Hear It on Sunday, Use It on Monday: For the Times You are Afraid...and Obey Anyway


The day I knew I would have to say goodbye to my mother-in-law was one of the hardest, most terrifying moments I’ve ever faced. You see, until then, I’d never been around a dying person before. I didn’t know what a dying person looked like. Or how I should act or what I should say. I’d never walked into a “deathbed” scene; I’d never had to say goodbye to someone I loved, knowing I would never see that person again. And I’d never watched my children do the same.
As we drove from Nebraska to Minnesota that Labor Day Weekend, I was gripped by a paralyzing fear, and I scrambled for an excuse that would release me from the dreaded event that lay ahead. Just a mile from his parents’ house, I turned to Brad and blurted, “I can’t do this. I don’t want to do this. I’m afraid.”
I thought of that moment yesterday morning in church as I listened to the reading from Exodus, about the preparations the Israelites made before they fled Egypt. As I heard God’s solemn words to them, I understood the fear and dread they must have experienced as they heeded his dire instructions:
“Wear your traveling clothes as you eat this meal, as though prepared for a long journey. Wear your sandals, and carry your walking sticks in your hands. Eat the food quickly, for this is the Lord’s Passover. On that night I will pass through the land of Egypt and kill all the firstborn sons and firstborn male animals in the land of Egypt.” (Exodus 12:11-12).
Can you imagine the terror the Israelites must have felt? Can you imagine sitting with the knowledge that hundreds of young, first-born children would soon die? Can you imagine the dread? The apprehension?
The Israelites were faithful and obedient, sure, but I suspect they were also deeply afraid.
And the truth is, I think that’s okay.
Most of us assume that fear automatically signals distrust; but I think there are also times in life in which fear can and does go hand-in-hand with obedience. Let’s face it: life offers a lot of experiences we don’t particularly like and plenty of moments we’d prefer to skip.
God gets this. He knows us. He knows when we are weak. He knows when we are afraid. He knows that sometimes we have to force ourselves to obey him even when we’d rather run the other way. 
God knows that on some days, dread-filled, fearful, tentative obedience is just about all we can muster, and he accepts it for what it is: not a sign of distrust, but rather, a testament of our faith.
Have you ever been deeply afraid of something, yet still went ahead and did it out of sense of obedience or respect?

With Jen's Soli Deo Gloria:


Welcome to the "Hear It on Sunday, Use It on Monday" community, a place where we share what we are hearing from God and his Word. 
If you're here for the first time, click here for more information. And if you are a new participant, would you leave me a comment or send me an email to tell me it's your first time here, so I can be sure to stop by and say hello at your place?
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Thank you -- I am so grateful to have you here!

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Weekend Meditation: Special Possession


With Deidra...

If you haven't done so already, would you kindly consider "liking" my Writer Facebook page by clicking here? Thank you! You can also  receive "Graceful" free in your email in-box or via the reader of your choice, by clicking here.

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Life Rolls On


His voice is raspy and smaller than I remember as I grip the phone to my ear, sun streaming long rectangles on the tile floor. I can tell his throat is parched, his lips dry. It’s only been three weeks since I last saw him, when I hugged him on the threshold that first morning of the New Year. "See you soon!" I'd called out, sliding into the idling mini-van, waving with the window rolled down to frigid Minnesota air.

I didn’t know it would be the last time.


We make small talk, even though it feels like I should say something more. I tell him the boys brought home trophies for “best effort” from the Cub Scouts Pinewood Derby. I mention Rowan’s basketball game, how he ducked beneath the hoop, covering his head with his hands when the ball swished through the net.


He laughs a little. “Life keeps rolling on,” he says, and I nod, even though he can't see me. “That's good,” he says, and I nod again, my throat closed tight.

Later I sit on cold concrete, arms tucked into fleece, January sun warm on my back. The boys leap and prance around an icy trickle of water draining from the culvert. They are working diligently on “clearing the stream,” making a path for the current to flow smoothly into the ditch.

The cuffs of Rowan’s pants are wet, the hem of his jacket, too. He bounces from one side of the rivulet to the other, stopping only to jam red fingers into pockets for a moment before getting back to work, calling gleefully to his brother when he has wrenched another ice clump free. They confer like they are city engineers, planning a new route for the water. It’s important work. I can tell.

