God Connects the Dots - Encouragement Café - September 11, 2014

God Connects the Dots

Café Menu for Thursday, September 11, 2014

Today’s Special is: Remembering the String of Choices

Carefully prepared just for you by your friend, Luann Prater

Main Ingredient:

Remember your word to your servant, for you have given me hope.

Psalm 119:49 NIV

Entrée

I recall the moments of despair 20+ years ago.  I couldn't see my way out.  Three small children were depending on me and that thought was overwhelming.  I would cry in the middle of my mobile home floor, feeling desperately lonely.  I wondered if I would have food to feed them or a way to keep them warm. 

Child support was $142 a month, but I rarely received it.  I worked a full-time job, took in laundry, and worked as a waitress during holidays.  When all three kids would get sick at the same time, my life felt like a nightmare.  The thought of driving off a cliff entered my mind more than once, but I couldn't bear to think about what that would do to my kids for the rest of their lives.

I wanted someone (I would have settled for ANYONE at times) to just even pretend to care about me.  Would rescue ever come? 

Then one day I made the decision to look for the good.  My baby went to the potty (hey, that was a big deal).  My oldest waved from the school bus.  My son poured on a heart-melting smile.  Choosing to laugh more than cry and finding the fun in each day was often like seeking buried treasure.  But most days the good was there; it just wasn't as noticeable as the bad.  Focusing on those moments felt like breath in my lungs.

My theme song was Carole King's "Beautiful" that says, "You've got to get up every morning with a smile on your face."  Gray had dominated my days for far too long, the sun needed to shine in my life again.  

I remember purposely watching other moms who had happy kids to see what they were doing right.  And those who seemed to have peace, even in the middle of their meltdowns particularly intrigued me.  What did they have that my ‘pull-yourself-up-by-your-bootstraps' mentality wasn't fulfilling?

Jesus.  They simply had found the Prince of Peace who sends the Counselor into your heart when you accept Him.  Watching those examples made me hunger for that relationship in my own life.  Back then, I couldn't have told you one of God’s promises.  I never realized the Bible was full of them.  As a kid I remember thinking it was a book of RULES and if you followed them you were destined for a boring life. 

I had NO IDEA it held the most EXCITING, EXTREME adventure of my life!  I wake up every day wondering what's around the next bend.  My eyes are constantly peeled for the surprises He has planned.  He is the King of surprises and wonder!  My life is the total opposite of boring!  It's an adventure!  A thrill-a-minute ride!

Don't get me wrong, there are plenty of mundane tasks that happen each day like laundry, dishes, and dust bunnies, but honestly those have become my incubator moments with God!  As I run the vacuum, wash the dishes or fold the clothes I talk with God and listen.  

He gives birth to new directions, new thoughts, and new adventures in those every day listening moments.  Then together, we hit the road running!  I'm grabbing His hand and going wherever He leads because the dots He has connected in my past give me eager anticipation for what's ahead!

Take Out:

Looking back, I see the string of choices… the dots that all connected.  They all brought me to this very day.  This day when I am sitting at my breakfast table, peering at the stars glistening in the sky, writing this note to you, my friend.  The note says,

You can do this.  We can't possibly see the road ahead or try to understand where it is going, but I guarantee you the Creator of the universe is connecting your dots.

What memories allow you to see God's divine hand in your life?  How can you share that hope with others?  Who may be watching you, hoping to find lasting hope?

Dessert:

Dear Lord, I need Your help to make it through today.  I need to notice the good.  Don't let me forget You've brought me through every struggle I've ever faced.  Remind me to share that good news with others who need to hear it.  In Jesus' Name, Amen.

The Lord himself goes before you and will be with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you.  Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged. Deuteronomy 31:8 NIV

© 2014 by Luann Prater.  All rights reserved.

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