A major transition in my life caused me to move from Texas to my home state of Louisiana. I arrived in Louisiana seeking restoration, healing, and redefining myself.After 30 days of looking for work I finally landed a job at one of the local hospitals. I negotiated my salary based on the Louisiana pay scale and according to the locals I got the better end of the deal. The salary base in Louisiana is lower than most of the major states. Even after negotiating the highest pay I could receive for my position, it end up averaging only nine dollars an hour. Others in the same position with more years of experience and higher degrees were earning only seven dollars an hour.I left the interview contemplating how I was going to squeeze my responsibilities into this pay scale. Somehow I convinced myself that everything was going to be okay. Then that day came. The day I would see nine dollars x’s eighty hours on paper. When I opened the envelope briefly I thought surely this must be the bonus check. Quickly reality set in that this was the real deal. The paycheck the only one until next payday.I started to panic. Here I am playing Russian roulette with three kids, two on formula and in pampers. Plus the responsibilities of rent, car, utilities, miscellaneous , and the crazy part was I haven’t even factored in groceries.I thought back to a wanted sign posted in the city hall building that read, “ Wanted Chemist". Must hold a BS, BA or higher starting salary $9.04 hr plus benefits”. Here I am in a state with one of the largest ports in the United States. They are rich in natural gas and oil. The largest exporters of rice; that’s shipped to the outer most parts of the world. Not to mention the seafood and cotton industry. They can only pay a degreed employee $9.04 an hour. If it sounds ridiculous, it is even more ridiculous to take it to the bank.So I tucked my pride in the corner and sought helped. I went to get assistance with groceries.I stayed in line and got to the counter. I read the poverty guidelines. According to the paperwork I qualified by $1.35 difference. Meaning if by any chance I receive a $1.35 additional to my income it would have disqualified me from receiving assistance. I filled out the paper work. I went to the back to talked to the case worker. She made copies of my driver’s license, birth certificates’, social security cards, but when she got to the check stubs she paused. She said, “You make $9.00hr?” “I said, yes mame that is why I am here”. I kind of laughed it off until I noticed she was not laughing. I thought to myself she can not be serious. I know she is not jealous over $9.00. I’m thinking why can’t she apply too, let’s just all apply eat well and be happy. She explained to me that she made $8.35hr so I should be able to make it on $9.00 an hour.She told me that “this office can’t help you”. She looked me right in my face and said, “You make to much money.” Now by this time I am scratching my head. I am asking myself did she see what I seen. Does she see written on the check stub 9.00 x’s 80 hours minus taxes Medicare and social security that I am paying into and may never reap the benefits of? I looked at the case worker and I informed her, “I read the guidelines before I entered your office. I know that I qualify based on my family size and my income, but I will not deny what you just said. I went on to tell her that I chose to accept her prophecy over my life versus her handout. The very words she thought prescribed my doom just blessed me. “Thank you, I do make too much money!” I walked out of that office quoting Psalms 37:25, “I have never seen the righteous forsaken nor their seed begging bread”. I proceeded to go and pick my children up from my mother’s house.At my mother’s there was a box of canned goods. A church had given it to her earlier that day.I asked her why the box was sitting by the table. She said it was the things that she didn’t want or eat. I asked her can I have it and she said, “ I don’t care.” I never explained to her my situation. I never told her the occurrence of the day. Thank God she never asked.As I leaned over to pick up the unwanted canned goods, the hot tears of disbelief started to roll down my cheeks. The whole time I was thinking how did I get here? Here back in the state of Louisiana. Here now with three kids and divorce. All before the age of thirty. Where I once was in a 2040 square foot apartment. Holding down a job as a Sr. Pt. Acct Rep in the second largest cancer center in the world. My child was in one of the elite Montessori programs in the city and now I am here. I’m picking up unwanted canned goods out of a box what a church gave away to the needy and under privileged.I told my mom thank you for the food and for babysitting then we left. I went home to prepare dinner. I look at the food that I had just received to see how creative I could be with canned goods.Among the goods was a can of salmon. I took the canned salmon and caramelized some green and white onions; added tomato sauce and I seasoned it with Tony Chachere’s®. I laid what we call Court Bouillon (coo' boo yon) A rich, spicy fish soup on a hot bed of white rice and I added a side of sweet peas. As it was that night