Sunday, August 7, 2011

Room almost ready to rent

7:09 p.m. Today's project was to enjoy an inspired Sunday church service, which we did, and then arrange to meet with potential renters for my daughter's room at the Starbucks restaurant down the hill in the Canyon Crest Towne Centre.

Steve and I have had two prospects come to the house, interestingly from 2 ends of the age spectrum--a 26 year old grad student, and the other a 61 year-old referral from a 30+ year's friend whose recommendation allowed me to skip the step of meeting in a public place first.

The student was hoping to be really close to the University of California Riverside, so our 2-3 mile distance may have been a deal-breaker. The woman we had over yesterday loved everything about the house, us, the location and price, but struggled with the stairs. Her rheumatoid arthritis was flaring up yesterday, so she'll probably keep looking for something on the ground level. She'll let us know by Wednesday.

I replied by email to a couple of people who looked legit and set up a tentative meeting or two, but the timing was off. Oddly, it didn't bother me at all, even with the need we have to add to our income. Maybe it was the long to-do list I had for the afternoon, like contacting my Heart to Home ministry instructors for our fall start-up; sending a product through Mary Kay's delivery service to a friend; working outside in the garden with Steve; clipping Sunday coupons; removing the valance from the rental bedroom's windows for laundering; checking my inventory and adjusting my product order. The last item was checked off when I made the call to an electrician friend for help with our blacked-out automatic sprinkler system. Several of these tasks involved stints at the computer, so progress was slow as I had to take break after break for my sore back's sake!

Back up in the bedroom, I looked at the utter girlishness of the room, and thought, as I took down the valance, that I might leave just the off-white blinds on the windows for a more neutral feeling. Then I perused the hundred or so snapshots my photographer daughter had stapled to the wall on each side of the closet, and thought, "I'll take those down rather than tell a tenant that the pictures will be removed." Next will be all of the little toys and knickknacks on the shelves. and our pride and joy, the elaborately costumed porcelain dolls! (I have no idea where they will go--maybe my business office? That is a girls' haven for makeup and beauty anyway)!

The reason I haven't been characteristically frantic to rent the room, despite the need for extra income, is that God's timing, as well as the ideal renter, will be perfect anCheck Spellingd amazing, I am sure.

Psalm 145:15-19 says,

The eyes of all look expectantly to You,
And You give them their food in due season.

You open Your hand
And satisfy the desire of every living thing.

The LORD is righteous in all His ways,
Gracious in all His works.

The LORD is near to all who call upon Him,
To all who call upon Him in truth.

He will fulfill the desire of those who fear Him;
He also will hear their cry and save them.

The second reason I'm not panicked is that I realize now, after more scrutiny, that the room isn't ready! And maybe neither are we.

We've all heard the phrase "running before the Lord," meaning that Christians need to be prayerful, as we have been, over any step in a new direction, or even an advancement in a ministry or living situation that's well established. Some rush ahead with all sincerity and love for the Lord and His work, only to be told by Him to wait or redirect their fervor; others sit around stultified, dreading to even dip their pinky toe in a wading pool and end up doing little or nothing for the Lord! Where's the balance?

I believe that if we pray about an opportunity, be it career or ministry, diligently prepare and carefully consult the Bible each day, not just on that topic, but in our normal daily devotional portion, speak with those already serving in the ministry God has laid on our heart, and make orderly steps in that direction, the doors will open in His time.

When God called me to run for the Riverside Unified School Board in 1990, I wasn't ready! But after being asked to run by Christian leaders, I made careful, orderly steps to establish name recognition through service in the district schools. By 1992, the next election, support was there, and money, for a wonderfully successful run, the first of three campaigns and 13 years of public service.

Jesus is never in a hurry--but He is always at work!

Readying the room-for-rent is giving me a fresh perspective and sweet memories at the same time, both redolent of the sweet fragrance of my Lord!

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