***Warning--This is not the cheery, "everything is hunky dory", New Year's resolution kind of post you probably expected. I wrote this on January 10th and have waivered back and forth about whether or not I wanted to actually post it. The cheerleader inside me said, "No, don't post it. Keep it super fun and totally encouraging! (Insert big cheesy smile HERE:)" It didn't seem to me to be the best way to start a new blogging year.
And although I really dig fun and encouraging, I would be a liar if I led you to believe that everything is always happy and perfect here in our little world. I felt led to go ahead and share the following post because I want everyone to realize that we are ALL human and we ALL go through hard things. And that God didn't promise that because I follow Him, that life would be easy. He just promised that He would be with me EVERY STEP OF THE WAY.
There have been some heavy things consuming my thoughts and prayers. All of them very emotional, life changing things. And not to make light of it, but the only one I can actually share about publicly is, although big to the Shoe Seven, in actuality small in comparison to other situations and struggles about which I am in frequent prayer.
Our family recently experienced the ups and downs of finding out that we were going to be adding another lil Shoe to our family... and then finding out that we are not. The rush of emotions that comes when that little test turns positive is such excitement and joy (and then, for me, just a tiny flash of absolute terror--I guess terror isn't the right word, maybe, more of a fear of failure would better describe my feeling:) Anyway, we thought we might have to change our cute family nickname to something a little less catchy, like "The Seven Shoes plus One". Catchy, no. Exciting, yes.
Even though most parents probably wouldn't have told their children about a new pregnancy so soon, my husband and I like to be pretty up front with our children and it was our big Christmas surprise for them on Christmas Eve. The kiddos were excited at the possibility of a new little brother or sister.
But instead this big surprise has turned into a very big, important life lesson, that can be applied to every season and sorrow that occurs in our family. One that allows us to demonstrate our faith to the children in a very real way.
My husband and I believe that the Bible is not just a "book of rules". We also see it as a "letter of love" from the Lord, that tells us about His character and about the promises that He has for all of His children. In times like these, we are sad and disappointed, but we fully trust that God is who He says He is.
He loves us.
He is sovereign.
He will give us joy and peace that transcends all understanding.
He is merciful and comforts us when we go to Him in a time of need.
Trusting in Him and the amazing love that He has for us gives us strength. What better way to explain to our children that God has a plan for each one of us and that even though we don't always understand His plan and how it plays out in our lives, we can rest in the knowledge that God is good, ALL the time, even when our circumstances are not.
I don't mean for it to sound like we would choose for sad things to happen, because we wouldn't. But there is no way to protect our children (or ourselves for that matter) from the sorrows of this world.
So I pray that we can be parents that live out Proverbs 3:5-6, which tells us to "Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding. Acknowledge Him in all your ways and He will make your paths straight." and
Deuteronomy 6:5-9, which tells us to "Love the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength. These commandments that I give you today are to be on your hearts. Impress them on your children. Talk about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up. Tie them as symbols on your hands and bind them on your foreheads. Write them on the doorframes of your houses and on your gates." I pray that we will use each new life lesson to teach our children God's Truth and share with them the amazing power of His love.
**Well, there you have it...the not so cheery, but (hopefully) in some way encouraging 1st blog post of the new year.
Don't worry...they won't all be like that one. My inner cheerleader would SO not be okay with a year full of serious!
Back to more of the fun, silly, Seven Shoes craziness next time:) But until then...
"May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in Him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit." Romans 15:13
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