Friday, February 25, 2011
Most of us know about the first miracle Jesus performed in His ministry. In John 2: 1-11, Jesus's mother, Mary, asks her son to help the hosts of the wedding solve a major faux paus for their culture. There is not enough wine for the guests. I love it that Mary goes to her son to ask for help. I do not doubt for a moment that Mary forgot who this amazing person was, yet she was still His mother and did not hesitate to ask for His help.
Jesus even cautions His mother, "Dear woman, why do you involve me? My time has not yet come."
Mary doesn't miss a beat though. She turns to the servants and says, "Do whatever He tells you." She submits to Her son's approach and has faith that whatever method He uses will be right.
She was right, too. The wine Jesus created was not just any wine. The master of the banquet questioned the bridegroom because he did not know from where the new wine came. He said, "Everyone brings out the choice wine first and then the cheaper wine after the guests have had too much to drink, but you have save the best till now." Jesus' wine was the best.
Jesus provided for the needs of the groom and bride. He provided the best for them.
Today, I was challenged to look at my desert times of life. In context of Exodus as the Israelites left Eygpt, they took with them gold, silver, jewelry, clothing, and oil given from the Eygptians. They had spent over 400 years in slavery with very little of their own possessions.
When God's timing came ("He remembered his children"), the Israelites left with plunder beyond their imaginations. Later in Exodus, God asks for that plunder to become an offering for His glory.
Like the Israelites, after battling the areas of slavery in my life, after my desert times, what is the plunder God has given me? One author encouraged me to write the plunder or riches of God I gained as a result of those times.
I was amazed by the list. Included in my list were my daughter, adopted from China late in my life, and having time to know and believe God more deeply.
Yet, like the Israelites I admit I often whined in the desert. (Yes, whined. You are seeing the connection and play on words now aren't you? I knew you would.)
Praise God for performing yet another miracle. He plans are the best for me. His plans are for good, not evil. He took my WHINING and turned it into water, water for a planting of oaks of righteousness, a planting of the Lord for the display of His splendor (Isaiah 61).
What about you? What riches have resulted from your desert times of life? How has God transformed your own whine into praise? Join with me today in thanking Him for continuing to transform.
For His glory,
Thursday, February 24, 2011
Dear Reader, be patient with me tonight. Someone needs this Scripture and picture. I don't know which one of you or why, but here it is.
This morning during my Bible study time this Scripture from Psalm 63: 7-8 really stuck out in my mind. As I reviewed other Scriptures I kept hearing the phrase over and over like music, "sing in the shadow of His wings." I thought what a picture of this earthly life.
We are asked to give thanks in all things even though we can not see the reasons why or the hows or the face of God. Often though, we see the shadow of His love through nature, through friends and neighbors, through family, through His Word.
So for someone who is needing encouragement tonight, or perhaps God is preparing me for such a time, remember, "O Lord, because You are my help, I sing in the shadow of Your wings. My soul clings to You; Your right hand upholds me" (Psalm 63:7-8).
Sing, sweet Sister in Christ. If only just to make Satan unhappy and to please God, sing. You are not alone. You are in the shadow of His wings.
For His Glory,
Tuesday, February 22, 2011
I just came from listening to yet another wonderful lesson from Kelly Matthews, a speaker for JOY Bible study in the St. Louis area. She always challenges women of all ages and walks of life as we pray to discover God's will for us.
Today she shared the image of a work of art unveiled not too long ago in Chesterfield, Missouri,called "The Awakening." Kelly was present when the unveiling occurred and talked about the mixed reactions of people gathered around the statue.
"What in the world? Why did we spend good taxpayer money on this?"
"Is he being pushed into the ground or being lifted out?"
"Is this a spiritual comment?"
I personally enjoy the work because I see it in context of truly awakening this year spiritually. God is doing so much in my walk with Him. I am so very grateful.
Much like the picture though, my own awakening isn't pretty. My face may have shown anger at times, grief, sadness, confusion, and even surprise. My hands, unlike the picture, were often clenched and my heart closed.
