She works with willing hands.

So Sweet + So Fleeting = So Sweeting

Here we are, with the end of another school year staring us in the bella faccia. Yesterday as we drove my eldest to orientation at the elementary school he will attend next fall, I thought of all of those sweet old ladies in the grocery store. “Make sure you enjoy every minute of it. It goes by so fast!” I’ve heard it a quadrillion times. And to be honest, my response has often been silent irritation at their insistence that I must enjoy every.flipping.minute of parenting my three little ones. Surviving on three hours of sleep and living in a uniform of yoga pants and spit-up stained t-shirts is not exactly my idea of enjoyment. While I deeply treasure my children, and I’m thankful to spend so much time with them, parenting them is often really hard work.

In a matter of days, my first born child will graduate from kindergarten and transition out of our beloved church preschool where he has been a student since the age of two. It is a precious little school, committed to the spiritual nurture and overall well-being of the children who roam its halls, and I believe firmly that my son will always carry with him fond memories of his time there. In that school, he spent hours playing with friends, learning about God’s creation, eating snacks, building block towers, and listening to books. He played in the sandbox a thousand times, explored every nook and cranny of the outdoor classroom, and was mesmerized by bubbles as only a preschooler can be. In kindergarten he learned phonics and math, participated in his first science fair, and lost his first tooth.

My son’s preschool years, and his time in kindergarten, has been so sweet, and so fleeting. It’s been so sweeting. My heart could just burst because it’s gone…which brings me back to the sweet old ladies.

I’ve always been the mom who did all of her grocery shopping with three wee ones in tow – two kids buckled into the unwieldy car shaped cart, and a baby strapped to my torso. I’m certain that I often looked crazed and absurd trying to manage it all in the grocery store, and I think that most of the time those sweet women were just trying to encourage me. I was a newbie mom, in the thick of the earliest years of motherhood. Maybe what they wanted to say was something like, “I know things seem crazy right now, and you’re hanging by a thread. But you’ll miss this one day…and it won’t be too long from now.”

Today I usually visit the grocery store while my six-year-old and four-year-old are in school, leaving just Baby Girl and I time to do our shopping at a casual pace. On the days when I do bring my boys to the market, they walk with me, often helping along the way. Rarely am I stopped anymore by one of those sweet old ladies, urging me to enjoy the moment. Because that moment – full of babies and toddlers, sleepless night, dirty diapers, and 24/7 yoga pants – is already past us.

I can’t believe we’ve already cleared that frantic stage. It really did happen so fast.

I’m thankful for this new step of the journey – filled with first grade orientations, baseball games, and richer conversations with my children. It’s exciting, and less physically exhausting. Most days I actually wear real pants and my hair is a lot cleaner than it was two years ago.

But as the end of this school year approaches, I can’t help but look back with nostalgia, and consider how sweeting it’s all been. And the next time one of those sweet ladies stops me in the grocery store to remind me to enjoy the time, I’m going to sincerely thank her, and tell her that she’s right.

Lindsey’s Basic Turkey and Cheese Deli Rolls

Today I’m showing you the last of a threesome of some of the tastiest finger foods that have ever passed my lips.  Last week I shared Lindsey’s Spicy Turkey Deli Rolls and her Horseradish Roast Beef Deli Rolls.  Today I’ll show you how to make her Basic Turkey and Cheese Deli Rolls.  They are straightforward and delicious, and they’re a good place to start if spice and heat aren’t at the top of your gastronomic preference list.

Deli rolls are a family affair for Lindsey.  She and her (four!) daughters buy their one pound balls of dough from their local and thoroughly old-school Conshocken Italian Bakery (also known for their killer tomato pies).

italian bakery

Yes, there is a lot of estrogen in Lindsey’s house.

Lindsey’s beautiful mama, Dolores, was the genesis of this whole deli roll genre.  When Lindsey and her siblings were youngins, Dolores would bake up piles of ham & cheese and sausage & spinach rolls to nosh on at soccer tournaments and between practices.  (They make an awesome game day mini meal.)

