Lessons in the Layoff

I remember the day well, October 7, 2019 — I was at my sister’s for a ten day stay with my nephew while she and her husband went on a mission trip to Macedonia. Kevin texted with the news that he had been laid off. We were fourteen hours apart, my sister was about to leave for the airport and I just wanted to go home. Teary and in disbelief I grabbed a notebook and wrote down everything he said; my mind was scattered and I knew when we hung up I would forget all the things he said. Severance, amazing. Benefits continued, blessing. Call our financial advisor, good idea. Hiring coach provided, wonderful. But even in hearing this I still had many tears, a few sobs and a little panic.

Lesson One — Lean in and listen
Feeling a little unsettled, Kevin had been praying about his job for awhile, and he reminded me that the last word he had heard from God was to ‘Stay put. Stay on this path.’ Okay we did that, but now what? Kevin said he planned the next day to be a time of fasting; he would go into a state park with his bible and a notebook, walk and sit in the quiet and seek to hear from God. Of course — lean in and listen for God. I knew at that moment we would be okay because Kevin wasn’t going to go forward in his own strength or wisdom, though he has much of both, he was going to be still and lean not on his own understanding.

Lesson Two — Go visit your Father
I waited the next day for the fast to end and Kevin to call. I tried to not rush him through what he was saying but I was anxious to hear what God had said. What’s next? I was wondering. Where do we put our feet? What do we do now? I couldn’t wait to hear what God said.

And here’s what God spoke to Kevin’s heart, I’m glad you’re here spending the day with me.

Of course. The Lord was happy his son had come to spend time with him, to be near his Father; that Kevin knew who to go to before any decisions or directions were taken.

Though I hoped for a billboard with a map in the woods that day, what we got was far better; the reminder that sometimes God wants us to just come and visit. He wants to know we love him for him, not for what he delivers. Can you imagine if your kids never just snuggled up with you, climbed in your lap, or if they only called when they needed something from you? Once again, I felt a peace wash over me, God is with us, we’ll be okay. The what, when, where, why and how could wait. God had led us to this job six years ago, and now it was gone, but we didn’t feel abandoned. Confused maybe, but trusting still.

Lesson Three — Its okay to not understand
When we moved to Michigan from Indiana for this job, I didn’t really understand it. We had just launched our last one to college, alongside a few close friends. I had planned to enter the empty nest season with walks and wine on the porch with one of my best friends who lived around the corner. But alas it was not to be. Instead I would move 80 miles away to a very small, but adorable and historic, town. And as it turns out our time here has turned into one of the sweetest blessings of our lives.

Six years ago I said I don’t understand this move, it’s not what I imagined at this point of my life, but I trust it. I was sometimes lonely that first year, but I also had peace. And so it goes again — this is not what I expected at this point of our lives either, it’s not what I would choose, but I trust it.

I’m leaning in, listening, visiting my Father, trusting and peaceful as we enter this next unforeseen season. It’s not what I expected, but I do have peace and I still trust what’s next.

Momma, You’re Doing a Good Job

Momma bird 2015There’s a new momma in my midst and I’m so excited to be watching her closely, encouraging her along the way. This little bird created a home for her babies right outside my bathroom window; it’s been such a treat to keep an eye on her. I open the window each morning
s l o w l y,  as to not scare her, greeting her each time I see her, saying things like ~


“Good morning, momma, you’re doing a good job.”

“Hello sweet momma, you’re awesome.”
“Hi momma, your babies are beautiful.”
“Hi again momma, it’s just me, don’t be afraid.”
“Hey there momma, how brave you are!”
“Hi momma, you’re beautiful.”
“Hey momma, I see you sitting on those eggs, caring for your babies.”

Then before bed I tell her good night and  s l ow l y  crank the window shut. She has no idea what I’m saying or even that I care for her, but I talk to her nonetheless, care regardless, and watch her as she protects, feeds and raises future flyers.

baby birds 2015Recently a big storm was brewing, I kept wondering how I could protect her; the shrub is not full of big summer leaves just yet, leaving her wide open to the elements. The idea of big rain drops pelting down hard on her made my heart  hurt a little. I understood an umbrella would blow away and anything I did would just scare her anyway. (I really tried to think of ways to protect her!) My concern for her increased, though I knew she was created to withstand storms and such.

