Lessons From a 10-Year-Old

Lessons From a 10-Year-Old

Daily Notes Encouragement

And He has said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for power is perfected in weakness.” Most gladly, therefore, I will rather boast about my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may dwell in me. Therefor I am well content with weaknesses, with insults, with distresses, with persecutions, with difficulties, for Christ’s sake; for when I am weak, then I am strong. ~2 Corinthians 12:9-10

another example of something I didn't think would work, but my husband was like, "Sure! Give it a try!"
another example of something I didn’t think would work, but my husband was like, “Sure! Give it a try!”

It’s Thanksgiving, so let me tell you what I am thankful for- I am thankful that we serve and trust in a God who is still speaking to us if we just take the time to notice.

A few weeks ago we were visiting family, and my beautiful ten-year-old niece took my two littles into the kitchen and made cookies with them. It was a totally new experience for my children. NOT because they’ve never ‘made cookies’ before, but because they had never made cookies before. When I make cookies with my kids I tend to take over. It’s easier if I crack the eggs. It’s less mess if I measure the flour. When they make cookies with me, they are basically waiting for the chocolate chips to come out so they can sneak a few. Otherwise they are just observers. And here is my niece, letting them measure. Letting them each have their own whisk to mix with, because sharing is hard. There was a mess, and there were extra dishes- but my children actually made the cookies.

I observed this and felt a small nudge. There was something for me to learn here…

Then a week later my husband was making eggs and my daughter said she wanted to make eggs too. And again, I watched someone else let her do the things I would not have allowed- only because I didn’t want the extra hassle, the extra mess. Not that I thought that way. My thought was simply it’s just easier if I do it. But my husband took the time to explain how to crack an egg, and then he handed it to her and stepped back. And crazy thing happened- she made eggs!

Again that small nudge. And now my wheels are turning, and I’m thinking about how I need to let my kids try new things…

So then I pick up my devotional and it talks about the importance of letting our kids fail. Because that is real life. In life they are going to fail! And how are we hindering them, and even hurting them, when we have never allowed them to fail in a safe and loving environment!

And I put my devotional down and just laughed. How can you not laugh when God repeatedly underlines a topic for you? Because I had just read a quote on social media that if you fail at something it means you’re trying. And my eldest son had asked me about a quote from a famous inventor who said, “Well now I know 49 ways that doesn’t work.” And he wanted clarification about what that might mean. There had been a theme in my life, and as the topic of the flip side of failure was repeatedly highlighted for me, I heard that quiet voice speaking gentle correction to my heart.

We have our own hens, and this happens sometimes...
We have our own hens, and this happens sometimes…

Failure is important! It teaches us to get up and try again- perseverance people!! I’m sure I could go on and on about the flip side of failure, about how we can teach our children through it. But I need to go make some peanut butter bars for Turkey Day. Correction! My daughter needs to make some peanut butter bars!

Thank you, Lord, that you speak through Children. That you are still speaking to us today. That you have your eye on us, and you are mindful of us. I love that You continue to teach us and bring us from glory to glory! Help us to notice the things you are saying. Help us to open our hearts to really hear Your Voice. And protect us Lord from going astray. I ask especially that you would open our eyes to where we might think we are doing the ‘right’ thing, but we in fact are missing the mark. Thank you for always being good and gentle with us. In Jesus name, Amen!

~Lindsay

The Journey

The Journey

Children Encouragement From the Authors

Let the redeemed of the Lord tell their story ~Psalm 107:2

I’ve been doing a lot of reflecting. Mostly in my own head. I mean, I could share my ideas with those around me… but they’re all under the age of 10. They don’t get my jokes, let alone my contemplative thoughts.

Well, that’s probably selling them short. So maybe I should share more with them… but that’s a blog post for another day.

In my last post, I mentioned that our youngest had started having seizures. So life’s been a little wild and chaotic for a bit. A little scary. A week or two before his first seizure, I actually said to my husband, “We got it really good.” And he nodded, we were driving somewhere and he was distracted. “No, really,” I continued. “We got it reaaaaally good. I don’t like those sermons where people warn you that hard times come to us all. And I don’t want to predict that over us, but I feel like we aren’t appreciating the everyday mundane. We don’t know how good we really have it, because it’s been so good for so long.”

And then yeah, stuff happened, and we were just thankful that we were still a family of five. The first seizure was awful. I had the thought that I might lose a child right before my eyes and there was nothing I could do about it.

