Pasta again? That's a weekly mantra at my home because I happen to like all things Italian. Spaghetti, ravioli, tortellini, lasagna, farfalle, pizza. I know pizza's not a pasta, but it's Italian and I love it. If it were up to me we'd probably eat some sort of Italian dish every night. But I try to be considerate of the other folks who live here and make something more American every once in a while like....macaroni and cheese, for instance. Oops! That would be pasta too, huh?
The thing is, I'm a pretty proficient cook and if my family just asks for something I'm glad to cook it. But they rarely ask; they'd rather just complain afterward. So I throw in an Asian stir fry every now and then and if I want something from my husband I'll cook his favorite beans and cornbread. But even when I make a large salad or a no meat meal, it seems to end up having an Italian flair. Especially once the basil starts growing in my herb garden. That's when my family knows it tour of Italy time for sure!
But if they'd just ask...
James 4:1-3 are some of the most insightful scriptures for understanding why we get all bent out of shape sometimes. These three little verses have helped me tremendously to understand why I occasionally get this restless churning inside of me that eventually leads to me nagging my husband, yelling at my kids, snapping at my friends, and whining to nobody in particular. If this never happens to you, stop reading now and have a nice weekend. If it does, follow me...
What is the source of quarrels and conflicts among you?
Is not the source your pleasures that wage war in your members?
You lust and do not have;
so you commit murder.
And you are envious and cannot obtain;
so you fight and quarrel.
You do not have because you do not ask.
You ask and do not receive,
because you ask with wrong motives,
so that you may spend it on your pleasures.
James 4:1-3 (NASB)
It's so easy to forget that we have a heavenly Father who is just waiting to bless us. I'm not sure why that is because most of us attest to having received blessing after blessing from Him, but then we'd rather grumble and complain and whine to others than ask Him directly for things.
Oh, we're pretty good about asking Him to keep us safe on a trip or to heal someone when they're sick or to help us pay those bills. But what about asking Him to be your companion when you're feeling a little lonely? What about asking Him to give you a little "at a girl" when you need to know you're on the right track with something? What about asking Him to delight you when you're just a little bored and mellow? What about asking Him to make you laugh when you're having a blue day?
He can do those things, too, you know.
If you just ask.
Earlier this week I was feeling a little blue. Call it post-vacation syndrome or deadline-pressing-down-on-me anxiety or the I-live-2,000-miles-away-from-my-Mama melancholy or just... one of my 3-5 allotted blue days per month (statistics say that's what we all have, by the way). But I was blue and I needed a little something to tickle me pink.
So I asked.
I just told God how I felt and that I really needed Him to do something about it. I asked Him to lift my spirits. And I left the means up to Him. Delight me, I said. Be creative. I trust You.
And guess what? He did.
On Wednesday I got a message from a fellow blogger who I read often, but I don't think she's ever even left a comment on my blog. She's one of those extremely witty bloggers with gobs of followers and a stream of comments on every post. She's one of my heroes. She sent me a message saying I'd "won" something at her blog and she'd like to send me an iTunes gift certificate. I checked her blog to see when I'd entered in a contest to win anything, and... I hadn't. I don't know what in the world she was talking about, but she sent me the gift certificate and I now have $10 on my iTunes account to pick me out some new diddies. And I didn't pass it on to my teenage daughter either. Because, in my mind it was God's gift to me, via Whimzie (the blogger) of course.
On Thursday I noticed on the LPM Blog that they were offering free tickets to the Beth Moore Living Proof Live event in Tucson this weekend. I hadn't bought a ticket to go because I had just heard her in January and didn't feel it was wise to ask my husband for a repeat funding so soon. But I thought if they're giving away tickets to bloggers, I can ask.
So I asked. Actually I asked God first, then I made the call.
I told the kind lady on the phone that I'd just seen Beth in January and if they needed to give the tickets to other women who hadn't seen her before or so recently I completely understood. But she was enthusiastic about giving me a ticket and so I took one. I get to go to a Living Proof Live event this weekend. And I completely give God the credit for that one too.
And voila! My spirits are definitely lifted, I've been tickled pink, and I'm singing God's praises instead of whining about what's on the table. I just had to ask.
If you then, being evil, know how to give good gifts to your children,
how much more shall your Father who is in heaven give what is good to those who ask Him!
Do you need something today? Ask!