After many years of bondage and living in fear, the Children of Israel knew that God was about to do….. something. God had told them to have their staff ready, their cloak nearby and their sandals on. They were to partake of the Passover meal ready to be in motion.
Part of the Passover litany, the Haggadah, is the Dayenu. It is a list of things that the Lord has done that would have been enough. In other words, “It would have been enough Lord that You called us out of Egypt, but You kept us while we were in the desert.” Dayenu. At our house, we also recite the Dayenu, but we have written it to make it personalized to us. This year, the Lord wrote a new Dayenu for us.
(Fair warning – there is 4 days worth of blog attached to this.) 🙂
This year the Lord impressed upon us that we too are living the Passover. We have been living in bondage, we have been slaves to many things – but He is coming to do something. At the beginning of the year, He told us we were to get ready to be “in motion.” He laid that on Jeff’s heart in his prayer closet, He laid it on my heart, in my prayer closet and He even was gracious enough to give it to one of our children and a few close friends. (One of those friends wanted to honor that call enough, that she blessed us with an Ergo baby carrier, so we could strap Squishburt on and hit the road to whatever the Lord has for us.)
When the Lord has something to share with me, He generally gives it to me in pictures. I literally will see pictures in my head, as I close my eyes to pray. (Or dreams even.) Then along with the picture, there is a “sense” or a feeling that explains what I’m seeing. When we first heard the call that the Lord was asking us to become entrepreneurs, I had a recurring picture when I’d pray about it.
There was a large and wide forest. We were standing just inside the edge of the woods. We knew the woods. We knew that there were paths deeper into the forest that lead to different places. As we were standing there, people would come to edge of the forest and take a tentative step inside – look around rather fearful and puzzled. Then, they would see us sitting at the fire waiting for them. We would share a meal, talk with them and then we would walk with them to the trail head of the path that they were seeking. It was our job to help every family that came into the woods to find the place that they were supposed to be going.
Immediately, I had the sense that Father was asking us to help other entrepreneurial families find where it was that He was calling them to. There are many places that a family who is being called by the Lord to leave the marketplace and come home to work can go. We felt that the Lord told us that He wanted us to learn much, so that we could offer assistance to those that He would be bringing to us.
Over the last few months, the picture has begun to change. Now, the picture is desert. Sand, sand and nothing but sand. And no longer are we sitting in the shade of the trees, but we’re under a large tent – we have the caravan readied for travel and we are to take each of those that the Lord brings to our care to the city that He is calling them to.
We’ve wondered, why has the picture changed over the months? I personally think it is for my benefit. I’d have panicked if I’d have thought the Lord was asking us to live in the desert. That is a place that I think of when I think of the Lord being absent from me. When I think of the woods, it’s a much safer place. His kindness to me takes my breath away.
When we began to pray for the celebration of Holy Week and Passover, we kept feeling like we just weren’t “getting it.” So, right up until the very end of our planning time, we left the door open to see what Father wanted to do in our lives. He kept telling us to wait. So, wait we did.
The Saturdaybefore Holy Week began, we received a phone call. It was from someone that we have a lot of respect for and believe that the Lord wants to connect what He has called us to, with what she is already doing. She asked us to please plan on being in Nashville the weekend of April 13th. We told her we’d love to do that, but we were unable to get all the pieces together so that we could. She said, “I just feel like the Lord wants to do something big in your lives, so please pray about it – step out in faith and let’s see what the Lord would do for you.”
One of Jeff’s FAVORITE Scriptures is 1 Samuel 14:6. This has become our “battle cry” this year. “Perhaps the Lord will work for us.” (Then Jonathan said to the young man who was carrying his armor, “Come and let us cross over to the garrison of these uncircumcised; perhaps the LORD will work for us, for the LORD is not restrained to save by many or by few.”) We took time, as a family to stop and pray. We asked the Lord if He wouldn’t move on our behalf. We told Him we desired only obedience to Him – and it didn’t matter what He was going to do – send us or not – we just wanted to honor Him.
So, we called and made hotel reservations for 2 rooms for 4 nights with no money. (We had money in our account, but it was dedicated for something else. We did NOT have enough to cover all 4 nights, however, but even that was evidence of God working on our behalf.) Dayenu.
That night Jeff and I felt the Lord telling us we were getting ready to live the Passover and told us to get our sandals ready. Our Holy Week suddenly took on a whole new look. We were facing the first steps to being set free from our place of “bondage” and step out into our desert place to walk in the way that the Lord has for us.
Monday, we got out summer/spring clothes. None of them fit. (That has never happened before. Silly me, I was discouraged. From here, I know it was only the Lord desiring to show Himself more than sufficient.) I started praying. “Okay Lord, NOW WHAT?” “Go to ebay and start shopping.” So I did. With no money. When I found something we needed I’d pray and ask the Lord – bid or not? If I felt the answer was yes, I’d bid – and only what I felt the Lord telling me to bid. Every time an auction came due, something we had up for sale, sold. I bid some GOOFY prices, let me tell you. I bought 9 pairs of jeans for my children. I didn’t pay more than $1.75 for any of them. And everyone of them is a major brand name. (Mary Kate and Ashley. American Eagle. Old Navy. Bugle Boy. Limited.) I bought Gymboree stuff for the baby (it re-sells well) and I had few, if any, challengers to my bids. This has NEVER happened before. Dayenu.
