November 24, 2009

sticky notes

i recently watched a very compelling movie about a mental institution in Israel built for Holocaust survivors.  The main character, Adam, is a very charismatic, intelligent man who is loved by all at the institution.  Before the war he was a circus ring leader and among many other talents, he is able to somehow read people's minds.  Like most Holocaust movies, this one is graphic and tragic, but there was one specific scene that I cannot seem to shake from my mind.  

In this scene an oblong, sweet-faced woman who adores Adam approaches him and goes on about how she has seen angels in her room again!  She tells Adam that this is a sign that God has not forsaken the Jews after all, that He does care and has sent His guardian angels to watch over the people at the institution.  As she is saying this she is flailing her arms wildly in front of Adam, beaming with sheer joy and expectation that he will be pleased as well.  Adam quickly responds "No, you are see God is not at his desk.  He has left a note that He is out and not returning calls right now."  He grabs the woman's flailing arm and points to the number tattooed on her forearm, "You see.....THIS is God's note that He's not in, He's not interested and He's not accepting calls right now.  There were NO guardian angels in your room!"

The scene gripped me in such a way that for a week I couldn't shake Adam's response.  I'm not Jewish nor do I have any relatives who are Holocaust survivors.  But it gripped my heart so intensely that I began to wonder what the Jewish people really believed about God at that point in history.  And naturally I began to ponder what I think about God, why did so many of HIS people have to die so horrifically?  I don't understand.  

After a few days my mind took a downward spiral as I also got to thinking about all the unresolved dramas, crucial circumstances, relationship fall-outs, health problems, monumental disappointments, failures and disasters that have occurred in my life and in the lives of those I love dearly.  I began picturing each one of them as a little sticky note from God explaining that He was out of the office or busy or not accepting my calls.  All sticky notes tacked to the walls of my heart, my mind, my hands, my life.  Things that I know I've prayed for a million times or more.  Pouring my blood, my sweat and my tears into and there's still absolutely NO change, NO response, NO answer; at least none that I can see with my human eyes.  In some of these cases, the situation has gotten WORSE over time.  The more I have prayed for it, the worse it seems to have gotten?  Some situations have even appeared to go backwards!  Progressed well for a season and then taken a 180 and never come back around.  Sticky note.

Hear me out though.  I do trust the Lord.  I do trust that His timing is not my timing and there's much I may not ever understand concerning His ways.  And be it known, that I won't stop praying for these things.  I won't stop believing.  I love the Lord and honestly with all my heart do believe that He is good and faithful to all generations.  But I'm also not afraid to ask.  I'm not afraid to be honest.  These are very legitimate questions I have.  Perhaps they sound like an immature Christian or like I have some obvious holes in my basic theology that I should have under my belt by now....perhaps.  But they're my questions and I'm not afraid to ask them.  I am learning to work through each one whether I get a response from the Lord or not.  I know He loves me.  I know He cares.  I know His ways are not my ways and His thoughts are not my thoughts.  I know that the plans He has for me are to prosper me and give me hope for a future.  But sometimes I just really wish He'd drop me a REAL note!  I even said recently to a friend.  "I don't even care if I'm the one who has a dream.....just give someone a dream!  Give us something to show you care about this situation!" 

Recently my husband was out of the country on a surf trip for his 30th Birthday and I was having some difficulty falling asleep one night.  I heard the Lord speak to me here.  "Hey, Jessie, instead of wallpapering your mind with stickies of all the things you feel like I have let you down on, why don't you make a list of all the times in your life that if I hadn't come through for you, there would have been no miracle."  


So, in lieu of Thanksgiving, I am going to sit down and make a list of the miracles in my life and in the lives of those I love that would not have come about if it weren't for the everlasting faithfulness and goodness of the Lord and His son, Jesus.  I choose to enter His gates with Thanksgiving in my heart.  And I challenge any of you who feel  you've been left a sticky note from God saying that He's "out", to make a miracle list of your own.  He IS faithful to all generations.  I will set my mind on the things the Lord has done for me that are excellent and praiseworthy.  Come Lord, be enthroned in my thankful heart. 

