When God Answers Prayers

11/2017 – Life

I was sift­ing through the laun­dry bas­ket look­ing for footie pants, all for the pur­pose of keep­ing my lit­tlest’s feet warm. We have had lots of trou­ble get­ting and keep­ing the laun­dry under con­trol, actu­al­ly I am expect­ing the laun­dry to stage a mutiny any day now and kick us all out of the house. So, back to the cute, but chilly baby feet. As I am sift­ing, one hand­ed (baby is in the oth­er arm) I am think­ing how large full and mixed up this load of laun­dry is and I start look­ing for the prob­a­bil­i­ty facts fold­er in the files of my now frac­tured mem­o­ry. (Deliv­er­ing 3 babies in a 5 year peri­od has left me with few brain cells and the 3 I have left aren’t even work­ing together. 

So, after receiv­ing a “file not found” brain mes­sage a cou­ple of times, I final­ly find an old mem­o­ry that reminds me if I am look­ing for one spe­cif­ic item in a sea of many many oth­er items, it’s a low prob­a­bil­i­ty that I am going to find what  I am look­ing for at this time. Espe­cial­ly since I am ran­dom­ly reach­ing in the laun­dry bas­ket with no rhyme, rea­son or strategy. 

So, I start to pray. 

(Yes pray, I pray about any and every­thing, it has served me well since I was a child) “I have a wig­gly baby in one hand and Lord please help me find these spe­cif­ic footie pants.” You see, all the while I am sift­ing, (no, sift­ing requires strat­e­gy and forethought)…all the while I was blind­ly reach­ing, I pulled up a knee high sock, thought “nope, that’s not it” put it back and kept look­ing. Then, what I know to be The Holy Spir­it starts speak­ing to me with­in my mind’s thoughts. (I know it’s The Holy Spir­it because He spoke wis­dom that I know for a fact didn’t come from me) He said, ever so gen­tly, that I was so busy expect­ing God to give me specif­i­cal­ly the pants I had pic­tured in my mind, that I total­ly missed His answered prayer in those knee high socks. I had for­got­ten the need: which was to warm chilly baby feet. I was so focused on the assumed men­tal image I missed meet­ing the need. As I came to this under­stand­ing, while laugh­ing to myself, I was reach­ing in and pulled out the pants I was look­ing for the whole time.

A Laun­dry Les­son in Prayer, God can use any­thing to help and teach us, Praise the Lord!

Me Time?…No,…Jesus Time

10/2017 — Ministry

I remem­ber a ser­mon I head recent­ly where it chal­lenged us, as the audi­ence to make time to do things God is call­ing us to do. As I am hear­ing it, I am agree­ing, nod­ding, etc., until he says some­thing that shook my spir­it, for us to make time, we will not be cut­ting into time at work, with the fam­i­ly, clean­ing or oth­er respon­si­bil­i­ties, it’s going to be the “me time”. “Uh-Oh”, I real­ize. I have come to depend on my me time. When lit­tles are in bed, I look for­ward to “veg­ging”, what does that mean any­way? I am typ­ing this entry from my writ­ten “blog” and I am look­ing clos­er into this word, which I believe refers to being like a veg­etable. Why would any­one choose to live like that for any amount of time? 

What would things look like if I lived more inten­tion­al­ly and more pur­pose­ful­ly? (see here for begin­ning your own Extra­or­di­nary jour­ney) What more would I do or accom­plish in this world? Once The Spir­it had shown me this I ask for for­give­ness. There is no such thing as “my time” we are to be gen­er­ous with all things, remem­ber­ing that any­thing we “have” is giv­en to us by grace and not real­ly belong­ing to us, but on loan from our Heav­en­ly Father. If I am fol­low­ing after Jesus, we are stew­ards of His glo­ri­ous bless­ings, which is pret­ty awe­some! God has a way of soft­en­ing us so that, should we walk in obe­di­ence, He leas us to some­place new and greater and with more responsibility. 