I think for a moment about how gross that water is, winter’s grit and decay funneled from streets and alleys and gutters all around town. I should tear them away from it, force them to continue our walk along the path, head for the swings and slides, toward the voices ringing across the brown lawn. But I don’t.

A lady in a red winter hat and matching gloves pedals past. She sits regally on the wide seat, turning to glance down at the boys. “What is it about little boys and water?” she calls to me, and I shrug my shoulders, smiling as I shrug and lift my hands, palms toward the sky.

The breeze picks up, and the sun slips behind the bare maple tree. Chin on my knees, arms hugging shins, I watch the boys play in the dirty water. Noah points at how the trickle has widened, how it now flows unencumbered into the ditch. Rowan wipes gritty hands on his pants, satisfied. They look up at me, awaiting my approval.


For everything there is a season, a time for every activity under heaven. (Ecclesiastes 3:1)

{I would be so grateful for your prayers, for my father-in-law, Jon, and for my husband, Brad, and his brother, Cary, as they walk alongside their dad in his final weeks. With love and gratitude, Michelle}



If you haven't done so already, would you kindly consider "liking" my Writer Facebook page by clicking here? Thank you! You can also  receive "Graceful" free in your email in-box or via the reader of your choice, by clicking here.

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I'm a Slow Loris

I’m what you might call the slow loris of book publishing.

 Are you familiar with the slow loris? I know it sounds like a Dr. Seuss character, but the slow loris is actually a real animal – a tiny primate with big, puppy-dog brown eyes and a round head (so far, nothing in common with me, in case you’re wondering). The slow loris is also described as a slow and deliberate climber.

Yup, that’s me: the slow, deliberate climber.

...I'm writing over at the WordServe Water Cooler today. Will you join me over there to read about what it's like to be a slow loris? {you may be one, too!}

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Hear It on Sunday, Use It on Monday: The Hard Heart

Whenever I read Exodus I’m horrified by Pharaoh’s behavior. Pharaoh tells Moses he’ll release the Israelites time and time again, yet when each plague subsides and the threat diminishes, he retracts his promise. Pharaoh chooses to ignore God; he intentionally hardens his heart against God:
“But when the Pharaoh saw that there was a respite, he hardened his heart, and would not listen to them, just as the Lord had said.” (Exodus 8:15)
“What a colossal jerk,” I think to myself. “How can he be so stupid? How can he choose to make the same mistake over and over again?”
It’s taken me years to recognize that I’ve had more than a few Pharaoh moments myself.
Take, for instance, the times in which I intentionally choose not to obey God. It’s true. I have done this. In the heat of the moment -- a moment in which I know without a shadow of a doubt that I am sinning -- I consciously choose to continue my sinful behavior.
It usually plays out like this:
An aggravating situation with my kids snowballs, and before I know it, my voice escalates into the witchy octave, my hair coils into writhing snakes and smoke seeps from my ears. At that moment I have a choice: I can lock myself in the bathroom until my blood pressure normalizes and I am able to discuss the problem rationally with my kids. Or I can proceed in Medusa-mom mode.
I admit, more than once I have chosen Medusa-mom mode. Even when I’ve unmistakably heard God’s voice in my head, there have been times that I have hardened my heart to him and intentionally tumbled toward sin.
I suspect most of us have been there, in the Pharaoh moment.  I suspect most of us have chosen to harden our hearts against God more than once in our lives. It’s an ugly place, isn’t it? And it’s a lonely place, too.
The difference between most of us and Pharaoh, of course, is that we don’t stay in that ugly, lonely, stubborn place forever. We relent. We repent. We soften our hearts. And when we come back to God he accepts us with grace, no strings attached.
I suspect he would have done the same for even the colossally jerky Pharaoh, too.
Do you ever see any similarities between yourself and Pharaoh?


