Wednesday, August 31, 2011

A divine appointment --- at Lowes

After ordering flowers for our neighbor's funeral and doing a bit of banking and a couple of other errands it was time to take my extensive material listing for the rebuilding of Michael's trailer and spend some time at Lowes.

I was able to take the donations we've received thus far and turn it into Lowes gift cards. It was then that I needed to gather styles, item numbers and prices.

Accomplishing all the above would take quite a bit of time so I pretty much saved the entire afternoon to do so.

I was back and forth with my list, first this side of the store and then remembering something else and walking back to the other side of the store.

After over 2 hours I was on my last stop -- looking for a handicapped shower seat that would sit inside the shower. It was then that God stepped in for one of His divine appointments.

A young gentleman came up to ask me if I needed some help. He was able to direct me to the seats and then asked me if there was anything else he could do. I shared our project with him and he then told me his specialty was working with handicapped folks since both he and his mother had handicaps! He was able to make some suggestions to me that would be of great help to Michael. One of the small ones was to mount the hand held shower nozzle on a mount low enough for him to reach it without reaching clear up to the top of the shower! Something I hadn't thought of!

We talked for a bit and he asked for my business card. He said he knew alot about resources for the handicapped and would gather some information and get back with me. And then the real surprise --- he wants to organize a volunteer group of Lowes employees to come and help rebuild!!!!

I felt so energized as I walked out into the parking lot! Yet another affirmation from God that THIS is the project we are to be focusing on! It may not be a disaster like what is described in Webster's dictionary but it's a personal disaster that God has called us to do something about.

Once again -- rebuilding lives by rebuilding homes!

Thank you Lord!!!!

Until next time . . . and the next divine appointment . . . Susan and Monty

Monday, August 29, 2011

That early morning phone call . . .

We all know that when the phone rings very early in the morning it's usually not bringing good news.
This morning was that kind of morning.
Our neighbor, Paul, has been in the hospital and nursing home and back to the hospital over the past few weeks. This morning he went to heaven. Good news for him but tough news for Evelyn, his wife of 62 years!
Would you please join us in prayer for the entire family.
We also ask that you join us in prayers of thanksgiving that hurricane Irene was not as destructive as anticipated --- and that the rather large "disturbance" brewing off the coast of Africa will not head our direction.
Welcome to Monday --- a good day to pray!!

Until next time . . . Lord, open heaven's gates and welcome Paul with open arms!
Susan and Monty

Saturday, August 27, 2011

Watching and Waiting . . .

We are watching hurricane Irene.

We are praying.

We are waiting.

Until next time . . . Susan and Monty

Thursday, August 25, 2011

He's level

When they moved Michael's trailer to it's new location (home) all they could do was "eye-ball" it as level as possible.

Today, Monty's step dad, Tony, went out to make sure it was all good. He does this, and alot more, for a living so we knew it would be perfect. Come to find out one end was one foot higher than the other! Imagine what that would be like when it's all done and Michael rolling through in his wheel chair!

Thanks to Tony it's perfect! He has this "contraption" that he designed and built himself and has used for years and it's amazing!

The real blessing? He donated his time!!!!!! No kidding!!!!! I told you God was in this whole thing and that the blessings were going to reign down over and over again! Mark this one on your list and just try and keep track!!!

Our deepest thanks to Tony!!!!!

Michael's gift to Tony? A big bag of frozed crappie and blue gill fish fillets! Tony couldn't have been happier!!!!!! I wonder if he thawed them out immediately and cooked them up for tonights dinner?

Now we await the marking of the utility lines so Monty and a couple friends can go out and strap and anchor it.

Then . . . let the rebuilding begin!

Be sure and stay tuned. One of my daily emailed devotions was titled"Supersize Your Dreams" and that's exactly what we are doing and believing for! Won't you join us?

