In the Name of Submission – Last Words


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Last time, we left off with I Peter 3:1 telling wives to submit to their husbands. You can see the first post here.

We continue talking about submission and hopefully unpacking more of what it truly means.

I believe Peter starts with wives for a couple of reasons. (No, he’s not picking on us.)

First, I think it’s because God set up the order of a family. In Ephesians, he lays it out clearly. Christ is the head of the church. He is over the family. The husband is now entrusted with the well-being of his family under the headship of Christ. Then the wife is supposed to be covered by her husband, as Christ covers (loves and protects) his bride, the church. After that, the parents are the covering for their children.

Starting with the wife confirms that order.

Secondly, it seems that based on many passages in the Bible, women have so much influence. We are the “helper,” but the word translated like that sounds kind of lame. Like a token we say to our two-year-old for being mommy’s big helper. Encouraging, but we all know our child’s help is minimal.

Thankfully, that’s not what it means.

In the Hebrew, it actually means strength, warrior, working alongside. (This is a great post that goes into more depth. https://www.chasingsacred.com/helpmate-the-real-meaning-of-the-word/)

Think of some women in the Bible:

  • Mary (Jesus’s mother),
  • Deborah (prophetess)
  • Jael (killed a man with a tent peg – Judges 4:21)
  • Esther (saved the Jews)
  • Abigail (saved her people)
  • Rahab (prostitute who saved the spies)
  • Mary & Martha (sisters of Lazarus)
  • Lydia (business owner who led a church).

And those are only a few.

Every one of these women understood submission as part of the influence they had in their situation.

Peter tells women, in this first verse, that their husbands (and probably others) will be “won over” or influenced by their behavior without a word. Because when we are submitting for the sake of Jesus, we will be beautiful because of our purity, reverence, and our quiet and gentle spirit.

All without fear. Perfect love casts out fear. Submitting to God puts our trust in him. His perfect love for us means we don’t have to fear anything.

See where we’re going with this?

And lest you think that God’s focus is only on wives, verse 7 calls out husbands to act “in the same way” so that their prayers aren’t hindered!

Hindered prayers is a pretty serious consequence of not submitting with consideration and respect to wives while viewing them as heirs of God for the sake of Jesus. Paul says it this way in Ephesians 5:23 “Submit to one another out of reverence to Christ.”

Don’t think that God doesn’t hold everyone to the same standard!

After Peter charges spouses—the relationship that mirrors Christ with his bride—he gives some specifics.

What does submission look like?

Verse 8 tells us to live in harmony. That may not be done easily, especially if another person isn’t feeling the tune you’re playing, but as far as it depends on you, be in harmony. (Romans 12:18)

We start by being sympathetic to other people’s hurts and pain. How are they feeling? That means we need to humble ourselves and not be set on our opinion, agenda, or feelings first or only. If we first seek to understand their perspective, it’s easier to show love and compassion.

Peter goes on to say in verse 9 that we are to be a blessing to others. Treat them kindly. Even if they insult us, answer that with kindness. Not always easy, but the Holy Spirit can make us able to do it with sincerity.

Finally, in verse 14 and 15, Peter reminds us not to fear. That was a hard one for me. My past situations gave me the view that I couldn’t really trust certain people so it was hard to submit to them. But I’m learning that when I’m submitting for the Lord’s sake, I can trust Him to cover me and help me choose to honor and respect them.

We can only do this when we “set apart Christ as Lord in our hearts.”

Submission begins with understanding the humility Jesus showed to submit himself to God and go to the cross. He tells us to have a gentle and respectful answer for our hope in him. He forgave us. That is our hope, the source of our love, and what makes us able “to submit to one another out of reverence for Christ.”

For me this has been a huge lesson and offered me freedom in place of my misconceptions about submission. I hope it has been helpful for someone else too.

Jesus, I surrender (submit) all.

In the Name of Submission – cont.