This morning I walked away after greeting her and suddenly wondered how many ways am I the momma bird to God? I wonder how often He greets me but I do not understand. I wonder how many times He sees storms coming, desires to protect me but knows that is not necessarily His job, how often He looks at me and tells me I’m brave, awesome, beautiful and doing a good job ~ but I just don’t understand the message. I’m considering how often I miss His encouraging words as I sit on my nest, watching over and taking care of the future flyers put in my charge, within (and now outside) of our nest.

If you’re a momma sitting on your nest and you’ve ever wondered if anyone notices you – know that someone does. If you take a pelting as you shield your little ones, know that God has His eye on you ~ I find strength in that. If you think you’re not enough, God says you are. The days you believe the voice that says that you are lacking in looks, know that your Father says, Hey my girl, you are beautiful. When we feel weak our Father whispers You are strong. Being a momma is tough stuff some days, joyful others, lonely occasionally, sad sometimes, fulfilling often. I believe my God sees me and speaks words to me that are above my understanding. This sweet little momma bird has me searching His word afresh, wondering what those words might be and has me listening a little more closely.

He Can Move the Mountains

In the course of our adoption journey, when I have been at the end of myself, with nothing left to give and seemingly nothing at the bottom to even scrape, God would give me this song ~

Everyone needs compassion
a love that never fails
let mercy fall on me…

~ and something within me would stir. When at church, I’d glance at our angry boy standing in the front row, right across the aisle from our pastor, and despite my anger, frustration, sadness or emptiness, I knew those words were true.

Savior, He can move the mountains
My God is mighty to save
He is mighty to save

I could feel the mountain inside of our boy’s heart and mind. It was a massive, seemingly immovable barricade. The weight of that mountain and it’s jagged cliffs were hurting him, and me, and the rest of our family. It was impeding forward movement.  Each time I heard those words I was reminded God could move that mountain, that He was mighty to save.

So take me him as you find me him
All my his fears and failures
Fill my his life again…

Those are the words I would sing.

Shine your light and let the whole world see
We’re singing for the glory of the risen King…

In my darkness I could sing for the glory of the risen King.

In October of 2012 my husband flew 1,500 miles with our boy, leaving him in a program that was to allow him time and space to mature and heal. 1,500 miles away. In a foreign country. On a mountain. It was the next thing that was presented to us in our journey. It was not what I had expected. It never occurred to me when we adopted him that we would send him away. But maybe, just maybe God knew He could trust us to make this hard, right choice. I don’t know that, but I wonder.

CMA ChurchMany months later when Kevin and I flew down for our first parent visit, our boy was still angry. The last day of our visit was a Sunday and we went to church with him. The church is on the campus of the academy; a simple but beautiful little church. The pews face a wall with a large window, and out that window is a stunning view of a very large mountain. As I stood next to our boy with his own mountain, the visual was not lost on me. An obscure verse we read on a screen recently while visiting a friend’s church in Denver  ~ which spoke to me about our boy ~ was now put up on the screen in this little church facing the mountain, while I sat next to our boy. “OK, God, I see you.” I thought. Then the worship team led us in “Mighty to Save”. My heart lurched and tears streamed down my face, I put my hand compassionately over our boy’s hand with a love I hoped would not fail him; he stood there rigidly. But I was at peace because I sensed God was once more affirming that He was in this whole thing.

Even with this perceived affirmation I wasn’t confident we would ever see this mountain move. But I also knew my Savior had the power to move it. I prayed through that song that God would take him ~ with all his fears and failures and fill his life.

When we returned home my heart was heavy. That first Sunday as I stood in our church I pictured our boy in his church so many miles away. My mind wandered to that mountain out the window and the one within his heart. Then our worship team led us in “Mighty to Save” and tears streamed, I was reminded once more that my God is mighty to save.

On March 22, 2015, after two years and five months, in which our guy   s l o w l y   completed the program, he stood next to me in our home church once more, no more than a few inches separating us.

I quickly had this little conversation with God as we stood to worship:

God,
I know you brought our boy home. I know it’s true because he’s standing next to me. But right now, right here, it would be really cool if our worship team led us in “Mighty to Save”.

Wait…sorry God, it seems I’m always asking you, “Please give me a sign so I know that it’s you.”  I don’t need another sign. I have it ~ the sign is life size and standing next to me. Only YOU could have moved the mountain within this boy. I am grateful. I do not need more of a sign than that.

I started thinking of God telling Moses “…this will be the sign to you that it is I that have sent you: when you have brought the people out of Egypt, you will worship God on this mountain.” Genesis 3:12

I was at truly satisfied and at peace.

