Fragrant Aroma

The new adventure begins with the transition from corporate work to God’s work.  God blessed me with a job that satisfies the desires of my heart as well as many practical ordinary needs.  But after the first day of on-site training, I see this is truly a calling from God.

unexpected assignment

I found the apartment of the woman I would serve in my first week on the job.  This is an unexpected assignment as my permanent assignment will not be ready until the following week.  With a little trepidation, I knocked on the door and was greeted by Ruth, the caregiver for Miss Naomi.  Ruth had a radiant smile and she welcomed me.  Thank goodness someone had called her to tell her I was descending on her for a day of in-home training.

Ruth introduced me to Miss Naomi and while we conversed, I saw in the blink of an eye, a change of spirit flowing over Miss Naomi.  She decided to accept me as her caregiver during the week I would be filling in while her own caregiver was on maternity leave.  We move into the home of a person with developmental disability and live there 24/7 for a week at a time.  I used to think the blessing would be in the second week when I was off, but I have quickly come to realize the blessing is in the week of work.

brussels sprouts and daikon radish

Miss Naomi is wheelchair bound and is as smart as a whip.  She is fiercely independent and full of laughter and pleasantry.  As I reviewed her history and noted she was diabetic and had issues with weight, I asked to review her last month of meals.  Yikes, a heavy carb as the mainstay of every meal. Only one day of the month did I see a vegetable and it was Brussels Sprouts.  I knew we would hit it off.  “Miss Naomi, I have a Brussels Sprout recipe from Paula Deen and it is to die for.  Can I make it for you when I come next week?  What do you think about an omelet filled with fresh veggies?  I grow my own sprouts and I can show you this crunchy sandwich I make with large slices of Daikon radish as the bread stuffed with sprouts and smoked turkey.” And with this we were off and running.

an eye for nathan

Miss Naomi has her eye on Nathan.  I met Nathan the day of my very first interview.  He welcomed me to the company, told me I would be an asset and wished me well in my interview.  It was only later that I learned he was a client!  I saw Nathan the other day during a training session and he grinned when I told him I got the job.  He said he knew I would.  Miss Naomi is looking for an opportunity to see Nathan.  I suggested we have a party on Saturday night the week I worked.  We could fix some healthy snacks and could invite a number of friends and staff for the evening.  This is one of her goals to interact with people and nothing more exciting than to interact with Nathan!

the greenest grass grows where the most rain falls

In the course of conversation I learned that Ruth has been a caregiver for six years and she runs a home with two young ladies.  She is filling in with Miss Naomi to help out.  We discovered we all share a love of Christ.  I told them that in my spare time I am a writer and photographer and brought in one of my photo calendars and gave one to each of them.  They were in awe as they turned page after page looking at the beautiful scenery and cabins nestled in the woods.

Slide5Ruth’s eyes welled up when she read the line in the calendar that said “the greenest grass is found where the most rain falls.”  She went on to tell me her personal story of triumph over adversity.  We both work what is called the “B Week” and she is friends with Luke who got me the job.  We agreed to start a prayer group to pray for the needs of our clients and for each other.  We also planned to meet at church with our clients.  Even one of my friends who lives in Nashville drives to this church in Bloomington each week.  And in another blink of an eye, my desire to impact others with prayer had been formed with God’s blessing.  He takes great delight in creating these Divine Appointments and I take great delight in following through on His promptings.

sensed a frown

I must admit I was in a rush to get things accomplished today.  There are precious few days left before I start working full time.  While not studying anything special in my Bible at the moment, the temptation was to skip it and get busy.  I felt a little frown.  Normally you would see a frown but I felt it.  I opened one of my favorite devotionals “My Utmost for His Highest” Oswald Chambers and began to read.

“A Christian worker has to learn to be God’s woman of great worth and excellence in the midst of a multitude of meager and worthless things.  All of God’s people are ordinary people who have been made extraordinary by the purpose He has given them.  We are not workers for God by choice.  Paul’s whole heart, mind and soul were consumed with the great purpose of what Jesus Christ came to do.”

text message from ruth

Then my phone went off by a text.  It was from Ruth.  She said it was nice meeting me and she also assured me just as Nathan had that I would be an asset to the person I was going to be working with.  She said “love and sincerity are always recognized and it just pours out of you.  You are a beautiful soul.”  She also said she saw the change in Miss Naomi’s face when I began talking to her and she noticed Naomi’s face change immediately.  What a blessing for Ruth to so graciously share these compliments.  What a way to start my day.  I realize this is not about me but about the One who wants to write His-story through my life.

breathe in the exquisite fragrance

20160517_132132The verse I had been reading was 2 Cor 2:14-16 MSG In Christ, God leads us from place to place in one perpetual victory parade.  Through us he brings the knowledge of Christ.  Everywhere we go, people breathe in the exquisite fragrance.  Because of Christ we give off a sweet scent rising to God which is recognized by those as the way of salvation.  (But those on the way to destruction treat us like the stench from a rotting corpse.)

And just as in real life, when we share the gospel, it is good news to some and repulsive news to others.  Believers recognize the life giving fragrance of the message.  To nonbelievers, however, it smells foul.  And Jesus said “you did not choose me, but I chose you and appointed you to go and bear fruit – fruit that will last.  Then the Father will give you what ever you ask in my name.  This is my command: Love each other.” John 15:16-17

let Him have His way

And so I begin this new adventure to be exceptional in the ordinary things of life and holy on the ordinary streets among ordinary (and maybe some not so ordinary) people.  Oswald goes on to say “the Supernatural grace of God to live 24 hours a day as a Saint, going through drudgery and living an ordinary, unnoticed and ignored existence as a disciple of Jesus” is exactly where I want to be.  However, some people namely my clients are truly noticing.  Their staff are noticing.  And as we join together as His people, God will do with us what we never did before His call.  He will do with us what He is NOT doing with other people.  I am living proof of this.

Let Him have His way.