So check out this little guy:

IMG_20160802_105547366

You know where I found him? Right here:

IMG_20160802_104855380

This is the headwaters of the Mississippi River. That little guy had been just hanging out in Lake Itasca- all in all a pretty calm lake. Life must have been a little mundane, but good. Then he somehow got through those rocks there. You can see them in the picture. Not a big deal for my kids who were climbing over them and getting soaked, heedless of their mother’s entreaties to keep their clothes dry. But for a little guy who fits in the palm of a child’s hand, those rocks must have been shocking compared to his life in Lake Itasca. And then I thought about what was ahead of him. He was going to keep floating down this river, towards the Gulf of Mexico. The realist in me thought he’d never make it. And another part of me wondered if I shouldn’t try and take him back to the lake and find a safe place for him, where he wouldn’t end up in the river again.

But as I sat and stared at that little guy, I began to think we had a little bit in common. I’d recently survived some rapids. Things have calmed down again for me, but I really don’t know what my future holds. I can’t even begin to imagine all that will happen. Sure I have plans for the future, but God has shown me time and again that my plans are small potatoes compared to his.

And then I remembered, again, the one thing that always calms me down. God is the same as he was yesterday, and as he will be tomorrow. He is good. His plans are good. He is merciful. And He does not give us more than we can handle.

So I put that little guy back in the river. Well, more accurately, I made a little boy put him back in the river. We were at the point where I foresaw that little guy coming home in someone’s pocket. So I did the mom thing where you use their middle name, and then I watched that little snail-thing lazily float away. And instead of sharing all my inner musings with my children, who probably would have been astounded, I laughed quietly at myself and returned to the age old tradition of mothers everywhere- nagging. Because who wants to drive home with a wet bum?

But all this to say, the journey is not always smooth or easy. But we are held in hands far stronger and wiser than that little boy’s. Wherever you are in the journey, you can trust in that.

Lord thank you that you see me, and you know me. You know right where I am at, and you know where I am going. You do not forsake us, but come after us time and again. Thank you for being so much better than I could ever imagine. Thank you that you are still in charge, even when it doesn’t seem possible. And I praise you for your wonderful creation- that mighty river that starts out so small and peaceful, that little snail I held in my hand, those wonderful babies you have given me. Thank you for all of that, and so much more. Everyday, more and more, help me to look around and to see your hand at work. In Jesus name, Amen!

~Lindsay

*I see that there are run-on sentences in this blog post. Don’t worry, I see it. But writing how I talk is really hard grammatically. I’m a math major. With a lot to say. Writing is hard. The end.

 

Rabbit’s Foot

Rabbit’s Foot

Encouragement From the Authors

The Spirit of the Sovereign Lord is on me,
     because the Lord has anointed me
    to proclaim good news to the poor.
He has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted,
    to proclaim freedom for the captives
    and release from darkness for the prisoners,
to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor
    and the day of vengeance of our God,
to comfort all who mourn,
   and provide for those who grieve in Zion—

to bestow on them a crown of beauty
    instead of ashes,
the oil of joy
    instead of mourning,
and a garment of praise
    instead of a spirit of despair.
They will be called oaks of righteousness,
    a planting of the Lord
    for the display of his splendor.
~Isaiah 61:1-3

You want to talk about walking up a mountain the hard way...
You want to talk about walking up a mountain the hard way…

Here is something I have found to be true about God- He does not leave us alone. He will not leave us alone. He cannot seem to help reaching out to us. This might sound delightful, to have a God who cares so much about us that He will not leave us alone. If being alone is lonely and not fun, then having God in your corner is great! You’ve always got a friend! And it is great. God loves you, God wants to be with you- hallelujah!

The flip side of all this is… He is also a parent. And just like I can’t leave my children alone to try and discover the rights and wrongs of their actions, neither can God the Father leave me alone.

I heard this somewhere, and often repeat it:

If you want to make God laugh, tell Him your plans.

Today I am talking about the fact that this can’t-leave-you-alone-God keeps working on me. I had some definite plans on what the next few years of my life would look like. They seemed sensical to me. And possibly they were on the easy-to-achieve side of things. But I really saw the future ahead all lined up nice and neat… but God, He had a different plan. You can find lots of “but God”s in the Bible. Lots. And if you think back, I’m sure you can find plenty in your life.

