Monday, November 12, 2012

The One Whom With all Blessing Flow

Let me just start this off by saying that God is so good. Not just good, so good. There definitely needs to be an emphasis on the so, because He really is SO good. Let me just prove to you, in my tiny weekend, how good He has been in my life, for me to say He is this good. 

It was very last minute, very, very, very last minute that my mom and aunt decided to come up here to the PNW (Pacific North West for all you non PNWers ;) to help me out with some house work. Literally, it was just 1 week ago that my mom was talking with me on the phone, asking me how my progress was for the day, and she said "I love painting. I really wish I could come up there and help you out. Hmmm...I'm gonna look at plane tickets to see if it would be reasonable." That happened in the morning. Then in the afternoon I received an email on my lunch break saying, "I'm thinking about Veterans weekend, would that work? Oh and I'm thinking about bringing along Aunt Sue." Ummm....ok!! Then that night they booked there tickets and it was "official:" they would be helping me out with MUCH needed house work!! Want to know the funny God moment of this occurrence: This was the one day since owning the house that I started to get stressed out about all the work I had to do/needed to be done ON MY OWN for my scheduled move-in day. Can you say, what a blessing?!?! All in one day I felt stressed, but how quickly, literally quickly, God moved right in and said, "Jasmine, there is no need, NO need to be stressed. You have these people who are willing to come help you. I have your back AND your best interest in mind." WOW. Speechless and in awe of how He works! Moving on...

I also got stressed out about my scheduled move-out date. I called early last week to schedule it and all was well. Then (there is usually always a then in stories) the office calls back the next day to say they are scheduling a project for my housing unit during the day of my scheduled move-out day, and I need to reschedule, for either earlier or later than my scheduled date. I was ticked off at first and politely told the guy that I never got a notice in the mail of this "project" and when were they planning on telling me? "Oh, next week is the meeting about this project." Oh, so I would get 1 1/2 weeks notice that I do not have access to my house for 4 days?! GREAT! So obviously I was irritated at the Navy in that moment, and just went ahead and told them I would do the earlier date and just stress out and get it done. 2 hours later, a sudden thought occurred in my mind: the later date would be MUCH better: Adam's dad is coming to the PNW to help me move that weekend, and leaves the day before this later move-out day. DUH, this date would be MUCH less stressful on me, none-the-less convenient too!! Another moment God is quite frankly telling me that I need to not stress myself out. I'm so glad that I listened to that little thought occurrence! Moving on...

So it quickly came and went that my mom and aunt came up here to help me out. It seemed that as soon as my reinforcement team came up to WA, they quickly had to pack their small baggage and go back home (saddly without the whole house being finished! ;) We only had one small, 2 hour non-working fun time in this short trip of theirs, when I took them out to lunch before I had to drive them back to the airport. My mom said on the way to lunch, "This trip has passed by too quickly. We never really got to visit with each other and there was no time to miss you, too!" Aww...Gotta love moms! I miss you too mommy! 

We worked 12 hour days to accomplish this:
  • The Kitchen is ALL.DONE!!! From painting the cabinets, to the walls, to the appliances being in the house--it is all done. And at this very moment, everything but the dishwasher is installed! 
  • The master bedroom is all done, except for a very tiny portion where this vanity we took out was. Everything else about it is done and painted!
  • The kitchen is cleaned and ready for usage!
  • The master bathroom is cleaned and ready for usage!
  • One of the guest bedrooms is all done, except for the final coat of paint!!
  • Took 7 car loads full of stuff, including my load today! About 60% of our small items (everything that can fit into a box or is already boxed up) have been moved!!

So here are the current standings of rooms completed:
  1. Living Room
  2. Dining Room
  3. Kitchen
  4. Master bedroom
  5. Main Guest bedroom (counting it done, because as of Wednesday it will be!)
Rooms left to do:
  1. Guest bedroom #2 (prime and paint)
  2. Guest bedroom #3 (prime and paint)
  3. The office (sanding, prime, paint)
  4. Hallway ( 1/2 already primed, just needs painting. The other half needs sanding, prime, and paint.)

 That to-do list is really short if you ask me, and by next weekend, it should be even shorter (maybe done with if my fingers are crossed!!)!! God really wore us out to get these things done, but we all feel really good with the amount we got done. At times it seemed to go by real slow and we all thought, "It's been an hour and this is all we've gotten done?!" But things took time, like letting the coat of paint dry, painting a second coat, putting back on all the cabinet doors, etc. We made for a great team! My mom even remarked that we should all do a show where we fix up houses and sell them. To which my aunt and I replied with a big "HAHAHA!!!!" It's fun doing it now, but that's a whole new ball game. Oh mom, haha. Moving on...

