The New Armstrong "Fleet!"

I have to tell you, I've been waiting to blog about this for awhile, and today I finally get my chance! Since you responded so strongly to our tale of endless car troubles, I know you'll appreciate our new story of what the Lord has done for us just as much as we do!! We are never more in awe of the Lord than when we see him work so specifically in our life, meeting our needs so faithfully. Although we fail Him and often lose sight of His hand on our lives, He does not lose sight of us and He continually chooses to bless us after we have sought His wisdom and His will for us and walked in obedience after Him. Some people think that cars are of no importance to the Lord, and it's true, they are little more than a bucket of nuts and bolts in his eyes. However, cars are to us, a definite need and He cares GREATLY about the things that we need and the anxiety on our hearts over them. I really believe that He delights in meeting our needs and even in blessing us beyond what we dreamed was possible! I have been reminded of that truth in Matthew 7:9-11

"Which of you, if his son asks for bread, will give him a stone? Or if he asks for a fish, will give him a snake? If you, then , though you are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in Heaven give good gifts to those who ask him!"

What an incredible picture of God's unconditional love for His children. If we are capable of getting tickled when we give gifts of people, just think of how tickled the Lord gets too! I know the time I spend laboring over what to give someone, but it overwhelms me to think that the God of the Universe also spends time laboring over what He wants to give me. He is certainly not some kind of genie whose belly we rub and whom we make our lists of requests to. Genies represent some kind of entitlement. We have absolutely NO entitlement when it comes to the Lord. Every gift He chooses to give us is purely out of his grace and love for us. Just icing on the cake of salvation! We have been the recipients of some very good gifts from the is the story of our most recent one(s)...

If you'll remember correctly, my nissan "died" in Iowa over Thanksgiving, leaving us with one car, the acura. Well, right before Christmas we received a phone call from a sweet couple from our Church who had heard about our search for another vehicle and who knew we were "stuck" in a very difficult price range...we needed something reliable for next to nothing. Not exactly easy to find or work with! They told us about a car they had, that they had driven for a few years and had recently decided to get rid of so they could upgrade to something bigger. We knew what car they were talking about and we got very excited because we knew it was not only reliable, but very nice. We were hoping that it would be close to our price range because we knew it would be infinately nicer that anything else we could afford and we really liked it. So, imagine our shock when they said if we wanted it, we could have it...FOR FREE!!! Can you believe it??? That was not an answer to our prayers...we were too dumb to ask the Lord for something free...this was an outright BLESSING from God's hand and a tangible demonstration of His love for us and his desire to meet a need that seemed so great in our eyes. I immediately burst into tears when Travis called me with the news and we gratefully accepted that gift from that sweet couple and we praised the Lord endlessly for what He did!! Little did we know that car would bless us again a month later after the acura was hit for the FOURTH time and we were once again facing more car drama.

Last weekend we decided that we had to get that acura off our hands as it was now dented in multiple areas, with a laundry list of problems, none greater than the driver's side door being stuck shut!! (you would have LOVED to see us drive that looked like a clown's car when we pulled up somewhere and both climbed out the passenger side door!!) However, with everyday we kept it, the value was declining and we still owed money on our loan for it. Not the situation one hopes to be in with a car. We still had the "free" car, as well as my nissan (which we had fixed enough to get it back to Minnesota), and the acura. Our prayer was to somehow sell or trade both the acura and the nissan with the hopes of breaking even so that we could then purchase another car that was newer, bigger and more reliable. So, two weeks ago we shopped our sad vehicles around for awhile but the picture was looking grim. It seemed inevitable that we would be upside down and stuck with two "problem" cars. But once again, the Lord orchestrated a series of events in a way only He could and we found ourselves in the office of our friend, Jeff Stone with a great offer on the table for both cars and a new option to buy an SUV that we LOVED!!! So we did it! And I'm happy to say today that we are the proud owners of 2 very good gifts from the Lord...a Mitsibuishi Galant and a Mitsibuishi Montero Sport. We are so thrilled and so thankful for this major blessing in our lives...I cannot tell you the peace in our hearts knowing that the Lord provided for us in a big way and that we are no longer in a losing situation. Of course we are VERY realistic about the fact that they are just cars and at anytime something could happen....we are experts in that department....but we have seen the Lord be faithful to us and this whole thing just represents His never failing presence and love for us. Everytime I sit in either car, I am reminded of God's good gift to us and I am so thankful...He could have done a thousand other things, but the way He blessed us got several people involved in the process and gave us no other choice but to give Him the full GLORY for it!

"The Lord is faithful to all his promises and loving toward all he has made. The Lord upholds all those who fall and lifts up all who are bowed down. The eyes of all look to you, and you give them their food at the proper time. You open your hand and satisfy the desires of every living mouth will speak in praise of the Lord. Let every creature praise his holy name for ever and ever!"
Psalm 145:17-21


sheltonfamily said...

The Armstrong's driving in luxury. I love it....especially the pictures. It is really neat how God worked it out for you all and your patience in waiting it out. My favorite part of your post was the picture of you all as clowns getting out of the passenger side. I could picture Mike getting out of his car in seminary while dressed up as "superman", dora, batman, buzzie, etc... those were the days!

sheltonfamily said...

The Armstrong's driving in luxury. I love it....especially the pictures. It is really neat how God worked it out for you all and your patience in waiting it out. My favorite part of your post was the picture of you all as clowns getting out of the passenger side. I could picture Mike getting out of his car in seminary while dressed up as "superman", dora, batman, buzzie, etc... those were the days!


Very Cool! Yeah for you!

tapango1 said...

congrats on the cars!!!We have had similiar car luck to you,lol Oh the joy.......we were just recently blessed beyond measure also........but the good part of the story is we sold nicks 1982 red lebaron(which we inherited for free by the way)which was a convertable(even with the top on,ahahahahaha)on craigs list....we sold this to a less then distinguished fella about 20 years of took two meetings to actually get the money(a whopping 400 dollars) and nick had to drive him 45 minutes to the vehicle to get it....he had never driven a stick shift before on top of all made for many laughs on our part........we often wondered how he faired with the car....two weeks after we sold it we got a call about 1o pm asking us where the hazzard lights were....Nicks said i don't know i never had to use them,lol....he then labeled that number in his phone so he wouldn't have any more surprises....that made for many a giggle on our part.about 2 weeks later we got a letter in the mail from the city of denver informing us that "our" car was that means he never changed over the information which is elading us to believe he didn't have a licence and or insurance......good times

the broomes said...

Hey Stephanie! That's so great to hear about how God provided! Praise Him! ...We would LOVE to talk to ya'll sometime about middle school ministry...we are absolutely loving it!! I'm sure you both have lots of wisdom/ideas/experience to share!