Not Today, Satan


Exhausted from playing “the shark game” with my boys this afternoon at the park, I decided to sit out for awhile and watch them race down the double red slides.

As I smiled at their smiles, my eyes wandered over to a big blue van that had just pulled into the handicap spot. Later, I watched this young mom push her disabled son on the zipline, happy to observe that he did not seem to take notice of the able-bodied children running around him, and they took no notice of him. A feeling of immense gratitude washed over me as I yelled at my oldest for heading down a particularly dangerous slide head first. He squealed, “Okay, mom!” as he ran around the equipment for another try at the monkey bars.20181022_204232

As I thanked God for my three healthy children, an uninvited, but not all that surprising, thought entered my mind:

What if all of it is taken away from you?

A thought like that could not have come from anywhere, but the one and only, the giver of crap, the father of lies, good ol’ Satan. Attacking a young mom’s blissful moment with her children has Satan written all over it.

It shouldn’t be a secret that I, as a young mom, often push away illogical fears of sick children, injured children, kidnapped children, and the list goes on. I know I’m not alone, either. The constant bombardment of media telling parents what we should and should not fear guarantees we will never feel completely free from worry.

Of course, Satan has seen my weakness (my unrelenting love for my children) and my strength (my complete dependence on God to raise them in a way that honors Him); so what better way to attack a perfect moment than to remind me I could lose it?

Satan wants to steal our joy; in fact, I think it may be his greatest weapon against us. In 1 Peter, he is described as a lion, and lions are excellent hunters. Then in John, we are reminded that he does nothing but steal, kill, and destroy. Since my joy in the life the Lord has blessed me with is something that draws me near to Him, it is also something Satan has on his radar to steal from me.


On many occasions, I have had a thought like this and allowed it to get a foothold on my heart, with absolutely no resistance. Gosh, that’s a good point, I should probably be afraid of that. However, these are the moments that Satan has caught me unaware, usually when I am weak in my prayer life. Satan’s lies are so deceiving they cause us to believe perhaps our logic and intellect brought such a thought to the surface. Just as Eve engaged in conversation with the serpent, I often allow one of these lies to fester within me, until it becomes truth.

Today, however, he had no power over me. Possible pain in the future will have no control over my joy in the present. Today I have three healthy kids, and God willing I will have this for the rest of my life. I am the child of a God who is infinitely more powerful than any lie Satan can feed me.

Let him never catch us unaware.


A Gift from the King

I remember when I was a kid, and it was the night before my birthday or Christmas or Pajama Day, I would lie awake, smiling at the ceiling, with just the slightest trace of nervousness fluttering around in my chest–as if the air I was breathing had been charged with a startling energy. The notion of sleep was such an impossibility that I didn’t even attempt to close my eyes. I just lied there, thinking about how perfect my life was.

It’s not like my life was perfect. It’s just that none of the crap mattered because I knew tomorrow was going to be awesome. It’s as though, while I lied there dreaming of tomorrow, I could already experience the joy that I would encounter the next day. Now that is childlike faith.Person, Human, Female, Girl, Cap, Winter, Snow, Gloves

Things aren’t like that anymore.

I still have joy, but my life is so far from perfect that the word actually makes me grin more than anything. To be honest, I don’t remember the last time I stared at the ceiling in the middle of the night with an unmistakable giddiness in my heart. I do, however, recall staring at the ceiling on several occasions with worry swirling through my mind.

It is difficult to obtain a childlike faith when you are smack in the middle of adulthood.

Even though these moments of inexpressible joy are fewer than they used to be, they certainly still happen, and my adulthood has made me more aware of who deserves credit for these blissful moments.

It is the moments where your problems have not gone from your life, but they’ve gone from your thoughts. In these moments, you recognize what life is truly about. It is not worry. It is not finances. It is not career. It is not simply surviving from one moment to the next, fighting to enjoy a life of chaos.


No. It is in these moments where God decides to stand up and command your mind to be still.

These moments, where childlike faith actually seems within reach, are the most unlikely of gifts. For these moments are utterly contrary to our earthly reality but undeniably in harmony with a Heavenly truth. For in these moments, you get to see a King bring a gift to His servant.

To the Media: Shut Up.

Yesterday as I did dishes, my son spent an entire five minutes standing at a wide open garage door, looking out into the dark garage, considering the option of taking a step, stumbling down three flights of stairs, and landing on a cement floor. Yep, didn’t see that coming.


Today he was visiting with an 8-month old in a wagon at the park. I was watching from afar, making sure he did not poke her in the face, when suddenly the wagon handle that he was leaning on moved and slammed right into the poor girl’s head. Yep, didn’t see that coming.


I should really delete Facebook off my phone. I don’t even think about it. One second I am waiting for my son to get done eating or for my car to get done filling up and the next second, I am cruising through my Newsfeed. It is like I have some sort of constant thumb twitch that can only be satisfied by clicking on the little blue app stamped with an F. It calls to me.


I have seriously considered getting rid of my account, and if it weren’t for my blog, I would.


Some of you probably think that would be a great idea, as you also have a love-hate relationship with this stalk-anyone-you-want-stimulation. However, others probably wonder how I could mediapossibly live without it. I feel sorry for those people.