-But thank God for His patience as He pulls me out of the strongholds of life to new life with Him, to a new perspective.
Thanks, Kelly, for sharing God's Word with so many women this morning.
Thank you, God, for desiring me so much that you patiently tug and tug at my heart for An Awakening.
What about you? Is your spirit awake today or are you going through the motions? Have some quiet time with Him no matter how busy your schedule, won't you? He waits to awaken your soul and commune with you today.
For His glory,
Sunday, February 20, 2011
Well, I have heard of this happening. -The whole idea of God's special timing and last minute surprises. -But it has been awhile since I saw one happen so overtly in my life.
It is on my heart to share this with you, Dear Reader. Perhaps you need to know it can and will happen for you, too. -Or perhaps you need a reminder of a thank-you-note in case you already had it happern?
Whatever the reason, here goes.
I have been whining. (Yeah, you noticed, huh?) I wrote this blog as a result of my whining. I felt like I was wandering in between something in time and space. I could not get used to the idea of not being BUSY or PRODUCTIVE or feeling USEFUL, in short NOT WORKING! I have worked all of my adult life, and as I have shared before I have the pattern of being an "achiever" since grade school. Check lists and goals are part of my daily activity.
Retired while raising a 9-yr. old finds me wondering about my usefulness. The busyness of life was stilled. I began to doubt my self-worth. I just could not figure out what God wanted me to do and how He wanted to use me this past year. It has been over 12 months since my mother died. She lived with us while my family and I cared for her.
After her death, I was ready to sell the house and move far away. I could not bear the grief and the memories of her last year. I missed her. I also felt lonely and lost.
God chose for me to stay put. And wait. And wait. And wait. I admit that while I studied His Word and prayed daily, I still whined. -A lot! I came close to knocking down some doors for job opportunities. -Anything to fill my time and to feel valued again.
This past month, something changed. I surrendered. I told God, if this is what He wanted from me, then I would be thankful for this time. I would clean house for Him. Do laundry for Him. Go to the grocery store for Him. Take care of my daughter and husband for Him. If He did not want to use me in any other capacity, then I surrendered.
Shortly after that, a group of women met and they shared their idea of starting a Christian women's speaker series for our community. They asked me to be the kick-off speaker in three weeks. Oh, was I elated! That's it! That is what God wants me to do! I love speaking in front of large groups. I love sharing and preparing and planning. The lists and goals were back! I already had my power point presentation going in my head.
Then I heard it. "SLOW DOWN! Remember what I worked on for a year with you? Give this to me." I was stunned. After praying and reading the Bible, I was sure this was not what God wanted right now. So I met with the women and told them that I needed to wait. I so wanted to push forward and have it happen, but in my heart God was saying otherwise.
I didn't understand why. In spite of my confusion, a peace came over me about it. That same afternoon of saying, "Wait," another call came asking me to speak to other caregivers in our community about the book I had written. (It is about my mother's faith while battling Parkinson Disease.) This one felt right, and again after prayer, I agreed. Still, it was only a one-time speaking engagement. No long-term job.
In the meantime, something again started to change. I was driving home after dropping my daughter off at school and my heart was flooded with gratitude. I started feeling so grateful that I could drive a car. Then I started reading the Word once I got home. I was hit with the feeling of thankfulness for being able to read, to see. It was as though every little thing I took for granted daily overwhelmed me. Much like the curtain in the Wizard of Oz, I felt I could see for the first time the truth. I have been given so much. Being able to wash dishes, vacuum, walk, talk on a phone...all those little daily routines are such gifts.
My mother would have loved to have been able to go to the store and shop for groceries, make her own coffee, run errands as she faced the inability to do so in her later struggling years.
I not only told God that it was fine if He did not want me to work, but I THANKED Him for the lack of work, the lack of a job. I not only THANKED Him but I felt my heart swell with gratitude. They were not just words.
It is the strangest thing to share with you. It is so hard to explain. I felt such happiness come over me and it did not go away.
