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Category Archives: blessing

Forced to Rest

It’s no real secret that I am tired all the time. Literally. I wake up tired and with a headache and that’s how it is all day long. I’m learning to be content with that. But what most people don’t know is that I have a really hard time resting. I can’t remember the last time I took a nap. My friends tell me all the time, “Oh honey, why don’t you just go curl up with a blanket and take a nap?” And I will smile and say that sounds like a wonderful idea. Because it really does.

I’m on three strong medications that CAUSE sleepiness and wear me out but the one also has a side effect of insomnia that really works. No naps for me. Sad day. I have been known to be so tired that I tell my friends I wish they would just knock me out so my body could get some rest!

Which actually brings me to the point of this post. (Don’t worry, I was getting there.) A month or so ago, I was in a Sunday School class on prayer. And it was a wonderful class. One of the lessons was on praying Scripture and we were talking about Psalm 23. As an example, my teacher asked if someone would be willing to pray that passage and an older lady at my church volunteered.

But as she prayed, something new struck me. Verse 2: “He makes me lie down in green pastures. He leads me beside still waters.”

Hmmm¬†makes me? Like forces me to lie down, to rest? If I’m honest, there have been many times in my life when I don’t want to rest. When I get so crazy busy and I have seen God slow me down. And if I’m totally honest, I didn’t like it. I wanted to do things my way at my speed. But now that physical rest is SO desirable and out of reach for me, I recognize the importance of it.

But of even greater importance is spiritual rest. Verse 3: “He restores my soul. He leads me in paths of righteousness for his name’s sake.”

Whenever I read this I’m reminded of how utterly thankful I am for soul-restoration! How when I’m worn out and tired, my SOUL can still be at rest because of Jesus Christ! How when I can’t find the energy to do anything, somehow I find energy in talking about my Savior and his incredible love! What a thing to praise the Lord for.

 
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Posted by on October 10, 2018 in blessing

 

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Two Cars, A Job, and a Great God

In case you didn’t know, on June 9th, I was officially 6 months seizure free! You’re probably thinking, “Hooray! So what?” Yeah, I know. But actually, it was a really big deal because you have to be seizure-free for a six month period before your driving privileges are graciously placed back in your hands. So yes, I WAS counting those days. Somehow, I thought it would be a pretty simple process but my doctor had to send forms to the BMV and they had to send forms to ME and I had to visit my local BMV so it took longer than I thought it would. Basically you have some of the slowest organizations communicating with each other over one person. No driving on 6/9 which was a bummer but that’s ok. All the paperwork eventually got in order, my new license came, and I’m now good to go.

The problem was, back in 2016, when I knew I wasn’t going to be able to drive for a while, I had sold my car. Car shopping is LITERALLY one of my least favorite things to do. Some people really like it. Not me. But that was next on the list. I looked and looked but I couldn’t find anything in my budget that actually still ran. Fortunately my work is a 3 minute walk away so it wasn’t an immediate need but still a need.

Enter Car #1: Edna. Some really good friends of mine had an extra car lying around their house. To be honest, they were planning a project with the engine because the car had some issues but they said that if I wanted it while I looked for something else, it was mine. No charge. They are really generous and I felt SO blessed. I’m not kidding. While everyone else saw the rust, smelled the mice, and heard the engine, I felt the freedom of having a car that was my own. Not having to coordinate rides to go to the store or see a friend. Being able to surprise my best friend by showing up at her house for the night. I knew it wasn’t a long term solution because there’s no way I would drive this car farther than 20 minutes from my house, but it worked for the short term.

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There was just one problem. Next month I have a rather significant birthday coming up. Not necessarily the number but what happens on that number. I have to come off my parents’ health insurance. Sad day. It’s been wonderful. I doubt they’ll miss me as much as I’ll miss them. ūüôā And although I work full time now, they don’t offer insurance so I have been job hunting for a little while. A couple weeks ago, I was offered a position at a small bank. The hours are great (like, I don’t have to work till 9pm anymore!), they have full benefits, and the atmosphere is friendly and inviting. It felt like a good fit but it’s around 30 minutes from my house and I honestly wasn’t sure my car would last long doing that every day.

