and then He said YES.

Scripture tells us to take all of our requests to God, and that if we are praying according to His will, we will have what we have asked of Him. So often we take that scripture and twist God into some sort of genie in a bottle… granting wishes and desires just because we asked.

But that’s not who our God is. He is a wise Father who knows what is best for us. He knows the beginning from the end. And sometimes, His answer is no. Sometimes the thing we ask is not according to His will. Sometimes the best thing is not the immediate thing.

I have written a lot about that “no”. The “no” hurts. It’s confusing. Hearts are broken. It doesn’t make sense. I know all about the "no", I have learned much from those two letters.  

But sometimes… God says “YES”. Today I finally get to tell you about a major "yes" in our lives... one that was made possible because He first said "no". This is the story of an answered prayer, not in my time... but His. It is a reminder that He often works in delayed dreams. And for you to really understand the miracle... I have to go where Paul Harvey spent so much of his time... telling "the rest of the story"...

When Jim and I moved into our cute little starter home in Edwardsport, we only planned to be here until we started having kids. Unfortunately, we were young and dumb, and we didn’t guard our credit like we needed to in order to make that happen.

[BIG mistakes were made]

And so, in 2006 during one of Kathy Stephen’s Bible Studies she handed out little notecards on which she asked us to write our list of “impossible” situations… and to take those situations to a God for whom nothing is impossible.  I hesitated to even write it… because the reason for the “impossibility” was of my own making… yet there at the very bottom of the card I finally wrote “a bigger house”. It’s not that I wanted square footage or room to entertain… my heart just wanted to give Tali and Zachary their own rooms.

For three years that card rode around in my Bible, and when I saw it, I would take that impossible situation back to God. 

And then we saw it. The House on Morgan Road. [all capitalized, because that is the position it took in my heart]. It was empty, a foreclosure, stripped of everything that could be removed from the home… but bigger. And perfect. And… an answer to prayer.

I set off to the courthouse to get information, which led me to the Sherriff's Dept. I was given the name of the attorney who handled the foreclosure and the warning that they may not be able to give me any information. Each step of the way my prayer was the same... "God if this is not your will, please close the door".

I had been telling Jim that we should go walk around the house seven times with his shofar, praying all Jericho-style, asking God to deliver it over into our hands. He thought I was a little nuts [nothing new], but had seen God answer my crazy prayers enough that he would pull in and walk around the house once every time we drove by. After getting the number of the law firm and making a call to them, I decided today was the day for The Official March.

Stomping through weeds as high as my knees I trekked the uneven ground around The House on Morgan Road seven times. “God, you are a good God! And you are a faithful God! And if you want to, if this is YOUR will, you can make this house ours! YOU CAN DO THAT GOD, and I know you don’t do these kind of miracles for the sake of the miracle, but so that YOU will be glorified… God I just ask that if you are going to do this, you will keep the door open. But if this is outside your will that you will shut the door…”

At some point in my prayer I laid out the fleece“God, if this is your will, would you cause that attorney to call me back as soon as I finish my seventh lap around the house?” It seemed ridiculous, but I’m the kind of follower that asks for ridiculous confirmations.

As I started my seventh trip around the house, I wished quietly that I had that shofar… and then in the distance a train horn blew. Every detail.

I finished in the front of the house.

I pulled out my phone and looked at it.


I sank to my knees in the front lawn.

I poured out all of my requests and dreams and desires to Him.

Still no call.

Deciding that it WAS ridiculous to ask God to do that, I got in my car, and pulling out of the driveway I aimed my car toward home.

And then it rang.

The moment all four tires were on the pavement, the attorney called me.

I was totally blown away. I am one to ask for ridiculous confirmations, but am still shocked when HE provides them!

Talking to the attorney, I was given the name of a contact person within the mortgage company that had possession of the house. I learned it was a home purchased with an FHA loan, which caused all sorts of complications with the purchase of it, and that I would have to work directly with them. Another phone call was made.

Another ridiculous request put before God.

“God, please don’t be angry with me… but I need to know you want us to pursue this… if you do… would you please have the mortgage company call me back while I’m waiting to pick the kids up from school?”

