I so enjoy enjoy waking up on crisp spring mornings. When my alarm goes off at 5:45am, Binx and I get up and head to the kitchen. He goes outside and I get my cup of coffee. Pregnancy Police, don't judge me. One cup of morning coffee is okay by my doctor! We then snuggle back in bed and read the Bible. Well, I read. Binx is a dog and dogs can't read, duh. :)
Today we're enjoying beautiful, cloud-free spring weather in the 60's. Tevie went to lunch with a couple of his buddies so I decided to spend my lunch break running a few errands. First stop was for some lunch. I pull up to the drive-thru window at Burger King and order my hamburger with NO mayonnaise and NO cheese. You have to say "mayonnaise" around here because apparently "mayo" sounds too much like "mater" (tomato) and you end up with gobs of the yucky white stuff and no tomatoes on your sandwich. I pick up my order at the window and not only is the UNsweet tea I ordered sweet, my burger has mayo on it. So, I pass it back through the window. The sweet little girl hands me back an unsweet tea (thank you!)... and a burger with no mayo, now it has cheese. Rather than holding up the line, I go inside and, as Jesus-like as possible (I think), ask for a what I ordered in the first place. Finally correct!
I eat my little lunch in the solitude of my car with Chris Tomlin playing and enjoying the warm breeze. I make a mental list of what I need from the big blue monster and head inside. Now, I know, I KNOW, that people mean to compliment me when they say, "You're not even showing yet!"... however, this pregnant lady does not take it as such. What I hear is that I have always looked 18lbs overweight with a little something hanging over the top of jeans. "Kind of!" I say for the 15th million time and roll my cart passed this well-meaning friend because it's not worth going through the details of how he's big enough that I feel him moving all day and I'm in nothing but maternity clothes.
At home, I unload my groceries and let the puppies outside. They bark to come in not thirty seconds after I turn my back. Elphie is standing with two feet on the threshold when I unsnap her collar so she can come in... and she bolts 90mph through the backyard chasing after Lord knows what. The fastest way to catch her is to get in the car and make her think she's going somewhere with you. So, I get in the truck and roll through the neighborhood. I spot her about three houses down. When she sees me and the truck, she bolts again. I am chasing my dog in my SUV, door wide open, yelling for her to come when I think to myself, "Are you serious?!" What a lunch break!
I don't think I've ever been more ready to get back to my office. I'm laughing as I drive back to work... really, just to keep from crying. I started thinking through my day and talking to God. I didn't pray for patience this morning, Lord. So why have you given me so many tests today!... and then, a gentle voice whispers to my heart, "here's the bigger question, Allysa... did you pass them?" Did the little girl at Burger King see a Christian kindly asking for another sandwich? Or did she see a snotty lady throwing a fit? Did my well-intentioned friend at the store see a gracious pregnant lady or a short, ill-tempered brat? Did my retired neighbors (no doubt peering out their windows) see the sweet neighbor girl chasing her monster dog or did they see a beastly owner and understand why the dog ran away in the first place. Ha. That last one made me laugh... I was so mad at her, and she knew what was coming, I can't say I blame Elphie for running!
I think that satan tries desperately to put our little candles out. Today I feel like he's walking beside me handing me a bushel and saying, "You don't have to hide it forever, just let me hold it for you. I'll hide it right under here while you deal with these people who don't understand you, and you can come pick it back up when you're through with them." And instead of saying, "NO! I'm gonna let it shine!"
Francesca Battistelli has a song out right now called "This is the stuff you use". It came to mind when I was driving back to work.
"This is the stuff that drives me crazy
This is the stuff that's getting to me lately
In the middle of my little mess
I forget how big I'm blessed
This is the stuff that gets under my skin
But I gotta trust You know exactly what You're doing
It might not be what I would choose
But this is the stuff You use"
Boy oh boy, did I ever need that reminder today! Here's the scripture I think I am going to work on memorizing for the next two weeks. It comes from James 5:7-
"Be patient, then, brothers and sisters, until the Lord’s coming. See how the farmer waits for the land to yield its valuable crop, patiently waiting for the autumn and spring rains."
Tevie and I are praying for a bunch of things right now... and if we aren't patient and wait for the Lord to answer, open doors, shut doors and shower His provision we will miss out some huge blessings. This section of scripture goes on to say in 5:11b,
"You have heard of Job’s perseverance and have seen what the Lord finally brought about."Did you catch that. We see what the Lord FINALLY brought about. Not quickly, not hurriedly, not immediately... finally. I wish I could put God to the clock and make him work in my time. I have a nursery to decorate, a child to name, plans to be made, a new car that I would love to have that won't sit on that lot forever! But if I am the one making the decisions, I will never feel fulfilled. I'm staying all this because I need to hear it, but I hope it blesses you today too. After all, we could all use a little more patience, right?
Lord, today I pray for clarity and, because I have a feeble human mind, a pillar of cloud by day and fire by night would be really helpful! I pray for forgiveness when I don't shine the light of your love as bright as I know I am called to and I pray for the opportunity to serve your people better tomorrow than I did today.