Sometimes I look down at the sweet little angel baby in my arms, and I think…
“Who said I could be in charge of a person!?”
Me? Really, me?
You’re giving responsibility to the girl who thinks that a suitable hotel room is the folded-down backseat of a 2000 Chevy Cavalier.
The same girl who believes that traveling from one coast to another– with neither a prospective job nor house –is such a good idea, she’ll do it thrice!
And the same girl who has come to the conclusion that, if a mouse gets into half of a loaf of bread, that means you have, half of a loaf of edible bread!
But that’s seriously the way I think. In everything I do, I jump in with 2 feet, and don’t look back unless it bites me in the butt. But, if I don’t get bit, then I assume everything I’ve done is normal.
I should tell you, I am also what some would call “frugal.” Perhaps a more accurate word is cheap. This has a lot to do with my financial situation, which contrary to the “typical American way,” has worsened since college. All on my own for volition, mind you.
Coming out of college, I had an internship that could’ve set me up for life. As a college intern, way back in ::cough cough2009, cough:: I was making almost $16 an hour. In Florida. (After living in California, I realize cost of living makes a huge difference!)
Could you imaging what I would be making now if I stuck with the smart, steady path of corporate work?
This would be my lifestyle:
And this would be my daily:
I’m not the corporate type. Some women thrive in it.
Instead, in the vagabond lifestyle I’ve created for myself,
I’ve doddled around; picked up little jobs here and there; and I’ve “lived life to its fullest!”
Then I step back, look at my life, and think…
I really don’t have my $#*% together!
You know what I do have?
I have a ton of miss matching, hand-me-down furniture.
I have dresses in my closet that are over 10 years old.
And, I only have 5 pairs of shoes that maintain both function and form.
Some interesting phrasing ⬆️ up there.
Miss. Over. Only.
It’s easy to look at my life and think, “I’ve made a huge mistake!” But then I realize, that’s not the way God created me.
We are each as unique as our fingerprints. And I, Ciara, was not created to sit in a 5′ x 5′ cubicle. I was created to live a bit of a vagabond lifestyle. And that’s okay!
But was I created to share bread with a mouse?
(Despite my dreams and make-believes, I am not Cinderella.)
Lately our finances have not been great. I spent a good majority of the last 8 years with big dreams and no plans. It was a lot of fun. I probably could’ve trusted in God a lot more through the journey. But now, it’s where I’m at.
And, now, I often find myself meandering around Target thinking, man if only I had some extra money, I would totally buy ____.
Have you been there?
A couple of days ago, I was trying to walk the baby to sleep in my local shopping plaza. I found a nice, little shady area where I could both walk, and consume the smell of bloomin’ onion from the Outback Steakhouse nearby. I once again found myself in that place of, “If only I had a little extra… we could have a family dinner Down Under!” (At a place, I’ll admit, that I never chose to go to when our finances were okay.)
There I was, dreaming of what could be, when I noticed a hummingbird feeding in the blooming tree above.
No, that wasn’t the bird. That was my hand hitting my forehead.
Look at this beautiful little hummingbird; so unbelievably tiny, and yet with a giant tree to feed from. The hummingbird doesn’t expect, or want. It just trusts that every spring, when it migrates north, there will be plenty of flowers to feed on. And true to that faith, God provides plenty of flowers for that little hummer, every spring.
Do you know why I was at that shopping complex? I was enjoying a nice Starbucks coffee. …paid for with one of the plethora of gift cards I’ve been given since my baby was born— because anyone who knows me, knows I have a mild Starbucks obsession.
And do you know what else I have?
I have a house full of furniture that I got for free!
I still fit into dresses that I’ve had since high school!
And I have 5 perfect condition shoes!
Full. Still. Perfect.
Well hot damn, that’s a horse of a different color! Yet, it’s the exact same stuff.
Our life is all about perspective.
My grandmother used to say,
“Want in one hand, pee in the other. See which comes first.”
A bit less crass, David reminds us:
“The Lord is my shepherd. I shall not want.”
In fact the scriptures are full of examples of God’s endless desire to bless our lives.
Seek the Kingdom of God above all else, and he will give you everything you need.
– Luke 12:31
The lions may grow weak and hungry, but those who seek the Lord lack no good thing.
– Psalm 34:10
He upholds the cause of the oppressed
and gives food to the hungry.
