God Bless the Children.

“I can do everything through him who gives me strength.”  Philippians 4:13

Having a relationship with God isn’t always easy.  There are lots of times that I feel as if I’m not strong enough for the things he’s asking me to do, for the challenges I’m facing, and believe me, this year I’ve had my share.  But I have come to learn that God will always be there for us, we just have to choose to let him. And often times those moments that seem the darkest, turn out to be our greatest blessings.

As the parent of a child with significant special needs, and a drive to seriously hurt himself, there are many times when I have looked up and cried out to God, “why”?!  My heart breaks every time I’m not fast enough to stop Hayden from punching himself or when I hear from staff that Hayden has hit his head again.  (There’s a reason he wears a hockey helmet.)  But if I have learned anything these last 18 years, it is that Hayden’s life has purpose and it isn’t always about me.  By choosing to let go of him, by allowing other people into his life to help him, I know that God has used him to change lives and I’m sure he will continue to do so.

I read an article this weekend about how God measures productivity.  Many of us live with the mindset that we need to get as much done as possible in as little time as possible.  I am no exception and especially before my accident, I would often feel guilty if I wasn’t going at full speed. But, the point of this article was that maybe sometimes we need to sit in traffic, to be late, to not get something done.  It isn’t always given to us to know how the actions and events in our lives ripple out to affect other people.  That’s part of trusting in God.

When we are children, it is the responsibility of our parents to guide us and protect us from things that we aren’t cognitively or emotionally aware of.  Don’t you think it’s possible that God does the same thing for us? Maybe he’s protecting us when we are waiting at that red light or we get delayed in the drive-thru. If there is a God out there capable of creating the universe and everything in it from a vast emptiness (and I sincerely believe that there is) then he is more than capable of being able to love and care for each one of us individually.

It isn’t always given to us to know why bad things happen in our lives, but if we trust in our Father (just as we hope our children trust in us) then I know it is possible for him to make everything for our good. And, just as we are there for our children, giving them strength through their hurts and disappointments, there is nothing we can’t do, or get through with Him who gives us strength.

God bless,

Meredith

You Have to Knock.

September has arrived and school is back in session.  For me that means Isaac and I are sitting down to our first full year of home schooling.  He’s in grade six now and I’ve decided this year to assign blocks of time and then anything he doesn’t get done in that block means he has homework, if he gets done early, it’s free time.  So far it seems to be working.  I definitely feel less pressure to get through things quickly.

I think in one of my last blog posts I talked about God lighting up the way like a runway.  As if to confirm that for me, over the last week I have had several experiences in which God placed huge “This is the right decision to make” signs in front of me.

I was sharing these experiences with a loved one and they responded that they had never really received those types of signs.  And then we started talking about whether or not God plays favorites.  I think that the obvious answer to that question is no.  But it’s similar to discussions I’ve had with my priest about whether everyone gets into heaven.  I’ll share his analogy.  In your own home, when a stranger knocks on your door do you invite them in?  Sit down to dinner with them?  Or is that invitation reserved for those who you know intimately and who know you?

I actually believe that God has already invited everyone in for dinner.  And that he keeps a basket of gifts beside the door that he is just waiting to shower us with.  The problem is not that God won’t invite us in, it’s more that we can’t bring ourselves to walk up and knock on the door.  We allow fear and doubt to get in our way.  We listen to others who tell us that God doesn’t exist, instead of listening to the truth in our heart.

And here’s the thing, the more you knock on that door, the more you sit down and spend time with God, have a conversation with him, the more you allow him to give you those gifts that he is keeping for you.  It’s not that God plays favorites, he loves every single one of us exactly the same amount.  Jesus says that he will leave the 99 to find the 1 lost sheep.  But that sheep has to want to be found.  God will get down on his knees for you.  He will sacrifice his only son for you.  He will spend the entirety of your life calling out to you, but you have free will, you have to decide for yourself to answer that invitation.  You have to decide to walk up to that door and knock.  And if you do, the next time a friend shares a story of God’s blessings and gifts in their lives, you’ll have a story to share too.

God bless,

Meredith

Dogs & Horses & Conventions…OH MY!

Have you ever had a moment or a day in your life in which everything seems to come together almost as if by magic?  I had one of those this week and let me tell you as soon as things started happening, I knew exactly who to thank.

If you’re a regular reader of this blog then you know that about three months ago I had a serious fall while riding my young horse.  It has been a longer road to recovery than I had anticipate, but by the middle of July I was riding our sweet little pony again.  I call him my rehab horse.  A little over a week ago I thought I was ready to get back on my mare.  Boy was I wrong.  As much as I tried, I just could not relax and trust her and let go of my fear.  And because I was afraid, she was afraid.  It was a disaster waiting to happen.

There are some obvious messages here about fear and trust and faith, but I’m what I want to share with you today is different.  My horse needs more miles under saddle and I’m not in a place, mentally or physically to give them to her right now, so I got a recommendation for a fantastic trainer, who lives roughly three hours away.  Late last week the trainer contacted me to let me know that she had a stall free and that I could bring my girl up anytime.

Now these two weeks are probably the busiest weeks of my summer with comic book conventions back to back.  We arrived home from Boston on Monday and we are heading out today for Toronto.  I had someone lined up to take her, but he wasn’t available until Friday and I wasn’t going to send her off to a new place alone.  I basically had one day this week that was open to take her, so I resigned myself to sending her up next week.  I mean, really what’s a few days, right?

We had also planned on picking up our new puppy Sunday night after Fan Expo since she was in the Toronto area.  So then I thought, well maybe I could go up Wednesday this week and pick up the puppy to save us the extra driving after the convention, when we would be exhausted.  At that moment the rational side of my brain kicked in, looked at the mountain of things to be accomplished in two days and dispelled that idea.

This is the moment when God stepped in and took over.  When I arrived at the barn Tuesday morning to see the horses, a casual conversation with the barn owner revealed that there was a horse from our barn going up the next day to Guelph for surgery, and there was space on that trailer.  A few messages later and my horse was booked.  Okay I thought, I’m going to be close, maybe I can pick up puppy too?  If you’ve seen my Facebook feed, you know the answer to that question.

The point is, I didn’t imagine, couldn’t possibly have imagined that all of the logistic Lego pieces could possibly fit together so easily and so perfectly.  God surprised me.  Without my even asking for help or realizing I needed it, He stepped in and solved my problems.  I’m calling it my birthday present.  But think about it.  How many times in your life has God taken a seemingly impossible situation and made everything slide together as if it was always intended to be that way?

Some people call that luck…I call that my heavenly Father reminding me how much he cares.  I am so grateful and blessed that God loved me enough to call my name, to pursue me and to welcome me as his child.  Maybe you haven’t fully decided yet how you feel about God, but I promise you that if you are reading this, he knows exactly how he feels about you…YOU ARE LOVED.

God bless,

Meredith

Here’s a video that perfect echos that sentiment.