In case you missed it, here is the link to CBN.com devotionals:
In case you missed it, here is the link to CBN.com devotionals:
My dad loved ketchup. He called it catsup. Put it on almost everything. He joked about adding it to ice cream. I never saw him do it, but knowing him, he could have.
Sometimes, the newly-opened, glass ketchup bottle wouldn’t bring forth actual ketchup. I still remember him holding it sideways and taping it on his index finger. This became a teaching moment for me.
“Pauline, sometimes the ketchup forms a vacuum and you have to do this.” Tap, tap, tap, wait, wait, wait.
I’d hold my breath. For a long time. If it took too long, he pulled out a bread knife and stuck it in the ketchup to break the vacuum.
Eventually, our french fries would be liberally covered in Heinz.
I’m waiting now, but not for ketchup.
My mom went to heaven 6 months ago today. I just realized this was the day as I’m sitting in a semi-dark living room thinking. After her death, there were arrangements, travel, family, finances, all of the usual stuff you do when your mom dies.
I’m not sad she died since I know she is in heaven. I think oftentimes I felt sadder when she was here. After fourteen years of in-house caregiving and watching both my parents lose all of their independence, I grieved more for them then.
I still grieve. It’s just with bright hope.
But after all the travel and funeral arrangements and decisions, I came home to our farm. The day I arrived, Tom was laid off from his sign company job. Instead of being anxious, I said, “It’s a God thing. We need some time alone.”
And we did. And then I got some type of flu and Tom cared for me. And then he got a job and I stayed home.
And I liked it. A lot. I prayed and read and sat and slept. And then I did all of those things again and again.
A few months later, I participated in the local farmers markets with my homemade salsa, pesto, and jellies. But salsa sales are slipping and people are busier which means not much money coming in.
So, my question is, What now? The first years of my marriage, I was a young married professional, then a mother, then a home school teacher, and finished off as a caregiver/farmer/food entrepreneur.
The proverbial ketchup bottle is tipped sideways and nothing’s coming out. I have a writing agent, 3 proposals in with three different publishing houses, but no one is busting down my door.
And money is short. Not gone–in fact, by the world’s standards we are rich. I’m not complaining. But I have applied for jobs. I’m ready to wear grown-up clothes and be around people, and have conversations, and minister outside of my home. But when you’re fifty something and haven’t worked as a professional for several years, finding a job is tough.
As I thought about all of these things today, I remembered a prayer I prayed to the Lord about three years ago, and still have on my prayer cards. I asked to be a woman of faith. A woman who trusted God and encouraged others to trust Him, too. Sure, I can point to numerous times in the past when God came through in ways I never imagined. Miraculous, even.
But that’s not today. It doesn’t pay the bills next week. Or next month or next year.
Bottom line is, do I really believe what I say I believe?
By God’s grace and through His strength, Yes. I just need to remind my anxious heart.
Maybe you are waiting for the ketchup, too.
Let’s wait together.
Those french fries are going to be awesome…
Bent over the bathtub, holding on to my grandson, my heart exploded.
Funny how grand kids do that to hearts.
One day, I’m just a mid-life woman with two adult children, the next day I become “Nana” to our beautiful grandson Silas. And my little girl is giving him a bath–quite confidently, I might add.
“Okay Silas, Mommy will pour the water over your head.” Followed by lots of laughing and clapping. “Good job!” Sarah says with a smile.
In fact, smiles abound.
All of a sudden, my mind is transported to a little blond-headed girl standing by my side in our outdated blue bathroom.
“Look at him smile, Mommy!” Sarah says, staring at her little brother. She turns to me with her gold-flecked eyes and smiles. My heart melts.
“Hey Micah, your Sissy is here with you and loves you,” Sarah says tickling my son.
The most joyful laughter I’ve ever heard to this day erupts from my baby boy as he laughs, looking into his big sister’s face.
“Go get Micah’s towel for Mommy, will you Sissy?” Blond wisps cover her warm eyes.
Sarah momentarily disappears and comes back with a soft white towel with a built-in lamb’s cap. I cradle my little boy and rub his sweet head with the towel complete with lamb ears.
The memory fades and I’m back to the present.
“Mom, can you get Silas’s towel?”
I grab the soft white lamb-eared towel from the hook that hangs over the bathroom door and hand it to my gold-flecked-eyed daughter. She cuddles her boy and kisses his head. Then she hands him to me.
“Silas, go to your Nana.”
And smiling, he reaches out his little arms for me.
And I kiss his sweet head.
And the love overflows from my heart in thanksgiving to God.
“Okay, Sister. After you peel the potatoes, put them in this,” my daddy said pointing to a metal gadget with a handle. “Then turn this and they come out sliced ready for the frying pan.” Dad shifted his head, faced me, and smiled.
My 8-year-old-self couldn’t help but smile back. When you’re 8 and it’s Saturday morning, you get to watch cartoons AND make breakfast with your Father–well, what’s not to smile about?
In fact, just thinking about those Saturday mornings make me smile now and I’m well into my 50′s.
So when I read Beth Moore’s study of Thessalonians 3:1, and her definition of prayer, I beamed and warmed at the same time. Here’s a quote:
“Prayer is accepting a royal summons to the King for breakfast with your dad.”
Munch on that for a while.
Here’s another quote:
“God loves you. He loves your company. He loves to search the depths of your soul and hear the dreams of your heart. He knows what troubles you when you crawl into bed and what awaits when you crawl out. He knows why you’re scared and where you’re unprepared.”
You know, as great as my earthly father was, sometimes he was too busy for me, or too far away, or maybe just too preoccupied to listen.
But not my heavenly Daddy.
Recently, in our church home group, we discussed prayer. One man I admire in our church prays this way.
Father, we come to you by the blood of Jesus, and through the power of the Holy Spirit.
And it’s not just for Saturdays. We can come anytime we want.
And have breakfast.
And you can skip the cartoons and enjoy the feast.