And then our worship team launched into “Mighty to Save”. I felt my knees go weak and there was no stopping the floodgate of tears as my husband reached for my hand. How could God be so compassionate to me? I don’t deserve it, yet he takes me as he finds me, all my fears and failures and fills my life with the lyrics and timing of this song again and again. How Great is our God?! Oh yeah, we also sang a chorus of that at the end of Mighty to Save.

Thank you, God for your compassion and love that never fails. Thank you for your faithfulness and providence over these many years and in the years to come. Thank you for the healing you have done in this boy that you grafted into our family. May we shine your light and let the whole world see, we’re singing for the glory of the risen King!

(We’re on day 8 of the reunification and it’s going well. He has matured much. He actually wants to be here now. He finally trusts us. He’s letting us in. I’m not naive, I’m aware there are likely to be challenges along the way, but with the mountain moved, the journey likely won’t be on such rugged terrain.)

Mighty to Save by Laura Story
How Great is our God by

I could not send her

“I love Ava so much, mom. I just couldn’t do it…”

Ava's bornMelissa, our very close friend (really more family member than friend) had her first baby in August and we have all been over the moon in love since. We’ve loved Melissa for many years, my kids consider her more of a sister/aunt/friend. When she and I try to describe our relationship its like friend/sister/daughter. When she met her husband we felt like we all had to approve (and we did!) and when Melissa became pregnant we all knew something special was going to take our relationship to a new place. And she did – Ava arrived and we all flocked to the hospital to meet her, with Kevin even driving 90 minutes to come meet the little bundle of love within hours of her arrival.

Erin & AvaWe’ve had the joy of seeing Ava a lot since she was born and we have all fallen so in love with her. A few weeks ago Erin was rocking Ava and talking about loving her so much. She went on to talk about God loving Jesus even more. She looked at Ava and said “I love her too much, I couldn’t send her to earth to live, suffer and die that way. Even to save all mankind. I just couldn’t do it.”

So we talked about how much God must love us to have sent His son, the One He loves, to earth ~ knowing that many would reject him, that for some this suffering and death would be meaningless. Which took us back to looking at Ava…if you knew EVERYONE would come to the saving grace of Jesus, then could you do it? She still wasn’t sure. What about knowing for many her suffering and violent death would be meaningless. No, we were confident we couldn’t send her. It’s a love we cannot comprehend.

Nativity AvaA few weeks ago our church put on Breakfast in Bethlehem – it was beautiful, stirring, joyful and brought Christmas close. And guess who was baby Jesus? Yep…Ava. When Mary, holding Ava baby Jesus, and Joseph walked in the room and down the isle with their donkey, tears quickly dropped from my eyes…”This is a taste of it.” I thought. So innocent. Just a baby, here to save mankind. Then Erin, who was a tall shepherd tending to a little shepherd walked down the isle. When she stopped to bow and worship baby Jesus I was again overcome with a tiny morsel of the real story ~ just that week Erin had changed “baby Jesus” diaper, now she was bowing to “him” as her Lord.Shepherds Are these some of the things Mary pondered in her heart?

The Christmas story got real close and personal to us this year. Our hearts literally not comprehending this amazing love that cost so much. I’ve found myself seeking more the real meaning of Christmas and resting more in the peace of it all instead of the lists that I tend to create. None of that will make it Christmas ~ it’s a pure and simple scene I am gravitating toward. The story that makes Christmas real and has the potential to bring us all up real close and real personal to our Savior. Merry Christmas to you all.

Some of these photos were taken by myself, Melissa and Keepsake Portraits & Design

thankful and centered

Last night our family (at least the small remnant that still lives at home) went to a Gratitude Service at our church. I remember the first service like this we attended – it was held on the eve of Thanksgiving. A portion of the service was to sing songs of thanksgiving to God for who he is and all he had done. There were also open microphones set up in a few places and people got up slowly but surely to share what they were grateful for.

I remember thinking that the eve of Thanksgiving didn’t seem like the most convenient time to take a break and go to church, after all there were pies to ready and stuffing to make, among other many details. But sitting in a peaceful candlelit service reflecting on and thanking God for all he had provided suddenly felt right, natural, and centering to my soul. Last night as we sat in that gratitude service, my heart was pounding – the multitude of blessings I have to be grateful for is stunning. I felt overwhelmed as I slowed my thoughts to truly consider some very specific things for which I am thankful.

