Divine Appointment

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I need to write. I have a deadline.

The kids need their mom. You have a deadline, but you have kids too, remember? 

I do, thank you.

I know! I could go to the gym, work out for an hour and then leave them in the childcare for another hour or two to get some work done. 

That sounds like a blast for them.

No really, I’d bring them lunch in between working out and working. They love the childcare at the gym. 

It’s Saturday and it’s beautiful outside, you should take them to the park.”

Yesterday the mom me won over the writer me and I took the kids to the park. Before we hit the park though we went to Barnes & Noble. The kids looked at books quietly on the floor, they love to read. Just kidding. They ran around like lunatics and begged for “Big Eyed” stuffed animals and every book ever published with a cheap toy attached to it. I was explaining for the 187th time why we didn’t need any more stuffed animals (“we’re here for books people, books!”) when a young mom with an infant in a stroller approached me head on.

“How do you look so put together? How do you look so pretty? How many kids do you have?”

I blinked. Put together? Pretty? I laughed and answered, “Oh, about once a week I do something to myself, you must have caught me on that day.” She didn’t laugh. Her questions were real and she wanted answers. I told her I have two kids and thanked her for the compliment while bending down and picking up all varieties of Thomas and his friends off the floor and putting them back on the shelf. She tended to her children as well and before long we were on opposite ends of the children’s section. Circle back, I heard a voice in my head. That conversation isn’t over. She needs more.

I’ve had this happen before: I’m in a moment, usually a very normal, unspectacular moment when the ground beneath me shifts and mysteriously becomes sacred. Christians call these moments “divine appointments.” A divine appointment is an encounter or event that might initially seem to be random or coincidental but is soon recognized as having been specifically and unmistakably caused by God for some specific purpose.

In these moments I’ve learned I can either listen and obey or walk away. I’ve walked away from some of them, blown them off, mumbled something about being too busy on my way out. But these are the moments I live for, the sacred in the ordinary. God speaking, me listening and acting; it’s humbling and exciting being on a team with the God of the universe. I’ve learned to listen and obey so I walked back over to her, not sure what to say. I soon learned she had three kids; a five year old, a three year old and an 8 month old; one of them has special needs. We talked and talked and talked. When the kids got even antsier one of us suggested we take this conversation to the nearby park, the one we were planning on going to after the bookstore anyways.

bench-people-smartphone-sunOnce at the park I thought I was getting stood up. It was taking longer than I expected for her to arrive. How stupid for thinking that was God, it was probably just your own thoughts, I chided myself. But then she and her miniature crew arrived and the kids played and we talked like we’d known each other for ages. We traded labor stories, diagnosis stories, kissing our babies goodbye as they are wheeled into surgery stories, being married to first responders with grueling schedules stories.

I’m glad I chose the park yesterday. I’m glad I chose to listen to God (newsflash: it was God) and circle back. I’m glad we traded phone numbers and I’m excited to see what God has in store for this friendship.

I can write today.

10 thoughts on “Divine Appointment

  1. Anonymous says:

    Kelly! That tender whisper drowning in everyday chaos is always God isn’t it? Thanks for sharing ❤ LOVING what you do and why you do it.

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  2. Anonymous says:

    Love this!!!!! We have the 2 of the Janson kids this weekend because Rick’s mom died and the oldest and Rick and Marie went to Chicago for the funeral. I was irritated with Bobby and exhausted yesterday and Bobby and I were supposed to volunteer at church with kids so one of us had to stay here and one of us go. I went, grumbling and being a bit annoyed. Then I got there and parked and was hauling Lathan in, running a few minutes late, and there was a lady calling “miss, miss!” in her car in the parking lot. I turn around with my church smile (ha!) and she starts asking me questions about the church and the times we meet, and I realize that she is who I needed to be focused on seeing and hearing in that moment. THEN there was a mom who came in and had never left her 16 month old, so she stayed in the room and was talking to me and I was telling her how I hadn’t left Lathan til he was about 20 months old in there, and then she finally went to church about 30 minutes, and came back at the end of service (her daughter did great), and specifically stopped me, saying that I made her feel so comfortable and eased her mind about leaving her daughter and would be back. YAY God. (sorry comment was pretty much a blog. love you.)

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  3. Phyllis says:

    Kelly Shay…this is such a perfect story for me. I have these moments and am praying that I listen to them more and most importantly, take action. Thank you sweet girl for touching my heart….once again!!!

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  4. Keri @ Little Light on a Hill says:

    Such a cool moment! I love when God just stops us in our tracks and asks things like this. Sometimes it’s so hard to step out of our comfort zone!! I always think about how I’m never sorry I obeyed God’s gentle voice, but I always regret the moments that I do ignore it and just go about my day. It’s easy to obey when I think about it that way! Love that you chose to obey that day! Keep us updated on the friendship that blooms. Praying that God would use you in a mighty way!

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  5. Grace says:

    You’re beautiful and offer the inspiration to others that is desired as simple gold is. I love you.
    Also, the beauty in these divine appointments He offers… His grace is truly sufficient; when we realize we’ve passed up a divine moment He had set before us, He’s ever so gracious to place another moment in our path, momentarily, it seems… and to lay His peace upon our hearts that speaks assurance “it’s okay, I’ve got plans for dayzzzzz”. Phew! Thank God HE does because I sure know I don’t always. 🙂 He has another “appointment” awaiting “just down the way”.
    Love you chica, thank you for your inspiration!!!

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  6. Jennette says:

    So much yes to this… “But these are the moments I live for, the sacred in the ordinary. God speaking, me listening and acting; it’s humbling and exciting being on a team with the God of the universe.”

    This to me is what life in Christ is all about. How awesome is God that he takes us along with Him to work? Every day is “bring your kid to work” day with God. So fun!

    Thank you for sharing your story. It was encouraging. Way to listen to God’s voice and stop for the one He highlighted to your heart.

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  7. drippinghands says:

    I love this post, Kelly! It makes me want to slow down more and be sensitive to the Holy Spirit! Sometimes I only move when He screams at me!
    One thing I take away, especially as a fellow writer, is “the sacred in the ordinary”! Such a beautiful depiction of the Holy Spirit in the world we know. I love it! Can’t wait to read more and see how your blog impresses God into my everyday life.
    Thanks for sharing your heart!

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