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Emotions

The Amazing News I’m Really Excited to Share – Part 8

Hello from my indoor campsite! As I write, I’m perched on my inflatable mattress in my empty house. My husband and I have stayed behind to repair, clean, and tend to all the necessary little things which must be done before returning the keys to our landlord. It is surprising how much sound travels and echoes in a home without furniture.

The amazing news I’m really excited to share happened last week.

It happened twice, actually, on Tuesday and Saturday. Tuesday was the day we moved my daughter into her new apartment. Saturday, movers came to take our things out of state. There were two days last week, on which rain was predicted. Can you guess which two?

The amazing news I’m really excited to share is that God controls every detail and He mercifully held back the rain!

I’m pinching myself at how intricately involved in this move He has been. There is very little I can do to adequately thank Him, but I can testify of His goodness and power. And that is exactly what I’m aiming to do with this Amazing News series.

Tuesday and Saturday

Oh my goodness, Tuesday morning, we woke to incredibly heavy rain! I expected to get completely soaked carrying my daughter’s things. By the time she picked up her keys, not only had the rain stopped, but the sidewalks were also completely dry! What a blessing!

Saturday was our moving day. The weather report predicted 80% chance of rain, starting at 7am – right when the movers were to arrive. It never came. It was cloudy and cool, but there were no more than a few sprinkles of precipitation all day.

Screenshot of an hourly weather report showing rain expected
Screenshot shows rain to arrive later than expected.
Screenshot of an hourly weather report showing no rain expected until late afternoon
Screenshot shows rain delayed further.

At the risk of sounding bratty or ungrateful, I started to wonder why God was blessing us so much. Why did He provide an amazing home for us, miraculous apartments for our kids, continued employment for me, and even hold back inclement weather for us? It seemed like too much.

There have been many other times when we were sure we were doing God’s will, but nothing went right. That is Biblical – look at Job. He was pleasing God completely, yet catastrophe, after catastrophe, came His way. (Job 1-2:10)

There is also scriptural precedence for things going smoothly, against all odds. Take Joshua, for example. God told him to lead an army to take the city of Jericho, but when they got there, God just wanted them to march around the city until He brought the walls down. It was unexpected, but they obeyed and enjoyed tremendous success. (Joshua 6:1-20) I am experiencing that kind of wonder.

Rainbow over a city next to the water
Photo by Matthias Zomer on Pexels.com
God of wonders…

If you’ve been reading this series, you know God gave us clear direction about moving to Arizona. It didn’t make immediate sense, and we wavered in our obedience. He didn’t pave the way until we stepped out in faith and began the process. Once we did that, He stepped in and has miraculously worked out the details, one after the other.

I know there are many people around the world, and even within my reach, who are suffering extreme setbacks. And here I keep showing up with more amazing news I’m really excited to share. So many of you are happy for me, and so sweet in your support.

But I’ll bet some of my readers are wondering why God is choosing to bless me, while they are also doing the right thing and are suffering hard things. I asked Him about it today. I wondered flat out, “Why are You being so nice to me?” I felt like He gave me an answer and I wanted to be open with it.

Double rainbow over some rural homes.
Photo by Craig Adderley on Pexels.com
God chose a phenomenon of weather as a sign that He keeps His promises.

When I asked God why things were going so supernaturally smooth with this move, He impressed on me that something was coming which would make me question it all. He is being undeniably apparent in the process now, and giving me the words to blog about it, so I will have the proof and accountability to stand with confidence later.

When the enemy comes and says we shouldn’t have left our family, or whatever else happens, I will be able to look back at my own record of the scriptures, words, and miracles God gave me. It makes me nervous to know we’re going to need such reassurance, but it also makes me resolute.

God said it, we did it, He’s blessed it. Whatever He allows next is His prerogative and I will submit. I am thankful that God has put His fingerprints on every step of this process. I am awestruck at what I’ve seen as I’ve watched Him work.

Thank you, my friends for graciously connecting to this story as it unfolds. I have a few more posts-worth of amazing news that I am really excited to share. This move is almost done! I appreciate the chance to testify to the omnipotence of our great God. And I’m extremely grateful for YOU.

Categories
Reflections

Powerful Winter Storms in Line with Lessons for Life

Powerful winter storm stories abound in the news. Have you seen them? They implore people to prepare. They describe harrowing conditions which are hazardous to life and livelihood. They follow the storm as it rages and then they show the aftermath. Have you endured any of these storms this season?

I’ve noticed that the end of the story seems to be largely determined by how a community responds to the beginning. When proper precautions are taken and preparations made, tragedy is often avoided. These powerful winter storm stories are in line with lessons for life.

I do not live in the projected line of many winter storms. The warnings on the news do not usually apply to me, other than as a reminder to pray for those who are in the path of possible destruction. But I have noticed a surprising correlation which applies directly to me. And maybe to you!

A bear in beanie and scarf, sitting in the snow: Powerful Winter Storms in Line with Lessons for Life
Photo by Marina Shatskih on Pexels.com
Life storms can leave us feeling cold and alone

Powerful Winter Storms in Line with Lessons for Life

This winter has presented powerful storms of another kind for my family. The weather outside has been relatively mild, but inside our home, conditions have been harsh. We’ve had to hunker down in the face of health hurricanes, financial flurries and many hardships in between.

