Every school year is different. And for all of us, 2020 is guaranteed to be one for the record books.
Back to school supplies now include a computer or tablet.
Wifi routers are now more cherished than marble notebooks.
Pajamas are the new uniforms and Zoom calls have taken the place of cafeteria chatter.
2020 will absolutely be a different school year!
Whether our kids will be doing remote only or some form of hybrid learning, we can face the new normal the same way we’ve tackled every other academic year.
We can pray our way through this pandemic.
It started off like any other prayer but this time, something within me changed.
“Heavenly Father, I come before You today” was all I could say before my voice started to shake and the tears rolled down my face.
Earlier in our morning devotion, my husband and I reflected on our family’s difficult season. It was nothing wrong we’d done; we didn’t fail God in any way. But yet, He allowed a terrible, horrible, no good, very bad circumstance to disrupt our lives.
And it left me broken, bruised and bitter.
I couldn’t see this situation working out for our good no matter how hard I tried. And the more I struggled to find God’s purpose, the more it devastated me.
I knew it was wrong to let in hatred or resentment towards the source of our pain. I knew that even if I had every reason in the world to be angry, God was asking me to forgive.
Still there was a disconnect between what I knew and how I felt.
Can you relate?
“And a great windstorm arose, and the waves were breaking into the boat, so that the boat was already filling. But he was in the stern, asleep on the cushion. And they woke him and said to him, “Teacher, do you not care that we are perishing?” And he awoke and rebuked the wind and said to the sea, “Peace! Be still!” And the wind ceased, and there was a great calm. He said to them, “Why are you so afraid? Have you still no faith?” Mark 4:37-40 ESV
I love falling asleep to the sound of rain. Even as a little girl growing up in the Caribbean, I loved the soothing sound of raindrops dancing on our galvanize roof top.
I love it so much I found the next best thing – YouTube videos – thanks to a simple search phrase – “raindrops on a tin roof”.
And while the videos are a good substitute, they aren’t quite as calming and comforting as hearing a real life rainstorm.
Some days, I’ll check the weather forecast to see what nights it will rain.
Like a kid eagerly anticipating their next treat, I look forward to cuddling up in bed and falling asleep to one of my favorite sounds.
If only it were the same when it came to the storms of life. That kind of downpour I can absolutely live without.
Maybe it’s because they’re unexpected and there’s no app to forecast when they’ll come or how long they’ll last.
There is nothing in this world like welcoming a new life into your family.
And while every labor and delivery story is special, giving birth in the middle of a global pandemic, well that’s a completely different experience.
With so many unknowns, what should be a joyous milestone can easily turn into a stressful and scary reality.
Whether you’re a first time or an experienced mom. Whether you’ll be delivering vaginally or via C-Section. Whether alone or with your support system. We can all find comfort in knowing God is not panicked or unprepared for this next chapter of our stories.
This may not have been a part of your original birthing plans, but there’s still a beautiful, indescribable ending waiting for you.
Soon you’ll be able to hear and touch and see God’s goodness perfectly packaged in your arms.
So if fear and doubt tries to creep into your heart, remind yourself that the same God who saw it fit to bless you with a child in this season, is the same God who will continually be by your side.
Why does summer vacation go by so quickly?
When did school supply lists become so elaborate?
And how complicated is my child’s math homework going to be this year?
I mean honestly, at what point does this process become easier?
Just about every parent I know has already started bracing themselves for another school year.
(For those who’ve already started the 2019-20 school year, God-speed. And for those who are in the final weeks of summer vacation, God-speed as well!)
Each school year brings its own unique challenges. Academically and socially our children are facing more pressures today than any other generation.
But one thing that never changes, is God’s great ability to help us and our kids blossom in any and every environment.
“My brethren, count it all joy when ye fall into divers temptations; Knowing this, that the trying of your faith worketh patience. But let patience have her perfect work, that ye may be perfect and entire, wanting nothing.” James 1:2-4
I’m a girl’s girl!
I’m all for sisterhood. Girl bosses. Female entrepreneurs reshaping their communities.
I’m all for supporting women chasing after their God-given dreams.
But the one her I really, really don’t like? The her that’s written about in the Epistle of James.
If you’re like me, you’ve sat through your share of sermons on patience. You’ve heard time and time again about the importance of waiting and waiting well.
Between the two of us though, I’ve yet to master either skill.
“So let’s not get tired of doing what is good. At just the right time we will reap a harvest of blessing if we don’t give up.” Galatians 6:9
You’re right there!
You’re doing great. Just keep pushing!
After being pregnant for what felt like an eternity it was finally time for my new little one to make his grand entrance to the world.
Over and over the nurses, doctor and my husband kept telling me to push. From their angle they saw how close I was to giving birth.
They saw the complete picture, while all I could do was take them at their word.
Have you ever played the “what if” game?
You know, what if things worked out with (insert name of random ex here)?
What if I made the wrong decision in switching jobs?
What if I waited to do things God’s way?
What if I missed my only chance to pursue my dreams?
I hate playing the what if game, because I always end up loosing:
I lose my peace. I lose my joy. I lose hours of sleep. I lose it all when my mind starts wandering into the endless possibility of what ifs.
I’m guessing you’ve had your share of losses playing the what if game as well.
Letting go of the past, no matter how dysfunctional or damaging it may have been, is never an easy process…even for us super-faith girls.
“For everything there is a season, a time for every activity under heaven.” Ecclesiastes 3:1
Life can change in the blink of an eye.
One moment you can be comfortably cruising through your circumstances. And the next, you can be seriously struggling to keep your head above the waters.
That’s how I felt for the past year and a half.
Don’t worry, I’ll explain!
In the Fall of 2017, I got engaged to my amazing now husband, AJ. Good news right? That was the comfortable part.
Together with our families we settled on an early sumner 2018 wedding date. That gave us a little over nine months to prepare for the most important day of our lives.
It was also the beginning of the seriously struggling part.
“Then she became pregnant a third time and gave birth to another son. He was named Levi, for she said, “Surely this time my husband will feel affection for me, since I have given him three sons!” Genesis 29:34
It took a long time to believe the Bible could help navigate all the roadblocks of my life.
It’s not like I didn’t believe in God. I just never imagined a story from thousands of years ago could speak to my deepest hurt and unmask my hidden scars.
That was before I stumbled across the story of Leah and Jacob.
Tucked in between the pages of Genesis, their relationship could have easily been the main feature on any of today’s reality television shows.
It’s a story woven in rejection and entangled with love and betrayal. And it’s one that unexpectedly tugged on the strings of my single mom heart.