I know I posted earlier today but I have some things on my mind (and the girls are having 2nd naps!) that correlate with what God has been teaching me lately so I thought I would blog them…
First, I’ll share a little bit about what God has been teaching me lately through friends and His Word. I would have to say it all started several months ago when we were trying to decide what to do about a house in Dothan; do we build, do we buy, do we rent, do we flip? All of these things had my mind so occupied. My friend Tami is in a somewhat similar situation and has moved to Dothan and she and her family are living with her parents. We were talking about houses and what to do one day and she told me that she keeps reminding herself that a house is just a temporary dwelling. It was so impactful to me and I don’t think she even knows it. Here I was so concerned about where would we live and how would it work and which house would be best, yada, yada, yada and it was like God was speaking through a megaphone to me through her. I was so wrapped up in selling our house and getting a lot of money, and finding the perfect house and she so easily and gently reminded me (not even intentionally) that I was so caught up in “temporary dwelling”. This is the beginning of how God is showing me how I am seeing things.
I have a natural tendency to see the glass as “half empty” rather than “half full”… and God has been revealing my sinful perspective to me. I’ve started to read through Job (really to give me a reality check of what it means to truly suffer), if anyone knows suffering it’s him. In the first chapter alone, Job loses all he has, including all his children and this is what he does… “Then he fell to the ground in worship and said: Naked I came from my mother’s womb and naked I will depart. The Lord gave and the Lord has taken away; may the name of the Lord be praised.” Job 1:21 And this is only the first test God gave him. I have so very much to be thankful for yet for some reason I can always find something wrong with almost anything. But God is teaching me otherwise and I am so grateful. He’s teaching me to take situations where I would normally complain and be bitter and make them into situations that can bring glory to Himself. For instance, Paiger Rager doesn’t like to sleep. She likes to be held almost all the time and likes to be rocked to sleep. I try to take that time (either when I’m holding her or when I’m listening to her scream bloody murder in her crib) to pray for her and give thanks to God for her. I have friends who are desperate to have children but can’t and I remind myself that they would do anything and give anything to have a child to rock, a diaper to change, spit up to clean, and noses to wipe… what a blessing that God has given me the huge responsibility of caring for my children. The Lord is teaching me to have the perspective of Job… “may the name of the Lord be praised” in all circumstances.
In addition to changing my perspective, I’m also learning that everyday we have is a gift from above. This kinda goes along with having Job’s outlook on life. I know that God is sovereign but there are some situations where I just kinda wonder why He would do what He does… then I have to remind myself that I know He is sovereign. The story I want to share sounds like one of those horrific forwards you get and you wonder if it could really be true. My mom called me last week and told me that Tiffany died (she is the daughter of one of her friends). Let me tell you about Tiffany so you can lift up her family and her children. I’m going to try to be brief and only share what I know to be fact. She’s 32 married and has 3 children and is from Mt. Carmel, IL (the small town where my parents live). She has 2 girls (5 (almost 6) and 3) and a newborn baby boy (2.5 months). She had a bizarre heart attack (from what mom says she’s the “picture of health”) after she had the baby boy in December but was under the care of her doctors and a cardiologist. Apparently when she had her heart attack there was an unnoticed tear in one of the chambers of her heart that had a slow leak. This formed a clot and last Thursday morning she had an aneurysm at home with her children and died instantly. My mom and dad have been to the visitation and the funeral was today at 2. My mom told me that the little girls had drawn their mommy pictures with crayons and put them in her casket. I couldn’t help but think of Morgan sitting at her table coloring pictures and asking me to put them on the fridge. That’s where these little girl’s art work should go… on the fridge… not in their mommy’s casket. They held the 2.5 month old up to the casket and he just coo’d and coo’d at the sight of his mother. It just doesn’t seem right. Again, I have to remind myself that God is sovereign… He’s going to use this to bring glory to Himself. The husband is holding up ok, I guess as well as you can considering he now has 3 young children (one of which is an infant) to care for in addition to grieving the loss of his wife. It seems like too much for one man to bear. It has hit me like a ton of bricks to never take for granted every breath that I have and more importantly to realize that each breath I have is a gift from God. I looked at my two girls today at lunch as we went out to eat together… just the 3 of us. I asked for a table for 3 with one chair and 2 highchairs. I savored every minute of the meal. Morgan fed Paiger Cheerios and reminded me “not to give her any chips because she doesn’t have any teeth yet”. I just was so aware of the preciousness of life and how quickly it can be given and how quickly it can be taken. I’m confident that God will bring glory to Himself through Tiffany’s death. It’s hard to see it now as we see such a young family grieving but His word tells us that He is sovereign and that He works together for the good of those who love him. I’m anxious to see how “the name of the Lord will be praised” and how He will bring glory to himself through her death. Please be lifting this family up!
As if that wasn’t enough for God to teach me… Saturday morning before we left for Dothan our friend Nathan called to let us know that Holly had their new baby boy the night before. He mentioned that little Hunter had some fluid in his lungs and asked us to pray (and send out an email asking for prayer) because he was in the NICU. As time passed through the weekend the baby has gotten worse and developed pneumonia. They have him on life support and have done all that they can for him here in Tallahassee and at 1:30 this morning they “life flighted” him by helicopter to Gainesville to Shands Hospital. I’ll attach a picture of him. He’s a little whopper— weighing in at 9 lbs and 4 ounces (another picture of health). As I’ve been praying for this little child I can’t help but think of my own. What a gift from above. I almost get mad at myself for ever having a bad attitude about anything relating to them… whether it’s screaming fits or poopy diapers…. thank you Lord for their lives. I know that Nathan and Holly are deeply saddened and distraught over his sickness. I once again pray and I am anxious to see how “the name of the Lord will be praised!” Please lift them up.
I’m so thankful to the Lord for all he has given me. Sorry this is so long… the girls are still sleeping! I’m impressed if you are still reading this… I know it’s a lot.