IF I knew then …


How many times have you said (or heard), “If I only knew then what I know now?”  Sometimes we say to our children “you’ll understand when you’re older”.  We use all kinds of sayings to convey a truth that we ‘know’ … yet we do not live like we know.

IF I Only Knew ????

WHAT IF instead we said,  “IF I KNEW NOW … WHAT I WILL KNOW THEN?”  The waiting game … not knowing … worrying, fretting, stressing.  We all do it … yet, over and over we have to come back to the truth.  The truth is WE KNOW WHO DOES KNOW.   But, in our frail little human minds, we continually go back to pick it up and worry over things we have no control over.  God KNOWS … HE knows.  Our worries of the second, the hour, the day, the week, the month, the year(s) … HE KNOWS.

Time … He created time for us … the seconds, the hours, the days, the weeks, the months, the years … all so we could ‘manage’ and not be overwhelmed by life.  Our life is broken down into manageable increments of time for our benefit.  GOD does not need time to manage His plan.  We impose our need for time on God.

So we need to take a deep breath and trust and wait while He unfolds His plan for our life in time … time we need (not Him).  Remember, time means nothing to God … what seems loooooooong to us … is less than a blink to Him … not even one of our ‘seconds’.

No matter what you are going through … remember, you will KNOW someday so trust TODAY in Him that KNOWS today what will be THEN.  Also, remember that sometimes you may never know why but, you KNOW Him that knows ALL.

Jeremiah 29:11

New American Standard Bible (NASB)

11 For I know the plans that I have for you,’ declares the LORD, ‘plans for welfare and not for calamity to give you a future and a hope.

Proverbs 3:5-6

Amplified Bible (AMP)

5Lean on, trust in, and be confident in the Lord with all your heart and mind and do not rely on your own insight or understanding.

    6In all your ways know, recognize, and acknowledge Him, and He will direct and make straight and plain your paths.

R U A Fixer-Upper?


“I CAN’T FIX IT” … ever feel frustrated with your life … your family … your job?  Do you feel helpless to help? I hate that feeling.  I like to make things better.

Face it: You Can't Fix It

R. U. A Fixer-upper?  Do you try to solve all your own problems?  (Fix your children’s lives to make them smooth?)  Of course we are to be helpful, doing unto others as we would have them do unto us; loving and caring.  But, sometimes you can’t ‘fix it’, and you were not meant to fix people’s lives.

I admit that I have often said to the Lord in my prayer time, “Lord, if you’d let me I could” or “Lord, you know if this happened then …”.  I like to fix it.  Right now, if I could, I would give my husband his dream job, we would have all the money we need come in to fix our financial woes, I would save our house from the bank … I would fly to my daughter to help take care of my sick granddaughter.  Yet, as ‘noble’ as all those plans are, they are not God’s plan.

“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.” Jeremiah 29:11
What if we truly believed God’s word?  What if we fully understood that our soul is safe … that He is taking care of it and that our HOPE and FUTURE are in Him? Yes, sometimes we will not prosper and we will fall in harms way … but, that’s here … on earth.  And sometimes we will prosper and have everything going our way here on earth.  But God’s plan is that we all find His son and live with Him in prosperity in the future … in Heaven.  This life on earth is preparing us for that time.
So many times when we try to ‘fix’ things we break them … we make them worse.  God gives discernment to you through His Holy Spirit… if we would only listen.
God does not teach or guide you through doubt.  He gives HOPE.  HOPE is an action verb.  You stand before choices and ask God to guide you.  If you have doubts about a choice, you wait.  You make choices that He shows you.  When you read His word and pray each day, you are in tune with Him and the Holy Spirit.  As odd as it sounds, you have peace over even making a hard decision.
Why do we try to repair our broken lives when we not only know the best “fixer-upper”, but He is also the creator of what needs fixing?

Yield Your ALL to Him and He Will Direct Your Path

“I’m Becoming My Mom >:-O!”


~ or your dad … or you’re “just like Aunt …’ or maybe you “act like uncle …”

"OMG! You're just like ...."

We all hear it sometime.  I worked in a mall while in college.  During my lunch break I would go out to eat at the Chic-Fil-A.  There were these three ladies that came out every week to eat there.  One was 20ish, one was 40ish and one 60ish.  They looked, dressed and acted like the same woman in three different decades.  The youngest was fast on her way to becoming her mother (and grandmother).

