WWJD? Not. Rush!

Y’all.  I LOVE how God ALWAYS speaks right into out circumstances.  When I wrote Never A Dull Moment two years ago, I surely did not know I’d be reading through it with you now.  I didn’t know I’d be the PTA President, that Class Assignment Day would be upon me, that I’d be playing “catch up” and lamenting how quickly the days of summer flew past… but God did.

What a PERFECT devotional reading for this day!  And the super cool thing is, I know it is speaking to many of you in the same personal way this morning.  Life. Is. CRAZY!  Our kiddos grow up so fast, vacations fly by, it feels like we need to start putting the Christmas tree up in August!  Ok.  Maybe that last one is just me!  The point is, we are all so busy and time flies.  But, we can BE STILL and KNOW that God is GOD (Psalm 46:10).  And Jesus, as always, gives us a perfect example to follow.

  1. Cover your day in PRAYER
  2. CARE about the people who cross your path
  3. ALWAYS keep the main thing, the main thing

So easy to type.  So hard to DO!  I don’t know if y’all took the time to look up each of the passages mentioned in today’s reading, but I did!  Here’s the thing, Jesus was a VERY busy man!  I think a lot of times, we tend to think of Him as floating through life on this planet with maybe a cute little sheep near His feet and a halo around His head.  Nothing could be further from the truth.  He didn’t live in peaceful, calm, orderly circumstances, BUT He is peace, stayed calm and keeps order.  See the difference?

PRAYER

Mark 5:15-16 says, “the news about Him spread even more, and large crowds would come together to hear Him and to be healed of their sicknesses.  YET He often withdrew to deserted places and prayed.”  Even as people clamored for His attention, He withdrew for prayer.  That word: YET.  YET… even though people wanted Him to heal them, teach them, feed them, go with them, talk to them… He withdrew to pray.  He, better than anyone, knows exactly where our strength comes from.  Jesus was absolutely clear about WHO is in control.  We need to get there.  All of our striving won’t accomplish a fraction of what time in prayer will.  It simply can’t skipped.  No matter what.  YET… even though kiddos are clamoring, the phone is ringing or dinging or beeping or chirping or WHATEVERing; even though your head is spinning, the list is calling… YET she often withdrew to deserted places and prayed.  He must be our first report, not our last resort.

CARE

Take a look at Mark 6:34 and let your eyes wander up the page to verse 30.  Please notice that Jesus and the guys were on a little vacay.  They had been commissioned and sent out back at the beginning of chapter 6 and upon their return, Jesus said, “Whew!  You guys were busy!  Way to go!  I think a boys’ weekend is in order (Mark 6:31, The Joeli Version)!”  They made their plans, but when they arrived, their fans had followed them!  Jesus didn’t freak out or cry or scream at His friends (for me, insert: kids, husband, mom, cashier at Wal-mart…).  He stepped ashore (They were at the BEACH, for heaven’s sake!) and “had compassion on them, because they were like sheep without a shepherd (6:34).”

Oh, how I love Jesus.  What a precious friend and savior.  I am like a sheep without a shepherd.  He took time for me and has compassion on me.  And every day He brings people across my busy path that I can, in turn, have compassion on.

Not too long ago, I was very upset/hurt/frustrated over a situation the details of which, honestly, aren’t even important.  I was talking it out with my kiddos because they were there for it.  They knew I was upset.  They understood WHY I was upset.  But after all my dismay and anger, my girl said: “Mom, you would never have [done that thing that upset you so] because you know Jesus, but maybe that lady is just tripping down the wrong path and maybe she just needs Jesus.”  Oh, my wise girl.

Y’all, every single person we meet every single day as we run through our crazy lives “just needs Jesus.”  We get to BE Jesus.  Oh Holy Spirit, wake us up.  Give us a YOUR compassion and care for the people we see.  Use us to love the wandering sheep and lead them home.

THE MAIN THING

One word for you: MISSION.  What is yours?  Jesus knew He was here to declare the day of the Lord and preach the Good News (see Luke 4:17-21)  We all have a mission too.  We are not all called to DO every thing.  We would do well to spend some time with the Father getting clear on what it is our “main thing” is and then keep it the main thing.  Just like Jesus, we need to allow for interruptions without becoming distracted.

The iPod Incident: An Unexpected Lesson in Answered Prayers

So, in case you haven’t figured it out yet, I am a TINY bit obsessive compulsive… about SOME things.  [Let me pause here for certain members of my family and close friends to stop laughing and wipe the tears away from their eyes…]  My latest obsession has been my daughter’s 3DS and my son’s iPod that mysteriously went missing at exactly the same time.  And I do mean exactly the same time.  See, we don’t allow “screen time” in our house during the week.  So, iPods and 3DSs don’t really have any chance to get lost except on the weekend.  Thank God!  That, right there, is reason enough for any of my fellow OCD Mommas out there to implement the “No Screen Time During the Week” policy as far as I’m concerned!  

