Thursday, September 24, 2009

Prayer Works....Even In a Cave......

So much to write about, so many topics and I don't want them to disappear in the back of my mind. Do I write many smaller posts or one big one? Yeah.....why not one big one.

The Bed

Before Pippin and Rixxi moved back here from the beach a couple of weeks ago, Hubby and I set to the task of converting the bedroom into something fit for two young ladies to share. One major renovation was to acquire a bunk bed. For the last year as these plans were in the making, Pippin had her eyes set on a specific model of bunk bed that Ikea sells. The frame alone runs $300 and we didn't have that.
But we thank God quite often that someone had the foresight to create a web site such as Craig's List for there the bed frame was waiting for us. It also happened that the seller sold me the lower mattress for the bed for a mere $85 when she had purchased it new at Ikea for $230. Now please let me throw in a disclaimer here for I am not one to normally go around quoting prices on things. But for this story, the prices are very relevant.

Hubby and I drove over to the seller's home after work to pick up the bed. While Hubby was doing the loading, I visited with the seller and completed our transaction. She told me that she had purchased the bed set for her girls 5 months prior but was getting rid of it because they never used it even a single night. (Oh my goodness I thought. I am getting a bed that has never been used for such a lesser price!)
"Here is the $185 that you asked for", I said as I handed her the cash.
She responded with a smile as she stuffed the money into her pants pocket, "Cool! Now I can go and buy that pair of sunglasses I've been wanting."
It still makes me shake my head in wonder. I was able to purchase $530 worth of bed for only $185 because someone wanted a pair of sunglasses. Now, I am certainly not knocking the blessing of having the kind of money that can afford $185 sunglasses. It is just that it is a completely different world from where I live. I look at that $185 as an electric bill or 2 weeks worth of food.

The Prayer

My mother-in-law has been having stomach problems the past few months and the doctors are working to figure out how best to solve her issues and relieve her pain.
I was on the phone with her the other day while she was asking me computer questions and I could tell it was a rough day for her with her stomach. I interrupted her talking to ask what was wrong and she blew me off saying that she was fine and then redirected me back to her computer. I let her talk for a few minutes and then interrupted again with another concerned question. Again, because she is one to not like being the center of attention, she side stepped and changed the subject. My 3rd attempt met with success though.

Poor thing, she said that she had made a superbly wrong choice with what she chose to eat for lunch and had never experienced her stomach hurting as much as it did then. Plus she was in their motor home at that time in a hot part of the country side and their air conditioner was broken. The combination of extreme pain and heat was quickly zapping away all her will power and energy.
I asked her if I could pray with her for a minute. With her permission I prayed for her comfort, relief from pain, and that she could feel the cool relief of God's presence around her. Then I thanked God for hearing and answering our prayer and I said that we were looking forward to to hearing His praise in the issue.

She said amen and thanked me and we got back to the subject of computers. Within about 30 seconds though......she interrupted herself with this statement, "Hey my stomach feels better. It isn't hurting anymore." I praised God for the work He did and then we got back to the subject of computers again. In a matter of another 30 seconds, she interrupted herself again and said, "Oh my word! It's not hot in the motor home anymore! It feels so much cooler! How did you do that?"

I was smiling and thrilled. I of course didn't do anything. It was God that did it. When we speak in positive expectation it gives God more room to do what He like to do best. God's presence lives in our faith and our faith is made stronger and bigger by what we believe. Our words are powerful and the more we speak things then the more we believe it. So by speaking of expectation, we increase our belief which then increases our faith........that all equates out to less of me and more of Him. To me that is a great balance.

The Cave

Last Saturday we had plans to take the youth group on one last hike before the fall cooler weather set in. My plan was that we hike to Mirror Lake up on Mt. Hood and relax/swim the afternoon away. It was a great plan too except for the weather. Every day leading up to Saturday and for a few days afterwards were all really hot days. But Saturday woke us up to rain with the forecast of 60% chance of rain all day and 50 odd degrees for most the day. I had already made lunches for the 25 people that had planned to meet at our house for a day of fun so we switched gears real quick and changed the event to spelunking Ape Caves in Washington.

I had completed the lower cave a few years back which was nothing more than a 3/4 mile stroll in the dark so I figured the upper cave couldn't be that much different. Wow was I wrong! If I would have realized what I was getting myself into then I never would have entered the mouth of that cave. But then I never would have had such an amazing day and felt so accomplished when it was all said and done.

Here is a graphic map of the upper cave which is what is left of an old lava tube. We hiked up to the upper entrance and entered there so that we could work our way down to the stairwell. The length of the upper cave is 1.5 miles long and though you can't imagine that distance taking a huge amount of time; we spent a good 3.5 - 4 hours in there.

These pictures were both taken at the entrance of the upper cave.

And this one is inside the cave when we were just getting started.

There were so many rock formations to climb over. Up down and around we went trying to pick our way through the rubble that the harsh and amazing forces of nature left behind. At one point we used the rope that my hubby had brought to drop down a distance where the footing could not be felt. Every one's "guess-timates" were different but that drop was somewhere between 7 and 8 feet.

In the beginning of the walk, there were times when I felt panic rise, you know that small voice that tells you you're stupid to try such a thing. But then I could hear God on my other shoulder whispering memories to me of other successes. "You are right God. You are my big God and creator of the universe. If you can help me navigate a high rise obstacle course through the trees then you can surely help me find my footing on a few loose rocks."

If you go here and click on TDE Ape Cave Hike you can see all the pictures.

Pippin and Rixxi seem to be settling into their home environment. They love the bed and room set up. They are working hard at filling out job applications and I am giving advice and cheering them on. Puddin' is presing forward in school and loving being the youth band drummer. It is a strange new time for us all but we are having fun with it.

Blessings to you today,


  1. Great prayer testimony. God is awesome when we accept our blessings and give thanks for them before delivery.

    I once hiked a cave that required climbing into. No ladders or steps were provided and no one in the group had brought one. As we stood looking into the seven foot drop to the floor, one of the other newby spelunkers turned to me and said, "Do you think you can get down there?" I looked at her and said, "Have you heard of gravity? I have no concerns about getting in. How are we getting out?"

  2. I'm so glad you shared all of it!!! What wonderful events in your life! And what encouragement for the rest of us...seeing God's faithfulness at work in your lives!!! Love to you~Janine XO

  3. Dear Jules - confess you wouldn't get me in that cave system to start with. What a wonderful group of young folks you get to work with.

    Sincerely hoping you dear MIL is getting medical answers for her tum issues.

    Super well done to Pippin and Rixxi, and even more to Jules. This is a family that is very blessed, can't think why ...... much!

    A time of change, yet of love, and exploring the changes for yourselves - all achieved with the incredible love you each have for each other/one another.

    Puddin' and Kekoa doing okay too? Maybe they've formed a wee alliance! Hope it isn't anti Drummers!

    with love, respect and care, Michelle xxxxxx

  4. Just waving "hello!" to you, my friend! ~Janine XO


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