Monday, January 16, 2017

Thursday, January 12, 2017

I Don't Have an Appointment Today

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.

Karen

Tuesday, January 10, 2017

Cold Water Isn't Such a Big Deal

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.

As this was all going down, and the boys were none too happy about the prospect of a less-than-hot shower Sunday morning, I tried to help them with their perspective. I said, "Imagine how thankful Muthiani would be to have a house with a shower in it - even if the water wasn't hot!" (Muthiani is a little boy in Kenya whom we sponsor through Compassion International.) I continued unsuccessfully offering bits of wisdom to improve their mindsets - but, honestly? I was also not looking forward to my shower the next morning.
In fact, when Sunday morning came around and I turned on the shower (and waited) with no sign of even lukewarm water - I changed my plans. Washing up and shampooing my hair in the sink would have to suffice. It was entirely too cold of a day to stand in a cold shower. Besides, Brian would get to replacing the thermocouple in the afternoon - and all would be well again.
Except, when the thought-it-was-broken part was replaced, the problem wasn't fixed. And we were back at square-one. Brian, feeling defeated. And both of us disappointed that we were going to have to hire a professional to come in and fix the trouble. Because we're super cheap and we prefer to do our own work when possible.
Annnnnd, the boys. They were not happy, either.

Monday morning found me with a plastic tub and a kettle of boiling water heading into my bathroom. I made a mixture of boiling and cold water to suit myself and stood in the shower doing my best to quickly shave my legs and wash up. All the while aware - while the water was warm, my wet skin left me feeling rather chilled. After drying my body I knelt on the floor, leaned into the shower stall, and washed my hair with what was left of the warm water. Y'all, my posture was neither becoming nor comfortable. Somehow, I didn't think even Muthiani would be happy with this set-up.
But I got the job done, and finished getting ready.

Upon sitting down to eat my breakfast - while silently congratulating myself for making it through my troublesome morning without complaint - I opened my computer to check in with Facebook. It was on my church's prayer page that I read about a family who'd been in an auto accident Saturday. One daughter was killed, the mother is in a coma, the other daughter has been traumatized by the event, and the family is not trusting in God.
I bowed my head to pray for them, and let it hang a little longer as I thought, So the water's cold. At least the house is warm. And I have warm clothes to wear. So, we have to call a plumber. Thank God we have the money to pay for it. My kids are well, I am healthy, and I know the God of the universe loves me. How can I possibly be grumble about my circumstance? I don't even know what it's like to experience trouble!

Perspective checked?
Check!

Karen

Monday, January 09, 2017

Friday, January 06, 2017

Soooooo BIG!

Have you ever played Soooooo big with a baby?
You know, when you take their hands in yours and say, "How big is 'Baby'?" Then you lift their arms up over their head and sing, "Sooooooo big!" And then you both explode in giggles.
I love that game!

Well, this week - between I'm Asking, my new verse, my daughter's friend, my church's Facebook prayer group, my Life Together group, my Precept group, and a praying friend who faithfully sends me requests - I have sort of felt like I'm playing Soooooo big with God.
That is, Wednesday evening as I was praying with a heart full of burdens I found myself asking, How big is God? How can He possibly keep track of all these needs? How is it that He doesn't forget, never overlooks, and always knows what to do? How big is HE??? Then with a smile in my heart, and all the faith HE has placed in me I proclaimed, God is soooooo BIG!!!
Do you know that Truth, my friend?
Can you fathom in your mind how incredibly BIG our God is?
Honestly, His BIG-ness is too much for me to grasp.
I do not understand how He sees and knows and does all things.
Perfectly.
I can't explain how God can tend to the details in my life and yours, while simultaneously holding the rest of the universe together in perfect balance.
I.don't.get.it.
But I believe it. Because I have seen Him move and I have experienced His touch. God always does what is right - right on time.

So it is with confidence in His BIG-ness and His ability to do all things that I ask. That I lay these many, many needs before Him - and trust Him to act.
Because God is soooooo BIG!!!

Karen

Thursday, January 05, 2017

LOVE Prays

There is a young woman - to whom I did not give birth - but who I consider practically a daughter.
She has been my daughter's best friend, and virtually part of our family, for many years. And my surrogate mother's heart is aching for her right now, because of her struggle.
Thus, I am skipping the time I would normally spend blogging today, so I can pray for her instead.
Because that's what LOVE would do.

I would love for you to join me in prayer.
God knows the details. Thanks!

Karen

Wednesday, January 04, 2017

Same Plan, Different Psalm

God is our refuge and strength;
an ever-present help in trouble.

~Psalm 46:1
Several years ago (I think it was 2010?) a friend and I memorized Psalm 139. We did it by learning one verse on the 1st and 15th of every month, and meditating on that verse during the days in between.
And, wow! Was that ever a blessed experience for me.
God continues to speak to my heart the encouragement He brought to me seven years ago.
It is a beautiful thing.

Annnnd, with the beginning of a new year and the desire to be molded and transformed more into image of Jesus - I have decided to do it again. Except, this time I am going to go through Psalm 46.
If my math is correct, this adventure will take me through the middle of June.
But I trust the blessing will take me through the end of my days.
I share this information with you to let you know - I will likely be doing a lot of posting about Psalm 46 over the next five and a half months. And I share this information with you also - to invite you to join me on this journey. God has given us His Word for our benefit and so that we might know Him and love Him more. While I am eager to share with you the ways He speaks to me through Psalm 46, I would love it even more if you were able to experience it for yourself. So we could share in it together.
So, what do you say?
Are you in???

Karen