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Emotions

The Amazing News I’m Really Excited to Share – Part 10

Whoa! My friends, I had a close call! Have you heard the phrase “What you don’t know can’t hurt you”? How about “Ignorance is bliss”? Not true!

Let me tell you how grateful I am to walk with a God who knows and sees everything and is watching out for me. This story is going to go a little bit backwards because I have to start with this…

The amazing news I’m really excited to share is that we’re here! We have moved into our new home!

To all who have been reading, praying, supporting, and encouraging along the way, thank you! It is astounding that I posted Part 1 of this Amazing News series just 26 days ago. It has all taken place within 1 month!

So much has happened! My head is totally spinning. God was not kidding when He told us He would step in and work once we stepped out in faith. He made the impossible possible, thought of details we hadn’t considered, and even took care of the finances. And to top it off, He winked at me.

Well, not a literal wink, but this thing He did – this thing I’m fixin’ to tell you about – it was as if He tipped His hat and winked because He’d done something only He could do, and done it just because He could. Do you know what I mean? Have you seen Him do that before?

We took two days to drive from the house we left in California to our new home in Arizona. At about the half-way point, we stopped at a hotel to spend the night. Our minds were in a million places.

Notes and books and blank pages
Photo by Tara Winstead on Pexels.com
All the lists, so many notes, yet worried we’d draw a blank.

We were wondering if we’d done everything we were supposed to at the place we left. We were thinking about all there was to do in the place we were going. Mostly, we were acutely aware of our valuables, which we had with us for safekeeping.

I brought my computer bag into the hotel. In it, I had my personal laptop, my iPad, and my work computer, along with some important papers and such – things I wanted to keep in sight. I set it in a little closet-like nook. I also put my dog’s bed there, because it was out of the walkway in our small hotel room.

We didn’t sleep well. Truth be told, we hadn’t been sleeping well for a couple weeks. Overactive minds are hard to quiet, right?

Man in a room full of boxes, with a box on his head
Photo by SHVETS production on Pexels.com
Moving is tiring, but hinders rest.

We were sportin’ a fairly substantial sleep deficit as we went through the motions and checked out of our hotel room. As I was putting the dog in the car, something didn’t look right. His bed was missing – I’d left it in the room!

I went back to the front desk, got a new key, and returned to our room. When I got to the closet nook, sure enough, there was the doggie bed. And my computer bag!! I had no idea I’d left it! I sat down on the bed, clutching the bag for a second. My heart was pounding, my mind racing.

Thank you, Lord! He reminded me of the doggie bed and sent me back to the room. And there, He handed me something much more valuable, which I would have left behind.

He was a loving Father just doing something nice for His kid. He didn’t impress on me that He was teaching me a lesson or that He wanted exceeding praise, although He sure got that – and is still getting that from me! It was just a gesture – a wink and a smile. It left me feeling blessed, loved, and so relieved!

Happy woman with computer in one hand and other arm in the air
Photo by Andrea Piacquadio on Pexels.com
Praise the Lord!

If I had gotten all the way to my new home before I realized my computers and important documents were missing, I would have had to go back immediately. That would have been an additional 12 hours of driving on top of the 12 we were already doing. And that is IF they would have still been there for me to go back and claim.

I’m not kidding – my fingers are shaking as I’m typing. That could have been disastrous! My work computer, especially, would have been very problematic to lose.

The rest of the trip was relatively uneventful. We did listen to a very good audio book, called Doing Life with Your Adult Children, by Jim Burns. I recommend it. I think it’s tagline, “Keep Your Mouth Shut and the Welcome Mat Out” is perfect.

I’m pinching myself – we’re here! New home, new town, new opportunities. And, praise God, old computers!

Walking with Him is an adventure! Sometimes He leads us through hard things. Other times He blesses our socks off.

He teaches us. He disciplines us. And occasionally, He winks. He does something that only He can, incites awe, and lets it be. Those moments prove how much He adores us.

What I didn’t know (that my computer bag was left in the room) could definitely have hurt me. My ignorance was far from bliss! But God!

He is omnipresent – He is everywhere.
He is omniscient – He knows everything.
He is El Roi – the God who sees me.

Tell me some amazing news you’re excited to share. Has God taken care of you recently? If nothing comes to mind, be on the lookout – sometimes I think we just miss it.

When we’re focused on things going wrong, we tend to skip over what is going right. Oh, my precious friends, there are things going wrong, but so much is going right! I can’t wait to hear what God is doing in your life!


Thank you, thank you, THANK YOU, from the bottom of my heart for sharing this month with me. Thank you for reading and participating in these Amazing News stories. It has been really exciting to share them with you.

