Monday, March 28, 2011

2 Two Dollar Bills

I had to take the boys to a birthday party yesterday. I had an extra little boy along for the ride. I threw all of my things into my purse and went and grabbed my wallet from my baseball bag and threw some things out of the car to allow my fourth child to get in. We were running late as is the norm and I frantically got the boys in the car and headed to the party. The low fuel light was on - but I was sure it was because we had been parked outside of the garage and it was on a hill. I would get gas on my way back.

I drop the boys off and the gas light has gone off so I decide to wait so I can get back to the house and get some things done before I had to go pick them up again. I get home and do a few things and it seems like no time before I had to get into the car and go get the boys. Half way there - the light comes on again. No biggy, I will just go get them and stop at the gas station on my way back. So, with all four of the boys safely in the car, I stop at the gas station. I grab my purse and start rifling through it to grab my wallet. It's not there. I look again. And again. And again.

I am looking at the gauge and it shows it is BELOW the little line - we are most definitely in the fumes range. I grab the manual to see how much gas is in that reserve - the manual says to go straight to the gas station when the low fuel light comes on. So I have a horrible feeling...I am at the gas station, with no wallet and four boys and wondering who I am going to call to come bring me money. I am praying to the Lord - "Please let me have just missed the wallet" - so I make another perusal of the whole car. And the purse...still - no wallet. "Please Lord - what am I going to do?" As I am grabbing the manual to put it back into the glove box, I see money - in the back of the manual - there are 2 $2 bills. Where did those come from? Why do I have them in the manual? Should I use them? I feel quite sure they were a gift for the twins - and who knows when they got put in there? We have had this car for 11 years...so there is no telling when my typical befuddled state I put them in there - or why I put them in there.  But right now - they were an answer from the Lord. I took my $4 into the gas station and paid. Went back and put 1.17 gallons of gas into the car. The light was gone. As I drove home I told the boys how good the Lord was that he had allowed those 2 $2 bills to be in there. God's provision was a happy little reminder of how much he cares for us.  I got the little boy home - told his mom about it and we both agreed how good God is. I went home and started looking for my wallet.

I could not find it. I retraced my steps. At first pretty calm. The more I looked in all of the places I had been the more frantic I became. I started to panic and pray to the Lord again. "PLEASE LORD" I cry desperately, "...don't let me have put that wallet on top of that car and have driven off. Don't let it be on Highway 280 somewhere being run over again and again." I sit down. I put my head in my hands. And I pray again.

I can do all things through Christ that strengthens me. I look at the phone - I check the phone messages, hoping someone had found it and called me. Nope. Then I get up and make one more calm and consistent search - retracing in my head exactly what I did and how I did it. I walked over to the washing machine and dryer downstairs and see a pile of jackets I had pulled from the car and dropped next to the machine. Peeking out from under one of the jackets was my wallet.

When I had grabbed my wallet from my baseball bag, I had kept it in my hand as I went to remove the excess stuff from the car.  I got the gift card out of my hand and for some reason kept my wallet along with the jackets and miscellaneous items I was getting out of the way. And in my hurry, I dropped my wallet along with the clothes onto the floor next to the washer.

Praise the Lord. Seriously. And I could not STOP crying. I kept thanking the Lord - over and over again. How good are you Lord? Because seriously - in my harried and wacked out brain mode - there is a very good possibility it could have been placed on top of the car and I would have had to call all those places - and remember what all was in that wallet...yikes.

Though honestly - the wallet - though I was freaked out - it is not what amazes me the most. The mystery of the 2 $2 bills is what makes my heart expand.
Zechariah 4:10
“Who dares despise the day of small things, since the seven eyes of the LORD that range throughout the earth will rejoice when they see the chosen capstone (or the plumbline) in the hand of Zerubbabel?”

Zechariah 4:10 says an amazing thing. As a background - the people of Israel are rebuilding the tempel. Zerubbabel is the first leader after the exile from captivity. The vision of Zechariah was to encourage Zerubbabel in his work to complete the temple. He had tried in vain for 16 years to get it completed and Zechariah's dream was to let him know that God saw him. That his eyes (7 meaning "perfect" or complete) range through the earth and SAW his needs. God was aware of what Zerubbabel needed and wanted to encourage him to keep on with the work of the Lord. He sees all things and there is nothing that escapes the eye of the Lord...even my tiny problems.

Now of course - I know that my finding those $2 bills is a simple thing. But to me - it was no accident. I reached for the manual out of a need to find out how much gas I had left in hopes to get those kids back to a place where we were not waiting on the side of the road. But God didn't just have information for me - he had provision. He was aware of my need and he provided for it.

AND he let that wallet be in a wonderful place. On the floor of my laundry.

Awesome. Our God is an AWESOME God.

Thursday, March 24, 2011

God is so good...

Once again - I don't know why I am surprised but he brings what I need to hear right when I need to hear it. It has been a great week in spite of my struggle with my dip this time. And I know it is because my Father is carrying me. But I have made such an effort to turn my eyes away from me and to Him. His reward is always a physical reminder that he cares - some way - some how. I read this in my David Jeremiah devotional for yesterday....

