Monday, February 10, 2014

A little glimpse of heaven or Have you ever?

February 10, 2014

Have you ever been shut in with icy weather, the cupboards getting more and more bare?  Have you ever looked again at the want list and thought, is it worth getting on icy roads for more envelopes? And your desire to not wreck your car outweighs your desire to get everything on your grocery list? (And your Mother is coming to stay overnight if weather permits?)

Have you ever enjoyed a new author and felt so blessed that God is answering questions you have had with these books?  Have you ever wanted to buy a dozen more and share them with your pastor, close friends and relatives? 

Have you ever marveled how God used your love of Veggie Tales to make you curious about Phil Vischer to listen to his podcasts, read his book, and meet other fascinating authors? 

And have you ever needed to get to a very special wedding shower for your youngest son’s bride where you are nervous about being a mother-in-law, let alone meeting new people, and wondering who all will show up, and yet getting to see relatives you have not seen in years…promising to come if weather permits, and you don’t know what to wear or what present to take, and the shower is like a family reunion, a glimpse of heaven, where we get to eat good food, sit around and chat and catch up on everyone’s news---see pictures of grandbabies, and watch the Bride open presents???  And your own Mother steals the show presenting a blanket it took her a year to knit, and you are so happy for her, and everyone claps, and you wish you had a picture of her smiling---because she is not even a widow for a year now… 

Have you ever??

And then, have you ever finished the books, and know you need to re-read them because you were in a hurry the first time, and want to put into practice…and you sing in your car repenting the ways you have lived above/under/for/from God instead of WITH God, and you notice at Sunday School, when your husband is teaching the story of Peter saying “where are You, Jesus going?” and how he would die for Jesus, and Jesus says the rooster is going to crow (and you go to Red Robin for lunch which looks like a rooster) and you wonder if Peter’s problem is living FOR God instead of WITH God…

And with your new glasses of seeing how different Bible characters were guilty of above/under/for/from God instead of WITH God, you remember John 1:1---(‘cause your husband is teaching that book in Sunday School, so it is still fresh in your mind) but where else does it say “with God” in the Bible, so you do a word search in Biblegateway dot com, but forget to put the quote marks and discover there are 797 instances of the words with and God appearing in the same verses---but not always linked, but you look down the list and Genesis 1:11 God said let the earth sprout vegetation…fruit trees…with seed (is the concept for the first use) and Genesis 4:5 Adam had relations WITH his wife again…God has appointed…

And so you remember to put the quote marks in so that the word search grabs only verses where “with God” appears and you are astounded that only 32 results start looking like the heroes list of Hebrews 12.  And you get goosebumps, and read down through the list:

Genesis 5:22,24  Enoch (uh-oh…should I warn Skye Jethani? You think, and resist the urge to go onto facebook and talk to Phil and Skye because you are suppose to be doing a personal Bible Study in the early morning and learning what it means to be WITH GOD not with Phil and Skye. 

Back to our list:

Genesis 5:22, 24  Enoch

Genesis 6:9  Noah

Genesis 32:28  Jacob

Exodus 24:1  in the wilderness, the people affirm their covenant with God

Numbers 23:27 Balak says to Balaam: perhaps it will be agreeable with God that you curse them from here. (and we know how that story goes!)

I Samuel 14:45  the people are protesting Saul:  must Jonathan die …as the Lord lives…for he has worked with God this day.

2 Samuel 23:5 in David’s last song: my house so with God

2 Chronicles 32:21 Neco king of Egypt tells Josiah to stop interfering with God…and it says, Neco spoke words from the mouth of God!  Yikes.

Ezra 10:1  reconciliation with God—confess marrying foreign wives and put away… while Ezra is praying and weeping

Job 13:3  But I would speak to the Almighty and I desire to argue with God. (Job is speaking to his friends, and I think friends needs quotation marks)

Job 16:21  O that a man might plead with God as a man with his neighbor! (the chapter where Job says friends are sorry comforters)

Job 25:4 How then can a man be just with God or how can he be clean who is born of woman? (Bildad)

Job 34:9 (Elihu is speaking—best read the whole chapter yourself to get the jest)

Psalm 7:10  my shield is with God who saves the upright in heart

Hosea 12:3  In the womb he took his brother by the heel and in his maturity he contended with God. (so Jacob gets a double mention)

Matthew 19:26  Jesus said to them, looking at them, with people this is impossible but with God all things are possible

Mark 10:27 ditto

Luke 1:30  Gabriel said to Mary for you have found favor with God

Luke 1:37  For nothing will be impossible with God.

Luke 2:52  Jesus kept increasing in wisdom and stature and in favor with God and men

Luke 18:27  ditto of Matthew and Mark

John 1:1  The Word was with God

John 1:2  He was in the beginning with God

John 5:18  making Himself equal with God (is why they murdered Him)

And you can’t wait to share them with your husband, your best friend.

And post this on your blog.

And tell Suzanne.  And Mary.  And Nancy. 