Until next time . . . tomorrow I power wash someone else's mobile home deck and clean the gutters while Monty removes a dragging tree limb from his roof. From there I'm off to mow Ms Betty's lawn then return to the neighborhood and hopefully finish the shrub trimming at Shelley's house and maybe even start power washing for her.

And then the fun of the day is babysitting for my grandkids tomorrow evening!!! I bet they will want to take another of our famous baths with all the toys and "paints!!!"

Blessings to all. Susan and Monty

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Introducing . . . Michael

The miracles have already begun and I hope you will all stay tuned as God is moving big time and about to burst the doors of blessings wide open!

You can see Michael inside his "new" trailer. He has been working on gutting the walls, all by himself and doing quite the job! This afternoon he was joined by Ms Donna from our morning Bible study and his two nephews, Cody and Zac were on their way over to help with the ceilings and the rest of the walls. If I know these guys the whole thing is gutted and now ready for the leveling, blocking, strapping and anchoring. Hopefully that will be completed within the next couple of days by Monty's step dad. He's the professional at doing that and we are so thankful he has agreed to help out! Thanks Tony!

Bible study this morning was super fantastic and God made it very clear that He is leading the way and all we need to do is be obedient in everything He calls us to do -- no matter how small or large or confusing it might seem at the time!

I put together something like a bridal/shower registery for Michael. Lowes will be where we purchase most of our materials since they are only about 10 minutes from Michael's home. I made a generalized listing of the materials we will need and asked that people take a look and see if there was a certain area they would like to either donate or use the funds to purchase a Lowes gift card to be used for anything. Before the morning was over everyone was excited about the list and left with dreams in their hearts.

After the Bible study we gathered so I could take the group picture here. Pastor Martie's son in law will most likely be doing the plumbing since he is a master plumber. And I already told you another gentleman will be taking on the heating and air project while Monty and a few men from our church tackle the electrical. So . . . before we even get moving the three most difficult projects are taken care of! Another God-thing and no doubt the start of many more to come!

I made a quick trip to the trailer with Michael so I could take some "before" pictures.

By this evening we had a rather large donation of a Lowes card and more monetary donations that had come in throughout the day! God never ceases to amaze me with His generosity and love!

I also spoke with Mike from our Bettendorf, Iowa team and they have already presented the project to their church this past Sunday and are seeing about putting a team of volunteers together to come and do whatever they can to help! They have no idea how much that would mean to Monty and I personally as they are all family to us!

On another note, Monty's truck is out of the shop once again and sounds like this time it's running the way it should be!

He spent the day working in our neighbor, Shelley's house. She got her list of things needing done completed and so today was a good day for him to start. He'll be returning tomorrow and working until the list is complete. Like we have said -- sometimes ministry can be in your own back yard! :)

To bring the day to an end we had a rain shower come through and give the ground a good drink of water! We've been so extremely dry this summer and this was a welcome sight. Thank you Lord!

As I said, we hope you will stay tuned to this project of rebuilding Michael's new home. If you would like to donate just leave a comment here with your information or give me a call. You will be blessings one of God's very special children and in turn the blessings will be returned to you!

Also ---- please pray that hurricane Irene takes a turn and heads herself back out into the water and misses land all together!!!!!

Until next time . . . "love your neighbor as yourself" Susan and Monty

Monday, August 22, 2011

"Lucky" 13

13 years ago I married the man of my dreams!

There's a song with the words "when God made you He must've been thinking about me" and that's exactly how I feel!

It does seem impossible that it's been 13 years as it feels like a life time -- in a good way!

What we have been through in these past 13 years most couples don't go through in a life time but each step has been God-guided and each step has brought us closer together and closer to Him.

Happy Anniversary Monty! You are the love of my life and I thank God for your faith, your strength, your steadiness, your support, your belief in me, your compassion and your love!

May God bless us with "umpteen" more years together!

Until next time . . . "and two shall become one." Susan and Monty

He doesn't even like horseback riding!

13 years ago today I married the man of my dreams!

What took God so long?

