“For His eyes are on the ways of a man, and He sees all His steps.” Job 33:21
This is one of my all time favorite Truths. God sees your steps, every single one of them. Proverbs 16:9 says, “People can plan what they want to do, but it is the LORD who guides their steps.”
I have that verse written at the top of my daily planner. (click the picture and it will take you to a free printable version.)
No matter how much we plan and think and arrange, in the end, it’s God who guides the steps we actually take. Some of you may disagree, and that’s fine, but God has shown me that this IS how He works in my life. He works this way with me because it’s what I’ve asked Him to do. I’ve given Him control over my life, honestly, because I seem to always screw things up. No matter how many plans I make, how hard I try to make things work out, they never do. But Him; well, when He plans things for me I always seem to be in the right place at the right time for the right reasons. It takes a great deal of the stress out of my life. So I make out my little planner and say to myself, “These are the things I’d like to get done today.” And then I look at the verse at the top of the page and remind myself that if I don’t get a single thing done on MY list, then it’s still OK. I try to hold my plans with an open hand instead of a clenched fist. (But that doesn’t always happen. I’m sure you can understand.)
Yesterday was one of those days. At the end of the day My Top 5 looked like this:
Write today’s post
Make 365 Life card (for the paper)
Put Flea medicine on the cats
Finish Proofing new book Use Me Lord… Please.
I sighed and thought to myself, “I think I remember God telling me to make that a Top 2 instead of a Top 5…” It seems like that’s all that I ever get crossed off the list, the top 2 items. And really, if I had made it a more detailed Top 10 then I would probably get 4 things crossed off every day. Or, if I had made it a Top 2, then only 1, or none would be crossed off. It seems like no matter how hard I try to reach my goals, they slip juuuust out of reach. Kind of like when you’re swimming in the deep end of a pool and you’re trying to swim to a noodle or some other floating toy. The harder you try to get to it the further away you end up pushing it. And yet, when you’re still, often times the water will naturally float the toy to you instead of the other way around.
Anyway, I wanted to tell you the reason why I only got 2 things knocked off my list yesterday, MY “NEW” DISHWASHER!!! I was picking it up yesterday afternoon and didn’t have time to finish my list. (OK, I probably would’ve had time to get flea meds on the cats if I had made the time at some point last night before bed, but I didn’t.)
I have gone around NINE MONTHS without a dishwasher. When it first went out I thought I could hack it and I really made an effort to wash all the dishes by hand. I failed miserably. Then after a few months I found myself BEGGING God for a dishwasher. And that day it dawned (yes, pun intended) on me that I was not the only one using the dishes so why am I the only one washing them? So I went EXTREME. I took away all the dishes and told each member of my family, “You get one plate, one bowl, one set of utensils and one cup. They’re your responsibility. If they’re dirty I’m not cleaning them you are.” I took some of our plastic plates and wrote names on them with a permanent marker (that turned out to be not so permanent). This actually worked and got us through several more months until people started using the “off-limits” items and I went soft and let them.
Paper plates and bowls have been our main source since then, but even then there are just some meals that you can’t eat from paper. Plus there are always the pots and pans to wash. So long story short, there has been a sink and counter full of dishes in my house constantly for the last nine months… until today.
Today it is hereby banished from my house forever! Because I discovered the Habitat for Humanity ReStore! It’s much like a Goodwill or a Salvation Army store, except its only home remodeling type items. Like dishwashers, and refrigerators, sinks and cabinets, and all for CHEAP!
I had been saving all my birthday money to buy a new dishwasher, but when I showed up at the Habitat for Humanity ReStore I was able to walk out of there with a working dishwasher for $15!!!!! And every penny of it went to charity to boot! Now I get to spend my birthday money on other things! 😀 Yay!
My friends, if you have a dishwasher, kiss it today! You never know which load may be its last! Of course, now you know about the Habitat for Humanity ReStore and that you can get another one for $15. I didn’t know about that before.
I also wanted to share some more good news with you! Yesterday the newspaper that I write for doubled their readership! They combined with another paper the publisher is printing and my articles went from going into 2,000 papers, to 5,000! In ONE day! I was also just notified that my online printer is now offering Expanded Distribution for FREE! I wasn’t able/willing to fork over the $25/book before. This means that bookstore chains like Barnes and Noble and Family Christian Bookstores are now able to order my books! So if you have a bookstore near you, if you would do me the kindness of letting them know that you would like for them to carry my books, I would greatly appreciate that!!! You can, of course, still buy books straight from my website, which brings me more profit, but this way more people will be able to find my books than before.
I also have an Assembly of God women’s conference next weekend where I will be attending and have a table to do a book signing. You’re prayers for this event mean the world to me!!! This is the first conference I’ve been able to do and I am very hopeful that book sales will be GOOD here. I’ve been writing for four years now and have yet to actually turn a profit doing it. I would really like for this to be the start of that!!! Please please please pray for me to SELL OUT of the books I have on hand and to come home with a STACK of order forms filled with requests for more books to be shipped to readers! With GOD all things are possible!!! But it’s ONLY through Him and His will. His word says to ask and you will receive, seek and you will find, knock and the door will be opened. Let’s knock together and see what happens shall we? J