This moment caught my eye today. It represents eight months of waiting.
Bruce’s layoff was part of a company downsizing in May. Since then, he’s been working so hard building NEED POINT, Inc. while looking for work. He’s also been resting.
After 34 years of working tirelessly. Working three jobs as a teenager. Joining the Air Force at 18 so he could pay for his college education while serving his country. Working day shift, mid-shift and night shift until he couldn’t see straight.
For 25 years he’s never taken his role as leader and husband carelessly. It’s always been his first priority.
We’ve seen companies come and go. We’ve experienced promotions, layoffs and a relocation.
He’s traveled to work by car, bike, plane, bus, carpool, trolley, taxi and on foot. He’s gone to work healthy and sick. He’s worked when there were celebrations and when there was sadness.
He received calls when I went into labor and when his dad passed away while he was at work.
He’s always put family first, which meant passing up promotions, travel opportunities and jobs themselves if it would be a determent to our family.
He is brilliantly genius. The best in his field. Technology courses his veins and there is no one better.
So these eight months have been a blessing and a burden. He has felt discouraged, down-trodden and depressed. A man of his talent and energy, and humility, can start believing the lies about who he is after this long.
Recently, when we turned the page of a new year, I had a moment. It was a gut-wrenching moment of realizing we were dragging the dreaded unemployment into a new year. The weight was crushing.
But then, something happened. God flipped a switch in my heart. I watched Bruce as he slept and prayed, “Lord, if you are not going to change his circumstance, change his perspective on it. Change my perspective on it.”
From that day forward, everything changed. We have found peace in the waiting. We know that God is working around the clock to bring everything together in His way, His time, for His glory.
We know for certain there is purpose in the waiting.
As my husband hammers out countless resumes, holds numerous phone and video interviews, and reaches out to every contact we know – all while still working on our non-profit – there is a new perspective which gives us the strength, peace and joy to meet each day while we wait.
We are living Isaiah 40:28-31 –
“Do you not know?
Have you not heard?
The Lord is the everlasting God,
the Creator of the ends of the earth.
He will not grow tired or weary,
and his understanding no one can fathom.
He gives strength to the weary
and increases the power of the weak.
Even youths grow tired and weary,
and young men stumble and fall;
but those who hope in the Lord
will renew their strength.
They will soar on wings like eagles;
they will run and not grow weary,
they will walk and not be faint.”
So when I saw Bruce resting on the couch as our city is shut down with winter weather, I smiled as I looked at living, breathing Scripture. God is giving him a much needed, long overdue, season of rest both as a respite from decades without a break and to rejuvenate him for the days to come.
I thank God for this gift, as the hope for our future blooms a new bud in my heart. It is well with my soul. ❤
New Year’s day seemed like the perfect time to take a hike. You know, fitness resolutions, take-more-time-to-experience life resolutions, all that jazz.
My husband and I went to a familiar park, but we decided to take a trail we’ve never blazed. This was an impromptu date, but we weren’t alone.
Just a short ways in, step-by-step, God began speaking encouragement over this new year. Receive it, friend.
Sometimes the path is uncomplicated and clearly marked.
Sometimes it’s not.
If I brought you to it, I’ll get you through it, under it or over it.
I never promised the path would be easy. Keep walking even if you get dirty, really dirty.
When the journey is effortless, remember me. It is my gift to you.
Ask me when you don’t know which way to go. I will tell you.
It’s possible I will bless either decision. I can do that. Include me.
When you don’t know what’s around the corner, trust me and keep walking. I am with you.
When life goes sideways, I’m still right here, walking with you. I haven’t left you.
If the path seems exhaustively uphill, ask for my strength. I will give it to you. Just keep climbing.
Sometimes I have a different plan than yours. Trust me. I know the best path for you.
I am with you. Sojourners are also on the path. You are not alone.
Leave your mark on the path…for my glory.
I put people in your path for a reason. Some go before you to help blaze the trail…
…others come behind you to follow it.
Don’t be too proud to accept help.
You don’t always have to forge your own way.
Follow my narrow path regardless of how narrow it gets.
Sometimes you have to take a running leap of faith to stay on the path.
When you’re between a rock and a hard place, my path will lead you through it.
Look for my beauty along the path. It’s there to encourage you.
In every season, follow me.
Follow my path, but be smart about it. You don’t have to be the hero. I already am.
A friend to walk with is a blessing from me.
My children are rooted in me.
The wind cannot blow over they who are grounded in me.
“Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go.” Joshua 1:9
Standing in line at the post office, I ran through my list of to-do’s while staring blankly at the rows of P.O. boxes. The woman in front of me was trying her best to understand how to work the self-serve kiosk.
She was doing okay, but was slow – well, slower than what I wanted.
I’ve worked the kiosk dozens of times at least and can do it with my eyes closed. I began to get restless and thought about offering her help, but she didn’t need help. She just needed a little extra time.
Was I going to be gracious and wait patiently, or would I begin to do the unspoken motions of impatience – shifting my weight, an obnoxious sigh, making some borderline rude comment to the person behind me or offering her “help” with a curt tone that is obvious more about helping myself get out of there more quickly than truly helping her mail her boxes.
