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Simply…Living For Him

Simply...Living For Him

Mac and Cheese and Life Changes

There it sat in the sink. A plate with remnants of macaroni and cheese. The cheese hardening as it does after sitting out an entire day. A sight that would normally cause frustration.

“Who didn’t put their plate in the dishwasher? Who left this here all day only to leave me to clean it up?”

Only this time it was different. I held the plate, stared at it and fought back tears. But they still came.

My mind flashed to earlier that morning. Tensions were high. Emotions were high. Excitement was high. We were almost ready to walk out the door and take my firstborn to college. One last “mothering” moment. I asked her if she had eaten anything.

It was barely 7 am so I knew the answer. She never liked to eat early, let alone this early. “Please just eat something. It’s going to be a long day and you need to be nourished.”

Without a word, she walked over to the fridge and took out the leftovers from her special going away meal the night before. Homemade mac and cheese. One of her very favorites. I bit my tongue because heaven knows mac and cheese at 7 am isn’t usual, but I was just thrilled she was eating something. And truth be told, it would nourish her for the day ahead.

She stood there eating from the plate, one last comfort of home before we left for the unknown.

And now, here I was left staring at the plate. Perspective changed. Normally I would fuss about the plate being left in the sink, but here I lingered. I held the plate and was so caught off guard that such a thing would set me off. But it did.

Tears started to well up. I was grateful for that plate.

 

It was a sobering reminder though of the last thing she did right before she left. Something that was so ordinary now became a profound moment. I know that the next time she eats a meal in the house things will be different. They just will. She will have new friends, new mentors, new experiences. She will have new knowledge and Lord willing, new wisdom. She will be different. Our family will be different. One has gone out to experience life outside of our safe little haven and our familiar life. And that’s a good thing. It is time.

Our last meal at the school, together

I am grateful the last thing my daughter did before she left was to eat a nourishing meal, homemade by her mama. And I pray that her soul was nourished in some way too.

Life changes are hard. But good. But really hard. But really good.

Who would have thought a plate of macaroni and cheese would spark such feelings? You just never know.

I am grateful for this moment. We have arrived at a new chapter in life and it is exciting. I couldn’t be more overjoyed for the place she is in. And it’s all God’s leading. For now, I am taking time to adjust to our new normal. Whatever that means. But that’s what they say you need to do. Trusting the Lord with each moment and thanking Him for that plate of mac and cheese.

 

Simply...Living For Him

Changing Seasons

Life is full of seasons, and as I look back on them, each fondly in their own right, I am filled with joy.

There was the season of pregnancies. With each one, the doctor visits, the worries, the preparations. Making sure we picked out that perfect stroller, high chair, and baby gear.

The toddler season. Life got interesting. A bunch of littles all preschool age and under. It was busy and tiring, and loud…but full of life. There were times of worry and times of change and maybe a bit too much of hope for the future to get through that current season.

 

Then came the school years.  A life-changing season. The homeschooling season. Life seemed to be packed with lessons and field trips and friends. It was a magnificent season, of course with hardships woven throughout. Just like any season.

And then the teenage years. The ones I was told would be awful and hard. To my surprise, it’s my very favorite season. I adore these young people. Sure there were a few challenges here and there as we all experienced growing pains, but the fun we had! The laughs! And the enjoyment of watching the kids who had depended on me as littles now took on so much responsibility, and often I would depend on them.

They began to grow into their personalities which were so evident from the beginning– the strong will of a toddler became the strong conviction of a teen. The energy of a child became the motivation and endurance of a young adult. The curiosity of a little one became the teen who is always learning.

Yes, the seasons of change. 

And here we are on the cusp of a new season. One that will bring it all to fruition. Life will become different. The child now an adult. The full time living here as a family of six, who loves to be together will now be five full time, with anticipation of that sixth one’s visit. But it’s ok. It’s just how it supposed to be. Life moves forward. It ebbs and flows and comes out on the other side of each undulation different. Often better. But always different. I look forward to seeing what is in store in the new season.

Simply...Living For Him

Redemption

If there is has ever been a picture of redemption it is right now- watching my girl get ready for college.

As you have all seen through the myriad of posts these past several months, the time is approaching. In nine days to be exact. It’s been an emotional time and I think I have felt it all lately- excited, scared, happy, sad, elated, nervous, and the list goes on.

As I watched her leading worship this past weekend though, one word came to me that I hadn’t really felt before.

Redemption.

And it took my breath away.

