*This story is a re-post but it bears very strange resemblance to the day I had yesterday so I figured it was a story worth retelling…maybe this time I’ll get the lesson!
This is the day that the Lord has made. Let us rejoice and be glad in it.
The alarm went off at 4:40 just like every morning and I slapped it off the nightstand trying to turn it off. That meant I had to get out of bed immediately so it would stop its annoying beeping before it woke my husband up. I stumbled to the kitchen to make coffee and discovered I was out of filters…amazing what you can do with a paper towel! Then I went to the shower only to discover after becoming all wet and drippy that the shampoo bottle was empty. Luckily my prayer time was free of any disaster. After prayers, I went into the bathroom to finish getting ready for the day and proceeded to drop my toothbrush into the toilet, and my open lipstick onto the bathroom rug, leaving a spot of lovely “dusty wine” for all to see. I moved onto lunch packing. (Yes, the Wohlferts are all big enough to pack their own, but I pray for each of them while I pack their lunch so it’s a good thing) Somehow I managed to put mustard on a peanut butter sandwich and grape jelly on ham. Thank goodness I caught that before the bags left the house! I wrapped up my morning in the house by dropping my peanut butter toast gooey side down on the kitchen floor. As I made my way to the garage, I realized someone had left the garage door open and the barn cats had made a visit to the house. They had feasted on the goodies found in the now shredded bag of garbage. As I flew to the end of the driveway, I nearly barreled into a milk truck. I slammed on the brakes in the nick of time spilling my coffee all over my jacket.
I drove down the road thinking…ok God…really...this is the day you made? You need a do-over on this one! The longer I drove; the more I thought about the past two hours and my response shifted from pout and pity to pure, belly deep, tearful laughter! I couldn’t believe one morning could have so many hiccups! My morning had been like a comic strip of disaster but the second half of this verse from Psalm 118 says rejoice and be glad in it! I decided when I got to school; I’d make a quick stop at the church to ask God if we couldn’t come to some kind of agreement about the rest of the day. While I sat there in the silence of our beautiful church, I realized it was probably me who needed the do-over. I had been distracted that morning and my prayers were more of a laundry list of favors and complaints than sincere conversation. I began to realize as I slowed down a minute, He had used the events of the morning to draw me closer. He was teaching…He just had to get creative to get my attention! I walked into my classroom with a broad smile ready to start over. When I said hello to the first little lovely who came through the door, she smiled and said, “I’m so glad when I woke up today it was a school day.” I smiled and said, "Me too!" Now that was something to be glad about! That was my sign that the Lord really had made that day and that in spite of lipstick stains on the rug, a toothbrush swirling in the toilet and the coffee stain on my jacket, I had WAY more to be glad and rejoice about than to be pouty and grumpy about. He had my full attention for the remainder of the day!
A seed to plant: Make this verse a part of your morning prayers. If you begin each day looking for the stuff to be glad and rejoice about, the rest of it will seem easier to swallow.
Blessings on your day!
When the Son of Man comes in his glory, and all the angels with him, he will sit upon his glorious throne and all the nations will be assembled before him. And he will separate them one from another, as a shepherd separates the sheep from the goats. He will place the sheep on his right and the goats on his left. Matthew 25: 31-33
Well, this is the day…the first day of school and the first day with a new batch of middle lovelies! Even after all these years, the first day of school is always a mix of excitement, anticipation, nervousness, and joy. It’s sad to see summer come to a close but I’m ready to get back to what I love. I sometimes look back on those years I stayed home with the three little Wohlferts and I wouldn’t trade those years for anything but as a teacher I get to witness so many great parents in action and I realize I could have really benefited from their example in my own parenting.
In the parable of the sheep and the goats, Jesus is separating the sheep; the obedient loving followers from the rebellious, stiff necked, defiant goats. Now, anybody who reads this scripture want to be a sheep for sure! In fact, most of our journey to Christ centers on being more “sheeplike” so we wind up at his right hand. This parable came to mind last week during open house when I visited with a really great mom. I’ve had the privilege of teaching a few of her children and they are completely cool kids; knowing the parents explains it all.
Since I still have a dozen details to take care of before the lovelies arrive I have just a simple thought for you to ponder and pray with today. I always ask my students how their parents help form their discipleship and the son of the mom I mentioned had an awesome reply. He told us that when he and his siblings leave the house, his mom yells to them, “Have a good day and DON’T BE A GOAT!”
