Missed It All

My husband is a biker dude. He’s a leather chap wearing, tattoo loving, motorcycle driving biker dude. His love for Jesus is strong and wide and his love for bikes runs a close second. He has three bikes. I once caught him in the garage measuring and when questioned he informed me there is just enough room for “one more bike!”

He tried to teach me to ride. He bought me a scooter. I had THE BEST time in the church parking lot. I would toodle by him blowing my horn and waving while he sat on the curb watching me. I could take those turns and weave in and out of the parking lots, but every single time I took my scooter out on the road with real cars and real people I became hysterical. The amount of screaming that occurred. The near misses where an angel literally had to push me out of the way of another car are more than I can count. My guy finally sat me down and explained that my fear was just as dangerous as if I were a dare devil, so the scooter had to go. I choose to miss the part where he called out my fear and instead focus on the part where he compared me to a dare devil! 😊

Being a passenger on a bike where I have zero control has been a learning curve for me but I am adapting. We went on a trip with some other bikers and took a fairly curvy road. To hear the others talk it was a normal road, but to this girl IT WAS CURVY! Left and then right and then hair pin and then left again and as soon as I caught my breath we were leaning right. I kept breathing and before I knew it tears were streaming down my face. I dared not cry out loud because who wants a bunch of bikers to know I’m crying! My guy kept patting my leg and doing his best to comfort me, but I just couldn’t calm down. I kept wiping my tears with my leather glove and doing my best to let the wind take any redness out of my face.

I noticed the biker and his wife in front of us and she was taking pictures at every curve. She was twisting left and right and forwards and backwards and had not a care in the world. WHAT IS WRONG WITH HER? I thought to myself. The ride ended at a cute little pizza place and the woman started sharing the photos she had taken. They were breathtaking. The views she was able to capture were nothing short of God’s art work. Fog hugged the tops of the hills and the valleys were full of the upcoming freshness of Spring. My heart fell. I had missed it all. My fear had held me back.

So many times in life I am gripped with fear. I make decisions based on the safest bet and sadly, I often miss opportunities God is laying out before me because I am afraid. My guy took me to the motorcycle store and hooked me up with some protective gear. He explained that in the event of a mistake and my body hits the road the gear is gonna literally save my hide. I was gearing up recently and as I slid my pants on I thought about the belt of truth being buckled around my waist. As each arm slid into my jacket I thought about the breastplate of righteousness. And as I slid my helmet over my head I thought of the helmet of salvation. Y’all, God always prepares the way. He’s got it all worked out. All we gotta do is armor up and trust him!

So, here’s to not being the biker girl who cries during the ride. Here’s to letting go of the chrome bars and holding up my arms towards heaven enjoying the ride that God has me on. Here’s to gearing up and letting go! ❤️

God is so good. He reminds me of His promises in the coolest ways possible, and I share them all on my personal blog Twenty-Nine Thirteen. I would love for you to join the journey! You can find me at http://www.twentyninethirteen.com and on Facebook @twentynine13.

Unobserved Support

As I sat in an empty Sunday school class waiting for my room across the hall to dismiss where I could go in and set up to teach, my eyes went to this corner of the room. I’d been in this room dozens, if not hundreds, of times and never paid attention to it. Sitting inconspicuously behind the door is a rather huge support column. People walk right by it without noticing. If you asked someone to draw a picture of this room they would probably forget to put that in there.

This room is a basement classroom. The 3,500 seat worship center is directly above. As I sat thinking I realized there must be dozens of these under the sanctuary standing as silent sentries doing their job of support. Unnoticed. Just doing their job.

They kind of remind me of my Daddy and his generation of men, those WWII veterans. He was constant. Always there doing his job, supporting his family, his church, his community. Strong and dependable, but unnoticed, just doing his job faithfully.

His kind are very much the opposite of what is commonly seen today. Our current generation is prone to desire the limelight, feel upset that they are unnoticed, seek their fifteen minutes of fame, and have no use for activities that don’t “build their platform.” When we stumble upon someone who is an unobserved, hard worker, we almost consider them an anomaly. We have bought into a self-focused mindset and aren’t even aware because we are just doing what the rest of society is doing.

