Sunday, October 26, 2014

Have you really lived today?

* From 2009....

For the past few weeks, I have had the joy of having a student teacher in my room. I love having student teachers because not only do they learn from me, I also learn so much from them. Of course, there's the usual new ideas of how to teach, but there's also so much more.

To begin with, I finally get to "take care" of some things I usually put putting away my files. There is an amazing amount of paperwork that goes along with being a teacher and to finally have time to get it all done is such a blessing. I will miss that, but I have learned how much better each evening feels with my family when I know that my desk at work isn't piled high with unfinished odds and ends. Now that I realize that, my next task will be to figure out how to keep up with the paperwork once my student teacher is gone.

I also learned what it's like to be a student again. I sit at my desk, observing for the entire day....and get very sleepy. No wonder my students act out at times. They are BORED!!! It was such a gift to be able to see things from the other person's point of view for a change. Keeping that in mind may help me be more patient and hopefully more creative with my lessons. School is the only place in the world I know of where you are required to sit, listen, and not get up without permission. That's asking a lot from anyone, much less from someone who has the energy of a small nuclear plant bottled up inside them!

In watching my student teacher, I learned there are other ways to do what I am doing. Perhaps they are very different from my way, but they work just the same. Sometimes it can be difficult to let go of the reins and allow someone else to take charge. Growing means allowing others to shine sometimes. I'll be honest, letting go is very difficult for me. Difficult can be good for you if it allows you to grow.

Mostly, I've learned how much I miss doing what I was created to do. When I finally got the chance to get back in front of my students, the rush was unbelievable! I absolutely LOVE what I do. Oh, I hate the paperwork and having to deal with discipline issues, but I LOVE TEACHING!!!! I think that is because it is what God created me for. When a person operates in their gifts, there is such a rush and a joy! I know when I am simply going through the motions, but when it flows....oh my!

For years, I ran from the idea of becoming a was the last place on earth I thought I wanted to be. I was amazed when the road of life finally led me into the classroom to discover this is where I was meant to be all along. I wonder how many others have run from the gifts of God because they thought those gifts would shackle them, or create a miserable life for them? When I was in my 20's, I was certain I knew what God had for I realize I'm just barely beginning to understand how the paths of life lead us to where He wants us to be.

Yes, I'm learning a lot from my student teacher....I'm learning to keep up with the little daily items that threaten to overwhelm my life...the paperwork and tiny irritants that if I allow them to stack up will steal my peace. I'm learning to get them out of the way as soon as possible. I'm learning to look at things from the view of the student once again. Living life in the other person's shoes isn't always what I imagined it might be. In that, I'm learning empathy. Mostly, I'm learning that I want to live my life with that sense of being used by God for what I was created for. I know that not everyone has the same gifts...what a boring world that would be. But what if we all allowed God to use us in our area of gifting every day? What if I allowed Him to use me to encourage others no matter what I was doing? What if I remembered that my job is so much more than just a job? It's the place where God has allowed me to use my gifts for Him!

God has promised that He came that we might have life and have it more abundantly...have you lived abundantly today?

Thursday, October 23, 2014

All for the want of a nail...

This is a reprint of a previous blog, but it did me good to read it again. 
Today was one of those, "I'm unmotivated" mornings. Actually, the entire weekend has been that way. I've got a lot that needs to be done, but I don't really want to do anything - except maybe play games on Facebook. I did finally manage yesterday to tackle a couple of the items on my list and "Surprise!" they didn't take nearly as long as I feared they would. You'd think that those small victories would have motivated me this morning, but they didn't. Instead I found myself just sitting there, staring at the computer and thinking to myself, "I just don't want to get up and get dressed to go to church this morning. I can miss one day - it's not that big of a deal." Then I read my devotional for today....

In this morning's devotion, the author mentioned that the enemy strikes us in our area of weakness. Yikes - I knew immediately what my area was - complacency! You know - that place where you get comfortable and just don't want to do anything. I'm not talking about comfortable on the couch - although that is a pretty good picture of the situation. I'm talking about comfortable with the way things are in your life but unwilling to do much of anything to keep them that way. I kind of picture someone floating along in a row boat, figuring they are in a good spot so they just stop rowing. Only problem is, boats don't tend to just stay - they drift!