That is not a bad thing, to be like one’s mom or dad … grandmother, etc.  My girls like to tease me about becoming ‘grandmother’.    Many  would love to be 1/2 the person we might be ‘likened’ to by others.  On the flip side though is the negative.  When we’re young we see things in others and say, “I will never do that.”  Yet, the liar begets a liar, the thief a thief, the verbal abuser … the yeller … the drunk … the angry … the impatient … the stubborn ….

Why?  Because it is generational and someone has to break the chain.  As parents we want to set patterns and behaviors, lifestyles and habits that children need to become.  Unfortunately, kids zero in on the negative.  It’s the nature of them?  It’s satan’s* dirty little tricks in life?  It really doesn’t matter, it happens.  Look at toddlers that have picked up cuss words … why one bad word when so many good ones are spoken?  Or pinching, hitting, etc.  The negative sticks out more?  Whatever it is we have to focus on teaching them the positive.  If a child emulates you, if they become you, hopefully it is all the positive and none of the negative.  I know I had negative times I am not proud of that I hope my kids never become.  Frustration, anger, hard times … they come out and those moments stick out in memories and outweigh the good sometimes.

So it is two fold … you work on making positive memories and they work on remembering only the positive when they are older.  The scriptures says in Philippians 4:8 , “Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things.”

We guard their ears, eyes and minds from what the world throws at them through the various mediums, yet our own mouths sometimes does more damage.   Ephesians 4: 29 “When you talk, do not say harmful things, but say what people need—words that will help others become stronger. Then what you say will do good to those who listen to you.” (NCV)  You know yourself that in your memory the harsh words spoken stand out more.  ALWAYS, go and undo what you say in anger or frustration … when you’re too tired, etc.  Don’t let that apology and that ‘rebuilding’ go undone.

Passing on the bad from generation to generation will happen if someone does not make an effort to stop the chain.  If you have  alcoholics, liars … suicides, etc.  Don’t pass it on … stop the cycle.  It is not a heritage you want.  When children are old enough to know about what was in their family’s history is when they are grounded in why it is wrong.  I cannot tell you the number of young people I have counseled that say, “well what can I do, I’m just like … and you know I was always told they did ….”.  Your kids do not need to know the details of your past until they are young adults (if ever).   We had a youth pastor come through once that told of his wild and sinful days … laughingly … almost with … “yeah it was fun … but, then I had to settled down so I got saved.”  This teaches that you can have your fun and repent later.  No one has a ‘later’ promised to them.

You have no later … work on what needs changing today.  Teach your children the positive part of you they need to become and forget the negative part of your own past that your parents were … forget and forgive.  Decide today that you want to be the good part of that person and pass along only the good part of them and the good part of you.

Always go back to the Beatitudes … attitudes to be.  Then you are passing on a heritage of being Christ like.

“I’m becoming ….the good part of…”

*satan – I know people capitalize the “S” but, I don’t.  I refuse to give him any status of importance.  He’s a snake, so satan, devil, etc. are lower case, as he is one.

Hurry up and wait!


I cannot tell you how many times my mother would say the phrase, “hurry up, and wait”.

Hurry UP! AND Wait!

It’s an oxymoron.  We are always in a hurry only to find ourselves having to wait.  It was my mom’s way of telling us that everything has it’s time.  Funny how we do not listen to mom any better than we listen to God.

 

Ecclesiastes 3:1-8

1 There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under the heavens: 2 a time to be born and a time to die,
a time to plant and a time to uproot,
3 a time to kill and a time to heal,
a time to tear down and a time to build,
4 a time to weep and a time to laugh,
a time to mourn and a time to dance,
5 a time to scatter stones and a time to gather them,
a time to embrace and a time to refrain from embracing,
6 a time to search and a time to give up,
a time to keep and a time to throw away,
7 a time to tear and a time to mend,
a time to be silent and a time to speak,
8 a time to love and a time to hate,
a time for war and a time for peace.

No, that was not written by the Byrds … love the song “Turn, Turn, Turn” though.

More and more as we go day in, day out … week in, week out … month in, month out … year in and year out (sigh – get the picture :-D), family and friends ‘hurt for us’ waiting for Phil to get a job.  Three and a half years seems like an eternity to them and they cannot understand.  Trust me I know.  They wonder what is the delay and why?  I would be lying if I said I had not wondered from time to time myself.

