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Sunday, November 16, 2008

Advanced Praise

I was going to try to get to a computer yesterday, but just wasn't able to. I wanted to share about a recent trip I took to Miracle, Kentucky. Isn't that just the coolest name for a town? I even have a cool give away for you. I am postponing that post until Thursday because I really feel I need to share something else with you today.


Right now my husband and I are facing a lot. His back surgery he had done in April is not completely healed which causes him a lot of pain. This Tuesday we see the surgeon who after reading a CT he'll have done that morning will either release Gene back to work full duty, or the doc will tell us what needs to happen next. I don't see the release happening, but we all know we serve a God that can heal the broken if that is His will no matter what any doctor says. Pfizer has informed him that if he can not return to work for full duty that his job "will go back on the market". Guess they don't want to sound like Donald Trump and just tell him "you're fired".


This past Friday we received his last check from Pfizer until April because of having to switch from short to long term disability. This is all correct since there has to be 180 days between the last short term claim to the first long term one. Crazy, I know. If Gene would have filled out his paperwork earlier, we might have not had such a long lapse, but it was not explained to him that it would take a few months to kick in and at that time he was feeling good and optimistic and didn't think he'd need it. His back thought differently and so I've had to return to my night job of doing home health care. It was such a blessing though when I called this company a few weeks ago to see if they were hiring and I was hired back immediately. I still had to formerly go through an interview, but when I explained our situation of loss of income they pushed me through everything and I have already taken care of clients. I get to set my own hours and so far I've only done overnight visits, but God has really blessed me with some easy shifts so I'm not completely worn out the next day.


So, poor Gene is not only feeling the pain in his back, but the guilt of watching his wife work two jobs. Four months of no pay...that's a lot, but I just keep reminding myself that God, not Pfizer is in control here.

Here's one of the many things I love about God though...in the midst of facing the unknown of a job, finances and Gene's health...God provides a breakthrough that only He is capable of doing.


For many years we battled our oldest daughter on the music she chose to listen to and then since Jr. high we fought the same battle with our son. I'd do a random room check and find Cd's burned off that had rap music that would just make your ears fall of. The lyrics were so bad they would make the Parental Advisory sticker slapped on the CD cover shrivel up.
Then last week I noticed a picture of a secular rapper on Aaron's phone. I watched only a minute of this guy perform on TV as his pants were falling off, but because he holds onto his private area his pants stay just below his underwear. Not sure what is worse...boxers showing or him holding himself. Both are just gross. Anyway, this guy has the words 'FEAR GOD' tattooed on his eye lids. I'm not judging him, but I told Aaron his lyrics and eyelids really don't match up. Aaron defended this guy he doesn't even know and wouldn't listen to me, so I suggested he ask Justin, his youth group leader about him. "I'm not asking Justin, Mom."

Well, he did and Justin told him nothing but the truth. Just like I did, but somehow it sounds different coming out of a cool guys mouth instead of an old mom's mouth.

When Aaron got into the car on Wednesday with Christian rap Cd's Justin gave him, Aaron announced..."I asked Justin about Lil' Wayne and I've decided that I'm not going to listen to rap anymore. Bad rap."
Really? I asked...
"Yeah. What Justin said made sense."
What did he say? I asked.
"He said what goes in comes out."
Tears filling this Mommas eyes I just nodded and said, "That is so cool Aaron."

Even though this was the same message his Dad and I have been telling him for 4 years now, he heard it for the first time Wednesday night.

In the midst of crazy God just shows off where you least expect Him to. He knew that Gene and I needed this encouragement at this moment. I love that about Him. His timing is always so Holy.


Last night I attended a memorial service for a 19 year old who died last Wednesday from trying to get high from spraying something in a bag and inhaling it. Horribly sad. When I told his mom how beautiful she looked in this blue blouse she was wearing she shared this with me...
"Last month Jake and I were out of town and he was trying to get me to buy this shirt. He said I dress like an old lady and that I needed his help. I told him no on the blouse because it was too expensive. Well, after he died I decided to visit the Banana Republic to see if they had it. They had it. Only one. My size. On the clearance rack. $30.00 cheaper. I love when God does stuff like that. Jake would just be thrilled."

In the midst of Sandy's pain, God showed Himself to her at the clearance rack of Banana Republic. Wow...


I have no idea what trials you are facing on this day, but God, our all knowing Savior does.

IF Gene and I keep focused on God...what will He do?
IF Nathan and Sandy keep focused on God while trying to understand the loss of their only son...what will He do?


