Sunday, May 20, 2012

House built by faith!

Just a short short background.. Well as short as I can get it. lol

I have been married for 13 years. It's been my dream, as it'd be with anyone, to have my own home. Hubby and I bought the property we live on about about 16 years ago with the dream of building our home on our property. We've lived up here in a trailer that cost us $2500 and was suppose to be temporary when we moved up here 12 years ago. 

Back about three years ago we had FINALLY made it to the point that we thought that maybe, just maybe we could get our dream home built. We went and was EASILY pre-approved for a mortgage. This was the time when the housing market took the nose dive. We told them everything up front and they told us everything was fine so we went and paid $500 out on some house plans through a contractor. At the time we didn't owe out ANY debt, hubby was making good money at his job, and we were putting up $70,000 worth of land to build a house that cost $120,000 to purchase. We thought for sure everything was going to go smoothly. Well it didn't! They found every reason they could find to turn us down. Talk about upset! I was VERY upset! I cried for literally WEEKS! I just didn't understand after all we had done. After trying to do the right thing, not trying to get in over our heads, or biting off more than we could chew... After waiting till the time was right for us, we were turned down for this construction loan. I was utterly devastated!

It took me by complete shock! Don't think I'm trying to toot my own horn (at all) but after paying all of hubby's child support off, after paying all of our other debts, having good credit, trying to do everything right, we felt like we were being punished.

If I'm going to be completely honest here, I was upset with the Lord as well. All those years of waiting till the right time, waiting till we were at a place we could afford it, all the time of trusting the Lord to provide, I felt that He wasn't providing for us. I know this my sound bad some "religious" folks, but it's the truth. Like I said I was devastated!

Waiting all these years in a single wide with three children, the place falling down around us, and we can't get a home! I still don't think I'm completely over it. I'm no longer mad at the Lord, but I am at the whole system. I'm mad at the banks!

After this happened, we FIRED our bank! We bought a truck through them, had a business account, checking account, and all the children had savings accounts and we fired them! I wasn't going to allow them to make one more penny off of me if I could help it. Even if this meant I had to drive further to go to another bank.

After all of this happened 3 years ago, we looked at our live and tried to figured out what the Lord had in mind for us. We were in business for 8 years and we closed it down when the housing market fell. He was working for contractors and wasn't happy with what he was doing. We couldn't build a home. The trailer we were living in was in bad shape so we knew we had to do something so we just sought the Lord.

For a few years hubby has felt the call of the Lord on his life to go out into the highway and hedges and preach the good news of Christ (A street preacher). We felt like we were not to rely on anyone to give us money to do the work of God. Not knocking anyone who does, but we just believed that if God wanted us to do this, He was going to have to make a way for it to happen. This was going to be our way of knowing it was His will and not ours. Well when we were turned down for the loan, we felt this was Him telling us that He was making that way for us. Sound crazy? This is what it means to walk in faith. I knew that if the house wasn't His will for us, than SOMETHING else MUST be!

So after seeking the Lord, hubby decided to get on with the local Ironworker Union. We knew that no matter what, we could no longer live in our trailer. The roof leaked, the plug ins were smoking and trying to catch fire, mold growing everywhere and a host of other problems. Let's just say it was NOT livable. Most of it's issues came from 2 very active hurricane seasons in which we had to flee to the North so we wouldn't get swept away.. Gotta love living in the South! ha

So believing the street preaching was the Lord's will we decided to hit the road! We bought a travel trailer and went! Since being rejected for the loan we have been on the road approximately 2 of the 3 years. Coming home to visit, and a few months here and there to work close to home. Hubby gets home sick often. lol Each time we come home we have to stay in our travel trailer because of the issues with our old home. It still sits out back desperately needing to be torn down. We're going to tear it down board by board.

A home has always been in the back of my mind. I think of my 13 year old daughter having her own bedroom and hoping and praying that we'll have one before she's grown and gone from my home. :( The thought of her space consisting of a space the size of a full size bed (literally) and sharing the top (bunk) portion with her brother. The thought of having to kick my children out of the travel trailer in order to get alone time with my husband. It all makes me tear up just thinking about it.

