Is God really like that?

I often read or hear about people who have gone through something challenging and said, “well, it’s just God’s will”. You know, like the loss of a job, a natural disaster leaving them homeless and without anything, or even the death of their child. I have wondered for years, is God really like that? I mean does He really want for me to suffer the death of my child? Is it really His will to leave me with no home and no basic needs met? Did He really want me to be blind and go through the everyday struggles of that blindness… just because? My friends, I mean no disrespect or argumentative viewpoint here but I would like to offer another way of seeing God.

This is merely my own way of seeing God in my life and gives me a little different view of Him that, for me, is a little easier to swallow. For those of us with children, imagine if you will, that child jumping on the bed to spite all your warnings that they would get hurt doing it. The dreaded and warned about day comes that they are jumping on the bed and bounce right off and hit their head on the dresser, causing them to cry out in pain. You come rushing into the room to find them sitting on the floor, hand on head, tears streaming down their face. As a parent, our natural instinct is too crouch beside them and wrap our arms around them and very gently say “didn’t I try and warn you that this would happen?” Ok, maybe it wasn’t always as gently as I had hoped, but ya know what I mean. Now you have told your child over and over not to jump on the bed, but they did it anyway and now they are feeling the consequences. Does this mean you pushed them off the bed? Does it mean that you wanted them to fall off the bed?

Your child falling off the bed was a natural result of the choice they made not to heed your instruction to not jump on the bed. Now what if their younger sibling was also in the room playing with their toys and obeying the rule to not jump on the bed. The child jumping falls off and lands on the sibling. Now both children are hurt. But the obedient child is hurt because of the free choice of their sibling. It was never in your plan for either child to get hurt. But because of the fact that your children are not robots and have the ability of free choice, the deed has happened.

Friends, this is how I see my heavenly parent. Back in the garden of Edan, God’s children Adam and Eve were going about their day and the one who chose to go his own way tempted Eve with a piece of fruit of which God, (AKA; their parent), instructed them both not to touch. God knew what would happen if they chose to eat of it. They were both aware of the instruction God gave. Eve repeated it to the serpent in Genesis 3:2-3; “The woman said to the serpent ‘we may eat fruit from the trees in the garden, but God did say, you must not eat fruit from the tree that is in the middle of the garden, and you must not touch it , or you will die.’”

The choice Eve made, knowing that her Father gave specific instructions about that tree and its fruit. Because of the serpent’s choice to go against God and Eve’s choice to do the same, we become that sibling who got crushed under the one who jumped on then fell off of the bed. So you see, it wasn’t Gods plan for suffering… it was Satan’s plan. He wanted the suffering, he wanted the loss, he wanted the pain and heartbreak. Our loving Father sits with us on the floor with His arm around us, drying our tears after the fall. Whether it is our own choice or that of another, the natural result of sin is heartbreak, pain, sorrow, and much more. We can stay very close to Jesus and He will see us through all those sorrows, but because of sin being in the world, there will be sorrows. Not because God wants it, but because He gave free choice to A L L of His creation. He, like us as parents, has to let the natural result of sin be seen so we can make a FREE choice to always want to follow Him. The end of all these results will come, after everyone has had a fair chance to choose for themselves.

Just as our children are not robots that can be programed to do exactly what we demand they do, God’s children were not created to be robots to be programed. He created us to freely make the choice to love Him. I want to choose to love Jesus because I have that freedom to do so. He will hold me and dry my tears when I fall off the bed or get crushed by the one who fell. I hope this helps someone to see God as the loving Father He is.

 

I wanted to share that bit of sweetness with you… and this bit of sweetness too:

Mini Apple Turn overs

1 can crescent rolls

1 large apple

Brown Sugar

Cinnamon

2 Tbsp. Melted butter

Powdered sugar

Preheat oven to crescent roll package directions. Peal apple and slice into 8 wedges. Open, unroll and separate crescents. Melt butter in microwave safe bowl, about 30-45 seconds or until completely melted. Brush butter over crescent one at a time as you work. Sprinkle brown sugar and cinnamon over crescent. Place one apple wedge on crescent. Roll up from widest edge towards the point. Place on non-stick or lightly greased cookie sheet, point side down. Repeat with remaining crescents. Bake as directed on package. Pull them out after directed time and while they are still warm, sprinkle each one with powdered sugar. Serves 8. Unless you are in my family… then it serves 1! ME!!!

