Posts Tagged ‘God’

Happy New Year 2017!

January 5, 2017

Such an exciting time of year for big goals, fresh plans, brilliant ideas, new clothes (just thought I’d throw that one in there!  Shopping, anyone?) and clean starts! I pray you have begun to think about changes you could make to increase your happiness, effectiveness and joy! I have!

As 2016 came to a close, I was beyond pleased to flush several circumstances we encountered in the past 12 months… things I hope to never live through again. But instead of listing the lame-o occurrences, I choose joy. 1 Thes. 5:16 Rejoice always!

Here is my list of What I Learned in 2016 that has changed who I am and how I look at the world differently from now on. Thank you, Jesus, for opened eyes.

  1. FREEDOM! (Yelled in my best Scottish Braveheart accent with my RRRRs all rolling like thunder!) I learned that freedom is the ability to do what we see fit in our lives without anyone else dictating our actions or judging us. Freedom is power. Avoid those who wish to control you and minimize your freedom. Freedom really brings a freeing feeling. Imagine that! Be free! Is the living joy being sucked out of your life? Make some changes. Be free!
  2. GOD! We all have a hole inside of us that we are striving to fill that can only be filled by God. He gave us the desire for MORE! More of HIM! We tend to try and fill that hole with other things … leading to overworking, addictions, perfectionism, life-crippling habits, over-attention on our kids, trivial busyness, social media, etc. But God.
  3. YOU! You are the only you on the planet. You are here for a reason… so am I. I encourage you to look at your God-given talents and interests and figure out what you are supposed to be doing that no one else can do but YOU! Who are you here to bless? To influence? To encourage? To serve? The rest of us want you to succeed at being YOU!
  4. TIME! We all have the same amount of time each day. Well, that’s not totally true because some of us sleep more than others (I happened to get 10.5 hours last night, but that was post vacation recovery.) …. but that doesn’t change the 24 hours we all have, does it? But I digress. There are a multitude of activities you can and could and might participate in… but should you? Just because you can do a task, doesn’t mean you are supposed to. Which leads us back to #3….
  5. WRONG! This has been my mantra for years, but it was so evident in my life this year: IT’S OKAY TO LET OTHERS BE WRONG. Arguing doesn’t help. Even truthful facts don’t help! Simply let others be wrong and move on with your life.

There you have it, folks. And can I suggest getting away from it all even for a day or two to evaluate your life. Sitting on Kapalua Beach on Maui in early November I made a list of the things in my life that were causing me to feel angry, sad, hurt, mad and frustrated. That day I made some decisions, eliminated activities, distanced myself from a couple situations and my life has been richer, freer, more joy-filled ever since. Change is good… and I’m not a big lover of change.

Make it a point to take every thought captive. Don’t dwell on horrible instances that make your blood boil. It’s a waste of time. Choose to find something to think about that brings you joy. I started a new board on Pinterest that simply makes me happy when I look at the watercolor pictures. Makes me want to run for my paints and brushes. It’s that easy! You got this!

The cool thing is, right after this new mindset, some unbelievable doors opened up for me. Desires of my heart. Thank you, God.

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Just Another Bump in the Road

October 14, 2015

Mother's Day 2015 014

I have been noticeably missing from My Sister’s Jar for two months….well, at least I noticed I was missing. We have had another bump in the ever bumpy road of our lives, but we carry on, get back in the driver’s seat and plead for God’s help once again.

It was May when our little Colombian princess was tested at a reading specialist and several (meaning more than 5!) different learning differences were detected. This was an AHA! moment for me as well as a WELL- DUH! moment mixed together. I assumed some of the difficulties were because Nora has only been speaking English for four years. This didn’t seem to apply at all once the road blocks to learning were identified.

I believe I have mentioned on here before some of my frustration teaching my own children who can’t seem to remember what I’ve taught them, and don’t really care that they can’t remember, and just want to go outside and look at clouds and dig in the dirt. I handed over Nora’s math teaching to her two older brothers for several months at the suggestion of our principal, my husband. It saved me from the desire to bang my head on the kitchen table when there was no recall of ANYTHING she could do yesterday.The boys didn’t seem to mind re-teaching carrying, borrowing, multiplying with zeroes over and over and over and over and over again. I did mind. It is a weakness of mine, as a homeschool mom, to want my children to learn and retain and move ahead, especially in phonics, reading and math.

