Fall, In Review

Much has happened this fall that has been both calling-challenging and faith-testing. Most of these things were not things we posted on our blogs, at least directly at the time(s). Ironically, Seminary Tychicus has observed some of these exact things in Learner and his family and has felt the freedom to put them on his blog, so I’ll link to some of his posts and you’ll get a better idea of what we’ve been thinking about this semester as well.

Apparently on their Fall Break, Learner and his wife discovered officially that they’d lost half of their financial support. This is weird because that happened to us too. And after raising support for our income for 10 years (13 for Craig) now, I became more down about this than I probably should have been and communicated my weariness in raising support to Craig. He’s weary of it too but we didn’t see any other way to get through seminary and still be able to see him. We’ve seen other families whose husbands are going to school full-time and also working full-time and it just rips their families apart. We’d like to avoid that if possible.

In November, we learned from Tychicus that Learner was struggling with Hebrew for the second time. This is weird because that happened to Craig too. And like Learner, we wrestled through whether or not Craig should continue pursuing the MDiv degree, for two reasons now: it would relieve some of the financial stress long-term, and it would allow Craig to graduate sooner, with a different degree, that didn’t require the languages.

Later in November I was checking our bank account during class and discovered we were lower in the account than we’ve ever been since our first year of marriage. I left class early that night and came home crying. This was the week we started talking about the possibility of moving Craig to part-time status and getting some kind of full-time job (we don’t know what that is just yet).

We had planned to work through our options over Thanksgiving break, but then Millie went to the hospital and Craig and I played child tag for five days. Not really conducive to solving the rest of life’s problems…

So here we are in December. The skinny of the situation is this: if you go to part-time status, you can’t live on campus anymore. However, we’ve signed a lease through May, so it didn’t seem likely they would kick us off campus right now. That and we’re still saying at this point that Craig will be going full-time in the spring, so we didn’t really need to move off right NOW. But there’s another family who is graduating this semester and doesn’t really have a place to go yet. They would like to stay in their apartment but couldn’t because another family is planning to move on campus in January and needed their place. We thought – well, we’re planning to move in May anyway. If we move now, it will solve problems for these other situations as well.

So Craig found a house. My first thought at seeing the house was, “Well, it’s stucco.” (I’ve never been a fan of that architectural styling…) but we saw the inside and inside, it’s a really great house. And the outside is growing on me. We found out yesterday that the seminary will let us out of the lease with no penalties (because of the extenuating circumstances with the other family), that the house is officially available, and that we must move by the end of this month.
Okay, are you still with me?

1. October – Red Alert on our financial support
2. November – Red Alert on Craig’s Hebrew
3. November – Red Alert on our bank account status
4. November – 3-year-old in the hospital
5. December – We pack up and move

The other major news is that we’ve decided to make one last financial appeal to our supporters and others to get through June of 2007 and after that Craig will find full-time work. And if he then does need to go part-time on the schooling, we’ll already be off-campus and that won’t have to be a factor in the decision at that time.

Okay, so that’s the long version. Maybe I should have stuck with the short one

Some Blessings

I’ve shared with you some of our struggles. I also wanted to share some of our blessings.

On Wednesday the girls and I were reading the biography of George Mueller for school, and there was a part when George was frustrated because what he felt called to do was not being supported. He prayed that God would send him 20 pounds and he would buy Bibles with this money and also feel confirmed in his calling. If the money didn’t come, he would take that as a sign that he was to do something different. While I’m reading it I’m thinking – man, can God show us whether or not his hand is on our calling like this? Just as a woman knocked on his door and put her hand in her pocket to pull out an envelope with 20 pounds in it for him…

Someone knocked on our door. It was Xxxxx and he handed me a card with a check inside for $250. I am not making this up.

And yesterday another unexpected gift arrived in the mail from a good friend from Colorado.
Also yesterday, another friend told us they had someone in their life who wanted to bless two families with Christmas goodies and asked us to make them a list with a pretty significant budget. I mean – WOW!

These gifts were not necessary for us to stay the course here, but they certainly make it easier to believe that yes, God is taking care of us. And truly He does it in ways we don’t expect Him to.
So yes, we’re struggling, but we’re hopeful. And we’re exceedingly grateful for the blessings he’s given us both past, present, and still to come. And I just wanted you to know.