"Because of the LORD'S great love we are not consumed, for his compassions never fail.
They are new every morning, great is your faithfulness." Lamentations 3:22-23

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Evidence of God's Love

I've been wanting to write this blog for several weeks now, but I keep putting it off.  It seems that I keep getting these little nudges from God.  I actually had a little nudge just this morning so no more putting it off.

It was a couple of weeks ago; actually a few days before my birthday.  As my birthday approaches I do tend to get melancholy and reflective.  I know this isn't a good thing but it happens nonetheless.    I often find myself thinking at times about the "whys" in my life.  Please, don't misunderstand, I wonder and ponder but I've learned not to dwell there. 

This particular Monday I was wondering about why it is that Bruce and I will never be "empty-nesters".  Everybody we know, or so it seems, is experiencing this chapter in their lives.  The kids are going to college, their kids are getting married or starting new jobs and moving away.  In my own mind I am fantasizing how these couples will be able to  do all the things that empty-nesters do; travel, have great adventures, walks after dinner, retire, downsize,spend time together.  But not us.

This is so hard to articulate because I don't want anyone to misunderstand.  We love Ben and we are so grateful for the life that he has and the lives that he's touched.  But, to be very honest, I do have days when I do wonder.....what if.....

I know and believe that this is God's sovereign plan and even though I don't understand His purposes, I do trust them completely.

I share those feelings so that you can appreciate what God did for me that Monday a couple of weeks ago.  Even in my weakness and self-pity God reached down and touched my soul to the core.  And although I didn't actually hear him audibly, He spoke loud and clear to me.

That morning I was feeling a little sorry for myself.  Mondays are actually not my best days anyway.  I reserve those days for trying to recuperate from the weekend.  I got dressed, yeah!, and then got Ben up and dressed and we head out to lunch.  Unfortunately, a mood like that doesn't help your attitude or disposition.  So, Ben and I head off to Zaxby's.  I turn in the parking lot and someone actually had the audacity to park in "my" space.  Sometimes a sense of "entitlement" accompanies self-pity.  I parked in the "other" handicap parking space.  We get out and go in and low and behold someone is at "our" table.  Well, not actually at ours but right next to it.  This is our table because it's just so easy for Ben to pull right up and we don't have to navigate through all the other tables.  So, the man wasn't exactly at our table but in "my" space. 

I get Ben settled at the table and wait to see what he wants to eat and this man says something to us, probably "Roll Tide" since that's what most people say when they see Ben who is usually decked out head to toe in Alabama paraphernalia.  But, I'm in no mood and just smile and hope he'll go away.

I order, get our drinks, napkins, ketcup, etc. and finally sit down.  This man is obviously finished and in no hurry at all to leave.  And he begins to talk.  I don't remember exactly everything he said but we did talk about Ben finishing at Jeff State and hoping to get a job at a local university in the athletic department.  We talked about Alabama football and Coach Bryant.  We talked about his son who is a Catholic priest in some county in North Alabama.  We talked about his brother who is a baptist and told him that the water Jesus turned into wine was a different water back then.  We talked about the disciples and how God chose men that were so very different but such regular joes.  He was very easy to talk to and by this time I had definitely warmed up to him.  Maybe I was praying he had connections somewhere and could get Ben a job!

So by this time Ben has finished up and me and the old man are winding up our conversation.  So I get up to go refill our drinks and this man walks by me on his way out and stops and says, "I really admire you and I want you to know you're doing a great job." With a huge lump in my throat I try to get out the words thank you.

At that very moment in my heart, in the deepest part of my soul, I felt the overwhelming presence of God speaking to me.  That man said his name was Hartsfield.  To me, that day, he was an angel sent from God.  Wow, God showed His love to ME.  To me, as I was loathing in my own self-pity.  God in all His grace and mercy said, I love you, I know what you're going through and I'm right here beside you.

Thursday, February 21, 2013

The Desire of My Heart

Several weeks before our anniversary, I told my husband, Bruce, all I wanted for my anniversary was dinner at Highlands Bar & Grill.  Highlands is a very, very nice award-winning french restaurant in downtown Birmingham.  I've been wanting to go for 27 years and finally decided that this would be the year.  In years past we've been very fortunate to be able to take a long weekend and go away somewhere; usually Nashville or Destin but this year all I wanted was to go to Highlands!

A few days after I told Bruce that this is what I wanted to do he said that he called the restaurant and they were booked solid for Thursday, Friday and Saturday night.  Thursday night I could totally understand seeing as it was Valentine's Day and all but Friday and Saturday, too???  Well, so much for those plans.  We decided on a movie and dinner afterwards, possibly Waffle House.  No kidding.  We both love Waffle House and Ben hates it.  What better opportunity than when he's not with us.

On Valentine's Day, the day before our anniversary, Bruce calls and says that he saw on Ben's FB page where someone had posted that they had a reservation for Highlands Bar & Grill and weren't going to use it and wanted to know if anyone was interested.  Bruce not really sure if this was legit asked me about it and I said sure go ahead and message them and see what they say.  Come to find out, this man's son and our son, Ben, were in the same kindergarten class and this man remembered Ben.  (Who could forget Ben!!) 

He told Bruce that weeks out before big days like Valentine's he'll make reservations at places and then ask his wife where she'd like to go.  He'd made a reservation at Highlands and Flemings and she chose Flemings.  (Been there, didn't like it, yeah, I know....weird, huh?)  Anyway, we took his leftover reservation for Friday night at 6:45.

Interestingly, this man told Bruce that as he was doing his devotional that morning the Lord really impressed upon him to be a blessing to someone that day.  He offered this reservation to a young man he was mentoring but he also declined. 

I know and believe in my heart that God intended it for Bruce and me that night.  Sure, He could have just let Bruce call the restaurant and make a reservation but that would have been too easy.  God wanted us to know, He wanted ME to know that He truly loves me even when I feel so undeserving and wants to give me the desires of my heart no matter how small it may seem.  I won't forget the day God poured out His love on us and I wanted to put this in writing for prosperity so that we won't forget this very special time.

Not all days are like this.  Some days are very disappointing and things don't work out the way that I think they should.  I get really frustrated and discouraged.  But, even on these days I KNOW and BELIEVE that God is in control and it will work out.  Not today but eventually because He does love us and wants to bless us.

I'm just thanking God publicly for such a awesome show of His grace on us.  The dinner was absolutely wonderful and I can't wait to go back!!

"Delight yourself in the Lord and he will give you the desires of your heart."  Psalm 37:4