With Austin, now 19, he was shown the letter F for 63 straight days of my ever-loving-homeschool-teaching-journey. He finally read the blinkin’ English language when he was NINE. That’s almost TEN. You know, three years before being a teenager. There weren’t any learning differences. He was just a late reader. (Insert mother justification….) He designed and installed our backyard sprinkler and drip system when he was also nine. He’s a smart kid. I kept the faith that God would touch the brain inside that hard, blonde head… and He did! Thank you, Jesus. It still brings me to tears when I relay the story of the first time in his life when Aus read… anything…it was a sign at Sequoia National Park, “Do not feed the deer!”

Back to the Colombian princess. When I heard the phrase “auditory processing” I wasn’t sure what it meant, so of course I googled it. Lo and behold, and what to my wondering eyes should appear, and good golly why didn’t I remember this… a website popped up of a lady WHOM I KNOW!  Oh yeah, she teaches on learning differences. She gave me great suggestions ten years ago when I was trying to get Austin to read C-A-T without the far-and-away look in his big blue eyes. Here is what I discovered: MAGIC! There were 16 symptoms listed for people who have learning differences in the area of auditory processing. Nora has all 16! WHAT? (I pride myself of being an overachiever too!)

Nora is attending reading classes with a specialist who understands left brain/right brain connections that need to be established. The “reading class” consists of physical activities outside to help cross the mid-line of the brain. School has taken a decidedly different look this year, with WAY more focus on my part, which has introduced me to a new level of exhausted. From 9:00 p.m. to midnight was MY time to get my work done. Now I’m dragging through dinner and looking at the clock longingly at 7:30 p.m. without the energy to get anything done. But God knows what He is doing. None of Nora’s challenges were made apparent until Austin was graduated from high school. The Lord knows what we can handle and what would throw us head over heels into the loony bin, and obviously teaching Austin and Nora (the new way) together was beyond my capabilities. And I am thankful we learned about all this when we did!

So as I start each new day, as a homeschool mom, around 8:30 a.m. or 9:30 a.m., I remind God that these are really His kids, and I need His help once again to leave my bedroom and teach them how to learn, how to love God and how to succeed in life! I could not do this on my own! And that’s a fact, Jack!

Does God still Speak Today?

October 30, 2014

Almost four years ago, God spoke very plainly to me four times within a half hour through a Christian radio station. Now quit shaking your heads, you naysayers! Read on, and judge for yourselves.

Nora

We accepted an adoption referral for our little Colombian princess on a Friday night in November 2010. We assumed with Colombian courts closing from Dec. 15 – Jan. 15 we would be traveling to get our daughter in the new year. We discovered on Saturday that we could actually complete all the in-country paperwork IF we left for Cali, Colombia in FOUR days. That’s 96 hours, in case that seemed like plenty of time to you. We purchased our plane tickets on Sunday night for the following Wednesday, and then my Dad and I drove seven hours one-way to the Beverly Hills, California Colombian Consulate to obtain our visas.

Late Monday night as I was driving home to Arizona on Highway 10 with my Dad sleeping in the seat beside me, I tuned into a Christian radio station, attempting to get my racing mind off the 2,727 things I had to do in the following 36 hours. I had lots of questions for God. And I wanted answers. There were several loose ends that needed to be securely tied up before we took off on Wednesday morning. It was one of those moments when you are so completely at the end of your rope you plead, “O.K., God, time to show up. We have no other option than You working this out. Please, please, please answer a few questions for me….. NOW! I have been pretty patient for FOUR years… but right now, it’s game time.”

At that moment, feeling feeble and vulnerable before the God of the universe, I looked out the side windows and was surprised that I could see the cacti and sage brush on the sides of the highway in the middle of the night. Craning my neck to find the moon, it was indeed one of the brightest nights I had ever witnessed in my life. Then I recognized the lyrics to the song that was playing by The Afters.

Light light light up the sky
You light up the sky to show me You are with me
I I I can’t deny
No I can’t deny that You are right here with me
You’ve opened my eyes
So I can see You all around me

O.K., Good! was my first thought! I’ve got God’s attention for a nanosecond, I better not waste this opportunity!