Two days later, I was called for a part-time, temporary job. The person told me God put me on his heart. The offer could not be more perfect, nor more perfectly timed.
I am still praying about it before I jump in because I really want to grab it and rush in...again. --But I have really learned that His plans are for good, and it is best to submit to those plans up front rather than make my own plans and regret doing so.
So this is my THANK YOU NOTE to God. Thank you, God, again for all the amazing things I get to do daily like reading your Word, talking to You, listening to You, seeing my daughter's smile, feeling my husband's hug, hearing my friends' voices, reading texts, typing this blog, and yes, even cleaning my house.
Thank you, God, for bringing a job offer my way. I truly do not deserve it. If you wish me to do so, please, receive glory and honor through it, and remind me when I have to set my alarm once again not to whine. This is after all what YOU prepared me to do during this past year.
What about you? How is God preparing you for HIS answer to your prayer when HIS timing is right? Don't wait to write your thank you note for then. Give Him thanks now.
For His glory,
Friday, February 18, 2011
One of my husband's favorite movies is MATRIX. You know the one with Keanu Reeves being plugged in and used by a computer system? O.K. I admit, I have yet to figure the series out, but it was a fun movie. I remember as a high school teacher, most of my male students were enthralled with the premise.
Being plugged into a computer and liviing in the system seemed so far fetched, but not now. See the excerpt below from February's TIME magazine feature:
"Maybe the artificial intelligences will help us treat the effects of old age and prolong our life spans indefinitely. Maybe we'll scan our consciousnesses into computers and live inside them as software, forever, virtually. Maybe the computers will turn on humanity and annihilate us. The one thing all these theories have in common is the transformation of our species into something that is no longer recognizable as such to humanity circa 2011. This transformation has a name: the Singularity.
The difficult thing to keep sight of when you're talking about the Singularity is that even though it sounds like science fiction, it isn't, no more than a weather forecast is science fiction. It's not a fringe idea; it's a serious hypothesis about the future of life on Earth. There's an intellectual gag reflex that kicks in anytime you try to swallow an idea that involves super-intelligent immortal cyborgs, but suppress it if you can, because while the Singularity appears to be, on the face of it, preposterous, it's an idea that rewards sober, careful evaluation. "
(Read more: http://www.time.com/time/health/article/0,8599,2048138,00.html#ixzz1ELucDiY0)
(Did you smile at the author's notion that weather forecasting ISN'T science fiction anymore as he makes his case for artificial intelligent life taking over? I think St. Louis' last BLIZZARD forecast that brought in the NATIONAL GUARD and yet never happened shows a bit of arrogance in trusting the science of weather forecasting, don't you?)
I like the radio broadcast response I heard today about the article. People would rather put their trust in this possibility of hooking into computer software programs than in the reality of Jesus. Somehow, it is easier to trust computers than the fact of Jesus? Hasn't anyone had computer problems or had a computer shut down or seen the impact of too much faith in technology alone?
As long as man denies the Supreme Being of God, he will seek immortality through things. It is an interesting concept. It may even happen. I know when I was in high school, I was sure by 2011 we would be living like the Jetsons in the sky and flying our cars to and fro instead of driving. Instead more subtle yet powerful changes have occurred, haven't they?--Phones that are smaller than your palm, working on miniature computers, taking pictures with phones, 3D television sets at home, medical advancements, home appliances....
All of this can lead to pride in mankind. We lose the holiness and amazement of the One who Created it all.
Adrian Rogers once said that if we took the best qualities of every single human who had been on the planet thus far and combined them into one person, that person would still fall short of the Amazing Creator of us all. We still fall short, even with, or especially with technology.
Singularity. What a name for it. It is so isolating!
Praise God, I am already plugged into an eternal power. I will live forever. I am not alone as I face leaving this earth and journey home. The Holy Spirit lives in me and works through me.
Now that is NOT science fiction.
Join me won't you, in tellng our children and our children's children so they will be prepared for 2045's approach to immortality.