I figured I was getting a bit of kick in the pants reminding me that I did indeed need to make the effort to get to church, so I picked my lazy self up and got ready to go. Once there, I listened to the worship song and one verse just jumped out at me - "We offer all to the one who saves..." Was I really offering all? If I offer my life as a sacrifice, how can I then say, "but You don't really need/want this's such a tiny thing." Can I say, "I just don't feel like doing this today" if I am a sacrifice? I'm not much of a sacrifice if I just keep on climbing off the altar and doing my own thing, now am I?

It's not that I am trying to be rebellious, I just figure my small part in the whole doesn't make any real difference. I can just sit this one out and it will be no big deal. Then I remembered this old proverb (no idea when the last time was I actually heard this so it MUST have been the Holy Spirit that brought it to my memory. It's not a Bible type proverb, but wise all the same.) 

For Want of a Nail

For want of a nail the shoe was lost. For want of a shoe the horse was lost. For want of a horse the rider was lost. For want of a rider the battle was lost. For want of a battle the kingdom was lost. And all for the want of a horseshoe nail.

To me it may seem like such a small part, but if God wants it, how can I refuse? I want to learn to   live my life in such a way that I realize EVERY part is His and live my life as worship to Him. Can I have the same attitude in going to work as I do in going to church - that both are an act of worship? Can cleaning my house become as much an act of worship as singing in the choir (something you really don't want me to do by the way.) Can I even view exercise as an act of worship, giving Him the very best I have to give?

As I mentioned, the enemy attacks in our area of weakness, and for me that's complacency - taking things for granted. I wonder, have I become so familiar with church, the scripture, worship,  and those in my church family that I am taking them for granted...thinking they will always be there? What about in my work? Have I become complacent? Complacency at work leads to mistakes and missed opportunities. Complacency in relationships leads to not knowing one another and drifting apart. Complacency with eating habits can lead to unhealthy weight gain or issues with your health. Complacency in exercise can lead to loss of muscle mass and the ability to lead an active life. I can't really think of any area of my life where complacency leads to something good.
So what do I do? According to Romans 12, I need to offer up my ENTIRE life as a sacrifice and not become complacent...not conform to this world. I can't let the enemy convince me that some area is unimportant or that my small "nail" won't make much difference at all. It's time to get up off my spiritual, emotional, or actual couch and start living like a sacrifice....TODAY!

Romans 12

The Message (MSG) Place Your Life Before God
 1-2 So here's what I want you to do, God helping you: Take your everyday, ordinary life—your sleeping, eating, going-to-work, and walking-around life—and place it before God as an offering. Embracing what God does for you is the best thing you can do for him. Don't become so well-adjusted to your culture that you fit into it without even thinking. Instead, fix your attention on God. You'll be changed from the inside out. Readily recognize what he wants from you, and quickly respond to it. Unlike the culture around you, always dragging you down to its level of immaturity, God brings the best out of you, develops well-formed maturity in you.

Saturday, October 18, 2014

What did you learn today??

The question is as pertinent today as it was when I wrote it five years ago.
Remember when you were a kid and you would come home from school and your parents would ask "What did you learn today?" When we were very small, we'd rattle off a hundred things about our day, but as we got older, the response was usually, "Nothing," or "I don't know." Neither of these were the answer our parents were hoping for.

I know when I ask my kids that question, I'm hoping to hear about their day...what is going on in their lives....who their friends are and maybe a little encouragement that they are actually LEARNING something while they are at school. I also know that when they are able to tell me what they are learning, it goes down deeper into their understanding and perhaps helps them retain the information. Still, when I ask, I get the same response we gave our parents, "Nothing."

Today I got to wondering, what if our kids could ask us the same questions? What would our response be? More importantly, if our Heavenly Father asked us, "What did you learn today?", what would our answer be? I'm afraid too often my answer would be "nothin'." Now of course we know that we are learning something all the time, or at least we should be.

