Surprised by JOY

Today is a remembrance of my spiritual birthday. At 13 years old, I said, “Yes!”  I was baptized that December 13. I’m off today with my mom helping her with some medical appointments. I’m so honored to be with her on this day. She has been a strong, spiritual mentor in my life, and she still continues to nourish me and others in our faith. Although the morning was filled with the usual chaos of the getting ready, getting lost on the way, and getting settled into all the paperwork, I’m seeing God in the common.

In my advent study, In the Manger, I read how God entered into the common, the ugly, and the hard, and His glory brought joy, redemption, and surprise. Slow down. See it.

“Being in a hurry. Getting to the next thing without fully entering the thing in front of me. I cannot think of a single advantage I’ve ever gained from being in a hurry. But a thousand broken and missed things, tens of thousands, lie in the wake of all the rushing…. Through all that haste I thought I was making up time. It turns out I was throwing it away.”
― Ann Voskamp

Change a single event or decision and it wouldn’t have happened. Down to the last one, I had to go to the drug store. A phone call from my youngest who wrapped up rehearsal earlier than expected got me to the store at just the right time. We dashed in the makeup, lotion, snacks, and feminine hygiene aisles. We hopped in line. They announced a new register opening in cosmetics to handle the crowd, but we decided to stay put. Our turn came and in walked a man, 87 (he told us), confused, and needing to get directions from an address written on the back of an envelope.

We will help you.

My youngest and I researched, made calls, and after 10 minutes of problem solving (wrong address on the envelope), we chose to drive him to his hospice meeting. This overwhelming gesture made him cry, and after a hug and a pause, he got in his car, and I got in mine. He followed us to his meeting. I drove slow, purposeful, and my youngest was the look out person for his car. Once there, he insisted on paying us. I insisted that kindness and God’s work in our lives are priceless. God took care of you tonight, not us. I have to believe that God is there working and using His children to care for others. This brings me hope. Hope that God will be there for my loved ones who need help. No hurry. No haste. I have all the time in the world in this moment to do this.

God I know I miss opportunities often. I’m selfish, busy, and fearful to get involved.  I thank you for the reminder and the courage to follow through on the obvious. I pray that as I face this new year, new decade, you will show me more opportunities and give me the resources to follow through.

Thank you God for your glory in the common.. The ugly beautiful.

“I want to see beauty. In the ugly, in the sink, in the suffering, in the daily, in all the days before I die, the moments before I sleep.”
― Ann Voskamp 

Where has God used your words, your hands, your knees in prayer to make a difference in the common?

How does God show up in your life? Last night walking the streets of Richmond to our favorite restaurant with a heavy heart, my husband and I were surprised by joy. Literally. Oh God, I see. I hear. You take our hearts and comfort us. The restaurant was filled with young families and children screaming jingle bells, little girls in pretty red dresses, and waitstaff dancing around with yummy food and smiles. I see you God.

Blessings to you. All is grace.

 

 

 

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