imageWe were recently blessed with a new-to-us gorgeous white couch. We have been praying for new furniture for years; however, we never “needed” furniture, it was just a want…a desire of our heart. We are those people who believe that if it’s not broke, we don’t fix it, especially in this season of our lives. It is amazing to me how God works. The day we picked up this couch and a Uhaul of other incredibly beautiful items, we had given away a queen size mattress to some dear friends. God tends to multiply. He asks for just a little bit and with that little bit, He multiplies into a whole lot. Anyway, that’s not the point of this post, but He is so absolutely amazing!

Now back to this gorgeous white couch. My amazing kiddos, ages 1 and 4, think it’s so incredibly fun to take the cushions off and make forts on said couch. They also think it’s fun to jump on the couch and cushions, because it’s extra springy…AND they also think it’s so exciting to draw all over this white couch with chalk. Yes…chalk. Praise the Lord it was only chalk and I was able to brush it off! When I asked my daughter, 4, why she had done that, she merely said, “I don’t know.” I was incredibly frustrated. I mean we had prayed for furniture for years in the right timing and had written it down on paper and she chooses to disrespect it! I sent her to her room and on her way up the stairs said, “Mom, I don’t understand. It’s just a couch.” Her comment hit me like a ton of bricks. “…just a couch.” A material thing. I am sure I crushed her spirit and discounted her artwork over a couch. A couch! Was this couch more important than her expressive nature? Did I have to react that way? Could I have asked her nicely instead of immediately sending her to her room in complete and total disbelief of what she’d done? This was, in fact, the same child that took black permanent marker to my wall the week before. Why is she showcasing her artistic abilities on my nice things?

I know it is my job to teach these beautiful children to be hardworking, respectful adults, but I believe that can be done with finesse and a whole lot of grace and love. We don’t have to crush our children’s spirits, or even those of others, to get our point across. We can speak in a calm, understanding manner, in turn they will learn how to address others with the same grace and love that we have shown them, just as God has shown us!

I’m sure there are times when God sits up there and just shakes His head at me. I still have to pay the consequences of my disobedience and bad decisions, but boy does He pour His love and grace all over me! Why would I not extend to others the exact same treatment? I mean, we are all brothers and sisters in Christ. Yes, my children will still have to pay the consequences of their not-so-great choices, but I can do it with an abundant outpouring of love and grace, because after all it’s “just a couch” and I can’t take that with me! This life is all about relationships and if we can’t make our primary relationships incredible, how do we expect to have amazing relationships with those outside of our 4 walls? It all starts with aligning ourselves with our Creator, the King of Kings, the most high God; followed immediately by our spouse, our children, and then those outside of our home.

Today, I ask you: are you focusing on the material things in life? Or are you focusing on the “things” that truly matter: relationships, how you treat others, etc.? It’s perfectly fine to have nice, fancy things as long as they don’t come at the expense of others. God wants us to have abundant life and to grant us the deepest desires of our hearts! He wants that for each and everyone of us! He wants us to chase the wildest dreams, because He is the one who put them there! Nothing you are dreaming is too big for our Almighty God! NOTHING! So today, I am reminding you to focus on what truly matters in life, extend extra grace and love to those around you, pray circles around those BIG dreams then go and CHASE them!

Lord,

Today I want to thank you for loving even thought sometimes I struggle to extend that same love to those around me. Thank you for the abundant grace you have showered me with! Thank you for sending me the most amazing people to remind me what truly matters in life. Thank you for being you and for always wanting the best for me, just as a good father does for his children. Thank you for being THE perfect father and for loving me unconditionally even when I don’t deserve it! Lord, I ask that you fill in the gaps in the areas I lack and help me to grow in each of those areas. Thank you for all you do and all you are.

In Jesus name,
Amen