For His Glory,
Wednesday, February 16, 2011
I know you have heard all about the "Tiger Mom" who wrote a book about how to raise children with tough (some say cruel) love. Her interviews have been interesting as she expresses disgust with the soft teaching by American mothers and fathers in the U.S. Being Chinese, she shares how the tough approach by her parents prepared her for success in a hard world.
Many have become offended by her remarks. As a mother of an amazing daughter adopted from China, I am sure I am joined by others who wonder, "Am I too soft? Am I too hard? How am I preparing my daughter for her future? Will she be in therapy as a result of my parenting? or better yet...How long will she be in therapy for my parenting?"
Obviously, hearing this Tiger Mom proudly tell how she reacted to her daughter's hand-drawn picture for the mother's birthday by throwing it in her daugher's face and telling her she deserved better than that and to draw another one irked me. Hearing her little girl had to practice through dinner without food and water until she got her violin song perfect enraged me even.
Yet I do understand this "achiever" drive, and the mother is right about the world. The world is not nice. We in the U.S. have no idea what others in India, China, and many other countries struggle with daily, just survival. We are soft.
And as today's news about the teacher fired over a blog berating her lazy students, seems to reaffirm the "glory" of "telling it like it is," "being honest about kids today," "calling kids names."
What concerns me even more than the teacher's frustration and attitude for her students is that she is expecting her own child. Will she, too, be a Tiger Mom?
I am writing this because I, am a RECOVERING achiever. In my desire for affirmation and acceptance and reassurance from this hard world, I started by making lists and goals in elementary school. I continued by gaining two M.S. degrees and a Ph.D. I aspired to be the first female high school principal in a large, successful school district. I published articles. I wrote a book. I taught at two universities. (I even cringe sharing that with you now. In the past, I would have put this information first. God is truly changing my wiring about how silly it all was and fleeting and unsatisfying.)
I am here to tell the Tiger Moms of this world and the disgruntled teachers, it is never enough. Doing more, working harder, making goals are all nice things to do. People need to work and achieve the potential God gave them, yes.
But it will never be enough.
There is within each of us empty places still needing to be filled. If we live long enough we will find things, even lots of friends, fame, financial success, all of these will not fill those places.
Only the Holy Spirit, once we accept and acknowledge Jesus, can fill those places.
I know you agree with me. I feel badly for the Tiger Mom and the teacher. Their solutions and views leave out the love of God. It is only through that love of God people will change. It is only through His love the mother and teacher can remove their arrogance and remember how even they with their brilliance and plans and answers fall short without acknowledging God's mercy and grace as needed in their lives.
So, join me in praying for them and their children, won't you? Join me today as well in remembering that the world is often cruel but our Father is kind and good. He is with us and that is the most important lesson any child or adult can ever learn.
For His glory,
Monday, February 14, 2011
First of all, Happy Valentine's Day! I used to dread this day because I thought it was all or ONLY about romance. The in between times of being dateless or boyfriendless (no such word, I know), made watching my friends receive roses and candy all that much harder.
It really can be about so much more, I see, now that I am OLDer. It is just a day to remind us of love, the Author of that love and how so very much He sees us through amazing love. So, Happy Valentine's Day. Whether you received flowers and chocolate or jewelry or not, remember there is Someone who truly sees you as beautiful and adorable and loves you with a fierceness that required great sacrifice. He went to battle for you and won.
Now, on to what God has been showing me this past week and weekend. I have found yet another new book called, THE LAND BETWEEN. Ironic isn't it? Here I am writing this blog about the in between times, and this pastor writes a book very similar to the idea of the difficulties of life when we find ourselves in between blessings.
It is a great book though and not just because I think it mirrors my own thoughts. It does challenge me as well. Jeff Manion uses the exodus of the Israelites and their travels in the desert for forty years to review our own desert times.
One particular issue has me concerned. He talks about the dangers of complaining and questioning God too much. He shows how the Israelites went too far. There was a breaking point with God in their questioning and complaining that resulted in no one from the original exodus being allowed to see the promised land, only their offspring.
