Family Grace
By Shawnelle Eliasen

Trust the Lord to Handle All Anxiety

Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you. (1 Peter 5:7)

Today’s guest blogger is Marci Seither. Marci and her husband, John, have six children, three who are already launched and three who are getting close to stretching their wings.

They have provided her with volumes of adventure, symphonies of laughter and loads of laundry.

Marci has had hundreds of articles published in local and national publications as well as a historical fiction for tweens, but perhaps her biggest claim to fame is making marshmallows from scratch.

I know in my mind that the Lord cares about us and what we go through as parents, but sometimes it is hard to believe with my heart that the Lord wants us to trust him with the little things as well.

“Mom,” our oldest daughter, Emma, wrote in an email a few years ago. “Thomas and I have been talking and we have decided that he is going to wear flip-flops to our wedding.”

I cringed and wrote back, “Is Thomas planning to wear flip-flops to his job interviews?”  I knew that Thomas, whom we were thrilled to have as part of our family, was currently interviewing for jobs in electrical engineering.

“No,” she wrote back. “He will wear shoes to the interview, and flip-flops when he gets his job.”

“Let’s run with that thought.” I continued typing, “How about if Thomas wears shoes to the wedding and flip-flops into the marriage?”

I didn’t have to wait long for the answer.

“Mom. Thomas is wearing flip-flops to the wedding. We have talked it over. This matter is settled.”

To say I was anxious would have been an understatement.

“Emma,” I started my new message. “Your dad has decided to wear a kilt, commando style, when he walks you down the isle. We have talked it over. The matter is settled.”

Emma didn’t think the comment was as amusing as the 32 likes, 14 LOLs and 7 comments I received from Facebook friends in the following 90 seconds.

That was the last time we talked about wedding apparel, and before we knew it the Big Day had arrived.

As the music started to play and we all lined up outside the quaint building. I couldn’t help but marvel at the joy I felt seeing Emma in her white gown and lace veil. It seemed like yesterday when she played dress-up and hosted teddy bear tea parties. It was a milestone for our whole family.

At the cue I had been given I started my walk toward the front. All eyes were on me, the mother of the bride. My eyes were on Thomas, in his suit jacket, vest, tie and flip-flops. A brief cloud of anxiety stirred within me but quickly dissipated when I saw the look on his face as he waited for his bride. Pure love. Just like the Lord feels for us.

So often we allow what we think is best for our children to take priority. We become anxious over things that, in the long run, are not worth causing long-term harm to our relationships.

Emma and Thomas have been happily married for more than two years and we are anticipating two more weddings before this fall. I am sure that there will be a few things that come up in the planning but it is such a relief to know that I can trust the Lord to handle all of my anxieties... flip-flops included.

For those wondering, John decided against wearing a kilt, which I think was a good choice.

Shawnelle Eliasen and her husband Lonny have been married for twenty-five years. They have five sons and raise their bevy of boys in an old Victorian near the Illinois banks of the Mississippi River. Their sons, Logan, Grant, Samuel, Gabriel, and Isaiah, range in age from twenty-one to six with Shawnelle home teaching the youngest three.

Shawnelle has been writing for six years, contributing regularly to Guideposts magazine, Daily Guideposts devotional and other inspirational publications.  She would say that life with her men moves faithfully, on fast forward.  But it’s her heart’s desire, her passionate prayer, to see God’s goodness and glory in the fullness of her days. She longs to see Him in the unexpected moments, unexpected places, changing the ordinary to extraordinary and bringing quiet, sustaining grace.