I first met Monty while I was managing a local employment agency that specialized in construction labor. One of the few things I did know about him was that he was quite a few years younger than me and surely he had a girl friend.

He was a seasonal worker so when December of 1997 came around I knew he would be off work for the winter and thus picking up his last check in early January. The thought of not being able to see him for the winter months hurt my heart. But --- for those of you who know me --- you won't believe this --- but I was speechless when he entered the room and just couldn't bring myself to say anything to him.

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

34 Years Ago

Hard to believe that much time has passed! Where oh where does it go?

It was 34 years ago yesterday that Elvis Presley died! Now I am far from an Elvis fan so how do I not only remember the day but how many years it's been?

The night that he died I was in the hospital in a bed in a waiting room area because there were no rooms available. I was 3 weeks past my due date and more than miserable. See, my first baby (my son) had weighed in at 10 and 1/2 pounds less than 2 years before and I was terrified. This time they had done a pelvic xray and laughed when they told me "you don't have room for a 5 pounder!" I wondered where in the world they had been almost 2 years before!

I was terrified and so anxious as this time I was scheduled for a c-section the next morning. This was a new plan that only came about a few days before so no time to really prepare. I was to come in the night before and . . . well, that was about all I knew. So I was there and I was waiting. The area I was in had no TV so I had no idea until the next day that the big news was Elvis had died.

The next morning I was prepped for surgery and the last thing I remember was someone telling me to count backwards from 99. I remember saying 98 and that's it!

The main thing running through my mind was "is it a boy or a girl?" See, that was in the dark ages before anyone knew what they were having until it was born!

All my life I had dreamed of some day having a little dark haired girl. But for some reason I didn't think it was possible for me. Don't ask me why -- it was just me.

But God . . .

I woke up in the recovery room with a nurse telling me "it's a girl -- a little dark haired girl." Even through the groggy head I understood but still thought she must be mistaken. I needed to see it to believe it -- sound familiar?

When I saw her I was thrilled beyond description! She was a girl and she did have dark hair, black hair! And she was beautiful! No red marks on her face from forceps, no blue skin from lack of oxygen, just beauty like I had never seen. Perfect!

I felt fine and we were dismissed in a shorter amount of time than when my son was born.

It didn't take long for her dark hair to start changing -- to the blondest blonde I think I'd ever seen!

She was a quiet little baby who slept most of the time. She was content to sit in her baby chair and watch the world go by.

As she grew it became evident that she had a mind of her own and knew exactly what she wanted. She always wanted to wear dresses and could be outside all day and come in spotless! The elderly neighbor next door was in awe!

She excelled in school and never had to be told to do her homework. She actually seemed to enjoy studying. She maintained an A average all through school, even while cheerleading from middle school through graduation from high school.

When it came time for college she wanted to major in health administration and maybe manage a hospital. But as time went on she realized she wanted more, she wanted a law degree. I knew from experience that when she set her mind to something it was made up -- and no one could change it so being a lawyer might just be her calling in life.

Calling? An understatement!

She married her high school sweetheart, graduated with honors, passed the bar exam on her first try and got a job with one of the best law firms in the area.

She had 2 children and made partner in that firm within her first 7 years there. When the firm decided to separate in the fall of last year she and some of the other partners made the decision to go out on their own and create a new firm. Within the first 4 months they were so successful they had to hire 2 additional attorneys.

Yesterday she took her 6 year old son to his first day of all day kindergarten and her 3 year old daughter to her first day of preschool. Is that possible? I was just taking my kids a few years ago -- or it seems!?

They are currently building a new home and should be moved in around Thanksgiving.

All during her 34 years there has always been this thought in my mind -- no matter what was happening, no how many "detours" our family life took, no matter how bad or good things were, I always knew, and said aloud many times, "Stacy will be okay -- she'd the strong one!"

God gifted her with an inner strength and determination that I think is unsurpassable! I have laughed over the years and said I would like to be in the courtroom the day she loses a case as I've yet to see anyone win an argument with her! She uses the gift God gave her and won't waste a single second of it!

