Monday, June 24, 2013

Out of the Mouths of Babes

I was just doing some housework and I heard Emma singing. This is simply priceless! I apologize for the TV noise in the background. And by the way, when you think she's done, she's not.

Psalm  8:2  Out of the mouth of babes and sucklings hast thou ordained strength because of thine enemies, that thou mightest still the enemy and the avenger.

Friday, June 21, 2013

On God's Time

A dear friend recently shared a story with me. Years ago when Mother Teresa visited Denver, a friend of hers had been assigned to assist her during her visit. As they made their way through Stapleton Airport for her departure, she kept stopping to minister to passers-by. After a while, the man began to be concerned she would miss her flight. When he said something to her personal assistant, she placed her hand on his arm and replied, "She's on God's time." Of course, timing for everything worked out perfectly.

That story really impacted me, and since then I've been trying to remember Who is really in charge of my life and my time. Today has been such an example of that, I want to share it with you.

After leaving the girls off at VBS this morning, I went to Whole Foods to pick up a few items. As I was walking into the store, the fire alarm began to sound. I waited to see what would happen, and soon workers were evacuating the store. So I went back to my car and called my mother, thinking the alarm was probably false and the store would open again soon. It did, but I had a nice chat with mom.

As I was checking out, I felt my pocket -- no keys. I had left them in the car when I went back into the store. My hope that I had left the car unlocked was dashed when I got there. Larry works a good 45 minute drive from home, and that's where his keys were. I could walk home, but didn't have keys to get into the house. So I called him. He happened to be leaving the Golden area where our county seat is located after registering our new vehicle. To get to work, he would have to pass very nearby. "I'll be there in about 10 minutes."

I sat down in the nice atrium at Whole Foods delighting in my God who cares so much about me as to provide for my every need. When I pulled out my iPod Touch, I realized Whole Foods provided free wifi, enabling me to check e-mail and reply to someone on facebook. Soon Larry was driving up. I walked over to his car and he gave me the keys and said, "Can you do a couple favors for me? Could you get the car lubed today?"

"Sure," I said. "Do you have the rewards card?" He did and gave it to me.

"Also, can you cut my hair this evening?"

"No problem." And off he went to work.

Since I was across the street from Sally Beauty Supply, I decided to get a cape to use when cutting Larry's hair, something that has recently become a regular event for me. And while I was there, I should pick up a box of vinyl gloves for him (he uses them to treat his eczema). At checkout, I realized I didn't have my manicurist license with me, something that entitles me to a discount. But as it turns out, both items I bought were on sale (the gloves were more than 50% off!) so I saved a lot of money anyway!

Then I thought I should go ahead and get the car lubed while the girls were at VBS. As I drove in, there was no waiting! As they worked on the car, I got a cup of coffee from the place next door then waiting in the lobby. This gave me the chance to read a magazine I enjoy but don't subscribe to and rarely get to read. Just as I put it down, the man came in and said the car was ready. Getting onto the road from that establishment is often difficult with traffic, but when I pulled out, there wasn't a car in sight.

I came home, composed this story for you, and now it's just about time to go pick up the girls. Now, you can't tell me God wasn't orchestrating this today. His ways are so perfect and past finding out! Even though I didn't get to sit on the couch with Him as I had planned, I know He has been with me every moment, walking through the day, making my paths straight. It's so good to be on God's time!

Thursday, June 20, 2013

15 Hours Sounded Like Eternity

What do you look forward to? A vacation? A nice hot bath? The class reunion? For me, it was VBS! Yep, Vacation Bible School! When the church around the corner announced the dates, they went on my calendar. And I began to dream. Fifteen hours all to myself! What would I do? Oh, I had plans to fill dozens of weeks of VBS! I was going to really clean the house from top to bottom, without interruption. Or maybe I'd knit for three solid hours! Or spin on my wheel! I could sit and do nothing, or watch a movie -- a chick flick! Read a print book! Yeah! 