When we first are saved, everyday is so filled with the wonder of God's love, we could rattle off for hours what God was showing us...but after we've walked with the Lord for a while, our response becomes more like a child in Jr. High. Like our own children, the problem isn't that we aren't learning, but that we aren't paying attention to what we are learning. It's not getting the chance to really sink in because we are on auto-pilot, not really trying to get the most out of life's lessons. Perhaps our minds are on what's for lunch, or on our friends, or on some problem that in a few weeks we won't even remember, but for whatever reason, we just aren't paying attention. Some of it sinks in...but we don't really know WHAT we are learning. It's all just "stuff."

How different could my life be if I paid attention? What if I asked God each day to help me see what He was trying to teach me that day? What if I was consciously aware that even in the daily grind of life, there were lessons to be learned? I might be learning how to be patient, or how to experience joy, or how to keep my mouth shut and LISTEN (yes, I admit again this one is difficult for me.) The point is, if we're alive then each day brings SOMETHING we can learn...even if it's just how to listen. We're not supposed to be here just taking up space...everyday brings a new opportunity to grow and learn. Life isn't just some random series of events....there is a purpose to each day.

Okay, so the question remains...."What did you learn today?" Maybe by asking ourselves that each day, life's lessons will really make the connection. Sounds like a good idea to me. 
Proverbs 1:1-6 (MSG)

These are the wise sayings of Solomon,
    David’s son, Israel’s king—
Written down so we’ll know how to live well and right,
    to understand what life means and where it’s going;
A manual for living,
    for learning what’s right and just and fair;
To teach the inexperienced the ropes
    and give our young people a grasp on reality.
There’s something here also for seasoned men and women,
    still a thing or two for the experienced to learn—
Fresh wisdom to probe and penetrate,
    the rhymes and reasons of wise men and women.

Friday, October 17, 2014

Do I really believe?

Written five years ago, the question is still, do I believe?

Last night I was watching a middle school football game and the "Random thoughts" started to flow. There on the field and the sidelines were 30 plus players giving it all they had trying to win the game. In the distance, you could see lightning filling the sky and the rain poured down. A few loyal parents spotted the metal stands wishing they would call the game so we could all go home. The scoreboard did not completely reveal the battle that was taking place, since only the other team had a score. The faces of the players, however, showed the anguish as play after play failed to provide needed points. The players slid around on the field, slipped as they tried to get traction, and watched as passes intended for their hands fell short or slipped from their grasp. One player in particular was so frustrated with having to play a position he felt he wasn't good at that he wanted to give up completely. I can relate. We've all been there....feeling like what we were doing wasn't making any difference at all in the "game". Like we're in over our head doing something we AREN'T comfortable with and watching someone else play the "position" we feel is rightfully ours.

That's what got me to I really believe what I say I believe? Do I really believe the promise of God that He works ALL things for my good and His glory? If I do, it should make a difference in the way I deal with every situation....even the ones where I feel like life just isn't being fair. For if I do believe this to be true, then I must realize that no matter what is before me, God has allowed me to deal with this for a reason....and it ultimately will be for my good and His glory. I may not like it, but then again, I don't always like exercise and that's good for me. I know that's not nearly the same, but it helps me to put things into context. The question is, can I work willingly and wholeheartedly at whatever I do, as though I was working for the Lord rather than people? (Col. 3:23) It can become my act of worship when I "deal" with unfair or difficult situations by giving my all and doing things with a cheerful attitude - without grumbling and complaining. Okay, I admit, I have trouble with that one too.

As I watched that young man on the sidelines throwing his helmet down in frustration, I wondered how many times have I "pitched a 5 year old fit" because I didn't like my current lot in life? Can I instead learn to look at what is directly in front of me as an opportunity to worship? Can I approach every situation remembering that there is something I can learn from it? Do I truly believe?

