“Humble yourselves, therefore, under God’s mighty hand, that he may lift you up in due time.”
-1 Peter 5:6
There is a devotion in The Women’s Devotional Bible written by Beth Donigan Severson that has given me much needed visuals during seasons of my life that prove challenging. If I may, please allow me to paraphrase it for you.
Claude Monet’s painting the Water Garden is painted in the round in Paris. As you stand in the
middle of the room and turn around the garden engulfs you. Then as you study the piece, one of the hidden surprises is that the majority of the canvas is filled with dark blues, blacks, and greens. These colors lie in stark contrast to the lighter pastels of the flowers. However, the painting does not translate as dark and dreary but as light and full of life. The darker shades actually enhance the lighter ones and the pastels are what your eyes rest on.
Severson relates this painting to the colors of her life. Often times we focus on the darker times so much we fail to see the blessings staring us in the face. God has a purpose for each stroke he breathes across our canvas… the difficult and the happy ones! He allows the dark blues and blacks so the pastels stand out more. When we know this, we can look back on
the times when we are misunderstood by those we considered to be our friends or when our dreams for our children are crushed or when a physician tells our precious parent there are no more options and begin to see God’s “handiwork in creating a brilliance of color and beauty from pain and suffering”.
She also writes that “just like the water lilies in Monet’s masterpiece, God keeps the leaves and petals afloat through the muck, wind and rain that are part of the storms of life. Water gardens survive April showers and worse, and I will too, by God’s help and grace.”
Isn’t that just a great analogy to life! When God is in it, it’s all used for our good! I personally have trouble seeing the pastels sometimes when I’m in the middle of the muck, but that’s when God shows up and reminds me He is there through it all … just hold on a little tighter! He has me and He is NOT letting go! What better promise could we hear than that!
I have another child getting married.
ANOTHER CHILD GETTING MARRIED.
I’m sorry, but when did this happen? I was just trying to convince her to leave the ginormous bow in her hair because it matched her outfit. Never mind the fact that she kept falling over from the weight of the thing. And now, she’s trading in her bows for a veil?
“How exciting!” Everyone keeps saying.
OK, you know what? NO. It’s just not all that exciting to me. It is to her, just not to me. I’m just being honest here.
I’m not real good with change, never have been. I find myself even less good when the change involves my children growing up.
I think being a mom is the best job on all the earth…ever, and I’m just not ready to retire yet. I can remember being a little girl who wanted nothing more than to grow up and be a mom. While others were aspiring to be lawyers, doctors, teachers, Wonder Woman (seriously? I personally would have never admitted to that one), I just wanted to be a mom.
But time stands still for no one. So here I am, child number 2 just graduated from college and in just a few weeks, she’s getting married and moving to another state. Granted, it is the one right next door to my state and only a few hours away, but it’s still, “away”.
So I was kinda in a mood the other day and I found myself telling God that I really needed His help because I wasn’t really happy about His plan. How sweet is it that we can confess that to Him and He just loves us even when we’re being bratty?
Anyway, I asked Him to help me change my heart so that it aligned with His. I asked Him to help me remember all that I needed to be thankful for because it was all a gift from Him. I asked Him to help me remember that my joy and peace and contentment were found in Him alone and not in a house full of children.
You know what He did? He gave me the sweetest of blessings.
That morning, after my time with Him, a chain of events happened and all of a sudden I realized that all four children were going to be home for supper that night, like years ago. I was so excited I could hardly contain myself.
Philip had put two and two together also and he may have been almost as excited as me…almost.
When night came, each one straggled into the kitchen just like they used to and sat where they used to sit. As I watched them while I was getting supper ready, my heart was so full I thought it might burst.
When Philip got home, he rounded the corner into the kitchen with a huge smile on his face and said, “I’ve been waiting for this all day long!”
While we were at the table, Philip posed this question, “What is the best memory you have of growing up here?”
And the stories began…
We laughed and reminisced for quite a while. There was a lot of ground to cover because this family tends to do a lot of stupid things, which in turn makes for lots of stories.
I want to make sure you understand that I absolutely love my daughter that I gained through marriage and my future son that I will gain in a few weeks. My joy wasn’t in them not being there. My joy came from being able to go back in time and experience that sweet feeling of having all my chicks under the same roof. Even though none of them are “chicks” any more.
But as we sat there, I realized that there was a little emptiness, like things weren’t complete. You know what I realized it was? Sarah Kathryn and Tony weren’t there. Even though I loved remembering what it was like being a mama with her children around her, I missed my new children and our family wasn’t complete without them.
So God gave me this sweet taste of the past, but in doing so, He showed me the preciousness of the future. And I found my heart aligning with His.
What an awesome thing it is when we ask Him for help and He answers so perfectly!
Have a great week!
Here is a great video for all Mom's. Saw it this morning and came home and looked it up on Youtube. Wanted to share it with all of you. Go get the kleenex! Happy Mother's Day!
My pastor shared this parable with us today. Thought I would in turn share with y'all. Hope you enjoy!
There was a boy by the name of Steve who was attending school in a western state. Mr. Christianson taught at this particular school. He had an open-door policy and would take in any student that had been thrown out of another class as long as they would abide by his rules. Steve had been kicked out of his sixth period and no other teacher wanted him, so he went into Mr. Christianson’s class. Steve was told that he could not be late, so he arrived just seconds before the bell rang and he would sit in the very back of the room. He would also be the first to leave after the class was over. One day, Mr. Christianson asked Steve to stay after class so he could talk with him. After class, Mr. Christianson pulled Steve aside and said, "You think you’re pretty tough, don’t you?"
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