So I am (once again) thrust out of my comfort zone and into new and uncharted territory. I think of it as growing-pains. I worry that maybe I have a bit too much on my plate this time. I begin to think I might not have what it takes. But (even though it’s hard to really grasp that I am an adult*) I have some years behind me now. And when I look back at those years, time and time again I see that God really does bring the best out of every situation. Even when I’ve thought “WHAT IS GOD THINKING!!” When I trust in Him, and lean on His mercy and grace- that’s when I see really amazing fruit in my life. In my own strength I often stumble and fall, but His grace is unending and unfailing. All too often I treat God like a lucky charm- like those rabbit’s foots that were so popular back in elementary school. I keep thinking that if I pray just the right prayer, then everything will go my way. But that’s not what is best for me. God is not content with just the good, He wants the best for us. Our good plans (even our best plans) are peanuts compared to the awesome future God is planning for us.

We live in a forested area of snow and ice. So when you take a trip to the desert and go on a hike... the last thing you expect to find is beauty in God's creation. The desert is supposed to be dead, hot, and not fun to walk in. But in the dead of winter it's breathtaking and amazing. Proof that God is soooooo much more creative and brilliant than yours truly.
We live in a forested area of snow and ice. So when you take a trip to the desert and go on a hike… the last thing you expect to find is beauty in God’s creation. The desert is supposed to be dead, hot, and not fun to walk in. But in the dead of winter it’s breathtaking and amazing. Proof that God is soooooo much more creative and brilliant than yours truly.

If you are standing in one of those situations where everything seems upside down and backwards of what you were expecting. If you are (like me) waving a despondent goodbye to your plans for the future, I have good news for you! You can trust in Him who made you. Not to make light of the horrific things that can happen in life, but just to know- you have a God who cannot leave you alone. He will come after you again and again, He will bring fruit out of misery. Beauty out of ashes. Joy for mourning, and praise out of your despair. Somehow. Somehow He does that. It’s what makes him good, awesome, amazing. It’s what makes him God! You might not see that fruit for years, and if that’s the case I’m truly sorry. But maybe you can take a step back right now and begin to realize, “Oh… I see. He has a better plan. It’s better than my plan. This might be hard, but in the long run, I can see- this could be the making of me.”

So thank you, Lord! You do not leave us. You are working in our lives. You have plans we can’t even fathom. Plans to build us into the people you created us to be. Plans to bring Your Kingdom here to earth. Plans for good. Plans for hope. Plans for love! We are sorry that we cannot always trust in Your Plans. We are so sorry that we often fall to anxiety and fear. Renew our hearts to trust in You and to chase after You. In these times of confusion, sorrow, fear, and anxiety- help us to turn our faces fully towards You. I ask for friends and other believers who will come along side us and confirm the work that You are doing in us. Thank you Jesus! Amen.

~Lindsay

*I tend to think of adults as my parents’ generation. I forget to categorize myself in the adult group… just from time to time.

three saguaro cactuses?
three saguaro cactuses?
Here and Now

Here and Now

From the Authors Our Story

Because of the Lord’s great love we are not consumed,Jan 27 011
    for his compassions never fail.
They are new every morning;

    great is your faithfulness.
I say to myself, “The Lord is my portion;
    therefore I will wait for him.”
~Lamentations 3:22-24

Potty Training.

That is the stage I have entered for the third time in my life. I don’t remember it being enjoyable or easy, but neither do I remember it being so difficult! The bribing and running around and the messes. It is difficult. But I know it won’t last forever and once it is over life is going to be a lot easier (not to mention cheaper… diapers! I tell ya!).

Also, Christmas has passed. We aren’t even through January and, for my children, the blinding luster of new Christmas toys is wearing off. Honestly I was more than disappointed at how quickly I heard the words “bored” and “there’s nothing to do” again. Add to that the son who is already compiling a birthday list- because if he gets these toys then he will “finally have fun.” You want to see a mother turn red in the face and go absolutely ballistic, then (when you add in the potty training) you have found the perfect recipe for that. Ok, I wasn’t exactly ballistic. … More like… Irritated. I was irritated at how little they appreciated all they have.

