Waste not

Even things like common grasses are not wasted. So much beauty even in the individual stalks!

I hate waste. I’m actually a little weird about it. Wasted time, wasted food, wasted money, I hate them all. I almost never throw leftovers away. They get turned into second meals or fed to the dog (good thing she’s skinny). I started knitting so I could “do” something in those odd, spare moments. Rather than buy something, I’m always tempted to “jerry-rig” an alternative.

A week ago, I talked to a friend who was considering applying for a job she would enjoy very much. She told me it was a long shot and wondered if she should even bother. I told her: “You know, even if you don’t get the job, God will still use the experience. He doesn’t waste anything.”

Then I said, “Wow, that just came out, but I like it. I’d never thought of that idea in those exact words.”

If God is sovereign, nothing is wasted.

Nothing. If my friend does not get this job, He will use the disappointment to draw her closer to Him, and He will use it in other ways she will not be able to see. His powers of orchestration are amazing. Not a bit of the process will be without value.

What an awesome truth: that God can use, DOES use, things we consider a waste. Dry times, disappointments, failed endeavors, even seasons when the “mundane” seems to occupy so much of our time—these will be used. Even if we are not able to see HOW, we can trust in a God who is incredibly creative, always purposeful, and all-powerful.

Hallelujah!

Emily recently taught the twins how to run “suicides.”

 

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Getting beyond age 7

I'm not sure what he was pretending to do, but that's Em's hat PJ is wearing.

I take Chai, our dog, for a “bike run” (I bike, she RUNS) nearly every day that it’s nice. Sometimes the kids join me. When they do, I have three rules for them: 1. Stay on the sidewalk; 2. Don’t panic; and 3. I WILL come back for you. Trust me.

They do really well with rule number one, but they break 2 and 3 nearly every time. Jake lags far behind, and Maddie panics: “Jake, we’re losing you!” Then someone, unable to keep up with me at first because Chai is running off her steam, yells, “Mom, don’t leave us.”

That’s when I circle back around, gather them together and remind them—again—of the rules. I usually end with, “Have I EVER left you?” They shake their heads. “Don’t I know exactly where you are?” They nod.

The other day the Holy Spirit nudged me during my “rule” review. “Oh,” I thought. “I do the same thing to God.”

And as I’ve listened to some of the conversations I’ve had lately with my younger three children, I’ve discovered that MANY of the things I say to them are the very things I know God tells me. I’m a lot like a 7-year-old in the ways I relate to Him. Not only does He have to say the same things I do, but He also has to say them over and over.

So I’ve been trying to take a spiritual lesson from what so often feels mundane and repetitive.

When Maddie asks, “Mom, are you getting me a sandwich(or whatever)?”—for the fourth time—and I answer, “Honey, I’ve told you I will put a sandwich in your lunch for tomorrow, but right now I’m fixing our dinner. I WILL get to it. Can you please stop worrying about it and trust me?”

Hmm.

Today PJ ate lunch with his dad while I met with a student. Dave texted me on our way into school to tell me he was not in his classroom. When PJ headed that direction, I told him, “No, buddy, Daddy’s somewhere else. You’re going to eat in a different place today. Just follow me.”

But that wasn’t good enough. “Where are we going?” he asked.

“The Maroon Room.”

“What’s that?”

My explanation didn’t make sense to him, so he asked it again.

“Buddy, you’ll see it when you get there. I can’t explain it to you in a way you’ll understand.”

So he changed tactic. “WHY are we going there? Why aren’t we eating in Daddy’s room?”

Once again I “saw” myself, questioning God’s plan, wondering why it’s different than what I think is best, frustrated when I can’t understand the answers He gives (and thinking that that’s HIS fault, not mine) and then asking “Why?” rather than simply trusting.

I could give lots more examples. This happens just about every day.

It all boils down to their lack of trust,

As it all boils down to MY lack of trust.

And it’s more than a lack of trust in His leading or His wisdom. Ultimately, it’s a lack of trust in God Himself, that He is who He says He is, that He loves me with an everlasting love.

“This is what the Sovereign LORD, the Holy One of Israel, says:

‘In repentance and rest is your salvation,
in quietness and trust is your strength,’”

Isaiah 30:15a