Monday, September 16, 2013


4:40 a.m. - The radio from my alarm clock blared in my ear.  I swatted at the noisy, demon possessed box until I successfully whacked its snooze button.

Ugggh, stupid alarm. I don't want to get up. It’s still dark outside...and it's raining...'s Monday. Ugggh.
5:00 a.m. - The radio from my alarm clock blared in my ear.  A little more awake this time, and little more sane, I swatted at the noisy box until I successfully whacked its snooze button once more.  Then, I shut my eyes again and enjoyed the solitude and peacefulness of the morning. 

Ahhh, that's more like it. Serenity. I love these comfy covers and my warm bed. 
Just listen to the peaceful rain falling. I'll just stay in bed a little longer...
a wee, tiny bit longer...sigh....
5:01 a.m. - The alarm from my cell phone began to chime.  Grumbling to self ensues.   Personal sanity has left the building, and ugliness spews forth.

For the love of God and all that is holy! I'm trying to rest here! 
Stupid alarms. Stupid, stupid alarms. 
Stupid, stupid, stupid arsenal of alarms. Bah!
Begrudgingly, I got out of my comfortable, cozy, warm bed and started my day. As I opened the dishwasher to retrieve a coffee mug, thoughts began filling my weary, tired mind.

Good morning, Lord. I didn't want to get up today. 
It's Monday. It's still dark outside. And, it's raining. 
I'd just like to stay in my comfy, cozy bed. Sigh. 
My mind is already full and I really don't want to face the day. 
There's so much out there that overwhelms me. So much that grieves me. 
So much that I don’t understand. So much that seems impossible. much that just seems hopeless.

Just then, a bright red coffee mug caught my eye and brought a smile to my face. And, not just any smile...but, a big, huge, cheesy, ear to ear grin kind of smile. As I clutched my incredibly cool, awesome Wonder Woman mug from the dishwasher, God began to speak, and He began to remind of the strength and the power and the wonder that comes from Him and Him alone…

"Monday's got nothing on us, Angela. It’s all about perspective. 
Do you trust Me? Do you know that through Me all things ARE possible? 
Do you know that I am THE HOPE? 
Do you know that each and everything that breaks your heart breaks Mine as well? 
It's all about perspective, Angela. 
Do you trust Me? Do you believe I am who I say I am? 
Then seek Me and you will find rest and peace. 
It's all about perspective."

Yes, Lord.  I know.
 I know.  
It’s all about perspective. 

"Blessed is the man who makes the Lord his trust, who does not turn to the proud, to those who go astray after a lie! You have multiplied, O Lord my God, your wondrous deeds and your thoughts toward us; none can compare with you! I will proclaim and tell of them, yet they are more than can be told."
Psalm 40:4-5 (ESV)

Friday, September 6, 2013

A Lucky Charms Kind of Faith

My family recently took a trip to Springfield, Illinois. Springfield is a great town full of rich history, specifically in relation to Abraham Lincoln and the Civil War; and my boys love learning about history. Lincoln lived in Springfield for many years prior to heading to the White House. He is also buried in Springfield. When we arrived to Lincoln's tomb, we noticed a large bronze statue of his head. It was hard to miss, not only due to its size, but also due to the shiny finish on the nose. Some believe rubbing Lincoln's nose brings good luck, and let me tell you that nose glistened! 

Have you ever had a good luck charm or ritual? A lucky shirt, pair of socks, or pants perhaps? I suspect all of us could name at least one item or thing we've been told will bring good luck – a heads up penny; a four leaf clover; a rabbit's foot; lucky number 7, Abraham Lincoln's nose, etc. 

I spent a good deal of my fifth and sixth grade school years hunting four leaf clovers. There was a particular area on my school playground in which I'd found a couple of these "lucky" little gems, and I figured the more I continued to find the luckier I'd be! Now, I don't know what the rules are when it comes to four leaf clovers, but I fully expected all my dreams to magically come true and wishes to be granted. Apparently, the "luck" they deliver is much more subtle than that though...much, much, much more subtle. In fact, come to think of it, I have yet to see any of that "luck". 

To be honest, I don't know if I even have those four leaf clovers any more. I tucked them inside a book long ago, and eventually lost track of them. What was so important to me then, I could take or leave now. I think that's the way it goes with many of our lucky charms though. We place faith in them believing their sole purpose is to give us luck and grant our wishes. But, eventually we give up when we don't see the results we want, when we want, and we tuck away our charms until the next time we need a little extra help in the ol' luck department...hoping then we'll hit the jackpot and get everything we ever wanted.

Sometimes I have faith like that – a lucky charms kind of faith. I lay out my requests to the Lord and then expect Him to magically provide. But, God isn't in the business of playing Fairy Godfather. He is not some four leaf clover or lucky penny. And, His sole purpose is certainly not to give luck and grant wishes when I stomp my feet and make demands (not that I would ever do that...ahem). 

Keeping the faith is hard, friends. Especially if you've been praying for someone or something specific for longer than you'd like - which in my case, usually means longer than one day (cue foot stomping here). Sometimes I fight the urge to tuck my faith away like a four leaf clover in a book. It's easy to get burnt give throw in the towel. But, God is still listening. He is still faithful and He will provide....

"Don’t burn out; keep yourselves fueled and aflame. Be alert servants of the Master, cheerfully expectant. Don’t quit in hard times; pray all the harder." Romans 12:11-12 (MSG)

Be cheerfully expectant and pray all the harder...good golly I need to remember this! Maybe you do too. Though the Lord may not give us what we want, when we want it - He always, ALWAYS has our best interests in mind, and He always, ALWAYS provides at the perfect time. I know this. I've seen Him do it time and time again. Sometimes I just need the reminder (and some patience!) to wait and to trust and to keep pressing on. What about you? Are you feeling discouraged with regard to something or someone you've been praying over? Let's fight that lucky charms kind of faith together – cheerfully expectant and praying all the harder.

*A few years ago, I was asked to write a song about waiting on the Lord.  I’d be honored if you took a listen to "They That Wait" today.  God is good.