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365Expressions

Writing these "letters" has helped me to process life as a new mother, remain thankful, and come awake to the little moments that make this pretty challenging season simply wonderful.

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Day 193...Slow down

Slow down and make time for the important.

Dear Sadie.

Day 192...Take Mommy's Headache Away

I had a headache, again.

We were driving down the road and you asked me if I still had a headache. You were in the mood to sing, and these days it's not unusual for you to make up a song as you go.  So when you asked me could you sing a song about me and Jesus, I wasn't all that surprised.  But the words you sang touched me deeply.

I don't remember the exact words, but included somewhere in there were,


Jesus, you are Healer.

Take Mommy's headache away.

You love us, and we need you.

You can do all things.  You can take Mommy's headache away.

You are wonderful.


You then asked me did my headache go away, to which I replied, "No, but it's getting there."  The truth is, how can I care about a momentary, passing feeling of pain when I have you, precious girl?

You are my inspiration!

Dear Sadie.

"Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly as you teach and admonish one another with all wisdom, and as you sing psalms, hymns and spiritual songs with gratitude in your hearts to God."  Colossians 3:16

Day 191...Nothing can prepare you

Nothing can prepare you for just how much parenthood changes you.

You will never be the same.

But don't worry, it's all for the better.

Dear Sadie.

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Day 190 Keep Calm and...

"Keep Calm and Grab a Cupcake"  the bookmark read.

At first glance, this quote is cute.  Maybe even endearing.  You can find variations of this sentiment all over the internet, in bookstores, etc.  But today in church it made me sad when it came to my remembrance in a stark new light.

Is that what the world does when they get panicked or stressed or worried?   Is that what I do?!

Medication or comfort comes in so many forms these days.  We all reach for that "thing" that makes us feel like we're tossing our cares aside.  Feels good.

Sure, there's nothing wrong with the cupcakes themselves!  Everyone should indulge in something they like every now and then--the frivolous of life!

But the statement, "keep calm and..." bothers my spirit.  It's a reminder of the misled, misinformed orphaned world we live in.  They (who are we kidding...we...) survive and cope however possible, "white-knuckling it" (as my pastor likes to say) to the very end.  But what I wish to convey to them, to me, to you, is that our response and even relief to the trials we face day after day does not have to come in the form of a lifeless, temporary, though cute they may be, cupcake!  JESUS is the living water, sustainer, and helper in our time of need.  He is the one who truly satisfies, whether it be in the storm or resting on the shore in the breeze.  He is the living Word we need to bring us back from the dead, or nourish us back to health.

Indulge on the Word.  Devour it.  Jesus is salvation!

Organic, naturally-sweet, living Jesus.

He is our daily bread and our dessert.

Dear Sadie.

"Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you.  I do not give to you as the world gives."  John 14:27

Monday, August 20, 2012

Day 189...can i do this?

it's been so long since I've written, I feel like giving up!  Why did I commit to every day again?  my life is so crazy now.  between taking care of you guys, another little girl, keeping up the house, homeschooling, running errands, and doing everything else a stay-at-home mom does, when do i ever have time to write?  now I'm sharing a computer, and it's just not working!  please forgive me for not being more diligent.  it's just impossible many days, and i have to come to terms with it or it will drive me crazy!  but i love to write, so HEY, follow your dreams, right?

Dear Sadie.

Friday, August 17, 2012

Day 188...watch me

"Writing can be a pretty desperate endeavor, because it is about some of our deepest needs: our need to be visible, to be heard, our need to make sense of our lives, to wake up and grow and belong.  It is no wonder if we sometimes tend to take ourselves perhaps a bit too seriously."  --Lamott, "Bird by Bird"

I have had this thought many times about Facebook, blogging, or publishing works in general.  Might we just be taking ourselves a bit too seriously?  Why do we sense the need to be heard or seen so much?

I think of you when you're proud of something you're doing...

drawing a picture,

doing a somersault,

swimming,

coloring...

Mommy, will you sit here and watch me?

Watch me.

