Feb 9, 2012 benedict newsletter and tims musings

Published Date Author: , February 9th, 2012

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Dear Friends,

Where does the time go? And the busier you are, the faster it goes! I do not know if that is good or bad!

1.. Housing status 2.. Our life 3.. Musings

1. So here is the housing situation. Were in separate locations, living almost separate lives. And no, its not because were having marriage issues. In fact, the separation is NOT fun. But our situation demands it. I mentioned it last time, but here is the scoop.

In order to retain my seat on the Garden Valley School Board, I have to remain in the district wherein I was elected, the Lowman district. That district extends down into a small corner of Garden Valley where we found a tiny RV cabin on some nice property where I Tim now live, on Anderson Creek Rd. The lot is almost perfect for the home we want to build starting this spring.

The rest of the family lives in a temporary condo situation in Terrace Lakes across Garden Valley from me. The goal is to get the Anderson Creek property to be building a house, or find a house, by May when the leases run out for both Karen and myself.

We gave the owner of the cabin property here an offer last week, after meeting with him, a real estate lawyer in Boise, and ourselves, to hammer out an offer and contract to buy. The landowner took the contract offer that he helped craft, home to think about and let his own lawyer review it.

Then he rejected it.

That left us seriously scratching our heads. I paid a lot of money for that meeting, just so we could be assured that everything was up front, on the table, and crafted in such a way that everyone was happy.

So in some ways, we are back to square one. We still want this property so we can build a family home on it, but were not sure how to write a contract that the landowner is happy with. We thought he was happy with the last one. He has been a little flip-floppy about a number of things, and we are just not quite sure what to think or how to proceed.

Thankfully, God knows, so I am not freaked out. A little nervous maybe, but not freaked. Something will work out, it always does.

2. Life in general.

The word BUSY does not quite begin to describe it. I have had work, a big web project for a company in Denver, and its taking ALL my time lately, like up to 14, 16, or 20 hours a day. Ironically enough, the separated housing situation is giving me a lot more time to devote to it. But that project is almost complete so I can get paid and we can catch up on some bills with the payoff from it.

I have also got several more paying projects on the back burner, and am still planning to open that off-grid store in Garden Valley come spring time for existing homes, new construction, and maybe RVs, as well it being someplace I can showcase a bunch of gas mileage improvement stuff.

The local radio station project has been a little bit on hold, simply because there has been internet issues that the local ISP has not resolved, and because I have not come up for air yet on the Denver project. But its still there, and Ill be working on it quite a bit in the coming weeks, getting it to where I can start hosting the off-grid show I am planning.

I am still trying to finish compiling that book of our last 7 years of life, the compilation of all my newsletter with lots more thoughts and events written in, tying it all together. I will happen, but it takes time.

We are also almost out of Lowman. Because of the Denver project, I have not been able to get up there and get the one last single load of stuff from there, finish cleaning the property up, and finish the kitchen floor tile. Last time I was there, right before the snow started to fall in earnest, I spent the entire night cleaning the yard (got home to Garden Valley about 8am the next day). But the neighbors did not like the 2 mattresses in the burn pile I left behind (and now the snow is too deep to burn anyway), so I gotta go back up there and take care of details like that too.

We were also expecting a big payoff from the last of our house fire claim , but the claim agent had some issues with our claim, and ended up making ME feel like the bad guy for even claiming stuff. That stings, again, another example of someone in my life that (it feels to me like) assumes I am just out to rip everyone off and mooch off the world. We have accepted a lot of charity over the last couple years, and have been very grateful for it, and Karen and I are working our tails off trying to get out of debt and to be more financially secure, and secure a stable home for ourselves. We are NOT out to rip everyone off!

Sorry, venting a little bit there. *deep breath*

Karen has been working almost full time as well, between Project Patch and the Garden Valley Library. The local kids love her (she is the kids librarian). But she is tired. We all are. I counted it up last week. I have moved six times in the last two years. It is no wonder that the foundation cracks in some of our kids suddenly came to the surface. And its no wonder that we have been feeling so like were drowning and struggling. It is amazing to me to think sometimes that were still afloat even, but its only because of God and the people around us lifting us up, that we are still afloat. Thanks God. Thanks, friends. Your kindness is not uncherished.