Welcome to the "Hear It on Sunday, Use It on Monday" community, a place where we share what we are hearing from God and his Word. 
If you're here for the first time, click here for more information. And if you are a new participant, would you leave me a comment or send me an email to tell me it's your first time here, so I can be sure to stop by and say hello at your place?
Please include the Hear It, Use It button (grab the code over in the sidebar) or a link in your post, so your readers know where to find the community if they want to join in -- thank you!
And if you want to tweet about the community, please use the #HearItUseIt hashtag.
Thank you -- I am so grateful to have you here!

{apologies, apologies for forgetting to put the linky up till late this morning! Monday morning, jeepers!}

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Weekend Meditation: Spider's Web




With Deidra's Sunday community:

If you haven't done so already, would you kindly consider "liking" my Writer Facebook page by clicking here? Thank you! You can also  receive "Graceful" free in your email in-box or via the reader of your choice, by clicking here.

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A Case of the Cold Pricklies

The prickle instigator. I've said it before: thank goodness he's so cute.
Distracted by the conversation and a table-full of friends who had gathered for the First Annual Neighborhood Dessert Buffet, I didn’t pay much attention to the ruckus emanating from upstairs. “Oh, just ignore that,” I actually said to the neighbor who had raised an eyebrow in concern. “This is just the way it is with boys.”
Famous last words.
Apparently, while I’d been enjoying my second slice of peach pie, The Great Cactus Chase was unfolding upstairs, a game which to the best of my knowledge involved much dashing, as well as a fair number of succulents, in particular the beavertail cactus.
Suffice to say, Rowan ended up with two palms full of prickles. And not just any old prickles, mind you, but microscopic prickles undiscernable to the naked eye.
Hundreds of them.
In each hand.
Let me save you some trouble, should for some reason a Great Cactus Chase ever take place in your home. Don’t bother trying to remove the prickles with tweezers. Or soap and water. Or packing tape.
Glue, it turns out, is the most viable prickle-removal solution.
As I reclined blissfully ignorant and sugar-stupefied at the table, Brad was at the computer Googling “cactus prickle removal.” This is how he learned about the glue method, which works as such:
  1. Placate sniffling, prickle-infested boy with lollypop.
  2. Pour Elmer’s Glue over prickle-infested zone.
  3. Encourage sniffling, lollypopped boy to hold hands steadily out in front of him and away from all fabric furniture and clothing for 15 minutes.
  4. Remind boy once every 6.3 seconds that his hands are in fact covered in a layer of glue and therefore he should not touch fabric furniture or clothing. 
  5.  Remind boy once every 9.5 seconds that his hands are in fact covered in a layer of glue and that he should also refrain from touching hair, mouth, nose, ears and nether regions.
  6. When glue has properly dried, gently peel thin layers from palms and deposit into trash can.
  7. Repeat.
For the record, embedded microscopic beaver tail cactus prickles hurt like heck. I know this because while the second glue treatment was drying on Rowan’s hands, I tidied up the boys’ rooms  … which, turns out, were infested with cactus prickles.
[Insert cursing here]
I refused the glue treatment {do I really have the time to sit around with gluey hands all night?}, but I shouldn’t have. Because let me tell you this: once beavertail cactus prickles get attached, they’re going nowhere fast. A week later, we’re still pulling prickles out of our skin.
[And while this post has nothing to do with faith except perhaps to note that God did very well indeed when he created prickles as the defense mechanism for cactus, there is a moral to this story: Parents, do not let your children play with cactus].
Have you ever had a run-in with a cactus or another similarly weird situation?
If you haven't done so already, would you kindly consider "liking" my Writer Facebook page by clicking here? Thank you! You can also  receive "Graceful" free in your email in-box or via the reader of your choice, by clicking here.

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The Idol

I've got an idol.

This comes as a surprise. I thought I was done with idols. I know I used to have an idol -- her name was Shopping, and I kicked her to the curb during my year-long Shop-Not Project. And even though I'm back to shopping now, it doesn't have the allure it once did. "What a relief," I thought to myself a couple of months ago. "I'm idol-free!"
{insert happy idol-less dance here}

And...not so fast Miss Fancy Idol-less Dancing Pants.

