When God Answers Your Unspoken Requests

Life has thrown an unusual amount of curveballs to me, yet I never seem to get an eye for them until they pop in the catcher’s mitt. Because of a series of curveballs, I wasn’t able to purchase my Mother’s Day porch flowers this year. The front of the house looked naked and ashamed without them. I felt like my home’s barrenness proclaimed, “There is no beauty here! Life is too hard for flowers, too uncertain for the permanence of plant life.” Every time I looked out my windows, the empty places where flowers had dwelt reminded me of lack and circumstances beyond my control.

One morning, while pulling out of my driveway, I glanced at my house with longing. “Lord,” I sighed, “I can not buy flowers, but if You could get me some, It would bring me so much joy.” I dared not speak these words out loud. That would seem too selfish. They were heart words, words I blurted out to my closest Friend and Confidant.

He knows, friends. He knows that when life seems void of beauty and your heart seems hard for lack of spirit rain that we need a little pick-me-up. He wants us to draw near; To communicate with Him about the things we would never reveal to anyone else.

I arrived at work that morning, full of lists and ideas, when one of the volunteers mentioned, “I’ve got a flat of impatients in the car. Does anyone want them?”

A smile so big it hurt spread across my face. He loves me! He hears me! He cares about my front porch being a place of abundant beauty.

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You see friends, now I look out my window and see frivolous abundance. I don’t look at the world through impoverished eyes because if He cares about my daily dose of beauty, then He cares about all of my needs.

Unspoken heart prayers are the ones I see answered most and with greatest ease. The Lover of my soul is always wooing me and calling me His beloved..and I dance; dance in His adoration of me.

Counting with Ann:

42. Gift unwanted: broken heart’s tears releasing floodgates of healing.

43. Gift unlikely: long response to letter.

Three gifts in His Word:

44. He has preordained good works for me!

45. Guidance. Luke 9-10

46. Love letters written to me…

Three gifts moving:

47. Fan cooling

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48. Trees in wave offering to their Creator

49. God moving on my life by moving the hearts of others.

Three gifts in your Dad:

50. Integrity

51. Holy

52. Just this. https://journeytoepiphany.wordpress.com/2012/06/14/in-my-fathers-house-toys-linkup/

Three gifts in your Heavenly Father:

53. His artistry

54. His love in the form of answered heart prayers.

55. His boundless wisdom.

Three gifts I became today in serving.

56. Deliverer: getting to deliver dressers to needy single mom!

57. Encourager: called a friend to encourage

58. One willing to make sacrifices: skipped lunch to accommodate friend’s and co-workers schedule

59. Getting up at 3 am to clean house

60. A gift sent: first check from Family Fire writing gig!

61. A gift beautiful: new art at Millennium Park.

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62. A gift loved: Time spent with best blogging friend, Once A Little Girl .

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Three gifts found in light:

63. His Word is a lamp unto my feet and a light unto my path.

64. Rare green traffic lights

65. Display of lightening.

66. (Extra!). Light dances.

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Finding beauty in three things that are difficult:

67. Being in true fellowship with others (always worth the effort)

68. Planning a major fundraiser at the same time as planning 2 new ministries and the Chicago Project.

69. Getting to spend time with the kids since I have no car….

…sharing a playdate with Laura:
and at a new place for writers Unforced Rhythms of Grace.

and with beautiful Jennifer Dukes Lee…
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And with my dearest Emily…

Making Pillars: Testifying to God’s Goodness

Jacob was not a nice person. Taking advantage of his brother’s hunger, he tricked his brother out of his birthright. He was a deceiver. That is what his name means. He willingly fulfilled his mother’s instructions to deceive his father so that he received the blessing that was rightfully Esau’s. Jacob was a swindler. He made deals with Laban, and then tried to influence nature against Laban, for his own prosperity. The only thing really endearing about the youth of this biblical character is his love for Rachel. Continue reading

The Polar Express Trip to Disney World – New Glarus Series

If you need to catch up on All Roads Lead to New Glarus click here.