Why does Jesus delay?  In answering prayers?  In coming back?  Why?  You know you ask yourself why and sometimes you ask Him why from time to time.   Why did someone have to die?  Why did someone get sick?  Why?  Why? Why?   You know how you hate it when your kids keep asking WHY?  God doesn’t.  Trust me, He DOES NOT MIND!  What He minds is if you stay in the ‘why’ mode and do not grow.  He knows why but, it may not be time for you to know why.  Maybe it is He knows you have a harder road to travel that will require the strengths you are learning, the patience you are acquiring.  (I just heard a loud groan from some of you … “you mean, it could get worse?”   Sure it can and might.   Maybe it is because He knows you will be able to help someone who is going to go through the exact same thing you are going through or something similar and that you will be able to help them because of your experience.  Maybe He wants to reveal something to you, a truth, that you cannot learn any other way.  Sometimes we are so stubborn and we cause the delay.  Sometimes He has others watching and learning so they can grow in their faith.

There is always an answer to why?  Asking why is not a problem.  When you do not get an immediate answer and you allow the waiting on Him to discourage you and lose faith, THAT is the problem.

 

Why?  Because … there is a time to ‘wait’ … so you can have times of joy after times of tears; sunshine after storms and mountains after valleys.

For everything … there is a season … AND a reason … wait upon the Lord…“In His Time, In His Time … He makes all things beautiful, In His Time.”

Persistent Perseverance Payoff = Patience


NEVER pray for patience unless you are willing to learn no matter the cost.  It is a valuable character trait.  However,  most humans I know are not patient.  That is probably the reason that patience lessons are the hardest.  I think God does not enjoy teaching us patience but, knows we need to learn.  It is a struggle, something we must learn (and re-learn) daily.

As parents we need to learn patience and we need to teach patience.  God patiently teaches us patience, although I know we are very trying at times (well, most of the time).

So how do you learn patience? How do you teach it to a child?  Persistence and perseverance come to mind.  When I was raising my daughters we had a rule in the house, if you started something new, you had to stick with it a year before you could quit.  Gymnastics, swimming, horseback riding, flute, French Horn, cheer-leading, track, tennis, tap, clubs, band, voice … piano.  You name it they took it or joined it somewhere along  the way.  I wanted them both to learn piano.  I knew it would teach them eye-ear-hand coordination and self-discipline, not to mention the added advantage that music training increases ones spacial learning which results in stronger academic achievements.  So I decided that piano they did for me.  I would let them join, take lessons, etc.  anything within reason as long as they studied piano.  My oldest started at six and my youngest at four.  I was persistent and they persevered.  We all learned patience.  The result was that they became well-rounded in many areas, successful academically and wonderful musicians.  My oldest is beginning to teach her daughter, age 4, piano and my youngest graduated with a music degree and has her own web page promoting her voice and piano lessons.  They learned self-discipline through their perseverance.  As adults they can stay the course and complete multi-tasking goals.

Our spiritual life is to be the same.  We are to be persistent in prayer, persevere the day-to-day trials and tribulations, allowing God to work patience in our life.  Toddlers can be taught patience through persistent instruction and discipline through love.  Just as we teach our young, God is always teaching us.

In Genesis 31:38-42 we read o f Jacob’s diligence and his patience.  In Proverbs 21:5 the scriptures tell us that hard work pays off.  In Mark 15:47 we are told that diligence allowed them to see Jesus.

Do not be passive parents.  Parenting is a participation action not a spectator one.  Get involved in the lives of your children at an early age helping them to set a goal they can achieve.  Encourage them, praise their work, guide them and keep them on task and rejoice with them as they achieve.  Every little goal accomplished teaches them.  Those goals become more complex as they grow.  When they are teens and young adults, they will be able to set achievable goals and accomplish much.

Allow your children to see you set goals and your persistence in accomplishing those goals.  Make sure they observe your perseverance and see you grow in patience.

Then, when trials and tribulations come your way, your patience and spiritual growth will help you face life.  Remember, life is 24/7/365 and we must have a spiritual focus on God our hope.  Defeat is when our spiritual feet are mired in the mud of life and sin and our focus is on our circumstances instead of Christ.