I look over the past five months and they are bittersweet. Great memories were made with my parents I would not have had, had we not sold our home. I cherish those days! I learned how to cook on a gas stove without blowing the whole thing up or even starting a fire! For this Lucy, that is HUGE!! I learned how to throw breakers back on, what causes them to blow in the first place, and learned a bit about electricity and wiring. Not too shabby!
Our days in this lifestyle are quickly ending. The appraiser for the new house has been scheduled, and in the meantime, I lie in bed at night and ‘daydream’ of every nook and cranny of the new house and where I am going to put every piece of furniture, hang every picture, and what color valances I put up will be.
Yesterday, Momma and I went to shop for shower curtains…another precious memory for me. After almost losing her 2 years ago, I grab and hold every one I get! I turned Momma loose basically. We had so much fun oohing and ahhing over shower curtains, towels, fingertip towels, and throw rugs!
I see hubby on his cherished riding lawn mower mowing a gorgeous 4.5 acres. His Aggie hat is on his head and a smile is on his face as he rides the mower to a grove of Oaks near the edge of the property line where deer often come out to play and graze. His dream has come true, too!
Things I have needed for the new house I have found very easily! I can see God leading me even in the most simple of things concerning this new adventure, and great beginning of this new journey!
I have come to love the lady we are buying this house from. I never knew she lived in our town. How can I be somewhere for 53 years, live in a small town and not know everyone in it? She is a jewel! There is no way to NOT love her!!
She is a Christian lady and a very godly woman. The moment I met her I liked her. Warmth emanates from her smile and gentleness from her kind eyes. She is selfless and giving! I look forward to little things to tell her because it gives me an excuse to talk to her.
We talk about things with the house, but our great pleasure is when we talk about the Lord. She goes through the same emotions about the house I do. She voices them to me and it is as if she has read my mind. I confess I have those thoughts about all of this, too. We laugh because our beliefs, emotions, and opinions are so similar! In some cases they are identical! I have found a friend for life I believe…oh, how God thinks of everything!
I am amazed at what can happen in such a short period of time. The last time I wrote, I was basically homeless, living in a travel trailer, and the end was not in sight…literally! Tonight is a different story altogether!
On July 9, 2014, which was a Wednesday night, a message in tongues went out in my church and the interpretation was as follows:
Now is not the time to back up. Stand your ground. I have picked a place for you. Stand and see it through!
That day I had looked at houses with hubby and we found nothing! We ended up yipping at each other out of frustration. He was frustrated with me because I was ready to compromise our dream and I was mad at him because he wanted to stand his ground and not face ‘reality’. I did not think he was facing the reality of our economic situation and he didn’t think I was placing my faith in God as it should be. Guess who was right? You got it! HUBBY!!
When I heard that prophecy from someone who had no idea what had happened that day, there was no doubt God was speaking to me. There was hope and a light at the end of the dark tunnel, as God put it that night in another interpretation.
The next night I heard from a cousin I had not seen in over 32 years! We had reconnected on Facebook and talk from time to time. This particular night when I got online, a private message popped up almost immediately from her. She wanted to know if hubby and I were still looking for a house in the country. I sent a resounding, ‘YES‘ back to her and it was on!
She told me of a beautiful 4.5 acre property with a large and gorgeous house in the center of it. It has a yard full of gorgeous Oak trees with a beautiful ‘Ranch’ style house! It is everything I had wanted and asked God for. It also had some extras I didn’t think about like an outdoor kitchen with a covered patio with a big screen television to boot! I had not even stepped into the house yet! All this greeted me outside before I ever got to the door!
Why would I expect anything less? God, Himself picked this house out for us!! How great is our God!! Stay tuned for more on this story and pictures!! I have a feeling it isn’t over yet and will only get better!
You learn a great deal about yourself when you go through rough times. Now, it hasn’t been all that rough lately, but I do wonder what God is up to. For the life of me I cannot figure it out! To catch you up if you are new let me fill you in. About 6+ months ago, when I was in prayer, God spoke to me to sell our house. Hubby prayed about it, too and up on the market it went. It sold for the full amount we were asking lickety split! Now, we live in a travel trailer because we cannot find the next home.
