This week I’ve been discouraged on many fronts. Perhaps you can see it in my prose or my poetry. So I asked those who pray for our family to pray that God would specifically encourage us this week. Guess what? He did. Let me count the ways:
The Jesus-Encouraging Top Ten List for the DeMuth Family:
- A Sunday School class from our church back home contacted us saying they’d like to partner with us. This was completely random, out of the blue, and it came on a particularly discouraging day.
- We received six parcels, all with goodies and love and joy stuffed inside. One of my publishers had his Sunday School class of ten-year-olds sign cards for us. Another friend sent Christmas presents (on the very day we put up our Christmas tree; now there are presents beneath it. Thanks, Erin!). Another friend sent us craft supplies and books. A friend from The Masters Artist sent us the elusive Reeses Peanut Butter cups and Twizzlers and a passel of writer’s magazines. What a treat! My agent sent us loads of new books. We feel utterly loved. Extravagantly so.
- A couple from our church who spearheads “The French Connection” (the group of folks who meet quarterly to pray for us), called us and asked us how they could bless us. They are setting up a December meeting, helping us continue to raise financial support and rallying much needed prayer support.
- I called a friend in our mission’s agency who said he’d been praying for us. When he spoke, he got choked up. It choked me up to know he cared so much for our family.
- My friend Renee said, “We wish we could be there with you.” Those words helped me to realize we are not alone–that we have friends who weep with us when we are down and rejoice with us when life brings laughter.
- I was deeply encouraged by this message by our friend JR Vassar. Do yourself a favor and watch it. Oh to be a gardener and not a gladiator!
- I had a life-giving talk with a friend here.
- Sophie brought home a stellar report card full of really, really nice comments from all her teachers. I am so proud of her!
- November was a good giving month. (We got our giving report yesterday.) Although the dollar is getting weaker and weaker, lessening our paycheck almost daily, we are encouraged that God sees us and is in control. Honestly, I’ve had panic about this issue in the past, but today I am peaceful and assured.
- I found oatmeal. I’d found it once before at a health food store, but didn’t know how to find that store again. Today, in a nearby store, I located it–in a square box of all things. So, with joy, tonight I made granola.
So, there you have it. (That line is from The Wonder Years in case you ever “wondered.” I loved that show. Kevin Arnold. Winnie Cooper. Paul with the nerd glasses. Loved them!) We are blessed beyond measure. God sees us. He answered my prayer specifically. We are encouraged. Life is not easy in France or the United States or India. But God sees us all. And He loves to lavish Himself on us, particularly when things seem difficult or the path is riddled with rocks and mud.
Perhaps you can pray this prayer too. “Lord, show me specifically that You see me. Encourage me this week in ways I know are from Your hand to my heart.” And then, let us all know how beautifully He answers.