Archive for October, 2010

The Silent Treatment

Recently, we were able to spend some time with good friends we have known for a very long time. When “old” friends get together, generally the conversation goes back to something that happened in the past that was funny or something that involves our children.

One friend reminded us of a story he had told us many years ago about his daughter. She was one of those challenging children. You know the kind—they LOVE to question everything a parent says and they think having the last word is their God-given right. She was definitely one of those and they spent many years molding and shaping her to be the sweet young lady she is today. But, on many occasions, she certainly helped them fine-tune their parenting skills. You may be in that position yourself right now.

Well, on one particularly trying day, this child had challenged and challenged until her mother had no recourse but to get right in her face and say, “Do NOT say another word and if you do, there will be severe consequences!” (Sound familiar? Yeah, it does to me too.) This normally patient mom was worn completely smooth!

Surprisingly for mom, the child ceased talking and the mom felt as if she had really made some progress. Hearing no sound coming from her normally very vocal daughter, the mom confidently walked away to continue making supper. But, dad, who was peeking from behind a newspaper, noticed what the mother could not see—the now silent daughter had her hand over her mouth guaranteeing no sound could come out, but her head shaking violently “NO.”

Many years ago, a man named Art Linkletter bought stories of children who said, as he put it “the darnest things” to the American public’s attention. In the above story, this child didn’t say a thing, but her insides were speaking loud and clear—she was NOT on the same page as her mother.

There are many lessons to be learned from this child’s response. One would be that even as adults we may be silent, but our body language sends messages to our husbands and children that may not be God-honoring. Another and a more important one would be concerning God. How many times do we silently let God know we are unhappy or disappointed or in disagreement with Him? We don’t verbalize it, but our actions speak for us and those actions tell God that we do not trust Him to handle the situation.

Our God is a deliverer! It’s that simple. What He promises to happen, will happen! And we are promised that if we put our hope in Him, He will take care of us.

I will leave you with the same message Paul gave the Romans found in Romans 15:13:

“May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.”

Don’t give God the silent treatment. Open your heart and let him FILL you with joy and peace.







Put God on the Decorating List

Well, the rush is on. While pumpkins are snuggling down in the pumpkin patch, the Christmas trees pace the floor to gained the prized position. In fact, Christmas decorations no longer get their own season as the familiar green and red colors now share shelf space with scarecrows, pumpkins, and an assortment of pilgrims and turkey platters. No wonder time goes by so quickly these days. Marketing geniuses have us living three seasons in ONE! I find myself confused as to which holiday I’m supposed to be decorating for!

This marketing strategy is also partly to blame for the “stressed to the max” feeling we can get this time of year. What’s a busy mom to do? Here’s one thing we can do. Don’t get distracted by all the glitz and glamour of upcoming holidays and forget about what is really important. Take a minute to breathe and remember the words to an old hymn, “I need thee every hour.” Now, here’s where another distraction could happen. Don’t be distracted by the word “thee”, which is “old school” talk to us today. Rather take a minute to think about what that hymn really says. I’m going to modernize the words for us all so we can eliminate one distraction. Read with me:

I need You every hour, most gracious Lord;
No tender voice like Yours can peace afford.
I need You, O I need You;
Every hour I need You;
O bless me now, my Savior,
I come to You.

We do need God every hour, don’t we? Sometimes we have him on our calendar book in terms of weekly or maybe daily, but in reality, we need Him hourly. In around 1968 hours, we celebrate the birth of Jesus, but we shouldn’t let one hour pass without celebrating His greatness, goodness, and love. As the “stressful” holiday season is fast approaching, you can quickly de-stress by closing your eyes and praising God. Truly, there is no voice like His, no comfort greater than He can give, no joy that can measure up to what He can supply.

So, while you’re out and about either looking for a candle to make your home smell as comforting as an apple pie on chilly day or new decorations so your home will look as festive as the White House at Christmas, remember to stop, look and listen for God. He’s the decorator of all things beautiful and He never has to be put up in the attic.

Have a GRRRR-EAT day.