Tag Archives: peace

Find Your Sabbath in Autumn

It’s that time of year. The perfect season. Coffee tastes better. The air smells fresher. Cuddling in the blankets a little later in the morning feels so good, especially because it’s a little darker for a little longer. 

I also love the balance that it provides in my own life. Autumn is a busy season. School is in full swing, the holidays are approaching, and if you aren’t careful, there is little rest. But we have also been called to find rest. We have been called to find Sabbath rest (Hebrews 4:9-10) even in the midst of our busy seasons. That doesn’t necessarily mean that the schedules will clear, or that you’ll sleep more, or that it will look any certain way. Rather, it means a shift in thought. It’s a change of perspective. It’s a way of looking at and living in the world with the peace of God in your heart. 

Sounds easy, right?

It’s not. Not always, anyway. It can be difficult to feel peaceful in everything you do. Most workplaces driven by efficiency don’t also have a peaceful atmosphere. Rush hour at 5pm doesn’t hold a peaceful feeling. Your children don’t seem peaceful when they wake at 6am hungry. 

But this is the gift of God: that you shall find Sabbath rest, because He is allowing you to. He has given you that gift, and all you need do is receive it. That doesn’t make it easy, but it makes it available to us. If we can walk in the faith that God has peacefulness and rest for us… that is the real Sabbath rest. 

So this season… this busy season of warm coffee, chilly air, cooking, shopping, carpooling, and preparing… this season is the perfect time to take a minute, and ask the Lord to help you accept that perfect rest. Rest that is the ceasing of striving to do it all ourselves. Rest that is feeling loved and taken care of by the One who is sovereign over every single thing. His gift to us is His peace. We only need to say yes. 

This post is part of my NaBloPoMo, where I publish a piece every day in November. Many of the posts will be writing exercises, sometimes straying from my usual style. 

A Toddler’s War on Food: Finding Peace in Compromise

This post also appeared on My Big Jesus!  

Sometimes, toddlers are picky. Okay, fine. Toddlers are picky. End of sentence. It’s hard to get them to do anything you’d like them to, such as sleep, clean up, wear clothes, use the potty, or eat healthy. This last one can be a particular battle at our house. Our family cooks a lot, most of our meals actually, and so I know that when I cook, it’s probably healthy, and usually pleases my kids. But sometimes, I can put three of my toddler’s approved foods on his plate, and he won’t touch them.

This raises a few concerns for me. First and foremost, I want him to be healthy, and grow strong. I know that he’s got to have good food (or food at all!) to do that. So when I put a meal in front of him, and he screams for candy and won’t touch it, I get worried. Or when I choose something I’m sure he will like (i.e. he’s liked it in the past), and he refuses it, I’m torn whether to just let it go and not worry that he isn’t hungry/doesn’t wait it, or fix something else that I think he might want. But I don’t want to be a short-order cook, and I don’t want to concede every time and feed him what he wants (ice cream). Sometimes I can’t even convince him to sit at the table for more than 3 minutes, so how can I possibly expect him to eat a full meal that I’ve chosen for him?

We compromise.

This means that sometimes, neither of us gets what we want. But most times, we both get a little of what we want.

The first thing I do is try my hardest to put one thing on his plate I know he will eat. This usually translates to some sort of fruit. He’s a fruit lover, and I know if I want him to eat green beans, I need to give him a little mandarin orange, too. Often I find that when he starts eating that item, when it’s gone, he moves seamlessly on to whatever else is on his plate. Winning!

The second thing I do is try to let him choose his plate, choose where he sits, etc. For example, my daughter (who’s almost four) finishes her food before he does almost every time, simply because she doesn’t fight about it (anymore) and she’s in a very hungry phase right now. So he sees her running around and he’s only taken four bites, I don’t want him to get up yet but he’s ready to play. So sometimes I let him sit next to me in the living room, or out on the porch, or in front of the TV, and help him (cleanly!) eat more, and all the while, he doesn’t feel like he’s left out.

This all came into perspective for me one day when my daughter finished before him, and went outside to blow bubbles. He could see her through the window, and wouldn’t eat another bite, begging to go outside. Finally, I just offered to sit with him outside, and finish his lunch there. He happily sat on the bench with me, surrounded by bubbles, eating his lunch. It seemed like a battle won for both of us. We didn’t need to fight – we needed to change our perspectives.