 

 

 

 

What exactly are you saying?

Have you ever said something to someone and then wished you hadn’t opened your mouth at all? Oh friends, I have done this more often than I care to admit. I have gotten on my kids’ cases about cleaning their rooms. Now what I want them to understand is that a clean room helps them to have a clearer mind. The ccaos of their rooms spills over to their moods. They can’t find something so they stomp around in a bad mood because they need it and it’s “just gone”. I want to speak encouraging words to them, but what comes out of my mouth is usually something like “You need to clean up this pig sty right now!” Sigh… my frustration speaks louder than my reasoning. I’ve lost the ability to share why it’s a good idea to keep our rooms clean.

I have taken this same approach with my husband. When he is late at work, I wanted to convey that I missed him and wanted him to be home. What came out was something like “You never consider that I might need you here!” Sigh… again. Why oh why can’t I just say what I mean, what’s in my mind to say?

Friends, anytime we come at someone with the word “YOU” on our lips, it almost always means certain disaster. It is attack mode. Can’t you just see the imagery? A nagging old prune faced person with index finger shaking, tsking you for your bad behavior. Like an old school marm looking disapprovingly down her long nose at you. One hand on a hip and the other shaking with emphasis on every syllable. This is the image given when we start with the word “YOU”. No matter what we intend to say, if we are not mindful of what comes out of our mouth, then anything can come out of our mouth.

I know that frustration can sometimes get the better of us, that’s why this is such an example of what self-control looks like. I want to share some words from the bible with you that draw another picture of this.

James 3:2-5 says, “For we all stumble in many ways, and if anyone does not stumble in what he says he is a perfect man. Able also to bridle his whole body. If we put bits into the mouths of horses so that they obey us, we guide their whole bodies as well. Look at the ships also, though they are so large and are driven by strong winds, they are guided by a very small rudder wherever the will of the pilot directs. So also the tongue is a small member, yet it boasts of great things. How great a forest is set ablaze by such a small fire.”

You see, we actually have the ability to guide our loved ones based on our manner of speech to them. My son might be in a perfectly fine mood, then I come in with guns a blazin’ and demand he clean his room right this minute. Now I may have asked him a million times already (which is usually the case) but I can choose to be encouraging with my request thus guiding him in a more positive direction. My daughter might be just chillin’ on the couch watching a movie, then I come in hand on hip, shakin’ that finger, lookin’ down my nose and declaring that she always leaves a mess in this room for me to clean up. I could have given a gentle reminder… again, to please pick up her things when the movie is over because I’d love her help with dinner as soon as she puts them away. My husband could have had a terrible day at work and just needed me to be his rock and understand that though he’d rather be home, he is stuck there at the job having to finish it. I should respond with a loving and sympathetic tone. Not the wicked witch of the west assuring him I would get him for this. My dear loving readers, we must realize the power our words carry. It can make or break the day of a loved one or friend. It can also make or break our day as well. Speak kindly to yourself too. I’m working on this one. Choose the road less traveld and speak kind words to your people. Tell them what exactly your trying to say with loving words.

Now for that recipe…

This is a side dish to accompany… well, anything. It was a new find and we had this over the weekend and it was a hit!