I know writing them helped me gather and settle my thoughts. I hope God was glorified. I pray you were encouraged.

YOU have been prayer warriors, cheerleaders, and support persons of the most incredible kind. God bless you! You are precious and you are loved.

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Emotions

The Amazing News I’m Really Excited to Share – Part 9

Oh, the freeway! How I love to hate it! I love the ease with which it allows travel between cities, but I hate the nervous knowledge of all that could go wrong at such high speeds.

The amazing news I’m really excited to share today started on the freeway.

We hauled our last pile to the dump and finished transporting our daughter’s belongings from her storage unit to her new apartment. Our van had made so many heavily loaded runs around town in the past few weeks, I’d lost count. It was a work horse for sure, and it was time to retire it.

We packed our airbed, duffel bags, and dog into our tiny little Prius. Our house was empty! We left a key in a lockbox for the housekeepers and drove away, my husband in the van and me following in the Prius. We went to meet a friend, who facilitated the donation of the van to a local church.

A few quick signatures and we were a one-vehicle family. I shifted into the Prius’ passenger seat so my husband could drive. A few minutes later, we had merged onto the freeway headed towards our kids and grandkids. It was time to say goodbye. I was lost in thought.

I don’t think the state of California realized there would be this many people here caught up in the freeway system.

Richard Grieco

Suddenly, the Prius dashboard lit up like a Christmas tree! The lights were intense and foreboding, silently hollering for attention. I fumbled with my phone as I googled what it could mean and what we should do. There were no easy answers, other than to get to a mechanic, and get there fast!

The warning lights on a Prius dashboard
The exclamation point in the triangle was uncannily boisterous and bright!

We immediately turned around and drove to our usual repair shop. Our guy was busy and wouldn’t be able to look at the car for several days. We couldn’t wait because we were headed out of state, for good, in less than 24 hours! We asked for a referral to another mechanic ours would trust. He suggested we go to the dealership.

To the dealership we went. Back on the freeway, the lights were still illuminated, and the car’s performance was declining. We were praying. I’d reached out to some other people who were praying too.

By the grace of God, we made it! We pulled up and the clerk met us at the car. He asked, “What time is your appointment?”

My husband explained that we didn’t have an appointment. We were moving out of town, but all these lights had come on. He gestured to the dashboard. The man glanced around with hesitation, during which time the words “Please Lord” catapulted from my heart to the Heavens.

Pug looking out the car window
Photo by Jordan N on Unsplash
Our broken little car contained everything the movers hadn’t taken.

The man said “Well, let’s get you checked in and see what we can do.” I breathed a “Thank You” to Jesus, as I took our pug and went to the grassy area in front of the building. My husband went inside to do the paperwork. It could be a few hours before we knew anything more.

It did not take long, however, for the mechanics to determine that all the hullabaloo had been over the water pump, which needed to be replaced. A short time (and a hefty price tag!) later, we were on our way again. The dashboard lights were at rest, and so were our nerves.

The amazing news I’m really excited to share is that God watches over us with incredible vigilance!

It may seem, at first, like this was a stroke of bad luck. The last thing we needed on our way out of town was car trouble, right? But if you have been reading this Amazing News series, you know that God has been incredibly intentional. This too, was a fantastic blessing.

What if the water pump had gone bad just 24 hours later? We would have been headed out of state. We could have been out of range for cell service. We would have been in unfamiliar territory, not knowing where to find a mechanic or dealership.

“For the eyes of the Lord range throughout the earth to strengthen those whose hearts are fully committed to him.”

2 Chronicles 16:9a

As it played out, not only did we have a replacement for the broken part of our car, but we also had peace of mind. The Toyota mechanics had run their diagnostics and confirmed that the water pump was the only problem. Honestly, we should have had the car looked over before our trip, but we were buried under all the other tasks for our move, and we didn’t think of it. God did! He was watching over us with incredible vigilance.

Additionally, when we did make it to say goodbye to our precious family, we had the fresh reassurance that God was intimately involved. We experienced His provision, getting us to, and through, the repairs. And that superseded any worry we might have felt. He was with us, caring for us, and holding our whole family in His all-capable hands.

Mechanic with a tool in the engine of a car
Photo by Brigitte Miller on Pexels.com
God knows and cares about what is happening, unseen, under the hoods of our lives.

What seems to be going wrong in your day? Are there warnings signs on the dashboard of your life that demand attention? The amazing news I am really excited to share is that God is watching over you with incredible vigilance. He knows when you need to pull off the freeway of frenzy and get the care you need. His timing may not seem convenient, but it is perfect!

