Wonderful

I am so thankful for the provision of the hand of God right now.  Well, I’m always thankful that He provides, but this week He chose to make His provision more especially known.

Earlier this year I got a bill in the mail for an MRI that I had in July of 2008 for over $2,000.  I had no idea how we would pay for this and so set out right away to battle it out between two insurance companies.  Honestly, if you’re covered with two insurances, one should pay, right?  No, unfortunately.  Only last week after months and months of battling out over the phone and via mail did one of the companies agree to pay what would have been my copay had the MRI been done where the other company wanted it {$100} and was told that I would be responsible for the remainder of the bill.  That left me with still $2000 to pay if they decided I was responsible for the whole bill instead of what the insurance company itself would pay, which in this case would have been over $500 {they never ever pay the whole bill}.  Anyway, I got a call at work this week from the place that did the MRI telling me that I am not responsible for any part of the bill!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

I could have cried.

Thank You, Lord, for Your hand of provision and grace!!

A Little Behind

I’m a little {lot} behind my reading goal for this week.  I was supposed to have finished reading The Forgotten God: Reversing Our Tragic Neglect of the Holy Spirit by Francis Chan on Sunday.  Considering that I only just started it on Friday {I think}, my Sunday deadline was not going to happen.  Part of the problem with this book is that it’s not something that you can speed read if you have any genuine interest in the topic.  That is very difficult for me since I am a *world class* speed reader but I have been unable to read more than one chapter a day because I just want to meditate on what I have read and fully digest it.

This stuff is so good.  God is beginning to use this book to move in my life like I have not experienced in quite a while.  I am so excited to see what He is going to do!  I just pray that I would not lose this budding desire to be drawn closer to Him.

Stand Up

Last night I stayed up way too late watching Inglorious Basterds with Andrew.  I had never seen a Quentin Tarantino movie and so I was completely naive when the movie began.  Apparently the guy has a reputation for an affinity toward gratuitous violence in his movies.  Well, I had no idea what I was in for.  I had to shield my eyes and cover my ears for about 25% of the movie just because I had no desire to have nightmares or have those scenes pop into my consciousness when I least want them.

Aside from the needlessly shown violence, the movie was actually very good.  Good acting, good directing, dialogue and special effects; in fact, it was done well enough to make me really think.  In one of the first scenes a French farmer gives up the Jewish family that is hiding underneath his floorboards when he is cornered by an incredibly evil and gifted Nazi who knows exactly where they are.  The farmer was given the option to point out the area where the Jewish family was hiding and save his own family, or let the Nazi tear his house apart and face the consequences of breaking the law.  Tears fall down his face as he points across the room to wear the family is hiding.

What would I have done?  When I see things like this or hear stories like the ones in Jesus Freaks I really do wonder what I would do.  I would love to say that I know exactly what I would do and that I would do it with grace, but the truth is that I don’t know.  I hope that I will never be in those kinds of situations, but if I ever am, I pray that I would stand up for what is right and do it with grace.

Really?

This makes me sick.  No church should be $55 million in debt.

I believe in a big God, too, but I also believe that He expects us to accept and learn from the consequences of our actions.

Wowsers

I swore I wouldn’t do it.  I had a whole conversation at work yesterday about how disturbing it is.  I didn’t want my tv tuned to the station and increase the ratings… but I caved.  I watched two episodes of Sister Wives tonight.  It was like a moth to a flame… I just wanted to know why on earth would any woman choose to share her husband with multiple women.  Seriously????  I still don’t get it.

 

Three Down

The third book in my challenge to myself is finished.  I just read The Shack and as when I read it before, it was very good.  One of the things that struck me most as I read through this time was that it didn’t affect me as deeply (or at least as emotionally) as before.  Perhaps this is because there is nothing like a fresh perspective and hearing something the second time isn’t always as mind-blowing… but I think that mostly it has to do with an unteachable spirit.

Over the past several weeks as a result of some surface level introspection, I have discovered something that I am disgusted with…. I have a woefully unteachable spirit.  Call it pride, call it arrogance; it’s both.  I have spent the last several years really unwilling to learn though trying my best to keep the appearance of one who is learning and growing.  When did this begin?  Why did this happen?  What has caused me to become so callous toward my Savior and His love for me?

Like Mack, I cling to the illusion of control.  As far as I can see, I have no deep hurt like Mack.   But perhaps I try to protect myself from giving anyone the chance to hurt me?  Even though I have seen much and witnessed God’s hand of mercy and love in countless ways, I think that I am still afraid to trust Him.  I have so far to go, so much to learn when it comes to Him and being in relationship with Him.

I have a sweet friend who completely astounds me with her love for the Lord.  She truly desires to know Him, to spend time with Him.  This is something that I don’t often desire out of unadulterated selfishness and laziness.  Oh, to follow her example.

Quotes

Though I said I would not finish it anytime soon, I did pick up The Shack shortly after my last post and almost immediately came across this statement which is so perfectly applicable to my life right now,

Mack, Jesus, Papa and Sarayu have just finished breakfast and are coming to the end of a long conversation where Mack says this:

“I just can’t imagine any final outcome that would justify all this”

“Mackenzie.”  Papa rose out of her chair and walked around the table to give him a big squeeze.  “We’re not justifying it.  We are redeeming it.” [emphasis added]

Several chapters later, after Mack walks on water with Jesus and visits with the personification of God’s wisdom, Mack and Papa have another conversation:

“Mack, just because I work incredible good out of unspeakable tragedies doesn’t mean I orchestrate the tragedies.  Don’t ever assume that my using something means I caused it or that I need it to accomplish my purposes.  That will only lead you to false notions about me.  Grace doesn’t depend on suffering to exist, but where there is suffering you will find grace in many facets and colors.”

 

Justice

There is to be no justice for Summer or her family.

Most of you know that earlier this year a baby that I loved dearly, she was like my own child, died unexpectedly at home after months and months of working to get her home.  So many people thought that she would never make it home, but she did.  She had one glorious week with her family before she died at the hands of a negligent home health nurse.

Her death sent me into a tailspin and I didn’t know if I would ever recover from the hurt and the hole that she left in my heart.  I came to a place of burnout and seriously considered quitting my job.  Somehow, through grace, I moved on and reveled in the progress that her brother and sister made and trusted that justice would be served.  Her family picked themselves up by the bootstraps and we all waited for autopsy results as well as diagnostic reports on her ventilator, apnea monitor, and pulse-ox.

Today I talked with her mother and she told me that they will be unable to prosecute the nurse because of some idiotic reason.  She will get off scot free!!!!!  The family is able to pursue a civil case against the home health company, but the maximum settlement they could get is $250,000 because of a state statute.  After the attorney takes 40%, there will be enough to set up college funds for her siblings, but it is nothing compared to the pain and suffering this family has endured.  As if it were even about the money.  The fact is, this nurse is free to move on (though haunted by her actions) and work and possibly do this to another family (this is not the first time she has been investigated because of a child’s death).

There is so much more that I want to write, but because the internet is the internet and out of respect for the family’s privacy, I won’t.

I am stunned.  Speechless.  Devastated.  Furious.

I won’t be finishing The Shack anytime soon.  It’s hitting a little close to home right now.

I can’t believe it.