I took the weekend off. Off of everything except our home and family. I needed it. Allan and I put the house back together. After 5 days of juicing, it was getting bad. He built us a fire pit and made me some shelves and I simmered apple butter all weekend and canned it for Christmas presents (and for us, too, of course!) We had a great time at church and discussed how we will proceed once our Reboot is over (Tomorrow!!). We spent lots of time with the kids, just watching movies with them, chatting and hanging out. It was a great weekend.
Yesterday it occurred to me that I probably don't have time to take off. After all, we still need to raise quite a bit of money before next Sunday. But it felt so good to be off of it, that I didn't bother. This morning we signed our new wills, and it's official...any and all children God chooses to give us will have a home to go to in the event something happens to us. Tomorrow evening we start our foster classes and all our fundraising materials for Equal Exchange came in, so I have catalogs and samples just waiting to go out.
And I still feel like I am to sit still. Why?
**this is a little off topic, but it is my heart these last few days and I need to write it out. I realize that I struggle with seeing God as I see my step-dad. He was a man who liked to be in control at all times, and if you said or did something that made him angry, he withheld love. He was not full of grace or mercy and I *knew* that if I didn't get a blessing, it was my own fault. Can you see what a terrible god that is? Can you see how I can get ahead of myself by trying to live up to a standard that cannot be lived up to, but only redeemed through a Savior?
I also realize that I struggle with seeing God (and everyone else) like 2 dads who didn't want me. Except I don't know why and I'm still a little girl who can't imagine what she did to make 2 grown men want to go away. I'm a woman who loves these men and doesn't want harm to come to them, but the words aren't natural and the relationships aren't healthy and I don't feel entitled to my feelings of love and regret. Can you see what a terrible god that is?
The only cure for these struggles is to pull in close to a God who loves me and knows every hair on my head and wants me so much he would send His son to die for me so that I could be reconciled to Him forever. So much prayer and bible study is needed in these times of struggle so that the truth can speak clearly to me when lies fog the path.**
In my bible study during the wee hours, as the sun was just peeking over our horizon, I read Acts 12. Herod has John arrested and killed and he sees that the Jewish leaders are pleased by this, so he orders the arrest of Peter.
One line-verse 5-says, So Peter was kept in prison, but the church was earnestly praying to God for him.
Peter was facing indescribable odds. He was double chained to 4 guards in the inner cell of the prison. All the guards knew that if he escaped they would be put to death. Peter also knew what was coming, yet they all SLEEP in the night. An angel hits Peter to get him to wake up, makes the chains fall away and tells Peter to get dressed (would YOU want to stop to get dressed, knowing these people could wake up and kill you!?) The angel even tells him to get his coat and then leads Peter out. When he arrives at the place where many believers are gathering (those same ones that were praying so earnestly for his release!) the girl that comes to the gate is so excited she doesn't even let him in, but runs in yelling about how Peter is there. The believers are all astonished.
Astonished that God answered their earnest prayers. I must not let myself believe that any of these blessings is of my own strength or understanding. God directs the hearts of the people who have given and the people who have helped. If you decide today to donate $5, it is because our God is a BIG GOD who knows of this (relatively) small need and He is mighty to answer prayer that maybe we don't always even believe will be answered. Take hope, weary heart! There is rest to be found in Him who does more than we could ask or imagine.
This morning on the radio the deejay said, "If things are not looking so great from where you sit right now, remember...God brought the entire universe into existence just by speaking. If that God is with you, IT'S GOING TO BE OKAY!" It touched me in a way I needed to be touched and I smiled all the way home. God is so big. He is going to take care of this fundraising. It's up to Him to motivate people to help, not me. I still do what I need to do, I do the work part of it He's given to me, but His still small voice is telling me to be still right now. So I will. I am rejuvenated by this rest. He will bring this money by the time we turn in our packet.