As Allison and I went out for dinner to celebrate her birthday belatedly, we both opened our fortune cookies at the end of a wonderful time together. But hers was empty! Have you ever seen that happen before? Of course we know our God says our future is one full of hope. With or without a fortune. Mine, however, said, "All things are difficult before they are easy." Really? REALLY? How we both laughed. Did either us need to hear this news? We already KNOW this FULL WELL. We have all lived this truth out. My testimony is one of hard. Yours is too. In this world we WILL have trouble, Jesus said. Little did I know what July 9th would bring. A flooded basement.
The summer months are when my very demanding travel/ministry/teaching schedule comes to a much slower pace. I enjoy staying up late, binge-watching Netflix, sleeping in, seeing friends and family more, not packing, being home for weeks at a time, resting and catching my breath before the fall schedule returns. I enjoyed re-doing my office, thanks to Allison's amazing help, painting skills and even more incredible organizational skills (see the before/after pictures below). It all feels good...the rest, the sense of accomplishment, marking projects off the list. But at 12:30 a.m. on July 9th I received a flash flood warning on my phone that woke me up from my slumber on the couch with Netflix still on, and I immediately went downstairs to find a flooded basement.
At 3:00 a.m., after my shop vac started smoking and I had to use every towel I owned to clean up the muddy water covering the entire guest room (used to be Hannah's bedroom), laundry room, closets, game room, stairs and crawl space, I took a shower and crawled into bed. The next morning I was up cleaning up the mess, doing endless loads of laundry, for a few more hours before my music students descended upon my mess. "All things are difficult before they are easy."
My precious Texas sister friend Rene Sandifer commented on my Instagram post where I shared the situation, "So often the process is just difficult and hard. No other way around it. You've definitely got the best attitude to get through it. Dependence and trust are your middle names, sister. Love you." I wrote her back and said, "Sister, we have the same names then. I love and admire you more." She just walked through breast cancer, as I had shared in a previous newsletter, a radical mastectomy, unbearable pain during the healing process last year, and never lost her deep trust in the Savior who brought her through.
After a week of bouncing between my insurance agent, claims adjuster, water mitigation companies, only to go round and round in circles with all of them, the Lord sent an angel to me by the name of Michael. Six feet and then some, originally from Barbados with a very thick accent, Michael showed up at my house on Friday night at 7:00 p.m. (the flood had taken place in the wee hours of Monday night/Tuesday morning.) As I thanked him for coming after work and such a late hour on a Friday night, his first response was, "Yes man, the Lord He do work in mysterious ways." I knew at that moment that the Lord had allowed me to get nowhere all week with any of the other companies because He was allowing me to wait until His best, Michael, was able to come.
And yet one afternoon this week I found Sammy and Zoey together, resting comfortably embracing the mess our house currently is, a beautiful example to me, us all. Yes, my house is turned upside down a bit, with the contents of the basement filling my upstairs guest bedroom (what used to be Ross's.) But it IS in process, and it WILL be completed. The old and ruined has been torn out, thrown out, cleaned out and dried out. I am going to get a brand new floor, new baseboards, a fresh paint job, even a new bedframe and bookshelves for the guest room. And while it is taking a bit longer than I had anticipated, in the mean time, I’m learning to follow my fur babies' example...not just in the physical aftermath of a flooded basement, but in the being reminded that the process will be worth all of the good my Father is bringing about as a result of the unexpected and unforecast storms of life. “...being confidant of this, that He who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion til the day of Christ Jesus.” Philippians 1:6 reminds us this very day. And in the meantime, let’s just choose to find a soft, comfy place in His lap together while we wait. In my devotional time one morning just this week, I was reminded in Revelation 21:5 that "He who was seated on the throne said, "Behold, I am making all things new."
So join me, friend, as our Faithful Father puts the mess back together. #allthingsworktogetherforgood #gonnabeworththewait
Love and blessings to you, Dawn
Ministry at a Glance I had a slower pace for the month of July with only 3 events and it was quite welcome before the busy fall season starts. On July 7th I was delighted to head back to Pacolet Mills Baptist Church to share for a morning concert where I had been several months back for a senior adult event. Thank you, Kathryn Scales and Pastor Norman Band for inviting me back. Sunday, July 14th I headed to Clemson United Methodist Church to share my ministry in both of their morning worship services. What a wonderful time we had at lunch with Pastor Fran and Larry Elrod, and of course we all enjoyed much laughter with their worship pastor Jamie Bryson. The last event for the month was on Sunday the 21st for an evening concert at New Life Baptist in Union, SC. What a treat it was for me to be joined by their worship pastor Jay Childers on a few worship songs. What a beautiful tenor voice God has gifted him. It always makes the ministry time more special when shared with fellow co-laborers in their own churches, without whom I would not have the ministry with which I am blessed. Thank you, local church pastors, worship pastors and women's ministry leaders for inviting and welcoming me into your sanctuaries and congregations.
Funnies from the Road
When having my niece and nephew over last week to have a pizza/swim/Spiderman party, Birkes saw my upcoming 5K Sole Sisters t-shirt, race # and medal, and he said, "What is that?" I told him it was for my upcoming race. He asked, "Like a marathon?" I said, "Not quite, Birkes, I am running a 5k." He said, "Oh, you look too old for that!" I said, "Well, I think we are never too old to try to be as healthy as we can be, right?" "I guess so," was his reply. Maybe age really ISN'T a number?!
On the Homefront Sweet summertime spent with family and friends. I enjoyed having my niece and nephew Paige and Birkes over, visiting with sweet Martha, having Abby and Hannah (Allison's girls) enjoy their slushies during piano practice (while Sammy eyeballed them for a sample), and taking my sister-in-law Caroline out to dinner. Love these days and these people!
As I mentioned above Allison and I did a much needed office makeover, which involved cleaning out, purging, re-organizing, re-arranging and most importantly a can of paint. I am so happy with the results! I truly enjoy coming into my office now and sitting down to work in such a peaceful, welcoming place. And who doesn't love a good before/after photo so I thought I would share. Hope you enjoy!
Giving to Jordan Ministries, Inc.
Should you feel led of the Lord to come alongside Jordan Ministries with a one-time gift, or monthly gift, please know that Jordan Ministries is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization, and all gifts are tax-deductible.
If you wish to mail a check, please make it payable to Jordan Ministries and mail to
P.O. Box 2846, Irmo, SC 29063.
Here is the link that will take you directly to our online giving option. (Click Here)
You may also scan the QR code to the right for electronic giving.
Thank you for your prayerful support as Allison and I continue to serve God and His people for His glory alone.
On the Road Again
Sunday, August 4th
Living Water Fellowship
East Aurora, NY
Sunday, August 4th
Wesleyan Church of East Aurora
East Aurora, NY
Concert in the Park
Saturday, August 10th
Holy Trinity Lutheran Church
Little Mountain, SC
Sunday, August 18th
Grace Baptist Church
Special Music 11:00 a.m.
Concert 6:00 p.m.
Sunday, August 25th
Myrtle Beach, SC
8:45 a.m. & 11:00 a.m.
Hodge-Podge Allison Hodge, Administrative Assistant
Dawn Smith Jordan Ministries Randy and Allison Hodge Abby (7), Hannah (5), Ryan (2)