Saturday, March 18, 2017

A father's love

Imagine all the best qualities you might see in fathers today...

  • A daddy who is playful with his children, who snuggles and cuddles them and takes time for them.
  • A father who is present in teaching his children to ride a bike, to skate, to read or to draw.
  • A papa who forgives quickly and offers feedback his child can handle.
  • A daddy who builds up his daughter with words, telling her she is beautiful and special and has a lot to offer the world.
  • A dad who asks his daughter how her day was, then tells her he is proud of how she handled herself.
  • A father who sits across the table over coffee and offers wisdom to his daughter's questions and concerns.
  • A daddy who gives eye contact, attention and affirmation.
  • A father who would talk to someone on his child's behalf, opening the door of opportunity for her.
  • A papa who scoops his daughter in his arms when she returns home from a weekend away.
  • A dad who respects others and quietly serves the needs he sees around him.

I have seen every one of these scenarios in the world around me and when I do, my heart is warmed. This list could go on and on... watch and see. These traits may not all be present in one man, but collectively, we know what fatherhood can be.

Whether or not we have these things with our own fathers, and whether or not our children have these things from their daddies -- these are the traits of loving dads and we know them when we see them. They bring security, peace and confidence. The child can feel loved, valued and treasured.

All the above describes our Father in Heaven. All of these traits were designed and are modeled by Him. This is the way God our Father loves each one of us. Soak in that. Can you believe it? Can you really receive it?

If we knew this with all our hearts, minds and souls, why would we ever doubt?

Our Father, loving Daddy, please reveal to me what my relationship with you could be like. What would you like me to know about you? Would you help me to hear your voice and to understand the way you see me? Fill me with joy and peace as I trust in you so that I may overflow with hope. (Romans 15:13)

Thursday, March 2, 2017

Finding God in the Quiet

Family demands, long to-do lists and no time for self… This is where many of us find ourselves today – or might it be more accurate to say ‘lose ourselves’? But God knows the longings of our souls, including our great need to feel loved, accepted and connected to Him, the source of our ultimate strength and deepest refreshing.

Living connected to the Vine is turning our hearts to Him consistently and making time in our day for Him. Finding some quiet time in each day and finding God in that quiet is so important. It's not easy when there are so many distractions, but taking this time is worth fighting for!

“Solitude is the ONE place where we can gain freedom from the forces of society that will otherwise relentlessly mold us,” according to John Ortberg, pastor and author. “The great danger is not that we will renounce our faith, but that we will become so rushed and distracted that we will settle for a mediocre version of it.”

The discipline of doing it is probably the hardest obstacle. Look up Kerwin Rae and his 3-minute "Pathway to Freedom" video -- it's excellent! It's not a spiritual video, yet it's full of pure truth and very motivational.

Rae maintains that the ultimate key to freedom is structure and discipline. "Because structure and discipline creates freedom," he says. "Unfortunately, for most of us, we don't see structure and discipline as freedom, we see them as an inconvenience, an obstacle, as something we're being forced to do. But structure and discipline creates habit, and the habit sets you free."

On April 22, I'll be speaking at the Women's Breakaway on the topic, "Finding God in the quiet, when my life isn't quiet." I will share insights on how to carve time for that essential revitalization -- to find God in the quiet, when our lives may be anything but quiet.

Heavenly Father, please quiet my spirit today and help me hear your voice. There are so many things that are beyond me to figure out and I long for your wisdom and direction.