My first inkling that a new idol had joined the party occurred back in November when I wrote this post about jealousy. The fact that I was jealous of other writers should have been a red flag, but I'm not quick like that. Instead, I got to thinking about it when one of the commenters mentioned that jealousy is usually a symptom of a deeper underlying issue.
I was not pleased to read that observation. Like being jealous isn’t bad enough – now I have to deal with the bigger problem driving the jealousy, too? Could I be more of a complete wreck?
Turns out, the thing that’s driving the jealousy is my new idol: The Writer's Life.
My dream of being a published writer and living a "real" Writer's Life is fueling my jealousy of other published writers who seem to have the life I desire. In fact, I have allowed my dream of the Writer's Life to morph into a bigger, scarier, more powerful idol than shopping ever was.
Writer's Life Idol is to Shopping Idol like Freddy Krueger is to Bowser Junior.

It hit me one day as I sat in the car in my office parking lot. Just as I was about to turn the ignition key, I was jolted by a thought: what if my Writer's Life dream, the way I have it all formulated and mapped out, isn't God's Writer's Life plan for me?
What if his plan is different from my plan?

You see, I've got it all worked out nicely, thank you very much. I will get my book published and quit my part-time job, and earn enough money to continue on as a real writer. I simply want to do what I love to do all day, every day.
Not just on Fridays.
Not just for an hour after the kids go to bed.
Not just squeezed into two hours Wednesday mornings.
Every day. Five days a week. I want writing to be my only job (besides mothering, of course). I love writing so much, I reason, don't I deserve to be able to do it more? Don't I deserve to have the career I love?

This is where God comes in.
The problem is that I don’t exactly know what God wants. Perhaps God wants me to stay at Nebraska public broadcasting. Maybe he sees a role for me there that I don't see. Maybe he wants me to write and work. Maybe he's got a publishing deal for me 10 years from now. Or maybe not at all.

Maybe the Writer's Life that I've imagined for myself isn't the Writer's Life God has designed for me.

There are a lot of options, and I really don't have any idea what his plan is for me, aside from the writing part. I'm pretty confident that writing is involved, but that's about all I know for sure. That's the tricky part about God -- he's hard to pin down and figure out.


Frankly, that kind of irritates me.

But that hard-to-figure-out nature of God is also exactly what's helped me realize that I need to let go. The more I obsess over fulfilling my publishing dream in order to attain my definition of a real Writer's Life, the more that dream takes priority in my life -- over my husband, my children, my friends and even my God.

So I have surrendered.


I'm putting the plan back into God's hands and rolling with it. Or at least I'm surrendering and rolling with it as best as I can, because I'm not a great surrenderer-roller. It's more of a bumpity humpity bangity bungling rolling right now. What this looks like in reality is that I'm still writing, obsessing a little less and telling myself over and over, "It will all work out. It will all work out. Whatever the Plan is, it will all work out."

But you know what? Even bumpity rolling feels better than not rolling at all.



"But my work seems so useless! I have spent my strength for nothing and to no purpose. Yet I leave it all in the Lord's hands. I will trust God for my reward." (Isaiah 49:4).

{I just need to say here that my blogger friend, Sarah, asked her blogger friend Melanie to make this One Word graphic for me when she read my One Word post last week -- isn't that the sweetest?! Thank you, Sarah and Melanie!}

Have you ever battled a big, bad Freddy Krueger-style idol in your life?



Sharing with Ann Voskamp's Walk with Him Wednesday series, as we write about how we are embracing and practicing new habits:


And with Jennifer at Getting Down with Jesus, because that moment that I pondered all this while parked in the office lot in my mini-van? That was a God moment...

If you haven't done so already, would you kindly consider "liking" my Writer Facebook page by clicking here? Thank you! You can also  receive "Graceful" free in your email in-box or via the reader of your choice, by clicking here.

