November 21, 2008

I Lift Up Mine Eyes Unto the Hills......

My uncle died suddenly last month and I found myself and the boys traveling halfway across the country for his funeral and to deal with family matters. Everything within me wanted to stay home. Yet I knew I needed to go. Helping my mom prepare for the funeral, dealing with homesick, griefstriken children, and dealing with my own emotions as well as just matters of life left me feeling more alone than I have felt in a long time. And I found myself looking to the landscape often and recalled Psalm 121 "I lift up mine eyes unto the hills from whence cometh my help. My help cometh from the LORD which made heaven and earth." I understood in a new way why my grandmother loved this Psalm. And I pondered what things she faced that made her lift up her eyes to these same hills. There is a great comfort of knowing the same God she turned to was the same God I was looking to as well. And knowing He is the Maker of heaven and earth gave me acceptance that I was were I was for a purpose. I am home now and am I ever so glad to be home. Yet I brought with me a picture of my Grandmother's hills to remind me of where my help cometh from.

Be a Greeter

On our trip the Lord lead us to a wonderful church. It was a beautiful church with very kind people. My children felt comfortable with their teachers and I felt so refreshed and challenged by the preaching of God's Word. God taught me much during the 5 times we attended there. One young man really impressed me. I am terrible with ages but he had to be over 16, but definately under 25. Anyway, this young man would shake hands with every single person before the service would start. He looked each person in the eye and smile a million dollar smile. He was definatley glad to be in the house of the Lord and genuinely made you feel that he was glad you were there too. And I realized the importance of greeting others. Sometimes we get so busy with children or with our agendas, that we fail in really seeing others. And I am not saying this just about church. I think of being in shopping lines and how people rarely speak to each other even though they are waiting in line for several minutes sometimes. Even at the gas pump or restraunts. Then again maybe this is just something I struggle with. I know it is something on the edge of my comfort zone and even beyond it most days. God brought it to my attention as an area I need to grow in. So all this rambling is to say: Be a greeter. And give someone a smile today.

November 20, 2008

God's SUV

For months we have been searching for a newer vehicle. Our almost 20yr old van had been very good to us; but she was getting old and winter is hard on her. So I researched online different vehicles from makers I liked and sought after a couple styles of SUV. Now I had been given good cousel to ask God for a budget and I did just that. Now I felt He gave me a low number considering the price of vehicles today. But experience has taught me not to go against something I feel God said. So we searched and prayed and searched and prayed.

Then about 2 months ago, I spied a SUV that was like I wanted. Internet search showed the price was over our budget. But way down on the list was a SUV that I hadn't never considered before. Something about it intreaged me. So I did a little research then finally took my father-in-law and looked it over thouroughly and test drove it. Got back and the salesman offered to drop the price almost $1000. It was already in my price range, but I had promised the Lord I would pray about it over night. I told the salesman this and said I would contact him in the morning. On the drive home, I asked my father-in-law his thoughts. He said to offer him another $500 less. By email I contacted another brother-in-Christ and never shared what my fil had said. The next morning he gave me the same number my father-in-law had. So God had confirm to me the offer I was to make. I would find out soon if this was the SUV God had for us.

When I called, the salesman was not sure he could drop it that low. But he would check and see what he had into it and call me back. As I waited, I prayed for just God's will to be done. When he called back, he counter offered $200 higher. Now, I know it was still within my price range, but I told him no, I couldn't do it and shared why. That I felt God had confirmed this number to me and if I went against Him and got the SUV and something happened then it would have been due to my disobedience. But if I stuck with what He said and something still happened I will know it was out of His all knowing wisdom (maybe to keep us out of an accident). So I declined to move from my price and prepared to tell the salesman a polite goodbye. When he said, "When can you come get it?" "For my price or yours?" I said. Yours, was the answer. I found out later he only made $51 on the deal. Now since I bought it and saved on our budget I got new tires and such.

We ended up taking a trip halfway across the country in it and the only trouble we had was with the wiper bracket to the wiper arms. And yes it did rain. But my little boys prayed and God kept the rain at bay, sometimes just a few miles behind us till we reach our destination. It rain and even snowed while we were there, but again we found out how God's timing was best. On the return trip, it rained only at evening when we needed to stop pushing for the day anyway. It would rain all night while we slept in the hotel, but in the morning it would stop. This whole experience has taught our whole family much about God's ways and about prayer. (I asked God for us to be able to get it fixed easily on our trip; my boys instead asked for no rain. We did get it fixed easily once we got home; but God wanted to teach us more about Him first.)