Herbed Baby Potatoes

Herbed golden brown potatoes on a baking sheet

1 lb. baby golden potatoes

4 Tbls. Butter melted

1 tsp. thyme

2 cloves fresh garlic minced

Salt and pepper to taste

8 oz. (approximately) grated parmesan cheese

Preheat oven to 450 degrees Fahrenheit. In Dutch oven, place scrubbed, unpeeled, whole potatoes and fill with water to completely cover potatoes. Boil until tender (about 20-25 min.) drain. Return to Dutch oven. Melt butter in microwave or on stove top. Add Thyme and garlic to butter. Mix well. Pour over potatoes and toss to completely coat potatoes with butter mixture. Place potatoes on cookie sheet with sides in a single layer. With mason jar or large glass, smash down each potato but still keeping it in tact. Sprinkle on salt and pepper as desired. Sprinkle on parmesan cheese. Bake for 25 minutes. Ooooooohh, they are soooooo good!

Additional tip— To dress these up a bit for an appetizer for a party or just for your own pleasure, you can also top these with:

  • Green onions
  • bacon bits
  • French fried onions
  • other cheeses
  • sliced mushrooms

t’s really up to your personal tastes!

God’s love is like a warm fireplace

Well we have entered into my most favorite time of year, like it is for many of you. When autumn is ushered in by all the beautiful autumnal colors, my soul just settles back with a warm drink, a cozy throw, and a warming glowing fireplace to snuggle by. I know a lot of you may be Summer junkies and I love being able to just throw on a pair of flip-flops and run out the door, but there is just something about autumn that lifts my spirits to new heights. I have many candles and small sparkling lights in various places in my home. It’s comforting and just seems to welcome visitors into my home, as well as welcoming my husband and son home from work. The smell of dinner cooking and a fall candle burning does more than you think to a weary soul.

I’ve always wanted my home to be a haven and resting place for people, first and foremost, my family. But when I started decorating my home for autumn and my daughter’s friend made that comment that she loved when we decorated for fall, that it made her happy… that’s for me! It warms my soul. You know what else warms my soul like a glowing fireplace? God’s love for me. When those flames are waving in the fireplace with that orangey glow, it reminds me of God waving to me and saying, “hey, just so you don’t forget, My love for you is burning brightly.”

Jeramiah 31:3 reminds us, “The Lord appeared to him from far away, ‘I have loved you with an everlasting love. Therefore, I have continued my faithfulness to you.’” God’s love has no boundaries. It has no limits. It burns like that fire in the fireplace, steady and strong. Giving off warmth to a weak and weary soul— one who feels like they are out in the cold. They can come to the hearth of God’s loving fireplace and warm themselves. If it’s hard to imagine that God loves you this way, ask yourself: does a fire choose who it will keep warm?

A fire warms any and every person who comes to be warmed by it. It just gives warmth freely. Come to Gods’ fireplace and get warm.  Open His word and feel your soul being wrapped in the Glow of Gods’ everlasting love for you!

Now about that smell of dinner cooking… I want to share this recipe with you. It’s a great comfort food dish for a fall family meal around the table. This can easily be modified to be a vegetarian dish if that is a preference. I hope you like it!

Turkey Ham Pasta

1 pound spaghetti

1 bag frozen broccoli

1 chub turkey ham (or veggie meat)

1 cup sour cream

½ cup milk

½ cup butter

½ cup parmesan cheese

In a medium sauce pot, heat sour cream, milk butter, and parmesan cheese over medium low heat until butter is melted. Cook pasta as label directs, Drain. Cook frozen broccoli as label directs. Return pasta to pot. This should be a Dutch oven pot. Add broccoli. Cut turkey ham into 1 inch cubes and sauté’ in a skillet over medium high heat for about 10 minutes. Add to pasta and broccoli.   Pour sour cream mixture over pasta, turkey ham, and broccoli. Mix well. Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Pour pasta into a 9×13 baking dish and cover with foil. Bake for 20-30 minutes or until heated through. Sprinkle additional parmesan cheese on top if desired. Bake up your favorite rolls and ENJOY!

Sink or swim

Well I just got back from a little overnight stay at an indoor water park with the fam. We try to go to this park every year on the off season. Since my kids have been home-schooled, we are not bound by certain days off from school in order to go places like that. It’s kinda a hobby of my husband’s to see how good a package deal he can get on these little mini vaca’s. He’s honestly really good at it too. We got a beautiful hotel room that had two separate sleeping quarters with an intimate little living room area including a fireplace. Two bathrooms for convenience and balcony overlooking the water park. It was quite lovely.

