“Whether is was for two days, or a month, or a year, that the cloud prolonged its stay over the tabernacle, the Israelites remained camped without traveling, but when it was taken up, they traveled on. At the commandment of the Lord they camped and at the commandment of the Lord they traveled on….” Numbers 9:22-23
Numbers 9 explains to us how the Israelites knew when it was time to travel when they were wandering in the wilderness for 40 years. When I was reading this chapter, I had two somewhat conflicting thoughts.
My first thought was this: Wouldn’t it be amazing it if was THAT easy to know when and where God wanted us to go? I’m sure there are many Christians like me who often struggle with this. I’ll feel like I’m being led in a certain direction or I’ll think I’m hearing God speaking to me and then I get into a battle with myself. ”Is this really God or is this my own thoughts tricking me into thinking it’s God because this is what I want?” Oh if I had a dollar for every time I’ve asked myself that question. So many of us have so many doubts and struggle to hear God’s voice which is so easily muted in life. How awesome would it be if there was a big cloud hovering over us, moving ahead of us, pointing us to where we should go! I know the Bible gives us a lot of direction but I’m talking about the specifics… the decisions each person makes in his own life. Do I move to Denver, Chicago, or stay where I am? Do I go to college, join the military, or become a full time missionary? Sometimes it takes a lot of wrong turns before we finally get where God wanted us to be all along. There are days that I really think that hovering cloud would come in handy!
My second thought was this: How difficult would it be to never know how long you would be somewhere? I know life is somewhat like this, but for the Israelites, there was no prep-time, no warning. It was more like, “Okay, the cloud is moving, looks like we’d better pack up!”. They never knew if they should bother getting comfortable somewhere because they may be there for a few days, but on the flip side, they may be there for a year; that’s a long time to do the equivalent of living out of a suitcase. I pondered this for a while and decided that really, this is how we should be. We should never really get “settled” but we should always be ready to move where the Lord commands us. He could point me in a new direction at any time. Would I be willing to drop all my plans and follow God’s plan? Have I become too comfortable with my life to want to pick up and go where He leads me? Have you?
Well, I missed a couple days in my Joy Dare. It happens. Even though I didn’t post them, I still found myself noticing more “gifts” around me and isn’t that the whole point of this project in the first place?
That is my first gift today; the change I have noticed in habits. I’ve started to look for gifts all around me without even thinking about it. I tend to do this when I have downtime or when the day is going well. The next step will be to still notice gifts when I’m stressed or irritated (so pretty much whenever I’m at work!).
The second gift is from tonight’s devotion with the kids. It was about how when God formed people, he took his time and formed Adam very carefully and that this shows how important we are in God’s plan. Hoover looked at me and said very seriously while shaking his head, “Yeah mommy. And we don’t wanna mess up God’s plans.”
And the third gift today is this guy, snuggling on our bed.
We wanted to make something yummy for breakfast Christmas morning. So I did what every Pinterest addict sane person does and I headed over to Pinterest to see what I had stashed away in my food files. I found this bacon breakfast bake and thought I’d give it a try. (Click the link for the full recipe.)
Basically you pre-cook some tatertots, sautee some peppers and onions, and fry up some bacon. Then you layer the tater tots, peppers and onions, bacon, and an egg and cheese mixture in a casserole dish and bake it in the oven.
My husband thought it was okay but the kids ATE IT UP! If you have picky eaters, you should definitely give this dish a try. Plus, we had enough leftovers for breakfast for the next 2 or 3 days. I thought it was good recipe, especially since it is so versatile! Next time, I’m going to make some changes that I think will make this breakfast even better. You could even use it as a dinner!
I’m going to try using hash browns or fresh potatoes instead of tater tots. (Hubby is a bit of a food snob; tater tots do not impress him.)
I’m also going to add more veggies to include mushrooms and whatever else I might have on hand at the time. You could use broccoli, asparagus, tomato… anything you would consider putting into an omelet!
Also, I think this would be really great with sausage….. or ham… or sausage, ham, and bacon. (Why does cholesterol have to be a real thing?)
Here is how ours turned out. I’ll be sure to write an update after we try different variations.
I am currently making a sweater for Hoover… and he is not so patiently waiting for me to finish it.
As for the “Seeing” gift – I had several today. One is my husband. He is an amazing gift; the first one I see every morning and the last one I see before I go to bed at night. I am so grateful for him.
Another gift I saw was Hubby trying on new suits at the store. He looked so dang good in every single one of them.
One more was when we decided to go to Five Guys for dinner and I got to see my son do a very elaborate happy dance in his car seat.
One final gift today that isn’t part of the ‘reading, making, seeing’ theme is that I taught my kids the song Jesus Loves Me while we waited in the car for Hubby to finish his suit-buying. (The kids were getting a little tired of being in the store.) Hoover asked me to sing it with him four times on the way home!
When I dropped Junior off at before-school care this morning, a few kids jumped up and excitedly yelled his name when they saw him walk through the door. It put a huge grin on his face which of course, made me smile as well.
Shortly after dinner, Hubby told the kids to go brush their teeth. We have been changing our routine around a little bit lately so Junior was eager to know what they would be doing after the teeth-brushing. The second he finished, he ran up to Hubby and said in a little grown-up voice, “Okay Daddy, now what is the next step?” It made me think, how great it would be if adults were that eager to get guidance from God. How much easier would our lives be if we simply did what God wanted us to do and immediately went back to Him for our next move ALL the time?
The boys share a bedroom and every night, after we tuck them in and turn off the lights, I hear them in there quietly talking, commiserating, and giggling. I am so thankful that they are such good friends.
The sun. I thank God for the sun. It’s such a simple thing, but the sun has been hiding behind the clouds lately and when it came out today and the sky turned blue, I caught myself grinning as I drove my car down the highway. Maybe I should take some vitamin D…..
A gift inside….
I recently discovered that my Bible app will read the Bible to me, so this morning, on the way to work, I hooked my phone up to my car speakers and listened to Psalms the whole way there. What a great way to start the day! (Hey it was INSIDE my car… that counts right? )
A gift on a plate….
Food. Yes, it is simple. But when I was looking for this gift, I was trying to make it more complicated… more profound. But it doesn’t have to be. God has provided us the ability to put food on the table for our children, a task that has become very difficult for a lot of families these days. I am so grateful for the physical and spiritual sustenance that God continually provides.
For those who are not familiar with the Joy Dare, please refer to my original post and join in!