Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Life Application

12:15pm. Strawberry seeds are filling the cracks in my teeth as I bite through each one’s perfect ripeness. I threw down two pieces of BBQ chicken pizza leftover from Axel’s Bonfire. Delicious. Add some crunchy grapes from Cub (woot woot budgets!) and my Wednesday desk lunch is complete.

Besides gastronomy, other things are on my mind. All the craziness that I’ve gone through this past few months is busting wide open, bringing me to the end point of preparing and the beginning point of waiting for other things.

Within the next week I will have done a lot of list crossing off. However, the things on the list either propel me into new careers or change my direction completely.

Here’s the rundown:

Saturday: I ran my first of many races to come, I expect. The 5k went swimmingly after I checked the official time Tuesday morning. The goal was 3.1 miles completed in under 35 minutes. Official time: 34:40. Who’s the rock star? I don’t know…I wasn’t talking about me. Life goal: Run a race. Check. Not done yet. More to come.

Sunday: I did billing for my parent’s business. I have become a manager. Ah, I can add that to my Proverbs 31 woman resume. The business-woman in me has finally become a reality. (In addition to bills, I did an incredible amount of laundry. Another redeeming quality, and my whites are brighter. Fab.)

Monday: Lead an amazing Bible study. I asked the girls this question, “When you look in the mirror, who do you see?” We discussed scripture about how God made us exactly as he wanted us to be (Gen. 1:26-27). There’s no substitution for his creation. Either you look at yourself and say, “Wow, I’ve been made amazingly.” Or you selfishly focus on your exterior, unable to be used for God’s kingdom festering in insecurity and self-doubt.

Then, I threw out this question, posed by Francis Chan. I’ve been mulling it over for the past week. “What do you want right now?” Think about this for a second.

His answer to this question is intense, “If it’s not, ‘I just want more of Jesus,’ then we’re totally missing it.” I get this. I see this as true. I’m choosing to live this. If I’m not living for more time with Jesus, either now or in eternity, then what’s the point?

Challenge for the week for women: Look in the mirror and say, “I have been fearfully and wonderfully made in God’s image. I’m owning that! Now let’s work on the inside, God. I want to be used.”

Tuesday: Went to dinner with some great family friends, Shirley and Julie. They’re great support.

Instead of being pulled into the ever-popular television show Glee, which really creeps me out, I was responsible and composed my things to go to Starbucks for some much needed essay writing time. I’ve decided to go to seminary. That takes applying. Applying takes writing. Application due: Friday. What does a writer do with the special ailment of writer’s block? Go to Starbucks.

Busting in the front door with my “could-fit-a-small-child-in-it” purse, filled with papers, books and my trusted MacBook, I notice the woman by the door is listening to a Beth Moore book on CD. I order my drink and find a place in one of the four sofa-style chairs by the window. The elderly couple in the center two chairs welcome me. I think to talk to them, but feel more drawn to talk to the woman relaxing with Beth Moore. She’s definitely ended her study. My essays can wait.

Walking right up to her I ask her about the study. She says it’s phenomenal. She’s done three in the past year. We talk more about how good God is. She says God is rocking her. I ask her how. This comes out.

“My husband walked away from the Lord two years ago. I have 4 kids. We’re separated and have been for a while. I’m on my knees for him.”

This woman is amazing. She’s supporting her family on one income and taking time to search the Lord for answers. Her faith is an extreme testimony to me that God is bigger than our circumstances.

I ask her if I can pray for her. We do, right then and there at Starbucks in Golden Valley.

We exchange info.

It’s not enough to know that people are Christians. We must support and encourage, even if we have other things to do, even if we must be vulnerable. I was blessed. She was blessed. God is with us. Onward we march.

Wednesday: I don’t finish my essays Tuesday. I take them to work. I get two pieced together for Noelle Buss to edit. I’m getting no actual work done. I hate it when I’m not a steward of this job. But some days are like this for everyone, right? We get work done one day and the next we do background work, or gchat? Can I get a witness?

