Tag Archive | Trust

God and Me and a Cup of Chai Tea

I’ve been praying and waiting on God for an answer to those specific prayers. Some for me, some for others. The waiting is hard. I was sharing with a friend one of my favorite instances of God answering prayer for me so thought maybe I’d share it here too.

I don’t like coffee. Never have. When I worked in Milwaukee someone introduced me to spiced chai latte and I fell in love with that. This was before Starbucks and the only place I could get it was at Einstein Bros. Bagels. So some mornings I would do that. I discovered that they used Big Train Chai so eventually I found out where I could purchase that myself and started buying it.

When I moved north to live in a tiny mobile home to become a stay-at-home mom to two little boys and eventually add a daughter, I would make my chai early in the morning and sit and have my quiet time. It became part of my routine. God and me and a cup of chai tea.

My hubby at the time would go through phases where he liked chai or would lecture me about enjoying the sugary drink. I took it to my naturopath and asked him: “Is this bad for me?” He tested it and said: “It’s neutral. Enjoy your chai.” I continued to do that.

I only had one cup in the morning. That’s it. Rarely any other time. One day I noticed my supply was low so I ordered some. My hubby found the box after it had been delivered and this was one of those times he chose to lecture me. He brought the box into the kitchen and yelled.

“Why did you buy this? You shouldn’t be having sugar. You can’t have this.” He grabbed the box and put it in the laundry room. Unopened.

He dared deny me my one little enjoyment in the challenges of raising kids. If you’re a coffee drinker insert that in there and how would you feel? I was livid and told him I did not appreciate being yelled at and demands made of me. He ignored me and went about his day.

I really wanted to honor God in submitting to my husband even if he was being a class-A jerk. So I prayed. God, I don’t need chai. I can live without it. I don’t want this to be an idol so I’m going to trust You. If You, Lord want me to have chai You will have my husband bring that box into the kitchen, open it, and empty a bag into the container.

I waited.

Friday came. It had been about a week. I had enjoyed my very last cup of chai and washed the container I stored the powder in. I again let God know I was fine if I couldn’t have chai. I would trust Him.

Later that afternoon, my husband rushed into the house and opened the cupboard, and exclaimed, “Where’s the chai?”

“It’s gone. I just washed out the container,” I responded.

“Didn’t you buy more?”

“Yes.” He didn’t remember this? He’d been pretty angry about the purchase and my desire to enjoy it.

“Where is it?” he demanded.

“On the dryer in the laundry room,” I responded and stood back to watch what might happen next.

Hubby rushed down the hall, grabbed the box, and brought it to the kitchen. He placed it on the counter, and with scissors, broke the tape and pulled out a bag of chai. He cut open the bag at the top and poured it into the container I had washed that morning. He then proceeded to make himself a cup of chai and left the house to return to his office.

I said nothing but inside I praised God. Apparently for me, at this point in my life, I could enjoy chai with the blessing of God. Never again did my husband do anything like that although I have many other stories I could share where I obeyed him even when he was rude, controlling, and unreasonable. Yet God answered my obedience and the prayers I said in those moments to reveal that He loves me, hears me, sees the challenges I face. God not only gives us what I need but delights in giving His children some of the simple things we want.

I need to remind myself of those stories. There were dark years of poverty and verbal abuse, along with a challenging firstborn son who had mental health issues. Being a stay-at-home mom is not for the faint of heart. God was still there in those days giving me moments of joy. First with His presence and then in the unexpected but very much wanted answers to prayers.

Sometimes the answers were no. Sometimes it took years before I could understand the reason for the timing of those prayers. But now I thank Him for those no’s because they were really more of a “not yet, I have something so much better for You. Wait for my perfect timing.”

Life is hard at times and we can’t see the big picture but when I recite to myself the ways God has worked, they become markers, like they used to do in the Old Testament, of an intimate encounter with the Most High God. A way to remind me that God is personally involved in my life for His glory…if I only wait on Him.

God gave me a different man for a partner and you know what? He will get my hot water started if he awakes before me. When we travel, he will go out of his way to buy me a cup of chai in the morning. Maybe I don’t get to enjoy it with God at that moment, but I get to enjoy it with one of His many blessings, a man who treats me well.

Wait on God. His answers to prayer are all the sweeter for the wait.

How have you seen God answer prayers? Take note and remind yourself of His faithfulness to you!

All Understanding

I was cleaning up a workspace that had been left for over three years. I tossed out so many boxes of garbage! It felt soo good tossing them into our wood stove/boiler. I even found some things that I’d thought were lost forever.

This was a poem I wrote back in the spring of 1990. I was so young back then, but it still speaks to me. Maybe you’ll enjoy it as well.

