Once a month, I’ll post a rambly post from my rambly heart ,without taking time to edit and overthink. (Believe it or not I really do hack away for a day or two at all my posts before I share them, so they’re slightly more cohesive.) Here I go:
Today is the first Saturday in August, and it was so lovely out! A very first-day-of-the-new-school-year kinda feel in the air. I have always loved the changing of seasons. And I have always been one to get prematurely excited about little things.
Bron was at Home Depot when I woke this morning – common occurrence 🙂 – and there was a text on my phone saying that I can go out as soon as he gets home; that it was the perfect day to get out.
Emmy asked why I had “to go alone to a coffee shop”, and I told her it helps me be a better Mommy when I can get some time alone. I put on an outfit and a little makeup. And when he got home, Bron smiled at me and said I looked nice, which wives love to hear. ❤️
So I drove away, entrusting the crumbs and the morning and the children to the able hands of my husband, and I landed at the coffee shop across the street from my favorite thrift store. I read some Psalms and some Charles Spurgeon , and sipped some iced chai, which fit the pre-Autumnal spirit I was in; soaking up the alone time amidst the hustle and bustle of a busy Saturday morning.
As I was sitting there with my ☕️ chai and my pile of books squished onto that table-for-one, I couldn’t help but smile to myself as I read the vintage encouragement from Charles Spurgeon, reflecting on Romans 8:
“He looks over the raging waters and sees the spirit of Jesus treading the billows, and he hears a voice saying, “It is I, be not afraid.” He knows too that God is always wise, and, knowing this, he is confident that there can be no accidents, no mistakes; that nothing can occur which ought not to arise.
He can say: ‘If I should lose all I have, it is better that I should lose than have, if God so wills: the worst calamity is the wisest and the kindest thing that could befall to me if God ordains it.’
Romans8:28 “We know that all things work together for good to them that love God.” The Christian does not merely hold this as a theory, but he knows it as a matter of fact. Everything has worked for good as yet; the poisonous drugs mixed in fit proportions have worked the cure; the sharp cuts of the lancet have cleansed out the proud flesh and facilitated the healing.
Every event as yet has worked out the most divinely blessed results; and so, believing that God rules all, that he governs wisely, that he brings good out of evil, the believer’s heart is assured, and he is enabled calmly to meet each trial as it comes. The believer can in the spirit of true resignation pray, ‘Send me what thou wilt, my God, so long as it comes from thee; never came there an ill portion from thy table to any of thy children.”
This time last year, this August 5th reading in Morning & Evening, –if I had actually read it!–, would not have brought a smile to my face. This time last year was so rough, guys! We had a stressful move that we regretted, and on top of that a trial like never before that effected one of our children, and she was so hard to love!
It felt like God had given us a huge meal to eat that looked good at first, but then as we began to eat -it was disgusting and rotten, but we just had to keep eating…
My faith was rocked, and my heart was hard and my attitude was sour. I avoided friends and watched a lot of silly shows on Netflix, and regularly tried to imagine up a way I could escape the chaos. :I: was so hard to love, which made me feel even more alone. My entire household just seemed like a huge mess of sin and weakness and unlovableness!
When I was a kid, hearing the story of Jesus calming the storm in Sunday school, I always imagined him super angry at his disciples: “WHY ARE YOU SO AFRAID?!” And I could relate to the annoyed disciples, freaking out at Him for sleeping while their world was rocked. I never really understood His grace and mercy and love for us shown in the gospel. I never understood the significance of Him allowing something terrifying :so that they could see how He would deliver them and comfort them: . And this time last year, I couldn’t either.
And especially this kind of mercy Spurgeon is talking about: that “the worst calamity” could be “the wisest and the kindest thing that could befall to me if God ordains it.”?? That was a forgeign concept to me, as a child for sure , and this time last year, I just couldn’t see it.
But guys, now I can! And I have to share.
After that crazy summer, something had to change- and we decided to try school for my daughter. Sounds simple and insignificant. But I had always imagined I would homeschool. And as we sent her off to school, a burden lifted as I realized quickly what a good fit it was for our family. She was thriving, and I kind of was too.
A big part of this was that my husband was leading with that decision, and I suddenly realized how for years I had a huge vision for our family that my husband really wasn’t on board with! And I didn’t want to live that way anymore. I was enjoying the fruit of his decision to put her in school. And my heart was more :for: my husband than it had been before.
Speaking of having a vision for our family that a spouse didn’t share, my husband had a similar realization of his own, as God made it obvious that our lifestyle of buying fixer uppers to live in and eventually sell was not working for our family. And within just a couple months, my husband sold THREE *so-so* houses, and bought us *ONE* beautiful spacious home that I still can’t believe we are living in.
Through it all, God was slowly working on our hearts, graciously showing us our sin and drawing us to Himself. Making His Word come alive to us; His Gospel more real than ever: “For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, not a result of works, so that no one may boast.” Ephesians 2:8 & 9.
Last summer, “the worst calamity” was 🌷the wisest and the kindest thing🌷 that could befall to us, because God ordained it. Though initially, I hated Him for it, He has only used it for good.
And just about the time we were settled into our new home, my joint pain and migraines began, and I learned I had Lyme disease.
It was just such a picture of God’s kindness to have this beautiful home to rest in, that ran so much better than our old houses. And more important than a more efficient home, our family dynamics were so much more sweet and healthy, born out of that first trial. Now another trial had come into our life, but this time our world wasn’t rocked. His wisdom in bringing us to this new home was just ridiculously obvious.
As I write this, I know there are friends who have harder trials than this, and haven’t been given a beautiful home to recover from it all in. But I just want to encourage you to wait and see how God will deliver you and show you His kindness and comfort.
Also I know there are friends who aren’t Christians who may be reading this who think it sounds silly. And I know it sounds crazy, but I couldn’t make this up. The reason God could work all things for good in my life is because *He worked all things for good* when He shed his blood for me on the cross.
& after my coffee shop date with Charles Spurgeon and chai , I went to my favorite thrift store across the street. I found a bunch of sweet little outfits for the girls in sweet anticipation for fall; my heart happy as Bron texted me a picture of the girls playing in the big cardboard box from the freezer he was setting up in the garage.
The girls playing nicely together outside while Bron worked and sent me light hearted texts, as I enjoyed some time out of the house- Bron being the one who sent me off!, it was such a sweet picture of God’s redemption and faithfulness in our life. What a difference a year makes!
Emmy was so excited to see what I brought home for her, and we talked about going back to school in a couple weeks. And she’s so excited! I am too. Not because it means she’ll be out of my hair, but because she really does so well at school, and I love seeing her become her own little person. (I also love that the burden of trying to be an organized homeschool mom is off my shoulders, cause God hasn’t called me to that!)
I’m also looking forward to Fall because I feel like this Summer has been all about recovering from Lyme disease. And I don’t know for sure, but the worst seems to be behind us now, and the Fall and Winter ahead just seem like an invitation to get on with life.
it might get worse again,
and that’s okay too.
I’ll continue to look to Him for all my needs and I’ll continue to agree with Charles Spurgeon’s prayer :
‘Send me what thou wilt, my God, so long as it comes from thee;
never came there an ill portion from thy table to any of thy children.”