Monday, February 13, 2017


Our church, as a whole, is studying the book of Genesis. It's being preached from the pulpit, taught in children's ministry, and talked about to the youth.  All the life groups in the church are also walking through the study together in their groups. I admit, there was a part of me that rolled my eyes when it came time to start. I didn't see what the big deal was. Why was it so important that we put so much emphasis on all studying the same thing at the same time?

I mentioned this to a friend and his position on it was that God can and will use any study, any venue, and anyone. I sat on that for a day or two and realized that if I kept a skeptics heart attitude toward this study that I would miss the moment. I would miss the opportunity to have my eyes opened to something new. I would miss the opportunity to learn. I would miss the opportunity for a blessing and I would miss the opportunity to be used.

So, now I am leading our life group through this study! How's that for a 180? :)  God's grinning from ear to ear, if you ask me.

So, Genesis.  It's a book that I've read many times. Countless Bible stories from my childhood come from this book. The story of creation alone - at the onset of sitting down to read it - left me wondering what I could POSSIBLY learn or see differently than the 345 times I'd read it before.

*Side note... at this point, if my youngest son, Josiah, had heard me say I'd read the creation story 345 times he would have hollered out in a 4th grade sing songy voice, "HYPERBOLE!".   Okay, you got me buddy. I did probably grossly exaggerate how many times I've read it. But, it has been a lot! :)

The thing is though... when we ask God for open eyes and open hearts He is faithful to deliver. I believe that He holds all kinds of wonder and amazement at just the tips of our "understanding" ... waiting for us to just ask for it. I think He finds immense JOY in watching us open the "gift" of a new perspective, a new idea, a new understanding. It's like Christmas morning perhaps. We love to see the anticipation of watching a loved one open a gift that we KNOW they will love.

I'll share one. God created the heavens and the earth. He created light on day 1. There was day and night.  Yup, okay...nothing new there... I read on .... day 2, day 3, day 4.

WAIT?! What.... day 4 God created the lights in the sky ... the sun for the day, the moon and stars for the night.

I stop reading and abruptly flip the pages back...

And then it hit me. Something I had never noticed before.

There was light from day 1 but God didn't create the light that WE know until day 4. So for 3 days - God put into place a light that sustained during his working and creating.  And then when night came.. that light dissipated, turned off, faded away? (My husband and I joked...was it like a light switch? A dimmer?)

What could that light have been? I'm also reading in 1 John right now... and that very day I read... God is the LIGHT of the WORLD. Perhaps the mere presence of God lit up the world.

It's not earth shattering. I didn't solve a theological debate or find a life altering application that day.  But I was excited by the wonder of God.  He is a God of order and a God of creativity. He's a God that created plant life before the sun. It doesn't make any human sense to us. How could there be plant life sustained without the sun? God. How could there be light without a sun and a moon? God.  How could He speak creation into existence. God.

Do I really need a better explanation than that? It's fun to imagine what could have been or what might have been but fundamentally, at the end of the day my answer is GOD...not logic, not science, not a theory.

It's just God. He's indescribable and His works are far more than I can fathom. And you know what? I'm good with that.

Sunday, February 12, 2017

Friday night, Eric and I trucked back to Lowes for the 3rd time. We were walking in with the intentions to buy a new washer and dryer!  We looked and hunted and talked to the sales guy (the son of a friend... so sweetly strange to interact with him as a young man and our appliance sales guy!).

We found one that we hadn't seen online. It met all our criteria AND was on sale.  The dryer that accompanied it was also on sale and for even cheaper!! 

With the financial gift we'd been given (read the last post if you're lost) we only paid out of pocket for the dryer we bought!! The washer was totally covered!

God is so good. We continue to be encouraged by His faithfulness. 

Wednesday, February 1, 2017

My washing machine died last weekend. No really. It’s dead. Kaput. A-goner.

We bought our first washer and dryer (used from a buddy of my brother in law) when we were pregnant with Noah. That was 15 ½ years ago. We’ve still been using the same washer since then. Eric’s had to fix a couple things on it from time to time, but for the most part it’s been a reliable washer. The matching dryer died years ago and was replaced but even THAT dryer isn’t really drying well these days.

We knew our washer’s death was imminent. The sounds that were coming from it during the spin cycle were pretty indicative that the end was nearing.

New washers … well, let’s just say they are a whole new kind of machine. Treading into Lowes to look at machines feels like you’re in over your head; looking at these washers with a gajillion settings and see through top lids and massive drums without agitators. I’m telling you… they are nothin’ like my old machine.

We saw a machine Saturday (when we weren’t in the market to buy b/c we hoped the red-neck fix my hubby was trying was going to work…). It’s cost made us gulp but gave us an idea for the future… we hoped long off into the future…

Cue Saturday night when my washer officially breathed her last (with a sopping load of wash sloshing within her ta’boot).  The washer we’d glanced at earlier that day was on sale for a couple more hours. But I couldn’t pull the trigger on an expense like that without touching it and seeing it in person.

Sunday we went back to Lowes. This time we looked with purpose. But left empty handed to do some more research and read reviews.
Monday we went back and I had a plan. I knew what I wanted. But when we talked to the sales guy (someone we know and trust) he told us that that particular brand does tend to “come back more often than the others”. 

Enter doubt and frustration… and my furrowed brow and look of despair.

We leave. Empty handed and in our truck with nothing to bring home.

By now, I’m exhausted. It’s been a rough weekend without a washer, parenting has been hard, I’m still wrestling from time to time with my Dad’s diagnosis and my natural bent to worry about him, and I just want something to be easy. 

We get home and I’m working on dinner while Eric returns a phone call to our pastor. He walks out of our room and stands there looking at me while I stand over the stove. He proceeds to tell me that someone (an anonymous someone) has left a “monetary gift” for us with our pastor and that we need to go over and pick it up tonight. He tells us that someone must have known we had some kind of need.

Only God.
Of course, we’d told some people that our washer broke, that we were on the hunt for a new one etc. But only God moves in the hearts of his people to decide to prompt someone to give gifts of this size to another  family.  We are continually humbled and blessed and blown away by the generosity of others and to see how God continues to supply for our every need. 
All the sudden the washers that weren’t on sale and the washer that got returned too often didn’t seem important. My focus was no longer on what I was lacking. Instead my focus became more on what God had done. In the midst of my panic, he was moving on my behalf and setting up provisions in advance for me.

With this gift – we are thankful. With this gift, we want to steward it to the best of our ability. Once I have my new washer – there won’t be any way that I will be able to do laundry and not feel the love of God and the love of our anonymous giver. The body of Christ, at work, lacks for nothing. 

So tonight, I’m grateful and blessed.