Well as you might imagine, racing down water slides with jets spraying water at you from all directions and twists and turns, not always being aware of which direction you are going, might not be so great for someone with vision loss. But ya know what? I had a blast! I’m almost forty-five-years old and as long as I can physically handle the rides, I’ll keep going. Even if I lose the rest of my sight, I’ll keep going.

I spent a relaxing time on the lazy river with my husband (who tried but sometimes faltered, to keep me from going under the waterfalls). I raced at top speed down the Zip Coaster with my daughter, then sister-in-law, then niece, then husband… multiple times. I went on a slide that took us around and around like we were being flushed with my hubby, sister and brother in law while I screamed my fool head off. Incidentally, my throat is a little scratchy today. We ate, we laughed, we splashed, we chilled in the hot tub… well I guess chilling in a hot tub is kind of impossible, but you get it.

The point is, if I let my blindness define me or dictate what I do or don’t do, I LOSE! I miss out on the experiences that create wonderful memories. Sure, there were times on this trip, like others before, that I had to take a time out to regroup and settle a bit. However, I’m inclined to think that since I was huffing and puffing climbing umpteen thousand flights of stairs, I didn’t need the break because of stress to my eyes. No, more like I’m getting older and much to out of shape… sigh!

Holding the arm when needed of the person I was riding or walking with, I just embraced and enjoyed the time with my family. I trusted them to lead me and I can walk up steps with no assistance. So why not grab all the experiences I can? I can not let my disability stop me from doing the things I love or am able to do. Blindness has robbed me of enough, I’m not going to willingly give it anymore. My fear can not rule my choices. Of course, there are things that are not possible for me to do and I don’t attempt those things. But those fall into the category of robbery. I hope to fulfill my bucket list items (or at least some of them) over the next several years. I want to parasail, visit Ireland, do more hiking, speak as the Lord asks me to and open doors for, and other things along the way.

Friends, even if you don’t have a disability, you can experience much the same robberies. The enemy will try to rob you of your faith through fear. Life altering things can happen to shake your trust in Jesus. A death of a loved one can leave you feeling hopeless. These are the things Satan tries to use to rob you of Jesus. If we have a trust that goes beyond what is based on what we see, then that trust is concrete. Just as I trusted my family to lead me at the water park, we need to take the arm of our Lord and Savior and let Him lead us. Psalm 18:2 says “The Lord is my rock and my fortress and my deliverer, my God, my rock, in whom I take refuge, my shield and the horn of my salvation, my stronghold”. This verse gives me the promise that God is steady. No matter what is going on in my world, God is there. When a war is going on, soldiers back in the day used shields to protect them and they trusted those shields to work. Fortresses were designed to be the ultimate in safe places. A rock is quite a handy place to stand on if the ground around you is sinking.

Oh my dear readers, as we sit here at the table together, let me encourage you to hold the arm of the one who sees where to go even if you can’t. He wants to lead you and He will protect you in the twists and turns of life. Not necessarily from the twists and turns, but through them. As the water rushing down the slides carried us along with it, I knew there was going to be someone I trusted at the other end to catch me.

Don’t let the enemy rob you anymore. Put your trust in Jesus and take His outstretched hand and let Him lead you. I could have chosen to stay home and let my family go without me thus letting my heart sink with disappointment. But I chose to tell my blindness what we were going to do and I jumped in the wave pool to swim. Jump in with me.

My new little addition to the family

My hope and prayer all along this journey of blogging has been to bring some encouragement, hope, inspiration, enlightenment, laughs and many more things to my readers. Our family is a small one at this time and I dearly adore all of you. I would love to hear from each and every one of you so feel free to Email me with your thoughts, prayer requests, family traditions, favorite memories, or just anything you wish. I welcome everyone at my table and there is plenty of chairs for anyone who wants to join our Table family. You are a very important member of this family and I want you to know how much I value your place at the Table.

