RSS

Tag Archives: pray

No Heat Produces Faith, Faith Produces Heat?

Those that know me know that I love to sleep in the cold. Not like 50 degrees cold, I’m the person who keeps her window open all winter long. I froze my water bottle shut one night this winter and I have frozen a whole cup of water in my room before. Not that I like BEING cold- I like to pile on lots of blankets and snuggle under the weight of all of them. Now I have this magical thing called an electric blanket and I flip that on ten minutes before bed and then turn it off when I get in and everything is very cozy. I just like the air around me to be cold.

So ever since I moved into my apartment, my routine has been to go to the thermostat at night, flip the heat off, open my bedroom window, and crawl into bed. In the morning there is a very particular science to things. You see, while I love sleeping in 30 degree weather, I DO NOT love showering in that kind of temperature. So in the morning, I set my alarm for about a half hour before I need to shower and when it goes off, I reach over, close the window, dash out and flip the heat back on and crawl into my nice warm bed while everything heats back up. About a half hour later, my apartment is at a livable temperature and I can get up and shower. Works like a dream.

Yesterday, I did the same thing I’ve done every single morning. I dashed out, flipped the heat switch and crawled back in bed. I showered and it wasn’t until I was putting my shoes on about 5 minutes before I should be leaving for work that I thought, “Boy, it’s still kind of chilly in here!” So I checked the thermostat and sure enough: 57 degrees. I thought to myself that it sure was taking a lot longer than normal to heat up this morning but I didn’t really have time to think much about it since I had to leave for work.

It was a short but stressful day of work. Actually, it has been quite a long week and I’m ready for it to be over. Nothing big, just a lot of small things that piled up. As I walked home from work, I was freezing: it was 35 degrees and really windy and when I opened up my apartment door I was met with a blast of cool air. Grrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr. Not a very good welcome home. The temperature hadn’t moved since that morning.

I played with settings on the thermostat thinking maybe I had accidentally bumped one of them and sat in moody silence on my couch in my coat and hat for forty-five minutes, listening for the heat. It would kick on but then 4-5 minutes later shut off and the temperature wouldn’t change. Finally, in a grumpy, complaining mood, I went downstairs and talked to my landlord’s daughter, who said she would ask her Dad as soon as he was done with chemo for the day. Which just made me feel worse. To be fair, they did bring me a space heater, but when you have 9.5ft ceilings, that doesn’t do much.

So I decided to go for a walk, thinking that a brisk walk MUST be warmer than sitting in the cold. Wrong. I forgot how windy it was and several miles later, I arrived home again to my cold apartment with a very cold body and hurting head. I spent the rest of the afternoon curled under my electric blanket, very grumpy.

So this morning, I got up, and (not very hopefully) turned the heat on, and crawled back in bed as usual. Still wasn’t working and it was even colder. Finally I started crying. Don’t laugh- as previously mentioned, it’s been a rough and frustrating week. And I cried out, “Lord! Can’t I at least have some heat?! I just want to be warm! I’m so freaking cold!” And right then, I heard the heat kick on in one of its fake-you-out tricks. I’m pretty sure I rolled my eyes at my vent in disgust. About 15 minutes later I realized the heat was still running. This time it hadn’t kicked off like all the other times.

You know who I felt like? Job. But not Job when he is proved righteous and his friends proved wrong. Not Job when he says he hasn’t done anything wrong. Job when God says to him, “Uh, who do you think you are talking to me like that?” Yeah, I felt pretty small and I meekly said, “Thank you, Lord.” About 45 minutes later my apartment was at 70 degrees and the heat is still working. I checked with my landlord and the repairman hadn’t come out yet.

That was a pretty fast answer to prayer. Gosh, why wasn’t that my first response when I found that it wasn’t working?? Why did the prayer come out of desperation instead of being the first thought? I think that’s how a lot of believers live. Prayer is like our back-up resource instead of our first weapon. I want to be so close to God that talking to him about it is always what happens first. I don’t want it to be an after-thought. First thought, constant thought, all day.

 
1 Comment

Posted by on March 3, 2018 in prayer

 

Tags: , , , , , ,

Comparing Prayers

The other day during my devotions I was searching for a particular verse in Psalms and my eyes glanced over this verse instead:

O God, hear my prayer; give ear to the words of my mouth.” Ps. 54:2

I didn’t really think much of it until I was scanning again and came across this one:

Give ear to my prayer, O God, and hide not yourself from my plea for mercy!” Ps. 55:1

And then, honestly, the thought that flashed into my head was something along the lines of, “Why in the world does David ask God to hear his prayer? That’s so weird. Doesn’t he know that God is there with him?” Verses on God’s omnipresence and promises to hear us flooded my mind. There may have been a silent scoff in my head.

