Category: Provision


I know you’ve asked that, because I have too.  It is so hard for us to imagine that God; Creator, Healer, Guide, Father, Provider, Comforter, Savior… would care enough, or have time enough, to work in our lives let alone through us.

names-of-God

If any of you know me, you know that I’m an early riser.  I commonly start my day very early in the morning, and on the morning of Thanksgiving wasn’t any different.

When I woke and went downstairs, I checked my phone and saw that I had missed a text from a friend of mine.  I went to return the text but decided I needed to wait a while…it was only 4:30 for Goodness sake… and so I typed in my response but waited a few hours to send it.

And also, if you know me at all, you know that I don’t believe in coincidence or luck.  I believe everything happens for a reason, and that it is always God’s plan.

But it doesn’t always feel like it.  So often it seems like God’s not working in our lives at all…maybe things aren’t moving or changing the way we would expect if He were really involved, but why would he bother with measly old me?!

Oh don’t get me wrong, I know God uses us, His Word tells us as much…

“for it is God who works in you to will and to act in order to fulfill his good purpose.”   Philippians 2:13  (NIV)

“God works in different ways, but it is the same God who does the work in all of us.”   1 Corinthians 12:6  (NLT)

but it just doesn’t seem like it.

Doesn’t it seem like we’re the ones pulling the strings, making the decisions?  We’re doing all the work!  We have to live our lives in a way that shows others we’re Christians (Matthew 5:16), we have to follow God’s rules (John 8:31), do good deeds (1 Timothy 6:18) and display God’s character (Galatians 5:22-23).

fruit of the spirit piece made for a friend 032

But that’s exactly what the devil wants us to think…he wants to convince us that we are the ones in control and calling the shots.

“For you are the children of your father the devil, and you love to do the evil things he does. He was a murderer from the beginning. He has always hated the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he lies, it is consistent with his character; for he is a liar and the father of lies.”   John 8:44

The devil wants us to believe that God’s hands are not actively working in our lives; that He has stepped back and is allowing us to make our own decisions, that He’s only there when we need Him and that He does not affect (or care about) every choice we make.

But I know for a fact, that’s not true.

in his heart silver compass

A few days after Thanksgiving I met with that friend who I texted and she said to me…

“You were doing God’s work the other morning and you didn’t even know it!” she told me.

With a grin on her face and a twinkle in her eye, she continued…

“The morning of Thanksgiving I woke up at 7:14am.  I knew I needed to get up but I didn’t want to so asked God for just one more hour.  At 8:14am I got your text.  8:14!!  Exactly one hour later to the minute!!”

Awesome.

God is always at work and involved in every moment of our lives.  Don’t think for a second that He doesn’t care about you or that you don’t matter.  Because you matter so much to Him that He will work through you to send a text to a friend at exactly the right time she needs it.

“Are not five sparrows sold for two pennies? Yet not one of them is forgotten by God. Indeed, the very hairs of your head are all numbered. Don’t be afraid; you are worth more than many sparrows.”   Luke 12:6-7

And rest in the fact that God is always in control.

“The heart of man plans his way, but the LORD establishes his steps.”   Proverbs 16:9

 

 

Have you ever wondered where God is?  When things you pray about don’t ever seem to be answered.  When other people’s prayers are answered quickly and you’re still sitting there listening quietly… patiently… and all you hear are…

I have.

Many times.

One of my best friends is a friend from childhood.  We share crazy memories from grade school to high school to college.  We were in each other’s weddings and have made it through multiple births together. She was one of the first to know about my conversion with Christ, when I finally accepted Him, and she was there when I was baptized in Believer’s baptism.  This dear friend later also accepted Christ as her Savior and although she lived a distance away from me, I continued to try to encourage her and disciple her in her walk with the Lord.

But it was hard.

The Lord gave me very strong Christian friends in my life (including my hubby) to disciple and help me.  An amazing church family and so many opportunities for my faith to grow.  But my friend’s story was different.  Her husband wasn’t ‘religious’ so going to church at all was difficult for her.  She was surrounded by non-believers and it seemed God hadn’t placed, really, anyone around my friend to help her in her Christian walk and it broke my heart.

alone

All I could do was pray for her, and I did.  Constantly.

