Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Where's the Beef?

And my God shall supply all your need according to His riches in glory by Christ Jesus.  Phil. 4:19
We have all done it one time or another.  We overspend in one area and we suffer the consequences in another.  For my family, it was a vacation.  It had been four years since we had visited my husband's family two states away, and being the loving, generous man that he is,we insisted on picking up the tab several times during the week.  Needless to say, it left for some creative grocery shopping for me now that we are back.
I hit the grocery store, carefully planning how I would fit all the items I needed into the small budget.  At the checkout of the first store, I could hardly suppress the apprehension that was coming over me as I saw how little was left to buy meat.  As I was thinking about what store I would go to next, the cashier to told me about a woman who had purchased $145 worth of meat for $35.  She insisted on looking after my cart while I went back to the meat section.  Apparently the meat department had overstocked and they needed to clear the meat before the dates stamped on the packages.  I came home with 12 packages of ground turkey, 6 whole chickens and 4 top sirloin steaks...all under $20!

The man in the meat department explained the sale as a fluke.  I explained the sale as a divine oversight.  This afforded me the opporutunity to share about Christ's love and His provision for us with him.  Weeks ago, when meat orders were being placed the Lord knew that this day would come and He knew the needs that my family would have.  "Wouldn't you like to get to know this God who loves you and is concerned about your every need?"  I asked him.  Then I encouraged him to know Christ through taking time to read a chapter a day in the book of John.

Monday, October 11, 2010

Strength to do ALL Things

"I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me"  Philippians 4:13
There are times when a supernatural dose of strength is needed.  Day to day, it manifests itself in different forms.  Sometimes it is the strength to step into the bathroom and scrub all the shower tiles...other times it's the strength to face one of your greatest fears.  This year I have come head-to-head with a towering giant, the health of a parent, and today I have found myself in considerable weakness.  In these times of frailty, God is accessible.  The pages of the bible offer comfort and His Spirit gives me the peace I need to stand firm upon the hope only He can give.

But what about those who don't have this strength?  Where do they go when their world is falling apart?  "When my heart is overwhelmed; lead me to the Rock that is higher than I" Psalm 60:2.  These are the times I realize what a blessing it is that I know Christ, personally, and the fire is fueled in me to lead others to the Rock that is higher than I.

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Delighting in Carne Asada

Behold, how good and how pleasant it is for brethren to dwell together in unity!  Psalm 133:1
Until my brother went to Iraq and my father was diagnosed with cancer, I don't think I truly realized what a gift I have in my family.  I guess I would liken it to breaking a limb.  You are grateful for all your body parts, but you don't fully come to appreciate them until one becomes incapacitated.  Then you come to the realization of how blessed you are when all the parts are functioning normally.  When the possibility came up that I could lose one of my family members, my mind flashed back to all the family gatherings we had shared together; Thanksgiving, Christmas, Easter...  Did I spend the time loving and sharing with my family, or was I concerned about petty things?

Last night we had a BBQ at my brother's house.  There was no particular reason for us to get together, but we were all there.  My husband, children, mother, siblings and their spouses, nieces and nephews.  It was pure bliss, listening the the noise of steady conversation, laughter, children shouting, little feet running back and forth.  Appreciating the qualities that each person contributes to the dynamics of our family.  My brother's humor, my sister's love for children, my mom's constant nurturing, my brother-in-law's servanthood....

I want to teach my children to appreciate family.  Not only to be thankful for one another but to truly know what a blessing it is to be a part of a whole.  Today I need the ablilty to reflect a heart of appreciation in my home that transcends the ordinary.