Grace and Ice Cream

Grace is like lemonade. Or, grace could easily be like ice cream too. Both are sweet and refreshing—and delicious… (Hey, this dietitian loves good food and metaphors!)

There are times when my daughter, Lydia, asks to ride her bike or play at the park.

But I reserve the right to tell her no!

Well, in true preschooler fashion, Lydia can throw a good fit. Actually, it is more of a high-pitched, slow whine. “Whyyyyyy can I not play outside?! I want to ride my biiiike!”

Unbeknownst to her, I have better things in mind. When I refuse her request, it is not because I’m a mean mom. I simply want to take her for ice cream.

(Which is way better, right?!)

I love to see the look of joy on Lydia’s face when I surprise her with an exciting outing. But, I also don’t tell her much in advance, because young kids have no sense of time. Also, I may determine to save it for a different day if she has poor behavior. Thus, it is better to not mention the surprise until we are ready to go.

Ice cream cone

I wonder if that is how God sees some of our attitudes and requests too! He has amazing plans for us, but He only tells us a little bit at a time. We cannot fathom eternity as God sees it. Some day we will. For now, we can trust in His grace and goodness. His thoughts are not our thoughts, neither are our ways His ways (see Isaiah 55:8).

But for now, we get sidetracked because He does not seem to give us what we want. How many times do we miss what He desires so eagerly to give us, because we won’t give up our longings or requests?

Often, God is waiting for us to calm down—so we can listen, put on our shoes, and get in the car. Apologizing for our bad attitude is also a good idea…

(Oh, wait…)

God, don’t let me settle for anything less than Your best. Thank you for not giving me everything I want or think I need. Help me have a good attitude in the waiting. “Godliness with contentment is great gain” (1 Timothy 6:6)!

Peace, Peace, Peace!

I was out shopping recently and saw this wooden sign (below). I kept coming back to it.

I love little song birds, as well. So, I bought it and counted it as a win-win!

Colossians 3:15 came to mind when I saw it. “And let the peace of God rule in your hearts…”

This bird cracks me up, tweeting “peace,peace,peace,…” 😀 The birds have been up around 5 am or so lately. I can just imagine them tweeting this all day!

Peace Peace Peace

The Amplified version mentions “peace as an umpire” and I am imagining a little bird tweeting incessantly in my ear…. “peace,peace,peace,PEACE,don’t forget about PEACE,peace is vital,peace,peace..”

Sometimes things are hectic in our environment, sometimes internally. But, how we react is up to us. Jesus is our peace, so this is a good reminder of peace with God, ourselves, and others.

 Do whatever it takes to live at peace!!

Father Knows Best

Over the last two years since Dave died, I’ve been able to go through many of his belongings. But, until recently, I still had his 1965 Chevelle (a classic car). I started praying for God’s help in selling the Chevelle. It was time to sell it, but I was struggling with how to go about it.

Over a few weeks, I had several people interested and even received a couple (low) offers. I was frustrated at these perceived setbacks.


So, I asked God if there was anything I was missing, or that He wanted to show me…

I had been prepping my daughter, Lydia, for several months in anticipation of selling the car. I explained that it will no longer be “Daddy’s car” when we sell it. Lydia had never ridden in it because she was still so little—17 months old—when Dave died…and there were no seat belts in the back. In the past, I tried to put her in it and take some pictures but it never worked out.

On a recent Sunday evening, we were talking about the Chevelle (still in our garage). On her own, Lydia said she would like to ride in the car. I had never even thought of that! Right away, I realized that is probably what the Lord was waiting on…that moment.

My neighbor drove Lydia and two of his daughters on a tour around the neighborhood. He said Lydia talked the whole time, and had a great ride! She never would have been able to remember such an event previously. So, I am very glad to wait on God’s perfect timing. Had we already sold the car, she would not have that experience!

