Rock a Little Longer

Rock a Little Longer

 

Rock a little longer,

Squeeze a little tighter,

Be a little sillier.

Read one more book and

Sing one more song.

Play one more game.

Get out the play-doh and

Don’t be afraid to paint.

Listen a little better,

Snuggle one more minute.

Smile a little sweeter and

Love a little stronger.

 

One day…

The toys will stay put away,

No one will beg to paint.

Kisses won’t be so plentiful,

You won’t be as funny,

The house will be too quiet.

You won’t know any new cartoons.

There won’t be little socks in the laundry.

No one will call you while you’re in the bathroom.

And it will suddenly hit you and you will wish

That you rocked a little longer,

Squeezed a little tighter…

 

                           -CBH

Carol

No, I insist! You first!

You know about them and have heard it said: “Who can stand up against the Anakites?” But be assured today that the LORD your God is the one who goes across ahead of you like a devouring fire. He will destroy them; he will subdue them before you. And you will drive them out and annihilate them quickly, as the LORD has promised you. Deteronomy 9:2-3 NIV

“You are a scaredy cat!”
“Nu-uh!”
“Uh-huh!”
“Nu-uh!”
“Uh-huh!”
“NO I AM NOT! MOOOOOOMMY!”


Just one of the many arguments at my house.  My brother used to tease me about the same thing – being afraid.  We’ve grown up now, but grown up or not, fear still lurks in my heart sometimes.  I talked yesterday about God’s great plan for your life.  I have spoken to many women lately about this.  The one thing I hear over and over is  – I am afraid.  


I was, too.  I was afraid to say “yes” to God. I was afraid that if I offered myself completely over to Him, He would have me either convert to Catholicism to join a convent or send me to Africa as a missionary.  Both sounded equally scary.  But something happened.  


God started wooing me closer to Him.  When I was told my husband had some type of tumor in his head, God said Carol, I need to you trust me no matter what.  I was scared, but slowly began to believe Him.   The mass was removed, and it turned out to be harmless.  By the end of that same year, I was told my husband might have a brain aneurysm.  Do you still trust me? I heard Him say.  I did and that, too, was a false scare.


Then I felt God nudge me to completely give up all of my oh-so-juicy romance novels.  That hurt.  I had a hard time letting go of those.  Carol, I need you to obey me in all things.  Begrudgingly, I purged the house of all the books.  


It was then that God flamed my desire to know Him better.  Carol, come closer so you can hear me.  I began to read my Bible every day and actually craved His Word.  And He spoke.  


Suddenly, doors began to open in the area of writing – one of my lifetime passions.  I shyly started writing for myself and for the Lord.  Then He opened His storehouse and began to pour out the blessings.  I started waking up every day wondering what the Lord was going to do next.  Use me, Lord was how my day began.  I attended my first writing conference.  God asked me to go and then provided all the means to do so.  I was accepted as a devotional writer for Faith Lifts.  Upper Room asked to keep one of my devotions.  I won the writing contest for the P31 magazine.  I was accepted as a devotion writer for Writer Interrupted.  I was invited to come back to the writer’s conference I attended last year to teach a workshop. (More on that later.)  I was invited to speak at a Women’s Conference. (More on that later, too!)


I tell you all of this, my friends, to let you know – there is nothing to fear.  Those verses from Deuteronomy are when Moses speaks to the Israelites as they are about to go into the Promised Land.  They are scared.  “Who can stand up to the Anakites?” they ask.  The Anakites were giants who lived in the land.  God could.  God can do anything.  Moses tells them here that God will go ahead of them to pave the way.  


God will go ahead of you, too.  Are you standing on a precipice afraid of falling?  What are the giants that you fear?  Say yes to God today.  He is waiting with a storehouse of blessings for you.  He has the path already waiting just for you.  He will go ahead of you to make a way.  What do you say?  Are you ready? Say “YES!”  You’ll be so glad you did!

Carol

Who is holding the map?

But if from there you seek the Lord your God, you will find him if you look for him with all your heart and with all your soul. Deut. 4:29 NIV

Have you ever wondered what God’s plan is for you?  Have you asked him?  For the past couple of days the Lord has been speaking to my heart about the thing I am passionate about – finding God’s plan for your life.  Then I came across this verse in Deuteronomy this morning.  It all came together.  
So often we want to know what God has planned for us, and we pray and ask Him.  But we forget to listen. We cry out, “Where are you God, and what is it that I’m supposed to be doing right now?”  Then in our haste, we run out the door, on to our next activity.  God was waiting with an answer, but we missed it.  
Let’s pretend for a moment.  You decide you want to go on a trip with a good friend.  You tell them to plan the trip down to the last detail, and you will drive.  You are excited about where your friend will take you.  You don’t know what exciting stops there will be on the way, but you know it will be great.  Your friend always plans the best trips!
You are ready to go and you get in the car.  You crank the car and begin to drive.  You ask your friend, who is with you, which way to go, but proceed to keep on talking and just turn the way you guess is right.  You chat on about how great the trip in going to be, all the while never asking where you are going or which way to go.  After a while, you realize that you have no clue where you are or how you got there.  And you become angry.  You shout at your friend, questioning why they didn’t show you the right way.  
Don’t we do this to the Lord sometimes?  We try so hard to make it on our own that we get lost.  Then we cry out to our Father to show us the way back to the path.  If we had only taken the time to listen to Him speak.  If only we had put ourselves in His Word more often.  His words were right there to guide us.  
If we truly seek the Lord with all our heart and soul in looking for our path, we will find Him.  Join me in searching for Him today.  
Lord, help me to realize that your Word is a way for you to speak to me.  When I ask and wait for an answer, your answers were written out for me long before I asked the question.  Oh Father, thank you for taking one so unworthy as me and loving me anyway.

Carol

Don’t just eat the marshmallows!


“DON’T JUST EAT THE MARSHMALLOWS!”  I print this on a banner and wave it madly over the breakfast table.  Every time I buy Lucky Charms, it’s the same.  The kids beg to eat it and then pick out the fluffy sugary sweetness and leave the cute oat shapes floating aimlessly in the bowl.  You would think that I’d wise up and quit buying it.  But as I decidedly march down the cereal aisle looking for healthy, low-sugar, proves-I’m-a-good-mom cereal, there he is.  His cute little leprechaun  face luring me in – promising gold at the end of the rainbow and before I know it I’m in the check out line with yet another box of Lucky Charms.  

The next morning, I stand perched over the breakfast table, banner in hand, chanting, “Don’t just eat the marshmallows.  The little oat shapes are good for you.  They’re oat.  And that makes them – good for you.”  The cereal is meant to be eaten with sugary-sweet and good-for-you-to-eat together.  It’s a partnership.  You can’t have one without the other.  
Just like…us with God.  We always want to eat the marshmallows or blessings but want to leave the oat shapes or growing in the Word in the bowl of life.  Sometime we are unwilling to partake of the things God gives us that are good for us and help us to grow.  We only want the marshmallow mountaintop.  We’d prefer to leap from mountaintop to mountaintop munching on marshmallows.  But, friends, I’ve learned we can’t always be on the mountaintop.  We have to spend some time munching on that which makes us healthy.  We have to spend time in God’s word, listen for His voice, and allow Him to grow us.  
When we do that, we will get to eat the marshmallows.  But we’ll eat them together with the crunchy oat shapes – the way God intended.  So, next time you find yourself hovering over a bowl of Lucky Charms, enjoy the goodness in all of it.  You’ll be glad you did!

Carol