Tuesday, August 4, 2020

Summertime Steadiness

Is anyone else having trouble finding routine in the craziness that is summer 2020?

I am a planner. Yes, I still carry around a paper planner. I have a dry-erase calendar on the wall for my family. I like to know what to expect and when to expect it. I cannot remember a time in my life that was so up in the air, so uncertain, so scary.

There is so much uncertainty about our future. So many decisions for parents to make about school... Virtual school, private school online, Send my kids to brick and mortar that's open, homeschool them? Decisions about activities in these last few weeks of summer-- Do we go on vacation? If we go, we have to wear a mask 24/7, how will that be fun? Can we swim in the resort pool or go to the beach without wearing a mask? Will it be safe to put my children at risk? Do we stay at home? How many more times can I hear the kids favorite movie? How many times do I need to remind the kids to do their daily responsibilities?

I have so many mixed emotions. I'm sure you do too. If you don't, you must be a robot of some kind. While I am uncertain, one thing I do know, is that God knows what the future holds. He also told us that we will have trouble(John 16). So, what did I do to ease my stress? I started diggin' into my bible to see what God tells us about being steadfast.

1Corinthians 15:58 says Therefore, my beloved brothers, be steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, knowing that in the Lord your labor is not in vain.

James 1:12 Blessed is the man who remains steadfast under trial, for when he has stood the test he will receive the crown of life, which God has promised to those who love him.

And one of my all-time favorites--
Phillipians 4:6 - Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything  by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God.

I also was reading in Ruth about Naomi- and it struck me differently this time. I love the story of Naomi in the bible- and how her story encourages me to remain steadfast in my faith.  Her story encourages me to rest assured that God provides for the restoration and redemption of all of his people.  Naomi wasn't naive to her bitterness- She told others, showed us through her story, and even blamed the Lord and said that "He has afflicted me; the Almighty as brought misfortune upon me" (Ruth 1:20-21)

But, in the end, what happened? God didn't snap his fingers and change her life-- he restored her  and redeemed her through the laws and faithfulness of his people.

I believe that this time in history may be one of the hardest our generation goes through... and God may not snap his fingers tomorrow and make it all better. However, I encourage you to trust in Him. Believe in His truth's. With thanksgiving, put your trust in him and let God know what you need. If I have learned one thing about trials (and believe me, I have seen my share of hard times), God doesn't always answer my prayers in the way I want.  He does, however, always shows himself. His blessings overcome the hardships. His ways are better than my own, and I know my life would be so much harder without His Peace and Joy that He instills in my heart.

So, I encourage you-- When you struggle making plans, when you can't fill in your calendar the way you like, and when you're discouraged... SEEK HIM. Hold tight to his Steadiness. Be steadfast in your FAITH. God never waivers, never fails, and always has a plan--even if we can't see it clearly.

And if you're in a season of waiting, hold onto your babies. Watch The Greatest Showman for the 2,427th time. Eat some chocolate. Drink some coffee.

And for goodness sake, hold on to your faith my friend. Hold on tight.

Monday, June 22, 2020

In His Shadow

The past 15 weeks, we have been under "Stay At Home" advice from our government.  State, City, and County officials have all told us that Shelter In Place is best for us.  Face Masks are required here in our city to go anywhere.  Stores are making sure people social distance.  We finished up the School semester at home.  Summer is different than we've ever experienced. Our life is not normal, but there is hope.

The bible tells us in Psalm 91 that "Whoever dwells in the shelter of the Most High, will rest in the shadow of the Almighty".  

This brought a specific visual to mind. 

 The day was Halloween 2019. We were trick-or-treating with friends in a neighborhood a couple blocks away. This neighborhood is a giant circle and they block the street off every year for trick-or-treaters. Most are families with little kids, but intertwined are teenagers and adults with scary costumes.  I had the wagon, and Paxton (my youngest) was in it most of the time. I got him out to walk up the driveway of this large house that was lit-up well.  I was walking right behind him, smiling and giggling at his excitement to get free candy. He wasn't quite 2 years old and everything in the world was exciting and fun to him. He had no fear of danger at all.  

As we got closer, what I thought was a "scarecrow" was actually a person dressed up and standing still to scare kids that came up to the house.  Pax turned around and immediately grabbed my right leg and while he held on for dear life, we kept walking to get candy.  He walked in my "shadow" and held on tightly because he knew he would be safe with me. 

We grabbed his candy and he turned around and reached up and said "Hold You".  He had his candy and was done with the "scaries".  He never questioned for one second that he would be safe with me. I am his Mommy. He trusts me.  He has no reason to fear as long as he is holding onto me and walking in my shadow. 

When I read Psalm 91, for the first time during this pandemic, I couldn't help but cry.  I thought of The Lord, My Abba Father, My protector, my leg to hold onto.  I was so thankful that even though I didn't know what the future held, He does.  I trust him. 

This time of uncertainty is hard for many people. I'm sure you may have struggled at some point during the last 15 weeks or so.  I don't know what your needs are, but rest assured that HE does.  Seek him and hold onto him. 

Rest in His shadow.

Summertime Steadiness

Is anyone else having trouble finding routine in the craziness that is summer 2020? I am a planner. Yes, I still carry around a paper planne...