All Understanding

Broken people

Broken hearts

The sin of our parents

Now tearing us apart

Satan doesn’t have to work too hard

The damage has been done

The patterns long established

Started before our lives had begun

Yet Lord, You give the courage

To help us right our past

Convicting us about our status quo

You bring healing and peace that surpasses all understanding

So we struggle

With hurts from long ago

Satan has to work harder now

He doesn’t want to let us go

Yet we belong to Jesus

Our hearts washed white as snow

We are cleaning out our closets

The skeletons must go

Yet Lord, You bring the strength

As we change our wrongful ways at last

Encouraging us by Your Spirit

Bringing healing and a peace that surpasses all understanding

You understand us, Lord

More than we ever could ourselves

With compassion, You look upon us

As You bring us to Yourself

Your love abounding always

Though we slip and fall at times

Your grace still reaching out to us

A love that doesn’t constrict or bind

Lord, continue to give us the stamina

To change the grains of time

Gifting us with wisdom and patience

Bring healing and peace that surpasses all understanding.

Have a beautiful week trusting in Him.

Spatzle Speaks: Alone (Book Review)

aloneAn exciting futuristic novel just released from Edie Melson. Alone is her debut novel although she has written non-fiction.

Bethany is a slave and is fortunate to be alive as Seekers are considered lowly for their belief in God. Her family was murdered and her planet is dying. She is about to be at the end of her rope when the planet is invaded. They claim to be there to save Seekers, but can she believe it’s true? Does she trust these people who teach her about faith and give her every comfort? When an old friend tries to help her escape she becomes even more confused.

What few understand, is that she alone has the key to save the planet’s ecosystem. Josiah saved her life at the start of the invasion and when push comes to shove she sacrifices herself to save the invaders she’s come to care for. But can they save her before it’s too late?

Edie writes with passion and her characters and the world she creates jumps off the page for the reader to embrace. This was an excellent novel and my mom really enjoyed reading it. Because of that and how cool this story is I give it five bones, because I’m a dog. That’s what I do.

Spatzle Baganz, book reviewer for the silygoos blog because that's how we roll.

Spatzle Baganz, book reviewer for the silygoos blog because that’s how we roll.

 

5 bones for blog

Spatzle Speaks: Racing Hearts (Book Review)

513i2zquyjlRacing Hearts is novella number 12 in the Love Is series by Prism Book Group. The theme of the story is trust.

Rick and Jordyn are a young married couple learning to step out on their own, away from their family as Rick embarks on a new job in a new town. Along with all those  changes comes news that Jordyn is pregnant.

Rick works and takes care of his wife who is finding the pregnancy more difficult than for most. He cooks, cleans, and works full-time wearing himself out. Jordyn struggles to understand why he gets so protective of her. Learning to trust God for everything from their marriage, health, finances, and baby, makes for a story that will warm your heart…and perhaps make it race too.

I give the novella five bones because I’m a dog and I don’t do bones.

5 bones for blog

Spatzle Baganz, book reviewer for the silygoos blog because that's how we roll.

Spatzle Baganz, book reviewer for the silygoos blog because that’s how we roll.

 

Spatzle Speaks: Feta & Freeways (Book Review)

Burlap_To_Cashmere Steve and Johnny

The really Johnny Philippidis and Steven Delopoulos from Burlap to Cashmere in concert

Feta & Freeways is the third book in the Orchard Hill series. Seriously? Will my mom ever get off her chair and take me for more walks? She got so obsessed with the band Burlap to Cashmere she had to write a story about the lead singer, Steven Delopoulos and his cousin Johnny Phillipidis. Really? Oh, they still go to Orchard Hill Church and names have been changed to protect the unwary.

Niko Acton is the lead singer and acoustic guitar player for a fictional band called Specific Gravity. They are playing their last concert of a tour when someone tries to kill him. He doesn’t know this though until after the show. That’s when he realizes that their manager who has been with them for years, was seriously wounded trying to protect him.

FetaandFreewaysCover copyJohnny has known all along that Tia Bartel, the manager, has loved Niko forever. Niko is now only realizing how little he knows about this woman. With some prodding, Niko reads Tia’s journals while she’s fighting for her life in the hospital. How rude! The truth hits him and the blinders fall off.

The rocky ride to love and romance takes off from there. As Tia recovers, Niko is shaken awake and the band prepares to launch another road tour. I don’t want to give away any spoilers except that while they do talk about getting a dog, they never do. Come on, Mom. What’s with that? She promises to put a dog in a future story and make him very important. I’m waiting. Not getting any younger here.

The romance is sweet and the dynamics between Niko and Johnny are fun as well as the rest of the band. Romance on the road? Dating a wife? A sweet young woman who’s been faithful, but now has to learn to trust that someone really could love her . . . it’s all there along with great music. Oh, Burlap to Cashmere didn’t have the time or money to record mom’s songs so you’ll have to imagine how great it is or listen to one of their tunes. Moody Greek musicians – and she gets two books out of these guys? The next one is titled Root Beer & Roadblocks and tell’s Johnny’s story. Again. No dogs.

Spatzle Baganz, book reviewer for the silygoos blog because that's how we roll.

Spatzle Baganz, book reviewer for the silygoos blog because that’s how we roll.

Well, I love my mom and I don’t mind Burlap to Cashmere’s music which she listened to all the time as she was writing and editing this story. So I’ll give it five bones in hopes that she’ll take me for a long walk and some extra belly rubs. I’m a dog. That’s how I roll.

