Believing the Best for My Kids

Kicking back in a lounge chair at the water park, I sat watching with the other young moms. I smiled with satisfaction at the clever design of this place. Moms could relax and still see their little ones splashing, exploring, and making friends. All the while staying close enough to hop up and run to the rescue in the event of an emergency.


I settled in for a fun-filled day in the sun with my youngster. But I never would’ve expected what happened next.


Two women walked up to my six year old. The way they stood over him and looked down with scowling faces told me this was not good. I sat stunned, not believing my eyes. So as soon as I broke free from the initial shock, I gathered my composure and headed toward the altercation.


By the time I reached my boy, the women had marched back to their chairs. I asked him what they said. Apparently he’d squirted a water blaster at a girl while playing on the makeshift pirate ship, and she was upset. My first thought was, “It’s a water park. What do you expect?”


Then my second thought was, “How do I handle this situation?”


My Mama Bear blood boiled. But I hesitated to confront them because I feared it would turn into a big ordeal. More than anything, I didn’t want it to ruin our day. I just wanted to enjoy time with my boy. So what to do??

“How joyful are those who fear the Lord and delight in obeying his commands. Their children will be successful everywhere; an entire generation of godly people will be blessed.” Psalm 112:1-2 NLT

So many times as a mom I try to mold my child’s circumstances rather than letting those circumstances shape who God wants him to become. (Tweet this.)

Today’s verse reminds me that I can be joyful all the time because my delight is in the Lord. Even in times of turmoil. I don’t need to worry about these little bumps in the road for my child. As long as I keep my delight in the Lord, He will guide our kids’ steps.


With my mind swirling around the abrupt interruption to an otherwise beautiful day, I noticed something astounding. In the midst of my confusion over what to do, my son had already forgotten about the whole thing. He was off making new friends and embarking on new pirate adventures.


Our waterpark adventure was only one of many times I fretted over how to ‘do this parenting thing right’. But over the years I’ve seen how God uses those difficult circumstances to strengthen and develop him. Today our boy’s a young adult, and sometimes I still fall into the trap of trying to control the outcome of his experiences. So when I’m tempted to fret over struggles that come his way, I can remember this. God doesn’t have anything less than His very best planned for my kids.

It may not look anything like what I envision, and that’s OK. God’s way is always best.

Blessings,

Kristine





Are the What Ifs Controlling Your Life?

Our devotion this week comes from a good friend and great Bible teacher, Ellen Chauvin. I know you will enjoy her contribution to our series on BELIEF. Let’s learn what God’s Word has to say about letting the What Ifs control our lives!


I grabbed the pen, eager to sign up as a volunteer at the local pregnancy crisis center. There were several opportunities available: Provide food for meeting - umm, nope not my area; Wash and fold donated baby clothes - ouch! Laundry! I can't keep up with mine and my hubby's, much less add more. That's out; Reception, answer phones - Ahhh, I can handle busy (or not) office phones! I am no stranger to complicated phone systems. I can do this!



My hand trembled. I gripped the pen tighter, poised above the paper that said "Reception/Phones." Only, I couldn't do it. I couldn't put pen to paper.  I wanted to help. They needed help. I believed in the work the center was doing.  



I put the pen down and walked away. Without signing up.



The "What if's" got the better of me when I over analyzed the situation. Sure, it was only answering phones. I'd worked in professional offices long enough to be very comfortable with phone etiquette. But...



What if I say something wrong? What if I discourage a young, pregnant mom by saying the wrong thing? What if she chooses not to come in, and instead seeks an abortion? What if...?

~~~~~~

I'm no stranger to What if situations. Looking back, it seems that me and "What If" have been besties since I was a child!

"Do you want to ride the ferris wheel?"

"Nooooo, what if it gets stuck at the top?"

"How about the roller coaster?"

"Noooo, what if it flies off the tracks?"



How many times do we allow the What Ifs to scare us off?



"Do you want to ________________?” (Fill in the blank.)

"Noooo, what if the absolute worst happens?"

~~~~~~~~

Jesus told the synagogue official in Mark 5:36 "Don't be afraid. Just believe." But first, we have to figure out what we are  afraid of. That night, fear made me turn my back on a worthy cause. Fear has held me back from many, many opportunities. Often, when we say no to an opportunity, it isn't because it's outside of God's will, but  because it is outside of our comfort zone. We're not willing, because we fear the unknown. We're not willing, because we don't believe. We're not willing because we imagine the worst case scenario.



In their book Experiencing God, Henry and Richard Blackaby say that when God invites us to join Him in His work, He has a God-sized assignment for us. We realize pretty quickly that we can't do this on our own, and without God's help we will fail.



"This is the crisis of belief when you must decide  whether to believe God for what He wants to do through you." (Experiencing God, page 134)



Do we really believe that God will provide everything we need in order to carry out His will? That Jesus is faithful and He will equip us? Will God really be with us, never leaving or forsaking us? Will He really equip us? Do we believe that God is sovereign and in control of ALL THINGS?


At this point, the best prayer to pray is "God, I don't want to do this without You. I can't, without You!"


"Then Moses said, "If You don't personally go with us, don't make us leave this place." Exodus 33:15 NLT


And then?

Believe.

Take a step of faith over fear.

Sign your name. Volunteer. Face your fear, with God.

Know that in doing God's will, you WILL have His presence.



Lord God, I believe! Help my unbelief! I want to stand firm and follow Your will, even when it's outside my comfort zone! Thank You Jesus, for equipping me and holding me tight even when I am fearful. Amen.



Ellen pens her stories from the Bayou Country of South Louisiana, where gumbo and crawfish reign and majestic oaks provide shade for weary sojourners. When not writing and digging into God’s Word, you can find Ellen digging in her flower beds, relaxing on the back porch, hanging out with her grandkids, or traveling with her husband John.

Ellen has loved writing since high school, but this passion lay dormant for many decades. When her mom passed away in 2011, Ellen felt the Lord urging her to write her stories. She shares these deep truths from God’s Word in teachable, relatable and often funny stories that help women see God’s faithfulness in their own lives.

Ellen is passionate about scripture and her desire is to see women dig into God’s Word and thirst after Him with all their hearts. She writes at EllenChauvin.com, where she encourages her readers to soak in God’s Word and sprout seeds of faith.

She has contributed to Deeper Waters, Word Nerd Wednesday, The Laundry Moms, Sweet to the Soul, The Consilium and The Message, a study magazine published annually by the women’s department of WEGOM, a non denominational evangelistic organization in Nigeria.

Follow Ellen on Facebook and Twitter.