Monday, October 15, 2012

Seeing God In All Things by St. Francis de Sales ~Even the Laundry?

I have been totally scattered lately. I couldn't find my phone so I called it but then forgot who I was calling and began getting impatient that the person wouldn't answer when I remembered I was calling myself! I did however recognize my own voice and name when I heard my own outgoing voicemail! 

Later, I dashed off to Mary's violin lesson last week only to open the case and realize the violin was at home on the stand. Well, that's not all.

On the heels of that happening, I emailed myself pictures off my phone to then upload into the blog when I kept hearing the email chime and became annoyed that I couldn't get anything done without an interruption—probably spam againwhen I realized the chime was my own pictures landing in email that I was sending from my phone!

You may think I'm organized but actually I struggle with finding things, losing things, being on time, returning things, hanging up my clothes, finding the thing I just had, folding clean clothes, and confusion in my notes while preparing and then speaking! I once tried to use my phone as a mouse when in my terrible frustration I realized my mouse was not a mouse but an apple!

I continue to be amazed that God chooses to work through us and allows us to cooperate with Him in the doing of His will in our lives and in others' lives in spite of our pitiful condition. (I wouldn't blame you for thinking speak for yourself, Juana).  Truth is, we've been in a mess every since dear ole Grandmother Eve chose her way instead of God's way, haven't we?

Thank you to many of you who prayed for me or asked how the talk went last Thursday night. I once asked dear Elisabeth Elliot how her talk went. She replied, "I'm not the judge of that." We can't see what God may be doing in someones heart long after the talk is over, but we know this: His word will not return void! Amen? 

I know for one that I needed the message. Most of what I give out is not original with me and preparing helps me tremendously. It almost seems like whenever I 'm speaking on a topic, I am tested in the very area I was going to speak on. I marvel at His faithfulness again and again. As I was preparing the message, it seemed all I had was piles of notes and stickies and Bible versesand I couldn't see the order and flow in the message. 

I ended up lifting up my notes to the Lord physically and said, "Lord, you gave me this message to give. It is a pile of disorder right now, and I'm to speak to those women in 24 hours. I'm asking You to please make order out of all this confusion." I didn't hear an audible voice in the room, but in my heart I knew what He was answering back.

"Juana (I've wondered if He thinks of me as Juana or my little girl childhood name, Juanie...I want to ask Him in heaven although I think we get an altogether new name! You, my dear reader and friend, can call me either one you want!), it's already done. Just thank Me. Praise Me. Put your trust in Me now, right at this moment, and believe Me. You see, it's not up to you to accomplish this work. You trust, I'll accomplish the results. It's OK to go and praise Me now, you don't have to stew over this thing. Go ahead, put on that CD and praise me. Later on, come back to your notes, and I'll show you the order I want you to put it in."

WOW! I didn't have to worry! I could let go of it! He is not going to leave me hanging! He is a loving Father! I will not be ashamed. He wants me to know His will more than I even want to know His will!!!

He is faithful. So I didn't go over it anymore that day. Instead I put on that praise music and lifted up my heart to God thanking Him for His faithfulness. It was all about what He was going to do, not me! I was so excited, I could hardly wait to give the message that so far as now did not appear to make sense. He gave me the order the next day a few hours before I left for the talk!

Yikes, Timer just went off in next room. OK, I'm back. I set a timer to put my husband's shirts in the washing machine. They have to go in the dryer at a certain time so that they can come out by a certain time, so they won't be a wrinkled mess! I couldn't put them in too early because I'm leaving in a bit and don't want them to sit squished up in the machine. My husband likes me to spray cleaner if any cuffs or collars are dirty. I'm terrible at this. I forget them in the dryer and they look horrible.
Now this sounds like a little thing, but it is important to my husband and so many times I have not given this the attention it deserves. I always think something else is more important—so they end up sitting too long and looking not so good. But this is exactly what we were talking about last week with the women that gathered (I told you I needed it). 