Our funding for the adoption was only 2/3 accounted for……TWO days before departure. I sort of lamented to the Lord reminding Him that I had done ALL I knew to do for fundraising. I reminded Him (because He might have forgotten) that He funds what He favors. I had given it my ALL for four years and I had nothing left to give. (Like He didn’t know that either.) I also reminded Him that He promised to complete what He started. Then the song No Matter What by Kerrie Roberts started seeping through the speakers.

I’m running back to Your promises, one more time
Lord that’s all I can hold on to
I’ve got to say this has taken me by surprise
But nothing surprises You

Once again, O.K., Good! I was reassured that God was not surprised by this whirlwind trip to South America. So I brought up our main dilemma …. if we don’t have enough funds for our whole family to stay in Colombia for a month, should we leave the boys behind? Our boys were 12 and 14 at the time. They could have stayed with their Grandparents, but I really felt that this was a family bonding time for all of us. We had until midnight Monday to cancel the boys’ plane tickets. So I asked, “God, do we take the boys or not?” It was Tobymac’s turn to bring God’s answer to me in his song City on Our Knees.

Tonight couldn’t last forever
We are one choice from together
As family
We’re family

Tonight’s the night
For the sinners and the saints
Two worlds collide
In a glorious display
Cuz its all love tonight
When we step across the line
We can sail across the sea

At that point, the tears streamed down my face. Our choice was clearly to stay together as a family. So incredibly awesome! So God was going to show up BIG TIME …. tomorrow, because that was the last day. The 11th hour. It was time. I couldn’t wait to see how this played out!

Right after Tobymac helped us decide to take our boys to Colombia, Matthew West sang to my soul, just for some more reassurance about the whole adoption gig. Here is part of his song My Own Little World.

Father, break my heart for what breaks Yours
Give me open hands and open doors
Put Your light in my eyes and let me see
That my own little world is not about me

What if there’s a bigger picture?
What if I’m missing out?
What if there’s a greater purpose?
That I could be living right now

I don’t wanna miss what matters
I wanna be reaching out
Show me the greater purpose
So I can start living right now

The remainder of the drive home was filled with thankfulness, a grateful heart, humility that we are called to care for one of God’s chosen children, and supreme faith in the God of Abraham, Isaac and Nora. I was riding higher than a kite on a faith walk that shielded my heart from doubt. I knew God was going to show up tomorrow. I didn’t know how, or through whom, but I KNEW He would.

And He did.

A Little Reminder from God

October 16, 2014

Several months ago our family found out about friends who were in need of some help. Sickness had struck their home with a vengeance and last but not least, the mama was down. RED ALERT! Mama Down! This is not your ordinary mama either. Buckle up. God, the father to the fatherless, called this beautiful lady to foster/adopt six kiddos… and homeschool them….. as a single mama. She takes my breath away.

I met her at homeschool park day when her last two littles were two-month-old twins. It didn’t take much persuading for me to help hold one of those little darling girls. This mama has been on my heart ever since that day. How can we help her?  What can we do to support her in this call from God? We need to be God’s hands and feet for her!

Back to the RED ALERT!, we stepped in for two days and did what we saw needed to be done…. babies bathed, bathrooms cleaned, dishes washed, dirty clothes laundered, meals prepared, games played and stories read. Her children truly are blessings, well behaved, loving and helpful. (Isn’t it every mother’s prayer that her own children are seen in this light!?)

While we were on duty, mama fainted and thankfully I was right next to her. Not that I helped with the descent or the crash landing, but I made sure we went down NOT on hard surfaces or pokey things or gooey stuff. See?  I’m helpful! In directing her away from a wooden shelf, the back of my hand came in contact with a corner of said hard, wooden shelf. My hand was bruised, but the skin was not broken. No big deal.

???????????????????????????????

(Gosh, my hands look old. When did that happen?)

It’s been three months, maybe four, since that fateful day and the little mark on the back of my hand has not gone away AT ALL. It doesn’t appear to be on it’s way out of my life. It has scarred into a cute, little silvery-pink line. It winks at me every day and whispers to me that I need to pray for that mama. It’s God’s little reminder to me that we all need prayer. He will do what He needs to do to remind us daily to lift up each other to His throne of grace.

Who do you need to pray for today? Just do it! (I stole that from a shoe company.)

So Glad You Asked!

