Photos courtesy of Ryan Prouty

Monday, August 18, 2008

What more could we want??

To everyone who's hurting
To those who've had enough
To all the undeserving
That should cover all of us
Please do not let go
I promise there is hope
Hold fast
Help is on the way
Hold fast
He's come to save the day
What I've learned in my life
One thing greater than my strife
Is His grasp
So hold fast
Will this season ever pass?
Can we stop this ride?
Will we see the sun at last?
Or could this be our lot in life?
Please do not let go
I promise you there's hope
You may think you're all alone
And there's no way that anyone could know
What you're going through
But if you only hear one thing
Just understand that we are all the same
Searching for the truth
The truth of what we're soon to face
Unless someone comes to take our place
Is there anyone?
All we want is to be free
Free from our captivity, Lord
Here He comes
Hold fast
Help is on the way
Hold fast
He's come to save the day
What I've learned in my life
One thing greater than my strife
Is His grasp
So hold fast (Mercy Me)

This may be a long post, so if you don't have time, move on until you can sit down and get comfy! It has been a wild few days here! I don't even know how to begin to recap or summarize. God has been so good (shocking, I know), and there have continued to be territory battles with Satan for our peace. A hurricane is coming, and school started, and I earned my first paycheck since the first week of June (and that was just today!).

I guess I should back up to last week as the battles continued to rage. I felt better mood wise the day of my last post, but it was the calm before the storm. Our budget issues were really stressing me out and I didn't even know what the source was. I began feeling angry at God for having to deal with this stress, for asking me to actually volunteer for this stress. It all came spilling out one night until Paul and I could talk through it and get to the bottom of it. We figured out what we needed to do to relieve my stress and I felt better after we prayed and gave this situation to God. The next day, a new friend called to see if any of my boys were going to play baseball this fall because her son wanted to play and she wanted to see if I could carpool. When the cost came up, I had to decline and she told me of a "scholarship" we could get, then had to admit she was the scholarship and offered to pay for Riley to play. Riley has talked about playing baseball for at least 6 months and I just couldn't figure out how to fit it into the budget, so I agreed to accept the scholarship. We went about an hour later to sign up the boys and then went to the thrift store for baseball pants and cleats. We found the perfect size cleats for $4.99 (woo-hoo, was in the budget!) that were practically brand new! No pants yet (but God can still do it!). The other problem is that since our move, our baseball gloves have gone missing. We can find all the things we packed into one of the trash cans (we were desperate for boxes and space!) with the gloves, but no gloves. I am still sad because my left handed, first base glove has been with me for almost 3 decades!! Paul's glove was in there as well as Holden and Riley's...all missing. We have looked everywhere...still missing. But my friend said we could borrow one of theirs for Riley until we found ours or replaced them (not in the budget!). So, the next day was Sunday and at church another friend (who first spoke to us when we were new to this church and tried to get to know us and whose wife dragged me to the Bible study she was leading so I could get to know people) asked if he could give our kids some toys. I said he could, but that we couldn't promise we would keep all of them (we still have the 10 toy rule). He said that was fine. After church we met him at his car and he pulled out (all new toys) 3 mini remote control cars, some army figures on motorcycles, toy motorcycles, these really cool baseball card size cards that are plastic that you punch out the pieces and use them to build things like tanks, AND a baseball glove, a helmet and 3 bats. When I saw the baseball stuff come out of his car I dropped my head into my hands and sobbed!!! WHERE IS MY FAITH??? Is it so small??? All I have to do is look over the past 2 months posts to see God's handiwork and I actually have the nerve to be surprised to see baseball things!!! We just sat in the van and cried while our kids were completely confused. When we got home, we prayed together and praised God for His faithfulness to us, for showing us His glory through a man who wanted to give us some toys. No, there is no such thing as coincidences. Our God loves us and cares for our deepest needs and wants! How amazing He is. How unworthy and faithless we are! God, help our unbelief!

These items will forever remind us of God's unfailing love, kindness and faithfulness. I am not sure I will make it through too much baseball without tears of unworthiness, overwhelming love and gratitude. I have definitely learned that His grasp is strong and that thankfully, it is not up to me to hold on, He holds on to me with the tightest grasp and I need only wait on His perfect timing and least I think I have learned it!

Next in our crazy few days was the first day of school!! Here is the blow by blow for our family and especially Aunt JoJo who called in tears that she was missing their first day of school. She has been the one to drive them to school for the first day for the last 2 years! She set her alarm since we are an hour ahead of Iowa time to call and wish us a happy day!! Next we had breakfast with a special treat of cinnamon rolls, packed up all the school supplies and actually got ready early enough for some pictures in the front yard:

Don't they look like model students in their school uniforms (Gabe is modeling the PE uniform--he'll be wearing it every M-W-F), all lovey towards each other, kind and helping each other out?? After this picture I told them I would take a silly picture (they are obsessed with this!), and this is what I got:

Now the real Prachar kids have shown themselves!! So, after some scolding and redirecting about not even joking about punching someone THERE, we went back in and packed all the school supplies onto backs and shoulders. Alayna is seen below modeling her homemade book bag from VBS (she is supposed to get one from school, but it hasn't come in yet, so she got to use this one), and her ADORABLE lunchbox. It looks like a purse and it makes me laugh, I love it!

