A Divine Dream, Two Divine Signs, and A Confirmation About Huggabear Farm

The story which I am about to tell you, at least to me, is nothing short of amazing. A very clear message sent from God to myself, my husband and our children. You may not believe what I am about to write and that is okay. I thank you all the same for taking the time to read it. Never-the-less, whether anyone believes this story or not, it is all 100% true.

Before I begin the story I need to explain the reasoning for my writing it today.

In the month of March my oldest child, Aven Salei, turned 18 and my honorary niece Valerie Nerone had come to visit her. During her visit she shared with us the name of an inspiring pastor she had been watching online during the Covid months. His name is Pastor Michael Todd of the Transformation Church in Tulsa, Oklahoma.

Our family watched a sermon he gave on the first Sunday of January 2020 and it was all about “Vision”. In the sermon he told us that when God gives you a vision of something that He wants you to do, you need to write it down. I had the idea to write this blog before I heard him say that, but felt more led to get it done after I heard his sermon. Then Easter came and with it our Huggabear Children’s Project work so the blog was delayed.

Then today we watched his sermon that was from the first Sunday of January 2021 called “Anchored” and in it he taught about how God speaks to us. To illustrate his sermon personally, he showed us how God had been speaking something directly to him about the work he was to do for the year 2021 and how God showed him not one, not two, but three clear and direct signs to confirm the work to him.

After seeing that sermon I knew that today would be the day I would write this blog. So, I want to say thank you to Valerie for sharing with us about Pastor Michael Todd, you were being used of God to speak to me and thank you to Pastor Michael Todd for those two powerful and personally significant sermons that you gave. God definitely used you to speak to me as well!

In order for you to have a solid understanding of this amazing story, how powerful God is, and how He can work in a person’s heart, I have to give you a little bit of my history with my homeland.

I was born on August, 26, 1971 in the Maricopa County Hospital in Phoenix, Arizona. I have lived in Phoenix all of my life, which up to now has been 49 years, 8 months and 11 days.

I have always loved Phoenix. I have had the blessing of traveling to many places in this world and always loved coming home to Phoenix. I even loved the heat, well, kind of.

If I am being totally honest, I dreaded the heat. Every year I dreaded it. But I repeated the words of others around me saying things like, “Yes, but it’s a dry heat.” (Which does make sense when you have experienced humidity!) or I would say things like, “You just stay inside and move from air conditioned place to air conditioned place!” or “Our summers are hard but our winters are beautiful!” (Which also is quite true.) Josh felt the exact same way as me and even said the exact same things I did. We both loved Phoenix, Arizona. It was home.

However, as time went by, every year of my life, the summers were killing my love for living in Phoenix… along with all my trees. 😦 This past summer 2020 really did me in.

Then something very peculiar and significant happened. I had a dream.

It was in the month of May 2020. It was the week after Mother’s Day. If you haven’t read it, I wrote a blog about that Mother’s Day and what an incredible day God blessed me with if you would like to read it as well.

The dream was of my family, Josh, Aven, MaCaedyn, Samuel and myself, all standing in a tightly bound circle with our arms wrapped around each other. Outside our circle was another larger circle of people. Some we were close to, some we were not so close to. Not all my relationships were in this circle, just certain ones.

The best way I could describe how this looked is to use the diagram of a nucleus with a ring of electrons around it. My family was the nucleus and all the people standing side by side in a ring around us were the electrons.

In the dream I looked up and I saw that slowly, one by one, those people were being spaced away from our family. Like they were slowly floating backward. As I watched, I saw a giant pair of white glowing hands in-between my family and the outer ring of people and I realized that the hands were separating the people from us, creating distance between us.

When I woke up the next morning, I shared the dream with Josh and my children. I also shared it with a few prayer warrior friends who found it very interesting, yet, none of us understood what it meant.

That was May 2020 and anyone who lives in Phoenix will tell you, the summer heat of Phoenix doesn’t wait until the typical summer months of June, July and August to arrive. It can begin in May… or even April. As I sit outside right now writing this blog April 11, 2020, I’m sweating. Bleh.

After my Mother’s Day 2020 adventure to visit Christopher Creek to escape the heat, my family wanted to have more of that time in the woods and out of the ‘flames’ of Phoenix. We couldn’t afford to take a trip anywhere so we would save up just enough money for gas, then we would pack a picnic and our baseball gear and head up to the woods just for a day. For us, it was thrilling! We were escaping the heat and could spend an entire day outdoors playing in the cool woods without boiling ourselves and burning our skin like we would in Phoenix.

It was during the Covid summer months of 2020 that a significant change began to take place inside my heart and Josh’s. Every morning that we got up to take one of our road trip adventures to the woods we were filled with so much pure joy and we discovered that joy wasn’t just because we wanted to escape the heat, it was because of the land we were going to.

Growing up, my Mema and Papa had three “homes”. One was their Phoenix residence, one was in Payson, Arizona and the other was a cabin that my Papa built out of internment camp sectionals from World War II at Mormon Lake nestled in the Ponderosa Pines.

When I had the blessing of being able to go to the cabin, all through my childhood and into my adult years, I felt something that I didn’t have when I was in Phoenix. It was like I was a different person. I was more peaceful. I slept better at night and had more energy during the day. I breathed in the clean air easy, and as a person who has dealt with asthma since the age of 3 months that is always a welcome relief. In the forest, I loved seeing the blue of the sky, the animals and most of all, the trees. I loved the sounds of the wind blowing through the trees and the crunch of the dry pine needles beneath my feet. I loved the sounds of the birds and forest critters. I also loved the lack of sounds from the city of constant traffic, sirens, and helicopters. I loved how the air smelled of pines as soon as I arrived and stepped out of the car. I loved how bright and brilliant the stars were at night and, most importantly, I loved how I could step outside and get away from man made things and submerge myself in God made things so quickly, so easily. I felt closer to God there. I still love all those things now, even more than when I was young.

When I am in the woods, on the beach, or in any other beautiful place of nature made by God, it cleanses me. My stresses melt away and even when there are circumstances of daily life that must be handled, it just seems so much easier for me when I am a beautiful place of God’s nature. Being out in the open reminds me just how big my Beautiful God is and seeing all He has created leaves me speechless.

Then I had another realization… something that is so obvious to me that I am actually a bit embarrassed to say I didn’t recognized it sooner. I am the author of The Huggabears children’s books. I have created an entire imaginary land called the Bearwood Forest and a town called Bearford Falls where the Huggabear Family and all kinds of other woodland critters dwell. The idea for that book series came from God and the place that He had me create is based upon the woods of the Ponderosa Pines, the very same woods where my Mema would take me on long walks and teach me about the love of Jesus, the power of prayer and God’s Word. I write about the woods in every single story of The Huggabears and my love for it is clearly reflected in all those stories. I realized that deep down inside my heart, the woods have been calling to me for years and years, even through my ministry work. Yet, I still live in the desert.

I came to understand that I am so much happier in the woods, Josh is happier in the woods and so are our children. So why are we living in a city in the desert? Josh began to realize this it too. We came to this understanding at the exact same time and felt the exact same way. When we shared it with one another it was such a powerful, beautiful moment in our marriage. All these years we had shared a great love for living in Phoenix and then, all at once, we both had been changed and everything was different. We longed to lived someplace different.

We began sharing our thoughts about our feelings with the children and wondered what they would think about moving. Well… we wondered what MaCaedyn and Samuel would think about it. All of her life we knew that Aven hated the heat of Phoenix. Detested it. Loathed it. Despised it. All those adjectives would fit into her annual descriptions of her feelings about the summers when the heat came. Though she will admit she does love swimming and waterparks, she always wanted to go and be in the snow and loves being wrapped in warm clothes, fuzzy socks and her treasured sleeping bag. Still, I honestly didn’t know how Samuel and MaCaedyn felt about the heat. So, one day during school I began to share with them what was happening my heart and how daddy and I were feeling like we wanted to live in woods. Both MaCaedyn and Samuel immediately shared that they would love to live in the woods and Samuel was quite specific that we were going to live in Flagstaff. Not that he hoped to live in Flagstaff, not that he wished we would live in Flagstaff, but that we will be living in Flagstaff and that Huggabear Farm would be built there.

