Sunday, August 30, 2009

Faith Like a Child

I was looking at a website the other day and I ran across this link. I just loved reading the story of this little girl!! She's only 5 years old, but she was touched by the needs of the hungry people around her. She came up with a plan to raise money, and ended up raising enough money to feed almost 18,000 people! I don't think this is a Christian family, but it really reminded me of how the faith of a child is pure and simple.

"And calling to him a child, he put him in the midst of them and said, "Truly, I say to you, unless you turn and become like children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven. Whoever humbles himself like this child is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven." Matthew 18:2-4

Oh God, give me faith like that! To step forward, not knowing what the outcome will be but believing anyway.

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Loving hearts joined forever

I read a post the other day (thanks Kaylene for that link!) that brought back a lot of memories of things I've witnessed in my time working in hospitals. Some of the most beautiful, touching things I have ever seen are the old couples in the hospital. It's amazing to see the love they have for each other. So many people today just don't seem to love each other like that anymore. There is one story in particular that I think I will always remember.

I had never met this patient before, and I was completely shocked when I walked into her room that morning. I had never seen a patient so utterly wasted away as this elderly woman was--probably from cancer. She weighed only about 75 or 80 pounds. As one of the nurses and I worked with her, I literally felt like I was taking care of a skeleton. You could easily see every bone in her body. We pulled her to up in bed, and it was almost effortless because she was so light. Not only her body was wasted, though. She had terrible dementia, and couldn't communicate with us, recognize anyone, or understand what was going on around her. When we went back to the nurse's station, the nurse I had been working with told one of the other nurses, "Wow, did you see that woman? I have never seen someone look so terrible in my life! There is nothing left of her." Every time I went in that room, however, her husband was there, sitting by her side. If she was asleep, he would just watch her quietly. But if she was awake, he was whispering to her and softly stroking her hands. I remember one time walking in the room, and he was brushing her hair so, so gently. "She always loved it when I did this", he told me.

Later that day I was sitting at the nurses station, finishing up some paperwork. I heard someone talking and I turned around. It was the woman's husband. He was standing at the nurses station, going to each person in turn. In his hands he had a faded old black and white photograph of a beautiful young woman. Coming up to me he said, "Look at this! Wasn't she just the prettiest woman you have ever seen? That was my wife when I first fell in love with her." He sounded just like a little boy when he talked about her. He showed the picture to as many people as he could find to talk to, then he went back to her room to sit by her side again.

Monday, August 24, 2009


I read a couple of cute kid stories this week and I thought I'd share this one. I babysat on Tuesday for "my" little boys. Christian was at school most of the day, so most of the day it was just me and Cohen. He was so sweet. It was his 3rd birthday, and Mrs. Rebecca had to run some errands in the afternoon while he was napping. Well he woke up while she was gone, and he just sobbed like his poor little heart was breaking because she wasn't there. It made me so sad. :( I cuddled him for awhile and just let him cry. Then I started talking to him about a toy giraffe and telling him how funny he would look if he had spots like a giraffe. He finally cheered up and began to smile, and after that we had the best time playing together!!

I couldn't believe how sweet he was all day. He asked me to play a game with him, but I couldn't play until I finished the dishes. So I asked him if he could just play by himself for a few minutes. Well I did the dishes really quickly and when I looked back, Cohen was standing quietly by the game, not having moved and just waiting patiently for me to finish!! He never complained or anything. I have never seen a 3 year old boy do that! So I rewarded him with a big hug and a kiss and then by playing for as long as he wanted after that. :)

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Abundant Blessings

Since I've been out of town, I am just now catching up on my friend's blogs. Today I was really encouraged by reading about my friend Jennifer's "dreams, passions, and longings." Jennifer is the director of the Hogar de Amor children's home in Bolivia. I was so blessed to read her joy in this season of her life. The Lord "is able to do exceeding abundantly above all that we ask or think"!!! (Ephesians 3:20) Each season of life comes with its trials and hardships, but He is so faithful to lift us out of each one of them.

Here is one portion of that post:
I just had a neat tiny glimpse tonight that God was pretty involved to have set me apart to be right here, right now, no matter how much it pains me to feel my other lifelong dream of a dozen children of my own slipping away. Cuz I'm here, living "one adventure right after the other".

I definitely relate to her finding joy in even the times we would never have chosen for ourselves. When I was a little girl, I would have told you I would have been married by 19 (the same age as my mom was when my parents married) and have 6 kids by 30. I had so many plans! I'll be 22 next month and everything has been different from my original plans, but I would not change one step of the way. God has been so close to me through all these years! His way is so, so much better than our own. Praise the Lord--He is so good!