I have experienced times in my life when I wasn't so sure of what I believed. Times when I questioned if perhaps God had forgotten me or if maybe He had "missed it" this time. Yes, I admit it, and I think if we are all honest, we've all been there at some time or another. The good news is that with time, I've been allowed to realize that YES, God will work things for my good and His glory if I allow Him to. Would I actually CHOOSE to go through these trials again? Probably not, but I'm learning that I don't always choose what is best for me. Guess I've got to trust the One who knows me better than I know myself, and the One who knows the plan and purpose for my life. Do I believe that He who began a good work in me will be faithful to complete it?

Do I really believe?
Philippians 1:6 (MSG)
 There has never been the slightest doubt in my mind that the God who started this great work in you would keep at it and bring it to a flourishing finish on the very day Christ Jesus appears.

Monday, October 13, 2014

Can you imagine?

Today as I ran, or attempted to run, 5 miles, I heard a song about God's love and plan for us being greater than we could ever imagine; and it got me thinking. What do I "imagine"? I used to have a pretty big imagination, but as I've gotten older I have to admit, it's not so vivid any more. At times it's about as difficult to imagine as it is to top the next hill that stands in my way...and I trudge on.

I am not like others I know that are truly talented. I look at what they are doing for God and I think, I'd have never thought of that! My thoughts are so much more mediocre...

So on about mile 3, I started wondering, "What does God have for me that I can't imagine?" What does God's plan included that I don't see...that I don't even imagine could be?

Yesterday in church our pastor shared Acts 2:17:  
"This is what the prophet Joel announced would happen:
“In the Last Days,” God says,
“I will pour out my Spirit
    on every kind of people:
Your sons will prophesy,
    also your daughters;
Your young men will see visions,
    your old men dream dreams."

I have to wonder, how many of us who have served God for a while have forgotten how to dream? What once was so easy now seems impossible simply because life can be so daily...

But this promise..."In the Last Days," God says, "I will pour out my Spirit....Your young men will see visions, your old men dream dreams." This sounds like a promise that even when life has drained us of imagination and dreams, God is ready to give them back to us once again.

It's just a random that I want to grab hold of. God, I want to imagine again... 

I'm ready to dream. How about you?

Sunday, October 12, 2014

That was then, this is now....

I still remember the day I ran the race in that picture. It was a beautiful fall day with just a bit of a nip in the air. I had just watched Facing the Giants the night before and I was determined to leave nothing on the is amazing how a mantra can help you that last half mile or so. I crossed the finish line at just under 28 was a personal best. I was running pretty much every day and getting a little faster every race...but that was then, and this is now...

Today I took on a new challenge to run 18.5 miles this week. I am "virtually" running a race with at team out of Texas, dfw Diabetes and Exercise group. Since I can't be there, I run on my own. Since I can't run that far at one time, I am breaking it into smaller runs. Since I am a diabetic, this is important to me.

Just like I remember the day of the race when I finally broke 29 minutes, I equally remember the day I sat in doctor's office because the school nurse had sent me - yes, the school nurse. Nothing quite like a school nurse telling you to go to the hospital and banning you from returning to your class. I talked her into just letting me go to the local clinic instead. I was ready for them to say what I already knew. I was simply tired. All teachers are tired!

Come to think of it, I'd had "symptoms" for weeks but I had a reason for every one. I was having severe leg cramps almost every night, but I had been working out like a banshee so I figured the cramps were simply the result of pushing myself a bit too hard. I was also always thirsty, but it had been a particularly hot summer, even for South Mississippi. Of course I was thirsty! Who wasn't? There were the constant trips to the bathroom, but since I was drinking so much water....Oh, and the only good part - I was losing weight! I was at one of my lowest weights of my adult life, but since I was working out so much and drinking water and eating healthy for the first time ever, I figured I'd finally just hit the right mix for me.

I also noticed, I wasn't walking as fast as I once did. It took real effort to keep up with students as we walked back from lunch. Oh well, this is what happens with age. Only it wasn't just age. It was diabetes.

I remember the nurse practitioner telling me, "You have diabetes."
"No I don't," I argued. 
"Yes, you do." 
"No I don't."
"Fine, but come back tomorrow so I can show you how to give yourself insulin injections." My blood sugar that day was 583. It was the first day of what would become a new life for me.

