My sentimental journey

An ordinary girl's walk with an extraordinary God.


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After much talk of getting together, Michelle and I finally nailed down a date to meet for coffee. Asking her to select the java destination from a plethora of local coffee shops, she suggested Divine Mocha. I was excited! This quaint little spot was once The Little Red Store, a market conveniently located a stone’s throw off the side of the road. Years ago, this was the perfect place for my friends and I to stop and gather refreshments after a long hot day of berry picking. This made me all the more eager to experience its transformation, reminiscing about the good old days while I sipped my cup of tea.

Before meeting with Michelle that afternoon, I had planned to accompany our son Derek to his appointment with a realtor. It was thrilling to think this house was a block away from us, precisely the same street my husband lived on when we were dating. Pulling up to the vacant house to wait for the realtor, Derek and I chatted about the home and other topics,occasionally glancing at the clock from time to time. Thirty minutes later we realized the realtor was not going to make it. Derek and I parted ways,so I could head down the road to meet my friend… processing the disappointment that my son’s meeting never transpired.

Pulling my van into a parking space, I grabbed my purse and made my way inside the charming coffee shop by a creek. Michelle was already there, enthusiastically conversing with Barbara, the delightful Christian owner. By the sounds of it, the two knew each other well, adding to the already homey feel. Upon finishing our warm exchanges and introductions, I established myself up against the counter as rustic wooden planks creaked beneath my feet. Continuing to listen to their engaging conversation, while gazing at the menu, suddenly, my ears perked up to the words “short sale.” As I listened more intentionally, I realized this woman not only sold coffee, she also sold homes. My vision now expanded more fully to see glossy realtor business cards on the counter and her office right behind me. Joy flooded my heart as I became increasingly aware this was not only “Divine Mocha,” it was a Divine Moment. God showed up amidst my swirls of doubt and disappointment, serving me a “Yes and Amen” to His promises. My faith stirred like the pools of Bethesda, realizing He answers prayer in the most unexpected places. Feeling caught off guard by His goodness, even though His proven track record of never failing or forsaking is impeccable. Clamoring at the sheer glory of it all my heart swelled, as God showed up with creative flair, His attention to detail, which usually involves rib ticking humor. Hello! He is the Creator of the universe. Luck and coincidence are not even worthy opponents to God’s grand outpouring of blessing and favor. A simple commitment to meet a friend turned into the best visit to a coffee shop ever.

As I drove home, Barbara continued to run her cozy shop, pouring heavenly mocha’s and making delicious sandwiches, while her son Tim who is also a realtor, met with Derek to show him the home. Once again, a few short hours later, I found myself pulling into that same parking lot, this time to watch our son sign papers for his first home, in a coffee shop of all places!

Lord, what a difference a day can make; now and then, we have the joy of seeing You move on our behalf in less than 24 hours. We rejoice in those rapid replies while we commit to learning to trust you more when we have to wait, knowing you make all things beautiful in your time. You are the God of suddenly’s and the God of slowly’s…whichever brings out the best in us. You care exceedingly more for our character over our comfort. Thank you that your word says “This is the day that the Lord has made, I will rejoice and be glad in it.” And that, my friend, is Divine…

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Door Closed ?… Paint It !

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A refreshing breeze brushed my cheeks as I lounged on our back porch in a comfy camping chair. Birds chirping joyously encircled around and about our property, harmoniously singing their cheerful praises amidst the dull hum of freeway noise in the distance.

Journal in hand I was ready to pour out my heart to God and listen to what He had to say to me. What do you want me to do Lord I asked Him? This seems to be a frequent question I ask Him a lot lately. Kids are grown, mom is gone, brother’s dementia increasing and unresolved extended family conflict… my world has drastically changed as I once knew it.

A few reoccurring questions bounce around, do I go back to work after 22 years of not being part of the work force?; do I need to spend more time writing? What should I do with the extra time I have. Wanting to hear some answers from God to my perplexing questions while my eyes soaked up the garden sites. The end of May never fails to unveil its’ fullness and beauty after winter’s bleak hibernation. Purple and white Irises bloom profusely around the glistening pond while gold fish darted within, pink roses climbing vigorously around our black rod iron abhor leading to our shed; perfectly framing our freshly painted door observed from my relaxing vantage point.

Rather pleased with the new color and eager to see how this “Surf Spray Blue” would one day compliment the “Woodlawn Sterling Blue” house color, of which my husband and I agreed upon. Gazing at the door, thoughts floated into my mind like drifting clouds. One being, how amazing it is that one little jar of paint can make such a difference. My next  thought wandered to this quote:

“When God closes a door He opens a window”. Experiencing mixed feelings twenty-six years ago when I first read it on a wall plaque while working in the gift dept. at Christian Supply. How invigorating the thought of an open window where light and fresh air transforms a space. On the flip side, a closed door can feel claustrophobic and confining.

My immature faith hinged on my limited perceptions of God. Now years later and many “Closed Doors” in between I see the blessing is in, not crossing thresholds I was never meant to. God’s protective boundary lines drawn in pleasant places, revealing His exceedingly great and precious promises. So… what do we do with a door that God closed? I say let’s paint it! Changing the image and how we view it. With a brush stroke of thankfulness that it did not open, covering it with a new coat of fresh perspective, producing a dynamic makeover for one’s soul. Consoled by the truth that God always closes doors for a reason, sometimes we are privy to the reasons, why other times it remains a mystery. While knowing there is one door that God wants to always remain open… and that is the door to our hearts. Rev.3:20 says, “Behold I stand at the door and knock, if anyone opens the door I will enter and dine with him and he will dine with me .” Being by far the the best “open door” you will ever know …

Psalm 24:9 Open up, ancient gates! Open up, ancient doors, and let the King of glory enter.

 

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