So thank you, Dolores, for not only spawning one of the coolest chicks I know, but for inventing deli rolls.  Your daughter and your deli rolls make my heart and tummy happy.  You rock.

Lindsey used her mom’s simple rolls as a launching pad to create a myriad of deli roll varieties, including her Spicy Turkey and Horseradish Roast Beef varieties.  Lindsey also makes a killer Cheesesteak with Sriracha Ketchup & Caramelized Onion Deli Roll (say that three times fast), and a Sauteed Garlicky Kale & Sausage Deli Roll.  My mouth waters…

Maybe one day soon I can twist Lindsey’s arm to show us a few more versions.

For today’s basic turkey and cheese version, roll out your dough ball, like so:

rolled out

Now slap on a layer of sliced havarti.  We used Boar’s Head brand.


Then add a layer of sliced sharp provolone.  We used Boar’s Head Picante Provolone.

Next you’re going to schmear on two types of mustard.

cheese on roll

Meet mustard #1:

mustard 1

Meet mustard #2:

mustard 2

Next add a layer of simple, thick sliced, roasted turkey breast.  We used Gourmet Lite Turkey Breast by Dietz & Watson.

turkey rolls

Roll it all up, rubbing some water on the area of the roll that will be sealed.  (Refer to the Spicy Turkey Deli Roll post for detailed rolling pictures.)

Fold up the dough to seal your roll, pushing with your fingertips to make sure it adheres well.

Give it a good roll on your work surface, making sure that everything is tucked nicely in place.  Now lightly coat the entire outer surface of the roll with water.  You want the dough to be tacky.

Next grab this:

granulated onion

Sprinkle your roll with the granulated onion, making sure it is evenly coated.

sprinkle roll

Grab your mezzaluna, or another cutting implement, and slice your rolls about one to one-and-a-half inches thick.

slice turkey

Place the cut rolls on a Silpat baking mat or parchment paper, and pop those babies into a 425 degree oven for about 20 minutes.  Let them cool for a few  minutes before transferring them to a cooling rack.

all rolls

That is a cooling rack full of goodness.  Make some for your mama this weekend!


1 lb. dough

flour (for rolling surface)

sliced havarti cheese

sliced sharp provolone cheese

simple roasted turkey breast (thick sliced)

course ground mustard

dijon mustard

granulated onion

Mother’s Day

As we head into Mother’s Day weekend, my heart is full of both sadness and joy.  Mother’s Day is a day that is hard for many post-abortive women.  It is also a day that is hard for any woman who has lost a child.  I have two babies who have passed – one of whom I aborted and one of whom I miscarried, and it is my hopeful prayer that I will meet them both one day in heaven.  Mother’s Day can be equally hard for any woman who desires a child, but does not have one.

But Mother’s Day is also a sweet day full of joy.  We celebrate the children we have here on earth, and the fact that they made us mothers.  We celebrate our own mothers, in whose wombs we were knit.

This weekend, we celebrate the beauty and love – the sadness and joy – of motherhood.

Photo by Lindsey Calabretta Clark.

Lindsey’s Horseradish Roast Beef Deli Rolls

Earlier this week I shared Lindsey’s Spicy Turkey Deli Rolls.  Today I’ll show you how to make her Horseradish Roast Beef Deli Rolls.  These are little horseradish-y flavor bombs, and when paired with a simple side salad, they make a seriously easy and seriously craveable meal.

You will use the same process outlined in the earlier deli roll post.  Start by flouring your rolling surface, and then roll out your one pound dough ball, like so:

roll out

Lindsey’s pup, Fenske, is named after a building on the campus of her alma mater.  Can you guess where she went to college?

After you get your dough into a nice rectangular shape, slap on a layer of sliced provolone cheese.  We used Boar’s Head Picante Provolone.  It’s good and sharp.  Then throw down a layer of thick-sliced roast beef.  This variety came from Costco.

And yes, that last piece is a slice of turkey.  Deli rolls are more of an art form than a science.  Feel free to be creative and substitute when necessary.  I know this will drive some of you type A’s far from your comfort zone, but embrace it.  There’s beauty and surprising delight in the chaos of imperfection, even (or perhaps especially?) when making deli rolls.

