On Friday, my photo shoot with an up-and-coming Christian artist got rained out. On Saturday, my hard drive crashed: over 6500 photographs of my family and my clients are gone; everything I've done and written for faithbuilders' in the last 2 years is gone; every song I've ever written over the past decade is gone; all the faithbooking materials that I've developed, used and trained with in the past 7 years — yep, they too are gone! Sunday, our 2 year old refrigerator broke. Monday, I spent money I don't have to send back a camera lens that needed to be replaced. Wednesday, my Chi flat iron broke (if you are a woman, you know it is a chunk of money). Thursday, I found out my wonderful friend and neighbor, who I love, sold their house and they really are moving!

To top it off, my husband's company just found out it's being auctioned off the last weekend of September, which, of course, presents a variety of emotions and unknowns. So, as I sit at my desk, you would think the title of this devotional would be "Why, God?"

Don't get me wrong. I do want to hear His voice, to know if there are things I'm doing in my life or directions that I'm choosing that are out of His will. My heart is to always strive to be in His complete will so I am in constant communication with my Maker and my Father.

But today I am not asking God, "Why"? See, at the end of the day it's not about all the really frustrating things that are happening. At the end of the day it's about two things — praise and perspective.

See, Friday when my photo shoot got rained out, Abilene flooded and several hundreds of people were evacuated from their homes. One person even died. The loss from these waters caused irreversible damage in the lives of many people. I had a change of plans — these people had a change of life ... perspective.

Saturday, when my hard drive broke, I was at a friend's house and she means more to me than anything I've ever done on my computer. She has blessed me in every possible way you could be blessed in your life by sharing her talents and her gifts from God with me, expecting nothing in return. She is blessed to have an autistic son who has just learned to say a few words. Saturday, at the sound of his voice — the sound of Zachary even saying his own name — there was a joy that makes crashing computers seem inconsequential in comparison ... perspective.

Sunday, when our refrigerator broke we were, of course, very bummed and hoped that whatever is wrong will be covered under warranty (the fridge guys are here as I'm typing ... so I'm praying). After worship that morning, we sat at our kitchen table as a family praying, eating and laughing. My children are healthy and beautiful — both on the inside and out. My husband is a man of integrity and honesty and takes amazing care of us. God has allowed me to have intimate relationships with these three precious people that I am forever blessed to call family (and I got to clean out the freezer and refrigerator for the first time in two years) ... praise!

Monday, when I reluctantly paid to ship my camera lens back to New York, I drove away from UPS and God again reminded me that He has blessed me for over 11 years to work from home, to be with my children and to use talents that He has given me to prayerfully glorify Him. How embarrassingly blessed I have been to have time with my children and help others make and preserve their faith and their memories from my home ... praise!

Wednesday, when I was inconvenienced by my Chi, my daughter and I were on our way to Hope Haven in Abilene where we met this incredible woman of God who has given her life to help people who need a home and food and life skills that they perhaps have never had the opportunity to have. As we sat in her office and she shared with us the ministry of this place, I couldn't help but hear God say to me, "You don't have a clue, Kimberli ... you cannot begin to understand a life of 'need' because I have blessed you in abundance" ... perspective.

Thursday, when I found out Trina really did sell her house and she really is moving, God again reminded me that He is sovereign. He allowed me the humble blessing of being her neighbor for two years so I could spend time with another one of His precious children and have the honor of calling her friend. He reminded me that when I saw that house being built that I prayed they would be Christians and would be wonderful neighbors and friends — He answered that prayer in abundance. He never promised me forever (I forgot to pray for that) and I know that the man moving in their house October 1 is coming for a reason and now I get to pray for God to show me how we can be Jesus to him and his little boy ... praise!

There is always praise. There is always perspective.
God showed me this past week that there is always praise and there is always perspective; and honestly, at the end of the day, isn't it really about both? If we choose to look with the eyes of our Father, every circumstance and challenge and valley and frustration and inconvenience is really perspective turned into praise. And maybe if your week was like mine, it's simply about praising God for perspective.

Oh! One more thing. The refrigerator problem was the compressor and it IS covered under warranty ...


Therefore, since we have been justified through faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have gained access by faith into this grace in which we now stand. And we boast in the hope of the glory of God. Not only so, but we also glory in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance, perseverance, character; and character, hope. And hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured out into our hearts through the Holy Spirit, who has been given to us. (Romans 5:1-5 TNIV)