I'm all the time thinking of things I would like to write about. The problem is that writing (i.e. typing) takes time, which right now is the brief period between kids' bedtime and my bedtime, and sometimes that window closes when I crash on the couch to take my 8pm nap. So I started making notes about different topics I'd like to blog about. Tonight I'm not watching the SuperBowl but instead sitting on the couch, decaf coffee next to me, the sound machine in the background keeping the wee ones asleep. I've been wanting to write about my bible bus experience for awhile, so here it is. This actually happened a year ago but it's stuck in my memory like it was yesterday for a few reasons. Last year I attended a women's bible study at a Presbyterian church in downtown Athens (Redeemer PCA). We studied the book of Job, which might be one of the hardest books to study for someone like me who avoids suffering and pain at all cost. If you're aren't familiar with the book, it's about a man who loves God and honors him with his life, but suffers greatly and has everything taken from him. Needless to say I wasn't super excited to study it as I have a huge aversion to pain and struggle to trust God in the midst of hardship. But there I was, in this study, and half way through the year I became pregnant with little Andy. So in keeping with my last pregnancy, this one included nausea and all day yuck that made me want to hide for nine months and then just appear at the hospital for a big epidural. But that wasn't an option and it turns out Ethan didn't get the "mommy's sick so she can't function" memo. Ironic that we were studying Job in the midst of this. The ladies I met at bible study were so encouraging to me during this time, and many of them were going through trials of one kind or another that made me realize the strange blessing it was that I was sick because new life was growing inside me. One day after bible study I did my normal routine of picking Ethan up from the nursery and getting him settled in his car seat, and <here it is> put my bible on top of my car. I am known for putting stuff on the roof of my car ALL THE TIME. I think I might need a separate blog post about this, but a quick side note to prove my point: once I put my wallet on the roof of my car (when we were on the Dave Ramsey cash system) and drove away from the thrift store only to see dollar bills and credit cards flying EVERYWHERE ( I crawled like a mad fool along a road for almost an hour while truckers honked), and then there was my most recent roof moment watching pound cake fly off of the car onto the road and me telling Ethan that the deer like it when I feed them that way. I am TERRIBLE about putting stuff on the roof and forgetting about it. So back to the original story. I left the church parking lot with God's good Word on top of my car and as I turned onto Broad street I saw my precious black leather ESV bible fly off the car onto the road. So like a mad woman I do an illegal u-turn at the next light to go back and get it, but just as I spot it in the road I see a huge UGA bus run right over it, all however many wheels those things have on them. I cried out in my car, "my biiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiible!!!!!" and Ethan is cracking up in the back (and I'm sure Andy in my tummy). At the next red light I jump out of the car to get my book because that's what crazy pregnant ladies like me do. I jumped back in my car and see my bible has been roughed up by the UGA bus, but I'm feeling kinda like a superhero for saving it nonetheless. Whew... all in a days work. The ladies at bible study would be proud. Later that day Ethan gets out his cars and buses and does a little re-enactment of crazy mommy on the kitchen table, showing daddy how the bible flew off the car and mommy yells and jumps out and how the bus crashes over the pages. It might have been the funniest thing I've seen him do. Now a year later my bible still opens to the same page where the bus did it's damage. The pages got all bent up, but the passage it now opens to is Isaiah 40, with special creases along verses 28-31. Here's the passage: Have you not known? Have you not heard? The LORD is an everlasting God, the Creator of the ends of the earth. He does not faint or grow weary; his understanding is unsearchable. He gives power to the faint, and to him who has no might he increases strength. Even youths shall faint and be weary, and young men shall fall exhausted; but they who wait for the LORD shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings like eagles; they shall run and not be weary; they shall walk and not faint.
I can't fully explain how significant this passage has been to me this year. Every single time I just open my bible this is the page that sits in front of me. Since this bus incident I have gone through a yuck pregnancy, had my second precious baby boy, and experienced the tiredness and weariness of being a mom to a high energy toddler and newborn baby. I have never needed to hear these words as much as I have needed them this past year. The promises in this text are amazing and true, that God, who never lacks strength or energy, is the one who will give me strength and renew my body as I wait on him. It says that he gives power to the faint. That's me. That when I ask and wait on him, he will renew me in such a way that I will run and not grow tired, walk and not faint. I know these words may have meant little to me 10 years ago, or even 5 years ago, but in this stage of my life they are gold. I am in a stage of life when sleep isn't always guaranteed, when my body aches by 4pm because my body has been in all sorts of strange contortions from scrubbing poo off the ground to carrying around a 4 year old man-boy as he pretends to be a monkey on my back. I need to hear that I serve and worship a God who lacks nothing, who has a storehouse of strength that he will graciously give to me so that I may endure this marathon of a life, and endure even with joy. A lot of days I just need to know he can give me the strength to endure until 5 when Jared gets home (I salute you single moms and think you deserve lots of wine and chocolate). I picture myself in high school when I attempted the track team. My friend and I thought running could be "fun," and it couldn't be that bad since it was track and not cross country. The coach told everyone to run 16 laps around the track for warm up, and by the 6th lap we decided it wasn't as fun as we'd hoped and ran right off the track and into our cars. That was the end of me running track. Life has turned out to be a lot like track, and I find myself wanting to take a break or run off the track and hop in a easy car. But that's not the way it works, and instead God gives me promises that he will help me to run the race, he will give me strength to finish well. God will renew me so that I can serve my children with joy and help my legs make it back to my bed at night in order to run some more the next day. I'm so glad my bible flew off my car and I rescued it from the middle of the street so that God could show me that he is my help and my strength. This is one of the sweetest gifts he has given me and I'm so thankful that even Ethan can help me remember it by using his matchbox cars to depict it. Praise God for bibles and buses and all the other random stuff that turns out for my good. Amen.
oh, and what's a blog post without pictures? I should have a UGA bus picture, but since I don't here is a picture Jared holding Andy and a random shot of shelves in our kitchen... just a little window into the things I see everyday.