Precious friend, do you need to get back to church? Do you need to repair a broken relationship, with God or someone else? Is it time you took a break or relinquished control?

Please tend to that toward which God is drawing your attention. Do it today. Act now. You’ll be glad you did. You are worth it!

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Emotions

The Amazing News I’m Really Excited to Share – Part 8

Hello from my indoor campsite! As I write, I’m perched on my inflatable mattress in my empty house. My husband and I have stayed behind to repair, clean, and tend to all the necessary little things which must be done before returning the keys to our landlord. It is surprising how much sound travels and echoes in a home without furniture.

The amazing news I’m really excited to share happened last week.

It happened twice, actually, on Tuesday and Saturday. Tuesday was the day we moved my daughter into her new apartment. Saturday, movers came to take our things out of state. There were two days last week, on which rain was predicted. Can you guess which two?

The amazing news I’m really excited to share is that God controls every detail and He mercifully held back the rain!

I’m pinching myself at how intricately involved in this move He has been. There is very little I can do to adequately thank Him, but I can testify of His goodness and power. And that is exactly what I’m aiming to do with this Amazing News series.

Tuesday and Saturday

Oh my goodness, Tuesday morning, we woke to incredibly heavy rain! I expected to get completely soaked carrying my daughter’s things. By the time she picked up her keys, not only had the rain stopped, but the sidewalks were also completely dry! What a blessing!

Saturday was our moving day. The weather report predicted 80% chance of rain, starting at 7am – right when the movers were to arrive. It never came. It was cloudy and cool, but there were no more than a few sprinkles of precipitation all day.

Screenshot of an hourly weather report showing rain expected
Screenshot shows rain to arrive later than expected.
Screenshot of an hourly weather report showing no rain expected until late afternoon
Screenshot shows rain delayed further.

At the risk of sounding bratty or ungrateful, I started to wonder why God was blessing us so much. Why did He provide an amazing home for us, miraculous apartments for our kids, continued employment for me, and even hold back inclement weather for us? It seemed like too much.

There have been many other times when we were sure we were doing God’s will, but nothing went right. That is Biblical – look at Job. He was pleasing God completely, yet catastrophe, after catastrophe, came His way. (Job 1-2:10)

There is also scriptural precedence for things going smoothly, against all odds. Take Joshua, for example. God told him to lead an army to take the city of Jericho, but when they got there, God just wanted them to march around the city until He brought the walls down. It was unexpected, but they obeyed and enjoyed tremendous success. (Joshua 6:1-20) I am experiencing that kind of wonder.

Rainbow over a city next to the water
Photo by Matthias Zomer on Pexels.com
God of wonders…

If you’ve been reading this series, you know God gave us clear direction about moving to Arizona. It didn’t make immediate sense, and we wavered in our obedience. He didn’t pave the way until we stepped out in faith and began the process. Once we did that, He stepped in and has miraculously worked out the details, one after the other.

I know there are many people around the world, and even within my reach, who are suffering extreme setbacks. And here I keep showing up with more amazing news I’m really excited to share. So many of you are happy for me, and so sweet in your support.

But I’ll bet some of my readers are wondering why God is choosing to bless me, while they are also doing the right thing and are suffering hard things. I asked Him about it today. I wondered flat out, “Why are You being so nice to me?” I felt like He gave me an answer and I wanted to be open with it.

Double rainbow over some rural homes.
Photo by Craig Adderley on Pexels.com
God chose a phenomenon of weather as a sign that He keeps His promises.

When I asked God why things were going so supernaturally smooth with this move, He impressed on me that something was coming which would make me question it all. He is being undeniably apparent in the process now, and giving me the words to blog about it, so I will have the proof and accountability to stand with confidence later.

When the enemy comes and says we shouldn’t have left our family, or whatever else happens, I will be able to look back at my own record of the scriptures, words, and miracles God gave me. It makes me nervous to know we’re going to need such reassurance, but it also makes me resolute.

God said it, we did it, He’s blessed it. Whatever He allows next is His prerogative and I will submit. I am thankful that God has put His fingerprints on every step of this process. I am awestruck at what I’ve seen as I’ve watched Him work.

Thank you, my friends for graciously connecting to this story as it unfolds. I have a few more posts-worth of amazing news that I am really excited to share. This move is almost done! I appreciate the chance to testify to the omnipotence of our great God. And I’m extremely grateful for YOU.

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Emotions

The Amazing News I’m Really Excited to Share – Part 7b

Well this is a first! I’m blogging from my phone. Does it look ok to read?

