Asha and I have known each other since our college days. We have seen one another get married and start families, and through it all we have marveled at how our life journeys could be so alike and yet so different at the same time. As moms and as women, we are all tied together through our shared experiences of raising children and helping to lead our families towards God’s grace.
As we struggled to find our way through the chaos that is parenthood, we found that there were several truths that continually cropped up in our lives that encouraged and convicted us. We realized as time passed that we were two women that struggled to accept change…and as any parent with an infant or toddler knows, change happens on a weekly, if not daily, basis.
Once we began to accept that fact that God has called us to a life of changed plans, we began to better appreciate life for what it is: a beautiful mess that somehow God is able to mold into a work of art. We may make plans, but it is the Lord that directs our steps, and as hindsight has showed us, Him being in control of our lives always turns out much better than when we take the reigns and try to blaze our own trails.
This devotional is a peek into a few of the moments of our lives that illustrate God’s changes to our plans, as well as our insights into how those plans are always better than what we could have ever hoped for.
We are so unbelievably excited for this book; while we believe that all moms can find support and encouragement from this devotional, our hope is that it is a special blessing to moms that – like us – are deep in the trenches of early motherhood and need the peace and rest that can so often evade us while our children are very young.
Below are two excerpts from the devotional; we would love to hear your comments and feedback!
If you are like me – a goal-oriented person – a huge part of pregnancy was just getting to that finish line. I enjoyed reading about each new week of development on the baby blogs that I followed, and waiting in anticipation for my precious new bundle to emerge. However, like most things in life we can only plan so much. My ‘get from A to B’ plan took a dramatic detour when I had no choice, but to undergo an emergency C-section. In what seemed like the blink of an eye, all my plans sailed out the window. I found myself waking from some sort of bad dream with a scar across my tummy and my tiny baby, shielded from me in a sterile incubator.
After spending 60 days in the Neonatal Intensive Care, I can say with total honesty that walking by faith is messy; sometimes it is ugly, and sometimes you feel alone and left in the dark. The beauty of running out of all your earthly options or ideas is that there is no room left but to rely on God. It is easy to spout out trust when the sun is shining and all is right in the world, but blessing the name of the Lord in the middle of your darkest fears is another story.
I don’t know what kind of fears you are facing down or if you find yourself out of plan B’s, C’s, and D’s. Whatever your circumstance, the only real place to run is to the cross. Stretch your heart out before the One who made you, knows you, and believes in you. Let His perfect peace fill you with an inner strength that no plan could ever come close to touching. I challenge you to not only be real with yourself, but also to be real with God and to pour out your deepest feelings to Him. Allow your Father in Heaven to heal the broken places inside of you that desperately need His touch.”
Peace Like a River
Sitting at the park with the sun peeking through friendly clouds and a light breeze blowing through my ponytail, I am reminded of all the things that are good in life. Gone is my stress over bills that I can’t pay and the mess in my kitchen. Any frustrations are forgotten as I look at my beautiful daughters – one asleep in her stroller and the other giggling with delight as she flies down the slide. To them, this is the perfect day, and I venture to say that even rain and wind would do nothing to dampen their joy and contentment.
This is peace. This is grace. This is what I live for each day. When God promised peace, He did not mean that storms would be absent…but I do think that He meant we would find quiet pockets of time in life that are enough to remind us of what really matters when we need it the most. I know that as soon as I get back into the car I will be hit with all the things left unaccomplished from yesterday, as well as a to-do list that is longer than the chain of the swing Jaylin is now playing on. But, at least I will be able to face it all with a renewed sense of focus and energy. And, of course, peace.”