Fast forward about 3 years and I am attempting to undertake a run of 18.5 miles (not all at once - stretched out over the week.) I remember when that would have taken me at most, 3 I'll be working hard to do it in a week. I can't do what I once could, but I can still do. I can still run and be active. I am an athlete - not an elite athlete, but an athlete all the same.

I am also a diabetic. One that is determined to keep moving forward until I finally run across heaven's finish line...saying I left nothing on the field. I gave it my all. I may not be the fastest, or ever be the best at anything other than being me...but I'm trying. I will not give in to a "diagnosis" or a "sentence of diabetes and old age" I will live in today. I can be sad that I can't do what I once was able to do, or I can get up each day and be determined to do what I CAN do. As I read today, you can't move on to the next chapter if you keep re-reading the last one.

Yep, the past was pretty good, but the future looks awesome!

How about you? Care to join me?

Here's a link to the group I'm virtually running with! dfw diabetes and exercise facebook page

Jeremiah 29:11 (NIV)

11 For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.

Hebrews 12:1-3 (Message)

12 1-3 Do you see what this means—all these pioneers who blazed the way, all these veterans cheering us on? It means we’d better get on with it. Strip down, start running—and never quit! No extra spiritual fat, no parasitic sins. Keep your eyes on Jesus, who both began and finished this race we’re in. Study how he did it. Because he never lost sight of where he was headed—that exhilarating finish in and with God—he could put up with anything along the way: Cross, shame, whatever. And now he’s there, in the place of honor, right alongside God. When you find yourselves flagging in your faith, go over that story again, item by item, that long litany of hostility he plowed through. That will shoot adrenaline into your souls!

Friday, October 10, 2014

I know best....I think

Sometimes I re-read an older blog and the lessons are as fresh today as they were then...
Ever have those times when you just wish someone would listen to you? I mean, I know best - right? I'm sure my opinion on how to do things is the best, that's why I chose it to be my opinion! If I didn't think it was best, I'd choose something else! But still no one listens - especially not my kids.

As a parent, I find myself constantly trying to tell my kids what to do. It's not that I want to boss them, I just can see things they can't see and don't want them to make some of the foolish mistakes others (including myself) have made. If they would just LISTEN, life would be SO much simpler. But they don't, at least not always. I've got to tell you, it's more than a little frustrating! I know best! At least I think I do.

All this got me to thinking about how God deals with us. There is no question that God knows best....He knows the past, the present and the future all at the same time. He knows what our actions will bring - yet He allows us to make wrong choices all the same. Let that sink in a minute. He knows what our choices will bring, good or bad, and yet He allows us to choose all the same. He tells us the guidelines, then lets us make our own decisions. He also allows us to deal with the consequences of those decisions - good or bad. In the process, we either learn to love His direction more or get mad at Him for allowing us to make our own choices. 

As a parent, I struggle with this. I want to not only tell me kids what is best, but help them out when they make wrong choices. Makes me wonder if I know what I'm doing after all. I want to save them from themselves....and in doing so I'm afraid, perhaps, I'm keeping them from really growing up at all.

There is a second part to this "allowing them to make mistakes" that is even harder - the loving them no matter what part. When they break my heart because of wrong choices, can I still love them? When they embarrass me because of their behavior, can I still love them? If they do things that bring shame to the family name, can I still embrace them in love yet never make an excuse for their behavior?

God allows us the freedom to make our own choices and loves us even when those choices break His heart. He loves us so much, He is willing to delay judgement in order that we might finally "get it" and start listening once again to Him. He loves us enough to let us make mistakes and even suffer from our own foolishness so that we can learn.

Those of us who have messed up pretty badly can recognize true love. True love holds us even when we push away. True love weeps with us over our mistakes and foolish choices, but allows us to learn in the midst of them all the same. True love is angered when we are harmed by the choices of others, but loves the "others" as much as He loves us. True love rejoices with us when we are set free and find the path we were meant to walk in this journey called life. True love knows best, and yet allows us to choose anyway.