So I became a little curious and started looking up verses JUST in the Psalms on asking God to hear and very quickly was overwhelmed. There are so many! To name a few: Ps. 4:1, 61:1, 5:1-12, 130:1, 102:1, 143:1-6. In fact, it almost seemed that most of David’s prayers started out that way.

Suddenly I realized my arrogance in contrast to David’s humility. Of course he knew that God was omnipresent. Who couldn’t know that and still write Psalm 139?? I think David simply had an understanding of who he was and who he was praying to. How dare he (I) assume that the God of the universe would attend to his every summon like a genie in a lamp? So he asked.

That was such a bizarre thought to me. I don’t think I’ve ever asked God to hear my prayer before. Have you? Since looking all those verses up though, a lot of my prayers have started out like David’s. I know it’s not mandatory, but it’s a very simple, humble, and dependent way to start out my prayer time.

 

 
Leave a comment

Posted by on February 7, 2018 in prayer

 

Tags: , , , , , ,

Recent Thoughts on Bologna

Bologna has got to be one of the most disgusting deli meats around. I just don’t understand why people buy it. Why, with all the other good meat out there, would you stare into a deli case and decide, “Hmmm, well that bologna sure looks good! I think I’ll take a pound of that.”?? It’s kind of slimy and it smells weird and doesn’t taste good. MAYBE…if you have to eat it…you can fry it and make it edible.

You may ask where all these seemingly random thoughts on bologna are coming from? Some of you probably know that right before Christmas my doctor cleared me for work again. Although I’ve still been very tired and have constant headaches, I haven’t had any seizures since December 9th (Praise Jesus!) and so she gave me the ok to work as long as it wasn’t anything dangerous. When I asked for clarification, she told me not to go out and decide to be a lifeguard or anything like that. OH, ok.

However, with the privilege to drive still months off, my options were pretty limited. So I applied at a local, family-owned, IGA grocery store that is a 3 minute walk from my apartment and was hired right away. I’m currently part time because I wanted to start out slowly and see how it goes but he will bump my hours up as soon as I say the word.

At this store, each employee is moved from department to department so you pretty much get to work everywhere. I’ve worked in the meat room on grinding and packing, I’ve been cashier, AND in the deli. Which brings me back to bologna.

Did you know that bologna is actually one of the hardest deli meats to slice?? It is VERY slippery and so when it hits the blade, the whole meat tries to spin and instead of a clean slice of meat you get a shred of bologna. Turns out, no one in the deli really likes to slice bologna because it is hard. I found this out my very first day in the deli and promptly named that horrible meat my nemesis. But I thought to myself that surely not very many people actually order that stuff with all the other great deli meat that we sell.

Well, one day last week, it just so happened that I was in the deli all by myself because we were a little short on staff. It was probably only my third time ever working in there. The first person of the day comes to the counter and I cheerfully ask, “What can I get for you?” What do you think he said? A pound of Eckrich bologna. I had to clamp my mouth shut before something popped out like “Seriously??” or “Are you sure?” I gave a very fake smile as I pulled the meat out of the case and carefully unwrapped it, looking desperately around for someone to help me out of this situation.

It was as I was standing there trying not to drop a huge hunk of slippery bologna on the floor that I prayed what seemed to me the silliest prayer ever: “Lord, please help me slice this bologna. Please don’t let it shred.”

Did you know that slicing deli meat is actually very nerve wracking? Some people are very particular as to the thickness of their meat and they stand there and watch you with every slice. I placed the bologna on the machine, still praying, and turned it on. My first slice came out so perfect that I cried out loud, “Haha! Thank you, Jesus!” like a little girl. I’m not quite sure what my customer thought but I kept praying as I sliced and I only had one that shredded. Whew. I felt like I had run a marathon.

All that to say a couple things: 1. No prayer is silly and prayer does work. 2. Next time you are at the deli, do yourself and the employee a favor and order some salami instead.

 
Leave a comment

Posted by on January 27, 2018 in work

 

Tags: , , , , , ,

Refining Gold

I always tried to be a helpful child when I was younger. I liked to make people happy so was usually eager to be accommodating and obedient. Sometimes I took this method a little too far. For instance, when I was about 5 or so, I remember coming home from an evening church service with my family and I heard my Dad say, “Did I leave the stove on??” Always one to be helpful, I eagerly exclaimed, “I’ll check!” and placed my hand flat on the burner before anyone could stop me. Turns out, it was on and I burned my hand and learned a good lesson.