What’s on my mind today is the lunch, yeah, but also the photos I’m dropping off for modeling at 2pm. I’ve decided I’m not nervous. I’m just waiting for this to be part of God’s plan. He opened too many doors for this not to happen. Now I must walk in it.

Modeling is not a way to promote myself. That’s the least of my desires. I’d rather clean toilets at Lifetime than be a famous person. But I do see this as an opportunity to reach women for God who are only seen as exteriors. Hangers for clothing, if you will. But at the heart of it, we all know that’s not what matters. You can be Kate Moss and still be hideous if all you care about are shoes and handbags and nothing of the soul. I want women to know that they’re more than pretty little things. They have been fearfully and wonderfully made by a God that LOVES them.

So seminary essays, photos to drop off, and oh yeah, following God’s plan. That’s what’s on my mind.

He made everything. He’s in everything. He is everything.

Here I go.

Sunday, April 25, 2010

Bus-timonies, Part I

Every weekday morning I go to work. Every weekday morning I take the bus. Every morning I pray to be used by God to be encouraging. And some special mornings, he uses me or blesses me. Usually both. Here are the chronicles of the people on the bus.

These segment will be interspersed with my other posts as a way to recount the amazing things God has done on the 675 to and downtown Minneapolis.

It's a Friday afternoon and I'm on the bus home. Patty, the receptionist at MSP, counts down the days of the week. She says on Monday, "Five more days to go."

And I respond, "To what?"

"To the weekend, Joy."

Lately, serving the Lord has made me feel like everyday is the best day of my life. Each opportunity is a ministry opportunity. Each person I meet is yet another soul that longs to be loved, longs to be truly alive, longs to know what I already know but am working out.

So I say to Patty, "But today is still young, and its a beautiful day."

I get in the elevator make my way down the 3 floors to 2 and exit. I walk with a bounce in my step toward the bus stop in Nicollet. After waiting in the chilly air for a few minutes the 675 pulls up. I get on the bus and typically file to the back, not to near the door because the winter air seeps through the cracks and causes me to shiver for the 20 minute ride. This day, however, I sit up front.

I pull out my book, "Man: The Dwelling Place of God." It's a really heavy title, but it's a really great book compiled of articles by AW Tozer. He's not famous to many people, except in Christian circles.

I read the book with the cover facing my legs. A title that proclaims such things can be intrusive to some, and at this point on a Friday, I don't know if anyone wants to mess with this. I on the other hand, revel in the pages that follow. I end the chapter shy of the inner city limits. The bus makes a final stop and a few people board.

I sense that one will sit with me. A 30-something man with blue eyes and balding blond hair. He looks tired, but seems happy. He sits down decidedly on the seat next to me. I hold my book facing up for a while and notice he is eying it. I either start another chapter or I ask for God to lead me in a conversation. I flip it over nervously. It's not that I don't want him to know that I'm reading a book about God, it's that I don't know how to feel.

Its like last week when I was listening to worship music on my computer. Not KTIS worship music. It was more like the deep saturated with glory, fill your spirit with joy and your eyes with tears, "let me feel you, Lord, in my presence," kind of worship music. Not the, "Kumbaya, let's be friends and have some peace," but the, "Jesus is the only way. I'm serving him with everything. And Satan is under my feet," kind of worship. And deep in a set, what happens? My headphones are ripped out of the jack. The whole area is filled with glory, and my face is filled with red. Not that I'm an undercover Christian or anything. It's just a bit intense for MSP. I shut it off to my co-worker's confused look on his face. As if I'm doing a seance or something. He probably thinks I'm nuts, but I really don't care.

Anyhow, back to the bus. Finally, I feel I need to say something. And out comes, "You made it to Friday, congratulations."

He responds, "Thanks."

I ask him about his plans for the weekend. He talks about his brother-in-law needing some help after his home flooded in Plymouth. I respond that that's a very kind thing to do for family.

Then he turns to me and says, "So I see you're reading Tozer."

