The Times, They Are a Changin’


Hello, Dear Readers!

Please, do forgive my absence, but my little family has been in the midst of absolute upheaval, chaos, and undone-ment. That’s right: we were moving house! My husband Ben has been given a wonderful opportunity for full-time ministry so that means the Snyderhaus has up and moved. After a month of packing and prepping and sorting through our old house of 12 years (a task that reduced me to overwhelmed tears more than once), we are now officially ensconced in our new home, which is far beyond anything I ever envisioned. We have spent the last two nights here, the rest of our furniture arrived yesterday, and, this morning, my daughter and I sat at the table in our DINING ROOM and ate breakfast together. Then she went upstairs to her bedroom to play and my husband settled at the dining room to do some work, while I enjoyed my first cup of tea on the couch in my new house, with the blinds open on our NEW PATIO DOORS to look out on our deck and backyard.

Can you tell I am a touch excited? I (and, by extension, my anxiety) am actually allowing myself to be so, now that the major push is done. I have also found a new job and that alone is miraculous, never mind the gobsmacking circumstances that surround it. We still have the old house to finish cleaning out and cleaning up to get it ready to list, and I am ever so thankful for the resources and family/friends that are helping with that task. God has deeply provided and is truly wonderful! I pray that He will bless this house and all that come into and go out from it. May they leave better than they arrived.

Now, that is not to say that this first month won’t be challenging. It will. It absolutely will. I will be transtioning from one position to another, Ben will have just begun his new pastorship and all its responsibilities, and Elizabeth will be acclimating to life in a new city, neighborhood, and house. But I believe that God is good, that this is what He has planned for us, and that He will, as I have prayed so many times and continue to, be our meal and oil and provide what is needed. What we want can wait for a little while. God has provided what we need thus far, and so I believe He will not let us down now.

Again, thank you for your patience, Dear Ones. I appreciate your encouragement, your support, and the Love that shines from you. You are what this world needs. Let us continue to show up, show Love, and do what is needed.

Hero on, Dear Ones!

Meal and Oil


I do not often like to write about the hard stuff when I am in the middle of it. I feel too close, too rattled, too raw. But, often, that is when I am at my most honest, just as I am sure it is for you. Part of the work of Christmas within me, I believe, is that very honesty. I am apt, often, to sweep my own difficulty under the rug, or at least shove it out of sight. But that isn’t truthful, honest, and I want to be honest.

These past month has been stressful, as in ridiculously stressful; stressful enough to throw off my body’s clock and rhythms. I won’t downplay how it has felt. I have collapsed into weeping several times—on my classroom floor, in my car in the grocery store parking lot, on the phone with my husband after a failed trip to the BMV.

Alone in those moments, I cried out to God. I begged and pleaded, “I need a miracle!” I wanted to ask God to make it all better. I just wanted a new car to show up in my driveway (or at least one without a myriad of problems that need constant fixing) or for a windfall of money to solve all the issues. Instead, though, a completely different thought floated into my mind and out my mouth.

“Please, God, be my meal and oil.”

Meal and oil? Where did that come from?

In the Old Testament story of Elijah, it tells of his experience staying with a widow and her child. When Elijah asked her for some water to drink and bread to eat, she warned him that she only had a little meal (flour) and oil left. Enough to make a small cake for herself and her son, and then they were going to wait to die. But she took the little that she had and began to cook. In the end, she fed God’s prophet and herself and her son with it! Lo and behold, the next day, there was more! Not much more but enough more.

I have not thought about that particular Bible story in many years, but I remember being struck by it even as a child. So I have found myself repeatedly praying for God to be my meal and oil—to hold our cars together just one more day, to give me enough grace to deal with my students today.

Sometimes, day by day is what I need. I know me: I would look ahead into a year’s worth of tomorrows if I could, just to make sure everything would indeed work out. Not necessarily as I hope but just work out at all. So, for now, perhaps this is the best for me, the best that I can do: expect the best that God can do. Expect him to give me what I need daily, as I learned to pray as a kid. “Give us this day our daily bread…”

Dear God, please be my meal and oil today.