Lydia and I often talk about God being our (her) Father. I want her to have closure, but Father God cares so much more about her little heart than I do. I was so touched, that God would wait until she was older for her to have this special experience. One she will actually remember, and can look back on with joy.

God’s plan is always perfect, and often He is working behind the scenes. This was most certainly worth the wait! Thank You, Father, for all you do for us. Father knows best! 🙂

What I Learned from a Cup of Milk

“See what great love the Father has lavished on us, that we should be called children of God!” (1 John 3:1).

God’s Fatherly love for us only becomes more apparent when you are a parent!

When Lydia was about 15 months old, she obviously had a limited vocabulary. She was unable to communicate effectively what she wanted. Of course, as a mother, I relied on understanding her habits, nonverbal grunts and actions. I also knew her basic schedule and exactly what she needed.

One day, Lydia went to the refrigerator for some milk. I poured her milk, but did not move quickly enough for her impatient little self. She screamed. She cried. Her face turned red with anger. Full-blown tantrum!

I had every intention to give Lydia the milk. In fact, I wanted her to have it. But, her hands were so clenched that she physically could not receive the cup of milk. Lydia begged for the milk, and was furious that I didn’t give it to her. Yet, I was simply unable to give her what she so desperately wanted.

New Image

In that moment, I could see how unpleasant we appear when impatiently waiting on the Lord. Just like a loving parent gives good gifts to their children, every good and perfect gift comes from our Father God (see James 1:17). God has good plans for us. He longs to give us good things—such as gifts, wisdom and guidance, and answers to prayer.

If it doesn’t line up with our timeline, or match our expectations, we can completely miss what God is doing in our lives. We beg God. We demand He fulfill our wishes. We can get frustrated with God at times, but it is so clear from the other side.

Father God, help me to wait patiently on You. I don’t want to grumble or complain. Help me be cheerful, and yield to Your timing. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.

From Ordinary to Extraordinary

I had a very ordinary life until five years ago, when we moved to Fargo. I come from a close-knit family, and had a great childhood. I grew up in the Midwest. My parents taught me the value of hard work, being on time, and helping others. We went to church regularly, and I count knowing Jesus since I was little as a great blessing.

Dave and I were excited to start a new life in Fargo, though it was difficult leaving our family. Still, we felt like we were on an adventure. It was fun that first year, 2010, experiencing all our new community had to offer.

Becoming parents in late 2011, was a huge adjustment. Being so far from family was a challenge as we entered into the sleepless nights of parenthood. But, soon we adjusted, and Lydia started sleeping through the night.

We had about two weeks of everyone getting adequate sleep, and then Dave got sick. That pushed everything in to high-gear, like never before. I would get up regularly at 4am, just to get a head start on all that needed done each day. At only 5 months old, Lydia needed me for…well…EVERYTHING. Household management, bill paying, and dog duties fell to me. Even Dave needed physical support, in addition to emotional support and encouragement. I also worked two part-time jobs at the time.

Until Dave got his cancer diagnosis, our lives were pretty normal. When our lives were turned upside down, we did the only thing we knew to do. We clung to God for help and survival. And that is where Life became extraordinary…


In terms of faith and trusting God, that is when the rubber met the road. Everything we had built our lives on was tested and tried. It was a physical battle, for sure. But, we saw beyond that to the spiritual implications as well.

Would we turn to God, or turn away from Him? Would He come through for us?

I soon discovered I had several deeply rooted fears. Looking back, I let fear keep me from living my life freely. But, through the cancer journey, God showed me how to tackle each one. I am so thankful.

While cancer was one of the worst things that ever happened to us, we came to see it differently. Even though Dave died, God sustained me every step of the way. When I was prone to doubt, I found hope. When I was prone to fear, I found courage. When my worst fears came true, God was with me and for me.

As the Apostle Paul writes, in 2 Corinthians 12:9: “But he said to me, ’My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.’ Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me.” By God’s grace, I am still standing in His strength.