Microwave World

We live in a microwave world. We want instant pleasure, instant food, instant feedback. We want an instant fix to our problems not matter how they came to us or how big they are.

 Microwave

God absolutely performs miracles, and some of them are instant.

But many of them are not.

How about the miracle of family members who once couldn’t be in the same time zone together without going at it now spending time together over Christmas? What about the addict who no one thought could beat his addiction but now stands tall to witness for his Savior? Or a defiant child who repeatedly disobeyed her parents but now leads a Bible study on her college campus?

None of those miracles happened instantly. Sometimes miracles take a whole lot of effort. They take what seems like endless prayer. And often they take time – way more time than suits us because, yep – we want it fixed and we want it fixed NOW.

If you could shoot up a prayer and you received an instant miracle every time your words left your lips, why would you need faith? You wouldn’t. God isn’t in the business of granting our every wish like a genie coming out of a bottle.  He’s in the business of molding, building and stretching our faith through life’s ups and downs.

So in every situation – both good and bad – we need to look at what exactly God is trying to teach us. And something else – we need to be able to give God glory in every situation, both good and bad. And that ain’t always easy, but it is what we are called to do.

“We do not want you to become lazy, but to imitate those who through faith and patience inherit what has been promised. When God made his promise to Abraham, since there was no one greater for him to swear by, he swore by himself, saying, ‘I will surely bless you and give you many descendants.’ And so after waiting patiently, Abraham received what was promised.” (Hebrews 6:12-15) 

Yes, Abraham received what was promised. But #1, Abraham knew God well enough to know what His promises were, and #2, notice the part where Abraham waited patiently

Patience is a tough word in this world of instant gratification, but it is worth pursuing.

Yes, God performs miracles. Pursue them, believe in them, pray for them – and then, wait patiently for them.

Blessings for a wonderful, safe holiday weekend!
Leigh

You can follow me on Twitter @LeighThompsonAU and enjoy my sometimes inspirational, sometimes humorous, sometimes quirky Tweets!

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Are You Listening?

The other morning I was awake (again) from around 3:15 to 4:30 or so. These middle of the night wide awake sessions make me long for my days of youth, when I could lie down and sleep continually for hours on end.

My mind usually wanders all over the place, from praying for people to thinking about what I’ve got to do that day to pleading with Jesus to knock me out before I have to get up in a couple of hours.

And that morning I asked the 3 letter question I so often ask my Creator: “Why?”

“Why can’t I sleep all night? Why can’t I get back to sleep? Whyyyyyy?

And this is what I heard back:

“Because you aren’t listening.”

Uh oh. I might have been somewhat awake before that, but now I was at full attention. I felt like Jesus had just jerked a knot in my head. My prayers shifted from my honey-do list for Jesus to figuring out what I was missing. Just what did He want me to hear?

Listening

“Focus on me.”

And instantly my head was filled with what needed to focus on Him: my mind, my day, my thoughts, my prayers, my everything. Too often I’m so honed in on telling Jesus what I want Him to do, what I need Him to do, that I forget to focus on Him alone.

He deserves my total focus. And there’s nothing like a gentle (or a not so gentle) reminder at 4:15 in the morning to remind me. And guess what? When I focused on Jesus instead of all the other crazy things going on in the world, I fell fast asleep again (well, at least until that dang alarm clock went off…). I literally repeated His sweet name over and over until the problems of the oncoming day faded away.

“Since, then, you have been raised with Christ, set your hearts on things above, where Christ is seated at the right hand of God. Set your minds on things above not on earthly things.” (Colossians 3:1, 2)

Focus on Jesus.

Blessings!
Leigh

You can follow me on Twitter @LeighThompsonAU and enjoy my sometimes inspirational, sometimes humorous, sometimes quirky Tweets!

Be There

Several years ago I worked in a children’s retail store. Young mommas would come in all the time and ask me (the wise ‘ol southern momma) how do you deal with your children growing up? If their children were already acting like self-sufficient know-it-alls at such a young age, how are you supposed to deal with the teenager years?

My answer?  Alcohol and Xanax.

JUST KIDDING PEOPLE!!!  I told them you do your very best to raise them as God shows you, and you pray – A LOT. ALL THE TIME, actually.

And then I would tell them what they didn’t want to hear. That one day very, very soon their children would……… wait for it……….. make their own decisions!

WHAAAAT???? A loud gasp would be heard throughout the store as the young momma would then suck all the oxygen out of the room.

