Just Don’t Look {yet}

I have a new philosophy in life.  Applying it has begun to save me a lot of stress.  It’s simple in theory. Just Don’t Look This idea came to me in the car.  I have four children and one on … Continue reading

No Weapon?

Think about it… “No weapon formed against me will prosper…” What does this really mean? Of course there are the spiritual weapons… trials, temptation, deception… but the verse doesn’t say, “no SPIRITUAL weapon formed against you will prosper,” it says, … Continue reading

{choose to sit and} Listen

“Come, sit, listen, write. Hear My love for you.”

I know the voice well.  Though it is my own sound, the softness and insistence, the tenor, is Holy. It is the voice of my Lord. His Spirit within me. I love the sound of His presence;  The warmth and conviction of completion within.

But the laundry beckons. The floor covered in scattered living and the bathroom mirror flecked with reckless childishness, has my attention.  Relief of a baby sleeping and a toddler contented in play inspires a waft of energy to get something done.

“Come with Me. Sit.  Listen.  I love you.”  

Sigh.  Choices! I can either assemble some hint of order in my living space, or sit down in the midst of life as a mother of four, with a revolving list of to-do’s longer than I have years left to live. My phone buzzes.  A text. And another…

I walk past the piles, step over the toy cars, steer around the cast off school equipment trailing down the stairs and I sit.  Peace.

“Child, you have My heart.  You have captivated Me!  Get rid of your guilt.  It doesn’t bring Me any pleasure or honor.  I have cut you off from the life of sin and guilt.  You, darling daughter, are My joy!  Forgiveness flows freely between Me and you.  I have placed you securely within My grace and from this place I want you to live.”

And the toddler yells for “Mahhm!” and the dog barks and the baby wakes…

But the peace stays.

“God’s grace is unmerited supernatural divine empowerment.” 

God Revealed In The Chaos

Last week was an emotional, mental and spiritual bootcamp.  I had plenty of opportunity to choose the attitude I was going to operate out of.  Hauled an abundance of thoughts to Jesus for Him to sort truths from distortions for me.  Copious amounts of feelings to discipline with His Truth so that I wasn’t overwhelmed.

And while last week was an internal bootcamp, this week seems to be adding external factors to those internal exercises.  Life is, once again, rising up in chaos as God gently leads my family through a season of surrender.  It is no longer the changes that I find difficult to navigate, it is the long hours, even days and weeks, of transition between what is and what is changing.  When things are no longer as they were, but they aren’t yet as they will be is when I discover the most intense moments of growing potential.

Yesterday, after yet another setback to plans, and just one more hurtle having fallen in our path and over the top of my toddler’s tantrum and the blaring worship song that belted out “Holy, Holy, Holy, God,” turned up full blast to keep my nerves from fraying at the toddler, I threw a little tantrum of my own.

“God if you are so Holy, than SHOW UP!”

 

All I can do is record the ways He did just that throughout the day.

For weeks I have been in desperate need of pants that don’t fall off or require a rubber band to keep closed, but money has been tight. Yesterday my husband reminded me of a gift certificate to Motherhood Maternity store that held $80 on it.

Not only that, but when I found 2 pair of pants that were so comfortable and were not sweats or stretch pants, and added up the prices to just over $80, I discovered cash in my sweater pocket.

His lavish Generosity.

 

As I mentioned we are tight on money.  So to save gas I have been in the habit of turning off the car, but leaving the music play for my toddler when we stop for just a few minutes somewhere.  Yesterday I Josh happened to fall asleep in the car 45 minutes before it was time to pick up my older kids, so instead of going home first, I just drove to their school, parked behind the gate where parents wait to get into the pick-up line.  I shut off the car and left the music on so Josh wouldn’t wake up.

When it was time to get into line, my car wouldn’t start.  Did I mention that at this point there were about 2 dozen cars lined up behind me? And did you know that your car battery can die enough so that it wont start the car, even though lights and music will still play?

