“The disciples were amazed. ‘Who is this man?’ they asked. ‘Even the winds and the waves obey Him!” Matthew 8:27
Our grandson has never required much sleep. He is an early riser and nap-taking isn’t a favorite activity. He doesn’t particularly like bedtime either. But now, at three years old, he and his mommy and daddy have a bedtime routine which works for him, though it wasn’t easy getting to this point.
Once when he was two, his mom was beyond worn out trying to get him to sleep. They had read several stories together; they had said bedtime prayers. She had stayed with him in his room for a time until she decided that he would have to get to sleep on his own. He didn’t like this idea and fussed about it. His whimpering turned into full blown wails. My daughter thought he would tire himself out with all of the crying and sat downstairs listening to his cries. She had made up her mind; he would just have to cry himself to sleep.
After a while, she noticed a pause in his sobbing. A shaky little voice uttered, “Mommy, I’m sad!” My daughter jumped off the sofa and bounded up the stairs, grabbing her son in her arms to soothe and comfort him. What the constant crying could not provoke, those simple words produced in her mother’s heart a need to ease his self-inflicted trauma and console her “sad” little boy.
What is it about a hurting heart’s cry and expression of sadness that can grip our emotions and ignite our desire to help? If we as imperfect parents, and human beings for that matter, can feel such compassion, why do we doubt the compassion of God?
We may question, doubt or suspect our Heavenly Father of not caring. Our whimpers of not trusting turn into wails of unbelief. We see this in Jesus’ disciples when they faced a physical storm on the Sea of Galilee (Luke 8:22-25; Matthew 8:23-27). They were fighting for their lives as waves tumbled over the sides of their boat, threatening to topple them and throw them into the sea. Where was their companion, Jesus? He was sleeping peacefully in the midst of the tumult. They awoke him with shouts that they were about to die.
In my imagination, the thoughts of the terrified disciples went something like this: “Jesus, Jesus, don’t you even care that we are about to perish? Why aren’t you doing something?” Their fear beckoned answers. Jesus woke up and rebuked the wind and the raging waves and the storm stopped.
“Where is your faith?” Jesus asked them. And they marveled that even the wind and the waves obeyed Jesus.
Their fears of harm had compelled them to wake their Master. He quickly came to the rescue; He calmed the storm. The water was again peaceful, as were the disciples’ hearts.
When we call out, God always hears us. When we feel afraid or sad or overwhelmed, we need to remember that we are not alone. We are the children of the God who can calm any storm and who rushes to take us into His arms.
My precious husband, Bill, and I have been planted in Fort Myers, Florida for almost 35 years. As a newly married couple, God most graciously had placed people in both of our jobs to share Christ with us. Its hard to believe it has been almost 34 years since we asked Jesus into our hearts! Bill and I have been blessed with four children, 3 daughters, then a son. These blessings came quickly, all within 6 years!! During these years I'm so thankful I was able to be part of women's ministry classes at our church, helping me to grow in my walk with Him. Then came the day when I was asked that question that stretched me way outside of my comfort zone...will you teach a class? Its hard to believe that I have now been teaching more than 20 years. Bill and I love to travel, most of the time going to visit our 9 grandchildren, oh ya, and their parents! I also love reading, walking and hanging out with some very special young moms in Beloved that bless my socks off!
Julie is a Kansas girl who resides in sunny Southwest Florida. She's been married to her husband Sean for 23 years and they share two boys ages 21 & 17. She enjoys baking and biking, but her absolute favorite thing is snow skiing which is a little difficult to do in a sandy 80 degree land.
She became a follower of Christ at age 10. She loves studying and teaching God's Word. She has a passion for encouraging moms to love and follow Jesus.
Beth grew up in a loving home; however, in her early 20s she faced a very lonely time. During that time, she cried out to God and asked “If You are real, please show yourself to me!” God met her where she was and she trusted in the Lord Jesus at that time. Her life verse and desire is “no matter what happens, to conduct herself in a manner worthy of the gospel.” Philippians 1:27
Beth now resides in Tampa, Florida with her husband Larry. The Lord has blessed them by blending their family of five children. They currently have eight grandchildren and are hoping that there will be more grandchildren in the future.
Donna accepted Jesus as her Savior at the age of nine and has been amazed at God’s goodness and faithfulness throughout her life. She has been blessed to have had many mentors through each season of life, who have shown her what trusting God looks like. Donna and her husband, Bryan, make their home in central Arkansas. They have five grown children and are grandparents to wonderful grandchildren. Donna enjoys spending time with her family, laughing with friends (usually over coffee), going for long walks with her husband, and reading a good book (which may also be accompanied by a cup of coffee).
Sarah is a true Florida Cracker. She was born and raised in Southwest Florida. At the age of 6, Sarah accepted Jesus as her Lord and Savior, and she hasn't looked back since. Hebrews 13:8 is one of her favorite verses, "Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today, and forever." Eating delicious desserts, spending time with her family and friends, and teaching people about Jesus are a few of the things she enjoys to do in her spare time.
Sarah has been married to her best friend and husband, Brandon, for 7 years. They have been blessed with one beautiful, determined son, Asher, who keeps them on their toes. Sarah and her family live in the Tampa area. They love exploring their community together, family hugs, and eating pizza whenever possible.
Katie Flint just recently moved back home to Fort Myers, Florida with her husband, Ryan and two children, Collins and Madden. At the age of 5, Katie accepted Jesus Christ to be the Lord and Savior of her life, after attending Vacation Bible School. Through each phase of her life, God has shown her that He alone is trustworthy. The verse that has been her life source is Psalm 46:10- “Be still and know that I am God.”
She is a stay-at-home mom and enjoys exercising and baking. She has been married to her husband Ryan for almost 9 years, who is her high school sweetheart. They enjoy trying new restaurants, family trips to the beach, and relaxing at home.
Marsha grew up in a small rural town in upstate New York. In 2006, after finishing college, she moved to sunny SW Florida where she met her, now husband, Shawn. Together they enjoy spending family time with their two fun-loving toddler boys Zachariah and Kairos.
Marsha enjoys living an active lifestyle, which is helpful, considering that her favorite hobby is baking.
Though she attended church as a child, Marsha was not saved until adulthood when her eyes were finally opened to the love and mercy of Jesus Christ.
Since being saved, God has placed a loving burden on her heart to share the truth about God’s healing grace with those who may feel like forgiveness is not possible for them.