I prayed that God would soften her husband’s heart and give them a longing to find a good church or to place Christians in their neighborhood.  I prayed that once her babies were in the picture, God would give her a sense of obligation to raise those babies knowing Him.  But most often I prayed that God would just place Godly Christian women in her life at work.

I sent her devotions and encouragement through the years, shared with her all the ‘I Spy’ opportunities where I saw God working in my own life, but it was clear that the life she was leading was not the one I had hoped for her as a follower of Christ.

I prayed for my friend for so many years…

prayer_hands_gold

then I stopped.

Oh, once in a while I would think about her and say a little prayer hoping that she could experience the same type of relationship that I have with my Savior…but it seemed like all of it was useless.  She was still in the same place she was so many years ago…still such a baby Christian; not being fed or discipled.  It had been too long.  Maybe this is all God had planned for her.

But is it?

The Bible shares a story about a woman who suffered unanswered prayer for twelve years!

TWELVE YEARS!

“And there was a woman who had had a discharge of blood for twelve years, and who had suffered much under many physicians, and had spent all that she had, and was no better but rather grew worse.”   Mark 5:25-26

How do I know she prayed this long?  Because of the testimony she has with how she reacted to Jesus later in the story.

But think about this poor woman.  She had crazy health problems!  Come on girls, can you imagine having ‘Aunt Flow’ visit for twelve years?  And this wasn’t just a short, unannounced, knock-knock-surprise-I’m-here-for-the-weekend visit.  It was a CONSTANT TWELVE YEAR flow!

kevin

NOT.EVEN.FUNNY.  I really need to stop complaining.

And on top of that, because she had this discharge of blood, according to Jewish law she was considered unclean.

“If a woman has a discharge of blood for many days, not at the time of her menstrual impurity, or if she has a discharge beyond the time of her impurity, all the days of the discharge she shall continue in uncleanness. As in the days of her impurity, she shall be unclean. Every bed on which she lies, all the days of her discharge, shall be to her as the bed of her impurity. And everything on which she sits shall be unclean, as in the uncleanness of her menstrual impurity.And whoever touches these things shall be unclean, and shall wash his clothes and bathe himself in water and be unclean until the evening.   Leviticus 15:25-27

What does that mean?  This poor woman, suffering so much health-wise, couldn’t even be comforted.  According to the law, she could not be in contact with anyone and couldn’t even live in the town with her family and friends.  She was ostracized.

But what does she do?  Instead of ending her prayers and dumping her belief… instead of giving up and thinking “Oh gee, Jesus is here… why bother?  Maybe this is just what God has planned for me.”

No, she trusted.

“She had heard the reports about Jesus and came up behind him in the crowd and touched his garment. For she said, ‘If I touch even his garments, I will be made well.’ And immediately the flow of blood dried up, and she felt in her body that she was healed of her disease.   Mark 5:27-29

hem

I recently heard from my dear friend.  She finally got a cell phone so we are able to text whenever we want now.  (We will certainly be keeping the cell phone companies in business!)  Woohoo!!

After we caught up a bit on the goings on in our lives, she told me this:

“I have to tell you something I don’t think you’ll be surprised by.  I work with some amazing Godly women.  I swear one friend was sent by you somehow.”

I was dumbfounded.  How silly of me to think that God had forgotten or that through these years He hadn’t been working…preparing.  If only I had trusted with the same faith as that woman…

“And he looked around to see who had done it. But the woman, knowing what had happened to her, came in fear and trembling and fell down before him and told him the whole truth. And he said to her, “Daughter, your faith has made you well; go in peace, and be healed of your disease.”   Mark 5:32-34

God has a plan for our lives, and it’s in His timing when it will be revealed to us.  In the mean time we must keep the faith…stay the course…and trust that all things from Him are good.

For the Lord God is a sun and shield; the Lord bestows favor and honor. No good thing does he withhold from those who walk uprightly. O Lord of hosts, blessed is the one who trusts in you!”
Psalm 84:11-12

“Woe to the one who quarrels with his Maker– An earthenware vessel among the vessels of earth! Will the clay say to the potter, ‘What are you doing?’ Or the thing you are making say, ‘He has no hands ‘?”   Isaiah 45:9

Have you ever had God knock you upside the head?

I have.

Embarrassingly, more often than not.  Why does it take me so long to get the message?!

doh!

Recently I have been feeling convicted to spend more time alone in conversation with God.

