Happiness and screaming in bathrooms.

So, Davin is out at a movie.  He’s watching Lone Survivor, I for obvious reasons opted out of that little terrifying number and chose to stay at home with the kiddos.

Typically, cleaning up dishes and hanging out with the kids till bedtime by myself is more of a chore.  However, for some reason tonight, it was totally fun.  I actually chose to snuggle my daughter in her bed  – which I rarely do because by bedtime I’m ready to kick at least one of my kids in the buns and say, “Off with you!  I’ve served my time!”  I never actually say that, but sometimes inside I feel it:-)  I just want some personal space by then.  However, tonight – tonight was different.  I enjoyed snuggling my baby (who is almost 4) and then enjoyed folding kid laundry.

IMG_7748

It probably didn’t hurt that I was listening to peaceful Kenny G on my Pandora and my house was quiet (I don’t need to defend that awesome music choice either).

Here is the real reason I think I enjoyed myself more tonight then a usual night.  For the past few days, we’ve been asking the kids to share a moment from their day when they felt happy, their happiest moment of the day. They are still getting the hang of it (the last four days Dani has said, “riding her bike fast and fast and fast), but it’s made me think about what actually makes me happy.

And I have been surprised to find it’s not what I would have thought.  Most of my answers included the kids!  I am more shocked then you I bet.  Here are some of my happiest moments from the last few days:

– When I woke Ellie up in the morning and she had a messy bed head and said in her sweet voice, “hold you?”  Which actually means, I want you to hold me with my blanket and snuggle me.

– When Eli brought me a flower from the backyard and proudly announced, “MOMMA!  I FOUND a FLOWER AND IT IS FOR YOU!”  – It’s all in caps because when he is excited (which is most of the time) he YELLS EVERYTHING HE IS SAYING!

– Pulling weeds in the backyard this afternoon with Dani, she would pick a little one and bring it to me and say, “Momma, I’m a big girl because I get to help you, but Ellie’s not a big girl yet, she doesn’t get to help you.”  This was because the weeds were inside the pool fence, and I trusted her to not fall in.  It was a milestone for her in her mind, and it was like just the two of us doing something special together.

If you were to ask me, Hey, what do you think makes you happy (generally speaking), I’d probably pick something that is by myself or for myself, like reading, writing, painting my nails, driving alone ect.  But since each day I’ve been questioned about a REAL day, I’ve been amazed at what ACTUALLY makes me feel happy.  I think it’s absurd that folding my babies laundry made me happy, and seeing her many little socks on the floor made me thank God that I had another baby.  That is ludicrous, and it is true.

And lastly, a different happy moment: the other day, I convinced Davin that a spur of the moment road trip to Gott’s was just what our little family needed on a relaxing Saturday.

Upon arrival, I took the twins into the restroom.  I put Dani in one stall and Eli in another.  He asked me to stay with him, so I did.  All the sudden, a very loud hand blower (like WAY louder then normal ones) started up, then the kid using the hand blower started screaming and crying like insanity (probably because it sounded like a jet about to takeoff), which then made Eli freak out, and Dani as well.  I’ve seriously NEVER heard a blower this loud.  (it was called the razor or the machete, something dangerous, I’m telling you , look out for it!)  Anyway, while I tried to assure Eli that everything was okay, I reached under the stall to hold Dani’s hand.  The look on Eli’s face said, I want to believe you, and I do for a sec, but no, wait that kid is totally screaming like crazy, something must be very very wrong – freak out!  It was so loud between the machete hand blower and the three kids screaming that he couldn’t even hear my voice and I was right next to him.  I kept smiling and saying, “It’s okay, it’s just a hand blower, we’re fine.”  He then screamed at me, with the most serious face and take charge voice, “GO SEE IF DANI IS OKAY! GO CHECK ON DANI!!!!”  I could cry right now just thinking about his serious face and how he was willing to have me leave him alone in such a scary state, just to make sure his sister was okay.  He thought this was life and death.