Now plop on a thick mess of horseradish.  We used two different kinds.


Meet horseradish #1:


Meet horseradish #2:


Grab your spatula and schmear your horseradish.  Lindsey was excited about this part.

schmear horseradish


Our kids did some rolling and schmearing of their own.


Now roll it all up, rubbing some water on the area of the roll that will be sealed.

roll and v

Fold up the dough to seal your roll, pushing with your fingertips to make sure it adheres well.

Give it a good roll on your work surface, making sure that everything is tucked nicely in place.  Now lightly coat the entire outer surface of the roll with water.  You want the dough to be tacky.

Next grab your toasted sesame seeds, and sprinkle them on, making sure your roll is evenly coated.  Give it another good roll on your work surface to make sure the seeds stick well.

sprinkle sesame

Grab your mezzaluna, or another cutting implement, and slice your rolls about one to one-and-a-half inches thick, the same way we did when we made Lindsey’s Spicy Turkey Deli Rolls.

Place the cut rolls on a Silpat baking mat or parchment paper, and pop those babies into a 425 degree oven for about 20 minutes.  Let them cool for a few  minutes before transferring them to a cooling rack.

roast beef rolls

I’m making these flavor bombs for company this weekend, and my mouth is watering just thinking about ’em.


1 lb. dough

flour (for rolling surface)

sliced sharp provolone cheese

thick sliced roast beef

prepared horseradish

cream style horseradish

toasted sesame seeds

Lindsey’s Spicy Turkey Deli Rolls

I’m not blowing wind up your skirt when I tell you that these are one of my favorite finger foods of all time.

deli rolls

These tasty little rolls come straight from the creative mind of my favorite cooking buddy, Lindsey Calabretta Clark, and they are so.darn.good.  Lindsey makes a ton of deli roll varieties, and I’ll share the spicy turkey version with you today.  In the days to come, I will show you two more versions of Lindsey’s deli rolls.  We baked up a whole bunch of ’em while we chilled at her house last week.

I swear Lindsey should open a food truck and sell only these (and maybe some craveable side salads).  They’re so good, I’m convinced she’d make a bajillion dollars, but then she’d probably have mo’ problems…and no one wants that.  So maybe she should just stick with making them at home in her kitchen and sharing them with me.

Start with roughly one pound of fresh dough.  Lindsey gets hers from the Conshohocken Italian Bakery.

Flour your rolling surface…

flour surface

and roll out your dough like so:

roll dough

Notice the hat.


Sometimes you just gotta own it.


Lindsey has four daughters, aged four to ten.  Her life is anything but placid, but she’s full of joy.  She’s my kind of people, and I proudly call her friend.

This is what your dough should like look after it’s rolled out.

rolled out

Grab some sliced havarti cheese (this is Boar’s Head brand), and do this:


Next grab some simple, thick sliced, roasted turkey breast.  We used Gourmet Lite Turkey Breast by Dietz & Watson.

sliced turkey

Lindsey’s sweet pup, Fenske, likes the deli rolls as much as me.

Now grab this.

hoagie spread

This stuff is equal parts tangy and spicy…and oh so good.

Schmear it on in a fairly thick layer, and then start to roll.

spread and roll

And roll.

and roll

Next rub some water on the area of the roll that will be sealed.

roll and water

Fold up the dough to seal your roll, pushing with your fingertips to make sure it adheres well.  You want a nicely sealed roll.


Give it a good roll on your work surface, making sure that everything is tucked nicely in place.  Now lightly coat the entire outer surface of the roll with water.  You want the dough to be tacky.

good roll

Next grab these.  We’ll use the toasted sesame seeds to season the outside of the spicy turkey deli rolls.

outside seasonings

Sprinkle your roll with the sesame seeds, making sure it’s evenly coated.  Give it another good roll on your work surface to make sure the seeds stick well.

sprinkle sesame

Grab a cutting implement.  This antique mezzaluna is perfect for the job.  Slice your rolls about one to one-and-a-half inches thick.