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Hear It on Sunday, Use It on Monday: Gift after Gift after Gift


I would often lament in the early days of my new faith that God didn’t present himself to me like he seemed to for others. Or that he didn’t speak to me like he seemed to speak to other believers. My faith felt vague. Impersonal. I knew God was there, technically speaking, but I didn’t see him with my own eyes. I yearned for the burning bush – something dramatic and obvious. Something I could see and know; a sign that would prove without any doubt that I was in the presence of God.
After a while I gave up complaining. I concluded that I was destined for a general kind of faith, and I tried to be satisfied with that.
Last March I read Ann Voskamp’s One Thousand Gifts. I read it twice actually – the first time because I simply couldn’t put it down; I had to swallow it whole and all at once. And the second time slowly and thoughtfully, with a pen in hand so I could underline text and jot notes in the margins. When I was finished, nearly the entire book was underlined.
The day I closed the book for the second time I began my own list. I bought a cheap notebook at Walgreen’s, laid it open to the first page on the kitchen counter and began to list gifts.
That was the day my faith began to change. That was the day I began the journey toward a real, tangible, specific faith. I didn’t know it at the time, but that was the day I began to know God and see that he was an active, personal presence in my everyday.
Ten months later, I’ve reached number 862 on the gift list as I inch closer and closer to 1,000. I don’t list gifts every single day. Sometimes two or three days pass in which the notebook sits untouched and the pencil lays still. Other days I list three or four or even six or seven gifts at once. Sometimes the kids help, reminding me of what we’ve glimpsed in our comings and goings. Noah will often suggest, “Hey, you should put that in the gift list,” when we’ve spotted something particularly exciting, like the red belly woodpecker at the suet feeder or the tender pink bud on the Christmas cactus.
What I’ve learned in these ten months is that the burning bush I searched for so long, the one I yearned to see – it’s been there all along. That holy ground that Moses stood on? I stand on it every day – in my backyard, in my kitchen, at the office, on the walkway leading to my kids’ school.  
In winter light falling on puzzle pieces…

In the magic of humid emerald as frigid wind whips…

In candlelight flickering in the hush of late night…

In the joyful trumpet of amaryllis in first light…

Sure, the God-sightings aren’t always dramatic – I’m not going to argue that a woodpecker is as powerful as a talking bush engulfed in roaring flames. But just because they are small or undramatic doesn’t make them insignificant or any less of a gift. 

Honestly, the greatest gift for me in this is just as awesome as a burning bush. After all, who would have guessed that a cheap notebook and a pencil would pave the way to see? Who would have guessed that God, the great I AM, would present himself so consistently and generously in my life, moment after moment, day after day, gift after gift after gift?

God, it seems, has caught my attention after all.

With Ann Voskamp...
"Amazing!" Moses said to himself. "Why isn't that bush burning up? I must go over to see this." When the Lord saw that he had caught Moses' attention, God called to him from the bush, "Moses! Moses!" "Here I am!" Moses replied. "Do not come any closer," God told him. "Take off your sandals, for you are standing on holy ground." (Exodus, 3-5, NLT)
855. Noah sipping tea on the back patio.
856. Stopping to pet the soft dog.
857. Geese plunking through the ice.
858. Falcon in the backyard.
859. Saving a ladybug in the kitchen sink.
860. A potato in the shape of a perfect pear.
861. New shiny red tea pot.
862. Care package from mom.

Jen and the Soli De o Gloria Sisters...





 

And Laura at Playdates with God...





 


Welcome to the "Hear It on Sunday, Use It on Monday" community, a place where we share what we are hearing from God and his Word. 

If you're here for the first time, click here for more information. And if you are a new participant, would you leave me a comment or send me an email to tell me it's your first time here, so I can be sure to stop by and say hello at your place?

Please include the Hear It, Use It button (grab the code over in the sidebar) or a link in your post, so your readers know where to find the community if they want to join in -- thank you!

And if you want to tweet about the community, please use the #HearItUseIt hashtag.

Thank you -- I am so grateful to have you here!
If you haven't done so already, would you kindly consider "liking" my Writer Facebook page by clicking here? Thank you! You can also  receive "Graceful" free in your email in-box or via the reader of your choice, by clicking here.

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Weekend Meditation: Rejoice


With Deidra's Sunday community:


If you haven't done so already, would you kindly consider "liking" my Writer Facebook page by clicking here? Thank you! You can also  receive "Graceful" free in your email in-box or via the reader of your choice, by clicking here.