This is the time of year when it can seem like the whistle has blown and we’re off and running, running , running. Planning this and stressing over that. Shopping, wrapping, baking, counting the days – and not necessarily in the Advent season kind of way, more along the lines of “I’m running out of time and still have so much to do” kind of way. I’m intentionally going to take some time to just “be” even in the midst of all I will also need to “do” over these next 30+ days.

This week I am encouraging you and me to intentionally take some time (that we are sure we don’t have) to really pause. Take some time and space to feel the gratitude that already exists within us; sometimes I’m so busy fluttering around in this life that I find myself many times acknowledging but not really feeling gratitude. I felt it last night – and it centered me once more.

At some points this season may we each find ourselves centered and grounded while much (even the very hard stuff that we do not understand) swirls around us. May you and I make a way to speak our grateful thoughts out loud and express them to each other, as well as to the Lord.

Not to be Mocked

All through the Skype session last week with our youngest and his therapist, these were the thoughts going through my mind ~ This isn’t going well. He’s disengaged. He doesn’t seem to care. He’s apathetic. He’s responding but with no conviction. This is where he spirals and sabotages progress. He’s so close to the next level, but could blow it this week. Oh my goodness, help me Jesus to help him see something new. It was an emotionally exhausting hour.

At the end of each session, he and I get 20 minutes alone to just talk. Most weeks, at some point I pull out my all-time favorite devotional My Utmost for His Highest by Oswald Chambers and read to him for that specific day. It’s bizarre so God-like how the days seem to match up perfectly each time I read to him from the book. So last week with nothing else to say during our alone time, I suggested we look at September 17th in the devotional and see what it says. It was once again amazing.

After an hour of speaking wisdom, asking questions, listening for clues – all to seemingly no avail – I read the devotion for that day and everything changed. He got it – he was being tempted by something that matched his disposition perfectly, and when he gained that understanding he independently put together a three-point plan to address that temptation for the coming week.

To reinforce his plan I put this on my Facebook: Prayers requested for the youngest who has a temptation before him. Praying for God to strengthen his hands, mind and heart for the very important work God has him on the wall doing. (Nehemiah 6) He identified a way out – may it be so.Thanks friends.

I squirmed when hitting “post”. I struggled when many friends from far and wide said they were praying, and when many more hit that “like” button, letting me know they were in it with us. What if he falls? What if he chooses the very thing that his disposition is vying for him to do. What if he steps in familiar ways that set him back?

We’ve been down this road so very many times with our boy. Pleading with God. Endlessly asking others to pray for him. Years of waiting and hoping and praying, and praying and praying. Was it even worth asking for prayers for this one – for this week – for this temptation? What if the temptation is just too great and the report is “Thanks for praying, but he fell.”? What would that say about God?

Ahhhhhh…and there it was. The question I had to answer. ‘What does that say about God?’ It didn’t take long for the question to become ‘What does this say about me?’ What is my disposition vying for me to do? Was it to rely on God’s performance in this situation? What if our boy fell? Would that change who God is?

These words floated through my mind ~ God cannot be mocked. (Galations 6:7) True. I believe that. Whichever way this week goes, whatever our boy chooses, God will not be mocked. Someone may be trying to mock my faith, but God will not be mocked. So I spent the week rooting myself in truth. God is faithful. God has provided – in too many ways to count, our boy will get there, even if he takes the   l o n g   way home. Pray matters, in Revelation 5:9 it says …Each one had a harp and they were holding golden bowls of incense, which are the prayers of God’s people. So yeah, really…prayers matter. God will not be mocked. I may or may not understand what unfolds this week, but this week will have no bearing on who God is. It will reveal parts of our boy, and parts of me will be revealed, but it changes God not. So it seems our son wasn’t the only one being tempted last week.

I had no idea what I would walk into today when the Skype session began. I wasn’t surprised to find our boy’s spirit somewhat downcast, but as we talked through the hour, it was all good news. During the past week he had taken no action that set him backwards. It sounded like he stayed on the wall and did his work. As we attempted to convey to him that he is doing such good work, he seemed unconvinced,  saying “It’s just going so slow.” Yep. It is. But it’s going. We have forward movement, stay on the wall, I encouraged…you’re doing it. I cried. He seemed to wipe some tears.