Place the cut rolls on a Silpat baking mat or parchment paper,

cut rolls

and pop those babies into a 425 degree oven for about 20 minutes.  Let them cool for a few  minutes before transferring them to a cooling rack.

deli rolls

Nom nom nom nom.

And yes – they’re as good as they look.


1 lb. dough

flour (for rolling surface)

sliced havarti cheese

simple roasted turkey breast (thick sliced)

hot hoagie spread

toasted sesame seeds

When It’s Messy

Y’all – I have to tell you the truth – being a Christian isn’t always easy, pretty, simple, or uncomplicated.  Sometimes it’s really hard, and really messy.

Just like an artist dirties her hands with her paint, dripping pigment on her clothing and splattering the drop cloth at her feet, creating a mess at the same time she creates a masterpiece, so too is the walk of the Christian life.  Sanctification is a messy business, but it is the process by which all Christians become more like our savior, and it is for our good.

And we are not sanctified in isolation.  You see, God calls a bunch of sinners who are stumbling around in darkness and says, “You are mine.  I’ve redeemed you and I love you.  I am light, and I’m putting my light inside of you.  Now be the light of the world.  Glorify me, and serve each other.”  And that part is awesome, supernatural, amazing, and sweet.  That is the Gospel.

But then he also says, “Now live in community with other believers, obey my Word (that is, the Bible), and love each other.”

And he means it. 

He doesn’t say, “Love your sisters in Christ, as long as they are loveable.”

He doesn’t say, “Love your brothers in Christ, as long as they never offend you.”

He doesn’t say, “Love each other…until it gets too messy.”

He says love each other.

In John 13:35 Jesus says, “By this all people will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another.”  This means that when we love other Christians, it is evidence that our profession of faith is real.  It confirms that God’s light is inside of us, and that our hearts have been made new through a genuine and saving faith in Jesus.

1 John 2:9-10 says, “Whoever says he is in the light and hates his brother is still in darkness.  Whoever loves his brother abides in the light.”

This means that hating a fellow Christian is incompatible with being a follower of Christ.

This is major, friends, and it should cause all of us believers to pause, and search our own hearts.

God takes a bunch of messy sinners, with our imperfections, personality quirks, baggage from the past, and cultural differences, and then says:

Love each other as I have loved you.

That is a weighty command, and of course we cannot do it of our own strength.  On our own, we are unable to muster the strength necessary to love the sister in Christ who hurt us deeply.  On our own, we will fail every time that we try to love the fellow Christian who seems unloveable, or the one who annoys us, or the one who speaks a different language, or the one who wears the skirts that are a little too short for our liking.

So we look to Him.

And we ask Him, with humble…and needy…and messy hearts, “God, please give me the strength of your love so that I can love my sister in Christ, as you have called me to do.  Please open my heart to her.  Please give me the kind of love for her that comes only from you.”

So we love each other…and sometimes it’s really hard, and really messy.  Sometimes sanctification hurts.  But we persevere for the glory of our Maker, and we find that in the end he meant it all for our good.

No Crust Coconut Pie

This pie.  I grew up eating it.  It’s one of those recipes that my mom carted out only at holiday time, so it was a special pie, reserved only for occasions to be celebrated.

But I’m breaking that tradition.  I’m making this pie whenever I feel like it.  And I have three good reasons to support this departure from convention:

1. This pie is absurdly easy to make.

2. It is redonkulously yummy.

3. My kids love it.  For proof, see Exhibit A:

e loves pie

(No he did not pose for that.  Yes that is the face he actually made while eating the pie.)

So make this pie whenever you feel like it.  Make it on a Tuesday, or make it for a potluck.  Give one to your neighbor.  They’ll love you for it.

Speaking of neighbors, as I gathered my ingredients for this recipe I realized I was out of eggs.  Grrr…

Undaunted, I dashed to my neighbors’ house.

