Tuesday, May 12, 2015

Lessons in Mushroom Hunting

(A favorite post from my archives)

I went mushroom hunting the other day.

As I was putting on my boots, I imagined great success in gathering them all up and frying them with a touch of butter & salt in the skillet. 

A few days ago we went with a group of our neighbors and scoured a huge woods in the the hopes of bringing home dinner.  As everyone started inching themselves along, I found myself alone and out of view of the others.  I started talking with God about the mushrooms...sounds goofy I know, but why not.

I was asking Him to highlight them to me so that I may be able to spot one.  Sure enough almost as soon as the thought left my mind, I spotted a big spike with a nice yellow stalk..standing so tall and proud.  You get so excited when you find one, maybe its because there are tons of foliage all around and so very few mushrooms.  Its like finding gold in a pit of mud, he just stood out & appeared so valuable.  I was hesitate to tell anyone I found any, for they all swarm so quickly in hopes that its a good patch.

I picked him up and carefully put him in my plastic sack, wanting him to stay nice and safe so I could show him off  later.  As I went to wander off in search of more, I heard a challenge in my mind to stay put and ask God again to highlight another.  I didn't see the harm in it so again I asked the Lord, please show me another for I don't know where they could be.

Sure enough another spike stood tall!

This time I thought that if I stood on the spot that He just showed me, and looked around, waiting... that maybe I could spot another.  One led to another led to another to another and soon I had large amount of mushrooms.  All along I was in conversation with God about how much it pleases me to find one in the midst of this forest community. 

As I stooped to pick up a beautiful spike barely peeking out from underneath some leaves, I heard the verse...."Your Word is a lamp to my feet and a light to my path."  I listened as God showed me that life is very much like the "game" I was playing with Him in the woods.  Each choice is like a mushroom, if I ask Him which way to go, and listen..and sometimes wait...He Will show me the next step.  Each time I stand where He places me, He will highlight the way for the next spot. 

Sometimes as I found one, I would see another just a bit off...and He would tell me, pick the one I showed you first then gather the next one.  Pick them in the order I show you.  He would tell me how important it was to take my eyes off the 2nd one until the first one was safely in the bag.  I could see how vital it was to pay close attention to the step I was on and to take care of that task first before looking ahead to what was waiting for me.  Once I was so excited about what I saw in the distance that I left the first one and practically tripped over my feet for the 2nd & 3rd one to find out that they wasn't mushrooms at all, they were merely leaves mocking what I was looking for.  It caused me to fail the step I was supposed to be on..only to be deceived into grabbing for something that was not what it seemed.

My last spot of the day had me waiting for quite a while for the next "pick"
I kept asking, please highlight it to me...and I would wait. I saw some downed logs nearby and thought that it looked like the perfect area for molds to grow so I tromped over there knowing the small voice in my mind said to remain where I was.  Ignoring my instinct, I rushed over and searched rapidly for a quick peek.  After several minutes and no avail, I remembered a lesson I have learned many times before and that is "If you don't know where God wants you to be, go to the last place He put you...and wait."  I humbly walked back seeking for the exact spot I found my last pick...as I knew I couldn't find it & that the sun was going down, I decided to call it quits.

As we walked out of the woods I was thankful for what I just learned.

The next morning I went to the Dr. and was told our baby's chromosome testing had came back.  She was a healthy girl...but we would never know her this side of heaven.

Heavy information...my mind fluttered of images that played out inside my head.
What our lives could of looked like...
What she would have looked like...
What her voice would of sounded like...
How happy Ilana would of been to have a baby sister...
How even more empty the nursery is, now that I know she is a girl...

The burden is so hard to bear.  I cried to God...what should I do, how can I stop this from happening again..why is my body rejecting my own children???

I stood on that spot of questions and waited, and because of the teachings from the day before, I know that it's best for me to remain here til He highlights my next "pick".

 Where should I go Lord...What should we do...We are waiting on You.

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Saturday, May 2, 2015

Raised from the dead; a true story!

Once upon a time we had a litter of Great Dane puppies. 

Unfortunately we were careless and went on a outing for dinner from 5-9pm. We came home to our girl already in labor.  7 puppies lay dead.

We thought she had another week until she was due, and so were were shocked and very upset that the puppies didn't survive.  She went on to deliver 5 more puppies, by the time we have everything set up...warming pads, bedding, heat lamp, towels, etc it was around midnight.

Around 1 in the morning I asked my husband to go get the puppies that were dead.  Looking at me like I was insane, I just stated, "I just want to see if they were boys or girls." They had been gone between 4 to 8 hours at this time.  Their paws were white and mouths were hanging open, it was hard to look at. We carefully washed them off so I could look at them closely and placed them inside a laundry basket with towels. 

I stared at the basket saddened by such a loss. I thought of my own children that never was able to experience life in this world. I have always pictured them perfect in every way, just as these little babies seem to have everything they needed except the breath of life in their bodies.

My husband looked at me with concern, I did feel a little weird about bringing them up to the house...even more so that they were now tucked in snugly. I placed the basket on a kitchen chair and wanted to wait til morning to bury them. I really don't know why.

My daughter was still awake, for we had been rushing around and failed to tuck her into bed  As she walked past the basket on her way upstairs, she stopped and asked if she could see the puppies.  I didn't think it was a good idea...but she was persistent. I explained to her that they were not alive and they will look as if they are sleeping.  She instantly had compassion and talked about how sad it was. Death is never pretty or easy to explain.

Then as she turned to go to bed, she said "Wait! We should pray for them!"

My mind raced for some excuse to tell her why praying wouldn't be a good response, but I couldn't find any.  I was mostly worried about what to tell her when her prayer request failed, for she has never doubted God's capability or desire to fill her requests.  This was way too big of a prayer though and I was sure I was going to have to come up with some convincing theory to explain why God is not responding.

She prayed, "Dear God, please wake these puppies up so they can play.  Amen!"

Then she skipped off to bed.

I tucked her in while conversing with God in my mind..."now what are we going to tell her?"
Then we fell asleep.

At 4am, at least 6 hours after we came home and found the litter, I hear a faint cry.

I went downstairs and found 2 of the seven puppies had "WOKE UP"
They were struggling to breath, we ran them under warm water, administered oxygen, and rubbed them constantly.  An hour later they were nursing!

We now had 7 live healthy puppies, I didn't know which 2 pups were the ones that were given permission by God to be part of this miracle. I was so excited and in disbelief that I never marked them, I just gave them to their mother to nurse.

The next morning I couldn't hardly contain myself to tell my little girl!  I woke her up early and said "guess what?.."  She didn't seem at all surprised by it, she just smiled like she expected it and went to see them.

I realized that I am often surprised by Gods miracles, which if I was honest with myself, means that I probably have disbelief in my heart in some areas.

I don't know where you are in your prayer life and relationship with God, but I hope this story makes whatever doubts you have about Him, smaller.  He cared about those pups, about Ilana's prayer, and about my doubts.  Since this is true, He must care about you, your big things, and your little things.  And if you have a hard time believing this, He really must want to be bigger to you then you have allowed Him to be.

I am working on my disbelief daily, by praying frequently about things that are out of my reach.  I try to not be surprised when I  hear about miracles that He has done or prayers that He answers.  I want the shock factor to fall away, because I know that it's a hint of doubt.  I want to KNOW that He can do anything...and that He wants to.  

I want to pray, skip off to bed, and know when I wake up, that He took care of it...and not because He has to prove Himself to me, but because He just loves to see me smile and be confident in Him as my source.

Be bold in prayer...He really really wants you to!! 

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