Water jars

What started out as a simple landscaping project, became bigger because of my daydreams. What the engineer thought would be quick, easy, done in two-weekends became a much longer affair including moving 5-ton of river rock. I have to admit, it was daringly difficult for me to bravely share, "Well, I just had this thought of making it wider and incorporating the stepping stones and then maybe we could add a rain barrel." "You're kidding me. Do you know how much more work that will be?" Actually, I did. But that was my dream and it took me ten-years of marriage to figure out that he isn't a mind-reader, so I told him my dream. And he went to work. Yesterday, the engineer installed our first rain barrel. The purpose is to collect the runoff from the eaves, fill the 50-gallon drum and use the water for plants. It reminds me of something I've read from Charles H. Surgeon, "Unless you put water jars out when it rains, you will never collect the water."
I first read this after finding out I was pregnant again after two prior miscarriages. I was prompted by the Spirit-teacher to pray in faith: specifically asking God for a healthy, full-term pregnancy and baby. God wants us to ask expectantly, even specifically, in trust. (John 14:12-14.) Trust that He's able and trust that if He answers no, it is part of His good plan for us, part of His plan that under the microscope looks frightful, but stepping back and viewing the completed work of art is beautiful and grew us in holiness. We can ask knowing He will be loving, faithful, righteous and just:
Your steadfast love, O Lord, extends to the heavens,
Your faithfulness to the clouds.
Your righteousness is like the mountains of God;
your judgments are like the great deep;
man and beast you save, O Lord. Psalm 36:5-6
Over the Memorial Day weekend, Ace Hardware had a great paint sale. With painting on our summer agenda we scrutinized through 5 pints of samples to find two colors on which we all agreed. And on the last day of the sale, found our way to Ace to purchase paint at the sale price. Now, nearly 3-weeks later, the paint sits on the floor unopened still on the laundry room floor. Were we just kidding ourselves or will we really put paint roller to wall? How often are we like that with prayer? In America we often pray, "God bless, God bless, God bless... I want paint, give paint, more paint..." How about asking God to put the paint on the wall? God, specifically, will you ....
God will always work in our lives, on our behalf to bring Himself glory.
The Lord is my shepherd ... He restores my soul.
He leads me in paths of righteousness
for His name's sake. Psalm 23:3
And He longs for an intimate, all out in the open relationship with us. If I would have never been bold enough to ask the engineer for a larger landscape project with incorporated stepping stones and rain barrel, he'd never have worked according to my wishes. Even though God can read your mind, He wants you to ask, to be transparent and trusting Him in big and small details.
What are you wrestling with today? Have you specifically asked God for an outcome? Nothing is too difficult for Him to accomplish. And any answer He gives is according to the good plan He has for you.


One of the perks of the mundane tasks of being mom (you know: laundry, vacuuming, scrubbing kitchens and bathrooms...) is the time it allows you to pray. During this precious doubly productive time, I often find myself becoming empathic toward my dear ones' circumstance or the possible gamut of emotions they might be wrestling. Typically, I relate to others best when I take time to ponder my own similar experiences. Praying this week, I realized a common theme of my prayers for others and myself: the unknown is scrupulous and we despise it!
Why is the unknown so hard for us to grapple? So hard for us to trust? Why do we desire to know every outcome? To have all the answers? Because sitting in the middle of the unknown is uncomfortable and we have no control.
Why are there holes in the pool liner? Why these muscle aches for my son? What is causing these hives? Why the random abdominal pain? Why depression? Why bleeding? Why are the birds eating the peas? Why these struggles and trials? Why can't I fix it? And why won't God fix it, now?
When a child is young, she takes everything as it comes and has no worries for the morrow. Every day is an adventure waiting to be had.
Truly, I say to you, unless you turn and become like children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven. Whoever humbles himself like this child is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven. Matthew 18:34
What an example a child's faith and trust is to we older, more mature. We can't see God rule and reign in our hearts on this earth nor on the the throne in the world to come unless we accept each day with its unknowns and expectantly trust that God will work out our great conundrums. This is humility; admititing that we are powerless and He is powerful and mighty! He is in control and we are governed by Him only.
This is childlike humility: to accept with authentic peace that I don't know why, I can't stop it, and I can't control the outcome of my circumstance. He alone is God. Along with everything else, He has even this detail tucked into His good plan for me. Even if there are tears on my part, (and don't children experience plenty of tears?) He never leads me into something He can't and does not control. And He is always with me.
Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for You (God) are with me. Psalm 23:4a
Whatever your trial is right now, will you choose to trust Him even though you do not know the outcome of your situation? I find that trusting God during my circumstance is a layering process and it often needs repeating throughout my day, sometimes minute by minute. But the peace that follows is real and deep (Isaiah 26:3).Will you trust that God has all the details under control, always has and always will? And trust that while He works out the details, you are never alone? He is with you.