And I’m just going to stop for a moment to brag about my neighborhood.  No it’s not perfect, and no the houses aren’t all brand spankin’ new.  There’s a lot of dog barking and our yards are mostly small…but the people…well, they’re awesome.  And when we bought this house we gained some of the best next door neighbors imaginable.  And I mean that sincerely.

So I ran straight over to their house and asked for two eggs.  They needed a stick of butter so I grabbed one from my fridge to bring to them.  We work on a barter system around here.  It feels old fashioned and cooperative, and I am glad in it.


Eggs retrieved and stick of butter deposited next door, I gathered my other ingredients.  Here they are:

coconut pie ingredients

Start by grabbing your blender.  My blender went kaput so I use my small food processor, and although it reaches max capacity to accommodate this recipe, it handles the job just fine.  Now grab a stick of softened butter, and then cheese for the camera.

cheese for camera

Put the whole stick into your blender or food processor.

stick in

Now grab the sugar.  My sugar canister needed a refill.

sugar canister

Measure one cup of sugar and add it to the blender.

sugar in

That’s a glass of my lifeblood (aka My Perfect Sweet Tea) in the background.

Now crack both eggs.

crack eggs

Make sure you have a strange smile on your face.

My helper wanted to join me for the next part, so we tied on her sweet little apron.

suited up

Then we grabbed the stool.

grab stool

For the next part of the recipe, you’re going to make self-rising flour.  Yes, you can buy self-rising flour from the market, but it’s simple to make, so I usually just prepare my own.

Grab a little bowl and measure one-quarter cup of flour.

grab bowl

Now find your salt and measure one-eighth of a teaspoon.

measure salt

Pour the salt in with the flour.

Then add slightly less than one-half teaspoon baking powder (do you like the precision of that measurement?), and stir to combine.

stir to combine

Now pour your self-rising flour into the blender.

pour in

Next measure one cup of milk.

one cup milk

And pour in it with everything else.

little fingers

Oh my gosh.  Look at those little fingers.

Now blend, making sure that everything is well mixed (no big lumps)!


Pour it into a bowl, and taste a little to make sure it came out okay.

taste a little

Measure one cup of sweetened flaked coconut, pour it in the bowl, and stir.


Pour the mixture into a 9-inch pie dish, and sprinkle the top with the flaked coconut.


Pop the pie into a 350 degree oven for approximately 45 minutes.

The little ones goofed off while it baked.

goofed off

And then voila!


It’s perfect with a cup of strong coffee.


coconut pie

Make this pie tomorrow.  It will be Tuesday, and that’s a good enough reason for me.

All of the photography in this post was done by my wildly talented photojournalistic friend Lindsey Clark.  Her ability to make any situation or setting look beautiful always amazes me.  She has an eye like no other.


1 stick softened salted butter

1 cup sugar

2 whole eggs

1/4 cup self-rising flour

1 cup milk

1 cup sweetened flaked coconut


Yes That’s My Kid With The Dirty Face

I see you – staring at my kid like he’s a filthy little street urchin – judgy eyes darting from parent to parent, trying to figure out which one of us to convict.

I don’t know you, but I think you’re a mom yourself.  Don’t you understand?

He’s four.  And he loves to play outside – fingers in the dirt, torn kneed pants emblazoned with grass stains, wild blonde curls and pale white nose brown from the earth he’s transferred there.  I love this about my boy.  Right before we left to come to this soccer practice he was rolling down a steep hill, gleefully landing at the bottom with his face in the mud.  It was the first warm day of spring, and his joy was palpable.

No, I didn’t wipe his face or wash his hands before I piled him in the car with his toddler sister and 6-year-old brother, rushing, so that we could enjoy the last bits of this afternoon outside and still make it to soccer on time.  He doesn’t know that his beautiful little face is dirty, or that there is mud caked under his nails.  And he doesn’t care.  He’s 4-years-old.

As you stare down your nose at my precious child, I want to draw your gaze and explain, “He’s actually quite clean.  We bathe him every night.  He just loves to get dirty.”  But you don’t know me, and based on your countenance, I’m pretty sure the conversation wouldn’t go well.