Related post: No Disinformation Here: Our Genuine Experience with COVID-19, Omicron variant

As I watch the news and see people preparing for, enduring, and rebuilding after powerful winter storms, I can’t help but draw valuable analogies for my life. How about you? Does any of this feel familiar?

Winter Storms

  • Winter storms are powerful and uncontrollable.
  • They isolate communities from needed resources.
  • They demand attention and require preparation, much of which must begin before the first signs of danger appear on the radar.
Cabins buried in snow to the roofline: Powerful Winter Storms in Line with Lessons for Life
Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com
Storms are unavoidable.
They demand our attention.

Winter storms are in line with life. Have you experienced the following parallels? I’ll bet you have!

Life Storms

  • We all encounter powerful life storms over which we have no control. (Health, finance, relationships, tragedy, violence, etc.)
  • These storms can cause us to lose connection to others. When we are isolated, our problems loom larger and we feel alone in our efforts to cope.
  • When life storms hit, they cannot be ignored. Our ability to endure will be greatly increased if we have been diligent to prepare in advance.

What life lessons can we take from the powerful storms we’ve seen and experienced this winter? Oh friend, we can’t grasp a breeze, let alone control the storms. But we know the One who can!

Lessons for Life

  • We must realize who is in control (God) and who is not (us). God gives us incredible power of choice over many things. But when He exercises authority, we must surrender ours.
  • Harsh conditions can seem to isolate us from God and others. No matter how we feel, we must focus on truth. If we have given ourselves to God, no storm of life can disconnect us from Him. He stands near, offering shelter and an endless supply of everything we need. We are never alone.
  • God has given us His Word, the Bible. In it, He has warned us about the powerful storms we may encounter and given instructions for how to prepare. We can (and should!) read and heed in seasons of calm. Then, when powerful storms rage, our hearts are fortified and supplied with peace.

“Storms make trees take deeper roots.”

–Dolly Parton

“When trouble comes, focus on God’s ability to care for you.”

–Charles Stanley

“I will call on the Lord in my distress and he answers me.”

-Psalm 120:1

“I have made you. I will carry you; I will sustain you and I will rescue you.”

–Isaiah 46:4
Sun shining through the tress and onto the snow: Powerful Winter Storms in Line with Lessons for Life
Photo by Haoshuang Lou on Pexels.com
We can have peace amidst the storm.

It is winter in the United States. Much of our country is being pummeled by powerful seasonal storms. In other parts of the world, the sun is shining.

But each of us, around the globe, is in the direct path of life’s storms. We are either preparing for, enduring, or rebuilding in the aftermath of one at all times. Where are you right now? Do any of these lessons for life, presented by recent powerful winter storms, apply to what you are facing right now? If I can pray for you, please leave your request in the comments.


“Storms draw something out of us that calm seas don’t.”

Bill Hybels

“Then they cried out to the Lord in their trouble, and he brought them out of their distress. He stilled the storm to a whisper; the waves of the sea were hushed. They were glad when it grew calm, and he guided them to their desired haven.”

Psalm 107:28-30

“The disciples went and woke him, saying, ‘Master, Master, we’re going to drown!’ He got up and rebuked the wind and the raging waters; the storm subsided, and all was calm.”

Luke 8:24
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Conversations Reflections

When You Frame It Like That… Both/And is a Beautiful Thing!

I like things neatly wrapped in concise little packages. I prefer most foods stay apart. I eat cake or ice cream, but seldom both. If I have both, I prefer them in separate dishes. I can multitask, but I’d rather not. I am often an either/or type of person.

That is probably why this beauty bothered me. It contained Autumn and Spring. Both/and mixed together in the same frame.

It had come about by indecisive weather. The temperature had turned decidedly toward Fall, with cooler air and cloudy days. The leaves began to turn, and all was well. But then we got some warm rain followed by several sunny days. It was as if nature thought Spring had sprung. As a result, we have both blooming bushes and Autumn leaves. I wanted either/or, until I realized my folly and looked again.

Blooming ivy poking through large fall leaves: When you frame it like that… both/and is a beautiful thing!
Both Autumn and Spring in the Same Frame

Both fall and spring is a beautiful phenomenon. And what a fool I’d be not to take it in with appreciation! In fact, as I chose to be open and notice, I saw it happening all around me.

Our rosemary bushes were not alone in their confusion. We had all sorts of flowers blooming when they should be resting. My beautiful gardenia against the backdrop of fallen leaves is just another of many examples I found.

Gardenia bloom against a background of fall leaves: When you frame it like that… both/and is a beautiful thing
Spring Gardenia and Autumn Leaves

Lord, you are far more creative than to be boxed into an either/or corner. You are both a consuming fire and a still, small voice. You are both the great “I Am” and my All in All. You are both wrath and mercy. Your glory is full of both/and. Thank you for this visible reminder of how beautiful it is.

“Let the fields be jubilant, and everything in them; let all the trees of the forest sing for joy. Let all creation rejoice before the Lord…”

Psalm 96:12, 13a

I don’t need things to be either/or. Autumn and spring are spectacular together. When you frame it like that, both/and is a beautiful thing!


“When You Frame It Like That…” is a hosted prompt. Feel free to join in with a thought and a photo (or several!). Please click here for details.