Saturday, November 28, 2015

Allyson's Blessed Year

I have a few moments tonight, so I thought I'd share some long overdue Allyson stories. Here we are starting the Christmas season, and I realize I never even posted her first-day-of-school pictures.

This year we tried something new for school clothes shopping: we visited a couple of resale shops. Allyson was a little reluctant at first, but I told her our budget was a little limited this year due to all my medical bills over the spring and summer. This way we could get a lot more for our money. When we got to the first one, she was like a kid in a candy shop. She couldn't stop exclaiming over all the bargains. We each walked out with a giant armload of clothes--all the brands she loves--for under a hundred dollars. Ka-ching! During our bedtime prayers that night, Allyson sweetly thanked God for blessing us with all these clothes.

For the first day of school, she put together several of her "new" pieces, including some super cute boots that we got from the teen resale shop. (Like me, Allyson has been blessed with giant clodhoppers and has already grown into women's shoe sizes.)

I was a little nervous about the long sequined tank with the short jean vest, but Allyson was perfectly confident in her ability to accessorize. Good thing, because she's not going to get much help from me in that department. Same with hair styling, I'm afraid. Not to worry, Allyson finds all the help she needs on YouTube.

Tuesday, November 24, 2015

Desires of My Heart

The stack of untold stories in my brain is getting so tall it's about to topple, but as always, I only have time for one. So I'm going to share the story that is burning in my heart....

My pastor has a saying that kind of makes me shiver: "All of us are always in one of three phases. We're either in the middle of a trial, coming out of a trial, or about to go back into a trial."

When I was in the middle of my very painful divorce, that saying brought me comfort. I knew the trial had to come to an end eventually. And I knew that I was learning valuable lessons in trusting God that couldn't be learned any other way.

But now that life seems sweeter than ever before, I've started to wonder about the next trial. What will it be? How long can this calm last? What if my life is torn in two again?

At the same time, I've felt wistful about the amazing closeness I developed with God during the worst of my trials. When life is going smoothly, it's a sad fact that I get busy and distracted, and sometimes I forget to commune with my Beloved. Oh, He's always there, and I talk to Him, but somehow it's not quite as sweet as all those times when I cried my heart out with Him in my prayer closet.

That doesn't mean God isn't working on me. Oh no. Over the last few weeks, He's been doing something utterly miraculous in my heart. But I'm getting ahead of myself. Best start at the beginning.

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