I love to journal during my morning quiet times. I used to get excited when I was about to fill up a journal book thinking of getting to go to the store and pick out a new one. Beside my Bible always set my favorite journaling pen. However, after I was diagnosed with a rare muscle/nerve disorder about 15 years ago, I stopped my habit of journaling every day, because I could no longer hand-write journals and typing them just was not the same to me.
This year I have made a commitment to myself to journal more as I read the Word of God….even though it must be done with a keyboard and screen instead of those journals and pens that I love.
This morning I journaled and felt that it might be something that other moms need today on Valentine’s Day. I am always tempted to spend way too much money on my children for holidays. There is always that struggle in my heart and mind of wanting to teach them to treasure things that are eternal and wanting to give them the earthly desires of their hearts.
Here’s is what I wrote in my ‘virtual journal’ this morning in my quiet time. Enjoy and feast on the goodness of the Lord this Valentine’s Day.
Psalm 34:10 Even strong young lions sometimes go hungry, but those who trust in the LORD will lack no good thing.
Do I believe this promise? This verse is a promise that those who seek the Lord will not be in want of any good thing. God so many times in my life I have asked you for good to come and really not expected it with my whole heart. Yesterday You taught me that I can be this promise in other people’s lives and that You define ‘good’ and not me.
I was standing in line at the Dollar Tree and behind me was a lady holding at least twenty pairs of earbuds. I only had two little one dollar valentine treats to buy for my kids, so I picked up the two things and made room for her to empty her items out of her full arms and onto the conveyer belt.
I was in a hurry to get home and tempted not to ask the question I already knew the answer to, “Are you a school teacher?” Having been a public school teacher for five years, I can spot a school teacher in a store with great accuracy.
When I posed the question to her, she looked at me a little strange and proceeded to tell me that she was a librarian in one of Tulsa’s high schools. She explained that many of her students tell her they do not have earbuds, so it is something that she buys to have on hand to give to a student when they need one. I explained to her that I used to do the same thing when I was teacher. We shared a mutual laugh about how much of their own money teachers spend on their students.
As we were talking I heard the Holy Spirit say, ‘pay for her things.’ My spirit was excited at first but quickly went to the long list of reasons I shouldn’t. Our family’s budget is very tight and I wanted to use the 30 dollars left in the gift budget to buy them a new Wii game. It was obvious to me that there were over 20 earbuds on that conveyer belt and that would use all the money that I wanted to spend on my kids. I was busy talking to her when the cashier began ringing up the earbuds while I was still holding my two unpurchased items in my hands. The librarian stopped the cashier and said, “Oh those are mine not hers.”
Sometimes we pray for signs….if this were not a sign of God showing me His will for that moment I do not know what would have been. In that second I had a choice. I could agree with the librarian and save myself the 20 plus dollars by letting the cashier proceed to cancel the transaction, so I could pay for my two items. Nothing bad about that. I could be polite and let the librarian continue with her transaction and then wait to pay out my 2 dollars after the librarian paid for her earbuds. Surely God would be just as pleased with my idea of a good deed.
Or I could agree with the Holy Spirit and pay for her entire purchase.
This is what some would call a crisis of belief. Do I truly believe the Holy Spirit breathes God’s will into my spirit? Do I believe that God orders my each step…even to the point where I would be placed in front of this librarian at this moment, so that I could share His goodness with her by purchasing her items and so that I may have an opportunity to learn a little more deeply what it means to be Holy Spirit led?
Many times in life I blow these opportunities. I convince myself that a lesser good deed that I come up with is as good as the greater good work that God wants to use me to accomplish. In turn, I pass up the good gift of God’s joy and peace that I receive when I follow His Word and His Spirit.
This verse promises that those who seek the Lord will not be in want for any good thing. Before I walked into that Dollar Tree I might have said that I was not in want because I had the money in hand to go buy my kids a new Wii game for Valentine’s day. I adore being able to surprise my children with ‘good’ gifts and have been blessed to always be able to give them something ‘good’ that they were wanting at each holiday that comes around.
Instead this Valentine Day, my kids will have to sacrifice the good of a Wii game (which they didn’t know about anyways) and find goodness in a Dollar tree goody and new basketballs I had already purchased to give to them.
But the greatest gift my kids will have this Valentine’s Day is a mom whose heart looks a little more like Jesus because she listened to the voice of the Holy Spirit and she can help to focus their little minds on the good things that are eternal instead of the good things that become dust.
This Valentine’s day my kids will get new basketballs and a mom who is filled with peace and joy. Perhaps they will get a Wii game at Easter.