April 17, 2014

Asked What? Happy 13th month anniversary of my car accident!  Break out the sparkling cider!  I thought an update was due, since it is the stupid accident’s fault that my blogging has slowed so.

How are you? I’m fantastic, but improving daily. My right arm still hurts every day, usually just my shoulder, but some days it’s all the way to my elbow.  It is not cry-in-the-corner pain.  It is low-grade only-take-ibuprofen-about-twice-a-week pain.  On six of seven mornings, my first wakeful thought is, “Oh, my arm hurts,” and then I go on with my day.  But it is draining and most days I’m exhausted by 3:00 p.m. just from normal wear and tear of being a homeschool mom.  I don’t make dinner as much as I used to.  My house isn’t as clean as it was just over a year ago. I can’t seem to muster blogging strength or humor. Back in the day, when in the depths of a writing project, I could sit at the computer for six to seven hours and get lost in my own thoughts and words.  Now, after about 20 minutes of typing I need a heat pack on my shoulder and max typing is about 40 minutes.

How is treatment going? We have exhausted all forms of treatment, save pulling out my toenails so I think of something else instead of the pain in my shoulder. I have had therapy, nerve testing, multiple injections in my neck and shoulder, Graston treatment (think of medieval torture instruments being dragged across already wounded muscles), multiple MRIs, massage, pain management and my last resort, being the wimp that I am about needles, acupuncture.  Nothing has improved in the last six months.  So I quit acupuncture.  Seriously, I would have to psych myself up to go and then not look at the 20 needles sticking me twice a week.  I did ten sessions.  I gave it the old college try.  Then I quit.  And I’m really good with that decision. The doctor put in a circle of needles on my shoulder every visit and told me once that it is called “circle the dragon.”  I’m not into all that Eastern medicine hokey-pokey-kung-phuey, so in my mind it came to be known as “circle the wagons.” (You know how much I love 1850’s westerns!) Weekly massage is ongoing.  It’s not the feel-good-and-relax-when-you’re-on-a-cruise massage, sadly.  It’s the work-out-the-pain-and-hold-back-the-tears massage.

What next? We are planning on settling the personal injury case in a “this is as good as it’s going to get” state. Highly disappointing, but I am not without hope of healing from the God who closed a hole in my baby girl’s heart, caused cartilage to grow in my son’s flimsy ear and worked miracle after miracle to bring Nora to our family.  There is ALWAYS hope!

How can we pray? Thank you for asking! Pray that complete healing will come. Pray that I learn whatever dumb lesson I’m supposed to be learning in the waiting time. Pray that God’s will be done.  THANK YOU!!!

Anne with an E

April 6, 2014

One of my favorite book series is Anne of Green Gables.  The summer we drove across Canada and camped on Prince Edward Island, Anne’s home, I read the series as we passed the Lake of Shining Waters and the White Way of Delight.  Lucy MM’s writing is superb.  The words that come out of Anne’s mouth are hysterical!  She is so full of imagination and wonder at every little thing… and highly dramatic!  So funny!

Several months ago, I started reading a shortened version of the book to Nora, our little adopted daughter.  I wondered how it would affect her, hearing about Anne’s heartbreak at not having a family.  The book glossed it over pretty well and got right into the daily events on Anne’s life at Green Gables.  Yesterday, I found the movie online for Nora to watch.  It is over two and a half hours long so it took three sittings to finish it all.  Nora sat on the end of her chair the entire movie!  It was priceless.

anne

This tentative look on Anne’s face as she waits for Matthew at the train station…. it’s the same one I saw on Nora’s face the day we got her.  “Will they like me?”  “Am I okay?”  “Will they keep me?”  “Will I be safe?”  “Everything changes today.”  WOW!

The movie does not sugar coat the fact that no one wanted the red haired orphan in the beginning.  Nora didn’t say much, other than looking at me with wondering eyes and asking, “They do keep her, right?”  I watched most of the movie with her, but never looking through the eyes of an adopted child until yesterday.  She must have related to so much of the story.  It broke my heart when the two women in the very beginning call Anne “trash”… good heavens.  I didn’t even remember that part.

I understood a bit more now about how Anne wanted to be called Cordelia, hoping for a different life than the one she had been given that lead her to the depths of despair. Marilla’s line was superb, “To despair is to turn your back on God.”  So true!

