riding that estrogen wave

This is a 10 minute free write. Because 10 minutes is how long I had before the pool opened. 

I've come to love my cycle. It took me long enough. I appreciate the ebb and flow of energy the most. The big estrogen wave hit me this weekend. I went to bed early because I wanted to on Friday night and then got up early on Saturday and had run two errands by 9:00 am. I dumped stuff off at Goodwill that had been aggravating me and bought chicken food. (This also tens to be the time that I will dump off stuff in my head that has been bothering me. If I have a problem with someone I will talk to them about it. If I don't like the way I've been talking to myself, it gets corrected. ) I purchased a large piece of furniture for $25 at a yard sale. 8 hours and $90 of spray paint and new knobs later I had a brand new dining room hutch! I'm officially a grown up now. My kids are wondering where all these real plates and glasses came from. (I've been hiding them.)

What follows is an intense sense of urgency. I pray more fervently. I do not waste my time on pointless projects. My words are concise and intentional. The things will get done and God help you if you are standing between me and something that has been on my mind to be accomplished. 

I also appreciate the cave days as much as I am able to obey the need to close myself in and nurture myself. It usually involves Netflix and donuts and a bubble bath. For at least 2 hours. Mostly, I'm just caved up internally. Protective. I don't mind it. 

Then the progesterone days are my  nourishing days. I love everyone. So much. Especially my husband, because doggone it this uterus wants a baby. (Sorry, uterus. My hands cannot handle more babies even if you can.)

Like some young girls yearn for breasts and their period, I look forward to menopause. I know that there will be hot flashes. And I will wear tank tops and walk around braless and I wont care how much cellulite there is on my thighs!!!!! I will wear cutoffs in November and not even care. This is your warning. I will speak with purposeful clarity and authority because I will be old enough to know that whatever I am schooling you on is correct or I will keep my mouth shut. I will watch the youth make the mistakes they need to learn from, trust me. 

The Atlantic published a really interesting work on menopause here. I can't say the title because it involves a swear word and I think my mom might read this. I agree with most of the intention of this article. I have always said that when I have PMS I am really just acting as my true self. That woman inside who knows what she needs and isn't going to patronize others  with a smile and a nod. 

Time is up. If you like this, keep an eye out for our Here for the Donuts Podcast episode on PMS and period talk! 

 

oceans

It's been so long since Brent and I got away together, just the two of us. We've been working so hard that it seemed impossible, but we forced a break in the business with the help of a hoard of people taking care of the kids for us. I will never be able to express enough gratitude to them! 

We have had a few beach vacations with the kids that were incredibly fun, but I always wished I could just close my eyes for a second to rest. Vacations with kids are constant head counts and efforts to keep everyone alive somewhere different than home, especially around water. All parents know this. Incredible memories, but not restful at all. 

The beach is a spiritual place, regardless of what your belief system might be. The loudness drowns out all distractions, the rhythmic in and out ushers in release and acceptance, the vastness makes you feel small.

Yesterday we laid in the sun for hours (the pinkness of our skin bears witness) and played in the ocean. Brent prefers to just jump the waves while I use a boogey board to coast over them and float with the give and take of the tide. I floated for a long time on my own before Brent joined me. The waves were tame and we willingly surrendered to them. It was fun to turn my back and not know what was about to hit me because they were mostly gentle. 

Today there was a storm brewing far off on another coast, but it made the waves big and angry. We went in anyway. I got tired pretty much immediately. Wave after wave blasted us and knocked us down. I found that if you could brave the biggest ones you would eventually get to a sweet spot where you could coast over the crests before they broke. But it was far out and I couldn't touch, and the waves looked so big as they built that you just knew it was gonna break right over your head. A couple of them did and we summersaulted under the water. A couple of times I couldn't even tell where Brent had gone and stood ready to dive in after him in case he didn't pop back up somewhere. Finally, the beating was enough and we opted to just stand at the shore and get knocked at the knees. We stared out into the crashing and let our minds wonder.

