Monday, February 29, 2016

Personalized blessings

It is nearly impossible these days to consider God as the impersonal God I thought I knew years ago. I can't really think of Him as anything but my Heavenly Father, Who wants only good for me and loves me enough to be in every detail of my life.

I can't tell you how many times during our vacation that I tried to put into words the gratitude I have for everything Jesus has done for us, only to have that gratitude come out as tears.

If someone told me that seeing my daughters meet Disney princesses in person would tear me up, I might have believed them. But tears also came in response to the squeals of delight I heard from the kids during the Indiana Jones ride and on Hyper-Space Mountain as well. (To be fair, that one might also have been the Star Wars fan in me coming out a bit.)

While my business continues to strengthen, I never imagined it would be possible to put together an entire vacation for us without going deeply into debt. But going away with all of the kids before my oldest leaves for college was weighing heavily on my heart, and God knew exactly what we needed. He provided and continued to provide while we were there.

We got a bargain on plane tickets and our hotel room as well. When reaching out for what I hoped would be a small discount on our Disney tickets, a friend stepped in and helped all five of us get into the park for the cost of about one ticket. My mom paid for our tickets for the activity that brought us to my very favorite, most heart-stopping moment of the trip. Over and again we were blessed beyond measure.

Here are just a few of my favorite moments from the last week...

Hanging out with my brother while watching my kids play in the ocean, 
at my favorite beach, during a California sunset. 

Seeing my oldest appear on-air with James Corden. 

Putting together care-packages for the homeless with the kids in our hotel room and seeing their faces light up when they saw someone in need because they were excited to be a blessing. 

Walking to the beach before sunrise, all on my own, just to treasure 
the awesomeness of God's creation and what He has done for us. 

Dolphins. So many Dolphins. 

While our vacation didn't go as perfectly as I had planned, it was full of amazingly perfect moments that I can't wait to write about. Not because I want to brag about our awesome vacation, but because each of those moments was God reminding me that He cares for us on an individual level.

He chose those moments for us because He loves us. Not because of anything we do, but because of our faith in Him. (John 6:29)

When you truly understand how much God loves you on a personal level, you can't help but see Him everywhere. When you know what He thinks when He thinks about you, and that all those thoughts are good, you start to believe that He does want good things for you and your life, not just in Heaven... but here and now.

Psalm 107 talks about how it doesn't matter who or where you are, He sees you...

Some gathered in the desert wastes. (Verse 4) 
Some sat in darkness and in the shadow of death. (Verse 10)
Some were fools. (Verse 17)
Some went down to the sea in ships. (Verse 23)

But what does it say about all of these people?

Then they cried to the Lord in their trouble,
and he delivered them from their distress. 
(Verses 6, 13, 19 & 28) 

If you read the whole chapter, you'll see that God not only delivered them from their distresses, but He did it in a way that was individual to their needs.

God loves each and every one of us and wants to not only deliver us from our distress, but to bless us individually. If we look around, with open eyes and an open heart, we can't help but see what He is doing everywhere...

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