All Our Needs

Our beloved dog, Hannah Joy, loves to cuddle under blankets. As the weather cools, she spends more and more time under blankets and on my lap. Good thing that I also like to cuddle under blankets.

Our annual autumn game called “How Long Can We Endure Before We Turn on the Furnace For the First Time” is over. We were going to try to last until next weekend, but EJ turned the furnace on when he came home from work in the wee hours of Thursday morning. Physically, mentally, and stubbornly, we would have continued on, but the temperature dropped too close to the low 30s and the NWS issued freeze warnings. We can’t risk our pipes freezing and bursting–that would be an expensive disaster–so EJ turned on the heat. Since Thursday, the night-time temperatures are often in the 30s and have not reached above the 40s.

We had several days of clouds and rain when the high temperatures were only in the 50s. Typically, the weather turns cold in late September and then we have a few warm days in early October before the cold settles in until Spring. As expected, Thursday the weather turned warmer and is forecasted to remain in the mid- to upper-60s for several days. I had waited for these warm days so that I could mow the lawn for the last time this year. I mowed the lawn yesterday. Lawn mowing season is now officially over.

Wednesday evening I went out to shut the chickens securely in the coop, as usual. As I stepped out into the garden on my way to the coop, I heard a great flapping of wings and crashing of branches. The flock of turkeys were in the area again and they were flying up one by one to roost in the trees. I stood still to watch them. A few of the turkeys flew right over the garden and landed in a tree just over the fence! Once they were all up in the trees, I quietly walked to the coop and shut the chickens in. As I left the coop, the closest turkeys felt unsettled by my closeness and flew deeper into the forest. I never get tired of watching the turkeys fly up to the trees at night. I was hoping to also see them fly down from the trees the next morning, but I missed them by a few minutes. They were already on the ground when I went to open the coop for the day.

Strong winds often accompany storms here in our Enchanted Forest. The winds range from about 20-50 mph with strong gusts. I do not know if they are more frequent or stronger than we experienced when we lived downstate. It’s possible we might just be more aware of them now because we live in a forest and the wind really makes the trees sway wildly. Or it might be that we really do get stronger wind here in the north. Whatever. A while back, strong wind ripped some shingles off our roof, which was stressful because we don’t have the money to re-shingle the roof. Recently EJ noticed that the garage roof was leaking so obviously we had to do something about the roof before winter.

Our roof problems are nothing compared to the damage caused by Hurricane Ian that the Floridians have to deal with. I can’t imagine having flood waters churn through my house or the immense effort needed to clean up the damage. So I prayed for them. But God can handle more problems than one, so I also prayed that He would provide a way for our roof to get fixed. I didn’t try to tell God exactly how to meet our needs because God could choose to answer our prayer in a variety of different ways. He could provide us with the money, or insurance could pay for it, or someone could show up and volunteer to fix the roof. However, since winter will soon be here, I asked God if He would resolve the problem THIS week. (Keep that in mind.)

EJ discussed the roof with a co-worker who suggested various options, including seeing if our insurance company would pay to fix our roof. Yesterday EJ talked to the insurance agent. I don’t know if we have ever made an insurance claim so it is difficult to know where to start–because the insurance agent needs estimates to know if they will pay it but if the cost of fixing the roof is less than our deductible then we need to pay for repairs ourselves. But there’s not much use getting estimates if the insurance company says “absolutely not.” So EJ started by discussing the roof with the agent. The result was that at EJ’s request, the agent recommended a good roofer to get us estimates.

Next, EJ called the roofer who asked him to send photos of the roof. EJ did, and the guy said he could fix it for not much money. I was expecting a cost of many thousands of dollars, but the guy did it for a few hundred. He and EJ scheduled for him to come on October 3rd or 4th, but then he called EJ back and said he could come THE VERY DAY that EJ contacted him. Which was yesterday. How many times does a contractor arrive on the very day that he is first contacted? The guy put new shingles on the leaky place and also examined all the roof. He said that the garage roof is actually in good shape and he can re-shingle the house next year for a cost that EJ said is really quite cheap, relatively speaking. Less than half of what I was bracing for. So now we will tighten our belts another notch and pinch pennies a bit harder to save up for a roof.

I feel deep relief and gratitude about the roof. We’ve been through some very difficult times, but God often takes care of us in amazing ways. A few examples: Our realtor told us when moving here that we had bought our Enchanted Forest, which is just perfect for us, for much less than it was worth. And when EJ lost his job at the end of October a few years ago because of some health problems, his company weirdly continued to pay him his wages and health insurance until the end of the year. And we have a neighbor who voluntarily plows our driveway every winter and grades it every summer but refuses to accept any payment. These are just a few of the ways God has taken care of us. I do not know how people make it without Him.

The Lord is righteous in all his ways
    and faithful in all he does.
The Lord is near to all who call on him,
    to all who call on him in truth.
He fulfills the desires of those who fear him;
    he hears their cry and saves them.
The Lord watches over all who love him… (Ps 145:17-20)

My God will meet all your needs according to the riches of his glory in Christ Jesus. (Phil 4:19)

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