I’ve felt His gentle nudging through little daily (if not hourly) hints… thumbing through a magazine and running across a prayer quote.  Doing my Bible reading and, no shocker here, seeing a verse about prayer.  Pastor talking from the pulpit on Sunday and mentioning the importance of prayer.  My kids asking a question about praying or, like a good Christian Mom, encouraging and reminding them that they should be praying (y’know the whole “do as I say not as I do” thing).  There have even been songs on the stinkin’ radio!  (Come on now, who sings about praying?!!)

Well, there is that one…

Funny…but that is NOT the kind of praying I’m talking about.

God longs to spend time with me and I desperately need to spend time with Him.  He keeps trying to get my attention, pressing sofly, lovingly, but I shove my big but right in His face; “…but I’m busy looking through this magazine.”  “…but I’m too tired to get up early.”  “…but it’s time to relax, I’m going to watch tv.”  “…but I need to get my workout in.” “…but I’m too sleepy, I’m going to bed.”

BUT! BUT! BUT! BUT! BUT!

It’s only a matter of time until He tires of hearing it and takes more drastic measures.

“There is no wisdom and no understanding And no counsel against the LORD.”   Proverbs 21:30

The past few months my husband and I have noticed a squeeze on the pocketbook.  That tends to happen this time of year with summer camps for the kids, family camping trips and payments due for next year’s activities, but this year we also have two girls in braces plus the brakes are seriously needing to be changed on the bug…so boy, we have felt some financial pressure.

I’ve found myself not sleeping well at night because of it and heard that little voice lulling me out of my sleep asking me to come talk with Him.  But I wouldn’t come. The pressure continued to build and build our finances getting tighter and tighter, and ignoring the sound of the brakes wasn’t only grating on the rotors but on our nerves.

nervesGod continued to call, begging me to sit a while with Him and unload my burdens, but I continued to ignore Him, trying to figure things out on my own.  We had to do something so we asked our parents for help, which praise God they gladly gave, and we were able to get some bills paid while scheduling to get the car’s brakes fixed the next morning.

That morning as I watched Toddlers & Tiaras and ran on the treadmill, God used the episode to grab hold of my heart.  In this episode, a family with not much money spent  all they had to put their little girl in a pageant.  This lovely little girl did win (whew!!) but her response caught me off guard.  She bawled and when they asked her why she was crying (I’m totally thinking she’s just overwhelmed to have won the title) but through sobs and tears she responded with:

“I won our money back.” 

I lost it right there on the treadmill.

I knew I needed to do more.  This doing it on my own thing wasn’t working…I needed to ask God for help.  I turned the treadmill off, went upstairs and spent time resting in my Father’s lap.  I shared with Him my fears, my unknowns about the future, I thanked Him for His mercy and grace in providing a loan to take care of what we owe and I apologized for running from His call.

When I finished talking to Him, I felt so full, so complete, wondering “why on earth does it take me so long to figure this out?!”

And later, as I drove the bug to the garage, God sent a confirming nudge by playing a song on the radio…

I have heard this song before, several times in fact, but this time it felt as if I wrote the lyrics myself.  It is exactly what I was thinking and feeling…and once again I found myself crying.

I dropped off the bug then got in the van with my husband to take him to work so I could have a vehicle to run some errands.  Our drive was uneventful but as I left his office to pull onto the highway heading home, the van jolted forward engine revving, the ‘check engine soon’ light came on, the speedometer stopped working and I couldn’t go much past 35 miles per hour.

{gulp.}

I laughed out loud when I called my husband to let him know, and to ask for prayer to get us home safely, but it wasn’t much of a surprise that this happened.  It was just more of a reminder that I need to rely FULLY on God and not my own abilities.  It seemed pretty clear that perhaps we should’ve waited on God’s timing; sat in His lap a while, resting in His comfort and protection, waiting to see what He would do.  But instead we acted, He gave us what we thought we wanted and because we didn’t trust Him fully, He forced us to lean on Him.

Now we have one car in the shop and a failing transmission in the other.

Super.

God placed everything in motion and shortly after I got home the garage called with an estimate on the brakes, while a friend came over to look at the van.

And how did God respond when we FINALLY turned to Him for help? It turned out that both cars weren’t as bad as we had expected.  Only the rear brakes needed to be changed on the bug and a couple sensors went bad in the van’s transmission.  All of it could be fixed quite affordably!

Praise Him!!

