We have been going through some changes at the Epps’ house lately. Joey was in a serious courting relationship that didn’t work out. Bella has also gone through a break-up and finding out she won’t be graduating in December as planned, mostly due to some bad advice from her collage adviser.
These occurrences have led to a lot of sadness from both of them. Especially since it all pretty much occurred within the last two weeks. Bella asked a question on her blog…”God does have a plan doesn’t He?”. And the answer is, of course, YES God does have a plan.
There have been many times since I have been a Christian when I couldn’t seem to figure out what was going on. I have never wavered in the belief that God is sovereign and is working all things out for His glory….however, it’s really hard when you are in the midst of a trial to see His plan.
I do know that the year after Bud lost his job was extremely hard but looking back, we were closer to God than any other time and we all grew so much from that time.
Time and time again, God provided for us in ways we couldn’t have imagined. People loved us and took care of us, tuition was paid by an unnamed person, bills we didn’t know how we were going to pay were suddenly taken care of by a refund of an overpayment six months prior…
Looking back at God’s lovingkindness, mercy, and faithfulness to us during times of famine as well as times of feast, helps me to be able to tell my children that Yes, God does have a plan and just wait until you see what He is doing….it’s gonna be great!!!
My children both work at Lifeway Christian Bookstore and for the second year in a row, Bud and I helped with Lifeway’s inventory this past weekend. There we were scanning all the items in the store for the inventory and I started thinking about keeping track of things.
In a store (or a warehouse like where I work), we do cycle counts and a yearly inventory to keep track of the inventory. In life, God keeps track of everything we do, both good and bad. What a truly frightening thought! Just think about that a moment…that ugly thought you had about your spouse or child, that curse word you said when something didn’t go right, that moment of complete selfishness…..all recorded for all eternity. Wow…I’m in big trouble.
But here’s the good news. When our “inventory” of sin is done, the report is still good! What???? How can that be? Even though our “numbers” should be horrible, and I will admit mine would be even if only a day’s worth of sins were recorded, they aren’t. The reason….the Lord Jesus Christ has given me his record in place of mine. Oh, what wondrous love! This is not how things are supposed to work but I rejoice in the lovingkindness of our God that this is how He has determined they will work!
So, in thinking of all of this, I am again driven to the cross. And I am more determined to work out my salvation in fear and trembling by leaning on the Holy Spirit for power to overcome these sins.
I’ve been trying to figure out what is up with our weather…..
I mean in the past couple of weeks we have had extremely cold weather, shorts weather, tornados, snow, shorts weather again, torrential rain, and back to shorts weather again. It’s no wonder I have a head cold I can’t get rid of. I’m sure that my sinuses are just fed up with the daily weather change.
I will have to say though…I love Spring. I like Summer too. I guess I’m just a warm-weather girl. I think I like Spring so much because of everything coming back to life. Just watching all the bare trees start sprouting their leaves once again, the flowers begin blooming, and seeing all the birds and squirrels running around makes me happy. It reminds me of how things are with us as well.
When we have unrepentant sin we experience a lack of closeness from God. Until we repent and repair our relationship with God, there is a time of Winter in our relationship. It’s cold and distant and not satisfying to our soul.
But then we repent….and just like Spring there is new life in our relationship. The relationship blooms between us and our heavenly Father. The light illuminates our soul. The fruit in our lives just begins to bloom. Oh, the lovingkindness and forgiveness of our loving Father God!
So I just have to remember – no matter what the weather is doing outside – I can always have the newness and life of Springtime in my soul. Thank you my Father!!!
Recently we have been getting a lesson on the plagues in Egypt in our household….
It all started with rodents. Several months back we noticed some evidence of rodent activity in our house and determined that we had a mouse. We put out traps to no avail. We then called our pest control service that brought bait traps and glue traps. One Saturday when Bella and I were home alone, we heard the “mouse” trying to get into the bait trap under the kitchen sink. It was banging the trap around because it was TOO BIG TO GET IN IT. So…we set another trap for it consisting of glue traps laid flat and dog food. We ended up catching us a 6 inch long (not including tail) RAT! After running it over with the car to kill it – another story I won’t go into now – we were rat free…or so we thought. We have killed 3 more since then.
On to the next plague…
A few days after we killed the last rat with rat poison, we smelled a funky smell in the laundry room. We were of course worried that there was a dead rat in the wall. But after a day it quit smelling bad so we quit thinking about it. All was forgotten until about a week or so later, when Bella called me at work and asked me why someone had spilled rice all over the hall floor and left it there. Upon closer inspection we found that this was not rice but now we had maggots spilling out on the floor from a hole behind the water heater. WHAT???? Apparently we had another rat who died in the wall (remember the funky smell). So we were now raising a nice batch of maggots. My dear hubby decided to put salt on them to kill them (it works for snails right?). However, salt doesn’t dissolve maggots, it just makes them wiggle and move faster. We swept the maggots up and threw them in the outside trashcan.
On to the next plague…
Now we come to this week. Tuesday morning there was this big, black fly annoying me while I was trying to get ready for work. No big deal, but really annoying. Then I came home from work on Tuesday evening and discovered that we are now living in the Amityville Horror house. There are now a bunch of big, black flies everywhere. Oh how sweet…apparently our little baby maggots are all grown up. There must have been more in the wall we didn’t get out. Thankfully the buggers are really slow so they are pretty easy to kill. But there are hundreds of them….everywhere. Pretty bad except it was hilarious to watch Bud try to kill three in a narrow hall using his “automatic weapon” fly swatting technique this morning. The good news is flies only have a 24-48 hour life span right?
Third plague…black flies.
On to the next plague….I sure hope not. Anyone who knows how I feel about grasshoppers knows I won’t survive a locust plague.
So…what is God trying to teach us through all of this? Romans 8:18 says “For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us.” OK, maybe pests in your house aren’t really suffering when you compare them to the many bad things out there. But when you live with them, they are bad enough.
Each day then, I will look to God and glorify Him that He is using these “minor annoyances” to sanctify me each day. And I will thank Him for them. And pray…please God…no grasshoppers…please…
So….here I am in the world of blogging. As a parent with two children ages 21 and almost 19, I don’t feel like anyone is listening sometimes. So I am going to try this blogging thing.
I decided to name my blog Twice Adopted since that pretty much sums up my status. You see, when I was two months old, I was adopted by my parents into their world with all the love, rights, and priviledges. And then, some 35 years later, I was adopted yet again, this time by my Heavenly Father into His Kingdom with all the love, rights, and priviledges. Pretty blessed, huh? I look back and see so clearly how my life has been led to the place it is now. God has blessed me and my family so deeply.
It’s wonderful to look back and see what God has done and see what He continues to do for His glory. I have a godly husband that is striving to lead our family in holiness, I have two wonderful children who know the Lord and who are walking with Him daily, and I have friends who are such blessings to me who hold me accountable and “lovingly” knock me upside the head when needed.
In the chaos that is life sometimes….taking a minute to remember these things helps me to see how blessed and loved I truly am.