They also began to tell me how much they loved being in colder weather. Whenever we took winter trips, they loved bundling up in coats, hats, gloves and boots. It didn’t bother them at all. MaCaedyn said, “You know, in the cold you can always add more clothes, but in the heat you can only get so naked.” Ha! Samuel and Aven also pointed out that we spend so many days stuck inside during the summer so if we moved to a place where there was snow, we might not be able to go out everyday but you can still play in snow whereas you can’t play in heat unless it involved a pool–which we don’t have, or water of some kind.

We also learned during the summer of 2020 that Aven has health issues which arise during the heat which she doesn’t deal with during the cooler months. Josh and I also noticed that we have more pain and inflammation in our bodies during the summer than we do during the cold months. These reasons were added onto the pile of why we wanted to move to the forest.

Once we learned of our family’s feelings about living in Phoenix and the heat we began to pray about it to see what God’s will was for us. We asked very specifically in our prayers that if God wanted us to stay here to use us for His glory in Phoenix, Arizona, then that is exactly what we would do, and we asked Him that if it was not His will for us to move to the woods that He would remove the desire from all of our hearts and that we would be perfectly content to stay and get back to loving the heat. We also asked Him if it is was His will for us to move to woods that He would make that clear to us as well.

Every day we prayed and every day the yearning to move to the forest grew stronger and our desire to stay in Phoenix diminished. It is still that way now. During our family scripture reading almost every night Josh read a chapter that spoke “the land you are going to inherit” or “the land you are going to cross the Jordan to inherit”. I looked it up and there is a tiny little speck of a town that is called Jordan which we would be pass or “cross over” when traveling from Phoenix to Flagstaff. This inspired us even more!

We decided to use our time escaping the heat as time to explore some towns and places to see where it was that would be part of God’s plan for us to live. Samuel thought this a huge waste of time as he knew that we were going to live in Flagstaff. He said it over and over again, “It’s Flagstaff… Flagstaff… Flagstaff… You all are wrong, it’s Flagstaff.” Still, we went and explored and with every place we went, though we had fun together as a family, we also felt it together as a family: NO. This is not the town. This is not the place. I can’t explain it to you other than to say we just felt it in and knew in our hearts it wasn’t the place God had for us.

I hope all of that gives you a greater understanding of where we were and what we were praying for because NOW we get to the really cool part of the story! This is what I was supposed to write down and share with whomever will read it!

When I first began writing The Huggabears books, God gave me a dream of a place where children could come to be ministered to. It was a location that looked like the Bearwood Forest and had the town of Bearford Falls from my Huggabear books. A land full of imagination, joy and the love of Jesus as well as being the home base for The Huggabear Children’s Project, Inc. ministry.

I thought the place was going to be a small children’s amusement park like The Enchanted Island or something, but I could never come up with the right name for it. My vision lacked complete clarity so I just kept creating the stories, the songs, and doing the Huggabear nonprofit work.

When Samuel was a baby he was thrilled with farming. I remember when he was three years old he saw pumpkins in the store and asked me where they came from. I told him about farms and he began planting and growing pumpkins and other vegetables in the backyard. When he was five years old he told me, “Someday, when I grow up, I’m going to have a farm.”

God told me in that very moment the place He gave me a vision of for children was going to be called “Huggabear Farm”! I can tell you right where I was standing when it happened. We had been working in the garden and were coming in the house to wash up. Samuel turned to me and said what he said and I was standing on the patio. I stopped in my tracks as God spoke Huggabear Farm to my heart. After that, the kids and I talked about the dream of Huggabear Farm everyday. We discussed ideas in school, we made drawings and lists, we watched educational videos and we began praying for it to come. This would be a farm like no other the world has ever seen because it would be a ministry farm. It wouldn’t just be about things we grow from the ground, it would be about planting the seeds of the love of Jesus into the hearts of others. A place where all families could come to for free and never have to pay for admission. A place where children would play and make memories. A place that would have the Word of God all though it so that the people who came to visit would be submerged in the teachings and love of God’s Word while they were there. Huggabear Farm would be full of music and laughter. We would put on shows and programs that would teach the love, power, healing and forgiveness of Jesus Christ. It would be a place of education, imagination and salvation. God revealed to me that there are people in this world who might never step inside the doors of a church… but they would visit a farm. While they were there, we would gently plant the seeds of the love of Jesus into their hearts and spirits.

The children and I had a pretty good idea of all the things we should have on Huggabear Farm and when we would talk about it with Josh he always was very supportive, but I could tell he hadn’t seen the vision for it yet. So I prayed for him and asked God, if this was something that our family was meant to build together, please give Josh the vision for it because there was no way I could ever build it without him.

God answered that prayer while we were housesitting for our friends John and Gerry Dillingham. They live on a golf course and each night we would walk outside and be in the beauty of the green course with all the trees and landscaping. Then we would come inside and the kids and I would sit and draw plans for the farm. It was in the open space of the golf course that God gave Josh the vision. He saw it clearly before him and I knew it was God that did it and not us because after Josh saw the vision of it, that was all he could talk about!

We decided to take a step of faith and start building what we could where we lived. We knew it couldn’t be much as we have a small home and yards, but we were going to do the best we could with what we have. We began building in the summer of 2018 and we had the majority of it finished by that fall 2018. We wanted to show God how serious we were about doing this and prove to Him that He could trust us if He provided us the land and the funds, we would build the real Huggabear Farm. But for that time, we were thrilled to have the mini farm.

We began having events for children of all ages, from infants and toddlers to teens and young adults. We had an opening day celebration, two pumpkin parties, a “Boo Bash” teen party with home made haunted house, two Christmas parties, a few birthday parties for our kids and an Easter egg hunt… then came Covid. We had to stop holding events at home, but we have never stopped working, building, improving, planning, designing and adding to the “Mini” Huggabear Farm.

Before our hearts changed about having the farm in Phoenix, we had looked at land all over the place! Anywhere we saw land for sale that looked like a nice parcel, we would visit it, pray over it and ask God to reveal His will. We didn’t and still don’t have one dime to build this farm but that doesn’t worry or detract us in anyway at all. We know God does and He would supply the needs! As God changed our hearts about the farm being in Phoenix, He began showing us that we could never do all that we wanted to during the summer months. It is just too darn hot! And for us, summer was a very important time because kids were out of school and looking for things to do.

I went back and forth on that for several months. Should we stay here in Phoenix where there are so many kids in need? How would they get to us if we were someplace far away? I was praying about this while watering the garden one evening and I asked God that very question, “How would the children be able to afford to drive up to us if they are children in need?” Immediately I heard that ever familiar whisper inside my head, “Do you really think I can’t get the children to you?”

Talk about humble! Boy did I feast on humble pie that night! I went in and told Josh and from that night on, I haven’t worried one bit about the location and whether or not children could come to us. Wherever it is God places us, He will make a way for the children to get there.

We knew so many things that Huggabear Farm would have on it and that it would be a place where Samuel could grow pumpkins, but we knew he didn’t want to sell the pumpkins, he wanted to give them away to children. So the question kept coming to our minds, “What would we grow and sell on Huggabear Farm to help support it so we could keep admission free?”

We wondered about apples or pecans trees. We even planted ten pecan seeds to grow saplings. Not one of them sprouted. So we kept praying. We knew that God would reveal to us what He wanted us to grow to sell so we could support the farm and our family.