Most of you know I am mid-move from California to Arizona. I have packed my laptop in anticipation of being on the road soon. But I have amazing news I’m really excited to share, so here I am, hoping WordPress and my iPhone are playing nice. I will keep it brief.

I’m calling this Part 7b. In Part 7a, I mentioned that God had graciously encouraged me in regards to moving away from my adult kids and my grandkids. Ah- it is such a hard thing!

Moving forward always means leaving something behind.

But God is faithful and He gave me three verses. I shared the first in my last post. Here is the second.

Verse that says God will teach our kids and give them peace.
God will teach our kids and give them peace!

Do you see what I see? What a promise! God Himself will teach my kids and see to it that they have peace. Yours too!

I had to look at the rest of Isaiah 54. It is an ode to the future glory of Zion. God is everything. He is all in all. When people finally see Him for who He truly is, they will want for nothing. Their families will lack nothing in His care.

Our God is a good shepherd. He tends His lambs with loving kindness. He will keep my lambs. He will teach my children and their children what they need to know in this crazy world.

I will not move out of state and leave them alone. I will leave them in the best of care. What a precious promise God has given to me.

This is amazing news and I’ve been really excited to share it with you. What encouragement! Are you separated from the ones you love? Do you also need to hold to this promise today?

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Emotions

The Amazing News I’m Really Excited to Share – Part 6

Hello, hello, hello! (I may have had an espresso shot too many!) But I wanted to quickly say hi and tell you the amazing news I’m really excited to share today.

I’m in the thick of the thick. I’m condensing a 3300-ish square foot house and 3-car garage into a 26-foot moving truck. And today was estate sale day!

When I say estate sale, I really mean pillage day. But doesn’t it sound better the first way?

Miscellaneous household items on a long table
Pillage Day was like a garage sale, only it was in the living room, had an exclusive invitee list, and everything was free.

I put all the things I could not, would not, or should not take with me into one room and invited my five kids to raid it. Everything from spices to stationary, pots and pans to perfume and anything in between. It was like a free garage sale, or more accurately, living room sale.

The amazing news I’m really excited to share today is that there is joy in the journey!

I had fun! It was heartwarming to hear about why certain items were nostalgic or important to which kid. I found joy in hearing the memories they had attached to the items up for grabs.

And it was entertaining to see them making piles for each other of things they didn’t want to see their siblings go without. One daughter made a cluster of ingredients she wanted her sister to take, cook, and then invite her to dinner. It brought laughter to my hard day of work.

Grocery ingredients on a cabinet shelf
The pile my daughter made for her sister, whom she hoped would make kalua pork and apple pie and then invite her over.

But possibly the most fun for me was when I handed each of them a file of things I’ve been keeping from their school years. It contained their report cards and some commendation type things. They didn’t realize I’d kept them. They thought it great to read teacher comments and to recall themselves as they once were.

It has been a busy week of donating, trashing, selling, and packing. But the amazing news I’m really excited to share today is that I’ve found such joy in the journey. My children went home with some things they need, some things they want, and some smiles they’d forgotten about. My mama heart is happy.

By the by, my son dropped, and broke, an almost-full bottle of sesame oil. Boy was that a mess. But, on the upside, it landed on tile, not carpet and now the whole house smells sesame good! It is hard not to see the upsides to every downturn when God has been so faithful. If you haven’t been following and would like to binge-read the story, it starts here.

Thanks for smiling with me today. I appreciate you more than you know! If you have any amazing news you’re excited to share, I’d love to hear it!

Now I’ve got to get back to business. The movers will be here at sunrise on Saturday! If you were going to condense everything you own to fit into a 26′ x 7′ x 8′ truck, what would you be sure to keep? What would you like to see your loved ones receive? To what would you happily say, “good riddance”?

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Emotions

The Amazing News I’m Really Excited to Share – Part 4

Guys, this one is BIG! Like, I sat stunned and unable to move as the reality of it set in, big! And if you read about the stress I expressed in Part 3, and have joined me in prayer about it, I feel I owe you something lighter and happier. So here it is! Ah – I’m so excited!

Part 4 of the amazing news I’m really excited to share involves finances!

My family had talked about moving for over a year. We’d been budgeting with moving in mind. Let me provide some context.

Employment

My husband does IT work. He has worked remotely, from home for almost 20 years. Thankfully, he can live anywhere and stay employed.

My job is different. I do hands-on work in a lab. The company I work for has other sectors which offer remote opportunities, but when I looked, I quickly realized I wasn’t qualified for any of them. I understood I would have to quit my job when we moved.

Budgeting tool and computer
Photo by Kindel Media on Pexels.com
We thought we were adequately prepared.

