50 Reasons Why I’m Still Thankful To Be An American

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Yes, America is going the wrong direction. And, yes, it is coming quickly. But I thought it might be a good idea to remember why America is still a great place to live— at least right now. Some of these things will change sooner rather than later. Hopefully, many of these things will never change. But, whatever happens, for this day…for this moment…we have so much for which to be thankful! Let’s not get so caught up in all that’s wrong that we miss the blessings that are right before our eyes.

And so I thought of 50 things for which we Christians can still be thankful. Yes, I know this is not a list that fits everyone. But if you can’t relate to some of mine, then think of some of your own that you have in your situation and then add them in the comment section below. I am sure I forgot some obvious ones. Please add them, as well. Here is my list–

1. I can count on the roads to be passable and safe.

2. My children have access to a good education and to higher education of their choice.

3. I can still go to any church I want to.

4. I can go to a mall and see Latinos, Asians, Indians, Middle-Easterners, African-Americans, and Whites all shopping peacefully together, without incident.

5. I can grow my own vegetables and fruit in my garden.

6. I can still share the gospel freely wherever I go.

7. I still feel safe when I jog, bike, and walk in my neighborhood.

8. My grocery store shelves abound with food of all kinds and varieties.

9. If I can’t find what I want at my grocery store, I can travel a short distance to a Farmer’s Market, an Asian Market, or a Specialty Food Store to find what I am looking for.

10. Our judicial system is not completely and utterly corrupt and full of bribery, like many other countries.

11. I can go to the beach or to the mountains or to the city for a getaway.

12. I can blog about anything I want without fear of being arrested or shut down.

13. I have a variety of specialists that I can go to to meet almost any medical need I have.

14. I can afford a reliable vehicle to take me where I want to go.

15. The general public still obeys traffic laws.

16. We can still buy, sell, and distribute Bibles and other Christian books.

17. We can not only count on getting a paycheck if we have worked, but we can also count on the bank being able to cash it.

18. We don’t have trash on the sides of our roads.

19. We don’t have people living in the city dumps, trying to make a living from people’s trash.

20. We have heat in the winter and AC in the summer.

21. We can freely travel throughout all 50 states without fear of interrogation and danger.

22. I have good dental care available to me. I can go to the eye doctor and afford glasses.

23. Most of our policemen are still good men with a heartfelt desire to serve the public.

24. We have a wealth of tests and tools available to diagnose our illnesses and keep us healthy.

25. I can sit on my porch to enjoy the sunset without fear of attack.

26. I can communicate with someone I love across the world without charge because internet access has become available almost anywhere–even in many public places.

27. Instead of the wild, foraging dogs that are so rampant in many countries, we keep dogs as faithful companions and protectors.

28. There is still an outpouring of love and generosity when someone is in need in this country– no matter their color, race, or sex. Americans have a wonderful sense of empathy and generosity. It is truly a beautiful thing.

29. We have faithful men in this country who are still dedicated to teaching the truths of the Bible.

30. The sermons and lessons of these men are available freely through podcasts and internet stations.

31. There is still the possibility to be successful in this country if you are willing to work hard. The American Dream is still a familiar concept to most of us.

32. I can still find wonderful Christian music to listen to online and in iTunes.

33. I have a multitude of good, wholesome entertainment available for my family through the likes of DVDs, Netflix, and Amazon Prime.

34. I have a plethora of fun activities to choose from for my children. So many, in fact, that I am forced to choose only the best ones.

35. If I choose to lose weight or rid myself of any other unhealthy habit, I can find programs and websites to help me– many which are free.

36. I can trust that when I cross a bridge that it will hold the weight of my car.

37. I don’t have to worry about wild animals mauling me.

38. I have fresh, drinkable water pouring from my faucet whenever I want it.

38. I look out my back window and see beautiful, green grass and colorful plants.

39. I have electricity available to me 24 hours a day.

40. I can choose to eat organic or to not eat organic. It’s my choice.

41. We can get in our car, on a plane, on a train, or on a bus, and go almost anywhere in this world if we really want to.