No to the amazing part of the story! Not that all that wasn’t amazing, but this is pretty cool!

One day in the year 2017, I was in Hobby Lobby buying some items for a new Huggabear book and I saw an old fashioned red truck. Now, if you don’t know about The Huggabear books, I create all of the illustrations for the stories with my family by building miniaturized scenes that I photograph. If you have never seen the Huggabears, you can visit our website at: huggabears.org to see what they look like.

The red truck that I saw at Hobby Lobby was perfect for Daddy bear to have as a work truck. It was the exact size I needed and looked like it would be a perfect fit for Daddy Huggabear to get in. It wasn’t fancy, just a plain red truck. The only problem was it cost $70 which was far more than I could afford at that time and, oddly enough, I didn’t know about the 40% coupons on their app.

Now, if you go to Hobby Lobby on a regular basis you know that eventually everything in that store gets marked down, but I never saw these red trucks get marked down. Never.

Then one day I went and they were all gone. I was disappointed but I thought, if God wants me to have a red truck for Daddy Huggabear, they will bring them back and He will provide the funds for it.

Two years passed by, it was now 2019. I went into Hobby Lobby and they had red trucks! They were a little different as they were a little bit smaller and they had a cute Christmas tree mounted in the back, but I checked the price and they were on sale! Only $25! MaCaedyn and I scooped one up and happily brought it home to show the rest of the family who all loved it.

I didn’t really pay a lot of attention to the outside of the truck itself. My main concern was whether or not Daddy Huggabear would fit inside and when I measure the windows and saw he would I was so happy! I gave thanks to God for making that purchase happen for the Huggabear Family. I knew I wasn’t going to be creating a book where Daddy Huggabear would drive the truck for a while, so I placed it in our workshop with some of my other story set props and went on my way.

Fast forward another full year. We are now in the year 2020.

I was working on my latest Huggabear book “The Ooky-Spooky, Creaky, Creepy, Scary Old House on Hallow’s Hill” which I released on October 31, 2020. This story doesn’t have Daddy Huggabear’s truck in it, but I was working around all of my story set props while creating it.

One day, I went out to get something from the workshop (or as Josh calls it the Huggarage) and I happened to look at the red truck as I passed by. I smiled and said, “Thank You again God for that truck.”

And then God said to me, “Go back and read what is on it.” I stopped in my tracks.

I didn’t hear an audible voice like when you or I speak. It was like a whisper in my brain. People who haven’t had this experience won’t understand that but for those who have had it, you will understand. The words were strong and clear. I have had this kind of experience before and I knew it was God, so I immediately turned around and went back to the truck. I pulled it out from it’s storage space and looked at it.

When I bought it, I had seen the Christmas tree, but was so focused upon the size of the window, the driver’s seat and steering wheel to make sure Daddy Huggabear would fit, I didn’t pay any attention to the side of the truck which had Christmas trees on it and read: “Farm Fresh Christmas Trees Fir, Spruce, Pine, Cedar”. I read the words aloud and after I did, God spoke to me again and said, “This is what Huggabear Farm will be. Christmas trees and Pumpkins.”

Of course! We could grow and sell Christmas trees to support the farm!

I grabbed hold of the truck and ran into the house! I was so excited and couldn’t wait to share with my family what God had just told me about Huggabear Farm… but everyone was on a device– some with headsets on and didn’t want to stop to listen to what I had to say. So I just took the truck back into the workshop and placed it back on the shelf and kept the Word from the Lord inside my heart.

That was in October 2020.

Time past and one day in November 2020, Josh went to do some grocery shopping for me. We have a game in our household that we love to play about staying on the budget. Whenever one of us goes shopping, we head out with our list in hand and usually come home bragging about how we stayed totally on budget or even came in under it. But this day Josh came home very excited and said, “I went $15 over budget today, but I had to get you something!”

I was excited to see what it was that made him so excited. “I saw these little Christmas barns for sale, and I started to get you one, but when I saw this, I just had to get it for you,” he said happily.

As he pulled the gift out of the bag it wasn’t just excitement that washed over me, it was the power of the Holy Spirit. Immediately, I clasped my hands over my mouth and stared at it in amazement.

“It’s a Christmas tree Farm!” he said with joy.

He had bought me a small, porcelain, light up, Christmas tree Farm that read at the top: “Farm Fresh Christmas Trees Fir, Spruce, Pine, Cedar”.

For a moment I could hardly speak or even breath as I knew that God was now speaking to Josh what He had spoken to me. Both items said the exact same thing, yet one was purchased by myself over a year ago at one location and the other was purchased by Josh at another. It was incredible!

I started jumping up and down and ran into the workshop to get the truck and began rattling off the story of how God had spoke to me that Huggabear Farm would be a Christmas tree farm. Josh and the kids listened intently and were astounded at the story and the two items which we clearly understood to be signs from God before us. I remember Josh saying, “I bet this is one time you are thankful that none of us listened to you! If we had, it wouldn’t make this so incredible!”

MaCaedyn told me that she actually had heard me tell my story so she knew that God had spoken to me first!

But Josh was right. If he had heard my story, then this sign wouldn’t really be a sign from God but just something that Josh did out of love and kindness. Josh NOT knowing my story and what God had shown me made it so much more powerful!

Right then and there we decided that we believed both of these things were signs from God and we also came to understand that the dream I had where the people were being distanced from us was also God communicating to us that we were going to be moving somewhere else. Somewhere other than Phoenix and that distance was going to be coming between us and the faces around us which were being moved back.

We decided that we were not going to tell a soul about what had happened with the two signs, but instead, we were going to pray nightly as a family for God to send us a third confirmation that Huggabear Farm was going to be a Christmas tree and pumpkin farm. We know God works in threes and we just wanted to make sure beyond a shadow of a doubt that what we were experiencing was communication from God, just like Gideon did in the book of Judges with the fleece. (Judges 6:33-40)

So we prayed and asked that God would send a third confirmation from someone outside of our family unit. It could be anyone and in anyway, from a relative, a friend or even better– total stranger! No one had ever said this to us before so we knew that if someone said it to us now it would be a clear confirmation. They could have had a vision, a dream, an idea, or whatever! However God wanted to give it to us, we asked that He could give us that third confirmation that Huggabear Farm would be a Christmas tree and pumpkin farm.

My family was so excited! We all love Christmas trees so much and use them to teach children about the everlasting love of Jesus just like the ancient German missionaries of the past did in the pagan regions. I even wrote a lesson about this from my character of Obadiah in my third Intercessors book “Confession”. In fact, part of our Huggabear work at Christmastime is to give Christmas trees to families in need so that their children can enjoy having a tree on Christmas day. The more we thought about it the more it made perfect sense! How could we not see this before? It was the perfect crop for Huggabear Farm! After all, bears live in the forest, we wanted to live in the forest and Christmas trees are something that could make a profit to support the farm every year! In my Huggabear books I never had given Daddy Huggabear a job, now I could! He would grow Christmas trees! It was all perfect!

Everyday we would spend time talking about it and everyday we went shopping we were surrounded by it! I have seen cute Christmas decorations that had a truck with a Christmas tree on it and say “Merry Christmas” in the past, but in the year 2020 they didn’t just say “Merry Christmas”. Everywhere it would say, “Christmas Tree Farm”!!!! It was in every store, everywhere we went! Then I had a wake up call, which again is embarrassing to admit I didn’t notice sooner… we keep Christmas trees up year round in and outside our house! Just little ones, but we decorate them for each holiday and we have two inside our home year round and FIVE outside on our patio year round! I also have three growing in our front yard! I used to have 7 but each summer the heat kills another one! (Boooo! Hissss!)