I make myself sit still and watch, and show you I'm watching, so that you know I love you.  So that you feel loved and important.

Now as an adult, do I live as though someone is watching?  Even now, do I write so that someone will hear me?  Do I update my status on Facebook hoping to get heard?

The truth is, for me, I can always make room for being more others-centered.

On the same token, we have a GOD who sees, a GOD who understands.  Hopefully we recognize the people He has placed in our lives to be there for us as well.  Hopefully we're not always in the dark reaching out.  Hopefully we see that we're not alone in this maze.  Hopefully we realize there is more than me.  

For now, until you get it, until you get how important you are to HIM, I'm going to watch you, applaud you, build you up to show you that you are so special.  So special in who you were made to be.  There's molding and disciplining and repenting that will undoubtedly be a part of this journey, but I get to be by your side through it all.  I get to be your biggest fan (maybe daddy too :).  Someday you'll go beyond these doors and look to see who else is seeing, hearing.  My prayer is that you will keep focused on Jesus.  What He says about You.  He will help you make sense of it all.  He will keep your heart. He will make you grow.  Belong.  He will quiet your soul.  And He will love through you to show others what really matters.

Dear Sadie.

Day 187...am i beautiful?

The other day when you were playing with a good friend of yours, five year-old Jude, you sweetly asked,

"Am I beautiful?"

My heart just dropped for a moment and time stood still.  She's four!  She seriously just asked that?

I honestly have no clue what I'm in for, obviously!  But yes, it starts young.

Identity.  Beauty.  Acceptance.  Love.  Vanity.  Rejection.  Security.

Am I beautiful?

It's funny to think about...how many times have we told you...have your grandparents told you...and yet, you want to know what the boy next door thinks.

Should I be worried?

My heart tells me it's normal, that what you're feeling you should be feeling.

What I told you was a bit different.  I said, "Sadie, right now the only ones you should be asking that question are Daddy...and Jesus."  You took that pretty well.  It made you smile.  Whether you really understand yet is probably unlikely.  Nevertheless, it's the truth.

Someday you will find that boys think you are beautiful, and it will make your head spin.  You'll know what to think of that when you're old enough.

But for now, remember who your princes are, and they'll graciously guide you to the other side...especially Jesus.  For He knows your beauty better than anyone else. He made you.  He makes all things beautiful.

Dear Sadie.

"He has made all things beautiful in its time."  Ecclesiastes 3:11

Day 186...The Closet Keeper

There's no faking it when it comes to intimacy with God.  You either have it, or you don't.  And people will take notice.  They always know.  People you meet can tell when you've been abiding in His Presence.  That may not be how they characterize it, but they see the sweetness about you.  They feel your at-rest spirit when you've been taking shelter in His wings.  You make others to be at peace with you when walking with the Prince of Peace.  No matter what the storm, big or little, you make even your enemies to be at peace with you.  You inspire, encourage, discipline, and love, without condemning.  All is flowing from the overflow of a full heart, where the God of love is taking up residency.  Yes, abiding intimacy cannot manifest itself any other way other than what it implies: bearing your soul to your Lover in the quiet, hidden place.  If you don't come out shining, go back in until you do!  With Him there is no lack.  In His Presence is fullness of Joy.

Dear Sadie.

El Shaddai...He is the Almighty God...The All-sufficient One

Day 185...homeschooling decision

Finally.

We rested upon a decision the other day, the 15th of August, trying to decide to keep you at home for preschool or not.  At last we are all very excited and at peace with keeping you home.  None of it is about me, it's all about you.  And the Lord.  And how I long to teach you, above all else, what worship is.  And how blessed I feel to have the privilege of watching you and guiding you through these years.  I've decided for sure about this year, and next year we'll have to decide what about Kindergarten.  I'm leaning towards keeping you then, too..  After that, I'm definitely considering homeschooling as a permanent endeavor, but I sense that more as a year-by-year commitment.  I have no idea what life will be like in two years, so I'm going to say I'd like to homeschool you, but we'll see.

               "in all my ways acknowledge Him and He will make my paths straight..."

