I write a lot about building a heritage for our children with books, beauty, and creativity… all to provide wonderful memories of hearth & home. Such a quest is all good and true but living in a world such as ours, life is not all picnics and tea time. Rarely does a child become an adult without a family experiencing trials and tribulations… and some more than others.
Recently I had lunch with my son and he was telling me about the pressures of work and of long nights finishing projects on his computer at home. In between bites of a McDonald’s chicken wrap sandwich, he described both the challenges causing the extra work load and the satisfaction which comes with seeing one of his iPad app designs ready for “launch” after a year in the design phase.
He is no stranger to grueling nights of hard work after studying Computer Science at the University. He didn’t quit although there were entire semesters when he felt like it. Persistence helped my daughter get through her design degree and even more so as the mother of five young children.
Both have a “never give up” attitude that didn’t come from our picnics at the park or Saturday morning strolls on the Boardwalk in Saugatuck. They learned how to handle the difficulties of life by actually living through such times as they were growing up in our household.
As children become adults, they receive advice from multiple sources but by far the biggest influence on how they relate to adversity comes from the way they saw their parents handle it. Did Dad ask the family to pray for God’s provision? When trials suddenly came out of nowhere, did Mom come unglued (so to speak) or did the children see her open her Bible and read the verses which brought her most comfort?
The older I become and I look back on this journey of life, the more I realize God never wasted a trial I went through. They were not fun at the time; some were so difficult I felt I had to remind myself to breath. Especially those specifically life altering situations in which even the near future was shrouded in the fog of the unknown. Where will we live? How will we put food on the table? Will the illness be overcome? What does tomorrow hold for us?
Many times the fog of the unknown lifted only enough to show the next step on our journey. However, there were also those days when the answer to prayer arrived in such a way that our family knew only God could have engineered such a miracle… and we learned from the trial. What did we learn? [Read more...]