We all know these actions. We’ve done them and they’ve been done to us.
I closed my eyes and took a deep, silent breath.
“Marie!” a voice called.
It startled me and I opened my eyes to see a woman coming through the doors. She called again to the older woman who was studying each kiosk screen very carefully.
“Marie! How are you! It’s so good to see you.”
The older woman, obviously Marie, looked up from the kiosk and smiled. She was a little rattled having been shaken out of her deep concentration, but was delighted to see her friend. Her voice was soft. Her smile, warm. It was easy to see she was a kind soul.
The two exchanged a brief hello before Marie returned her focus to the kiosk.
As I stood waiting my turn, I thought about what just happened. I was bent on my to-do list. Hustle, hustle, hustle. My day, my time, my list, my errands.
I saw Marie as an object, not a person.
She was holding up my day, my time, my list, my errands.
The very moment another person recognized her as a person, calling her by name and engaging her in brief conversation, I was immediately able to see her as a person, not an object.
She is a person who has seen decades of life and has had countless experiences tucked behind her thick glasses and droopy overcoat.
I asked myself if my initial feelings toward Marie as an object would have been different if she were my neighbor walking by my home; if she was introduced to me through a friend at a restaurant; was having a hard time carrying groceries to her car and needed help.
Of course I would have responded differently! She would have been a person in each of those circumstances. But because she was the obstacle in the way of my day, she was an object, and that justified my feelings of impatience.
Suddenly, my impatience melted and my heart warmed up to her. I realized she didn’t want to spend her time delayed at the post office any more than I did. She was doing the best she could.
She finished up and it was my turn. I’m grateful God showed me, once again, how easy it is to treat people as objects and how hurtful that can be to others.
Just before leaving, I heard the postal clerk ask a customer, “Would you like religious stamps or not so much?”
The woman replied, “Not so much.”
Hmm. I felt a wave of relief wash over me that I had not let my impatience get the better of me, lest I give a black eye to Christ as a believer.
People are watching and looking and hoping for the real deal. They want to see believers working out their salvation in a slow line at the post office, in heavy traffic when they’re late, dealing with a screaming toddler, returning an item without a receipt, and in every other annoying or inconvenient circumstance way more than they want to see us clustered in our Christian groups sequestered from society.
I am going to remember Marie and the woman who wanted the “not so much” stamps the rest of this holiday season.
My faith may be real, but so are my emotions and weaknesses. Christians aren’t perfect by any stretch, but we do have the choice to choose how we are going to – respond in faith or react out of emotion and weakness.
This Christmas season, let’s be sensitive to others around us. It benefits them and holds us accountable, which is a good thing.
Let’s look for opportunities to bless the Marie’s and be an example for the “not so much.”
On our own we can’t do this. We’re organic, sinful creatures. But with Christ we can do everything as He gives us strength to do it (Philippians 4:13).
Let’s invite Christ into our errands, daily grind and grunt work Monday – Saturday just as much as we invite Him into our worship and Bible studies on Sundays.
Make the most of the opportunities we are given. We never know when they are truly divine appointments.
There are a million OREO truffle recipes online. The maddening thing is, they are all the same! That recipe calls for mixing OREO cookies with cream cheese.
The problem is, because the truffles aren’t baked they need to be refrigerated due to the cream cheese.
Our family coordinates a huge bake sale every Christmas. I’ve always wanted to add OREO truffles to the truffle selection we already offer, but I can’t in good conscious offer an item to the general public that needs refrigeration. We don’t want anyone getting sick on our watch. Yikes!
So this year, I tackled making up my own OREO truffle recipe that needs no refrigeration. This is so good (and easy) I wish I had tried it years ago.
I’m posting this recipe for everyone who has also been looking for OREO truffle that doesn’t need refrigeration. I’ve read so many comments and threads stressing concern over the cream cheese, I hope this will be helpful.
I included a photo, but will preface it by saying I literally whipped these together simply as a test recipe. It’s not my best-looking performance, but wow do they taste heavenly!
OREO Truffles, non-refrigerated
1 – 14oz pkg OREO original cookies (I don’t recommend generic brands as they are softer than the OREO brand)
1 can vanilla or cream cheese frosting (Cream cheese-flavored frosting does not actually contain cream cheese so these truffles do not need to be refrigerated.)
2 pkgs marshmallow Candy Melts (If marshmallow melts aren’t available, use “white” melts which are vanilla flavored or almond bark.)
- Crush OREO cookies till pulverized (I use a food processor). Save back about 1/4c.
- In mixing bowl, combine crushed OREO cookies, frosting and vanilla. Mix until blended (I use my hands).
- Shape into balls and place on parchment paper. (No chilling for firmness required!)
- Melt Candy Melts according to directions on the bag, one bag at a time.
- Dip the OREO balls into the melted marshmallow melts.
- Extract them from the melted melts by using a small spoon. The filling gets soft with the hot melts so it slides through a fork.
- Immediately sprinkle a little of the reserved crushed OREO cookies on top of each one as you go before the coating hardens OR using melted chocolate, drizzle on top.