And although this was a frightening experience in the world of a 3 year old, I saw something in my son that day that I’ve seen pieces of before but never in a fully manifested manner.  He is a leader, a leader at 3.  And he LOVES his sister, more then himself.  He was willing to be left by himself in the bathroom stall (something he’s not fond of already) in a terrified state just to make sure his sister was alright.  He was demanding that I leave him.  I was about to listen to him and go, but as soon as he yelled all that, fortunately the hand dryer turned off and the mom of the kid said, “Wow, that IS a loud hand dryer.”  Both Eli and Dani stopped the hysterics, and all were fine.  They realized there was no real terror, and as we washed our hands, and they could SEE the hand dryer, they both were fine when it decided to takeoff again.  It was the not seeing what was going on, the hearing another kid scream in terror that got them to not believe mom that everything was okay.

Now that I’m done bragging on my son, I feel like this may be how I respond to God sometimes, but without the heroism.

He tells me everything is fine.  But it doesn’t’ sound fine.  And someone else is screaming and terrified, which means maybe I should be too?  I’m so hysterical that I can’t even hear his calming voice to reassure me that everything is alright.

I am reminded of this very insightful blog post I read, which has been ruminating in my the past week.  It is such a good illustration of how God loves us in our fear, which I am unfortunately no stranger to.  And how God is so much bigger than what we think we’re so afraid of in the first place.

I could have taken that hand blower out!  And if my kids would have just looked me in the eye and FULLY trusted me, they would have seen right quick how everything was FINE and that they needn’t waste their energy on hysterics.

But how much energy do I waste on hysterics?

And, this is easy to write, because right now, I’m not in the middle of some life altering crisis, and you might be.  Maybe you want to punch me in the face thinking I don’t know the half of it. And, I don’t.

But God knows the whole of it.

In *Jeremiah 29:11 God says over Israel,

“I’ll show up and take care of you as I promised and bring you back home. I know what I’m doing. I have it all planned out—plans to take care of you, not abandon you, plans to give you the future you hope for.” 

And if any of you are like, “whatever, that’s Old Testament, God was talking about only Israel, that’s not for me”, well then here is in the New Testament, Romans 8:26-28 (ESV)

“26 Likewise the Spirit helps us in our weakness. For we do not know what to pray for as we ought, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us with groanings too deep for words. 27 And he who searches hearts knows what is the mind of the Spirit, because[a] the Spirit intercedes for the saints according to the will of God. 28 And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good,[b] for those who are called according to his purpose.”

And look how much fun we had?  No reason to scream in the bathroom!  We had a great day:-)

IMG_7705 IMG_7707 IMG_7710 IMG_7711 IMG_7714

As always, thanks for reading!

*(The Message)

Random: family photo updates, Costco life hack and 2 yummy food product endorsements;-)

This one is more for the family/friends who just appreciate updates on our lives.  And, being that I already feel like I blow up fb and instagram with more than enough photos on whatever non-important things we’re doing, I felt it a bit more respectful to post here, so that anyone who doesn’t want an overload of photos, can just pass on by this post:-)

Anthony Family Updates from the last month or two-ish…

IMG_2323

We had Christmas, and my mom is beautiful.IMG_7327

Ellie now takes time-outs. AND it’s hilarious.  She gets SO sad, and looks so tiny and small in that big girl time out chair.  Her time-out’s are usually due to her sneaking upstairs and getting her blanket out of her crib, then sneaking back down and cuddling it with her fingers in her mouth as if nothing has changed.  We’re trying to break the finger-sucking habit, by keeping the blanket in the crib:-)IMG_7332

Went on a hike with the kids.  It was beautiful.IMG_7333 IMG_7335 IMG_7338 IMG_7344

AND NOW… COSTCO LIFE HACKVG7532

I was SO tempted to take a photo of the guy who I recently learned this from, he was standing in line behind me. 1) He was from Cal, so yes he was Asian. 2) His shirt had a “hello” tag which read, “My name is Inigo Montoya, you killed my father, prepare to die.” (see above)  3) He did this super genius Costco line trick which made me like him all the more. 4) he probably would have let me take a photo, but the reasonable voice inside my head said, “you shouldn’t ask to take photos of strangers because it’s weird.”  However, this post would be MUCH better if I had, so next time I’m going to listen to the other voice that says, “who gives a care?  YOLO, do it!”