42. Our church can hold Bible School and picnics and festivals without fear of government censure or intervention.

43. I have ample amount of leisure time to spend as I choose.

44. We have a yard with plenty of room for picnics and activities.

45. We have affordable –and even downright cheap– clothing available to us. This is not the case in many countries.

46. Gasoline is far less inexpensive here than in almost any other country. Ask a European if you don’t believe me.

47. Even the lowest income person in this country has more than the average poor person in other countries.

48. We have vast sections of forest and natural resources that have been protected from greedy men.

49. Our kids can play or be involved in almost any sport that is known to mankind. If there is a will, there is a way.

50.  We can still enjoy a 4th of July celebration with our families!

 

Now will you please take a moment and add to my list in the comment section? And then go have an awesome 4th of July!

After the Rain

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I couldn’t resist. Yes, with two weddings coming up and a landscape business, I am incredibly busy right now, but what kind of life is it to be too busy to grab your camera and take a few shots? We have been hoping, praying, and longing for rain here at our house. When it’s dry it brings all the stresses that a weather-related business tends to bring. Apparently, before yesterday, this was shaping up to be the third driest spring on record in this area! We received an inch and a half of rain last night and we are praising the Lord for it!

I thought I’d share a few shots I took from our yard after yesterday’s beautiful rain–

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Springing to Life!

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I absolutely love this time of year! To me, it symbolizes hope and new life. The plants that have been dormant underneath the surface of the earth make their tentative way up through the ground and come back to life. Trees and shrubs start to bud and then produce blossoms that take your breath away when you really stop to look at them. The landscape comes to life as greens and reds and yellows start replacing the drab browns that have been our background for the past several months.

As you may already know if you’ve been hanging around Growing4Life for a little while, I am a bit of an amateur photographer (actually, I don’t think I would even use the term photographer–maybe just “picture-taker”). At any rate, I took my camera around my backyard a couple of times so far this spring and captured a few shots, reveling in the beauty of nature.

So I thought I’d share a few of my photos with you. Don’t forget to spend a few moments observing the earth springing back to life in your own backyard.

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Thighs are jiggly in the real world

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I saw a video on Facebook the other day that showed real women exercising. Their bodies weren’t perfect, their thighs jiggled, most had a little tummy, and they broke a real sweat. They looked like they were having a great time. It was a commercial put out by a foreign athletic company for the same reason that the Dove soap commercial came out a few years ago with Jamie Lee Curtis–to present the truth about women. And it was beautiful.

Sometimes I get so weary of trying to be perfect, don’t you? We are constantly barraged by photos on our computers, tablets, and smartphones that tell us we do not measure up. We’re not skinny enough, our houses aren’t beautiful enough, our kids aren’t perfect enough. There is always this elusive, impossible standard that hangs over our heads.

That standard didn’t really exist even 25 years ago. It was just starting to affect us. Now it can control us if we aren’t careful. A big problem in our pinterest-facebook-instagram world is the standards and expectations we set for ourselves because of the pictures we see.

It reminds me of a blog I landed on a few weeks ago. It was a young mom’s home and she had taken some holiday pictures of it that were gorgeous! She obviously has an eye for decorating and design. But even as I scrolled down through, I felt inadequate.

Now, don’t get me wrong– I don’t think there is anything necessarily wrong with posting beautiful pictures. Our world is a much more creative place now that the online world is filled with blogs and Pinterest. But, oh, how careful we need to be as we surf the online world.

Life is so much more than the pictures you see on social media. It’s full of jiggles and cellulite. It’s full of dirt and messes. It’s okay if our houses don’t look like they belong on a blog post. It’s okay if we have a little tummy pooch. Who in the world ever gave us the impression that’s it’s not? And why do we listen to them?

