Tuesday, February 21, 2017

God Gave Me Towels

I remember just starting out on this journey of faith… 

this refining process…

learning to let go of worry and control, learning to trust, learning how to love, how to be loved…

learning what it means to be forgiven…

to be saved by grace.

Some journeys of faith start at the very beginning… 

some start later in life…

and some begin when you are at your end…

which is where we found ourselves.

Our journey began when we were at the end of ourselves.

It was in those first tentative, tender days, weeks and months of re-birth that I remember watching one particular preacher, J*yce Myers.

We would “meet” every morning at 6 a.m. - as I ran on the treadmill… 

leave it to the Lord to meet me in my happy place

*grin*

I remember watching as she preached about a time in her life when she and her husband had nothing. They were newly married and were struggling financially.

She talked about their struggles and their own journey of faith and how one morning she called out to God about dish towels! 

She needed dish towels. 

So she prayed for dish towels. 

Yep, Joyce asked the Lord to bring her dish towels. 

She went on to describe what happened the very next day, when she heard a knock at her door. As she opened her front door, she found a friend standing there with…

you guessed it…

dish towels!

Speaking from her own faithful heart, this friend told Joyce that she didn't really know why she was standing there, at her front door, with dish towels, but that she felt like God had asked her to bring Joyce dish towels! 

Wow!

Joyce went on to preach about how good God is, about how much He is in the details of our lives and about how much we can depend on him to provide for all of our needs. 

Well, over the years, that has stuck with me and I have come to learn that He is our Jehovah Jireh, our great provider, and not even dish towels is to menial a request. 

Through our years of lacking and of immense growth, I have thought about that sermon as I have watched the Lord provide for our needs over and over again. 

Yes, he allowed us to be stripped of the very thing that we were most dependent on, but in that loss, he gave us so much more. 

He taught us what is truly of worth.

He taught us what it means to trust Him by letting go of control and worry.

He taught us to look beyond ourselves and our societal expectations. 

He taught us to let go of “normal” and to embrace broken and humble.

He taught us how to experience him and his love for us every - single - day. 

We grew so much from that lack.

So, just the other day, as I was folding laundry and lamenting the condition of our own towels…

seriously, when your collection of “fairly decent usable” towels looks more like your collection of “formally nice towels turned dog towels” towels… 

it is time to think about brand new towels.

I could no longer fold them neatly, put them up and walk away, forgetting the ability to see through many of them…

I mean, many of the “dog towels” were having to make that last transition to…

dun dun dun…

the dreaded garage towel/rag… 

just to make room under the sink for the towels formally known as “the nice towels”

It was bad y’all!

*wink*

It was in that moment that the Lord brought that “dish towel” sermon to my heart.

As I stood there, folding and trying not to think about the money it would take to purchase towels for this family of nine…

I began to pray, and yep…

I prayed for towels!

 I needed towels so I prayed for towels!

Why not, right!

So why was I surprised when a sweet friend emailed me THE VERY NEXT DAY and asked me if I needed… TOWELS!!!

This sweet friend had replaced her guest towels and thought this family of nine just might need…

TOWELS!

Isn’t God good!

Isn’t He faithful!

Isn’t He all that we need!

Not all of my prayers have been answered immediately or exactly as I wanted them to be but they are all answered...

He answers in His time and according to His plan and I am still in awe of His goodness.

Do I still doubt?

Do I still have fear?

Do I still try to control?

Sometimes

Like the Israelites in the desert, I still grumble.

Yes, even after my towel miracle (grin), I still find myself complaining or worried, but again, like the Israelites, I am calling out to Him and whether the need is small like towels or great like food…

This picture was taken a few years ago, in anticipation of how the Lord would answer our prayer for food with a fridge that was quickly emptying, 7 precious children and NO money...


He answered and we never went without and with lessons like these, we have learned to


Peace, even with lack...

even with struggle...

that is His peace...

and that peace can never be found in this world without God's grace and goodness.

Now, I am beginning not to need the reminders as much, but every time I shower, every time I wash my hands, every time I fold laundry...

I am reminded and I tuck it away for the next time of lack, cause it will come but with each need that is filled, our faith grows and please forgive this but...

we can then "shower" others with His peace as we "bathe" in His glory!

Sorry y'all - couldn't stop myself!

Smile!  God loves YOU!

Saturday, January 7, 2017

Pondering Christmas 2016

"Noel"

"Come and see what God has done."

"Noel"

"The story of amazing love."

These words, these very powerful words from the song "Noel", sung by Lauren Daigle...


ring true for me every single day as I intentionally recognize God's protection, His steadfast pursuit and His blessings and direction in my life.

However, at Christmas time, they especially come to life as this family of nine relies on Him to provide what we cannot...


"Come and see what God has done"


It is a "story of amazing love" as  we step out and trust that He will fill the gaps...


not just financial gaps but those bankrupt gaps of the spirit that gradually fill as we release more and more of ourselves to Him...

amazing, transforming love...

video

It was a beautiful Christmas...


it always is...


The tree got trimmed...


the house was filled with the yummy scent of Christmas goodies...




and our yearly adventure into the dining room for Christmas Eve dinner, never disappoints!


sometimes it feels as if we come skidding to a stop around midnight on Christmas Eve...


but it always gets done...


and it is always just enough...

and it is always a reminder of His love and faithfulness.

"Come and see what God has done"...


This year one verse kept coming up for me...

But Mary treasured up all these things and pondered them in her heart. Luke 2:19


I have always been a ponderer.

As a child, before the Lord became real to me, circumstances around me and outside of me, affected my heart and I would "ponder"...

long car trips are perfect for pondering... 

and I believe I may have a "ponderer" now...

as I watch her...

her sweet, beautiful face gazing out of the window, seemingly lost in thought...


she knows Him...

How I wish I had known Him then...  as she knows Him now.

She is His and it is beautiful.

However, it wasn't until I became a wife and a mother, that His longing for me prepared the transformation of my heart and I began to "treasure up" moments in time...

and as soon as I became His born again daughter...

it all began to make sense and it was like Christmas all year long...


even in the hurt, even in the fear, even in the hard, even in the mundane...

there is joy...

there is joy, because there is "amazing love"...

and as Mary treasured up and pondered...

the world prepared to be transformed...

"Come and see what God has done"

It is always purposeful...

It is always beautiful and it is always breathtaking.


Merry Christmas y'all