I always wondered about their constant complaining in the Bible. I mean they are taken out of slavery, across a sea, given food and water, yet complain throughout. Manion helps me understand how very like them I am. He tries for example an experiment on himself to understand their "manna" complaints.
Jeff enjoyed a particular breakfast bar of chocolate and toffee. He decided to go one week only eating those bars for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. He barely made it. By the second day, he was remembering the smells and texture of other food rich in taste and smells as he crunched on his now bland breakfast bar.
Like Jeff, the Israelites were given food daily, manna. It means, "what is it?" They had to gather it each morning as it came on the ground with the dew. They ground it and made cakes. Soon they complained once again as they desired meat.
They longed for meat they remembered even as slaves in Eygpt.
Manion points out that the Israelites, like us, were acclimated to the Egyptian culture. Even though we are citizens of heaven, we are acclimated as well to our world's culture and get used to seeing and doing things "not heavenly" as a result. I have to watch what I read and see on television for example. I can easily slip into a world view that certain lifestyles are to be tolerated and even accepted. I can become numb spiritually.
The problem with the Israelites was not their constant complaining or questioning even, but that they refused to remember His goodness and even learn from God's discipline. They rejected God when they claimed that He had only saved them to destroy them at the hands of the Canaanites. They rejected the many times He had saved them, had spared them.
They also rejected His discipline. The quail (sorry state of California, I think this is your state bird?) was God's answer to their complaint about manna. They wanted meat. Well, as you know in Numbers, God sent them so many quail it was impossible for them to eat it all! "He sent the mother of all quail migrations their way....'Now a wind went out from the Lord and drove quail in from the sea. It brought them down all around the camp to about three feet above the ground, as far as a day's walk in any direction. All that day and night and all the next day the people went out and gathered quail. No one gathered less than ten homers. Then they spread them out all around the camp'"(Numbers 11:31-32).
Manion says this is like a truckload. No sooner had they started eating the quail that the Lord struck them with a plague, killing many people.
This is harsh discipline, isn't it? Manion points out that the Land Between is "painful terrain to traverse....Our actions, reactions, and overreactions can compound the situation." Our stubborness in refusing to trust God, to believe that He is a good God, can make our situation worse.
In the Land Between, God is very interested in the people we are becoming, Manion concludes.
"Be careful what you ask for," I've often heard it said. I think the Israelites would also say, "Be careful what you complain about as well."
Does my complaining and do my desires show not just a human asking God for help, but a lack of trust in Him?
How hurtful that must be for His heart. Here He saves me by sending Jesus to endure the cross and death, and I have the gall, like the Israelites, to require more of Him?
I admit. Trust was an issue of the past. Today, I am a slave to doubt no more. God is good. Jesus loves me this I know for the Bible tells me so. My family and I belong to Him because He has lead us out of the Land of Eygpt and is getting us ready for the Promised Land.
I don't want to miss it by asking for the wrong things or by complaining and missing His mercy.
He came that you might have life and have it more abundantly (John). May your life today be full of Jesus. May you remember His amazing love and patience as you walk this in between time of life.
Happy Valentine's Day.
Tuesday, February 8, 2011
I tried to download a video of this song for you. The lyrics are so good. I don't think it worked (yep, I guess I am technologically challenged...STILL). If you can, google Fransceca Battistelli's song, "This is the Stuff."
I am not a pop rock person, but this catchy tune and lyrics have me humming and smiling long after I hear it. This song just captures the daily life of Christians who are in between significant events in life. I encourage you to view it or listen to it. The lyrics talk about how the daily things in life can help us forget how blessed we are to be in the present.
We can miss God's blessings as we wish IF ONLY or WHAT IF.
I did an exercise the other day that really helped me get past the cliche of "it is important to live in the present." I mean, I have heard "live in the moment" or "don't wish your life away" so often, haven't you?
