all.

Making Progress!!!

Okay, so I know most of you who have been talking with Daniel and I recently have come to learn quickly that we have gone crazy with our finances and become "Dave Ramsey" fanatics. Today, I would like to share with you all some of our excitement as we're making progress in this "debt elimination" process.
In January Daniel asked me if I'd be interested in taking a financial class with him at our church on Monday evenings. I was skeptical because I didn't want to give up our "at home" time...but I knew that after a few short months of marriage we were floundering with our money, so I agreed to go. That is when we were sucked into the "Dave Ramsey" world...and it has been the best thing that could have happened to us. We started our class, Financial Peace University, in mid-January. After a few radical changes in our spending habits, and a few months of getting it all going, Daniel and I are now celebrating the leaps and bounds we've made to this point. We've sold my car and as of this afternoon the duplex that Daniel has owned for the past few years will also be sold. That along with massive attacks on our student loans...we have been able to rid ourselves of $90,000 in debt since mid-January. WOOHOO!!!!!!!!!!!

Now, we've still a ways to go, but we're both so excited at how God has helped us learn how to manage our money so it doesn't rule over us. Since it's summer time, I listen to the Dave Ramsey show daily on the radio...and I look forward to the day when we will get to call in and shout out for all the world to hear that we are debt free! It's what drives us forward, knowing that we will be out of the bonds of debt and more available to do whatever God calls us to do: to give like we've never given, to go where we couldn't go with all these entanglements on us, to be available for anything. It is truly a freeing process. me crazy, but I love every second of it! And if you hear me mention Dave's name a little too often, please understand that it is only because our lives have changed so dramatically by listening to his advice and changing how we live in response.