Posts tagged money

By a Thread…Part 2

So some have wondered why I am angry and frustrated. Well, the short of it is that I am tired of living hand to mouth. I am worried about the debt that daily looms over our heads. I want to get ahead.

So I took my frustrations and anger to God. I realized that even though I may be “hanging by a thread“, God is completely supporting and carrying us…and that’s a great place to be.

I took my eyes off of Jesus, just like Peter did when he walked on water. God is here for us, just as He was for Peter. He never lets us fall. Never. Not once.

All we need to do is get out of the boat, and fix our eyes on Him.

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Madison Coffee House and Laundry

I have been fortunate enough to go and do laundry about once a week. This is a major time saver since I can do all our laundry in two hours. I had found a small laundromat that wasn’t too expensive, but it didn’t have any chairs or air conditioning. So it wasn’t the most pleasant experience. I usually sat in the car and read a book or worked on my laptop.

This week, though, my neighbor told me of a laundromat just down our street. She said it was nice, and I should check it out.

So I headed to Madison Coffee House and Laundry. Once there, the laundry was on one side, and the coffee house on the other. So in I headed with Kira, Petra, Hanna, and Nehemiah to the laundry. The machines were cheaper than the other facility, so we stayed. Also, it had air conditioning, tables, and chairs. After starting our laundry we headed over to the coffee house side. We were given a free quarter for each load of laundry we were doing. Thank goodness, because I wasn’t sure I would have enough to dry the laundry.

On the coffee house side were couches, computers, and free WiFi. Oh, if only I had thought to bring my laptop. They had gourmet coffees, teas, food, and fresh produce.

Also, there was a long table that sat 8. Around that table were tons of books, games, and homeschool curriculum. We made ourselves at home and had a fun time playing games and reading books.

I was truly blown away and blessed by the hospitality of this little coffee shop. It made me think of the gift of generosity. Shouldn’t we as Christians put our best foot forward and be as generous as can? Giving all we can? This place definitely gave its first fruits to those in need. Those in need of laundry, rest, and a cup of joe.

So if you are ever in Madras, Oregon, please stop by the Madison Coffee House and Laundry.

In the end I was able to get the laundry dry with the help of those free quarters, my daughter Kira, and a couple of ones I had in my purse. I actually had 2 quarters to spare.

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Showers of Blessings

Most people when they think of Oregon think of rain, rain, rain. They also think of lush-ness and greenery. Well, there is another part of Oregon that most people don’t even realize exists. And it is actually larger than the more popular rainy, lush area otherwise known as “The Valley”.

This other area is Eastern and Central Oregon. Since I am more familiar with Central Oregon, I am going to share a few tidbits maybe you didn’t know. Central Oregon is a high desert. It is rugged and dry. There are flat plateaus, canyons, and rocky outcroppings.

 The annual rainfall is only around 12 inches a year. This makes for a very dry climate. Since we arrived on August 1st, it has only rained 2 times.

Instead of receiving rain of the liquid variety, we have been receiving showers of blessings. At our first visit to our church, we said a prayer. I don’t really remember all the words, but it basically was a prayer for provisions. We prayed for job opportunities, checks in the mail, rebates, inheritances, etc. While I was hopeful for some of the things listed, others, I thought, weren’t even a possibility.

Over the next 3 weeks, we received one rebate, 8 checks in the mail, and one job opportunity. All of the checks were completely unexpected like a refund for overpayment on our property taxes on our old property. The money always came when we most needed it.

With the job opportunity, Joe had an interview for a coaching position, and then had to wait a week to find out if he got the position. They called and told him that he did not get the job. We were very disappointed but held on to faith that God would provide.

Yesterday, Joe got a call that they had too many kids on the team and were forming two and asked if Joe would coach the second team. And…he would get the same pay as previously told.

I have also been worrying about clothes for this winter for the kids. So I decided that I should pray about it. We have since then received two bags of boys’ clothes and one bag of girls’ clothes. I also prayed for food. We received a ton of food that someone didn’t have need for and we also have received some surplus garden bounty. I could go on about the gifts we have been given. Daily I am amazed. It still boggles my mind as to how good God is. I don’t think I will ever grasp how great God is.

So we might not have had a lot of rain here, but we have definitely been showered with blessings.

Now, I don’t write this to boast. No, I write this to remind myself. If I had been with the Israelites on the exodus from Egypt, I am sure that I would be of the golden calf making crowd. I, all too quickly, forget of God’s provisions. I, all too quickly, become filled with worry and doubt. I, all too quickly, complain.

I wrote this to encourage you in your own life as well as to be a reminder to myself of God’s provisions and blessings. Put your trust in Him and he will provide all you need.

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A Pit Stop

I know, I know…I haven’t written a post for far too long. Honestly, I am unsure what to write about. I feel like a hypocrite in some ways. I mean, here I blogged about traveling and living in an RV full-time and then the next thing you know…BAM…we are living in a house and sending the kids to public school for the first time EVER! I am in shock too.