One of the benefits of staying home to teach is that I can add to our day more structure and more creativity with purposeful intent.  I finally have a vision--I can see it--and I'm excited about it!  And I sense it's the Lord's stirring in me, not just my own will.  I want Him to be pleased more than anyone.  To Him be the glory.

Dear Sadie.

Day 184...Psalm 103

One of my favorite verses...(and songs, of course)

"Bless the Lord, oh my soul, and all that is within me, bless His holy name!"  Comes from Psalm 103.
I think I will have us memorize the whole chapter one of these days.

When I think on why I love this verse so much, I dwell on the fact that there will be times in our lives (maybe even daily!) that we'll need to tell our soul--Bless the Lord!  Sometimes we get caught up in our introspective worlds, self-centered desires, or too much activity.  We forget to bless the Lord, dwelling on His nature, His goodness towards us who believe!  So if your soul starts to forget, tell it:  Bless Him!  Bless Him!  We're forgetful creatures, always forgetting what's good for us.  God knows.  Psalms 103 knows.

All of life can be boiled down into this, and it sounds a lot like what Jesus said the greatest two commandments were:  1) bless the Lord, and 2) bless others....simple, right?

Read it today and think on how incomparable God is.  Wow.

Dear Sadie.

Day 183...Relationship with God

I've been writing to you so long now I sure hope I don't repeat myself and not even know it!  I guess if I do, it was worth saying twice!

In "Bird by Bird" the author, Ann Lamott, wrote about writing, "There is a door we all want to walk through, and writing can help you find it and open it.  Writing can give you what having a baby can give you: it can get you to start paying attention, can help you soften, can wake you up."

I've found the same to be true.  And I'd add another thing besides writing and having a baby...your relationship with God.  Go back and read the quote but put those words in the place of "having a baby."  So true.

Dear Sadie.


Sunday, August 12, 2012

Day 182..bookstore day, part 3: buried dreams, burning hope

I sit here reading a book, "Kisses from Katie," by Katie Davis, moved to tears.

I have set my passions upon the shelf for a time, and her passionate love for the orphans in Uganda make my heart to bleed in remembrance of dreams I once thought I had within my reach.

One day, will I too, together with my family, take this book off of the shelf?  Not the one I am holding, but the one in my heart?  Will God open this portion to reveal a destiny I never fully realized?
 
My life looks nothing like I had dreamed it would be when I was a youth.  I am so very blessed with two beautiful children and a husband who loves me and a home with two dogs in the backyard.  I hate to say it because it sounds so selfish and ungrateful, but I'll say it anyways...

I want more.

Want more of what?  you may ask.

Hopefully by the time you're old enough to read this, you'll know what dreams I'm talking about.  I don't have a specific task in mind exactly.  At the very basic level, I want to live a life ruined for Jesus.  I life that gives out love, way more love than I could ever supply on my own.  I want to give up earthly treasures for the benefit of others.  I want my kids to walk with me on the journey, to taste the extravagant love of Jesus for themselves, hungry to pour it out to the loneliest and most destitute children on the planet.  The broken.  The abandoned and neglected and abused.  The rejects of society.  My heart longs to be the one to hold and mend and share the good news of Jesus.  My spirit cries and my soul aches when I read stories of the trauma people endure every day while I lie cozily in my double-porch house in a quiet subdivision.  While I work hard to provide a loving, nourishing environment for my babies, seeking to be a better wife and mom on a daily basis, millions of children starve or watch their families die or are sold into slavery.  I've given my heart to you and Titus in ways I never could have imagined.  I've come to know love like never before, and that is a gift I will never get over.  It's all because of Him I have children and can love and care for them the way I am able to right now.  I want to spread this love, extend it through my offspring.  But putting my teaching ministry on the mission field on hold for a time for the well-being of my family, within me is this undeniable thirst for more.

Lord, I cry out to you today--don't give up on me just yet!  You will complete it, I know.  Greater are your plans than mine ever were or will be!  Just use me for your glory.  To spread your love and your kingdom on earth as it is in heaven.

