God's Grace and Oatmeal

Although this website is primarily for my photography business, I’d be remiss to pass up a chance to share about God’s incredible grace, since the name of the company – Sola Fide – means “By faith alone”.  As we get to know each other more, you’ll hear more and more of my story, but this morning I have to stop and share something about his grace.

I’m a mom.  My daughter is almost 5 1/2 at the time of this writing.  She has grown up in the church already.  Her parents left the corporate world and went into full time ministry when she was a baby.  She took some of her first steps in an onion packing plant owned by a farmer that started a youth ministry for underprivileged migrant farm worker kids.  She has sat through many Young Life club talks and her first camp experience was at a Young Life leader retreat.  She openly talks about Jesus and schools me on scripture memorization weekly.  This is so different from my childhood -in a nutshell, I did not grow up in the church and didn’t find out about the goodness of Jesus until I was 31.  But more about my story later.  Today it’s about my daughter and my good, good God.

During my prayer and study time this morning I felt the nudge to start walking through Proverbs with my daughter to start her day.  She’s been having a rough time at school with friend choices and just all the emotions that come with being a human in kindergarten.  She’s sweet and kind and kind of gets walked on sometimes because of that.  I don’t want to toughen her up, but I do want her to make good choices and make good friends.  We chose to put her in public school because as missionaries, our job is to GO OUT into the world, not stay with the safe crowd.  And let’s be real, there really isn’t a “safe crowd” anywhere.  Our job as her parents is to teach her to rely on God in every situation and as she gets older, she’ll be able to discern things with her spiritual eyes better, but for now, it’s about not letting the big kid push her off the slide and then feel like she can’t say something.

So back to my morning…if you don’t know, the book of Proverbs has 31 short chapters. A great way to to start to read your bible is to read the proverb that matches the date.  So today was Prov 8.  I pre-read it and felt it apropos that it was all about listening to wisdom and it even has this really lovely bit about how Wisdom was with God when he laid out the earth and created the clouds.  Lots of good stuff that should connect with a 5 1/2 year old that already loves Jesus, right?

I went into her room to wake her up and told her excitedly that we were going to start reading God’s Word together in the morning and you know what I got?

“NO!  NO Mom, I don’t want to.  Stop!!  I don’t want to hear that!”

And then every single self conscious thought that could squeeze in to my little morning brain came flying at me.
“Don’t be that weird mom!” “Great, now she’s going to hate her bible”  “What a waste – she doesn’t even want to hear it!” “You should really stop reading – you’re jamming it down her throat” “Quick! Paraphrase so that you can at least get through it!!”  “Stupid idea, I knew it wouldn’t work”

So you know what I did?  I finished reading, got up and walked out of her room.  She called me in to help her out of bed and I ignored her.  Yep, the same mom that wanted to start the day with God’s Word ignored her.  #momwin

I texted my friend and told her what had happened and felt like it was a total waste of time.  Now I was cranky, she was cranky, the whole house was cranky!  Good times!

But even in that I felt God nudge me and say that I had been obedient to his request and that was what mattered.  Now I need to be honest that the word obedient has had to be restructured in my mind these last few years.  I’m a “bit” of a rebel by nature and obedience was not something that came naturally to me. Now don’t get me wrong, I followed the rules and didn’t get in trouble much as a kid, but that word OBEDIENCE seems to come with such a bigger weight.  The verses in the Bible that use it poke a little harder.  But I’m learning.  I’m learning by being obedient and seeing the fruit after the obedience.

So I tried to just get on with breakfast and not have a poopy attitude about the morning.  And out of the blue, in between bites of oatmeal and toast, my daughter starts almost whispering the story of God.  Like the core story – “Adam and Eve lived in a garden with God and then they made a mistake and it broke the world, but God loved them so much he promised to fix it and get them back” and then she ran and got her Bible (The Jesus Storybook Bible) that we read most nights because she wanted to show me all of the people and things that God made.

It was as if right there, in the middle of bites of oatmeal and toast, God said “see, my words never come back empty” and all the lies that this morning’s time was wasted were crushed and thrown out.  Sometimes God allows us to see his grace right away, like this morning and other times, he just asks us to trust him until we see it.

Today was not an easy morning, but it was worth it.  If you hear his voice today, listen.  He has something for you or maybe something for your kids or your neighbor.  He is good and he loves you.  Maybe that’s the first time you’ve ever heard that or maybe you needed to be reminded.  Either way, it’s true.



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