A wife, a mother, a lawyer, a home maker and home builder, a helper for the voiceless and an amazing woman!

But most of all --- she's my daughter and I am so proud of her and love her deeply!

Happy Birthday Stacy! May God continue to bless and keep you as He has promised! I am honored to be your mother!

Until next time . . . hug your kids today! No matter how old they are! Susan and Monty

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Volunteers --- are you ready?

Divine appointments -- that's what she prayed for today! Divine they were!

Life giving divine appointments that weren't planned at all -- but they were in God's plan all along!

Please allow me to introduce Michael to you. Michael attends the church in Bedford where I go to Bible study each week. That means I haven't known him all that long. But today . . .

Michael is in a wheel chair -- he's been in it for the past 17 years. I don't know how old Michael is but I would bet he isn't 40 -- which means the motorcycle accident he was in that put him in this wheel chair happened in his late teens or early 20's. His survival depends on disability only -- imagine!

Every single week Michael is at Bible study and every Sunday he's at church. I watch him pull up in his rather elderly Ford truck, open the driver's door, somehow spin himself around and grab his wheel chair out of the bed of the truck and struggle to get seated before closing the truck door. He has some pretty amazing upper body strength.

A few weeks ago Michael was excited to tell us he was able to purchase a "newer" mobile home. He purchased it for a dollar! Yes, one dollar! But . . . it needed alot of work!

After Bible study today I was so very hungry so I stopped to get something to eat before coming home to have some blood work done. As I was eating 2 other Bible study women came in and I asked them to join me. We started talking and the subject of Michael came up. He needed someone to relocate this "new" trailer to his current location. Knowing that Monty does this sort of thing they asked me. All I could say was that we would see what we could do, make some calls and such.

During the cource of the conversation I learned about how Michael has been living over the past years. Not to be cruel but in this day and age I think most of us have better accomodations for our pets!

The 3 of us decided to call Michael and see if we could go and see this "new" trailer. Since restoring them is what Monty and I do in disaster relief we do know a thing or two about them. We called, he met us and off we went.

When we pulled up I will admit thinking that it was in alot better shape than I had pictured. After all, paying one doller -- my expectations weren't very high.

The exterior is in good shape. The interior --- it WILL be in super shape when we get finished and God sets free all the miracles He has in store!

The floors need gutted, the walls need gutted and most of the ceilings need gutted. The kitchen cabinets must go, the 2 bathtubs need to go, there are no toilets (thankfully), a wall needs removed to allow Michael wheel chair access to what will be his bathroom and both entry doors need replaced.

Impossible? No way! As I went through and looked and measured and thought and planned and felt like I came to life I realized --- some wouldn't classify this as a "disaster" by Webster's definition but I know as well as I know anything God has called me to help rebuild this trailer and in doing so help Michael build a life!

So here I am . . . asking for volunteers to jump on board with this project. The trailer is being moved this Thursday (someone already volunteered to do it before I could even talk to Monty) and after getting it blocked and anchored it's ready to start gutting.

The VERY first thing we will need done is the construction of a ramp so Michael can get in and out as he wants to be as hands on as possible. I asked him to make trips to Lowes to start looking at flooring, cabinets and counter tops as I KNOW the funding will come! God has promised and I choose to stand on that promise!

I have been blessed to see and experience and feel the miracles and blessings that God pours forth in times and situations like this! I want Michael to see and experience and feel the love of Jesus pouring forth through all the volunteers who will come and be the hands, feet and heart of Jesus for him!

Won't you think about it? If you are coming for a day --- thank you!

If you are coming for a week-- we will house you and make sure you have a wonderful week of work and fellowship and life changing miracles!

Michael, hang on as God is about to open doors (literally) for you and show you things as never before!