Did God allow our families to help provide the money we needed?  Of course, they wouldn’t have given it if He didn’t want them to, but would God  have provided for our needs otherwise?  Absolutely.  God wants us to trust Him and His leading.

No ifs, ands, or buts about it.

“On the contrary, who are you, O man, who answers back to God? …”   Romans 9:20

Yesterday my family and I went to Noah’s Ark located about an hour away from our home here in Wisconsin.

noah's ark sign

He not only provided the money to allow us all to go, but an absolutely beautiful day as well.  Mmmmmm…what a treat!

As I packed for our day of adventure, I decided to bring along an extra bandage.  My foot had been dry for a while and if it’s not covered with a bandaid at all times, it tends to crack and bleed.  It was feeling pretty good that morning…no signs of cracking but I covered it anyway just for protection and brought an extra along just in case.

Of course my original bandage fell off pretty much instantaneously, but the extra one was dry and safe back at ‘home base’… our meeting point throughout the day… waaaaaaay on the other side of the park.  My foot was fine so, naaaaaaaaah…wasn’t going to trek back that far just yet.

As the day went on, my foot was doing great and I actually never needed to re-bandage.  Sweet!  And as our fun in the sun was winding down, some of the kids went on the Quadzilla…a water tube slide where 4 people race to the bottom.

quadzilla

Too fun!

My daughter Sam was one of the racers and as she flew down the slide she somehow flipped her mat and when she got off the slide, she came over to sit down and noticed her knee was bleeding.

Ouch!

Somehow she skinned her knee on the ride and as everyone knows, most pool and water park rules state:

NO OPEN WOUNDS!

Hmmm…good thing it was at the end of the day AND that we just ‘happened to have’ that extra bandage.

“And what kind of bandage was it?” you ask…

Why, a Nexcare, extra large, waterproof bandage of course !  🙂

nexcare

the world’s most brilliant invention!!

“… for your Father knows what you need before you ask Him.”   Matthew 6:8

Godincidence

Isn’t it interesting when things just “happen”?

My daughter has been invited to join her cousins for a day of fun in the sun at Noah’s Ark today.

noah's ark sign

Noah’s Ark always promises (and delivers) a day filled with lots of water, laughter and crazy rides.  But there’s one catch…

Noah's Ark waterpark

A whopping $35.99 entry fee (which, of course, does not include any sort of lunch, snack, drink, etc…)

ouch.

Thankfully God knows all things and plans all things.

Sami has a check for $35 from Christmas that still needs to be cashed…  Perfect!!  Well, that covers the cost of the ticket, I’ll just have to send some snacks along with her.

And in God’s perfect timing, I got a text from Sam yesterday saying she ‘spied God’…

She has been staying with her Grandparents, helping my Dad take care of my Mom who just had hip replacement surgery.  Dad and Sam went to Subway to bring back supper, and in true God fashion, Subway ‘just happens’ to have a deal going on right now:

subway“It’s the 10-for-10 Monster Deal from Noah’s Ark and Subway. A deal so big it’s taking over summer!
Now, spend ten dollars at any Wisconsin Subway restaurant,
and you can get a voucher good for ten dollars off admission to Noah’s Ark, America’s Largest Waterpark!
No purchase necessary. See store for details.”

Sweet.

perfect timing

I mean it.  Have you?

You know, like the in old days…the days of the Old Testament when people literally saw or heard Him?

Let’s see, what are some ways God revealed Himself?  A burning bush, a pillar of fire & cloud, an audible voice, dreams, angels, visions, dice, plagues, the list could go on.

But have you ever seen Him today?

I want to be one of those Old Testament people.  They have it so good.  God shows up, taps them on the shoulder and tells them what He wants them to do.  No guess work.  No doubting.  He hands over the blueprints and says “Here you go.”

Man, to experience God in a way like that;

Tangibly…

Obviously…

Unmistakably…

real

 

This past week, I was driving my little VW bug on my way back to work.  It was lunch time, so there was quite a bit of traffic, plus it was snowing and the roads were pretty slick.  I was taking my time, going pretty slowly as I entered the on-ramp merging onto the West Beltline Highway, a very busy freeway here in Madison.

As I rounded the last bend before entering the freeway, the wheels caught some ice and I lost control.  My bug began spinning circles right there in the middle of the on-ramp.