I thought about how the ocean is like life. When our babies are little we protect them from life by keeping them on the shore to play in the sand and stick their toes in. I have had the pleasure of discovering some really awesome things just sitting on the shoreline with my babies. Tiny little crabs I wouldn't have otherwise noticed, the way the sea foam quivers in the wind, and of course the millions of seashells we have gathered. As they get bigger, we let them go further out. They get knocked down enough to respect staying close to the shore, but grow strong enough to enjoy the waves and play in them safely. Eventually they are heading out to the beach without us there at all. 

Some people prefer to just stay on the sand. They watch others live exciting lives, some on surfboards, some idiots going way too far out, some getting sucked in by an undertow. It's safe on the sand, but you don't really experience the ocean that way. 

Sometimes you go through a stormy season of life and you are just out there in those waves with your husband, your life partner, and you are taking a beating.  The two of you together are holding each other up and getting exhausted.You have to swim back to shore and take a rest when that happens. Some seasons are calm and smooth and you splash each other playfully and float on your back with only the occasional stifling salt water smash to the face. 

I thought of that song "Oceans" that declares a bold prayer that I think most people wouldn't pray if they really thought about what they were asking for. Take me deeper? Keep my eyes above the waves? Like I found today, if you can be brave enough to go past that point that terrifies you, you find yourself on the other side of the breaking point of the waves. It is deep, and there could be sharks, but you can float on your back. I prayed that prayer two years ago and God did take me past the big scary waves to the terrifying ocean. As I'm finding all the blog posts I lost, I'm reliving moments where hard decisions were made, things were let go of, new things embraced. The last four years have been big big waves.

For a couple of days I'm taking a rest on the sand, working on my tan. But I'll be ready to jump back into those waves with Brent, whatever kind they may be. 

'splain, Lucy!

Before I launch into an explanation of how everything fell through and then… didn’t, let’s review the journey so far:

  • In March (MARCH, people! That’s 6 months ago.) I first felt that the Lord was getting ready to do something with us.
  • In April we decided we’d move somewhere local since we were bursting at the seams in our current house. We started making lists of home repairs and slowly checking them off.
  • We had a normal summer of farmers markets. Evie pooped everywhere.
  • In late June we decided that Brent would apply for a position in Atlanta. Here’s what you need to know: previously he had been asked to apply for a position on this specific team. But he always turned it down because we didn’t feel our time in Alabama was done yet. (Regardless of how badly my heart ached for the Promised Land. Even I knew it wasn’t time.)
  • In very early July we began trying to sell the house. It immediately generated a lot of interest, but mostly renters and leasers. We made a list of things to do to get the house sold.
  • I began packing.
  • Everyone but me got really sick. Then I cracked my head open with the hoe. Then Brent and the big kids went to Atlanta while he worked hard on getting the new job and I worked myself silly packing, painting, painting, and painting. And also getting myself stranded over night with the babies while Brent was out of town. This was a big week.
  • In late July we had a terrible time crashing my parent’s vacation.
  • Early August found us showing the house and the truck breaking down again.
  • Mid August I started to feel a little scared.
  • We finished up our farmers markets, expecting that they were the last.
  • Late August. Brent interviewed and did not get the job. See, what had happened was…. at the very last minute a dude that works in another region decided he wanted a lateral move. The interview panel logically chose him since he’s been in the industry a good ten years longer than Brent. (Incidentally, almost every time Brent has interviewed he gets knocked out by someone with more experience. How do you get experience in this scenario? It’s been frustrating to say the least. And we were so.close. And then lost.)
  • We spend the next two weeks trying to deal with the confusion of hearing God so clearly say “GO” and then slam the door shut in our faces. What the what?! It was depressing. A lot of chocolate was consumed. I gained 10 pounds, I’m sure. We sort of shut ourselves in as a family and tried to decide what to do.

