Gifts for the Sleeping

Friday:

If you intend to feel rejuvenated and ready to tackle the world in the morning, don’t stay up until 3 a.m. writing or organizing your photos. Yawn.

This morning, as I was peacefully slumbering….

Ok, peacefully slumbering is far too beautiful a fantasy for how I must have been sleeping. “Out like a log” is probably more appropriate. You get the idea

Unable to sleep the night before, I had stayed up far too late a.k.a. early. Writing. Organizing photos. Doing all those litle mundane things that are only appropriate to do at 3 a.m. of course.

In my slumber, I was awakened to a voice. Again, “awakened” is far too lovely a word. Jolted is more like it. In my drowsiness, a voice saying my name kept trying to wake me, but I just….couldn’t….wake…….up. “What is that?” Sooo…..tired….

When I said “out like a log,” I wasn’t exaggerating.

The voice got louder, “Brenda!”

“What the?” There was someone at the door. Oh! I finally opened my eyes, and my foggy brain started trying to quickly assess the situation.  I was confused. My sleepy brain wasn’t working very fast. “Am I naked? I hope not. That’s embarrassing.” (I wasn’t quite) Who is saying my name? Don’t they know it’s nighttime?”

It wasn’t night time. Wth my eyes half opened I could see the sun streaming in the windows. “Why didn’t my alarm go off if it’s not nighttime?”  I quieted my brain long enough to answer the voice groggily and grant permission to enter after I made sure the blankets ans sheets swallowed me.

To my surprise and sleepy embaressment, a person walked in carrying a gift. “A gift? What? Why?”

“Someone please tell me this isn’t the end of the world. I think I’m hallucinating. My dear mother is the only one who has ever brought me food in bed. Bless her heart. She’s so sweet.

Funny how completely immobile and sleep-drunk my body can be, but how alert my brain can be at those times, albeit alert to only certain, odd things.

In those few seconds, hundreds of thoughts had enough time to come to my mind, be discussed and argued mentally, put in the trash for irrelivence or accepted as truth. The brain is an amazing thing. It works on default even when my body will not respond to what it is saying.

Back to the story. The minute I answered the voice, it entered, bringing a tray of beauty, color and taste to my bedside. Of course I felt unworthy. I should have been awake, dressed and eagerly anticipating a gift. After all, I should have known. I shouldn’t have even been surprised.

The day before, I had ” accidentally” noticed a suspicious message in my fiance’s inbox. Like a good girl, I left it, not wanting to ruin a surprise I was sure was coming, although I had no idea what was inside that message.

My dear fiance’ laughed hysterically when I told him the story. I’m such a funny little being. I told him how my mind brought up the thought, “I’ll open the message, but I won’t read it. I’ll just look at it out of the corner of my eye.” Needless to say I sent that idea to the trash for irrelevance. How silly and impossible. As I listened to the howls of laughter on the other end of the phone line, I had to smile. “You….are…(more laughter) soo funny and cute!”

I think a portion of my brain still operates like a little girl. It brings lots of hilarious memories and laughter, but on a serious note I think it has some potential.

The tray was set on my stand, and the person said, “From someone who loves you.” I still could hardly see, but I said thank you, and the person was gone.

By this time my body was beginning to become responsive to my brain. I propped myself up on my elbow and contemplated what had just happened and stared at the tray. There was a vase of lavender.  A warm blueberry muffin sat there waiting. The smell was delicious. A frozen coffee drink also waited…for me.

A gift. I knew who it was from.

I got up, fixed my bed, and got dressed. It would be a shame to enjoy such extravagance on an unmade bed. I enjoyed the muffin immensely. My favorite. The drink was cold and refreshing. I had to smile.

Thank you, darling. My sleepy mind went through some drama this late morning, but I am so thankful for you and the way you love me.

The entire time I was eating and drinking, my mind was processing something much deeper then a coffee drink.

By the time I was done eating, I was already on my laptop typing this story out. I don’t know if you are catching on to something deeper as well, but God spoke to me very clearly through a tray delivered to my bedside.

There is a bridegroom. The Bridegroom. Your Prince. He is after your heart. He’s not after your counsel, your intellect, or your good deeds. He is after your heart. He wants to be your first love.

He is a pursuer of hearts.

