Who’s knocking at your door? (The time I wouldn’t let my FIL in my house)

Who’s knocking at your door? (The time I wouldn’t let my FIL in my house)

As a young mother, life can be hectic to say the least,  between work, life and just wrangling a little kid the task can feel daunting. At least it did for me,  our little one must of been about 2-3 yrs old and between the depression of Jeff not having a job, and me carrying the financial load, I was pretty give out, add to that the fact, my mother never taught me how to clean or maintain a home much because of her physical disabilities. So,  lets just say there were some areas in my life, that I had to grow up quickly in, maintaining a home was one of those and obviously I was a little behind on that learning curve. 

 

So, it not might come as a surprise to you that one day when my father-in-law appeared at my apartment door I refused to let him in. Oh! I was nice about it. I just opened the door, stood in the doorway and said “Hello” and smiled. When he told me what he was there for I was polite and said “Thank you!” and added “I’d invite you in but Jeff isn’t here and the house is a mess” to which we both laughed and my father-in-law went on his way. 

 

Later, I found out that Jeff had mentioned to his dad, “You need to come see us sometime” to which Trammel responded “I tried and Alesa wouldn’t let me in”. Looking back, perhaps that is why I never remember my in laws coming to visit our home when we lived in the same town. I doubt that was the reason,but it is a thought. 

 

You know what else I have thought about, I was thinking, how many times do we do that to God. He knocks on our hearts, nudges on our hearts with a thought of “I want to help you, just let me in” or “If you would just do this or that, things would be better” and we stand in the doorway of our life saying “It’s to messy in here I can’t let you in”. 

 

We believe the lies that satan tells us that we will never be good enough and won’t ever make it or we have to clean up our lives before we can let God in. But the truth is God loves us right where we are. In fact is,  the bible tells us ‘While we were still sinners Christ died for us” Roman 5:8

 

The truth is we are loved with an everlasting love (Jer 31:3) Now does that mean just because God loves us we stay in the same mess we find ourselves in now. No! Once we know better we do better. The bible tells us that just because grace abounds doesn’t give us the license to continue to sin. (Romans 6:1-2)

 

When I got older, I got better with my housekeeping skills. I read books, and sign up for email reminders of what to do. I made the effort to do better and I did. Most people after seeing my home,  then and seeing my home now, wouldn’t believe it was the same person living there. I have even been admired for my home organizational skills so much so that some husbands have hired me to help their wives. 

 

It’s the same way with life, and living for God. We all have messes. The question is what will we do with our mess. Will we let it over take us and continue to live in it or will we decided we can do better and we will do better and step by step begin to change. 

 

I learned to do better by educating myself through books, magazines, T.V. shows and email subscriptions. I read and watched everything I could get my hands on to help improve the life of my family. I knew I couldn’t do it on my own. 

 

It’s the same way for us in our lives. We can’t change our life without God’s help and He is still standing at our door knocking asking “Won’t you let me in?”. He has sent the church, His Word and other believers around you to help you. He doesn’t expect you to do it on your own either. 

 

So what will you say? How about today,  you decide to let Him in, make the change? He already knows everything about you and loves you anyway. There is nothing you are ever going to do to make God love you more and there is nothing you will ever do to make God love you less. 

He promises that if you will open the door to Him,  He will come in. (Rev 3:20) How about you let Him in today, join a bible believing church that will help you grow and understand His word and just give Him a chance to make a difference in your life today. I promise,  you will never find anyone that loves you more than He does. Alesa Lewis Miller is the Pastor’s wife of Lighthouse Worship Center, Greensburg Kansas, Mom, Mimi, Speaker, & Columnist. Find more of her stories at www.behindtheparsonagewalls.com

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Worst Thanksgiving Ever!

Worst Thanksgiving Ever!

Well, the Thanksgiving season is upon us, many will soon be gathered around the table with their loved ones and friends reflecting on the blessings we have received this year. If your house is like mine, there will be a moment before we indulge in the food before us that we will pause and go around the table, allowing each one to say what they are thankful for.

Now in a house like ours some might choose to move this process along by simply saying all they are thankful for is God assuming He covers everything,  just to hurry up and pro take of the feast that sits before them. So, you may be surprised to find, at our house, it is made clear before this process begins that we know, God is responsible for all that we have been given and so, we want to hear what specific things that God has given you this year that you are thankful for.

