Thursday, July 15, 2010

Good Things Come to Those Who Wait...

Do you ever find yourself wondering if God is really real?  Do you know down in the depths of your soul that He is?    
I’ve been blessed with several powerful moments in my life that made me know that God is real.  And alive.  And truly cares about me.  Me!   It is utterly amazing that the almighty, omnipotent all-knowing God isn’t too busy to show His love for me.  And at the times when I need it the most.  
My girlfriend (who shall go nameless -- although I would love to share her name!) knows that God is real.  Real beyond a shadow of a doubt.  She was facing one of life’s toughest decisions this week.  Buying a house.
My wonderful friend has been leasing her house for the last year as they are new to our area.  Before they settled in Westlake, my friend prayed for the Lord’s direction.  She brought her needs to Him and He placed her on my street.  
The decision to continue leasing or make an offer on her house has been quite heavy on her heart.  Each time we discussed it, she would always say, “It’s in God’s hands.”  She continually prayed for direction.  She would get weary and frustrated and impatient.  Though she never stopped praying.
Just recently, the opportunity arose to buy the house.  Given that the house was built the year I was born, it needs a lot of TLC.  Couple that with the unstable economy and their increasing expenses, and it became a very tough decision for them to make.  
I ran into my girlfriend recently at a baseball game.  She told me that the owner agreed to their price and it looked as if they were going to buy their house.   I was thrilled!  But she wasn’t.  
“Even though it looks like this deal is coming together, I have no peace with this decision,” she said.  “I just want to make sure that this is God’s plan for us.”  So she continued to pray.
I called her last week.  “The owner is coming over on Thursday to sign the papers,” she said.  “It looks like the house is ours.  But my heart is soooo heavy,” she sighed.
Now I’m not a whiz at making decisions.  But I know that if you don’t have peace, then you probably shouldn’t do it.  Especially when it comes to buying a house.  
“Keep praying,” I told her.  Easier said than done.  Sometimes it’s the last hour when God’s voice is heard.  
So I’m reading through my emails a few days ago, and see this from my friend:
“This morning I sat down with a book to read from my mom and the opening page read:
See, the Lord your God has given you the land.  Go up and take possession of it as the Lord, the God of your fathers, told you.  Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged.”
Deuteronomy 1:21.
She continued, “This is just after I told the Lord I still need His direction to be assured this is the right thing to do and that I would like confirmation before the owner comes tonight with the papers!”
Coincidence?  I think not.  I love it!
God hears our every word, our every thought.  He will answer us.  On His time.  Unfortunately, not always on ours.  Patience is key.  Keep praying.  Don’t stop.  And when He does answer, revel in the beauty that He is real.  
Real beyond a shadow of a doubt...

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

A Bicycle Built for Three...

Before I got sick, Jake would often ask, "Mom, can we go on a bike ride?"  I dreaded that question.  He seemed to ask it around 5 o'clock when I should be starting dinner or wanted to call it a day.  I always wanted to say yes, but almost always said no.  First off, I didn't have a bike.  Never really wanted one.  Hardly had room for it in the garage.  He just wanted me to go for a walk while they rode their bikes.  Not too much to ask.  I rarely did it.

But for some reason when I got sick, I remember telling my kids that when I was done with cancer, I would get a bike.  That "some reason" was my new-found need to spend time doing things I knew they loved.  I would make time in my day to enjoy what they enjoyed.

So about a month ago, we went to Santa Barbara to celebrate the last day of school.  It was just an overnighter.  I expected to check in, eat dinner, watch a movie in our room, then the kids would swim the next day and we'd go home.  Well, to my surprise, they didn't want to swim.

Parked next to the pool were lots of bikes.  Four seaters, two seaters and regular bikes. They wanted to rent a four seater and take it for a spin on the beach path.   So we rented it for two hours and began our adventure.  Nine minutes later, I kid you not, we returned it.  We were so out of shape!  First off, I've never claimed to be in shape and I could have sworn I saw smoke coming out of my knees as I tried to pedal that thing.  My partner in the back seat was Rachel whose feet could hardly reach the pedals, so she was no help.  Even Ed and Jake were laughing because they were struggling more than they thought they would.

So amidst our laughter and embarrassment, we returned the bike.  Now the kids wanted a two seater, and Ed opted for a regular beach cruiser.  I wanted to go lay by the pool and wait for their return.  But that's why cancer is a good thing for me.  Because the old me would have grabbed a towel and read a magazine by the pool.  The new me wanted to grab a bike and join the fun.  I can proudly say, this family bike ride lasted a whole hour -- though all of our legs vibrated with pain as we got off.

So this experience solidified my getting a bike.  About a week later, my Mom and I found ourselves at Walmart.  There, standing tall and cute among dozens of other bikes, was the only pink cruiser in the store.   While no one was looking, I took it for a spin down the motor oil isle.  (Say that quickly three times!)  Handled well, brakes worked.  Had to have it.  Also had to buy the adorable basket too (at Target).

So yesterday around noon, Jake said, "Mom, when are you going to ride your new bike?"  

"Right now.  Let's go for a bike ride!"  I proudly said.  Where are the gold stars for my forehead I wondered.

OK, maybe many of you Moms do this a lot with your kids.  But for a Mom who spends more time in her car than on a bike, I loved it!  Though my "upper region" still hurts a tad, what fun.   What was more fun though was seeing Jake smile at me while we rode around our neighborhood.   As the commercial says...Priceless.

So what do your kids want you to do with them this summer?  Actually get in the pool instead of watching from the lounge chair?  Unfortunately, that will probably be my kids' next request.  If I blog about it, I promise not to include photos!  

So what's on the agenda today?  Barbies?  Playstation?  Ping Pong?  Rollerblading?  

Follow your kid's lead.  They will thank you.  And I promise you -- your heart will too.