Anyway, both of these fairly expensive, much loved electronic devices went missing on the same weekend.  The weekend in question was February 23-24, better known in the Mulligan House as the “Mom was out of town and then totally wiped out because she spoke at a big conference with Laura Story” weekend.  That, simply to say, I wasn’t paying much attention to where anything was on Sunday afternoon.  Monday was spent “redeeming” the weekend: doing laundry, putting things away, organizing etc. etc.  And, frankly I did a fabulous job: no baskets of stuff hanging around or piles waiting to be sorting!  I even dusted, for heaven’s sake!  So, on Tuesday or Wednesday, when I finally realized that said electronics were amongst the missing, I didn’t even know where to look! 

Well, when Momma can’t find something – even if it’s not hers – ain’t nobody happy in the Mulligan House!  So, we searched and lamented and stressed and cried and fussed and every time the missing electronics crossed my mind, we did it again.  I literally began asking God for 3 things: 1. Keep the DS and the iPod safe.  2. Show us where they were!  3. Keep the fact that I didn’t know from driving me completely insane.  In order to appreciate the fact that I am really not exaggerating my distress here, you need to know that I still have flashes of anxiety regarding a Walkman I lost my junior year of college… 20 years ago!  Really.  Blessedly, God began to answer number three really quickly!  Had He not, I may have been hospitalized before number two could ever happen!

The next weekend came and went.  I did an EXHAUSTIVE search of the Suburban, the Jeep and the church… because when your Daddy’s the Minister of Music and your Momma’s the Sunday School Director, SOMETIMES you get to take electronics to church on Sunday afternoon…  to no avail.  They were gone.  Totally lost!  I had texted Papa, Joey’s Mom, Hannah Beth’s Mom and Mrs. Dianne – the lady who cleans the church.   There was nothing left to do except learn a lesson in responsibility and keep on truckin’.  But, of course, even with God’s undertaking, Momma’s mind kept calmly turning to “Where the heck could those things be?!”  Several times, I had flashes of brilliance and as I was going to check a coat pocket or my bag of props from the conference, I giddily thought: we’re about to find them!!  But we didn’t. 

Until last night!  I went into my daughter’s room to do something, when all of a sudden I had an overwhelming urge to see if she had been cramming things under her bookshelf when she “cleaned her room” daily.  And there, crammed way over to the left – to her credit, the side her DS is supposed to be plugged in on! – was her DS, case and all!  Momma lost it a little, but was generally thrilled that we had found the DS and overjoyed that we now had a REALLY good reason to go ahead and clean up the rest of the stuff I found under her bookshelf.  And clean out her nightmare of a closet.  And her hideous “junk drawer”.  I told you: I’m a little obsessive compulsive… about some things!  Kep whispered to me as we finished up her room, “You know what, Mommy? God answered my prayers.  I was really praying that He would help me find my DS.”  Bless her heart!  She’s got a little of her Momma in her!  There was celebrating at the dinner table!  Praise was offered to the Lord!  And Caleb wanted to know if I had found his iPod too.  Bless his heart.  We asked God, as a family, to keep his iPod safe and to help us find it.

I decided that even though God had answered MY prayers also and I was not obsessing about the iPod any longer, I couldn’t, in good Mommy Conscience, just let it go completely until I had done a big “search and rescue” in Caleb’s room too.  So, this morning, that’s what I did.  I organized, dusted and vacuumed – even under the bed.  I cleaned out his junk drawer and checked every pocket of every coat and bag in his closet.  But I didn’t find his iPod.  I left his room, praying, “God, please keep the Pod safe until we find it and use this to teach Caleb a lesson in being responsible that he won’t forget.”

Then, I decided since I was on such a “roll”, I would continue my super-cleaning!  I was dusting the rocking chair from Caleb’s nursery that now sits in our upstairs landing because his sister had asked that we put it in her room.  Heaven knows it needed a good dusting before I put it in that freshly cleaned room!   I had wiped every nook and cranny of the base then lifted up the cushion to clean under there too, when what to my wondering eyes appeared – stuck WAY down under the side cushion – but my boy’s iPod!!  WooHoo!  Go God!  Go Momma!

I still hope Caleb, and Keppley, both learn a lesson in responsibility from these last 10 days of distress over their missing electronics, but I have to say, that I am truly praising the Lord this afternoon that the lesson we ALL got to learn today is that God answers prayers.  He knows every hair on our head and where all our stuff is!  He knows what stresses us out, when it’s best to leave things lost and when it’s best to reveal them to us.  He knows what we need and how long we need to struggle until the lesson is learned.  He will take our anxiety from us if we ask Him to and yield control to Him.  And just when we think that’s the lesson we’re supposed to learn, He’ll make it more about His goodness than our need to learn our lesson.  I am so glad God keeps searching for and rescuing me when I’m “lost”.  And I am SO glad I get to tell Caleb that God answered his prayers today too!