The Lord sets prisoners free,
the Lord gives sight to the blind,
the Lord lifts up those who are bowed down,
the Lord loves the righteous.
The Lord watches over the foreigner
and sustains the fatherless and the widow.
– Psalm 146:7-9
I’m reading a book called Soul Keeping by John Ortberg. In it he says, “The soul’s infinite capacity to desire is the mirror image of God’s infinite capacity to give.”
He then goes on to say, “What if the real reason we feel like we never have enough is that God is not yet finished giving?”
Why do we limit what God is capable of blessing us with? Is it because He can’t do it? Is it that, we just aren’t the “lucky” ones? Or is it because we don’t deserve it?
Whatever lie you are telling yourself, stop it!
God is infinitely capable of giving you everything you deserve. And as His child, you deserve more than you give yourself credit for.
You parents—if your children ask for a loaf of bread, do you give them a stone instead? Or if they ask for a fish, do you give them a snake? Of course not! So if you sinful people know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your heavenly Father give good gifts to those who ask him?
– Matthew 7:9-11
When I walked back towards Starbucks, after all of my baby shushing techniques had failed, I saw the flower in the picture above. I thought it was so pretty that I had to stop to take that picture.
I didn’t even see the symbolism at the time. But now I do.
The flower in this picture came from one of those gorgeous blossoming trees that the hummer was feeding on. Too often, I spend so much time focusing on the bright and attractive thing right under my nose, that I forget to look up and see the full bloom.
And often, that big beautiful thing right in front of us… is being held in someone else’s hands. (There is that fun ol’ comparison chum of mine again.) But we need not worry if we only look up.
In my mind, I have this image of God standing in heaven, holding all of the things He wants to bless our lives with. His arms are so full that a few things topple off the heap He’s holding. But He’s God, so of course He catches it.
I fully believe that God has the desire to give us all of that heap, each item in it’s due time. I actually believe that God not only desires to give all of it to us, but that He already has given us a great part of it.
While I haven’t been to Hawaii, yet, I do get to drive around our bright yellow sports car from time to time. Albeit, it’s 20 years old and not a Ferrari, but my husband can fix it at cost, and I think it’s freakin’ cool!
Our mansion is a tiny 2 bedroom, 1 bathroom house that we don’t own.
But it is in Southern California.
It contains more love than what can fit within its 4 walls.
And right now, as I sit on the front porch, Smokey Robinson’s “Ooh Baby Baby” plays through the windows. For in the “ballroom” of my teenie mansion, a beaming father is dancing with my toothless, smiling baby boy. (I’m not even making this up.)
I can’t tell the stories of your mansions. You have to fill those in yourself.
But I can tell you, you are fed… even if it’s ramen.
You have shelter… even if it’s a tree.
And surrounding your mansion, wherever it be, you have the greatest, original artwork… you need only lift your chin to see it.
If your circumstances are less than ideal right now, know that you have a mighty King on your side to guide you through it. Your situation is shaping you. You can choose that shape to be a haggard, begrudging old man. Or you can choose that shape to be one full of humility and gratitude.
I believe, if you choose gratitude, not only will you see a flood of blessings enter your life, but you’ll be able to see the river of blessings that are already there.
⭐️To my mother-in-law who is still thinking about the mouse bread, don’t worry, your son made me throw it away. 😘
“I tell you this: Do not worry about your life. Do not worry about what you are going to eat and drink. Do not worry about what you are going to wear. Is not life more important than food? Is not the body more important than clothes? Look at the birds in the sky. They do not plant seeds. They do not gather grain. They do not put grain into a building to keep. Yet your Father in heaven feeds them! Are you not more important than the birds? Which of you can make himself a little taller by worrying? Why should you worry about clothes? Think how the flowers grow. They do not work or make cloth. But I tell you that Solomon in all his greatness was not dressed as well as one of these flowers. God clothes the grass of the field. It lives today and is burned in the stove tomorrow. How much more will He give you clothes? You have so little faith! Do not worry. Do not keep saying, ‘What will we eat?’ or, ‘What will we drink?’ or, ‘What will we wear?’ The people who do not know God are looking for all these things. Your Father in heaven knows you need all these things. First of all, look for the holy nation of God. Be right with Him. All these other things will be given to you also. Do not worry about tomorrow. Tomorrow will have its own worries. The troubles we have in a day are enough for one day.”
aka – Matthew 6:25-34