Tag Archives: praise

A Munificent God

On May 29 I wrote the following:

Tomorrow we leave the oasis of my parent’s home and drive toward a question mark painted in black on the horizon of my mind. I think the children sense it too. They aren’t sleeping, although they are exhausted, and I am suddenly filled with anxiety over the possibility of arriving to a church full of strangers with children so disoriented by time zones and travel and unfamiliarity that I can hardly recognize them, let alone discipline them.

These are the honest feelings I had as we drove toward what I envisioned to be a month of awkward meetings and lonely evenings and long days of entertaining children without my seminary community for back-up. It was a wonderful opportunity for my husband – a chance to preach ten sermons in five Sundays, to open up and explore a chunk of scripture over several weeks to a real congregation instead of a single sermon to a room full of fellow seminarians. I had no doubt that the experience was a wonderful provision from the Lord, I just know that sometimes wonderful opportunities to learn come in uncomfortable packages, if you know what I mean.

I have often been wrong in my life. This is one stunningly spectacular example.

I don’t really know how to explain to you the feeling of comfort I had from our second Sunday in the church, almost as if I had worshipped with them before and was coming home after an absence. Relationships came easily, and meetings were natural. Laughter was common and invitations frequent. Far from lonely evenings, we found ourselves double booked more than once and not in those obligatory “let’s entertain the visiting student” sort of meetings, but honest gatherings like birthday parties and regularly scheduled dominoes games.Even in those moments of necessary discipline, when the children – not from lack of sleep, or disorientation, but from the rebellion of their hearts – required correction, I felt the comfort of doing so in a community of supportive friends, not under the gaze of strangers.

It was a shock to see that the month had passed and we were preparing for the final Sunday and saying goodbyes we had not anticipated grieving. I found myself echoing the prayer of Mike, one of the elders, during that last evening service. He thanked the Lord for a good month, and then stopped and just said, “You are a good God.” It was, exactly, the cry of my heart. This month would have been an answer to prayer and a wonderful experience even if my anxieties had been true; but it was so much more, and so much better, than I had ever really hoped to pray.

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This Is Too Good Not To Blog

Okay, the snickerdoodle had an ultrasound on her hips today. If you remember, the goal is 65 degrees on each socket. She was 44 and 50 when she was born and her hips completely dislocated when moved manually.

Today – 5 weeks later – her hips are 66 and 64 degrees and completely stable. She’s in a new harness with adjustment marks on it, so that I can adjust it myself as she grows, and I have a schedule to wean her off the harness! She gets an extra hour each day for the next two weeks, until she’s only in it for 12 hours at night. She’ll stay at 12 hours for a week and a half, and then have a final evaluation and BE DONE!

Assuming nothing reverts in the next 4 weeks, we’ll be harness free by the last week of June!

PRAISE THE LORD WITH US!


A Sovereign God Can Heal – Even When He Isn’t Asked

This is a picture of my daughter eating a grilled cheese sandwich.  There is no following photograph of her in an ambulance, or being nailed with an epi pen, or guzzling a bottle of Benadryl.  Why?  Because God has healed my daughter’s allergy.

Today we took her to the allergist for a “just before we move” check up.  He is a great doctor, and he chatted with me about my observations in the nine months since we had been there.  Then he asked me, as he generally does, if I want to go ahead and re-test her.  In August of ’09 we retested her and she reacted at 13 mm – only slightly less severe than her first test of 15 mm in August ’08.  Today her test was, in the doctor’s words, “stone cold negative.”

From here on out this very nice, but very lost, allergist went on to explain that children are likely to outgrown milk allergies, and would I like to test feed her some milk in the office, or do it at home.  I finally asked him if it was common to go from 13 mm to less than 2 mm (the test prick is 1 mm) in nine months.  He was quiet for a moment and then said, “No.  I don’t see that very often.”

I wish I would have had the courage to tell him right then that God had healed my daughter; but all I was thinking, was, “What can I feed her to test this out?”

Once we got into the van I told the mackerdoodle that the doctor said cow’s milk might not make her sick any more.  “What would you like to eat with cow’s milk in it?”  I asked.  She said, “A cheese sandwich.  With pepperoni.”  So that’s what she got.  How does she feel about this new major freedom?

I am just in awe that the whole time we’ve been focusing our prayers on our move, God’s been saying: “Yeah, I got that.  I’ve got a lot more than that.”  It’s a beautiful mercy we hadn’t even thought to ask for.  Isn’t it good that God isn’t limited to our finite imaginations?

Now to him who is able to do far more abundantly than all that we ask or think, according to the power at work within us, to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, forever and ever. Amen.  Ephesians 3:20, 21


The Lord Provides Once Again

For two weeks Jonathan’s boss has been promising to contact the Chick-Fil-A operators in St. Louis and tell them, in his words, that they’d be crazy not to hire my husband.  For two weeks it hasn’t happened, because Jonathan works nights, which essentially means out of sight, so out of mind.  I mean when a man has cars wrapped two deep completely around his restaurant, he’s not thinking, “Oh, yeah, I should be helping my night manager find a new job for when he leaves me.”

Regardless, he asked Jonathan to leave him a note to jog his memory, and when he found that note first thing this morning, he sat down and sent out an email first thing this morning.  Before lunch Jonathan got two simultaneous phone calls. (isn’t technology grand?)  The first was from the owner of a free standing Chick-Fil-A in St. Louis who is getting ready to open another free standing unit in August.  By the end of the conversation, Jonathan had an interview set up for June 3rd, the day after we arrive in St. Louis.

