Archive for August, 2012

Every Day Moments

While we may gravitate to the over-the-top moments when we realize God is speaking or acting, the day to day journey offers just as much hope and revelation about who God is. He’s walking with us each day, but how often do we take time to stop and notice? I’m reminded today of how I’ve seen glimpses of God repeatedly through this week: 

  • I was worried about the timing of events and showing our house when my middle-schooler spoke up and said, “If those are the people that God wants to buy the house, they will.  Why are you worried?” God used my child to speak wisdom and truth.
  • Our other daughter laughingly commented on the fact that we’re not a “usual” family and instead of analyzing her comment, I agreed and thanked God that He loves us for who we are.
  • Our son unknowingly offered a humor moment and I was reminded that God created laughter and humor.
  • In the midst of sadness this week, I was reminded of the hope in Christ we have.
  • While in a season of unknowns, I found peace and comfort in God’s presence and His Word.
  • In a place of trying to discern what direction to take, Jesus as the Good Shepherd guiding us, was the theme of my Bible study one day.

So, my wow moment is the realization of God’s faithfulness and presence. He’s with me all the time, not just during the mountaintop experiences.  I pray that you’ll see evidence of God at work in your life and that you’ll enjoy His presence and love.

Moving in Faith

We are in the process of buying and selling home.  And of course, it’s complicated.  There are timing issues, financial limitations and goals, storage needs, contracts and legalities – and they’re all served up with a side of uncertainty.  Instead of shaking our hand when we made the decision, I think the realtor should have handed us a super-sized bottle of Tums.

But, I’m trusting God.

We prayed and sought God’s direction before making any decisions.  We want what God wants for us.  We’ve tried things our way before and know from experience that doing things God’s way is always in our best interest.  But, as you’re aware, we couldn’t find anywhere in the Bible where it says that Scott and Cindy Shufflebarger should move in the year 2012. Instead, we’ve prayed for wisdom, unity, and hearts and minds that are aligned with God’s desire for us.

After making the decision, there have been times of questioning.  Are we making the right decision? Is this really what God wants for us?  And each time I’ve asked these questions, God has responded.  He’s mostly answered through verses of encouragement about faith, peace, and God’s provision.  Just yesterday, as I started my day with Bible study, the session was about the people exercising faith by moving back to Jerusalem after Nehemiah rebuilt the walls.  It served as a reminder that there are times in our lives to move and that it requires faith.  My day was book-ended with me reading a children’s Bible to my kids as they were going to bed. And the passage my daughter seemed to randomly pick was all about God’s power and protection and why we shouldn’t be afraid.

So, while God has yet to send me an email with a direct statement, He has continued to encourage me with His Word and His timing.  And these glimpses remind me of His love and care.

God Sees and Knows What We Need

I was exasperated. 

By day 5 of vacation, the kids seemed to have had enough togetherness.  Now, being a homeschooling family, we’re used to togetherness.  But, for some reason, everyone was irritable and out of sorts – myself included.  I was frustrated with their behavior and everyone’s “me first” attitude.  After about the 20th time saying, “That’s not very kind,” I had lost my patience and was on the verge of letting my thoughts fly freely.  Maybe I should just bolt for a little while.  Getting away would at least give me some quiet.

OK, disappearing wouldn’t solve anything.  But, I had to do something.

And then I remembered that Emma had brought a book of devotions with her, but we’d neglected opening it.  And so, I rounded up the gang and plopped the book in the middle of the bed.

I opened it to the correct date and began reading:

Therefore, as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience. Colossians 3:12

Everyone’s eyes got big as eyebrows raised… myself included.  We each looked at each other sheepishly. Perhaps God was watching.  Actually, I’m certain of it.  And in His perfect way and perfect timing, He got our attention.  We talked about our actions and the corresponding verse for a few minutes before resuming our day.  And, you know, everyone’s attitude improved.

God’s word is powerful and His timing impeccable. For that, I’m grateful.

Answered Prayer

It was Monday morning and for some reason I awoke early. So, I began to pray.  During my prayer time, I had a quick interruption in my thoughts and felt compelled to pray about our floor installation that was scheduled for the day.

We were on a tight schedule with a kitchen floor installation on Monday, a quick do-it-yourself painting of the family room that night followed by new carpet installation on Tuesday.  And, the grand finale – we would leave for vacation on Wed with the house put back in order (after complete disarray due to moving furniture and stuff from two major rooms in our home), laundry ready and packed.  In hindsight, this was quite a feat and I probably should have been praying for weeks prior.  Nonetheless, I prayed early that morning and didn’t give it another thought.

The installers arrived and the process began.  Later in the morning, one of guys asked, “Were you expecting us this morning?”  I thought it was odd for him to ask this when they were already two hours into their work.  My response, “Yes, why?”  He then told me that there had been a scheduling error and he had been double booked – two all day projects for the same day.  His manager instructed him to go to the other client, but instead he came to our house first.

I was a little stunned and didn’t think to pry for details at the time.  What possessed him to come to our house against the instruction of his manager?  I so wish I would have asked.  But, I’ll accept that perhaps it was an answer to my prayer from early that morning.  To top it off, the company had misquoted the job and we were given a $200+ credit. 

And so, in that ordinary moment in the routine-ness of my life, I thanked God for being attentive to the details.  I thanked Him for providing. Having the installers arrive on the correct day and time saved me a great deal of grief and headache.  And what a wonderful reminder that we can take everything to God.

Do you see the blessing?

Today’s Glimpse of God is shared by a guest, Adria Wilkins. I pray that you are touched by her story and recognize God’s creativity and timing in the ways He shares His love with us.

Do you see the blessings? By Adria Wilkins

Look everywhere around you. Do you see them?

Blessings. We receive them constantly but many times we are not even aware they are blessings.

Do you think the day that Jesus fed the five thousand that everyone was expecting to receive a blessing that day? In John 6:12- When they had all had enough to eat, Jesus said to his followers, “Gather the leftover pieces of fish and bread so that nothing is wasted.” So they gathered up the pieces and filled twelve baskets. When the people saw this miracle that Jesus did, they said, “He must truly be the Prophet who is coming into the world.” Did you notice it says “when the people Saw this miracle.”

My son, Blake, was born with special needs and lived for three years. Even now, I am surprised at the blessings I receive from his life. The other day we had some helium balloons and my son, Anthony, said “mom can we release a balloon to Blake in heaven?” Of course, I said yes. Anthony returned from his room with a note attached to the balloon that said “I Love You”. We went outside and he released the balloon into the beautiful blue sky. We watched the balloon for a long time. Suddenly, we saw an airplane and Anthony said “it looks like the plane is going to hit the balloon.” Out of no where came another plane and this time Anthony says“I think the planes are going to crash.” The planes crossed each other in a spectacular sight leaving behind vapor trails that formed a cross. I stood there in awe. In that moment of remembering Blake’s precious life, I thanked God for the reminder of His love and the blessing I just received.

I never expected to receive a blessing that day. The people that gathered around Jesus the day when the loaves and fish were served did not expect to see a blessing either. Yet Jesus pours out blessings upon us frequently and lavishly.

He loves to reveal himself to you. Are you looking? Do you see them?