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We’re diving deep into what God means when he talks about submission.

We began with I Peter 3:1 which tells wives to submit to their husbands—and often it’s left right there without further understanding of what God is communicating.

That’s why we’re looking back at the previous chapter to get an idea of what “in the same way” means. You can read Part 1 here if you want to get caught up.

Today, we’re going back to start in chapter 2 verse 17 where it says that submission means showing proper respect to others and loving those who believe and fear God.

This kind of surprised me.

I expected the passage to talk about everyone, not just other believers. But then I understood why we start with other believers.

Think about it.

If we can’t respect and love others who are part of the church (entire world church, not just your church) in which Jesus is teaching us to love, how will we than be in a position to show that same attitude to the rest of the world?

Often, the world looks at the church and doesn’t see any difference. Can we blame them for not wanting to be a part of that? If the Jesus they see in us is gossiping, backbiting, disrespectful, and unkind why would they want him?

Bet you never coupled the word “submission” with that, did you? Neither did I.

Verse 17 continues by saying that we should give honor to the king. What if the “king” or something in that authoritative role doesn’t seem to deserve honor? What if they act in ways that are wrong or dishonoring to themselves and others?

I believe what he’s saying is that we honor the position God has established. Back in verse 13, Peter makes it clear that God is the one who created and established authoritative roles. Whether that is a president, governor, law enforcement official, teacher, pastor, husband, or parent, those roles were all set up by God for our benefit.

People may not use their authority rightly or well, but we should still show honor and respect. Not only that, but every single person is wonderfully and fearfully created by God. Every one deserves our honor for that reason alone, regardless of how they behave. This is a great book that breaks that down.

In verse 18, Peter takes it a step further telling us to submit even when someone is harsh, not only to those who are good and considerate. Wow! I confess I’ve thought that a person I’m dealing with didn’t deserve respect so why would I submit?

But it takes the grace, love, patience, and forgiveness of Christ to continue to show honor and respect, and to submit even when someone is not nice. Remember, that Jesus chose when and how to speak when he was confronted. He did not retaliate when he was insulted. The key word there is “retaliate.” He entrusted himself to God, knowing that God was in control of the situation and would deal with the person. (vs. 21)

Also, worthy to consider is that sometimes our submissive, honoring action is to remove ourselves from a situation or speak loving truth to someone who is acting harshly. God will lead us in how to handle the situation if we ask him.

**(Please note that “harsh” isn’t necessarily the same as abusive and/or dangerous. God does not call us to put ourselves into harmful relationships or stay there if we’ve allowed ourselves to get into them.)

So, now we’ve seen what “in the same way” means.

Next time we’ll move on to Chapter 3 and look at what Peter says specifically to spouses.

Yes, spouses. Not only wives. 😉

In the Name of Submission


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Submission is often a dreaded word.

I’m not going to lie, it’s a concept I’ve struggled with for most of my life. In part, I believe that’s because I didn’t understand it. And I think, unfortunately, the church as a whole is somewhat to blame.

The real problem lies in the way some have interpreted or defined “submission.”

It’s been coupled with obedience to mean that no matter what someone, specifically someone in authority, tells you to do, you must acquiesce without question. While obedience to God is good and right, when taken outside of that meaning, submission can be dangerous.

Many in authority, have used it to control. It’s been used to manipulate, subjugate, and dictate. Some have excused their actions, naming submission as their grounds for such. In extreme cases, submission has been used as reason to abuse.

No wonder it’s a hard term to get a handle on.

I’ve read about it, studied God’s word regarding it, and prayed hard over it, begging God to help me understand what he meant by submitting. For me, like many in bad situations, it perpetuated unhealthy relationships. A few pastors lovingly admonished me to submit in abusive settings. I know they meant well, and I’m sure they were intending to communicate the positive order God gave for family.

Certainly “submission” isn’t the bad guy here.

Submission actually has a good and fitting role IF we understand and implement it the way God intended.

