First Day of School Lesson: Let Go and Let God

Andrew 7th grade & Rachel 5th grade.

“Cast all your anxiety on Him, because He cares for you.” (1 Peter 5:7, NIV)

 
“Hurry up and take the picture.” hissed Andrew and Rachel. The first day of school photo is one I will forever cherish, but the kids dread. Andrew is entering 7thgrade and Rachel 5th grade. After embarrassing my kids with a photo and a hug, I shout out, “I love you! Have a great day!” They run off, hoping no one heard me. I rub my hands together and laugh “My job here is done.”
I have my own first day of school tradition, coffee at Panera, with a group of other moms. This year marked the eighth year of meeting and catching up on summer adventures, the kid’s growth spurts, and overall concerns for the coming year.  Before we disbanded our caffeinated selves to Target and Staples, I asked “How can I be praying for you this year?” Balance was the main concern. These women were sincere in their concern for balancing work, family life, parenting issues, sports, and homework. Oh how I can relate. I shared my own prayer request. My longtime friend Sherrita, laid a well-manicured hand on my shoulder and said, “Girl you gotta let go and let God.”  
Let go and let God. She was correct. Over the years I have seen our faithful God work in her life. I think back to the time when she shared, over coffee at this same Panera, that her company was downsizing. Her secure job was being out sourced to another country. What appeared to be a crisis was the beginning of God’s miracle. After graduating with a degree in business, Sherrita chose to work for a large corporation. However, she secretly harbored a desire to own her own salon. After being downsized, my ever stylish friend enrolled in Cosmetology classes and much prayer. She is now a successful business owner of Fusions Salon and Day Spa.
I am thankful for the truth my friend spoke over me. Each passing day, God has used that coffee talk to remind me to “Let go and let God.”
What situation are you harboring that you need to turn over to Him? Let go and let God!

 

~April Dawn White
 
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Recommended Reading

“I cannot live without books.”
-Thomas Jefferson
 
‘Tis the back-to-school season. I love shopping for school supplies and organizing binders, but most importantly, I love books.
 
My fondness for reading was suspended until after graduating from pharmacy school. Reading for pleasure became a new hobby once I was no longer forced to study physics and racemic isomers. 
 
In honor of back to school I determined to share with you the books that have made a positive impact on my life and my family. This same list will be permanently available under the “Resource” tab. 
 

Inspiration:

Parenting: General


Parenting Girls:

Parenting Boys:

Parenting the Strong-Willed Child:


The Power of Prayer:

Marriage:

Daily Devotion:

 
Let’s keep the list going. What are your favorite books on family, parenting, marriage, and spiritual growth? Please share in the comment field below. 
 
Happy reading!
 
~April 

You Can’t Out Give God!

Andrew gave all that he had.
The Wade Family Christmas is a large affair, with a gathering of over one hundred, our clan mostly dressed in Wranglers and boots, gather at a local reception hall. Each year, our extended family chooses a family in need. Often we donate food and firewood, and money. This year my parents, and the kids and I packed up our firewood to give to a family member going through a difficult time. After dinner, the monarch of the family announced another collection would be used to purchase new dentures recently lost at the nursing home.
            A few days later, I discover money and a note on the kitchen counter. I counted the money and read the note from Andrew: “New teeth.” I called Andrew into the kitchen to explain. He said, “Well, it’s not a lot, but it’s all the money I have, except for Wal-Mart gift cards. You can’t buy new teeth with a Wal-Mart gift card can you? We know two people who need new teeth and I want them to have my money. I have teeth. Everyone needs teeth, mom.” I cried. I lifted my head to the heavens and thanked the Good Lord above for this boy!
            We spent Christmas Eve with my parents, my sister and her children. After the presents were opened, my mom announced she had one more gift to give. She handed Andrew a crisp twenty-dollar bill and said, “Andrew, I heard about you giving all your money away to help buy new teeth for Wilton. This is for you!”  Andrew’s eyes lit up with excitement, and then he spoke, “But Grandma, this is too much. I only gave away $18 not $20.” She smiled at her only grandson and said, “No, you keep it!” From across the living room cluttered with wrapping paper, I asked “Andrew, what is it I always say about giving?” With a huge grin, he erupted, “YOU CAN’T OUT GIVE GOD!” It’s true; we can never out give God! In fact, the Bible says to test God on this subject.
Test me in this,” says the Lord Almighty, “and see if I will not throw open the floodgates of heaven and pour out so much blessing that there will not be room enough to store it.”
(Malachi 3:10 NIV)
            I received many treasured gifts this Christmas. However, the most treasured gift was watching Andrew walk in obedience to the Holy Spirit’s nudge to give; then watching his face light up when he received back more than he gave. That’s how God works. You can’t out give God!


~April 
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Leaving A Legacy

 

Grandpa Andrew sat hunched over, bible resting in lap. The crisp white shirt sleeves rolled to his forearm.  Denim Pointer coveralls, covered his lanky frame. Deep creases cover his leathered face, evidence of a hard farming life. His hands, gnarled with arthritis, rest on the back of his head while he read and prayed.  At every visit, I would find my grandpa in this posture of prayer.
With each visit Grandpa would ask “Have you told someone about Jesus today?” Often, I would be ashamed to see my Grandpa because I knew the question he would ask and my answer would be No. As a child, I was unaware of my Grandpa’s previous battle with depression; a taboo topic for someone of his generation. God had mercifully delivered him from depression, thus he continually shared the goodness of the Lord with all who entered his door.
My grandparents have long passed away, but their memory is still fresh in my mind. I remember the narrow rutted out road to their farm. My sister and I would argue over who was going to open the cattle gate as we approached the house. I recall Grandma’s beautiful gardens and the peonies that drooped with the weight of their blooms. The aroma of coffee and fresh biscuits wafted through her kitchen no matter the hour. I can remember the earthy smell of the barn, where Grandpa taught me to shuck corn and peel apples in one long peel.
“We will tell the next generation the praiseworthy deeds of the Lord, his power, and the wonders He has done… So the next generation would know them, even the children yet to be born, and they in turn would tell their children. Then they would put their trust in God and not forget His deeds” (Psalm 78:2-3,6-7, NIV).
Prayers are eternal and are not limited to our natural laws of time and space. Unlike a milk carton, prayers have no expiration date. In his book The Circle Maker, author Mark Batterson explains “Prayer is the inheritance we receive and the legacy we leave.” He also says “God’s faithfulness to answer our prayers continue after we are gone.
I know that my life have been shaped by the consistent prayers of my Grandpa Andrew. His posture of prayer embedded into my heart a legacy of faith to the next generation and the generation yet to come. 

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