Wednesday, July 20, 2011

The Itsy Bitsy Things God Does

Welcome to anyone who pops over from Conversion Diary! I wrote a guest post for her "Our Father" series which you can find here

This is a list of things that God has done in my life recently, but which are too small to make into blog posts of their own.


The day after I wrote about decluttering, I was trying to finish up the last of the clothes-sorting, but it was taking longer than I thought. I got that static pain1 thing, so I decided to stop and start working on sorting the toys instead. The static pain went away and the timing ended up working out very well: just as I was getting close to being done with the toys, the landlord showed up to do something that needed doing in the kids' room.


On July 8th, I ended up pulling laundry off the outside line around 10pm, in the dark. I've stepped on some painful things walking around barefoot in the backyard before, so this time I said a quick prayer and asked God that I wouldn't step on anything sharp. And I didn't.


Jules got a goose-egg on her head (she's at that age2) and Ken was concerned enough to be talking about going to the hospital. I said a prayer that she would be ok, and shortly after that, Ken managed to check her pupils and decided she was probably ok.


On Friday the 15th, I kept stopping to wonder what I should be making for dinner. I didn't have anything thawed or planned. Every time I thought about it though, I had this feeling that I didn't need to do anything, like God saying "I've got it taken care of". Ken hadn't said anything about cooking, so I couldn't think of any reason I might not need to make dinner. I had other things to do though, so I let it go. When Ken came home, he promptly started making fish. I still don't know if he had already thawed it or bought it on the way home or what - but it was all taken care of.


When I took the kids to the library last week, Gabe kept running around the aisles and handing me random books off the shelves. I was trying to scan the sci-fi section to see if there was anything there that I hadn't read before, might like, and wasn't book 2 through 8,459 of a series. In the middle of trying to do this and keep Gabe under control, Kyrie handed me this little red book and asked me if she could get it. For some reason, I had this very vague feeling that I shouldn't let her, but I was too distracted to pin it down, so I said yes. It kept bothering me enough that a couple day's later - after Kyrie had already read it - I picked it up and started reading to find out whether it was all my imagination or whether there was something objectionable in it. And yes, there was. There was lots of good stuff, too, but some of it rubbed me the wrong way. So I'm sorry I let her read it. On the other hand, I think this means that I don't have to worry about reading every library book the kids want to get, to make sure it's ok3; I just have to worry about listening for God's warnings about the ones that aren't. You have no idea how relieved that thought makes me.


Julie caught a cold4, so I didn't want to bring her to Mass on Sunday. Since Ken isn't Catholic, he's usually the one to stay home with sick kids. This time it felt right, though, to stay home with her myself, so I did, and Ken took the three oldest to Mass.


Last Saturday I went to confession. As I arrived, the church was packed full of people who were just finishing up a bunch of baptisms. It happens sometimes that I feel a little leap of joy or find myself smiling without ever having intended to, when I see someone else receiving a sacrament, especially the sacraments of initiation. It's only ever happened at the moment of the sacrament, though. This time I was walking in after all the sacraments were over, and I felt as if they all hit me at once. Before I knew it, I discovered I had the hugest smile on my face. It was awesome.


During my Monday night charismatic prayer meeting, we were praying for people, and I kept having these impulsive thoughts popping into my head, about what would or would not happen with the prayers. Even the "happy" thoughts didn't seem exactly peaceful, so I prayed to strengthen my armor5, and immediately my thoughts calmed down and it was easier to discern how to pray.


Back in 2008, I decided to start praying that we would be able to buy a house by the end of 2012. (I discovered that my grandparents had bought a house when their oldest child was 8; I wanted a house by around the time when my oldest was that age, which she is now). Ken interviewed with the bank last Saturday; the lady recommended waiting until next February to apply, since Ken will then have been working steadily for two years. Next February would make it 2012.


I had two stories for my Stories of God6 project, and I've been waiting for over a month now, I think, for a third story before sending out the next edition. It occurred to me that I could put in a story of my own - I had written up an inner healing story for some people in my prayer group - but I thought maybe I should be waiting on God. On Sunday, I felt I needed to pray about it, but when I did, I couldn't settle on either decision. Then I started praying in tongues, and the more I did so, the more convinced I became that I should put my own story in and send out the email. So I did.7

1. I describe static pain as "the nastiest of moods, the one where my every thought turns into a self-accusation, like a knife that I can't stop stabbing myself with". This link tells how I came to discover that it is God's way of pushing me to do whatever it is he wants me to do.

2. You know, the one where she's just learned how to pull herself up to standing, but doesn't have the balance to go with that yet. If I recall right, the head-bumps last until sometime after the baby learns how to walk; eventually they get steadier and the head-bumps get a lot more rare.

3. Just to be clear, I don't pre-read stuff for my kids. I'm way too lazy and/or busy for that. I just worry that I should. I'm pretty permissive about such stuff, at least as judged by the Catholic blogging world. I mean, I'm actually looking forward to my kids reading Harry Potter.

4. Lisa, I blame you. Or I would, if I hadn't essentially agreed to it beforehand. :)

5. In case you aren't familiar with it, "putting your armor on" is a great way to ask God for protection from evil, as Jesus taught us to do daily, in the last line of the Our Father. That's part of my morning prayer with the kids, but this particular day I was extra distracted while praying in the morning, so I figure it needed a little boosting.

6. Stories of God works like this. People send me stories about what God is doing in their life; I put them together in an email to send out. Everyone is welcome to participate, and it's completely free. To subscribe or to submit a story, email me at

7. A bonus answered prayer: I couldn't remember what it was that I had meant to include for my last point here, and then I prayed and asked God to help me remember it, if he wanted me to, and a minute or two later I remembered it.


  1. OH NO!!!! I knew I shouldn't have held that cute little baby :) Sorry Julie! And Anna. And the rest of your kids whom Julie might share it with. At least in our house it was a short-lived and not too terrible of a cold... I hope it is for you guys, too...

  2. Gabe had it for a day or so, and Savi sniffled for a couple hours, but the rest of us have been fine. Julie still has it, but it's pretty mild and she doesn't seem to mind much.