This post is not about losing weight or enjoying interior design but, instead, about trying to be someone we are not because of pictures we see. It’s about young, healthy moms who think they are overweight because they don’t look like the single girl they graduated with ten years ago. It’s about being discontent with our body shapes and our possessions. It’s a vicious cycle, isn’t it?

And if we get into that cycle of discontentment, all gratitude is gone. And without gratitude, we lose sight of our many blessings — a critical part of a healthy relationship with God.

We need to be careful of the subtle call of discontentment and view it for what it is and then take necessary steps to change it. Because life is just too short to try to be something we aren’t. Let’s instead live lives of joy and gratitude and turn to God’s Word for our standards of living. Because, in the end, the fruits of the spirit and a godly life will be so much more important than any external change we may have made.

I Timothy 4:8 For bodily exercise profits a little, but godliness is profitable for all things, having promise of the life that now is and of that which is to come.

 

 

Dealing with Difficult People: Part 2

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Difficult people. We all have them in our lives. How do we wrestle with impossible, unpleasant situations over which we have no control? How do we work through the anger and the frustration and the hopelessness when someone keeps hurting us–over and over again. I have really been thinking about this a lot lately.

If you are a regular reader, you may remember Part 1. You can read it here. If you haven’t read it, I suggest you do. What I wrote there truly revolutionized how I view difficult people in my life. It was written a  few months ago and it was never intended to have a Part 2. However, God has led me to think further about this topic that is so painful and affects so many people. This is my first paragraph from Part 1–

Have you ever had to deal with someone you just couldn’t make happy? Or perhaps it is someone who lies constantly, is consistently unkind, or very angry? Or maybe they just absolutely exhaust you by telling you all of their woes? Sometimes, if they are friends, we can gently extricate ourselves from these relationships. But, many times, we can’t. We may go to church together. Or we may work together. More often than not, our difficult relationships are within our own families.

If you can relate to this, then I think you will find this post helpful. I would like to share some specific steps we can take to work through a never-ending and seemingly hopeless situation. Notice I did not say “easy” steps. But we need to remember that oftentimes the hardest steps yield the greatest rewards. And if you can take these steps–one slow step at a time– I promise that the bitterness that is welling inside you will dissipate and you will grow stronger spiritually. I can promise you this because these steps are straight from scripture.

1. Submit to God’s sovereignty in your life. This is the first step we need to take in any difficult and troubled situation. It is how we need to view any frustrating and annoying person we come across. We can never change someone else, so we need to instead turn our eyes to God and recognize that He has allowed this person or situation in our life for a reason. It is probably to help us grow more like Christ. We can shake our fist at God and rail that it isn’t fair or we can submit humbly and ask God what He wants to teach us through this. Both attitudes have consequences. If we choose to be angry, then we will grow hard and bitter. If we choose to submit, we will be filled with the peace that passeth understanding. It is our choice. Of course, Romans 8:28-30 is perfect for this idea of God’s Sovereignty but also check out Philippians 1:6 and Romans 5:1-5.

2. Love and forgive the other person(s). So, I know this one is a whole lot easier to write than it is to do. But I didn’t come up with this one on my own. This comes straight from the pages of scripture. Check out Matthew 5:44-48 and Luke 6:27. And then turn to Matthew 6:14-15 and Ephesians 4:31-32. There are many more. I just picked a couple. It would seem that loving our enemies and forgiving them are a pretty big part of a genuine Christian faith. We don’t have a choice here.

So how do we do this? I am going to share something that has helped me tremendously. When I am at the end of myself and have no love to offer or forgiveness to extend, I ask the Lord to fill me with His love and forgiveness for that person. And He answers that prayer! You see, sometimes we are humanly incapable of giving that love and forgiveness. But God is all-powerful and He has provided the Holy Spirit to guide and strengthen us. He will help us. Keep in mind that this is not a once and done thing. It is often a prayer that we need to pray for weeks, months, or even years. But don’t stop asking. And He won’t stop answering.