The author of EMBRACING YOUR SECOND CALLING asked me to draw 3 circles: Past, Present, Future. The she asked me which one took most of my attention and fear and consumed my thoughts the most.
I have to admit the PRESENT came in LAST. Then she pointed out how the only place one can truly live in a relationship with God is in the present circle.
I think I have missed God's blessings in the present so often in life as I focus on the stuff: losing my keys, "call me cause I misplaced my cell phone AGAIN," going 45 in a 35 zone and seeing the police car behind me when I run late, preparing for tax time....
Instead, I am to look for what God has in the times I am most frustrated. I have been missing the blessings of being able to drive, go to the grocery store, clean my house myself, dress myself, hear my daughter laugh, read a book (even with readers), listen to a sermon on my Ipod, feel the cool air outside, see the sun peek through the clouds....so, so much I have been missing as I whine to God about the stuff of life.
Forgive me, Father, for missing your blessings each day. Forgive me for whining like the Israelites in the desert about the manna you have provided and the water of life you have given me.
How about you? What stuff is blocking your view of heaven today? Join me in counting our blessings, one-by-one, won't you? (and don't forget to listen to her song...she is so young, but it will really cheer you up...in the present)
For His glory,
Friday, February 4, 2011
The title of my blog (as you are aware) is about what it is like at this stage of my life to wait on how God wants to use me (or the in between time of life).
Today, I found an amazing book that echoes exactly my thoughts and feelings about this time of life! I heard the author for just a few minutes on Bott Radio (more specifically "Focus on the Family"). It is EMBRACING YOUR SECOND CALLING by Dale Bourke.
Just in the first chapter Bourk captures my fears about facing the last half of life (although living to 116 would be an amazing feat in itself, we still consider after 50 the last half of life, don't we?).
The author (Dale Bourke) shares how most women were told, "You CAN have it all. Don't waste your education. Aspire to be all you can and more! You can take care of family and career and achieve anything a man can!"
She describes how in her 30s she did just that. One particular crazy day in her life, she shared how as a young mom living in Washington D.C. she was called during dinner for an emergency meeting in L.A. Knowing the flight schedules by heart, she fed the kids, bathed them, put them to bed, got a flight and a red eye back so she could be the room mom during St. Patrick's day at school, got to LA, ran to the mall before the meeting, bought St.Patrick's Day decorations, shipped them FEDEX to the school, did the meeting and got back in time for car pooling the next morning.
She said she realized that today if someone called her to be in L.A. on such short notice, she would just laugh.
This part of life isn't easy either. She writes, "We are suddenly not so busy. In fact, we might even be feeling a little lonely. Where did all the noise and activity go? Where are all the people who once needd us? ...It is in this parenthesis, this time of reflection, that we are so very vulnerable."
I listened just yesterday to the past supermodels on Oprah talking about aging and laughing at plastic surgery results on aging models (yet, I swear they were puffy from injections and their eyelids were raised in constant surprise and their hair colors were beyond what 60 can do on its own).
We color our hair, buy creams, exercise, but the fact is every day we wake up, and we are aging, and quite frankly, some of us are now old. I know I am.
I like the new idea though that this author offers. She says, "if you listen carefuly, you will hear a whisper. It is not the cacophony of advertisers telling you to hide your wrinkles. It is a whisper that says you are being called to something new. It is a gentle voice that seems to say, 'AH,NOW I HAVE YOUR ATTENTION.' God doesn't care if we are sagging, graying, or aching....how much estrogen we have or if our falling arches have moved us from stiletto heels to Birkenstocks. ....the fact that we are becoming less physically attractive may be jus the way he wants us."
Anne Morrow Lindbergh's quote is also poignant, "Perhaps middle age is, or should be, a period of shedding shells; the shell of ambition, the shell of material accumulations and possessions, the shell of ego."
What I really like, Dear Reader, about this author is that she does not sugar coat any age nor the sadness of aging, the loss of physical beauty and abilities that once were taken for granted.
She does not stay there.