It makes me cry right now as I am typing because even though my heart aches for my husband and tries to show grace to my teenage daughter who is pregnant again...I can't comprehend why God is paying attention to someone like me. Why at this moment would He choose a breakthrough in my son? Why? Because He can. Because He knew it would revive me and make me more determined to put on His full armour before I begin my day. He knew it would make me chase harder after the God who could easily look the other way, but instead chooses to tap into my heart with Morse Code that only He knows.



He pays attention to us. To you. He delights in catching us off guard and then hangs on our every praise. The thing is He doesn't need us to praise Him, but He desires us to do so because we want to. A song my son has as a ring tone on his cell phone is Marvin Sapp's Praise You in Advance.


Whatever news the doctor or Pfizer gives us on Tuesday we choose to praise You in advance Lord.
Why?
Because...

You are worthy
You are awesome
You are my Provider
You are my Savior
You are worth every trial
You are bigger than what we face
You are our focus
You are the same God yesterday, today and Tuesday
You are I AM.

I hope that no matter what you are facing in your life that God will show Himself off to you in a way that will just not only take your breath away, but take you to your knees in praise.

Ladies..He is worth it all. Whether it's a loss of something simple like a job or something so permanently painful like the loss of a child, He is worth it. Know that right now to Him you matter. At this moment, He is watching you and capturing every tear you shed and when you need it most, He will catch you off guard and let You know...

I see you and I love you.


~Many Blessings~

21 comments:

Julie said...

Oh friend, I know it's one of those unseen places. I've had many of them in my life...

But I know He will be faithful to each and ever question that fills your life.

Praying for your hearts!
Love,
Julie

Shannon said...

Bless you bless you bless you for this post! The music is a big deal, I know with my 16yo son. And what goes in inevitably DOES come out...
As a "baby" Christian, I am inspired by your faith through your trials...I will be praying for you and your family.

Shabby Olde Potting Shed said...

I praise Him in advance WITH you Lelia!
We'll keep trusting, and praising.
Lea

"Just Me - NC Beth" said...

How awesome your faith is!! I dare say I would be as strong. Yet, we too have had our shares of "trials"...and still do. But God is Able!!

Thank you, Lord.

Lifting you and your family in prayer.

~Beth

Naomi said...

Lelia! This post is so precious!!! I really, really, really needed to read this tonight... Bless your heart! You are precious too - to Him, and to us.

I am praying for your Gene, and trusting that the Lord will give him back his physical strength and free him of his pain.

I'm praying for you, too, as you hold down your jobs, and care for your Babies... Naomi x

Paula said...

A wonderful post, as per usual. Thank you for the reminder that He is keeping watch over all of us, no matter what we are going through. And also that He knows the best timing for everything, whether in desired circumstances or not so desired. Keep smiling lovely lady and keep doing what you do! Love Paula xo

Jill said...

As usual wonderful words! My 98 year old Grandma passed away last night, we expected it, but yet it is hard. So many years of great memories, which I am thankful for, but your reminder of God's love and concern this morning was what I needed. Thank you Lelia, I pray the week goes well. We know it will all go according to his plan, so it will be good. Keep looking up and holding on, Jill

nothingcanseparateme said...

Parenting of teenagers is such a roller-coaster ride isn't it?? I watch my boys moving back and forth from truly believing and living for God and then putting "garbage" in their minds and hearts. And just like you--they don't hear anything their parents say to them--How did we become so stupid in their eyes???? I have been so thankful for the "Justins" in their lives and continue to set my pride aside to pray for more "Justins" to appear to help them in their daily walk.

I am so sorry friend that you and Gene are facing such financial pressure. I can not wait for you blog posts to show more of God's incredible timing in his provision. He will do GREAT things. Praying for you.

love & hugs,
Kim

Kelly said...

Dear Lelia, keeping you all in my prayers...
and a good reminder about what goes in, comes out! I need to write that on a little sign by my desk at work today!
Love,
Kelly

Mia said...

Don't tell God how big your storm is...tell your storm how BIG your God is!
Thank you for this post. I love how you tell it like it is. So many blogs present the perfect family you present the REAL family!!

Paula (SweetPea) said...

Wow, Lelia, this is so powerful. So many things that give me Holy bumps. Ahh, what He did with you son through that wonderful vessel, Justin. Ahh, what He did with Sandy and her pain. Ahh, what He did with you as a mother and a financial provider right now. Ahh, what wonderful things you've shared. You have encouraged my heart when I needed it. I need to see God's Hand in other people's lives so I can be assured He is working in mine too, even if I can't see it right now...they say that is when He is working the most.

