"I know that!"
I hear that often from my 4 year old. If, in the course of a conversation, I happen to share a tidbit of knowledge that he's heard before, I get a teen-sounding, eye-rolling, "I KNOW that!" Frankly, after the first time (where it was surprising and amusing), I find it more than a little annoying.
They say we're most annoyed by traits in others that we also possess. I'm sure that over the course of my life various people have considered me a 'know-it-all.' They might not have said it out loud, but considering my own motives at various times, it must have been thought.
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Thursday, January 28, 2010
My parents left full time, regular employment to go into full time ministry. Not nice, neat church jobs. No, they went into full-time Rescue Mission work. Not glamorous. And definitely not well-paying.
And while we certainly went through our periods of insecurity, in reality we never lacked for food or shelter or anything else important. I even have lots of stories of God's specific provision--for big things, like houses, or little things, like the onion my mom prayed for that came in a bag of groceries delivered by some college girls from church.
It used to be easy to believe in that kind of provision. I went into full time ministry myself and followed His lead to new towns for new opportunities. Things weren't always easy, but I never felt alone or doubted that I'd be taken care of.
Philippians 4:19 could have been a theme verse for that period of my life: "And my God will meet all your needs according to his glorious riches in Christ Jesus."
But for some reason, now that I have a family and things aren't as we expected them to be, at times I find myself more dependent on my circumstances and the things I can see rather than relying on the Great Provider and trusting in what I can't see.
There are big uncertainties looming as we reach the end of the expected resources without new jobs or alternatives lined up.
And yet, when I stop looking for the 'big picture' (because it's a pointless exercise as I absolutely can't see it at the moment) and look at what's right in front of me today, I see God's provision, the same as it's always been there for me.
It's come from unexpected places--the proverbial 'check in the mail' that we've never experienced before. The gift of several months anonymously paid at a facility the whole family uses a great deal but is the kind of thing that's often the first to go during times of belt-tightening. The gifts themselves are so appreciated, but the affirmation they express and the confirmation of God's faithfulness that they communicate are even more significant to us.
There's a passage of scripture that tells us that those who are faithful in the little things can be trusted with greater things. I know that passage is meant to remind us to be faithful with everything God entrusts to us--big or small. But it keeps coming back to me in a different way; because I can see God looking after us in small ways, I know can trust Him with the big stuff too.
How about you? Do you find it easy to trust in little things or big things? What are you trusting Him for today?
Monday, January 25, 2010
This morning I shared the waiting room with a chatty elderly couple. I politely pretended not to hear their conversation, but soon it became more than time-passing rambling.
"Everything would be different if he hadn't fallen," she said. Her husband nodded in silent agreement.
"And Eleanor. If only she hadn't tried to put on her pants standing on one leg." The conversation continued, listing the various people she could name who would still be in good health (or still be around at all) if they hadn't fallen...
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Tuesday, January 12, 2010
After Christmas, everyone's thoughts turn to New Years. New resolve, new goals, new habits...and I just haven't been able to go there.
It's not that I don't want any of those things. I do. But even though it's proven that most New Years Resolutions are broken by mid-February, there's something in the making of them that takes into account the whole year.
And that's where I've gotten stuck.
I can't see much past the end of the month. We have far more unanswered questions about the future than we have answers. And somehow, I can't make decisions that are supposed to impact my whole year when I can barely see past tomorrow. So I can't make plans that I intend to carry me through to December.
I've learned that I'm a visual planner. Even if the vision is only in my mind's eye. I can plan how to rearrange a room because I can visualize where how everything fits before it moves an inch. And when it comes to my whole life, my minds eye just can't see much at the moment.
Even so, there are things I want to do differently/better this year.
- Eat more vegetables
- Exercise more
- Complete a couple writing projects
- Watch less TV
- Play more games with my boys
I do know I'll be a wife, a mom, a writer, a friend, a daughter, a sister...
And I finally figured out that I can do these things the same way I've been getting through this whole transition. By doing the best I can with what is right in front of me today. One day at a time. And really, isn't that the only way to accomplish anything?
Where do you stand on the whole "New Years Resolution" thing? Do you try? Do you ignore the whole concept? When you do realize you want to make life-changes, how do you go about it?