3. Surround yourself with godly people who will build you up. When we are struggling and suffering, it’s important we don’t fall prey to the very human temptation to hang out with those who will help us point a finger of blame, talk unkindly about the other person, and excuse our sinful attitudes. Instead, surround yourself with friends who will encourage you to respond correctly and biblically. Look up Proverbs 27:5-6 and Proverbs 13:20.

Again, not easy. I know when I am really upset, the last thing I want is someone telling me what the Bible says. And, look, I’m not talking about one of those friends who annoyingly always seems to have the answer and is quite arrogant in the way they give it to you. With friends like that who needs enemies?? No, I am talking about a true and wise friend who will listen and empathize, pray with you and for you, and will lovingly challenge your sinful attitudes.

4. Don’t allow Satan to get a foothold in your life because of this situation. This is best done by controlling our thought life! When we feel our thoughts spiraling out of control, we need to consciously choose to think about something else. We need to carefully refuse to let our thoughts take us down to that dark pit where we feel hopeless and full of despair. We need to very purposefully turn away from the angry and bitter thoughts that can so easily consume us. Honestly, this takes work and a lot of prayer but it does get easier! Check out Ephesians 4:26-27 and 2 Timothy 2:22-26.

5. Be thankful. This can be tough. These situations can utterly and completely take over our lives. So grab yourself an empty notebook and start a thankful journal. You will be shocked at how much you have for which to be truly thankful. God has blessed all of us in a myriad of ways. Start writing it down and see how this little exercise in gratitude helps to move your focus from your woes to your blessings. I Thessalonians 5:18 and Ephesians 5:20 are just two of many verses in scripture about gratitude.

I hope these steps help you. It won’t be instant and it won’t be easy, but if you can follow them, I truly believe God will work in your heart and your life to grow you tremendously through this trial. An added bonus will be the ability to become that friend who can help others when you get to the other side of this trial. You will really be able to understand the challenges faced by someone going through a similar situation and will be able to be used by God in a mighty way– if you choose to submit instead of shaking your fist. If you choose to be thankful instead of bitter. If you choose to grow instead of staying stuck in the mud.

Victory can be yours! This is not a hopeless situation! But, as always, the choice lies with you. No one else can make it for you. No, you can’t change the other person, but you can take steps to work on your own heart. If we choose to submit and obey, blessing will surely follow!

 

 

Searching for Spring

Totally spontaneous post here but today was a bit more seasonable and, between the weather and my illness, I have been yearning for a little sign of spring. I mean when it is time for spring, even winter weather can’t hold it back–not forever, anyway. And so I took my camera with me on a little walk outside to see if I could find some proof that spring is definitely on its way. I thought I’d share a few shots with you. I find them a wonderful reminder of Ecclesiastes 3– to everything there is a season. So thankful for the season of SPRING!

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The Very Easy Extremely Hard Way to Stand Out

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When we Christians talk about standing out as salt and light in the world, many different things come to mind–

We need to love, for the world hates.

We need to be peacemakers, for the world is full of anger.

We need to love righteousness, for the world loves evil.

We need to be pure, for the world is dirty.

But God has been teaching me that there is another way that we need to stand out to the world around us. May I suggest that one easy {but extremely hard} way to stand out is to–

Rest calmly with a heart of gratitude in God’s sovereignty, for the world complains…and complains…and complains.

What a testimony this is to unbelievers.

And, if we are honest, how rare for Christians to do this.

Well, let me speak for myself. Maybe you have this down, but I certainly do not. For instance, when someone I know well asks me how I am today, it is very normal for me to begin a conversation by mentioning something that is wrong in my life right now. I try to put a positive spin on it, but it is still a thinly veiled complaint and I know it and God knows it.