There was a blur of cars passing on the beltline but I stayed watchful, undeniably expecting more traffic to enter the busy freeway with me.

None came.

I was completely alone on the on-ramp.  Not one car shared it with me as I spun out of control.

The dizzying experience came to a halt just off the shoulder as traffic flowed easily by on the beltline, but still no cars came directly past.  And at that particular on-ramp?  Unheard of.

blur cars

That same day, a community south west of Madison also experienced slide offs.  One in particular was a school bus filled with elementary age kids on its way to school, when it lost control.  The area of road that the bus slid off had a steep drop just past the shoulder.  Had the trees not been standing just beyond, allowing the bus to gently rest against them guaranteeing safety and an opportunity to evacuate, it would have undoubtedly tipped and rolled causing unimaginable injuries to its 19 young passengers.

bus

 Gosh, it’s too bad we can’t see God working so obviously in our world today.

 

A young lady from my church just had her first baby a couple weeks ago.  Complications arose after her C-section, which placed her in kidney failure, on a breathing tube, in a coma as well as an array of other ramifications.  She has made an amazingly miraculous recovery from this, but the clincher is that the doctors found she has a rare kidney disease that only an experimental drug out of Europe has been known to work against.  The catch?  She needs this medicine asap, however in order for her to receive the drug, a vaccine must be administered first which will take several weeks to arrive because the only place to get this vaccine is in Trinidad.

Interestingly enough, the youth group went on a missions trip several years ago with our church to, yes you guessed it… Trinidad.  All who went on this missions trip had to get a vaccine, this very  vaccine, in order to travel.  Including this young lady.  And because of this great fortune, the experimental drug was able to be administered NOW and she has had a practically full recovery including kidney function.

clean bill of health

Golly gee, it’s such a shame that we don’t experience God in our busy lives.

Hmmmmm…

“You will seek Me and find Me when you search for Me with all your heart.”   Jeremiah 29:13

“THINGS WHICH EYE HAS NOT SEEN AND EAR HAS NOT HEARD, AND which HAVE NOT ENTERED THE HEART OF MAN, ALL THAT GOD HAS PREPARED FOR THOSE WHO LOVE HIM.”   1 Corinthians 2:9

I attended a conference this past weekend and while I was there I went to a session in which a married couple shared their love story.  An engaging and beautiful story about how God brought them together and how they trusted Him for their relationship.

The speakers were Eric & Leslie Ludy, authors of the top-selling relationship book:

When God Writes Your Love Story

I was in awe of this incredible story.  When I left the session, I was pumped about how God works in lives.  I have seen Him time and time again provide similarly in my life through His provision with finances or His great protection but I never really thought about how, if we only trust Him that way in every area, of course He would reveal Himself in amazing and awesome ways.

But what shocked me was the feedback I heard from others who attended the same session; some youth as well as other leaders… saying it’s “unrealistic.”

Why is so it unrealistic?  I thought.  That is exactly how God works!

Instead of continuing to take things into their own hands, the Ludy’s completely trusted God to provide their future spouse and He totally came through.  God provided exactly what each of them wanted, like He will do and has done so many times before for those who fully trust Him!

Just imagine how we take things into our own hands, like with our finances when we use credit cards to purchase things.

“Don’t use credit cards?!”  You think…  “Unrealistic!”

kissing card

But what if??

When we use credit, we are controlling how we get things.  Many times, I would say, it is for something we don’t truly need but even when there are times of “emergency,” using a credit card to pay for said “emergency” is taking it out of God’s hands. That “emergency” has been filtered through God’s loving fingers; it’s a test…a trial… and how we respond to it can easily take away an opportunity for God to work in an amazing and awesome way and also says a great deal about what we are truly placing our trust in.

Had I borrowed money for groceries or gas at one of the many times we had nothing left in our account or in our pockets, I would have missed God ringing our doorbell or pushing our car.  God works in amazing and wonderful ways and His intent is for us to experience exactly that in this life He has planned for us.  How many other times have I missed an opportunity to allow God to work in my life because I decided, like Sarai, to take matters into my own hands?

My way or the highway

Like Eric and Leslie’s story, God has been working in love lives for ages… read the story of Isaac and Rebekah (Genesis 24:14-20) or how God intervened to be sure Sarah was not defiled by Abimelek…

“Then God said to him in the dream, “Yes, I know that in the integrity of your heart you have done this, and I also kept you from sinning against Me; therefore I did not let you touch her.”   Genesis 20:6

Why don’t we fully trust God?  Because it’s hard.  Sure, it’s hard.  It’s supposed to be hard!!  If it wasn’t hard, it wouldn’t be called faith.