But still! Seeing all this was like that scene in the movie “I Can Only Imagine”. The writer of that song had been writing that phrase all around him for years and he didn’t see it until the time was right. And the time was God’s time. We were now seeing how God had been speaking this to us and preparing us for this for years! Which just added to our joy!!!

All of this excitement compiled with their dreams of experiencing a White Christmas (which is one of our holiday movie favorites) inspired the children to want to spend Christmas in the snow. They didn’t want to leave our home on Christmas Eve, they wanted to have dinner and our traditional events and our traditional Christmas morning but then they wanted to be packed and ready so that we could all–pups included, jump into the Huggamobile and head for the woods! And there was only one place they wanted to go: Flagstaff, naturally.

After weeks of searching, God led Josh to find the most darling cabin for rent where we could take the dogs. After opening gifts and having some breakfast, we headed for the glories of the forest in Flagstaff! There wasn’t much snow, but that didn’t stop us from having an incredible time! Our children were so happy. They said it had been one of the best Christmases of their lives– outside of Christmas at Disneyland of course. 😉 God blessed us so richly and we enjoyed every single minute of that trip!

A few days after we came home, I went outside and called my friend Gerry who couldn’t wait to hear all about our holiday and I about hers. After I had told her about our trip I said, “We all love it up there so much. It is such a great town! We also went to Williams because we love it there too! In Flagstaff we have all that we need up there as far as city needs go, even a university, but then a few minutes out, you are in the thick of the woods.” I conveyed how much we all want to live there–even the little dogs! They loved it! Reblen, who usually spends her days resting on our chaise was outside running and playing everyday. She was the first one out the door!

After a while of sharing how much we love it there and how we are begging God to let us move there if it is His will, Gerry said, “Angelique! Huggabear Farm should grow Christmas trees and pumpkins! It could be a Christmas tree and pumpkin farm!”

As soon as the words came out of her mouth I jumped up off my seat, ran to the house and started yelling in the door, “Gerry said it! Gerry said it! She said Huggabear Farm should grow Christmas trees and pumpkins!!”

My family was ecstatic! Poor Gerry probably thought I had gone crazy! I took the time to explain everything to her about what we had been praying for and when I did she too was amazed! God used my friend of so many years, to give us our third confirmation: Huggabear Farm will grow Christmas trees and pumpkins amidst lots and LOTS of love, joy and imagination!

We would love for it to be in Flagstaff because we have fallen in love with the town–and we love Williams and the Historic Route 66! But does the Huggabear Farm have to be in Flagstaff? No. That is a place we love and the forest I have known all my life. But we all agree, we want God’s perfect will to be fulfilled. Because when it is, wherever He leads us, it will be absolutely, totally and completely perfect! We are placing none of our limits on God’s plan because we know, He knows best. Our prayer right now is, “Lead us Lord, we will follow!”

There even came a great change in my heart about my dream home. I had always hoped to have a home of my own someday, something that reflected our family with enough space for us all to be together and have places of our own as well. We would call it Huggabear House. I, sad to say, had placed another limitation on God where that dream home was concerned. I wanted it to be single story with no stairs, but even that desire began to change in my heart. I would take whatever home God wanted me to have, stairs and all, and if it was an old home that needed love and restoration, we would do that too.

God had transformed my heart during the year 2020 where this dream was concerned and I am so glad that He did because I understand that He has plans for me, my family, and our ministry work that far surpass anything that I could ever hope or imagine. I want God’s perfect will to be done in my life over my own will for I know He knows best, after all… He created me.

So that’s my amazing story! Some people may read this and not be impressed. They may say it is all just one big coincidence. But we know better. We know that there is no word in the Hebrew language that means coincidence. It is all God! And we know that He spoke to us direct three times. Once with a toy truck. Once with a porcelain Christmas decoration and once through a faithful, Jesus loving friend. He also spoke to me many times through my dreams!

The month is now April and we still haven’t heard from God about when or where He wants us to move. But He has given us work to do in the meantime while we wait on His perfect timing and plan. We took a little missions trip on Easter Sunday to do some Huggabear work for the homeless in Flagstaff, enjoyed a trek through the woods, had a picnic and even made a snowbear! There was no snow where we were on Christmas but we were blessed with a little on Easter! Samuel declared that we were the only people in the history of the world to create a snowbear and snow bearpaw on Easter Sunday!

We are still waiting on God and I admit it is hard sometimes in the waiting, especially when you are so excited to go and do something you know you are meant to do. It makes me think of Abraham and Sarah who had to wait 25 years for God to fulfill His promise that one day they would have a son. My waiting is much easier because I have my beautiful family waiting with me and while we wait together we are loving each other, praying together and seeking God’s perfect will for our future place of ministry.

I encourage you as Pastor Michael Todd encouraged me, if God has given you a vision for a work that you are to do, write it down! Share it with others so that when God brings that vision to fruition, not only you, but all you shared it with will know that God always keep His promises, He does speak to people, He has never changed and He is still able to perform miracles!

Oh yes, and Samuel wants me to make sure that everyone knows that he knew first that it was Flagstaff… just in case it really is Flagstaff!

Covid19 Pandemic – Entry 5 “The Soldiers of World War C”

World War C has begun. It is a war between Covid19 and citizens of the world.

The virus has no racism, prejudices, or preferences. If you are alive, that’s reason enough for it to attack you.

Those who are on “The Front” are not soldiers of the Army or Marines, they are not sailors in the Navy or the Coast Guard, and they are not pilots in the Air Force.

They do not carry rifles, they carry stethoscopes and thermometers.
They do not defend with tanks, but with ventilators.

They cannot order an airstrike before they send in boots on the ground, because they cannot see their foe.

These soldiers do not wear helmets or armor. They wear “P.P.E.”, masks, rubber gloves, and protective robes–and there is not enough of what they need. Still, united together and standing strong, they gather the defenses they have and engage in battle.

They have no refuge, no bunkers, no forts. There is no place they can retreat because their enemy is everywhere all over the world. For these soldiers there is no rest, there is no pause, and at present it seems as if there is no end. The battles rage on every minute, every hour, every day on a global scale.

The attack of the enemy crept in slowly at first. Many didn’t believe it was real… some still don’t. But these soldiers, even though they are afraid and even when they know they are outnumbered, have boldly answered the call for help and have stepped forward in courage to the front as their enemy spreads like wildfire.

Acting while scared displays the greatest form of courage. These soldiers are all the best of us, willingly putting their own lives at risk and displaying through their diligence the very definitions of bravery, compassion, and giving.

Right before our eyes “World War C” against Covid 19 is taking place. It is a new type of war, and a new type of soldier who says, “I am here to help you.” These soldiers don’t stop fighting because our enemy is invisible and constantly attacking, showing no mercy to any it encounters.

Covid 19 has been called “The Great Equalizer” taking old and young, rich and poor,
weak and strong, in people of every nation, of every race, of every faith and gender. All are prey to its destruction.

This enemy does not sleep. It does not stop. It shows no mercy and seeks to devour all that it encounters. But these soldiers will not quit. They know there is no military leave during this war, and they know the troop numbers are limited.

These soldiers are fighting the good fight with what resources of weaponry they have…
but the demand is greater than the supply and the weapons of warfare are scarce.

Though these soldiers are constantly calling for reinforcements for their kind of ammunition, production is gradual and some cannot be rushed.  Every weapon of defense must be created and tested with perfect functionality. There is no margin for error. All weapons must suffice the needs of the soldiers or else the fatalities will continue to increase.

As they days pass by and the numbers of those attacked by the enemy rise, it seems as if these soldiers will never see an end to World War C. I am quite sure they all feel totally overwhelmed, exhausted and scared.

They need our help.

Our doctors, nurses, first-responders, medical workers, care givers, hospital staff, all those who are facing the deadly Covid19 virus have been transformed overnight into soldiers and they are all facing it with courage, compassion, intelligence, creativity and excellence.

