Sunday, November 28, 2010

Rebecca's Journey - 128

Dear Friends,

I trust that those of you who are Americans had a blessed Thanksgiving Day yesterday. We celebrated here with folks from several nations: Belgium, The Netherlands, Sweden, France, England, Macedonia (Marta, who is half Macedonian), and Canada (Paul, of course.) There were 3 Americans around the table.

Several days ago I could see Jordan, my caregiver, outside my window on the terrace beating our rugs. Her face was determined and her jaw set. She certainly didn't look very joyful. She was in the process of beating one of our carpets. Two days ago we had a friend come visit. She was distraught, and cried and poured out her story. She had been away and when she returned, she discovered her house was full of fleas. Their dog had been in the kennel and the fleas were hungry. She was covered with bites and had spent the morning spraying. We gave her some lunch and prayed with her before she went back to the battle.

The next day I noticed our two little dogs were scratching furiously. Soon I said to Annie, "Would you please take these dogs to the vet and see what is wrong with them!"

To make a very long story short, we had been infested with fleas too! Thus Jordan was beating and spraying all the throw rugs. I felt so helpless. Paul was out of the country; Annie was upstairs, spraying the family room... all I could do was pray. Then I remembered something and called to Jordan, "I really don't want to interfere with just a 'spiritual band aid', but are you thanking the lord?" "For these fleas?!" I hesitated. "Yes! Remember in Ephesians 5:20 Paul says 'giving thanks always and for all things.'" "You're right, thank you for reminding me."

Our fleas are gone now. Our little dogs are happy and we have all been well reminded of a life lesson in our walk. When I say "Thank you lord" (even though sometimes through gritted teeth ;), I'm reaching into the heavenlies and pulling down grace. I'm acknowledging that He is the Lord of my life and nothing can come to me but that which He allows. He is good and wise and He loves me. I am remembering Ephesians 3:20 "All things work together into a pattern for good for those who love Him and are called according to His purpose."

We're sending this out into your homes (for those of you in North America) around Thanksgiving. When I began writing it I didn't realize the timing. Let us be thankful for all things because He is good. Happy Thanksgiving!



Friday, November 05, 2010

Rebecca's Journey - 127

Dear Friends,

Psalm 46, verses 1 & 4:
"God is our refuge and strength,
A very present help in trouble.
Therefore, we will not fear.

There is a river whose streams shall make glad the city of God,
The holy place of the tabernacle of the Most High.
God is in the midst of her, she shall not be moved;
God shall help her, just at the break of dawn."
I wish you could have been with me this morning! I was bundled up a bit like an Eskimo. I wheeled my wheelchair, Bible on my tray, out onto the deck. It was about 7:45am. I said to Jordan, my care-giver, "make sure I am lined up on the path going down to the garden because I really can't see very well." It was semi-dark, just before dawn. I went down only to the first turning point (I have a marvelous brick pathway that snakes its way through two turning points and down to the lowest terrace. It was a lovely idea of my dear Paul and our very creative architect.) I usually go down to the bottom of the garden, but this morning, to save the girls coming back and forth in the dark, I stayed at the first level. I was cozy and warm with a cup of hot tea and my Bible turned to the Psalms. "Here I am Father, dear. I am waiting before You, filled with Thanksgiving and anxious to hear from You today". This is the way we begin our day here in the household. I know my beloved Paul is in his room at the window waiting on the Father. Each of the girls, even the one who is assigned today to care for my needs in between the beeper and breakfast has her Bible open and waiting before the Lord. What a wonderful way to start the day.

Recently I read Every Second Counts by Lance Armstrong. In this book He describes much of his struggle against cancer. He says to always be sure to do those things that make you know you are alive. This morning was one of those times. As I sat in the cold with the sun peaking into the Eastern sky, I rejoiced in the life that Father restored to me.

Psalm 51:8 says, "Make me hear joy and gladness, that the bones you have broken may rejoice". Truly, Father has given such joy, and I have been finding Him anew in the Psalms. I have always read the Psalms from the perspective of David, but this week the Father turned the prism and I realized that it is all about Him. Our gracious, holy, faithful (I can go on and on) God, whose heart is above all else that we might walk in joy and rejoicing. Amen!



PS from Paul: I just returned from the US. During the trip I had opportunity to meet our newest grand-daughter, Laila, born a month ago to Stephen and Sarah -- what a joy. Now we're 4 for 4.

A prayer request: We have been greatly blessed by God's provision of caregivers through the years. We have caregivers all the way through to September of 2011, EXCEPT for the month of July. If you know anyone who might like to come for one month next summer, please let us know. It is hard work but lots of fun (Jordan says it is slave labor ;-) ).

I am so thankful that she is coming back to be with us again in January. Pray with us and we will keep you informed so that you can rejoice to see how beautifully Father provides.