Saturday, October 26, 2013

Unexpected Blessings

God always seems to know when we need that little pick-me-up, and he always seems to provide.

It has been a very long week, full of a regular week of school plus meetings, after school obligations, and other obligations added after that. There were times when I found myself wondering if I would make it through the week in one piece. My husband has been sick, my students have been rambunctious, and I have been getting more and more tired.—– But God provided me with the energy to finish and get it all done.

God always seems to do that.  God provided an opportunity for me to adjust my schedule on Thursday so that I had enough time and energy in reserve to support my daughter and participate in the 5K that she had helped sponsor. On Friday morning, just as my body was running low and I was noticing that my energy was gone, I somehow found the ability to smile and joke, just enough to boost my energy and make it through the day. Last night, God came through again.

My husband, daughter, and I headed to the annual festival that is held here in our town. We were just going to cruise the streets, say hello to old friends, allow my daughter to pick up a gift for her boyfriend, and head home. Money is tight this year, and I wanted to save some because I am travelling to see my son at his college today.

As I passed the local bank booth, I heard them saying something about giving away $100; I walked up to the tent, filled out a ticket, and even jokingly had my daughter tap it for good luck before handing it over to the lady working the table. We strolled on down the street and continued to talk with old friends when my cell phone rang.

 I didn’t recognize the number. My husband said, "Call it and see who it is," but I hesitated. Just then a voicemail came through. When I played it, I learned that God had blessed ME with the $100. This within 10 minutes of the time I had entered! When I went to pick up the money the lady at the table said, "What about that? You were just here, but we shook it up REALLY good."

Because of the blessing my son and I will enjoy a good meal today. I will reserve a crisp $10 bill for the offering plate and will thank God once again for the unexpected blessing as I place it there tomorrow.

Thursday, October 24, 2013


This week in the online Bible study we have been using #Priceless as our keyword.  I found myself thinking back on those commercials they used to have on television where various things were "Priceless." Then the English teacher in me felt the need to consult the dictionary to see what it said.

According to Miriam Webster, Priceless has several definitions:
1. extremely valuable or important
2. very funny
3. having worth beyond price
4. costly because of rarity or quality
5. so precious that its value cannot be determined

At this point, I must admit that I am a bit of a sentimentalist. If you took the time to come to my home and search through certain boxes or drawers you would find the letters that my sweet husband wrote to me when we were dating, the cards that my daughter has made for me over the years, scraps of cloth from dresses that I made for her, my high school class ring (though it no longer fits), a dress that my aunt made for me when I was an infant (I kept it and my daughter actually wore it too, if only for a photograph), and boxes and boxes full of photos.

To an outsider, these things might seem insignificant...........

But to me, they are priceless pieces of my life.

When I pick up one of those scraps of cloth my mind can instantly flash back to the day when my daughter wore the dress: a hot Kentucky afternoon in late summer, the school Heritage Fair, she wanted so badly to enjoy the festivities, but she was sick and could do little more than lie around and drink fluids. I can instantly remember the way my heart broke for her, that motherly love oozing out.

When I open one of those letters and read the words that my husband wrote to me I can immediately remember those feelings of an emerging love that both of us experienced and the joy I felt when I glimpsed his car pulling into my driveway for our weekly visit.

As priceless as those memories are to me, they do not compare to the love that our heavenly father has for me. With all of my weaknesses, faults, and stumbles he still accepts me exactly as I am. I don't have to try to be something that I am not. Job 34:19 reminds me that God is one "who shows no partiality to princes and does not favor the rich over the poor, for they are all the works of his hands."

God loves all of us---- equally--- totally--- perfectly.

This love is truly priceless, so precious that its value cannot be determined.

When I am tired from a week at work that has been overly filled with activity, God reminds me to "Come to me, all who are weary and heavy laden, and I will give you rest." Matthew 11:28

When I am weak, hesitant to face a challenge, God's word is there to tell me that "the Lord is my strength and shield, my heart trusts in him, and he helps me." Psalm 28:7

When I make a mistake and want to run and hide, I can take solace in the fact that "neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor things present, nor things to come, nor powers, nor height, nor depth, nor any other created thing, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord." Romans 8:38-39

Yes, God is always there............ He is there to comfort me, to uplift me, to encourage me, to love me................. No one can come between us. Nothing will cause him to turn his back on me. He accepts me, just as I am, warts and all.

A love like this is truly priceless.

Thursday, October 17, 2013

I Believe.....

This week I started the latest Proverbs 31 online Bible study. This one focuses on the book A Confident Heart by Renee Swope. As I read the first two chapters, I found myself saying, "Ouch", more than once as I felt a nudge in my ribs saying, "Hey..... that's you she is writing about."

In Chapter one Renee wrote about not only believing IN GOD, but BELIEVING GOD. BIG difference. I was raised in the church. For as long as I can remember I was a Sunday School attendee, VBS participant, and I sat in the pew alongside Mom and Dad every Sunday morning for the worship service. I gave my heart to the Lord during a revival meeting as a teen and was baptized one bright Sunday morning. I was married in a church, took my children to Sunday school, and I continue to be a regular church attendee and helper. There is no doubt that I believe IN GOD.

I must confess however that I sometimes don't fully BELIEVE or have faith in God as I should.

One of the biggest concerns that I have had within recent years has been money. The economy has been bad, my husband retired (which lowered his income), and my son started college. I was always frugal; my children even called me a penny pincher, but all of these circumstances rolled into one have compounded my concern about money.

I know that the Bible says God will provide.....

In Matthew 6 I read....

25 “Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothes? 26 Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they? 27 Can any one of you by worrying add a single hour to your life[a]?
28 “And why do you worry about clothes? See how the flowers of the field grow. They do not labor or spin. 29 Yet I tell you that not even Solomon in all his splendor was dressed like one of these. 30 If that is how God clothes the grass of the field, which is here today and tomorrow is thrown into the fire, will he not much more clothe you—you of little faith? 31 So do not worry, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ 32 For the pagans run after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them. 33 But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. 34 Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.

 In my gut, I know that this is true. I know that God will make a way for my family and I to be taken care of. He has done it before. When money was tight, an unexpected refund check would come in the mail, an extra position that paid a stipend would open up at school, or I would sell a crocheted project or two. And yet my doubt and worry continues.

I think that I just need to keep working to strengthen my faith..... I need to keep reading the Bible, praying, and just believing more. I am hoping that this study will help me with that. I would like to end the study knowing that I BELIEVE GOD just as much as I BELIEVE IN GOD.