Our family has been in a season that has been an interesting one for us. I feel like it is a season that a lot of people are walking in right now….one in which our faith is really being stretched, but at the same time, a time where God the Father is trying to undo a lot of wrong thinking about who He really is–especially pertaining to our view of Him as Provider.
Here is a practical example that happened last night and this morning:
When Nathan lost his job in January, we had to take a hard look at our finances and decide what things were absolute needs and what was just a want. We also decided to start a home business and have been really busy and hard at work lately. This combination has played out in not having frequent dates like we used to. I never knew how vital these were until this season of intense work, oftentimes long hours, and moments of stress. I’m just being real here.
But last night, we were blessed by a dear friend with the offer to go out on a date while she and her wonderful husband came over to babysit our kids with her two little ones. If that isn’t love, I don’t know what is! Changing your own baby’s diaper is one thing, but changing another person’s is a whole other story! 🙂 We were sooooo excited. We got to go out to eat, dancing for free with some friends at a dance studio, and then off to hang out with friends at Starbucks. It was a great evening to say in the least. We needed to just get out and have fun and just laugh together! It’s amazing how these things can easily get stifled if we are not intentional!
The Lord has been trying to undo some wrong thinking on my part and He used our friends last night to help with that! When we woke up this morning to make the girls’ lunches for school, I opened the cabinets and refrigerator and they were overflowing with food! And not just any food. They had gone WAY overboard and got us the best of the best of every type of food you can think of. We were blown away by their act of love.
As I was sweeping the floor a few minutes later, I was talking to the Lord about it and said something like this. “Father, thank you so much for that gift. Help me to learn from all the lessons you are sending my way and never forget these things. Help me to remember these things so I repay others with the same kind of love.” As soon as I prayed it I heard Him say, “Jenni, that’s where you are wrong. I don’t want you to LEARN from this. I wasn’t doing this to teach you anything. You think that everything that happens is in some way a lesson. Do you only do things for your kids to TEACH them something? What kind of parent would you be if you were always teaching them lessons and trying to make sure they GOT it? I didn’t do this to teach you a lesson so that you can get it and go DO it. I did this just to say, “I love you.” That’s it. I just love you and wanted you to know today. You don’t have to worry about learning things. You’re going to learn stuff in the process. But that is not the sole reason I do things.”
I stood in the kitchen pondering that for awhile and realized how I’ve had a view of God my whole life that He is always just trying to teach me something. This is more like a slave mentality than that of a son. I thought about how I absolutely love to just cuddle on the couch with my kids and hang out with them. I love to take them to the park or the dollar store because it makes them so happy! I don’t do any of those things to teach them lessons or make sure they behave better because of what I just did. I just do them because I love them.
I’m thankful God’s abundant blessings and that He does it “just because.”