I know best....but I don't know all. I have no idea of the wonderful things my Lord has planned for my child or those around me. All I know is that it is a plan far greater than I could ever dream of or imagine....and somehow God is using everything to work out that plan in our lives, if we will only let Him.

 Jeremiah 29:11 "For I know the plans I have for you," declares the LORD, "plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future."
  2 Peter 3:8-9 (Message translation) "Don't overlook the obvious here, friends. With God, one day is as good as a thousand years, a thousand years as a day. God isn't late with his promise as some measure lateness. He is restraining himself on account of you, holding back the End because he doesn't want anyone lost. He's giving everyone space and time to change." James 1:22-25"Don't fool yourself into thinking that you are a listener when you are anything but, letting the Word go in one ear and out the other. Act on what you hear! Those who hear and don't act are like those who glance in the mirror, walk away, and two minutes later have no idea who they are, what they look like. But whoever catches a glimpse of the revealed counsel of God—the free life!—even out of the corner of his eye, and sticks with it, is no distracted scatterbrain but a man or woman of action. That person will find delight and affirmation in the action."
  Let us never forget this: Romans 5:8 "But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us."
That's what truly knowing best and loving us all the same really means.

Monday, October 6, 2014

Just the facts, Ma'm....

Can hardly believe it's been over 4 years since I received the diagnosis "diabetic." I choose facts over fear.

I just got back from a class to train me about diabetes management. You see, I was diagnosed just a few weeks ago with Type 1 diabetes. Yes, I know that is the type that you usually find in kids - I guess I'm just a kid at heart...or at pancreas. Anyway, I find that I am now being bombarded with LOTS of information to help me manage my diabetes and keep things where they need to be.

Don't get me wrong, I am very glad to have information to help me learn about my new way of life, but in tonight's class I decided that there is a very fine line between fear and facts.

You see, there are things I need to know; but if I'm not careful, those very facts can play on the "what if's" of my mind and cause fear. I hear information upon information about the complications associated with diabetes - heart attacks, strokes, kidney failure, loss of limbs - the list just goes on and on. I went into the class to learn about how to eat and walked out with a ton of stuff about what could go wrong! I listened to others in the class talk about a barrage of tests and wondered - why am I not more concerned?

I decided it is because I'm learning to discern the difference between the facts and fear. The facts are I will be insulin dependent for the rest of my life, which I plan to make sure is a LONG one by the way! The facts are that I need to be vigilant and take good care of my health. (To be honest, I consider this a blessing! This diagnosis has made me FINALLY start caring for this gift God gave me!) The facts are that I will need to adjust some things...but those facts are so much different than fear.

I got to thinking how much this is like spiritual matters as well. It is a fact that we have an enemy that comes to steal, kill, and destroy us. I do need to be aware of that, but it does not mean I need have any fear. I have a Savior who has overcome the enemy! My Lord came that I might have life and have it abundantly! Are you seeing how this works?

There is a fine line between looking at the facts and allowing those facts to cause me to live in fear. You see, I know a secret - facts change but my God does not!

Don't believe me? It was a fact when I was a kid that no man had walked on the moon - that fact changed before I was in second grade! It was a fact that at one time, man could not fly; but thanks to thinkers like the Wright brothers, that fact is just no longer true! It was a fact that if you wanted to communicate with someone on the other side of the world, you would have to send a letter that could take weeks to arrive . That fact changed (in the past few years!) and now we talk "face to face" via skype on a regular basis. Yep, facts change.

So what is staring at you right now, taunting you and trying to get you to fear? Is it finances - yep they can look pretty bad. Is it health - we've had a few trials in that area in the past month. Is it relationships - we've had our share of rough patches there, too...anyone with teenagers will say AMEN to that! But all those "facts" are prone to change. I will choose to trust in an unchanging God who loves me and has promised He will NEVER forsake me!

Come to think of it - it was a FACT that they crucified my Lord on Calvary. It was a FACT that they buried Him in a borrowed tomb (I can't think of anyone else who could just "borrow" a tomb.) It was a FACT that for three days He was dead....but praise God - facts change!