Two people, with smiles and kindness, came to my rescue and jumped my car battery.  Within 2 minutes we were all lining up in front of the school building. Others compassionately expressed empathy, stating they’d been in my shoes last week, or year.

Oh yeah, did I mention that the cash in my sweater pocket was also enough to purchase more gas for my car?

His Mercy. 

 

As I prepared supper my husband came home and asked our two boys if they wanted to run a quick pre-dinner errand with him.  We are painting and wanted to get started after supper.

I dozed off for a few minutes {pregnant mama without toddler present} and woke up to the timer buzzing, door bell dinging and phone ringing.  I picked up the phone, turned off the timer and answered the door.

In my ear, “Honey, we are all okay.” Pause. “But the car has been smashed in and I need to take care of the details.”  Hot flashes of nerves, feelings I couldn’t put to words, sparked through me like lightning flashes.  Through a crackling cell connection I heard my toddler crying and my 7-year old’s panicked voice mutteling through rapid fire questions.  I heard a strange voice directing my husband to turn his car around if he could, informing him that there’d been several witnesses who were waiting for the police to arrive and that they were looking for the other car.

At my door stood our dinner guest, my husband’s friend, our former neighbor, visiting from out of town.  Behind him, my amazing parents.

In the kitchen my lasagna burned.

Around the dinner table, over cold burnt lasagna and butternut squash soup {pregnant mama forgot to pick up salad, or any vegetable for that matter} the boys retold and reenacted the events of their evening.  What looked like a teen or young twenty-something guy had run a red light and not even slowed down, while my husband had laid on the horn and moved as out of the way as he could with what little space and time he had going through the intersection.  The front of the kid’s car hit between the front and back tires on the driver’s side of our van.

They were all indeed okay.  Our car on the other hand, though drivable, now has two doors smashed in so hard that they don’t open, and in fact buckle out a the backends so that while driving we hear outside as if a window is down. The drivers seatbelt is permanently set to my husband’s girth.

Standing outside looking at the car, I see it.  A few inches higher and the windows beside where my husband’s and toddler’s heads were would have been smashed in.  It is as if a ginormous hand covered the ones I love so dearly and shoved the nose of the other car down.

His divine Protection.

 

The driver of the other car had taken off.  We talked about insurance and the deductible.  Neither of us mentioned the strain on our finances, but both of us were wondering where the money was going to come from.  There had been witnesses, and a police report had been filed.  All we could do was wait.

Hours later, kids finally in bed, dinner guest off to the airport, dust settling down, we got another call.

A police officer called to let us know that one of the witnesses had followed the car after the accident and reported the license plate number as well as given a statement about what he’d seen.  Police had arrested the guy, who’d been drinking, for a hit and run felony.  He gave us the guy’s insurance information.

His miraculous Provision.

 

As my husband and I spoke about all the events, the guy who’d hit them and what must have been going through his mind as he took off, both of us felt a wave of emotion sweep through us.  After a moment of silence my husband spoke in a hushed tone, “we all make mistakes. He probably didn’t stay because he was afraid of being caught with alcohol in his system.  Being caught after the fact means he can say he didn’t drink until he got home. He was probably just really freaked out.”  I felt the same thoughts.

“If convicted he could go to prison for between one and five years and pay a fine that is more money than we have available, depending on what he’s convicted with.” my husband spoke into the darkness of our bedroom.  “We need to pray that whatever his outcome is he knows, or at least learns, he is still okay and has what it takes to be a man.”

His Compassion; His Leadership through my husband.

 

Drifting off to sleep I couldn’t help but smile.  God certainly showed up throughout my day.

Boys: abandoned in the park…

“Is your name Maria?” A very tall and very built police officer asked, after sauntering up to my parked (on the wrong side of the road)  mini-van. Thoroughly confused I just looked at him.  My mind raced through all the … Continue reading