I'm shocked. This is really underground reading. I mean, he's a published author, but he isn't a Rick Warren or John Piper. He's old school and I can't get enough of him.

Anyhow, I respond with great stifled excitement, "Yes, yes I am."

He says, "I read 'The Knowledge of the Holy' when I was in discipleship training in Kansas City years ago."

He goes on to tell me about how he was discipled by Mike Bickel's crew years ago before it turned into iHop. He said he really learned a lot about who God is through that book in particular.

I'm thinking, "Praise God for this. I thought it was a regular Friday. Today is anointed."

And we continue to talk about the great work of God throughout the Twin Cities. After a while he says, "I've just picked up a book. Maybe you've heard of it. It's called 'The Cost of Discipleship' by, what's that guy's name..."

Anyone who knows me, knows this has been my pet book for the past few months. It's steeped with knowledge of what discipleship requires. I'm floored.

I finish his searching, "Dietrich Bonhoeffer. It's possibly my favorite book right now." He's impressed that I've even heard of it.

Our interaction ends with me blessing him and his family. I shake his hand. His name is Grant.

Now, months later as I process this, I know it was a divine appointment. I was elated to meet someone seeking the Lord in the West Metro. He seemed like he was trying to get back to that place again, that place where God is really near all the time. A wife and two kids had gotten in the way. Add a mortgage and a few cars and even more added up. But one thing remained, this guy longed for God and was willing to talk to a complete stranger to know more about this Jesus we serve.

Maybe I blessed him. Maybe he blessed me. I don't know. But what I do know is this, God is working whether we acknowledge it or not. I trust that he is working in Grant. I know he is working in me. And he is sweeping over the people of the Twin Cities.

Praise God for the 675.

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Old New Experiences

Dialing a Rhode Island number is something I have never done before. Until today.

My adventure in Intern Land brought me right to these 401 numbers. I dial them up. The first person is a Sons of Norway member that gets people involved in their heritage organization. Super exciting. Pull out your bunad and cod fish, we're doing things Norway style! The second is a 91-year-old member whose great uncle began the fraternal organization over a hundred years ago. I get the answering machine with him. The message ends as follows. “Leave your message for Ed and Ruth after the tone.” In an aside he says, “Ruth was that ok?” BEEP! He gets back to me later.

The final call is put in to a man named Ashley. He’s an Episcopal reverend who attends to the sailors that come into port in Cranston. I catch him during lunchtime. He’s sweet, with an excitement for Norwegian heritage, though he is more Danish than Norwegian. He asks me to forgive him of that being that we are a Norwegian publication. I have the same problem. I’m more Danish than Norwegian as well. Forgiveness granted.

What he talks about isn’t extremely interesting until he discusses a trip this younger member took biking across Norway this past year. I listen attentively, though none of this will be included in the story (I am only a fact checker after all). Here’s where my attention is piqued. He says, “Some people come back from a trip to Norway and they are just so excited about the new experience, even though they may have invested in their Norwegian heritage before.” He goes on to say that they want to share all about it at meetings.

And it hit me: this is how I feel about God right now.

I have known him for a long time. I have traveled his ways and wandered away here and there. But when I actually approached his throne in January, for the first time in a long time, it was brand new. Its like everyday, I feel his intense love for me, as if for the first time. I feel him with me, guiding me to obey and trust in his plans. I’m so excited I just want to share it with everyone.

I assume that when Paul writes in Ephesians about God’s love that he’s explaining the pure and innocent first love we have when we acknowledge God in our lives. “And I pray that you, being rooted and established in love, may have power, together with all the saints, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, and to know this love that surpasses knowledge—that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God.” Ephesians 3:17-19

I think part of this whole God's love thing has made me feel more innocent. All the crap I have done or gone through just doesn’t matter. It was all forgiven and now as I walk in obedience, I am being restored to this pure and innocent childlike Joy. Like the one who remembers God’s love the first time I felt it. The first time I saw his face and felt his presence.

