Well this post might be a little different than usual. This has just been one crazy week and something has gone wrong with our Internet access from home.
But I am getting a lot more done around the house...go figure.
So I have resorted to typing this out at the library and it's a little difficult as I am sitting here between a crowd of junior high kids and a couple of girls are discussing their Internet "boyfriends". Let me rephrase that...one girl is talking about her "boyfriends". It's all a little distracting.
Anyway, I really want to tell you about our women's retreat that we had this last weekend at The Firs in Bellingham, WA. It was lovely. The weather was wonderful. The place was so much better than last year and I came home totally and completely exhausted! Yes, you heard me right.
A few months ago while planning the retreat the pastor's wife/ministry leader had the idea to, instead of hiring a speaker, have each of us share. Me, full of zeal, sometimes lacking in knowledge/wisdom, jumped at the opportunity to talk about what God's been doing in my life.
I really wanted to share about what we've been going through over the past year in our finances/marriage/family/hearts and when I signed up to talk I was so ready for God to perform a miracle so I could go to the retreat and say "Look what God did, he got us out of debt."
Well, sometime I started to get the clue that He was doing something a little different from what I was expecting.
I started getting it that He was wanting me to share about having peace in the midst of our circumstances.
So about a week before the retreat I'm trying to get some time to type up what I'm going to say. Not that I would sit in front of everyone reading a paper, but I just get my words out better on paper. So, it was important to prepare.
The next few days is sort of a mess so I might have things a little out of order.
First Bill wanted me to finish all of last years bookkeeping stuff and get it to the accountant for our taxes. I should have finished that a long time ago and he's been being very patient with me so I put off my retreat talk planning and did what he needed.
Then we got a very bad phone call from our bank. Our account had been frozen by LNI who was wanting a payment like two months ago. I, seeing the test, stayed remarkably calm.
Then some other stuff happened that I might fill you in on later, but for now I'll just say that it tested the hell out of our marriage and tested my feelings toward my husband. I'll just add that it had nothing to do with him at all. We were definitely being attacked by outside forces.
THEN after going on a whirlwind of damage control as far as our finances go, I finally sat down on Thursday to type up my retreat talk about having peace. I was actually impressed with myself for keeping the "right" perspective on everything and remaining calm and cool.
I was on a roll with my writing, until I left to pick up Shariah from school........
I came home to a FROZEN COMPUTER!
Let me remind you, this is Thursday and the retreat is on Friday and I'm supposed to be talking about having the peace of God in the midst of our circumstances!!!
After hours I downloaded some new security software, which discovered 38 viruses/spy ware/worms!!!
And I still could not get it to work or even print what I had or back up my bookkeeping just in case.
I tried to write it out but typing is so much easier for me and I couldn't think. Nothing was coming together. But still, I remained calm. I ended up going to bed praying and surrendering the whole thing to the Lord.
On Friday morning I woke up to a miraculously working computer. Thank the Lord I finished my talk with it coming together good enough. I did want to get up to the retreat a little early so that I'd have time to polish my words and my presentation.
I met a couple of friends and we headed up towards Bellingham. We were feeling great and so ready for a weekend of relaxing.
THEN.....on the freeway, about nine miles South of Bellingham, while driving through a windy curvy heavily treed area with very minimal shoulder room, OUR LEFT FRONT TIRE BLEW!
We pulled over on the left side, but there was not room for our car so we were sticking out in the lane.
Gone was my calmness! Gone was my peace! I hate to admit it but I panicked! I jumped from the car and ordered everyone else to follow me. I pictured someone hitting us, sending us over the guard rail and from there I wasn't sure if we'd roll and be stopped by the trees or make it completely over into the South bound lanes.
The driver who was staying calm, probably subconsciously balancing me out, talked to 911 and told me that they had told her that we needed to stay in the car.
I was so scared. I knew this was a test for my peace and I didn't even care that I was failing miserably. We all held hands as cars swerved not to hit us and I prayed/cried "God, I am really scared! I don't want to die!"
After half an hour the highway patrol came and escorted us to the other side of the freeway. He changed the tire and we were on our way.
We arrived at the retreat in the middle of dinner, with the session starting immediately after so when I finally got up to speak, after having no time to polish things up, I was still shaking.
I will tell you more about the retreat talk and the weekend later, but I will tell you now, I did NOT tell people how to stay calm during a crisis. I did talk about having the peace of God that transcends understanding.