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Our moving date arrived quickly. Sweet friends had pitched in and helped with the packing. A dear friend arranged for us to have help with the move and hired a moving service for us. They also gave us a place to store our things until the cottage was ready.

On Wednesday we spent the day loading trucks and taking our things to storage.

We spent the night at Roy and Renae's house. On Thursday I taught the MOMS ministry at Bellevue. Teaching God's Word is one of the great loves of my life and I especially love to teach MOMMAS! After lunch, I jumped on a plane and flew to Oregon to speak at the Cannon Beach Christian Conference Center for 5 days!

The trip to Oregon in the midst of losing the house was just one more of many GOD THINGS! I had booked this speaking engagement over a year before any of our financial implosion was even on our radar. Only Lord could have arranged this trip as part of my God STORY! I had arranged for Renae (my asst. in the ministry whom I refer to as Ray-Ray) to travel with me to do the book table. As the trip date was approaching we discovered very cheap airfare. The conference center is on the coast in a gorgeous setting. God prompted me to approach Craig about joining me on the trip and seeing if Roy could go as well. I felt Craig needed a break from what we were going through and believed God had ordained a get-away for him as well. Both men were able to arrange to join us on the trip. The group met me at the church after I taught MOMS and whisked me off to the airport. 

Life at the Stockdale household was painful for Craig and me as we walked through difficult days but as we sat on the plane headed to Oregon, there was no denying God was COMPLETELY in control! 

And this is the view that greeted us at the Cannon Beach Christian Conference Center.

I was housed in a private apartment.

Ray had a private room. Since the conference was for women and no men would be on campus, they offered to put our men up at another hotel in town and provided them with a vehicle. While I spent my time teaching and Ray helped with power point and the book table, our men toured up and down the coast.

Now seriously folks, that was a GOD THING of no small proportion. My husband had 5 days with no responsibilities. And he and ample time to be in the presence of the Lord in the quietness that only the ocean waves can provide.

The city of Cannon Beach is a resort town full of charming shops, coffee houses, and gourmet restaurants. We walked to breakfast our first morning there and took in some of the local charm.

God allowed Ray and I to spend time with about 300 great women who love the Lord. And He showed up and honored the teaching of His Word.

Too soon it was time to return home. For a few days Craig and I had been able to remove ourselves from the financial crisis at hand. I had been privileged to continue to minister and teach despite the circumstances surrounding us. My God is good!

We arrived home and prepared to board the van to take us to our car which had been parked at one of those park and fly businesses. I commented to the group how the trip home had been without incident. I evidently spoke too soon!!

The men unloaded our luggage from the van while I got in the car and sunk into the seat. Virtue had gone out of me in ministry and fatigue was beginning to take over. I was startled to hear a loud noise and discover that the van driver had just driven OVER my suitcase.

Seriously. What can I say??? Things happen to me that don't happen to other people!!
Posted: 7/29/2011 11:54:35 AM by Global Administrator | with 0 comments

In Sept. we got a date to move out of the house. We needed to vacate by Oct. 24th. This deadline caused us to really amp up the liquidation of our household, our farm, our business, and prepare for the move to the cottage.

My kitchen table and chairs would not fit in the cottage. This sent me on a quest to make something I already owned work as a table. Ray-Ray suggested I use my Pottery Barn worktable with stools for seating. Great idea!! However, the dimensions were too big so I sold it. Then I had the idea of using my kitchen island. Soon after we moved into our house I had Kerry Clark build me an island for my kitchen out of cherry to match my cabinets. The piece was gorgeous. I did not have it actually built-in, but it looked like it was.

I decided I would take it and use it as an island and a table but the cherry cabinet would not go with the cottage look. Enter Ray-Ray with a great technique for antiquing it. First it was pained white.

Then we painted it a french country blue.

We were fueled with Sonic's Route 44 Diet Cherry Limeades!

I am not known for being neat!

And finally we painted it black. We sanded the edges and let the blue and the white show through.

I got in the painting mood so I painted my light fixture. I bought this at a closeout but did not just LOVE the color. Turns out that can be fixed!

God gave us creative ideas to turn the little garage into a cottage home for us!