And then, at 3:05, sitting in my car outside the kid’s school…

The phone rang.

I can’t make this stuff up.

I learned that because the house was insured by the FHA, the purchase would be tangled up for a while. I was given an email address and told to keep in touch, but that it could take a while. God had confirmed it, and so we waited. 

The next Sunday in church, Seth preached on Luke 1:37. For nothing is impossible with God. The small notation in my Bible says “House on Morgan Rd-11/29/09”. 

A week later while case managing, I noticed yard signs everywhere with this same scripture. “Nothing is impossible with God”. Dozens of them.  Overwhelmed, I parked my car and called a friend. And looking up was a literal billboard that said the same. Nothing is impossible with God. 

He was going to do this thing! He was going to give us a house!!!

And we believed.

And we waited.

For a year.

And then, on February 25, 2011 one of my monthly emails came back with the following:

This property was transferred to HUD. Please call 1-800-CALL-FHA for more information.

It was GO TIME. This meant the home would soon be going up for auction. And the Lord had kept the door open this whole time.

We believed.

We dreamed.

We decorated rooms and painted walls and had friends over and cleaned up the yard and lived in that house… all in our minds… for over a year.

And now it was time for God to do what we knew God was going to do.

More investigation, more following up, contacting a local realtor, learning the process… God was so evident in every single detail. 

Then a Saturday morning call from Jim, “we need $3000 today to stay in the running for the house”.  We didn’t have that much cash, and we couldn’t even get to the bank in time to try to work out a loan. Again, "God if you are going to do this thing, keep the door open..."  

Within an hour, that entire amount of money had been secured through the generosity of friends and family. $1000 here and a $100 there. I drove up to our little "starter" home to find my husband, the tough guy, sitting on the front porch in tears. "He is going to do this, Becky!" Monday morning another miracle, and we were able to secure the rest of the bid amount from the bank.

We were blown AWAY.

God was going to do this!

We placed our bid. We signed on the dotted line. And when we doubted our bid on the way home, God took us directly to John 15:7... "if you remain in me and my words remain in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be given to you."  We trusted our bid and we left it alone.

What a roller coaster it was… but it was so much fun because we knew it was going to end with us living in The House on Morgan Road.

And then came the no. We didn't win the house. We weren't even close.

And it hurt so bad. Not just because of the no… had I been told no that day I was looking for information, it would have been one thing. Had we not been able to get the initial bid amount together it would have been another. Had someone else bought the home outright from the mortgage company, we would have seen God closing the door. But He took us to the very last step in the process and we believed with everything within us that He was going to do this thing... so much so that it didn't feel like we were being denied something, but that something we already had was being taken from us. 

I would like to tell you that I put on a big faith-filled smile and said "God is so good, He must have a better plan!" or that I embraced the text messages that said "Prasing God for the BETTER thing He has in store!!!" but I did not. I was hurt, and confused, and sad. And Jim was just mad. He had gone from such faith and belief to questioning and doubt in the span of one two letter word.

The next week I wept before the Lord a lot. I had a good old fashioned pity-party. And then I finally asked… “Lord, won’t you help me understand? I understand the ‘no’… but why in the world would you take us all the way through the process just to shut the door?”

And He said to me “I need you and Jim to trust me as much in the ‘no’ as in the ‘yes’”.

And I realized, that had God let us get that house, Jim would have let me put John 15:7 up on the wall. But what would it have meant??? That our faith is strong when God is giving us what we want… but what about when the answer is no? Where is our faith then? Do we trust Him in the “no”? Do we trust Him when His plan does not make sense? Do we trust the path He has us on, even when it turns unexpectedly? God knew my heart's desire for a home... but He knew my greater desire to see my husband and myself grow in our reliance on Him. 

And so the wait resumed.

I told God that if my kids graduated high school and were still sharing a bunk bed, it would be weird, but not the end of the world. And that if my house was never big enough to host another family or two comfortably, that would be okay too. And that if my kitchen was always so small that I could touch the fridge, stove, cabinets, and sink all from standing in the same spot in the center, that would be fine (I don’t really like cooking that much anyway).