Unto you I will cling.

If I can't go, then use me here in ways only you can contrive.  Take me deep into the heart of Senoia, but let me touch, hold and mend in Your honor.  Let me love with abandon--and never, ever leave buried there the dreams you have written on my heart.  LOVE.

This one is about me, my dear, but I hope you get a sense for how close you are to my heart, and how I want to work alongside you as your sister in Christ someday, even soon.

Dear Sadie.

Day 181...bookstore, part 2: societal misfit

Has motherhood drunk up all of me already?  I used to think I knew something about something.  Now when I'm out in public on a day like today with the purpose of just "hanging out," in the midst of the hustle and buzz, I start to think to myself, what do I know?

At this very moment I feel so bare with my three persons I've become so fond of, so attached to, away from me, playing together, without me for the afternoon.  I am new, virgin-like in this fast-paced world.

Everyone else seems to know why they're here at the bookstore.  I'm a blubbering fool, ordering my coffee as if I even know what half the words mean on the menu.  I glance at magazines and feel so underdressed, so  unglamorous.  Even the books are mocking me with places I've never been, never even heard of.  They boast about philosophies, culture wars, cupcakes, feminism, websites, and modern political figures.  Authors I will never know, subjects I will never have an opinion about, novels I will never taste.  Hundreds of thousands of them, bright and beautiful sit there and taunt me, What do you read?  What do you know?  No one seems as alienated as me at the moment.  Like a scared little school girl I enter in and tell myself to relax.  I remind myself why I'm here.

I take a deep breath in and let it out.

I'm not the same as I was pre-family.  I never will go back and be that girl.  What did I really know then, anyways?  College forced me to be in the know.  Colleges like to have that sort of effect on their pupils.  You start to get a big head, what with all the books and all.

Now I am knowledgeable about new things.  Beautiful, pure and lovely things.  Personal loves I belong to.  I have evolved into this thing called motherhood I once looked upon with such naivety.  And it's all going to be okay.  I am going to be more than okay.

I sit a little taller, taking another sip of my americano.  I start to see the families with restless toddlers in strollers, single females on computers, parents chatting with their adult children, students, business men.  The scales start to fall as I break a little easier, letting it all sink in.

My advice for you is really my advice for me today.  Let today be what it is.  Let you be you.

Be grateful for yesterday, grateful in today, and grateful for a new tomorrow.

Be who you are today, not wishing for the you of yesterday, nor wishing for a better you tomorrow.  Let God be God, and you be you.

Let Him in.  Let Him hold you.  Love you.  Teach you.

You may have times where you feel like you are standing alone on the shore, looking at the world passing you by one current after another.  Rest.  The current God has you in may feel like a shore at times, but the reality, it's His wave you are on.  He is the only one you need to follow, move with, cling to.

Dear Sadie.    

Day 180...bookstore day, part 1: teenage girls

How scary is the life of a misguided teenage girl.

So I'm sitting in the bookstore cafe, trying to keep my mind centered on the book I'm grazing, munching on my wild blueberry muffin and sipping an americano.  Meanwhile, these two girls no more than fifteen sit at the table beside me within arm's reach.  One reads aloud to her friend, while the friend peruses her smartphone.  The one reading aloud gleefully shares segments from the novel she picked up, a casual account of a provocative fourteen year-old.  That's right, fourteen!  (and no, I'm not trying to listen, it's almost as if they want someone to hear, the way they are talking)...the first scene is a girl waking up from yet another drunken party next to a boy whose name she doesn't know.  "That is just like you!" smartphone girl proclaims to the reader.  "I know!" the reader proudly agrees. She reads a little silently, and then shares the next profound detail in the scene.

As I try my hardest to block the girls out and focus on my reading, my my mind wanders to their home lives...their parents probably have no clue, or either don't care, about what they're reading while out on a seemingly harmless trip to the bookstore.  Forget what they're reading!  How about their misled lives?  They're so young, too!  How could this be?  I sigh and try to focus on my book on writing.  Ugh...

I think about you.  My pure, precious, innocent Sadie.  

