Sunday, May 29, 2011

The Fight Against Surrender

How often do things seem to be tough? We head in a certain direction or think we are following what God wants us to do and things just seem to be harder than they should be.

We’ve all been there. We all wonder at times why “us.” Why it seems like “we” are the ones who don’t get the easy path.  When everyone else seems to be humming along happily in life; we can often feel like we are the only ones who are struggling or having many an obstacle placed in our way.

Of course we’re not the only ones. But it sure feels that way at times.

I think I know why.

I think I know why we don’t always get to follow the easy path. I think I know why that job is so elusive, that relationship so hard to heal, and that temptation so tough to overcome.

Because God is waiting for us to surrender.

We fight that one word. A lot. We don’t like hearing the word surrender because it makes us feel helpless and weak. But the exact opposite is true. I have found that when I’ve finally reached my limits and exhausted all of my efforts, falling on my knees before God in surrender….I’m not helpless at all. Instead, I’m fortified. For God comes in and reinforces my strength with His own. He takes the lead.

Pride and control are beautiful things. They are like shiny objects that we refuse to let go of only to discover they have poisoned us.  You see; we were not meant to be in control of our own destiny. It was never intended that we be perfectly capable in all we do. No….we are to bow down to the Lord Jesus Christ in surrender. It is HE that controls our destiny and HE that is perfectly capable to handle all that we do.

Is God waiting for you to surrender today? Is He waiting for you to open your arms, get down on your knees and let Him fortify and strengthen you?

Don’t be afraid. 

Friday, May 27, 2011

A Thank You From My Daughter For Keeping Her Heart Holy

Yesterday, my baby girl graduated from 6th grade. I still can hardly believe that she will be in Junior High next year. That I will no longer have any "little kids."

At the ceremony, the kids each presented their parents with a box and letter. They have been studying how to be holy and that included talking about guarding their hearts with what they watch and listen to.

When I opened the letter Kayla wrote to me and my husband, the tears came to my eyes quickly. I asked Kayla if I could share the letter here- to encourage and motivate you as a parent - and she agreed.


"Dear Mom and Dad,


I appreciate you so much and I wanted you to know.  You are great role models for me and Kamica.  Mom, do you remember that time when me, you, and Kamica were leaving the grocery store and you were checking the receit? Well, they forgot to charge you for something, and you went back and paid.  Dad, you are so kind when you drive me and Kamica everywhere, and you pick me up from my school. Thank you for helping us all the time, you are great parents.


I have been doing an integrity curriculum, and have become grateful for ways you have helped me keep my heart holy. Thank you for checking reviews on movies.  You will forward through bad parts in them and make me look away.  This has really helped me, and I appreciate that you care that much about me.


Another thing you have done to keep my heart holy, is the internet.  When it is in a place where you can see it, you know what I am doing.  You check out websites before I can go on them, which helps me a lot. Without these things, I would have a much harder time keeping my heart holy.


You are wonderful and I love you so much! I thank you for coming to all of my special events.  You both do so much for me and Kamica, and I greatly appreciate it and wanted you to know.  Never, ever forget that I will love you always.  Thank you for helping me guard my heart and mind, and keeping them holy."


Love, 
Kayla Shaye Sanchez

If ever you wonder if your efforts are worth it when you strive to mold and shape your children's values, morals, and integrity - let me encourage you today. THEY ARE WORTH IT. It's worth it to be the only parent who says "no" sometimes. The parent who appears more protective than the rest and the parent who is involved and aware.

It is so worth it.

For notes like this - are priceless.

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

All The Time


God is good. ALL THE TIME.

Do you believe that? Do you believe He’s good when you are struggling with relationship issues? Do you believe He’s good when you get passed over for a raise or a promotion at work  - or failed to be recognized for your hard work at all? Is He still good in your heart? 

Do you think God is good when your house gets robbed? Do you believe He’s good when finances are tight and you can’t seem to get a “leg up?” Is God good when your child is struck with an illness that they will have to live with…forever?

I believe my God is good. I don’t always understand His ways, but I believe He is good.

I believe my God is good even though 2 of my cousins committed suicide.  I thought He was good when we had to go to court to fight for what was right in our life. I KNOW my God was good when my daughter was born with 2 small holes in her heart because He showed me His glory in healing her.

There are so many times in my life where I’ve been hurting, wounded…upset. But my God was and is still good.

I can’t always see the light when I’m walking in the darkness.
But my faith gets me through the season. It carries me. (Or maybe HE carries me.) And when I look back, I can see how clearly my God was still good.