When we look at Jesus in the Bible, He is often extending hospitality to others. He is also asking for hospitality to be extended to Him as an example of how we are to treat one another. He calls down Zacchaeus from a tree and tells him that He wants to come to his house (Luke 19:1-10). Zacchaeus was overjoyed to have Jesus come and stay with him. Hospitality was given to Jesus.

There were other examples of Jesus extending hospitality to a large number of people on a few different occasions. Such as is found in Mark 6:30-44… Jesus had been feeding a large number of people the spiritual food they craved. But as the hour grew late, He instructed the disciples to now give them physical food. Jesus used what was available and God multiplied it to be enough for everyone with leftovers! I love that Jesus simply used what He already had. No need to go to the grocery store.

There were other times that Jesus provided spiritual food and then physical food. He knew that both of them were needed.

So, with that being said… my first desire is to share spiritual food. My second is to extend hospitality at my physical table and at my virtual table. Starting October 3rd, I will be adding a recipe for a family favorite dish at the end of my blog posts. I am excited to add this element to the blog because it helps me to carry out in a very tangible way, some of the ways Jesus reached people— by meeting a need. We all eat so I really want to make this a part of our time together. One of my three goals I had set for myself for 2018 was to be the hands and feet of Jesus in a more real and tangible way. Well I must admit to you that it hasn’t gone quite as well as I’d envisioned. This is one way to make a step forward in that goal. Along with the ideas I already had in mind to do here locally.

I’m so grateful that God gives me new opportunities every day to begin again. Honestly, I haven’t done very well with any of the goals I set for myself, but I don’t want to focus on the things I haven’t done. I want to look ahead to the new opportunity to begin them again. We can’t change what we haven’t done, but we can choose to do them now. I hope the new addition to the family will be something you will enjoy. Please let me know your thoughts on this and if you would like to get recipes to add to your recipe box or file or however you organize your favorites. I look forward to hearing from you and blessings to you all!

 

 

Guest Post: Am I refreshing or depressing?

smiling woman with dark hair, her chin resting on her folded hands
I have the honor and privalege to welcome  Proverbs 31 ministries Author, Speaker, and Bible Study Teacher, Suzanne Eller to the blog today. I have a tremendous amount of respect for Suzanne and her writing. I have been taught many things from her through Proverbs 31 and her devotionals. Those of you who subscribe to the Encouragement for Today daily devotionals will recognize Suzy and her beautiful writing. This topic is close to my heart and I am honored to have Suzy share her spiritual insight on the topic of our outward behaviours to others to spite our own mood. My deepest heart felt thank you and appreciation to Suzy for sharing with us. Please welcome Suzanne Eller…

Am I refreshing or depressing?

I’m not an expert or counselor about the topic of marriage. I don’t believe in formulas. I believe every marriage is different, and I haven’t walked in your shoes so I don’t dare try to speak into your relationship.

Yet, after 38 years of living with a guy I really like, there have been times that I’ve knelt and asked God for help. I hope it’s OK that we talk about that together.

Me sharing my story. You sharing yours. Praying together.

The following are three things I’ve learned along the way.

Sometimes marriage is hard

Marriage can be difficult. I’m not talking about “cheating” hard, but day-to-day hard. When finances get tight and you are both doing everything you know to do. When you are parenting and you think one way about a situation, and your spouse sees it different. When you used to feel close, but the intimacy has slipped away somehow.

When marriage is hard, we might be tempted to see only the challenges, and yet it’s been helpful for me to ask these questions.

Do I see us as a team, or am I in this for myself?

What good do I find in this man I love?

How can we fight this together?

When I ask those questions, it includes the man I love in the battle.

When I write down the good, it balances my right-now feelings.

When I trust God that we are worth fighting for, it shifts the battle from a me-centered fight to a partnership.

Sometimes we give everyone else the good stuff

The other night I slipped in beside my husband at the end of the day. I lay in his arms and we talked. I’m goofiest when I’m with Richard, and before long we were both laughing.

He said, “If only everyone else could see this side of you.”