This has manifested itself in other ways. My co-workers at Lifetime Fitness have been pretty forward lately in saying how old I look. Tom, a man in his seventies who diligently folds towels for us on Wednesdays, was astounded to hear that I was 23 years old. “I thought you were 17.” Another girl said, “Honey, you look younger than 23.” I guess it’s not really an age thing. It’s more a God thing. When I go through these new experiences, he purifies me from the age I am and brings me to that place of childlike innocence. It’s that place that I truly want to be.

As asked in Matthew by his disciples, “Who will inherit the kingdom of heaven?” To this Jesus replies, “I tell you the truth, unless you change and become like little children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven. Therefore, whoever humbles himself like this child is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven.” Matthew 18:3-4

I always thought being innocent was being naive. But that isn't the case. We are to be "wise about what is good and innocent about what is evil," as Romans 16:19 instructs. In the world not of it.

So I guess my question to you is: when was the first time that you felt God’s presence? Yesterday? Three years ago? Never?

If you have, what did it feel like? If not, do you want to be there?

All the time, the world tries to hold us back. It holds us back from the fullness of joy, from peace, from real love and real hope. But with what Christ did, we can get away from it all and experience all that God has for us.

I encourage you, wherever you're at, stop and take a minute. Say to God, “Hey God, I’m acknowledging you in my life. I want to feel that love, that supernatural love in my heart from you. I want to live a life that reflects that love and innocence. And I want to love you, as well. Will you come and be with me now? Will you transform me and humble me to be more like a little child? Will you just show me your love right now.”

I’m sure that if you call he answers. Jeremiah 29:12-14, “You will call upon me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you. You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart. I will be found by you.”

Feel that first love that you felt from God. Be innocent as a child. Be blessed this week as you seek his love for you.

Friday, April 16, 2010

Awaiting Ch-ch-changes

Kicking around my Google Calendar, I've found that I have three time slots in life.

Tuesday nights, which I dedicate either to relationship building with fellow women of Substance or some God and Joy time. (I used to wait for my cell phone to chime, or dial every number in it when I felt lonely. Now, I just call on the right One. I haven't felt lonely in months. In fact, I wish I could be alone more often.)

Friday nights are my workout or spend time with friends nights. I either go swimming, rock climbing, or meet up with a friend for coffee, tea or burgers. Last week I climbed at Vertical Endeavors with Caroline and we went to the Blue Door Pub thereafter.

Last but not least, Saturday mornings. I typically spend these doing all the things I didn't during the week. Send out mail, laundry, meet with a friend, etc.

On the evenings already occupied by scheduled events, I do the following things:
-Lead a women's Bible study
-Work at Lifetime
-Go Deeper

Currently I work 60 hours between two jobs. One at Lifetime Fitness in Maple Grove and the other an internship with a magazine. Both are huge blessings.

Books in my purse include: Confessions by Augustine and The Cost of Discipleship. Oh and always, my Bible.

Podcasts I'm listening to:, Coffee with Christine Cole, Show Time Spanish. That's right, picking up the ol' EspaƱol.

Here's the real news. I am about to undergo some changes in the housing and job department.

I spent a great deal praying about the following changes. I am at peace with whatever doors open.

Housing: This summer I'll move to Forest Lake to live with great and beloved family friends the Corcorans. I feel a great peace about moving 30 miles from the city because I know God is going to do some great things in me by living with a great family. I love the Corcorans, especially the boys. Ryan, Nate and Dylan are my little bro's. I am excited to spend more time with them, if even for just a few months. So move out date from my sister's apartment in the lovely, and ever-so-charming Golden Valley is May 29.

Job: Because the hike from Maple Grove to Forest Lake could be both money and gas consuming, I'll likely transfer Lifetimes. I have considered the following: Fridley, Roseville and Minneapolis. Pray for me.

The best bet is the gym in Minneapolis. I could potentially get a raise and better hours. The internship will be over, which is sad but good. I'm going to pick up stories again as a freelancer with the Star Tribune and maybe do some freelance modeling. We'll see how the latter goes.