Life is not always fair. That doesn’t mean that God is not still good.

I don’t always obey God’s plans for me. That does not take away from His goodness; for I often reap what I myself have sown.

Satan works hard to hinder me, throw me, and frustrate me. But my God is still good. Satan, on the other hand, is not.

I breathe. Therefore I will hurt.

But my God is still good.

ALL THE TIME.

Sunday, May 22, 2011

Summer Around the Corner?


It is so hard to believe that my kiddos will be out of school for summer by the end of the week.  I’m not emotionally ready for it but yet so excited for it to come at the same time.  Usually, the warm weather ushers me into a phase where I can gear up for school getting out and summer beginning.

Not this year.

This year – I think we skipped spring all together. We’ve had maybe a handful or less days where I could even go without a jacket. It’s no wonder I have a hard time believing it’s time for summer!

Oh how I long for those warm rays to bounce off my skin!

I’m a summer girl. I was ready for summer at least 3 months ago. Maybe 5.

I think I’m also not really ready for school to be out because my daughter keeps telling me that I will no longer have an elementary student. Sigh. In fact, she enjoys my sad eyes a little too much as she has been repeating this over and over with a sly little grin on her face.  It’s so hard to believe that next year I will have a girl going into high school and a girl going into junior high! Not to mention I turn 40 in July. That’s just too many transitions too close together!

Seriously though, I’m excited about summer coming. (It IS coming, right?)  I anxiously await the day that I can wear flip flops and walk around barefoot.  And our family is heading to Guatemala in the very near future. I’m excited about that, too. Our second mission trip as a whole family. I’m so thankful that God has allowed us this opportunity to expose our daughters’ to other cultures and to see how He can be so real to so many hearts all over the globe. I’m also especially thankful that they can see how blessed they are to live in America and to have what they have. I know that this trip – just like the last one – will impact them and deepen their faith. For that, there are no words to express how thankful I am.

So, I better get ready for summer. For it’s a comin’. Whether the weather feels like it or my emotions are geared for it. It’s a comin’. I’m ready to open the door and welcome it in. It’s been such a long lost friend.


Friday, May 20, 2011

Discontent

Discontent.

Sometimes, I think it’s God’s way of getting us ready – preparing us to move on to something else in our lives.

We have to be careful though. We can grow discontented with our marriages or other things and use God as our excuse to move on. He wants us to be happy, right? But the thing is, God will never choose to move us on from something that contradicts His Word. It is His express desire that our marriages work. That they last. So He would never use your unhappiness to encourage you to bail out. Just not gonna happen.  However, I believe He WILL use our discontent on other levels to motivate us to make changes.

Change is often not welcomed by people. We resist anything new or different. It can be uncomfortable. Scary. Different. And that’s not often something we embrace. But, change can also be exciting, refreshing, and flourishing.

Sometimes we stay in a certain spot in our lives simply because that’s all we know how to do…be. We stay there because we’ve lost our ability to dream or to believe in ourselves. In middle age, it can be hard to think about making a career switch. It can be scary uprooting your family from all you know around you. But sometimes that is exactly what God asks of us…wants of us!

I think if we are feeling discontent in our hearts, we need to take a good look at the root of that and just why we may be feeling what we are feeling. If that discontent is merely the “grumps” or stems from not having what we truly want, then maybe it’s time to realign our attitudes and refocus how we approach where we currently are. If that discontent lingers…and is accompanied by a hunger for something deeper, and if that discontent is accompanied by the knowledge and action of going to the Lord for direction; then it just may be that God is stirring those feelings inside of you for a reason. He may be speaking to you and preparing you to mobilize for something new in your life.

God often led His people to different places in Bible times. He moved them from land to land, and role to role. Each one teaching them something profound and using them to move on His behalf. He never promised to leave us in one place and keep us there forever.

I look at discontent as an exciting yet frustrating time. It’s very hard to feel a hunger for something grow deep inside of you and not be able to do anything about it. It’s also very exciting to know that in God’s perfect timing that hunger will be satisfied.

If you are in one of these seasons in life, hang in there. Keep praying. Keep seeking God’s direction. He will start pointing it out to you and sifting things in your life to help point you in the way you should go. Don’t rush it yet don’t give up either. For His plans won’t be hurried.

Just think – God has something exciting in mind for you. When you get there…you’ll know that was “it.” And you’ll be thankful He led you where He did.

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Is College a Requirement?