So not to to long ago, I'd say sometime last year the Lord started speaking to me. He kept showing and telling me on a few occasions that HE was going to give me that home I want. He told me to trust Him. I questioned Him on how. Isn't it crazy how we want to see the ending before the beginning? What did He tell me? That He was going to provide. He told me that as I walk in faith and take each step, He was going to pave the way for the next one. It was so hard for me to believe, but I do! I do believe Him! Problem is, believing Him is not enough. Having faith requires action. I can say I have faith all I want, but unless I do something with that faith, I'm not sure if you could call it faith. Well?

Anyhow, this gets us to today! We have decided yet again build a home for our family! This time we decided to do it differently. One of the major differences.. We are no longer going to rely on a bank, we are going to rely on the Lord. This is His way, not ours. We are no longer going to build a bigger house that is to much for us. We're planning on building something that is approx 1200 sq ft. We plan on building with CASH as the Lord provides! Lord knows we don't have the money at this point to build, but that is what living by faith is all about.

This is what He has told us to do. I can't see the end, but He is having us begin, trusting that He will make a way. Since the time He told us that He was going to provide a home for us, I started doing things online to make money. EVERY penny I make is going to my home. Anything over and above bills and living expenses is going to our new home. The Lord gave me a great ability to budget. Thank you Jesus! So living on little is something I'm comfortable with in order to get what He has promised me.

Last Friday, May 18th, we met with a guy my uncle recommended to us to draw up our house plans!!! We gave him all the ins and outs of the home we want to build and gave him the $300 to get started. I am so nervous and so excited all at the same time. I just have to trust the Lord that He is going to make a way where there seems to be no way. At this point in time, hubby's laid off from work, we have no income coming in to our home, not even unemployment. We don't know where/when the next job will come, but we trust God to provide. We have enough to get the plans, the building permit, and maybe even the foundation. :D How exciting!

We still believe in the Lord's call on hubby's life. We still believe that his job gives us a means and a way of preaching the gospel to the lost without asking a penny from anyone. HE will provide the way! We just would like to have a place to stretch out when we come home, thus the house He is going to build for us.

The reason for this blog? So y'all can see where we've been, where we are, and where we are going as a family. I'm hoping that through this little (little?) I said here, it will help to build your faith and help you to seek the Lord on His will for your life. Without knowing His call and His will for our lives, things aren't near as good for us. His perfect will is where I want to live!

Get ready, because I plan on providing plenty of updates!!! :D Thanks for reading my little story! ♥

My newest baby!

When we came back home from out of town, we had decided to sell our cows. We felt that although we were paying our neighbor to tend to them while we were gone, we felt like he didn't want to and we were putting him out. We were also upset that we have had them for 2 whole years and not one baby calf was born, nor either one of our mamma cows were currently pregnant.

I cried every time I thought of getting rid of them. Yes, they cost us a lot of money to have. Yes, we have to do a lot of work to keep them on our property. Yes, they can be as bad as an overgrown child on occasion, but there is just something about them. There is something peaceful about watching them eat grass. It's like time goes in slow motion. It's like with everything in life being so fast paced, it brings you down to earth. I know it may sound strange that I like watching them eat. lol It just amazes me how something that man finds as a chore (cutting grass) is the very thing that keeps them alive and they mow it for free!

We also have two that are so friendly they like to lick your hand. The mamma cow is the worst about doing it. She'll wrap her whole, LONG tongue around your hand and try to pull it into her mouth. I don't know what she thinks she's going to do with it once she get it in there. lol Her daughter took after her and does it too. hehe

Anyhow, when we came home, we went to our neighbor's house to get our young bull (he had went under a fence and went to his house). While down there hubby was telling him that we were going to sell our cows. I started crying. I went ahead and walked the bull back to our home and when I walked back to his house, hubby said they had gotten it all straight. He just said he flat out asked him if he wanted to do it for us or not. That if he didn't to let us know. He said that our neighbor didn't mind tending to our cows for us. :) It was such relief, because no matter how aggravation they can be, no matter how much I have to hear hubby fuss about them, no matter how much they cost us, I LOVE THEM!

