A couple weeks ago, Josh and I were blessed with a weekend away, just the two of us! Josh and I very, very rarely get a date night, let alone a weekend alone (I don't remember our last weekend alone?!), since we spend almost all of our time in places where we don't have anyone to leave the boys with. :)
However, the second weekend of January, my sweet Mama took some time off of work and flew over the snowy mountains to spoil and love on my boys! Meanwhile, Josh and I flew to Phoenix together to enjoy 2 days of vacation and a weekend of ministry!
We arrived Thursday evening, enjoyed dinner and a movie and then we spent Friday marveling at God's handiwork at Grand Canyon National Park. Saturday we enjoyed a relaxing morning and afternoon together and then Saturday evening and Sunday were full of the gift of ministering at new churches in a completely new (to our ministry) part of the country!
We had not anticipated, nor dressed for, the extremely cold temperatures at the Grand Canyon that weekend. We were soooo cold!!!
Thing 1 is our future botanist! He loves plants and is particularly fascinated by cacti, so we made sure to get lots of pictures for him.
As always, thanks for your prayers!
Now to Him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us, to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, for ever and ever! Amen!
Three times I pleaded with the Lord to take it away from me.
But he said to me, "My grace is sufficient for you,
for my power is made perfect in weakness."
Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses,
so that Christ's power may rest on me.
(2 Corinthians 12:8-9)
I've been working on memorizing this passage for a while. It seems appropriate. I mean, how many times have I found myself pleading with the Lord to deliver me from some frustrating or painful circumstance and then overwhelmed by His apparent resistance to answer my cry?...too many times to count...
This morning though, as I continued my current study through the book of Isaiah, I was blown away by a verse I read in chapter 30. I read it and then read it again and again, certain that the Lord was speaking to me, but a little baffled by what He seemed to be saying!
O People of Zion, who live in Jerusalem,
you will weep no more.
How gracious he will be when you cry for help!
As soon as he hears, he will answer you.
Did you catch the second half of that verse?
It says, "As soon as he hears, he will answer you."
AS SOON AS HE HEARS!?
EXCUSE ME?! That doesn't sound right.
Like, as soon, as soon?! Like, right now? Immediately? At the very moment when He hears me, He will answer me?!
This is a hard one to figure out, don't you think? I am certain that there have been many times that I cried out to the Lord and then waited days, weeks, months, or even years to get an answer! So how can He say He'll answer "as soon as He hears!" ?
Perhaps the issue though is that many times, when I cry out for the Lord's help, I don't actually want Him to answer me.
Perhaps what I really want is His quiet nod of agreement with whatever grievance I claim or desire I present. Maybe I don't actually want to know what He has in mind. I don't want Him to intervene according to His divine wisdom. I just want Him to agree with what I think is best and make it happen.
Could it be that I don't actually want God to answer me, I want Him to obey me!?
"Oh Lord, have mercy on me! Forgive me for my foolish arrogance and horrible lack of faith and surrender! You are God and you are always good! You are all knowing and the ultimate source of wisdom. I do trust you Lord! Help me to trust you! Teach me to listen for your answer, because you promise it will come and help me to humbly accept it if your answer is 'My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.' "
We hope this holiday season found you full of joy and hope for the upcoming year! As 2016 has come to a close, we find ourselves so grateful for God’s hand on our lives throughout this past year and we look forward with anticipation to all that He has in store for 2017!
Our year began with a month of rest and lots of snow! We spent January cozied up at the ranch in Montana, resting and enjoying family time. Our ministry schedule in December 2015 was very, very busy, so we spent January 2016 mostly recovering, only venturing out on Sunday mornings to minister at nearby churches.
February and March got off to a rough start. We drove down to California and began our tour with a horrible stomach virus! We had to cancel one church service because of our illness and then two other churches canceled for that tour. We were feeling very discouraged as it is extremely difficult to book concerts/church services at the last minute. However, God displayed His great power once again and in one afternoon of phone calls Josh was able to fill our two open Sunday mornings! In addition, during that tour, seven people came forward to accept Christ at church services where the Pastor gave an altar call after our ministry presentation! We’ll take a stomach flu any day if we can see God move in the hearts of the lost to grow His Kingdom!