You bless my heart, sweet one. You really do.

Oh, I saw something on tv the other day...maybe a tatooed man and it made me think of Justin and his house all decorated in God's Word.

Much love,
Paula

Yolanda said...

I praise You Father. For the first time in 20 plus years I saw my Dad do something just for me tidat. My Dad stopped in to see me this afternoon at my office, the last time my Dad came to see me, was back in my college days. He would drive about 60 miles to have lunch with me at the Cattle Sale Barn. For the past 2 years, my Dad and siblings have distanced themselves from me due to a employer/employee situation, that involved family. I was the employer, my youngest brother was my employee.

Dad and his friend came to eat lunch with my niece for Grandparents day today and then took the time to come by and wish me a Happy Birthday. Every time that they come to my town, they see my brother and family, but they have never ever stopped to see me.

Today they did....God. Even though there was some heartache with that....I still see God. Thank You Father, for it is a step in a positive direction, the first in a long time from my blood family.

Pamela (MrsJoeB) said...

My friend, you know I am praying for you, your family. Your heart is so big and I know you will keep focused on the TRUTH of what He has in store for you. He will carry you through, but you know that. I am sending the BIGGEST hug right now. And praying, praying, praying!!

Love you!

In His Graces~Pamela

Letters From Midlife said...

God will notice your advance praise. Be prepared to be blessed one way or the other. I'll be praying!

Susan said...

Oh Lelia,

You've been going through it, and yet your love for Jesus just gets stronger & stronger, and you remain UNSHAKEN.

Thanks for sharing all these stories with us.

I'm keeping your hubby and the whole work situation in prayer.

I'm also praying for your whole family. God is truly in CONTROL and is doing a work.

Praying for the Lord to keep loving on you.

You are such a blessing!!!!

AnooCre8ion said...

Thank you for your encouraging testimony. I am praying for your family that God will continue to show up time and time again.


Blessings,
Vickie

Sheena said...

hi there.........

Its so encouraging and such a blessing to read ur blog and this post really ministered to me.I have been a silent participant during the bible study but I thorougly enjoyed it.This study was a much needed one for me.And u know what...i pass Lisa whittle book to some of my friends along with your discussions that i printed out.It has been a blessing to them too.I plan to start a study with the women in my womens group as i know it will bless them as much as it has blessed me.

Sweet blessings to you
Sheena

Andre said...

I was reading your entry and noticed that you and your son were going through the music battle. That's always a hard battle with kids growing up. I just wanted to let you know that another Christian rapper you can listen to is Tre The Third. I don't think he has an album out just yet, but you can hear some of his tracks on MySpace - www.myspace.com/trethethird. Anyway, stay strong and kudos on a very inspiring blog!

- Andre

On Purpose said...

Dear Heavenly Father hold on tight to Lelia, her heart, her family and all that concerns her. Let her KNOW Your presence. Thank you God for caring about all the details. We love you Lord! Amen

Pastor Susan David said...

God is in control - it's so much easier to believe when things are going fine. Our Faith begins to be enlarged when we face difficult things and still stand - understanding that He really is in control!!! Sunday Service brought God's Presence to a richer level than we have every had and He was exalted!! Now, the testimonies of His Goodness will be heard - and I am expecting GREAT ONES from your family. "Stand Strong and see the Salvation of your God."
Susan

Cricket said...

Lelia,
God has used your post today...He has used it to Glorify him, to as you say show himself off. I needed this so much today. God puts people in each other's paths for reasons and your honesty, truth, and loyalty to him has definatly uplifted me today. I am sitting here at work and just felt lead to your blog. I had prayed on my way to work that God would take my worry away from me. That I couldn't help but to worry and that I couldn't resolve it on my own, that he would have to take it from me. I feel that worrying about something that I had prayed for God to move upon, was like I was doubting him.

You really don't know how much your post here and the post about Gene's diagnosis and being "fused" has helped me. I now know that I don't walk alone on this earth and that trials and battles I go through, someone else is too.

So I too give God the Praise in Advance for my issues in my families life. Either way He still is my strength and shield.

Psamls 28:7 (KJV)
The LORD is my strength and my shield; my heart trusted in him, and I am helped: therefore my heart greatly rejoiceth; and with my song will I praise him.