I was thinking about that story recently as I heard someone referencing a verse in the Bible that talks about God refining us. There are actually quite a few verses on the topic and I got to wondering how hot a refiner’s fire was anyway? I’ve been around a lot of fires and sometimes I turn my oven up pretty high…how hot does a fire have to be to melt metal? So I did some research. Turns out that to melt gold a fire has to be anywhere from 1600-2000 degrees F. Whew! (Guess I won’t be doing any of that in my kitchen…)

And the more I thought about it, I realized the huge significance of those verses. One of my favorites: “The crucible is for silver, and the furnace is for gold, and the Lord tests hearts.” Prov. 17:3 The parallel drawn here is pretty clear as the author compares the method of refining metal to how the Lord tests and refines our hearts. Suddenly it became apparent to me that it’s not a pleasant parallel. The more I read about refining, the more I realized that I didn’t want that done with my heart! It’s hot and it hurts! It’s not a fun process and that’s why it’s so important to have God’s perspective and not ours. Right now, I just see the temporary pain and loss but according to God’s Word:

According to his great mercy, he has caused us to be born again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, to an inheritance that is imperishable, undefiled, and unfading, kept in heaven for you, who by God’s power are being guarded through faith for a salvation ready to be revealed in the last time. In this you rejoice, though now for a little while, if necessary, you have been grieved by various trials, so that the tested genuineness of your faith—more precious than gold that perishes though it is tested by fire—may be found to result in praise and glory and honor at the revelation of Jesus Christ.” 1 Peter 1:3-7

All that to say this: every year I pray for a specific thing that I want God to teach me that year. In 2016, it was compassion and we all know how that turned out. This year, I prayed for the Lord to give me a richer prayer life. You know what happened? I moved to an apartment by myself, I was under rest orders from my doctor, and wasn’t even able to read my Bible for a while. My only resort was to talk to God.

I know what I want to learn in 2018 but I am actually terrified to pray for it. I have truly seen that God answers prayers but not in the way I expect and I am afraid for this one. I’m not sure I’m ready for the heat of this fire. I want to learn true and full contentment in Christ. I want him to be my life and the fulfillment of it. Right now, I often feel restless and discontent because I want my life to be how it was before. I want my old life back and the more I realize that isn’t going to happen, the more upset I become and I don’t want to live like that. I want to embrace the life God has given me even if it’s not what I would have chosen for myself.

I don’t make New Year’s resolutions but on January 1st, that is what my heart will be crying out and what I will continue to pray for the entire year. Would you pray with me?

 
Comments Off on Refining Gold

Posted by on December 16, 2017 in contentment

 

Tags: , , , , ,

The Miracle of Life

When Mom was pregnant with David, she haemorrhaged and we thought she had had a miscarriage.  As my Dad rushed her to the hospital, he hurriedly told me what happened and asked me not to tell my siblings.  There was a reason for this. It was 2 or 3 days before our big family reunion and one part of the family was coming in that evening.  He didn’t want the others to worry.  He wanted them to enjoy our cousins that live at a distance and we don’t get to see very often.  I cried buckets but somehow managed to hide them from my sisters. (Well, except for Caroline asking one time, “Are you crying?!”  What are you talking about, you goose?)  I had wanted this baby so bad!  I LOVE babies!  I was heartbroken at the thought of that little baby dead.  Our family arrived and I quietly told my aunt and uncle what had happened.  Their response: “Your mom is pregnant?!”  I guess they missed the memo.  When my Dad came home a while later, I was in another room.  All I heard was, “The baby’s okay!”  I think that is the only time in my life that I have literally fallen on my knees and thanked God!  I was so very, very thankful!!!  As it turned out, Mom had to stay on bed rest for the rest of the pregnancy and some months later a healthy, tall baby boy was born.  I praised the Lord for His goodness to me!

David is THE baby.  He has the funniest, cutest way of asking for things that he almost always gets it.  Come on, just look at those dimples.  Who could refuse them?!

On February 29, 2012, I sat David at the computer so he could play his ‘special school’ games.  A minute later, I walked over to find him slumped against the back of the chair and his arms were jerking.  His face was turning purple.  “Mom, come here!” Caroline casually walked over to see what was going on.  “Coming!’ called Mom, but it didn’t sound like she was moving real fast, so Caroline and I yelled together, “NOW!”  She ran in.  We originally thought he was choking because I had given him a piece of bread and it was sitting on the desk near him.  Mom told me to go get Dad who just “happened” to be home that week.  As I was coming with him, Mom yelled, “Call 911!”  Dad grabbed the phone while Mom gave David the Heimlich to get him to breathe.

