I admit, I’m not the best of housekeepers. Removing every speck of dust just doesn’t seem that important, especially when considered in relation to the current global crisis—or most anything else on my agenda. Our house isn’t dirty, by any means, but I don’t hold myself to the same standard that my grandmothers set, or even my parents. (My dad actually polished the plumbing inside the bathroom vanity!)
Moving into a brand new home has been a revelation. To start with, the place was spotless when we were handed the keys. It had been cleaned for our walk-through the previous week, and cleaned again the day before we closed escrow. I realize that it will never again be so immaculate, but there is a certain pressure to maintain this level of cleanliness for as long as possible.
We sold our house. After months of working hard to get it ready, we finally listed it on a Saturday morning in late March—far, far later than the planned February date. I didn’t know what to expect. Would there be hordes of people coming to view it? Would anyone come at all? Given the timing, we needed a quick sale. What would God do?
A lot, it turns out. We received a serious offer a mere seven days after the listing went live. What’s more, the buyers love plants. They’re thrilled about filling the windows with indoor greenery and filling the outside beds with veggies. They’re interested in getting chickens. In fact, they love everything about the house that we do. It’s so much easier to let go when you know you’re blessing someone else as a result!
Little by little the Black Forest fire is being put out. Hot spots continue to smolder under the pine needles carpeting the forest floor, and teams have to check every square foot of ground before residents are allowed back into an area, so it’s a slow process.
Our little neighborhood remained upwind of the flames and never burned, although there are blackened trees only a few blocks away. Yesterday the mandatory evacuation for our address was lifted. Even though we were warned that both natural gas and electricity (which also powers the pump in our well) were turned off, Pete and I couldn’t wait to get back into our house. We just wanted to be home!
Over the past few months I’ve written a couple of blogs about my confusion over how to “do” church—one in April and one in May. I explained that at our current mega-church, I felt more like a member of an audience than a member of a family, and that I was exploring other options. At the same time, my husband emphatically wanted to stay right where we are, and I wasn’t going to make any changes without him.
It seemed like a stalemate. Happily, God is pretty amazing. In His wisdom, He had the situation under control and a solution was waiting for just this moment.
As I’ve mentioned earlier, our finances aren’t in the best of shape. Extremely sporadic paychecks make it difficult to budget—how do you know how much you can spend on something like food if you have no idea when the next check is coming? Then there’s the matter of tithing. You can’t tithe on zero.
Last January, I wrote about how to give to God when we’re broke. I mentioned giving away things we already own, and giving our time. There’s a third way we’re currently giving to God that I overlooked when I wrote that article, even though it’s one we’ve been doing all along: we can practice hospitality.
Desperation Leadership Academy (DLA) is our church’s year-long, full time program for young adults aged 18 to 25. As our website proclaims to prospective students, “It is one year of spiritual training that will put you in an environment to accelerate your love for Jesus, His church, and a world that desperately needs Him.”
Since these students come from all over the country (and some years, even from overseas), they need a place to live here in Colorado. To make the program more affordable, the students are housed by members of the congregation, called “home sponsors,” who sign up to provide room and board for one or two kids from September through July.