I believe that way too often, we all take scripture verses out of context and end up misinterpreting them. Grossly. Anyone can find anything in the Bible to use out of context to support their own perspective.

Maybe you’ve heard of the man who sought God’s wisdom for a particular situation and opened his Bible to a couple of random passages that told him some nonsensical instruction.

“Judas went and hung himself.”

“Go therefore and do likewise.”

I’m a hundred percent certain that God is never telling anyone to follow those passages in that way.

But as silly as that example is, we do the same thing all the time. We say things like “God will never give you more than you can handle.” It’s a shortened, paraphrased verse taken out of context. Sorry, but that’s not what the Bible actually says. (See I Corinthians 10:13)

And unless we intentionally read what’s before and after a passage, as well as take it within the context of the entire Bible and all of what it says about God’s character, also taking into account the original language, we can badly misinterpret and misrepresent God’s word and intent.

This brings me to the book of I Peter in the Bible.

The first verse of chapter 3 starts like this. “Wives, in the same way, be submissive to your husbands…”

I can’t tell you how many times throughout my life someone has quoted that verse to me. I’ve analyzed it, struggled with it, and literally cried over it.

Because I love Jesus and want to obey his word. I love my husband and want to have the right attitude towards him.

I’ve looked at the verses before and after it, but this past week one phrase captured my attention.

“…in the same way…”

Wait. In what same way? What way was Peter talking about?

So, I decided to go back, way back, and look at what came before so I could get a better grasp of what “same way” it was talking about and why it was written here in this context.

Over the next couple of posts, I’d like to unpack what I found. Maybe it will be helpful to those who have wrestled with submission like I have.

First of all, this letter that Peter wrote to various believers in the surrounding areas was penned as an encouragement and a reminder to the people that they were chosen and loved by God. He admonished them to live in such a way that those around them who didn’t know about Jesus, would see their lives and end up believing and glorifying God as a result.

In Chapter 2 starting with verse 13, Peter starts breaking down each area of life and what it looks to live that way.

He tells the people to submit to authority for the sake of the Lord. That made me ask why for the sake of the Lord? God doesn’t need us to do anything for him. He’s capable of doing anything and everything in his own power.

Answer? He is at work in every situation so our submission aligns us with what he’s doing. It’s for the sake of what he’s doing in his kingdom that our submitting to him and those around us helps bring it about.

In verse 15, it tells us that when we do good by submitting, it “silences ignorant talk of foolish men.” Uh, we could use some of that right now, couldn’t we?

And lest you think that submission makes us doormats, Peter goes on in verse 16 to tell us to “Live as free men.” We’re not submitting ourselves into slavery, but choosing to be servants of Christ. That might look different in every situation. Sometimes submitting to God means laying our pride or agenda aside, but sometimes it might mean standing firm in obeying God instead of someone who demand we submit to their wrong plans.

Our obedience to God may lead us into situations that are challenging and even treacherous, but God doesn’t take us there without a plan for greater good. He knows who can stand under certain circumstances and what the outcome will be.

Daniel went into the lion’s den for submitting himself to God even though it meant NOT following orders of the king because those orders were directly in conflict with God. It was a severely dangerous situation from which God rescued Daniel.

There are believers being held in prison right now for obeying God. It’s not a good situation for them and their families. But when we look at the work God is doing through it and the people who are coming to know Jesus and be healed as a result, we can see the good God is bringing.

Submission is a broader term than we often think it is.

Next post we’ll unpack more about this word and see where it takes us especially when we get to wives.

In the meantime, whenever I think “submission,” I’m thinking “for the Lord’s sake.”

Moving Out, Moving On, Moving Up – Part 8


It’s the day after Christmas.

And all through the house…it’s quiet even in the late morning hours. We celebrated with family and friends and way too much food. I’m sure many people did. Then we sobered for a few moments to lift up silent prayers for those who were without running water and food to nourish them let alone satisfy their cravings. Even without many things, we are so incredibly blessed, aren’t we?

