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I Will Never Look at Cheese the Same Way

 

“And my God will liberally supply (fill to the full) your every need according to His riches in glory in Christ Jesus.” Philippians 4:19 (AMP), emphasis mine

 

Recently, my friend, Honey, and I were chatting. Honey and I have become best buddies over the last few months. She and her husband are the owners of Honeycomb Design Studio, the people responsible for designing this lovely website. Through all of my website woes and mess-ups, Honey and I have bonded. One day, as we were discussing my latest website predicament, she mentioned that she was making tomato soup for dinner. In my house, dinner is not complete unless there is cheese on the table.

“You should make grilled cheese sandwiches to go alongside it,” I replied.

“We love grilled cheese with tomato soup, but we are out of cheese,” my friend stated.

“Bummer…..life without cheese? I will pray for you…that God will send you some cheese.”

End of conversation

The following day, I received an email from Honey. The title of the email was ‘I have crazy news.’ I opened the email to find this……..

“You know how you said you would pray for cheese? My dad came over tonight with a trunk full of cheese…….eight giant blocks of cheddar and a giant box of goat cheese…over 50 pounds of cheese in all!!! It took four trips to the car to carry it all inside the house!”

Literally, I started laughing! I can see God listening to my friend and I chat about cheese. I can hear my Father saying, “Oh, this will be fun,” with a smile on his face. “They want cheese. I will give them cheese.”

It wasn’t about cheese. Honey had food. She was not in lack.

Yet, she possessed a small desire….a wish…..a thought of a grilled cheese sandwich with her soup.

He cares about everything, every need-big and small…..from cancer to cheese.

This lovely woman needed to see that her Daddy in heaven was near her…..listening…… longing to love her in the simplest way. Cheese was her hug from heaven.

“Lord, I pray for every person reading this……..that they will receive your hugs from heaven……….that they will know that you are near them………that you long to provide for them……that you care about the traumatic life-altering prayers and the small inner-wishes that the world calls ‘not important.’ I pray that they will breathe in the reality of your love for them…that they will feel your presence every moment, everyday. In Jesus’ name, Amen.”

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Superwoman

As a mom of three boys, I know superheroes.  I can tell you all about the masked people that climb walls to save puppies from a burning skyscraper, hover above a city in turmoil, and swoop in to rescue the baby from the villain’s grasp.  Here is another thing that I have learned about superheroes-in every superhero story, there is a moment when the good guys lose their superpowers.  They become an average citizen walking along the streets of Normalville-going to work, coming home, going to bed, and doing it again the next day. During this time the villains are in control of the city- creating chaos in Normalville.   

As a woman, I have days when I feel like a superhero.  I go through the day checking off my to-do list- soaking up wisdom from my heavenly Father, respecting and adoring my husband, nurturing my children, and blessing my friends and neighbors with random acts of kindness.  Those days are filled with worship music, nutritious meals, sparkling bathrooms, thoughtful thank you notes, childhood laughter cascading down the staircase, and a happy wife that greets her man at the door with a kiss.  All is well in my city.

 Then, there are days when my superpowers disappear.  I go through my day playing catch-up-rushing through my quiet time with Jesus, snapping at my husband for working late, yelling at my kids to “Stop YELLING,”  neglecting to call the friend that is going through a financial crisis, and thinking nasty thoughts towards the slow lady in the grocery line.  Those days are filled with bickering children, exasperated sighs, cries of “why me, Lord?”, and a few stray tears.     My city is crumbling. 

So what’s the difference, God?  Both scenarios have the same factors……same husband, same kids, same house, same values, same friends, same neighbors……what makes me lose my ‘superpowers?”

1 Corinthians 13:3 says this:  If I give all I possess to the poor and surrender my body to the flames, but have not love, I gain nothing.

Love is the difference.  Love helps me put on my “superwoman” cape.  I can go through my day accomplishing “great things” in the eyes of mankind, but if I have not love, then I have gained nothing. So, what makes the love disappear?  The Word says that He has given me love.  I know it is in me.  But, just like a faltering superhero, I can find myself struggling with my superpowers and find myself wandering around the streets of Normalville- feeling alone, tired, frustrated, and too busy. 