(backyard roses)

You find yourself in a deep sleep. You stayed up late the night before, trying to finish your projects.

You press towards your goals. You strive to find more projects to fill up your life. Or it just….seems to have a way of filling up and becomes a monster time eater. You try to satisfy the drive to fill the emptiness.

You have good intentions. There is so much to do.

But when that knock sounded on your bedroom door and that Voice called you by name, you didn’t hear. You slept. You were exhausted.

When you did jolt awake from the sounds outside your door, you were afraid. It was Him!

“Am I naked?? I hope not. That’s embarrassing.”

“What did I do wrong? What does someone want from me now?”

When you recognized the Voice or the Prince behind the delivery, you were filled with shame. “I should have been up and ready, waiting at my door for this gift.”

Your thoughts were anxious, full of fear.

When you answered the voice, despite your turbulent emotions, the person entered immediately, but not before you answered.

When you call out, He is there. He will not push Himself on you. But He will chase your heart.

He brought gifts. He was not shaming you. He was not there to scold or belittle your sleepy state. He was there to romance you. You were ashamed of your nakedness. He wasn’t looking. He was there for your heart.

In the picture God gave me, I felt that the message I had “accidentally” seen was His promises. Promises of love and joy. “I am coming to you. I will pursue you. Wait. I want to pour my gifts on you. Expect goodness.”

His promises are meant to give hope and purpose. They are not just comforting words to recite in tough times. They are promises of something real and tangible.

He is available. Now. In this moment.

He will not stop doing good to you. As long as there is grace, He will continue to be at your bedside with gifts. He will continue to romance you, even when you reject Him. He will not give up on your heart. He made it.

Sometimes the person at the door is a messenger of the prince. Receive the gift.

Sometimes the person at the door is the Prince Himself. Receive the gift.

Expect it. Believe it. Anticipate goodness. Tune your ears to His goodness, so you are not blind when it comes to you.

Believe you are at the brink of a miracle. As long as He is there, your miracle is sure to come.

              Embrace divine romance.

This post isn’t limited to my interpretation. I got something very specific out of it, even more specific then what I shared here, but maybe God gave you something completely different. Feel free to hear from God on your own! 🙂

I’d love to hear what He showed you as well.

This last week has been interesting. By the end of it, I was in need of a fresh picture from God. It came. Go figure. 😉

School takes up so much of my time. I wish I had a giant screen in the backyard. I would lie in the grass under the white clouds and look up at my screen. There, I would read my textbooks and study for exams. My neck wouldn’t get cramped from looking down or staying in one position. Ahhh.

If I had been more dedicated in my first few years of high school, I would have finished long ago. But life goes that way sometimes. Other things came first. So now, I have a deadline, and my ears are smoking from all the cramming I do. And in such discouraging subjects. Chemistry, electricity, biology, genetics, and a plethora of strange disorders that seriously bog down my brain with negativity.

I think those textbooks should all be erased and logic should be smooshed by Jesus. God has a book written about His power. With one flick of His finger those textbooks could be dusty on the shelf, and disorders and deformities would be healed in Jesus’ name. Just a thought. (I have these arguments with theologians in my head. 🙂 )

Anyways, school plus wedding planning is a big load, and there is so much to get done. Sometimes I feel like a snail. Nothing seems to get done, and Satan brings all kinds of crap to my mind.

He makes me feel guilty that invitations aren’t sent out. He laughs because I’m scared we won’t get our location reserved in time. He taunts me for being different, and not fitting “the mold.”  He bombards my mind with unrest and to do lists that are endless and demanding.

But then…I hear that still, small voice that beckons me. He calls me to rest.

Rest is not a scheduled activity. It should be a lifestyle. It’s a state of being, even when nothing around you is calm.

He whispers, “Peace, be still.” The winds calm, and the waves are still.

My heart cries out in exhaustion from fighting…from trying to measure up, to do good enough.

But He has something to say. I don’t have to be like everybody else. My story is not written by my careful planning. It is written by Him, and no amount of stress will make it happen.

It’s not normal to “chill.” But it has to be. There is no other way. There are too many impossibilities in life to waste time trying to overcome them with my skill and determination.

I choose rest. I choose faith. Because God is more than capable to handle my life.