Moving forward when you’re used to backward can feel unnerving, uncomfortable, unfamiliar. We’re not sure just where to put our feet and its tempting to put them back in the old tracks that have paved the way to where we are. Last week he overcame the temptation that was thrown at him, this week – of course – there is a new one. Maybe it won’t beckon so large, maybe he’ll feel more comfortable traveling in this new terrain, but we’ll be reinforcing him with our prayers as he slowly moves toward the place he is supposed to be.

And whatever happens next week and the week after that, in my life and in yours, in triumphs and tragedies…God will not be mocked.
He is good.
All the time.

Convicted

I really do love when this happens, even though it means something has to change. I have been completely awakened to the fact that I have an idol. It’s social networking in general, but Facebook specifically. I know…kind of embarrassing.

Let me explain, what I appreciate about Facebook is being able to see what’s going on in my village ~ sometimes I see someone needs a table, a book, or something else that I can easily provide. Facebook offers a place to encourage, catch up and even plan. I can post that I need a prayer, went to my workout, and more and instantly my village steps in to support and high five me.

The problem isn’t Facebook, the problem is me. For a long time my morning routine has gone like this ~ get a cup of coffee, drive Kyler to school, check email and Facebook, read the paper and then, if there’s time, read my Bible and pray. If I don’t have time, I promise myself (and God) that I will get to that Him later. I mean, I understand the importance and value of time with God. Or do I?

I think I do, each year for Lent I flip that routine and read the Bible and pray before I check in with my village through Facebook. I love the peace and intimacy I experience with God during that season. I put Him first and quite honestly, my day flows pretty nicely from there. Then Lent ends…and I move my idol back into it’s place. So I guess I don’t really comprehend the importance and value of time with God.

While reading Isaiah last week I was convicted. God called me out on my rebellion – yes rebellion. Isaiah 57:13 says When you cry out for help, let your collection of idols save you! Yikes! Although, through Facebook, my village helps, supports and encourages me, it is only God who can save me.

Isaiah 58:2 says For day after day they seek me out, they seem eager to know my ways, as if they were a nation that does what is right and has not forsaken the commands of its God. They ask me for just decisions and seem eager for God to come near them. ‘Why have we fasted,’ they say, ‘and have you not seen it? Why have we humbled ourselves and you have not noticed?’ “Yet on the day of your fasting, you do as you please…” Yep – that’s me, eagerly seeking God, asking for his decisions and for Him to come near….all the while, doing what I please – checking in with friends before checking in with God.

In 58:13 it mentions again not doing as you please or speaking idle words. Idle words…ah, got me again. Much of my time on social networking – and even some of my words there are just that, idle.

What God’s word spoke to me is that it is time to quit doing what I please in my daily routine. It’s time to do what I know, for me and for now, is right. As I swept the idol off the mantle and turned towards God, I have made a new way – I don’t spend time on Facebook until I’ve spent time with God.

What I’ve discovered is that I’m more centered, less idle and my days are more peaceful as well as productive. The truth is, sometimes I still don’t sit down with God until the evening, which means there are several days in which I don’t log into Facebook until the later hours of the night – which means my day was pretty industrious, not idle.Which is good.

None of this means I have been lazy and sluggish – but I do know that I’ve wasted too many minutes, leading to too many hours doing what I please. Though I love the connecting through Facebook, it ultimately cannot fulfill me.

Conviction, though often times hard, and sometimes embarrassing, is ultimately an act of grace, leading us back to right places. I’ve been convicted, but held up by grace.

Set Apart

Set apart from the everyday dishes

God has a thing about setting people apart by His grace and for His work. But I don’t think its exactly easy to be set apart – especially for our kids. I remember being a teenager, it was all about fitting in and not standing out. Being set apart can feel like being left out, and yet this is what I want for my kids.

During the course of their day, temptations and shifting boundaries are constantly in front of our kids. Using foul language, disrespect, cheating, ignoring or making fun of others, pornography, drinking, sex, lying, and more are coming at our kids constantly. I want, and expect, my kids to resist each of these. I don’t think it’s easy. I really don’t. I believe this is a hard road sometimes. In fact, my oldest has shared that having different standards has, at times, been very hard indeed.

Courtney’s Dishes

So I talk to them – a lot. We have spoken about pornography at our dinner table. I hate that. But we will talk about tough subjects until they become easy to talk about. I don’t want my kids to wonder where we stand on these subjects and I want them to be clear about our expectations. I want them them to know they have a purpose; that I believe God himself has set them apart.

