When God Teaches Us Difficult Lessons

“See what great love the Father has lavished on us, that we should be called children of God! And that is what we are! The reason the world does not know us is that it did not know Him. Dear friends, now we are children of God, and what we will be has not yet been made known. But we know that when Christ appears, we shall be like him, for we shall see him as he is. All who have this hope in him purify themselves, just as he is pure.”
1 John 3:1-3 NIV

Working with children can be exhausting, exhilarating, and everything in between! Our son is old enough to start sleeping in his crib. If he sleeps on mom or dad he wakes often, cannot get comfortable, and as a result gets very poor, interrupted sleep. I know he is not getting the rest he needs to grow and thrive. So after feeding him and changing him, I put him in his crib making sure he is comfortable. Then comes the difficult part: watching him learn. He cries, he struggles, he wails. Often he cries so hard I can go into his room and put his laundry away. He is so focused on his unhappiness he doesn’t even notice me.

Maybe his thoughts are: “Why am I alone? Did I do something wrong to deserve this? How can I get out of this situation?” My heart breaks to watch him cry, but I love him and want what’s best for him even though it is painful for both of us. When my son finally accepts being in his crib, he is calm. He plays quietly, he rests. His circumstances have not changed. He accepts mom has placed him in his crib and it is time to be still.  Once he accepts being in his crib he sleeps peacefully. I know his body is getting the rest it needs to build and help him grow.

Do you see the comparison coming? When God sees us having a difficult time growing, He knows it is time for a lesson. It breaks His heart to see us suffer, but He knows we need to learn the lesson to have a deeper, more resilient faith. He hears us cry out, “Why am I alone? Did I do something wrong to deserve this? How can I get out of this situation?” Often, we are so focused on our own misery and circumstances we can miss seeing what God is doing!

We can change our attitude even though we cannot change our circumstances. It is certainly not easy learning the lessons God teaches us. My own reaction is always to focus on my own suffering first. I must constantly examine my heart and adjust my attitude. I am a work in progress!

What tough situations are you currently facing? How are you coping? Is there a heart attitude with which you need God’s intervention?

In Him,

Amy Horton


“The LORD your God is in your midst, A victorious warrior. He will exult over you with joy, He will be quiet in His love, He will rejoice over you with shouts of joy.”

Zephaniah 3:17, NASB

emily pressedYou never know how good you have it until something’s gone…

Last Friday, my family and I sat smiling around the table at my parent’s home. Friday night dinner at their place has become a tradition this past year, and we thoroughly enjoy it. I was running low on time, so we took frozen pizza and leftover baked ziti. Happily, my parents were pleased with this menu, which also included cake for dessert. Everyone interacted in good spirits, and our time together quickly progressed into a fond memory.

Then my mom fell. This past Sunday, she broke her hip. Our days since then have been filled with hospital visits and today’s relocation to the Rehab Center.

I knew these special Friday dinners were limited. But I didn’t realize until now how it would feel to go from eating together to missing the opportunity to do so. Tomorrow’s Friday … and instead of visiting at my parent’s home, we’ll spend time with Mom at Rehab. I already miss our regular plans.

We’re pressed. Mom can’t care for herself like before, and Dad’s routine has been overloaded with new experiences. My sister and I have been keeping in touch, making sure someone is with Mom as much as possible. Mark and my kids have been troopers, and they’ve given of themselves to cheer Mom in person.

God is SO good. This thought strikes me–if I can re-word my opening statement a bit:

We never know how good GOD is until we’re pressed into desperate need for Him.

I haven’t been able to read the Word much this week or pray like usual. Often while I’m en route I utter sentence prayers, asking God to meet specific needs of the moment. And friends, I cannot tell you how absolutely, perfectly, and wonderfully He has come through Every. Moment.

God’s love and His presence fill us up when we’re empty of all else. He never fails us, and the enormity of His supply is overwhelming. Whether we’re pressed by life’s circumstances or walking in joy, we can’t exhaust the resources God possesses. An awesome God and faithful Father, HE takes tender care of His own.

Much love to each of you in Christ,


Image courtesy of lemonade at

Biblical Truths I Learned From My Cats: Seeking Attention

It amuses me what God sometimes uses to teach us lessons. Lately, it seems my four cats (and others in my life) have been the source of a few biblical truths.


Seeking Attention

How can you believe, when you receive glory from one another and you do not seek the glory that is from the one and only God? 

John 5:44, NIV


LunaLuna is my only female cat. She has taken it on herself to be “mama” to my other cats, every kitten we foster, and us, as well. Like many cats, Luna likes to bring us her kills. Since she is an inside cat, her “kills” are usually things like a cat toy (she’s really fond of using her Jedi skills to take down Darth Vader mouse), a hair tie, or even a pair of folded socks. This isn’t unusual for a cat, but Luna has one funny habit I’ve never seen in a cat before. She announces her kills. When she brings something, she doesn’t just leave it for us. She cries and howls at the top of her lungs, walking around with her kill in her mouth until we respond. She insists that we acknowledge her accomplishment, and will persist until we do. We must say, “Thank you, Luna.” Any other response will not cause her to stop. We’ve tried everything from ignoring her to telling her to be quiet, but only thanking her will make her quiet down.

In some ways, we’re all like that. Don’t we all want acknowledgement when we do something? Don’t we all appreciate a pat on the back for a job well done, or a verbal hat-tip when we’ve accomplished something? Social media has taken this to a new level. We post everything from our kids’ grades to photos of our food in a fancy restaurant. How many people post selfies, trying to get “likes” and comments?  How many times do we get frustrated when people don’t notice something we posted? When no one seems to notice our accomplishments? When no one thanks us for something we’ve done?

We all want to be noticed. We all want affirmation. Relying on other people for it will often result in disappointment.  So here’s the thing. There’s a God in heaven who knows the number of hairs on your head. He knows everything about you. And He loves you, so much that He sent his own son to die for you. You don’t need the acknowledgement of a single human being, because your Father in heaven acknowledged you, loved you, and forgave you, before you were ever born.

Don’t concern yourself with who liked your selfie, or who commented on your latest post. Instead, look to the God who created you and loves you. He will never disappoint you!