Oh, praise the Father!

 

 

You see, I also went off to college at the age of 18. But for me, it was a completely different experience. I was an utterly different teenager. I had been through a tumultuous time in my teen years. I put my parents through many nightmares. My life was fairly dysfunctional, to say the least, as were my relationships.

And when it came time to go to college, I couldn’t wait to finally leave! It wasn’t a sad time for any of us. There was no lamenting in the last days. I am fairly certain I was counting them because they didn’t go by fast enough. There were no tears, just the feeling that I was finally getting away.

And then I got away. 

And when I looked at my girl up there singing praises to her Savior this past Sunday, it hit me so hard. She is about to go off to college…and for me, going off to college was the beginning of the worst time of my life. The time where I would meet people that would not only be the “wrong crowd,” but it was the time where so much harm was done and I would walk through some pretty awful experiences.

The feelings overwhelmed me as she, up there with a huge smile, worshiping the Lord, started to mesh into my own memories of me at that same time. It was all so overwhelming.

And all I could think of was, “Redemption.”

If I had not gone through all the horrific things that I did at her age, she wouldn’t be here. None of my kids would. I wouldn’t have ended up meeting my husband if I hadn’t gone through every single terrible moment.

If I hadn’t walked through the doors of darkness, I wouldn’t have seen the light I do today.

Isn’t that an amazing thought?

Redemption.

It’s what God does.

And so as I feel all the normal things that come with letting my girl go off to college…(and I am truly excited for her!) the biggest one that hits me today is, God has restored.

At 18, I was rebellious, lost, and living in darkness. 

At 18, she is walking with the Lord, has the most amazing friendships, and is a light to all who know her. She is capable and confident and about to go to Bible college to pursue her passions. It really couldn’t be any more opposite of where I was at 18.

A picture of God’s mercy and grace…and redemption. That is what I see as we watch this young woman go to the next chapter of her life. And I praise the Lord for what He alone can do.

Amazing grace how sweet the sound
That saved a wretch like me
I once was lost, but now am found
Was blind, but now I see

‘Twas grace that taught my heart to fear
And grace my fears relieved
How precious did that grace appear
The hour I first believed

My Chains are gone, I’ve been set free
My God my Savior has ransomed me
And like a flood His mercy reigns
Unending love, Amazing Grace

Simply...Living For Him

I Could Meet Jesus Today

I could meet Jesus today. I had that thought as I was driving through the country roads recently. It was just a normal morning, sun shining, cows in the distance of the farm I was passing. The light was coming through the morning fog, and it hit me like a huge boulder had just been put in the road, bringing me to a complete and sudden stop.

What if today is the day? What if today is the day that I actually meet Jesus face to face?

I thought about that for a while and began to think about how life would be different if I woke up every day with that thought the I could meet Jesus today.

“I could meet Jesus today.”

I would live differently. In the choices I make. In the thoughts that I have. In the way I treat people. In everything. In every single detail, my life would be different.

What if we all had that thought in the morning– I could meet Jesus today– it would change everything.

Instead of thinking we have this huge timeline of life before us that often seems so concrete. We think that tomorrow is promised, next year is guaranteed, and even 20 years is a sure thing. But not even the moment after this one is truly a given.

We think of the future and the things we want to do and how tomorrow we’ll do better. Tomorrow is a new day to fix it. Tomorrow we will live differently. 

We make plans. Often, we fret over them, analyze them, and change them. But what if…

What if? What if today is the day you meet Jesus.

Every day lived is one day closer to Jesus and that excites me. It used to scare me. But the more I walk with Him, the more I live for the next life and hold looser to this one. Because His Word is true and I know without a doubt how much more He offers than this world.

But we often live like that’s a nice saying on a t-shirt, and not a true eternal promise and a promise that is here right now.

If we lived with the constant thought that what the Bible says IS true and that He may come back any time, or He may take me at any time, all of a sudden the little things we fret over, the details that we let shape us, all of it…fades into the background as our true purpose in life becomes more clear.

Even the really big things here on earth shrink in comparison to Him. No matter if we have one breath left of decades of breaths left, we must live with our eyes on heaven. It makes our lives here on earth that much more purposeful. We can choose a life filled with moments that are all too focused on the here and now and quite frankly on ourselves. Or we can live our lives for what we were created for. Him.

I write this because for all too long I have chosen the former. But I so want to live the latter.

What will you choose today?

©Karen DeBeus, Simply Living for Him 2019

 

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