Anyway, that gets us to this point.. We decided one of the ways to solve one of our problems. A big problem, was to buy a bull for our cows. Our young bull wasn't going to work. We now have 3 females that need a bull and putting them with the neighbor's bull just wasn't going to work. Been there, done that, to no avail..

We get ready to go to the auctions on Wednesday when we find out about another neighbor that's selling all of his cows and has a bull for sale. Since we had planned on going to the auction, we went ahead and drove over to the auction. We were there ALL day long! Didn't buy anything! They only had like 3 bulls we were interested in bidding on and it went so quickly that we missed all 3. To be honest, the bull down the road was weighing on my mind. I was scared to buy anything from the auction and than possibly wanting his bull too. So we come home and drive down the road to our neighbors. He wasn't home but we saw a big bull out in his field and knew that had to be the one for sale. We called the neighbor and rode down the next day to look at him. We saw him and fell in love! He's not only a bull, he is a MAN bull.. He's a 7 year old stud! lol We agreed on a price and decided to come the next day, Friday, to pick him up.

When we pulled up to his house Friday evening, he loaded up in the cattle trailer like he knew what was going on. After inside the trailer, he wasn't to happy. He's so big, he was rocking the trailer AND my Yukon it was attached to. lol I think it's safe to say he's probably pushing 2,000 lbs. He's a hoss!

We drive home and pull in. I was so excited to see how our cows would respond to having their own man! lol I had my camera ready! When we unloaded him, he went straight and checked out the 4 cows we have and than walked around the whole perimeter of the field he was in. It was quite comical to watch him going from cow to cow. He was chasing the young bull away from HIS women. lol

Yesterday afternoon he decided he liked one of the cows better than the other two and he stayed by her side. When she took a step, so did he. When we fed them this morning, he ran all the other cows away from the food, but allowed HER to eat. Was he buttering her up or what? lol Anyway, I would say that approximately 9 months from TODAY (Lord willing), we should have a baby calf born on Harvest Time Farm! ♥

I have decided to name him Sampson, as in Sampson from in the bible.. Isn't he handsome??? What a blessing!

Monday, May 14, 2012

Settling in at home!

I know I went MIA after my giveaway, but after having an abscess tooth and all, hubby was laid off from his job. It wasn't a shocker. He had been practically been begging for one. He was ready to come home.

So he was laid off on Wednesday and we hung out in Mississippi for the next few days fishing! We went and fished out of the Mississippi River one time. Hubby caught 3 decent sized catfish and he was satisfied. One thing the Mississippi waterways is not lacking, and that's catfish. lol

Anyhow, we decided to pack up and head home last Monday. This evening will be a week since we've been back home. It's been a busy busy week! We've been running errands and cutting bushes. Trying to clear more of our 8 acres off to plant grass for the cows. Than we've had my baby bull get loose twice. I walked him all the way home the first time. I think this time we may just load him up into a trailer and haul him to the auction and sell him. I can't contend with a cow that wants to leave home all the time, no matter how much I like him. When we first came home, he would growl at us like a bear! It was so funny cause he's so small and acting so big. I went up and rubbed him on the head like I normally do and he started licking my feet. All I can assume is that he didn't recognize me.

So now we're talking about selling the baby bull and going to buy a grown bull for our cows. Hubby said that a bull was going to be my Mother's Day present. Mind you, Mother's Day was yesterday! lol Oh yeah, that's another thing we've been doing since being home. Seeing all the family! We went to hubby's mom's and step mom's on Saturday. Yesterday we went to my grannies and saw my Mom. Than went to see my Dad's mom yesterday evening. I have such a big family! Blessed! ♥

I'll try to be a little more active.. Hubby went to the hall to see if he could take a welding test and see about more work. I'm hoping he will get a job very soon! The next round of nuke outages start in the fall, so I'm hoping he can find something in town till this fall.. :)

I have SO much to fill y'all in on, but I'll save it for another day. God bless each of you! ♥

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Newest adventure!

On hubby's off day, Sunday, we decided to go fishing again. We had such a fun time a couple of weeks previous at Little Bayou Pierre that I wanted to go back. After picking up some crickets, hubby decides he wants to try out a new fishing spot. Big mistake! We're out here at a place where hubby had been WARNED of alligators. I can handle the thought of alligators being in the area because everywhere we swim has alligators. I can handle the thought of one or maybe two, but the possibility of actually seeing one where we're going, made me a little nervous.

