Monday, August 31, 2015

Fight or Flight? Or PRAYER?

Busy days are ahead for me, so I am going to take a blog-hiatus.
I hope to be back around September 9 or 10.

May grace and peace be yours in abundance!!!

Karen

Friday, August 28, 2015

This Week with Grandma

*heavy sigh*

It's really hard for me to let things go sometimes.

And this week I have learned that letting go doesn't necessarily get easier with age.

Last weekend we took a short vacation to enjoy some family time before Elizabeth went back to Wheaton. I had planned for Grandma to stay at home with a couple different people, but the plans fell through and she ended up going to a local care facility from Thursday afternoon until Sunday evening. And, let's just say, she did not have a good experience there.
At all.
In fact, she said if the need ever arises again - she'd rather stay home alone than go back there.
Then she said, "Let's just not talk about it anymore."
And I was only too happy to oblige.

The thing is, within the next day or two she was talking about her experience again. Followed with her resolve to not talk about it anymore. Except that - she keeps bringing it up.
While it's true she's almost 98, her mind is good. So I don't think she's talking about last weekend because she doesn't remember she's been talking about it already. It just seems to be weighing heavily on her mind. And it makes me sad to see her re-living unpleasantness over and over.

I wonder: Why do we do that to ourselves? Why do we keep rehashing things we'd rather forget? And, more importantly, How do we put an end to it?

Karen

Thursday, August 27, 2015

Dreaming

Some time ago a friend of mine suggested I should consider hosting a women's retreat.

To be honest, my first reaction was to think she was crazy. Although I liked the idea - because I love being together with women and leading them toward God - I just couldn't imagine putting together my "own" retreat. It seemed like too much for me.
Nonetheless, I thought about her proposition from time to time. And several weeks ago I mentioned on Facebook that I was praying about the idea.
Hadn't thought about it for awhile, then Tuesday happened.
Seemingly out of the blue, another friend asked me how the retreat was coming. I'm sure the look on my face said something like, Wha? Retreat? Huh?, because she followed up quickly by saying she'd seen something about it on Facebook. So I told her it was just an idea for now. And she said it sounded like something to which she might like to bring the ladies in her Bible study group.
As we were parting I told her, "If God says, Go, I'll do it!"

And can I tell you? I have almost NOT stopped thinking about it since then. (Well, except for when I have been flooded with thoughts and prayers about War Room, and all I pray God will do through a movement of prayer among His people.) I am seeking His heart, wanting to know if God would have me put this retreat together. I've been dreaming about how I would format the time, getting excited about what I pray God would do and how He would speak.
And because I am so desperate for God's hand to lead me in everything I do, I am asking you to join me. Would you pray for me, too? Would you ask God to speak to my heart - to enter my dreaming - and show me if this retreat is where HE wants me to go?

Because I don't want to do anything without HIM!

Karen

Wednesday, August 26, 2015

War Room is Coming Soon!

To say the recent past has been zoo-y would be a gross understatement. (Yes, that includes our mini-vacation. *ahem*) But there is always a light at the end of the tunnel. (And sometimes a light part-way through it. Like a very wonderful sister-in-law who steps in and lends a hand so we can do things like take our daughter to college. Thanks, NH!)

Most especially, I am looking forward to the light at the end of the tunnel which is the movie War Room. I'm going tonight to see it with a bunch of folks from my church.
It opens in theaters on Friday. Go see it!!!
*Trust me. You'll be glad you went.*

Karen

Monday, August 24, 2015

Thursday, August 20, 2015

Family Vacation

*Whew!*

It's been busy around here, getting ready for a short family vacation before Elizabeth goes back to Wheaton on Monday. Sooooo, all things blog are on hold for a couple days, too. Monday's video devotion is set to go, and - God willing - I'll be back to writing on Tuesday.

May grace and peace be yours in abundance today. And always!

Karen

Wednesday, August 19, 2015

Answered Prayer

*****ALL GLORY TO GOD! Everything in this post is meant to give God the glory HE deserves. I seek to be obedient - not for my glory - but for HIS.

Pray.
It's something I do all day long. Part of my desire to have unending communication with my heavenly Father. It is my response to His gracious offer to listen, to hear me, to be my GOD.
I seek His face.
He speaks to my heart.
I ask for guidance.
He nudges my spirit.
I call on Him.
He moves.

Well, last week I watched a video of a man in a grocery store randomly paying for people's purchases. And my heart was simply delighted by the responses of each recipient of his kindness. There were tears. And hugs. Praises to God. Expressions of relief, and humility. And pure joy. It was a beautiful thing.
And I thought, Oh, if only I had the means to do pay for others' groceries. How fabulous it would be to be able to go out and bless total strangers (Strangers to me, but not to God) like that! And I spent some time day-dreaming about how much I would love to bless people in this way.
Then I stopped just thinking about it, and I started to PRAY. I asked God to provide for me the means to go out and pay for groceries of complete strangers - as an expression of HIS love for them. I couldn't imagine how such a provision would come about, but I asked anyway.
So, the next day Brian was opening up some mail which contained a credit card. He activated it over the phone, then gave it to me and said, "Here you go. Don't use it for groceries." And I'm all, "Wha???? What is this? What's it for?" He went on to explain the card was a pre-paid credit card. A rebate from the tires he recently purchased for his car. It contained $70, and he was giving it to me.
As a gift.
To spend however I wanted.
Except for on groceries.
Now, I am not a rocket scientist, but it didn't take me too long to figure out that God had just answered my prayer. I had asked him to provide me with the means to pay for someone else's groceries - and here in my possession was $70.
So I said with a great big smile, "You mean don't use it for our groceries, right?"

I spent the next couple of days in excited anticipation, and when Saturday came - God and I went to the store to bless a few people. While I was thanking God for His provision and the opportunity He had afforded me, I asked Him to lead me to the people He had already chosen to receive such a gift. There was sweet lady named Laura; a young man named Mike - and his son; a man who has "heard of people doing this, but has never had anyone buy [his] groceries" - and who was kind enough to listen to my story about how God worked it all out; a woman who wondered, "What did I do to deserve this?" (I told her she was 'here' and God loved her - those were the only requirements.); and a woman I know from church who is having some financial troubles, and who just "happened" to be at the store the same time as me. (Yeah. I see no coincidence there. Only providence.)
And, can I tell you? I haven't had that much fun since I don't know when. A girl and her faithful God, hanging out by the check-out lanes, on a mission to be a blessing.
God is good.
ALL THE TIME!

Karen