5 bones for blog

Spatzle Speaks: The Final Ride (Book Review)

cover proofLinda Yezak has finally released the follow-up to Give the Lady a Ride and I couldn’t be more thrilled. Mom was given an advanced copy to read and could not put The Final Ride down. After all, we all love cowboy stories, don’t we? My only complaint is there was no dog on that ranch. What’s up with that?

Patricia’s friend Marie is away on her honeymoon. Talon longs to marry Patricia but she’s hesitant because of the betrayal of her previous husband. He’d lied to her. She believes Talon would never do that but if he did, it could be a deal breaker for their relationship. Her aunt arrives to try to tempt her back to New York and life on the ranch gets chaotic. Romance and time alone with her beau become scarce.

Talon is faced with a dilemma. He’s a bull-rider but his last ride left him injured and recovery was hard. In the meantime he’s fallen in love with Patricia, the owner of the ranch he works for. Patricia is an “Uptown Girl” who’s finally adapted to ranch life. She loves him but has asked him to promise not to ride a bull again.

But if he does ride would he lose Patricia and his livelihood as well? Would he be sacrificing everything? And what if that’s exactly what God is calling him to do?

When the season gears up and the desire to ride is great, coupled with the taunting from a fellow rider, Talon sees red and struggles with the challenge to keep his word and ride again so that when he hangs up his bull-riding hat he’s done so at the top of his game. Not afraid like some would say he was.

The Final Ride is a sweet romance filled with conflict, fun secondary characters and a realistic struggle to negotiate love and the calling and gifts one is given. Mom couldn’t stop smiling when she had finished the book and said she wants a cowboy of her own. She’ll have to settle for me though since she’s allergic to horses!

I’m giving this book five bones even though it didn’t have a dog in it. Mom really liked it a lot. And I don’t do stars–I’m a dog.

Spatzle Baganz, book reviewer for the silygoos blog because that's how we roll.

Spatzle Baganz, book reviewer for the silygoos blog because that’s how we roll.

5 bones for blog

Wishing on Buttercups (Book Review)

buttercups      I managed to snag a free copy of Wishing on Buttercups by Miralee Ferrell. This is book 2 in her Love Blossoms in Oregon series and is a great stand-alone romance.
     Beth Roberts has run away to a small town in Oregon to escape heartache and a painful past. No only does she keep a physically painful secret but she also keeps her profession a secret as well. She doesn’t believe she could trust anyone with the truth of who she really is.
     Jeffery Tucker has run away as well, from family expectations and demands, in order to pursue his own dreams as a novelist. LIving in the same boarding house as Beth and her aunt, he finds himself drawn to the young woman of faith and mystery. He finds himself intrigued not only with who she is, but also her views of a personal God and a living faith.
     Memories surface revealing more and more of the pain of Beth’s shadowy past as two men seek her out. Who can she trust? She finds herself drawn to Jeffery and even more so when her illustrations are part of his debut novel appearing in a series in a national magazine. Little does she know that even with a pseudonym she has drawn attention to someone from her past.
Can she trust Jeffery with the truth? She’s drawn to the man but in her heart believes that no one would ever be able to love her. As the past merges into the present both Beth and Jeffery have ot confront their deepest pains and struggle to forgive. And maybe, just maybe find love she never thought could be hers.
     This is a sweet novel. Some of the dialogue seemed stilted but this is 1880’s West and even in the rough and tumble wilderness of Oregon politeness and proprieties would be observed so I’m not even sure that is an entirely just criticism. The story is well written and the characters make you want to care about them and their potential for a future together. Miralee does a good job at keeping Beth’s past as much a mystery to the reader as it is to her until it is fully revealed toward the end of the story. Sweet title and nice cover. This is a charming inspirational romance.

Trusting God (Book Review)

trusting godI know that often I do reviews of fiction, especially romance, because that’s what I love to read and write. But sometimes I come across a book so good, that I have to share it with others.

Trusting God by Jerry Bridges is one such book. Originally published in 1988, and re-released in 2008, it has lost none of its value for the time that has elapsed.

Much of this book is about how we can trust God even when life is painful. In order to do that one has to have a good grasp of the sovereignty of God. I love Bridge’s quote (pg. 53):

“Let us not be guilty of breaking a bruised reed (a heavy heart) by insensitive treatment of the heavy doctrine of the sovereignty of God.”

Bridges walks the line between Calvinistic (Predestination) and Armenian/Wesleyan (Free Will) in a wonderful way. “…the Bible’s consistent teaching that God is able and does move upon the hearts and minds of people to accomplish His purposes. Yet it also seems equally clear from these passages that God does this without violating or coercing their wills, but rather that He works His mysterious way through their wills to accomplish His purposes.”

Bridges asserts that while Scripture explains both concepts of sovereignty as well as freedom and personal responsibility, it never fully explains the relationship between the two. He at length explores these concepts with a light touch and deep understanding with practical application.

If you struggle and hurt and life is difficult (and when isn’t it for all of us at times?), then I recommend this book to you. It is easily read and understood even though a big word like “sovereignty” can put one off, it is an essential characteristic of God for us to understand if we are to walk in faith and confidence into the life He calls us to. This is a book I will be going back to again and again.