Right now every New Orleanian is glued to the TV, wondering if Gustav is headed this way. It appears to be on the same track that that old witch Katrina took 3 years ago (almost to the day). And it leaves us all wondering...."WHY????"
Obviously we won't know or understand for a long time to come, but I do know that God is in total control of the situation and if history repeats itself, then it is doing it for a purpose. So I am writing this NOW so I can look back on it in a few days to remind myself. You know, for those 8953 times that I am certain to break down and lose all semblance of sanity.
All day it seems my friends and I have gone over and over what to do & what to pack. We've made sure we have everyone's cell numbers. We've cried and hugged and told each other "Hey, it's just stuff. Right?" It's 2 years I've grown so close to these women. I realize now that I totally take them for granted. We see each other -- on the playground, at the pool, at PE, to borrow sugar or butter, or sometimes just because we're lonely and need to chat over a glass of tea or cup of other words, I'm so incredibly blessed. There is no place like this on earth.
I pray that Gustav steers clear of New Orleans. I pray for this city. Most of all, right now I pray for my friends.

Stepping out in faith...

"So when the people broke camp to cross the Jordan, the priests carrying the ark of the covenant went ahead of them. Now the Jordan is at flood stage all during harvest. Yet as soon as the priests who carried the ark reached the Jordan and their feet touched the water's edge, the water from upstream stopped flowing." Joshua 3:14-16

How difficult is it for you to step out in faith? I know for me it is brutal. I worry. I stress. I wonder if I'm really doing the right thing. I want a "sign" that I'm making the right choice. Honestly, I obsess about it. But let's face it; when it all comes down to the wire, we have to trust God. We have to dip our toes into the water.
That's what the priests did. Imagine the Jordan river at flood stage. And Joshua has told them to go ahead....but what if Joshua was wrong? What if they step out, carrying the most precious ark, and the water doesn't stop? Exactly how far out do they have to go? To their ankles? Waist level? Chest high?
But they did it. Their hearts likely pounding out of fear, or maybe faithful expectation, they did it. Their feet touched the waters edge, and just as God had promised, the water stopped. Flood stage waters stopped still. Imagine.
I am reminded that no matter how huge the decision looming in my life, God has it under control. Just as He controls the mighty seas in my world, what He promises is true. He will never leave me. He will never forsake me. He will be my father and my brother and my friend, my counselor and my peace.
All I have to do is step into the water.
Tucker wanted to know why I was leaving the house later than usual.
Me:"Because I'm doing lactation today, not working in the nursery, sweetie."
Tucker: "Oh, so when you do lap-tation you don't have to be there early?"
Paul says as long as I don't do any lap-tation dances it's ok.
Luke 15:20: "...but while he was still a long way off, his father saw
him and felt compassion for him and ran and embraced him and kissed him."

Do you ever take your eyes off of your children? You know, just for a
second. Say you are at the zoo and you have three kids with you and
you bend down to tie a shoe and when you look up the 21 month old has
wandered off....

You immediately sense panic. Frantically, you start looking around,
yelling her name, asking everyone around you to look for a blonde
haired toddler....

And then you see her....just calmly sitting in the grass, looking at a
fresh flower. Smiling. Like nothing is wrong....

Relief. Praise. Maybe a little frustration, but nothing even
resembling anger; most of all, overwhelming thankfulness and love. Joy
that she is back where she belongs. Safe in my arms, in my home, in
her family....where she fits.

And it makes me realize that when I wander, God feels the same way
about me. My meanderings don't just take me to a flower bed at the
zoo, however. I get bogged down by caring for my children and my
husband. By doing laundry and yet another sink full of dishes. By
planning the homeschool year, or by perusing yet a different book to
use for math. And the next thing I know, I have wandered from my
heavenly Father who loves me more than I can even imagine loving
someone. The same feelings that I have when one of my earthly children
wander from me are shared by the God who created me "in my inmost
being", who knew me from before time began.

Fortunately for me (for all of us!), God never takes His eyes off of
us. Not even for a second. He always knows where we are, and He always
gently bids us back. And when we come, He runs to embrace us and kiss
us and welcome us home.

Right where we belong.