Being A Parent Is Hard Sometimes…

Being a parent is hard some days…

It’s not a negative thing; it’s just hard some days.  I never realized how much emotion can be spent on a daily basis just thinking about what each child might be experiencing in their world.

It’s kind of like traveling the border of one country to another. As I go from one child (country) to another we are suppose to speak the same language but the different nuances of each country are enough to feel foreign.

Each country is in a completely different state of development. Some are at peace; some are in conflict either internally or with a another country (sibling). Each country has a different vision for itself. They are beautiful visions for the most part.

Eide nations out to breakfast (a first day of school tradition)

Eide nations out to breakfast (a first day of school tradition)

Some countries are not growing like they could; some think that just because they said they are ready that that is enough to be ready. (Oh the frontal lobe of some countries :))

Then of course are the moments where I forget how old a country is and I treat them all the same which makes “the whole world” a bit more crazy and I might be creating an environment for a hostile coup!

As head of these United Nations (dad), it just seems impossible for world peace!

Yet the cost of giving up is way too great compared to the cost of emotion and heart that drives parental diplomacy for the greater good of each country.

This is all I can say:

Thank You, Lord, that I get to be the head of these beautiful, precious countries. Thank You God for allowing me to struggle in this and I pray it would teach me more about You so I can bring You to these unique countries. Jesus remind me when I’m tired, worn out, feeling defeated and like a failure that it’s worth the energy, that everything matters, and Your voice is only saying one thing to me: “Keep going for I am with you.” Holy Spirit, hear from heart thankfulness for what You have given me as a parent and let Your Kingdom come and Your will be done in each wonderful country in my care!

To think on other things other than God’s goodness makes it harder to parent.

Today, I don’t need it to be harder. I’ve got five amazing countries in my house of many nations.

Therefore I’ll keep going even if it’s hard today…

God is good all the time.

Peder

Seatbelts

In the years I have been able to drive a vehicle, I’ve driven over 1,000,000 miles! It’s crazy. And I’ve flown over 1 million miles as well! I get tired thinking about it. The part of grace that overwhelms me is being accident-free in both forms of travel. (Yes, I really appreciate being accident free when it comes to air travel :))

I have been in a car accident though. I claim accident-free driving because I was 100 percent not at fault for this accident. It also showed me the dire importance of God’s word in our hearts and daily lives.

Let me explain.

As a newly engaged guy, I was driving a Mercury Tracer down a four-lane highway. It was snowing and the traffic was tight but still moving about 40 mph. As the highway curved, a Suzuki Samuri jeep going the opposite direction lost control and jumped the median.

I saw it coming and immediately locked my arms to brace for the impact. The jeep hit me and another car head on. It crushed the whole right side of my car, and we spun in our lane.

It took a second to sit and breathe, but then I was able to get out of my vehicle and check on the other drivers. All were good. The cars, not so much. All three cars were totaled.

It could have been worse. I remember thinking I was grateful for my quick reaction to brace myself before impact.

The next morning as I was getting ready I noticed something on my skin. From the top of my left shoulder diagonally across my chest was bruised and a rope-burn-type mark near my hip. I realized it was the mark from seatbelt where it had held me during impact in the accident!

I didn’t hold myself when the jeep hit me head on. It was my seatbelt. I learned later that trying to hold yourself during impact of a car accident is useless. It’s like sticking your arms straight out in front of you and run at a wall as fast as you can. Let me know how that turns out.

The thing is I grew up without wearing a seatbelt. I began to wear it when states made it a law. Then I made it a habit.

I really love that law! Because of it, I walked away from a pretty big impact with some soreness and bruising but that’s it.

My point is not to get into a seatbelt law good or bad debate. It’s more important than that.

It’s about why God says to meditate on Him and His Word all the time. It’s why He gave us Commandments to obey. It’s why he calls the Word a Living Word and that we need this Bread of Life every day. It’s why we want to make it a habit.

There are so many times in life that we cannot see what’s coming; we cannot prepare for impact. And even if we have that quick reaction, we cannot save ourselves.

This world is full of unwanted surprises, tragedies, pain, and hurt.

Jesus did not promise a life without hurt. He did, however, give us truth to wrap ourselves in: that He would never leave us, and if we put God’s Word in our lives daily we will know real living, even in moments of impact.

Maybe it’s time to create a new seatbelt habit with God’s Word?

Some how for you were you are taking in God’s absolute truth for the moments you see coming and the ones who surprise you. It can be really good for us to love the Law!

Buckle up! (spiritually speaking)

God is good all the time!

Peder

Snowmobiles and Signs

Living in Minnesota means snow. This year’s snow and temperatures are bad enough to make a polar bear look for a coat. I’m not really complaining, just enlightening.

A fun part of the winter though is riding snowmobiles. I grew up on it. I haven’t gotten to do much of it over the years. This year I found a snowmobile on Craig’s List and added it to our family. It’s an older, used one but it can get going, and it’s Ethan’s main thing!

Our neighbor saw our new snowmobile and invited me on a late-night ride through trail in our community. I put my gear on and with a couple of other guys, off we went.

It was snowing again (go figure). Watching the snow fall down in the beam of my headlight was fun. Since the trail was new to me, every turn was a new picture.

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photo credit: mercedesbbk via photopin cc

When you ride trails, you stay as group in case someone’s snowmobile breaks down, someone falls off (it happens), someone gets lost, etc. At night you keep an eye out for the taillight of the person in front of you and the headlight of the person behind you. If you can’t see the sled behind you, you stop until they come into view. If they don’t, you turn around to find them.

It’s like not leaving family behind.

The other part of riding at night is trusting the leader and the signs that mark the trail. It’s the leader who makes the turns that everyone else follows. If he is unsure, he stops so we all catch up and make a group decision. The bottom line is it all comes down to looking for the signs and trusting the signs.

On our ride home, we decided to take a different route than when we left. The snow was falling harder but we felt good about where we were going. We were looking hard for some specific signs to know where to turn. Understand these signs are small, orange signs with black arrows. They can be every 100 yards to every ½ mile apart. Somewhere we got turned around and felt we were going the wrong direction. We stopped a couple times to agree on where to go next.

Being off-course was a bit unsettling because we were afraid of being lost and running out of gas. Out on trail are gas stations unavailable.

We decided to follow the signs running along side a highway until we realized where we were: the complete opposite direction of where we wanted to go. Eventually we made it home and had a blast doing it.

Here is the part you need to hear: We were never really lost!

Sure we had gone the wrong direction but we were always following the correct signs. We only looked for snowmobile trail signs and not other kinds of signs because the signs we needed where snowmobile trail signs.

Listen my friends, so often we get worried about making the right decisions and looking for the perfect direction from God. I’m glad you want to do that as we all need to seek His face and His Will!

In God’s amazing grace and sovereignty, as we make choices in our lives, as long as our passion is for Jesus, He will keep us on track and bring us to where He wants us. He is that good.

They key is look for His signs, His word, His voice. And don’t take that lightly. God really has plans for you (Jer. 29:11-13) and they are good plans (Phil. 1:6)

Sometimes a different trail is just part of the adventure God uses to teach us about Him.

It was fun to figure out how to get back. The peace we had is always having the right sign in our sight even if it was a little different journey.

Are you watching the right signs today? Remember He is before you, behind you, beside you, in you, through you, and for you!

Watch the signs.

God is good all the time

Peder