But those sturdy pillars of strength and support are holding us all up unobserved though they may be. They support their pastor, the Church, a Compassion Child or a ministry/minister in another state even. They support their local church with their their time, energy, and abilities. They support with their presence, their prayers, and their pocketbooks. Leading us, often unnoticed, but holding us all up and holding us together in the body of Christ.

We can become a “they.” We can support a person with a phone call, text, or meeting them for coffee and encouragement. We can support with finances, food, help, or transportation to doctors. We can support by taking the time to pray with people God brings across our path, and speak Scripture into lives. We can support by praying for ministers, missionaries and Christian organizations. We can support with anonymous, consistent gifts and contributions. We can support by loving the unlovely, the complicated, the hard to love, hurting souls. The bottom line is, it takes each one of us doing our jobs even when we’re unnoticed, in a corner, in the dark.

Will we give ourselves wholeheartedly today to support individual people, the body of Christ, ministries here at home or around the world? Are we willing to do our job faithfully and go unnoticed for the glory of God? I choose today to be an unnoticed, support pillar in a dark corner holding up my tiny piece of God’s kingdom work on this earth. We may feel unnoticed, but God notices.

My Grandmother’s Ring

My Grandmother’s wedding ring has been a joy for me for many years. My Grandmother died when I was 27. She had wanted to be a Great Grandmother and I was pregnant, so it was sad to me that she died before my child was born. I have enjoyed having her wedding band. It is pink gold and has been special because I am the only granddaughter.

I had a really tough couple of days and was feeling really tired. I had been wearing her ring along with my wedding bands. I sat down to work on my bible study and realized that her ring was not on my finger. My heart sunk. I had been several places and it could have come off anywhere. I looked all over my house and down in the furniture. I cleaned out my purse to see if it had fallen off there. I just knew it was gone.

Later that day, I went to Publix. I was just picking up a few things for a special dinner for my husband who was celebrating 35 years in his job. His award had been delivered that week and I wanted to have a special dinner with his award sitting on the table. As I walked through Publix, I felt like something was in my shoe. It was starting to get irritating but I did not want to stop to empty my shoe. As I walked up the steps from my basement with the groceries, I realized that what was bothering me in my shoe seemed round. I thought it would not be possible for that to be my grandmother’s ring. As soon as I got upstairs, I took my shoe off. What a joy to realize that my Grandmother’s ring was in my shoe. I felt like celebrating!

I was reminded of the parable of the Woman and the lost coin in Luke 15:8-10.

“Or what woman, having ten silver coins, if she loses one coin, does not light a lamp and sweep the house and seek diligently until she finds it?  And when she has found it, she calls together her friends and neighbors, saying, ‘Rejoice with me, for I have found the coin that I had lost.’  Just so, I tell you, there is joy before the angels of God over one sinner who repents.” (ESV)

Just as she called in friends and neighbors to celebrate, I now celebrate with you. I realize it is a ring. Imagine how much more the angels celebrate when a lost person repents and comes to know Jesus as Lord and Savior.

Best Thing I Ever Ate!

She was decked out in a pink and purple two piece bathing suit, her middle just peaking over the bottoms, her blonde pigtails long ago waterlogged, and her glasses smudged with fingerprints and sunscreen. They bore the evidence of having been surrendered every time she entered the pool. 

An older lady wiped her face and she pulled away, that is what caught my attention. I saw myself in her, it would have been more than forty years prior and I am certain my middle may have been pudgier and been peeking more significantly than hers did. 

The little girl held in her hand an ice cream bar on a stick and she ate it with such delight I found myself wanting one. She took another bite and nodded toward the older lady. I heard her approximately six year old voice say, 

“Best thing I ever ate!” 

And she smiled. I knew she was speaking the truth. I quickly calculated that she’d been alive somewhere in the 4500 days range and in all that time, here on this blazing hot afternoon by the pool she’d just consumed the best thing she’d ever eaten. I smiled at such a revelation and began to ponder, what is the best thing I’ve ever eaten? 

I’ve tasted some good things before but none of them are so ingrained into my memory that it tops the list so significantly that I can immediately recall it. 

