Saturday, February 18, 2017

A Muddy Servant's Heart & A Mother's Answered Prayer

It is with great joy that I record the answered prayer of last Saturday's serving opportunity.
I had invited several ladies to come and sew for the day.  (We are making sanitary pads to send overseas.) One of the ladies is raising her 14-year-old grandson,  due to the instability of his parents--both of whom are not even living in the state. The teen has had some serious struggles in his young life. I found out Saturday morning that J.T. would be coming with his grandmother for the day.
I spent Saturday morning cleaning the house and getting ready for company. When Ben awoke, I approached him about the opportunity of taking the teenager with him on his errands and out to the farm. Knowing that Ben wouldn't be enthusiastic about having a younger boy tag along, I tried to impress on him that thought that this 14-year-old boy would be stuck in the house with 6 grandmas all day sewing sanitary pads--and to think how he'd feel in the same situation! I told Ben that it was his choice, but it would mean so much to me if he would consider ministering to him.
Early Saturday morning, I made a quick trip to the grocery store to pick up toilet paper and pie shells--for the chicken pot pie. All the way there and back, I was reminded of an encounter I had with an Iranian substitute at school Friday--who is a Christian. Mrs. Kazerounian was telling me how she was learning to PRAY in faith, claiming the power of God in what she was asking of Him.  So with that in mind, I decided to try to pray in faith that Ben would take J.T.
Praying in faith.  I know this might sound strange, as I have been a Christian for nearly 40 years, but when I think of claiming scripture and praying in faith that God would do what I ask, I feel like "Who am I to demand God answer my prayer?" It feels proud and presumptuous.
But I decided to try, even though I was a bit nervous the whole time.
I started praying God would move in Ben's heart to take J.T. out for the day. I tried to think of scriptures I could claim. I told God that I had raised Ben with the knowledge of service and He promised that if we raise our children up in the way they should go, it will not depart from them. I told God I knew He had a very special place in His heart for widows and orphans, and that J.T. could be considered an orphan, since his parents had both failed him. And whatever was done to the least of these, my brethren, it was being done for God. And I knew that Ben taking J.T. out for the day was something that lined up with His will and would bring Him good pleasure, so to please work in Ben's heart to make it so.
Ben was gone running errands when all of the ladies arrived to sew around 10:00 am. But before the day was done, Ben came back home, took J.T. out to the farm, gave him some boots to wear, and took him riding on the 4-wheelers in the mud. J.T. came back all muddy and happy.

This mama's heart was filled with pride and joy. I feel like it is more important for Ben to take a younger man under his wing for the day than to make an A on a test.
And God answered my demanding prayer. Amen.

Image: by David Blaikie No Muddy Boots In The Pub 

Wednesday, February 8, 2017

Jesus Never Fails

I heard this song in the car on the way to work yesterday. Ahhhh.... Brought me to tears.  I love the fact that even when I may feel all yucky and unstable on the inside, my hope doesn't depend on my own perspective. Jesus Never Fails.

Sunday, February 5, 2017

The Dark Side

I've heard it said that in current society, social media portrays a skewed sense of reality.  People only post what they want you to think about themselves.
So tonight I'm posting the Dark Side. It has been a melancholy day and I'm ending it with a Chromebook in my lap and a glass of amaretto sour. I don't typically drink alcohol, but am so wanting to have a good cry . . . perhaps it may help.

This morning was the Missions Fair at Shandon Baptist Church. I had a booth for the Ladies Sewing Project. This meant that I put out a display with quilts and a sewing machine and shared what we are dong with the pads.  I also spoke in a Sunday school class.

But it was also a day when Jim was leaving for Africa for 2 weeks. 

So I kissed him goodbye and headed to church. Ben would take him to the airport. As I was standing at my booth waiting for people to walk up, I checked fb and This Popped Up:

Mamamarge passed away 5 years ago. She was my biggest cheerleader in life.

My dog Fred has been sick for the last 6 months. This week Jim took him to the vet and then the specialist vet, and $1500 later, we find out he has bone marrow cancer. I've been cleaning up throw up for months. Last week I spent hours creating blankets made out of pee pee pads to put on all the couches and bed to protect the furniture.  I've been sick with a cold most of the past week, so I haven't done much of anything except sleep. My nose has been running, my head and stomach both hurt. I was mad at my husband for hurting my feelings most of the week. Finally forgave him yesterday. I've got guilt that I didn't help him more in his preparations to go to Africa. I've got resentment that I don't get to go this year. I always thought this would be the year I would get to go. And here it is. 2017 and I'm home typing while he is flying. I don't want to work at Blythewood anymore, but I don't want to stay home and not work, either.
I haven't written a Thank You note to my dad and stepmom for Christmas, yet.
And I'm drinking alcohol alone at home alone. I haven't turned on the Superbowl because I just don't care. I took a bubble bath.
I'm sad.
I wish I could cry.
Darned Prozac steals my tears.
And yet, I really do love God. I want to please Him.
But I'm not feeling like a very good Christian tonight.
I'm just wanting to sit here in the big chair and close my eyes, and ask God to wrap his big old hands around me and hold me tight.
It is my Dark Side. It is real.
But His hands are, too.
Hold me, Father. I need you tonight. Amen.