We don’t know where he’ll find a place.  He may end up in the mall unit, only ten minutes from our apartment.  He may be at the existing free standing unit, which does almost twice the business that his current restaurant.  He could end up at one of those places temporarily and then at the new location in August.

We don’t know what the Lord has planned.  We do, however, know that he won’t end up in a situation like the “hopsilater” because none of the locations are licensees.  We also know that the Lord has gone before us, has written our stay in St. Louis before He laid the foundations of the earth and has done so for His glory and our sanctification.

Today we’re praising the Lord for once more providing our daily bread.


Awesome

While staying with my mom, the kids and I are sharing a room.  It is just so much easier for me to have them within reach and they seem to adjust better to new situations when we work it that way.  One of my favorite things right now is to creep into the room at night and see, in the light cast through the cracked open door, my two children sprawled out (they’re both bed hogs) across a great big bed, side by side, fast asleep.  Often their hands or feet are touching and when I move them over to create space for a mama sized lump, they wriggle in their sleep until they feel that contact again.

Sometimes a visit like this serves to remind me how far away we live from cousins and grandparents and aunts and uncles, but every night I’m reminded that even far from family, the Lord has given them each other.  I have often praised the Lord that He has given me children.  Seeing them together on this trip has made me praise the Lord that He has given them siblings.

Psalm 113

1 Praise the LORD! Praise, O servants of the LORD,
praise the name of the LORD!

2Blessed be the name of the LORD
from this time forth and forevermore!
3From the rising of the sun to its setting,
the name of the LORD is to be praised!

4The LORD is high above all nations,
and his glory above the heavens!
5Who is like the LORD our God,
who is seated on high,
6who looks far down
on the heavens and the earth?
7He raises the poor from the dust
and lifts the needy from the ash heap,
8to make them sit with princes,
with the princes of his people.
9He gives the barren woman a home,
making her the joyous mother of children.
Praise the LORD!


A Not So Wordless Illustrated Tour of the New Ride

On Sunday, our pastor wrapped up a series on penal substitutionary atonement by preaching on Numbers 21:4-9 and John 3.  As he was preaching through the passages, he brought out that the sin of the Israelites was complaining against God’s provision in their lives.  “there’s no food, and there’s no water, and we hate this worthless food” they say to God, who has given them water from a stone, and bread from heaven.

I was convicted that what I have been saying to God lately is: “I don’t have anything to drive, and I hate this worthless thing you’ve given me to drive.”  Grumbling against God for providing a low mileage mini-van at the same monthly payment as our little car and less in insurance is comparable with complaining about manna.

Fortunately, the Lord did not send venomous snakes to punish me.  But I am humbled.  So here are all the awesome things about this great provision the Lord has worked in our lives.

Lots of cargo space for luggage, strollers, groceries, or all of them at the same time.

Lots of cargo space for luggage, strollers, groceries, or all of them at the same time.

Please ignore the clutter.  I travel with a toddler you know.  You may be counting the seats and saying “But Coralie, there are only 4 seats in this picture.  Your car had five.  How is this an improvement?”

Hmmm, what do we have here?

Hmmm, what do we have here?

Three more seats appear with just the tug of two straps!

Three more seats appear with just the tug of two straps!

look, a deep trunk space, big enough for BOTH a stroller, AND other stuff.

And where the seats were: look, a deep trunk space, big enough for BOTH a stroller, AND other stuff.

Pull two straps, and push down, and the seats become a flat cargo space once more.

Pull two straps, and push down, and the seats become a flat cargo space once more.

There’s so much room that when I bought groceries this week, they rolled around back there.  I’ve got to get a grocery net.

Other cool features:

1.  Dual climate control.  I can set my side of the van to be comfortable, while Jonathan sets his side for Siberian winter.

2.  13 cup holders.  When Jonathan pointed this out to me, I asked why we would POSSIBLY need that many cup holders.  He set forth this scenario:

4 adults and three children get into the minivan (thus far a plausible tale) and stop for a fast food breakfast (also plausible – even probable).  The four adults order coffee, and an orange juice – that’s eight cup holders.  The three children, however, not drinking coffee, would only need one holder a piece.  That leaves two cup holders empty for any empty cups left over from the previous days excursions.

I can see he has thought this out.

3.  At 24 miles to the gallon, it’s not that far off the 30 we were getting in the car.  It’s certainly better than any SUV or truck we looked at.

So there you have it.  A provision for which to praise, not a weight about which to whine.


Peace

Yesterday evening the mac was fighting sleeping with all she had – she gave it more than she usually does, and I suspect it had something to do with the two (yup, one up, one down) teeth trying to make their way into visibility.

She was clearly tired, and restless and cranky, so I began to sing quietly.

Praise God from whom all blessings flow
Praise Him all creatures here below
Praise Him above ye heavenly host
Praise Father, Son and Holy Ghost.

She drifted off and I crept from the room in a little bit of wonder.  Now I sit in a rocking chair beside her crib watching her at the beginning of her afternoon nap.  I lay her down, and began to sing it again.  After two times through, she was out.

Maybe it’s just a fluke.

Maybe it’s just the fact of my singing.

But I am praying that it is a tiny sign that the Lord has set her aside and the peace of praise is already touching her.