Will this be my daughter someday?  I think to myself.  No, she will know better!   ...I hope?  Yes.  She will know.  I'll make sure of it.

I think back to when I was fifteen.  I did some things with my friends I am not proud to mention.  While not coming close to drugs and sex, still, I knew better.  Even with my close relationship with God, sweet little Christy went along with her peers.  

How will I ever manage the teenager years?  God help me!  All I can imagine is, I will pray through this "raising," me and your daddy will.  It's hard even imagining you being this old, honestly.  I am believing for your trust in Jesus.  Life can be a scary mess with all the influences out there.  But it's also a beautiful one when spent for Christ!  All I can do is trust Him and continue to seek Him with all of my heart!  Here is to you being a shining light for Jesus in this dark and orphaned world.

Dear Sadie.


Saturday, August 11, 2012

Day 179...values

Now that we are all getting older (notice I said all, not just you--I'm always telling you to not grow up...you should probably be telling me the same thing!), it's easy to see how hectic and busy life can get, especially in the western culture we live in.  Run here, drop off, run back, pick up, etc., etc.  I have an intense desire to not get to that place.  Ever.  You have to be careful with voices.  Are you going to listen to God, trust the advisers He places in your life, and most importantly, His Word?  Or are you going to listen to the culture, the trends, the status of your neighbors, peers and yes, even your church friends?  I hope I can raise you right in the light of knowing that slowing down, enjoying the Presence of the Lord, being still long enough, savoring the simple stuff, living a quiet and eternity-focused life, seeking His glory, is the only way to live.  How in the world can I express this to you?  Only by living it first, I guess!

Dear Sadie.

Day 178...Dancerella

Okay.  So I have writer's block.  I have no idea what to write about, and I've been running dry ever since these vacations sucked the momentum out of me.  So I am forcing myself to write to you today, not having a clue what to write about.

Tonight I was looking up ballet classes for you.  You are very much interested in dance, gymnastics, and so on.  I don't feel like I'm the one initiating this activity, but you are.  You are such a girl, and you show us all of the time with your twirls and prancing.  I think if you only have a little bit of training, you would take off, literally!

I pray that the Lord would make a way that we could get you started in a class as soon as possible, so that you could experience the joy of dance.  One day, I pray it would develop into a self-expression overflowing from your heart for the purpose of praise to the Father.  Oh, how He loves us!

Dear Sadie.


Thursday, August 9, 2012

Day 177...Can I have that in writing, please?!

Oh joy.  The things that come out of the mouth of babes. 

Yesterday I asked you to do several chores around the house.  I can proudly say that my little just-turned-four-year-old is such a big girl, she hasn't complained about me asking her to pick up or do this or do that in a long time!  Where did you come from? :)  And I haven't even told you the best part yet...

As I was saying, yesterday your favorite saying was "Whatever you say, Mommy.  I will do it."

Wow, can I have that in writing, please?!  Such an angel you are.  I know it won't always be a bed of roses, but this sure is a sweet, fragrant time for you and me.  I am cherishing every moment.

Dear Sadie.

Day 176...My Dreams for God's Girl

When I look at you day by day, my heart swells with dreams for you, my sweet girl.
I don't know how many will come to pass.  It makes my heart so happy to imagine you growing up and enjoying life.

On top of enjoying life, I pray and envision you to dance before the Lord with all of your heart.

I pray and envision you serving others and treating them better than yourself.

I pray and envision you singing to God from the depths of your soul and spirit.

I pray and envision you making a home with delight and contentment and peace.

I pray and envision you being a wife of noble character.

I pray and envision you being a mother in faith, hope and love, keeping all three alive as you trust in Him.
I pray and envision you seeking God and His wisdom in your life.

I pray and envision you living in supernatural ways as God works in your life daily.

I pray and envision you to be a respectful, honoring citizen to people you come in contact with every day.
I pray and envision you to first and foremost, to trust Jesus as your Savior and Lord.

I pray and envision you walking in truth as it works out practically in your life through His Spirit in you.

I pray and envision you fearless.

