Thursday, June 12, 2008


I received an amazing gift today...

There are times when I'm struck with the dirty state of my heart, surprised by it. Today was one of those days. I received a blessing, only to realize how truly undeserving I am.

You may recall that I lead the women's ministry at our Church. Generally, I love it. Love the women. Love doing what I know God has called me to do. Love serving. Love being busy. LOVE IT!

But sometimes... Well, there are days when I heave a big sigh before answering the phone for a ministry related call. My plate got quite a bit fuller over the past few months and a part of me resented that. I grumbled about how much I was doing, and I wasn't serving joyfully. All I could think about was how I just needed a break.

Looking back, I can see that I've had a complaining attitude for quite a while. I was never really vocal about complaining, but the grumbling was lingering in my heart and my mind. I'm too busy. No one sees how much I do - around the house, with the kids, at the Church. Why can't the kids just be good? I can't believe I need to be parent helper again. I'm so tired after the ministry meeting last night. All I want is to have a night out with my husband, is that too much to ask? On and on it went round my head. I launched myself head-first into martyr mode.

At our women's Bible study, we all jot down our prayer needs each week, and our leader compiles them in an email sent to everyone. Last week I wrote, "pray that I will find rest for my soul." After all, I deserve a break (insert sarcasm). It's funny, because God spoke to me about that right away - literally. The DVD began and the lesson was entitled Believing God When Victory Demands Your All. In case I was thick-headed, though, God backed up the first message through a couple friends telling me that some people aren't called to rest, or sabbatical, or whatever term you'd like to insert - rather, certain people are called to persevere through the times when they feel overwhelmed. Hmmmm...

It has really only been within the past few days that I've softened my heart to God's ways and resisted this complaining spirit. My eyes were opened to the fact that I haven't been too busy at all. Sure, I've been busy. Yet somehow (praises to my Abba) everything is in order. My house is clean. The laundry is done (and almost all put away). Our planning meetings for Friendship Factor (our outreach to women) is flowing so smoothly - and with a record-breaking team of 11 women! We had the most amazing family day ever last weekend (I'll tell you about that later). God is so good! Even as I selfishly complained in my mind, He continued to fill my life with His provision. This is my first undeserved gift - His grace and mercy. It really is new every morning.

My second undeserved gift has humbled me. I am so blessed. I don't always deserve it, especially not lately, but I received the beautiful honour of appreciation.

Two pastors showed up at my door - Stu, my supervising pastor and Jordan, our executive pastor (who is also a friend and mentor). They brought me a gift! Stu handed me a big bouquet of flowers. At that moment I was practically (not totally, you know me) speechless. I couldn't believe that they came out of their way to my home to say thanks. Wow, that is so beautiful. I don't deserve this.

I was in the process of inviting them in for an iced tea, when Jordan handed me a gift bag. I started rummaging through the pile of gift cards and big envelope with some sort of papers in it...then I realized I should be a good girl and read the card (smile). I read the card, looked again at the gift cards, re-read the papers in the envelope. I don't understand. What is this? Why are they giving me this? Where did it come from?

Finally, I look at Jordan and tell him that I'm confused. He tells me that they wanted to do something special to show me that they appreciate me, and that the hours I work do not go unnoticed. But Lord, I've been so grouchy. I haven't been serving You with my whole heart. They are sending Pat and I away for a weekend. This weekend. To Canmore, in the majestic Rocky Mountains. In a luxurious hotel. With gift cards for dinners and gas. And a gift card so my sitter can go to dinner after her exhausting weekend (thanks Mom - I can't believe you got suckered into two weekends with 5 kids, one only a few weeks after the last).

I am so undeserving. But isn't that just like God? He just looks for opportunities to be merciful to us! He could have punished me for my complaining attitude. He could have let me burn out, or allowed women's ministry to flop, or sent someone to tell me that I wasn't doing the job He called me to. He could have placed His conviction over me to humble me. To bring me back to my knees so that I would be in the proper position to look up at Him. Instead, He showered me with gifts. Beautiful, precious gifts. The very things I've been selfishly complaining that I couldn't find - rest for my soul, time with my husband, a break. Father, forgive me. I have such a black heart! I deserve shame and guilt, condemnation. Thank-you, Lord, for being merciful to me. I accept Your gift, humble and undeserving, but oh so grateful.

Thank-you, Jordan and Stu, for being instruments of the Almighty. He used you to bless my heart. He also used you to show me, once again, how badly He wants to forgive me every time I mess up. Beth Moore says that God is so desperate to show us His love and mercy that He will go to any means. He went so far as to send His very own baby Son to die, so that we would understand His deep love and grace. Wow, God. Wow. Thank-you, Jesus.


  1. I am so touched that you are blessed and honored and treasured by your church and by God.

  2. I too am blessed by your blessing (though I may feel differently after a weekend of watching your babies)! You are a faithful servant of the Almighty and while you're so right - He is gracious and merciful - you are also very deserving.

    Enjoy this precious gift of a little break away - especially the rare sleep-in you'll get to have.

    Lots of love,

  3. Enjoy and saver every little moment alone with your hubby in the mountains!...
    Store up those peaceful, rejuvenating moments to bring back to your memory when times are less then perfect...
    Remember how your Abba daddy loves you no matter what and that your work does not go un-noticed ...
    You are loved and appreciated...
    I am so happy you were blessed in this way deserve it!
    Take pics of your time with hubby to share...
    God Bless


  4. aw, i'm in tears here! thank you for sharing this. i'm so happy for you guys and completely agree. God is so gracious in giving us things we don't deserve in little things and big things, as in His Son.

  5. I am tear-ry eyed. That is such a sweet blessing. God is so good to us.

    Have a wonderful, restful time away and when you get back- No hurry- lets chat about women's ministry....

    I want to hear a little about what you are doing in your church and I will tell you about my church.

    It seems like our women's ministy is struggling, and I find myself with the same selfish feelings you had.

    We recently started a "mentoring" program for the ladies matching the "older" ones with the younger ones.

    I would love to hear about some of your programs later?

  6. ALSO- that sentence... some people were not called to rest.... has knocked me for a loop!!! A word especially for me in your blog today!

  7. Thanks for writing that Tyler...It's a great reminder!

  8. Such a wonderful blessing. God longs to lavish us, regardless of our "deserving"!

    Enjoy every moment of your "rest"


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