Today Lowes had a Veterans Day sale, where military can take and additional 10% off their purchase, allowing their discount to be 20% instead of its usual 10%. Definitely took advantage of it!! Last week I purchased all of the appliances. Well, I asked them if I should wait til this weekend for any sales, and they didn't know what the special sale would be, they only find out a couple days before the actual ad comes out. So I went ahead and bought the appliances then. On Saturday I learned of this sale and I told them about how I bought my appliances last week, could I still bring in my receipt and get that extra 10% off that purchase, even if it was last weekend. The lady told me it shouldn't be a problem as long as I brought in the receipt and probably talked to a manager. Well this morning on my usual purchase before going to the house (I basically live at Lowes. I have been there every day since Thursday, even 2 times today haha!!), I brought in my receipt and was all ready for my big discount of additional savings. Well the lady told me that yes, she could do the sale transaction, but I needed to have a physical coupon in hand. She would not be able to do it without it physically being there. I searched and searched through my emails to find one, but failed. Ugh, I had to go all the way back home and come back to Lowes AGAIN?! As if I'm not there enough! Well, the discount I knew I would be receiving would be way worth the price of gas, so of course I made the inconvenient trip back home. Well once I got at home, the coupon I had forced you to enter the code online, but it wouldn't send to your email for 2-3 days. BUT I NEED IT NOW dumb discount!! So I searched the web fervently, but couldn't find one where I didn't have to download a stupid coupon application. So I just thought to myself, I'll bring in the paper with the code, although it's not the actual coupon, at least they'll see I have access to the coupon. So I went in with my big girl panties on, all prepared to talk to a manager, cry if I had to, use my husband's military deployment sob-story sagaa and everything. I was prepared for a battle--I KNEW I WOULD WIN. But yes, I did pray as I was walking in to Lowes and all the way up the counter that this idea of mine would work. God is so funny y'all!! Yes, my idea worked, but without any fight at all--and as you could tell, I was seriously prepared for a big fight. However, God is not always about fighting, burning bridges, and anger. Sometimes God is about using something as small as having no coupon and simply just explaining your circumstance to the right person. To me, that just made me laugh. When I think I need to fight a battle, sometimes God is funny, telling me "Jasmine, no. Just simply be kind and patient, and explain your circumstance, and I'll do the rest. Just soften your heart." Oh boy, I'm glad He softened it with what I was prepared to do! So glad that I got that additional discount!! Moving on...

Another blessing that came from Lowes: they were having a $5 rebate, per gallon can of signature paint bought! SCORE!!!! Stalked up on the rest of the paint needed for the rest of the rooms. YEAH FOR DISCOUNTS!! :D Moving on...

Earlier today the contractor we have hired was talking to me about the bid we have in place for the work he is doing for us. We originally had planned that we would purchase all the materials, and pay him per hour. Well he came to me and told me that he threw away that bid, since he ended up replacing all the doors and all doors weren't on the bid. He said that he's not using a "bid" anymore, but we are just going to pay him hourly. He asked me if I knew what contractors or plumbers usually make hourly. I said I have NO idea. He said, in quote, "They usually make $75 easily, if more. I'm not cutting you and your husband a break because I feel sorry for you guys or anything like that. No, rather not. I don't have to work (he's retired) but I continue doing work for people at the church (widows usually--but my case is sort of like being a widow) because I like what I do and I feel called to help people out." I am utterly BLOWN away by his full on generosity of all the work he has done, and has yet to do, because I can tell he has a heart of gold--a servants heart that is, for the Lord. I'm not going to tell you what he's charging us per hour, but lets just say that it is $60 cheaper per hour than what he said they usually make--you can do the math! 

God is just watching out for me (and Adam) and I would be blind or stupid if I fail to recognize that this all leads back to Him. I was talking to my grandma earlier and told her this story about our contractor, and she said something that put things in perspective for me. She said, "It's so amazing to see how God is fervently blessing both you and Adam at such a young age-and you both being married for the short amount of time thus far. Usually it takes awhile for couples to fervently see the blessings in their life." I'm not saying this to be cocky or to say, "look at us and all that God has done for us." No, not at all. If you know us, we certainly aren't those type of people. Rather, it is to show you how if you look at your life and your circumstances, how God is there. He is a real God and if you just look in your life, you CAN see Him, you just have to be looking. And the key to looking is this: when you can truly, 100% know that you are receiving a blessing from God-it is nothing other than that: a blessing. BUT, you can certainly not lose sight of where those blessings are coming from. When you do, that is when Satan steps in, and greed takes over and you feel as if blessings are supposed to happen--which is completely NOT the way it works. When you are faithful to God, God is faithful to you. That again, is not to say we are 100% faithful in every aspect of our lives. Again, no. We are only human, and we fail--more times than we can count. But God forgives, offers grace, and plenty of second chances, which we are so grateful. We are learning, day-by-day how to give back as much as we are given. We are SO thankful, beyond words. 

God has been moving here at the Zickefoose home, and I would be naive if I would not relate it back to the one whom which ALL blessings flow. I hope you can see God through your circumstances. Sometimes we have to step back from our situations to truly see Him. Other times, we just need a different perscription that allows us to see things through the right lens!

Here are some pictures of our work-around-the-clock weekend:

 **Deer use our property to walk through. We spotted deer throughout our working time.
 Baxter even chased one the first night we were there!! Too funny!**

 **My new best friend: the electric drill.**

**Doing work on your own, really feels self-gratifying!!**

 **Painting our master bedroom**

 **The king of the thrown always had his eyes on us!**

 **Took a break from painting, to craft! Painting our house sign**

 **Drilling in the numbers**

**The end result. Our house will forever be patriotic!**

 **Our completed kitchen!!**

 **Another view**

 **Got our American Flag up just in time for Veterans Day. It is now, and will be, proudly waving for our hero and Sailor!!**

Love to you all,