You see, my child is not my trophy.  I don’t shine him up to impress other people, and I don’t expect him to look fancy every day when all the kid wants to wear is “comfy pants – pleeeeease mommy?”  He is 4-years-old and he happily wears his brother’s hand-me-downs “as long as the tags aren’t itchy.”  Sure, I make him put on jeans for preschool and on Sunday he wears church clothes, but I don’t expect my kid to avoid the dirt and forgo the thrill of rolling down grassy hills because he might look unkempt.

After childhood, never again in life is it acceptable to hurl your body down an incline for the rush of it, squish mud between your fingers hoping to catch a worm, and show up to soccer practice with dirt on your nose.

Kids get dirty.  This is good.  This is right.  This is as it should be.

So no, my child does not need your pity (or your disgust) as he sits on the ground, criss-cross apple sauce, laughing with his 2-year-old sister (who is also sporting dirt on her knees).  He’s joyfully engaged in the work of childhood, playing as hard and as fully as he can.

And if I didn’t have better manners or some degree of self-control, I would walk straight up to your judgy face and proclaim, “Yes, that’s my kid with the dirty face.  Isn’t he beautiful?”

What I’m Reading Right Now

It’s March and the weather is playing games with us.  We’ve had a few incredibly warm days that left us anxious for sun-kissed skin and “all things hot” (in the words of our favorite snowman).  But the past several days have again turned windy and frigid, and I’ve found myself with a strong desire to curl up in bed, fluffy white dog at my side, and read.  And per usual, I have several books going at once.  Here’s what I’m reading right now:

1.  The Songs of Jesus – A Year of Daily Devotions in the Psalms by Timothy Keller with Kathy Keller

the songs of jesus

Given to me by a sweet friend from whom I seek wise counsel, this devotional covers the entire Book of Psalms in one calendar year.  I just cracked it open, and so far I’ve read only the introduction and the devotional days related to Psalm 139 (one of my favorite passages of Scripture).

The Psalms are a book of hymns inspired by God and sung as part of public worship throughout church history.  In the words of Tim Keller (on p. vii):

All theologians and leaders of the church have believed that the Psalms should be used and reused in every Christian’s daily private approach to God and in public worship.  We are not simply to read psalms; we are to be immersed in them so that they profoundly shape how we relate to God.  The psalms are the divinely ordained way to learn devotion to our God.

I plan to do one devotional per day, on the corresponding calendar date in the book.  (So I’ll start tomorrow with March 22nd instead starting at January 1).  Anyone want to join me?

2.  The Secret Thoughts of an Unlikely Convert by Rosaria Champagne Butterfield

rosaria butterfield

Speaking of the Psalms, Rosaria Butterfield makes a compelling argument for Psalm singing and the Regulative Principle of Worship in Chapter 3 of this book (which I’m tearing through at a lightening pace).

My friend Kristin recently devoured this memoir while she was on the beach in Jamaica, and she texted me from her beach chair and said, “Leah, you have to read this book.  I can’t stop.  It’s fascinating.”

Rosaria Butterfield was a tenured English professor at Syracuse University and also held a joint teaching appointment in the Center for Women’s Studies.  Her primary field was Critical Theory, and her specialty was Queer Theory, which is a postmodern approach to gay and lesbian studies.  She was in a lesbian relationship, and was an activist in the gay community.  Then one day a man named Pastor Ken Smith from the Syracuse Reformed Presbyterian Church wrote Rosaria a letter and they thereafter established a friendship that also included Pastor Ken’s wife, Floy.  Pastor Ken and Floy introduced Rosaria to the value of studying the Bible and considering whether it might be true.  This book chronicles Rosaria’s conversion to Christianity, which she describes as a “complicated and comprehensive chaos.”

3.  Desiring God by John Piper

desiring god

I read Desiring God’s blog nearly every day, so it was appropriate for Jersey Boy to buy me this book for my recent birthday.  It is a deep, meaty read, but so worthy of your time.  In it, John Piper explains what it means to be a “Christian Hedonist” and worship God for “the pleasure to be had in Him.”  In other words, he argues that our innate drive to pursue happiness is a good longing that we should nourish, rather than rejecting it as a bad impulse.  Because “the deepest and most enduring happiness is found only in God,” and this happiness is fullest when we share it with others in love, we should pursue pleasure as an essential part of worship.  At the core, Piper argues that “[t]he chief end of man is to glorify God by enjoying him forever.”