But that I still believed He could do it.

Jim and I did walk through several modular homes. We looked online at real estate listings. We looked at ways we could make it happen. But there was never a peace about that path. We even considered ways to add on to this home, wondering if that was God's will instead. But that didn't feel right either. We could have forced the issue, we could have forced our way into a larger house, we could have taken loans we couldn't manage at the time... but He told us to wait. And so we waited.

And then God did something unexpected to all…

Jim’s Aunt, recently widowed for the second time… fell in love.

And she didn’t just fall in love, she fell head over heels in love with an incredible man of God who is just as smitten with her. 

[It’s adorable.]

And soon after falling in love, they were engaged. It was at the family get-together the day of the proposal that Tali asked Aunt Sharon where she was going to live after she got married… what would she do with her house?  

Aunt Sharon answered “Well, I was going to talk to your mom and dad about that, actually”.

[and this, reader, is when my tears start to flow, because God IS so good, and He is able, and His timing is perfect…]

I’m not going to lie, although I love Sharon and know her as my own aunt, and can’t imagine anyone I would trust to their word more than her… my heart had a hard, hard time believing. I told the kids not to tell anyone. I didn’t tell anyone. Even when people asked me about it (because Sharon or family had told them we were moving) I would say something noncommittal like “oh we think so” or “it sure looks that way”.

I had been so hurt by The Last House…  could I risk my heart again?

For months Sharon would talk about us moving into her home. And although I believed, I needed help in my unbelief.

And this last week, I told her that. I told her how hard it was for my heart to believe. How excited the kids were, and that we had even gone out on faith and bought a few decorations for their new rooms, but that I still had this fear of something freakish happening and the whole deal to fall through.

That night she called to let Jim know she had started moving all of her stuff out, so that we could get in. She sent a picture, and in that moment my heart knew…

God was saying “yes” to that prayer from December 2006.

He was answering that impossible situation in the way only HE could orchestrate.

He really is doing this thing.

And so, this last Saturday, we began to pack up fifteen years of living into cardboard boxes.

We are moving.

Can I say that again???

We ARE moving!!!!

To a bigger house with three bedrooms and a full basement and two bathrooms and a human sized kitchen and CLOSETS. Oh glorious CLOSETS.

We are moving!!!

The kids will have their own rooms.  Storage will no longer be in the living room. Our bedroom will no longer house THREE dressers because the kid’s room is too small and the closet space abysmal.  We will be able to go to the bathroom while someone else is showering.

God is so good!

And although His goodness is still hard for me to grasp [confession: I just texted Jim “I wrote a blog about us moving, that’s okay isn’t it? I mean this is REALLY happening right?” and couldn’t bring myself to post without his "go for it" form of reassurance]… He is helping me in my unbelief.

He is helping me see how His timing is perfect.  How Jim and I just completed Financial Peace University [btw Dave Ramsey approves of the kind of arrangements that will be made in the purchase of this home ;)], and have already made great strides in the path to financial freedom… how we are ready for the commitment a new home now. How we used that money secured for The Other House to put a new roof on our house, making it rentable or sellable.  How the school corporation consolidated last year, so that the kids won’t have to change schools now with the move. How family moving into her home bring a measure of peace to Sharon.

How He had a plan all along. How He knew what He was doing… taking us down that path and teaching Jim and I to trust Him in the no. How His ultimate goal is not about a house… but about making us mature and complete in Him… and that each step along this way has refined and grown us, individually and as a couple.  That even this yes is growing us. Teaching us to trust God’s will more than the good thing, but at the same time learning that as a good Daddy, He does like to give good gifts to His children. And that even though we don’t deserve it…  He loves us enough to do this for us.

In the same way that He loved Sharon and Myron both enough to give them each other.

His plan is so intricately woven, such a beautiful design… it’s hard to imagine what it will look like when we peer back over the tapestry of our lives in His presence.