Social media is important to us. It also serves many incredible purposes. I use Facebook to spread the word about a ministry I am trying to start; I use it to spread the word of a new blog post; I use it to sell items and make some extra money; I use it to advertise my new idea for a book club for middle-schoolers.


However, many of the articles posted on my Newsfeed only serve one purpose: worrying me. And trust me: I do not need any help worrying; I am pretty skilled at that all on my own.


I used to joke with my dad about worrying. I would tell him that he just wasn’t complete unless he has something to worry about. Little did I know, someday, I would adopt this torturous trait.


This is a bit off topic, but worrying literally is the most useless human activity. Probably even more useless than snuggling up with your cell phone and your Newsfeed.


Anyway, to prove my point about Facebook and its indomitable, worry-laden information, I just logged on and cruised through status updates, pregnancy announcements, and quick speed recipe videos. I was looking for articles shared by my friends. These were the first five articles I came across:

  1. Stevenson Funeral Home – Obituary for Cadence – This is a funeral happening on Thursday for an 18-month old niece of my co-worker. She had cerebral palsy.
  2. 19 Year Old Stroke Survivor says ‘Just live for now’
  3. Customer with Concealed Carry Permit Fatally Shoots Ax-Wielding Attacker at 7-Eleven
  4. University of North Carolina: Saying ‘Christmas Vacation’ a Microaggression
  5. Exclusive: Ikea to Halt Sale of Deadly Dressers, Offer Refunds to Millions


This is what my anxious, and perhaps pessimistic, mind gathered from the above articles.

  1. Children get sick and pass away.
  2. People can have strokes at terrifyingly young ages.
  3. Soon, if our government has their way, all of us will be at the mercy of a psycho with an ax or gun or knife.
  4. Colleges and public schools alike are continually trying to shove God out of their hallways.
  5. Something as insignificant as a dresser has killed three, yes three, children.


Wow, ya know after logging onto my Facebook account to waste a little time while my kiddo sleeps, I feel so much better…….I am so glad I did that.


It has become even worse since becoming a parent. Even without Facebook, parents are constantly bombarded by warnings and “helpful” tips meant to keep our children safe.











It truly is a phenomenon that any child, anywhere has managed to survive until adolescence.


If the constant warnings aren’t enough to keep you up at night. The terrifying, disturbing, skin-crawling stories of sickness, injuries, and deaths of children around the world surely will. I am not one to deny that accidents happen, even freak accidents. However, I hardly think anyone needs to inform me of the one child who contracted a frightful flesh-eating bacteria from a bouncy house… This is certainly tragic, but I do not think 1 out of the 1,000,000,000,000 children who have played in bouncy houses is really a cause for alarm.


It gets even worse if you’re pregnant. Watch out for Zika, CMV, lunch meat, unpasteurized cheeses, and don’t even think about eating raw cookie dough…Bacterias, insects, and diseases are lurking around every corner, waiting to attack your vulnerable, unborn child.


Again, I am not denying, nor would I ever belittle, the tragedies that do occur with children and unborn babies. However, scaring the living daylights out of moms and dads is just not accomplishing a whole lot.


I don’t think anyone out there is going to argue that Facebook, as well as all types of media, is responsible for spreading these ridiculous, extremely unlikely to actually occur, warnings.


I truly do think the media wants all of us to live in fear, buy a lot of bubble wrap, and refrain from indulging in anything even remotely close to enjoyable.


According to Facebook, every activity, food, or device is likely to kill my son. It probably would be best if I just put him in a bubble and only exit the house when it is deemed absolutely necessary. If he is smiling, he is surely in danger.


Even though we tend to gobble up these frightful lies faster than a Thanksgiving feast, it is not the media’s fault that parents worry too much. It’s ours. It is our lack of confidence in our own common sense and in our own ability to keep our children safe.


More importantly, it is a lack of confidence or perhaps a denial of our Heavenly Father. We are not responsible to keep our children alive until adulthood. Our responsibility is to serve our Lord by raising our kids to the best of our ability, after that, we leave them with God. Every parent in this entire country is aware that bad things can happen. This fact is biologically programmed into parents. We do not need help coming up with ridiculous and unlikely situations that could harm our kids.


This makes me think of the many nights I have lied awake entirely convinced that my son’s bedroom was filling with carbon monoxide. Or, even more embarrassing, when I snuck into his room at 3:00 am and removed a picture hanging above his crib: I was so sure it was going to fall on his head and kill him, I could not sleep until I removed it. Am I crazy? Nope. I am a mom. I am a mom who believes it is on her to protect her child in a dangerous, uninviting, sinful world.


We are not perfect. We make mistakes. Accidents happen. Kids get sick. Kids get hurt. This is hard for me to type, but kids also die. We cannot foresee everything, nor should we expect this from ourselves or the parents around us. God would never expect this from any of his children. We are only harming our children by spreading useless and terrifying media that won’t do any good to anyone.

My advice to every Facebook cruising, media gobbling parent out there is this: tell Facebook to shut up and listen to your God when He tells you He will protect your family. He will.