And here is where the explaining begins…

I was literally unpacking boxes and praying lots (and crying intermittently) on Brent’s day off that week when he got a phone call. The phone call.

Y’all listen to this madness and tell me that it wasn’t the Lord’s doing: Through the interview process one of the other team members realized that she didn’t have the passion for the job that Brent so obviously exuded. (He really is suited for this particular position rather well.) So she quit. Who does that in this economy? Quit your job? Because you think someone else is more awesome for it?

So now the same position was open again. (Remember it’s a team of people. The other guy that had interviewed against Brent was still on the team… and super excited about the prospect of getting to work with Brent. Because my man is the bomb. Just saying’…)

We had cancelled the pending contract on our home. We had deleted our list of Atlanta houses we’d found available. I was unpacking boxes. In the middle of trying to cope and get a grip, everything got switched up again.

And we still had to wait one.more.week. A formality, they had to internally post the position for seven days. In case someone else wanted to apply.

I know. Ridiculousness. Only two people applied last time. They hired one. There was another spot on the team and one guy left to take it. Duh.

We chose not to tell anyone except a handful of people that we knew would pray with us and understand what we were going through. We didn’t tell the kids. We didn’t start looking for houses. We did nothing but pray. And stare at each other a lot. Because we were determined not to talk about it and get our hopes up. It was a quiet week.

And then they made us wait one.more.day. More protocol. Everyone on the interview panel had to be emailed and given the chance to state any reservations they had about giving Brent the job. (Of course, no one had any reservations.)

On September 7th, almost one week ago, we found out that Brent got the job! For sure! The Lord was granting me the desire of my heart. A desire that had been so strong, yet denied for so long. A desire that I let die and lay buried, forever as far as I was concerned. And also a desire of Brent’s heart… a promotion, a spot on a team that he really wanted to work with.

In our heart break we had rashly reserved a spot at our favorite beach spot for this week. Brent’s birthday week, and a new family tradition.

What a perfect place to be to reflect. To let go of things, like the tide washes away the old sand. To receive God’s good gifts, just like the tide offers treasures of shells and creatures in return. 

I’ve been studying the book of Deuteronomy and here are the take aways from this whole journey so far:

  • My lot is secure in the Lord. What He has promised, He gives. In Deuteronomy he told the people of Israel to leave three different people groups alone on their way to the Promised Land, because He had given that land to those people.
  • I don’t need to fight the battle. If it’s His battle, the Lord will fight for me. All I have to do is trust, obey, and wait. If I’m fighting, it must not be His battle, and it’s probably not worth fighting for.
  • God has been faithful to us along the way in our journey through Alabama. Hard times and good times, He is always there. Always carrying us, always answering prayers, always loving. Always, God is faithful and loving. Working on our behalf, even when we don’t see it or feel it or know it.

People, you can trust God. He is real, He is sure, and He is Lord whether you acknowledge it or not!

Boy do we have a lot of work ahead of us. Finding a house, buying a house, getting loose ends on our current house tied up, and moving. The journey isn’t over yet. 

either I'm crazy or I'm on to something

After a long stretch of physical, spiritual, and emotional unrest, things have been peaceful.

I’ve been practicing The Liturgy of the Hours. It’s a Monastic and Benedictine practice of pausing for prayer at seven appointed times during the day.

{Best Valley Girl accent} I’m, like, totally praying all day long.

I’m not a great pray-er. I get distracted approximately 3.5 seconds into bowing my head, my words are jumbled, and I just can’t think of what to pray about. Pretty pathetic.

To make matters worse, when my world comes crashing in around me, it never occurs to me to pray. Freaking heck.

