Diapers and Grace

Little things can have a big impact. Like diapers. The Miriam Home receives donations once a week, usually fruits and vegetables, sometimes day old baked goods. Last month the donation included large disposable diapers – the first time we have received them since I’ve been here. And it was funny timing…we didn’t have any babies in the house and hadn’t for a while. Then two hours later a familiar white car pulled up, one that belongs to the juvenile authorities, bringing two year old Nicholas to us.

This sweet little boy is with us because of neglect at home but each person involved is telling a different story and Nicholas isn’t the first member of the family to stay in the Miriam Home.  We have cared for all three of his older siblings in the past.  It is hard to say right now how long he will be with us. But it was the timing of his arrival (and the diapers) that touched my heart!

I normally do the weekly shopping for the Miriam Home and, like most families, the bill comes in pretty close to money available.  Baby things are expensive:  formula, diapers, wipes and ointment.  Just to be honest, they send chills through me because I know what they do to the budget!!! God knows too, so He sent us diapers before He sent Nicolas.

The question isn’t if the Miriam Home can afford to buy diapers, but that our Father knows the beginning from the end and meets our every need! More than that, it was a reminder for me that the Father knows my heart and makes sure I can see His grace! I hate to admit it, but it is easy for me to fall into worry – yes, Jonni, the missionary, worries. I know better.  The front half of my brain is confidant and secure. But the back half wakes me up in the middle of the night faster than a hot flash with the “what ifs”. Things like what if the visa doesn’t come through?  I am coming home the beginning of April to request a new visa. As clearly as I “know” that my days are in the hands of the Father and not an official in any embassy, my spirit needs to be reminded, and the Father is faithful to do that too!

I am so thankful that the Lord understands me better than I do myself. He not only meets my needs but guards my heart. Thank you, Father!

Our Greatest Need

Created by paulajo Photo Designs

“Therefore I tell you, do not be anxious about your life, what you will eat or what you will drink, nor about your body, what you will put on. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothing? Look at the birds of the air: they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not of more value than they? And which of you by being anxious can add a single hour to his span of life?  And why are you anxious about clothing? Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow:  they neither toil nor spin, yet I tell you, even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these. But if God so clothes the grass of the field, which today is alive and tomorrow is thrown into the oven, will he not much more clothe you, O you of little faith? Therefore do not be anxious, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we
drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ For the Gentiles seek after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them all. But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you.”
(Matthew 6:25-33 ESV)

Recently we moved to the beautifully rugged and coastal town of Brookings, Oregon.
We left our snow boots and shovels behind in Michigan, and looked forward to our first
non-snowy winter season in many years. We were told it rained here, that it rained a lot.
The tellers of this information were not kidding. It does! I quickly came to the
realization that a raincoat was a very strong want, not truly a necessity, but certainly a
want. I knew that our budget was tight as we are currently paying a house payment for
our home back “east” and rent on our home here. So, I decided that between my
umbrella and rain boots I’d be good to go for this year. The next day I received a phone
call from a lady in our congregation saying she had some gently used clothing items she
wanted to give to me. I was excited at the prospect of some new clothing articles to
expand my wardrobe. As I pulled out one beautiful item after another from the bags of
clothes, what do you think I found in my hands? Yes, THE perfect raincoat for me,
complete with a hood.

God knew my want, and touched the heart of a woman who did not know of it, to bless
me. While I thanked God again and again in between happy shrieks for His provision, my
heart paused. Was I ever truly THIS grateful for answer to the greatest need of my heart
and soul? How often I take it for granted, the price that Jesus paid for me. The death he
endured. The Victory he won over the grave. The Resurrection that assured I serve a
living Savior! Yes, our dear Father is concerned about the details of our lives. He sees
our needs and so generously supplies them. But let’s not forget during this month of
Thanksgiving, to thank Him again and again for His greatest gift that filled our deepest

God Knows Our Needs

Jon and I had the pleasure of spending the first week of October at a cabin located on the north shore of Lake Superior.  Another couple was able to come also and we had great fellowship and hiking.  Early one morning, I went out to the shore to have devotions.  During my prayer time, I prayed that my words and actions for the entire day would benefit the group and that I would put their needs above my own.

Minutes later, upon returning to the cabin, I found I had locked myself out.  The entire bottom of the cabin is garage with the living quarters on the second floor.  I didn’t want to run any risk of breaking or chipping a window, so I found a stick and attempted to get someone’s attention by hitting the second floor window.  I am so grateful that our family finances aren’t dependent upon my pitching in a professional baseball team, as we would be dead broke.  After several feeble (and that’s being generous) attempts I managed to hit the window which went unnoticed.  I was finally missed and someone came to look for me.  I’m thankful that God knows when I need others to help me even when I haven’t asked.