"Let them praise the name of the LORD,
for his name alone is exalted;
his splendor is above the earth and the heavens." Psalm 148:13
"The living, the living—they praise you,
as I am doing today;
fathers tell their children
about your faithfulness." Isaiah 38:19
This morning I want to share about our little blessings chart. It's something I was going to share last week, but other things popped into my mind, and it got pushed aside. So this morning, I am going to talk about blessings- both big and small.
We had our big conference a few weeks ago, and leading up to it, Andy and I both had a sort of anticipation going into it. We were both certain that something big was going to come out of it-some big blessing or direction or something like that. Surprisingly, there wasn't anything like that. We were blessed immensely at the conference, but in a spiritual way. We both felt our relationship with God deepen, and we came away with some new understandings.
Monday came around though and Andy had an e-mail from a theater director at one of the high schools in the area. Could he pinch hit and help finish this set? So Andy went in and helped out- to the tune of a little bit of money that is a really big help to us. Then on Tuesday our neighbor sent over two packages of frozen duck. Duck! And a few days later added a third package to our freezer. I also balanced the checkbook after our conference and found extra money in it. Not much- but it was more than was supposed to be in it. So as I was thinking about all these things that happened in just a few days, I started giggling to myself about how God just provides all the time.
And then I went and got a sheet of paper, grabbed a marker, and wrote these things on it. I stuck it to the fridge so the whole family could see it, and it is now our blessings chart. I have a few more things to add to it this week, but it's really been a boost to me to walk into the kitchen and see that sheet on the fridge. It is a constant reminder to us that God will see to all our needs in His perfect timing. And it's a constant reminder to our kids. That is probably more important to me. They need to see that God takes care of his children all the time, and then when God does provide something unexpected, we can all rejoice in His provision.
Everything unexpected that comes into our household is going on this piece of paper. That means that I add the baggie of trail mix that was shared with us, a pot of homemade chicken soup, and a bag of unexpected groceries that Andy brought home from a job. Of course, the financial blessings will all be added, but not just a dollar amount, but whatever had to be done for the money. In the theater job it was an unexpected construction job that Andy had to do. God didn't just drop a check in the mailbox for us, he allowed Andy to use his time and his hands to earn the money. Honestly? That is a real blessing for Andy, because he's got nothing but time available right now, and giving him something to do that utilizes his talents is a wonderful thing- it keeps him from sitting at home going stir crazy.
I have to confess something about that last bit though. When Andy announced that he'd been laid off, I immediately thought about how it would be nice that he would take over some of the schooling here at home. In particular, I really wanted him to do science with the kids. I love doing the book learning and the reading with them,but the hands on and experiments are not my favorite thing to do. So I was all over him taking over the science part of our education. But as he's been busy and running around doing odd jobs, or simply helping someone out by blessing them with his time, there was a part of me that was a little annoyed. He wasn't sticking around to do science, and I didn't want to do it. Thank goodness I didn't allow myself to dwell on that, because I know that God is blessing our whole family for Andy's willingness to sacrifice his time. Yes, it means I have to do science, and we honestly are seeing Andy about as much as when he's working- so that's odd. But in all this- some of what he's doing is for money that we need to pay bills, and some of it that he's doing is simply something he wants to do to bless someone else. And that is worth more than gold.
In all this, that blessing chart is sitting on the fridge- a daily reminder of everything that God is providing for us. We may not have this grand story like our flour and rice never running out, but we do have a story. When I think about the fact that our neighbor gave us duck... Duck! Someone could have given us some hamburger helper, or even the hamburger, or canned tuna or something like that- but we were given something delicious and exotic! Something rare, and something that I can totally have fun with because I have no idea what to do with duck. See? God even provides for our pleasure, because I adore duck, but even better, I'm going to adore cooking it up and preparing it. And we didn't just get one package of duck. We got three. We received an abundance, because we have a God of abundance.
"And God is able to make all grace abound to you, so that in all things at all times, having all that you need, you will abound in every good work." 2 Corinthians 9:8