Even as we acknowledged how good God is and has been to us, my heart broke for a dear friend who discovered a deep betrayal on Christmas day. We chatted about how much it costs to follow Jesus. Sometimes it means people we love will walk away from us. Or it may mean we live without something we long for in order to be part of a bigger plan God has for impacting others’ lives. Through our tears, we agreed that it’s worth it. As hard as this past season has been, we wouldn’t change a thing.

All of the wonderful celebrations praising God at church, hearing that many gave their lives to Jesus, eating and laughing with friends and family, and considering the evil and hurt ravaging the world leaves me pensive. This morning as I reflect in the quiet after a time of silently worshiping Jesus through headphones so as not to disturb those sleeping in peace, I’m stirred in my spirit for the days to come.

God is doing something new.

I read a passage in John 8 (our church’s S.O.A.P. plan verses) that reminded me of a few things.

  • I don’t see all God’s ways. My perspective is limited to the world around me and my experiences. I can’t judge things by human standards. God’s kingdom is another realm that he’s created us through and for. He’s everything from before our human time began to the rest of eternity. He sees all and has already been where I’m going. So, every day I ask God to see from his eyes. I want to take in all he wants me to know and trust him for what I don’t.
  • I want to say and do only what God tells me to. Jesus said he did nothing on his own, but only what his Father taught him to say. If I believe that God sees and knows everything, then why wouldn’t I rely on him to give me words and direct my steps in the very best ways? Besides, I want to please the Father like Jesus did. He loves me, and I want to show that love back to him.
  • I pray that everything I take part in would cause people to put their faith in Jesus. Every single person is created by God, and he longs for a relationship with them. His love means he won’t force anyone, but would persuade us of his love so people would choose to respond. The passage says that after Jesus spoke to the people, many put their faith in him. Are my words and action helping others to see God more clearly so they will choose a relationship with him?

There are only a few days left in this year. I want to make every single day count.

It’s not like on New Year’s Eve everything will shut down (that’s an entirely different subject). But moving into 2022, I want to be ready for whatever God has for us.

I believe that also includes a more permanent place to live. 😉

What are you focusing on this last week of the year?

PS. If you aren’t familiar with S.O.A.P it means we read a Scripture, write our Observations, think about how it can be Applied, and Pray about all of that

Moving Out, Moving On, Moving Up Part 7


Christmas 2013 at the Bennet house

Christmas.

Different this year. Not only for us, but for so many people. Loved ones lost, jobs in limbo, crime escalating through the world.

But even though it may be different because we don’t know where we’ll be, and our Christmas decorations are in storage, is my lack of a Christmas tree going to change the fact that Jesus was born for us?

I don’t think so.

I’m realizing that in the grand, eternal scheme of things much of what we do at Christmas will not make or break it.

Aww…but I want to bake, and decorate, and hang the stockings with care.

Yet, God wants us to reframe our lives and our business to function from a place of his direction. He wants to clear out any distorted thinking, pride, fear, or self-reliance. The Lord is showing us how to live like the original followers of Jesus, funneling his provision through each other to help whoever needs it whether in the church or outside it.

His heart and focus are on those who don’t know him yet or have moved away from him.

He wants us to literally lay down our lives, die to self, and put others needs and interests ahead of our own.

Hey, isn’t that what Christmas is really all about?

God, the Word, came to us in the flesh. Not as God, but laying aside his position, his rights, his authority to be born in a dirty, smelly place with animals. Appearing to the lowliest of the community, the shepherds—who, by the way, knew what it meant to lay down their lives—the angels gave them the privilege of being the first to meet their Savior and spread the news.

After all, who else better to recognize the Lamb of God?

I’ll bet people thought they were crazy.

Maybe they were mocked. Ridiculed. What would a shepherd know about a bright light and a baby king? Did that make any sense?