Spaghetti is my favorite food and any time is a good time for pasta and I love a good salad, the kind that makes a meal with meats and cheeses and copious amounts of full fat dressings thereby rendering it no longer in the healthy food category. I love a good beverage, the kind that comes in a tall glass bottle with a top that requires more than just a twisting motion to open. I love a chocolate dessert, a brownie, a sundae, all manner of sweets and savories but there isn’t one thing I’ve tasted that made me hankering for more and forced me to declare it the best thing I’ve ever eaten. But there is One Thing that could hold that distinction. 

Although it is not physical food there is One Thing I’ve tasted and the moment I did I knew I wanted more, knew my life wouldn’t be complete until I had experienced it again. There is One Thing that has left me hungry and has truly been the best thing I’ve ever experienced and that is my Jesus. His word says to taste and see that the Lord is good (Psalm 34:8.) He alone is the Best Thing. 

He is better than an ice cream bar on a stick by the pool on an afternoon that’s been defined meteorologically speaking, as hot as blue blazes (I don’t even actually know what blue blazes are.) He is better than my Italian Grandmother’s spaghetti and sauce or those meat and cheese salads from my teenage years. He is better than all those things and once you’ve experienced Him you can’t help but declare He’s the best thing ever!

Jury Duty

We had just enjoyed a beautiful day with extended family and my husband went out to check the mail. He came back inside and said, “This looks official.” I opened the letter to find out that I had been assigned Jury Duty. I had never served on Jury Duty. The last two times I had been called were difficult times while I was taking care of my Daddy. One time he had broken his neck and the other time, he was requiring more assistance with life. I was allowed to be dismissed from duty. This time that I was called was a perfect week for me. I had no Bible Study responsibilities and no appointments. There was no reason for me not to show up so I accepted the responsibility and went to serve.

This was new for me so I did not know exactly what to expect. I had never been sworn in for anything. The Pledge of Allegiance was as close to being sworn in as anything I had done during my life. I was selected for a jury and we proceeded to the courtroom. The courtroom was not what I expected at all. I guess I have watched too many Matlock reruns. The courtroom was smaller than I expected but it was still formidable. As we were lined up and sent into the 6courtroom, I thought that this was starting to be real. There were a group of candidates for the jury and we were asked many questions. I was not selected for this jury but I learned quite a few things. 

First, I realized that I did not remember my Civics that I studied in high school. I needed a refresher on some things. 

Second, I realized that if I ever found myself on the other side of the courtroom, I would appreciate knowing that there were some good people who gave of their time to make decisions that would be honest and just. These were just regular people. 

Third, I am thankful to live in a country that has a judicial system in place. I realized that I do not pray enough for the judges and courtroom proceedings and decided to strive to make that a matter of prayer.

Forth, I am thankful to live in a country where a person is considered to be innocent until proven guilty. I did not hear the evidence before this court since I was not on the jury, but I feel that the system was in place to give justice to the one who needed it.

Ecclesiastes 3:17 “I said to myself, “God will bring into judgement both the righteous and the wicked, for there will be a time for every activity, a time to judge every deed.”

Proverbs 21:15 “When justice is done, it brings joy to the righteous but terror to evildoers.”

Amos 5:24 “But let justice roll on like a river, righteous like a never-failing stream!”

“When justice is done, it brings joy to the righteous but terror to evildoers.” Proverbs 21:15

Little Things Matter

(This is a reposting of a blog from 2021 titled “Because a Little Bug Went Ka-Choo!”)

“One who is faithful in a very little is also faithful in much, and one who is dishonest in a very little is also dishonest in much.” Luke 16:10

My husband and I were recently talking with one of our adult children about a major change coming in their life. We were encouraging her (and ourselves!) by reminding each other of all the ways God had brought her to where she currently is, and that He would surely continue to lead her down a good path – not a bump-free path, but a good one. Mid-conversation, the Rosetta Stone (aka Dr. Seuss) book, Because a Little Bug Went Ka-choo! came up. It was a childhood favorite of our kids that has been a useful tool in adult life.

If you aren’t familiar with the story, the gist of it is this. A little bug sneezes which causes a small seed to fall off of a plant nearby. The seed lands on the toe of a worm who then kicks something, and the story is off at a fast pace, full of catastrophes that get bigger and bigger until a whole town is affected. At the end of the story you are reminded that all these disasters happened…

“All because a little bug went ka-choo.”