We’ve had two nights of reassuring talks that Nora is ours forever. That God never left her without someone to take care of her. That we prayed for her for four years before she was part of our family.  That God chose her for us and us for her. I don’t think we can ever say those words enough.  Ever.

Miss Potter Strikes Again

March 28, 2014

If you have been around MySister’sJar for any length of time longer than three days, you are probably aware of my fascination with the movie Miss Potter.  I  L O V E  it.  That is all.

All around me little hints of my favorite film show up to bring a smile to my heart if not also to my face.  A wooden hedgehog in a craft store yesterday.  My watercolor paint brushes standing lonely in a smudged jar.  A vintage, faded-yellow-with-time envelope that was mailed to my grandmother in 1928.  A stuffed Peter Rabbit in his blue jacket with brass buttons in TJ Maxx.  Everywhere.  Even at the river last Monday.  I took a picture of my shadow because it reminded me of Beatrix.

Verde River 012

I imagined Beatrix saying her first lines from the movie, “There’s something delicious about writing the first words of a story.  You never quite know where they’ll take you.  Mine took me here….” as she was sitting beside crystal blue water in the Lake District.  Here she is wearing the outfit for my shadow:

miss potter dress and hat

Okay, it was mostly the hat, but it DID remind me of my fellow author/artist/lover-of-nature bosom friend, a couple generations removed.  My nature journal brings joy to my soul.  I cannot draw nearly as well as Beatrix, but it is inspiring to try.  The smell of the eraser.  The rainbow of colored pencil crayons in the RIGHT order in my prisma-color box. The challenge of copying some little tidbit that God created in nature for US!  Yes, for us to admire and marvel at… and draw in our nature journals.  :o)

Do you have a favorite movie that shines reminders to you everywhere?

Mr. Golden Sun!

February 16, 2014

Recently I finished reading a memoir from a young mother’s life whose “cute-little-yellow-house-with-a-white-picket-fence” plan didn’t turn out as she had dreamed it would. Through many rough patches it turned out even better because of the woman she is now after having gone through heartache. It got me thinking…. I am a cup-half-full person, even if there are only a few drips left in the cup. I usually write about happiness and marshmallows and rainbows and adoption and vacations and chocolate and artwork and all the lovely things that make me smile….. BECAUSE I’m a cup-half-full person. (And gardening and thrift shopping and playhouses and chicken coop construction!) After reading Bloom, I realized that hurting people relate to hurting people. A bond is created when you realize that someone else has been here (horrible!) and gone through this (difficult x 10!) and survived (amazing!)…. and still smiles and laughs.

I have not come out on the “still smiles and laughs” side of the little fender bender that was 11 months ago today.  And I feel like a whiner when I see others who have gone through horrific rehabilitation, or illness, or the loss of someone they love, and circumstances so much worse than my aching arm. But an achy arm has altered my life and I am not through the fire yet. For a while, mid-October, it was seemingly better. But now, mid-February, I’m back to 24/7 pain. A royal pain in the arm! This is why my blogging has slowed to a snail’s pace… slower than molasses in January. Constant pain wears on your brain. It is exhausting. I refuse to touch the pain meds again, as the horrific “coming clean” five-day-episode is burned in my mind as something I never want to experience EVAH again. So I do a little less than I used to. I’m in the slow lane. And I’m more emotional than per-usual.

Last night I came THIS CLOSE to not having enough energy to get myself ready to go to church. Then I sucked it up and brushed my teeth and hair… and went in the same jeans and pink t-shirt that I had been wearing for two days. I was holding up so well until a friend asked how I was feeling… and the dam broke and I was a pitiful teary-eyed mess. “Tonight, it’s bad,” I replied through quivering lips. Normally, I’m not like this… whimpering and soggy… and it’s hard to accept the “momentary me.” But sometimes life stinks… and there is pain… and you cry when you don’t want to.

Like the author of the book I mentioned, I hope to come through this with a fiery zeal that will spurn others on through tough times. I want to be the one bringing meals, and running errands for friends, and dropping by to help with housework. I feel like my sunshine is missing, well, because it is. I need to sing a few rounds of Mr. Sun, Sun, Mr. Golden Sun, please shine down on me!