Rebecca came in the room and after one glance at what was going on, she ran sobbing to her room.  I ran after her and hugged her as we cried together.  We prayed over and over again for God to protect David and help us.  I had to leave her to help Mom.  The ambulance was on its way and David was semi-conscious. It was at this moment that I gathered my wits and remembered that I had set MY bread on the desk when I found him in the chair.  He wasn’t choking.  He tried to walk but just stumbled around.  Just as the EMTs entered our house, he lost consciousness.  The thing that settled me the most was when they walked in the room.  They asked what his name was and then while listening to his heart one said, “Hi David!  We’re here to take care of you.”  They quickly took him in the ambulance with Mom and Dad followed in the van.  At that moment, I stopped crying.  I knew that I was in charge now and if I was an emotional wreck, Becca and Bethany would be too.  Caroline was the worst -she loves David very much.  I called our dearest friend to tell her but I had to leave a message.  I then called our pastor and his wife.  At the time, they lived right down the road from us and she came right over to talk to Caroline.  Then she sent it through our church’s prayer chain.  And some other friends sent it through the homeschool group prayer chain and their churches’ prayer chains.  And it seemed that within 15 minutes, everyone in the county knew about David.  There were so many wonderful and concerned calls from friends to tell us they were praying for us and if we needed anything, just to call.

Through many tests, we found out that David had a seizure.  For a while, I felt kind of guilty that I hadn’t remembered right away that the bread sitting there was mine.  I knew David would have bruises from the Heimlich Maneuver.  I felt like that until Mom told me that one of the doctors told her that that helped him to breathe again.

While he was in the hospital and after he was moved to one farther away, Caroline and I took care of the girls.  We slept in the living room together at night and one night, we spent the night at a good friend’s house.  They missed Mom a lot, especially Becca. She is such a Mommy’s Girl!  But there were lots of calls to Mom (even with the cell phone breaking in the middle of all this) and we kept ourselves busy to keep their minds from worrying. He spent 2 days in the hospital.

David has had many seizures since that day.  In fact, he had one just three days after he got out of the hospital.  This time he spent four days in the hospital and we were able to visit one evening.  It was so nice to see him and give him lots of kisses and hugs.  He hasn’t had another one that caused him to stay in the hospital. With each seizure, they kept increasing his medicine dose.  Finally, now, 6 months later, we have completely controlled all seizures and seizure activity.  Praise the Lord!  

It was quite an ordeal. In fact, even as I write this I am crying.  But God is good!  He’s always in control! I can see ways that we have grown closer together because of this and I praise the Lord for it!

When I look at David, I praise the Lord.  I praise Him that He gave David to us and that He protected him through the seizures. This serves to remind me every day of the preciousness of life.  It reminds me of the miracle of life.

 
Comments Off on The Miracle of Life

Posted by on August 27, 2012 in about me, brothers, family

 

Tags: , , , , ,

Some good news…and some bad news.

In May, we got a trampoline.  All of us kids bought it. We had worked hard on selling jelly at our homeschool co-op sale and we also had a yard sale.  We love our trampoline and it was so fun to earn it together.  Someone is on it every day, if not all of us.

Today, I was on our trampoline with Caroline and David.  David had been making up all sorts of interesting games (“Kimmy, you are the salt, Caroline is the pepper.”).  He got off and found this light piece of material which he rolled up and said was his baby.  He then brought that on to the trampoline, laid it out, and told us not to step on his ‘baby.’ Caroline, who can be a little competitive, immediately said, “Alright, Kimmy, first one to step on the baby looses.” She gave me a grin and started to jump.  After her second jump, she tripped right over that baby and fell flat on her face.  I was laughing so hard I didn’t realize at first that she was crying.  This was VERY unusual.  Caroline never cries, especially in front of people, unless something is seriously wrong.  She was holding her ankle and sobbing. I quickly told Becca to run and get Mom.  Her ankle started to swell at once.  Bethany prayed for her as I helped her to the car and David prayed too.  Mom is taking her to the hospital right now.  We are sure it is either a serious sprain or it is broken.  Please pray that God will give her peace of mind and will give the doctors wisdom.

So you may be asking…WHAT is the good news?!  Well, a friend of ours has some crutches we can borrow!

 
Comments Off on Some good news…and some bad news.

Posted by on August 21, 2012 in injury

 

Tags: , , , ,