Answered Prayers

by Christine on May 22, 2014

God is so good to me.  I shouldn’t question it but I do.  There are a lot of people out there that are much more loyal to Him than I am.  There are lots of people that pray more than I do.  There are a lot of people out there that deserve his blessings more than I do.  Yet He chooses to answer my prayers.  Those spoken and those held in the secret of my heart.

I strive to do God’s will every day.  Sometimes I think I succeed and sometimes I fail miserably.  But I know I’m loved and allowed to give it another try.  And I am grateful that God loves me regardless. However, in the last few months we have been so blessed by God’s graces that’s it’s almost overwhelming.

In 2001 when we bought our business, Boogey Lights, we bought property here in East Tennessee.  At that time we traveled constantly in our motor home and just needed a place to park for the winter months or the week-ends where we didn’t have to be anywhere.

Over the years on that property we built a shop with offices and installed a nice mobile home.  We were no longer full time RVers!  A few years later we sold the mobile home and built a beautiful log home and added my dream farm.  We then bought an adjacent piece of property with a home on it that we use as rental units to workers from the local nuclear plant.

What a beautiful piece of property we now had!  It is truly picturesque and depending on the season, can be breathtaking!  But with all of that comes many, many responsibilities.  The cost of maintenance on this size property (about 16 acres), is quite high.  The time involved to upkeep it is almost a full time job.  Vacuuming my house thoroughly takes over 3 hours!

Our life was no longer simple – it became complicated and expensive because we had “stuff” to manage, to maintain, to improve, etc.  We have 7 rooms in 2 separate buildings that we rent out and manage.  It really didn’t make any sense.  Although I was very happy with my life, I just couldn’t imagine that God was happy with all the money and time we were spending on “stuff”.

We realized we needed to make changes.  We prayed about it, hemmed and hawed about it and prayed some more! In August we found a great realtor and put our property on the market.  She was optimistic but realistic.  We have one of the nicest homes in the area – couldn’t get accurate comps.  We are surrounded by obvious poverty.  The housing market in this area is still struggling.  Still we were confident and encouraged to move ahead.

In November we were fortunate enough to be able to sell the part of our business that we disliked the most and by the grace of God, we had a buyer!  We were on the road to simplifying!

Since we no longer traveled for business, we no longer needed the huge truck we were driving, necessary to pull a 40” trailer.   We also had a brand new 38” RV which we rarely used.  We traded both of those for a new, fuel efficient hybrid.

We had casually started house hunting in a location in west Knoxville that we thought was where we wanted to relocate.  However, our realtor named Angel, had other plans for us.  She showed us a home minutes south of downtown Knoxville & we immediately fell in love with it!  It could not have been more perfect for us!  All we could think of was moving to this house but we couldn’t afford moving before selling the property in Spring City.  We made an offer contingent upon selling our current home and continued to pray.

At this point we had shown our property a few times and with the help of St-Joseph (not buried, mind you but sitting on the fireplace mantle), we remained optimistic.  Sure enough, around Christmas time, he sent us a buyer and by early February we had a good offer.  Not only were we able to sell the house but they also bought all the furniture & equipment we wanted to sell!

We closed on our property in Spring City on February 13th & February 14th we closed on our new home in Knoxville.  Our Angel was with us on Valentine’s Day as we purchased the home that would mark the beginning of a new life for us!

The only ties we now had to this area was the extra property we had purchased that was being used as a rental units for the local nuclear plant.  Our realtor had expressed interest in purchasing it…  and after a short visit and examining the numbers, she decided to buy it for the asking price!

Scott and I were shell-shocked!  We were done but apparently God wasn’t. Through an unlikely encounter, we were introduced to a gentleman who was looking to purchase a tractor… guess who had one for sale?  That was it… everything that we had owned that tied us to this area was sold.  Our simple life in our simple home in Knoxville was waiting for us.  Gone were all the responsibilities that kept us from spending more time doing Gods work.  We were “free” and the feeling was awesome!  We went out to have a “celebratory” dinner and just before we left, Scott posted our good fortune on Facebook with the note, “Now all we have left for sale is our business.. anyone interested?”  What do you think happened?  Someone contacted us with great interest.

