I have been pondering over whether or not to share this, and after some consideration, I have decided to do so. Maybe there is someone out there who thinks like I do and can relate. And, if not, then I suppose this is one way to offer insight to myself for any of my friends out there who would like to know me better. Surely, there is someone. 😉
I was raised in the church and have had a personal relationship with Christ from the age of 9 years old. I have had times in my life when that relationship was stronger and more intimate than at other times, but I can honestly say that the past 30 years of my life have been consistently spent serving Him.
Over the decades that I have been a Christian, there has been an area that I have sometimes struggled with understanding. To put it plainly, I don’t have a broad comprehension of God’s love. I have heard many times over the years phrases such as, “You mean so much to Him”, “God loves You so much”, “You are so special to Him”, “He would have died on that cross, even if You were the only person on earth”, etc.
I have heard these things so often over the years, but somehow I find it hard to believe that He really loves ME that much. I’m not really all that great. And, I know that it is not really about me anyway, it is about Him. Yet, still, I wonder sometimes if those things are true about Him loving me that much.
I have such a blessed life and I cannot complain about much of anything. I believe that we all can make a choice concerning how we choose to live life and that God lays out some principles in His word that if we abide by them, then we will be blessed. Truthfully, it’s not all that hard. He lays out a formula and we plug in the rest. I guess that is the Math teacher in me talking. But lately, I have been having a harder time believing that He really loves me as much as I have been told that He does. And, just when things are beginning to get me down, God shows up for me. Allow me to tell you how.
Our daughter Devri had a birthday on May 1st. I wanted to plan a birthday party for her and due to some work we were having done on our house, we needed to do something off site. She said that she wanted a bowling party, so I charged ahead with that plan. I called the bowling alley and got all the details for the cost of the party and then proceeded to book it. When asked what day and time, I replied that because my daughter attends a private school and we get out at noon on Fridays that I would like to have the party from 1-3p.m. She hesitated for half a second and then said, “Well, we aren’t open during that time, but for you I will go ahead and open for you. I’m the manager here and I don’t mind doing that for you.” I was very grateful and the plan was in motion.
The next week I found some really cute invitations on Etsy and I ordered them. I also began ordering these cute bowling pin water bottles that I planned on personalizing for all of the party guests. Next, I needed a cake. I found the perfect cake and ordered it from The Great Cakery in Coahoma. I received the invitations and got them all distributed to Devri’s friends.
A few days before the party, Stacey from The Great Cakery called to confirm my order and to make arrangements for me to pick up the cake. I mentioned to her that my husband would have to pick it up because I would be working until noon and the party was at 1p.m. She happily volunteered to deliver the cake to the bowling alley for no charge.
I arrived at the bowling alley at 12:15 on the day of the party to set up. The manager Tammy and the owner of Big Spring Bowl-a-Rama, Diana were so excited about my decorations and the bowling pin water bottles that they wanted to add to the decor. Diana gave me two Happy Birthday bowling pins for the party guest to sign for Devri to keep as a memento. Normally, she sells them for an additional $15/each. The decorations and the cake were perfect and now we were ready to party!
To my great surprise, out of 22 guests that were invited, all but 2 showed up. And, thankfully, all of the mammas of these dear children are my friends and they all stayed and assisted me in serving pizza, drinks and cake and in the general running that is involved in a child’s birthday party. I could not have survived without them. Another “gift” to be thankful for that day.
Tammy was wonderful about accommodating all of our needs and she even allowed us a few of Devri’s favorite songs on the jukebox and provided disco lights to set the mood. The kids had a wonderful time dancing and bowling. It really could not have gone any better than it did.
For all of this, I was so grateful. On top of having a great turn out at the party, I felt like God gave me some bonus blessings throughout. The party was a success and it was over and we were back home by 4:30, in time to still enjoy the evening with the family.
For dinner, Devri wanted to go eat at the Hotel Settles. It is a historical hotel in Big Spring that was recently beautifully restored and we love to dine there. When we arrived at the Settles Grill, we were quickly seated at a table directly in front the musical ensemble for the evening-a woman sitting along side a gentleman playing the keyboard. The thought ran through my head that we were sitting so close to them that the music was going to be bothersome. Boy, was I wrong. Throughout the meal we were serenaded with jazz tunes from the likes of Frank Sinatra and Tony Bennett. We tipped the musicians at some point during the meal and withdrew any negative thoughts that had spawned upon arrival. I saw it as another gift from God that day.
We also had a wonderful waitress and the food was amazing, as always. Devri was offered a complimentary dessert for her birthday, which John and I enjoyed very much. Our daughter is not much for Tres Leches. When they brought out her cake, our new friends sang Happy Birthday to her. Then the female singer came over to our table and gave Devri a five dollar bill for her birthday. We were completely surprised. We were even more surprised when she returned a few minutes later and gave Sam $3 because she didn’t want him to be left out. We felt bad that they were giving their tip to our kids. They insisted that the kids keep the money and they told us that they had so enjoyed our family being there that night. Again, I was overwhelmed with joy and gratefulness for such a blessing.
When we left that evening, John and I got in our vehicle and looked at each other and at the same time said, “This has been the best night ever.” I can truthfully say that on May 1, 2015, God made ME feel loved. I love Him in the good times and the bad times and I know that He will never leave me nor forsake me. I know that there are times that I feel Him and there are times that I feel all alone. But on this day, I laid my head down believing that He really loves ME!
Girl, you made me cry for the second time today. I’m sorry it took so long in your life to feel His love. I pray you experience His love more and more.
What a great blessing! You and John are such a blessing to others! “Seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness and all these things shall be added unto you!”
Jenny!!!! I enjoyed that read!! Thank you for sharing!! I love that Jesus showed off on May 1, 2015!! He LOVES you and so do so many others!! You need to write more! When I saw that u had written something I couldn’t get settled into my comfy clothes fast enough to sit by the window to read it!! I love how you added pics to your story!! I’m a visual and the pics really added more and made me feel like I was there! Lol
Thank you for the kind words. You are such an encourager. I’ll try to write more, just for you! 🙂