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!
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.
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.
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!