I was giving my son a good lecture on being thankful when the light bulb turned on again. I was preaching to the choir. I am the one who has not appreciated what I have. I am in the same boat as my son. I am always looking ahead to the next thing, thinking then- finally then!– things will be easier. Once we finish moving, then things will get easier. Once I get through Christmas, then things will settle down and get easier. Once the youngest is potty trained, then life will be splendid. When we make some friends in our new town, then things will be better, I will be happier, etc, etc, etc…

This is why God made me a parent. He has put all of my issues into these adorable little people I am constantly hanging out with and I can’t help noticing their problems. Then He gently says, “Ok, now do you see what I have been trying to tell you?”

Oh.

Right.

I see.

I am so busy planning for a future, running ahead to the next stage of life, and thinking that if I only had one more thing… then life would really be easy. And it causes me to miss out on the gift of here and now. My children won’t ever be this age again. This is my chance to be with them here and now. This is a lesson that I think I need to be reminded of daily. The gift of this moment. The grace of God that causes the sun to rise again every morning. I was lecturing my son on how he needs to appreciate all he has, and I just laughed to myself. Then I hung my head and thought, “I’m sorry, God. I forgot how beautiful You are. How You have put so much beauty into this day, and I just passed by it all. I’m missing it. I’m missing You.”

Because the truth is that nothing is going to fulfill that big open hole in our hearts. No birthday gift, no fully potty trained family. Only God fulfills that need, that hole, that desire. He is the one who does not let us down, who does not give up on us, and who loves us as we are.

So if you need a place to start, start there. Start with being thankful that God is exactly who he says he is. And that He is doing a good work in and through you.

Lord, thank you so much for this day. I am so sorry that I have been trying to do things in my own strength again. I am sorry that I have confused getting things done with true happiness. Make my heart new, and open my eyes to see the beauty that you have woven into my everyday life. Thank you for this season, even if it is hard or lonely. Thank you that you are with me no mater what. In Jesus name, Amen.

~Lindsay

 

Good Grief, Charlie Brown!

Good Grief, Charlie Brown!

Encouragement

Rejoice with those who rejoice; mourn with those who mourn. Romans 12:15

Aug 21 154I love that verse. Love it. Because it calls us into a deep relationship with those around us. If we are with friends or family who are rejoicing, our hearts should rejoice with them! We are not bystanders who simply observe the joy of our loved ones. We are active participants in their joy! And likewise, we mourn with them. When their hearts break, our hearts break too.

I have a theory about our culture. We only want people to be happy. Which is probably a good thing- wanting others to be happy, but we do so at the cost of ignoring other emotions. We pretend we are happy, when we are not. I see it all the time; sort of a hurry-up-and-get-over-it mentality. Or we compare our hurts to others. If someone has experienced something worse than us, then we really can’t complain, can we?

But the truth is our hurt is not lessened by someone experiencing a greater hurt. To me, Romans 12:15 says it is okay to be sad, and for others to comfort us by being sad with us. It is okay to be sad. It is okay to grieve. We are comforted when someone comes along side us and says, “My heart is breaking with yours.” I heard a woman once talking about the pain of losing a child. She said, “I had to face into my grief.” And that was the moment I realized, I run away from those harder emotions. But they don’t go away, they chase after me. I have to learn to “face into them” and then I can deal with my hurt and truly start to heal. Especially if I open up my heart to the Healer.

I’ve seen the ones I love hurting and realized we each have different coping mechanisms. We process grief and hurt differently. I know a few who need the time and space to talk. They need to be asked, “How are you doing?” They feel comforted when we check in with them. I know others who want time to process their emotions alone and only open up when they are ready. So it is okay to just ask, “What can I do for you?”

I heard a story once about a young man in college whose mother had passed away. At her funeral, a friend asked, “What can I do for you?” The young man said, “Sit in the front row and cry.” So his friend did. Is it just me, or is that a beautiful story? I think that must have been a beautiful friendship. To have a friend who would cry with you over the loss of your mother.

And as we learn to experience our grief, to “face into it,” God can come into our hearts and our relationships. He can do more than we can imagine. He is making all things new*, and can use even the most awful experiences for good. We can trust Him. So I encourage you to let those around feel their emotions, and to feel those emotions along with them. And also, not to let those happy moments slip by uncelebrated. I hope you can reach out to those around you and rejoice with them whenever possible.

Lord, thank you for your word. Thank you for the encouragement you send through your word, and especially for the hope we find in your word. Bless us to have wisdom to reach out to those around us and rejoice with them when they are happy, or mourn with them when they are grieved. Bless our efforts, and speak to our hearts as well as the hearts of those we love. We trust that you are truly making all things new. We believe that you will wipe away all our tears, and that someday we will stand before You and there will be great celebrating. Thank you, Lord. Amen.