When I was graduating from high school, there was one question I heard over and over again. “Where are you going to go to college?” The thing was – I was so burnt out on school that I didn’t even want to think about college! So I told everyone I was taking a little time off. Lots of kids do that. They take a year off to work and earn some money and then they go. I wasn’t lying, mind you. My parents thought maybe after a little time off that I would change my mind.  But, I didn’t.

In all reality, I never had too much of a desire to go to college. At the time, I thought I wanted to write lyrics and go into the music industry. I knew what I wanted. So why waste time and money on college?

I believe in college. I think it’s important for certain career fields. It’s necessary. But I also believe that it’s okay NOT to go to college. I think you can still be successful in life if you don’t go. Of course, everyone’s view of success is different. For me, I guess I see it as living out what you feel God has called you to do. Something that brings you happiness and passion. For some that may be construction work because they love working with their hands. For others that may be working a job they don’t really love for a while until they marry and become a mom (their true passion and calling.) But whatever it is, I think it’s okay. In fact, I think it’s more than okay. It’s great.

I know quite a few people who waste money on college trying to “find” whatever it is they want to do or were meant to do. Some even graduate, then can’t find jobs in their field or become parents and never really use their degree.

Have we bought into a lie? We think college is just an extension of elementary and high school learning and that basically, if you want to be anything in life – it’s required. I say, if you want to be anything in life; follow your true calling. That true calling may or may not involve going to college!

I know a lot of people may not agree with me. After all, most parents want their children to do well in life. They want them to not have to struggle and to make good money in a good career. But that doesn’t bring happiness.  And sometimes we are missing out on a whole lot by having to struggle. Struggle brings inner rewards that no easy or high paying career can bring at times.

We all have a role and niche in life. For some – yes – it’s going to college and being a doctor, lawyer, or architect. I’m so thankful for the education and training these men and women have received! But for others of us, our role has nothing to do with college.

It’s time we start easing off of the pressure we put on our kids when graduation time comes round. Let them choose their own path and encourage them to ask God what their calling of vocation is. When they find out what it is, wherever it leads them; it truly will be the best option for their life.

Monday, May 16, 2011

Stop Striving


Stop striving.

Those words are hard to hear. I want to be the best “me” I can be for God. But lately, He’s been telling me to stop striving. Stop trying so hard. Stop analyzing my behavior all of the time.

Simply “be” the me He created me to be.

I don’t know if I even know how to do that. To simply “be.” To simply “be” without trying to “be” a better me. To simply “be” without analyzing where I need to improve and how much progress I’ve made. That’s a tall order. But there it is.

God doesn’t want me to do the striving. For if I do all of the striving, then I can try and claim all of the credit. No, God wants to work in me. He wants me to just simply “be.” Be the me He created that loves to write from her heart, love from her heart, and give from her heart. He wants me to simply “be” the girl who is sometimes na├»ve and innocent – other times very astute. God wants to work through my compassion and empathy for others. He wants to flourish in the gifts and talents He’s given me (even if I feel those are not many.)

To relax. To stop striving. Who would have thought those would be requests that would be so hard to fulfill? Yet, they are.

I imagine a day where I go about my business simply loving God. Praising Him. Learning more about Him through His word. Talking to Him as my Father and friend. Letting my requests be made known to Him. And leaving it at that. No “did I do this right” – “Did He really ask that of me or did I get it wrong?” No, none of the analysis.

Stop striving.

Simply “be.”

Let God do the work. Let Him make the efforts. For my part, I need to simply listen and obey. There is no striving in that.

Saturday, May 14, 2011

Life Is Fun



I get sayings and expressions wrong a lot.

Like I told my husband to “throw the towel out the window” when I think I meant, “throw the towel in.” 

I’m funny like that.  My kids love it. For my inability to remember the correct line or phrase will cause huge outbursts of laughter and huge guffaws.

I don’t mind.

I tell them it’s my heritage. My dad gets expressions wrong sometimes and my grandpa did too. I’m kind of proud of my inability to get a saying right.

For a while, after the movie “Monsters, Inc” came out – we’d throw someone’s dirty sock at the other person and holler the number out. (In the movie, they have an emergency number they shout to clean the monster off after he’s been “touched” by humanness.” For the life of me, I can never remember the number. So of course, everyone else hollers it correctly – me? I holler any old number - #4219! #2312! Laughter ensues.

I’m flawed. And it’s okay. In fact, it’s good for me to laugh at myself.  It’s good for me to not have to feel like I need to be “perfect.”  I embrace this. I think I’ve even abandoned trying to get certain expressions correct.

