Friday, February 17, 2012

Lots on my mind

For a variety of reasons unrelated to FFE, this week has been really stressful. {That stress is directly related to my low blogging output this week. Thanks for understanding.} On the clothing front, this has been a week when I have appreciated the low level of effort it takes to get ready every morning. One load of laundry every few days and I am good to go. While 7 articles of clothing, plus my other “approved” items is unlikely to be sustainable, for now I love that it is easy, easy, easy. I will admit to putting on slightly damp clothing a few times, which isn’t that much fun in February, but whatever.

This has also been a week where I have had to discipline my mind and heart to remember God’s faithful presence and provision in our lives. We have this thing in our living room called a “memorial box.” Like most really great things in our life, the memorial box isn’t my idea. I read about it on a great blog that I follow: (If you want inspiration, encouragement, prayer, and a steady stream of testimony about God’s faithful provision -- and His love for the orphan -- Linny Saunders is your gal.) The whole idea of the memorial box is to use it to collect small items that are reminders of God’s faithfulness in your life. Then, whenever you are worried, overwhelmed, or just need a reminder that God always has your back, take a look in your memorial box and recall what He has done for you.

In my quiet time last night, I was led to Joshua 3 and 4, which is the true inspiration for the memorial box. This is the story of the entire nation of Israel crossing the Jordan River (when it is at flood stage, no less). God stops the flow of the river (the waters “stand up in a heap” some 20 miles upstream) so that the Israelites can cross safely behind the Ark of the Covenant. One man from each of the 12 tribes of Israel is then tapped to bring a rock from the riverbed in the middle of the Jordan to be stacked up at their campsite. The rocks were to serve as a memorial and reminder to the Israelites of what the Lord did for them. Joshua 4:4-7 says this:

So Joshua called together the twelve men he had appointed from the Israelites, one from each tribe, and said to them, “Go over before the ark of the LORD your God into the middle of the Jordan. Each of you is to take up a stone on his shoulder, according to the number of the tribes of the Israelites, to serve as a sign among you. In the future, when your children ask you, ‘What do these stones mean?’ tell them that the flow of the Jordan was cut off before the ark of the covenant of the LORD. When it crossed the Jordan, the waters of the Jordan were cut off. These stones are to be a memorial to the people of Israel forever.”
I was tickled to remember that I have a little wooden block in our memorial box with the number 7 on it. It is my reminder of when I, silly woman, let my van’s “distance until empty” meter get to ZERO. I was a new Christian and prayed in haste and desperation, “Please don’t let me run out of gas with my babies in the car. Just let me make it to the gas station.” I no sooner had uttered my prayer when my meter popped up to 7. I made it to the gas station, and I have never let my tank get that low again. What a little pick me up it was then to know that God heard my little cry for help and responded by reassuring me with 7 miles until I was empty.

I love that the number on the block is 7 because it fits perfectly with our fast from excess. I love even more the reassurance that God hears and He is near. That’s what I needed to be reminded of this week, big time. Praise be to God.

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