You see, we adopted our first daughter 6 years ago this week. And 5 months later, I gave birth to her baby sister. And as a homeschooling mom, it recently occurred to me that I haven't had 8 solid hours all to myself in six years. Oh, I've had a handful of dates with my hubby, and there was the women's retreat at church. I've had moments of down time here and there, but solid alone time? Not so much. 

And then came Monday, June 17, 2013 -- VBS! My heart had yearned for weeks with anticipation, and it was finally here! I got the girls ready and drove them 10 minutes, filled out the medical release form, kissed them goodbye, and walked away. The next 3 hours were all MINE! And I had a project waiting at home. I couldn't wait to get started. The next thing I knew, an hour was gone, and then two. WOW! Noon already? Time to pick up the girls. And I still felt, well, unsatisfied. Disappointed? Was that the word? Oh well, I still had the rest of the week.

Tuesday, and off to VBS they went! Today, I'd really enjoy myself! And I did, sort of. I mean, I finished my big project. But somehow, it was empty. And before I knew it, I was picking up the girls and bringing them home, listening to their tales of the fun they'd had, rejoicing with them. But what about my fun? What was happening?

By Wednesday, I had no expectations of joy. In fact, the best I could muster was a trip to the grocery store without the kids in tow. Don't get me wrong. That was a treat in itself! But it was work too, and not one of my favorite things to do. We needed food, so I did it. Ten 'til noon came faster than ever.

This morning, I knew I needed something that no project or movie or shopping trip could give. I needed Him. I needed to sit in the presence of my Father, King of Kings. I had some apologizing to do too. And I dreaded it. Maybe that's why it took me an hour to stop looking at facebook and online researching at least 3 topics weighing on my mind at that moment. And then I felt that nudge. He was waiting, so patiently. We talked. He was so gracious to me, answered my heart questions, filled the empty place in my heart, restored my peace. And even then I found myself constantly distracted by ideas and thoughts. Before I knew it, I was back online. 

Then I stopped, I asked Him why I was so distracted. I thought of checking for verses on my app about distraction. I only found one and it was in 2 Corinthians when Paul was talking about whether or not to marry. Not really applicable. And what was I doing? I was online again! 

Then everything stopped. I mean everything. No electricity. Have you ever noticed how quiet it gets when there is no power in the house? No AC, no refrigerator hum, nothing. Silence. Stillness. And He was there. I said I was sorry for being so distracted, and He turned the power back on. But something had changed. 

I brought the girls home, fed lunch to them and their friend who had gone to VBS with them. The day went on. But I was different. I was at peace. Calm. Really? Was that what my heart had been longing for? 

My answer came this afternoon in the form of a podcast. John Eldredge is one of my favorite authors, and I listen to the weekly podcasts from his ministry Ransomed Heart. Recently it's been about our hearts for the Kingdom. We all have it -- that longing for something more, for something transcendent. It's the Kingdom of God that we long for. That which was lost so long ago in the Garden. That which drew people by the thousands to Yeshua. That which will come again. 

John admitted to pacifying that part of his heart that yearns for something more. For him, it's a really nice new pair of sunglasses, the latest and greatest fly rod, a delectable caramel. He calls it survival mode. "Your survival mode is extraordinarily damaging, by the way, whatever it is. Survival mode typically looks like shutting down most of your desires, shrinking them to a size that something in this world can fill, and then trying to find that something. Meanwhile, just sort of scrambling to try and keep control of your life.... We try and pacify our kingdom heart in this world. 'Cause you're made for THAT! We're made for THAT! And nothing, nothing will satisfy us, but THAT!"

Yes! I thought 15 hours to myself would satisfy my kingdom heart, but it didn't. I thought completing that project, shopping by myself, making plans for the future would satisfy. But NOTHING will satisfy my longing for the Kingdom outside the King of the Kingdom! He is my true desire, my longing. And unlike Coca-Cola, he satisfies!

So this fall, the girls will both go to charter school on Tuesdays. That's seven hours a week! Sure, I'll work on projects and plan and check facebook. But now I know what I'm really looking forward to is uninterrupted time with Him.

To listen to the podcast episode mentioned above, visit