Thatnight, I awoke to feel an urgency to buy all the younger 3 girls jogging/yoga suits. I even felt the Lord say $11.89 was the price I was to bid. I believe the first one went at $11.84. The second went for $11.87. The third one I couldn’t find anywhere. The next morning the Lord said, “Look again.” I of course, being the submissive child did just what He said. (HA! I argued up a storm. But, I DID go look.) There, in an ebay store, was the same jogging suit I looked at the day before – only today, instead of being $15.99 buy it now, it was $11.89 with a red note “One day sale!” I bought it. 🙂 Dayenu.
Tuesday night, we had had dinner plans with friends we hadn’t seen in a few years. We saw them the week before at a set of meetings our friend Tom Harmon was preaching at. While we were out, we were telling them that we were waiting for God to move on our behalf and we shared all that the Lord had laid on our hearts. They rejoiced with us and asked us to keep them updated. We parted. They went to get into their vehicle to leave and the Lord told them to come offer us the use of their 15 passenger van to make the drive. (We have an 8 passenger van with 9 passengers.) We hadn’t asked for a van – but Father knew we needed it. Dayenu.
Then, on Wednesday, someone contacted us, told us that they heard we were waiting to go to this conference and that they wanted to be a part of what God was doing. They paid for our conference tickets. Dayenu!
During the night Wednesday night, I was up with the baby. She was extraordinarily fussy. (Hard to tell that sometimes) I was telling Father how tired I was of never having money when we needed it. He asked me, oh so quietly. “What do you need money for?” “This conference, Lord! We need money for food, travel, hotel, and anything else that might pop up.” “Ohhhhh, so you would go in disobedience?” I said, “Oh Father, NO, not in disobedience, but in full obedience. I only want to go if that is what You have for us.” And again, I knew….if we were to go, He would make ALL the provisions, so that there would never be a moment that I, or anyone else, could say “We did it.” Dayenu Lord – for YOU are all we need.
We woke up Thursday – all these details falling into place and yet no money for the travel. (Believe me, I questioned the wisdom of buying clothes when we needed travel money!! Every time, the Lord would lay it on my heart – and Jeff’s – as a weight! to continue shopping.) Suddenly Jeff called from work at an odd time. He wanted me to know that he was sharing what the Lord was doing in our lives with a few of the guys who were working near him. One of the men, a J.O. Amish kid, came up and said, “Jeff, I want to be a part of this. I want to be a part of what God is doing in your lives. I want to give you some traveling money.” DAYENU!!
In less than one week, the Lord had done an amazing thing – He had taken us from hiding in the caves, to giving a garrison over to us. It doesn’t matter to Him whether He needs to do a little bit or a lot on our behalf. He is sufficient for it all.
So, all this babbling to share a small picture (there’s OH SO much more!!) of how the Lord Passed Over and did something in our lives. And tonight, we will fill the van and grab a few hours sleep and then in the morning, we’ll take off. We are going to go see what the Lord would do in our lives this weekend. I share all this with you for several reasons. One, to build your faith. To remind you how GREAT our God is. How much He desires to move on our behalf….on YOUR behalf. Two, to ask for prayer as we take these first steps to complete all the things that He has been laying upon our hearts these last 9 months. We still do not have all the money we *should* need. But, with all that the Lord has done at this point, we are going. We will wait to see what He would do on our behalf as we go. (We are taking snacky stuff – and that may be all we eat for the next 5 days.) 😆
Lastly, I need to tell you I don’t know what this will mean for JavaDawn. I know that the time is coming QUICKLY for us to begin our new calling. We have been working on the website for the last few weeks. It’s close to being done. We will plan on finishing it when we get back. You are welcome to join us there, but it may not be a fit for you. (If there is anything that can serve you there PLEASE feel free to take of any of it. I just want to tell you up front what it will be like.)
We are calling it The Christian Entrepreneurial Network. We will have a blog there, that Jeff and I will be sharing in the writing of. We will be sharing things that the Lord has been teaching us about family, Himself, money and walking in faith. (Not that we’re professionals, we’re just Children who have been living in Egypt and know their Redeemer.) Father has graciously given us a picture of 7 things that Christian Entrepreneurs need to have balanced to walk well. We are calling that aspect of it “Faith Walkers.” All these things will be connected.
In addition to the blog, there will be a forum for those who and are seeking fellowship with those who are walking this walk and can share in the joys as well as the weights. We desire to be found faithful and ready to receive those that the Lord would send our way. Desert or forest, it matters not. Because no matter where we are – He is there and He is all that we need. Dayenu!