Just writing that makes me feel a little vulnerable, because it’s so private. Yet, here’s the truth. I don’t want to give the best of me to everyone else and what’s left to the people I love.

Every single day I’m ministering in some way. Writing books. Blogging. Creating messages and teaching. Leading Bible studies. When I’m doing these things, it’s an act of worship and I love it. The downside is there’s deadlines, juggling multiple tasks, and sometimes there’s pressure (as in any job). I could easily pour out and pour out to others, and bring the teaspoon I have left over and hand it to my husband or my family.

Sadly, I can say there are times that has happened.

When I’m in that place, it’s time to examine my life and my priorities. Not just examine it, but be willing to adjust.

Who is receiving the best of me?

Am I out of balance?

Are there changes that need to be made?

I don’t want to be nice to everyone else, and cruddy to Richard. I don’t want to look back one day and see that I lived out of balance in my relationships. More than anyone else, I want my family to have received the good from me — including the goofiness that they both love and groan about.

Photo of 3 wooden hearts suspended on string

Am I refreshing or depressing?

Last, I’ve learned that I can be refreshing, or depressing. Though my nature leans toward the positive, there are times it dips in the other direction. That can look like:

  • critical words
  • passive-agressive replies
  • silence that hurts

We really do have a choice in this.

The other night Richard was sharing a disappointment. It weighed heavy on him. I could think of a few things that I thought would help. I could also think of a few negatives that he hadn’t considered. He needed neither of those.

He needed “refreshing” – to reinvigorate, replenish, revive, breathe new life into, cheer. Rather than the opposite — to discourage, break, dull, hurt, depress, shut down.

After listening, I simply said, “I believe in you, babe.”

In that exact moment, he needed to know that I was with him in the battle. We’d talk more in-depth later, but all he needed was to be refreshed.

I’m not talking about enabling, or coddling someone in poor behavior. That’s a different post for a different day. Instead, it’s asking this question:

Am I depressing or refreshing?

Right now. In this conversation. In this day-to-day interaction. Which have I chosen?

How can I intentionally refresh this one I love?

Refreshing looks at the situation and the person from their side of the sidewalk. It’s seeing their battles. It’s acknowledging who they are as a person — all the goodness that lives inside of them. It’s being truthful, but with mercy, grace, love, and a total lack of selfish ambition in your words and actions.

Depressing is knowing the words that will discourage that person, and using them lavishly. It’s pulling away, waiting for that one to come to you to make things right when you are both in the wrong. It’s shutting down healing conversations because they are hard. It’s pushing away the leading of the Holy Spirit in that situation, or using faith to make that person feel worse (if you were a Christian, you’d. . . ).

It’s not perfect. Not for a moment. It’s choosing to refresh rather than depress. It’s an honest form of love that has give and take, but you are leaning toward the “give.”

We are in a month that talks a lot about love.

While I love receiving flowers or going to dinner, I think love is more than a day. It’s more than a month. It’s a life time of working toward the sweetest and best relationship you can have. It’s working through conflict when there seems to be no resolution. It’s saying you’re sorry. It’s forgiveness. It’s praying for that person when you really don’t feel like it.

Most people just need us to show up. It’s not about what we say. It’s being there fully. #livingfreetogether #SpiritLedHeart https://wp.me/p4jbdw-4ub CLICK TO TWEET

What is one thing you have learned about marriage? I’d love to hear it.

What is one thing that someone who does it well has shown you about marriage? I’d love to hear that too.

If your marriage is in a hard place, just say, “Pray for me.” You don’t have to give details. We’ll wrap around you and pray.

Love you big,

Suzie

You can find Suzie’s Blog by clicking here

Nobody said parenting was… um… anything you might have expected!

There is the day of that wonderful news, the news that you are going to be a parent. The tears of joy come, the announcements go out, gifts are given, and the nursery is now ready with pink or blue blankets and bedding to welcome your little bundle of cuteness. The happy and sometimes frantic day of rushing to the hospital after contractions have been just a few minutes apart arrives. After what seems like days and unspeakable pain… the doctor places this tiny, precious life in your arms. A precious life that you brought into the world by the gift and grace of God.