Erin’s Dishes

One of the tools I use to let them know they are set apart is china. When each of the girls entered high school I gave them each one place setting and wrote a letter about being set apart. I knew these years would be increasingly difficult. In the letter I told them about attributes I see in them already that indicate being set apart. I remind them that practicing boundaries now will help them be more confident later in saying no. I gave them verses from the Bible regarding being set apart. I explained that the dishes were special – like them – and would not be kept in the kitchen with the everyday dishes, but would be set apart and kept in the oak hutch in the dining room.

I let them know that they can get these dishes out anytime they want, that they can use them for dinner, a snack, cereal, or even ice-cream. They can use them to remind themselves of their value and purpose. I also told them that sometimes they will find their dishes at the dinner table, that I will set the table with  them as a reminder that I am thinking of them.

Zach’s Dishes

I wondered what to give Zach, I wasn’t sure he would appreciate a set of dishes, but this summer I changed my mind, and I picked up one place setting of “manly dishes”. I decided that he should have a set too because one, I love the symbol that I can easily put in front of them, and two, I know the girls appreciate when they come to the table and find their special dishes at their place. I use these dishes as a quiet way to say I love you. I’m thinking of you. I think you’re special. I’m proud of you. I believe in you. Be encouraged, you’ve been set apart intentionally.

I can’t remember where I got the idea for the dishes, but I thought I would share it with you as it seems to be one my kids really appreciate. Feel free to share your ideas about how you remind your kids that they are special!

Searching….

My favorite devotional is My Utmost for His Highest by Oswald Chambers. I should read it daily, I do not. In fact, I have not picked it up for months, but I am searching, and today my hands found this book again.

Truth: The life we are leading as adoptive parents to our youngest is not one I anticipated. I am grateful for the refreshing that continues to be sprinkled in here and there, and I receive that refreshment as an act of grace directly from the hand of God. But I’m not gonna kid you, its draining to feel like we can do this, and then feel like I don’t know how we can do this.

There is the boy most people see who is charming, talkative, engaging, and there is the boy who puts holes & scratches in our furniture. Who steals, dents the new refrigerator, plays dumb for attention and more. The boy who can be violent towards us and who just wants his mommy…the first one God gave him. There is the boy who presents to others the clear answer…he just needs positive attention, but when we give that to him, we find all of the above damage and wonder when and why it happened. We have been working with professionals for the entire two years that he has been back, we are not doing this alone, and yet so often we feel alone in what we experience.

I know he was brought here by the hand of God. I know that. (Thank you God that I know that). But I don’t see the path to healing. I don’t know how to balance an ordinary life and this life that requires so much attention and focus on one child. I don’t know the answers, I don’t see the path, sometimes I don’t really like my reactions, and due certain new behaviors, I’m not even sure we know the direction.

Except . . . I do. And Oswald Chambers used Luke 18:31, 34 to remind me.
“And all things that are written by the prophets concerning the Son of Man shall be accomplished…And they understood none of these things.”

Here is the devotion that followed:
God called Jesus Christ to what seemed unmitigated disaster. Jesus Christ called His disciples to see Him put to death; He led every one of them to the place where their hearts were broken. Jesus Christ’s life was an absolute failure from every standpoint except God’s. But what seemed failure from man’s standpoint was a tremendous triumph from God’s, because God’s purpose is never man’s purpose.

There comes the baffling call of God in our lives also. The call of God can never be stated explicitly; it is implicit. The call of God is like the call of the sea, no one hears it but the one who has the nature of the sea in him. It cannot be stated definitely what the call of God is to, because His call is to be in comradeship with Himself for His own purposes, and the test is to believe that God knows what He is after. The things that happen do not happen by chance, they happen entirely in the decree of God. God is working out His purposes.

If we are in communion with God and recognize that He is taking us into His purposes, we shall no longer try and find out what His purposes are. As we go in the Christian life it gets simpler, because we are less inclined to say – Now why did God allow this and that? Behind the whole thing lies the compelling of God. “There’s a divinity that shapes our ends.” A Christian is one who trusts the wits and the wisdom of God, and not his own wits. If we have a purpose of our own, it destroys the simplicity if the leisureliness of which out to characterize the children of God.

So…that was a good word for today. Thanks, Oswald. Thanks God – for reminding me once again You have a purpose, and I am overwhelmed that you trust us for it.
Now off for a bike ride with him and his little brother. (Thankful that part of God’s purpose was that three of his siblings would be in a famly near to ours.)