The mother was a mere girl not even from their town. Really?

Rumors seeped through the community that her husband wasn’t really the father.

I’m pretty sure there are a few folks who wonder what the heck we’re doing. Temporary housing, couch surfing, letting our son fend for himself. (He is a nineteen-year-old college student with a solid job, not twelve, after all.) If I were looking at my life from the outside, I’d wonder what’s going on with us too.

It makes no sense.

Unless…God.

Praying, waiting, worshiping, waiting, reframing our thinking, waiting, searching, waiting…God has given us specific visions. It doesn’t make sense. Nothing can happen without his hand moving mountains. But he fed thousands of people with a few fish and loaves of bread. We’re opening our hands and hold out what we have, believing he will do miracles with that little bit and our sometimes-shaky faith.

Michael Todd, Pastor of Transformation Church in Tulsa, OK in his messages of crazy faith and crazy(er) faith says

“It’s only crazy, until it happens.”

Michael Todd

That’s what Mary and Joseph must have thought when Jesus was born. Maybe it’s what Simeon and Anna, who had waited and prayed for Messiah thought when they met him.

“It’s only crazy, until it happens.”

Then, can we acknowledge that it’s God?

Moving Out, Moving On, Moving Up Part 6


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I’m fighting the urge to make something happen.

The past few days have felt like we’re slogging through deep waters. Or for those of you who love winter snow, it’s that thigh deep, barely moving a trudging step at a time. It’s not bad, but it’s hard and tiring and leaves you out of breath.

I feel the weariness of our situation.

Our Jesus-friend host is so kind and gracious, as are her sons, and we all know that we are exactly in the right place at the right time, but…

Suitcases are challenging to live out of and sometimes you just want your own bed. (I’m sure she’d like hers back!) At times, it’s a perfect harmony of our little community here. Ahh…the flow moves smoothly. On rare occasions, I sense we’d all like a little breathing room.

God is working. It’s good. Deep issues rise to the surface. We’re embracing those places God reveals that still need refining in each of us. It’s what we want, but that doesn’t make it easy.

Forging a new path, taking a road less—or never traveled means moments of fear, doubt, uncertainty along with exhilaration, anticipation, and excitement.

In all of it, we also keep checking our armor. The enemy is in full attack mode. Family members ill, migraine headaches, unexpected business issues, and inexplicable situations, like the key breaking off in the lock of our storage unit, ravage our places of peace. On one hand, we cringe and cry, but on the other, we celebrate.

If we weren’t headed in the right direction, the enemy would have no cause to disrupt or distract us.

Yay, God! Yay, us.

For me, waiting patiently is one of the biggest challenges. When God gives a vision for what is ahead, I’m like a little kid rushing ahead, pulling away from my daddy’s hand to get into the new place, the exciting place, this next place. I often don’t want the journey; I just want to get there.

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Are we there yet?

That’s when I have to fight the urge to make something happen.

But if I push too fast, too quickly, there isn’t time for everyone to grow into what God’s doing. We won’t be prepared like we need to be. I can become bossy and miss my calling of encourager. Even when I know that only God’s way in God’s timing will bring the best result. That’s what I really want.

So, all day, God sent encouraging words and the listening ears of a friend.

I love that about our God. He sees our human frailty and knows exactly what we need when we need it. I think I may have written that a few posts ago, but it’s so true!

This morning, as I cried out to him, he answered me with two prophetic words, Bible verses, and sentences from a book I’m currently reading. (The Jesus Hearted Woman by Jodi Detrick )

“I believe you, Lord!” I silently shouted into the semi-darkness. “I believe you.”

The day held tears, laughter, some progress, and some frustration.

But a ferocious focus on Jesus.

The author of our faith. The one who wrote it into being and will keep perfecting it until the end.

How was your day?

To be continued…

Moving Out, Moving On, Moving Up Part 5


Sometimes we just need to remember what really matters.