Pastor Martie challenged us this morning to stand up and take hold of God's promises. She said we need to speak as if things already are, to not settle for lack, to expect the best! The 3 of us women today took that literally and are ready to go!

As we pulled out of Michael's driveway I saw a new Michael --- already!

Let's get on board and make this happen as quickly as possible!

Get ahold of me and let me know when you are coming to help!

Until next time . . . what an awesome God we serve!!!!! Susan and Monty

Monday, August 15, 2011

Indy Tragedy

By now I'm sure you've heard of the Indiana State Fair tragedy. The stage collapsed during a thunderstorm on Saturday night and 5 people were killed along with numerous others injured.

It was a freak accident and caused the fair to be closed yesterday. Although it has reopened today all further scheduled concerts have been cancelled.

Would you join us in prayers for the family members who have lost a loved one and for those still recovering, whether physically or emotionally?

The TV coverage continues to talk about how people came together to help, how some folks actually turned around and headed towards the stage instead of away -- just to start helping others. The reporters seem shocked by these actions --- and yet Monty and I have seen this continually over the years!

We know how God reaches in at our most desperate moments and touches our hearts -- your hearts -- with the desire to be His hands and His feet!

Our deepest gratitude to ALL of you who have volunteered over the years! You turned toward the need and not away, you opened your hearts and extended your hands to those who just needed someone to care, someone to show them God's love.

Monty and I look forward to working with all of you again, wherever and whenever God plans.

In the meantime, please pray for healing, for peace and for comfort for all.

Until next time . . . count your blessings today! It will take you all day!!!! Susan and Monty

Friday, August 12, 2011

Yes --- I CAN run!

For years I have had the same thought as Forest Gump --- "my runnin' days are over" --- until today!

I was mowing my second yard when I bumped the mower into a nest of ground hornets! They were NOT happy with me and let me know in a BIG way! First my leg, then my hand and finally my face! It's a miracle I don't have more stings as when I finally looked down at myself I was covered with hornets!

At that second I remembered what my 10 years in pest control husband told me a long time ago. "If you run into hornets -- just run as fast as you can for as long as you can." Guess what, my runnin' days are NOT over after all!!!!! I was able to outrun them and after screaming loud enough to bring the homeower outside they finally went back into their hole and another neighbor was on his way with gasoline to give those hornets a good "bath."

One of the perils of mowing yards for the summer! And I did pick up my 9th one last night so I don't look at stopping anytime soon!

But I will be watching a bit closer from now on.

Until next time . . . what in the world can stop the stinging sensation? Susan and Monty

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Continual preparation

The truck is now fixed and looks really good. Even though the repair shop said the color of the truck isn't really white and they did what they could to color match -- we can't tell the difference!

Now we await the check for the repairs on the trailer. The insurance company said it should be here this week so . . .

Then both will be repaired and road ready.

Our next step is to uncover the camper and check it over making sure it's also ready. It's been covered the entire winter and protected from the elements. It should be just fine as you remember that it was nearly all rebuilt for us last summer and better than new now. I still have to set up the bed but that can wait.

We keep our eyes on the weather, mostly the hurricane center's website as it's really accurate and tells us much more than our local news. Funny how different the weather coverages are along the coast.

Monty continues rebuilding mobile homes and has one nearly ready for the homeowner to move in. Should be next week. He's down to priming and painting and may need to bring in his "free labor" === me! I love to paint and he's so good at the cut in that it makes the rolling easy and since that's what I like to do. See how we make such a great pair and work so well together! :)

This morning I used some creativity and got rid of a quite nasty looking tree in our side yard. I hooked the rope around the tree and then to my truck and with some gas to the pedal it snapped off right at the ground! Monty was surprised when he came home, said the tree was too big to do that but -- hey -- I got it done!

I found some grasses that will come up each year and won't need much care so I replaced the tree with a few of those and even made a row across the side yard to block an "unsightly" neighbor's yard. The grasses were marked way down at the store so just my price. I had to use the hose to soften the ground before digging since it's so dry here. It was an all day project but it's done and looks much better.