This verse shines light onto my antidote:

1 Peter 5:8:  “Be well balanced…..for that enemy of yours, the devil, roams around like a lion….seeking someone to devour.” 

 Being well balanced is the key.   Balance helps me to remain in love and to walk in peace.  When I am out of balance then I am opening the door for the evil villain to enter my city and wreak havoc.   I am opening the door for the devil to come in and devour the love and peace that my heavenly Father has placed in me. 

 

Balanced Superwoman:   Chooses to get involved with a few “great things” that her Father has asked her to do.  (Phillipians 4:13 says I can do all things through Christ.  It does not say I can do ALL things.  I only have to do the things God has asked me to do.) 

Unbalanced Citizen:  Chooses to get involved in every ‘good’ thing because someone has to do it.

 

Balanced Superwoman:  Asks for help and trusts her helpers to complete the job. (Acts 6:2-4)

Unbalanced Citizen:  Feels the need to have her hand in every project so that she can make sure it is done right. 

 

Balanced Superwoman:  Takes time to enjoy the people and tasks in front of her at that very moment, not worrying about the “next thing.” (Ecclesiastes 3:1)

Unbalanced Citizen:  Starts her day in “hurry-up” mode- constantly thinking and worrying about the next thing on her to do list. 

 

Balanced Superwoman:  Plans extra time in her day to account for unexpected things: a long meeting, an unexpected phone call, a friend in need. 

Unbalanced citizen:  Plans every minute of everyday- not wanting to waste one minute.   By the end of the day she is very far behind and stressed out. 

 

I love that Jesus has given me the path to being a superhero- the path to doing things that are outside of my comprehension.  I know that there will be moments when my superpowers begin to fade, when the villain tries to sweep into my domain, when I begin to go through the motions in Normalville.   But, I know that the Holy Spirit is faithful to remind me to choose love, to whisper to me to find balance, to encourage me to remain with my Father.  If I remain in Him, then His love will remain in me.  (John 15:9-12) Then, like all good superheroes, I will fly over my city knowing that all is well.  

 

My personal translations of 1 Corinthians 13:3

I can read through my Bible reading plan, lift my hands at church, and say “Amen” at all the right times, but if I am not spending time loving and worshipping my Father, then I have gained nothing.

I can make my husband elaborate dinners, keep a spotless home for him, and perform all the ‘good-wife’ duties, but if I cannot listen attentively when he gets home, cannot find time for a date night,  or cannot show him respect when he makes a mistake, then I have gained nothing. 

I can give my kids every opportunity that society says that a child needs-extra-curricular activities, a quality education, a ‘perfect’ house to reside in, but if I am constantly too busy to shoot hoops with them, cook them a special treat, or listen to their new joke, then I have gained nothing. 

I can teach Sunday School, volunteer for every committee, and donate to charities, but if I am constantly stressed out and complaining because I am too busy and tired, then I have gained nothing.

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My Big But

 “Now what I am commanding you today is not too difficult for you or beyond your reach.”  Deuteronomy 30:11

I have always had a big but.  No, not the fleshy area that protrudes from my backside.  I’m talking about the other but-the conjunction that cancels out the first part of your statement. 

“God, I give you my life, BUT not that.” 

“God, I trust you with everything, BUT not this.” 

“God, you are my rock, my peace, my comfort, BUT I’ll handle this one on my own.”

My But deletes everything that I previously stated. 

The story began when my oldest son was in preschool.  The question of how we would educate our children was on the horizon.  Public school, private school, homeschool……..the options were floating around in our brains.  Private school was not in our budget.  We had two options left, public school or homeschool.  At the time, my sister was homeschooling.  I had seen firsthand how life-changing homeschooling could be for a mom.  So, I said to myself, “I know that homeschooling is a good option for some people, BUT I can’t do that!”  So we enrolled him in public school.  Honestly, for the first two years, we were living the good life.  He loved school.  I loved his teachers.  He was excelling in all areas.  Then, it was time for my second son to enter kindergarten.  We decided to enroll him in the district’s pre-K summer school program that was designed to help kids adjust to kindergarten.  It was not the same heavenly experience, to say the least!  Continue Reading →

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