Did you know that God smiles? He does! I’ve seen it with my own eyes.
Yes, He delights and takes pleasure in you, those are the God smiles you often feel, but I’m talking about the God smiles that you can physically see.
I serve an almighty, powerful, holy God in whom I also have a very real and personal relationship with. He hears the prayers I pray – the ones that I verbally express and the ones that are prayed silently in my heart, sees my tears and understands the language of my tears when I don’t have the words to say and knows me better than I know it myself. Not only does He hear, He answers. I’ve learned to know what the voice of the Lord sounds like and how to tune my ears to His voice (want to find out more about this subject, click here).
By now, you’re aware of the new adventure our family is about to embark upon (if you missed the big announcement, click here). We have sold our home, cars, furniture…pretty much everything we owned except for what was necessary or irreplaceable to contend as a family for an awakening in our nation.
Never in a million years did I ever think we would be doing something like this. Never. While we were youth pastors, I always said how glad I was that Daniel wasn’t an evangelist and traveling every weekend. When we became parents I always said there would be no way I’d ever homeschool – I’m just not cut out for that. Well, for the last 3 years Daniel has been traveling every weekend ministering in churches across the nation and around the world and this past week, you guessed it, Reijah started homeschool! Though I never imagined our lives as an evangelist and homeschooling, I felt the Lord smile.
Daniel first mentioned the idea to me a year and a half ago as we were on our way to Crockett, TX for ministry. If he was ministering locally, we would all go with him. So the opportunity for both of us to go without the kids a few hours away didn’t happen often. However, my amazing mom was gracious enough to watch the kids for us for the day so I could go. Daniel said that he had been thinking about a way that we could all be together more as he traveled and ministered and mentioned the idea of selling everything and getting an RV and living in it for a year doing ministry together as a family. I was immediately on board and began researching RV’s! I felt God smile.
Since that time, we made it a matter of prayer and asking the Lord’s wisdom and direction for our family. We knew He would answer, and He did. We shared the vision and heart with trusted men and women of God who speak into our lives, family and our ministry board and everyone believed with us that this was the next step. So the journey began! I felt God smile again.
The closer and closer we moved towards taking one of the biggest steps of faith we’ve ever done as a family before, the more questions I began to have. There was never a doubt in my mind about what the Lord had spoken to our hearts. I was 110% on board from the get-go. As a mom, my biggest concern was our kids. How would they feel about leaving behind friends, family and everything they’ve ever known, not having a “home”? How would they adapt to going from a big space to very little space for them to play and run around? How would Reijah feel about leaving behind friends at church and school and be homeschooled (though this is something she had been asking about recently because she wanted to be around family more)? Friendships are a big deal right now (she will be nine in October!) as well as continuing to build a solid foundation and now we were asking her to leave that all behind for a year and a half. Big deal! How would Caden, our little Mr. Consistency, adapt to everything changing? If you know Caden, he likes consistency. He doesn’t like to be taken by surprise. He thrives in a routine and knowing what’s happening. Now things will be changing on a week to week basis. Big deal! How would Chase, our youngest son, receive the speech therapy he needed to be able to communicate with us? When we made the decision to move forward, Chase was in the middle of receiving speech therapy once a week at our home. It wasn’t that he couldn’t talk, it was just that he wouldn’t. So once a week we did play therapy to help him begin to express himself verbally. He was progressing, but not enough for me to be confident that he wouldn’t still need additional sessions to be able to communicate. So many prayers were prayed throughout the day and as I would check on the kids before going to bed. I was doing everything I could do to figure it all out, yet knowing that the Lord was going to do all that I couldn’t do…and trusting Him every step of the way.
I knew God heard my prayers, saw my tears and knew my heart and even in the midst of my questions, I still felt God smile.
Every July for the last 10 years, we have had the privilege to be a part of the most amazing Christ-centered, Holy Ghost filled, power packed, life changing, incredible youth conference I’ve ever been to. I knew this week would be significant to many who attended, but I especially knew it would be significant for me. Daniel preached a powerful message (as usual in my humble opinion!) and students flooded the altars. I don’t always pray with him at the altars – I generally have our 4 year old with me or have made my way to the book table. However, the boys were with my mom during the conference and Reijah was sitting with a friend during this portion of the service, so I was able to join him. As we prayed I felt wave after wave of the presence of the Lord. I was overwhelmed. Tears would stream down my face as I heard the Lord very clearly say to me over and over again, “You take care of My kids and I will take care of yours.” Such words of comfort from the One who knows my heart so well! When service was over, I checked my phone and saw a text message from my mom. She was watching the service via livestream with the boys at our home. The text read, “twice Chase put his hand in the air…when Taylor was singing ‘fill me up God’ he was singing with her…very clearly saying the words.” Again my eyes filled with tears. Our baby boy who had been mostly non-verbal began singing very clearly on his own! My momma heart was bursting from the inside at an immediate answer to what He spoke to me “you take care of My kids, I will take care of yours.” At the end of the week, another of the speakers was speaking over me. He stopped and put the microphone down and whispered to me, “He said, ‘your kids are going to be fine.’” Later as I was talking with the speaker and told him what it meant to me to hear that, he said that he heard the Lord clearly and felt so strongly that he was to tell me that.
WOW! Of all the times I felt God smile, this time I could see God smile as one by one, my prayers were being answered. He is doing just as He promised, He is taking care of our kids as we do what He has spoken to us to do. Reijah is now beginning to truly grasp the importance of what it is we are doing and doing it together as a family, being an active part of the dreaming and desires to participate more in ministry. Caden is becoming super excited about getting a “house on wheels” while visiting so many cool places across the United States and meeting new friends. Chase is a little parrot, talking non-stop with incredible vocabulary and sentence structure…you’d never know he wasn’t talking just two months before! I know that there will be days of frustration and days where I will probably ask the question “what in the world are we doing?!?” and in those moments, I will still feel God smile because we are following where He leads, but I will also remember and choose to see God smile as we continually see His hand at work in our lives, our family and everything that we endeavor to do for Him.
So to you, dear reader, whoever you may be and wherever you may be in your life, may you feel the smile of the Lord. There is never a moment where you are not on His mind and where He doesn’t see your tears, hear your prayers and know your heart. You are His child. He delights in you and loves you with an everlasting love! I pray that you not only feel Him smile, but that you also see Him smile in the little things as well as see His goodness and faithfulness in the answers to prayers you’ve prayed. I’m looking forward to many more “God smiles” along our journey and yours as well!