She calls us during this parenthesis of our lives from success to significance (Bob Buford's book Game Plan for men used this idea and she likes it for women as well).
She claims God wants us to know that the best is not behind us. He is calling us to step up the the challenge and to leave the past behind!
As we have come to a point in our lives where something is different, where the silence in our homes may be deafening, where our purpose seems purposeless, where loss replaces love, we feel out of control and wonder how to fill the rest of our lives.
"He will whisper to us NOT in the mad rush and fever of our striving and our fierce determination to be someone, but rather when we are content to rest in him, to put ourselves into his keeping, into his hands."
Naomi is the Bible woman this author admires most. Yes, Naomi became bitter and wanted to change her name even, but who would not? She was happy and HAD IT ALL! Then suddenly, while living in a foreign land, her husband and sons die leaving her at an age she could not remarry or start over. Her daughter-in-laws loved her dearly. (That tells you a lot about her relationship, doesn't it?)
Naomi did not lose her faith. Yes, she blamed God. She told her daughter-in-law that God had dealt her a heavy blow. Naomi did not give up though, especially for Ruth. In the end she ends up caring for her grandson who became the grandfather to King David and you know whose relative he was....
"It was not because of what she did the ine first half of her life but because of what God did through her in the second half."
I like this book. (Can't you tell?)
And yes, I will stop using the parenthesis now. I know you have noticed my not-so-subtle use of them in illustrating my point. We are taught in English class that these expressions are side comments and not as important to the text of the story. However, in math class, these symbols give direction to the user for the order of operation and are crucial in solving problems.
I like to think this part of my life is more mathmatical. This parenthesis part of my life is finding the order God wants me to have in the sudden silence of aging.
I hope you join me in reading this book. It is exciting to see what NEW THING (Isaiah) HE is going to do in this ( ).
For His Glory,
Wednesday, February 2, 2011
Yes, today is Groundhog Day. Yeah! I am certain your internet is filled with pictures of "Phil" and the happy news that spring is just around the corner because he did not see his shadow.
Here in St. Louis, though, the sun sparkles the blowing snow from our trees in the air like fairy dust.
A beautiful sight...yet even more beautiful is the sight of the blizzard that wasn't.
I am happy to say I did not need the generator that was stolen from me at Home Depot. (Well, I really hadn't bought it yet, but was getting ready to do so when a desperate person took my cart away...so in a sense it was stolen....)
The National Guard has left and the regular programs are back on television. I really did ask God to move that blizzard (never had there been one predicted in St. Louis history until yesterday)or just stop it in its tracks so no one would be hurt.
It was amazing to watch the computer-generated swirl of white on the television screen make its way from Kansas toward St. Louis throughout the day only to see it veer North and somewhat dissipate. I heard from many about their 8-12 inches of snow while I shared stories of our 3 inches of sleet and one inch of powder.
AmernUE reported very few power outages. 911 calls were few and far between. The highways and streets were mostly empty all day.
Soooo today I am praising God for sparing our community from power outages, accidents, and the need for generators.
Today, as I see the sun, I do wonder about St. Louis' groundhogs and our future weather. I must admit, though, I hope I have learned my lesson about putting my faith in man and tending to panic rather than trust in God for His protection.
Nope, I won't put my faith in groundhogs today, (sorry, Phil, and Bill Murray). I will try my best to trust God and His plan for us today.
Speaking of plans, today is also New Year's Eve for my daughter who is from China. Like traditions for groundhog day, we have fun with dressing in red, sweeping the house, handing out red bags with Chinese coins, and feasting while saying, "Gong Zee," (my pronunciation only..sorry). We will have firecrackers(or sparklers) tonight and enjoy two weeks of feasting on wonderful Chinese dumplings and noodles (trying not to break them as we slurp). The dragon will dance once again and the Year of the Rabbit will begin.
In our hearts, though, we will remember (like the song), we will remember the truth of Jesus. He is no myth. He does not produce fear or panic in our hearts. His peace is ours. His love is real.
Blessings and Gong Hay Fat Choy,