We do have a special prayer request. Our neighbor is in the hospital. Paul is 85 years old and fell the other night. He has been diagnosed with a compression fracture in his low back and isn't doing very well. His spirits are very low, he isn't eating and must do well with therapy or face surgery. His wife is more than a bit concerned and asked that we put out a prayer request. Once again, thanks to all of you who not only hold us up in prayer but our family, friends and whoever we ask you to pray for!

Until next time . . . lets all be thankful for our health! Susan and Monty

Saturday, August 06, 2011

Almost ready!

Our newly designed IGO Disaster Relief tshirts should go to press early next week.

We are really excited about this and hope to use them as a fund raiser!

As soon as we have it ready I will post pictures of both the front and back so you can see for yourselves and order one -- or two -- or more!

Every relief organization is always recognized by their shirts and since we are watching the weather and making every preparation we can to be ready to go --- these shirts will be our "uniform" daily and we hope will be an awesome fund raiser as well.

Stay tuned --- and don't forget to thank God for all your blessings in church tomorrow!

Until next time . . . love to all. Susan and Monty

Thursday, August 04, 2011

Power "preparing"?

First of all, Mary is doing much better. We covered her with some heavy duty prayers at Bible study on Tuesday morning and from the sounds of things (her on Facebook) she is doing exactly what she needs to do to stop satan's attacks! Please keep praying for her as school doesn't start for about 2 weeks and we all know just how relentless satan can be!

Monty is nearing the completion of the mobile home he has been rebuilding these past few weeks. The new owner loves to stop by and check on his progress. She is ready to go and he's ready to be done!

Today was my powerwashing day. I had planned on doing Ms Betty's mobile home and when I got in the swing of it I did our whole house after doing hers! Yes, I am nuts and yes, more than a bit tired but our white vinyl siding is once again white! It's things like this that just don't get done when we are out in the field and with this hurricane season bearing down on us I just figured . . .

Speaking of which, seems like tropical storm Emily has dissolved and will only bring the threat of some heavy rains. Praise God!

And speaking of rains --- we tied the only existing record for consecutive days of 90 degrees or higher == 19 in a row! And believe it or not tomorrow is forecast to be a high of 89! I think I might need a sweatshirt! :)

Tomorrow I have an appointment with the store who is helping us design our new IGO Disaster Relief tshirts! Every disaster organization is known by their shirts and Monty came up with a great idea and James turned it into a design. The back has the logo just like our truck magnets (you can look back and see pics) and the front has an arrow across the chest area with the top line saying "IGO" and underneath printed in the arrow "where He sends me." We will work on colors tomorrow and hopefully get things nailed down.

If you would like to purchase a shirt just let me know. I don't know the cost yet but will let you know if you're interested. I will put a pic on here as soon as I can.

Until next time . . . blessings to all. Susan and Monty

Monday, August 01, 2011

She's struggling

We are approaching a record of days in the 90's and I just had to post a winter scene to remind myself (and others) that here in Indiana the seasons change rather quickly so . . .

I just had a "conversation" with Mary via Facebook and wanted to ask that we all strengthen our prayers for her. She is feeling a bit rough after her emergency appendectomy a couple of weeks ago and hasn't gotten much of an appetite back yet. Her host family is pushing food and she isn't up to very much yet so . . .

She is also struggling as she hasn't started teaching at the university yet and so time can be a bit long! She is feeling very alone right now and needs to know we are all thinking of her and praying for her.

Remember that she has her own blog ---- and it would be awesome if you could leave her a positive comment. An uplifting scripture would be great! She doesn't have to know you -- she just needs to know we care.

Life in missions can be tough at times and yes, lonely. We are away from family and most everything familar to us. Yes, it's exciting but satan is always on the lookout for a way to jump in and charge our emotions! Let's use the Word and send satan packing!!!!

Until next time . . . blessings to all. Susan and Monty