Don’t get me wrong, praying seven times a day has not been magical or easy yet. I’ve only been doing it a few days with some sparse information I got online. And let’s be real, I’m at home with five kids all day. My prayers often go like this:

Lord, thank you for this day… stop licking the table… Uhhh, Lord…err…

Which is why I ordered a book with guided prayer topics and suggested scripture readings. Because prayer is a discipline. And carving out time to pray is something of a fast. Once you are done working out the logistics you find actual communion with God.

I’m already seeing results, even though I’m probably doing it “wrong”. Last night’s Property Virgins episode was in the Promised Land. In our price range. And instead of packing to move into one of the homes parading across the screen like I thought I would be, I’ve been unpacking. All the anger, disappointment, feelings like something had been promised and then stolen….it all started to rage.

Mercifully, my phone alarm clock chimed. It was time for The Great Silence, a time set aside for letting go. Gently evaluating the day and setting aside struggles to welcome rest and new mercies for tomorrow. I was forced to pause. Forced to acknowledge the Lord’s presence and hand in my life. Forced to commune with the Maker of the Universe as I was created to do. What a ridiculously wonderful blessing.

The first stuff we got out of storage was the school stuff. Our home is so complete with the massive black shelf with books and such weighing it down. Attitudes changed immediately and we haven’t even officially started yet.

They were like pirrhanas (I’m too lazy to spell check that.) attacking the books and demanding that I give them work to do.

We will start back to school when we get back from our 8 day beach vacation. You heard me. Since we ruined the last vacation, we are trying again.

Edited to Add: I had abruptly ended this because my kids were begging me for lunchI had nothing more to say. And later I checked in at Ann Voskamp’s blog. Her blog post today brought it full circle. Is it any wonder that two weeks into a vacation from Facebook that it occurred to me to pray more? She has such a way with words and said it better than I could have. I am being blessed by the ceremony of pausing to pray that is being squeezed into my schedule. I am being blessed by checking out of social media for a time and checking in to the moments happening in the present. Even the hard ones. 

rodeo!

We’ve been a little down in the dumps around here lately, and several weeks ago I saw an advertisement for a rodeo that benefits Rescue 1 “an abolitionist movement to end sex trafficking”. I tore it out and stuck it on the fridge for a back up plan, in case the unthinkable happened and we were not in Atlanta looking at big beautiful houses with trees.

And, we weren’t, so we went to the rodeo.

And it was awesome.

You might have correctly assumed that I have never been to a rodeo before. While the Promised Land is in the south, we are more of city people. People here in the Home Land? They are for real about their horses and cows.

And I was the only person snapping pictures right and left with an iPhone. I also wore inappropriate footwear. I completely understand now why everyone else was wearing cowboy boots instead of cute strappy sandals.

The girls quickly bought themselves some hats.

After about ten different tributes to the USA, the rodeo got down to business with bucking broncos.

Um. Ow.

Most of my pictures from the actual rodeo are of blurry horses, cows, bulls, and rodeo clowns. But the kids got cotton candy for the first time ever!

We were a little disturbed about the calf roping. But thankfully it transitioned to the grabbing the bull by the horns part. Somehow that was exciting and not disturbing at all. Don’t over think that. I tried.

Our citified selves stuck out worse when they called all the kids into the thing rink big circle. We missed the garbled instructions and suddenly all the other kids took off running through the dirt (and horse poop?) with Arwen timidly trailing behind. I don’t blame her. So far we’d only seen people get trampled by horses and bulls, and cute baby cows thrown onto their backs and tied up.

Turns out they were chasing a cow. One kid actually tackled it. This was obviously not his first rodeo.

Exhausted, we took our gringo selves home.

what's next?

The last two days have been really hard. Wrought with disappointment, frustration, and anger. Filled with lots of tears and painful feelings.

I have done the equivalent of donning sack cloth and ashes: I have sat around in capri yoga pants with unshaven legs. I have sported a neon blue tank over a pink sports bra and layered bobby pins on my head for lack of washing my hair.

In some very real ways, there were some losses to mourn. I’m not ready to delve into that right now.