I pray and envision you carefree.

I pray and envision you a beautiful daughter of the King...His and ours, little princess...Sadie Jane.

Your name means princess, lady...and that you will always be. Your middle name God is gracious, and that is what you always show me.

Dear Sadie.

Day 175...Playing "store" at Home

Imaginary play in the home is so fun!  The other day we used expired food to create a grocery store in our kitchen.  We got our little grocery cart and cash register toys out and you had a blast!
I enjoy watching you imagine things out in your mind.  This is the age when your imagination is at its highest peak (in my opinion) and I love to see you acting like a "grown-up." Just a little note today, a reminder to have fun and make imagination a part of every day life in the home, at all ages!

Dear Sadie.

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Day 174...Family Worship

Tonight was the first night in a long time we've had a quick little Bible study and worship time as a family unit. I actually don't remember ever doing this in the last two years since Titus was born, altogether as a family.  Daddy read to you from a kids devotional, and I led us with a kids' praise CD while we sang and danced.  It was spontaneous, too.  The best kind.  Just sort of happened on a whim, and it was so refreshing to be together, honoring the Lord together.  You were beaming with joy, and Titus was funky and free!

Thanking the Father, once again, for His goodness to us.

Dear Sadie.

Day 173...Peace

What I'm learning from the Lord right now.  Let's see.

He has given us peace.

Not peaceful circumstances, peace in our circumstances.

Not peace in a decision.  Peace in His Presence.

He does not take it away, ever.  It's me that's moved away from His peace.

The Prince of Peace.

Peace comes when I keep my mind stayed on Him.  Isaiah 26:3

Monday, August 6, 2012

Day 172...to teach or not to teach

So I didn't know that 4 years old would be such a tough decision-making year for me.  I've been looking forward to releasing you to a teacher, for your education to begin, the big "preschool" year to begin.  Knowing how much you love school, love classmates, love learning.  It's a no-brainer!

Now I'm dreading this day!!  I don't want to be away from you.  It's harder than ever I thought it'd be.  And I'm beginning to question everything!  I'm a trained teacher, so I know what it's like to be a part of the classroom "family."  I want you to have the same experience!  Then, I want you to be home with me at the same time!  To the right of me I hear the homeschooling moms saying, "This is the way, walk in it." To the left of me I hear the working moms saying, "There's nothing wrong with going back to work.  Let someone else teach your child.  It's okay!"

I just need the wisdom of God.  And it's not just me, it's your daddy too.  We both want what's going to be best for you.  I guess it's good that I'm struggling so much because it's about your well-being, and it's because I care about you so much.  You should feel good!

Today you ran up to me, in the middle of me pouring my thoughts out to Nana on the phone,
"You're going to be my teacher!  I'm not going to school!  You're my teacher!"  with this big grin on your face.  It made me laugh in shock!  You were clear on the other end of the house, and you ran over to me just to tell me that, and ran back to what you were doing.  Was that prophetic?! :)

Day 171...Daddy came home

Tonight we had a Daddy come home when traditionally daddies are supposed to come home.  You ran with little brother at heals to Daddy, arms wide open.  Daddy smiling from ear to ear.  Little Brother's baby talk "daddy home" filling our ears.  We pray and eat at the table.  Clean up the dishes together.  Get ready for bed together.  Read a book snuggled in the bed as one.  Tucks, kisses, and hugs, and everyone is fast asleep.  Blessings.  Privileges like these go largely unnoticed I am sure.  But tonight, this family thanks the Lord for His hand on these gifts.

"every good and perfect gift is from above..." James 1:17

Day 170...Asking.part3

I never asked God before this week about your education.  How embarrassing is that?  As I confess this now in writing, I am saddened by my own lack of wisdom and intimacy with the Spirit of God.  I have said for some time now in my heart, We'll cross that bridge when we come to it.  Now, sometimes that philosophy is helpful in so many ways.  But then if you're like me, you just get caught up in your surroundings and the present, and you forget to even ask what He thinks!  How can I forget on such an important matter?
How careless can I be?  

