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Blessings in "Surprise"

Note: I may earn money or products from the companies, products, or links mentioned in this post.


I’m not even sure how to start this, usually I have words just flowing, but right now I’m  not even sure how to begin. A few weeks ago, I posted a status on Facebook. It said something to the effect of:

“Dear Gas Prices,
Please lower so that I can afford to go and visit family and friends more than once a year. Sincerely, A military wife who misses her family.”

While Jon was TDY, I tried to plan a trip to go visit my family in Florida. My mom even offered to help pay half. But even with that, gas prices alone to pay someone to drive us to Atlanta Airport and back both times, was more then I could afford. I was really disappointed. Yes, I could have put the trip on our credit card, but if you have been following my blog you might have remembered that my husband and I are doing Dave Ramsey’s Financial Peace Program. We are trying to pay off all our credit cards and other debts, and use mainly a cash system. The point is to pay off your credit cards and try not to use them and to work within our cash budget, which is just enough for our little family, but still very small.

I have been really wanting to go and visit family and it’s been hard since we don’t have any extra money to do it. I understand that it’s all part of the military life. But sometimes watching other people get to see their family or go on lots of visits to see family, or even take trips, makes me sad. I know it will be worth it in the end to get out of debt and as Jon works his way up the ranks and starts getting paid more. But right now, it’s hard.

I have more than several very dear online friends of which I have never met in person. We chat on a regular basis, either online, on the phone or by text and sometimes these friends mean more to me than those that I know in real life. I will not say who it was because I am not sure if they wish to remain anonymous or not, but on Tuesday I got this email in my inbox:

Dear Kathryn:

Do you remember a few weeks ago when you posted that note to the gas prices about coming down so you could go home for a visit? Well, as soon as I read it I felt like God was telling me to help you! I know how hard it is to be away from family when you have a little one growing and changing so rapidly and all your friends are taking visits hither and yon. You and Jon have done an amazing job in trying to honor God with your finances. I have kept up with that journey via your blog and I admire you guys so much for living within your means and not spending money you don’t have for non-essentials, even when you want them really badly.

I knew that I couldn’t do this alone so I shared (briefly) your story with some of my friends on facebook and the love just started pouring in. Nine people total participated – some knew you, some didn’t. Some gave a little, some gave a lot. None of that really matters. What matters is this…1) ask and ye shall receive and 2) God blesses those who obey Him and live their lives to glorify him.

I consider you one of my closest friends in the cyber-world and probably one of my closest friends period. I wish that we lived closer and I hope that some day we get the chance to meet. Your blog and your Facebook posts are a daily blessing to me and I feel blessed to know you.

I hope that you will be able to use this money to take a trip to see family this summer sometime!

Also, in my inbox was an email from paypal telling me I had money. I opened the email to find that $300. had been donated! I was in shock. $300.!! I had tears in my eyes as I re-read the email again trying to understand. I quickly forwarded the email to my husband and told him to check his email. He was very surprised and happy too, and we talked and made plans for a trip. That entire morning I couln’t stop crying. I just couldn’t believe it. I kept telling God, I am so selfish and undeserving. I am sure someone else could use this money more than me. But God felt fit to give it to us. It came at the perfect time, when I had been feeling discouraged about some things, and the rest of the day I was just so happy.

We decided that since we went to see my family for Christmas, that we would go to West Virgina to see his. His family has been in West Virgina a year and we have never been to see them or their new home. Jon’s dad has not seen Adam since he was born, and we figured this would be the perfect opportunity to fix all that! Jon’s mom and sister will be coming here for a short weekend for Adam’s birthday, and I thought it would be easy for us to drive back with them, and then take a one-way plane ticket back when we were ready. When I called Jon’s mom to tell her, she couldn’t believe it either. They are thrilled!

Jon had to ask about getting leave and in two days he got the answer that he could take two weeks of leave off! We also decided that since I have nothing that I need to rush back to, that Jon could come back since he has to work, and that Adam and I would stay an extra week. Well plane prices are apparently cheaper on weekdays so it ended up being a week and half more! We got Jon’s plane ticket for $151.70 and mine for $79.70 which left just enough for gas. Some friends on Facebook told me that I could take Groome Transportation for very cheap, and that would save us gas money and having to find someone to come and pick us up. The total for the tickets and the transportation for both of us, the trip total is: $303.40. Only $3.00 over the amount we were given! It’s still hard to believe! But I will say God is good! All of this came at the most perfect time, and I know only God could have orchestrated it.

Now I have two weeks to get our house ready for all the family visiting for Adam’s birthday, plan Adam’s party, and plan a month-long trip to West Virginia. Pray for me! If you were one of the people who donated money, thank you so much, you have no idea how much this means to us. You are a blessing!

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  1. God is abundantly amazing! I know the pain you've been in, though I am not a military wife in the capacity of having an activity duty husband. My husband is well out of the Army, discharged many years ago, but my folks live in Arizona while I am here in North Carolina. I am a stay at home mom, going to school online, and homeschooling our toddler son all on top of leading a ministry at Church and now I am venturing to compile my first book for publishing next year. My husband in turn is the only one who works, and he makes just enough for the three of us (and our elderly cat) to live on – not make expensive trips 2500 miles away. My folks haven't seen their only grandchild (I am an only child – basically, it's a long story) since he was a year old (and he is 3 now). My parents can't travel because my mother is quite disabled and not allowed to leave AZ state borders by doctor's orders – so it is left in our hands to try and travel to them; but we just can't. We are as well on the Dave Ramsey plan (with our only debt being student loan debt)…so we live on the cash we have coming into the home only from my husband's job. Again, it keeps us living and stable, but unable to do what we really would love to do.

    I am just so thankful to God that someone read your cry and and God worked a miracle through that person's effort to help you and your family connect. What a beautiful thing. Thank you for sharing this today!

    Also, I am glad I discovered your blog…I am looking forward to keeping up with it!

  2. That's a very inspiring story – thanks so much for sharing it! He is able to meet all of our needs according to His riches and glory. I'm so glad I found your blog!!! Deepest thanks to you and your family for your service to our country!

  3. What a great testimony … thanks for sharing Kathryn and so happy you get to spend time with family … that is soo important 🙂

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