Another tradition in our house at this time of the year, is I try to prepare all the foods my kids want. It’s a favorite dishes kind of meal. I ask everyone what they want to eat and since there is 9 of us and at least a couple of choices by each person, the amount of food can add up quickly and that isn’t limited to just the side dishes or desserts, but also includes what kind of turkeys we have, which can range from fried, roasted or smoked, there is usually at least 2 turkeys, (smaller ones) cooked different ways for us to enjoy!

Now although my kids are active in the meal preparation these days there’s still some dishes I make that they demand only from me and I in turn have favorites that only they can make. I have been working hard for many years to teach my kids how to cook, so that I know when I die they won’t starve. Essentially I want to work myself out of job of cooking on the holidays but I am no quite there yet but I believe the plan is on track..

You may have heard of people who do food prep and make all the food they are going to eat for the week in one day, then cook it throughout the week?  Well that is kind of what Thanksgiving is like for us, except we cook enough food for a week all on Thanksgiving day and then graze on it for the next 3 days while the kids are here. I like doing this because, I am not stuck in the kitchen the whole time the family is here and I can take pleasure in just enjoying my family.

You may think, my idea is crazy but let me tell you the reasoning behind my madness.  One of the most disappointing Thanksgivings Jeff and I ever had was after we were married and had moved to Kansas, we returned to Alabama for the big day anticipating eating my mother in law’s traditional thanksgiving meal.  

We were so excited to be going back to celebrate with Jeff’s family. My mother in law is an amazing cook, this woman who made biscuits everyday for breakfast when her husband was alive and homemade cornbread for every other meal had our mouth watering as we traveled the 14 hours to visit them remembering how good Thanksgiving is around my in laws house. So needless to say we had great expectations of eating her famous dressing, and enjoying all the other dishes she is known for. But to our disappointment, when we arrived it was announced that this year, Mrs Miller was tired of cooking and had decided to have the meal catered in.

Our hearts sunk, although we understood, it did not console our craving for her own cooking that we had missed so much, by living all those hours away and rarely getting to see them, let alone taste those famous home cooked meals she was known for.  So that is when I decided when my kids grow up, I was determined to make sure they never felt that disappointment after coming back home.

You know, if we are all honest with ourselves, there is that one dish for most of us that we remember as being our favorite from our mom or grandma, and it doesn’t matter if we follow their directions to a tee to make it, it still never tastes like it did when that person we loved made it. So, yes that is why I indulge my children when they come home. I never want my kids to walk away from my home on a holiday wishing I had cooked something,or we had done something, I want them to have that special memory of home.

Have you ever expected something, that didn’t happen the way you planned? Were you disappointed? We often have expectations. We ask God for something and believe and even have faith that He could do it,  then when the time comes and it doesn’t go the way we planned, we are disappointed, sometimes mad that we didn’t get our way.

There will be a lot of people who over this holiday season will reflect on this past year that have much bigger issues than Jeff and I did on that disappointing day. They may not have anything to eat at all, they may only be able to think about that empty chair where their loved one use to sit.

I read somewhere your tough job is an unemployed persons dream, your small home is an homeless persons dream, your annoying child is an infertile couples dream, and your smile is the dream of every depressed person. So be thankful in every situations.

Whatever the case, let us all remember that there is always someone worse off than we are. God has placed us here to bless others and you are blessed to be a blessing. Oh! You may not have as much as someone else, but is that really what God is looking for? No where in the bible have I ever read, you have to have this much money in the bank, or this much food in your house, or even your children act a certain way for God to love you.

God looks on the heart in 1 Samuel 16:7 God told the prophet Samuel … “Do not look on his appearance or on the height of his stature, because I have rejected him. For the Lord sees not as man sees: man looks on the outward appearance, but the Lord looks on the heart.”

How about we do that this holiday season? How about we not judge ourselves or others on anything else, but what God sees. Let’s ask God to help us see others with His eyes,  love others with His heart. But most of all love yourself the same way. Give yourself a break! So what if this year didn’t turn out how you expected it? Tomorrow is a new day and the bible says God’s mercies are new every morning. So that means, every day there an opportunity for a fresh start and nothing is lost if we learned from it. Just like that disappointing thanksgiving vacation, Jeff and I had, you also can learn from whatever you are going through and because of that today two more generations reap that blessing. Perhaps God has allowed you to go through whatever you have dealt with this year so you can make a difference in the generations that are coming behind you. One thing is for certain tomorrow is a new day and the best is yet to come. So let’s focus on that as we sit around our table this week and thank God for what He has done and will do!