I'm so forgetful that just before I took this picture, I put nearly all the shirts in the water when I remembered I had not sprayed on the cleaner for the collars and cuffs! So back out they all came. Believe it or not, this all ties in—stay with me.

Seeing God in Everything. 

Seeing Christ in your Husband.

Seeing Christ in your Singleness.

So those of you that are married, as we make our husbands something to eat or do their laundry we can do it "as unto the Lord"  as it says in Ephesians. Christ will one day say to us, "When you did it for the least of these, you did it unto Me." When you did what pleased your husband (talking to me, too!)the thing he asked you to doit's like you did it for Christ.

What a transforming thought! Now the laundry and the dishes are not mundane workbut have become a joy when offered unto the Lord.

I love this quote from a very wise man who lived in the 1600s. It is wonderfully relevant today. St. Francis de Sales wrote: 

"Strive to see God in all things without exception," no matter what it is that may be upsetting us. 

"Acquiesce in His will with absolute submission. Do everything for God, uniting yourself to Him by a mere upward glance, or by the overflowing of your heart towards Him."

So St. Francis de Sales says, "Unite yourself to Him by a mere upward glance."

We can do that! Whether we are in the grocery story or in a long line or frustrated or worried about anything---if we are troubled we can just look up to God to remind ourselves that we need Him and to in a moment's time tell Him so.

All I can say on the next part of St. Francis de Sales' quote is OUCH. "Never be in a hurry. Do everything quietly and with a calm spirit."

Oh, my! Never be in a hurry! I have 18 women coming here for lunch tomorrow (some are helping by bringing some items!), plus violin for Mary, homework, supper (just remembered I forgot to lay out the meat from the freezer, I told you I forgot things! Oh, I have something else we can have. I'll keep typing.) 

The county school board called. They want to feature Mary, my youngest, at their meeting tomorrow night. They filmed her at school last week. (I filmed her myself, too, on my phone after I dropped her off Friday. She was literally whistling. Totally blind, (can click the colored words to read about her birth) and using her cane to click against the basketball court fence, she trailed her way into the school whistling. 

Now that's God's glory shining on my girl. Please pray that in any attention our family receives that God will get the glory and His purposes be fulfilled. I'll post that 7 second clip tomorrow for you that I took! Update to this post: Please pray they want one of us to address the board.   

"Never be in a hurry. Do everything quietly and with a calm spirit. Do not lose your inward peace for anything whatsoever, even if your whole world seems upset."

He then says to us: "Commend all to God." Commend to God. That means give it to Him. Commit it to Him. Like I did with my confused pile of notes!!! I can do that!!!! We can do that!!! Offer it up to him. We may not be able to handle itbut we know the One to hand it over to! 

The last part of that quote says:

"Whatever happens, abide steadfast in a determination to cling simply to Him, trusting to His eternal love for you. If you find that you have wandered forth from this shelter, recall your heart quietly and simply. Maintain a holy simplicity of mind and do not smother yourself with a host of cares, wishes or longings under any pretext."

My husbands just got home for lunch! I am trying to get better at greeting Him and STOPPING WHAT I'M DOING! Back soon. 

I'm back! And my husband helped to put all his shirts in the dryer and he took them out and put them on hangers. (bottomline, he's afraid...or rather knows full well... left to me they will be all wrinkly-looking which creates more work because then they will need ironing. I hope to be able to tell you that I am much better at this, but it is too soon:-)

See God in everything. I don't know what host of cares may be "smothering you," as Francis de Sales put it, but God is not ignoring your prayers. He wants you to trust Him right now.

Today. Right here. Right this moment. 

Let's offer it all to God. Our neighbors. Our husband. Our Boss. Our Laundry. Let's say to Him, "I'll take what you give."

May God help us to commit everything to Him, and to depend on Him fully in all we do, suffer, have, and are! I love my sisters in the Lord. You are a blessing to me! (and those handful of good men who read and who are such an encouragement)

Let's both remember just "a mere upward glance" to our loving Lord expresses our need of Him!

Walk by Faith,

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