Here are a few of my miracles:
  • I have been saved by the blood of the lamb, a miracle
  • I am so wealthy in friendships it's unbelievable
  • I didn't die during Noah's birth (seriously a miracle)
  • Noah didn't die during his birth, another miracle
  • Noah himself is a miracle every single day
  • I was told I wouldn't walk for 6 months after childbirth but I was walking after 3!  miraculous
  • The Lord SAVED my dying marriage last year and has restored what the locusts had eaten
  • The Lord saved/is saving so many of my friend's marriages
  • Kaison Joseph, my nephew is a miracle
  • Mark having a well-paying job right now is a miracle
  • Meeting the Holy Spirit and having a relationship with Him is a miracle
  • Our music touching anyone, anywhere is a miracle
  • A friend of ours survived a drunk driver hitting him a month ago; miracle
  • I have several pregnant friends right now: ALL Miracles!
  • I graduated from college: miracle....for real
  • Lasik eye surgery - changed my life
  • When I was two years old I fell off a 2 story balcony without even a scrape or bruise
  • In college I encouraged a friend to not have an abortion; miracle
  • I have beautiful friendships with my parents, my brother & sister-in-law; such a gift
  • I am the Mother of Princes (the first prophetic word I ever received - now actually true)
  • I have the most talented, intelligent, witty, fun, good-looking husband on the planet!  My love and respect grows for him daily.  I am truly a blessed wife.
  • Our health, a blessing
  • Several young friends with cancer: ALL are in remission!  Praise God!
  • My friend's short film winning at Sundance Film Festival last year  - a miracle
  • Getting deliverance in my sleep
  • An encouraging, life-altering dream involving my deceased grandfather
  • Meeting my son's angel named "Protection" when I thought I was going into pre-term labor
  • Not going into pre-term labor when I passed a kidney stone at 7 months
  • Passing a kidney stone while pregnant and not dying - a miracle
  • Never receiving a hospital bill for the 2 night's stay kidney episode in Chicago
  • Getting $19,000 worth of hospital bills from labor and delivery knocked down to $3,500!!!
  • Not having to pay for anything involving my paralyzed legs: 3 different doctors and an MRI
  • My Dad biking the Muscular Dystrophy Bike ride every year after knee and hip replacements, a miracle
  • The fact that the Lord's mercies are new every morning is a miracle

As I write this list I am already encouraged.  Already inspired.  Already filled with Thanksgiving.  The Lord is good.....ALL the time.  Yes, I have a lot of questions.  I may never get answers to them, true.  But I am choosing to set my mind on the miracles.  To take a photograph of the slew of sticky notes that permanently wallpaper my heart, my head, my hands, my life.  All of the reminders that the Lord DOES care about me.  That He has NOT forsaken or forgotten me.  That He is involved.  He is interested.  He is present and concerned with my life and the lives of those I love.  

I have a timeline of the Lord's goodness throughout these 28 years of my life and I must cling to these sticky notes; these landmarks of the Lord's presence.  When I begin to think about the Jewish people and their Holocaust tattoos or the 3 am texts saying that a friend's husband is in the ER for the third time this month, or why my gorgeous 14 year old cousin has Muscular Dystrophy.  Yea I think everyone asks WTF?  

But I have to continually bring myself back to this ongoing timeline of sticky note miracles.    

Happy Thanksgiving

Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things. Philippians 4:8

So then, just as you received Christ Jesus as Lord, continue to live in him, rooted and built up in him, strengthened in the faith as you were taught, and overflowing with thankfulness.

 See to it that no one takes you captive through hollow and deceptive philosophy, which depends on human tradition and the basic principles of this world rather than on Christ.  Colossians 2:6-8

 Know that the LORD is God. 
       It is he who made us, and we are his; 
       we are his people, the sheep of his pasture.

 Enter his gates with thanksgiving 
       and his courts with praise; 
       give thanks to him and praise his name.

 For the LORD is good and his love endures forever; 
       his faithfulness continues through all generations.  Psalm 100:3-5

{The movie mentioned earlier is called 'Adam Resurrected' and is graphic and heavy.  There is redemption in the film, though.  Not a movie for the faint-hearted.}

The photo is me on the Mount of Olives with Jerusalem in the background.  And there's a tiny, little Noah in my womb.  June 2008


November 10, 2009

thelostandfound on Etsy

With the coming of Christmas and winterness, I have finally completed my online store where you can find handmade treasures with a vintage flair.

Please pass my site along to others and shop till you drop.  Check back often for new listings, I am always working on new pieces.