And instead of traveling and witnessing and getting to know people, I am home every day, all day. I’m clipping coupons, dusting furniture, and doing yard work. I mean this is nothing even to write home about let alone publish for the world to read.

I don’t mind doing these activities, but it just wasn’t what I thought we would be doing. Who knew that Michaela would take FIVE classes at the local high school? Who knew Josiah would join the football team and take some awesome outdoor science classes at the same school? Who knew there was so much work to be done for Joe’s dad? (OK, we did know that…LOL)

Now, don’t think by my cheery nature of writing that every thing is coming up roses. No, hardly. But I don’t like to write about the bad stuff. I don’t want you to feel sorry for me or even to try to fix things. It is just the way things are. I am not like some Americans…looking for a hand out. No, I want to work for what I deserve. And I hope what I deserve is given to me.

It pains me greatly not to be living in our RV. I appreciate our “house”, but it isn’t “my home”. Also, we had hoped to build family ties and togetherness, but most of the time we are quite divided. Joe, Josiah and Michaela are gone while I and the other 6 kids are at home. And since I don’t have a vehicle big enough to carry 7 people, we are rather stuck at home.

I also had dreams of building relationships with other people, but I only have contact with one other person on a daily basis…my next door neighbor (who is a very nice lady by the way).

I had also hoped to be seeing and exploring places as a family. While we have gone to a couple of places, that has become very hard since we have no income. A daily use permit in Oregon costs us $10 a day. That can add up fast. We could get an annual permit but just can’t afford the extra amount. Also, out-of-state licenses for fishing are exorbitant. So we stay at our house.

But all is not lost. I have used my vast amounts of time with the little kids to focus on their schooling. Elijah and Azariah are showing great progress in their reading abilities. Also, Kira is able to advance in her math studies. This has been very beneficial to them.

I have also finally cleaned up the trailer and am able to use it on a daily basis. Some of the kids are also sleeping in there on occasion. The water line, that we discovered was broken shortly after arriving here, still has not been fixed, but I hope that it will be as soon as funds are available.

But isn’t this what this blog is about…joining JoKars Wild on our journey. Sometimes the journey takes a pit stop, but it is still a part of the journey. I’m not writing this for you to feel sorry for me, but because I have committed to having you, the reader, as a part of my life, a part of all our lives. I want to encourage you when life forces you into a pit stop. No matter what, God is still with you and God is still with me. Jesus died on the cross so that I might live and live life to the full…even  if that “full” isn’t exactly what I had imagined…;)

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JoKars Wild Update

It was a tough week for us here at JoKars Wild this past week. Our electricity was schedule to be shut off on Saturday morning. Being that we have well water this meant that we would also have no water. We had already extended it a week and had no resources to pay the bill. But someone stepped up to the plate and paid our bill. Thank you!

We also have not been able to drive our pick up truck for quite a few weeks. The brakes were seized up on one side. The truck also needed new tires. Another individual offered to pay for our tires. Joe had gotten some money a couple of weeks ago and bought new brakes to put on. At that time we didn’t know they had seized up on one side. After much struggle and frustration, Joe was not able to fix the passenger side.

So Friday, he decided to take truck into town to get the new tires and hope they could unfreeze the brake. His plan was then to finish fixing it at home. But the repair center did it all and didn’t charge us for the brake repair! So we now have new tires and new brakes on our truck. Praise God.

Since our truck is now operational, we can finish emptying our home and be on the road. We have decided to have everything that is left in our house be given away for free…a Free Sale. It is this Friday from 10-4. Our plan (and I am fully aware that “our plans” are not always God’s plan) is to hit the road on Monday, July 26th. This would allow us to be in Prineville, OR by July 30th for Joe’s high school reunion.

Today we gave our cat away. It was hard for everyone to see her go. We have had Ali for 11 years. She has been a part of our family for a long time. She came with us from Oregon 10 years ago. I hope she will be happy.

We also received another sizable amount to help with our gas expenses. This is a huge plus as driving to Columbus to take Josiah to the zoo gets kind of spendy. But we feel it is worth it. He is worth it.

If you have been to our website lately, you may have noticed little changes. I finished creating our website through FrontPage only to find out that our host doesn’t allow us to do that. So I have to go through and change each thing online. It is a slow process. I am thankful for the knowledge God has given me and for having a technologically gifted husband 😉 Overall, I don’t think I’ve done too bad for my first website. I am hoping to keep learning more though. And maybe I might meet some website savvy friends along the way who can give me tips.

Thank you all for your prayers. Please don’t stop. Please pray that we are able to leave by Monday, that everything that needs to be done, gets done! Pray for more funds. Pray for opportunities and direction. Please pray that we can make it through the letting go…:(…it’s good, but painful…

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