Every night after I tuck my kids in bed, yes, I am tucking in my teenagers with hugs and kisses on the head, I think of how blessed we are to be living in a place that is safe and peaceful. Yet, as I lay my head down to rest, all I can think about are these amazing soldiers on the front and what battles of hell they are constantly engaging in while the rest of us sleep.

So what I can I do to help them?

I don’t have funds to send.
I don’t have the medical equipment they need nor can I produce any.
I don’t have any knowledge that I can pass along to anyone trying to find a cure.
I don’t have the ability protect them.
I don’t have the means to give them any professional or sufficient hands on assistance.

So what can I do?

The best that I can do is stay home and pray.

I have a relationship and a direct line to the throne room of an incredible, powerful, loving, giving God who is still on His throne.

I have had dozens of personal miracles from my Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ! His power has not changed.

I can go to the Bible, the Word of God, the truth of God, and I can read the scriptures aloud, calling out for help.

I can read them out to Jehovah Jireh, our provider, Philippians 4:19 “And my God will supply every need of yours according to His riches in glory in Christ Jesus.”, to provide all the needs of these soldiers.

Jehovah Shammah, God with us, and know, without doubt that He will fulfill His promises. Genesis 28:15 “I am with you and will watch over you wherever you go.”

There is power in prayer and those of us who understand that, and know how to boldly enter into the throne room of God, need to be calling out day, night and the minutes in between (1 Thessalonians 5:17 “Pray without Ceasing”) for these soldiers, these incredible, amazing, courageous doctors, nurses and care givers. John 15:7 “If you abide in me, and my words abide in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be done for you.”

We can intercede for them everyday and take their requests to Yahweh, our Mighty God.
We can ask the Holy Spirit to bring them strength, wisdom, and peace that passes all understanding.

Isaiah 41:10 “Fear not, for I am with you; be not dismayed, for I am your God; I will strengthen you, I will help you, I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.”

Isaiah 41:10 “Fear not, for I am with you; be not dismayed, for I am your God; I will strengthen you, I will help you, I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.”

Philippians 4:7 “And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.”

We can pray and ask the Lord Jesus to pour out His power of healing that He gave us through the stripes He bore upon His back.

Isaiah 53:5 “But he was wounded for our transgressions; he was crushed for our iniquities; upon him was the chastisement that brought us peace, and with his stripes we are healed.”

Prayer and staying home are the best we can do to help these troops as they battle
World War C.

Intercessors. Prayer warriors. They need us. Let’s not fail them.

 

 

 

 

 

Covid19 Pandemic – Entry 3 “Reality, Wisdom, Compassion, Thankfulness… Are We Lacking?”

Today is March 19, 2020 and the world is learning to live within a new reality, the reality of the Covid19 Pandemic.

But not everyone is believing this reality.

Although we have medical professionals from all over the globe teaching us about the Covid19 virus, what the symptoms are, how to stay healthy, and what we all need to do to protect one another, there are those out there who still claim this to be “not that serious” or “this is the media just creating fear and panic” or “this is the deep state going after President Trump”–just to name a few.

It’s hard for me to process how anyone could possibly believe, speak or write words like this when there are people in nations all over this world suffering and dying with this virus.

As I have said many times, I am not a political person and I am a registered Independent voter. This is not a political blog. It is a place for me to write out my feelings during this time, document what I see and hear so that when we pass through this time I can look back upon all that I have learned.

What I am learning is that there are many people out there who refuse to accept reality and the reality is, people are dying.

Dr. Anthony Fauci, Director of the NIAID (National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases) has been on the frontline for months trying to teach people all over the world the seriousness of Covid19 and what it can lead to if strong actions not taken.

Yet, there are those who will not accept this reality and want to pretend the virus is the vindictive action of a political party or that it is being “blown out of proportion” as one college student on spring break in Florida spoke today on the news.

It bewilders the mind that anyone would speak words like these when there are countries all over the world battling the same disease. Do these people believe that the same politicians went and released the virus in those countries too?

Just in case you don’t follow the news or online sources for updates on Covid19, here are some sobering realities. These are the numbers of countries that are currently battling Covid19. This was copied directly from the  website of the CDC (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention) as of today, 3/19/20, at 6:52 pm

Locations with Confirmed COVID-19 Cases, by
WHO Region (World Health Organization)

Africa

  • Algeria
  • Benin
  • Burkina Faso
  • Cameroon
  • Central African Republic
  • Congo
  • Equatorial Guinea
  • Eswatini
  • Democratic Republic of Congo
  • Ethiopia
  • Gabon
  • Gambia
  • Ghana
  • Guinea
  • Ivory Coast (Côte d’Ivoire)
  • Kenya
  • Liberia
  • Mauritania
  • Namibia
  • Nigeria
  • Rwanda
  • Senegal
  • Seychelles
  • Somalia
  • South Africa
  • Sudan
  • Tanzania
  • Togo
  • Zambia

Americas

  • Antigua and Barbuda
  • Argentina
  • Barbados
  • Bolivia
  • Brazil
  • Canada
  • Chile
  • Colombia
  • Costa Rica
  • Cuba
  • Dominican Republic
  • Ecuador
  • El Salvador
  • French Guiana
  • Guadalupe
  • Guatemala
  • Guyana
  • Honduras
  • Jamaica
  • Martinique
  • Mexico
  • Panama
  • Paraguay
  • Peru
  • Saint Lucia
  • Saint Vincent and the Grenadines
  • Suriname
  • Trinidad and Tobago
  • Uruguay
  • United States

Eastern Mediterranean

  • Afghanistan
  • Bahrain
  • Djibouti
  • Egypt
  • Iran
  • Iraq
  • Jordan
  • Kuwait
  • Lebanon
  • Morocco
  • Oman
  • Pakistan
  • Qatar
  • Saudi Arabia
  • Tunisia
  • United Arab Emirates

Europe

  • Albania
  • Andorra
  • Armenia
  • Austria
  • Azerbaijan
  • Belarus
  • Belgium
  • Bosnia and Herzegovina
  • Bulgaria
  • Croatia
  • Cyprus
  • Czechia
  • Denmark
  • Estonia
  • Finland
  • France
  • Georgia
  • Germany
  • Gibraltar
  • Greece
  • Holy See (Vatican City)
  • Hungary
  • Iceland
  • Ireland
  • Israel
  • Italy
  • Kazakhstan
  • Kyrgyzstan
  • Latvia
  • Liechtenstein
  • Lithuania
  • Luxembourg
  • Malta
  • Moldova
  • Monaco
  • Montenegro
  • Netherlands
  • North Macedonia
  • Norway
  • Poland
  • Portugal
  • Romania
  • Russia
  • San Marino
  • Serbia
  • Slovakia
  • Slovenia
  • Spain
  • Sweden
  • Switzerland
  • Turkey
  • Ukraine
  • United Kingdom

South-East Asia

  • Bangladesh
  • Bhutan
  • India
  • Indonesia
  • Maldives
  • Mongolia
  • Nepal
  • Sri Lanka
  • Thailand