IMG_7363

That’s his arm in the upper right corner.

Here’s the trick – flip OVER the thing that separates your groceries from the next, put your Costco card in it.  GENIUS!  IMG_7364

You all probably all do this already, but I thought it was too cool not to share.IMG_7381

In case you don’t happen to notice from all the pictures below, Ellie is in love with her Grandparents.  The Anthony’s were out here for a week, and Ellie wasted no time sitting on laps and being held.IMG_7388 IMG_7399

She was scared in the hospital room when visiting our cousins new baby.IMG_7403

Papa and Kaitlin! Do you see her arms?  This girl is ripped.  Probably one of the best mixes of sweetness and strength I’ve ever met.  We love her and her sisters of course!
IMG_7406

Bout’ to get some North Beach Pizza all up in he-ah.IMG_7417

Please notice that I’m getting old.  I do not photoshop my own pictures;-)IMG_7428

Beautiful SF park.IMG_7439

With Gramma Anthony on a hike.IMG_7441 IMG_7450 IMG_7453 IMG_7459 IMG_7474 IMG_7488

Almond milk latte with a Trader Joe’s mint marshmallow dropped in for good measure.  NUUUMERS!
IMG_7490

In preschool, the twins allegedly never saw each other’s art work, but BOTH did exactly the same thing and made those scoops upside down!  Their teacher thought it was adorable.  Must be a twin thing!IMG_2493

Visit from some former students!  LOVE these girls, they seriously get more beautiful every time I see them;-)IMG_2508 IMG_7496

Papa has his hands full on a hike.IMG_7498

THIS was waaaaay to funny not to share.IMG_7512

Eli totally did a face-plant slide with the carpet 😦  Such a tough kid.

IMG_7557

Visit from one of my best friends – Ellie was giving him toys, and kisses!IMG_7563

This is how to keep three kids relatively happy while I wait for the return line in Ikea.  We waited over 15 minutes.  Plus side?  This Veteran from the Korean war grabbed Ellie’s water when she dropped it quicker then I could have and handed it back to her.  Dude was OLD, but dang he was fast!  I wanted to hug him and tell him thank you for serving our country and that he’s very brave and extremely patient and thoughtful to pick up my kids water that she just chucked across the room, but all I could do was look in his eyes and say, “thank you.”  I always pansy out when thanking a Veteran, it’s like I never think any words I could say would even come close to what I want to convey in my heart, so I end up just smiling:-(  Life goal: learn how to properly thank a Veteran on the spot.IMG_7591

This photo completely summaries my youngest, who tends to be the only one who will usually pose for pictures.IMG_7626

So I have this really great friend, who happens to be my sister-in-law and mommy to my favorite niece.  She comes over at least once a week and the cousins “play” together.  She is super patient, brave and always down for whatever adventures we come up with.  Having family you love is like finding gold in the 49-er days.  I LOVE my family!IMG_7627

Ellie wanted to ride Dani’s bike, so Davin took Dani’s bigger princess bike that was given to her and removed the training wheels.  And then she learned to ride her bike that day 😦 TEARS!  I was NOT ready for that one.
IMG_7632

The girls in the bike trailer!IMG_7637

This sauce is no joke super delicious.IMG_7638AND these little babies!  Knock your socks off yummy.  If you’re wearing any.

So that about does it.  I may do a post on Disneyland (which was back in November) only because when we were there, I purposely only posted ONE photo on instagram, because I didn’t want to be phone distracted while on vacation.  SOoooo, that may be coming too…

Thanks for reading, hope the random assortment of updates was fun:-)

banana bread crumbs

(You’ll have to excuse my writing if it sounds funny.  I’ve been reading one of G.K. Chesterson’s fictional novels, and it’s absolutely convoluting my writing style, but I care not, he’s amazing. Try to bear through it, my apologies.)