And Laura K---as you remember a question she had about some verses that Skye Jethani answers…

And Dear Heavenly Father,

 I tremble---as I write this.  You have been so patient and gracious to me.  Thank you for the books, thank you for answering my recent questions, and thank you for answers to some problem verses.  I have wasted so much of my life in fear and anger.  Thank you for listening to me sing in the car, and cry, and as I sit here now--- You have given me a life of luxury, a warm house, a computer to type upon, a faithful husband who goes to work and is so generous with his money, his time, his person, to pray with me, and love me, and help me in so many intimate and personal ways, thank you for my husband.  Thank you for my Mother.  Please give her wisdom, insight, courage to do the next thing You would have her do in Your perfect timing.  Please help her grieve, and help us know what to say, how to help without being mean or irritating or condescending.  We overwhelm her with too much advice.  There are too many of us with big mouths.  Thank you for all you are giving her with these new stories and victories—like buying her car. Wow. Thank You for going ahead of her.  Thank You. Thank You. Thank You.  And thank you for Ben installing the new light fixture in the bathroom and outing me for not being very careful with the checklist.  And thank you for the upcoming wedding---please help us all behave and not ruin it for Tiffany with our big mouths.  I pray that it all goes smoothly so that they will be blessed with a good memory to look back on their whole married lives… Thank you for all the Mrs. Williamsons that came to the shower, and cousins, and Ozzie, and Suzanne.  Please heal the grandbabies of their ear infections, coughs, fevers, and Andy’s leg, and Amber’s cough. 

Please help me live WITH You, not above/under/for/from nor mad at You.  In Jesus Name. Amen.

Have you ever?  I have.  With God.  God and me.  Not so fast, remember I am journaling selfishly here to help jog my memory, and look back to see the answered prayers.  I have an ulterior motive.  And It is not living with God to write about it and list stuff.  Please go read Skye Jethani’s books:  WITH  and FUTUREVILLE.

Have you ever?  What are the odds?  God is so Good. 

Monday, February 3, 2014

Adventures with our new Toyota

Warning: this will be boring.  I write here selfishly, for me.  I have this desire to get it out of my head. Write it down. Type it up. whatever. and online journaling is one avenue. I am afraid to reveal too much. But, I have a desire to vomit it up somewhere.  Husband is busy at work. He doesn't want to hear it.  He has no time.

But, to help me remember.

Fun with numbers.  odometer numbers.  If only the odometer also recorded whereall we went to help jog my memory.  I find it sad when I can't remember what we did last year for Ground Hog's Day, or Valentine's Day, for example.  And having just visited with the toddler grandsons, the grands, I want to remember the sweet moments with them.  Conversations with a three year old.  No time for buttons with an almost two year old.

But, lets back up to December.  We saw a need.  Our middle son was needing a second car.  And I could tell that Bob wanted to help them find a good, reliable car.  And the thought occurred to me, that our 2007 Toyota minivan, with 90,000 was a good, reliable used car.  The dealerships would insult us with an offer for what it was/is truly worth.  We might have kept it forever, but the seatbelts stabbed me.  It was so painful on long trips.  I had been going round and round with the dealership about this issue, but was brushed off.

But, buy a new car? oh. my. so expensive. And Bob liked the idea.  And Bob has limited time, but he worked so hard making spreadsheets, putting me in all kinds of cars to see what fit.  (not commie cars, however.  not a cadillac, as caddies are GM, hence, commie cars---that government bailout thing)  Even as Bob's Dad would never buy or consider a Toyota---that WW2/Japan war---we have our standards.

I do have a bucket list---nothing big. I'd like to sit in a limo, and a hummer.  And if not in this life, I can wait until heaven home.  Not that we will need hummers nor limos in heaven...  but that is another story.

Bob found such a deal. He likes to shop online. Less drama.  Salesmen on showroom floors are so pushy, shady, snake oil salesmen.  I want to forget the huge, threatening, arrogant a-hole that blocked our path onto a showroom floor.  he bragged that they were the best.  yeah, well, I used to bring our 2007 there for service, but I am gonna think twice, nay three times before doing that again...just because of one guy.  It was a rainy day... who did we want to see, he asked.  sorry. we are here to see cars, not form relationships.

I can think of a thousand witty comebacks AFTER.  I so wish I had handled sassy salesmen with humor.  Life is too short.

