You’ve got my attention

For a few days now, I have noticed a huge blimp flying over my neck of the woods advertising this and that. It’s funny, I remember the visual of the blimp way more than I recall what it was promoting because, well, blimps are cool and it’s not every day we get to see one hoovering over the earth.

Last night, in an unusual evening of watching some television, my daughter and I shook our heads at what companies are doing these days to try to get us to buy their stuff. I looked at her and said, “Do they really think we are so dumb that this is all they think we’ll understand?”

I walked away from the experience of watching ridiculously watered-down, unintelligent, sexist (could they please give the men in ads half a brain??) commercials feeling frustrated and insulted. I cannot recall one single product they were selling.

Driving between cities this week on a long stretch of highway, billboards screamed at me it seemed every 10 feet. Everything one can imagine was either plastered in paper, boasted neon blinking lights or had 3D statues strung up for all to see. So sad that these overshadow the simple beauty and serenity of green landscapes of trees, cow fields, and farms.

In the midst of so much visual clutter, there was someone in pursuit of my attention for the past week. He wasn’t selling anything. He wasn’t trying to manipulate my emotions, compulsions or cravings. He didn’t set me up to believe a mirage of quick fixes. He didn’t make empty promises of fulfillment. He had a laser-focused message He wanted me to get – and get it good.

God has been incredibly intentional these past seven days to show me one truth – I am not alone.

Several days ago, there was a difficult day that I could barely muddle through. I was at the third grocery store of the day trying to gather everything we needed to host three dinners back-to-back in three days, including Easter. My oldest son and I were filing out of the store with the scores of other people shopping for their weekends when beautiful flowers caught my eye.

What is it about flowers and females? We just can’t help ourselves. We love them!

Years ago, I reconciled that is perfectly fine to buy myself flowers. I am worth it. But, this particularly hard day struck me with wave after wave of despair. I believed the lie being whispered in my ear that I, in fact, wasn’t worth it after all.

My son tried to convince me to buy them, but I didn’t. This wasn’t a pit party or woe-is-me moment, it was a seriously dark day for good reason and I couldn’t find a silver lining in the thunderous clouds looming overhead no matter how many hours I looked for it.

The very next day, my doorbell rang. I had no earthly idea who it was.

I opened the door to find one of my closest friends smiling, holding a beautiful bouquet of flowers!  Her heart felt God’s tug, and out of her love for me and obedience to Him she stopped her day to bless mine.

Here is what happened the MOMENT I saw her and the bouquet. God instantly brought back the flowers I wouldn’t buy – and why I wouldn’t buy them – and He whispered to me, Yes you are worth it. 

Only God could have known.

I had been cruising along with cooking, cleaning etc, in preparation for hosting Easter weekend and had not given the flowers I saw the day before another thought. But, God was watching. He saw that, although I tried to hide my broken heart from my son, I couldn’t hide it from my Father. Oh how I love Him!

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* * * * * * * * * *

Fast-forward a few days. I was unexpectedly involved in a helping a tragedy that left me extremely shaken. Dazed and numb, I continue to coast through the hours and days doing my daily work. Inside, I am a wreck. Flashbacks, sounds of it ringing in my ears and sights of it every time I close my eyes leaves me with an inner tremor I can’t control. It was 2 days before I could shed a single tear. Once I started, I couldn’t stop. It’s only been four days and the tears keep flowing…

During this time, my husband and youngest son went to the grocery store for just a couple of things after karate lessons one night, and the sight I beheld when they walked through the door stole my heart.

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I asked my favorite middle schooler why he was giving me these gorgeous roses. He smiled real big and replied, Because I love you and for what you went through. I thought you could use some cheering up. 

I know without a doubt he loves me, and am grateful my teenage son would take the time to show me.  In my heart, I heard God tell me, I see. I know. You can trust your pain to me and I will take care of you.

* * * * * * * * * *

Yesterday was an ordinary morning of racing the sunrise to get everybody to where they needed to be. I stumbled into our bathroom to brush my teeth and saw something out of the corner of my eye.

I reached for it and discovered a small yellow Post-it stuck under my medicine cabinet. Then another near my make-up. And another one inside the cabinet. And still another…

Although they were unsigned, I knew exactly who they were from – my daughter. Each member of our family has distinct handwriting, and there was no doubt at all these was from her.

How did she know I needed encouragement so desperately this particular morning? She has a very giving heart and a sense of intuition beyond her high school age.  She, like my friend and my son, felt God’s tug on her heart and responded.

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Lately, stress has been high octane around here for many reasons – some completely out of our control. Like a small boat on the ocean, I feel like our family is being tossed around by ominous, bullying waves. I am seasick from it all and wake up every morning with a pit in my stomach. This pit is the first feeling of the day – not ideal. Only God knows this, and He prepared all of these love notes, with my daughter’s help, to help me exhale through the early mornings.

Does life seem to have the upper hand for you right now? Do you feel lost, tossed, tired or forgotten?

There is one God, one true God, who knows everything about your life. Talking to Him through prayer is awesome because, unlike family and friends, we never have to catch Him up. He has been in every moment. When life takes our breath away, and we feel sucker-punched, we don’t have to muster strength to relive, retell and feel everything all over again.

He knows. He sees. He cares.

Even if you have never, ever called on Him for help – He has loved you all you along, never more – never less. His love is not conditional and does not depend on our performance or lack thereof.

He. Just. Loves. You. Period.

Tap into His love today. He’s shouting it from the mountains, singing it over you while you sleep, and painting it in brilliant colors that flowers only dream of.  He is leaving love notes all over your life.  His signature is distinct, just like my daughter’s.  He is pursing you in ways that only you can deeply grasp, like my friend’s and son’s flowers.

Ask God to help you recognize His handwriting in your life. He is writing His love story on your heart to you, about you, and for you.  Take a moment and read it today. It’s amazing what His perspective can bring to our lives – truth, peace, hope and joy – even in the midst of dark days and frightening waves.

Yes, sometimes life absolutely has the upper hand. But, as a believer, I rest in complete peace knowing God’s hands are bigger and He’s got the whole world in them. He’s got you, too. Let Him carry you today.

 

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