Western Pacific

  • Australia
  • Brunei Darussalam
  • Cambodia
  • China
  • Fiji
  • Hong Kong
  • Japan
  • Macau
  • Malaysia
  • New Zealand
  • Philippines
  • Republic of Korea
  • Singapore
  • Taiwan
  • Vietnam
World Health Organization, on 3/19/20, at 6:52pm 
These are the numbers of those infected, worldwide as of 3/19/20 at 6:54 pm
245,612 current cases
10,048 deaths
88, 437 recoveries
147,127 active cases
98,485 closed cases which had an outcome (including the death toll)
Of course, by the time I finish writing this, all the numbers above will change.
This is our reality right now. No, it isn’t the reality we want to have. We all want the freedom of our regular lives, to worship, work, school, shop, play, celebrate, and explore. But that isn’t possible or wise right now. Which brings me to my next point.
Wisdom.
I am a God-fearing, Jesus loving, Bible-believing mama and I believe that God gives us help directly from His divine hand. I also believe that God uses His children to help one another.
We can trust these good medical professionals and their wisdom of this virus. We can trust all that God has shown them about this virus and all that we need to do to keep ourselves and our families safe. God tells us in Proverbs 2:11 “Discretion will protect you, and understanding will guard you.” 
The entire book of Proverbs is full of God’s teachings for us to be wise. I encourage you to get a Bible or look up the book of Proverbs online to learn for yourself what God’s Word says about obtaining and using wisdom. We must be wise during this time. We must be vigilant and diligent during this time to keep our families safe and do what we are being told.
I was in a Walmart when I heard a lady say aloud “I don’t understand all of this stupidity. It’s just like the flu.”
Dr. Anthony Fauci (who I wish I could nominate for the Nobel Peace Prize and should be!) has been teaching us for months that this is not like the flu. He has told us time and time again, it is ten times more lethal.
Respecting the quarantines that are being put in place because of the studies which have been done and the examples of what we have seen in other countries is not just about you. It is about others whom you might infect. Have we forgotten that freedom is a blessing and a privilege? Has our freedom made us totally selfish and self-centered that we cannot show compassion for others? Which brings me to my next point.
Compassion.
As the founder/director of The Huggabear Children’s Project, Inc, 501c3 organization for children in need which is run by my family, we strive to serve children all over this world without bias. In our work, we see both sides of people’s hearts every day. We see those who live open-handed with open hearts full of compassion and we see those who live with their hands clutched tight and their hearts are not open so they are not being filled with compassion.
We do not judge them. We do not ridicule or scold them. We do not mock them. No. We pray for them and hope they can learn to open their hearts to others because it’s a wonderful way to live.
Every time I hear someone speak or read posted words as I have listed above, my heart immediately thinks of those who have already lost loved ones to Covid 19. The photo that I have at the top of this blog was taken from Bergamo, Italy.
I watched a video diary of an American woman whose family was living in Italy and she has given daily accounts of what has taken place there. My heart broke when she described how because this is such a contagious disease, people are dying alone. Doctors and nurses are with them, but none of the family or friends are by their beds as they pass on.
The lady explained that there are so many coffins waiting their turn for cremation that they have to stack them in churches and other areas. It is absolutely heartbreaking and my prayers have been with all of the thousands who are mourning lost loved ones that Jesus would pour out on them His peace that passes all understanding.
This triggered the memory of the night my Mema passed away. She was placed in hospice because she had been suffering from Alzheimer’s and then contracted pneumonia. It was very late at night and all of the family had come to visit during the days before to give their love and last hugs good-bye. My Aunt Cookie and Uncle Sam were watching tv and I had laid at the end of her bed by her feet. This was something I would always do when I went to visit her after school or work. My mom was sitting by her side, holding her hand and the nurse was talking with us. We began telling funny stories of Mema’s life and were laughing when the nurse said, “She’s about to take her last breaths.”
The four of us all gathered around her, holding her hands, stroking her hair. Thanking her for being such a wonderful mother and grandmother as she passed. I told my husband it was like we just gently handed her to Jesus and knew that my grandpa was close by waiting for her too.
I also watched an interview with two sisters who had lost their mother, their oldest sister, and two older brothers and still have three siblings on life support. The loss is real. The suffering is real.
I cannot imagine how tragic and painful it would be to lose so many family members within the same couple of days. I cannot imagine knowing one of my loved ones was dying and I had to be kept out and away from them so I would not get sick and they had to die without being held, or kissed good-bye.
This is what led me to write this blog today. We need to have a perspective check to stop only thinking about ourselves and how this inconveniences us. Let your hearts go beyond your doorstep and let’s start looking at the bigger picture toward those out there who are walking under the shadow of Covid19.

We all need to work together and do it with love, respect, and compassion for others.

Would anyone dare to speak harsh or ignorant words to the face of a person who is currently battling this virus? Would they say such things to the doctors and nurses, our new soldiers battling a new kind of war? Would they dare say such things to a person who just lost their wife… husband… father… mother… sister… brother… or child to this virus?
I certainly hope not.
I know my words might not reach very far, but all I know to do during this time to help others is to pray, post scriptures and write. And I felt led to write and ask anyone who may read this who isn’t taking this virus and it’s destruction seriously, please, watch your words. Please, open your hearts to be filled with compassion for others who are suffering from this virus or who have already lost loved ones. Covid19 is real. It is not being blown out of proportion. It has no preferences. It will take anyone it can get.
In closing, I want to address my last point.
Thankfulness.
Tomorrow night I will be preparing for my family’s dinner a turkey, with all the fixings! It was the only meat I could find in the grocery store the other day. So we are going to have 2nd Thanksgiving.
We have so much to be thankful for!
If you, your children, family, and friends are healthy-BE THANKFUL!
If you have a home to be quarantined in with all of your personal comforts and family members- BE THANKFUL!
If you have food in your refrigerator and pantry–BE THANKFUL!
If you have toilet paper! BE THANKFUL! 🙂
If you have a job, even if you can’t work it right now–BE THANKFUL! Jehovah Jirah, God our Provider will supply your needs–and I can say that from experience!
If you live in the USA and have access to amazing doctors and nurses in case of need–
BE THANKFUL!
If you and your family have a warm bed to sleep in–BE THANKFUL!
If you have clean water to drink, bathe in and wash clothes and household items–BE THANKFUL!
The list goes on and on. Just look around you and everything you see that is good is from GOD! SO BE THANKFUL!
Let’s deal with this temporary new reality with WISDOM, COMPASSION, and THANKFULNESS. It will make it a bit easier and it will make our Heavenly Father smile.
If we put our trust in Him, He will bring us through this and we will be wiser on the other side. We are all in this together, let’s get through it with love!
“Trust in the Lord with all of your heart and lean not to your own understanding, but in all your ways acknowledge Him and He shall direct your path.” Proverbs 3:5-6
(Emphasis added)

Covid 19 Pandemic – Entry 1 “The Beauty of Human Hearts”

I guess using the phrase “It’s the talk of all the land” would not be an exaggeration when it comes to the constant discussions swarming the globe right now about the Coronavirus aka Covid19 Pandemic. Although this blog which might be a series of posts yet to come are going to be completely about life while dealing with the virus, the blog is not exactly what you might think. I urge you, read on, this is meant to uplift you!

I was thinking yesterday that this is my first experience with a pandemic. It is the first pandemic for most of us, and since it is all so new and we are experiencing things we haven’t ever seen before, I wanted to document my personal perspectives so that in the years to come I can look back to remember and see all that I have learned.

Today is March 15, 2020.

As of today, my family, friends, myself and my relatives are all in good health–and I pray it stays that way!

I live in Phoenix, Arizona in the northern part of the city close to the Paradise Valley boundaries. (Unfortunately I live too close to PV because the PV courts for people like me, who sometimes get speeding tickets, are higher than anywhere else in the state! bleh)

I am pretty much a news junkie. I watch all the stations I can that will give me fresh stories, briefings on current events, and updates on world issues. I also like to read articles, though to be honest, I don’t have as much time for that as I would like, so I often catch up on topics from my husband, Josh, who loves to read breaking news articles off the little rectangle clutched in his hand known as a cell phone. We have been following the Covid19 story for months now while it was storming through China.

We have stayed current on the locations of the virus, the symptoms, how it is spread, how to prevent it and although we are not living in fear of it, we are living sensibly and responsibly to avoid it.