The next weeks will be a flurry of cardboard boxes and trash bags. There are things in this home that I have not laid eyes on in a decade, I am sure (once you make your way to the top of my closet, you stay there). It will be bittersweet at times… Tali’s first steps were in my bedroom. Zach’s first bath on my kitchen table. We watched 9/11 unfold over and over in replays from this living room. Friends and family who have crashed on couches. Christmases and birthdays and brand new babies home from the hospital. Dinners served for friends out of that tiny little kitchen.  A pet cemetery in the side yard marks pups and cats gone by. Fifteen years of living. Of pictures. Of memories.

But oh, how I look forward to the next chapter.  How thankful I am for His grace and mercy and love… How thankful I am that HE made a way, where there appeared to be none. 

And finally I can say how thankful I am for the "no", the "no" that made this "yes" possible...

Thank you, to those of you who have walked with us on this path. You have prayed for us, supported us, and comforted us when the answer was no. Thank you, Sharon and Myron, for your generosity and desire to make this house work out for us. You are a blessing to our lives and we are so, so happy for you guys and thankful to be a part of your lives. Thank you, to my husband who has been patient with me as I allowed my heart to believe this is really happening, and for waiting to pack until I was ready. And most of all, thank you Jesus... for hearing all of those prayers for years... and answering them in just the right way, at just the right time.


learning to stop.

I lay on the couch, laptop propped on a pillow on top of me. It’s a familiar evening routine, mommy editing pictures, or uploading sessions to her website, or blogging, or typing case notes. Since {in a blink} has taken off, my life has become very, very busy. And while I am thankful for what God is up to, and how He has blessed our family with the extra income to help us get out of debt, it can be hard sometimes to put in the hours that are necessary… and to love on my babies like they need. Especially the one with blonde hair and big brown eyes.

I am just being honest here.

I didn’t really realize how busy my life had gotten until last night, as he chattered on and I focused intently on a text message conversation and picture edits and catching up on emails and checking the status of a photo delivery, and he said “Mom, did you hear a word I just said?”

The answer was “no”. Not a single word. {mother.of.the.year}

He and I were home alone, and to this minute it makes me cry because I STILL do not know what he was talking about. I asked him to repeat himself, and instead of re-hashing it, he marveled at how I could look like I am listening, and instead my mind be a hundred other places. He wasn’t upset, in fact he thought it was funny.

But I didn’t think it was funny at all.

Lately, 4H projects and a flurry of craft glue, fabric, ribbon, paint, and glitter have given Tali and I the quality time that works for her.  She is an acts of service type lover… showing her love by carrying babies, vacuuming (one of my favorites), helping in children’s church, getting you a refill on your sweet tea, and running to the car to grab something you forgot. And so my taking copious amounts of time to sit with her as she creates, offering my expertise and opinions (many of which are rejected!)… unexpected trips to Vincennes to get that one item she just has to have… Digging through my craft storage and offering her free reign of my stash… shows her that I love her.

But that doesn’t work for Zach. I can do things for him, paint him something cool, buy him all of the things that his heart desires, even sit and talk with him and say the most encouraging things (which is why those words unheard didn’t faze him)… and none of those things speak love like the language of touch…of being together in a tangible way.

As I lay there tapping away on my keyboard, I sensed a critter crawling to me. Pressing his forehead against my cheek the critter whispered, “I haven’t laid with you in a long time”…

My almost ten-year-old little man… football player, catcher extraordinaire, bike rider, rough houser, model builder, straight-A student, video gamer… wanted to cuddle with his momma.

I want to say I put the computer down immediately. I did not. There is so much to get done. My to-do list grows and grows and grows and I never seem to get ahead of it. If I could just finish editing this one more session, I could put that satisfying line through their name on my list. Another hour or two and I will be done…I want to tell you that the natural thing for me was to cuddle my son. But stopping does not come naturally to me at all. Being still requires a conscious decision. 

But that head lay there next to mine. Little boy knees crouched on the floor by the couch. Just wanting to be close.

And I knew… I knew… these moments are fleeting. They will not be here forever. Zachary, here, near, wanting to lay on the couch with his momma. With me. No one in the world will do. Just me. One of these days he is going to grow up. He will move out and move on. This moment is fleeting…

And so I closed my computer and set it on the floor. Pushing my way to the back of the couch I made room. And with the lift of a blanket, Zach knew the invitation had been issued.

