A Glimpse

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May the Lord our God be with us as he was with our ancestors; may he never leave us nor forsake us. 1 Kings 8:57

The Online Bing Dictionary defines GLIMPSE a: brief look, a quick or incomplete sighting, or smallindication. I love this definition andam blessed and in awe of glimpses from Heaven that sometimes fall in my lap (or should I say on my heart). Although we don’t know and couldn’t even handle or comprehend God’s plan, sometimes, we get a glimpse into the Master Artist’s blueprint. Maybe it’s a quick look into the plan God has for us, our children, a friend, family member or strange and it’s notthe whole plan, but just enough to keep the faith and stay the course.

Recently, after hearing about a friend who is having an unexpected child at the age of 42,  I began thinking back on how Emma (our oldest) came a year earlier than I had planned. Notice I say “I planned”. I’m a full-blooded, type A, über organized woman. I was born that way and although I can sleep with a dish or two in the sink over night now (with years of practice), I’m still super OCD about things. So, yes! I had a plan. A plan to have children one year later than God decided it was time. Yes, I know how these things happen, but under the circumstances we were very surprised.

Emma turned eleven in May and just this week I got a glimpse into God’s reasoning for altering “my perfect” plans. (Ha! Plans! Please tell me I’m not alone in falling prey to making plans without including God in them from time to time – even though I know the results).

My Glimpse: If we had gone by my plan and not God’s I would have started Bible study a year later, maybe never growing in Christ in the ways that led to my writing and belief of God’s love and forgiveness of my past sins. If we had gone by my plan and not God’s Emma wouldn’t have known Ella and I wouldn’t have known Shannon, both of who we lost to cancer way – way to early. Events, lives and people who shaped and formed my walk with the Lord in ways that I could never have anticipated. Ways that have challenged me, torn my heart to shreds and given me experiences I now carry in my heart and allow me to be able to relate to those who are suffering. Oh, how grateful I am that God’s way are above my ways.

Many, Lord my God, are the wonders you have done, the things you planned for us. None can compare with you; were I to speak and tell of your deeds, they would be too many to declare. Psalm 40:5

When He says find joy in the pain, suffering and surprises there is a reason. God is the Master artist and He is the only one who can see the full plan. I’m grateful for the glimpses into His plan and mission for me and I pray He awakes all our hearts to hear and see the glimpses He so graciously gives along the way. May these glimpses continually inspire, encourage and create a strong desire within us to stay on the narrow road and AlWAYS trust His ways. He never leaves us, forsakes us and never leaves our side.

“Enter by the narrow gate. For the gate is wide and the way is easythat leads to destruction, and those who enter by it are many. For the gate is narrow and the way is hard that leads to life, and those who find it are few. Matthew 7:13-14

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There is always HOPE

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At once he began to preach in the synagogues that Jesus is the Son of God. All those who heard him were astonished and asked, “Isn’t he the man who raised havoc in Jerusalem among those who call on this name? And hasn’t he come here to take them as prisoners to the chief priests?” Yet Saul grew more and more powerful and baffled the Jews living in Damascus by proving that Jesus is the Messiah. Acts 9:20-22

I recently had the realization that when I am speaking at conferences, around friends or teaching Bible studies it puts me in touch with those who are at least seeking the Lord. However,  on a recent trip to visit extended family, that I only see every 7 or 8 years, I was reminded that there are still so many who are not even close to serving, much less seeking our Lord.

At first, I found myself discouraged. I began to wonder how in the world the Lord would ever penetrate the hearts of these people who I loved, but obviously had no desire to learn, seek or love this amazing Savior who I know died for them on the cross. Then, I remembered the story of Saul in Acts. A man who hated Jesus and spent every waking hour of his life persecuting Christians and all they believed, but the risen Jesus revealed himself to Saul. Finally, he believed and became one of the most outspoken and fearless preachers for Christ.

When he came to Jerusalem, he tried to join the disciples, but they were all afraid of him, not believing that he really was a disciple. But Barnabas took him and brought him to the apostles. He told them how Saul on his journey had seen the Lord and that the Lord had spoken to him, and how in Damascus he had preached fearlessly in the name of Jesus. So Saul stayed with them and moved about freely in Jerusalem, speaking boldly in the name of the Lord. He talked and debated with the Hellenistic Jews, but they tried to kill him. When the believers learned of this, they took him down to Caesarea and sent him off to Tarsus. Acts 9:26-30

So what does this mean for us, for family and all those in our lives that we feel like all hope is lost? It means there is hope. Hope for all of us. God can work amazing things in us, through us and for us even when we aren’t asking him to (someone else may be asking for us). The question we should ask is, “What do we know?” We know: our God is sovereign, His ways are not our ways, He is above all things, His love endures forever, He died for every person who has walked, is walking and will walk this planet and He will reign forever! When we focus on what we KNOW, then all the things that seem impossible become possible.

In our God, there is hope! Always!

Kids vs. Moms

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As summer approaches, many of us will be spending more unstructured time with our children.  Sometimes, this can be frustrating and that it putting it mildly for me. There are moments where something arises from deep within me when my kids are fighting, complaining or whining.  In that moment, it takes every ounce of God given strength not to yell, scream, throw out an unsavory word or throw my own temper tantrum. Sometimes, I do it anyway. . . . This is for all of the moms out there who work hard, love hard and pray even harder! May our minds always be drawn to the sweet memories and blessings our children bring to our lives – even when they are whining!