Tuesday, May 24, 2016

modern-day miracles

Her husband had unceremoniously moved out the day before.  It was her first day as a single parent and she was trying to find joy in the small things.  The kids had gone to visit their dad at his new home, but she still had a nagging feeling.  Earlier in the day, my friend Melinda, had picked up a pregnancy test.

Now, I know what you're thinking if you read my last post.  OHMYGOSH NO.  I had the same reaction, albeit a little more cussy.

She wondered how in the world she would be able to raise not just four children, but a newborn as well?  All alone??  How God?  I never even wanted five kids!  

And yet...

That night, we had dinner together with some friends and when I dropped Melinda off at her house, I could tell something was off.  She was distracted all evening.  Not herself.  OF COURSE, BECAUSE SHE IS PREGNANT AND DIDN'T KNOW HOW TO BLURT THAT OUT.  So when she got back to the house, her husband was there, with the kids.  He got up to leave and she followed him to the car.  He was headed back to his new reality.  His new home.  And that's when she told him.

There are many personal details here, dear reader, that are not mine to tell.  In fact, I'm not even privy to the moments Melinda's husband spent with God that night.  But let's say this....

That night, alone in his new home, Melinda's husband had a divine appointment with the Creator.  God spoke truth into him that he hasn't heard from anyone on this earth.  And for the first time in months, Melinda's husband got the message loud and clear.  "My will, not yours be done."

So after a restless night of sleep, he awoke, called his lawyer and cancelled the divorce.  He called his wife and asked to come home.  He was the Prodigal Son, coming home, to the arms of a wife who never lost hope, never stopped praying, never gave up on the husband she vowed to love through thick and thin.

I cried tears of joy to hear this news and then I was taken back to my last blog post.  How did it end?  I'll remind you.  Mind you, this was the day before he moved out.  I asked you this:
"I would covet your prayers for Melinda.  For her 4 children.  And especially for her husband, who has lost his way.  It is never too late to right a wrong.  Will you believe with me?  Amen."

I hope it's not lost on YOU (You, who prayed for Melinda.  You, who prayed for this family.  You who prayed for her husband) that YOUR PRAYERS repaired a marriage.  Your prayers moved mountains for my friend, her children, and especially for her husband who needed us to stand in the gap for him.

I especially love that none of this was a surprise to God.  He knew all along that in the silence, He was still moving.  We couldn't see it, but He was at work!  He never stopped interceding on behalf of these precious people I call friends.

If you don't know the power of pray and a mighty God who still does miracles, please seek out someone who does.  Call me.  Call a friend who loves Jesus.  We would love nothing more than to point you to the cross.

And all the people said AMEN!

Friday, May 20, 2016

Where is God?

"Where is God?" my friend asked.

I'll never forget this moment.  I was standing in my closet while one of my dearest friends told me her husband was leaving.  He has decided their marriage has "run it's course" and he's moving out.  Leaving his adoring wife and four small children in the wake of his selfishness.

My friend, we'll call Melinda, has been married 12 years.  She has four precious children.  She has shown her husband the kind of unconditional love that many people will never know in their lifetime.  She is the quintessential homemaker.  Melinda makes home cooked meals, sews, bakes, keeps an extremely clean home, and feeds her family organic food.  She is thrifty in a super cool kind of way, and watches all of her pennies.  Melinda is not only an amazing wife, she's probably better at this wife-ing thing than I am.  In fact, if I were one of those sister-wife kind of cult members, I'd totally make her wife #2.  I think the world of Melinda.

But yesterday when she told me that her husband had sat the kids down to break the news, I cried.  "Where is God?" she asked.  "Why didn't he answer my prayers? This isn't fair!"

As I stood there, staring at the wall, I asked the same thing.  "God!  Help me!  I have no words!  She needs to know where you are!  Help me help her!"  And yet, my tongue was still.  I had no answer.  All I could do was sit down on the floor and cry with her.  My heart ached while I wondered, how do I show my friend that God is still there in the midst of our deepest suffering?

I felt God stirring in me.  BE STILL, Kim.  You don't have to have words for everything.

And yet....

I have allowed this question to stir in my mind for a day now.  I've thought of Melinda and her children, and even her lost husband, and prayed.  I've wondered why God didn't change his heart.  Why didn't He open her husband's eyes?  Why didn't he place someone in this man's path that could speak the truth to him in love?