The one thing I've learned to do in life is change. We will forever change, this I know is true. So asking the Lord to take us through it all is exactly what we are to do.

So, if you think of it, pray for me to keep some peace as I transition into some new territory. Having 3 little brothers and new job venue can be a difficult change but will be refreshing.

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Wanna Wrestle?

I spent a few years during college as a nanny of three little boys. Precocious and salty, I knew they would be a great fit. Sometimes referred to as the Hole in the Wall Boys or a Motley Crew, I found that their long blond hair and glassy blue eyes were enough for the mischief we were to get into.

Now the eldest boy, Earl, was very serious and aloof. We called him Ferdinand the Bull because sometimes he would just stop to look at flowers, or wait to watch a bug. His father once asked him what he was up to when he was at the beach watching the waves with his arms outstretched. He said, “I’m using the force, dad.”

Though peaceful, this little boy had energy to burn. Many days I would run him from school to tennis, then back home. Upon entering the residence, Earl would ask one very important question: “Wanna wrestle?”

Now, asking this at my office to my co-worker could get me fired, but at this job, the question is extremely valid. To Earl, this was the crux of my existence. Mom didn’t wrestle; she was too tired. Dad didn’t wrestle; he had things to do. Joy, she wrestled. She had time. She never tired. She was good at it.

Almost every time we would wrestle and I would tickle his feet or push him off the couch to pin on the floor. He would try to act like he was done. But giggling, he'd pounce back on me for more fun and games.

Some days, I didn’t want to wrestle. I wasn’t feeling like having my space invaded or my peace disturbed. These days, Earl would be so disappointed. I hated seeing him like that, so I engaged with great enthusiasm.

Now, I realize that just as I was always asked to wrestle with Earl, I’m in another wrestle, only this time with my will.

I’ve been reading copious amounts of literature on faith, God, spiritual disciplines and lifestyle, combing each passage with great care to learn something valuable. Lately, Augustine’s Confessions have hit me right in this spot.

He writes of his conversion to Christ after years of professing a philosophy that left him full of knowledge, yet unfulfilled. And just before his spirit fully accepts God, he goes through this great struggle within. He talks of how his will to change whispers in his ears that what he's going miss out on will be much greater than what he will receive in return from God. (We know this is a lie because sex, money and alcohol cannot fill as God can.) He struggles and almost fully submits to God saying, “Behold, let it be done now, let it be done now.”

I find that I have said this many times in the past months.

It reminds me of the struggle Paul talks about in Romans 7:21-24, “So I find this law at work: When I want to do good, evil is right there with me. For in my inner being I delight in God's law; but I see another law at work in the members of my body, waging war against the law of my mind and making me a prisoner of the law of sin at work within my members. What a wretched man I am! Who will rescue me from this body of death? Thanks be to God—through Jesus Christ our Lord!
So then, I myself in my mind am a slave to God's law, but in the sinful nature a slave to the law of sin.”

We have these things within us: these desires, these thoughts and temptations. They will always be there. BUT they are not sins. Wanting things is human. The struggle then is giving them over to God. He wants us to bring them to him and say, “I am a wretched man, but you can deliver me. I have wants and desires, but please make them pure and right.”

This wrestle will never be over. It is with me as I wake. It goes with me through the day. As I bring these wants and desires to the Lord, he makes them right in accordance to his will “his good, pleasing and perfect will.” (Romans 12:2)

For a while I was ashamed that I struggled saying, “God I’m ashamed for wanting what I want, knowing it is pure, but not knowing what to do. I’ve submitted them to you fully, so I trust in that.” He says to me, “You are being faithful in obedience. Just wait. Wait for me and I will bring these desires to you.”

I do not vex over these things I want anymore. He directs; I obey. Things always work out how they should be when we obey.

"God, help me to obey more so that I can see your will and walk it out. I want to serve you. Help my wants and desires to serve you as well. I love you, for you are who you are and you love me. Amen."

Monday, April 5, 2010

Searching Easter

On Easter morning, my niece was old enough to get into the Easter hype and wander about our small apartment in search of goodies hidden in a basket. My sister prepped her while my brother-in-law found the perfect spot.

