Life with the Lord is never boring. He continually challenges, inspires, encourages me to allow Him to work through my heart, mind, and hands.
Oh the Challenges...
I remember the day I received a phone call from a Pastor Nephew. UP Camp Meeting was just around the corner, our family had recently accepted the call from the Lord to move north to Michigan's beautiful Upper Peninsula and serve Him in the Wilson and Menominee SDA Churches. My husband, pastor, dad of 5, and best friend was working diligently to encourage our Wilson church family due to the recent loss of our church building to a fire. Our lives honestly felt like they had been turned upside down...new school for the kids, new friends to make, new towns to navigate, new church family to love, and now a new church to build...oh yes, the phone call...
Can I Use Your Hands?
Pastor Nephew's voice came over the cell waves, the cook who planned to prepare the food for UP Camp Meeting in a couple of weeks is unable to be there...called others to no avail...would you be willing to cook? My mind was whirling...only 2 weeks until camp meeting...meals from Thursday supper through Sunday lunch...it's true...I am well-accustomed to cooking for a crowd of hungry teens which do eat like a whole army, but I've never cooked for anything like this! How many would be attending? He didn't know for sure...last year there were about...it's kind of a mystery...maybe plan on 50 - 70? I'll have to talk to my husband and the Lord, I told Pastor Nephew, and I'll let him know.
My husband, Tom Hubbard, is a very logical man. He also thinks I get myself into way to many projects with completely unrealistic deadlines. Surely my husband will see that this would be crazy. I don't know anything about cooking at Camp Sagola where UP Camp Meeting is held. I prayed that the Lord would see how crazy this was too! We talked about the call, Tom and I...I could not believe my ears when he said, you probably should do it...there's no one else...Oh my heart! Lord don't you know this is a bad idea??? I have less than 2 weeks..."at least you have less time to worry..." drifted through my panicked mind..."But Lord, I've never done anything like this before...I only know how to cook vegan for the most part...and I don't even know how many to cook for...Lord surely you can see this is crazy?!?!" Then the still, small voice..."Do you think I know how many to cook for?" I have to admit I felt like Moses at the burning bush when he was arguing God about his ability or rather inability to speak and God reminding him that He was the one who made his tongue..."Yes, Lord, I know that you know how many to cook for..." then that sweet voice that has challenged me so many times..."Can I just use your hands, Amie?"
How did I do?
I can't tell you how grateful I am that there was less than 2 weeks to worry about cooking for that event...I'm ashamed to say I don't know if I could have taken it for longer. Isn't the Lord so kind? He truly knows our frame and remembers that we are dust. (Psalms 103) I don't remember the details of that first cooking event...I don't remember the menu or even all the wonderful people who popped into the kitchen to give me a hand...but I will never forget the driving home from Camp Sagola on Sunday after leaving behind the most beautiful camp kitchen in the world...that sweet voice spoke to my heart..."How did I do?" My heart and soul joyfully replied, "Oh Lord...you were amazing!!! Incredible!!! So perfect...Lord! There was just the right amount of food at every meal, it turned out delicious, your people were blessed and happy, and I was able to experience YOU... you working through me to do what I could never do on my own! Thank you, Lord!" That was the first of many years of wonderful opportunities to experience God's miraculous power cooking for His camp, for His children in the beautiful kitchen at Camp Sagola. I had the privilege working with other delightful people who volunteer their time in the kitchen...now, dear friends. Oh the blessings that have been mine because I was willing to allow God to use my hands!
Another call came one day...the call that as a pastor's family you know will come again. We had served in the UP for 5 years. A beautiful new church stands near where the former church once stood. That beautiful new church stands as a powerful testimony to the power of God to inspire His people to unite together in love and understanding for the rebuilding of His church in Wilson. God is so faithful!
I came home from substitute teaching and met my husband in the kitchen. We greeted each other warmly, inquired about the day...how was your day? It was good...I always enjoy time with the students at WJA. How was your day? It was good...able to get necessary things accomplished...but something seemed a little off. We looked at each other, I could tell something was different...amiss. Then my husband said, I had a call today... He didn't need to say anything else. I knew "the call". My heart jumped. We went for a walk to discuss "the call". Elder Micheff called to say that the executive committee was asking if Tom would be willing to serve as the Associate Ministerial Director at the conference office in Lansing. I knew this was the Lord asking. Tom knew this was the Lord too. How can you say no to the Lord? All the reasons why this was not good timing flooded my mind...our oldest 2 boys were married and moved to Montana, but our next son still had one more year of college and because of clinicals, was unable to transfer. Our daughter, although finished with high school was seeing a wonderful young man who lived there, what would she do? And our youngest boy, what would he do without any of his siblings around...all he's ever known was the joy of growing up with 3 older brothers and a sister. Lord, the timing is quite awful! We need one more year Lord.
Lord, the Timing is Quite Awful!
The Lord is so patient, so kind. One thing that I truly struggle with is keeping track of time. I get so involved in my work, or projects, or tasks, that I lose all sense of time. I have a watch that buzzes, a phone that dings with alarms and calendar notifications, all to alert me when it's time is to do something. That still small voice spoke to me again in the gentle way that only the Lord can speak...Amie, do you really think that my timing is off? I felt like Moses all over again...this time it was truly laughable...I am the worst at timing of anyone I know! The Lord reminded of the incredible universe that is all upheld by His impeccable timing...the stars, the moon, the seasons, billions of peoples lives, the tiniest creature, all perfectly timed. He doesn't miss a thing and puts things in motion years before they are even needed so they will be there right on time. My God knows everything. I can trust my future, the future of my husband and children in His loving hands. He knows the right time and He was asking us to trust Him and go where He was leading...so to Lansing we went. It was the hardest move we've ever made. We moved to the UP with 5 children and left with one. The Lord provided wonderful God-fearing wives for our sons, we are thrilled to have wonderful daughters added to our family. He has blessed us with beautiful twin granddaughters that are almost 14 months now. The Lord found places for our son and daughter to live. Our son graduates this May and is engaged to a lovely young woman. They plan to be married this summer. Our daughter married her best friend at the beginning of 2023 and we couldn't be happier to have another son who loves the Lord with all his heart. We are so thankful that we still have one more son left at home. He is a gift to us and it is exciting to see God unfolding His plans for him. He is finishing his junior year of high school and working on starting his own car detailing business. God is so good!
A New Calling
The Lord has asked to use my hands in new ways now...equally unfamiliar and not within my natural comfort zone. He has asked me to be the director for the Family Ministries Department of the Michigan Conference of SDA. I am excited to see the wonderful things the Lord will do as we work together as a church to encourage, uplift, inspire families to live to their highest potential for the honor and glory of God. It is wonderful to see how God has blessed with a new website, with the ability to have more resources available, a blog, and soon a podcast. I pray that you will join me in providing encouragement and blessing to our church families. If you are interested in writing a post for the blog, or helping with a seminar or an event, please let me know. If we can be a blessing to your church family by offering a seminar or speaking on Sabbath about family, parenting, marriage, empty nest, etc., or training on how to be a family friendly church, contact us...we want to strengthen our churches, our families, our relationships so all can be about the work of sharing the incredible news that Jesus wants to transform lives, to fill with joy and purpose, and that He is coming soon!
How about you?
How about you? Are you willing to allow the Lord to use your hands for His service? I don't know where He will call you, or what He needs you to do, but I can promise you 2 things...your life will never be boring and He will give you every single thing you need to do what He is asking you to do...you can count on it!