I Found the Words of God on a Coffee Sleeve

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I had just written the rough draft of my last article about the passing of my neighbor, Sandy.  I had a heavy heart, feeling that I had failed God and failed Sandy.  Writing the article had evoked deep emotions in me, and I was still trying to sort them all out.  It was a dark Wednesday night, and I was attending a meeting for those helping with the annual Women’s Breakfast at my church.

The women’s ministry at Life Center is always planning lovely events.  The goal is that every woman who attends would experience a special touch from God and hear his voice personally.  Each time there is a creative way to give a personalized, encouraging word to every woman.  There have been ribbons, medals, bracelets, necklaces, compasses, mugs, purses, and book marks given out.  The item contains some sort of message (such as a scripture verse, a single word, or phrase) and has been prayed over.  Every one of the gifts that I have received over the years has been special to me.  The scripture that I received at the Women’s Conference last March sustained my faith through the events of the past year.

At the meeting, each of us got to pick a coffee sleeve with something special written on it.  I randomly picked a sleeve that had “Matthew 10:42” nicely hand written in black pen.  I looked up the scripture on my phone and it read:

“And if anyone gives even a cup of cold water to one of these little ones who is my disciple, truly I tell you, that person will certainly not lose their reward.”

I thought, “Oh that is nice.  I certainly give out lots of cups of water to my children.”

But then a new thought broke into my own, with a brilliance that I have come to recognize as the Holy Spirit.

It was a thought of Sandy and the times I brought her soup.  God was telling me that I would have a reward for the small acts of kindness I had done for her!  I felt so humbled and in awe of a God that would reward me even though I had fallen short of my goal of introducing Sandy to Jesus.

What a good and generous God I have!!!!

The next day I got into my van to drive to the grocery store.  I turned on the New Testament CD that was already in the CD player.  And guess where the CD started that day?

Matthew 10:42

That Saturday was the day of the Women’s Breakfast.  I arrived early to welcome women to the table I was hosting.   I was praying that everyone would feel loved and blessed.  I encouraged each woman to pick a coffee sleeve when they went to get their coffee or hot cocoa.  I had the opportunity to pick a second one for myself.  When I read the words, again I wanted to cry!  My heart was so full of the goodness of God.

“Writing a New Chapter”

I love to write and have been working on this blog for a year and a half now.  I would love to write a book someday…lots of books in fact!  But I tell myself that it doesn’t matter if anyone else notices or even likes my writing.  I am doing it for myself and my children, so we never forget the marvelous things God has done for us.  Sometimes I feel rather silly, spending so much time writing down the little details of my life.  Yet I feel the words are like fire in my bones that won’t let me go until I write them down.

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Here God was telling me that the writing was from him!  And that I would be writing about a new chapter.  Our lives could sure use a new beginning!

This “word from God” was confirmed a few weeks later in a most unusual way.  Each year I choose a foreign country to study at Christmas time.  When all of my children were homeschooled, we would take a break from the normal school and learn about this country.  Then we would incorporate the Christmas traditions and food of this country into our own holiday celebration.  We have studied Sweden, Germany, Russia, Spain, and Italy.  Each year, one of the resources we used was the World Book series on Christmas around the World.  The books always contained interesting facts but were very dry reading.

This year, even though I am only homeschooling my special needs daughter, I chose Ireland.  I just love to learn about other countries so much, I couldn’t give up the tradition.  As I read the first few pages of the World Book called Christmas on the Emerald Isle, I was struck by the emotion and passion in the writing.

“On Christmas night, there is another custom – the telling of stories.  The oldest member of the family gathers everyone around the hearth or table and recounts the story of Mary and Joseph.  The tales, of course, don’t stop at Bethlehem.  There are yarns about the family, about the famine, about the great heroes and villains of Irish history…While the Swedes have 25 versions of the Cinderella story, the Irish have 311 and are still counting.  Christmas night is not, or course, the only appropriate time for storytelling.  Any occasion will do, and the Irish have a story for any and every occasion, for every event of life…By extracting the meaning from every event of life and turning that understanding into a parable, the Irish preserved their culture and taught their children a sense of history, justice, and identity.”

My heart burned within me as I read these words.  That is what I wanted to do!  I felt that God was saying that my passion to write was there for a reason…because he had put it there.

It went on to say, “If life was short and bitter, the memory of that life was not.  Filled with victory and joy, the memory became a living thread that passed through the consciousness of generations of Irish men and women. As long as the stories survived, the lives and events that inspired them survived and had meaning.”

I must have a bit of the Irish in me… and in the midst of trouble and sorrow, the goodness of God keeps overwhelming me…and giving me stories that I just have to tell!

 

Fun Thoughts about Blogging

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A few years ago a friend suggested to me that I start a blog.  I couldn’t imagine how I would ever find the time to write a single article, not to mention the number of articles it would take to have an active blog.  I was so busy with taking care of my home and family, doing homeschool and therapy, that I thought blogging might be a possibility only in my golden years.

Joyfully, I am still a fairly young woman in the trenches of motherhood, yet I have managed to write 55 articles.  This is my 56th!  I don’t know how it happened, but I know it has been so much fun…and so good for me!  Recording my life has helped me to see more clearly how faithful God has always been to me.  It helps me put my random thoughts into some order, and beautiful patterns emerge.  It aids me in remembering the specific words God has spoken to me.

While I was pregnant with Annalise, my writing slowed down considerably.  Whenever I sat in front of a computer screen, I felt sick!  After she was born, I didn’t write anything for a month or two. I was spending  my time nursing, napping, and trying to maintain coherent thoughts.  I figured that my blog had gone dormant and whatever readership I had obtained, had wandered away.  When I finally sat down to post another article, I went to the section of WordPress that allowed me to see the statistics of my blog.  It reviewed how many people visited my blog, what articles they read, what country they were in, and how they found me.

Some people are following me and receive an email every time I post.  Others found me through a search engine.  Others plugged in my web address after I wrote an article for Above Rubies Magazine which is distributed around the world.

I was amazed that almost every day that had passed, someone was looking at Grace is my Superhero.  Some days it was just one or two.  Other days it was more.  One day, June 6th, there were 124 views!  I hadn’t even posted anything, and I was very confused.  Where did all these readers come from?  Then I saw that most of the readers were referred by another blogger, http://lorialexander.blogspot.com/

I visited her blog and saw that on June 6th, she had referred to me in her article and included a link to Grace is my Superhero.  Thanks, Lori!  That was sweet!

People reading my blog come from the United States, Canada, Finland, Netherlands, Switzerland, Turkey,  Sweden, Austria, Czech Republic, Ireland, Spain, Brazil, United Kingdom, Italy, France, Belgium, St. Lucia, Norway, Germany, Philippines, South Africa,  Kenya, Nigeria, Papua New Guinea , New Zealand, Australia, India, Malaysia, Pakistan, Israel, United Arab Emirates, Shri Lanka, South Korea, Hong Kong, Indonesia, Argentina, Mexico, and Honduras.   That is the beauty of the World Wide Web!

I don’t have a huge following.  Another blogger who started just a few months before I did has well over 1,000 followers.  She also had an article go viral and get posted all over the internet.  Her thoughts are so positive, and I am glad for her!

I always remind myself that I am just writing these articles for myself (to remember what God had done for me) and for my children (so they will have a lasting written history of their heritage in God).  If anyone else finds their way to this blog, that is just icing on the cake.  If you are here, thank you so much for taking the time to read this.  My prayer is that you always hear the whisper of God while you read my words, for I pray that his words become a part of me and become my words day by day.