"McKenna, count to ten and close your eyes. Then, you can look for your basket."

Stefan took two long strides across our living room and placed the basket on the bottom shelf of the bookcase, in good view of where a two-and-a-half-year-old can easily see.

"...seben, eight, nine, ten. Yay, candy. Oh boy." McKenna opened her eyes, left her seat and went in search of the hidden treasure. Now McKenna, being young and quite small for her size, didn't really understand the fun in the search. So immediately she began to worry. As tears welled up in her eyes, her arms went emphatically up then thrown down to her side and she began to say, "Ohhhh noooo. I can't find it." As she whimpered some more she became more worried. I can't imagine what she was thinking. I suppose she thought that she wouldn't find it, or that it really was lost.

Eventually, my sister calmed her biggest two-year-old fears. "McKenna, I'll help you." Melody pointed to each open space on the book shelf. "Is it here?" "No."

"Is it here?" "No."

"Is it here?"..."Yess!!" McKenna giggled with glee. She was so jubilant, I thought for sure she was going to fall over from the excitement.

She found her basket and was able to consume quite a few peanut butter filled eggs, which she shared with me.

But as I thought about it more, I realize that this parallels with another Easter story. In John 20, after Jesus has been dead for a few days, Mary searches for Jesus in the tomb and finds that he is missing. She begins to worry so much so about where he is that she can't even recognize his voice when he speaks to her outside the tomb.

"'Woman,' he said, 'why are you crying? Who is it you are looking for?' Thinking he was the gardener, she said, 'Sir, if you have carried him away, tell me where you have put him, and I will get him.'" John 20:15.

But after a few more questions, she recognizes his voice and is startled to see him alive. Afterward, she runs to find the disciples and cries out, "I have seen the Lord."

We sometimes look for God in the places we are familiar with thinking, "I thought that I put him right here. Where is he? Where could he have gone?" But we don't realize that we left him on the bookshelf. When he calls to us, we cannot recognize his voice because we can't remember where we hid the treasure, that is his Word, in our hearts. We search and search, and worry and worry. But after he calls us for a while longer, pursuing us and calming our fears, we hear him and are amazed to see him in our situation, working in our lives. We rejoice in him.

He is here, working in your situation. He is not far or away. He is with you no matter the situation. It says in Deuteronomy 31:6, "Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid or terrified because of them, for the LORD your God goes with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you."

I encourage you to access this gift he has for you. If you feel close to him or far away, just ask him to come in a fill you with his peace and presence. Just pray, "Dear Jesus, I know you are here with me. I have searched for you in the wrong places, but I want you to show up and be in my life. I'm taking you off the shelf and inviting you in. Please be with me. Let me feel your presence."

Continue in the Word and search for God in the right place. I can guarantee you will start seeing God in everyday.

Friday, April 2, 2010


Thudddd. Thud. Thudd. Thud.

"Something is wrong with my car," I say as my front end sinks toward the pavement. I re-park my car to assess the situation. Just as I suspect. My left front tire is completely flat. I look at my cell phone. It's 7:35. I typically catch my bus at the transit station at 7:39. That's not going to happen.

Before I get into a tizzy as I would have in the past, I am reminded of this. "Consider it pure joy, my brothers, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith develops perseverance." James 1:2-3.

I say a prayer, "God, for the first time, I'm going to trust you with this situation. You're going to work everything out, so I will not worry. No matter the cost, whether time or money, I will look to you for provision and grace."

I walk back inside. The warm air reminds me of summer and I begin to smile. I get inside and approach the side of my sister's bed.

"Melody, can you bring me to work?" I whisper.

"What's wrong? What happened? Did you miss your bus?" She answers with a start. She has always been concerned about the needs of others. This is why I admire her so much.

I explain calmly, "Well, my tire is flat. I'm not exactly sure what to do, but I do need to get to work. I'll call Triple A from my office."

