One of my favorite places in all of Huntsville is a place called Manna House. If you live here and you haven’t heard of it, I can honestly say that it’s not because I didn’t tell you about it! I feel like I talk about it all the time!
When I first moved here, there was this random group of people from church that would go to manna house each week. I got involved and went pretty religiously each week for close to a year…then I started going about once a month when I could because my schedule was cra cra.
It is basically a big wear-house where food is given out to families that need it or pretty much anyone who needs it. There are people of all types that come there. One person who helps every time the doors open is a lady who was homeless at one time and used to come through the lines during the week. She now attends the Rock and works there to help others every time the doors open…truly an unbelievable testimony if you get to talk with her!
One thing I have noticed about when I go to Manna House is that almost every time I go I have had a rough day. I am bummed out and from 2:30-3:30 in the afternoon I have an inward tug of war in my head as to whether I am going to go or not. I think, “what good is it going to do if I go and am in a bad mood?” Usually, the angel side of my brain wins, and I end up going. The funny thing is that no matter what has happened that day, I always leave feeling better. Anything I could do to help anyone there seems to just disappear because they bless me.
Tonight was no exception. This weekend some little lady plowed into my car, so I had to go take my car to get it fixed this morning (as if I don’t have enough to do this week? righhhht! I’m not like moving or anything…). I ended up with a rental car that was just about one baby step away from a minivan (which, sorry minivan moms, is about the most uncool thing you can possibly drive, but necessary for some families I know!). I drove allll the way to the CARE Center to drop off some stuff only to realize it was closed…my hair looked bad and I was about to go get it cut…did I mention that I forgot to drink my coffee this morning?…blah, blah, blah, whine, whine, whine, I was in a bad mood. So, naturally, I was supposed to meet the 7th grade guys at Manna House, and I was just feeling a bit defeated.
I drove up and the line outside was bigger than I have ever seen it! Tonight at Manna House they were letting mom’s go in a gift shop of sorts to get toys for their kids. I had the wonderful opportunity to pray over the moms before they went in the shop. This little lady was instructing us to “pray as they go” “pray as they go”. So by golly, I was going to “pray as they go.” The moms would come through the line, and there were about 5 of us that got to stop them and talk to them individually and pray with them. Of course, I asked them if they had specific prayer requests and how many kids they had etc before I prayed over them. So many of them were single moms. Growing up with a single mom, my heart just squeezed for them! As I laid hands on them to pray, the only things I could think of to pray was harmony in their homes, peace, and for good memories of this Christmas. The more I thought about it, I really think that is what everyone wants at Christmas. Harmony, peace, and good memories.
We are all the same. It is amazing how taking the attention off of yourself for just a few hours or even minutes can change your outlook on things.
As I left the parking lot, I was thinking about my bad mood I was in earlier. I really do have harmony, peace, and hopefully I will have good memories! I mean, I wasn’t hurt in the wreck. I was able to haul stuff easier as I cleaned out my bookshelves today at the office because of the swagger wagon of a vehicle. I didn’t have to pay for the repairs to my car or the rental car. It goes on and on.
I am good. I have peace about life. I feel at peace in most every area of my life… Family, I think I am in the best standing with every person in my family than I have been since I was 5. Faith, I am always growing, but I feel connected to God and expectant about what he is about to do! Friends, I have an awesome posse who rallies around me. Mentors, I have them! Work, I am at peace with how my time at Cove concluded and my new beginning at Trinity is unfolding. Financially, thanks to Dave Ramsey, I am pretty peaceful (so punny). Romantically, I am ok because I am about my Father’s business. I know that the kind of person I would be interested in is doing the same thing. Physically, I am better than I was last year. Again, it goes on and on.
I think I let other things, conditions, people, and circumstances steal my peace. When I refocus my eyes on serving Him in a tangible way like helping at Manna House or through worship or remembering that these crazy games are part of a weekend where students will encounter God, I suddenly have the portion of peace that I need because He gives it to me just like He did the people in Exodus with their manna and just like He does the people of Huntsville with their food at Manna House.
I find it befitting that my last time I got to serve at Manna House I spent the majority of my time praying over the people that I so care about in the community. This past Sunday was also my last at Cove, and I took a moment in both Cross Roads and Liquid to step back, reach out my hands and says some prayers over the students and leaders. I couldn’t help but find that little lady’s words tonight just right. I can’t think of a better way to leave than to “pray as you go.”