Tag Archives: goodness

a simple ice cream

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a simple ice cream

It’s amazing how a simple act of kindness can bring such joy to your heart. I was the recipient of such grace today and it made this mama’s heart swell.

You know how some days you just feel defeated, tired, spent, overwhelmed, depleted, and joy-less? Well, on this particular day, that was my mood. I would have happily put myself back to bed to get up and try again, but no such luck!

I had prepared a breakfast supper for my family because that was the energy I had left for the day. And, let’s face it, we all enjoy breakfast for supper! Buttermilk pancakes, syrup, and cheesy ham and mushroom omelets were on the menu. Upon finishing, I realized the time, and quickly made my getaway to the store for the errand I’d forgotten earlier in the day before they closed. While I was out, the thought occurred to me how much I’d love an ice cream from one of my favorite places, ChickfilA. Now, did I need that ice cream? NO! But, try as I might, I couldn’t get the image of that cool, delicious treat out of my mind. Next thing I knew, my car kinda turned into the parking lot and I found myself in the drive-thru line. Before I knew it, I was ordering my delightful cup of yummy goodness!

The guy taking my order asked my name then what I’d like. I happily replied, “1 small ice cream please” he responded with “a kids ice cream then?” “yes”, I replied and he came back with “it’s on me tonight, enjoy!” Now, you would have thought I’d won the ice cream lottery or something! I was happily grinning ear to ear, pulling up to the window to pick up my long-anticipated treat. Once there, the girl handed me this cup full of their yummy ice cream. I quickly noticed this was not a kids size at all….it was like a size or two up!!! I pulled off and stuck my spoon into that cup of goodness and thought back over the details of my day, some pleasant and some not so pleasant. Suddenly, the delicious treat drowned out any negative events!

As I took the long way home to enjoy my ice cream, taking in the quietness of the ride, I suddenly had a revelation. Silly as it may seem, comparing a free ice cream to a spiritual lesson, I thought to myself: isn’t it just like God? We ask Him for something, and not only does He bless us, but He gives us more than we even asked for! WOW!

 

life throws punches

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life throws punches

Whether a Mom, businessman, husband, pastor, or child, we can all relate to the punches life throws our way from time to time. Ever think that some people seem to have more than their share? I know people like that! Scrolling through social media brings so many to mind, both complete strangers and friends, who are desperate for God to show up in the punches they’ve been thrown. Life can be yucky, even outright ugly at times, yet the trials we face are inevitable as long as we have breath in our bodies.

As hard as we may try not to, it’s easy to turn inward and wonder, “why me?” I think it’s a valid question, however if we look to God for answers when we’re in a pit of life, we will quickly see that we shouldn’t be surprised when things happen to us that we simply don’t prefer. In fact, a pastor that I often listen to who years ago battled cancer shared in his testimony, “why not me?” A bold statement for sure and a question I certainly would not pose to someone going through cancer, or any other such agony of life. His rather seemingly odd question was provocative nonetheless.

Looking into God’s Word for some wisdom, however, you might stumble across one or more of the following scriptures:

Dear friends, don’t be surprised when the fiery ordeal comes among you to test you as if something unusual were happening to you. (1 Peter 4:12)

Do not be surprised, brothers, if the world hates you. (1 John 3:13)

We also rejoice in our afflictions, because we know that affliction produces endurance, endurance produces proven character, and proven character produces hope. This hope will not disappoint us, because God’s love has been poured out in our hearts through the Holy Spirit who was given to us. (Romans 5:3-5)

The truth is that when we are knocked off our block by an unwelcome punch being thrown our direction, we are (hopefully) driven to our knees in prayer seeking His help. It means in  humility we come to Him knowing that we are in desperate need of His power which supercedes our own. It means we recognize how desperate we are for Jesus. As much as we may think we are strong enough to handle all of life’s difficulty, we simply are not. It’s during these difficult times we recognize our need for a Savior. I believe the Lord uses these times in our lives to drive us to Him and pursue Him like nothing else.

So back to the question from the pastor regarding his cancer struggle of ‘why not me?‘, the fact of the matter is that none of us are immune from life’s difficulties and tragedies. We all will experience the negativity of life from time to time. It is only when we become residents of heaven, as followers of Jesus Christ, that we will not experience sickness, tears, and death. This side of heaven, however, problems and suffering are inevitable. It’s why we need Jesus. It’s why we need a Savior. When life is going great, unfortunately we don’t see our need for a Savior. Conversely, when we are in the depths of despair we are desperate for Him to intervene and illuminate the darkness we find ourselves in. Life brings both good and bad which is why it is essential to fill our minds with God’s truth in  both the good and bad days.

To me, this is the beauty of being a witness to someone else’s trial. A believer who is truly seeking the Lord, combating the lies of the enemy with God’s truth, fixing their eyes on Jesus, we can see how they boldly proclaim the Lord’s goodness and care to them. It is as if they are being carried through their trial by our loving God, because we know that He works in all things and nothing takes Him by surprise. He has the power to stop whatever the trial we’re in, but He allows it to draw us to Himself. His ways are higher and He works all things together for our good. Seeing life through His perspective which we won’t fully comprehend this side of heaven, makes the punches we are thrown a little less scary. We are never alone and this life is not all there is, thankfully. What a perspective!

 

 

 

the best time is now

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the best time is now

I cannot believe I’m about to turn another.year.older! Doesn’t seem possible. I mean, really!

I’ve celebrated birthdays in the past when I really wasn’t happy about where I was in life. You know what I mean. I’m ____ years old and I’m STILL single. Or, I’m ____ years old and still live in an apartment. Or, I’m _____ years old and still not a Mom.

Now that I’m in this ‘certain’ decade, I’m not bothered so much anymore by what isn’t; it’s a great place to be. Freeing, actually. I’m happy to report that most of what I’ve waited years for has now transpired. God has blessed me abundantly. I’m not saying that I’ve arrived or have everything I want or have dreamed of. It has more to do with enjoying the journey I’m on. I’m learning to be content with what I have and where I am. Why, oh why, does it take so long for us to realize that where we are or what we have, or don’t have is okay? If I could tell my younger self something, I would say “focus on the season you’re in and make the most of it”. Don’t dream your life away. All is coming. God gives and takes away and His timing is perfect. He’s never late. His ways are certainly higher than mine and He definitely knows best.

One of the many things about my life I’ve learned to (still learning!) embrace is being an older Mom. Sure, some people I know my age are GRANDMOTHERS for heavens’ sake! It’s okay though. I wouldn’t trade the 12 years of ‘pre-child’ with my husband for anything! I’ve been able to do a little traveling, take some nice vacations and do lots of fun work and  have a pretty fun career. I really and truly hope that motherhood will keep me young. I’m hopeful it’s a side benefit, actually.

So, on the eve of another year of life, I want to celebrate all that God has blessed me with in this life. He has been good to me and cared for me in ways I would never have imagined. Life hasn’t always been a joyful journey but I cannot imagine not having Him in my life. I hope to ditch the comparison trap and focus on being the best Momma and wife I can be. I want to give my time and energy to things that matter and last. I want to celebrate life and the joy that I can choose to have.

Years ago, a couple of dear girlfriends loved celebrating the life of whomever it was in our group celebrating a birthday. It wasn’t just about “the day” rather “the life”. I loved the idea. I’m more of an introvert who prefers small gatherings rather than groups of people partying. Large or small, party or not, I like the idea of celebrating the person. It’s not about me really. Sure, it’s the day of my birth, but more important to be celebrated is the goodness of God in my life. I’ll be looking back over memories of birthdays past while celebrating what’s waiting for me just around the corner.

Carpe diem!