That same cause and effect principal plays out in our lives. Little decisions and seemingly inconsequential choices often yield big, unanticipated results. We all understand that the big things like what we choose to do for a career or who we marry, are important. But we overlook the fact that small things bear big fruit later in our lives as well. Things like helping someone out in their need, writing a note to someone who is on our heart, or having a kind, joyful spirit to those around us.

“Can those little things have a big impact, really?” you may ask. Yes!

Recently, I sent three cards to some people God had put on my mind. I simply let them know I was thinking about them and I cared about their plight. Then I shared a verse I was specifically praying for each. Just this week all three came to me and said the exact same thing. “Your card came at just the right time.” It was a small discipline that took me five minutes (the Lord has been working on me in the area of card writing since January), but it paid off in impacting hurting hearts.

All because a little card was written…

Several years ago when I returned to teaching after many years off raising children, it was traumatic for me. The first 3 weeks I cried every day driving to and from school. But I determined that I would be joyful and positive around my students because I knew this was a ministry to which God had brought me. I determined to speak positively, look for the best in each child, and give them a smile and word of encouragement as they left my room every day. While many students responded to my kindness by being chatty and eager to get to know the new teacher, one ninth grader was particularly silent around me, only answering questions when called upon and never speaking to me otherwise. As I recall, it was a few weeks into the school year before she spoke to me personally.

Leaving class that day she looked at me and asked sarcastically, “Are you always that way?”

“What way?” I asked in return.

“Smiling and happy,” she replied with a bit of a sneer.

“No,” I answered honestly something like, “I have struggles, sadness, and tears, but I try to put those away when I’m here at school to help make it a brighter, happier day for you kids.” I may have even mentioned Jesus’ strength, I really don’t recall.

That was all that was said that day. But in the days that followed she started lingering after class to talk to me, smiling and talking casually with me, dropping by my room during breaks or after school, and even asking my advice on those all-important high school issues. That small beginning led to a friendship that developed and continued after she graduated. Now, nine years later, we talk on the phone almost daily. She values my advice (I believe) and I’d like to think I’ve helped her through some struggles. She’s married with a new baby and comes to me with questions and prayer needs, and I feel honored to call her friend.

All because a scared teacher smiled…

When our daughter was in 4th grade our new children’s pastor planned to take the elementary kids to camp at an our-of-state college. We decided she could go. She loved the camp, the songs, the stories, and she grew in her faith that week as we had hoped and expected. But one thing we didn’t expect was that she would come home declaring, “That is where I will go to college one day!” We thought Sure you will. You’re ten years old. But a few years later when her big sister was looking for a college, Little Sis said, “Check out my college. We can be there together in two years.” Big sister ended up visiting and realizing that school was God’s place for her. Two years later, after much prayer and 4 different college Preview Days, that’s exactly where Little Sis went just as she had declared she would. She not only earned her degree, she established herself and her future career in a new state and met a godly young man who is now her husband.

All because a little 4th grader went to kids camp…

What about Big Sister? She also found her career. But she found her calling, too. One day as she was out for a jog she stopped to compliment an older couple working in their yard on their beautiful flowers. From that she developed a relationship with those retired missionaries that propelled her to foreign lands as well.

All because a little girl listened to her sister…

All because a young woman went for a jog…

All because a missionary retired to that home on that street…

What is the moral of my story? God is weaving your life together bit by bit. Not just in the huge decisions, but also through the mundane choices we make with little thought. Through our kindness, our fear, our smiles, and every other nuance of who we are. Jeremiah 29:11 TLV states, “For I know the plans that I have in mind for you,” declares Adonai, “plans for shalom [peace] and not calamity—to give you a future and a hope.” God is weaving together the fabric of your life. Be upright, God-honoring, kind, and faithful in all you do. Even the tiny, insignificant things that would seem to have no impact past this very moment. It will seem small but may quite likely have a great impact on your life.

Then Samuel took a stone and set it up between Mizpah and Shen. He named it Ebenezer, saying, “Thus far the Lord has helped us.”1 Samuel 7:12

Wrecks!

