Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Slightly Obsessed: Week Seven

Photo courtesy Erik Thorson copyright 2012
 It's hard to believe we've been at CMADDICT.COM now for nearly two months. I'm privileged to be able to share with you every Wednesday.

As new opportunities have been opening up for me to write and speak with others, I've been feeling a deeper responsibility to speak the Word of truth accurately. I want to represent my King as He really is, in the majesty and grace of His glory. He deserves nothing less.

A pastor once gave a group of church leaders the admonition often used in generations past for children:

Don't speak until you're spoken to.

Thankfully, this pastor wasn't giving guidelines on how to address him. He was encouraging people to listen to God and only speak those things directed by the Holy Spirit. 

As ambassadors of Christ, we walk a fine line between faith and presumption in representing His kingdom. As beloved children of an all-wise Heavenly Father, it's crucial listen for God to speak before we open our mouths. We hold the power of life and death in the words we speak.

What's God been saying to you lately? I'd love to hear what He's saying to His children.

And be sure to join me over at CMADDICT.COM for Week 7. Just click the link below:

Slightly Obsessed: Word of God, Speak

Saturday, October 27, 2012

We're Getting the Word out

Photo courtesy Erik Thorson copyright 2012

It's been a busy week here. On Friday I was honored to be a guest blogger for Bernice Seward's lovely site Finding the Treasure Within. I had the opportunity to revisit the early days of Kevin's injury and talk about the riches God has revealed to us through our journey.

Yesterday, book reviewer and columnist Gail Welborn posted a review of Song in the Night for the online publications of the The Seattle Examiner and Goodreads.

Today she has posted a review for the Washington Examiner

The Seattle Examiner and the Washington Examiner have combined monthly page views of 80,000. We are excited about the chance to tell the story of God's faithfulness to as many people as possible.

Many thanks to Gail and Bernice!

Saturday, October 20, 2012

Junebug and Van Diesel

"Junebug," the 1978 handicap-accessible van we've used since 1997

We were grateful for the 1978 van that vocational rehabilitation services helped us buy for Kevin after his spinal cord injury in the summer of 1997. Because Kevin is tall and has a very long and heavy electric wheelchair, we can only travel in full-size vans. It was a blessing to find the aging (but serviceable) van during Kevin's rehabilitation. With a new conversion installed, it worked well for the short trips we took over the years.

But when Kevin received a new wheelchair several years ago, the old hydraulic ramp became too narrow for his huge chair. In order to load him onto the ramp, we had to carefully guide his wheelchair backwards so that one back wheel balanced precariously on the edge guard.

Kevin's wheelchair weighs nearly 400 pounds. I could barely load him by myself. One slip during the lift threatened to send him crashing to the ground riding a behemoth.

For years, we had prayed and looked for a van to replace the one we had eventually dubbed "Junebug." We hoped for something that was a step up to, maybe, 1990. But nothing that filled Kevin's specific needs AND was affordable for us crossed our paths. It became one of those impossible dreams on my list, one of those immoveable stones in our life.

Last Friday, I awakened early and spent some time in prayer. Though I usually pray for the larger, overwhelming issues in life, this time I just made a mental list of the physical needs we have. Included was a request for a better handicap-accessable van.

"Lord, I don't usually don't give you lists," I said. "But I respectfully ask you to consider these needs."

Even as I was praying, I knew it was hopeless. Years of prayer had produced no results. Perhaps we should just be thankful for the van we had. After all, it was still serviceable.

Later that day, Aaron and I headed into town to be with my step-mother while my dad had surgery on his shoulder. A total shoulder replacement on an eighty-year-old man is a sobering venture, so my mind was on the surgery and how he was doing.

But as we passed one of the local car dealerships, Aaron happened to see a gorgeous blue Sprinter sitting on the lot. Its side door was opened and the most amazing hydraulic lift ever was displayed.

You have to be where we've been for fifteen years to understand how a person can get excited about a hydraulic lift. We were bedazzled.

We quickly swung in just to look at it. We figured there was no way we could afford such an incredible vehicle. It was perfect in every detail for Kevin, as if it had been custom designed just for him. It had only 2700 miles on it. It was a Mercedes-Benz, imported from Germany, with a Dodge logo. The paint job was a custom finish. It had large, tinted windows low enough so Kevin could see out. The lift could be operated manually, if needed. The speedometer and air conditioner worked.

It was more than anything I could have imagined for us.

Abundantly more. Generously lavish.

From God, with love.

In one hour, the van was ours. As I stayed at the hospital with my father and step-mom, Aaron took care of the details of the sale. We drove it home that night and shocked the rest of the family with our surprise purchase.

Our upgrade, "Van Diesel"
"Van Diesel" has already been providing double duty, as my father has had a couple of unexpected trips to and from the hospital in the last week. For us, the van represents a new freedom to travel and do things we couldn't do before, because it was just too hard.

Why did God wait so long to answer this prayer, and then send it at such a moment?

Who knows. I'll never fully understand His ways. I just know He is amazing.