There is a fine line between facts and fear....and I think I'll be keeping my focus on my Lord and FAITH that He will do what He promised He would do. He loves us - and that's one fact that won't be changing!

Have a great day y'all! Share the good news with someone that you doesn't matter what the facts say - you know the One who is greater!

John 10:10 (Message)
A thief is only there to steal and kill and destroy. I came so they can have real and eternal life, more and better life than they ever dreamed of.

Hebrews 13:5-6 (NIV)
God has said,
“Never will I leave you;
never will I forsake you.”

6 So we say with confidence,
“The Lord is my helper; I will not be afraid.
What can mere mortals do to me?”

 2 Tim. 1:7 (NIV)
For the Spirit God gave us does not make us timid, but gives us power, love and self-discipline.

Romans 8:31-32 (NIV)
What, then, shall we say in response to these things? If God is for us, who can be against us? 32 He who did not spare his own Son, but gave him up for us all—how will he not also, along with him, graciously give us all things?

Isaiah 40:8
The grass withers and the flowers fall,
but the word of our God endures forever.”

Thursday, October 2, 2014

Scared no more.

Re-post from 2011. 

Have you ever noticed what a child does when they get scared? They immediately turn their face away from what frightens them and they turn toward their parent. If they are close enough, they bury that sweet little face in their parents skirt or pants leg; or if they are lucky enough to be in the loving arms of their mom or dad, they bury their face in their parent's shoulder.
The other night at a football game, I watched a small child with her mom. They were sitting right in front of us and even though the game was a good one, at times watching that little girl was far more entertaining than even what was happening on the field. That little girl first looked at EVERYONE around her, sizing them up as to whether or not she liked them sitting so close to her. Some she decidedly did not like!

After a while, however, she started to relax. She smiled, charmed, talked, and even played peek-a-boo with those around her. She wasn't afraid of anything! Why would she be? She was safe in her mother's arms. As the night wore on, it was obvious that she was growing so tired. She simply placed her little head on her mom's shoulder and closed her eyes and drifted off to sleep.

By the time the game was over, I saw a LOT of little ones, sound asleep and being carried safely toward home in their parent's arms.

It really doesn't take much to see where this random thought is going. Right now we live in a society that is full of noise, distraction, and sometimes things that could make us very much afraid....but we don't have to be. We can rest in our loving Father's arms, free from the worry.

Those sweet children weren't worrying about where they would find clothes, how they would get food, how they would pay the bills, what tomorrow would hold. They didn't have to - their parent had that all under control.

I think I want to learn to live more like those little children - able to rest completely no matter what is going on around me. I'll let my Father worry about all that other stuff. Last time I checked, He was much better equipped to handle all that than I was. If I should find myself in a situation that frightens me and I realize I've wandered away from Him, I plan on running as fast as my little legs will carry me so I can "hide" in His robes.

Whatever situation you may find yourself in, and I realize some of them can be pretty scary, know that you can find a place of peace and rest in your Father's arms today. There is no need to be afraid - He's got you.

May you find peace and rest in our Father's loving arms today. Turn away from what scares you and look instead into His precious and wonderful face.

John 14:27 (NIV)

27 Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid.
Matthew 18 (MSG)

For an answer Jesus called over a child, whom he stood in the middle of the room, and said, "I'm telling you, once and for all, that unless you return to square one and start over like children, you're not even going to get a look at the kingdom, let alone get in. Whoever becomes simple and elemental again, like this child, will rank high in God's kingdom. What's more, when you receive the childlike on my account, it's the same as receiving me.

Matthew 23:37 (NIV)

“Jerusalem, Jerusalem, you who kill the prophets and stone those sent to you, how often I have longed to gather your children together, as a hen gathers her chicks under her wings, and you were not willing.

Isaiah 66:13 (NIV)

As a mother comforts her child, so will I comfort you;

Proverbs 29:25 (NIV)

Fear of man will prove to be a snare, but whoever trusts in the LORD is kept safe.