Thursday, March 21, 2013

It's in the small things

God is in the details.  The small, almost hidden details.

And that is where I find His tenderness the most dear.

Today my heart grieved as I lost my friend Caitlin to a battle with cancer.  And it broke again because I knew I would have to tell my nine students that she died.  My sweet students who have been praying for Caitlin since day one.  The students who raise their hands in church and ask for prayer for Caitlin.  My students who I had to grieve with last April over the loss of their classmate, Marissa.  And I had to tell them that Caitlin was gone.

And as I sat during nap time, rubbing the back of a crying child I prayed and asked, What can I do?  What can I do to help them?  To help them see You in this.  To see the joy.

Then I thought of the Celebration Cake.  I follow a blog by author Katie Ganshert.  And she is having a Pinterest contest/war with another author Becky Wade.  Their contest this week was making a Celebration Cake.

We could make a celebration cake.  Today.  Now.  In the sadness.   To celebrate that Jesus died so that we could have eternal life.  To celebrate that Caitlin rests in Jesus. To celebrate that we will see her again at Christ's return.  To celebrate her life.  To celebrate Jesus.  To celebrate the joy in the sadness.

So we did.  Box cake.  Container of frosting.


Popsicle sticks with pom-poms.

We celebrated with tears and laughter.

Here is what amazes me.  Here is God in the details.

The Celebration Cake contest was this week.  This week.
Matthew had to run home in the middle of the day (today) to meet an house insurance person, so he was able to grab the cake supplies for me.
I had cake supplies because of an event I am planning.
I have been trying to focus more on joy because of the Joy Dare and 1000 Gifts and in this when I was trying to focus on it I thought of the Celebration Cake.

Small, insignificant cluster of blogs, cake supplies, Bible study reading 1000 Gifts, and an insurance visit.  But I feel that they were designed by God, to bring comfort to my students and I in this sadness.

I know there will be more things.  More God moments.  I await to see His face in all things.  Because God is here.

1 Thessalonians 4:13-18
Brothers and sisters, we do not want you to be uninformed about those who sleep in death, so that you do not grieve like the rest of mankind, who have no hope.  For we believe that Jesus died and rose again, and so we believe that God will bring with Jesus those who have fallen asleep in him. According to the Lord’s word, we tell you that we who are still alive, who are left until the coming of the Lord, will certainly not precede those who have fallen asleep.  For the Lord himself will come down from heaven, with a loud command, with the voice of the archangel and with the trumpet call of God, and the dead in Christ will rise first.  After that, we who are still alive and are left will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. And so we will be with the Lord forever.  Therefore encourage one another with these words.

Friday, March 8, 2013


You've seen them standing on the side of a road.  The cardboard sign.   "Out of work.  Need help.  God bless."  Or some variation.

And I always feel a tug.  When I was in high school I read a book by Melody Carlson about a girl, Chloe who wants to help the people she encounters asking for money or help without giving money.

See, it's always a question...what are the people going to do with the money?  I'm sure there are many arguments entangled with that question, but I think it's kind of a valid question.  But then it brings up another question.  What do you do then, when you are driving through somewhere and you see someone by a stoplight, asking for help?

In the book Chloe goes and buys McDonald's books that have the $1 gift certificate tear-outs.  So instead of handing out a couple dollars, she hands them a couple of $1 gift certificates and feels that she has given them help to get food, without giving cash.

Personally, I thought it was perfect.  So Matthew and I did that.  We bought some books and kept them in our cars to pass out.  And we did!  It seemed a perfect little solution...until McDonald's decided to stop selling those.  (I don't know if all of them have, but ours did.)

So for a while now we've had nothing in our cars. And we don't carry cash.  So there was nothing to give.

Then...there was Pinterest.

One day I was scanning along at ideas when I was stopped by this one.
How to Create a Homeless Care Package for Someone in Need ~ One pinner said, "what they always want the most (believe it or not) are clean white socks." Another said she keeps her 'care/blessing pkgs' in her trunk all year round. What a great parenting activity this is... :)))

And so a new idea has been born.  Today we bought the supplies. We didn't do it exactly like what was shown, was a great start.  I loved the three basics.  Feed their needs, provide warmth, and feed their souls.

We now each have four gallon ziplock bags in our cars.  Something for physical needs (toothbrush, soap, snacks) and something for their spiritual needs (Steps to Christ.)  We didn't include winter stuff because winter is headed out of here, but when it gets that time we'll be picking some up to add.

I was laying out the supplies today and sorting them into bags and Matthew said, "Where did you get this idea again?"  I smiled, "Pinterest."  We laughed because he often asks me that when I'm trying something new and that is often the answer.  But here's to say that Pinterest has good things and I hope that in sharing this you are inspired to find your own way to help those in need.

Matthew 25

34 “Then the King will say to those on his right, ‘Come, you who are blessed by my Father; take your inheritance, the kingdom prepared for you since the creation of the world. 35 For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in, 36 I needed clothes and you clothed me, I was sick and you looked after me, I was in prison and you came to visit me.’

37 “Then the righteous will answer him, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you something to drink? 38 When did we see you a stranger and invite you in, or needing clothes and clothe you? 39 When did we see you sick or in prison and go to visit you?’

40 “The King will reply, ‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.’