Once upon a mid-October Tuesday, a fair maiden drove her two daughters home from the school house. (Ok, it was me. More like tired mother than fair-maiden, but I like to pretend.)
As we drove home, I enjoyed the changing auburn leaves on the roadside trees. I started thinking about what I could thaw quickly for dinner, and I fantasized about getting the girls down early for bedtime. This is a recurring fantasy.
Then, the whisper of the Holy Spirit interrupted my plans with pleasant instructions: Take your girls to TJ Maxx to get the birthday gift for Becky’s party.
I smiled. I like when the Holy Spirit sends me to do things I’m not nervous about that I actually enjoy. Somehow, that always catches me off-guard though. (It’s quite probable and possible certain that I struggle with some weird self-martyrdom issues.)
“Yaya, how do you feel about going to get a gift for Becky?”
“Yeah! That would be great!” with such sweetness in her voice. I think she, likewise, is surprised when I ask her to do something she actually enjoys. : )
As we drive there, I recall my recent conversation with my daughter a few nights ago:
“So, Becky’s birthday is coming up. What do you want to give her for her birthday?”
The sweetest little seven-year-old looks up at me in her jammies, tucked in bed, “She LOVES unicorns! And she loves to write!” Without skipping a beat, she adds, “I want to get her a unicorn pen with a journal so she can write in it!!!”
“Oh, wow! What a great idea!”
A unicorn pen? How will we ever find another one of those? We had seen one once upon a time, but oh my…
I know what it feels like to have your heart set on one particular thing, so I decided to tell my daughter a little side note to buffer any upset expectations:
“We’ll go look for the unicorn pen and the journal. And if we don’t find the unicorn, at least we can find a cool journal, right?”
My girls and I pop in to my favorite store, ehhhh-ver. I like it because I never know if they’ll have what I’m looking for, and somehow the Lord likes to meet me there. We go straight to the toy section… no unicorns. Well, how ‘bout that journal?
We go to the journal and my daughter finds the sweetest, cheeriest journal full of rainbows and cupcakes and cherries. Everything girly and sweet! Sweet success! She triumphs at finding the perfect journal for her friend. Bonus… it’s spiral-bound. The BEST kind.
Sigh. Sorry, sugar. We didn’t find a unicorn pen. Then out of my eye… stamp markers with a unicorn on the packaging. Close enough! She’ll love it!
We saunter around the corner of the stationary aisle, all three of us like ping-pong-balls:
“Wow, check this out!”
“Look over here!”
“What does this do?”
Ahh, the treasure house of Sir T.J. Maxximus. Can you tell we have too much fun here? My eyes dart quickly to and fro, trying to take everything in. On the one hand, I’m telling the girls we need to go right now to make dinner at home, right now. On the other hand, I’m walking very sloooowlllllly, stalling a wee bit longer, just to see what I can see as we “rush” to the cashier’s line. But, of course, we pause for the red sticker section. I love me some clearance!
Well, what do you know?
Wow!! Wow!! Lookie, lookie what the Lord stashed away and had waiting for us in the back of an end cap in the housewares clearance section!
The Lord loves to give good gifts and He loves to let us give good gifts too!
I wish you could have seen the thrill of victory and blessing on my little girls face! The Lord provided exactly what she hoped to give her new friend, Becky!
We were all delighted. I marvel at how intimate God is in these tiny details and how He loves to provide and come through. It would have been easy to go the self-martyrdom route. It would have been easy to blown off the invitation to go shopping with the Holy Spirit, writing that off as a superficial or material. I’ve done that many times before when He wanted to take me somewhere or purchase something when I didn’t understand why. But that day I listened. Off to the check out, we go!
What I didn’t know was that the Lord had a whole different plan waiting to unfold at the check-out. More on that next time!
For now, let us just marvel at how even the Lord likes to chase after unicorns! How the Holy Spirit knows right where to find exactly what you are looking for. How the Father delights to give good gifts, great and small, to His children (and their friends). How He sees your every need, great and small. How these small victories are strengthening our faith for the bigger things ahead. Let’s also marvel at the joy and playfulness of the Lord… Today, I know Him by name. Surely, you are the God Who Sees Me.
I’d love to hear how the Lord is strengthening your muscles of trust and obedience. What has He asked you to do or purchase lately and how did it all turn out? : )