Earlier this morning, as I was spending my short quiet time reading an article my husband sent me which was explaining in depth a subject in the bible I had earlier in the week asked him about, I had a thought.  The thought was this: why does this read so choppy to me?  Why am I still wanting more breath and depth then this extremely articulate article is providing me?  What am I still missing?  Something feels missing.

This was after at least three interruptions from my son who tiptoed into my room and asked, “Mommy, can I snuggle you?” To which I replied, “in a little bit, when mommy is done reading her bible.”  Then off he went to play trains in his room.

So when I finished off my attempt at quiet time by reading a psalm and the last chapter of 1 John, I prayed and asked the Lord about why that article felt like it was missing something deeper.

And here is unfortunately what he said.  I say unfortunately because it paints me, in my mind as somewhat of a dolt, which I am for obvious reasons, not fond of.

Here’s the word picture.

At first I see crumbs, they are banana bread crumbs, on the ground, under my kitchen table. Now, I have a small toddler living in my home who OFTEN finds in-between meal snacks from the ground, and being that she and the twins are not the cleanest of eaters just yet, it’s not hard for her to do so, so this is a very relatable word picture to me.  So there are crumbs under the table, and in this word picture, when I find a yummy banana bread crumb I eat it and think to myself, “Mmmmm, that’s so good”.  So then I search for another one, and find it and eat it. Sometimes they are small, sometimes they are a bigger type of crumb, but always they are crumbs.  Then, I see lots of people eating at a table, but I am still under it, so it’s just lots of legs and feet, and crumbs falling here and there.  Every time a crumb falls, I am super quick to grab it and eat it.  In a way, scamper about on all fours, waiting for crumbs to fall and gobbling them up.

So I asked Jesus, “What?!  I know that I’m a Gentile and all that and crumbs are for the dogs ect… but we’re in the New Testament times, like all of us have access to God, so why the crumbs analogy?  How come I’m not sitting at the table like the other people eating a WHOLE piece of banana bread, in a restful and peaceful, relaxed state?  Like one of your kids?  Why do I have to hustle for all the crumbs that fall?”

And here we go…

He showed me that I am accustomed to filing myself up with other peoples crumbs.  I have become very good at it.  So, I’m not hungry, but I have to dart from here to there to get enough to eat, scampering about on all fours (Glollum style).  I am definitely not sitting, nor at rest enjoying a meal or snack at the table as was intended.

And do you know what the crumbs are?  God’s truth, his word, from other people.  Here is what I tend to do in real life: I hop from this author to the next, to this blog to the next, from that sermon to this bible study, to that encouraging word posted on fb.  Then onto the inspiration video and back into a book on how God loves us.  I jump.  I jump from here to there to everywhere to hear all about God, his truth, his word and having someone else illuminate scripture FOR ME.  I’m eating their God inspired crumbs and they are delicious, but they are only a crumb of what I could have.

photo

Why?  Because it’s easier to read an inspirational blog full of truth in five minuets while I stand in the hallway waiting for the laundry to be done washing, while intermittently making sure the kids aren’t getting into something they shouldn’t, breaking something, or breaking each other.

I know it takes time to read God’s word and have it illuminated.  Because until this word picture, I thought I’d done it a few times.  And perhaps I have, but that’s not my habit that is for sure.  My habit is to be filled up on Saturday by the worship and message, then read this book on Sunday, that blog on a Tuesday when I’m feeling down about motherhood or busyness or whatever and top it off with a chapter on Friday about holiness.  All in between are brief moments in scripture where I actually read the bible myself and then move right along onto the next thing.  Not often taking time to ponder, to pray to seek God and actually ASK for insight regarding what I’ve read.

And like I said, all those things are good, but they don’t make a meal.  None of those things are bad in themselves, but collectively, if they begin to override my quiet time with God, if I am so accustomed to quickly hearing God’s truth from a scripture that someone else has shared, then I am indeed in a not-so-good place.

