Friday, October 25, 2013

Looking Back at God’s Provision

Photo credit: Greenfleet Forester, May 2013
I’m over at Gloria Dei today talking about how our trust in God to provide is strengthened by looking back at how He has provided for us in the past.

Here’s the beginning of my post…
Have you ever noticed it’s sometimes difficult to see God’s provision until after the fact?
After we walk through the valley or make it to the other side of the land between, that’s when it’s easier to look back and see where God was at work. But while we’re in the exhausting day-to-day of the land between, it can be harder to see the ways God provides for us.
We know what we’re looking for. We already have in mind what we need or want God to do, and when we don’t see it, it’s easy to assume He’s not doing anything.

When you look back, is there a time in your life when you didn’t recognize God’s provision then, but you see it now?

In Christ,

Monday, October 21, 2013

Sometimes You Just Have to Let the “Mom Things” Go

It was 36 degrees outside this morning when I dropped my daughter off at the school bus.

Without a coat.

Or gloves.

I was choosing my battles.

As I pulled my coat out of the closet, I asked her again, “Sure you don’t want to wear a coat?”

“No, I’m good,” she replied, as if we were talking about the weather.

Oh, wait, we were. I suggested she open the front door and step outside. As she did, I followed. I shivered, but she was undeterred.

“Won’t you be cold on the bus?” I asked.

She reminded me she was wearing a Columbia fleece jacket over a t-shirt, and that the heat in the bus would be “blasting.”

She said she would be fine, but added, “Now, if you get a call from the school because I’m purple, then you can say ‘I told you so.’”

Um, okay. I didn’t bother to tell her that if I got that call, I wasn’t bringing her a coat. Because, really, does the school even call for things like that?

The possibility scrolled through my head.

“Mrs. Rath? This is the school calling. Your daughter is purple from being cold.”

“Thank you for calling. Please tell her, ‘I told you so.’”

Although I liked the sound of that conversation, it seemed unlikely, so I moved on.

“How about gloves?” I asked. Just gloves with no coat—that’s cool, right?

She didn’t go for it. So, with my coat zipped up, I headed out to the car…with my coat-less, glove-less daughter.

Did I mention she was also wearing capris?

I didn’t even go there. Because, well, she looked cute in her capris, Columbia jacket, and white tennis shoes.

So, I drove her to the school bus reminding myself that sometimes you just have to let these “mom things” go. Her time outside would be limited, and I wasn’t going to worry about it.

As we approached the bus, I asked, “Pull up to the bus, or around the corner?”

“Pull up to the bus. Then I don’t have to walk as far in the cold.”

Uh huh. Good idea.

In Christ,

Saturday, October 19, 2013

Emotional Meltdowns

I’m over at Gloria Dei Lutheran Church today, where we’re talking about the Land Between. 

Walking through grief, whether it’s grief from a life change or from dreams never realized, takes an emotional toll on us. We have complaints and questions for God, and over time, we end up in an emotional breakdown. 

The good news is, God invites us to bring all of it to Him.

The Land Between…life has been interrupted. What was normal is gone, and the future is unclear. Even in our grief, we must adjust to a time of transition and uncertainty.
We grieve over death, but we also experience sorrow and regret when there is a loss of a relationship (breakup or divorce), an unwanted change in lifestyle (loss of finances or home), or a change in family structure (child grows up and moves away).
Even when we know the change is coming, we grieve for the past. But there can also be regret over what might never be.
We may feel sadness or anger when what we hoped for in life doesn’t appear to be in God’s plans, and our dreams go unfulfilled…especially if we thought the dream was God’s plan.
Frustrated, discouraged, maybe even feeling lost in life, we have complaints and questions for God.
God, I thought this was Your plan for my life. Now what?!?
Really, God? One more thing?!? I can’t take any it more!
I’m barely staying afloat here, God. Where are You?!?
I miss ______. Why did You have to take ______ (him/her/it) away?
After a while, we are emotionally drained with nothing left to give.
Emotional meltdowns are not new to God….

I hope you’ll follow me over to the Gloria Dei blog to read my post in its entirety.

When have you experienced an emotional meltdown, and were you able to honestly share it with God?

In Christ,

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Social Media Responsibility

I’m happy to be posting at 5 Minutes for Faith today where I’m talking about social media responsibility and our children. It’s a little different than what I usually write, but the subject is important.
I remember as a teenager having to program the VCR for my parents. It was new and tricky for them, but came naturally for me.
Today, as a parent, I’m now on the other side with social media. It seems every day there is a new app for yet another way to keep in touch. I find it overwhelming, but for the teens, and even much younger kids, downloading and setting up profiles comes naturally.
Like it or not, life has changed, and to keep up and protect our kids, we need to be aware of what they are doing online.
I’m not saying all social media is bad. In fact, when used wisely, it can be good. It helps us keep in touch with family and friends. It’s a way to keep up with the news, find new and interesting articles, and explore new hobbies. Best of all, it can be used to share the Good News of Jesus.
However, even when used with the best of intentions, it is easy to get sucked into a vortex of comparing and trying to keep up with others, and we get caught up in finding our identities in what others think, instead of what God thinks.

I hope you’ll follow me over to 5 Minutes for Faith to read my post in its entirety.

In the comment section, would share any tips or suggestions you may have for keeping our kids safe in the social media world?

In Christ,

Friday, October 4, 2013

Our Land Between

This is the Land Between—where life is not as it once was, where the future is in question. – Jeff Manion, The Land Between
Are you familiar with the Land Between? Maybe it feels like that’s where you are now—in an uncomfortable time of change and uncertainty.

I’m over at Gloria Dei Lutheran Church today talking about the Land Between and what God can do through these difficult times. Will you join me there?
Whether it’s sudden, or you knew it was coming, life is not as it once was, and the future is in question.
“We’re moving.”
“Honey, I lost my job.”
“Mom, I’m in trouble.”
“I want a divorce.”
“The cancer has spread.”
Life has been interrupted. And, for a brief time, or maybe forever, what was normal is now gone.
The Land Between is unfamiliar, unwelcome, and unpleasant.
It’s a time for growth—a time for God to work in our hearts…

I hope you’ll join me at Gloria Dei to continue reading. Have you experienced a time when you walked through the Land Between? Are you there now?

In Christ,