In the last few weeks, I have been driving on roads that I do not usually travel. I have had appointments that have taken me to different areas of the city. On one of my trips, I was driving on a new section of the interstate. My husband and I had only traveled on this new section of the road one time since it had reopened. As I was driving on this day, I was in a section where two lanes merge into one. I was behind a very large dump truck and there was a very small green car in the merging lane. As the lane ran out for the green car, it merged right into the large dump truck. The two vehicles collided with each other and then both moved to the shoulder on opposite sides of the road. I had no choice but to drive right through where they had hit each other. It was very unnerving.

Yesterday, as I was driving in the city, I was on a one-way street that had 3 lanes. I was driving in the center lane. There were red lights every few blocks so we were traveling at a very slow speed. The car in front of me had its left blinker on and was coming almost to a stop. The truck behind me must have decided we were not going fast enough, so it whipped around us in the left lane just as the car in front of me turned left. The car turned left from the middle lane of a one-way street! Needless to say, the truck from behind me ran right into the side of the car in front of me as it was turning left. 

Two wrecks in front of me in a matter of days made me feel like maybe I should stay home. I have seen wrecks before but this seemed like too many right in a row.

What causes people to have a wreck? Inattention? Not being familiar with the road? Not knowing which way is the right way?

The Bible gives us directions and instructions on which way to go. 

Psalm 32:8, “I will instruct you and teach you in the way you should go; I will counsel you with my eye upon you.”

Proverbs 3:5-6 NIV, “Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on you own understanding; in all you ways submit to him, and he will make your paths straight.”

God has a plan for us and His plan is the best. He will never leave us alone. As we travel along life’s journey, we should always ask God to be with us and protect us. A prayer before you leave one destination for another is a great way to take the Lord with you wherever you go. 

This is what the Lord says— your Redeemer, the Holy One of Israel: “I am the Lord your God, who teaches you what is best for you, who directs you in the way you should go. Isaiah 48:17-18

Whose Car Is This Anyway?

stewardship – “the conducting, supervising, or managing of something, especially the careful and responsible management of something entrusted to one’s care” (MerriamWebster.com)

Background: My husband and I grew up from infancy in church. Not just in church on Sunday morning, but at least four times a week and often as many as six or seven. There was Sunday school, worship, Discipleship Training, choir, mid-week service, visitation, revivals, conferences, January bible study, youth rallies, and that’s just the ones I can recall in the time it took to type that sentence. Because of our involvement we grew up wanting to obey God, read our Bible, pray, and give out tithe.

When we were children tithing meant giving the dime our mamas gave us before church to “put in the offering.” As we grew into the preteen years we were encouraged to give ten percent of our baby-sitting or grass-cutting earnings, which we did. When we got our first “real” jobs in high school we felt proud to be able to contribute a tithe that we knew was enough dollars to actually help our church in some way.

All that history led us to where we were when we got married and where we are today.

As a young married couple with a few semesters to go in college there was no money to tithe. We were living off student loans. Upon graduation and getting engineering and teaching jobs we jumped right back in to what we knew to be the best way to live – we tithed. Not only that, we had an image of God in our minds from all the Biblical teaching we had received. It was the idea of stewardship: God owned all that was in the world and was the provider of all we had and all we needed. Therefore, we were to honor Him with all our possessions.

I realize that may sound strange to people not raised in the church, but it was a reality as normal as breathing for us. It is a principle woven throughout Scripture, and a worthy one to base the way you live on it.

We always wrote the tithe check first, even when we were broke. We may have eaten home-canned green beans and thirty-three-cents-a-box Mac and Cheese a lot, but we never failed to give to Our Creator, Father God. There were times we wished for all those dream items – house, a new car, vacations – but that did not tempt us enough not to give to God. The first real temptation for me NOT to give God control of all our money and possessions was over a vehicle.

We had been married about ten years and had three kids. Because of a job promotion, we were moving from from one town to another a couple of hours away. The moving van had been loaded and pulled out. With much excitement and weariness, we cleaned quickly and rustled the kids into the car headed for the New House. My husband drove his truck, and I drove our Suburban with the kids. Both vehicles were loaded down with suitcases, sentimental treasures, toys, and last minute items. Less than 10 miles down the road the Suburban started giving me problems; it wouldn’t shift into gear and would only go slowly. I flashed my lights at my husband’s truck up ahead. (Pre-cell phone times, required tricks and codes when you traveled!) Both vehicles limped slowly to a rest area a few miles down the road where my mechanic-of-a-husband checked out the vehicle and declared that was as far as it would be going that night.