In April, we drove back to the ranch and enjoyed a heavy dose of the flu for Easter! Geesh! L We ministered to churches within a few hours drive of the ranch that month. At one of those churches, Josh was approached by a woman after the service and he was blessed to pray with her to receive Christ! Praise the Lord!
In May, we did a three week Oregon tour and then spent the summer ministering to churches all over Montana and Eastern Washington. Also during the summer, after months of prayer and consideration, we began working toward buying a house in the greater Spokane, WA area. The home at the ranch was such a gift this past year, but we are ready to have a place that is a little more central to our touring locations and is our very own! We feel confident God still has work for us to do in churches and other ministry venues throughout the western United States and so we will continue our ministry! However, we look forward to having a stable home of our own to come home to when we are not traveling.
We spent the fall on tour in California ministering at many churches about half of which were new churches, which is always exciting! Much of November was spent driving. Early in the month, we returned from California to our new apartment in Spokane, WA. (Our temporary home while we look, pray, and wait for God’s perfect house for us!) We had boxes and a few pieces of furniture at the ranch as well as at my parents’ house in Western Washington. So after returning from our California tour, Josh drove from Spokane to Missoula and back one day; and then from Spokane to Seattle and back the following day.
We finished our year with a week in Montana doing Christmas concerts/church services and enjoying some family time with Josh’s side of the family. Then on Christmas weekend, we drove to Western Washington to celebrate Christmas with my family and to finish off the year with Josh’s annual performances at The Lights of Christmas in Stanwood.
On a more personal note, our boys continue to grow and mature! We are so proud of the young men they are becoming! As we experienced many challenges this year as a family, it was a gift to watch them turn to and lean on the Lord. I cannot imagine a greater gift than watching our boys learn to love and trust Jesus more! Thing 1 is now 10 ½ and Thing 2 is 8. They love to read, build with LEGOS, write/draw comics, and play video games, of course! Last year, T-1 got braces on and this year he got them off! T-2’s reading exploded this year, so he and his brother can now enjoy reading the same books sometimes and have the fun of discussing the stories together! They are anxiously awaiting the purchase of our home because it comes with the promise of a dog! They (who am I kidding, we all) are so excited about that! It was hard to leave our Curly Boy at the ranch, but we know he’d never be happy in town and certainly won’t fit in the trailer for tours!
This year brought with it great trials as well as great growth. Josh and I are grateful for the many faithful prayer warriors who we know regularly cover us in prayer! You are as much as part of this ministry as we are and we could not do this without you! We are thankful for parents who are supportive and encouraging and for friends all over the country who make us feel like we are at home when we are with them! Life on the road can be very wearying and lonely, but we see more and more that this world is not our home and that God’s strength is made perfect in our weakness! It was particularly meaningful, as we ended our year celebrating Christmas, to sing the following words to close out the hymn O Holy Night.
“He knows our needs. To our weakness, He’s no stranger. Behold, your King, and before Him lowly bend! Behold, your King! Before Him lowly bend!”
Keep following Him, Friends! The harvest is plentiful but the workers are few. Let’s keep pressing on toward the goal, making the most of every moment – until He returns!
The Snodgrass Family
Hi! I'm Sarah
I'm so glad you stopped by! I pray you find encouragement and a reason to smile while you're visiting! If this is your first time on my blog, be sure to START HERE.
“This is what the Lord says, he who made the earth, the Lord who formed it and established it—the Lord is his name: ‘Call to me and I will answer you and tell you great and unsearchable things you do not know.’
(Jeremiah 33:2-3 NIV)
Leviticus & Mark
(the Bible in a year)
Five Children and It
(family read aloud by E. Nesbit)
Middle School: The Inside Story
(by Cynthia Tobias and Sue Acuna)
All Things Gardening, Soil, & Chickens
(not a title, just a list of my current library search topics)