~Lindsay

*He who was seated on the throne said, “I am making everything new!” Then he said, “Write this down, for these words are trustworthy and true.” ~Revelations 21:5

**I don’t have appropriate ‘mourning’ pictures. So I went with mountain pictures… because mountain and mourn start with the same sound? No. I really don’t have a good reason.***

***This post was too serious for me, so I had to throw in a lame joke at the end. I apologize.

This guy is rejoicing after sneaking a snack out of our hiking backpack.
This guy is rejoicing after sneaking a snack out of our hiking backpack.
Thank You

Thank You

Inspiration Our Story

One of them, when he saw he was healed, came back, praising God in a loud voice. He threw himself at Jesus’ feet and thanked him—and he was a Samaritan. Jesus asked, “Were not all ten cleansed? Where are the other nine? Has no one returned to give praise to God except this foreigner?” Then he said to him, “Rise and go; your faith has made you well.” ~Luke 17:15-19

Saying “Thank you” is a big deal.

I used to teach high school math. I never thought about it before I became a teacher, but the majority of high schoolers (I could possibly even say ‘people’ here?) do not like math. In fact, most loathe math. So being a “fun” teacher was pretty much out from the beginning. Not if I wanted them to actually do hard work and learn something. Now of all the classes I taught, the most difficult was a class for those students who didn’t pass their standardized test. It was the last period of the day, the class period was about 70 minutes long, and all 35 students (none of whom were math enthusiasts to begin with) were forced to be in the class. I had to take attendance the last five minutes of class because a handful of kids would sneak out early if I was not standing at the door baring their escape.*

The term eventually ended, and I sighed with relief when I was no longer their gate keeper at the end of the school day. About a month later, the students had their test retakes. And that was when a miracle happened. There were students in that class that were well behaved, and doing their best- I just didn’t always have much time for them, as I was spending most of my time trying to figure out which student ducked out of the door with their hoodie pulled up over their head. But it was in the middle of a totally normal day when one of those students came wandering back into my room. Surprised, I greeted him, thinking vaguely that he had not given me any headaches and I really appreciated that. But then he said, “I passed the test. I wanted to tell you, because you were the one who helped me. Thank you.”

I think I just stood there and gaped at him. He probably didn’t know that I was trying really hard not to burst into tears. That I wanted to hug him, possibly adopt him. In all my years teaching, I didn’t remember ever having a student thank me for teaching them. I might have gotten a subway gift card once for teacher appreciation day. And there was another time that someone gave me a cheese and cracker tray for Christmas. But nothing like this. No one coming back after the fact and saying, “Thank you, you made a difference.”

And I remember that kid to this day. If I ran into him, I would thank him for making such a big difference in my life. I’m sure he hasn’t got a clue how much his little act of kindness meant to me. When I remember that moment, I think about those ten lepers that Jesus healed. Running off to celebrate, to tell their families, to- what? I don’t know. But only one came back to thank Jesus. One. And he wasn’t even a Jew. He was the one least expected to give thanks.

And I can’t help but think how often I’ve forgotten to throw myself at Jesus’ feet and thank him. I know I am in a rush, and often forget to thank the people I should. I especially forget to thank God (oops). But giving thanks is a big deal. I repeat: Big. Deal. I know it because of how much that one little thank you from one student touched my heart.

The Bible has a lot of verses on giving thanks. Especially giving thanks to the Lord. But, for the sake of keeping this blog short, there is just one thankful verse you really need: 1 Thessalonians 5:18.

give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.

So… just checking, but when would it be a good time to give thanks? So (speaking mainly to myself here) let’s practice our thankfulness. Let’s remember to thank God for even the littlest things. And let’s thank the people in our lives too. Who knows what those little words might do in one tired heart?

Lord, THANK YOU! We thank you for all you have done for us. Give us new hearts- thankful hearts. Help us to be thankful people. Help us to remember all that you have already done, and to trust you for our future. Even when things are going poorly, even when our hearts are so full of sadness and hurt- help us to remember the good you have done, and to trust in the good you are doing. Sometimes saying thank you is a sacrifice for us, it is giving up on our ideas of what is best or right. It is trusting that- somehow- your plan is being worked out in this world. It is trusting that you have already won. We trust you, Lord. We thank you, Lord. You are worthy. And as our hearts are transformed by you, help us to reach those around us with your light, and with your good news. Bless us to be your hands and feet. In Jesus strong name, Amen.