Posted: 7/28/2011 10:10:59 AM by Global Administrator | with 0 comments

As Craig and I have walked through our financial crisis we have sensed God's power and peace. We have been granted extraordinary grace in order to continue to minister, teach, write, speak, and press on through the pain. Having said that, there certainly were times along the way the stress of the circumstances become so great that I could not bear up under it. When those days came, I simply had to take to my bed.

So did my Siamese cat, Joseph.

I would love to say that I walked through this season of suffering with a huge smile on my face and a song in my heart saying, "God is good all the time. All the time God is good!" Don't misunderstand me. God IS good all the time. He is SO GOOD that He is willing to sacrifice our temporary happiness in order to build eternal holiness in us. Instead, because He is SO GOOD, He knows it is good that we are afflicted in order that we might learn His precepts. God used suffering to test our faith, produce endurance and spiritual maturity in us. Can you even imagine the divine restraint it takes for Him to stay His hand of mercy and NOT rescue us out of our misery until His plan is complete?  Is suffering is what it takes to be like Jesus, well so be it! I have decided to follow Jesus!

However, God does not require us to feign giddiness when we walk through trials of suffering.

Personally I wish I could say I have walked through this tough time without a melt-down, but that would not be truthful. I have had my days when tears flowed and my heart ached. My head would swim with the details and drama of the bankruptcy and dismantlement of our home and business. At times I grew weary in my well-being and did not have the strength to fight the good fight. In those days I would cast all my cares on the Lord and let Him comfort my troubled heart. Rather than scolding me for my humanity, He allowed me to vent my wounded emotions and sob my heart out. As I released my heartache, the Lord assured me He had captured my tears in a bottle and gently led me beside still water and let me find my rest in Him in the cool of green pastures. 

"For we do not have a high priest who cannot be touched with our infirmities."
Hebrews 4:15
Posted: 7/25/2011 8:53:36 PM by Global Administrator | with 1 comments

 As we worked on the cottage, I was packing up the house and getting ready for the move. We got a move out date of Oct. 20, 2010. With a date in mind, I amped up the sale of most of our household items. Ray-Ray helped me take measurements of the items I thought I could use in the cottage. We laid out scale drawing to make sure every inch was used. Everything else went. Only what would fit in the cottage survived the purge.

I sold our bedroom furniture. After it was picked up and before the move, we had the box springs and matturess on the floor-a reminder of our early days of marriage! Our boxers were not allowed on the bed. In fact it was so high they could not get up on it. It was the perfect hide-away for my beloved Siamese cat, Joseph. But with the new arrangement, his terrortory was in jeopardy. I walked in my bedroom to find this.

I guess all of us were a bit out of sorts1

Posted: 7/24/2011 8:08:15 PM by Global Administrator | with 0 comments

The next phase of the renovation turned our attention to the inside. First, termites were discovered in 2 of the few walls we had!

Seriously, it is always something. Sheetrock was torn down. The house was treated. Sheetrock was repaired. And work resumed. The next step was to choose a color to paint the walls of our 2-room bungalow. Let's face it. I am not good at picking colors from paint chips the size of my fingernail. And the paint disaster of 2001 was still fresh in my mind. You may recall I uttered, "Oh I think I might like to have my office painted green." Green? Where did that come from? I picked a color that I thought would be so perfectly calming for the office I spend 10-14 hours a day in for months on end when I am writing a book. The end result of this poor paint decision was a room so green you could toss Kermit the Frog on the wall on not be able to find him! I'm just sayin'.

This dilemna led to something I call "color blocked at the cottage." For your viewing pleasure.

I sampled 13 different colors. I am not proud of that fact but it's the truth. It's not that I am indecisive, it is that I can't pick out paint. And I don't like change. So I knew once I painted the walls whatever color I decided on, they would not be painted again. Ever. At least not by me. I don't like change. I idea of living with something forever gave me pause. And painter's block.

My sweet frined, Rene' Smith, got me several little sample pots of paint and some fabric swatches. She can pick out paint. Fabric too.

 I finally had a color break through thanks to a friend Ellen Ellis. She suggested Porter's "Ivorie" for the ceiling, "Blonde" for the den walls, and "Restrained Gold" for the bedroom. She had a similiar color painted in her den so I could see it on a whole room.

Decision made. Paint purchased. One one item marked off my very daunting to-do list.

Posted: 7/24/2011 7:09:14 PM by Global Administrator | with 0 comments

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