I am reading through the Bible this year (yes, pleeease hold me accountable! I am determined to finish it! I would so appreciate an e-mail now and again asking me how I am doing!) and I have been very struck by how God handled the Israelites when they complained. In several incidents, the punishment was–get this–DEATH. They were struck down forever via plagues and fire and snakes because of a complaining spirit (Numbers 11:1-3; 21:4-6). Now there were times that they complained that God had mercy (Exodus 15-18) and supplied these whining people with their requests. But the Israelites seemed to make complaining a habit and it is obvious that God took this very seriously.

As I reflect on the seriousness of this sin, I wonder how often I complain without even realizing it? This winter, especially, I think there are many of us who are tired of the snow, tired of the cold, weary with being stuck inside, some of us caring for family members who are sick or perhaps we are fighting illnesses ourselves. If we aren’t careful, we may begin to believe that these kinds of moments in our lives give us the “right” to complain.

But if anyone had a right to complain, it would have been the Israelites. I don’t want to be too hard on them. Here I am in my warm, safe home with lots of variety to eat, modern medicine to help heal and comfort me, and technology to keep me entertained and I still complain. They were wandering in the hot desert and eating only manna and quail. I might have complained, too.

And, so, my conclusion is that we can truly stand out as a Christian if we do not complain. Instead, let us be motivated by a heart of gratitude. For it is impossible to speak a complaint and a thank you in the same breath. Let us be a light in this way to the very dark, incessantly complaining world around us. And, most importantly, let us remember that complaining is a very great offense to our Holy God.

 

 

Thankless Jobs

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As my husband crawled into bed last night, exhausted after several nights of little sleep and hours and hours out in the cold, he said these words to me: “There is one thing about snow removal. It is such a thankless job.”

He went on to talk about his day and the lack of gratitude he gets in the snow removal business. I dealt with my own end of that this past week, where the east has been coated in snow and ice. I am the lucky girl who gets to take the phone calls. And, trust me, people do not call to say how awesome of a job we did. It is always a complaint. Mostly by people who aren’t very kind as they express their frustrations. Now, I will say this, some people are very nice when they call and that helps so much. And I am also thankful that we have an AWESOME crew who does a GREAT job and so the calls are fairly infrequent. But it does remind me of a couple of things —

1. We need to thank someone who does something we take for granted. Someone is working hard, often during the hours you are asleep, so that you can get to work tomorrow or walk safely on the sidewalks leading into the bank or the grocery store. If you see them out working, tell them you appreciate them. But this isn’t just about snow removal. Think about other thankless jobs people do each and every day and then intentionally start thanking those people.

2. We need to do our duty, with or without the praise of men. Sometimes we find ourselves relying on someone saying thank you or good job and when it doesn’t come we get discouraged and want to quit. But Colossians 3:23-24 says And whatever you do, do it heartily, as to the Lord and not to men, knowing that from the Lord you will receive the reward of the inheritance; for you serve the Lord Christ.  Yes! We serve the Lord, not man. Whether we are doing the dishes, plowing snow, or collecting garbage, we are to do it out of a heart of love for our Lord.

And so the long winter continues, but it has not been without its life lessons and good reminders. And while I am thankful for what God is teaching me, I do find myself longing for the sunny summer days. I guess they will come soon enough.

 

 

The Odd Thanksgiving List

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Whenever we sit down around the table at Thanksgiving and ask people to share what they are thankful for, we always hear the same {very worthy and true} answers —

Family…My Job…Nice Home…My Health…Church…Freedom to Worship

Sometimes we get frustrated if we are at the end of the circle, because all of the things we thought of have already been said. Have you ever been there?

Well, I thought maybe this morning I would list a few unusual things that we can be thankful for, in hopes that it may give us something unique to share at our Thanksgiving tables today.  Here is my Odd Thanksgiving List–

1.  Dentists and Eye Doctors. I don’t know about you but I’d probably have quite a few teeth missing if it wasn’t for my dentist! And I know that some of you would basically be blind. How blessed we are to have good dental and eye care available to us.