My inability to remember sayings correctly, has taught me something in addition to humbling me. It’s taught me that life is FUN. And that it’s okay to have fun. I think God gave us such an amazing world. We don’t laugh enough. We don’t live enough. We don’t feel JOY….enough.

If I’m the catalyst that brings laughter to my family’s lips – then I’m honored. If I can bring joy to their hearts – I’m thankful.

Life is brutal. And every day, every moment, that we can see the sunshine amidst the rain around us – that is one moment we have become victorious over the darkness that Satan would rather have invade our lives, our hearts, and our very souls.

So go ahead. Laugh. Laugh hard. Laugh often. Laugh at yourself. Love yourself.  Feel the joy that God intended to fill up your heart. Smile.  And feel free.


Wednesday, May 11, 2011

It's All About Us


I was talking to some friends awhile back about sacrificing our agenda for God’s. I was having a tough time during the middle of some hassles in life. I had been giving and giving and giving and just felt…empty. Done. Spent.

I had a little breakdown. It’s amazing how good it can feel to let go of pent up emotions, sometimes! After my tears were shed…I was reflecting on my conversation. And God tenderly spoke to my heart.

You see…. Part of my frustration was that I gave and gave and gave. I would often give of myself and not get. I’d get nothing in return, because by nature, that’s who I am -  a giver. But in the process, I’d deplete myself. I’d move on and give and give and give – and again, not get. So I became drained.

What did God tell me, you might ask?  He told me that it’s not about me. I can give and give and give because God doesn’t want it to be about me. Somehow in the process of giving up of myself, of that sacrifice of “me” I learn valuable things. And even though in my mind’s eye, nothing is for me, through the process of giving up of my pride and my agenda – God is doing everything FOR me. He is working through me and for me even though I don’t observe that anything is ABOUT me. Does that make sense? It did to me at the time.

Sacrificing my agenda is not easy. I have dreams. I have wishes. I have goals that I want for my life.  But God often asks me to lay these down at His feet. To give them up and to instead, give of myself. Oftentimes, getting nothing in return except the feeling of knowing you did something good….right…and pleasing to Him.

It’s ALL about us. We may not think we’re getting anything out of the deal – but God is working. He’s crafting us.


When those times of frustration come and you are feeling spent – remember that God loves you and He sees what you are doing. He knows your motivation and your heart. He has not left your side nor has it escaped His attention that you are frustrated and emotionally low.  Hang in there. Let the tears out, should they come.  For sometimes tears point you to the truth.  Ask for prayer. And then continue to be faithful.  For just because God doesn’t want everything to be about us in OUR mind’s eye, just remember it truly is all about us. He’s working in you as you lay down your pride, selfishness, and control. He’s  doing it ALL for you so that when all is said and done, you will be beautiful – inside and out.

Monday, May 9, 2011

Someone Always Has It Worse; Someone Always Has It Better



Every once in awhile I run across someone who really blows me away with their courage and positive attitude. More often than nought, it is someone who is dealing with things in life that would bring anyone to their knees. And yet, they smile, they praise God, and they radiate hope and gladness.

I recently ran into one of these very individuals and when I told them how much I admired their attitude, their response was… “Someone always has it worse.”  Yes, we’ve heard that, haven’t we? We don’t always acknowledge it – but it’s true. Someone DOES always have it worse than we do.  It’s our choice that can fuel a situation to be more miserable, or more bearable than it otherwise could be.

In fact, it could be said in the opposite extreme, as well. “Someone always has it better than I do.” I mean, let’s be honest.  We don’t just look at things one way in life, do we? We often lament about where we are, and what we have been dealt because we view things in the light of “someone always has it better,” instead of “someone always has it worse.” I guess its another way of saying the glass is either half full or half empty.

It’s all in how we view life.

I’m human. I’ve viewed life both ways. I’ve sat down and been so thankful for what I’m dealing with because I know that someone else has it far worse. In a humble heart, I’ve thanked God that I wasn’t “them.” (I mean, we’re being honest with ourselves, right?) But I’ve also sat down and asked, “Why can’t I BE them?” I’ve felt sorry for myself because instead of keeping my eyes on my own road and journey in life – I’ve shifted them onto someone else’s. Someone who may have an easier load than me. A more blessed road – in my opinion.

