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12032019ONTHESIDE

On the Side: December 2019

Melted Butter and Fresh Mercies
by Carol M. Shrader

She just needed to soften the butter, but she put it in the microwave and then walked away to do the next task. By the time my daughter remembered, the butter was not just soft, it was completely liquefied and unusable for the recipe she was making.

We laughed as her younger sister told her SHE would soften the butter and teach her how. But as they continued with their holiday baking, I couldn’t help but wonder how often I have started “important-to-the-recipe” tasks and then get distracted before I follow-through, follow-up or just complete the task?

I mean, I often fold the laundry and get distracted and don’t put it away for days. I often wash the dishes and leave the hand-washed items on the drying rack long after they are dry. And I have been known to start a writing project and leave it without a conclusion until the deadline is upon me! ☺

But I fear the list doesn’t end there. I worry that sometimes I start relationships and lack the follow-up to make it a real friendship. I get busy with the day-to-day tasks and simply fail to pick up the phone to call or text.

Or I commit to healthy eating and then forget to make the menu and buy the necessary healthy foods before opting to feed my family quick and easy fast food instead.

Far more important, I fear that I get distracted with the busy-ness of life and let my priorities get completely skewed.

“But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well” (Matthew 6:33, NIV 1984).

Seek FIRST God. First. Not after we have whined and complained on social media, first. Not after we have fretted for days, first. Not after we have stressed and struggled and tried to solve the issue ourselves. No. First.

Sit with me here for a minute. I am by no means telling you that if you pray about it, God will fix it and make it perfect. I am a daughter whose daddy died after a battle with cancer. I prayed for healing that did not come on earth. I am a mother with two children with special needs. I prayed for them to NOT have Cerebral palsy. They do.

I am not saying seek God and He will fix it.

Rather, and this is so important, I am saying make Him a priority—focus your eyes on Him and the way Jesus modeled His life here on earth. It will not solve all your problems, but He will give you the strength to withstand whatever comes your way. He will give you the grace to meet every challenge head-on. And He will give you the joy that He promises comes in the morning (Psalm 30:5)!!

I am praying that as we finish 2019, we practice resting our eyes on the One who wrote the book of our 2020 and the years beyond!

Blessings, dear ones!


Carol Mason Shrader is delighted to have her daughter over-melting butter in her nest in Delaware before launching full on into adulthood! Besides Claire, she is mom to Benjamin, Mason and Cate, and she is wife to her wonderful Wade, a pediatric orthopedic surgeon. She is so thankful God is faithful to stand in the gap when she fails to follow-through!

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