Well European adventure is over and the first thing I do with my 6 hour layover is visit Starbucks. I ask the surprisingly patient worker if it’s possible to make an iced peppermint mocha since the temperature here is up by about 20 degrees from my past two weeks. She asks another girl if thats possible, and then turns I me and states
“Yeah, she can make that.” My hero!
As I sit in the Philadelphia airport sipping my newfound drink, listening to a jazz band playing behind me (What!?!), I smile as my mind drifts back to my mana Starbucks year.
Now maybe you’re not the Bible reading type, but I’m a big fan. And there’s this story in the book of Exodus, chapter 16 which in my Bible is entitled Bread from Heaven. If you’ve seen any of the Moses movies the story takes place after the Israelites are freed from Pharaoh, cross the Red Sea, and Pharaoh and all his home boys drown, but BEFORE they enter the Promise Land.
They are wandering around in the wilderness and get pretty cranky, so naturally they start complaining to God. And God, in His great mercy, starts providing for them, manna. Bread from Heaven. The literal meaning: “What is it?” Haha. Seriously. That’s what it means. Anyways…each morning when the Israelites woke up, there would be this special bread all over the ground. Enough to feed the thousands.
Now there are a lot of other details to the story that are pretty amazing, one thing that just jumped out at me when I read it today…manna, according to verse 31, had the taste of wafers made with honey. How sweet! God not only satisfied their need of food…but he made it taste like honey!! Holla!
So what does that have to do with Starbucks you ask? Ok…here’s my little story…
A couple years ago I found myself working as a long term maternity substitute. I jumped from one classroom to another as teacher after teacher had her little one. Four positions in all. And while I loved my experience, especially the people I worked with, it didn’t necessarily provide me with a bountiful salary. It proved a little stressful financially, I was ok…but just had to really be tight with my finances. Totally fine. It was definitely a transition year, a preparation year as well.
So I have a heart for young adult women. I love spending time with them, love getting to know them, challenging them, speaking truth, living life together. I feel like that is one thing God has called me to in this life. And one of the most common ways this happens is through coffee dates. Sipping on something wonderful as I share life with many women. I love it! It is a blessing to be trusted with so many stories. In short…God has called me to get coffee with women. (Could be worse callings right! 😉)
So the year I was subbing I truly didn’t have the finances to really go to coffee a lot, but here’s where the mana part comes in….I went a whole year not having to buy my own coffee and still going to coffee as much as I normally did. Maybe even more than I ever had! Through gift cards that friends, students, and family provided, I never had to spend money from my own paycheck. I didn’t ask for it,it wasn’t something I expected. In fact, it was truly unexpected. But I found that every time an opportunity arose, I had the money in form of a gift card. God simply provided, every time.
I remember at the beginning of this school year, probably a couple weeks before my first paycheck from my full time teaching job, I was standing in line with one of my coworkers and used the very last of my Starbucks gift cards. I told her my mana story and said,
“Well, I guess the mana….or gift card provision…is done…..I suppose God has provided me with the job though to pay for my own.” 🙂
See that’s what happened to the Israelites too. When they got to the Promise Land, the manna stopped coming. Now some might say…what the heck God? You stopped providing! But God had given them something else….land….on which to grow their own crops, and make their own bread.
So…that’s my mana story! Do you have one??
Oh yes…and I also must leave you with a picture of my nephew and a few things I learned about him….if you’re still interested in reading them!!
Things my nephew likes:
His mommy, food, milk, black pants on aunt Lindsey, daddy, the yellow lion on my Gahanna shirt, hard floors, balls, buttons, zippers, people holding him, my Hero book, straps.