Wednesday, March 23



Calm and Quiet


Surely I have calmed and quieted my soul, like a weaned child with his mother; like a weaned child is my soul within me.


Psalm 131:2


Recommended Reading


Psalm 23:1-3






According to medical researchers at Duke University, there is a "vicious cycle" involving insomnia, anxiety, and depression.* It's sort of a "which came first: the chicken or the egg?" scenario. Perhaps it's the one that presents first, but once the cycle starts it doesn't matter. Anxiety might cause insomnia, which might result in depression, which might lead to greater anxiety ...and the cycle continues as the symptoms feed off one another.


There are plenty of good reasons to be anxious, depressed, and sleepless in today's world. But Christians have promises from God that should alleviate all three symptoms--promises that God rules over all the earth and knows the beginning from the end of history. Our task is to do what the psalmist David did: He didn't worry about "great matters" or things "too profound" for him. Instead, he "calmed and quieted" his soul like a "weaned child" at rest in its mother's lap--peaceful and quiet (Psalm 131:1-2).


God's job is to guide the world. Your job is to "be anxious for nothing" (Philippians 4:6), to rest in the Father's promises.
 
I have been in this vicious cycle on and off for over a year now. It is good to know that I am not just making it all up...sometimes I feel that I do! But I will have to preach the Gospel to myself - everyday. How good is God that he reminds me that I need him!
 
I am truly blessed.

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

I am weary...

Matthew 11:27-29 (New International Version, ©2011)
27 “All things have been committed to me by my Father. No one knows the Son except the Father, and no one knows the Father except the Son and those to whom the Son chooses to reveal him.
28 “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. 29 Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls.

Hebrews 12:2-4 (New International Version, ©2011)
2 fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith. For the joy set before him he endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. 3 Consider him who endured such opposition from sinners, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart. 4 In your struggle against sin, you have not yet resisted to the point of shedding your blood.

Isaiah 40: (New International Version, ©2011)
28 Do you not know?


Have you not heard?

The LORD is the everlasting God,
the Creator of the ends of the earth.
He will not grow tired or weary,
and his understanding no one can fathom.
29 He gives strength to the weary
and increases the power of the weak.
30 Even youths grow tired and weary,
and young men stumble and fall;
31 but those who hope in the LORD
will renew their strength.
They will soar on wings like eagles;
they will run and not grow weary,
they will walk and not be faint.


1 Timothy 6:11-13 (New International Version, ©2011)
Final Charge to Timothy
11 But you, man of God, flee from all this, and pursue righteousness, godliness, faith, love, endurance and gentleness. 12 Fight the good fight of the faith. Take hold of the eternal life to which you were called when you made your good confession in the presence of many witnesses. 13 In the sight of God, who gives life to everything, and of Christ Jesus, who while testifying before Pontius Pilate made the good confession, I charge you
He will not grow tired or weary,
and his understanding no one can fathom.
29 He gives strength to the weary
and increases the power of the weak.

I am tired. I want all of this to be over. Fighting is hard. There is no way I can get up every morning and do what I am supposed to do. It is going to take someone other than me. Lord - you must be my help this day and every day.

Give me Strength..increase my power to overcome. Let me have victory over my tired mind, body and soul.

Saturday, March 19, 2011

St. Paddy's Day

St. Patrick's Day is usually a non-event in our house. We might wear green to avoid being pinched - but other than that - nothing. This year I was inspired by friends to try some new things. I thought it would be fun to make an event of it. So - I made Colcannon - I will post the recipe for you. It is mashed potatoes with lots of butter and cabbage and ham (corned beef would have been even better) - It was delicious. We had brown bread with it (I bought it - thought about making it like another friend - but just didn't have the gumption) and I did some research on St. Patrick and read it to the boys. It was really quite interesting. And it made the day a lot of fun. It helped that it was during Spring Break and the boys were home. And what made it especially fun was that Grandmother and Papa were with us (my mom and dad)...adding to the festivities.

Here's the link about St. Patrick http://www.history.com/topics/who-was-saint-patrick

http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/tylers-ultimate/colcannon-recipe/index.html

I think I am going to try harder to make special days of non-event days. It was really fun and not really that much work at all. It added something to a day that would have otherwise been just another day for us.

I guess the saying is true - you get out of something what you put into it...in this case even the slightest effort made for a fun day!

Thursday, March 3, 2011

Worship...

I sent the boys off to baseball practice. Me and the doggies stayed home. I was thinking about vacuuming and dusting. Thought I might mop the kitchen floor. But - I had to check Facebook and see what my buds were up to...

I managed to stumble across "The Dad Life" by COTM. Here it is for you...




 Andy Chrisman is the worship leader there. So it stands to reason that his singles were popping up as well as 4Him vids.

I just got lost -



One after the other - I listened and had the best time worshipping.
So what if the house is still a mess...