Perhaps I am wearing myself out hopping from one thing to the next, seeking deep and meaningful truth (AND a RELATIONSHIP WITH GOD) from other peoples relationship from God, in five minute segments.

Which is why I say it does not paint me in the brightest of lights.

I don’t stand up and sit at the table because that is work.  Apparently I think it’s easier to stay on the ground and spot crumbs.  I’m quick, it’s fast and and I’m good at it.  But here’s the thing. If I’d just stand up on my big girl legs and go to the table, and then SIT STILL, I might get a whole piece to myself, to enjoy slowly over time and really appreciate it for what it is, and in turn, get to enjoy being at the table like one of God’s kids.

But I’m rarely sitting still physically, and now I’ve grown accustomed to not sitting still spiritually.  In my energetic quest to move onto the next insight, I’ve lost the real idea, which is to sit and ponder and seek God, on my own, one-on-one with him.  Not to find the next book, or the next blog to fill me up.

I get that these are all excuses, but somehow I’ve allowed how most of my day is: full of interruptions, bursts of activity, making meals, breaking up fights and teaching kindness, selflessness and love all filtered through tired eyes just wanting a moment of quiet and peace. All of that I’ve allowed to change how I interact with God.  I’m interacting with him the same way I interact with myself, always searching for a crumb of quiet time to myself, or a crumb of sitting down, or a crumb of writing or even a crumb of a hot meal eaten all in one sitting.

That may sound like complaining and it totally is.  The fact is, my life is different.  Often times my son comes sneaking into my room WELL before my natural clock wants to be awake and well before my brain is awake enough to have a thought or moment with God.

Sitting down with my bible and a pen in the late morning over coffee is a distant fond memory from the past.  And although I say I don’t have time, maybe if I even tried just turning to the bible in all those little moments, instead of turning to insightful blogs, books or sermons, I might learn to tune into God even in the hectic.

God’s not surprised that I do one-thousand little things all day, never sitting down.  He’s not surprised that I don’t wake up and have leisurely coffee with him in the morning, because we both full well know that means him waking me up at 4 in the morning, something I only do when it happens to happen.  I never intentionally wake at 4 am.

However, that doesn’t mean that I need to get my fill through other peoples crumbs about him.

Sometimes I’m tempted to think about how nice it will be when the kids are off and away at college, and I’ll get to wake up on my own when the sun rises and drink coffee and read my bible in peace and quiet.  I start to think about how nice it will be to have time to iron something and then wear it, without worrying someone will snot on it and then all my time (which is currently so precious) was wasted on one hour of ironed shirt wearing glory only to be taken out by 9am and switched for a sweatshirt.

But then I remember, THIS is where God has called me.  Right here in the middle of twenty-two thousand interruptions, in the middle of wearing leggings and long sweaters everyday because they are black and wash easy.  In the middle of half-eaten meals interrupted by “I’m done or more please!”  In the middle of being so exhausted by 8:30pm that I gladly crawl into my bed if only to forget about the long day and relish the sweet parts as I drift off to sleep.

What I’m saying is that if I have the energy to scamper and jump to each crumb, then I can muster the self discipline to SIT STILL before him and trust that he will bring me a big warm slice of banana bread if I just sit at the table and wait.  Other peoples crumbs are nice, delicious even, but they always leave me pining for the real thing.  A whole piece to myself, enjoyed at the table like one of his kids.

So, although there are many good things to be read out there, and I’ve already downloaded 12 free Beth Moore books on my Kindle, I’m going to take a bit of a break, and start to let some of what I’ve read in the bible, during my own “quiet time” begin to sink in.  And in all those little moments when I’m searching for a crumb throughout my day, I’m instead going to let my mind rest, and think about what God is already teaching me, in his word.

As always, thanks for reading!

Healing and Jesus Fries

I have a migraine.

Why am I writing right at this very moment when I’m shaky and feel like I want to throw up?

Because I want to do the very thing I think the enemy is trying to keep me from doing.