~Lindsay

 *And there were a few who would sneak out, even if I was standing right at the door telling them not to go. I had to admire their chutzpah.

Light

Light

Encouragement From the Authors Inspiration

because the darkness is passing away and the true light is already shining.
~1 John 2:8

Little Boy Swimming
Little Boy Swimming

So I saw this verse this week*. And it was one of those moments where a scripture sort of stops you in your tracks. Even if you’ve heard it a million times before, something about that bit of scripture on that particular day grabs hold of you and… I thought to myself, the darkness is already passing? How did I miss that? Because sometimes I forget that I am living in victory. That Christ has already handed me a victory, but I need to choose how to live in it. And if the true light is already shining, aren’t I a part of that?

It’s summer. We are covered in sunscreen and bug spray, and running a million miles an hour. We have visited every water source within our vicinity as we have traveled around, trying to have fun and keep cool. We’ve already managed to see most of our family, and I’m pretty sure we have plans to meet with the rest in the next few weeks. I’m on full-throttle-mom-mode (sounds like something I should hash tag?). So how do I take into perspective the idea that “the darkness is passing, and the true light is already shining.” How? Because I’m not big on theological debates. I don’t have the brain power for them, I’m just trying to keep meal planning and budgets under control. I’m all about practical application.

Epic Slip-N-Slide
Epic Slip-N-Slide

Not having all the answers, here is what I thought. Can we stop complaining? Even just a little bit? It’s okay to be genuine and honest with others. It is good to share our struggles and weaknesses (don’t fall off the other side of the horse here!). BUT (and it’s a big but**), can we stop complaining? Can we find something to be thankful for? Can we share what was GOOD about our day, before going to the negative? I know when my husband comes home I tend to share all that  went wrong with my day. (Oops)

I got this idea from a family member. I asked them a question, fully prepared for a negative answer. And guess what they said? “Fantastic!” And they meant it! Instead of focusing on what was or could go wrong, they were focusing on the positive. And I found that was absolutely delightful to be around! And I thought, wouldn’t we all be more enjoyable if we answered more questions with a genuinely happy, “Fantastic!” because we were able to focus on the little things that were going well instead of the little things that were not.

Seriously. Think of how the Church would look if we were that kind of people! Think of how attractive we would be to nonbelievers!

And yes, putting it into practice is a lot easier said than done. But at least we can choose to try. We can choose to grab hold of the victory Christ has handed us, and to start living like true sons and daughters of God.***

Now as a last little bit- the entire time I’ve been typing this, there is a little chirping sound every now and then in the background. Belatedly I am realizing the battery on a fire alarm must be running low. So here is my first practice of NOT complaining (I know, baby steps!!): Isn’t it FANTASTIC that fire alarms tell you when to change their batteries!?

Thank you Jesus for the victory you have given! Please help us to live in the reality of that victory. Help us to be thankful, praiseful, and positive. In Jesus name, Amen!

~Lindsay

*Where did I see this verse? Click Here!

Slip-N-Slide Feet
Slip-N-Slide Feet

**ha ha

***Latest favorite song:
Praise Nation by Nate Sabin.****
First little bit says:
We are all heirs to an infinite fortune
With all the privileges of royal blood
Used to be outcasts, rejects, orphans
Now we are the sons and daughter of God

****Want to hear his music? Click Here! (Praise Nation, #8 is my favorite)

The Mundane

The Mundane

Children Encouragement From the Authors

 Now if we are children, then we are heirs of God and co-heirs with Christ, if indeed we share in his sufferings in order that we may also share in his glory.
Romans 8:17 (NIV)

"Cinderella"
“Cinderella”

This is one of my mom’s favorite pictures of her granddaughter*. We call it the ‘Cinderella’ photo. We were at the children’s science museum. And what does a 3-year-old wear to the science museum? The same thing she insists on wearing everywhere else- her princess dress. And what does a little girl want to do at the science museum? Well, everything. Which includes washing the dishes and sweeping the floor. So- ‘Cinderella’, because she is a princess doing the dishes.

Isn’t it a cute picture? Is your cute-o-meter on overload? Or am I just biased?