Everything happened very fast as this buyer was someone who knew us and saw the potential for a highly successful venture.  Brad was one of our first customers when we purchased Boogey Lights.  He and Scott had so much in common that our business relationship became a friendship.  Who would have thought when he came into our life in 2002 to buy lights for his bike that someday he would buy our company?  God had a plan & it started way before we could imagine it.

After a few weeks of easy negotiations, yesterday we turned over our business to the Butlers.  Boogey Lights had been our “baby” since November of 2001… I can’t remember a day going by since then that we weren’t “working”… that’s how it is when you own your business & are sole proprietors.

Today is Scott & my 15th year wedding anniversary and we are celebrating it as our first day of full retirement.  That doesn’t mean that we become idle… far from it.  I’m pursuing my hobby to make it a full time business – Smiley Fun Makers, children’s entertainment while Scott is more & more involved with our church and his continued formation in the Diaconate program.

God has cleared the path for us.  He has removed all obstacles that were in a way keeping us from giving our time and talents to Him.  We’re excited, we’re ready & we are willing!  We are overwhelmed (and still shell shocked), and a little anxious.  What does He have in store for us that He went ahead and answered all of our prayers?

One thing is for sure; now that I don’t have the same daily obligations to be “at the office”, going to daily Mass with my husband is a first priority!

My friends, the last 6 months have taught me great wisdom.  Be patient & trust God with all your heart.  He has a plan for you – just open your heart and say, “Yes Lord!”.

{ 3 comments… read them below or add one }

Tony September 19, 2014 at 11:23 am

Hello Christine,

It’s been quite a while (in human time, not God’s time) since I first wrote you. In the intervening time, a lot has happened.

When my wife and I were discerning a possible call, she looked at me and said: “You’re not very pastoral!”. And she was right. 🙂 So I told her: “Put that on the application, I want the diocese to know exactly what raw material they are working with”.

The diocese required that I take 24 week of 5 hour Pastoral Care Education. When I first applied, I was interested in what I would be able to “do” as an ordained cleric. Now I have come to the realization that it’s not what I can “do”, but it’s “who God wants me to become” that is the focus of this journey.

I earned the “most improved” in PCE (but that was because I started out the worst :)), and this journey has been wonderful for our marriage.

I have been accepted as a Permanent Deacon Aspirant, and my wife and I went through our first class weekend this month. We have 3 – 1.5 hour classes on Friday evening, and we have 5 – 1.5 hour classes on Saturday (beginning with Lauds at 8:00am). My wife is finding the homework a bit overwhelming, only because she doesn’t yet have my vocabulary, and background, but she’s loving the work and we get to discuss it together. She has a decidedly different viewpoint than me on a lot of issues, so it’s good for both of us.

We are at the edge of our diocese, so it’s a 1.5 hour drive to the Cathedral. The diocese has put us up in the local retreat house free of charge. A beautiful place.

Well, that’s enough for now.

God bless,
-Tony

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Christine Maentz September 19, 2014 at 12:38 pm

Greetings Tony!

Yes, it’s been a while! I’m so glad to hear about your journey! Please tell your wife that there will be ups and downs but the destination will be well worth it.

Scott has about 18 months to go – he was received as a Lector this summer and is thoroughly enjoying this calling. He too has pastoral difficulties but he’s getting better.

What diocese are you at?

God Bless & know that besides all of your fellow Aspirants, we too join you in praying the Lauds twice daily!

Reply

Tony September 19, 2014 at 4:21 pm

Christine,

Give Scott my best. We currently have a class of 13 aspirants (the same as the last supper ;)). We are in the diocese of Syracuse (Upstate New York). I have been placed on the reader’s schedule, and will be proclaiming from the ambo once a month (first time in October).

My biggest challenge will be meeting people where they are, but with God’s grace, I’ll be fine.

Take care,
-Tony

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