In the midst of waiting, confusion, confession, and learning to surrender it all, an unexpected reminder brings us to our knees in humble recognition of the main thing.

Jesus.

Last night, Brendan took our friend and me to see The Chosen Christmas movie. It was a good thing I had a pile of tissue in my purse. The two words that circled my mind during our time in the theater and long after were brilliant and anointed.

Not only is this a top-rate production from every aspect, but it also sent chills through us the entire time.

The music, from old classic Christmas hymns to what will be a couple of new favorites, was superbly done. Children and strings added another layer to the musical treat.

Interviews with the musicians gave us a glimpse into the reality of every day life framed with the message of Christmas.

Each season, we talk about the Christmas story, but never in my life have I ever seen anything like this portrayal. The Bible came alive.

And as if that wasn’t enough—truly, it would have been—in between the magnificent musical numbers and interviews were dramatic monologues given by some of the Chosen actors who spelled out God’s loving plan for the salvation of his children from the beginning of time through today.

It was an evening of awe, worship, and the stunned shaking of our heads at the incredible message handed to us in the most beautiful package.

I’m still marveling at the truth and simplicity of it all as well as the God-given inspiration, talent, and resources that made it happen.

We can’t wait to see it again. And again.

The most important part is that I was reminded of the magnitude of God and his love for us. That we have no way of comprehending his intricate plans for our good. And overall, nothing really matters except for having the most intimate relationship with Jesus who came to us as a baby to be crucified so that through his resurrection, we could be living eternally with our God.

In light of that, our current journey takes on a new meaning.

God has miracles for us. His plans, if we choose to accept them, lead us into great things that will open up the way for others to come to know him. And through it all, he draws us closer to him where we get glimpses of his heart of love for all of us.

What a tremendous reminder.

Today, everything looks different. And so does this Christmas season.

To be continued…

https://www.fathomevents.com/events/The-Chosen-Christmas

Moving Out, Moving On, Moving Up Part 3


Today God showed up again.

He always does exactly when I need him to.

The morning started beautifully in worship, prayer, and reading the Bible. We received a response to an inquiry on a rental place with the same words we’ve heard over and over.

“I already have numerous applications on that one, but I have another one available in two or three months. When do you need to move in?”

“Yesterday. LOL” I texted back.

But, no worries. God knows. This is no surprise to him. Carry on.

We worked on hours of compliance requirements for our business. Prayed some more, and then went to go get a box of my books out of storage since someone wanted to purchase my new series.

No problem I thought.

I was wrong. Big problem.

Simply being at the storage unit, seeing the mess of our remaining belongings, and searching for the elusive box triggered those frantic days of moving three and a half months ago. The uncertainty and exhaustion, the sorrow, grief and confusion. It all came rushing back.

I paced the hall while Brendan replaced the things he’d moved to search for my books. And then I remembered that the last time I was at the storage unit, that overwhelming day of despair, was also the day God did a miracle. He healed my broken foot.

It happened like this:

Brendan and I had the final load to put into the unit. The clock was ticking and time running out. The truck needed to be returned in five minutes, and we still had the largest piece of furniture to unload. Our bed frame is a solid wood, canopy bed with four-inch square posts attached to a substantial headboard. Our very strong son and Brendan could just manage it, but our son was at school so that left Brendan and me alone to navigate this extremely heavy piece.

I’ve mentioned my limitations. Something like rheumatoid arthritis has rendered the joints in my hands and wrists barely moveable – I can’t even drive – so lifting and maneuvering the bed with Brendan seemed impossible.

Somehow, we managed to figure out a way to position it on our dolly. It was a great plan.

Except for the fact that we didn’t realize the space it would rest on the dolly had precisely the same opening as the post. We slid it over, dropped it in place and it slipped through all the way to the ground.

On top of my foot.