and as it is to this day my youngest said grace she was 1.5years of age at that time. When she finished, I kept my head down. I whispered an extra pray. I was praying that the Lord would make them eat every drop. I needed him to quickly develop their taste buds to accept the salmon. The greatest three words that filled my soul that night was not “your application approved”.It was not “I love you”. It was “I am full!”I knew my circumstances had changed drastically. I knew why I had gone back to Louisiana, but I also knew why I could not stay. I was so mad at my circumstances trying to define me and tell me who I was. I was determined to let my circumstances know yes this is what it is, but, this is not how it will continue to be. I am just passing thru. After bathing my children, saying our prayers, and putting them to bed; I went to war! I opened up every cabinet, refrigerator, and deep freezer door. I had previously unplugged the deep freezer because it was empty. That night I had the galls to plug it back!I prophesied to the deep freezer that it will be filled and overflow with choice meats and my cabinets will be filled with fine oils. Fresh fruit will display on the tables and fresh vegetables will be in abundance in the fridge. My vats will over flow with milk and honey. My cabinets will be filled with no room to receive.I went outside to my mailbox and I introduced myself. I informed the mailbox that this house was now occupied by a saint of God. I don’t know who the prior tenants were but, I am telling you who I am. I am beloved of my Father. I am a minister of God. I am an heir of God and a joint heir with Christ Jesus. I am the head and not the tail I am above and not beneath. I call forth checks in the mail. Lost money found. Bills decreased and paid off. Blessing and increase. Discounts and dividends. Interest and Income. Rebates and Returns. I shouted increase now! Not a day you turn up empty not a day you turn up void. In the name of Jesus!I started that day crying, but I finished the day rejoicing. I went to sleep excited. I knew in my heart of hearts that God will not forsake me. I too David have never seen the righteous forsaken. I knew God was not going to start.I already knew about honoring God with the first of my income. My tithes were going to be the first thing I gave from my check. God said in Malachi 3, “Test me.” well here was my test for God. I had no doubt that He was going to pass with mind boggling scores. Thru it all I learned I was the one being tested and trained. I learned how to budget my money. I end up putting myself on a “financial diet”. I did not go to Walmart® every time I thought of something. I stop spending my savings on info-mercials. The Lord, allowed me to be mentored by an older lady at my job. Here I learned people come into your life for a reason and or a season. They may possess strength in the area of your weakness. This is not a time to be jealous or repulsed by their strength. This is a time to learn and glean from their wisdom. Because the seasons will shift and that person will be taken out of your life and they will move on whether you have understood their assignment to you or not.She taught me how to make a list of the things I needed and choose one day of the week to shop. Throughout the week I would add to my list. I chose Thursdays to grocery shop. On that day I would buy household items, daycare snacks and school items. I even informed the daycare teachers please do not give me items to bring daily. If my children have to bring a snack or class item inform me at the beginning of the week. If the item is requested after Thursday it will not be purchased until the following week. They liked my system and honored it. I started balancing my checkbook. Every dollar was counted for. I set a budget for fast-food, entertainment, groceries, and wants. My wants made it to a list. When I had extra money from bonus checks I would purchase something off of my want list. I would draw one line thru it, write the date purchased, and the amount.Every purchase was recorded in my checkbook under the category of household, car, family, or want. I learned that a lot of things we pray for are right there in our control if we discipline ourselves. We have to train ourselves to prioritize our needs and wants.With this new found discipline I was able to not only give my tithes, but I was able to adopt a child from the Christian Children’s Fund. God was feeding my children so I vowed to help feed his. One day I was walking pass the living room and seen my 2yr old and my 1yr old on a stool in front of the table eating grapes from the fruit bowl. I thought about the day I could only see it by faith! God allowed me to be involved with Mary Kay® network marketing which created a stream of income. I was able to sale gift baskets and decorate for parties and weddings which created another stream of income. I was able to pay off my student loans with one to go and end up pulling my credit report after I read Psalm 37:21"the wicked borrow and pay not”.Low and behold just when everything was looking alright. I loved my job. The people I worked with were just awesome! On my off days I would call just to say