Looking Ahead

Today, for maybe the first time, I felt excited about the season of life I’m slowly heading into. And it came about in an interesting way.

My husband and I were talking this morning about cooking. More specifically, I was sharing about how I am still having trouble navigating the diet I need now – all the restrictions in food and preparation, etc. As I told a friend recently, the kitchen used to be one of the favorite rooms in my house, but now it just reminds me of all I can’t do and eat anymore.

It was a good conversation. I got a chance to share some practical and emotional challenges I’ve had lately. And my husband had some insightful things to say about both. His main point was that I needed to base the family meals more around the basics that I could tolerate than what I thought everyone else wanted.

What he said reminded me of something I believe God whispered to me last week. As I prayed for peace during an upsetting and exhausting time, I got a message to “Let go.” It could have applied only to the situation at hand, but for some reason I felt it went beyond that. It felt like a bigger, broader command.

Now, I am not one to let go easily of anything. I cling to what I know, whether it is helpful or not. Letting go has always meant losing something or someone which causes me sorrow. Kind of a narrow definition, to be sure. But this morning, I dared to consider how letting go could lead to something better.

How?

  • If I let go of trying to feed (take care of, fix problems for) everyone in the family, I’ll take better care of myself
  • If I let go of worrying about whether everyone likes what I cook (do, say, think), I’ll be more free to discover what’s good for me
  • If I let go of striving to make sure my food (work, ministry) is always perfect, I can gain more enjoyment from what I do and be more of a blessing

Do you see how that ripples out? I do now. Instead of just being a reason to grieve, letting go can be a gateway to new adventures. And that’s exciting!

So, I’m revisiting my diet and my life, ready to clear out what doesn’t nourish me anymore.

Big Decisions

LORD, I know that people’s lives are not their own; it is not for them to direct their steps.”                                        Jeremiah 10:23

This morning I’m taking my son to a college open house. This isn’t just any college, though. It happens to be my and my husband’s Alma mater (I won’t tell you how long ago!).

We traveled to one other school, which he fell in love with – the location, the program, the campus were all really inviting to him. He applied there and actually got accepted. But, he got very little financial aid from them. As you can imagine, he was pretty crestfallen for a few days. Then he got an acceptance letter from “my” school, with a generous aid package.

It’s been a bit of an emotional roller coaster, and I’ve been riding it along with him. So many factors to consider, and he’s doing an admirable job of sorting through it all. Today should hopefully add more pieces of information to the puzzle.

As he ponders, I’ve been praying. When faced with a big decision, I know how easy it is to stay focused on data. In my own life, I’ve needed other people to remind me sometimes to pray. I don’t ever mean to leave God out of the loop, but I get fixated on what’s in front of me.

The truth is, though, God already knows what choices we’re facing. Not only that, He knows what His best plan for us is. He wants to reveal that plan to us – but He won’t force Himself on us. And, as much as we like to think that making up our own mind makes us powerful and independent, we just aren’t. Even when we think we have all the information, our picture is still incomplete.

I’m so grateful to know that our Heavenly Father always knows where we are. And as I walk with my son through the tour today, I’ll be lifting up a few quick prayers that my son would hear God’s wisdom along with the professors!

What big decisions are you facing right now? Are you asking God to show you the way?