Just Show Up

God has taken me on a journey this week that I wanted to share with you all. ┬áIf you’ve read any of my most recent posts, you know my husband has been out of work. We are approaching the two and a half month mark, and I won’t mince words. This has been hard. A lot of what I have dealt with has been in my mind. (Spiritual warfare is alive and well, thank you very much.) From worrying about what people think of us, to wondering how things were going to get paid for, to making sure our needs for space were met, to teaching my 10th grade son and adjusting to our college aged son being gone, we have had a lot on our plate. Sometimes I’ve wondered whether it’s been too much. And then on top of that, I’ve wanted to make sure I didn’t lose my heart for giving and showing that we were depending on God for our provision and stability.

I think that’s where I ran into a problem, and it’s where my journey started. I started thinking that the only kind of giving that counted was financial giving. I should have known better than that. Being willing to give runs the whole gambit, and it’s not just financial. Not by a long shot.

So, back to the journey. We’ve been waiting this week on news from a second interview. The job sounds like it would be a perfect fit for my husband. He had the interview at the beginning of the week, and now, we’re sitting here at the end of the week, and he hasn’t heard anything. I don’t know if any of you have ever been in that position, but it can mess with the mind as it has messed with mine. God didn’t leave me alone though–through the tears, through the prayers, and through the things He encouraged me to read.

Through all of that, He brought the important way to give to the forefront of my mind. It’s the one I think most people would consider the most important, but is done the most rarely because of the busyness of our lives. What way of giving is that? Being present or just showing up and doing what’s needed. After God gave me that realization, I thought back over the last ten weeks. Countless people have just shown up and done what was needed. From the man who called my husband last week to ask if he wanted to ride down to see our son at college, to the couple who bought us tickets to the movie War Room, to the people who sat with me and prayed with me while I blubbered on Wednesday, to all the people who have been on their knees praying for a job to come for my husband, people have shown up when we’ve most needed them. There’s not any magic to this. It’s just a commitment all of them have made to live in community with their Christian brothers and sisters. To just show up whenever and wherever needed.

Just showing up is something I need to recommit myself to doing. To being aware of who is and what is going on around me. I think that is just as important, no, more important than giving money because you see, I think that’s what Jesus did during the time He was here. He showed up to the people who needed Him the most.

God’s blessings on all of you today!

 

Four Years

It sneaked up on me this year. On this day four years ago, we drove into Birmingham. I didn’t imagine then when we drove down 280 at 7 PM that this place would become home and that I would meet people who would become family. People who are so dear to me that I can barely breathe when I think of how much they mean to me. We came here to take advantage of an employment opportunity for my husband and though he is no longer at that company, I am grateful we were able to move here for the opportunity.

Yes, this year has been a struggle. We have dealt with sad and happy occasions. First, the happiest one. My older son graduated from high school and started college. When we moved here, one of my utmost desires was that we could stay in one place for both of my children’s high school years. We’ve managed that for the older one. He has made lifelong friends and put down roots getting to know other people–teens and adults who love and care about him. I wasn’t able to stay in one place for my high school years, and I wanted to do that for both of my children.

We have also dealt with difficult situations. With unemployment. With sickness. With going from a household of four to a household of three. There have been many adjustments. Sometimes the rope I was holding onto would fray and almost fall apart, especially over the last couple of weeks.

But, I would not change a minute of it. These last four years have been precious to me for two reasons. The first is because of the church home, the family we have found. I have learned about truly being a part of a community and about being loved as part of that community. Yes, it is imperfect. It won’t be perfect until we all get to heaven. But, knowing even that kind of imperfect love has meant the world to me. The other reason, the most important reason is that God has come back to my heart and to my home, and I understand what grace truly means. So very grateful to my Lord and Savior!

God’s blessings on you all today!