Enter Car #2: Peri. I was pretty sure I was going to accept the job offer and see how long my car would make it before I had to get another one. Last Saturday though, I was thumbing through FaceBook and a car popped up on my feed. I wasn’t even on Marketplace or anything. It was just there. It caught my eye because it was a Honda but listed for several thousand less than Hondas run for around here. And I saw it two minutes after it was posted so I knew if I messaged the lady, I would have a good chance of being the first person. I contacted her and set up a time later that day to come look at it without really knowing why. I literally prayed on my way there, “Lord, I really can’t afford this car so I don’t see a point in test driving it. Why am I even going here?” But I went and not only was it super nice with regular maintenance and low mileage, it had several “extras” on it. Like a dark tint on the windows, black tire rims (which, apparently, is a cool thing?), new headlights ready to be put in, and a sound system complete with a subwoofer that takes up most of the trunk space. Actually, funny story on that. When I was looking at it, the owner excited told me to try the radio. I turned it on and up to about 7 and told her it sounded great. She looked kind of disappointed and said, “Oh. Well. I think it goes to about 50 or 75.” I asked her if I could pray about it and give her an answer the next day and she said she wouldn’t let anyone else look at it if I let her know by noon the following day. Which was super kind of her. (Oh, did I mention the owner was a believer???) The following day I told her I would take it but I asked if she would want to take the sound system out (because I certainly won’t use it) and would she be willing to take the cost of it off the car? Otherwise, I said she could leave it in and I will just take it out myself and sell it. She said she really didn’t know how to take it out but she would DROP THE PRICE OF THE CAR BY $200 and I could keep the sound system. I probably read that message 4-5 times before I responded because I wasn’t sure I had read it right. Uh, yeah, I’ll take the car.

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I told a friend of mine that I almost feel a little embarrassed by my car now because it has all these things on it that I would NEVER put on any car I owned simply because I wouldn’t spend the money on it. And she told me that it should just be a reminder of how great God has blessed me.

And she’s SO right. As I was driving home after signing off on Peri’s title I actually started crying, just amazed at how God works. How he not only provided one car that got me about for a short while, but yet another one that I can trust for long distances and my new job. How he provided the finances I needed. How he went above and beyond anything I would have even dreamed of asking for in a vehicle. I am amazed.

But I didn’t begin praising God when he started giving me things I wanted or needed. That’s not the reason he gets praise. He deserves it simply for being God. Everything else is simply another reason to thank him!

 
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Posted by on September 22, 2018 in blessing

 

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In Case of Emergency

The other day I had to fill out an online questionnaire. (You have officially read the most boring opening sentence ever.) HAD is the crucial word in that sentence because it was a long, and in my opinion, meaningless, questionnaire but it was something that I really did have to do. I sincerely hope that the people who received it were able to get some sort of information from all the random questions they asked.

Anyway, one of the questions read something like, “In the event of a real emergency, how many people do you have in your life that you could count on to help you?”

Somehow my brain translated that question into “How many people would you call in the event of an emergency?” and I actually answered with 1. I thought of the time I needed to go to the ER and literally all I did was call my best friend, she came home from work to take me in, and contacted all my family. She handled everything. So in my mind I just thought, “Well, I’d call Natalie and go from there.”

I was about to click to the next question when I glanced over it again and realized my error. Oh! How many people could I count on??¬†That’s a totally different question! The options were 1, 2-5, 6-10, or 11+. Suddenly I knew my answer and at the same time how incredibly blessed I am.

