When the Storms Come


Lightening streaked across the night sky, and I counted, waiting for the low rumble that follows. One, two, three… Ten seconds later. Divide by five. The storm was approximately two miles away.

“Let’s go in. A storm is coming,” I shooed the kids in from squirting water guns as the light slowly diminished. We peeled wet clothes and shrugged into dry pajamas. As I pulled down the covers on my eight-year-old’s bed, he sighed. “I really don’t like thunder and lightening at bedtime,” he confided. He was rough and tough when it came to fighting ninjas and picking up snakes. But when storms rolled in, Colin would just as soon be tucked under your chin.

“What if lightening strikes our house, and it catches on fire, and it comes through the attic into my room and I can’t get out?” He questioned. “I don’t think you need to worry about that, Colin. The chances of that happening are slim,” I tried to convince him.

He didn’t look convinced.

“You see, you have it lucky,” I sat on his bed to comfort him. “Daddy and I are always watching out for you. If a storm comes, it is our job to make sure you are safe. We watch the news when the weather is bad, so we’ll know how to best take care of you. If there were a tornado, we would wake you up and take you downstairs. When there is a bad storm, we are watching the lightening. You can relax knowing we are always keeping an eye on things. You don’t have to worry.”

And as He often does, God spoke to my heart, too, with those very same words.

Do you hear yourself? Don’t worry so much. I am always keeping watch. It’s my job as your Parent.


God didn’t tell me the storms wouldn’t come. As a matter of fact, His Word assures me that they WILL. But He assures me when they do, He will be with me. I don’t need to worry about the what-ifs.

When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and when you pass through the rivers, they will not sweep over you. When you walk through the fire, you will not be burned; the flames will not set you ablaze. Isaiah 43:2 NIV

So when the storm passes, I might be wet but I won’t be swept away.

Thank you Lord for bringing me through the storms. Help me trust You more and lay my worries down. Amen.


Carol

Why Are You Scrambling?

*It’s official! We’ve launched into summer vacation this week. I’m posting a re-run for you. I know it’s not fair. I didn’t even have a season finale. Well, the summer won’t be full of re-runs. I have too much to say. LOL! Enjoy!

Have you ever been struck by the words of a child?

I rushed around the kitchen getting bagels toasted and coated with cream cheese. Pants tumbled in the dryer, the iron was heating, and my hair was wet. Just another Sunday morning at my house. It was my son’s birthday, so the regular rush shifted to ultra speed as we scrambled to fit presents and a sit-down breakfast into our already busy schedule.

“Please say a prayer,” I hastily offered as I tossed plates of bagels in front of my two children. My five-year-old cleared her throat and began, “Thank you for this food and could You help us to get to church on time so we can worship You? Amen.”

I stopped in my tracks.

Just seconds earlier, I explained how much time the kids had to finish breakfast. Eight minutes. In eight minutes we needed to be leaving the house to get to church on time. My daughter wasn’t dressed. I wasn’t dressed. My husband was in the shower. I considered how I hated walking in after the Sunday School lesson had begun. I thought about how I wanted my son to get there on time so he could tell his teachers about his birthday. I hated for my daughter to be late, just in case she had chapel this week. It’s embarrassing walking her into chapel in the middle of a “Jesus Loves Me” chorus.

I had not considered how I needed to get to church on time so I could have more time to worship God.

But isn’t that what it’s all about? Shouldn’t everything we do ultimately bring Him glory? My daughter’s prayer caused me to stop and think about my motives – not just for getting to church on time but for all of my actions.

If what I’m choosing to do doesn’t bring glory to God, it isn’t worth my time.

I’m working on how to apply that truth to my own life. How about you? Why are you doing what you are doing? Is your end result simply to glorify the Father? Take some time to ask yourself why you are scrambling. And in the words of one wise beyond her years, “Help us get to church on time so we can worship You. Amen.”

Be exalted, O God, above the heavens, and let your glory be over all the earth. Psalm 108:5 NIV

Carol

Timing is Everything


Timing is everything. Just ask any parent. Ask your son to clean his room during an episode of a Star Wars cartoon? You’re going to be in for a battle. But even gently suggest that you would love his dresser neater close to bedtime, and he will be ready for a full-scale clean out to prolong his time awake.