Last week, our refrigerator broke down and we had to throw out all our frozen foods and a great deal of our perishables. Although we are hoping to get that taken care of week, for the time being we have to go out to stores daily to get just enough things that our family needs but not too much so that it would spoil. Fun, right? Seriously though, if that is the worst thing we have going on, we are MORE than blessed.

Yesterday I visited a few stores to get some supplies for my family and a couple items for my new Huggabear book for Easter. I went to the 99 Cent Only store (which is NOT 99 Cents only!), Sprouts, Walmart and Hobby Lobby.

As I went from place to place I saw such beautiful examples of human hearts living at their best and I thought, “I want to go home and write about all that I am seeing.”

I think when the world has moments of darkness there are those whom God uses to shine His light the brightest. I always hope to be one of those lights of the world and I certainly did see many of them yesterday.

Just so that you have a better understanding of why I was so deeply impacted by what I saw in my community, I need to explain that I do a LOT of shopping.  For those of you who don’t know me, my family has a nonprofit organization for children in need and we also do projects to serve our amazing Veterans. There are months, like November and December, where I am out shopping daily for weeks at a time. I enjoy using Amazon and online stores here and there, but I was raised with my grandfather, Samuel Boone, who was a man that loved to shop and taught me well how to do it!

I love to get out, find items I need, support my local businesses, and interact with people. It’s how I’m made and when I go out, I like to watch people. I’m not a person who loves my cell phone, I do not regularly keep a small rectangle clutched in my hand. I only use my phone to make calls and take and post photos. I try to text but get too frustrated with the time it takes me. I keep thinking, “I could have sent 10 messages on my laptop in the time that it is taking me to peck out this message on a tiny keyboard!” Now don’t get me wrong, for those of you who love your phones, I am not against them and it doesn’t bother me at all if you love your phone. I actually have stronger feelings in my life toward a larger technical rectangle that is often found upon my lap. So please do not think that I am judging you because you love your phone. I believe phones and laptops have their time and place… I just don’t think that time is all of the time or in every single place. Right now, at this very moment, I honestly have no idea where my cell phone is. Jimmy cracked corn and I don’t care.

I tell you all of this because I want you to understand human interaction is important to me. When I stand in line at at store, or walk through a store or a store parking lot, I am usually looking around at people and sometimes I talk to them, say perhaps if we are in the same line and there was a great sale on honey-crisp apples that we are happy to have discovered, casual things like that. I like this kind of interaction with people because I love people.

Yesterday, I set out on my quest and knowing that there is a strong urgency in our nation to keep safe social distancing I didn’t know what to expect. I thought I would probably see the small rectangles clutched in people’s hands that hold their attention captive, but I didn’t know how other people were going to interpret what social distancing was.

I also didn’t know what items I would find to purchase due to people stocking up on supplies for the next few weeks. This honestly did not bother me at all. If I had a working fridge, I would be totally stocked up too. And the toilet people crisis makes sense to me! After all, if people who are used to being in offices or places of employment, and children who are usually at school all day suddenly have to stay at home for two weeks, those tushies must be cleaned! So none of those things bothered me or my family. It became like a quest.

“What? No toilet paper at Walmart? Let’s try Frys! None there? Try Home Depot!
What? None THERE? How about Office Max? No wait! I know! Let’s try the mini mart on the corner that no one ever goes to unless they are buying cigarettes and beer.
YES! Victory is ours!” (
That, by the way, is a true story!)

Our toilet paper stashing experience was actually quite comical and fun. We laughed the whole time and invested in packages of napkins too–just in case. 😉

When I went into the first store yesterday, I saw some shelves and normal stacks of products cleared, but it overall it wasn’t bad. But what struck me the most were the people. In every store I visited, people had their heads up, smiling and were being so kind to one another. I didn’t see anyone clutching a little rectangle in their hand. I didn’t hear anything but kind words, people being patient and tolerant with one another. In fact, in two stores, the 99 Cent Store and Walmart, there were times when I was surrounded by the sound of laughter. Healthy, hearty laughter.

I kid you not, even as I sit writing this blog outside on my Huggabear porch, I am hearing the sounds of laughter coming from children in the neighborhood who are tickled pink that our Gov. Doug Duecy has cancelled school next week. To me, one of the greatest sounds that can be found in this world is the sound of giggling children.

I didn’t hear anyone making jokes about the seriousness of the pandemic, no. But they were making light of the shopping situations of there being no toilet paper… or paper towels… or Lysol… or bleach… or–you get the picture.

There was no fighting. There was no frustration. If it was there, I didn’t see it. I didn’t hear it. I only saw goodness, kindness, patience and respect for one another, even with keeping their distances. They weren’t touching each other’s skin, but they were touching each others hearts. They touched my heart. I was so proud that I lived in such a community. It was a beautiful thing.

Again, for those of you who don’t know me, I have the blessing and privilege of home schooling my kids… which you also might be doing for the next few weeks! When we first started studying Covid19, I told them I just knew that through this terrible virus, God was going to do something great. That God could take anything horrible and use it to do something beautiful. So far, that is what I have experienced personally in the various places of town that I have gone. The demonstration of beautiful human hearts. People telling each other, “Stay safe!” “Stay healthy!” and showing kindness is a remarkable thing! The people that I encountered understood that we are all in this together (Cue Zac Efron). Because this is affecting every nation it is bringing us closer together, even though we have to stay a safe distance apart for now. The closeness is coming from our compassion.

I told my children that we would see the beauty of humanity during this time and I was blessed enough to see a glimpse of it yesterday.

I have loved watching the videos from Italy of people stepping out onto their balconies to sing to one another or play their national anthem to keep their spirits boosted. We need to lift one another up during this time. This virus has no politics. It has no racism and it has no prejudices. It will take hold anyone it can get. It is real and it is serious, but we don’t have to be afraid. We have to be wise.

If you don’t know Jesus Christ as your Lord and Savior, I can tell you, He has never failed me yet. He has healed me time and time again. He has protected me and my family over and over and we are putting all our hope and trust in Him. God’s Word is truth and  Jesus told us that this would happen in Luke 21:11 “There will be great earthquakes, famines and pestilences in various places, and fearful events and great signs from heaven.” and He also teaches us in John 16:33 “I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.”

I love that verse so much! It brings me peace because I know Jesus loves me and my family. I also know, without any doubt whatsoever that Jesus loves YOU.

2 Chronicles 20:9 says ‘Should evil come upon us, the sword, or judgment, or pestilence, or famine, we will stand before this house and before You (for Your name is in this house) and cry to You in our distress, and You will hear and deliver us.’

As I traveled from place to place yesterday I turned my radio off and everywhere I went I prayed for the people of my community. Every street full of cars, every store, every person on the street, every home I passed by. People probably thought I was a crazy lady walking around mumbling. MUMBLER! But that’s okay. I’m not ashamed. I love to pray because I know there is power in it!

This is what Christians need to be doing to battle this virus. If you haven’t already, I encourage to turn to Jesus. Please don’t let past experiences with people who may not have represented Him well stop you from knowing the greatest love you will ever find. He is with you even now as you read this, quietly waiting for you to turn to Him. I encourage you to do that. Because when you walk with Jesus, He gives you strength beyond measure, wisdom beyond knowledge, and peace that passes all understanding. And then there is His love, never-ending, unconditional, powerful, merciful, forgiving love.

If you ever would like to talk with me more about Jesus, message me and we will definitely make that happen! Email me at thehuggabears@gmail.com
I can’t promise you that a life with Jesus is nothing but a bed of roses, but it is greater than anything this world has to offer. In times like these it gives you the confidence and courage you need to stand strong in the darkness and know that He is with you.

There are people out there who might not take Covid 19 seriously, but for those who do, I thank you. Your respect for not just your health but the health of others shows that you are a person of compassion and have regard overall for the betterment of humankind.

