Next Steps

My boys are starting 1st grade today.  One day last week, we had been talking about school starting back and they had gotten excited about it.  However, later that evening, Joshua called me into his room.  Through tears, he said, “Mom I’m not ready for 1st grade.”  I assured him he was more than ready.  I began to encourage him by recalling all the things he had learned in kindergarten and how he had passed with very good grades.  I also reminded him he was my brave little boy and he could do anything with Jesus by his side.

After a bit, it seemed to make him feel better and he stopped crying.  In my mind, I tried to figure out what had brought that on.  Then I attempted to see this big transition through his little eyes.  God reminded me of times when He had asked me to move up to a different level, make a change that took me out of my comfort zone, or take a step of faith out into the unknown.  During many of those transitions, I realized I had been that scared little child crying and saying, “I’m not ready for this.”  However, my loving Father would not have instructed me to do any of these things if He had not first prepared me for the next leg of the journey. 

stepsSometimes it’s hard for us to see what big plans God has in store for us using our small vision.  There will be times when the direction may not even make sense in our minds.  However, it should be comforting to know our Heavenly Father has gone before us and made a way.  He knows what lies ahead even when we can’t see it.  He cares for us and would never send us into something without preparing us beforehand.  I am thankful for the times I stepped out in faith, even when I had to do it afraid.  I can look back now and see how far God has brought me, and I realize His mercy and grace carried me when I couldn’t see the next step. 

The Lord makes firm the steps of the one who delights in Him.  Psalm 37:23 (NIV)

I would like to encourage you to hold on to this promise for yourself and your children.  Teach them about how God orders our steps but more importantly teach them how to delight in Him.  Help them to always remember He provides the strength we need to continue our journey.

 I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.  Philippians 4:13 (NKJV)

Life’s Detours

detour-clipart-KTje5n4acThis morning, a series of events at home caused me to leave for work later than I normally would.  As I traveled my usual route to work, I was met by a detour put in place by the Sheriff’s Office.  I was required to take an alternate, lengthier route – along with many other cars.  As I traveled this other route, I was grumbling because I knew after seeing the numerous cars detouring with me, I was probably going to arrive late to work.  This would be the first day I have ever clocked in late to my current job, without having a scheduled appointment as the reason.  I was not happy about this at all.

A few days earlier, someone had asked me to sign a copy of my book, Seasons of a Mom’s Life.  I asked God what would He have me write in the books when I signed them.  I heard the words, “Seek Him.”  This is what I decided to write, along with the following Scripture reference:

“For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.  Then you will call on Me and come and pray to Me, and I will listen to you.  You will seek Me and find Me when you seek Me with all your heart.”  Jeremiah 29:11-13 (NIV)

As I waited in the long line of traffic, I told myself to be calm because there was nothing I could do about this situation.  As I sat there, I heard those same two words, “Seek Him.”  I decided to do just that…seek Him.  At least my wait wouldn’t be wasted time if I spent it with God.

After arriving at work, I received a text from my friend, who was checking on me.  She had seen a report about a crash involving multiple cars at one of the intersections on my commute.  It occurred around the time I normally go through that area and in the news photos there was a car like mine.  At first, I wasn’t aware of exactly what had happened until I searched for it on the news site.  I then understood this was the reason for my detour earlier.  Once I read the details of the incident, I realized if I had left home on time this morning I would have been in the exact spot around the same time this major accident took place.  Had I left at my normal time, would I have been caught up in this crash?  Only God knows the answer to that.  What I do know is He directs my steps, even the steps of inconvenience.

I decided this morning to make every effort not only to seek Him but thank Him, even in the delays, setbacks, and detours.  I know it won’t be an easy feat because my flesh will instead want to grumble and complain.  I will attempt to remind myself He directs my steps, and thankfully His vision is clear and far more reaching than I can ever imagine.  Join me as I condition myself to seek Him and thank Him, even in life’s detours.