So hang in there if you are holding on by a thread. Life ebbs and flows… comes and goes… and the clouds do have a silver lining. God is still on the throne and still loves me and you! He is a constant through this mess and that knowledge does my heart good!

Come on and sing with me, Oh Mr. Sun, Sun, Mr. Golden Sun, please shine down on me! Oh Mr. Sun, Sun, Mr. Golden Sun, hiding behind that tree. This whiny mother is asking you, to please come out so I can play with you. Oh Mr. Sun, Sun, Mr. Golden Sun, please shine down on, please shine down on, please shine down on me!

Hello, My Name is Linda

April 9, 2013

Yes, this is another blog relating the to car accident that I unwillingly participated in 3 1/2 weeks ago.  A deep fog has permeated my brain for three weeks leaving me wondering what my childrens’ names are, grasping for common words like “ride” and “sit”, and feeling vulnerable and alone.  Yes, it is drugs.  Yes, I’ve written about this before when I was on narcotics for tooth pain.  I had forgotten the lonely drug induced blanket that wraps itself around your neck for days on end.  Finally, when I was thinking homeschooling was pretty well done for the year (with two more months to go) I went to visit my doctor.  Sorry, pupils.

Typically I am an in-control woman.  Administration is one of my gifts, as well as teaching, organizing and being sarcastic.  But I could do none of those while the blanket hugged me like a scratchy wool scarf.  Sitting on the tissue papered table at the physician’s office, I tried to explain in my not-usually-wobbly-voice that I am on an involuntary emotional roller coaster because of the drugs.  My voice never wobbles.  But it wobbled woefully.  “I need to gain control of my life again,” I feebly explained.  “Is there a pain medication that conquers pain but doesn’t leave people in this fog?”  And there is.  Thank God!  It’s in a 3-day patch that transdermally inputs the drug into your system at a consistently controlled rate.  No more roller coastering for me, baby.

I am now addicted to a little 3/4″ x 1″ plastic patch.  And I’m okay with that.  I was missing me.  I’m partially back.  Doing simple tasks like showering or making waffles are still followed up with a two hour nap.  But I’m okay with that too.  I know my limits.  It’s two outings per day… only twice or three times per week.  More than that and I break out in a sweat.

Hope returned yesterday when I broke out the botany text book and decided school would be underway once again.  It will be more self-guided than teacher-ruled, as is my persuasion.  Flowers and pollination will be devoured by my little busy bees for the next few weeks.  I even found an activity requiring powdered donuts to demonstrate cross-pollination.  Homeschooling rocks…. or blooms in this case.

“Be Ready!”

April 6, 2013

In March 2012, our eldest child flew off alone to Tulsa, Oklahoma (OKLAHOMA!) to interview for a scholarship for the college she REALLY wanted to go to.  It was one of the few colleges that made the cut of still believing and upholding the godly standards on which it was founded.  As she was a thousand miles away that weekend, I had one of those God moments where I heard His still small voice in my spirit (in the bathroom, but that is beside the point) whisper, “Be ready!”  That was it.  Be ready.  READY FOR WHAT? I wanted to scream…. in fact, I probably did.

Of course in my own little control-freak mind I made my list of what I thought I needed to be ready for… or with… or against… or because of…   (See? It was pointless!)  I prayed up more.  I Bible studied harder.  I threw myself into money making. I lectured.  I bit my tongue.  (See? It was pointless!)  I should have been focusing on Psalms 46:10, “Be still and know that I am God.”  Oh yeah. Right.

We knew the cost of school for our sweet girl would cause us to walk the tightrope of faith financially.  And we have.  And God has shown up.  Over and over again.  Please let me climb up on my testimony box and shout out some praises for a minute or two… or three, of how God has shown up in the last THREE WEEKS!

Three days before our Canadian-thick-blooded relatives were coming to stay with us in sunny Arizona, the air conditioner decided to only work for ten seconds at a time in three minute intervals.  For those who don’t live in Arizona, that is not quite adequate for keeping the house at a comfortable temperature for Canadians.  (I was fine, but this is not about me.)  I called Rob the A/C repairman.  He came out and visited me for three hours to the tune of $1,300.  Ouch!  Thankfully Rob and my husband Rick are members of Tradesource, where private businesses can barter services, so we only had to fork over $370…. of the $380 in our account at that time.  I wrote the check and sent God a little reminder that we may need Him to show up in the next few days if our relatives planned on eating while visiting.  “Hey, welcome!  It’s canned tuna week!” 