“Now faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see.”   Hebrews 11:1 (NIV)

What would happen if we truly trusted God for every aspect of our lives?

Just imagine it… what life could truly be like, how easy it would be to see God working, how our lives would be changed and lives around us affected!

“Who does great things, unfathomable, And wondrous works without number.”   Job 9:10

Is there something you need to give up control of?  Is it time to trust God’s plan for your life?  God wants what’s best for you, He always has.  Give it to God and see how He responds.

 

 

The company I work for has an AMAZING Christmas party every year for its employees.  The doctors seriously go above and beyond to give us the best experience…from where it’s held, to the food and drinks served, to the entertainment, even to the gifts (or prizes) given.

2011 was no exception.

There were over 130 prizes available ranging from big screen tv’s and the latest electronics, to $25 gift cards and everything in between!!  Granted, there are several hundred employees, so the chances (although not bad odds) are pretty slim in getting the prize you really want.  Especially for those of us who don’t win anything.

Ever.

Not even for a free Pepsi in those twist off cap games, or a stinkin’ pie in the McDonald’s monopoly game, or even the highest % off coupon at Kohl’s.  What is that?!!

just not a winner

In anticipation of the party that year employees were given a glimpse to what might be available for prizes and the one thing I saw, just like the year before, that I really wanted was an Apple iPad.  I absolutely do not need one and there was no way we would EVER spend the money or even be able to afford one ourselves.  So I continued to pray each year that if it be in God’s will, He would allow me to win.

For the 2010 Christmas party, I asked my Mom to pray and her response was “No, you don’t pray like that.”  But the more I bugged her about it, she finally gave in and said…“well, maybe a little prayer.”

I didn’t win.

gosh darn it

Then for the 2011 party I asked her to pray again and she said…  “I think we tried this last year and you didn’t get any of the big prizes.  So, probably not supposed to pray for good Christmas presents.  I suggest we just keep the fingers and toes crossed this year.”

The only thing that entered my mind at that moment was the truth from the Bible that says we are to pray specifically…

“This is the confidence which we have before Him, that, if we ask anything according to His will, He hears us. And if we know that He hears us in whatever we ask, we know that we have the requests which we have asked from Him.”  1 John 5:14-15

Now, I know this does not mean that God gives us everything we ask for.  In fact the Bible warns us to be aware of our hearts and motives…

“You ask and do not receive, because you ask with wrong motives, so that you may spend it on your pleasures.”   James 4:3

But I also know that my God wants to bless us abundantly.   He takes great joy in and loves to see us excited, delighted, and overwhelmed by Him.

“The LORD your God is in your midst, A victorious warrior. He will exult over you with joy, He will be quiet in His love, He will rejoice over you with shouts of joy.”    Zephaniah 3:17

So I continued to pray and ask for something frivolous and unnecessary, because my God is great and loving like that.

 

If it’s part of His ultimate plan, God will give us the desires of our heart…

“Delight yourself in the LORD; And He will give you the desires of your heart.”   Psalm 37:4

and He longs to thrill us by providing even more than we thought possible…

“Now to Him who is able to do far more abundantly beyond all that we ask or think, according to the power that works within us”   Ephesians 3:20

 

So… how did my Christmas party turn out that year, you ask??

Well, guess what I won?!

iPad

 

“Truly, truly, I say to you, he who believes in Me, the works that I do, he will do also; and greater works than these he will do; because I go to the Father. Whatever you ask in My name, that will I do, so that the Father may be glorified in the Son. If you ask Me anything in My name, I will do it. If you love Me, you will keep My commandments. ”    John 14:12-15

 

Related posts:
God loves you this much…

Remember last year when I went to my office Christmas party and God provided an iPad?  Have I not shared that story with you yet??

Wow.  That’s one of my favorites.  Ok, I’ll have to post it…  iSpy God.

But I digress.

Last year I won an iPad at my Christmas party.  Yes, seriously.  Awesome company to work for, right?!!  Well, I never expected to win again this year.  Sure, I was hoping… but never imagined I would.

I was wrong.

I won a … well here, let me just show you!

