When someone you respect and admire corrects you, as much as it may sting a little, you take notice, don’t you? I would hope so! I did not realize that saying “Good Luck!” Or, “Good luck with that…” was so ingrained in my repertoire until this happened. And, how flippant that statement might be to others. Words are powerful! Think about it, saying good luck can connote to someone that you really do not care what happens, or what someone does, it really is all in the tone of how you say it. I was sincere when I said “Good luck with that…” to a woman from our church upon leaving her husband’s room in a nursing home recently. He was having a bad day and was a challenge to her at that time. That is when she promptly said to me, “I don’t need luck, I’ve got Jesus!”, and “We don’t need luck if we have Jesus!” She did not reprimand me, she said it in her usual jovial and positive, spunky matter of fact way, which I appreciated. However, her words stuck with me and I began to ponder that saying in light of scripture and God’s Sovereignty.
I have always believed that there are no coincidences in the Christian life. That everything happens as the Lord intended, as He allows, for such a time as this, for His glory, His purposes. There are no accidents in the Christian life, nothing is “by chance” God is sovereign. And that he cares about every detail of our lives. He knows each hair on our head. He wrote down the days of our lives before one of them came to be. He saw our unformed bodies, and knit us within our mother’s wombs. He knows the words we will speak before we speak them! Read Psalm 139 (my most favorite Psalm) and stand in awe of our Creator God, who loves us and cares about every detail of our lives. It is not by luck or chance that you are here to carry out the purposes He has for your life. Luck should not direct our lives, God should! Seek Him and find your true purpose in life, to Glorify God and enjoy Him forever! (From the Westminster Shorter Catechism).
Another trip around the sun. A friend gifted me custom pints of ice cream and one of the labels displayed this saying: “Another year sweeter” Super cute, however I don’t know about that. 😉 As I look forward to my birthday each year, this one is hitting me a bit differently than previous years.
As I gazed over at the side table in our kitchen that holds several b-day cards received this week, some touching, some funny, all of them thoughtful, and looked at the material gifts that I had received each day this week as the Lord so graciously ordained. My thoughts turned to my dad (and the fact that he is now gone from this earth as of Jan 6th this year) and the thought that the absolute best gift I could receive (from the Lord) was seeing a bluebird on my birthday. I wept at the thought. As, I have yet to see one since dad’s death.
As I woke up this morning (quite melancholy, knowing that this day will not be unlike most others unfortunately) after a restless night of sleep and continued my day as always, feeding the pups, reading devotionals and praying, making coffee, walking the pups etc.…It does hit me that even though my dad, Lou did not recall that Oct 7th was my b-day for many years preceding his death, which was super hurtful the first year that happened, it hit me that no one loves you quite like your parents. And, when they are gone, nothing will ever be quite the same. There is a deep void in our heart and soul that realizes, no one will love you in the same way your parents did. That is my experience now (in this moment) and I realize that will not be everyone’s experience. I was blessed to have parents that loved me despite my flaws, which were truly my biggest cheerleaders in this temporary life on earth. And, when they are both gone from this earth, it changes things, and that truly did not hit me until this week leading up to my b-day.
We entered 2021 excited for what was to come. Things were looking up! We had a goal, a vision, and a purpose that gave us great joy. We had it all planned out. Our amazing graphic designer, Preston, had created the artwork. I had sourced just the right garments. Our trusty local printer printed onto the amazing garments. We had created giftable items for folks who might be looking for something more than apparel. We spent several months curating, sourcing, and working towards our goal of launching THE most amazing thing ever. We had a plan; (we have learned over 5 years to plan far ahead of the seasons.) We even had a pop-up planned at a trendy store. We were super excited to launch this powerful, hopefully life-giving movement. Everything was on target.
Then…during a benign Monday night in early January, we got a phone call. For anyone who has ever been a caregiver, you know that when you see the facility name and number pop up on your screen, your heart drops a little bit.
In mid-March, Kansas declared that schools would close for the rest of the school year. Other states soon made the same determination.
Very quickly we started hearing terms like “Shelter at Home” and “Social distancing.” “Quarantine” was a word seldom heard these days…until now when we hear it daily.
The words “Pandemic” and “Plague,” although foreign and strange to the younger generation, engender memories giving rise to fear in the minds and hearts of the oldest among us.
Businesses and churches closed,
The economy faltered,
Violence at home is increasing,
and Deaths from the virus are reported daily.
Many of us have only seen times like these in movies or read about them in books.
and Discouragement is on the rise, exacerbated by the news reports and accompanied by weather fluctuations from cold and wintry to mild and spring-like and back to wintry again.
And we are all wondering, "How long???"
Nothing is certain except that nothing is certain.
I always love it when I read those words “But God” in my Bible. Often they follow bad circumstances or evil, offering hope to a situation that would otherwise seem hopeless.