Our Buick that Karen was driving broke down in Boise a couple weeks ago, the same night I was in Lowman all night, and she finally got a ride home from one of Sergeis friends in Boise about 3:30am. When I went down to fix the car a week later, the part that had broken was something I have never seen break before, and even the auto parts store clerk was scratching his head about it. It was very odd. But then I went off and forgot and left some of my tools laying on the ground where I had been working on the car, and when I went back later to get them, they had grown legs and walked off. That made me pretty sore at both my own forgetfulness in the matter, and at who-ever felt like they needed them more than I did. Some of the tools had been Christmas presents, and it just torqued me all wrong. Maybe it was a bit of a wake-up call as well, that I have been so stressed that I have been getting forgetful, and dropping balls on things. All I could finally do was give it to God and ask HIM to somehow use my tools to bring someone to Him. Then I let it go.

Speaking of which.

Sergei is living in Boise with some friends, just got a job, and is pointed in the right direction. Pray for him as he discovers who God is. We saw him last Sunday, and it was good to just smile at each other, and talk.

Joey is still in Portland with Karens parents. He is 18, has his first girlfriend, and is finishing high school. He needs prayer too, as a big future is looming up in front of him , with lots of decisions to make that he is not quite sure what to do with yet.

Ruthie, Hannah, and Isabella are all still at home with Karen, and thriving. Ruthie and Hannah are getting involved in the local youth groups, and Karen and I are getting into a local home group Bible study. We just got a family pool membership in Terrace Lakes, courtesy of a friend, so they have been spending a lot of time there too (it is a geothermal pool – very nice).

Ruthie and Hannah have been accepted to go to Panama this summer on a missions trip, and have started fund-raising for it. They will be sending out support raising letters sometime in the next several weeks.

Vanya is doing well, and transitioning into her teen years and all that entails. She keeps breaking her glasses though. It is not a big thing, but it keeps happening, with regularity. I think it plays off some deeper issues inside her and maybe some cracks though too. She needs prayer…

Vika and Vera are both doing well, and thriving in their respective youth ranch homes. They are also scheduled to come back home this coming Summer, and we have no bedrooms for them yet. That is weighing pretty heavy on our hearts, that we need a home big enough that our kids can come back home and be a part of the family a little bit longer before they spread their wings for good (hence part of our frustration with the rejected offer thing).

Something that Karen has noted recently, is the number of teenage or single moms or pregnancies that are suddenly crossing her path. She has been wanting to study to be a midwife, and suddenly, God is bringing all these teenage moms-to-be or single moms into her world. We just told one of them that she could even stay with us for awhile till she got back on her feet, a girl originally adopted from Russia of all places. Now we just need someplace to house her when she is ready to come. Pray that God shows us where this new ministry might be leading, and just walks with us along the way. Pray for these girls too.

3. Tims musings

There has been a lot of different things on my mind here lately.

a. One was simply how angry I was becoming about everything. I was angry at various people in Lowman that could not handle our tarped “stuff” in the yard, stuff for my dreams. I was angry at various people here in Garden Valley that have been saying not nice things about me. I was angry that we were moving again. I was angry that Karen and I have to live in separate places. I was angry about the $6000 that fire insurance still owes me. I was angry that it felt like my dreams were becoming a ball and chain. I was angry at God for letting the past two years happen like they have. I was angry about life in general. And I was becoming an angry person.

But I do not want to be an angry person. It is not fun. There is no joy in it. It is not who I like to be. And it does not honor God or what He has done for me. Its hard to show love or be thankful for anything when you are angry all the time.

I had to let it go. I actually had to finally ask God to HELP me let it go. It was hard, and still is. But its a relief in some ways not to be feeling that constant anger. It is a relief to be able to smile again.