They got loaded up into the van...still smiling! So far so good! We are even running ON TIME!

We arrive at school without incident, actually find a parking place and get out...notice the absence of Alayna's book bag??? I didn't, I closed the trunk and went to sign the younger 3 into before school care since middle school starts 30 minutes before elementary school (new thing this year...we'll see how this goes, they have to take care of all the kids with big brothers/sisters in middle school to save the parents 2 trips)

Drop Gabe off at the door...

Sign in the kids at before school care (uh-oh, Riley is already yawning!), and notice the missing bag. So, I head back to the van...

And notice just above the trees (dead center, thanks to my advanced photography skills) that the moon is still out. I think to myself, surely this has some deep and profound meaning that I was meant to find on my way back to the van with only my thoughts and my camera and my keys, but I am too dense to grasp it now, so I just find the bag and grab it after noticing that whoever got out last on the opposite side of the van left the door open the entire time. No big deal, just my purse and lap top in the van!! I lock the doors and return with the bag! Still haven't grasped the deeper meaning...

I return with the bag to find them doing this. They are comparing how far back they can bend their thumbs. We sit together and discover I can bend mine back the farthest!

Then, finally time to go to the classrooms. Alayna finds her room, her cubby, her name tag and barely notices that I am still there! She gives me a smile and takes off to play (don't let the door hit you on the way out, Mom!).

So, its on to Holden's class just down the hall where he is equally excited to get to work. I waved from the door and turn to take Riley to his class...and he's already there! Bye, I guess!

So, my day was before me, mine to do whatever I want with. I look at my watch and see it is 8:20 and I think of my friend Deb dropping her daughter Jaclyn off at preschool...the same preschool Alayna would be going to today if we had not moved, the same preschool her Grammy will be helping out at today, the same preschool that she would have had many friends I call Deb (completely forgetting we are 1 hour ahead of Iowa) and I get the voice mail. I had called her to be an encouragement...I had just dropped off my baby (literally my baby, the last of my children, my only daughter) without a tear in a completely strange environment...but when I heard her voice on her voice mail, I lost it. I could barely leave her a message! I was glad I had a full day planned. I met one of the Agape pilot's wives to help her clean a house (long story, she needed help and I could use the cashola!). It only took us about 3 hours and we sat down in front of the TV to eat lunch and get the latest on Hurricane Fay. While we ate, we were upgraded from a Hurricane Watch to a Warning (I felt compelled to capitalize those words for some reason), we watched as they announced that school would be cancelled tomorrow (our first snow day...errr hurricane day) and City Hall would be closed as well! There was a mandatory evacuation for all who live in a mobile home. The hurricane is expected to be a category 1 (the weakest), but entails winds over 81 MPH. Fortunately, the house we are renting has hurricane windows, so we are not frantically boarding up or putting up hurricane shutters. Some of our neighbors had already done this a couple days looks weird to look at a house with all the windows covered by corrugated metal...I bet its DARK in there! I will try to get a picture for you tomorrow! All we have done is bring all the outside furniture inside...which we are asking ourselves why we haven't thought of this before!! We have a nearly empty living room (it has only a desk and one chair and the kids' toy box). It looks more homey with the outdoor furniture in it:

For those of you worrying about us, Paul will likely stay home from work to take care of us and we have been reassured by those who have lived here for a long time that it will just be windy and rainy. I tried to also remind them of the words they used to reassure us when we talked about our hurricane fears when we first moved here: "We haven't had a hurricane make landfall here in Venice in my lifetime." We are not afraid! God holds us fast in His hand!


The Gradys said...

Wow - Our God is an AWESOME God!!

Loved the entire post and the school pictures!!

Keep us updated on the weather!!

Praying for you guys!!

Anonymous said...

oh my, I'm crying and the school day looms ahead...thanks!! I LOVE YOU!!! What a beautiful picture of God's goodness to you.

Kregers5 said...

I cried through the post! Praise God for His goodnes. I'll be calling you Sept. 3 when I drop my kids off at preschool, okay? :) Love you!

Lisa said... time you write a blog like this, you must warn me to grab the kleenex FIRST. My allergies are already haywire from NO A/ this. Wow, the baseball then the first day of school..sniffle sniffle. :-) Well, you guys are from the midwest...bunker down, it's just like a preparing for a tornado! Keep everyone updated on the weather!!

sara said...

Serioiusly. When you post, you post. What exciting times with school starting :) Kids looked happy & content!

I am so thankful for you continuing to share God's goodness & grace!

We have friends here that own condos in Florida (Cocoa Beach) and they are keeping us posted on Fay! Stay dry!

Deb said...

It is so cool to hear how God is taking care of you guys...even in the little things! Wow! Love you!