Beautiful Things

What about when life looks different than you thought.......When you see what you dreamed or expected to happen just did not happen. God took me on an amazing journey a few years back which revealed my pursuit of a normal family. He gently showed me that normal is not in the kingdom vocabulary, and I would always be restless trying to obtain it. Today, I am surrounded by "Beautiful Things" that were not a part of my original plans but certainly a part of God's. This story below is a similar one that is sure to bless, give  hope and encourage you.

Click on this link below to read Elisa Morgan's story on "The Beauty of Broken".

http://familylifetoday.com/program/turning-broken-into-beautiful/

Who's to Say Who's Wrong or Right?

The great proverb about parenting found in Proverbs 22 used to be so perplexing to me. “Train a child up in the way they should go, and when they are old they will not turn from it.” "Train" is so vague and open-ended. How do we know if we are doing the right training that will bring about the “when they are old they will not turn from it”? Is there one training that fits all?

When my husband and I have gone through difficult seasons in parenting, we were reminded of this by our community. We did believe overall that we had raised our kids well and right but we made plenty of mistakes and bad choices too. Parenting is tough! More is required of a person to obtain a driver’s license than to become a parent. How do you know if you are doing it great, right or even good enough?

The Torment Of Comparison

Comparison is such a tricky, sneaky, divisive tool of the enemy. It’s also essential in many parts and purchases in life. It’s smart to compare prices and research for the smartest choice. But the torment of comparison that we put on ourselves and those we love is in no way beneficial.

I have struggled with comparison as long as I can remember. I was raised by special needs parents and a very strong, controlling grandmother. My family was far from “normal,” and I believed I was less than as a result. My grandmother sacrificed her latter years for my sister and I. She was the greatest woman I will ever know! At the same time, she did put a good degree of comparison on us. Needless to say, we tried - but never really measured up - to the standard she had set. 

Little, But Powerful

Powerful things can come in little packages. A few Wednesday nights ago, my sweet K - 1st graders and I were discussing David. When David was a shepherd boy, he killed a lion to protect the sheep. I asked the children if they could guess how David killed the lion, and one little guy said “with a bomb!” I replied that they didn’t have bombs back then. He quickly came back with this response: “God could have made a bomb if He wanted to!” Little, but powerful imaginations!

Albert Einstein famously said that “logic will take you from A to B, but imagination will take you everywhere.” Do I live daily believing God can do anything, and that the same power that raised Jesus from the dead is at work inside of me? I want to, and am always encouraged and challenged with the imaginations of our children. I honestly wonder how many imaginary friends might really be the Holy Spirit... just a thought. We don’t need to grow out of our vivid imaginations, and we should encourage our children in theirs. How is He going to do more than we can imagine if we don’t engage ours? 

Simplicity

One of my favorite things about children is their simplicity. The older we get, the more complicated and oh-so-serious we become; as does life. It’s for good reason that Jesus instructs us to come to Him like a child. You tell a child that nothing is impossible with God and they will likely reply, “I know that” and firmly believe it! Child-like faith is completely pure and simple because the world hasn’t yet corrupted them with disbelief.

An area I believe we can over-complicate is “getting in the presence of the Lord.” Psalm 139:7-10 reminds us that we cannot escape His presence. “Where can I go from Your Spirit? Or where can I flee from Your presence? If I ascend to heaven, You are there; If I make my bed in Sheol, behold, You are there. If I take the wings of the dawn, if I dwell in the remotest part of the sea, even there Your hand will lead me, and Your right hand will lay hold of me.”