hello. It was the first job I kept past two years. I had a great church home. I found a rest. The very thing I had went to Louisiana for. I said out loud, “Everything is going to be okay”. Then the report...Heading towards the gulf the biggest storm since hurricane Audrey. Audrey was the hurricane that relocated my ancestors from east Louisiana to southwest Louisiana. This time the one that was going to cause a shift in my family history was named Rita. She was about to rearrange southwest Louisiana and southeast Texas. A storm that was about to go down in the history books.We received the report on Monday. Wednesday we went to church and everyone decided that it will be best to heed the warning. I packed me and my girls enough food, clothes, medicines, toiletries for five days. I even took resumes and interviewing clothes just in case the Lord had finally said, “It is time to shift.”The storm did indeed hit. By that Thursday we were considered homeless. For six days we stayed at relatives houses. That soon wore out. We wound up in Lafayette a town about 45 minutes from my hometown. We stood in a line where they were passing out food and cold water. We were waiting to get inside a building to register with FEMA; so I thought. I still don’t know what was really going on inside that building. We never made it in. My miracle took place on the outside. A man approached me with a pink flyer that read “Foundation of Hope”. He said we will send you anywhere in the world where would you like to go? I said, “Okay, let me think”. This was happening all too fast one moment I am in line waiting to register with FEMA; now I have the opportunity to live in any major city, and increase the standard of living for me and my daughters. I immediately called my friend in Covington, Ga. She said, “Girl I was so worried about you. I was just on the other line with my brother trying coming up with a way to get to you.” I told her that I have the opportunity to go anywhere; where should I go? She quickly said come to Covington now!” I said, “Now?” She said, “Now!” I said “I need time to think.” She said, “There is no time to think or be scared. Come now.” I turned to the man and said, “I would like to go to Covington, Ga or anywhere in the Atlanta area.”He quickly gave me an address where Foundation of Hope had a temporary office setup. The office was set in a Marriott about three streets from where we were. I had all my important papers with me. We walked into the Marriott. The lady showed me a list of available places where they had partnered with churches around the world. I pointed to Atlanta. She asked me if I had transportation if not they could provide it. I informed her that I can drive there I just needed directions. We went back to my relatives and I informed them that I was moving to the ATL. That day fear started to set in. I delayed my departure date. Until the inevitable disturbance occurred that caused our temporary shelter to become a dwelling of chaos. I packed up my girls and me then went to the closest Walmart®. There I stocked our car with food, water, and ice. With my map in hand and a prayer in my heart I drove to what I now call home.We arrived in College Park, GA on a Sunday morning. We were greeted by friends of friends. People who I had heard about, but had never met are talked to in my life. They opened their doors to me and my family. Quickly we went to one of the friend’s home where we ate, showered, and dressed for church. After church my friend came and brought me and my girls to her and her husband’s home in Covington, GA were we stayed the remaining of the weekend.That Monday we went to a hotel in Conyers, GA. By this time I had not heard from Foundation of Hope. I called and they would only give me vague answers. Time was of an essence. Some people who were affected by the hurricane choose to be victims. I for one seen it as a blessing. I often joke by saying God had the door shut so tight he needed a hurricane to burst it open to let me out of Louisiana. I was eager to go on with my life. I did not want to sit in a hotel until the last minute and be homeless with three girls because of laziness. So I was persistent with my calls to foundation of hope. There was this one lady who answered the phone on day four. She gave me the name of the partner church and contact person.I called the contact person. She was real upset with me for calling her cell phone. She was talking real arrogant. Apparently some people at the dome had given her a hard time about what they were willing to accept and under what conditions they were willing to accept it.I calmed her down. I apologized to her by saying I am sorry those people gave you a hard time. Under no circumstances should anyone have the right to disrespect anyone and especially someone who is just trying to help. She preceded to explain to me that a lady wanted help from their organization, but the organization is a faith base organization looking to house single households or married households. This lady wanted the church to provide shelter for her and her live in boyfriend. According to that particular church this went against their rules. So instead of the lady respect the rules she decided