I realized if I REALLY needed someone to help me, not only would my friends and family drop everything and come, but my church family would do the same thing. And the other churches in the area would respond too. How do I know? I’ve experienced it and I seen it over and over again. Suddenly 11+ seemed like waaaaayyy too small of a number for this question.

My guess is that the people reading the questionnaire can probably see how long I spend on each question and if I change my answers. They probably thought I was rigging my answer when it switched from the lowest number to the highest.

Nope. Just remembering the kind of community I have in Christ and what a blessing it is.

 
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Posted by on September 4, 2018 in blessing

 

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“Life’s Not Fair”

As I pulled back the covers and crawled into bed, the nearby ambulance was dispatched and the siren went by my window. It pushed my exhausted body and heart just over its limit and I started to cry. Suddenly, life didn’t feel fair to me.

I often heard that phrase growing up and I fully believe it and I think this may be this first time in the last 18 months that I have felt “injustice” in my life because of everything going on. I’ve had plenty of others tell me “it’s not right” and “you’re so young, you shouldn’t have to deal with this” but I just shrugged it off, thinking of how it could be worse.

But I always said I could deal with anything as long as it wasn’t stomach issues. And for the last 11 days, I have had constant, debilitating nausea. You can add dizziness, weakness, fatigue, and headaches to that mix too. I have practically laid on my bed or couch all day, and sometimes I’ve been unable to sleep at night because of the nausea. I’ve missed two important church events that I was really looking forward to. And for what? Side-effects of the new medication I’m on. (You may be thinking that my neurologist is a monster but I also haven’t had a seizure in 7 days so we are trying to work things out.)

I don’t often feel like my life is unfair. But that day was my birthday. I was miserable and try as I might to think about all the people who came around me and showed love and blessed me, I just needed to cry for two minutes and then I fell right asleep.

And I think that’s okay. I woke up the next morning, still feeling miserable, but able to thank God for all his blessings and appreciate my friends and family more. Life is certainly not fair, and I’m so thankful because I don’t deserve what I have.

 
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Posted by on October 24, 2017 in blessing

 

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How Very Blessed

Sometimes, I don’t feel blessed. I can hear your gasp and see your shocked face…but it’s true. Sometimes, I feel like my life is awful and I just don’t want any more uncertainty and I want to go home. There are days when I just want to lay in bed and cry all day. Days when the problems of my friends get me down and inject stress into my life. Days when I long just to have my baby brother tell me he loves me and to feel his arms around my neck. Days when I don’t feel blessed.

Now, I realize of course that I am blessed. I have a wonderful family and I have a baby brother TO miss. I don’t have many of the fears and problems of my friends. I have a home to visit. I have tons of people who sincerely care for me. I have plenty of food and a warm place to live. I am blessed.

But, you know what? That isn’t enough. History would tell of millions of people who had all that and more but who weren’t happy or content. They were missing the greatest blessing of them all. The blessing of salvation.

But I have that. I have the assurance of things hoped for and I know the evidence of things not seen. I know my name is written down in the Lamb’s Book of Life and that his hand of grace and mercy is upon me in salvation. I know that the struggles of this life are merely a shadow and that the glory of eternity is mine. I know that my Lord is faithful and just to forgive my sins and that he remembers them no more. I know that my God reigns forever and that he listens when I call to him.

Sometimes, I don’t feel blessed. And sometimes, I just need to be reminded of how very blessed I really am.

 

 

 
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Posted by on January 17, 2014 in blessing

 

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My Devotions this Morning

Today, during my personal devotions I was reading 1 Kings 15-16. By this time, Solomon is dead and the kingdom is divided in two. I was getting into the part of the Bible where it mentions all the kings and a little about what they did during their reign.

