In the Bible, as God led the former Hebrew slaves out of Egypt, as they searched for the Promised Land of Israel, they were provided with food every day. It was unleavened bread, referred to as “manna,” and the people could only eat enough for that day. If they tried to store any excess for the next day, it would rot.

I have heard that story many times of the years, but this morning, I learned for the first time that the word “manna” derives from the Hebrew word meaning “What is it?”

What a jokester God is! And how apropos is that?! So often, His provision is just enough for the moment, and so often, it is nothing like what we expected, and sometimes, we cannot even tell what it is or where it is coming from or what exactly we are supposed to do with it.

I am learning not to question it. I am learning to accept it. I am learning that even if it looks small, tasteless, or less-than-desirable, what God has for me is perfect every single time.

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On the fun side of things, here are some things provided to me over the past few weeks:

1. A visit from a sister

It was no small thing for Deanna to leave her husband and kids and work for 4 days and nights to visit me, but I hope it was as worth it to her as it was a blessing to me. We ate like oinksters, we watched fun movies, we shopped for cute stuff, we caught up on tons, she loved on my kids, and we cast some dreams together. This was our Official Planning Meeting, taken on the beach Sunday before we were caught in a big rain storm.

2. A box from a sister

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Anyone else out there believe we have more than one soul mate? Maureen is one of my sister-friends who just gets me in an almost scary way (and if you have ever heard the two of us having a conversation, you might be scratching your head. I usually have to repeat myself 16 times before she understands me. It’s the subtleties of the soul I’m referring to here :) Her little package included books for my girls – how could she know that Pinkalicious is one of Miranda’s favorites? It included wet wipes, which KK just finished this week. It included a sweet Dunkin Donuts travel mug; my favorite travel mug (IRON MAN) was broken earlier this year and I still hadn’t replaced it. It included DD K-cups… I am almost out. It’s like she knew it all! And meanwhile, it included a book that she and some of our other friends are currently reading and want me to read “with them,” a Disney calendar marked with my special days, and an ornament that is meaningful on several levels. I loved opening this. It was almost like being with her. I can’t wait until I am.

3. Perfect jackets & thoughtful grandparents

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There is a whole story behind this check. My parents gave it to us for our anniversary. I carried it around without cashing it, as I had it earmarked for something. Then when my parents were in town, my mom bought me a much-desired slipcover for our couch, so I told her I would just tear up the check. Then I couldn’t find the check. Then my dad wanted to buy jackets for the girls (their fall/spring jackets were getting small, and it takes awhile before it’s cold enough for the winter coats here). Then I found the check, and we decided I would use it for jackets. Then I couldn’t find anything I liked and we just made do with what we had. Then, De and I went to the Disney store on Sunday, and boom: perfect. They are quilted, cute, and the girls’ respective, favorite colors. Thanks Gramma and Papa! (And thanks to Mamaw & Larry and all my girls’ surrogate grandparents for constantly making my kids smile!)

4. Photos from afar

I still haven’t met my baby nephew. (December, hurry!) And even though I am mostly settled into life in Carolina, much of my heart resides in Chicago. So I am ever grateful for our digital age, especially when it yields pictures of little moments we would otherwise miss. We sent baby Danny this little costume/sleeper, and I love having the image to treasure until I can cuddle this precious life that shares my blood!

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Someday, I will, in fact, write a book about the things I have learned in just the past year, and perhaps in particular, what I have learned about provision, and even more specifically, delayed provision. It always has a purpose beyond meeting our physical need. We need to grow enough to see that purpose, and then we will be in a place to use and enjoy that provision to its fullest.

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