to curse out the volunteer, as if that was going to make them house her more quickly. I explained to her that I am not that person. I express to her to tell me the rules of the agreement and we will adhere. She apologized to me and introduced herself as the program director.She asked specifics as to my family size and what we needed now and if there were any medical emergencies that needed to be addressed for any family member. Everyone was fine and at the time we were only in need of permanent shelter.She asked me to give her two days and she was going to call me back with an address and directions to our new residence.While we were waiting for her call, the lady at the hotel told us to go to the Red Cross. They had an evacuee assistance sheltered in an old Walmart® building. Housed in this building were donated clothes, Red Cross volunteers, IRS agents, Atlanta Workforce assistance, Pre-K and Head Start registration. Also on site were counselors, food, water, movies/toys for the kids, and government housing assistance.I was overwhelmed to see how people pull together in a time of tragedy. We may walk into an elevator and don’t speak . We may go to work everyday hating our jobs. We may have marital or family problems, but when a crisis hit America from a 9-11 to a Katrina to a Rita to a California forest fire we pull together and give what resources we have. America is a caring nation and a giving country. (My little patriotic moment excuse me).Anyway, I sat down with a Red Cross agent and she asked the basic questions family size and needs and so forth. She kept expressing to me how sorry she was for our loss finally she tilted her head to the side with a puzzled look on her face. She said, “Most people came in crying and was at a loss for words or direction.”I explained to her my peace is within and inevitably expressed outwardly. God was not only my God in the storm, but he is the God of the storm. He will not allow something meant to purge me, kill me. He has been shelter; he has been provider. He has been savior; he has been rescuer.He has not only been the God in my high places, but I come to realize he has been God in my low places. I have not yet went without even in strange and foreign places. I have not been abandoned, and he caused strangers to be immediate friends.He doesn’t ask me to explain why the hurricane happened; he doesn’t even ask me to understand it. He simply asks me to trust Him. I know He has a point. I really do and I will run on to see what the end will be. She was so excited she said, “We are not allowed to pray here, but you have ignited my spirit and I would like to pray with you and your family!” That lady assisting us chose to pray with power and authority for my family. How can you give without talking about the greatest giver of all? After having church at the Red Cross building, we went back to the hotel. Waiting for us was a message on the phone. It was the lady from the church. She informed me that she had a two bedroom apartment for us and gave me the directions. I packed up me and the girls and tipped the maid (maid service is truly a blessing. I tell you. All with a “chocolate” mint on the pillow) and we left our last shelter.We drove to Marietta, GA from Conyers in rush hour traffic. It was a blast from the past from my old Houston days. See I had not seen rush hour traffic in almost three years. I had been in a town with four main streets and two highways. So rush hour traffic was a wake up call to the big city. We arrived at the address written on my paper. To my surprise a whole crew was there to welcome us with loving arms. We hugged and cried before entering the apartment. I walked into the apartment only expecting to have just that, an apartment. I had packed well for our evacuation all inclusive of blankets, pillows, medicines, pots, dishes, and an ice chest; so we were just going to make do until I was able to start buying for the apartment. To my surprise this apartment was fully furnished! The girl’s room was furnished with bunk beds. The kitchen was stocked with groceries in the fridge and cabinets. A whirlpool washer and dryer. TV and VCR no nook or corner was left empty on down to the medicine cabinet. It wasn’t until this moment that I truly cried. I didn’t cry when we had to mandatory evacuate our home. I didn’t cry when we had to live six days with relatives. I didn’t cry when we had to sleep in the car at night at a Alabama truck stop. However, to see the expression of kindness exemplified through strangers and perpetuated made me shed tears of joy.Up until this point I had always given. I never was on the receiving end. Whether it was my time or my money I always gave. Up until the time we had to evacuate I was helping Katrina victims. This one lady in particular was registering her daughter for school. And when she said she was from New Orleans I reached in my purse and handed her a $100.00 I said I hope this can help with your child’s school stuff. I didn’t know in just three short weeks from that time frame I was the one who would be receiving help because of the same tragedy. I believe because of the seeds I sown prior, I was able to receive all that was given to me. Even up to