Okay, so life has not been super easy recently. In fact, there have been some things going on that have been downright yucky. I've shed more tears than usual, and felt more stressed out, too. When I get to feeling like this, it is very easy to let my focus slide down to myself, instead of keeping it fixed on Christ, where it should be staid in the first place.
In the midst of the circumstances, and with my eyes pointed in entirely the wrong direction (can we say pity party), God has quietly left me some love notes--ittle things really, but just for me. Reminders that He lovingly allows hard things to come my way, in order to turn my eyes back where they belong.
Love Note #1, Friday: As many of you know, we are missionaries with Campus Crusade for Christ, fully funded by donations from people who want to see marriages saved and families strengthened. Our paycheck reflects the consistent (or not) giving of our ministry partners. On Friday we received 3 generous and unexpected gifts in our staff account. We aren't able to draw from that account for personal use, but those gifts ensure that our next few paychecks will be the full amount. "Emily, I love you and will provide for your physical needs."
Love Note #2, Sunday morning: Matt and I are teaching a class at church called "The Five Love Languages." Though I've read the book before, this class has revealed to me that receiving gifts is the primary way I receive love. My love language is not a mystery or an unknown to God. He regularly gives me special little things--large like a special gift in our staff account, or small like my zinnia plant blooming for the first time on a gray, depressing day. "Emily, I love you and will express it in the way your heart understands love best."
Love Note #3, Sunday night: Matt, Debbie, and I took a spiritual gifts class at church. I learned that my primary spiritual gift is faith. Reading the description of this gift bolstered my faith at a time when I needed that boost. "Emily, I love you, I have given you a special gift, and chances to exercise it. Be looking for ways to grow the faith I have given you."
Love Note #4, Tuesday night: After a fun day at Wild River Country, I began to feel sick to my stomach. I hate to be sick. Public restrooms freak me out, so I REALLY hate to be sick away from home. God allowed the illness to hold off until I was safe in the haven of my own clean bathroom. I didn't get sick at camp like Matt and all the kids from church. I didn't get sick at Wild River Country. "Emily, I love you and care about the very mundane details of your life, even the throwing up parts."
Love Note #5, Tonight: Our new adventure of homeschooling begins on Monday. I'm excited, but there are times when I hesitate, and wonder if I have made the right decision. Tonight was the kickoff meeting for Central Arkansas' homeschool group. The guest speakers were four young adults who were homeschooled, and have now graduated from college and begun their adult lives. Their presentations on how homeschooling shaped their lives confirmed for me that Matt and I have made the right decision. "Emily, I love you and care about the choices you make. Rest in me, you have made a wise choice."
Love Note #6, Tonight: At the meeting tonight, they gave away a few door prizes. The biggie was a dvd player. Our finances are stretched very thin right now, with no spending money left after the bills are paid. Last night we worked out a detailed action plan to help us regain control of our finances. We put our hands on the plan and gave it to God, knowing that without Him, we can do nothing. This afternoon I mourned the loss of spending money for the next couple of months. And wouldn't you know it, tonight God gave me that dvd player! "Emily, I love you, and I will bless you in unexpected ways as you honor me and put me first in your finances."
How blessed am I to get to experience a personal love relationship with the Creator of the universe. Tonight I am thanking God for His love notes to me, and my eyes are right back where they need to be: focused on His face.
Has God written you any love notes this summer? Please post a comment and share them with me. I'd love to hear them, and to God be the glory!