On Mother’s Day, our family spent the afternoon looking through old photo albums. As we flipped through page after page, I was struck by how quickly time had passed. Glancing at my daughter–taller than me and of course much wiser. 🙂 — I had a strong desire to draw her close, to pull her into my lap like I used to.
But she doesn’t fit, and she balks at snuggles and butterfly kisses.
I wanted to hold her tight just the same, to cherish what little time we have left before she launches into adulthood.
Little did I know, God was stirring my heart for my next big task–one that hits a bit closer to home. It’s funny how He does that. He can (and sometimes does) command us to do something we’d rather not. But most often, He stirs our hearts first, planting a seed of desire.
1 Philippians 2:13 “For it is God who works in you to will and act according to His good purposes.”
On Wednesday, we sat in our KC house, packed boxes all around, my daughter crumpled in my arms, crying. The next day would be her last day of school. She’d have to say goodbye to some dear friends, to a wonderful church, to loving neighbors … to embark on the unknown.
But what she fears most is loneliness. I feared the same–a long lonely summer of her stuck in the house.
Driving that evening, I poured my heart out to God. I know He values community. I know He longs for us to live in close relationships, to avoid isolation. I knew He had a solution, I just couldn’t see it.
So He showed me. This summer, I will be her friend. We’ll turn this event into an extended vacation–an opportunity to explore, have ice-cream, sight see, and giggle over silly things.
Incredible joy swept over me as I realized God had been setting this up all along. It began with a fledgling of a desire, stirred by a very real need, that blossomed into a solution.
What a tender heart He has!
So that’s what I’ll be doing this summer. And while we’re exploring Omaha, I’ll use our time–this move–to show her:
1) God is good, loving, faithful, and true. In all things, always.
2) God can and does turn all things to good. (Romans 8:28)
3) Blessings abide in every storm cloud … if we’d but avert our focus.
4) A faith that is not dependent on our circumstances, but instead, that is rooted in the truth of God.
5) How to trust not in our home, our savings, our friends, but instead, in God’s unfailing love.
Psalm 147:11 “No, the LORD’s delight is in those who fear Him, those who put their hope in His unfailing love.”
What an opportunity God has provided! Making lemonade indeed, and my, is it ever sweet.
Let’s talk about this!
We all experience tragedy, hurdles, storm clouds that attempt to shroud our view and distort our vision … if we let them. But Romans 8:28 tells us God works all things out for our good. That doesn’t mean He’ll fix everything, but instead, that He will use every event, painful and joyful, to mold us into the men and women He created us to be. And that is cause for celebration.
Sadly, I often spend so much time bemoaning my circumstances, I miss out on these hidden and unexpected blessings. Blessings that abound in each day, each trial, each storm cloud. The question is, will I focus on the rainbow or the rain?
Join us at Living by Grace as we talk about making pitchers of lemonade.
And congrats to Dicky To and Nichole Parks, May’s book give-away and gift basket winners!
Dicky, you’ve won a copy of Deborah Rainey’s Remember to Forget.
Nichole, you won the gift basket bundle listed on the May Donors page.
I’ll be contacting you both via email to get your mailing addresses. Be sure to join us Monday for another inspiring “Reach Out to Live Out” story.
Oh how I love this entry Jennifer! I’m going to print it out and save it for those times when the dark cloud is obscuring my vision and I’m uneasy that I can’t see the good I want to see. Of course the words are absolutely true…and of course I already know that…but this is for those times when just for a moment I forget.
Thanks for blessing me with your words of faith!
I’m glad you found it encouraging, Audrey! I love your commitment to remember to seek out God’s goodness! May He bless you with abundantly clear vision. 🙂
Wow, I won a book. Great! Thank you. In regard to your post, I also miss the time when my 2 boys were toddlers. Now I want to hold them in my arms, but they are big now (one is 12, the other soon to be 11). I need to treasure all the time I have with them. Thank you for sharing.
Amen, Dicky! Time goes by so quickly, and what a blessing children are!
Jennifer, your words have touched my heart! How amazing it is that Jesus showed you His plan for you and your baby girl this summer. What is something difficult will become a special blessings. I thank God you have shared this with us! May we all look for the “lemonade” to be made with the lemons we have in our baskets. Much love to you as you share Him more and more!! Love You! ❤
I am often deeply comforted and amazed at how God walks beside us moms. Isn’t it wonderful to know God is always there to guide us? Have a blessed day, my sweet sister!
What a wonderful post. I had the same experience with my daughter during a painful, lonely season. I was able to be her friend as she waited for and developed new community in her life. Such a precious gift.
Cathy, how beautiful! God truly is gracious, loving, and kind! And what a priceless treasure motherhood is!
What a beautiful, loving mom you are to your daughter, Jennifer. She will always look back and see God’s love shining in your face. You’re both a blessing to each other.
Oh, Elaine, you are so sweet! I do hope that is true, that I can show her daily the love of Christ. I know I often fall short, but praise God for His grace that continues to work in me–in us. 🙂 Have a blessed weekend!
May you also have a great weekend.
Another thought concerning your daughter: He has given you an awesome Plan Of Action 🙂
Amen, Elaine! God continually amazes me!
Wonderful post, Jennifer! I can hear your Mother’s heart in this one. What a wonderful opportunity the Lord has given you to be there for your daughter – what a great time to make lasting memories. Praying for you as you embark on your move! Hugs & God bless!
I agree, Maria! This is a priceless opportunity I will cherish. And thanks for your prayers. 🙂
Dear Jennifer thanks for you new post . dear yesterday I was siiting on my relationship manager ‘s Table A sweet looking lady entered in my bank For the moment I thought she belongs to me and after few moments strolling on other counters She came to me and asked for some advice and to my surprise She was a Christian Preacher her name Anju Bala and she told me about many miracles in her Life and now Anju bala is my friend . God is so great and my many problems have been solved . Love you all Jarnail