Waiting for God to Remember

I want you to build an ark, Noah.rainy day

A what?

There is going to be a flood, Noah.

A what?

God asked Noah to create something that no one had ever seen because He was about to do something He had never done. And, Noah? Well, he was obedient and did all that God instructed Him to do.

Doesn’t every child that ever went to Sunday School know this story? The righteous Noah, the ark and all of the animals…what a cute story.

Cute, inspiring. Yet, my eyes were drawn to these words -

And the Lord shut him in.

I imagine Noah watching the door close and not fully comprehending what was about to happen. The rain begins to beat against the boat and the waves begin to get rocky.

But, do you know what I realized this time through? Noah was on the ark a long, long time. He was in the ark for 370 days. The Lord shut him in and, then, nothing except wind and waves for over a year.

And it occurred to me that building the ark was not the difficult part.  Did people understand what he was doing?  No.  Did folks laugh at him and call him crazy? Probably.  But,  that was not the hard part.  After all, Noah had a clear word from the Lord and he was going with it.

The part that is completely overlooked is what happened between the Lord shut him in and God remembered Noah.

You know what happened?  He waited. And he waited. Then, he waited some more.

Come on, now. Someone wants to testify.

The Lord tells him to get into this boat.  He shuts him in and then – silence.  Can you even imagine?  Of course you can – because we have all had our moments of waiting on the Lord.

As I went over those verses again and again in my mind, it came to me.

Faith is not building the ark.  Faith is what happens inside the ark.  Faith is not being able to see the Lord at work, but knowing that He is and that He will remember you.

Faith is waiting and that is the difficult part.

A post from the archives because I needed a reminder.  Maybe you did too?

Perfect Mom? Puh-lease.

We all want to be her. The perfect mom. We each have our own version of her in our heads. There is this Proverbs 31 mom out there that seems to remain just beyond our reach.

She shall laugh at spilled milk in the floor.

She shall make her children’s clothing by hand.rain

She shall greet her husband at the door wearing lipstick and high heels.

Oh yeah, we think we know all about her. We think we want to be her or, at least, we think we should want to want to be her. Yet, we find ourselves falling short. Maybe our Proverbs passage would read a little differently.

She shall cry at spilled formula in the floor because that stuff is crazy expensive.

She shall buy her children’s clothing at the thrift store because they are just going to play in the mud anyway.

She shall greet her husband at the door wearing baby spit up and other bodily fluids. 

Here is the thing about the perfect mom. She does not exist. You and I can not be perfect. We can not prevent every boo boo and broken heart – no matter how much we would long to do so. We can not be everything to everyone. We can not be their BFF. <– Seriously, we can not do that. Those are not even things they need from us, anyway.

Don’t despair. There are things that we CAN do.

We can smile when they walk into a room.

We can look them in the eye when they speak to us.

We can listen to their dreams.

We can celebrate their victories, be present when they fail and teach them the value in both.

We can show them Jesus.

We can love their daddy.

Listen to me, fellow moms. Our children do not need perfect moms. They need best-that-they-can-be moms chasing a perfect Savior. Whatever your best is – that is what they need from you. If, for you, that is pearl wearing and baby food pureeing – then, rock on. If it’s homeschooling, public schooling, baby wearing, one baby, ten babies, whole foods, frozen foods, whatever-I-have-a-coupon-for foods – seriously, if it’s your best, hold your head high and carry on.

Because you at your best while showing them Christ – that trumps perfect mom any day of the week. The irony is your children probably think you’re perfect already. Shhh…we won’t tell them any different for now.

For the one who is never satisfied

IMG_0192Maybe it was when the temperature started consistently going over 90 degrees. Or, possibly, it was when my maternity pants began to get snug. Probably, it was a bad combination of the two. Either way, I lost my happy a few weeks back. I tend to do that. I go through seasons where I struggle with discontentment. The life that I am giddy over one day just seems insufficient the next. Sad to say, I find myself much like the children of Israel as they followed God across the desert.

Thanks for freeing us from slavery, God, but what are we going to drink?

Thanks for providing water in the middle of the desert, God, but now I’m hungry.

Bread that falls from heaven? That was so cool – for a while. What else do you have?

Oh, quail that appears at our camp for dinner. Nice.

Over and over, God would answer their prayers for provision. What satisfied them in the moment, however, quickly became not enough. That’s because they were never supposed to find satisfaction in the quail or the bread or the water. Their satisfaction was not even to be found in deliverance from any one circumstance.

God wants us to be satisfied in him. Only him. Even if he leaves us in an unpleasant circumstance without the water flowing freely and the bread falling from heaven. Even if we find ourselves in the valley of the shadow. Even when the fig tree doesn’t blossom and there are no cattle in the stalls. God is still sufficient. He is still enough.

I was reminded of that in my reading this morning of Psalm 81.