I know – when you’re a young momma or daddy you can’t imagine them making their own decisions, leaving you in the dark. But trust me, it happens.

mom and child

And I’m not relinquishing my responsibilities as a parent, but as I repeated countless times to young mommas I can only say to my children, “Love Jesus, don’t drink, don’t do drugs, don’t have sex” so many times. My children don’t have to wonder where my husband and I stand on the issues. We don’t make it a great mystery for them to figure out. (Wonder how mom or day would feel if I smoked a little crack today???)

But yes, at some point your children WILL make their own decisions.

Do I want to drink that beer? Sneak out of the house? Post that mean tweet? Smoke some weed? Have sex with my girlfriend?

Oh yes, young grasshopper parents – those days are coming – if they haven’t come already. And PLEASE don’t be one of those “My child would never…” kind of parents. Please just don’t.

Instead, you know what you gotta do? First and foremost, teach them who Jesus is and pray they develop a close relationship with Him as they grow up.  Then let them make their own decisions. Let them grow. Let them succeed. Let them fail (oh, gosh – now that one hurts, doesn’t it?). Let them – you can’t really stop them anyway and it’s just part of growing up.

Then be there. Be there to cheer them on when they get it right. Be there to pick up the pieces when they don’t. Just be there, just as Jesus is always there for you.

“I will never leave you nor forsake you.” (Joshua 1:5)

Mmmm. Hmmm. Let those be the words our children hear from us today as they go out in the world and make their own decisions.

Blessings!
Leigh

You can follow me on Twitter @LeighThompsonAU and enjoy my sometimes inspirational, sometimes humorous, sometimes quirky Tweets!

A Day Off

Last Wednesday morning during my quiet time I looked up to heaven and said, “Jesus – I just want a normal day. A day off, if you don’t mind.”

A day off of what? LIFE???

And I fantasized about a normal day – you know, a day where nothing was on my calendar, no meetings, no appointments, no school functions, no work obligations, no urgent emails, no crises.

Who am I kidding? That ain’t normal. That’s absurd. My normal looks more like a day of carpooling, writing emails, returning phone calls, serving at church, volunteering at school, grocery store shopping, cooking dinner – and that’s just my Tuesday. All of the other days of the week are some other deviation of that schedule, and I’m guessing so is yours.

To Do List

I think what I was really needing was a little comfort, a little breather from the craziness of life. It only took a few minutes of focusing upward instead of inward to get my head and my heart on the right track. Focusing on Jesus has that effect – it’s so much easier to look forward to what’s ahead rather than dread it. I can meet obligations and demands with a steadier mindset when I spend time in the morning seeking God’s will for my day and thanking Him in advance for being with me every step, no matter how chaotic the day may be.

“The Lord give strength to his people; the Lord blesses his people with peace.” (Psalm 29:11)

Nowhere in the Bible does God promise us a day of “nothing.” What He does promise is to be with us – to never leave us – and when I actually put constant prayer and reliance on Him into practice I experience the peace that is promised throughout God’s Word.

“The Lord himself goes before you and will be with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged.”  (Deuteronomy 31:8)

So I’m going to try to look at my craziness as normal. My normal may be more or less crazy than your normal, but it’s mine. And I’m going to quit asking for a day off, ‘cause I think I’d have to be in a coma for that to happen… and ain’t nobody got time for that!

Blessings!
Leigh

You can follow me on Twitter @LeighThompsonAU and enjoy my sometimes inspirational, sometimes humorous, sometimes quirky Tweets!

I’m a Veteran

No, I’ve never served in the military.

I’m a college student move-in veteran. I’ve moved the contents of a full to the brim Suburban up and down 7 flights of stairs in the life-sucking heat and humidity of Mississippi in August. I’ve moved a Sprinter van with a couch, queen size bed, a fabric headboard, patio furniture, dresser, desk, linens, pots & pans, clothes and more shoes than any one 19 year old should own into an apartment, set up house and returned home in a weekend. I could write a book on hints and tips of moving a college kid – maybe I’ll get to that another day.

Many of you have gone through this ritual, and most of us have looked at our spouse or another parent, shook our head and said:

“It wasn’t like this when I went to college.”

Well, no duh. We didn’t even have a cordless phone when we went to school. For goodness sake we were fired up to get a “teenager line” in the house! (Jinkies! Two phone lines in one house? That’s super cool!)

Let’s be real – our children have stuff. A LOT of stuff. Some is needed, most is not, but hey – let’s quit griping because guess what? We bought the stuff. That’s how they got the stuff.

So our roles as parents now shifts from buying stuff to hauling stuff around semester after semester, year after year. I know my daughter wants to live in the sorority house next year, but I’m wondering what kind of bribe I can come up with to keep her in this dang apartment for 3 more years and give us a break from this endless moving merry-go-round???

