Friday, April 17, 2015

You Can't Always Get What You Want by Karen Cone

One day when Taylor and Caleb were small, we stopped at Arby's drive-thru to grab lunch. The line was long...noon time long and moving at a snail’s pace.

Our stomach growled for more than fifteen minutes before we ever ordered. Then when we finally pulled up to order our delicious roast beef sandwiches, I got this response: "We are out of roast beef."

Yes, you heard me right. Out of ROAST BEEF! Why are they open? And why weren't they telling all of us in this dumb line this very relevant information before we got to the little black box? Could they not put up a sign or something?

Yeah, I'm still mad about it.

Mick Jagger was right. You can't always get what you want.

 That day I had an expectation that Arby's (a restaurant that proclaims "Arby's Roast Beef Sandwich Is Delicious!") would provide those sandwiches; but they couldn't deliver. They had no roast beef. Arby's could not give me what they did not have.

In the same way, I can look to other people and have expectations about what they are to provide for me. Some of my expectations may be completely reasonable, but if the person I'm looking to help doesn't have what I need, then he can't give it.

This dynamic can be present in any relationship, but it shows up the most in marriage. I need comfort, kindness, patience, and gentleness. Instead, maybe today my husband does not have those things to give. Maybe, he needs all of those things from me, but I'm not able. Maybe we both used up our daily supply of kindness and comfort on others or maybe we didn't have any to begin with. Either way, I am set up for a fall. I need comfort and I'm not getting it. My expectations are not getting met. His expectations are not getting met. We are two ticks with no dog.

When my need for food wasn't met by Arby's that day, the need didn't go away. I was still hungry. My kids were still hungry. We had to begin looking for another source of sustenance. We found another place to eat.

When my need for comfort is not being met by Kevin, I have to go to another source. God has given me friends, family, and Himself. There have been times when all I needed was a heart to heart with God. The simple reminder that He loves me, values me, and has not forgotten me is often enough. And there have been moments when I have needed Jesus with flesh on (a safe friend) who could listen and empathize with me. There have been many days when being around my family for a holiday celebration filled my heart with what was missing.

God calls us to be the Body of Christ here on earth. In Ephesians 4:2, we are instructed to "be patient, bearing with one another in love." This is the practical working out of that verse. I have had to learn to be patient with others, receiving them where they are and recognizing they can't give me what they don't have. As human beings, we have limited supplies of patience, love, mercy, and roast beef. We run out of these things. But, God, who is rich in mercy, is always in full supply.

Karen loves to write and lead women's support group.  She is learning to walk in God's grace day to day as well as learning to extend that grace to others.  You can follow her blog at

Wednesday, April 15, 2015

Jesus Restores by Cheryl Lutz

“And I will restore to you the years that the locust hath eaten..” (Joel 2:25, King James Version)

I was standing in the fitting room gazing into the mirror contemplating my choice, when the voice of my teenage daughter interrupted my thoughts.  “Did you find one, Mom?”  I affirmed; then her next words rocked my little fitting room world.  Well, let me see!

Gulp! She seriously wanted to see it.  I regretfully admit that this was one of the first shopping trips we had ever gone on together without angry words being tossed back and forth.  But this day had been different. My firstborn girl and I were having a beautiful time at the mall together.

I didn't want to alter the mood, so I sheepishly opened the door. To our mutual horror, her face melted before my eyes as she screamed, “Eww…not on!”  I quickly closed the door feeling mortified as I heard giggling coming from the surrounding rooms.  

She is now 24 years old, and we laugh hysterically about the day I opened the fitting room door shirtless, to show her the bra I had chosen. We also rejoice in the fact that we are now close friends.

My girls and me.  Hannah is on the left
Dear Ones, it was not always like this.  We allowed worlds to collide with my fashion-loving girl and our fishbowl existence as a Pastor's family.

I confess many times I objected to her clothing based more on what others might think, rather than personal and biblical convictions.  I allowed Satan to drive a wedge between one of my children and me.

Do you fight with your teens about clothing?  Are your convictions based on biblical principles or are they more about fear of what others think?

Stop and pray now for wisdom.  Open the lines of communication and ask for forgiveness for ungodly responses.  Explain the beauty and blessing of honoring our Heavenly Father in all things, including our clothing.  Make sure the bottom line is about glorifying Him, and not primarily about trying to meet other’s expectations. 

Like me, have you allowed the locusts (our enemy) to eat precious years with your children?  Take heart!  As we seek His face and obedience to His word he fulfills His promise to: “Restore the years the locusts have eaten!”  What He has done for my girl and me, He will do for you too!

Throwback of Hannah

Cheryl Lutz is passionate to teach women how to tear down strongholds and find freedom in Christ. A pastor’s wife for twenty-five years, Cheryl possesses a vibrant love for teaching the Word of God. She is the founder of Securely Held, LLC, where she works as a trained and experienced lay counselor and speaker.
You may contact Cheryl through her blog
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Twitter: @clutz40