The practical position of praying is something so simple it's easy to miss.

Actually, this hits my heart on so many levels.  How many other things have I whispered or dreamed up in my heart, and yet they never make it into my prayers?  Never have even left my lips?  I'm ashamed, yet I feel His forgiveness today, His smiling.  I know He's saying, Now...now you're beginning to get it, my daughter.  

So I've asked.  And I'm waiting, being still, trusting, and laboring to rest.  Listening....

Sunday, August 5, 2012

Day 169...Just ask part2

One of the lessons I've re-learned in this recent miracle in our lives, the story of Jason's sudden job opportunity, has been Just ask.  Just before writing this blog, I felt like looking at past blogs to see when I had written something similar, as I felt like I had titled something "just ask" already.  Sure enough, July 31.  It was the day Daddy came home and said sarcastically, "Have I told you that I wanted another job?" And it was the day before we got the call with the answer from Paradise (Fruits and Vegetables).  In the blog, I quoted James 1:5 at the end.  It's the same verse your Nana gave to Jason and I several Christmases ago.  If any of you lacks wisdom, he should ask God...  How many times have I heard this.  How many times have I not gone to God specifically on a matter because I was too afraid He might not answer, or afraid I might not like the answer.  Too many.  And here, one of the strongest words on my heart during all of this, is this word.  Ask me.  I delight to work with you, to answer your questions, to fulfill your needs, to lead you and show you the way to walk, to save you, to give to you.  The Bible is full of ways in which He has done it for His children who desire to seek the Lord and have His way.  Does that mean it always come exactly when we need it, how we need it?  Surely not.  But if we ask in faith, we can rest knowing that He will answer.  That's how God our Daddy is.  He knows our needs before we ask (Matthew 6:8).  He just wants to hear us say them, activating our faith, so He can be the one to step in.  We hear from God only as much as we will listen.

Day 168...Paradise at the Table

Sitting down at the table with little ones is not an easy task.  Getting through a dinner without a lot of work, almost unheard of.  When it happened on Tuesday, I just about cried.  It was just you, Titus and me.  Sitting down for dinner, you prayed the sweetest prayer for Daddy.  You  mentioned a bunch of things, but the thing that stood out to me the most was that you wanted to pray for him to be happy in his heart at work.  Then we started eating shell pasta with tomato and beef sauce, fresh carrots, cucumbers, peas and grape tomatoes.  This particular tonight, you and Titus tried all of the vegetables, without any ranch, without me having to hardly ask.  To top it off, you were celebrating liking them.  And for Titus, who despises all vegetables, he was inspired to ingest all four, even if just a little bit.  Then sitting in his chair, Titus fed himself the whole bowl of pasta with no help from me at all.  He used manners, as did you, when asking for Parmesan cheese.  "Thank you, Mommy."  We finished the meal at a good pace, with a happy and rested mommy who had to do very little but eat her own food.  I was in shock!  I'm usually prepared to do the work, but this felt like vacation!

Looking back now, I sense that this meal was not only a milestone for us, it was also prophetic in a way.  At the very least, a blessing and a reminder.  Before and after the meal, you two kids were going back for more vegetables.  Even as an after-dinner snack!  I remember thinking just how odd this was!  We got a call just before dinner from Linda Smith, a friend of ours who works for Paradise Fruits and Vegetables, saying that an opportunity for Daddy to go work for them has opened up, and that God inspired them to think of him as they were praying about the restructuring of their company.  It could just be a coincidence that you two went crazy for veggies on this very night, a turning point for your daddy and me.  But it occurred to me while relaying the story the next day after Daddy set up the meeting with Paradise, that this meal was more than just a blessing, it was a prophetically telling us of God's goodness.  And the "happy in his heart" prayer?  God answered that dead on.  I will never forget this meal that came at such an opportune time.  The answer to Daddy's prayers came, and it rushed in like mighty waters from our good and perfect Heavenly Father.  It could have been a coincidence, these vegetables, this dinner, but I choose to believe that it was God saying, Trust me for a new beginning.