Excruciating barely describes the pain that shot through my leg. I screamed. Brendan probably swore – I’m pretty sure I did. I knew my foot was broken. Fumbling to get it off my foot first, and then out of the way, we both cried.

But we had no options except to push forward and get the thing moved.

Gritting my teeth and praying for help, we muscled it into an open space. We watched a massive lump develop on my foot, but I told Brendan to go take the truck back. I would continue to move things the best I could.

He left reluctantly. I limped, dragging my broken foot as I loaded the cart to take things up to the second floor. Trip after trip, I cried and prayed, stating that Jesus is my healer and I would not let this injury be the final word of a terrible day.

That same incredible, Jesus-example friend I mentioned in a previous post, picked Brendan up from the truck rental place and brought him back to storage to get me. Our son arrived to help Brendan.

I decided not to go to ER, even though our friend insisted I probably should. I had faith that God was healing it.

“Let’s just wait and ice my foot,” I said to my friend.

Within an hour, the swelling receded, and I could move my toes again. Soon after that, I could put weight on it. A purple bruise spread across my foot, but faded quickly to yellow over the next few days.

I realize that without an x-ray, there’s no medical proof that my foot was broken and healed. But the evidence based on the weight of the bed, the pain and immobility, and the way the bruise spread and dissipated so quickly, indicated a miracle to us.

Today, I needed that reminder at our storage unit.

And as if that wasn’t enough, when we went to pick up our mail afterwards, we opened a letter from our previous mortgage company to find a check. A refund. Really?

God paid our house off, gave us money, and now was sending us another unexpected check?

Tonight, as I write this, I’m freshly reminded of the goodness of God. Even in the telling, there is a refreshing revelation that he has our back. He sees our pain. God knows exactly what we need when we need it.

I might think I need a home, but what I really need is that sweet grace of Jesus.

To be continued…

Moving Out, Moving On, Moving Up


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Life can be an interesting journey.

These past few months have been especially challenging, intriguing, and edifying. I just looked up the word edifying to see if I used the best word.

  1. Instructing; improving.
  2. That educates, informs, illuminates or instructs.
  3. That enlightens or uplifts.

Yep. That’s it.

We’ve definitely been instructed, improved, informed, illuminated, enlightened, and uplifted. All of the above.

As a matter of fact, it’s so much of all those things that I feel led to share it as it unfolds. Hopefully, you’ll find that our story leads you into some of the list above, but at the very least, may you find it entertaining.

The beginning of the story can be found in #3 miracle in my previous post. If you want the overall details of what began this moving story (no pun intended), you can read that post here.

After we lost our house in the auction that rocked us and left us questioning how God could direct us in doing the right thing only to have it blow up in our faces, we frantically began packing up our house.

I have to say right here that in the previous post, I described the miracle as we see it now. However, at the time, while we believed God must have a plan, and we said we were trusting him (and we were to the best of our ability), frantic does accurately describe how I felt. I confess that I lost it more than a couple of times during those three weeks.

That is because:

#1 – we didn’t know where we would go

#2 – we were being threatened by the new owner that any day a sheriff would throw us out

#3 – my physical limitations made packing difficult and painful

#4 – Brendan was working extremely long, physical hours in a town an hour away

#5 – we were working with a company to help us claim the money that was allegedly ours, but we didn’t know if we should trust the legal system (that had just burned us), and the company – to us and many others it seemed pretty unbelievable that these laws existed (see previous post)

On the night before the sheriff would show up at 7 a.m. the next morning, according to the very nice, and cautious (can you blame him these days?) officer who posted a notice on our front door, we were giving things away, selling items, and throwing whatever we could in the truck. We booked an extended stay hotel for a few days so we could figure out next steps.

That’s when the real fun began.

Brendan showed up to check us in around midnight. I had called the hotel earlier to let them know we would probably be checking in very late so they would be aware. An extremely helpful, kind young woman assured me it would be no problem and made a note at the front desk in case we arrived after she left at eleven.

All good, right?

Wrong.