Mostly I’ve just been asking God to help me be content again. Once I let my mind roam into the possibility of more, it’s been hard to go back to less. And I don’t think that’s a bad thing. Just normal. And less isn’t a bad thing either.

So. At nap time today I curled up with Charis and chatted about her new Wednesday night class at church. They had learned about church plants and she wanted more information.

I recalled when I was 12 years old and our family left sunny Florida to plant a church in the Promised Land. It must not have been easy on my parents. Our current circumstances in Florida had been very hard for them. People were being malicious and unkind. I remember watching my dad weep and my mom struggle to make everything happy for us kids. We were poor. We received government welfare, even though both of my parents worked two jobs. It was just hard.

So I was recounting these events to Charis, how the Lord led my parents to Georgia on a wing and a prayer. How we lived in a rental house for many years until I graduated high school. I remember that house. It had a whole wall that was 1969 era marbled mirror. I bet my mom hated it. Did she have friends in fancy houses that made her squirm with wanting more for her family? I don’t know. I cant remember her complaining. I can’t remember anything except that my mom could make a shack beautiful. And she made that house pretty.

Then I told Charis about how my parents bought their first home, their current home, just as I was taking off for Bible college in Texas. At that same time, her daddy was leaving Arkansas for Texas too. And then her Papa and Nana moved to the Promised Land, where her Grammy and Grandpa already were.

She giggled. If you’ve heard Charis giggle, you can appreciate how comforting that was.

Then I told all about how eventually mommy and daddy fell in love, and with Arwen in my tummy, we moved back to the Promised Land. To Grammy’s house, where Arwen was born.

Then we moved to a rental house in Tucker, Georgia where Charis was born.

More giggling. 

Then we moved to Pell City, Alabama to another rental house, and Ezra was born.

Then we moved to our current house and Evie was born. And then Titus was born.

“…And now we are still here…” my story trailed off.

Charis smiled and looked into my eyes like an old soul and said, “I know what you’re thinking, Mamma.”

She turned to a page in a little book she’s been working through for fun.

 "Give this page to an adult"....

"Give this page to an adult"....

What’s next?

I don’t know. Maybe nothing? Maybe this is it. We stay here, we continue to work hard.

I know one thing for certain that is next: I lay it down. All the hoping. I just.lay.it.down. And I repent for longing for more than what Christ has already done for me. Because what Jesus did is more than I will ever need or hope to accomplish on my own.

I will always hate my kitchen though.

And that’s where I’m at.

the idiot's guide to FREE

I have been all over the place with Freecycle this week.

Since we are going to be trying to sell our home, we want it to look like a family of 7 doesn’t live here. So we rented a storage unit to put extra stuff in and are also just getting rid of some things we don’t want to move. Moving has a way of making you think about all your “stuff” a little less affectionately.

One piece of furniture in particular has never received any affection from me, and it’s the rocker/glider that we bought from Wal-mart when I was pregnant with Ezra. Five years ago. It hurts. After Titus was born I flat out refused to rock another baby through the night in it, and it has been replaced.

So I listed it on Freecycle. (If you are unfamiliar with Freecycle, it’s an email group categorized by city and people list items that they either are seeking for free or would like to get rid of for free. It’s a great way to get rid of big things that you have no idea what to do with, or broken things that you have no idea what to do with. Trust me- someone on Freecycle wants your junk!) In my offering I said in no gentle terms that it needed to be picked up immediately and I did not have time in my life for people who wanted to claim it and then not pick it up.

A woman called immediately and rambled on and  on about how she was not the type of person who would say she was coming and then not come and she knew what a hassle it was to wait on someone like that. Evie was peeing on the floor and Titus was screaming and in no gentle terms I said, “Great. Just come get it.”

Two days later, three phone calls and several texts, the dang chair still sat in my living room. And a bolt fell out the back.