2.  Information About Anything at Anytime, Anywhere. I remember when I’d see a familiar face on a movie. I’d have no way to figure out where I had seen that face before. But not anymore. Now I just go to imdb.com and immediately I can glance through a list of previous works of that actor and figure it out. Or perhaps we see a strange plant or animal. Google it. Need a map? Google it. Would like more information about anyone, past or present? Google it, Ask Jeeves, Bing it, or use some other search engine. If there is a piece of information you need or just desire to know, you can probably find it online.

3.  Modern Technology. We hear a lot of negatives about technology and rightly so — in many cases it has undermined relationships and made sin much more accessible. But what great good it has accomplished, as well. We have podcasts of godly preachers at the touch of a button. Instead of being limited to our own home pastors (which may or may not be well-spoken or doctrinally sound), we now have access to whole sermon libraries of godly men, some who have already gone on to heaven. We have our Bibles and any number of Bible Study helps with us at all times on our smartphones and tablets. No need to lug around big, heavy Bibles or books. We can reach out and encourage someone with a text, facebook post, or e-mail, without the work of hand-writing a letter, finding an address, adding a stamp, and walking it to our mailboxes.  We have any number of books by great authors like Tozer, Ryle, and Spurgeon available to us for a mere 99 cents if we have a kindle. The problem for me isn’t the availability of books but the time to read them!  Technology provides some special challenges to our families, but let’s not forget that it also provides some pretty amazing advantages.

4. The Remnant of Believers. We can get so discouraged about the direction of the church, but there are still genuine believers in most areas of this country and many areas of the world. Yes, modern Christianity is murky and confusing and full of impostors but we can find sweet fellowship with true brothers and sisters in Christ almost anywhere we go and this is something for which to be truly thankful!

5.  Mentors and Godly Examples. Do you have someone who you really look to for advice? Someone who, while not perfect, is a great example of holy living? We should certainly be thankful if we have someone like this in our life.

6. Glorious Freedom. Oh, we often hear the word freedom on Thanksgiving Day, most often referring to our freedom to choose our religion or to make our own choices in the country we live in. But I am not speaking of that here. I am talking about the glorious freedom from bondage. If we are believers, we are no longer a slave to sin. Have you ever stopped to think about how marvelous that is? We have gone from darkness to light and it is glorious!

Hopefully, this list gives you something unique to present at the Thanksgiving table this year! Really, when you stop to think about it, this list could go on forever. No matter if we are rich or poor, healthy or not healthy, in a sunshiny place or in a dark place, there is so much for which to be thankful.

Happy Thanksgiving!

 

God’s Faithfulness in the Small Stuff

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We climbed in the truck at 6:30am for the 9 1/2 hour drive to my daughter’s university. The atmosphere was full of nervousness and excitement and sadness, as she nervously anticipated starting a new life there and I sadly contemplated how quickly she had grown up. But the trip was uneventful–at least for the first hour or two.

About a half hour in, my husband’s tooth started bothering him. He had mentioned having a toothache the night before, hoping it wouldn’t bother him over the weekend. Well, it did not take long for him to realize that it was going to bother him A LOT over the weekend. And so I began to use my iPad (how did I survive without that thing??) to find dentists who take emergency cases located in the vicinity of our destination.

I was just ready to start calling, when I looked over to see Eric in agony. “I really don’t think I can make it that far.”  And thus began a crazy half hour of phone calls, figuring out where in the world we could go to relieve him of his pain as soon as possible and not lose too much time in the process.

After checking some reviews, I ended up calling a dental office in a town about 30 minutes from where we were. They would gladly see him, but could not get him in until 12:30 pm. It was only 10:30am. Oh, well. Eric was in severe pain by this time and we didn’t seem to have much of a choice. We plugged the address into the GPS and headed that direction.