And so we cuddled.

All eighty pounds of him, pressed against me. Heavy and long.

I thought of the seven pound baby I laid on this very same couch with. How snuggly he fit, nestled against my body. And now, his head alone lay in that space. His body stretched the length of mine, falling only inches short of the top of my feet.

And yet. He still fit.

I rubbed his arm, now strong with the throwing of baseballs all summer. I ran fingers through hair bleached blonde from long hours at the local pool. I listened to a voice deepening, asking questions about the show flickering in the TV.

We talked, we watched… but mostly… we were just there. And in that was the love.

My cell phone chimed. A new text message.  I saw my son’s eyes glance toward the phone, and then to me.  He waited for me to reach for it (he knows his momma well).  But I let it lay. And then again, and again, and again, and again. Five messages lay in wait. But I didn’t move toward the phone. Those conversations are important. But not so important as this.  

Zach didn’t need me busy. He just needed me.

For an hour we lay together. For an hour I thanked God for this time, for slowing me down, for showing me the error of my way… for showing me how I had let the doing interfere with the being. I thanked Him for this little boy growing toward manhood. This one who makes me laugh with his witty humor. This one who hates to clean but loves to cook.  This one who brushes it off when mom has spaced out again and didn’t hear what he was chattering on about. This one who mops the floor after a spaghetti supper, even when mommy isn’t there to remind him to be helpful. This one who looks up to his daddy and so knows what a man should be. This one who works hard to achieve in sports what comes naturally to other kids. This one with a smile that melts my heart and stops my world and reminds me what is important. This one who… still fits in my arms.

This one who turned into my body, and head on my chest, fell asleep last night. 

As moms... it's easy to let the busy get in the way. The cleaning, or the working, or the cooking, or the preparing, or the washing, or the cell phone, or the computer... I am the worst. I do not do nothing well. I do not do stopping well. I am always going, and thinking and doing... most of the time two or three things at once. 

But last night, God used a kid with a heart for football and a penchant for fart jokes  to teach me how to stop

And to be.

And to love.

He showed me that the stopping was not nothing. It was something. It was everything. That the to-do list can wait. Photo edits will still be there. But this moment... this moment is precious and it is fleeting and that I have to slow down... or I am going to miss it. And I don't want to miss a thing in this amazing little man's life. I don't want him thinking my computer was more important than his cuddle. I don't know what this means for the future, or turn around time on photo edits, or working full time, or volunteering... but I know that I will do a better job at embracing the stopping, and the being, and the loving. In the end... it's all that will really matter.

Zachary... thank you for being patient with mommy when her mind is somewhere else and it should be with you. Thank you for laughing with me, and for loving me just the way I am. Thank you for sharing me with so many other people and things, and for being confident in my love no matter how poorly I show it. Zach, thank you so much for helping mommy slow down, to set the world aside, and remember what is really important. Thank you for helping me be the mommy you need me to be. I love you buddy... and just so you know... even when your toes stretch beyond mine on the couch... there will always be room. You will always fit.


Happy (in)Dependence Day, friends!

[note: blog redesign in progress. read my disclaimer here.]

I started out writing a post wishing you all a very happy Independence Day. To wax poetic about the cost of freedom, and the price paid by extraordinary men and women so that I can write a blog like this one, expressing opinions, sharing stories, and openly loving on Jesus all the while. I wanted to draw the clear parallel about a similar price paid by an extraordinary God so that we could know freedom in Him. All of it true, all of it challenging, all of it worthy of a blog post.

But I keep getting hung up on that word... independence

Every time I typed it, I was struck by the reality that while I love freedom (freedom in America and in Christ), I don't live a life of independence at all... nor do I really want to. As I wrote about Independence Day, I couldn't stop thinking about what life in community looks like. And how beautiful dependence on one another really is. And how desperately I depend on my Savior. And how I wouldn't change that for the world.