the date when I registered my child for school someone handed her a book sack of school supplies, her school schedule, and said, “Welcome to our school!” We were now settled into our new apartment. My oldest daughter was in school. This left me to my next chore of looking for good childcare for my two youngest children. The church that adopted our family had given me some resource numbers to help me in finding day cares. In the midst of the numbers I was referred to an agency that was paying for child care. I called the agency and informed the lady that I was one of the ones effected by the hurricane and was referred to her for daycare assistance. She told me that their program was designed to pay for childcare for 90 days. The only criteria was the parents have to be working. Now for me I had two toddlers and it was going to cost $1,100.00 a month total for childcare. They were willing to pay for both children for three months. The lady then asked me, “Do you have a job?” Now I’m thinking this is a great opportunity. I can hurry and find a job while they are in childcare. I knew I needed childcare in order to find a job. Just as I inhaled to respond God said, “Don’t you lie.” I responded to the lady and said, “No mame I am in the process of looking for work. I do not have a job.” The lady said okay we will take your name and number and keep you in our database. So I hung up the phone pondering my next step. How will I job search without adequate childcare? Nevertheless I went to the mailbox and there was a sign for in homecare right there in the apartment complex. I went to interview the lady. She was very nice. Then she got real comfortable and started talking about her boyfriend who comes in and out of her house. I ended the interview real quick, for caution sake. As I entered back into my apartment the phone was ringing. A lady from an agency called QCC was on the other line. In the conversation she expressed to me that she was from QCC and was calling to schedule me an appointment for 2pm the next day. I said, “Can you explain what this is in regards to”. She explained that she was calling pertaining to my request for childcare. I told her I did call them earlier but, I didn’t meet the criteria of being prior employed. She informed me that United Way had just given them a grant for the evacuees that were looking for jobs and needed assistance for childcare. She said, “Yes, mame you do qualify.”I made it to my 2pm appointment. I immediately got on the internet and pin pointed day cares in my area. I went and interviewed each daycare. I also did state licensing checks and background checks. I was able to place my girls in a great child care facility close to home. Now it is my turn. Boy the internet is a wonderful thing. I posted my resume on four career hosting sites. In three days I had five interviews and within eight days of looking I had two job offers. My same field paid double the salary I was making in Louisiana.I accepted the first job offer with uncertainty. I had a sick sunken feeling in my stomach. Knowing that was not the job God wanted for me. So I prayed and asked God to have the person call from the place He had chosen. As I was saying amen, the phone rang it was the lady from my third interview. She was offering me a position! I accepted her offer enthusiastically with peace of mind. One Thursday after work I went and did my normal shopping. I picked up some lamb, sirloins, and prime ribs along with other items from my list and proceeded home. Everyone was fast in helping to put the groceries up. I grab the last three bags which was meat; I bent down to pick up the bags and simultaneously opened the deep freezer and a pack of frozen meat fell out and almost hit my toes!After jumping back from the frozen meat, I realized I was in OVERFLOW! I had prophesied to the cabinets and the deep freezer. I professed in my time of famine that yes the facts were clear I was in famine, but the Truth remain famine did not have me. Now the words that were in the spiritual realm had manifested itself into the earth realm. You see it was conceived at the time of profession it just needed time for the maturation. Just like me from the time my daddy’s sperm fertilized my mother’s egg I was conceived. I could not be seen by the human eye yet my existence could not be denied. Even under the radar of my mother’s knowledge did not change my constant growth and maturation in the womb. After many nights of Church’s® chicken, Dunkin® donuts, and nine months there I came; me a 9 pound baby girl!God will give you what you say when you say it, keep the faith until you see it. According to Genesis As long as the earth remains there will always be seed-time-and harvest. It’s coming. Your future is not only in his hands; it is in his plans. In this faith file I learned that... You are his beloved and he will deliver your heart’s desire by any means necessary. The seed part and the harvest part we can manage quite nicely. It is in the “time” era we start to lose hope and start looking for a plan “b”. I am here to share this faith file with you; you only need to plan on Christ. He will deliver your heart’s desire even if it’s by plane, train, or hurricane.