Monday, December 3, 2012

2012 Advent Challenge

A friend of mine forwarded me a story.  I thought it was great and fit in with the way I've felt God moving in my life lately and it certainly fits with my theme of Living in the Moment Through the Eyes of Faith!  What if, for this season of Advent, (of waiting and of hope), we really tried to be aware of the way God is working in our life?  Not only in the big things, but in the little things?  And what if we shared these moments with each other to give God the 'shout out' and to share the moments that He amazes us to encourage each other and give each other hope?

I think it could be a great way to search for God in this special month....

What do you think?

I will start.  It's only something small today, but God can do such amazing things no matter what the size!

This morning, my friend, Janine, popped into my head.  Her amazing family lives about an hour from us and we don't see her and her husband and their 16(!) children very often.  (She could actually have 17 children by now but I haven't gotten her Christmas card yet...or even 18 since she's had 2 sets of twins!)  But, Janine and her husband, Jay, are the kind of friends that when we do get together every couple of years, it just feels like we picked right up where we left off.  Great people!

Fast forward to this afternoon, and she is the friend who sent me the following story.  Definitely a least I think so! Plus, what she sent inspired me to suggest sharing the way God is moving in our lives during Advent, aka Advent Challenge 2012!

I am seriously stretching my technical ability by trying to start a link party!  Hopefully it works!

If you feel inspired to join in at any time this Advent, just link on up!  The goal is to be more aware and to praise God for His influence in our lives and to bring encouragement and hope to each other through our experiences!

Here's the story...hope it inspries you, too!

"Friends are God's way of taking care of us."
This was written by a Metro Denver Hospice Physician:

I was driving home from a meeting this evening about 5, stuck in traffic on Colorado Blvd ., and the car started to choke and splutter and die - I barely managed to coast, cursing, into a gas station, glad only that I would not be blocking traffic and would have a somewhat warm spot to wait for the tow truck. It wouldn't even turn over. Before I could make the call, I saw a woman walking out of the " quickie mart " building, and it looked like she slipped on some ice and fell into a Gas pump, so I got out to see if she was okay

When I got there, it looked more like she had been overcome by sobs than that she had fallen; she was a young woman who looked really haggard with dark circles under her eyes. She dropped something as I helped her up, and I picked it up to give it to her. It was a nickel.

At that moment, everything came into focus for me: the crying woman, the ancient Suburban crammed full of stuff with 3 kids in the back (1 in a car seat), and the gas pump reading $4.95.

I asked her if she was okay and if she needed help, and she just kept saying " don't want my kids to see me crying," so we stood on the other side of the pump from her car. She said she was driving to California and that things were very hard for her right now. So I asked, "And you were praying?" That made her back a away from me a little, but I assured her I was not a crazy person and said, "He heard you, and He sent me."

I took out my card and swiped it through the card reader on the pump so she could fill up her car completely, and while it was fuelling , walked to the next door McDonald's and bought 2 big bags of food, some gift certificates for more, and a big cup of coffee. She gave the food to the kids in the car, who attacked it like wolves, and we stood by the pump eating fries and talking a little.

She told me her name, and that she lived in Kansas City Her boyfriend left 2 months ago and she had not been able to make ends meet. She knew she wouldn't have money to pay rent Jan 1, and finally in desperation had finally called her parents, with whom she had not spoken in about 5 years. They lived in California and said she could come live with them and try to get on her feet there.

So she packed up everything she owned in the car. She told the kids they were going to California for Christmas, but not that they were going to live there.

I gave her my gloves, a little hug and said a quick prayer with her for safety on the road. As I was walking over to my car, she said, "So, are you like an angel or something?"

This definitely made me cry. I said, "Sweetie, at this time of year angels are really busy, so sometimes God uses regular people."

It was so incredible to be a part of someone else's miracle. And of course, you guessed it, when I got in my car it started right away and got me home with no problem. I'll put it in the shop tomorrow to check, but I suspect the mechanic won't find anything wrong.

Sometimes the angels fly close enough to you that you can hear the flutter of their wings...