JVC 42" LCD TV

A 42″ LCD TV of all things!!  Oh my word, talk about shocker!!

I won and won big!!  Again!

I’ve only been working at DHA for three years now, and won prizes at two of the Christmas parties and not just any prizes… the big ones!!  Now why did I win when my co-workers, some of whom have worked there for more than 20 years, haven’t won squat?  I don’t know.

What I do know is that God is a little bit crazy and when He provides for us, He does it in ways that are inconceivable, unconventional and surprising otherwise we wouldn’t notice or make a big deal about it.  Sadly, many of us don’t anyway.

Did I need that tv?  Absolutely not.  So what did I do with it you ask?

Well, I sold it.

whaaaa??

Whaaaa??

Yeah.  This has caused some problems, apparently, at work with people being upset that I sold the prize I won.  Well, with Christmas coming up and a bank account that’s negative, I felt it was a smarter plan than hanging that thing on my bedroom wall.  Granted, had I been a better steward of my money my account would not have gone negative, that certainly is not the way God wants us to be responsible financially… but I praise Him for providing a way to help.

I’m not able to buy lots of gifts now so no, selling the tv didn’t actually help a whole lot as far as Christmas goes, but my account is no longer in the red and that is glorifying to God.

Yes, God allowed me to win an awesome prize and I agree with Lisa from this past season of Survivor when she said…

“I don’t think God cares about who wins Survivor, has a favorite football team, favorite country…  I think He cares about us each individually.  Does He care that Denise won?  Yes, because He cares about Denise.  Does He care that I didn’t win?  Yes, because He cares about me.”  -Lisa Welchel

God loves you.  He loves how you’re feeling, what you’re doing, what you’re winning and what you’re not.

“‘For I know the plans I have for you,’ declares the LORD, ‘plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.'”   Jeremiah 29:11 (NIV)

Don’t underestimate God’s love for you…

God's love

“Blessed are those who mourn, for they shall be comforted.”   Matthew 5:4

September 11th attacks

The attacks of September 11th have been the most devastating thing that has happened in my life.  My heart still hurts thinking of those who lost their lives, both the victims and those in the armed forces fighting to keep terrorists at bay and I know our world has forever been changed.

I fully admit that I am ignorant to what is happening out in the world.  I am blessed to live in a country that does not have desolate lands, a lot of poverty, disease, hunger or war on the street and I haven’t known a lot of tragedy in my life.

I haven’t dealt with abuse, don’t come from a family of divorce, haven’t lost a parent, have not been sick, never miscarried or lost a child.  Sure, I’ve lost grandparents but they lived long, full, happy lives and of course pets…but I can’t call flushing a dead goldfish down the toilet real loss.

dead goldfish

I’ve experienced job loss and financial hardship but have never personally experienced anything that shook me to the core.

I haven’t written about any of the heartless massacres that have taken place over the last many years.  So many grievous, heart-wrenching and unfathomable acts of violence that have been carried out in places of learning, entertainment, recreation, healing, solace and safety.  Places all of us visit and had no second thoughts about allowing our children or loved ones to do the same.

Of course each one of these tragedies have affected me; shocked me, sickened me and caused me to question humanity, but they never quite hit home.  The Dark Knight Rises movie shooting caused me to stop and gawk in disbelief, questioning what people in this world are thinking and the tragedy that happened at a Sikh Temple only a couple hours away from our home saddened me and I prayed for those families affected by it, but I carried on with life.

Even this past week at a mall in Oregon confused me and made me wonder… but honestly I shrugged it off, “That won’t happen here,” I thought.

But what happened yesterday at Sandy Hook Elementary School

Hold them tight

Yesterday was different.  They were children.  Children!

This one hit home.

 

I don’t know why God gives and takes away.  Why He allows terrible heartache and trials in one life and not others.  Why He provides gifts and blessings for one and nothing for another.

“Who has directed the Spirit of the LORD, Or as His counselor has informed Him?”   Isaiah 40:13

But I do know that God’s ways are best, His plan is best, His love never fails and He is still in control.

“And we know that God causes all things to work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose.”   Romans 8:28

Hold them tight...

Last night I held my babies tight.  I cried while holding them in my arms… so very thankful that I could.

“You are from God, little children, and have overcome them; because greater is He who is in you than he who is in the world.”   1 John 4:4

 

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