During this time we have felt God’s grace and peace on us, but I am beginning to feel unsettled. I want my house, I want to know where it is, and I want to know what our purpose in all of this has been and what it is to be. I have offered everything to God…my life, our possessions, and if anything is left I truly don’t know what it is!
I have a cousin who is in her eighties. She is beautiful, sassy, still wears high heels every day of her life, and she is a free spirit. She and her husband have been in the ministry for over 60 years. I remember them coming home from ministers’ conferences and Momma would get a phone call and my cousin would say, “Well, we are packing up and moving to Kansas! We have decided to pastor a church there!’ We would drive to their house across town, and true to my cousin’s adventurous nature and words, there would be her husband’s truck and her car loaded up with boxes of towels, kitchen supplies, and pieces of furniture.
I remember this same cousin once sold every possession they owned and bought a travel trailer (this was in the 70’s) and they went on the road to be evangelists. She home schooled her son, their daughter was in college, and off they went as we waved until we could see them no more.
Many people tell me I look like this cousin. I can see it profoundly! I look in the mirror and there is her face staring back at me. Many tell me I act like her, which I never agreed with. Since we sold our house, I am beginning to see it more. I can see selling everything we own, packing up, applying for seminary, and graduating to other things in life.
I have done things lately I never thought I could do. I can fix full meals on a gas travel trailer stove without blowing us all sky-high or without catching the whole place on fire! I truly never thought I could do that! I even deep-fried hot water cornbread and lived to eat it!
I can see waving good-bye to friends and family to go into territory only God has been to ahead of us. But, what if that isn’t what God sees? Unless God builds the house the laborers labor in vain. I tell the Lord, ‘God is this what You want? Do you want us to sell all we have and pursue a life of service solely to and for you? What do You want and why won’t You tell us?” All my life I have waited for something it seems. All my life I feel like I have been at the back of the line. If that is where my place is that is fine, but why then do I feel it isn’t? And if it isn’t, then where? I have so many questions and so few answers. This one is ongoing. I am still waiting to see the end of this new beginning…
I have blogged for almost three years now. I have loved it, but I have felt over the months it is coming to a close. I have sensed a new door is opening in our changing lives.
It is so hard to let go of the familiar. I have loved writing! I have to say, I used to get devotions, scriptures, and articles on a daily basis from the Holy Spirit to write on and it just isn’t that way anymore. I have my own personal time with God daily, and I am always led to the Word of God but lately it seems to be something very personal and private.
Am I going to quit writing the blog altogether? No! I will write as the Holy Spirit inspires me, but not often for now. I think for a while I will be putting it down and waiting on what God has next. Thank you so very much all who have supported ‘simplyjuliana’!!! Oh, I cannot say that enough!! Your likes and comments have been such a blessing to me! You are ALWAYS in my prayers!!
May God bless you richly, dear reader! I pray your life is filled with love, good times, and EVERY blessing!! For now, goodbye…until we meet again. Simply, Juliana
3 O you poor and silly and thoughtless and unreflecting and senseless Galatians! Who has fascinated or bewitched or cast a spell over you, unto whom—right before your very eyes—Jesus Christ (the Messiah) was openly and graphically set forth and portrayed as crucified?
1 Corinthians 15:33
“Do not be misled: “Bad company corrupts good character.”
I have always heard it isn’t what your life is, it is the attitude you face it with. It is like seeing the glass either half full or half empty. The first part of my life I was a ‘see the glass half full’ kind of person. For a time in my adult life I became a ‘see the glass the half empty’. Thank God, He got me back to the positive, faith filled way of seeing things. Even now I can still slip back to the ‘seeing the glass half empty’, but thank God He is still there to bring me back around and that attitude is almost extinct in me.
Recently, I did have a relapse in my attitude because my life has been forced into a simplification that is beyond anything I have ever known before. At first, after our house sold and we were forced to live in our travel trailer, I looked at it as an adventure. But, when that adventure began to turn into not just a month or two but MONTHS, the adventurous aspect of it began to wane.
I felt a despondency beginning to try to overtake me. I began to think of what it would be like if this turned into years! I lost the adventurous, this is fun, a perpetual camp out attitude and I began to feel panicked and desperate to find a house with a concrete slab instead of tires!