This was a crisis of belief moment for me. Sure all my possessions belonged to God. Sure I trusted Him. Didn’t I? Suddenly I realized how easy it is to say we believe something and how hard it can be to live it out. Would God protect our family vehicle? HIS vehicle? Would God keep my treasures (picture albums, precious breakables that had been gifts down through the years, those irreplaceable things)? I was at the point of tears, but not wanting to upset the kids what does a mom do? You treat it like a big adventure!

“Alright kiddos! Grab what you have to have for tonight and we’re gonna pile in Daddy’s truck to go to our New House!”

And so we did.

We arrived safely, burst out of the truck where we had been squished for over on hour’s ride, and entered our New (empty) House with excitement. We all slept on the floor in Mommy & Daddy’s room that first night. As everyone else dozed, my tears came, along with whispered pleas of “Please take care of our stuff, Lord. It’s yours, I know, but it’s precious to me.”

And now for the rest of the story…

Next morning, we awoke to movers at the door. The day sped by and ended with us surrounded by boxes and trying to find the sheets. At a call from my husband a towing company had retrieved our vehicle – it was still there and our possessions were still intact – and it sat safely in the driveway, unloaded and ready to be taken to the shop the next morning. All was well. God had taken care of all that He had loaned me here on this earth, and my faith and willingness to hold my possessions with open hands had been strengthened.

The moral of the story…

God is trustworthy. He will take care of you – and your stuff. You will often hit a crisis of belief when you must choose to live out your faith in spite of fear or worry or doubt. Will you steward your life and your possessions well? You must decide. It’s often scary but it’s always worth it. Even if God allows something to be taken away. (We’ve had some of those times too.) But God will always work things out for your good and prove Himself faithful to you. He loves you. You are His precious treasure.

You have been given precious treasures – Steward Well!

Each of you should use whatever gift you have received to serve others, as faithful stewards of God’s grace in its various forms. 1 Peter 4:10

Rest in Him. Leave your possessions and your cares along the side of the road and trust that He will take care of you.

He’s Never Failing

Let’s go back to July 22, 2010. It was my first day back to work after being out for almost three months. I had just recovered from major surgery on my left shoulder and was released by my surgeon to resume normal activities. I was driving into work that sunny afternoon when I noticed a car on the other side of the road crossing the line into my lane. I started to slow down and try to veer off to avoid the oncoming car, but instead, the car hit my driver’s side at such a high impact that my car flipped 3 times.  

I was upside down in my car, crying for help while watching the blood stream down my left arm. I reached for my cell phone and called my dad. By the time he answered, a man who witnessed the wreck had made it to my car. The man had already called the police and was able to tell my dad what happened.

The paramedics had a difficult time getting me out due to the position and damage of my car.  They were finally able to get me out and rushed me to the ER.

I’ll spare you the details, but I had broken ribs and fingers, several cuts, and a major injury to my left elbow. The bone was shattered and my ulnar nerve was severed. They did surgery to try to repair what they could. Due to the injury of the ulnar nerve, I was told I would no longer be able to feel the left part of my forearm, nor would I have feeling in my pinky and ring fingers. This would also result in not having full use of those fingers. Did I mention I’m left-handed?  

Here I was, getting back on my feet from the shoulder surgery, starting back to work, and finishing out my last year of college in the fall. Then *bam* it all changes. I was back in bed for another 6 weeks to recover from the new injuries.

I battled depression.  I cried…a lot. I didn’t sleep much because of the pain. I asked God why He allowed this to happen more times than I can count. There were so many unknowns for the future at this point and I simply didn’t know how I was going to move forward.

It was an extremely long and difficult recovery. I was angry all the time, I was hurting, and I was tired of depending on everyone else to take care of me. Ask anyone who helped me… I was not pleasant to be around. I had all of these plans for my future and now they were ruined. 

But, I continued to pray. I wanted God to heal my broken spirit. I didn’t want to be angry and bitter.  

I read Jeremiah 29:11-13 over and over again. It says,  “For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. Then you will call on me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you. You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart.”