And it is a relief not to be angry at God either. I am beginning to understand in my head some of the reasons the past two years have happened. Its taking a little longer for my emotions and heart to accept, but my head understands, and concedes once again that God does indeed know what He is doing.

b. Stuff. All the stuff in Lowman that I had gathered and stored there, in anticipation for building retreat cabins someday, became a ball and chain. That stuff, my dreams, were what torqued off most of the neighbors in Lowman who did not understand, or care. I resented them for that. But I also began to actively give that STUFF away, to people in ministry or need who could use it NOW. I gave away a bunch. I kept a bunch to use in building our new home, but I got rid of lots too, either by giving to people in need or ministry, or recycling it to pay bills with, or just simply junking it. The junking it part goes against my very nature, but I guess that is why they say that when God prunes you, sometimes it hurts.

It also felt like I was giving up my retreat center dream by doing so. That was hard. It still is. But if there was one word that kept hitting me through the entire move, it was – simplify. If and when the retreat or the Singing Waters dream happens, God will provide, in HIS time. But that whole dream seems so far away right now.

But it goes back to Jesus directive to go first to, (or take care of?) your home, then your community, then your region, then the world. I have to get my family and home stable before I can think about that retreat dream again much. This is an entire life focus shift in some ways, so completely letting go of that dream for now, and trying not to even think about it (aside from the fact that it HURTS to think about). The family and our current finances come first right now. They have to. Part of that involves shedding layers and simplifying, and includes even dreams apparently sometimes.

c. And sometimes, you simply have to keep putting one foot in front of the other, even when you are so exhausted that all you want to do is curl up in a corner and cry yourself to sleep. I have put in several all-niters recently, in moving, in working on the Denver project, and working at Project Patch, not because I wanted to, but because I knew I had too. I am tired. I have felt a twinge of the flu, a cold, and the diverticulitis all tugging at me a couple of times recently because of how run down I have been, but I have desperately asked God to keep it all at bay so I can keep going, and He has honored that. I am still going. Just keep swimming, just keep swimming, just keep swimming. Even if I cannot see the end in sight yet, I just keep swimming..

d. I am starting to evaluate every second of my day a little more critically now. Do I really have time to go watch that brain dead movie? Do I really have time to just go play xbox all night? Do I really have time to read a book that will not impact me in any significant way? Do I have time to waste on ANYTHING other than moving myself or my family forward, reaching out to the wounded around me, and-or bettering myself in some way?

Of course I am not talking about not taking time to rest, relax, or stopping to smell the roses. Those things are all also critical to mental health. I am talking about sitting down in front of the TV for an entire day or evening of non-productiveness. I am talking about escapism and like watching multiple movies in a row, none of which will significantly I am pact your mind or future in a positive way. I am talking about anything that does not move you forward somehow.

And if truth be told, NO, I do not have that luxury of wasting time on non-important stuff. Time is getting short. You cannot waste time without wounding eternity (not original with me, but I like the quote).

e. What is faith? That has been the topic of the last several sermons at church. What does faith look like, especially where it comes to a life walking with God?

Right now, it is pure and simple faith inside me that believes that things will eventually let up, we will eventually have a home again, and we will touch people for the good, even if I cannot see how yet. It is the faith to just keep swimming, even when I cannot see the far shore yet, a shore that I KNOW is there somewhere, even if I am so exhausted and worn out that it takes a conscious effort and choice of will to take each stroke forward. It would be so much easier to simply give up, get mad at everything, and sink. But I cannot.

When I was explaining this idea to someone recently, they made the observation that this is also called COURAGE, moving forward even when it is hard, and not giving up.

Courage is doing something hard just because it is the right thing to do, while faith is doing something hard more because you believe something, a goal, is out there, and according to God, that is the right thing to do anyway – trust HIM for the goal.

So it dawned on me through that friends comment that it takes courage to walk in faith in God. And to walk in faith is to display courage. Id never connected those two concepts in my mind before, but they are connected now. They are not the same, but they are connected.

About 6 months ago, I made the comment that it felt like we were standing on the edge a huge cliff, about to take a forward plunge in such a way that life was suddenly going to be moving very fast, and changing dramatically. That was before we found a place in Garden Valley.

I am suddenly feeling that way again.

I wonder what is next? But at least I am looking forward towards it, bracing myself maybe, but I am not angry, and not afraid, but starting to feel expectant. Hope is a good thing.

God is good.


Tim , Karen, and the kids


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