Melody pulls on a jacket and grabs her keys. We survey the damage as we walk by. Melody comes up with a solution, "Stefan and I will take care of putting your spare on. Can you bring it to the shop today?"

I open the Google Calendar in my brain. I work my second job in the afternoon, but I think it will work out if I go on my break. I say, "I'll manage. It's just a blessing to have your help. Sorry about all this."

At about 10:30am Melody gives me an update. "Your tire looks like it's been slashed, but its probably just from ware."

I sigh. Thank God I wasn't on the highway when this happened. I could've died.

"Thanks Mel. You have no idea how blessed I am that you are doing this for me."

At the Louisiana Transit Center I'm re-united with my car. I look at it with great joy. "You look great with that spare on.” I’ve found that the more dents, rust and dirt I see on the outside of my car, the more I am unaware of my place in life because it doesn’t matter. I take care of this car, but I could care less if I drive a Geo Metro or a Jaguar. If my only mode of transportation was walking, I’d do it gladly. I am completely and undeservedly over blessed.

I get to Lifetime and my co-worker Steve helps me set up an appointment with Tires Plus. Now, when I first met Steve, I thought he was a bro. He was clean cut, wore vibrant shirts with excellent silk ties and seemed to be more fit than most. I completely misjudged him. As I get to know Steve, I realize how kind and sincere he is. His father was dying of kidney disease, so he donated one of his kidneys for his father to survive. He sometimes has pain from the operation, but he doesn’t complain. He’s in a relationship with a girl whose previous boyfriend died of kidney failure. He works hard, talks about having a family someday, being a great dad, giving time to good causes. Steve is an everyday superhero. He even took the time to make me an appointment with Tires Plus. God bless him.

I get to Tires Plus and I wait a long time before I see anyone with a Tires Plus nametag. I remain at peace. Other people have things going on that are more important than my tire. And I have another 20 minutes on this break. I look at the tires on the wall. The smell makes me giggle. My garage never smelled like this.

A young guy named Taylor pops through the door. “How can I help you?”

I explain the situation. He goes to my car, removes the tire and sends me on my way.

The following day, Taylor calls and says the tire was repaired. He can put it on during my break. It’s going to cost me like $20. “Yessssss,” I think.

I leave my cubicle to go to the gym. I get another call. “Joy, this is Taylor from Tires Plus. Say, about that tire we fixed. It actually had a huge gash in it that we didn’t catch earlier. I’m afraid we’re going to have to put a new one on.” He says it all quickly as if he was ripping off a band-aid waiting for the shouts. It’s going to cost more. This typically doesn’t make people very happy.

I answer, “Well, thanks for catching that. It could’ve been a bad situation if I drove off with the gash in the tire. I really appreciate you finding that.”

I get to the shop later that evening. The overcast sky keeps the April first air at a balmy 80 degrees. I’m completely content. I leave my keys with Taylor and walk across the street to Starbucks for an iced tea on the patio.

I walk back 20 minutes later to a fixed auto. Taylor prints off the work slip. He winces at the price. “It’s going to be…92 bucks.”

“It costs what it costs,” I say. “Thanks again for all your hard work.”

I get back to work within my break time.

Now, I think about how the whole situation went down. I got paid the day my tire blew out and I still was able to tithe and put 20 percent in my savings. The whole time I could’ve been worrying, but I was able to be kind to the people helping me. It feels like the Lord’s righteousness is becoming natural without any forethought. Instead of worrying about not sinning, I’m more concerned with working out my righteousness. It’s such a blessing to me. I even paid for the person behind me at McDonalds when I was in the drive through. (Don’t worry guys. I didn’t get a burger. I got a milkshake and I still weigh 155 lbs.) They waved. I was blessed.

I realize how great my life is. My God is great. I have awesome family, two great jobs and excellent friends. I am constantly reminded of what direction I am moving in, yet I am content with today, here and now.

For you, keep in the Word. Talk to God each moment of the day, even when it’s hard. Give to others and love them. His righteousness will take you by surprise. I guarantee you will be blessed.