Now here is something I tend to forget while I am doing the dishes and sweeping the floor. I’m a coheir with Christ.

Do you know what that means? I am a sister to the prince, a daughter to the king. I. Am. A. Princess! I might not rock a lot of Disney Playwear like my daughter, but whether I look the part or not, I am a princess. Not the snooty kind, but the beloved princess. The apple of her Father’s eye. Yep. That’s me.

And that’s you too!!**

I don’t know if you have a daily devotional (I would recommend getting one, though). But I tend to get my ten minutes in the morning, and then I’m like, “Thanks, God. You’re the best. Help me today!” and I’m off to the races. The dishes, laundry, feed children, wash something, get to work, is the curling iron still on?, overdue books, when was that bill last paid?… and on we go. Drowning in the mundane.

You are a princess. Nothing you do is mundane.

God is not in the background all day. He is with you. Every moment you draw breath is shrouded in glory and holiness because God is dwelling with you, and you are his princess. The trick is pulling God past the morning devotional, and into the rest of the day with you. No, that’s not quite it, because He is always with you. So, I suppose, it is becoming aware that He is with you. It is making your meetings with God more than just a moment in the morning, but a continual conversation throughout the day.

When I see this picture, I don’t see a silly little girl. I see my princess. I know her strengths, I have plans for her future, I want to be there with her in that moment, and I want her to know how very much I love her.

And that’s how God is looking at us.

He wants to be a part of everything. The amazing, the hard, the mundane.

Jesus came as Emmanuel, God with us. And He still is today. The God who was, and is, and is to come with us!

Thank you, God, for adopting us. Thank you that you want us in your family, and that you have a purpose for us. Thank you that you love us so much, and that You just want to be with us. Open our eyes again to how You are in every circumstance, big or small, easy or hard. Bless us to feel You along side us throughout the day. And help us to trust more in Your Love. In Jesus name, Amen!

~Lindsay

*Let’s be honest, EVERY picture of a grandchild is a grandmother’s favorite picture!

**Unless you’re a guy… then, you are, obviously, a prince. Swords. Dragons. Still very cool.

Keep thanking God

Keep thanking God

From the Authors

Whatever happens, keep thanking God because of Jesus Christ.
This is what God wants you to do.
1 Thessalonians 5:18 (CEV)

Jan 27 011
What Thanksgiving looks like where I live. Not trees with falling leaves. More like arctic tundra. But still beautiful with fun to be had and hot chocolate when you get home.

It’s that time of year when we are reminded to be thankful. I need the reminder. I move from one activity to the next without pause. Taking a moment to stop moving and be thankful doesn’t fit within my “busy” schedule. Yet, that is no excuse.

I used to wonder about the ten lepers who were healed, but only one came back to thank Jesus (Luke 17). Why didn’t the other nine show their gratitude? Thinking about this passage now (that I am older and wiser?), I see now that this story is about me (bummer). How often do I receive the thing I have been praying for, only to rush on to the next ‘request.’

So this Thanksgiving, for myself, I plan to rest in gratitude. To be thankful for what I have, where I am, who is in my life. Thankful for the right now. Tomorrow will take care of itself, God said so*. I need to rejoice in the blessings of today.

Not practicing thankfulness in my daily life became apparent as I listened to my children praying. Their prayers, while so precious, read like a list of ‘help so-and-so’ and ‘please do this-and-that.’ These are good things to be praying for, but we are missing something. Something I often neglect when I pray. When we pray, we are talking to God. And God deserves our praise and our thanks. 

I’m not one to shoot for the moon, so we are starting small. Everyday the kids need to say one thing they are thankful for in their prayers. Just one. Let’s make it a habit. We can move on to bigger and greater from there. But let’s start small.

Thank you, God, for my family.

Thank you, God, for my friends.

Thank you, God, for the sunshine.

Thank you, God, for your provision.

Thank you, God, for who You are.

And let us never forget to thank you, God, for your Son, Jesus Christ.

May your hearts be filled to overflowing with gratitude as you reflect on all that God has given you. May your holiday season be filled with those things that truly matter. And may God smile on you, filling you with the certainty that your Heavenly Father knows you and loves you, just as you are. In Jesus name, Amen!

~Lindsay

*Don’t worry about tomorrow. It will take care of itself. You have enough to worry about today.  Matthew 6:34 (CEV)