Heidi was off today for Martin Luther King Jr.'s birthday, so she enjoyed family favorites "Project Runway" and "You've Got Mail," before heading out to spend this rainy day with Pavel. The rain let up a bit, so Steve took advantage, getting the trash out before this evening. The dogs were brought in when the downpour started. Otherwise, they were cozy in their Dogloos.
The challenge for me was to make sure Steve had enough tasks to keep him busy inside, since he normally does hours of work in the yards and garden, not to mention walking the dogs. But I suggested he take down and pack away the "English Christmas Village" still displayed on sparkly "snow" batting on the hutch.
I was pleased to see that he worked completely independently. Normally, Steve would be asking me questions at each step, and my studies would be interrupted, something I've learned to cope with, thanks be to God.But what a pleasant surprise! He got all of the figurines and buildings packed up, boxes taped and stored in the upstairs bedroom. The only glitch that hinted of his Alzheimer's-induced forgetfulness and leaving things out of place was that I needed to remind him to take the stepladder back to the garage. I seriously think that the nutritional supplements he has been taking for a few months have caused improvement. Will God heal him? I don't know. But I'm sure not about to limit Jesus!
Since my study was wrapped up for today, and these dark days just whisper "Nap," I took my sleepy self upstairs. I had just finished emailing college son Steven some student loan paperwork, real dreary stuff, and texted him to check his email. He texted back right away that Muscle Tech, his bodybuilding sponsor, wants to do a photo shoot at 11:00 a.m. on Friday in Hollywood, and did I think he could get back up to Fresno by 4p.m. to get on the bus? I texted back, "confused."
Steven 's church, along with four others, is holding a massive 500 student high school retreat, "Fresno Unite," in the nearby mountains this weekend, and the bus leaves at 4! Even in the best driving conditions, without a full 5 days of rain predicted for LA,Steven couldn't get back up the Grapevine and the 99 that fast. And since he's one of the leaders of The People's Church high school ministry, I wrote him back, "Reschedule the photo shoot due to a prior obligation! Maybe it's not God's timing. Otherwise, there goes your ministry opportunity and your trustworthiness. You also don't have chains to drive up to the mountains by yourself later." He replied that this is Muscle Tech's annual photo shoot and they want to feature him for an amateur contract! This is big.
As I was lying on my bed, spiritual warfare was on, and I was in tears of determination and Holy Spirit-led fighting! The text messages were flying! I wrote, "This is a snare of the devil. I Peter 5:8; Ephesians 6:10-18a." I knew he knows these scriptures or would look them up, as being very strong in the Word. A bit later, with me praying frantically, he texted back that he'd check around church to see if anyone is going up late that he could ride with. I'm still not satisfied, of course, because the devil would like nothing better than to keep an effective leader away from a retreat designed to unite the Christian youth of Fresno, so they can meet and stand together on their campuses!
"Be sober, be vigilant, because your adversary the devil walks about like a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour." (I Peter 5:8) And Ephesians 6:13 commands us, to "Take up the whole armor of God, that you may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand."
What will Steven decide? We will see. A year ago, I would have been thrilled to see Steve's achievements and recognition go up to a much higher level. He has talent, discipline and ambition to represent the Lord in the bodybuilding arena. But more importantly, he has the Word of God to take him there in the right timing, and in the right way.
Believing moms, give your children the scriptures! That's where the battle is faced, fought, and won!