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Love Starts with Duty

“I don't really feel like doing this," I whisper to my husband, Brad, as he pulls the mini-van into a parking space. The lot at the Center for People in Need is jammed with cars. The wind bites through our jackets as we scuttle toward the double doors of the warehouse.
Brad, our two boys and I have signed up to distribute food to the hundreds of people who will come through the line that night. But I don’t really want to be there. I’d rather be at home propped in front of HGTV with a glass of red wine and a box of Cheez-Its.
The only reason I’m about to volunteer a few hours of my time is that I feel obligated.
...will you join me over at the Lincoln Journal Star to read about my family's experience volunteering at a local food distribution center recently?
If you haven't done so already, would you kindly consider "liking" my Writer Facebook page by clicking here? Thank you! You can also  receive "Graceful" free in your email in-box or via the reader of your choice, by clicking here.

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One Word {Better Late than Never}

I love resolutions. I love the promise of a fresh start, the chance at a new beginning. I typically make eight resolutions at the start of each new year and divide my goals into four categories, two resolutions for each category: physical fitness/health; family life/relationships; spirituality; and writing. You're wondering if I actually keep any of my resolutions, aren't you? The fact is, I manage to keep most of them...or at least half of them every year. I'm Triple Type A, what can I say?
This year, though, I didn't make a single resolution. I simply wasn’t in the mood. It’s hard to embrace the new year when you know right from the get-go that it’s going to be a difficult one. This New Year's Eve and Day were the hardest I've ever faced, knowing that 2012 will not be easy.

I’d rather not know what’s ahead. Ignorance is bliss, as the saying goes. Just four weeks ago my biggest concern was whether to purchase Bop-It or Bop-It Xtreme as a Christmas gift for Rowan. Then we got the news of my father-in-law’s illness, and our world turned upside down. Suddenly everything that caused me angst, as well as everything that brought me joy, vanished under the weight of grief.

The future is always unknown, right? But that's exactly what I forget when life is rolling along just fine.
The day before we learned of Jon's illness, I thought I had everything figured out and all under control. I was wrong, of course...but I would have been wrong regardless of the bad news that came our way.
We never know what the future holds - not next year, next month, tomorrow or the next hour. It can all change in the span of a single breath. The future is not mine to know; it is determined by a power much greater than I.
In light of that realization, and the fact that what I really want to change can't be changed by me, I resolve this year to surrender. I guess you could say that's my one word for 2012: surrender.
Don't get me wrong. To surrender doesn't mean I give up, throw in the towel, bury my head in the sand. It simply means that I yield. I relinquish. I step back.
 I don’t embrace surrender lightly or willingly – it goes against my nature. Yet I can’t think of anything I need to do more right now.

I surrender to God's will on this long and circuitous publishing journey. I put my book, this blog and my words in his hands and yield to his will.
I surrender to God’s will in the everyday – in both the frustrating, irritating moments and the ones that brim with joy and peace. They are all his, each and every one.

And most of all I surrender this arduous journey through illness and suffering to God’s will. I put my hope, fears and prayers in God's hands and yield to him.
Ultimately, I know that God holds my father-in-law Jon and all of us in the palm of his hand.  And with that, I surrender. 

"Though the Lord gave you adversity for food and suffering for drink, he will still be with you to teach you. You will see your teacher with your own eyes. Your own ears will hear him. Right behind you a voice will say, 'This is the way you should go.'" (Isaiah 30: 20-21, NLT).


Do you have a "one word" to guide you through 2012?

If you haven't done so already, would you kindly consider "liking" my Writer Facebook page by clicking here? Thank you! You can also  receive "Graceful" free in your email in-box or via the reader of your choice, by clicking here.

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Hear It on Sunday, Use It on Monday: The Big Picture


