A Lesson from Almond Butter

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A couple of weeks ago Dan and I started buying almond butter. Our peanut butter consumption is at an all-time high, and almond butter is healthier than peanut butter, so we finally made the switch despite the price difference. Now we alternate between almond butter and peanut butter.

Lydia loves it. She calls it just “butter” and asks for it every day when we’re eating breakfast. Yesterday morning we were having some oatmeal when she asked me for “butter in a circle”, which means she wants me to draw a circle on her oatmeal with the almond butter. Circle drawing is easy with things like honey or ketchup, but not almond butter. So, she got an almond butter “glob” instead.

She strategically spooned the glob into her mouth without getting any oatmeal in the process and asked for another “glob”. I told her no.

She had a minor breakdown before I explained she could have more almond butter after she ate some oatmeal. Almond butter is, after all, much more expensive than oatmeal and we’re not going to eat straight almond butter for breakfast. Lydia shoved one spoonful of oatmeal into her mouth, threw her spoon into her bowl, and demanded more “butter”.

Again I told her that she had to eat more oatmeal, and the scene repeated itself. She was, as I had instructed, eating more oatmeal, but this wasn’t at all the attitude I was hoping for, so I started to explain,

“Mommy will tell you when you can have more. I just want you to eat your oatmeal until Mommy decides you should have some more almond butter.”

But even as I was talking, God was taking my words, turning them around, and directing them back at myself. (again)

How many times have I been waiting for something that I really want? And I pray to God and ask Him for it.

And God tells me, “Not yet.”

So one day goes by and I ask again.

“Not yet. Just wait.”

And another day, another breakdown. “God, I can’t wait any longer, I need it now.”

“Not yet. I’ll give it to you when you should have it.”

And the scene repeats itself.

Then this moment happened and God said, “I will tell you when you can have more almond butter what you’re waiting for. I just want you to eat your oatmeal wait until I decide you should have it.”

How many times have I waited impatiently like Lydia and even demanded what I want? A baby. An apartment. A job for Dan. A baby to come home from the NICU. Or sleep through the night…the list could go on.

God opened my eyes this morning to see in a new way that I need to always, no matter what the issue, wait until He decides the timing is right. It was such an easy lesson to recognize, but, oh, so hard to do.

One thing I do know. Most of the reason I denied Lydia almond butter was because of its price and our budget. God is not denying me anything because of its price or His lack of funds. His timing is for the best.

The Lord is good to those who wait for Him, to the person who seeks Him.
It is good that he waits silently for the salvation of the Lord.
Lamentations 3:25-26

Many Are the Plans

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During the past few days I have been reminded of Proverbs 19:21, which says:

Many are the plans in the mind of a man,
but it is the purpose of the Lord that will stand.

I had been pretty excited to begin my 5K training on the treadmill at the gym of our apartment complex. Saturday was the final run in Week Two of my nine week training program. It was a wet, slushy, cold, and snowy evening as I headed out to the gym, sloshing through puddles and trudging through freshly fallen snow. This time I even stretched before I ran, but four minutes into my workout my knee started hurting. For about thirty seconds I tried to keep running before I decided it wasn’t worth the risk. So now I’m off my training schedule and on the elliptical to give my knee a rest and learn a little more about how to run, stretch, and not injure myself.

The very same night we gave up potty training…again…for now. After a week of accidents and messes, Lydia has successfully learned to go to the potty immediately after she wets her pants. She loves it. She hasn’t gone in the toilet once. I talked to some other moms, prayed about it, solicited Dan’s opinion, and made a mental list of pros and cons. Since we recently invested in some quality cloth diapers, the only thing we lose by waiting to potty train is the extra cost of washing those diapers, which I calculated to be about three cents a day.

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I didn’t really want to write about that in a post. I didn’t really want to “give up” again. But it’s the best decision for our family right now.

After giving up the endless trips to the toilet and all the time spent reading to Lydia while she did nothing on the potty, I was excited to get some more done yesterday. Clean up the living room, wash that pile of leftover dishes from Sunday, tackle a project or two, play with the munchkins. Abby decided she wanted to be held all day instead and by eleven o’clock I had only tackled some of the dishes and Dan had thrown everything littering our living room into piles. So much for my plans to catch up.

Our list of plans goes on and on, but I have been reminded of that ever-true Proverb. The Lord’s purpose will prevail. And after a nice, quiet prayer time while the girls were sleeping, I surrendered my plans and came out feeling happy. God’s plans are much better than my own.