Thoughts of God and Heaven

I was out of town this past week attending a mini conference and visiting with good friends. It was such a wonderful time of renewal and refreshment! The whole time I was driving up there (about a 4 hour trip) I kept worrying that maybe I hadn't made the right choice deciding to go. After all, last week was my only full week off of school. But as soon as I got there, I knew that this was where I needed to be. The Lord used that trip to encourage me so, so much! I was able to fellowship with good friends whom I hadn't seen in a long time. We even kicked all the men out of the house, dressed up and had a tea party!!

We were staying at a house way out in the country, and my friend Susie and I went outside to look at the stars. Seriously, I have never seen so many stars in my life. We could actually see the Milky Way!! We stood out there, loving the beauty and worshiping God. Then it hit me.
Isn't it amazing how God shows us things so gently? He is so tender and loving toward His children. And that very same God created all of those stars--each one a sun of its own--by just speaking a word! Yet our Lord came down and gave His life for us because He loved us.

"When I look at your heavens, the work of your fingers, the moon and the stars, which you have set in place, what is man that you are mindful of him, and the son of man that you care for him? Yet you have made him a little lower than the heavenly beings and crowned him with glory and honor. You have given him dominion over the works of your hands; you have put all things under his feet, all sheep and oxen, and also the beasts of the field, the birds of the heavens, and the fish of the sea, whatever passes along the paths of the seas. O Lord , our Lord, how majestic is your name in all the earth!" --Psalm 8:3-9

What a wonderful God we serve!! I was amazed (once again) this weekend how He teaches me things in my heart, and then sends a preacher my way to re-emphasize or clarify it in a sermon. The messages were so good, and each sermon Bro. Don preached spoke to me specifically about something God has been showing me. The last message was about heaven and how we should long for it--something God has been showing me for over a year!! As much as I love being here on earth, serving Him and loving His people, I have an indescribable longing for heaven. I cannot wait to see my Lord face to face!!

Friday, August 7, 2009

Feasting on the Lord

Today I had a really good Bible study on 1 Kings chapter 17, and I thought I would share some of what I learned.

1 Kings 17 introduces us to Elijah. In the previous chapter, we meet Ahab and are told, "He...went and served Baal and worshiped him....Ahab did more to provoke the LORD, the God of Israel, to anger than all the kings of Israel who were before him." 1 Kings 17 starts out saying, "Now Elijah the Tishbite, of Tishbe in Gilead, said to Ahab, 'As the LORD, the God of Israel, lives, before whom I stand, there shall be neither dew nor rain these years, except by my word.' " Now what is interesting about this is that Baal was the god of fertility and the "storm god." By causing a drought, God proves that it isn't Baal who controls the skies, but the Lord God. The text notes in my Bible say, "[In the Baal worshipper's eyes] the absence of rain meant the absence of Baal."

The rest of the passage eloquently demonstrates God's care for His people. Because of his declaration, Elijah had to run for his life from Ahab. The only problem was, there was famine everywhere, affecting even God's people. But God's loving provision for His people is so merciful and rich! "And the word of the LORD came to him: 'Depart from here and turn eastward and hide yourself by the brook Cherith, which is east of the Jordan. You shall drink from the brook, and I have commanded the ravens to feed you there....And the ravens brought him bread and meat in the morning, and bread and meat in the evening, and he drank from the brook.' "

It is so wonderful to read this and know that the Lord would do the same for me as He does for Elijah--no, He does do the same things for me, every day. I may not literally be fed by ravens, but He feeds me with so much!! In the middle of the desert of this world, He gives me the bread of encouragement when He helps me with even the tiniest of things: finding my keys just in time, so I'm not late for work; giving me favor in the eyes of a boss or a teacher, and countless other daily blessings. And He feeds me with the meat of His Word through the wisdom of men who walk closely with Him and faithfully preach the truth, and through the Holy Spirit's teachings to my soul. What a mighty, yet loving, merciful God and Savior!!

And consider this--How loving and personal God is in His care for His children. He could have just sent Elijah to a place where there were animals to kill for meat and where wheat was growing for bread. But instead He allowed Elijah to see His overwhelming love and care for him. He did not even allow Elijah a chance to doubt that it was indeed the Lord who was providing for him! Later in this chapter, the Lord does the same thing for the widow. His provision for her left no room for doubting. And the widow lived in Zarephath--an area considered at the heart of Baal worship! But the Lord was so tender with her, even raising her son from the dead! After, listen to what she says: "And the woman said to Elijah,'Now I know that you are a man of God, and that the word of the LORD in your mouth is truth.' " She trusted in the Lord--because of the death (and then the raising) of her son! The Lord knows just what we need. His care for us is perfect!