So when He calls me, I will stop. I will throw my anchor into the sea, and the ship will stop for a while. I will rest. I will enjoy His Presence. Even when every other bride has been  frenzied making every detail happen at this point, I will chill. 🙂 I’m crazy, but I feel sheltered from storms I don’t know of.

This is practical wisdom God gave me: Accusations don’t knock at your mind. They break in. Let Jesus in, and then bar the door. Stake your mind for Christ, and Satan has to leave.

Be encouraged! His Presence is lovely and refreshing. I turned some worship music on earlier last week, and I just started crying. Taking time to be with Him is such…relief.

Life has lovely little moments to make funny little people like me happy. Like finding much needed clothes for my man at a bargain price.

I was disapointed to find some tears that needed mending in two pairs of shorts, but that only led to another happy life moment when I successfully mended them with advice from Karen. I only broke one needle. haha. But I did conquer the sewing machine. Yay me who hates sewing.

Everything fit him perfectly. Another happy moment.

89 cent candle holders that I envisioned. Happy.

unedited. Such pretty blooms in the backyard.

apple.

sermon anyone? I like this pic.

GO GREEN!!! 🙂

The little nook after it was all cleaned up after how many weeks of not being cleaned. :/ I sit in the wicker chair to do school almost every day. Random fact.

love….

First rose my love gave me. It dried perfectly.

This makes yummy meals. Karen is an amazing gardener! I need to learn from her. 🙂

I was pleasantly surprised this weekend. It started with the surprise muffin and coffee drink. I knew Cabob had something up his sleeve, and I was secretly hoping he was planning to come see me.

When I got the muffin, I was totally excited and enjoyed every bite. But I was a tiny bit dissapointed because I figured he wasn’t going to come see me after all.

BUT….that was just to throw me off. See, my fiance has never managed to fully surprise me because I can smell if he’s hiding something from miles away. I smelled something funny this weekend, so when he called me Friday, I asked him about it. The poor guy was so stressed out. I am usually very smart, and I asked him questions from every single angle. 🙂 I thought I had him cornered.

See, I’m funny with surprises. I do love a good, pleasant surprise. But only if I’m truly surprised. I don’t like to ruin it if I get suspcious, so I ususally just play along.

But I can’t do that with Cabob. If I smell something and his cover is blown, I will be wringing my hands and upset by the time the surprise happens. I require therapy at this point. :p This has happened, and I was very quiet and mad when he showed up. Don’t ask me why, but I just can’t handle the emotional stress of waiting for a surprise that no one admits too. :p I think it’s mostly because I’m in love with a him, and the anticipation of seeing him/ not seeing him makes me very emotionally drained. 😀

So he’s trying to figure me out. 🙂 He did a super job this weekend. He planned and accomplished way beyond what I thought was possible for him to outwit me. 😉 When I cornered him on the phone, he gave up his case because he knew I would be a wreck if he didn’t.

He said, “Ok, fine. I was thinking about coming to see you this weekend. But if I come, I would be there tomorrow night. (Saturday) I need to go to the bank and take care of things in town this afternoon. I have to get that stuff done.” I have no idea why, but I swallowed it. He worded it perfectly without lying.:)

I was totally relaxed the rest of the evening. Cleaning, editing pictures. I even called to remind him to give Harveys a heads up that he was coming. Little did I know that he had already pulled in the driveway and was talking to me there. Karen heard me on the phone downstairs, and then she heard Cabob outside. Weird. Everyone was a little tickled I think. 🙂

He hung up on me. I thought he lost service so I called him back. In the next moment, I looked up to man standing in my doorway. I was in shock. He surprised me. Complete success. I wasn’t mad at all. I know I’m weird. 🙂 I was proud of him that he outwitted me.

I was so excited I talked about non stop for the next few hours. I was silly. It was lovely.

We had so much fun. We made a pact to take a break from wedding planning and just DATE for a whole weekend. Best weekend surprise ever.

Fun times in Walmart. He bought me this awesome white watch…just because. ‘Cause we’re dating. We’ll always be dating. Even when we’re old and gray. 😉

 

Zephaniah 3:17 The LORD your God is in your midst, a mighty one who will save; he will rejoice over you with gladness; he will quiet you by his love; he will exult over you with loud singing.

Have a week overwhelmed with love.

© Brenda Bender

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