I think about the way I depend on my incredible husband... How I depend on him to do stuff like charge the air conditioner in my truck (in a Walmart parking lot in Evansville, nonetheless) so we don't have to ride home in 100 degree heat without a/c. Or the way I depend on him to love me, even when I am kind of unlovable. Or the way I depend on him to be there with an ornery smile, sharing the inside joke only he and I really understand. No, I wouldn't want to change that a bit. His dependence on me, and mine on him... lives intertwined so that we would be less without the other... I would not want to change that for the world. 

Or the way I depend on my friends to come through with a text message that makes me laugh at just the right moment. How my heart depends on their encouragement. The way I depend on them to challenge and sharpen me. A mutual dependence of love and respect. Community. Life without these people would be... too quiet. Too lonely. God speaks to my heart through them, and I would be less without their friendship.

But mostly, I think about my dependence on Christ. How many times a day I ask Him to help me...
Jesus, help me love this person well. 
Jesus, teach me how to seek your heart more.
Jesus, help me to seek YOUR approval, not man's.
Jesus, show me the next step.
Jesus, tell me how humility would respond.
Jesus, give me the strength to forgive.
Jesus, help me... Help me keep my mouth shut. Help me speak words of blessing. Help me rest in your joy. Help me keep my mind steadfast in you. Help me, help me, help me.

I know. I am really needy. 

And He is always there. He is always listening, heeding my cries for help. And I am so thankful... because I couldn't do this thing on my own. I couldn't raise children in the light of His love all by myself. I couldn't submit to the will of my husband (as good as he is) without clothing myself in the humility that comes from Christ.  I couldn't write these word without His inspiration and continual confirmation.  I couldn't chase Him with abandon if He didn't allow me to catch up to Him often enough to keep me thirsting for more. The Lord knows, I couldn't keep my mouth shut when my mind is firing appropriately sarcastic responses at warp speed without the whisper of His Holy Spirit showing me a better way. 

And perhaps more importantly, I couldn't be refined by my mistakes when I fail [almost daily] at these same things, without His grace.

I am striving to live a life in dependence on Him... a life lived (in)dependence of the One who knows the end from the beginning.

And the strangest thing is happening. The more I rely on Him, the more I look to Him for my next step, the more I count on Him to guide me... the more freedom I feel in my spirit.

As Misty Edwards sings... "it's an inside outside upside down Kingdom where you lose to gain, and you die to live"

It's a Kingdom where you live (in)dependence so that you can walk in freedom.

And not just the illusion of freedom. Not just a "getting to do what you want" warm fuzzy. But real freedom. Real liberty. Freedom that will cause your spirit to soar, and your fears to ease, and your love to grow, and your mourning cease. It is for FREEDOM that Christ set us free. It is for FREEDOM that He offers us the (in)dependent life.

Today I celebrate the country that allows me to live that (in)dependent life boldly... and I pray that you will join me on this wild ride in this upside down Kingdom... where we grow in freedom as we grow in our dependence on Him!

Happy (in)Dependence Day my friends!

please excuse the mess...

If you've ever visited "my mind's eye" before, you'll notice a fresh coat of paint and some new pictures hanging on the wall. I get bored easily and like to rearrange the furniture, so am working on a blog redesign. Be patient with me, as things could get a little quirky before I get all the features added that I hope to.

For those of you who chimed in on my facebook status about the blog title... thank you. By popular demand "my mind's eye" will stay at the top of my page. It's fitting.


finding our wonder

Saturday night I gathered with most of Bicknell for the annual “Freedom Bash”.  Tali and Zach came dripping from the night swim to ask for money for lemon shake ups and funnel cakes. Jim and the guys stood around a tail gate chatting it up. Blankets went on the ground and camping chairs all faced the same direction as we prepared for the capstone event of the evening. The fireworks.

I have always been a fan of fireworks, but frankly on this night, with temps still nearing 100 degrees at 9pm, I wasn’t sure it was worth it. And then they began. Slowly.

One firework at a time. Then a pause. And another one. Then a pause. And another.

Meanwhile the sweat was forming a steady line down the center of my back and I could literally hear my air conditioning [and couch] calling my name.

Leaning toward a friend I said “this is a little lame, isn’t it?”

And at that moment, as they were warming up their engines over on the firing line, sitting in the heat after a long day and longer month, I could think of a dozen things I would rather be doing.