We made a budget to live within my husband’s paycheck until I found employment in our new town. If we were careful, we expected to be able to live on his income, for a while.

Moving expenses

Last fall (2021), we priced things out to be sure we were saving enough for moving expenses. The demand, from so many people leaving California, had driven costs up, so we were thankful we’d estimated high. We felt comfortable with the way we had budgeted.

But oh, my goodness! As you know, prices have drastically risen in the past 4 months. When we went to schedule the services for which we’d budgeted, we were shocked! Here is an idea of what we found:

  • Rent: the average rent in our new town, for the small homes we were looking at, is now $500 per month more than it was last fall.
  • Cleaning: move-out house and carpet cleaning prices are 40% above what we were expecting.
  • Gas: gasoline is up $1-$2 per gallon. Higher gas prices mean the cost of driving ourselves to our new home will be significantly more.
  • Movers: the prices charged by movers are astronomical – due, at least in part, to the ginormous gas guzzle of their trucks. Most moving company estimates we received were more than double what we were quoted last fall.
  • Groceries and goods: the movers will not take pantry items. And we have decided to allow the kids to ‘pillage’ for what they need amongst our goods. The truth is, we can afford to replace small appliances and such more easily than they can. But if you’ve been to the store lately, you know that the prices for all of these things have risen, and are rising, significantly!
  • Utilities: we are all dealing with rising energy prices, but in California, it is unreal. The price of natural gas in our region has increased 90%! Settling our winter utility bills will hurt more than expected and we will likely find increased energy costs in our new place of residence too.

Accepting new realities

All of this affects my kids as well. It is hard on anyone living on a tight or fixed income. Suddenly, asking my son, who lives in Southern California, to come home and help us move, is way beyond the scope of his monthly gasoline budget. And higher rent has been a definite factor for my girls struggling to find affordable apartments.

We wished we were in a place to help our children more. But we didn’t even know if our funds would be sufficient for our own costs, when all was said and done.

I’d been hoping our savings would exceed our estimates. I wanted money leftover for visiting the kids and helping them come visit us. Not only were our funds depleting quickly, but planes, trains, and automobiles, were going to be affected by high gas prices. It was hard to imagine moving and not having the means to see our family.

An unexpected miracle

A couple weeks ago, I received an email from my boss’ boss’ boss. He (somewhat casually) asked if I would consider continuing my employment from Arizona! I still feel my eyes widen in amazement when I type that! I asked a few clarifying questions and learned that he was forming a new team and was extending an invitation for me to join it. In this role, all my work could be done remotely.

He asked if I would consider continuing my employment from Arizona!

A woman staring at her computer in amazement
Photo by Andrea Piacquadio on Pexels.com
Why does amazing news makes our eyes and mouth open so wide?

I received permission to think about it for a few days, over which time my husband and I prayed. We compiled a list of questions, mostly regarding scope and logistics. The answers to those questions were even better than the best-case scenarios we’d considered.

The amazing news I’m really excited to share is that I am staying employed!

I had a phone call with upper management and accepted the position. By the time I hung up, I was just incredulous. I sat stunned and unable to move as the reality of it set in.

God had been working behind the scenes, unbeknownst to me, for months! All the time the prices were climbing, He was preparing my continued paycheck. He was creating a brand new role for me.

The grateful lump in my throat was so big, I could barely talk to my husband. He choked up too. We hadn’t realized the pressure we were feeling, until it was suddenly lifted.

God had been waiting for us to step out in obedient faith so He could step in and bless our family. We couldn’t have imagined what He had in store. If we had, we never would have waivered or delayed.

Don’t we know this about God? I mean, hasn’t He rewarded obedience in amazing ways down through the ages? Looking back now, I feel so foolish for giving in to the doubts and hesitations of my own heart.

This story is ongoing, so I hope you’ll stick around and continue reading. There is more amazing news I’m really excited to share, and even I don’t know what it is yet!

It means so much to me to have the opportunity to share life with you. Thank you so much for being here!


My friend, what are you relying on God to provide right now? Have you done your part? Have you stepped out (in obedience and faith) so He can step in (with assurance and provisions)? He is always working. Be encouraged and realize that God is moving, even now, on your behalf.

Even when I don’t see it, You’re workin’
Even when I don’t feel it, You’re workin’
You never stop, You never stop workin’
You never stop,
Jesus You are

Way maker, miracle worker
Promise keeper, light in the darkness
My God, that is who You are

excerpted from “Way Maker”, song by Leeland

“And my God will meet all your needs according to the riches of his glory in Christ Jesus. To our God and Father be glory for ever and ever. Amen.”

Philippians 4:19, 20