Our Unexpected Journey

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Floyd was sitting in his chair when I was with him.  He looked quite good.  

Quite some time ago the question was asked on the FaceBook Prayer page - what single impact did God do in your life through Floyd?  I only recently saw this.  The answers were amazing, and so affirming/encouraging.  I decided to read them all to Floyd.  It took abut 45 minutes!

He was very attentive.  A few times he teared up - and a few times he seemed emotional, even pulling himself forward in his chair to express himself.  I was so glad to have such sweet, personal encouragement to share with him.  It really seemed to touch his heart.

The ongoing nature of our unexpected journey is quite exhausting.  I spoke before about the unending "drips" of trials.  They take a constant flow of energy.  I get tired and weary.

One of the things the Lord has shown me is the need for rest.....for taking care of myself.  I've always been a go-getter.  I work hard, even at things I don't like to do - because I want to get them "done."  On this journey, I've had to live with and accept things not being done!  And I've definitely had to learn new lessons about rest.

I've had to learn to be quiet.  I've needed to "listen" to my body and what it is telling me I need.  I've had to ignore my list of things to do while I simply spend time in His presence, letting Him restore, refresh, and heal me.  

My granddaughter has been a sweet encourager.  When I tell her something I've done to find refreshment (a nap, a massage, watching a Hallmark movie) - she'll say to me "well done, Granma, for taking care of yourself!"  :)  It always makes me smile.

The Lord has reminded me that He rested on the 7th day.....and Jesus withdrew from the crowds and found time to rest, to be with the Father, and to be restored.  I've heard the words echo in my mind "rest is my gift to you!"  I'm learning how to receive that gift and not feel guilty for the things I'm not getting done.

When I'm more rested, I find it not only easier to face the physical things I need to deal with - but I'm also stronger in facing the spiritual side of the trials I'm facing.  Rest helps me deal with disappointment and discouragement....with any doubts that pop up.....with any sense of defeat the enemy throws at me.  When I'm tired and weary I'm so much more vulnerable.  Rest helps me have a fresh perspective -  God opens my eyes to see more clearly from His point of view.

"Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest."  Matthew 11:28

"Truly my soul finds rest in God; my salvation comes from Him."  Psalm 62:1

"In peace I will lie down and sleep, for you alone, Lord, make me dwell in safety."  Psalm 4:8

"The Lord is my shepherd, I lack nothing.  He makes me lie down in green pastures, He leads me beside quiet waters."  Psalm 23:1,2

"Whoever dwells in the shelter of the Most High will rest in the shadow of the Almighty."  Psalm 91:1

Someone recently wrote and told me about a scripture that ministers to him.  It's from the Phillips version of Romans 12 - "have a sane estimate of your capabilities."  I think that's a good guideline for all of us!

Another friend said he's learned that "rest is a weapon."  I guess it's one of the "tools" God has placed in our hands.

I love that God has given us the gift of rest!

Whatever season we're in, we need rest - His rest!  I'm learning that I simply can't be too "busy" to rest.  The rest He wants us to have is truly our lifeline.  As I care for Floyd, and as I continue to fight the cancer battle for myself - I need the "gift" He has given me of sweet rest.  I'm so grateful for it!

This Thanksgiving I have been so thankful for all the prayers that have covered us on this long, unexpected journey!  I don't know if we would have survived this journey without them.  My heart is so full of gratitude!

Living in Africa certainly provides me with some interesting moments - particularly in regard to wildlife.  We recently had a snake making its way down our driveway.  I definitely don't like those creatures!  And around the same time there was a large scorpion in the passage near our back door.  It was a boiling hot day so I think it was looking for a cool place.

The last couple weeks our neighborhood has been on "baboon alert."  I get messages that they're on the street below us - or one street over.....letting me know to be prepared.  We have to close doors and windows to keep them from getting in the house if they turn up in our garden.  They make terrible messes!

A few days ago I was awakened early one morning by the loud sound of a peacock call.  A large peacock was wandering around our small back garden and driveway.  I don't know where it came from or why it liked our garden, but it was a rather rude awakening.  Maybe it was looking for something - or maybe it was out for a morning stroll.....but it eventually flew very gracefully over the fence and continued on.

We have a constant parade of birds flying around every day - and an occasional mongoose explores our yard.  Sometimes I feel like I live in a zoo. :)  And I never get tired of seeing the awesome whales in our bay!  

When I look at all these creatures, and think of how each one has a plan and purpose in nature - it gives me a fresh appreciation for the world that God created.  He created "every living thing."  He designed our world in intricate detail in such a way that each creature has a role to play.....even the ones I don't like!

And it reminds me that God is at work in each detail of my life.  He has a plan and purpose for everything that's happening.  He is "working for good" in the daily events of my life - using them to help me in ways I don't always understand.  He hears my hurt and pain when I call out to Him.  He is there to wipe away my tears.  He is the One who whispers sweet words of encouragement into my heart.  And He is the One who carries the burdens that are too heavy for me to bear.  He is with me in each and every detail.

I am a "detailed" person.  It's a blessing - and sometimes a curse. :)  I can't escape it.  It's just the way my mind works.  But my sense of detail pales in comparison to God's.  His attention to every detail, every concern, every thing we think/feel/experience is beyond comparison.  He's not only up there in heaven, but He's down herewith us on earth, involved in everything we are going through.  There's nothing too big or too small for His care in our lives.  He's involved in those details because He loves us, He cares about us, and He longs to help us.

"Before I formed you in the womb I knew you."  Jeremiah 1:5

"The Lord directs the steps of the godly.  He delights in every detail of their lives."  Psalm 37:23

"For in Him all things were created: things in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or powers or rulers or authorities; all things have been created through Him and for Him.  He is before all things, and in Him all things hold together."  Colossians 1:16,17

"In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth."  Genesis 1:1  ***He created EVERY detail of the world around us!!

"The Lord hears His people when they call to Him for help.  He rescues them from all their troubles."  Psalm 34:17

"I love the Lord because He hears my voice and my prayer for mercy."  Psalm 116:1

In the midst of the unexpected journey we've been on, I have been more grateful than ever before that God is a God of details.  I am so grateful that I can talk to Him about the details of Floyd's care......and the concerns of my health and care......and the questions I have about all the details of our life.......and I can ask His wisdom about our finances, our future, our home, our family.  Oh how grateful I am that He is concerned about the details of my life.  Thank you Lord!