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Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Don't Look Too Far

Photo Credit:  Kristen Burnup
Last night, my son asked me what this week’s post was going to be about.  I told him that I really didn’t know.  Nothing had jumped out at me…nothing extraordinary to share…and no epic falls like last week (thank the Lord).  I pondered with him on what to write.  Then, my son thoughtfully replied, “Mom, there are zillions of things you could write about.  Zillions.  Just look around.”

Yes, indeed, my son, there are.  Why did I think I needed to look too far?  Inspiration is certainly found in the everyday…the simple, run-of-the-mill everyday.  But, am I seeing it?

My friend, Kristen Burnup, shared a picture that caught my eye.  It was a picture of her daughter holding up a piece of cereal.  Really?  Cereal?  It was JUST cereal one might say.  BUT, there was a perfect little heart found inside one of her Cheerios and her precious little girl noticed.  If only we’d remember to take a little more time to notice things like that.

Of course, one could dismiss the tiny whole-grain heart as a fluke.  But, honestly, I’d prefer to seek Him everywhere in everything and everyone.  It brings more hope and happiness along the way.  It takes courage to look for Him. 

As Matthew Kelly reminds us, “Everything in life requires courage.  Whether it is playing football or coaching football; crossing the room to ask a woman on a date or rekindling a love that has grown cold; whether it’s your first day at college or your first day back at college after twenty years; starting a business, battling a potentially fatal disease, getting married, struggling to overcome an addiction, or coming humbly before your God in prayer…Life requires courage.“

Talk about a college kid with courage…just this weekend, my mom and I went to see “God’s Not Dead.”  (If you haven’t seen it…go.  You won’t be disappointed.)  The blessing was that it was sold out.  What?!  Is that a blessing?  Well, initially I was royally bummed, but then I realized what a gift that THIS movie was sold out.  A Christian movie that expresses how God is still so very much alive in our world was sold out a week after its arrival…a gift indeed!

The extra blessing was that my loving hubby agreed to watch the kiddos a little while longer while my mom and I went to see the next feature.  Did I mention that Mom and I had a great, uninterrupted two-hour chat while waiting in her van for the next show to start?  An unexpected blessing.

Then, I received an e-mail from Mikey’s Funnies reminding me about Jesus’ love:

A man fell into a pit and couldn't get himself out. 
A subjective person came along and said, "I feel for you down there."
An objective person walked by and said, "It's logical that someone would fall down there."
A Pharisee said, "Only bad people fall into pits."
A mathematician calculated how deep the pit was.
A news reporter wanted the exclusive story on the pit.
An IRS agent asked if he was paying taxes on the pit.
A self-pitying person said, "You haven't seen anything until you've seen my pit."
A fire-and-brimstone preacher said, "You deserve your pit."
A psychologist noted, "Your mother and father are to blame for your being in that pit."
A self-esteem therapist said, "Believe in yourself and you can get out of that pit."
An optimist said, "Things could be worse."
A pessimist claimed, "Things WILL get worse."
Jesus, seeing the man, took him by the hand and lifted him out of the pit.

When I first started reading this, I wondered where it would lead.  After I finished the last sentence, I was touched.  Jesus just took the man by the hand and helped him.  No judgmental words…just the love of Jesus.

Speaking of love, a beautiful young woman who was dearly loved in our community passed away after her battle with cancer.  I didn’t know her, but I’ve been moved by the words of those who did and I wish that I had met her.

Missy was a science teacher at Industrial High School and touched the hearts of countless individuals, from what I’ve read.  She was a loving wife, daughter, mother, aunt, sister-in-law, niece, cousin, and a true friend who will be dearly missed.  She graduated from Texas A&M in College Station with a degree in biology and was a loyal Aggie and Cobra supporter.
It’s also obvious that this young lady never met a stranger and had endless love to share.  To many, she was an angel on earth.  Her friends were a joy in her life and agreed that Missy would light up a room when she entered by bringing much laughter wherever she went.  She was a sports fan, especially when her children were involved and she loved the outdoors.

Her family and friends said good-bye at her funeral on Monday morning.  And, just like Missy lit up a room, it is only fitting then that she would light up the sky with a double rainbow from Heaven that afternoon.

It’s obvious by their facebook posts that many of her closest friends and family found such comfort in the promise of that rainbow.  My children were the first to see it and hollered at me to come quickly.  A few brief sprinkles of rain and then the most vibrant double rainbow I have ever seen appeared across the azure sky, seemingly out of nowhere.

Her friends shared their thoughts on the rainbow:
“It always amazes me what signs we get from our loved ones in heaven.  On a day we lay our sweet Missy to rest, a double rainbow set over the Cobra Community as if a sign to say, ‘I'm here with you.’”

“A perfect end to this day…may the angels welcome you to paradise.  May you see the face of the Lord on this day.”

“We feel it was Missy's sign of true happiness and beauty of where she is now and her love for everyone who supported her and the family.”

Many times I don’t understand His plan and oftentimes, I question it.  But, I have to hold tight to the belief that God is good…all the time.  My prayers will continue for this family as they mourn the loss of an amazing woman.  I’m sure that Missy’s love will continue to be found in the eyes of her children, friends, and loved ones.

One final thought - As we go about our day-to-day lives, we get distracted.  As Lysa TerKeurst reminds us, “When we’re distracted by one wrong thing, we can miss out in seeing the many right things.”  Let’s remember that we don’t have to look too far to find Him.  His love is there...right smack-dab in the middle of our ordinary a zillion things…a piece of cereal, a movie, an unexpected conversation, an e-mail, or a double rainbow, just to name a few. 

Have a wonderful week, Sunshines.

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