Speaking truth about who God is.  Last time I tried to sit down and type out this truth, I got a migraine and didn’t finish it.

So this might be a super crappy post.

But I don’t even care, because it’s my best attempt at saying, “God is bigger and better then barf and headaches and pain and more pain.”

My head started hurting earlier this evening, right as I sat down for church.

I unfortunately get migraines on a regular basis.  After years of prayer, they are better then they were, but they are still not gone, and they can still be terrible and of course inconvenient.

I typically get them when I am in a place where I could enjoy myself and find rest, for example: my husband and I are about to go on a date, I’m in church, when I should be sleeping or when I have time to reflect and write.

I feel like there’s a pattern.  I feel like they might be spiritual and the enemy is trying to rob me in my times of peace.

But really, what do I know?  All I know is when I get them, I want them to go away and they make me question what I’m doing wrong in my life to have them in the first place.

They are also always on the right side of my head.  And it feels like a 1/2 metal rod has been shoved through my eye socket up and out of the back of my scull.

That’s descriptive and lovely.  Sorry about that.

In church tonight, as we were getting up to leave and go pick up our kids, I felt like the Lord said, “have someone at church pray for you, go ASK for prayer.”

I was like, ummmmm (drumming up some good excuses), “I don’t want to bother anyone, it’s not that bad, I’ll be okay.”  I added on for good measure, “my dad’s a pastor, and I love his prayers, I’ll have him pray for me” and then, “my mom is an intercessor, she will pray and mean it, (she wields a giant spiritual sword)” and to end it, besides, “my husband loves me and his prayers for me are like treasures, I love hearing him pray for me and I’ve been healed at different times by each one of their prayers.”  It wasn’t that explicit when I said it, but basically I was telling God, “I have like three super qualified people to pray over me, I am so blessed already, there are people here who maybe don’t even have ONE person to pray over them, why would I ASK for help from our church?  I don’t want to bother anyone.”

Because praying for people in a church is a bother.

And I’m an idiot who still has a migraine at 4 in the morning.

It’s starting to feel a little bit better.  But I’m still shaking.

Here is what I understand about Jesus and healing… not very much.

Why does he allow pain in the first place?  That is a ten-jillion theologian page book in itself, but sometimes Jesus’ answer is, “so that God may be glorified.”

But everything Jesus ever did on the earth, was to show us more of who God was, to bring us closer to God, his Father which in the process, made us healed and whole.  It really seems to me that the Father is glorified when we know who he is, and when we know who he is, we become healed and whole.  There’s something to that.  From the outside, it sounds like, “oh it’s all about God and his glory, but actually he sent his ONLY son, to die for US.  It’s not about our glory, but it sure sounds like it’s a lot about us being rescued and saved, healed and whole and his glory looks a lot more like the sacrifice of a dying soldier then a dude on a throne who people worship and throw flowers at.

Here is an interesting look at healing in the first book of Matthew chapter 15. verses 21-28.

The Faith of a Canaanite Woman.  Her story is a bummer at first, but it ends well.

21 And Jesus went away from there and withdrew to the district of Tyre and Sidon. 22 And behold, a Canaanite woman from that region came out and was crying, “Have mercy on me, O Lord, Son of David; my daughter is severely oppressed by a demon.” 23 But he did not answer her a word. 

Say WHHHHHHAAAAT?  Jesus legit ignored her.  That does not sound like the “nice” Jesus I know.

Does Jesus REALLY ignore people?  I thought he was always, super-nice-guy.  Ignoring seems so rude.

Here’s the thing I’ve noticed about Jesus.  In the bible, he does everything for the benefit of those around him (and for the future readers of the bible, like you and I, he is multifaceted like that).  In this case, the best thing for this woman to have a real encounter with Jesus, was for Jesus to ignore her.  How crazy is that? 

Let’s read on.

“And his disciples came and begged him, saying, “Send her away, for she is crying out after us.” He answered, “I was sent only to the lost sheep of the house of Israel.” 

