Perhaps Not Fathers Day Brunch but a Glass of Juice

There’s a storm rolling in for some.

Reservations for Breakfast. Big Brunches. Big plans.

The Hallmark holidays meant to be meaningful and connecting can be for some, like a storm on the horizon, blowing in closer like a massive wave until it hits the heart. There may not be a table dressed in white linens with fine food to enjoy with 10 other people, pancakes presented, a present to unwrap or phone call to place with, “Happy Fathers Day” greetings.

There may be screaming kids under foot, laughter, a messy kitchen, barking dogs, teens with attitudes, toddlers with tempers and disorganization and chaos. There might be plans that don’t go the way one wants (or, if you’re lucky, a perfect summer’s day outing!) As moms and families that are real and flawed, sometimes that’s just the way these days go, right moms? But we try, right?

Instead of an in-person visit with families, there might be Facetime, a phone call or text. Phones and screens can carry and deliver our love, thoughts and words or a mail carrier can deliver that special card from across the miles. There’s no substitute for the in-person hug, we know that, and we lament that distance when there is some, and do the best we can at making those living afar, feel loved.

For those whose time has passed, we remember them, their love and what they meant by  re-telling stories, sharing memories, and using the day to reflect and honor the impact their love and presence had in our lives. The hole felt can be filled by remembering that parts of who we are today are largely due to their presence and active role in our lives.

There might be men and or relationships worthy of cherishing and people to reach out to as a man can impart the qualities of a father without the title, “Father.” I am sure there are many who are blessed by those who have come into their lives and have filled in those cracks and spaces with love, support and friendship.

So find that father, that friend, that someone who has helped, loved or supported you and/or celebrate the one in your life. Maybe it’s your own husband, father, special friend, coach, teacher, neighbor or a relative. Fathers Day does not have to be defined by fancy tables (but no harm if there is one, hope it’s at the Four Seasons!) but remembering with love who we have lost, and appreciating those we have and how we can  make their day and hearts, a bit sunnier and brighter.

Sometimes simplicity of the day is all that is needed and some good old fashioned appreciation.

Even over a simple glass (or plastic cup) of orange juice.

New on the 1st, the 20th in January or June

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We don’t need January 1st for a new beginning nor to begin again.  Every day is an opportunity to be renewed and re-directed as God sees fit. He is always at work in you–on the 1st, the 5th or the 16th, be it January, August or October. Aside from making you a new creation (which is a huge “aside”), He is also creating new things that make you YOU.

A different you.

An even more purposeful you.

A Godly you.

When we feel frustrated with what might be happening and perhaps worried about what isn’t happening, the LORD is creating new things.  He is at work. Trimming. Cutting. Shaping. What exactly is He refining and working through?

Your pain.

Your questions.

Your doubts.

Your fears.

Your desires.

Your old ways.

Your goals.

Your knowledge.

Your direction.

Your heart.

“I am the true vine, and my Father is the gardener. He cuts off every branch in me that bears no fruit, while every branch that does bear fruit he prunes so that it will be even more fruitful. You are already clean because of the word I have spoken to you. No branch can bear fruit by itself; it must remain in the vine. Neither can you bear fruit unless you remain in me.” (John 15:1-4) 

Praise God for His power to help us bear the right fruit and the personal need to abide in Him to do so. 

New happens TODAY. Each day.

Thank you God, that you care that much about us to not let us wither nor die on the vine but to prosper and become the best we can be for your glory. Thank you for the new life that you breathe into our lives and circumstances because of the old that you bore and took away through your Son.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Brownie or Not, God’s Got the Plate

 

Image credit: bhofack2 / 123RF Stock Photo

 My how quickly can our good intentions and goals get overshadowed by the reality of old ways.   Where we have vowed to give up sugar, we  have nibbled with delight on something brown. With fierce determination where we have committed to have more self control, that impatient tone of voice returns.

Don’t despair, Mom. God is in control even 48 hours into the New Year.

Keep praying. Keep your goals ahead of you. Keep God in front and He will lead you to the places He wants you to be. To the habits He wants you to have. To the tasks He wants you to take on.

He can give you discipline.

He can give you self control.

He can give you patience.

All your wants and good intentions are still real and He will equip you to accomplish them. Or, He’ll turn you around and show you what He wants to accomplish through you.

He will strengthen you.

And He will carry you when you fall.

There is still a next time. New Year or Not.

His grace is sufficient in your failings and mistakes because of His love for you.

So if you eat the brownie or lose patience with your children, stop and pray for what you need in that moment and in the ones to come. By turning to Him, you can approach your goals, intentions and future opportunities with a fresh start and the right perspective.

His.

No matter how many hours into 2014 you are, turning to Him for strength and for your plans is the right direction to move. He’s got the plate–crumbs and all, and He’s got you.

 

Scripture References

“Be still and know that I am God.” (Psalm 46:10)

“Commit your work to the Lord and your plans will be established.” (Proverbs 16:13)

“I will strengthen you and help you, I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.”  Isaiah 41:10

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Best Motivation: love

Regardless of what is going on around you, may what and who is above, bring purpose and peace in all that you do today.  “Hear, O Israel: The LORD our God, the LORD is one. 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 upon 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 hand and bind them on your foreheads. Write them on the doorposts of your house and upon your gates.” (Deut 6:4-9)

These words are known in Judaism as the “Shema,” the most common Jewish prayer that illustrates the Jewish peoples’ declaration of their faith and allegiance in the One true God.  This prayer is often said upon rising in the morning and before turning in for the night. As a child, this was the first prayer I ever learned in my home and while attending Hebrew School–as an adult, it is a prayer I cherish having discovered the fulfilled prophecies of the promised Messiah written in the Old Testament scriptures.

No matter where you are on your faith journey, may you find peace in loving God despite all the ways we can get sidetracked, much like the Israelites did when Moses recited these words as a cornerstone for living. May your day be shaped by God’s love and filled with His Shalom, His peace.