Corresponding with the northerly visitors, Larisa, our college girl was also coming home for Spring Break with her roommate!  WhoooHOooOOooo!  Party time! (and you thought the cafeteria food was bad!)  I scrubbed the visitor bathroom until it gleamed like Joel Osteen’s teeth.  Seriously!  The only thing I needed to purchase was a $2 shower liner so I headed off to Bed Bath and Beyond with four hours and $8 to spare!  Perfect!

Two miles into my three mile adventure, a girl pulled right out in front of me and I t-boned her.  This is what I remember: Air bags. Checking if Nora (9 year old) was ok in the seat behind me.  Nice strangers who stopped to help. Policemen. Firemen. OH DANG IT DO MY LEGS HURT! My dad coming.  ER visit (without my boys… that was rare!). And then I arrived on the yellow couch in the living room 21 days ago.  I’m still there.  What I am allowed to share is that I am wounded and receiving care. God protected us BIG TIME!  (I can walk. I can cry.  I can brush my teeth with my left hand. I can type. And I’m really good at taking pills every 4 to 6 hours that may cause dry mouth, chills, panic attacks, anxiety, inability to sit still, seizures, delusions, fainting, itching, slurred speech, etc. etc. etc.)  Is THIS what I needed to be ready for?

That was a Saturday.  The following Monday the Canadians showed up at the doorstep along with the homeschoolers and various other peeps who delivered meals for two straight weeks (and now we’re on an every-other day schedule for two MORE weeks.)  Not just pasta dinner.  Gourmet chicken with French names and seasoned vegetables that were hoarded by my children. And not just dinner.  Breakfast pie showed up.  Oranges by the bag full. And pizzas and sandwich meat and fruit bowls and chocolate cake and bagels and cream cheese and whole grain bread that I never buy and potato salad and ice cream sandwiches and milk and ALL the food that was necessary to feed our family and the four visiting guests while $8 sat in our bank account.  Maybe THIS was what I needed to be ready for.

The van may or may not be totaled.  We’ll see.  We got a rental car that I am too delusional to drive….. and my children are not over 21, so they can’t drive it either.  FUN!  My husband figured he may as well take it to work and save money on gas…. and he rear-ended a nice lady who stopped really rapidly on the highway.  IN THE RENTAL CAR. Can you spell deductible?  So, my hubby took it back and got another rental car that looked exactly the same, except the seats were tan, not black.  He came home that night and took his brother to the store.  His brother mentioned, “I could have sworn these seats were black!”  Um, yeah.  Is THIS what we needed to be ready for?

If that hoopla wasn’t enough to make my mother hit her replaced knees in fervent prayer, yesterday my hard-working son (who has a Jedi braid, but that is not crucial to the storyline) volunteered to spend his day helping his cycling team set up for a race last night.  As if our family has big targets on our backsides at the moment, a loathsome individual made off with my son’s $8,000 bike. Yes, you read that right. A two-wheeled pedal bike… $8,000.  He is sponsored.  It is on loan to him.  We did not pay $8,000 for a bike with which I can do one-handed curls. I learned about the lifted bicycle from my husband who left me a message on my phone while I was in my 6th doctor’s appointment to end the week.  WAS THIS WHAT WE WERE SUPPOSED TO BE READY FOR???

Today my bikeless son’s facebook status reads, “And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him and have been called according to his purpose. Romans 8:28 God showed me this yesterday.”

Besides messaging me about the missing bike, my husband prayed.  And then he posted a little ditty on facebook about the bike and asked others to pray.  Because we know that prayer works.  A friend of ours in Canada who was supposed to be paying attention in a business meeting, who happens to hate injustice and loves hardworking youngsters, went on facebook and read Rick’s message……. and bought a new bike for my son.  We were close to speechless.  A tearful thank you was all I could get out. What I loved about this was all the glory was given to God… in front of the teammates.  By son and father, without shame.  Maybe THIS is what we were supposed to be ready for?

Be ready…. to live your life for God no matter what.  Be ready …. to rely on God for everything.  Be ready…. in good times and bad to praise God, for He is worthy of our praise.  Be ready.