Why do we do that? Why do play those kinds of games with ourselves? If we look for something negative in life – WE WILL FIND IT. But so will we find it if we look for something positive. I know this. I’ve lived this – in both extremes. It really all comes down to contentment and thankfulness.  We have to be content with who God has made us to be.

If we deal with lots of tragedy, trials, and hardships in our lives – we can certainly be worn out. We can weep, mourn the loss of a good, decent, easy life. We can waste away within the moments of those miseries. OR, we can thank God that He found us worthy to handle the tough things in life. That He decided WE were the ones who should tackle the deep, the dark, and the hard.  We can see it as being chosen.

There will always, always be someone who is given more than us in life. “Why” is between them and God. Someone will always have a better job, a more loving family, more money, better health, more friends, and get more praise and acknowledgment than we do. It’s a given.  So let’s just stop going there. Let’s stop looking for what we don’t have. Someone will always have it worse, too. And it shouldn’t take those thoughts to get us to straighten up and deal admirably with what has been placed on our plates.

Life is life. Everyone gets good and bad stuff thrown into their lives. Yet we have one guarantee. None of us gets the same doses of it.   So whether someone has it better – or – worse than we do – we need to learn to praise God amidst all of it. For He is there with us in the midst of all of it; whether better or worse. And He’s on our side – cheering for us to be victorious. If that means being humble because we’ve been given less – so be it. If that means being joyful because we’ve been given more adversity – so be it. 

Without Him, we won’t win or find happiness in either situation.


Saturday, May 7, 2011

What Do I Get Out Of Being A Mom



Being a mother is a sacrifice. There is no disputing that. It is a constant, daily giving up of your own pride, wants, and agenda.

I hear a lot about the things we, as moms, give up. And it’s all true. What I don’t often hear about – is what we get. And let me tell you, that even though I’ve given up a lot in becoming a mom (being a mom is something I chose, by the way), what I’ve gotten in return has far FAR surpassed what I’ve given up.

I’ve gotten to put part of my DNA in another life. So part of me gets to live longer – further – and impact the world. It’s so amazing to look at another human and see part of yourself in them. To know that certain qualities and characteristics are from you. You can’t teach that to someone else – it’s inherent in who you are.

I get to love – freely. Often. Loudly. Softly.  And I love to LOVE! I have a built-in person who I can lavish my heart on. What is better than that?

I am humbled. This may sound like something you have to give up as a parent, but for me, it’s something I get. For I want to be a humble person. And sometimes it takes the innocence (or stubbornness) of a child to do that to a parent. It’s good for me. It refines me. It makes me a better person.

I learn to work hard. As much as I would love to shy away from hard work, hard work is one of the few things that truly teaches us deep rewards in life. It teaches us about our own character and beliefs. It teaches us perseverance. It teaches us to believe in something and to be accountable. It teaches us honor. It teaches us to be generous and giving. I want all of these things in my heart and in my life. Without a child to clean up after, work for, and be tired for – I might not have learned the same intensity of some of these lessons.

I get to be loved and accepted for who I am. I think a child loving a parent is as close as we will ever get on this earth to knowing and understanding how freely and unconditionally God can love us. A little child forgives so easily. Loves with such abandon. Accepts us for who we are. It grows you. It gives you confidence. It makes you want to be better for them.

I get to see life through someone else’s eyes. I get to laugh more. I get to find out just what it is that I believe is worth fighting for. I get to think about someone else other – than – ME.

I get to have immediate best friends for I ENJOY my children’s company. And the older they get, the more I enjoy them. In a different way of course. When they were little, I loved to spend time slowly brushing through their hair or reading them books. I loved to hold their little hands as we walked. Now, I love to talk about deeper issues with them . Rock out to favorite tunes and go shopping. The depth is just as intense, but it has changed its parameters.

Being a mom has changed me. I’ve given up things. But I’ve gotten so much in return. I’d never turn back the clock, or day with my children – not a second. They’ve given me so much. God has given me so much by allowing me to parent them. My heart and soul have gotten so much more out of mothering than I’ve ever given up. And as I look back, the things I’ve given up seem so much more ‘shallow’ than what I’ve gotten. So much more temporary.



I thank the Lord, every moment for letting me become a mother. It has given me the world – in the form of human bodies , hearts, and souls.  To me, that is so priceless.

Thursday, May 5, 2011

You Have To Decide You Are Worth It


“You have to decide you are worth it.”

I heard that quote not too long ago and I can’t seem to get it out of my mind. I could apply it to so many situations.

