I have been trying to make some photo calendars and a photo book for Christmas gifts for the last three weeks. Always on my To Do list and in the back of my mind, I haven't found a spare second to even think about starting these projects. I keep getting coupons in my email box from Snapfish. Good coupons with ridiculous deadlines like "Buy One Calendar, Get Two Free" and in small print at the bottom of the email "expires tomorrow so good luck trying to make three calendars in 24 hours" (or something like that). The coupons entice me to work on these projects but never give me enough time to actually start and finish in the allotted time.
Yesterday I finally started those blasted calendars. I got about 3/4 of the way through the first one, but had to stop to make dinner then rush Katie and Alli to their dance performance and Paige to her Christmas pageant. I had a hugely busy day planned for today, but sweet Katie cleared it for me when she barfed nine times in six hours during the night.
While she lay motionless on the couch watching a movie, I picked up my project where I left off last night and managed to finish all three calendars. I gleefully started the checkout process and somewhere around step 16, it asked for a coupon code. I clicked back to my email and my heart stopped. The "buy one get two" coupon expired last night at midnight. Seriously?!? My out-of-pocket expense on over-priced calendars jumped by 67% right around the time I had to wake Kaitlin from a dead sleep to get Paige from pre-school.
Flabbergasted and completely irritated, I half-carried, half-prodded my poor little sickie down two flights of stairs to the van. As she sat in her seat, wrapped in a blanket looking half-dead, I prayed and told God how frustrated I was. My heart hurt for my very sick little girl who felt miserable and was in tears over all the fun she's missing at school today and tomorrow. I was worried about the rest of my family getting sick since we're hosting a big party tomorrow night and have a snow day in the mountains planned for Saturday. I was sick to my stomach over either having to pay triple for my Christmas gifts or being forced to start completely from scratch on a cheaper website.
When we got home, I prayed and decided to try the coupon code anyway. I typed the code in the box, whispered another "please Jesus, it's just a little thing but it would be such a blessing to me" and hit "next." I have never been so happy to see red strikethrough in a price box before! I finished the order before the computer could change its mind about accepting my expired code and then sat at my desk overwhelmed by God's love for me. It's the little ways He loves me and encourages me that breathe life into my soul and leave a track record of His faithfulness in my life.
In Exodus 3 when God appears to Moses in the burning bush, they have a dialog that strikes me as odd. Moses is talking to a bush that's on fire but not being consumed. God's voice is coming from the bush and instructing Moses to make some life-altering decision. Moses starts arguing with God and says, "Suppose I go to the Israelites and say to then, 'The God of your fathers has sent me to you,' and they ask me, 'What is his name? Then what shall I tell them?' God said to Moses, "I AM WHO I AM." Wow. That's helpful. What exactly does that mean?
Our pastor defined it last week in a way that shed new light on this beautiful name. He said the literal translation of "I AM" means, "All that I am, I will be to you." God is love, but He doesn't call Himself "Love" because He's more than just love. He is Faithful. He is Healer. He is All-Powerful. He is Just. He is Mercy. And all that He is, He will be to me. Amazing. So today when I in essence asked God His name, He whispered, "All that I am, I will be to you - Encourager and Provider." Thank you I AM WHO I AM.