So I relisted it as needing repair and in very aggressive terms communicated that I was going to hunt down anyone who wanted to waste my time   not going to hold it for anyone, and please don’t respond unless you are telling me what time you are coming to get it. And that I would give it to whomever said they were coming first.

Y’all. I got a lot of responses. Here are my favorites:

  • Can you take a picture of it? NO
  • What color is it? It’s FREE. FREE is a neutral color and it goes with everything. 
  • Can you measure how tall it is? Why don’t you measure your back seat and tell me and then I’ll tell you whether my chair will fit. After you tell me what color your car is. (Unless your car is FREE and then we’ll all know that it will go fine with my FREE chair.)
  • What is a glider? This one was my personal favorite. You probably don’t need it if you don’t know what it is. I’m considering responding with something totally made up. Got any ideas?  

And later I had some picking up of Freecycle stuff of my own to do. I’m an honest free cycler. I always come when I say I will and I don’t claim crap that I don’t need.

 

This lady had tons of moving boxes and packing supplies. (And no, I did not ask her to text me a picture of the boxes or what color they were.)

 

{GULP}

 

As she and I were loading it all into my truck I chatted about how we were just “pre packing”. Because I’m in total denial. Come to find out her family was crammed into a small space and had to do the same thing to sell their home. And here she was on the other side of it with a house double the size and beaming like she’d won the lottery. She was on the other side of this insurmountable task of moving a whole family (only I don’t think she has chickens or a soap business.) And her family is considering adopting from Uganda, only they aren’t sure how to go about fundraising. Imagine that. I bubbled over with information and I think I’ll hear from her again. 

 

I got home and it was time to put some things into the boxes since Brent was taking me by the storage space to show me the ins and outs.

 

And I realized that packing is a lot like unpacking. As I packed photos and hand prints and board games and what nots I realized I was unpacking a home into these boxes. One piece at a time, a life that we shared here was being wrapped up and packed. For where? We don’t know! Oh, the uncertainty!

 

When we moved here it was just a box with a bunch of dead plants outside. Our neighborhood was a wasteland, and now there is so much life! Babies were born here, and that’s always the hardest part about leaving a house. (There were two here.) Ezra and Evie took their first steps here. We’ve just fit ourselves so nicely (and tightly) into this space. So much love and life has happened to transform this box into a home. Thriving plants crowd around every side of the house. Chickens cackle in the back. My sweet girls’ flower beds burst with color.

 

Packing is hard. I am swallowing down tears and trying to be excited about the unknown. But it’s just.really.hard.

resources

I’m a pretty resourceful person. Half the time, I can’t answer the question of “What’s for dinner?” because I don’t know what to call what I just threw together. I just call it “dinner”. (And most of the time it tastes pretty good, too.)

I haven’t blogged much lately because I am out.of.resources. Not so much the food resources, as my waste line would indicate, but most of the others. And yet God continues to squeeze and press more out of me.

You might say our family is in transition. That phase right before new birth, when you want to vomit and you are exhausted and really ready to be done and get your prize already. It’s a wonderful place to be, right there at the mercy of God. You are working hard, yet you have a feeling of excitement and expectation. Sometimes you don’t know what is about to come out of you, because you stubbornly chose not to find out the gender of your baby. Although, I would almost compare our current situation to one of those moms on “I Didn’t Know I Was Pregnant”. One day you are just minding your own business, and BAM! labor pains. Is this a kidney stone? Is my appendix bursting?? Oooohhh…. I’m in labor.

So there we were just muddling through survival with a newborn, tired, half awake, majorly caffeinated. And it’s almost like God sort of crept up our blind side and BAM! Labor Pains. You could say this “child” was not planed.

Are you wondering what in the heck I am talking about?

Yeah. Me too.

