Have you ever been to a grocery store? During any of your visits, have you ever observed a mom shopping with her young children? Ever seen her scrambling to keep them in line? Or frustrated, because she's failing?Maybe you've been that mom?Taking for granted that you answered "yes" to the first four questions, have you ever reached out and tried to give that mom a hand?Monday when I was shopping for our weekly groceries I came across one such mom and her son in the meat department. I'm guessing Little Man had brought along a new toy. It looked kinda like this:
Thursday, January 19, 2017
Wednesday, January 18, 2017
You turned my wailing into dancing; you removed my sackcloth and clothed me with joy,that my heart may sing to you and not be silent. O LORD my God, I will give you thanks forever. ~Psalm 30:11-12Last week, God used someone else's tragedy to open my eyes. This week - as the tragedy became greater - HE is using it to give me hope and remind me of HIS glory. What began as a story about a family of four in an auto accident - with one family member killed and another in the hospital - has become an 11-year-old little girl left in a world without her big sister, her father, AND her mother. So many of us have been praying and asking God for a miracle while watching the heart-wrenching scenario unfold. And now we are left with what would appear to be a tale which cannot possibly have a "happily-ever-after".But GOD.That is, perhaps there would be no possibility of a "happily-ever-after" if God were not in the picture. But, HE IS.As I sat with the news of the mother's death and the knowledge that a sweet little girl had lost her entire family over the course of nine days, I was reminded that our prayers are not wasted. A faithful saint confided that she believes God has a plan for this little girl - that He is going to do a miracle as He writes the story of the rest of her life. And as I bowed my head in prayer for this precious child - asking God to save her, and redeem this situation, and use it for His glory and the expansion of His kingdom - I received a text from a friend who is also praying, which reminded me that God can use this story to inspire many people in years to come.Suddenly I was transported from a place of feeling distressed and forlorn to a position of worship before a God who turns wailing into dancing. Who replaces sackcloth with garments of joy.Ah, this story has not ended with a lonely little girl. She has extended family who all know the Lord, and I believe He will use them as He continues to write her story. As I prayed for her, I envisioned a grown woman with an amazing testimony. In my mind's eye I could see her on a platform sharing the tragedy she endured at the age of 11, and telling of the redemption she experienced at the hand of God. My heart delighted at the thought of how many, many people God will reach through her testimony of suffering and enduring faith. Because that's what God does. It's how He works. The God who gives beauty for ashes, who turns imprisonment into evangelism opportunities, who delivers His faithful servants from giants and lions and fires, who conquers the sin and death of all mankind through the life and death of One - that God will not allow our suffering to be wasted. Maybe today you find yourself in shock because of hardships which have come upon you. Perhaps calamity has struck without warning or mercy, and you're on the edge of despair. Or maybe you are a witness to another person's tragedy, and feelings of hopelessness are surrounding you - even though the struggle belongs to someone else.If we were alone in the adversity, if there were no purpose in our pain, if redemption was not an option, despondency would have to be our response.But GOD.Hold onto HIM!!!
Tuesday, January 17, 2017
I think most mothers of teenagers will agree with me when I say that "play time" with teens is quite limited.
That is, I am no longer the go-to for entertainment. Mommy, will you read me a story? Watch this movie with me! Mommy, I just want you to hold me. Can we play Candyland? (I specifically remember wanting to run away in some of those moments...) And now I find myself ecstatic when my kids "invite" me to play along with them.Anyway - back to my point. I don't have a lot of play time with my nearly-grown-up kiddos.Which is why I secretly don't really mind that Matthew never gets up with his alarm in the morning. The kid is a heavy sleeper! Because that means I always get to go in and
play with wake him up.
Monday, January 16, 2017
Thursday, January 12, 2017
When I left my place of employment on January 14, 2015, I did so with the promise that I would continue to help a very precious lady as often as I was able. Because of company policy changes, she could no longer be driven to her quarterly eye-doctor appointments and she was very concerned about how she would get to them. I told her, "You call me. I'll drive you to your appointments."She did.And, so did I.I loved the days I took D to her doctor appointments. Her smile, her charm, and the fact that she never failed to tell me how much she loved my grandma always lifted my heart. Besides, I enjoyed getting caught up on how my old friends were doing at Edgewood. D kept me up to date on everyone.The first of January found me visiting Edgewood, again, because I was privileged to bring the message for their afternoon church service. And, of course, I also stopped in to say Hi to my dear friend, D. She was surrounded by her family and smiled as we hugged. I didn't stay long, because I had to get out for church. Besides, we had an appointment coming up and I would catch up with her then.Today was the day for that appointment.But the appointment was cancelled. Because D passed away the day after I popped in to say, Hi.Oh, how precious and fragile our lives really are. Had I known that Sunday was her last...I surely would have lingered. If only I'd been aware...If I'd realized...If...Have you uttered those statements, too?Indeed, tomorrow is not a guarantee. For any of us! And so I resolve to stop taking it for granted. I will ask the LORD to slow me down, to help me savor the present moment, and to lead me leisurely through my days. Because I don't know when my next appointment might get cancelled.
Tuesday, January 10, 2017
So, Saturday morning I stood outside my shower for longer than usual.
It always takes a while for the hot water to make it to my bathroom, so waiting is not out of the ordinary. But as time passed I got tired of the delay and just hopped in - knowing it would warm up, eventually.Except, it didn't. Rather, it got colder.As in, I only had the water on to get wet and rinse. No way was I going to STAND under that cold water. BRRRRR!Later that morning as I was
complaining to telling Brian about my shower, I learned that his had only been lukewarm. And Matthew piped up that his was also cold. Hmmmmmm. Problem with the water heater?Brian checked it out and re-lit the pilot light, figuring he would get to replacing the thermocouple Sunday. And for a little while we had warm water again.