I clung to those words. I began to see all the little things the Lord was doing that I overlooked in all my anger. That cell phone I called my dad when the wreck happened? I had zipped it up in my purse before I left the house. How it ended up within my reach, I don’t know. My left shoulder from surgery did not sustain any damage at all from the wreck. The legal settlement with the insurance companies was finalized. I was about to reach out to the elderly woman who hit me. We exchanged a couple of letters while we both were recovering from injuries. I even graduated college earlier than expected! 

God knew I needed that wake-up call. That I needed to stop trying to control every aspect of my life. I now have a permanent reminder that His plans are far better than mine. He is faithful. He has provided (and continues to) in ways I could have never imagined.

Ladies, we will never know the full scope of God’s plans for our lives. But know that we CAN trust Him. He will provide in every circumstance, even if it isn’t the way we envisioned it.

One of my favorite passages is in Matthew. It’s a familiar one, but it brings me to tears every single time. Matthew 6:25-34 says, 

“Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothes? Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they? Can any one of you by worrying add a single hour to your life? “And why do you worry about clothes? See how the flowers of the field grow. They do not labor or spin. Yet I tell you that not even Solomon in all his splendor was dressed like one of these. If that is how God clothes the grass of the field, which is here today and tomorrow is thrown into the fire, will he not much more clothe you—you of little faith? So do not worry, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ For the pagans run after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them. But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.”

The Creator of the universe cares for you, for me, for us. Hold onto this.

Identity

There is so much said today about identity. Trying to find my identity… I identify as… Gender identity…

As we wander through life seeking who we really are, we are like naive children who haven’t learned what the mature world knows. If you are searching, if you are ready to see your true identity despite your past and your failures, if you need a refresher on who you are in Christ, then look to the book of Ephesians, especially Ephesians 1.

You will find that you are…

…holy

…blessed with every spiritual blessing

…chosen

…blameless

…adopted as God’s child

…redeemed

…forgiven

…given grace

…marked with a seal

…God’s possession

…God’s people

…given hope

…empowered

…loved

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“Paul, an apostle of Christ Jesus by the will of God,

To God’s holy people in Ephesus, the faithful in Christ Jesus:

Grace and peace to you from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.

Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in the heavenly realms with every spiritual blessing in Christ. For he chose us in him before the creation of the world to be holy and blameless in his sight. In love he predestined us for adoption to sonship through Jesus Christ, in accordance with his pleasure and will— to the praise of his glorious grace, which he has freely given us in the One he loves. In him we have redemptionthrough his blood, the forgiveness of sins, in accordance with the riches of God’s grace that he lavished on us. With all wisdom and understanding, he made known to us the mystery of his will according to his good pleasure, which he purposed in Christ, 10 to be put into effect when the times reach their fulfillment—to bring unity to all things in heaven and on earth under Christ.

11 In him we were also chosen, having been predestined according to the plan of him who works out everything in conformity with the purpose of his will, 12 in order that we, who were the first to put our hope in Christ, might be for the praise of his glory. 13 And you also were included in Christ when you heard the message of truth, the gospel of your salvation. When you believed, you were marked in him with a seal, the promised Holy Spirit, 14 who is a deposit guaranteeing our inheritance until the redemption of those who are God’s possession—to the praise of his glory.”

And don’t miss the last few verses! It s a prayer for you. Paul prayed it and I am praying it today for each of you who will read this article. Be blessed!

“15 For this reason, ever since I heard about your faith in the Lord Jesus and your love for all God’s people, 16 I have not stopped giving thanks for you, remembering you in my prayers. 17 I keep asking that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the glorious Father, may give you the Spirit of wisdom and revelation, so that you may know him better. 18 I pray that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened in order that you may know the hope to which he has called you, the riches of his glorious inheritance in his holy people, 19 and his incomparably great power for us who believe. That power is the same as the mighty strength 20 he exerted when he raised Christ from the dead and seated him at his right hand in the heavenly realms, 21 far above all rule and authority, power and dominion, and every name that is invoked, not only in the present age but also in the one to come. 22 And God placed all things under his feet and appointed him to be head over everything for the church, 23 which is his body, the fullness of him who fills everything in every way.”

Jesus answered, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me. John 14:6