Four simple words…don’t be a goat! How’s that for a living color example of walking as a disciple!
A Seed To Plant: Make yourself a little sign that says Don’t Be A Goat! Then take some prayerful time to identify the places in your life you act a little more like a goat than a sheep.
Blessings on your day!
Be anxious about nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God; and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus. Philippians 4:6-7
I’m a pretty big fan of the “Gospel according to Sheri”. In other words, I often like to do things my own way, predict the ending I fancy and try to arrange every detail along the way. I can count the number of times that has worked well on one hand; and they were probably just happy accidents. Last week I was at a parenting crossroad an questioning his plan when I happened upon this verse and it was a beautiful reminder that he has a job and so do I. His job is to manage the universe and each life he created and my job is to let him do his job. Seems pretty simple don’t you think?
Many of us are at a parenting crossroad as I see post after post on Facebook about taking kids off to college and staring Kindergarten or the last year of high school, this verse just rings in my mind and echoes in my heart. It reminds me that our kids were designed to grow up not live in our basement until they were 30. Our kids were meant to learn, grow, travel and live. They are going to meet people and make friends; some will shape their character and some will test it. They are going to make great decisions steeped in the love and wisdom we’ve slathered them with and they will most likely make some not so great decisions and those will be where the real learning takes place. Independence is a great thing until we watch our kids creep away from us and use it! I’ve always heard people talk about growing pains but I didn't expect parents to be the ones who suffered from them the most!
Our daughter Shannon left last week for a semester in Austria. She will see more than a dozen countries, climb mountains, do mission work in Romania, attend Mother Theresa’s Canonization, see Pope Francis, study art in the Sistine Chapel, visit Poland and see the birth and death places of some of the holiest people of the century; just to name a few items on her schedule. I would love to be her but I will be content to live the experiences through her SnapChats, Facebook posts and the endless stories she will come home with. It’s so amazing but the fact remains that my little girl is living in another country for 4 months. I’m thankful that I’m not a worrier or this whole thing might make me a little nuts but there have been moments when I’ve clung to this verse and felt so much comfort. On the night she was flying to Europe I didn’t sleep much so I spent a lot of time praying with these words from the letter to the Philippians. I did what the verse told me, I thanked him for the restlessness and for her opportunity. I asked him to keep her safe and bless her experience. I asked him to guard her and draw her closer to his Son. Each time I woke up I hit repeat and did it again, thanking him for waking me up to be with him. Through that process of trusting, there came great peace. In the middle of that long night, I grabbed a pencil and paper and these thoughts just tumbled out. I’m sure they are from him because I would not be writing in a notebook at 2 in the morning just for my own amusement. I hope they just might come in handy no matter what new crossroad you find yourself at this day.
*Your child is mine…I love them more than you and I will care for them today and every day after.
*I parted a sea, I can make sure your child has someone to play with at recess.
*I put a piece of me inside them, just ask me to help it shine through them.
*Being mine is far more important than being on the team or the homecoming float so help them keep their priorities straight.
*The more time you spend in worry, the less time you spend in trust.
*I always know what’s best…it isn’t always easiest but it’s best because best is getting to heaven and only I know that path for your child.
*My plans for them far exceed yours…let me do my work and just pray for your child to cooperate.
*Tell them you love them but make sure they know I love them even more.
*Truth trumps popularity every single time so demand honesty.
*You can’t pass the test unless you do the lessons…and some lessons are really hard…let them do the work, especially when the lesson is hard.
*Trust me, thank me; when things are easy and when they are hard; don’t worry, I’m a very reliable Father!
*Pray for them and pray with them, speak my name together and often.
*My love isn’t attached to being first, best, beautiful, popular or perfect so please don’t let your love be either.
*It’s not your job to constantly rescue and save your child, one particular Friday my Father watched me suffer through something really awful that turned out pretty awesome! I knew he was there but he didn’t do it for me.
*Everything in life isn't easy...but everything isn't hard either; know that I'm there loving you through it all.
*If your child needs someone; I'll always get there first, teach them my call sign...JESUS COME!
A Seed To Plant: Write this verse on a post it and stick it somewhere you’ll see it when you worry then pick a couple things from the list that hit your heart or that might touch someone you know who is worried about a child and ask the Father to help you put it in motion.
Blessings on your day and on your Children’s backpack wherever they may be taking it this fall!
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