 Move Aug 2014

Buy stuff. Haul stuff. Move stuff. Bring stuff home. Store stuff. Repeat.

My parents did it for me – I’m doing it for my children – and one day, God willing – my children will do it for their children.

And you wanna know what makes this experience all OK with me? Receiving a genuine “thanks, mom” from the lips of my daughter. Hearing her laugh with her friends, knowing these are the friends she’ll have the rest of her life. Listening to her excitement as she works as an intern for her future career. Watching her grow up.

Children are a gift from the Lord; they are a reward from him.(Psalm 127:3, NLT)

Yep, children are a gift from God – even with all their stuff.  Someone remind me that in May when I once again load up the stuff to haul the stuff to store the stuff…

Blessings!
Leigh

You can follow me on Twitter @LeighThompsonAU and enjoy my sometimes inspirational, sometimes humorous, sometimes quirky Tweets!

Three More Years

After I posted my blog to the newbies on Tuesday my heart immediately went to the empty-nesters, those without children at home for the first time.  And then shortly after that I got a tweet from a momma who is now an empty-nester for the first time.

I don’t know what that feels like because I’m not there – yet. Three more years though, and I’ll join the ranks of the “WE’RE FRRREEEEEEE!” group of parents.

I’m not gonna lie – I’m not ready for that. At all.

Maybe I will be in 3 years, but I seriously doubt it.

It’s one thing to have one dark, empty bedroom where a body used to be most every night. But two? A totally dark, empty second floor in this house?

No thank you. I don’t think so.

But that day is coming, and it will get her sooner than I want, whether I’m ready or not. That’s the sad and awesome thing about having kids – you don’t get to keep them forever.

(Now for those of you with grown kids still living in your basement, well, that’s a whole other blog post…)

So when I get there, I’ll write about it. In the meantime I am so encouraged by you who have crossed over to “the other side” and still have your wits about you! (Some more than others…BAHAHAHA!!!)

And if you don’t have kids, or your kids are grown, or your kids are young, if you know someone is a new empty-nester, give ‘em a call and go to dinner with them. They could probably use a little more social life now that they’ve got all this “free time.” Some may be celebrating, but most – if honest – are feeling a little lost, a little lonely with no children at home anymore.

Empty Nest

“Just like lotions and fragrance give sensual delight, a sweet friendship refreshes the soul.” (Proverbs 27:9, The Message)

Love to all of you empty-nesters out there – you inspire me! Keep praying, keep trusting, keep serving ‘cause your children are still watching you – even though their bedrooms are (temporarily) vacant.

Blessings!
Leigh

You can follow me on Twitter @LeighThompsonAU and enjoy my sometimes inspirational, sometimes humorous, sometimes quirky Tweets!

I’ve Got You On My Mind

I’ve got a group of people still on my mind – all you mommas (and daddies) of first time college students. Just can’t shake you – I feel like you are all following me around, everywhere I go. (Creepy, right?)

Last year I walked in your shoes. I don’t want to go all Kardashian (i.e. overly dramatic), but I had a few rough days those first few weeks. (OK, let’s be real. I struggled. BIG TIME.)

You wait on her to get home from school, but she doesn’t walk through the door.
You walk past a dark bedroom, missing the door being closed, light on, knowing he was just on the other side.
You watch your favorite TV show alone, wishing you could laugh and comment with her for that hour.
You sit in church without him sitting next to you, wishing you could discuss the message with him on the way home.

It all fills strange – at first. Your family unit as you know it is down one. And a piece of your heart, your soul, your energy is missing because you left a hunk of who you are with your child in their dorm room.

empty dorm room

So many reasons run through my head of why these first couple of weeks are so hard. Separation – lack of information – the unknown – no identity of your own – can all combine to leave you feeling alone, out of the loop, at loose ends (at least that’s how I felt, even though I still have one at home). You go about your day as normal, but it doesn’t feel normal at all.

Time doesn’t heal all wounds, but Jesus does. Through constant prayer, semi-constant tears and a true desire to find that “new normal,” I found it. I still miss her every day, and every once in awhile I have a few tears. But I want to encourage all you newbies out there who are struggling to stay close to Jesus as you work through the emotions of letting go…

“And surely I am with you always, even to the very end of the age.” (Matthew 28:20)

“So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.” (Isaiah 41:10)

Tape those to your mirror if you need instant encouragement. My prayer for you all today is that you will experience comfort and peace that only Jesus can provide in the midst of your emotional upheaval.

Blessings to you all ~
Leigh

You can follow me on Twitter @LeighThompsonAU and enjoy my sometimes inspirational, sometimes humorous, sometimes quirky Tweets!