One day recently, as I lay flat on my back…I had thrown it out…the thought came to me, “When did this become hard? I was actually loving it at first!” I realized I had crossed over from faith to fear. I had crossed over from trust to ‘Another one of your doozies, Juliana!’ Oh, how the devil loves to play that broken record over and over in my mind.
God began to show me all I had done RIGHT! Wow!! That is a new concept on this thing!! I sold my home when God said to…obedience is a major step in the right direction! I sold when I didn’t know where we were going to end up…total and blind trust…another God pleasing thing! I had learned to live with less and with true simplicity. All the clutter was gone from my life and God wanted the same of my spiritual and emotional life, not just my physical.
Living a life of simplicity is wonderful!! You can live without things you never thought you could. I had no idea how much junk we had accumulated over the years. Books, books, and more books that I didn’t even remember I had, much less did I read them! Crochet yarn piled almost to the ceiling…great gift for a knitter friend of mine since I only crochet once a year! Clothes from the 80’s…literally! I could go on, but this is a blog not a book!
As I began to decide to think of what to throw away, give away, and keep my questions to myself were, “Have I used it in the last year? Is it an heirloom? Is it necessary?” If my answer was yes to any of those, it stayed…very little stayed. Those three questions brought such great simplicity and joy to my life!
By the time hubby and I moved into the trailer, we were down to a spring/summer wardrobe ( the fall/winter is in storage) that consisted of 2 weeks worth of clothes and accessories. I have a section in my closet for the casual, semi-dressy, and Sunday clothes. One closet! That alone, amazed me and it relieved me!!
No more frantic searches on Sundays for my black travelers pants and that blouse I haven’t worn in a year, but I remembered it when I burped from my last bite of pizza…yeah, that had to be what jogged my memory! I had minimized and simplified and ‘oh what a relief it is’!
Suddenly, I realized God wanted the same from me in my mental and emotional life. Now, all people are important! We love ALL people! Jesus did, but notice Jesus only kept 12 close to Him. Why did He do that while He was on the earth? I think it was because the more you ‘entertain’ the less you can focus on what is important.
There are some people who juggle fifty different things in a week. They have friends who they hang out with that fingers and toes could not count, and that is fine; But, for me, relationships have to be categorized. Have I talked to this person in the last year? Why or why not? Is this person someone who will build me or tear me down spiritually? Is this person someone who I can trust or someone who would betray me? Is this person someone who enriches my life or brings sorrow and fatigue?
I am very careful about who I bring close. All Christians should be careful of who you bring close! Paul even warned the church to not even eat with people who practiced sin. It tells us in 1 Corinthians a man/woman of good character will be brought down if they make those who are not of good character close companions.
I heard about a young man who was a wonderful person! He had been someone who was respected by friends, family and his church community. This young man began to make friends with people who were more than a little rough around the edges, so to speak. It wasn’t long until this young man began to do little things the new friends did.
He began to drink, and then drink a little more and a little more often. It wasn’t long until the ‘old friends’ began to be pushed away and more of the rough friends began to come on the scene. This young man soon found himself overwhelmed in the new lifestyle he had developed. He ended up in jail one night after a drinking binge. His lawyer entered the room where he was and said, ‘Get rid of your ‘friends’, son. If you don’t you will find yourself here for a much longer time!’
I spoke with this young man, and he told me while he was in jail someone told him, ‘You lie down with dogs, you will get up with fleas.’ Now the friends didn’t make him do anything, but their ways definitely rubbed off on him. ‘You are who you hang with’, is a saying I always told my children, and I could always tell when they were ‘hanging’ with the wrong people.
Now the ‘glass half full’ to this story is, the more we ‘hang’ with God, the more like Him and His character we become. The wiser we are because we learn to think as He thinks. We love like Him, because that is what He is. We take on His dignity, because we have been with the “King” and realize we are a King’s child! Children always imitate the father. Make sure you are a good parent, your influence carries much farther than you know!
Ask yourself, “Is it time to minimize some things and some relationships in my life?” Let God show you the answer to be sure you answer correctly and do the right thing! Take off the weights of busyness and things. We often fail to hear from God the way the apostles and disciples did, not because it was just for Biblical times, but because our ‘times’ have become times of ‘too much to do and too little time to do it in’.
In minimizing, you will find you actually maximize what is truly important in life and you have had the time to think and pray about what that really is!