I will probably be reading and mulling over this book for months.  Only two chapters in, I already see God shifting my view of how to relate to Him.

So that’s it.  My current reading list is far from light and airy, but it is oh so good…even transformative.

Have you read any of these books?  If so, what did you think?

Full-On Tantrum Mode

Friday night Baby Girl was fighting me.  She was overtired from a busy week that included too many late nights for a two-year-old.  She was exhausted, and in full-on tantrum mode.  As she screamed maniacally and stiffened her tiny little body into a board-like state, Jersey Boy and I wrestled on her pink polka-dotted jammies.  She clenched her wee fists, face ablaze in a crimson hue, and pushed away our tender hands as we attempted to dress and soothe her.

Through her wild thrashing, we firmly held her close, gently reassuring her, “You’re just super sleepy, sweet girl.  Let Mommy and Daddy put on your PJ’s and you’ll feel better in the morning.  We love you so much.  Don’t cry.  Shhhhhhhh…”

I gently pushed back her hair.  It was wet and sticky with hot tears and snot, and looked terribly uncomfortable plastered to her sweet little face.  But just as soon as I removed the caked tendrils, she angrily reached for her hair, and pulled it right back over her eyes.  Stubborn and angry, she resisted even my best attempts to soothe her.

In that moment, as her parents, Jersey Boy and I knew what she needed – pajamas, comfort, and her bed.  She was just too upset to understand.

There in her darkened baby girl room, with glittery turquoise butterflies floating above our heads, and favorite baby dolls already asleep in their beds, I couldn’t help but think about how often I fight God in the exact same way.

How often am I like an exhausted toddler, angrily thrashing, snot in my hair, pulling away from the very hands from which I receive comfort?

How often do I scream and kick, clenching my hands into fists, rather than extending my fingers to the one who made them?

If God is my Father, and I am his child (as the Scriptures tell me is so), how often does he firmly hold me close, showing me love and tenderness, even as I resist his embrace, and stubbornly rail against that which is best for me?

When I find myself close to full-on tantrum mode…tired and angry, and sick of being pummeled by the storms of life (which will invariably batter us all), I am reminded of a great truth.

God is sovereign.

This means that the God of the Bible (three persons in one – Father, Son, and Holy Spirit) has supreme power and authority over everything.  He brought this world and all that is in it into being.  It is all his handiwork, and his will reigns supreme in all ways, big and small.

“I form light and create darkness, I make well-being and create calamity, I am the LORD, who does all these things” (Isaiah 45:7).

Scripture teaches us that God’s supreme authority is interwoven with his character.  He is a holy God, full of love, mercy, goodness, righteousness and faithfulness.

“The LORD passed before him and proclaimed, ‘The LORD, the LORD, a God merciful and gracious, slow to anger, and abounding in steadfast love and faithfulness’” (Exodus 34:6).

He is a good God, and his sovereignty can be relied upon and trusted.  He has a plan for all of eternity, and that includes a plan for me.  As his child, he intends good for me.  “And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose” (Romans 8:28).

So I find great comfort in God’s sovereignty.  It means that when I’m overtired from a week of service to my family, or a storm of life gets the best of me, and I want to clench my fists and scream like an angry two-year-old railing against her parent, God is not surprised by my tantrum.  When I resist God’s plan, and angrily pull my hair back over my eyes like a stubborn toddler, he knows what I’m feeling.  And as my Father, he knows what I need, even when I’m too upset to understand.

Father God,

Thank you for your sovereignty over all things in my life.  Thank you for loving me and comforting me like a patient parent tenderly soothes an exhausted toddler.  You are a good God, and you want good for me, even when I’m too upset to understand.  I am so thankful that I am yours.

In Jesus’ name,