Countless diapers will be changed, endless laundry will need to be washed, and sinks full of empty bottles will need to be cleaned and refilled. All of this you have been expecting. You know there will be sleepless nights, first steps, potty training, then eventually the exciting and tear-filled first day of school. Oh, how the years have flown. Now there is a new chapter beginning.

This chapter will bring with it changes that are difficult for both you and your child. They are now wanting to choose their own clothes every day. They have new preferences for the lunch you pack them. They are making new friends that weren’t already in the mom’s group you preselected. Oh, how this can make you feel out of control as a parent.

One minute they look to you for all their needs (such as colors to match for clothes, the PB&J sandwiches they have ALWAYS liked, or who they were going to play with that day), now they seemed to have developed the ability to make choices for themselves. What are our schools teaching our kids anyway? But reality sets in and you settle into this new way of life. Our kids continue to pick out their own clothes much to our dismay at the choices, and they all of a sudden do NOT want the sloppy hand made PB&J sandwich (or any sandwich for that matter), and they don’t want you to help them decide what game to play with their friends because they just want to hang out at the mall and pick out those clothes we would rather they didn’t like.

All along this road of self-discovery, we try to guide and direct our kids the best way we know how. As the ol’ saying goes, “they didn’t come with a book of instructions.” It is in those moments of shared secrets with your daughter that you never expected certain things. Things like how your teenage child not only trusts you with a secret, but looks forward to getting that alone time with you to share her feelings. It is in the conversations with your son who is just a whisper away from his twenties, and he shares his life’s ambitions and dreams with you that you stumble on something you never expected. You never expected that when the world or friends offer their ear to hear those goals, he’d rather share them with you first.

There are also those moments of anger from your child that leaves you with something you never expected. Feelings of failure as a parent. Feelings of fear that you will never regain the relationship you had before. Unbalanced feelings of changing your ‘no’ to a ‘yes’ just to bring harmony back to your relationship with your child. These are not things those pregnancy books cover when they try and prepare you for parenthood.

My husband and I have always tried to give understandable reasons for why we said no to something, as well as why we would allow them to do something. It has been important to us for our kids to realize that we are not simply dictating everything they do for the sake of dictating. We have always wanted them to understand why something was not a good idea to do so that later on when they are no longer under our roof, they know how to weigh out a situation and make a well informed and thought out decision… hopefully. But there does come a time when they will try and make a decision that will endanger them or potentially have life altering repercussions that, as a parent, you’re simply not going to sit by and let happen. It is in these moments that I will play the “I’m the parent and I said so” card. My child will get angry. Tears will fall, doors will slam, silence will be heard. It is in these moments that I will ask God “am I doing the right thing?”

God will then remind me of all the things I have asked Him for that He has tried to show me why it wouldn’t be the best thing or how He plans to use me in the door He has just opened for me. Then comes the reminder of the times He has had to simply say ‘no.’ I know what’s in your best interest and you will have to trust Me on this one. Proverbs 3;4-5 says “trust in the Lord with all your heart, and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge Him and He will direct your paths.”

Just as we want our kids to trust what we tell them because we have had more experience then they have, we need to trust God who is all knowing in all things. He has far more experience than us. Just as God stands by His decisions for us, through heavenly council, we must stand by the decisions we have made concerning our kids. They will get mad and stomp around slamming doors. They may even tell us they hate us. But as parents, once they have had time to cool down and process everything, they come to us and say they may not always agree or understand but they trust our decisions. You may not always understand or agree with Gods’ decision but He will be there waiting when we come to Him and say “I trust in You Lord, not my own understanding.” Our heavenly Parent is waiting for His children to trust Him, will you be one of them? I want to be. Lord help me to trust in You. Help me to not trust in my own understanding. Let me trust in all Your decisions for me. Father Please help me also to have the patience with my children that You have for me. In Jesus name, Amen.