Again, she is ignored and the excuse is because she is not a Jew, the people group chosen by God.  Canaanite’s according to the commentary on biblegateway.com were, “bitter biblical enemies of Israel whose paganism had often led Israel into idolatry.”  But she doesn’t care, she even goes so far as to bothers his disciples, so much so that they, “came and begged him saying, “send her away” for she is crying out after us.”  She must have been determined, insistent, over-the-top obnoxious, not caring about social rules or status, not caring about looking like an idiot.

I can just hear her screaming like a crazy woman, “SAVE MY CHILD!!! Don’t you care?!  HELP ME!!!” – reminds me of reality-tv people going for good ratings.

Yet, Jesus says no again, replying, “I was sent to the lost sheep of Israel”. (strike 2)

But there’s more

“25 But she came and knelt before him, saying, “Lord, help me.” 

26 And he answered, “It is not right to take the children’s bread and throw it to the dogs.” 

He is still telling her no appears to be speaking to her as the Jewish leaders might have, putting her in her social place. (that’s 3)

“27 She said, “Yes, Lord, yet even the dogs eat the crumbs that fall from their masters’ table.” 

A humble and wise response, she is attempting to persuade God, And humbling herself in the process.  Now her heart is in the right place, she has moved her attention PAST herself, and onto Jesus and his business.

28 Then Jesus answered her, “O woman, great is your faith!   Be it done for you as you desire.” And her daughter was healed instantly.

I seriously doubt that the Jewish fancy-pants leaders would have ever prayed for healing for her, so Jesus was basically breaking down those social barriers but anyway, that’s another type of commentary. This story is crazy.  I used to think that Jesus was all about going around and healing people instantly.  Fixin’ stuff.  But healing is not what she really needed first.

Why does he draw her out, make her wait?  She goes through the motions of seeking, asking, and begging, she gets rejected BY Jesus, three times.  What could be worse then getting rejected by Jesus?  How awful in your life story, “This one time, I was rejected by the Son of God, three times…”  But she wasn’t ever really rejected was she?  He knew she wasn’t going home without what she came for.

Sometimes Jesus heals people in an instant: BAM healing.  Other times he first says, “go, your sins are forgiven”, while they sit there still crippled, then he heals them too after a sec (Mark 2:1-12). In one instance, a lady touches his robe (Matthew 9:20) and she is healed without him saying anything and he acts all surprised saying, “who touched me?”  Do you really think he didn’t know?  No, the dude is God in the flesh, but he responds that way for her unique benefit, and she humbles herself in her response to God.

Back to Strike 3 Lady.  Why did he tell her no three times?  I thought when we ask God for something, he wants to give it to us right away if it aligns with the bible.  The bible is pretty down on people being possessed by demons, so we can assume it was God’s will to heal this little girl of demon possession, so why did he wait?

Perhaps to grow the Canaanite Woman’s faith in the process?  Jesus is always saying in the bible, “by your faith you are healed”.

Like me, tonight in church.  How much faith did I really have?

Well, what does faith mean?

Hebrews 11:1 says, “now faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see.”

Sure and certain.

Those two words.

When I am sure and certain of something, I will stop at nothing to go after it.

I WANTED my migraine to go away.  I assumed it would get worse as they normally do until I am crying and have to make myself throw up just so I can fall asleep again in the middle of the night and get at least the nausea to go away.  But I didn’t stop at nothing.  I stopped right at the doorstep of pride.  Pride is the doormat you have to walk over to get into the house of healing.  You have to get over your pride before you can get into God’s healing.

IMG_6849
Big girl shoes on the doormat of pride, probably a little bit of how God sees us.

I wasn’t sure and certain enough to humble myself.  Really that’s the truth behind the “facts” I told God.  It’s not that I don’t believe my family can pray for me and heal me.  It’s that I didn’t want to have healing the way he directed me to have it.  I didn’t want to go up to some nice strangers and tell them I needed them.  To say, “Hey, I have this problem, and I’VE prayed about it and it’s NOT going away.  I’ve prayed and prayed and prayed, and I STILL need help. I’ve done everything in my mind I can do, and it’s still not fixed.”  How humiliating is that? Maybe I’m just prideful but I don’t like the idea of going up to super nice strangers who ARE THERE TO HELP ME, and telling them I need help.  I want to solve it in my own way. (There are SO many biblical examples of that, so at least I’m not alone).