Bob researched cars, dealerships, warranties, maintenance, financing, you, name it, he had it charted out.
One Saturday, he had sent out invitations for bids, and oh. my. the phone started ringing off the wall.  The salesmen were DESPERATE to get us IN their showrooms.  They kept calling and calling.  Bob only dwelt with the ones that ANSWERED his questions online.  He called a few for clarification, but once you do that, they have your number, and will call and call and call.   Game over.  (they are still calling)

We gifted the 2007 at Christmas time because it was a convenient time for us and them.  We depended on our not-so-dependable 1997 plymouth.  This workhorse needed retiring, but it was still running.  It somehow passed inspection---and leaked fluids, so every few days, sometimes once or twice a week, fluids must be added.  checked.  in cold.  in sleet. in dark of night...  and we laughed as we wondered if this was the day the car would die.  Was this the day the transmission would fall out?  or a major belt break??  Sometimes it would lurch---a reminder not to stray too far.  Hard for me to drive, as I no longer fit in it.  Shocks are gone, and windows need driving around, you think a window is open.  But, it gets Bob to the train station.  Worth only $1000.00 because it runs, but worth it to us because it is a second car.  But, now I doubt I should leave Bob alone with it.  What if he was stranded at the train station?  What if I was gone overnight, and that was the night he had to take a cab to work or home??  We had a plan.  If the car died, we planned on renting until we found the best deal.   Call me worst case scenerio mom.  I refused to be stranded at the chiropractor or store.  So, I stayed home.  Bob offered to let me drive him to the station...but only if I were desperate.  I did not invision anything I needed that bad.  Most things can be shopped online.  Hello, Tazo tea people??  Some things are "in-store" only but, Bob would help me shop in the evening.

We made it almost a month on our one iffy car.  I wanted to be ready to walk out of dealerships.  Bob got some downright insulting bids, mixed messages---we wondered if the dealership managers were trying to be purposely mean to their salesman?  were some salesmen promising the moon just to try and get the deal?  When one said it would be easy to fix the front seat belt---I got hopes up, and wondered why this same dealership had been so difficult for six years with me??  Why couldn't they trade out or shorten the seatbelt receptacle on our old 2007??

We did not need fancy.  We specifically looked for one without a center console.  Salesmen kept stuffing us into fancy, high end, cars with consoles.  But, we noticed some fleet ready vans without consoles on our own.  We were not allowed to sit in those.  Those were already sold.  Already promised.  But, we knew they existed.

Bob found two 2013s---from last year's line, but stripped down.  We wondered about their history.  The bisque only had 13 miles on it.  tempting.  If we ever have trouble with the one we got, we can say, we should have gotten "the bisque".  But, we chose the white one with a light gray interior.  Only 57 miles on it.  my age!  81 when we got home.  round trip to the chiro is 49 miles.

I was so nervous picking up a brand new car.  Like a new slate.  Like a new canvas.  No dings or nicks.

The drive home---the first time I drove it, was in the DARK, and scary enough, but there was a truck ahead of me that lost a couch or mattress from a futon or something...if I had been 30 seconds faster....yikes.  Bob was ahead of me, swerved to miss it...and I was singing---praying aloud, please, Lord, drive with me.

The wind could catch the door on the 2007 and wack whatever it was parked next to...and I need lots of room to get in and out, because I am fat. obese.  huge.  yes. I. am. fat.  gross.  And I am picky about where I park so I don't ding doors.  or poles when gassing the car.  or rocks, curbs.   It drives me nuts when Bob parks too close to another car when there are empty spots farther away.  I need the exercise.  Let us park out by ourselves so that we do not inconvenience anyone with my slowness.

Now we have put the first thousand miles on it.  Our youngest grandson was in the hospital for 3 days, and we drove over to visit him, now on the mend, home. safe. and back to playing and driving his mother nuts.

We have tried many routes the six hour distance to the grands.  Our son prefers the freeway route, and while it does have more eating establishment choices, and gets you there quicker, the last 40 miles require a two lane through the forest, in the dark. no shoulders. no room for error.  I HATE that stretch.  I would rather go out of my way and stay on a better road.  We came home a more southern route to avoid the ice and snow front coming down from the northwest.  I really like 190.  wowo.  good shoulders.  THREE Walmarts.  So, anything you needs, there is a Walmart.  We were in a hurry to get home ahead of the storm, and we made it fine.  Only saw one pickup spun out.  Should have come home 360 not 820.  820 in Fort Worth was just a little too far into the stormfront.

A Walmart on a route is more comforting to me than a Seven-Eleven.   We stopped at Bucky's.  I don't get it.  crowded.  small stalls.  yucky.   Good food at Texas Burger.  We made it home in time for the halftime of the Superbowl.  Had to turn off the lyrics---why are we celebrating hurting women?  Give it up? I don't think so.

It was hard to find the superbowl on the radio...but we knew the Seattle Seahawks were winning.  Wasn't it 22 to zero at halftime?  43-8 by the end, right?

the superbowl ads were released a little ahead now.  So, i had seen some of them.

Went to take a bath, and low and behold, our electrician son had installed a fancy new light fixture in the bathroom.   He likes to surprise us.  I kept wondering if he had been by, as I saw a few things out of place.  thought maybe I was losing my mind---did not remember leaving a dishrag there...and what was that on the floor??  a piece of metal?? like a acorn hat?  I cleaned the potty before I left---did I strip the screw heads off when I cleaned the potty??  that is when I lifted my head and noticed the new light fixture.  oh. my.

we called to thank our son, and he said they were leaving the rodeo---so new worry---they were where the icy overpasses...