Tonight I was brought back to a song by Lauren Daigle.  I was singing along without thinking at first, but then I really listened to the song when I heard this:

When You don’t move the mountains I’m needing You to move
When You don’t part the waters I wish I could walk through
When You don’t give the answers as I cry out to You
I will trust, I will trust, I will trust in You!

You are my strength and comfort
You are my steady hand
You are my firm foundation; the rock on which I stand

Your ways are always higher
Your plans are always good
There’s not a place where I’ll go, You’ve not already stood

And that's when I realized.  I won't have all the answers to why bad things happen to good people on this side of heaven.  But I can trust that when God says He's gone before me, before my friend Melinda, He has already paved the way.  There are no surprises here to Him.  He knew my friend would feel this pain.  He knew her kids would be devastated.  But HE promises to make beauty from ashes.  HE promises to show her the unconditional love that she has given away but not received.  HE promises that her pain is not forgotten, not without use, and not permanent.  HE will give her new blessings.  HE will give her new hope.  And HE will surround her with just the right people at just the right time.  All we have to do is trust.  Trust that He is who He says He is and He will do what He says He will do, as Beth Moore once said.

I believe firmly that God protects the orphans and widows, as He says in the Bible.  But I also think the single mamas are in there, too.  And I have a HUGE heart for those single mamas. 

I would covet your prayers for Melinda.  For her 4 children.  And especially for her husband, who has lost his way.  It is never too late to right a wrong.  Will you believe with me?  


Sunday, May 15, 2016

pink chairs and soft hearts

Well hello there!  Have you missed me?  I've been busy.  Planning a fair, throwing Gatherings, and of course teaching the loveliest group of second graders you've ever known.  It's been a fun and busy year and my blogging has taken the hit.

I've thought of funny stories along the way to share, but haven't had the time or inclination to type them out.  Until today.

You know we bought this new house last year.  It's been over a year now in our latest home and we've settled in so happily.  We used most of what we already had to decorate and finish it out but have slowly changed things out as time and money have allowed.

Right now we're in the throws of redoing our little Buddy's room.  When we moved in, he had a green room and bunkbeds.  Well, that's just what he had at the last house, so we figured we could throw him in there swiftly and easily.  He wasn't thrilled as his big sister had gotten a redesigned "middle school girl" room and he was entering middle school, waiting for his turn at "the dream bedroom".  He'd have to wait, as there were vacations and holidays and sports, oh my.  And then.... well... we just forgot.  So now, we're moving things out and moving things in.  We're painting and building and conspiring.  And it's going to be great.  Very "big boy".  Very "this room will take you into college" - like.  Hopefully.

But then, my Mother-in-Law came over recently and made me the loveliest curtains for my formal dining room.  Suddenly, those red parsons chairs at the table were craptastic.  I needed to replace them.  And soon.  Along with finding time to paint that table white.  (It never ends, right?)

Man, that's crappy lighting.

Yesterday, MIL told me about some chairs on sale at Steinmart, so I headed on over there to check them out of course.  The Mister and my little Buddy were in tow.  So when we walked in the door and I saw the pink coral dining chairs sitting inside the front door by the cash register, I stopped in my tracks.  CORAL DINING CHAIRS?  COULD IT BE?  The thoughts started swirling in my head.  OH THE BEAUTY.  OH THE FUN.  I MUST HAVE THESE CHAIRS.

Don't they look darling with my new curtains??

Luckily, as I turned to look at the Mister, he agreed!  WHA the WHA??  REALLY??  Then let's go find 4 more, I said, and we took off for the back corner of the store.  

Unfortunately, all we found was one more chair.  But that would not deter me.  No-siree!  I grabbed that chair and started heading back to the front.  And that's when my son, in all his wisdom turned to his dad and said, "Dad.  Why are you letting her carry that pink chair?  It makes her look like a feminist.  Take the chair and carry it for her!"

Y'all.  I AM DOING SOMETHING RIGHT.  Because A. I didn't have to carry that pink (okay, coral) chair an inch further.  And B. because my son is learning to respect his elders and women.  Thank you Jesus.

The coolest kid with the kindest heart.  Seen here in Hawaii.  ;)