Upon arriving at the dentist’s office, we found ourselves very pleasantly surprised! We were ushered into a small room to fill out paperwork in comfort. While there, the patient coordinator (an employee hired for the specific purpose of making patients and their families comfortable?!) handed us a free water bottle filled with chocolate candy. They treated us like royalty, quickly getting Eric in to see a dentist by 11:30am. While he was being seen, the patient coordinator, a petite middle-aged woman with a sweet demeanor, offered us drinks and homemade brownie bites. And so, while Eric was sitting in the dentist’s chair in misery, the girls and I were sitting on leather furniture, sipping coffee and gatorade, eating brownie bites and chocolate, and watching the fish in the two huge tanks they had in their office. It was quite the experience and totally unexpected.  And, to top it off, they only charged us $50! We have no dental insurance so that was such a blessing.

The dentist prescribed an antibiotic and some pain killers to help with the infected tooth and so, after our adventure at the dentist, we made a stop at Target for the prescriptions, where we ate lunch simply out of the desire to save time. We were on the road again by about 12:30pm –the time of the original appointment.

It was disappointing to lose so much time, but God was so faithful in leading us to this particular dental office!

As we continued on our way, we were relieved to have that behind us. But an hour or two later, we ran into another problem.  I was in my own little world, just looking out the window at the beautiful mountain scenery, when, all of a sudden, Eric’s serious voice told me to “turn off the music.”

I glanced at him and knew immediately that something was wrong. He started making his way over to the side of the road because the truck had completely lost power.  He jumped out and lifted the hood of the truck. Now this always makes me nervous. I have heard of men being killed when looking at their vehicles parked along the road because of inattentive drivers. I hate when any of my family members are out of a vehicle alongside a major highway. I asked the Lord to protect him as he worked to fix the problem. I breathed a big sigh of relief when he climbed back into the truck. Not only was he safe, but he had fixed the problem (as he so often can–he is sort of amazing that way…)

On we went, on our way. It did happen once more, but this time he could hop out quickly and do what he knew to do, so it wasn’t quite as scary.  Thankfully, after that, it did not happen again (until the way home–but that is another story…)

Again, God showed His faithfulness to us.

As we moved closer to our destination, we ran into more and more Labor Day traffic. We were delayed by at least four official accidents, but we mostly never could figure out why the traffic was crawling along at a snail’s pace, to free up, to slow down again. It was so strange.

Until it was all said and done, we lost at least two hours due to traffic, making our total trip time (including the “dental” delay) fourteen very long hours.

As we moved closer to the college, we planned to park our truck and 5th wheel in a huge parking lot near the girls’ dorms but across a highway. The question that still needed to be answered was: how do we get all of her stuff to the dorm?

God was faithful yet again! Two families we know from home pulled up shortly after we arrived (texting had told them of our arrival time) and one family piled all of the stuff in their large van and went with Eric to the dorm and the other family took my daughter and me over to the building where she could register.

I cannot tell you the warm feeling I felt upon arriving at a strange place at night time and seeing friendly faces ready to help however necessary.

That day showed us that God is faithful even in the midst of great frustration that is very temporal in nature. Sometimes, seeing Him in the small stuff can really help us to trust Him with the really big issues that come up in life.

Yes, that was a rough trip down. It could have gone much better but we were vividly reminded that it could have gone much worse, as we passed all of those accidents along the way.

Yes, God was with us through the whole entire fourteen long hours–even when things weren’t going quite the way we wanted them to– because He is faithful!

And sometimes in life we find that we are the one in the accident or the one with the broken-down vehicle that’s sitting alongside the road. I have been there and done both. But even then God has proved His faithfulness.

Nothing can happen to us without God’s knowledge. Nothing can happen to us that will remove us from His care. And so we can trust our Heavenly Father as we ride the roller coaster of life because…

He is faithful!