Thought For Today

I am so glad that you have found this site and I hope you will find encouragement and joy as you read through my thoughts on God, family and life.

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Being Children Again

Luke 18: 15-17 

“People were also bringing babies to Jesus to have him touch them.  When the disciples saw this, they rebuked them.  But Jesus called the children to him and said, “Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of God belongs to such as these.  I tell you the truth, anyone who will not receive the kingdom of God like a little child will never enter it.”

Isn’t it funny how we sometimes place more important things ahead of our children?  The demands of the day, work, and various other things seem to take precedence over the time we have with our children.  We say to ourselves, “I get them fed, clothes on their backs, I give them all the latest toys and gadgets, what more can they want?” 

Parenting has many demands each day.  Children are sick; they have challenges that need talking out, not to speak of their relationships outside the home.  Even as I type here, my little 6-year-old daughter sitting beside me wants to talk about Martha Speaks.  This is important to her right now, and so it becomes important to me.  Though at times I have to say, I do put the needs of my little ones such as listening to them on hold.  I try not to, but my patience is lacking at that time and so I retreat to a solitary place rather than dropping what I am doing and sitting down with either Abby or Will and listening to what is on their hearts.  Later, God convicts me as to my selfishness and I approach my child and ask for their forgiveness.  Children are so resilient; they find it easier to forgive than we adults.   This fact alone amazes me.

At times I really listen to my children praying, and I think, “I need to approach God the same way that they do rather than with my big issues and solutions.  When I hear them pray, they say what is on their hearts, or they ask him for guidance by simply saying, “Jesus, please help me?”  I ask myself, “Is it that easy?”  Too many times I look at my problems like a chess match, “If I look at all the possible moves, then I will be prepared for any outcome.”  In looking at my children, I see that they don’t delve into “what ifs”, they just approach God and ask him for his help knowing in their hearts that he cares for them and will answer their requests because they know that God does truly love them and listens to them.  God listens to them and in their innocence, he answers their prayers and they accept his answer very simply.  Much like my children do when forgiving me, no strings attached, just simply, “I forgive you daddy!”  They then go about their wonderful journey for the day. 

I believe that we can learn much from our children, if we take the time to be a part of their lives today.  Isn't it funny how we need to unlearn our ways as adults to be like children again! 

Friday, December 16, 2011

One Week Ago

We were awe at the fireworks at Epcot.

Today we are checking into Old Key West at Disney World.   The nice thing about being on Disney property is that we have either water or land (bus) transportation to any place on Disney property.   We have stayed at this location now for several years and even though this is the oldest property, it has the most room of all the resorts.  The people here seem to really enjoy their work; they are always pleasant and courteous. 

I wanted to capture Abby's realization that a princess was
coming over to meet her.
Anne and I just met a lady (Jennifer) from Virginia Beach who has just arrived with her family.  During the course of our conversation with her we spoke about snow and the lack of it where she and her family live.  When we told her that we were from Minnesota, our new friend said, “Oh, I am sorry!”  She said this with a smile, but she was serious.  Our new friend Jennifer from Virginia Beach said that they get about one snowstorm a year.  It is strange sometimes how we perceive our living climates as difficult, or easy until we compare it to someone else’s that is much less taxing.  All I have to do is think about North Dakota where Anne grew up, she talked about times when it reached 40-50 below zero.  Speaking of temperatures, right now it is about 78 degrees F.  It feels so nice to have the sun on our back, and being a normal Minnesotan, I find myself squinting in the sunlight.

Aeriel taking time to visit with Abby.
As I sit here waiting for our rooms to be ready, I am relaxing in the library annex at Old Key West.  I look up from a book that interests me and I observe a family heading to their building that they will reside in.  The parents are older and their son is handicapped, he is going by in a wheelchair.  All I have to do is notice the smiles on their faces and that tells me that they are happy.  Happiness is much like how one looks at our climate.  We adjust to our circumstances when the cold winter winds come, and we have a choice whether to complain about what is or has happened to us, or accept it and make the best choices and be happy, or complain and be grumpy and sad. The ability of the human spirit that God has made is unfathomable in what it can do to make life a better place for itself.  

God is not a distant King that he does not come down
to us and meet us where we are.
For myself, I struggle at times to see the light beyond my small dilemmas and I wonder how I would fair if I were in such a challenging position as the couple now walking past me.  As I watch this family disappear into the distance, I recall that it is God who is my strength  (Phil. 4:13).  He is the source of my inner strength that gives me hope in spite of my circumstances.  In Jer. 29:11 God reminds us that our hope and plans that he has for us is only for good and not evil, and that God desires for us to have a future of hope.  I look at the tranquility of the library around me now, and I think that no matter what the future holds for me, God has a plan that is filled with hope and peace that does not rely on my surroundings, but in him alone. 

Saturday, December 10, 2011

Surprise Encounter

One excited little girl!