EAST RUTHERFORD, NJ — DECEMBER 04: Head coach Tom Cough­lin of the New York Giants throws the red chal­lenge flag in the first half against the Green Bay Pack­ers at MetLife Sta­di­um on Decem­ber 4, 2011 in East Ruther­ford, New Jer­sey. The Pack­ers own 38–35. (Pho­to by Nick Laham/Getty Images) *** Local Cap­tion *** Tom Coughlin

For me it was MOPs. I was not famil­iar with this orga­ni­za­tion pri­or and once I heard MOPs and Mon­day night in the same sen­tence, my brain threw a red flag on the play. I didn’t look into it any fur­ther. I was very guard­ed with my time, espe­cial­ly after hav­ing chil­dren. Every­thing has to hap­pen just so and if it didn’t, it real­ly made things dif­fi­cult for me. So, I hid behind “my time”. God couldn’t stretch me if I hid in this space. God has shown me, as  I write this that I was putting “my time” before “His time” & even now he is teach­ing me that I often put “my tim­ing” before “His per­fect timing.

So here I am feel­ing com­pelled to get more involved in min­istry while I have lit­tles, 3,4 and 5 months at the time. This would not have been some­thing I came up with on my own and to be com­plete­ly trans­par­ent, I tend­ed towards an out­side orbit when it came to my involve­ment in church. I real­ly want­ed to steer clear of any church pol­i­tics, so lead­ing a group would have been way off my radar. But God had dif­fer­ent plans.

Of course He did…

Into the Wilderness…

10/12/2017 — Life

What start­ed as my inau­gur­al bee sting became a very dif­fi­cult sea­son of stretch­ing, growth and shed­ding old things. I sat in the car as hur­ri­cane Har­vey rocked the very small two door vehi­cle back and forth in a gas sta­tion lot, won­der­ing, “why in the world am I out in the mid­dle of a destruc­tive storm?”  It was around 7 or 8 in the morn­ing. “Am I crazy?” I looked back through the past 12 or so hours and took stock. After under­go­ing a very dif­fi­cult few days of dis­turb­ing dreams and feel­ing the chill of fear for the first time, I was feel­ing pret­ty crazy. Sev­er­al hours ear­li­er around 1am or so, I sat around look­ing at a home filled with almost 10 years of stuff. 

Stuff that car­ried lots of bad mem­o­ries, stuff that rep­re­sent­ed bondage and stuff that entan­gled rather than pro­mot­ed free­dom. Our eldest child had also just begun hav­ing trou­ble sleep­ing as well. It real­ly did all hap­pen overnight. What used to be peace­ful nights, with chil­dren that coast­ed beau­ti­ful­ly to bed every night before 7pm became a strug­gle to bring peace and to get the chil­dren to sleep before 11pm! I was furi­ous! How in the world did all this hap­pen? I spent so much time pray­ing and try­ing my best to keep every­one at peace and for a while it felt peaceful. 

So, I was won­der­ing, what had I done or what had been done to inter­rupt and shake up our house. I was still nurs­ing a 5 month old through­out the night, not sleep­ing well and on an unin­ten­tion­al fast. I spent lots of time in my clos­et pour­ing over my bible, often in tears, ask­ing God, am I Job or am I Jon­ah. Had I gone in the wrong direc­tion and found myself in a prover­bial whale or was there some­thing big­ger than me going on? 

So here I was, in the midst of a hur­ri­cane. Fol­low­ing God’s lead or what I have come to call spir­i­tu­al bread­crumbs. I sat in the car with lit­er­al “junk in my trunk” won­der­ing where I could legal­ly dump it. After all, no one wants to end up on some­one’s sur­veil­lance cam­era ille­gal­ly dump­ing or going pot­ty after a long night out drink­ing no oth­er avail­able options (but that’s anoth­er sto­ry entire­ly) So here I am ready to get that chain off my neck! Once I fig­ured out where to dump it, I then felt God call­ing me to go into a store near­by. I was let­ting myself be led by faith and I wasn’t sure why I was in that store. As I walked I then ran into some­one I knew. I was fol­low­ing the bread­crumbs and there I was run­ning into a per­son while fol­low­ing God’s lead. So after I caught up with my friend, I kept walking

then my eyes caught a mirror.

I jumped back­wards. Not only were my pants on back­wards, but they were also inside out, as was my shirt and my hair still in my sleep­ing cap. I saw that mir­ror, I star­tled myself and decid­ed it was time to take myself home before I was escort­ed of the premis­es! No won­der my friend was look­ing at me a bit strange!