We arrived safely in Washington state last Monday, August 6. It was good to hug my son and mom for the first time in almost eight months!
We arrived after ending our whirlwind world tour in England. We spent almost three weeks in Harpenden and London working with a YWAM team of 11 youth and six adults. We served St. James the Less church in London by helping with holiday club (vacation Bible school) in the mornings and sharing the Gospel through magic tricks, balloon modeling, dramas, and circus-type acts in the many parks of London during the afternoon. The girls and I both had a great time.
Days were long, but looking back, the past eight months have been fulfilling – and exhausting. It is good to get a break in the cool state of Washington. It’s also funny to see how God always makes sure His blessings come full circle, even (maybe especially) with the little things in life.
When we left Oklahoma, we sold almost everything we owned. I left five boxes labeled “To Keep” at my mom’s house and stashed the rest of what we didn’t sell at our last garage sale in mom’s garage, knowing she planned to sell her house and everything else at auction this summer. The rest of our junk could just go in the mix. I had no intentions of ever seeing any of that stuff again.
But God blesses those who honor Him – in the funniest ways sometimes.
I walked into our bedroom in Washington to find my fuzzy pink bathrobe on my bed. Mom had saved it and packed it all the way to Washington. What a sweet and welcome surprise! A couple mornings after we arrived, I woke up a little chilly one morning, and I thought, “I wish I had my fuzzy slippers to go along with my bathrobe.” I walked into my mom’s bedroom, and there she was, holding my fuzzy slippers! She said, “I forgot I packed these, but I just found them in my closet.” She got a big hug that morning.
Since then, I’ve spotted a few other comforts from our old home in mom’s new home: she brought our purple foot stool, some of our dish towels, and a few of my favorite cooking utensils. Those who know me well, know how much I love to cook. I have missed my kitchen supplies more than anything, but when God told me to go, I went, which included parting with my dearly beloved KitchenAid mixer, which went quickly at our garage sale, and my favorite kitchen knife.
Oh, how I pined over that knife! My good friend Ky gave me that knife: it was heavy, sharp, and fit my hand perfectly. I hated leaving it in Oklahoma. One day in Thailand I was working up a sweat cutting carrots with a dull paring knife, and I literally got a lump in my throat thinking about how quickly my knife could slice and dice that stubborn carrot.
God is so good.
I woke up Tuesday morning in Washington, excited to cook for all three of my children in a full-size kitchen with a fully-stocked spice rack. As I reached in the utensil crock to find a wire whisk, my hand gravitated toward a black handle with a silver top. It was the most beautiful site I’ve ever seen! My knife! MY knife! My mother did not even know how much I loved that knife, so I know only God could have caused it to be packed up with all those other little extras.
Mom got another big hug that morning, and God gets all the glory. He also gets a thumbs up and a chuckle for His sense of humor.
I love laughing with God. He just gets us, doesn’t He?
“You’re blessed when you stay on course,
walking steadily on the road revealed by God.
You’re blessed when you follow his directions,
doing your best to find him.
That’s right—you don’t go off on your own;
you walk straight along the road he set.
You, God, prescribed the right way to live;
now you expect us to live it.
Oh, that my steps might be steady,
keeping to the course you set;
Then I’d never have any regrets
in comparing my life with your counsel.
I thank you for speaking straight from your heart;
I learn the pattern of your righteous ways.
I’m going to do what you tell me to do;
don’t ever walk off and leave me.” – Psalm 119:1-8 (The Message)