One day our family was walking to the “American Experience” at Disney when an unscheduled appearance of Cinderella came about.  I saw Cinderella at a distance near the canal bridge and there was a very small group formed by her.  I signaled Anne and she seemed to read my mind and nodded.  Next when walking with Abby I signaled her to look to our right, she peered over the distance and failed to see what I was trying to point out to her.  I knelt down and lined my finger up with her eyes and then she saw what I was trying to reveal to her.  I looked at Abby’s face and it lit up like a Christmas tree.  We walked at a fast pace toward Cinderella and came to a stop by her photographer.  I could not see a visible line forming yet and so I waited by her photographer.  Anne then tapped me on the shoulder and whispered that the line formed to the right.  She started to take Abby away to go around our small group when the photographer asked Abby if she wanted to meet Cinderella.  Abby brightly beamed an excited recognition.  Shyly Abby advanced and started her extensive conversation with Cinderella.  I could only here bits and pieces of their conversation until Cinderella backed away and said in a voice that projected to us the parents and audience, “My you have wonderful manors, you should teach them to my step sisters sometime!”  Later in their conversation Abby told Cinderella that she loved her beautiful dress.  Cinderella stood up and said, “You have such beautiful clothes as well.  Perhaps you could come to my house and we could switch dresses sometimes!”  Abby eagerly nodded her head.  They both exchanged pleasantries for a little while and then we headed on our way.  I looked down and saw my little girl; she was smiling like a brightly lit Christmas tree.  She will remember this surprise encounter for a lifetime to come, and perhaps this moment will be passed on to Abby’s daughter(s) as well.
Abby complimenting Cinderella on her dress.

Friday, December 9, 2011


Dale hiding behind Abby.
We were attending a character supper at The Land in Disney World where we met Mickey, Pluto, Chip and Dale.  Our children were having a wonderful time meeting with Mickey and the rest of his friends, all the while eating our supper.  It was interesting that the whole eating platform where we ate supper rotated around the Land so we were able to get a birds eye view of the different exhibits below. 

Will and Abby saying goodbye to a new friend.
Our supper went well with our children meeting Mickey and Pluto, that is until Chip and Dale arrived.  Chip was talking to Will when all of sudden Chip backed away and hid behind Abby.  Will looked a little confused for a moment and then started to laugh when he perceived Chip to be playing hide and seek behind Abby.  After visiting with Abby and Will some more, Chip left, but before leaving, he gave both kids a hug.  Later, when resuming our supper I asked Will why Chip had hid behind his sister.  Will looked up at me and innocently said that he had told Chip that I trapped chipmunks back home.  I guess someone should have had a camera on me at the time, they would have seen a man desperately trying to regain his composure.  After a moment of trying to keep my coffee in my mouth rather than on the tablecloth, I looked up and saw my family laughing heartily.  The realization of what had just transpired hit home for them and it was all too funny.  The truth be known, I had trapped over 50 chipmunks in an attempt to stop the infestation in our garden.  Be it though futile in my attempts, I halted my crusade when drove after drove of chipmunks kept coming. Our garden was perceived by the chipmunks as a gourmet salad table, set just for them.  What I had not expected though for Will was to pass on my hunting expedition to Chip during his casual conversation with him.  “What is hidden in the dark will be revealed in the light.”  Luke 8:17

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Our Time at Disney World

  • Abby and Will meeting Snow White. Snow White asked our reticent son if he wanted to have his picture with her, he declined. She then said, "Come on lets take that picture!" She smiled and then gently grabbed his arm and pulled him up off his chair and pulled him next to her. I whispered to Anne, "I bet she grew up with brothers!" Anne smiled and nodded in agreement. Will then started to smile and he really enjoyed his time with Snow White.
     ·  ·  · 21 hours ago

  • We attended the princess supper last night at Norway (Disney World). Abby got to meet 5 of her favorite princesses. Watching the look on Abby's face was such a blessing. Mulan went outside to meet with a little girl who's family could not afford the princess meal. Her father asked Mulan if she could meet with his daughter since Mulan was this little girl's hero. What a wonderful thing to do.
     ·  ·  · Yesterday at 10:49am

  • Last night we attended the Disney Christmas Concert and right afterwards they had Illuminations Fireworks. What an evening! Before the Concert we attended a Mickey Character Supper and the kids got to meet several of Mickey's friends and Mickey himself. The kids really enjoyed the event, especially Abby.
     ·  ·  · Monday at 1:27pm
  • Peter Pan's Flight: I was able to take this shot while hovering above the city of London. Will was with me and Abby went with Anne. Both kids really enjoyed the ride. It was very magical for all of us.
     ·  ·  · December 3 at 10:08pm

  • It was wonderful to see our kids so excited over the fireworks show. Times like this, they give us adults permission to be children once more, and get excited all over again.

     ·  ·  · December 3 at 5:11am

  • We were attenRECENT ACTIVITY