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Faithful Friday

Blogging 101: Create a New Posting Feature

The last assignment for the Blogging 101 class was to create a new posting feature for our blogs. So this is my shot at it. We’ll see if I can stay committed.

I’m calling it Faithful Fridays, a bit of a play on words. Faithful because it’s a blogging habit I want to get into (and it won’t always be about spiritual things), but also because, despite the faith crisis I currently find myself mired in, God has been so present in my life that I can’t separate my spiritual side from the rest of me. It just will not be compartmentalized.

So welcome to my first installment of Faithful Fridays!

For a very long time now I’ve had this “thing” for pennies. I remember when it started. There was a certain doctor’s appointment I was dreading. I’d put it off for weeks. But finally his lordship pitched such a fit about it that I made the appointment, gritted my teeth, and went. And after dreading it for all that time, everything was fine. What a relief!

When I came back to the car afterward, I opened the door and noticed right by my foot a shiny new penny. I was sure it hadn’t been there when I’d gotten out. But right then the thought ran through my head, I’ll give you a penny for your thoughts now…

Sometimes you just know that the spiritual realm has come knocking on your door, and I did that day. I believe God was reminding me that I should have trusted him to begin with. But as I’ve mention on this blog MANY times, I’m a bit of slow learner. I picked up the penny, stuck it in a zippered pocket in my purse, and headed for the local Christian bookstore.

Now I’m not a shopper. I didn’t get THAT gene from my ancestors, my sister did. Especially when it comes to shoes. So I just picked up the package of Easter bulletin covers I’d ordered for church, said goodbye to the clerks whom I knew well, then stopped dead in my tracks when I got to the door. For there hanging on the wall was a framed print. The scripture verse lettered in neat calligraphy below a beautiful hand-drawn heart was a portion of Philippians 1:7: “…I have you in my heart.” And right in the center of the heart was a penny.

heart pix 1I was too overwhelmed to cry. I pulled it down and bought it. My faith was all aflutter. I brought the print and the penny home, hung the print in my bedroom and put the penny in my jewelry box. After that it seemed as if pennies were constantly turning up at times when I needed reassuring the most.

The Lord has put lots of pennies in my path since then. I’ve found them in the oddest places. But the one that really knocked my socks off was very strange indeed.

It was August 1989, about four months after our daughter Kavitha had come to be a part of our family. The adjustment of our new situation was taking a toll on all four of us, and we decided to take the kids away for a fun weekend. We spent the night in Salt Lake City, visiting the Hansen Planetarium, and Trolley Square. We had dinner at the Spaghetti Factory and spent most of the evening swimming in the pool at the hotel. The next day we drove south to Timpanogos Cave and back over the mountain to Park City.

Sounds great, huh? The problem was, all the kids had done the whole trip was fight. It had been that way for a couple weeks. I was nearly at the point of despair wondering if we’d made a mistake in bringing someone new into Brandon’s life at such a late age (10). Had we really heard from God in this matter of adoption? Would our household ever settle down and get back to any kind of normal? I laid in bed at the hotel that night and cried myself to sleep.

The next day when we got to Park City the kids were hungry. Not because it was lunch time, just because they were kids. The choice of good “children oriented, cheap” restaurants in Park City was almost non-existent at that time (they’ve since added a pair of golden arches and other fast-food places), so we just stopped at the first likely-looking eatery we came to. It had a pub on one side and a restaurant on the other. And, of course, the restaurant didn’t open until 5 p.m. for dinner.

The waitress from the pub side was very nice and said it would be fine for us to take the kids in there. So in we went and out the kids went to a deck overlooking the valley, where they planted themselves at a redwood umbrella table. We were the only ones on the deck and I didn’t think that part of the pub was open yet, but the waitress was very accommodating.

Then she brought the menu. The prices were exorbitant, and we were down to our last few dollars. Didn’t matter, though, because there was nothing on the menu the kids would even eat. It was full of specialty items. No hamburgers, or even hot dogs. They began to whine again and I just wanted to sit and cry. The whole weekend had been a real chore for me. HL apologized to the waitress and said we’d best try somewhere else, but as I got up to leave, something caught my eye.

There, stuck between two slats in the table, was a new penny! Suddenly it was as if all the weariness of the weekend fell away as I felt God say, It’s gonna be okay. You’re doing fine. I’m here with you. Remember? Trust me. The tears stopped and my attitude changed in a split second, much to everyone’s amazement, and I was ready for the adventure of finding another restaurant. But not without my penny!

It took me several minutes of digging with my finger nail file, but I finally got it out. And the rest of the weekend was really okay. The kids settled down and fell asleep together in the backseat of the car. It was blessedly quiet nearly all the way home. When we got there, I marked that very special penny with red nail polish so I’d always remember which one it was, for I’d been hoarding them for a long time by then.

I’ve often thought of how God went out of his way to get us into a restaurant we couldn’t even afford just to deal with my discouragement. What an awesome God he truly is, even if I don’t feel that way sometimes. Even if I AM going through one dilly of a faith crisis right now.

So the next time you see a penny on the street, in the store, in your washer, SMILE, ’cause God’s thinking about you!