 

“In the twentieth year of Jeroboam king of Israel, Asa began to reign over Judah, and he reigned forty-one years in Jerusalem. His mother’s name was Maacah¬†the daughter of Abishalom. And Asa did what was right in the eyes of the LORD, as David his father had done.”¬†¬† 1 Kings 15:9-11

 

I love it when I get to read about a good king because they are all so far and few between (I can only think of 3 at the moment)!  I kept reading and came to:

 

“Nadab the son of Jeroboam began to reign over Israel in the second year of Asa king of Judah…”¬† 1 Kings 15: 25a

 

And a little bit further:

 

“In the third year of Asa king of Judah, Baasha¬†the son of Ahijah¬†began to reign over all Israel…”¬† 1 Kings 15:33a

 

Again:

 

“In the twenty-sixth year of Asa king of Judah, Elah the son of Baasha¬†began to reign over Israel…”¬† 1 Kings 16:8a

“In the twenty-seventh year of Asa king of Judah, Zimri¬†reigned seven days¬†Tirzah.”¬† 1 Kings 16:15a

“In the thirty-first year of Asa King of Judah, Omri began to reign over Israel…”¬† 1 Kings 16:23a

“In the thirty-eighth year of Asa king of Judah, Ahab the son of Omri began to reign over Israel…”¬† 1 Kings 16:29a

 

It was at this point that I suddenly noticed that Asa was STILL king of Judah even though there had been SIX kings of Israel!¬† I’ve noticed in the past that if a king only reigns for a little while (for instance-¬†3 days!), it is usually because this statement followed their name:

“did evil in the sight of the LORD.”¬†

However, when the Bible records that a king did what was right in the eyes of the LORD, it’s usually good news and that king often has a longer reign than the evil kings.¬†This just goes to show that God blesses those who worship him.¬† I’m not saying that nothing bad will ever happen to a righteous person, because that simply isn’t true!¬† All you¬† have to do it look at the New Testament to realize that.¬† However, the Old Testament is full of verses that promise God’s blessings on those who keep his commandments and follow after him.¬† Of course, the ultimate blessing will be eternal life with God but I think God also blesses his people on earth, too.¬†

Maybe it’s not with great wealth, maybe it’s with joy, family, or just the peace that only¬†he gives.¬† I’m so thankful for God’s blessings!

 
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Posted by on April 17, 2013 in blessing

 

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How (and why) I Babysit

I started babysitting soon after I turned 13.¬† It began with my siblings. Of course, you know, if you can handle your siblings, every other kid will be a piece of cake. My parents would go out on dates or to bible study together and I would watch the youngins’.¬† I always knew exactly where they were going and had the usual phone numbers.

Then I started getting requests from other parents.¬† I got lots of questions about how much I charge and I always gave the same answer. “Nothing.”¬† I loved the stunned looks on parents faces.¬† That’s right, I don’t charge anything to babysit and never have because I look¬†on it as a way to bless people.¬† Now, of course, people don’t allow you to babysit for free, so they always gave me something, but it never mattered how much it was. In fact, this one¬†mom I babysit for doesn’t usually pay me in cash. I often watch her kids when she goes out shopping with her mom and she always buys me something as a thank-you. I’ve gotten scrapbooking¬†stuff, a Vera Bradley lunchbag and shower caddy (for camp!!!), tea mugs, candles, ect. I love it!!!

I’ve babysat¬†overnight (or for a few nights!), for bible studies¬†within my church and for other churches, for parents wanting to get¬†away for a few hours, and for moms who need to¬†take one child to the emergency room (you know who you are)! ¬†Watching my siblings has somehow changed over the years. Now,¬†WE kick the parents out on a date!¬† I hardly ever know where they are going or when they will be back, unless they’re going to be out REALLY late.¬† It’s really funny when your five year old brother will beg Mom and Dad to go on dates!

I love to babysit! Kids are hilarious and it’s a great way to bless others.¬† Rebecca can’t wait until she’s old enough to babysit!¬† I started writing a book for her on the topic that contains all my knowledge and advice. I better hop to it or she’ll be old enough before I know it!

 
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Posted by on February 20, 2013 in blessing

 

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