When I buy clothes for my six-year-old daughter, I don’t show them to her if she’s in a bad mood. Else she’ll decide she hates every piece. Later when she is happy, it doesn’t change. If she originally said she despised the clothes, she’ll stick with it. But if I present the same clothes at a more opportune time, they are sure to be her absolute favorites.

Timing is everything.

All around us people are hurting. The economy has taken a toll on our finances, our homes, our jobs, and even our marriages. Everybody knows somebody who has lost a job or even a house. In your group of close friends, I bet you know at least two families who have really suffered. Maybe you are the one in need.

Where is God in all of this despair? Surely his people have cried out to Him. With just a simple breath, God could change the economic outlook. Why isn’t he breathing on the stock market today?

Timing is everything.

On the Israelites’ passage to the Promised Land, they traveled through the wilderness. What should have been a hop, skip, and a jump to Canaan took forty years. But on that journey something amazing happened. Three months into the trip, the Lord brought them through the desert to Mount Sinai. And there on the mountain, in the middle of the desert, God showed himself to His people.

The LORD said to Moses, “I am going to come to you in a dense cloud, so that the people will hear me speaking with you and will always put their trust in you…Go to the people and consecrate them today and tomorrow. Have them wash their clothes and be ready by the third day, because on that day the LORD will come down on Mount Sinai in the sight of all the people. Exodus 19:10,11 NIV

The God who led them out of Egypt, who parted the waters of the Red Sea, the One who made His wishes known through His servant Moses was allowing them to see Him and hear Him.

This stop on the journey to Canaan was geographically the farthest distance from the Promised Land. But it was here that God chose to reveal Himself to them, in the desert where He drew them closer.

Perhaps our all-knowing God was aware that if He revealed himself after they arrived in the land of Canaan, His people would be so busy drinking milk and eating honey sandwiches they may not even take notice.

Timing is everything.

Sometimes it takes wandering in the desert to ready us for God to reveal Himself in all His glory. Are you on the desert road? Have you been walking for miles in the wilderness? If so, then consecrate yourself. Prepare your heart because you are about to see and hear from the Living God.

Carol

Anticipation


Anticipation.

When did I lose it?

She lies beside me on the bed and kicks her feet. Her brown-green eyes sparkle as I kiss her baby soft cheeks. I raise my hand high above her body and wiggle my fingers. She giggles.

As my hand lowers towards her, she kicks and tenses her body. Then she shrieks with laughter, and I haven’t even touched her. My eight-month-old loves to be tickled. She loves it so much her peels of laughter and excitement can be heard before I even get my tickly fingers on her little body.

Anticipation.

A sense of expectancy.

When did I lose it?

I used to get out of bed every morning excited. Excited to see what God was going to do that day. Expecting Him. Just knowing God would do a great thing. My face, my heart, my attitude showed it. And I looked for Him.

When you approach life with a sense of expectancy, it makes the waiting all that much sweeter.

Lately, I’ve gotten in the way. I’m consumed with my daily routine, my list of tasks, my goals so much that I’ve forgotten to wait with expectation. My mind is focused on time and tediousness. What is going on this week? What items on my list are the most urgent? Do I have time to run errands before naptime, bus time, dinner time, bedtime? My day is crammed with to-do.

It should be less about DO and more about WHO.

In the morning, O LORD, you hear my voice; in the morning I lay my requests before you and wait in expectation. Psalm 5:3 NIV


God, Please know my heart. I love you so much. Sometimes I just get so caught up in everyday living that I forget to wait in anticipation. I know that You are doing a great thing. I know that You have a grand and exciting plan for my life. Create in me the desire to see You at work. Help me to look for You in all the details. I can’t wait to see what You have planned. In Jesus’ name, Amen.


Anticipating Him,

Carol

Praise Your Way to a Brand New Marriage

“Ugh, my hair needs cutting, and I look fat,” I spoke to the mirror while trying to make sense of the haystack of hair floating around my head.

“Ah-hem.” My husband cleared his throat and gave me the look. You know the one that says stop what you’re doing – now


I’m over at the Cafe today. Grab a cup of coffee and join me there to read the rest of my devotion. Click HERE.

Carol