We get down on the sand bar and walk forever! The water is swift. Way to swift to swim. I don't know how this waterway is considered a bayou. Hubby said they must not have known the definition of a bayou when they named it. lol If we had known, we could brought floats, walk up the "bayou," and float down. That would have been fun! Problem is, all we had was two ($1) 30" tire floats for Hannah and myself and I had no desire to be there at all! Isaiah didn't want to fish because the water was to strong and deep for him to fish. Hubby caught a couple of catfish there, but I begged him to take us to the place we went before. A place that's back off in the woods, secluded, where we could relax and have a good time.

Hubby was such a great sport because he gave up and finally decided to leave. hehe

We get to Little Bayou Pierre and he doesn't like how it looks because the water is more shallow than it was on our previous trip. Gotta have deep water to catch the big one right?

So the boys start fishing while Hannah and I look for rocks on the beach. While we were looking for rocks, hubby was fishing in a hole beside the sand bar. He starts walking and just disappears out of site. The only thing we saw was the end of his pole sticking out of the water when we heard the noise and looked. It was so funny! I guess he didn't expect such a sudden drop off. lol

The boys decide to go down stream to find a better hole to fish. I told them to go ahead, that we were coming behind them. I wanted to break out my big ole ($1) 30" tire float and Miss Hannah and I were going to float down the middle of the "bayou" till we caught up to them.

We leave all of our belongings on the beach so they wouldn't get wet and we set out to find the boys. As we go the water gets deeper and deeper. It's over our heads and the boys are way down the "bayou."  I reach down for the bottom but feel something hard with hole in it and get freaked out. Hannah said she tried and felt bubbles coming up off the bottom. All we could think of were alligators! The boys were within shouting distance but we feel eerily alone. We kicked and kicked as hard as we could to make it to the other side of this deep stretch of water. Boy were we glad when we were through it!

When we finally caught up to them, they had found the fishing hole!

 Elijah had a hard time the whole day. I think all of the baby fish were attracted to his line. Even when his line was two inches from his dads line, his dad would pull in a good one, and he'd pull in a baby. Poor thing was so upset! He didn't like catching baby fish.. lol

Hubby caught a pretty good one and I said, "Aren't you glad we decided to come here?" You know I had to say something! lol
I think the funniest moment was when Isaiah caught this fish. He had his line in the water. He was having a hard time with his reel and it wouldn't reel all the way up. Hubby told him to use it the best he could because there wasn't anything he could do at at the present time. I said, "Isaiah, can I use your pole to fish a minute?" He says, "Sure!" He looks at his cork and he doesn't see it, so he starts reeling. The reel stops reeling and he starts running for the bank! I look over at him and I was starting to yell, "That's not how you reel in the line boy" when all the sudden I saw he had a good sized catfish on the end of the line! He got it all the way up on the edge of the sand, let go of the line, and
ran towards the fish to catch it by hand. By this time, his dad had seen it and started running, telling him not to let go of the line and the fish was trying it's hardest to swim back towards deep water! Oh Lord, the whole thing was so funny! Guess what! He caught it! Here's his big catch for the day! I do believe that he had a tie with hubby's catch for the day. :)

After 4 hours of fishing, hubby was wore out and we decided to head back out. On the way back to our vehicle, there was a guy on the bank fishing. We were talking to him for a minute. He said, "There's an alligator that lives here." He said, "I saw your things sitting on the bank over there and I didn't see anybody. I had my phone here and after seeing that 6-8' gator, he thought he had gotten him someone and if I didn't see anyone by the time I left, I was going to call someone." THE PLACE HE WAS REFERRING TO WAS THE DEEP SPOT HANNAH AND I WERE SWIMMING THROUGH! All we did was look at one another. I thanked God for His protection! I know an alligator isn't apt to come attack people, but with coming out of Winter and them being hungry, I'm just glad it didn't come thinking our legs or toes were food!

Of course I didn't bring my camera to the "bayou" this day, but I made sure I took a picture of all the fish when we made it back to the RV park. There were 12 in all! Here's my proud boys! ♥