Because what if the nice people at church think I’m pathetic, and not good at praying, and wonder if I really know Jesus at all because if I did and he really talked to me, I’d be right as rain this very moment.

But they don’t wonder any of those things.  Because when I get to pray for someone I am delighted.  I am so happy to stand with my brother or sister in the Lord and intervene on their behalf.  It’s makes me feel like I still have a purpose.  It is a reminder to me that God is using me, that I’m still USEFUL to him, which is what I desire most in this very world, to be someone that God still says, “hey, I can use this girl”.  Some of my most favorite, best experiences in life have to do with being in the presence of God. He is so beyond peaceful, beyond all the distractions, beyond all my doubts and questions and misunderstandings.  Even when I’m in his presence for just a second, I begin to feel better.

What if God wanted to use someone tonight to help heal me?

And I took my reasons and handed them up to God in list form.

And I didn’t get to experience healing.  Because I wan’t humble.

According to the dictionary, humble means: having or showing a modest or low estimate of one’s own importance.

Like we aren’t the one’s who are most important when we go to God and ask him for things. We hold the position that HIS will is still the most important.

And sometimes, I don’t think we always want that.  We want our will, with a side of Jesus, like he’s the fries in our delicious meal of self.  Jesus fries.

Jesus is never the fries.  He’s the whole meal.  We aren’t even the fries.  We aren’t even the ketchup leftover stain on the table from the meal prior.  And yet he loves us, and wants to heal us and to give us what we ask for.

But not until we stop negotiating with the Lord.  And I didn’t hand over that migraine to the Lord tonight, I held onto it and said I knew how to fix it myself, I had the solution.

And where did that get me?

Barf city.

I should have said, “Okay God, I REALLY want THIS (healing in the comfort of my own home by my family’s prayers), BUT, seriously if you have something better (nice strangers praying for me), something that is more your plan, even if I don’t like it – I’m down, let’s go that route, I’ll step out of my comfort zone, I surrender.”

And I have to mean it.

And I have to act on it.

It totally doesn’t count if I just say it like a wish to the sky.

This usually involves part of ME dying.  Myself.  My will.  My pride.  And me saying and big fat, “YES” to God and his plans.

Because it’s not my will, it’s his.  Because it’s not about me.  It’s about him.  When my eyes are on him, I get better.

So maybe you want something really bad, something that is good and lines up with the bible.  Maybe you’ve been asking for a long time, and you FEEL like he’s ignoring you.  He’s not.  He might be waiting for you to simply humble yourself and give it over to him, saying,

“I trust you enough that even if I NEVER get this thing I want the way I want it, I still trust you, and believe that you are good.  I’m giving it to you.  I surrender.”

And if you can’t say that prayer just yet in all honesty, tell him you can’t, but that you wish you could, and then ask him to help you get there.

Then, if he tells you to go to church and ask the nice strangers to pray for you, listen to him and go, don’t be dumb like me and hold onto your pride while you suffer in pain.  Don’t be dumb like me!

And, by the way, somehow over the last two hours and a bowl of Joe’s O’s, the migraine is gone.

See how much I know about healing?  Not very much.  The migraines I tend to get usually last three days.  Fortunately, God knows everything and I don’t have to.  I just have to know him.

And, side note, in church tonight, we learned that we are the introducer guy, the one who introduces others to the one who can actually help them.  So here’s the introduction for whoever this post was actually written for, because the enemy did everything he was allowed to do to stop it from being written.  So if it’s you this is written for, run to God and do whatever he says.  He had some big plans for you whoever you are.  Don’t even wait, find a bible and go right now to the only one who can help you, heal you and make you whole, his name is Jesus.