What is the most relaxing thing for you to do?
If you were to pick out something that you find soothing when you are all by yourself, what would it be?
Most folks are constantly on the go, by choice or situations beyond their control. Most of us also have moments of relaxation and things we enjoy doing in a quiet moment, whether gazing into a campfire on a starry night or sitting by the creek, watching the water endlessly trickle downstream.
While we all relish those rare moments, we’re not so fond of the times when our plans get upset and those muscles in our jaws tense as stress rises. We can’t help it; hard things do pop up when we don’t like it at all.
What we decide to do with it is another story. Yes, I said decide; if you are like me, it’s much easier to just do what comes naturally, not decide to choose kindness when ill will come entirely naturally. And you know, those times when I do nothing but try not to be mean, I later find that my feelings seeped right out of my pores, leaving a messy residue on others even when I did not mean to.
Now there are those of you who have significant trauma in your lives; those times call for countless choices to surrender what has happened, and perhaps most effective and difficult of all, telling God we accept it all. Ouch. It does not feel good, but in the end it brings us to tranquility, much deeper than the most relaxing era we talked about a minute ago. We may not be sitting by the creek, watching the water trickle over those stones, but in our hearts we are at rest far more than that favorite spot could ever do.
It may take time to let go without hanging on to maneuver or resist our situation, or so it has been for me. It felt like hundreds of memories were there to haunt me, a million dreams shattered, and future years of joy to be spent with my beloved Daniel crashed in shambles by my feet when he was called home to heaven.
How could six little children make it without the daddy they adore completely? How would I be both a mother and father to them all? And how can it be right that children who have just gone through adoption lose their second father? The questions were real, they would never go away or be answered with a simple statement and nothing in the world would bring him back. Panic was real.
You know, friend, your situation at hand is just as real as mine has been to me; we can’t just shake it or lightly say, “It could be worse.” It’s there, and it’s real to our hearts.
So what do we do?
As God is given a piece at a time as they are given to Him He is standing with His promise of being a Husband to the widow, allowing my heart to be filled with the fullness of his love.
Not only that, it becomes evident that He’s also the One who promised to be a Father to the fatherless. I no longer feel the pressure of being a father and mother both (though I won’t deny the fact that many responsibilities have been added to my plate of duties). Recently as the children and I sat around a campfire Austin built for us, we missed Daddy. His space was empty, but happiness and contentment radiated from six little faces; life was good. God was caring for us, and we were so happy for Daniel that his deepest wish had been granted- to be with Jesus!
The Father loves you who have been walking through the deep valleys; He invites you to moment by little moment roll those burdens onto Him and He will bring relief in spite of the pain that lingers or situations that may not change overnight.
Tonight as I think of food, I wonder what the food in heaven will taste like. Since I’ll have to wait to find out, we’ll go for a recipe used on this side of eternity. This is one we used a lot when I was a young girl. You’ll find it to be a refreshing summer dessert. If you’re like me, you’ll want to thoroughly chill it before serving. Enjoy!
UPSIDE-DOWN DATE PUDDING
1 cup dates, cut-up
1 cup boiling water
1 ½ cups flour
½ cup brown sugar
1 /2 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons butter
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 cup nuts, chopped
1 /2 cup granulated sugar
1 1 /2 cups brown sugar
1 tablespoon butter
1 1 /2 cups boiling water
Blend sugar, eggs, and butter. Add dry ingredients into sugar mixture. Stir in nuts and cooled date mixture. Pour into large cookie pan. Top with sugar sauce. Bake at 375 for 35 – 40 minutes. Add whipped cream or bananas (or both!) and serve.