If you would only listen to me – you would open your mouth wide and I would fill it. {My paraphrase of verses 8-10}

He doesn’t promise a little. He doesn’t offer to just take the edge off. If we would just listen to him and look to him – he would fill us completely.

If you would just listen to me – I would satisfy you with honey from the rock. {My paraphrase of verses 13-16}

I love that he uses the word satisfy. If we would just listen to him, he would be our satisfaction.

Today, may we look for satisfaction in our Savior and not our circumstances.

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Can’t get enough of me? :) I’m also over on the FAMILY MATTERS blog, today, talking about the importance of remembering. Hop on over and say, “Hi.” See you there!FM-Blog-Button

Mom Talk Monday: Be Still

It’s not even 8:30 in the morning and I have already cleaned up the kitchen, made breakfast, cleaned up the kitchen again, ate pretend food from my daughter’s kitchen and played Barbie with my 4 year old. Have you ever played with a 4 year old? It goes a little something like this:

4 year old: Pretend you see my Barbie doing blah, blah, blah.

Me: {Pretends to see what I am told to see.}

4 year old: Then my Barbie says this and your Barbie says that.

Me: {Repeats word for word what I am told my Barbie should say.}

And on it goes.

It turns out that, during this imaginative free play, my imagination is not necessary. I am just to do as I am told and she is quite content. And, I’ll be honest, I don’t mind it a bit.

The truth is that I’m not good at playing. I can teach. I can clean. I will make the homemade play dough and what not. But, to just sit down and play? Yeah, I’m just not very good at it. In the back of my mind, all I can think about is what I could be doing instead. I could be folding laundry or emptying the dishwasher. Or I could be painting the three different walls that the toddler colored on before I caught her. {Don’t let the cuteness fool you. That girl is sneaky.} I have a really hard time just being still – in mommying and in life.

Be still before the Lord and wait patiently for him… – Psalm 37:7

Be still, and know that I am God… – Psalm 46:10

In today’s world, stillness doesn’t happen naturally. We are busy with work. Busy with fun. Busy making memories. Busy being busy. In motherhood, it doesn’t happy naturally either. There is always something else you could be doing. There is always work to be done and lists to be checked off and milestones to be documented.

swingingMy challenge to you, however, is to just be still.

  • Sit on the porch with your little one(s) and really see God’s creation.
  • Sit on a swing. Trust me, no one was ever in a bad mood while swinging.
  • Spend time just talking with your little one(s).

If you can’t be in your house without thinking about the things that need done – then get out of the house.

  • Go for a walk.
  • Go to a park.
  • Go to a library.

Whatever, you do – just be fully there. Breathe deep. Look around. Don’t miss a thing.

Learn the beauty of being still. You’ll be a better mommy for it.

Y’all are loved.

Thoughts on Regret and “If Only”

ifonly

 

Regret is such a consuming emotion. I have regretted some things I’ve done and, at other times, I’ve regretted things I haven’t done. Sometimes, I look back and think, “Why did I spend my time worrying about that?” or “Why didn’t I jump at that opportunity?” Maybe, everyone does that. Maybe, everyone lives with a little “if only” in their lives.

I was given the opportunity to read and review Michelle Van Loon’s book, If Only, which comes out in July. I was able to relate to so much of what she has written. She addresses both the regret of things done and things undone. As I read, however, the chapter on things undone really spoke to me. She mentions a couple of examples where people consciously chose to not do something and I know that is certainly the case at times. Life is messy and, well, we don’t always like messy.

Loving God and our neighbors isn’t always convenient. It is apt to splash someone else’s mess all over our tidy lives. (If Only – pg. 43)

We buy into the popular adage, Ain’t nobody got time for that!

I believe, however, it’s not always a conscious decision. We just get too busy. We get overwhelmed with our own stuff and forget to see people around us. We do not realize that we were not seeing people until someone walks away or something blows up in our face. {Hello, regret. Welcome, if only.}

Here is what I think. We will never regret taking time for people. We will never regret loving on someone. We may regret job choices and purchases and missed opportunities. Our biggest regrets, however, are going to be what we chose to do or not do for the people around us. Anytime we choose our own convenience over someone else’s need – regret is right around the corner. And, regardless of what we tell ourselves, it is a choice.

We learn to filter in order to protect ourselves from getting drained dry by those unrelenting requests. We discover how to avert our eyes and keep on walking. (If Only, pg. 45)

I had two opportunities, yesterday, to choose someone else’s need over my own convenience. I was at one of my least favorite grocery stores. I’ll spare you the name but the buggies are always squeaky and the floors are always sticky and the folks, well, they aren’t always friendly. I had two different opportunities to assist someone. I was in a hurry and, after spending time with the first, I avoided the second. I’ll let you guess which scenario I regretted later. That was my biggest take away from this book. Something done for the good of others or the glory of God will never result in regret. 

*****

Get your copy of If Only: Letting Go of Regret!