Thursday, October 2, 2008

Beauty or the Beast?

It is no big secret that there has definitely been some financial issues in the Engel home as of late. Husband was laid off for about 6 months, finally got a job, but job doesn't pay so good. We have no car, or money to buy a car, we really cannot afford to splurge in any way shape or form. No problem, because I'm studying faith and I'm guessing I'm a" hands-on" kind of, like Paul, I am forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, pressing on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus. See Philippians 3:13-14.

All this to say that something very strange happened last week. Let me rewind and you can peek in the window of my life on an ordinary Thursday morning. Woke up and saw Kyle off to school. Had a half-hour to do my devotions/bible study and pray. Woke up Brendan and Shane, went outside and started doing our homeschooling devotions -- Ironically enough the lesson was on God is faithful!

I was feeling kind of blah that morning. I didn't get a shower, because I wanted to get my Bible study time in, so not only did I feel blah, but I looked the part as well. Then suddenly, there was a knock on my door. Jesus in skin appears (whom I recognized as a dear friend/sister) and says to me: "My car is running, I'm here to homeschool your children today, you get in my car and go to the Riverview Spa."

The spa! Me! My mind could not handle it. My "Jesus in skin" had purchased a facial for me and I was to go and get pampered for a few hours and let every care be released. In the car, I cried all the way to the spa, saying things like this: "I so don't deserve a facial!", "I'm embarrassed to walk into that place right now when I can't even rub two pennies together.", "Why bother tyring to make this beast of a face beautiful." (ouch!)...I just cried and cried. By the time I pulled in to the parking lot, I looked into the rear view mirror and saw my red nose and swollen cheeks from crying and all I could say was..."UGH!" I got out of the car and placed a smile on my face and walked in for my appointment.

I told the lady at the desk that I was there to see (another friend of mine who does facials for a living), and this kind lady walked me back to the showers. She said I could put my bathing suit on and go into the mineral waterfall or take a shower or do both. It was then that my own personal waterfall began to flow again, I just said in my awful cry voice, "I would love to just take a shower, since I didn't get a chance to get one this morning." She showed me my locker and handed me towels and washcloths and then she said "If you would like a razor...." How did she know that shaving is a luxury. I don't have the time or proper lighting in my bathroom to shave comfortably and perfectly -- I love to shave my legs! OH, I was overwhelmed. By this time, there were five other women in that room, who all thought I was (probably pathetic) in desperate need for some pampering because they all told me to use the showers first!

As I stood in the shower, razor in hand, with every soap, shampoo, conditioner and lotion at my disposal, I let the water run on my red face and cried again. As the water hit my head and ran down my face and mingled with my tears, I could almost feel the gentle hand of my Lord and I could almost hear His voice whisper "My daughter, I long to lavish you with my love and my grace. This is my will for you, allow me to wash you with my presence and fill you with my spirit. You are my daughter and to me you are worth more than gold and far more beautiful that rubies! In me you find rest and restoration for your body and spirit." Oh, I just cried out to God, this time saying things like this: "Please forgive me my Lord! Fill me with the joy of the Lord so that I may have the strength to endure the road before me! Thank you Lord for lavishing your grace and love upon me, your daughter! Thank you Lord for placing people in my life who, by loving me in this world, demonstrates in some small part the greater love you have for me!"

By the time I actually went into the room to get my facial done, I was more than ready to receive! I told my friend, please do everything you do and don't skimp I am so ready to receive! She smiled and loved on me that day! She is amazing at giving facials - truly gifted! She let the tears flow and she made me smile and laugh. She messaged my neck, arms, hands, legs and feet! She took me on a little trip to paradise right there in that room! It was blissful!

I was a new woman when I left that spa. I came home, only after a few hours and told my children school was done and we were going to play the rest of the day. I jumped on the trampoline, colored outside in the grass, pushed my 5 year old on the swing and giggled, laughed and tickled my kids for the rest of the day. My Shane asked me where I had gone, when I told him where I had gone and how it made me feel, he looked me straight in the face as we laid in the grass together and told me this: "Mom, you didn't need to go anywhere to make you feel pretty - you're the most beautifulest Mommy in the whole wide world."

Seriously? Could life on this earth get any better than that!?


Allison Reynolds said...

So beautiful. He is so faithful to know our needs before we ever know them (Matthew 6). It is what he has taught me this past year.

Barclay 5 said...

Sweet Shane, I couldn't agree more. Lisa, you are the kind of woman that cause people to arise and call you blessed. I am so honored to be your friend. I love you and your family. I will pray that God would work all things together for the Engels.

Tracy xoxo

Amanda said...

Oh I love you. Please why does everything you write make me cry. Yes sending up prayers!

grandma carole said...

Lisa, you are the BEST!!! You are an inspiration to me and to your family and to all who know you. I don't know whether it's right or not, but I have been praying so hard that I would win Publishers Clearing house, not for myself, but for you and others who need a little help. The Lord knows I have been trying since 1967. PCH tells me I am one of their best friends. How's that???

I am praying for all of you and I know your day is coming soon. Hang in there Baby and keep the faith!

placeofgrace said...

Lisa, I come visit here as often as I can, and everytime I cry. Now I have a red nose and teary eyes and I have to attend a class in 30 minutes!! Not even a shower to escape into!!

YES, the Lord is faithfull and He loves us so much!!

Jeanette said...

We went through a similar time a few years ago. A lay off, debt piling up trying to make it through that time led us to a very dark financial valley. I remember sitting in tears as I broke out the state quarter collection to go to the store and buy baby formula. Shortly afterwards we attended Financial Peace University by Dave Ramsey and we put our finances in God's hands. It sounds silly, but it was the truth and it worked. Two years of dilligent hard work and serious budgeting and I was able to quit my job and stay at home with my children. God does indeed provide. Be steadfast in your faith and look to Him. He loves you and sent you an angel today in your sister. What an amazing story!