The hotel wouldn’t allow us to stay there because we were locals.

I know. Crazy, right?

Apparently, there are hotels in the area which are frequented by local people involved in drug and sex trafficking so those establishments have decided that no one who lives within fifty miles can stay there. We don’t understand the logic.

Granted, Brendan in his sweaty, dirty, packing and loading a moving truck attire may have appeared less than respectable at the midnight hour, but still. Seriously?

Thankfully, God intervened in the form of a dear friend who rescued him, took me home to her house, and went back to finish loading the truck with him until 2 a.m. That is Jesus in action, my friends. She gave us her bed and slept on the couch!

We debriefed and rested for a few days at her home while she was on a family trip.

I cried a lot. Prayed even more. Okay, so maybe I cried more?

I don’t know. Don’t judge. Trusting Jesus is a process. Which is why I’m telling this story. Because where I was then and where I am now is miles apart.

Except the crying thing. Sad, happy, or moved with the Holy Spirit and my love for Jesus, I cry. I think my husband is finally learning to accept this.

During those days, we found a vacation rental and booked it for a month. We hadn’t found anything permanent. The market here is insane right now. Very few rentals with outrageous prices are snatched up within hours. Houses are selling at equally crazy prices.

The condo was a nice place on a lovely golf course ideally suited for Brendan and I with our youngest son. Those first couple of weeks went by without us finding anything to rent. We waited for the funds from our house sale.

Then we felt as if God said to stop looking. What? That made no sense to me. You need a place to live, you scan all the ads each day to find one. But it seemed that God had something different for us. It was a process for me to not look. Whenever a new listing popped up in my email, I’d look, then quickly delete it. Next time, I’d delete it sooner. Then one would seem good, and I’d check it out. For days, I fought the urge, gave up, gave in, and let a day go without succumbing. Finally, I surrendered and quit totally. Then the money from the house came through.

Coincidental? I don’t think so.

Since we asked the owner, and it seemed like the place was available, we assumed we would be able to extend our stay, but that didn’t end up working out. So we were on the move again.

Moving out, moving on, and moving up?

To be continued…

Oh! What a Relief it Is!


I’m dating myself, but does anyone else remember the Alka-Seltzer commercial with the jingle of “Plop, Plop, Fizz, Fizz. Oh, what a relief it is?” Catchy tune, that one.

But today, I experienced a very different kind of relief.

It came from obedience.

I know what you’re thinking. There are a lot of things that bring relief.

  • When the paycheck hits the bank before the bills do.
  • When your teenager comes home safely at night.
  • When the baby finally goes to sleep.
  • When the doctor gives a clean bill of health.
  • When you stop in time without hitting the car in front of you.

But I’ll bet you’ve never thought about feeling relieved when you’ve known something God said to do and you obeyed.

You might even be asking why should I feel reassured about that? Fair enough. I’d never really thought about it either until today. And then, today, my husband and I followed through with something we knew God told us to do. There was a great flood of relief that washed over me. So why?

  • Because we were doing something out of love for God. Our obedience shows our love.
  • Because we know God is faithful in everything he promises so if he asks us to do something, he has good reason.
  • Because in our obedience, we honored God, and he is worthy of all the honor we can give him.
  • Because our obedience leads to him entrusting us with greater things.
  • Because he promises to reward us. We don’t obey for the reward, but we are grateful for it when it comes.
  • Because obedience brings freedom. God’s got this so we don’t have to concern ourselves with anything if we are obeying him.

I will probably think of more reasons as the day goes on. But let that suffice for now. I just know that this sense of well-being is from a loving heavenly Father who loves us and wants good for us. When we obey him, things go well for us. Even when something looks like it might not be turning out well, it will. Even if something is hard, painful, grievous, or difficult, when we are obeying, the end result will be good.

The world’s answer for anxiety may be a tablet plopped in a glass of water, but my relief comes from the Lord, our living water.