Monday, September 23, 2013

Three years and counting...

Three years ago yesterday I started this blog.  I started with no real goal in mind.  I just knew I had stories to tell and I needed an outlet to tell them.  I put out a request on Facebook for name suggestions.  I signed up for a Blogger account.  And The Potluck Diaries was born.

Over the past three years, my life has changed.  I have been through breakups... thank heavens those days are over.  I met Jake and got married.  We moved and then moved and then moved again.  We are really tired of moving.  We have made friends and said goodbye to others.  We have experienced loss and then the thrill of a new little life growing.  And through all of this, I have experienced God's goodness and grace and have been able to share those things with all of you.  I have told my stories and then listened as you told yours back to me.  And I am humbled by your honesty and openness.

I am not as faithful to writing as I used to be, but I am still here and the stories are still swirling around in my head.  Soon I will be writing blogs between feeding a baby and washing cloth diapers.  I believe it can be done.  So here's to another three years of changes.  You keep reading, I'll keep writing.  Thanks for joining me on my little blogging journey.  We have made it three years.  Congratulations to us.

Thursday, September 5, 2013

Does Jesus Care?

Several weeks ago I had a meltdown.  Several meltdowns, in fact.  I was mostly just feeling sorry for myself, but all I could think about was how I had just a few months to prepare for our baby's arrival and we had nothing done.  A girlfriend sent me pictures of her sweet little nursery, and though I was thrilled for her, I felt a wave of sadness that in my baby's room is nothing but furniture I need to sell and a few small boxes of thoughtful baby gifts given to me by friends and family.  I had been on the lookout for used furniture, sure that I would come across the things I needed.  Sure that they would be bargain priced.  But the sad reality was, even if I found something that would work, I didn't have the extra money to buy it.  By shopping, I felt like I was doing something, but I didn't have the money to spend even if I found what I needed.  And I was heartbroken.  I was genuinely sad.  I wanted to be buying room decorations.  I wanted to be working on little craft projects for our nursery.  I wanted to wash loads of tiny laundry and put them into a baby's dresser.  And I couldn't.  The money just wasn't there.  And so I did what all good pregnant girls do.  I cried.

I had a dollar amount in mind.  It was a stretch.  I knew it was.  But I figured that if I had THIS amount of money, I would be able to do it all.  Buy used furniture and repaint.  Start our stash of newborn cloth diapers.  Purchase vintage toy decorations.  Our baby would be set... if only I had this amount of money.  On one of my meltdown days, I said it out loud in a conversation to Jake.  I want THIS amount of money.  I cried, he listened, and I worked out how I could spend it.  And we both knew it wasn't realistic.  Not even a little.  And I would like to say that we both got down on our knees right then and there and had a Turner family prayer meeting about it.  But we didn't.  It was mentioned in conversation.  Jake did pray for me and for the sadness that I was feeling.  And then we moved on.

Fast forward one week.  I was on the phone with Jake.  He was at work, and I was at home.  I walked to the mailbox, and I opened it up.  Bill.  Bill.  Another bill.  And then... a card.  It was in a tiny envelope.  When I opened it up, it took my breath away.  For a second or two I couldn't say anything.  Jake thought something was wrong, and I couldn't get the words out to reassure him.  Nothing was wrong.  Inside this card was a check.  And the check was for exactly twice the amount I had mentioned in our conversation the week before.  Twice.  And I cried again.  That's what I do these days.

I should not be surprised, really.  I have had so many direct answers to prayers, but this wasn't really a prayer exactly.  But there I stood, exactly one week after had given voice to my sadness and my desire, with an answer in hand.  More than an answer.  An answer times two. An answer I could not have planned or predicted or worked out on my own.  A God-orchestrated response to the longings of His child.  Something only HE could do.

Since that day, this song has been in the forefront of my mind.  It's an old hymn, long ago replaced by newer songs.  But sometimes only the old songs will do.

Does Jesus care when my heart is pained
Too deeply for mirth or song,

As the burdens press, and the cares distress,

And the way grows weary and long?

Oh, yes, He cares, I know He cares,
His heart is touched with my grief;
When the days are weary, the long nights dreary,
I know my Savior cares.

And he does.  God cares about the things spoken and the things unspoken.  He cares about me, six months pregnant, crying because my baby does not have a room.  (He will soon. Just you wait and see!)  He cares about you wherever you are, whatever you are doing, however you are feeling.  The smallest detail of your day, He cares about that.  The thing you feel but cannot say out loud.  He cares about that.  And He is a God that is willing to prove it, over and over again.  


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