As I listened to yesterday’s reading about the birth of Moses (Exodus 2:1-10), I worried that I didn’t have anything to say about it. “Nice story, good to know for background, but how is it relevant to me, today?” I thought to myself as I sat in the pew.
The more I pondered the reading, though, the more I began to realize its relevance. You see, on the surface, the story of Moses’ birth seems like a story of marvelous coincidence. A desperate mother places her three-month infant in a woven basket nestled into the reeds at the edge of the Nile. Along comes the Pharaoh's daughter to bathe in the exact spot along the river where Moses is hidden. She stumbles on the baby and is moved to compassion. Out pops Moses’ sister from the reeds, who volunteers the services of a “Hebrew woman” to nurse the baby, so Moses is returned to his birth mother until he is old enough to be handed over to Pharaoh’s daughter to be raised by her. In the end, not only does Moses survive and thrive in a time when most male Hebrew infants were mercilessly killed by the Pharaoh, he triumphs as one of God’s most faithful and renowned servants.
What are the chances?
That’s just it, of course. It’s no chance. It’s no coincidence that Moses is discovered by the Pharaoh’s daughter herself and is later raised by her in the Pharaoh’s own residence. It’s all part of the greater plan that God has for Moses and his people.
And I believe that God works the same way in my life, too.
Moses’ mother must have been terrified to place her tiny infant in a flimsy basket and set him next to the flowing Nile River. She was desperate to save him, and that was the only possible solution available to her at the time. She might have hoped for a positive outcome, but she couldn’t have known for sure what would happen to her beloved child. She couldn’t see the big picture. She didn’t know how triumphantly the story would end.
I admit, I often can’t see the big picture either. Sometimes I doubt that God is involved in my day-to-day at all. I wonder where he is as I stumble through difficult circumstances. I can’t for the life of me see how it will all turn out, or  how it can possibly turn out well.
The story of Moses’ birth reminds me that God is indeed present and active in the day-to-day circumstances of my life. What seems random, what looks like coincidence, may in fact be just one in a series of small steps, all part of an unfolding plan for good.
Like Moses’ mother, I must simply trust. I must trust that God's plan for me is unfolding as it should, and that he has my best interest at heart. God wants to use even the smallest moments of my life for his greater good. The question is, will I trust him enough to let him?

"For I know the plans I have for you," says the Lord. "They are plans for good and not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope." (Jeremiah 29:11)
If you haven't done so already, would you kindly consider "liking" my Writer Facebook page by clicking here? Thank you! You can also  receive "Graceful" free in your email in-box or via the reader of your choice, by clicking here.
Welcome to the "Hear It on Sunday, Use It on Monday" community, a place where we share what we are hearing from God and his Word. 

If you're here for the first time, click here for more information. And if you are a new participant, would you leave me a comment or send me an email to tell me it's your first time here, so I can be sure to stop by and say hello at your place?

Please include the Hear It, Use It button (grab the code over in the sidebar) or a link in your post, so your readers know where to find the community if they want to join in -- thank you!

And if you want to tweet about the community, please use the #HearItUseIt hashtag.

Thank you -- I am so grateful to have you here!

* A note: I've decided to forego the weekly Hear It, Use It Round-Up that I've been posting on Thursdays. The thing is, there are some weeks in which I can't read all, or even most, of the linked posts, so it was becoming increasingly difficult to do the Round-Up on Thursdays. The good news, though, is that I will continue to tweet and facebook about your posts every week, so please, let's keep connected that way, too? Thank you for your understanding!!

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Weekend Meditation: For Its Own Time



Yet God has made everything beautiful for its own time.
He has placed eternity in the human heart, but even so,
people cannot see the whole scope of God's work
from beginning to end.
(Ecclesiastes 3:11, NLT)


With Deidra...

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Just in Case You're Wondering...


I am indeed still alive {actually, a couple of my beloved relatives called my mom to ask what happened to me - it's nice to know I've been missed...and yeah, missed by relatives counts too!}.

Anyway, we're just back from hanging with our rock-star niece and nephew and soaking up the Minnesota balminess. Seriously, it was freaky-warm up there. Now I'm settling back into work, clearing the house of Christmas decor (does it make me a bad person to admit that taking down the Christmas clutter, I mean decorations, makes me happy?) and generally enjoying the respite from writing.

I'll be back for good on Saturday though, with a photo and verse to link up with Deidra's community. And then on Monday when the Hear It on Sunday, Use It on Monday community resumes.

I've missed you all! Catch you soon...

If you haven't done so already, would you kindly consider "liking" my Writer Facebook page by clicking here? Thank you! You can also  receive "Graceful" free in your email in-box or via the reader of your choice, by clicking here.

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All material and photographs copyrighted Michelle DeRusha 2012

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