The conductor called, “All aboard!” and I felt like a character from the Polar Express. Except that it was hot because I was in Florida, and it wasn’t Christmas Eve. But, just like the passengers of the Polar Express, we were on a journey of faith. Would we believe that God was a kind and loving Father? The face attached to the little hand I held was very serious, as if the conductor were some sort of priest, and the train a cathedral. We stepped on board, found a seat and covered ourselves with the blanket a stranger had given us on the first leg of this trip. Five year old J. knelt on his seat in the over-air-conditioned train, so that he could watch the activity as we pulled out of Orlando while I reflected on how we got here, and how God answered the prayers of a little boy.

It was the night of my friend Sue’s memorial service and I was tucking then 4 year old J. into bed. We were about to say our prayers. J. prayed for his friends S. and E., Sue’s children, and for Uncle Steve. And then, without any warning, before I could explain to J. the dangers of doing such a thing, he asked God for a trip to Disney World. Long pause. I believe that we can come to God with our desires, but I had seen so many people disappointed, and I didn’t want my son’s faith setback. As a single mom, I was struggling to provide milk let alone a vacation.

J. sensed my discomfort. “Mommy, my Sunday School teacher said that we could ask God for anything.” I snapped myself out of deep thought.

“You can. God wants you to talk to Him.”

“My teacher said that when I need to trust God, I can give a seed to show I believe Him.”

“That’s right. There are many times in the Bible when someone gave something even though they had very little, and God took care of their need.”

“Well, I don’t need to go to Disney World, but I sure would like to. So, tomorrow, can I give some of my toys away to the neighbors who don’t know God?”

As a parent, so many thoughts swirled in my mind. Do I want him to think that we give to get? What if he gives his toys away and nothing happens? But still, tears began to fill my eyes at the simplicity of my son’s faith.

“Sure, honey. Tomorrow we’ll go through your toys.”

I secretly hoped J. would forget about the previous night’s prayer, but the moment he awoke I heard the clatter of plastic in his room.

“Mom?” he called out.

“Yes, honey?”

“Could you bring me two big garbage bags?”

“Sure.”

I went to the sink to grab the box of garbage bags. J. was making two piles.

“I want to give some of my toys to Carter and some of them to Nathan,” he smiled.

The Christmas before, I had found a K-Mart that was going out of business. J. loved Batman, and I was able to buy a lot of Batman toys for 75% off. They were J.’s favorite! He had Mr. Freeze, and several models of the Bat-mobile, he played with them daily.

I had to hold my tongue as I watched my son, choose his best toys to give to the neighborhood boys. “Maybe Carter and Nathan will know how much God loves them, when I give them my best toys!” J. was excited.

So, on a chilly October Saturday morning, J. and I made some deliveries with sacks of toys, just like Santa. J. was too shy to do the talking when we got to the boys’ homes, but he was on a high the rest of the day. “I hope Carter likes Mr. Freeze as much as I did,” he said over lunch.

Every night, for months following J. ended his prayers by saying, “…and God, thank you for our trip to Disney World. Amen.”

He never complained about missing his toys, or doubted that God would hear his request. One Sunday after church, the most unlikely person came up to me and said, “We’ve heard that J. has been asking God for a trip to Disney World…we’d like to help make that happen.”

And so, like a whirlwind, God came in and took care of our transportation…Amtrak…which was awesome because the only thing J. loved more than Batman was trains. Then God took care of our accommodations. The rest I had to use my faith on, but I knew that if God had gotten us that far, that He would finish the rest.

Disney World was like a beautiful dream. When we walked through the gates, I had to work hard to keep from sobbing at the perfection of everything. Employees played tag with J. We watched fireworks late at night. J. and I walked the parks from the time they opened until the time they closed. It was truly the Magic Kingdom. I found myself saying to J., “I can’t believe we’re really here.”

“Why not, Mommy? I asked God.”

I was humbled. J. never doubted that God wanted a good thing for us. I had doubted every step of the way. I guess that is why Jesus instructed us to come to Him as little children. My child had taught me a lesson.

I looked out of the train window, now fogged by J’s breath. “Thank you God, for being my boy’s Father, and thank you for being so good to us, even though I doubted your Goodness.”

For the next chapter in this series, click here.

Counting graces with Ann:

#11 – Grateful that my garage sale is over!

#12 – I get to serve God by serving people this week! What a privelege!

#13 – The Golden shaft of a sunshower…

#14 – Autumn shadows

#15 – The dog’s tail wagging in welcome.

#16 – Pumpkin flavored anything.

#17 – My son’s first day of school…ever…at 18!!