Sunday, October 20, 2013

Our Faithful God

You chart the path ahead of me and tell me where to stop and rest.
Every moment You know where I am...
You both precede and follow me.
You place Your hand of blessing on my head.

Psalm 139:3, 5

There are not many things in this world that could possibly be a better prescription for swollen ankles, tired feet, and {let's be honest} worn-out, exhausted hearts than a day at the beach...

For my birthday, Will collaborated with my mom to plan a quick get-away for just the two of us to one of our all-time-favorite places. I think the last time we were here alone was when we only had three little boys. Now, three years later, we have a grand total of six little ones, soon to be seven, and we're praying number eight home while she still waits on the other side of this big ocean. 

The Lord was so faithful to provide this trip. It was exactly what we needed, and the timing could not have been more perfect. The weather was glorious! The food was delicious, and the company was my absolute favorite! By far, it was the best birthday gift ever, and I can't even begin to describe how thankful I am for these two days of rest and relaxation that Will and I were able to enjoy together!

{By the way, S did great while we were gone. It was the first time we have left her overnight since bringing her across this big ocean last August, and it felt like such a huge milestone to have actually made it to this point. We've all come a long way!} 

I read these words by Charles Spurgeon on our first morning back home, and it was perfectly fitting for the week that was just beginning to unfold ahead of us...

Have we ever had the shadow of a reason to doubt our Father's goodness? Have not His loving kindnesses been marvelous? Has He once failed to justify our trust? Ah no! Our God has not left us any time. We have had dark nights, but the star of love has shone forth amid the blackness; we have been in stern conflicts, but over our head He has held aloft the shield of our defense. We have gone through many trials, but never to our detriment, always to our advantage; and the conclusion from our past experiences is, that He who has been with us in six troubles, will not forsake us in the seventh...

I couldn't help but smile when I read these words. Of course, I know that Spurgeon wasn't referring to children when He was talking about "troubles", and I would never want my little ones to think that's what their Momma thinks about them. But let's face it. Some days with these six troubles blessings are just plain hard and challenging, and when I think about the seventh one and the eighth one, well, I can't even begin to imagine...

So, for the record, here's a quick recap of our week. I came home from the beach with a head cold and a horrible headache that's just now starting to let up. S came down with some sort of stomach virus that lasted the entire week. One of the boys had a small accident involving a hammer and a chipped front tooth. Another one of the boys {the one with the fluffy, blond hair} decided that this was going to be the week to test boundaries and see if his Momma was really serious about discipline or if her words were just empty threats. And a certain brown-eyed little girl decided to follow in her big brother's footsteps and had a very mischievous kind of a week too. All in all, it was just one of those weeks. I guess the Lord knew that we really did need those few days of peace and quiet before we hit the lively and crazy days of this past week. 

But, once again, I will testify to the fact that He really is our Faithful Father, giving us just what we need, just when we need it. And, even today, He provided again. Not quite a weekend at the beach, but He carved out a few quiet hours this afternoon for me to gather my thoughts and simply be still. It doesn't happen often, but when it does, I know it's a gift, reminding me of His faithfulness and encouraging my heart that no matter what the days ahead look like, He will continue to faithfully provide and meet my needs!

I know I probably sound somewhat like a broken record here on this blog, but it's a theme the Lord is consistently working into my heart, and it's one that I will continue to share. That He is faithful. That He provides. That He is enough. And that the absolute, most ideal place for me to be is the place of knowing that I am in way over my head. That my sufficiency no longer cuts it. That my best efforts aren't going to be good enough. That this path He's called me to journey down is much too hard for me to manage on my own strength. And this, my friends, is mercy because He has me just where He wants me - desperately dependent on Him! It's the best place to be, even better than a sunny day at the beach!

Because when we are in over our heads,
the only way to stand
is to fall on our knees and touch the heart of God.

Ann Voskamp

And as the week progressed {and the water started to feel a little too deep}, the Lord was faithful to hold me steady, walk me through the trying moments, and continue to pour out His mercy! In the midst of what seemed like a harder-than-usual kind of week, there were also plenty of blessings, lots of happy moments, loads of laughter, and some really good surprises.

And even though this week didn't include bare feet in the sand, a good book to read, long walks on the beach, and uninterrupted conversations, it did include pumpkin picking, treehouse building, trampoline jumping, rope swinging, bike riding, squirrel hunting, beautiful fall afternoons with the little people I love...

...and, by far, the best surprise of the week - OUR WRITTEN REFERRAL!!! The only thing we are waiting on now is our travel dates, which hopefully we will receive early this week. It looks like another trip is just around the corner!

What we have known of our faithful God, proves that He will keep us to the end. Let us not, then, reason contrary to evidence. How can we be so ungenerous as to doubt our God?

Charles Spurgeon


P.S. Here's a song I've been listening to all week! Hope it encourages you! :)

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