Happy 21st Birthday, Danielle

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Twenty-one years ago today, I became a Mom.  As with all of us, we have a story that leads up to being a Mom.  My story starts when I was in high school.  As I was considering options for college, I seriously considered being a medical doctor.  I enjoyed medicine and helping people, so I thought this would be a good career choice for myself.  Then I thought about the day I would eventually be a Mom.  I thought about the long hours a Dr. puts in and did not see how I could be a good Mom and a good Dr.  I am not saying it cannot be done, but I did not think I could manage to do those 2 things well. So I chose to go to nursing school. It seemed to be a more flexible and not as much of a time commitment.

After Dave and I had been married for a few years, we were coming home from vacation (I can still remember where we were) and he said, “I think it is time to start our family.”  I had just finished my first semester of grad school.  There was no way I wanted to start a family then.  So we waited till I finished school.  Except, life never goes exactly like we plan it.  Of course, I had the perfect time table.  God had different plans.  So we waited until it was God’s perfect timing not my timing.  As I waited, I struggled with different things, but the biggest thing I struggled with was how my friend who did become a Dr. could also be pregnant.  I was jealous and struggled with having to wait when I had given up a career choice for this baby.  God in His goodness and kindness did not make me wait for long.

Sitting in the nursery holding Danielle in the rocking chair looking outside at the beautiful snow with tears in my eyes I told God and Danielle, “I am so glad I gave up those things for you.”  How I have loved being a Mom.  The joys have been more than I could ever imagine, because I did not give up anything, I gained everything.

Danielle, I love being your mom.  I love when you call to ask my advice, or tell me a story, or just need a sounding board.  I love when you need medical advice or plant advice. I love our conversations about what God is teaching you and how you are growing in Him.  I am so happy you had the opportunity to be a camp counselor last summer and chose to get involved in the lives of those girls.  They will never forget the fun times they had at camp or how much you impacted them and taught them about our Lord.

You have an infectious smile.  You share the joy of the Lord.  You watch for people that need love and love them.  You look out for people that need help and help them.  You enjoy teaching and helping others learn.  You are a bit quirky like me and break out into song spontaneously, only yours is usually on key.

I could not be more proud of the young lady you have become and the godly character you exhibit in your life.  So today on your 21st birthday, I pray that God will continue to be your source of joy and His Word will be a light to your path.  You know that throughout this journey of life I am always here for you. Happy Birthday!

I love you,

Mom

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Fear God and Keep His Commandments

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I had a conversation the other day with a lady who said she did not believe in the Bible, but believed the 10 commandments.  She also said she did not believe in God.  She went on to tell me about the good points of the 10 commandments: “Thou shall not steal. Thou shall not murder.  Thou shall not take thy neighbor’s wife (commit adultery).”  I agreed with her that these were good.  When I asked her about the first few commandments, “Thou shall have no other gods before Me. Thou shall not make a graven image,” she did not have a response for this.  She also wanted to tell me that Moses wrote the 10 commandments, not God.  When I asked her how she could believe something written by fallible man rather than an infallible God, again no answer.  Since this conversation took place at Best Buy while we waited for our turn to have our broken computers repaired, we did not get to finish our conversation.  I wish I would have thought about getting her number so we could continue our conversation.

I just finished reading Ecclesiastes.   The book written by Solomon that contains his musings about life and what is of value.  At the end of this book after recanting all the things that are worthless, he writes his conclusion to his musings.

“The end of the matter, all has been heard.  Fear God and keep His commandments, for this is the whole duty of man.  For God will bring every deed into judgement, with every secret thing, whether good or evil.” (Ecclesiastes 12:13, 14).

Solomon had everything.

  • All the money he could possibly want.
  • All the wives he could possibly want.
  • All the power he could possibly want.
  • All the prestige he could possibly want.

Yet, with all of this he concluded that what mattered was to:

  • Fear God.
  • Keep His commandments.

The lady I spoke with the other day understood part of this, yet she missed the foundational point: fear God. 

All of the money, power, and prestige is empty.  Solomon says 10 times in the book of Ecclesiastes “I have seen everything that is done under the sun, and behold, all is vanity and a chasing after the wind.” (1:14).  We cannot catch the wind.  Have you ever tried?  It always slips through our fingers heading in a direction directed by God. Solomon tried to find fulfillment in all of this and found every time he got to where he thought would bring fulfillment; it kept slipping through his fingers-just like the wind.

The only true fulfillment in our lives is to fear the Lord and keep His commandments.  Without fearing God, keeping God’s commandments will also be futile.  The foundation for keeping God’s commandments is to fear God. Without a relationship with the one true God, keeping God’s commandments will also not bring the fulfillment for which we strive.  This fulfillment only comes through a relationship with our Savior, Jesus Christ.

As we near Christmas and enjoy the festivities of the season, we must remember that Jesus came to earth as a baby to bring us hope through His sacrifice on the cross for our sins.  No matter how hard we try to find fulfillment in “chasing after the wind” it will always be out of our grasp.

Stop striving after the wind.  Rather run to the Savior and find fulfillment in the peace that comes through a relationship with Him.  Relationship brings peace and fulfillment, not the empty promises of this world.

“Fear God and keep His commandments.”