Miss Hadley
Until Hadley toddled up to us on 21 months’ worth of chunky legs and taught me a lesson in wonder.

In her less than two years of experience, these were the best fireworks she had ever seen. Every blast in the sky, regardless of how feeble or small it appeared to my eyes, brought a gasp of utter amazement from her small frame.  She climbed onto her aunt’s lap, oooohing and aaaaaahing and clapping for the fireworks that illuminated her face so that I could see the wonder in her eyes.

This is no ordinary night. This is no ordinary event. Family and friends are gathered, and the sky has become a magic show of sounds and lights.

In that moment, my heart began to stir within me. I joined Hadley in her ooooohing and aaaaaahing. I declared my favorite firework to be the fountain and popcorn varieties [arguing that these were, in fact, better names for them than chandelier or fairy dust fireworks].  And with my eyes opened to the wonder, it really did develop into a spectacular display of lights in the sky. I left impressed with the hard work that went into blessing our little town with such a show. [Well done Freedom Bash committee!]

But more than that, I left thinking about how, all too often, we lose our wonder.  My friend Lauren (I learn a lot from her, don’t I?) is a passionate Bible teacher and more than once as she has recounted a story from the Word she has paused with the challenge "Come on people, can we wonder at that for a moment?! Have we lost our wonder?”

Have you lost your wonder?

When you think about the Lord leading the Israelites out of slavery, parting a sea, making dry land, and then swallowing up their enemeies… are you amazed? Because seriously, that is an amazing story… but it’s not just a tale. It really happened.

Or the manna He caused to fall from Heaven! I mean really!? Wouldn’t you love to try just one little bite of that stuff?

Or when Gideon defeated the Midianites with only 300 men?

Or that a man named Jesus, came in a manger... fully God, fully man… to carry the weight of our sins on a cross. That we may have life and have life abundantly.

Have we lost our wonder? Have we lost the wonder of our salvation? Of the price that was paid so that we can know an eternity in heaven?

I think we have.

Because if our minds really grasped what Christ did for us, what His everything looked like, what His everything works in our lives, then when He called the answer would never be “no”.  The things of this world really would grow strangely dim, with our eyes fixed on Him! We should have so much wonder that nothing else really matters.

Instead, we get all bound up and frustrated because Red Robin no longer brings baskets of fries to your table as appetizers.  [True story, happened yesterday]

Can I get a reality check here? Table 12?

Friends, today I ask that you would find your wonder. That as you walk through this day, you would find awe in every breath. Beauty in every landscape. Miracles in every face.  That your eyes would be like Hadley’s… wide to the wonders of this world, reflecting the Light that dances across your life…

Because when you focus on the wonder, when you focus on the wonder of your own salvation, when you focus on the wonder of your own “Red Sea” moments- when God showed up and brought you through when there appeared to be no way- there will be no room for complaining. No room for leaning toward a friend and mumbling “this is kind of lame, isn’t it?” No room for first world problems like endless fries and sauces only coming with your meal.  

Because you have Jesus. Shouldn’t that be enough to keep joy in your heart? No matter what?

But all too often, it's not enough. All too often I find my eyes wandering to the areas of lack, of less than, of imperfection. I find my heart longing for things He has not called forth in my life. I find frustration in my circumstances... where there should be peace and joy in the place He has called me. 

Look into your circumstances, and find Christ at work right there. At a table at Red Robin, or your desk at work, or your home with little ones always underfoot. Wonder that He would bring you here, for just such a time as this... What are you going to do with this opportunity... with this moment...? You can complain, or you can find the wonder.

The choice is yours.

Father, I am sorry for those times that I have lost my wonder… I am sorry for focusing on my moment instead of your eternity! Bring our eyes back to you, Lord. Bring our eyes back to your beautiful face, and restore our wonder! Restore our sense of awe at the works of your hand, in creation and in our hearts. Father  help us be a people stepping out of darkness, a people walking in your Light, a people full of rejoicing rather than complaints. We love you Lord, we want to know you more!! Thank you for your son Jesus and may we never lose our wonder at the work He did for us on that cross… it’s in His beautiful name we pray…