I don’t know that all my blog posts about Covid 19 will be this long. I just wanted to share with you tonight what was in my heart and encourage you not to be afraid.

Joshua 1:9 “Be strong and courageous, do not be terrified to not be discouraged for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go!”

Thank you for reading! If you would like any of my book s as a FREE ebook, please email me at thehuggabears@gmail.com

I am giving ALL my book away for free during this time! mastersmessengers.net

May the Lord God bless you and keep you and your family safe!

The Last Twenty Dollars – A Story of Obedience, Faith and Trust

I have had many miracles performed by my Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ, throughout my life and it has been laid upon my heart to write them down for others to read. I know that faith lies within the heart of the believer, but I am hoping that through my family’s testimonies of miracles, people will learn that God, Jehovah, is real. He is alive. His only Son, Jesus Christ is real and He is alive. And the Holy Spirit of God is real and with us, helping and comforting us.

This is a true story that happened many years ago.

The year was 2007. Josh had just been laid off from Countrywide Financial. When the housing market crashed in 2006 and Josh had no work as a home appraiser, we tried to do our best to stay afloat and keep all we had… but that wasn’t part of God’s plan. We ended up losing our home, selling a truck, and declaring bankruptcy. It was a tough time for sure, but we would have rather lost those kinds of things as opposed to losing one of our babies or each other.

At this time we had three babies, Aven was almost five, MaCaedyn was two and Samuel Braeden was about a year old. We were living with my mom. She had a two-bedroom condo and we arranged all five of us in one of the rooms, which was (thank God!) a second master bedroom with a walk-in closet. It wasn’t what we dreamed of, but since the children were babies, they loved it and we were safe, had shelter, comfy beds, warmth in the winter and air conditioning in the summer–which in Phoenix is a great blessing!

Josh had been doing everything he could to find work, but the country was in a recession and there wasn’t much work to be found. Still, he got up every day and searched for a job, putting applications anywhere and everywhere he could. He took any day job he could find, big or small, no matter how much it paid.

There were some who thought we were a little bit crazy because during this time God had spoken to us to start a 501c3 nonprofit organization for children, which we did. It is called The Huggabear Children’s Project, Inc. www.huggabears.org

Although this work took a lot of time for both of us, we felt very strongly led by God that we would never take a salary for doing it and we never have. Doing the work for children in need brings us so much joy and taught us that even in the circumstances we were in, we were not poor. We serve children in other nations who live in poverty, children who are orphans or their parents have put them in orphanages because they can’t afford to care for them. In America we serve children who don’t have proper clothing, shoes, have medical or educational needs, children that don’t have proper housing or even a bed. We know what poverty is because of the work that we do. We have experienced financial struggles, but we have never poor.

We always had a place to live where we were sheltered and safe.
We always had electricity, running water and indoor plumbing.
We always had food and clean water to drink and bathe in.
We always had clothes, shoes, medical care, and warm beds to sleep in.
We had toys and educational tools for our children.
No. We have never poor.

Still, the Lord tests us from time to time, and I’m very thankful we had this test.

Although we had applied for different assistance programs, we received cards that had nothing on them. While Josh was trying to work this out, we had help from my family members and friends, but Josh wanted a job. He is a hard and dedicated worker and wanted to provide for his family again, just like so many millions of other Americans at that time.

Josh had done a day job one week that helped us along for several days, but when you have babies, there is a constant need for diapers, wipes, pullups, and milk–especially a big baby boy like Samuel B.!

We went to church one night to hear a special speaker who had come in to teach people about the power of giving and being obedient to God’s Word where our finances were concerned. It was a pretty full house that night. After church, we were going to stop by a Walmart and buy some diapers and milk. We had $20.

Sometimes when I say that people think $20 was all we had in our wallet.
No. Let me be very clear, that was all – we – had. The savings was gone, the home was gone, there was no income. The $20 bill that Josh had in his wallet was it.

During the sermon, the pastor taught that “When God tells you to do or give something, don’t put it off. Obedience is immediate, and if you delay in your obedience, you delay or completely miss the blessing God has for you.”

Then it was time to pray. We prayed for the people of our church and for so many others in the country who were struggling like we were. We prayed for the children of our organization and all the needs that we knew they had, and we prayed for Josh’s job.

When the prayer was over, I felt Josh grab hold of my hand. I looked at his face, and without saying one word, I knew was he was telling me. Tears began to well up in my eyes.

“I have to give it,” he whispered, “God told me to.”

I nodded and squeezed his hand. There has never been a time that I have experienced when Josh did not give when he was told to. I have been there when he jumped out of a car at an intersection with an umbrella in his hand to give to an old woman crossing the street, “Pick me up over there!” was all I heard as he took off. I have seen him jump out of our car to take off his coat, not checking the pockets or anything, and give it to a homeless man on the street who only had a small blanket during one of our coldest January days. I know his heart. It is beautiful, strong and giving. So when he told me that he had to give our last $20, I didn’t say one word. That was between God and Josh and I had nothing to speak to it.

When the offering plate came, I watched as Josh placed the crinkled, tattered $20 bill into the plate. As it passed by me, it was like it was moving in slow motion and all I could do was cry. I trusted God. I trusted Josh. Still, it was a hard moment. Obedience sometimes is.

After the service was over, the pastor’s wife came to me and said, “The Evangelist told me that I was to give this some families in the congregation that are in need. I know your situation and wanted to give this to you.”

She then handed me $220 in cash.

I’ll let that sink into your heart for a moment.

God tested us with something that might have seemed small to many, but for us, it was huge. God knew it was our last $20, no one else did, but He knew and He wanted to see if we would be obedient to give it when asked. Josh was obedient and I supported him.

Our God, Jehovah Jirah, blessed us ten times what we gave because we were obedient to Him. He turned our mourning into dancing– and danced we did! All through the Walmart as we stocked up on diapers, wipes, pullups, and milk! People were literally staring at us as we happily filled up our shopping cart with baby supplies, but we didn’t care. We were as giddy as kids going to Disneyland!

God not only blessed our family with a great gift that helped sustain our children and our needs during that time, He showed us that obedience brings great blessings. God loves us always. He wants to bless us always, but just like all children, we have to be obedient to what He says. If Josh had disobeyed and not given that money, we would had have enough to buy a little. But because he was obedient, we were sustained in baby needs for a few weeks… all because of God’s unending love.

God also wanted to let us know He hadn’t forgotten us. We were in the “Carpenter’s Shop” as one of my characters, Obadiah O’Sullivan, teaches about in The Intercessors books. The “Carpenter’s Shop” is a place where Jesus builds and shapes our lives to be beautiful and prepare us to do magnificent things for His Kingdom. Still, being shaped, cut, hammered on, sanded and stained can sometimes be a painful process. It is sometimes harder to understand why God allows the trial you are in, while you are in the midst of the trial. It is easier to see why He allowed it once the storm has passed.

If we hadn’t walked this road we would never have known what it is like for so many people out there who are in need of assistance and during this time, there were millions of people all over the world experiencing trials just like we were. This experience, along with many others, is an example of how God taught us to live with open hands. He wanted to teach us to be better givers and to trust Him completely and always be obedient–immediately.

God loves all of His children, whether they love Him or not. Jesus loves and died for everyone whether they believe in Him or not. “For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believed in Him would not perish, but have everlasting life!” John 3:16. Nothing can change the love Jesus, and Jehovah, our Heavenly Father God have for you. I hope to encourage you with this story and other stories that I write that having a relationship with the God who created you and His Son, Jesus who both adore you more than you will ever understand, is a decision you will not regret. My hope is that you will and when you do, always obey God’s Word and heed to the still small whisper of His Holy Spirit. If you do, your life will be filled with the sweet goodness and blessings of the Lord that you will never find anywhere else!