If I want to lose weight but am struggling with the temptation of food… “I have to decide I’m worth it” to not eat unhealthy, or too much. I have to decide I’m worth it to take the time and make the effort to exercise.

If I have dreams – I have to decide I’m worth it to pursue them. To believe that I deserve them. That I deserve to be happy.

If someone is treating me wrong; whether in an abusive way, or taking me for granted; I have to decide I’m worth it to say “no more.”

Keep going. You name the situation – the circumstance.  It applies.

The thing is, we have a hard time often coming to terms with the fact that we ARE worth it. We have a hard time understanding and accepting ourselves as we are and being content with that.

But we ARE worth it. We ARE loved and we ARE valuable.

If we don’t treat ourselves like we’re worth it, no one else will either.

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Scared of the Wind

When my youngest daughter was just a toddler she was scared to death of the wind. Being in Idaho, we got a lot of wind! The windstorms would come in and I couldn’t even get her to go outside. She would freak out, cling to me, start crying, etc.

I tried lots of things. I would hold on to her, tell her “it’s just the wind,” etc and nothing was working. It got to the point where she’d be inside the house looking out at us from the window while we were in the yard.

One day, I tried something different. I told her that the wind was Jesus waving to her. And something clicked - a little bit. She slowly would tread outside in the wind. It didn’t solve her fear completely, but it helped. I remember when the wind would whip up, I’d look at her to make sure she was okay and she would tell me that Jesus was waving to her! It was so sweet.

Over time, she lost her fear and grew up to love the wind and running out in it. But if you have a little one, sometimes rationalizing isn’t always something you can do with them. Try to be a little creative and put a positive spin on something that is truly scary for them. It worked for us and not only did it draw my daughter out of the house, it reinforced the power and personal side of our great big God.

Sunday, May 1, 2011

Are You a "Joseph?"


Things are unfair. I don’t know about you, but I really struggle with things being unfair. I want to whine like a little girl, “But that’s sooooo unnffaaaiiiir!” I think I internally hope and expect for someone to fix it. Being an adult and a parent, I’ve quickly learned life doesn’t quite work that way – as much as I’d prefer it to.

Sometimes life simply stinks.

I think, “Don’t they know how wrong they are being?” or “If they could only get to know me or my daughter (or fill-in-the-blank) they’d feel so badly that this happened to us! Again – not the case.

Not everyone likes me. Not everyone likes my kids, or my family. Or they do like us, but they have their own interests in mind and are prioritizing something that matters more to them.

Life hurts.

This last year, something that our family thought was unfair happened to my daughter. We thought she got a really raw deal in a certain situation. It wasn’t the first time and I was just upset about it all. I did my thing – trying to fix it for her. No go. Then I got angry. Then I pouted. Then I went to the Lord (which of course I should have done in the first place.) God softened my heart and helped me get to the point where I saw that I needed to help my daughter in this unfair situation instead of focusing so much on my own feelings and how I was “ticked” about what had occurred.

He brought “Joseph” to my mind. 

Joseph from the Bible. Heard the story many times. Took it in and let it flow right back on out. Until God showed me how to apply it to my today – my now.

I talked to my daughter one day and I was able to share with her how I felt God wanted her to handle this particular situation.

I told her that some things are unfair. Very unfair. But I asked her if she remembered the story of Joseph. I said, “Do you remember how Joseph’s brothers sold him into slavery?”  I proceeded to tell her how Joseph didn’t deserve that. It was unfair. Many things in Joseph’s life were unfair. Prison was unfair. But Joseph did the best he could in each situation. He flourished in each position he entered into. He was the best he could be even though he didn’t deserve to be there. And God rewarded him.  We all know how Joseph ended up working for the king resulting in him saving his brothers and family from starvation.

Joseph turned lemons into lemonade. He didn’t go looking for a reward. He didn’t strive for “better.” He simply did the best where he was and with what he had.

That’s what God asks of us. Sometimes we are “Joseph’s.” We are in a place, a situation, or a role that isn’t fair. But we need to flourish where we are for God has a reason for us being there. We need to have integrity, honor, and pride in who we are as God’s servants – and be faithful.

This was the lesson I shared with my daughter.

I think it helped somewhat. I know it helped me. I’ve not soon forgotten that lesson and I’ve brought it up several times since that day. For I’m reminded that God knows where I am and what I’m going through. It doesn’t matter if I’m in a prison, a desert, school, or a home where things are hard and unfair. I need to give my all and BE my all for the Lord.

For if I’m faithful to God He will be faithful to me.

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