Anyway, church today was about the feeding of the 5,000. That throng of people pressed in hard and demanded to be fed. The disciples had no resources. Jesus looked at them and said, “YOU feed them.” (Charis laughed out loud at this point in the story, which is pretty much my reaction when Jesus tells me to reach deep into my own emptiness to give.) And of course Jesus generously provided the resources to feed the crowd. And what was left over? 12 basket fulls. And how many disciples were there? 12.

Howa bout that. So, the general message was: Trust Jesus, Give all you’ve got, He will provide and even some grace left over for you too. And when our pastor asked if we had people in our lives that were hurting or had deep needs, I could honestly say, “YES!” And really, once we remove our heads from our rear ends, we should ALL be able to answer that question with a resounding “YES!”

I already wrote about how we tried to start a small group in our area from scratch. And well… it didn’t work out. We never found other families interested in a family-integrated small group. So we tossed around ideas…how do we find community? How do we find a place to serve?

Well. How about right where we are?

Brent came up with the idea to host a Dave Ramsey course in our home for our neighbors. (We are only acquainted with two of the households in our neighborhood. And if I’m being perfectly honest, there are a couple that I didn’t really wish to be acquainted with at all. Okay. Not a couple. A bunch. I suck.) Brent’s heart is so bent towards shepherding others. He does not look down on other people. Me? I mostly want to be comfortable and do my own thing. (God’s working on that, trust me.) But I knew enough to be supportive. So we baked cookies and Brent and the big kids took them door to door while I kept the little people at home. Each and every household got cookies and an invitation to come over for some good ol’ Dave Ramsey stuff (including a free book! He bought books for them all!). That Friday night we waited to see who would show up.

You know who showed up?

One. little. old. lady. And I don’t think she cared anything at all about finances.

But she sure was lonely.

The next week Brent and the big kids went around again and invited the whole neighborhood over.And while they were out, they made it a point to stop by that old lady’s house and give her some company.

You know who showed up?

One. single. mamma. And boy did she need some encouragement.

The next week I was out of town for a funeral, but Brent went around again and invited the whole neighborhood. This time making it a point to stop and chat with both the single mom who needed encouragement and the little old lonely lady.

And…Just one guy showed up. And that’s exactly how God planned it to be.

Last week no one showed up. But guess what?

When they were going door to door, Brent found out that just a few houses down there was a family with the wife on bed rest because she is pregnant with triplets.

T.R.I.P.L.E.T.S.

If there is one thing we know how to do,it’s taking care of new mammas and new babies.

So, I was making dinner and my casserole just wouldn’t fit in my dish. I had just enough to put in another dish.  The next afternoon Brent nudged my poor tired aching body down the street to that family with that casserole.

Y’all. It was just squash casserole. Poor man’s food, you know?Not EVER what I would intentionally take to share.

“They probably don’t even like squash.” I said.

“Maybe they already have dinner planned.” I excused.

“I really don’t have time. I need to get in there and cook dinner for my family. I’m already running behind.”

See what I mean about the head in the rear?

So I grabbed the baby sling and another kid and we trotted down the street.

It was awkward.

These people did not know me and here I was showing up with food unannounced. And my hair looked stupid because I had just taken a quick shower and not fixed it. And I probably said something weird like “well, we just love pregnant women!” (Seriously? That’s the best I could come up with?) The dude was totally taken aback. And to this day I still have no idea how the Lord chose to use my silly little casserole to bless them. I mean, hopefully it was a blessing. 

But it’s not my resources that will minister to hungry souls. It’s Jesus’s. And I can only be the earthen vessel he uses to do it with.

Even though our attempts at the whole Dave Ramsey thing seem like a huge failure, Brent and I both knew in our hearts that something bigger was happening. By His grace, we are being changed. And the Lord brought along people with such big needs. And we never would have known.

It doesn’t have to be something huge and grand. It might be something as simple as getting out and meeting the neighbors. Finding out that there are people right around you that are broken and hurting and need Jesus’s love.

And this could be the beginning of something more. Dare I say… big?

I do tend to have big babies.