A few years ago, my friend Mary Geisen wrote a devotional called “Brave Faith: A 31 Day Devotional Journey.” She said, “God has so much more for us than we can imagine.” And then I won her giveaway of the devotional and the cup in this picture.
At the time, I never imagined what things God had in store for me that would take me beyond my natural abilities or strength. I guess there was a reason I won that mug! This new website, featured here and the writing project He has given me are part of the brave adventures this year. But putting my toes into new waters started a few years back.
Three years ago, God had me lead a small women’s Bible Study group through Bible Study Fellowship. The prep took me into a realm of study that went beyond my knowledge level. It was a growing experience and yet a time of sweet fellowship with the other leaders as well as my small band of ladies. The only thing I don’t miss is getting up with the chickens to meet on Saturday mornings. But even there, God equipped me to make it to those early meetings, by the skin of my teeth.
Then two years ago, God surprised me with a project that far exceeded my abilities and strength. I wonder to this day how my husband and I made it through. God provided much help from more than 50 dedicated members of church as we worked side by side for five months, ripping off paneling, scraping off popcorn ceilings, hanging new doors, laying tile, painting, replacing counter tops, and sorting, discarding, selling, giving away, and packing up a widow’s lifetime of memories so that she would be able to sell her home and move into an affordable dwelling. God did infinitely more than all we could ask or imagine (Ephesians 3:20).
Last year, I was invited to share my baking talents for a friend’s daughter’s wedding. Baking, yes, I could do that. I could even frost cupcakes. But swirling rosettes on cupcakes–that was outside my collection of talents. I agreed but had no idea how I was going to pull it off. I quickly turned to “Google” and scoured the internet for a Wilton class that taught how to make rosettes on cupcakes. Once again, the Lord intervened to my surprise. By then, I should have expected His expert supervisory abilities to lead me where I needed to go. The screen popped open with the name of a former Wilton teacher who worked independently. And she was a Christian. Best of all, she made house calls. When she arrived, my kitchen counter was whipped into a frothy frosting-making class complete with icing, tips, decorating bags, coloring, and cupcakes. One pair of steady designer hands lead the pair of shaky hands. When she left I had three completed samples which I had decorated with the cautious speed of one carrying china plates.
For the next few months preceding the wedding, I made two batches of rosette-frosted cupcakes a week and offered them to the first hand raised on Facebook. My pursuit became to sculpt rosettes fit for a special bride. Towards that end, I watched numerous “You Tube” videos on “How to Make Buttercream Frosting.” Also, I enlisted the help of a dear artistic friend who possesses a flare for cake decorating. A godsend!
Two days before the wedding, the bride’s mother, a friend of hers, and myself made cupcakes topped with rosettes methodically squeezed from decorator bags. The group project added laughter as well as ease in producing 150 cupcakes. The bride was radiant and the wedding spectacular with vows written by the bride and groom and a love centered in God.
With each year, God’s hand-picked project for me brimmed with respite in His creation. From mountain peaks stretching skyward to rolling ocean waves, from trekking the lands of the Bible in Israel to the dense green forests of Oregon, God provided rest for my husband and I to recuperate.
When the ball dropped on 2020, I wondered what project God had planned for this year. In my mind, I thought it would be prudent to finish my sons’ photo albums. I was quite behind. Before I could dive into that craft, a writing project slipped in during a viral pandemic the world had not anticipated. As I wrap up this year’s endeavor, I see no vacations in God’s creation yet, but I trust Him to provide a respite of His own making suited just for my husband and me in a world that is unpredictable.
In what ways has God called you to be braver than you ever imagined? I would love to hear them.
From My Heart to Yours,
Linking with: Inspire Me Monday