Is It Well?


When peace like a river attendeth my way,

When sorrows like sea billows roll.

Whatever my lot, Thou has taught me to say,

“It is well, it is well, with my soul”

Can I say that? Is it well with my soul? This classic hymn of our faith states the contrast between peace that flows like a river – constant, unending peace. The opposite is sorrow that is like a sea billowing, overflowing.

Peace vs. Sorrow.

Yet, the hymn goes on to say that “whatever my lot” it is well with my soul. It is difficult to accept that peace and sorrow should have the same result – acceptance. The only way that is possible is for one to have the belief that God has a purpose for life. That God will use everything one faces in life to fulfill His purpose –  and that the purpose is ultimately good.

I have recently attended the funerals of three people close to my age. Two of these were very sudden, unexpected deaths. The other was the result of a battle with cancer. Sorrow came crashing like waves on those loved ones left behind. The comfort of God’s peace will come as the sorrow ebbs away. Yet it will take time to sense that peace.

When our children face the loss of a loved one, it is important to talk with them about the sorrow they feel. It is helpful to let them cry and see that others are mourning the loss as well. Don’t try to “be strong” for others. Open, honest sorrow is normal and real and children need to see that.

It is also important to talk about the peace we can feel as we trust in God. We do not  understand why, but we trust in God’s love.

Philippians 4:6-8 (NLT)

6 Don’t worry about anything; instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need, and thank Him for all He has done. 7 Then you will experience God’s peace, which exceeds anything we can understand. His peace will guard your hearts and minds as you live in Christ Jesus.

God’s peace will allow us to honestly say “It is well with my soul.”

Being an Example


As an art teacher, I have found the most effective method of successfully teaching my students a new skill in artistic expression is demonstration!

Now I can just imagine many of you thinking – DUH! (If you have been around high school students recently you are thinking – HELLO!)

Obviously we learn best by seeing others do it the right way. We recently did a lesson on form (3-D objects) and learned to create origami forms. Many students had trouble reading the directions. They even had difficulty when I verbally told them what steps to take. Yet when they saw me or another student folding a paper crane – they were able to fold one themselves.

As parents we often want our children to obey our instructions. “Do what I say.” Are we leading by example? We want our children to tell the truth. Have they heard us lie on the phone? Do we say to our child, “Don’t tell your dad I bought you a donut today. I don’t want him know”. We are setting an example of hiding information. It may not seem important, but actions do speak louder than words – especially to little ears and eyes.

Romans 2: 21 (Amplified)

Well then, you who teach others, do you not teach yourself? While you teach against stealing, do you steal ?

That is very plain. We must follow the example we desire to set for your children.

When we do something that we realize is wrong – admit it to our children. I once told a friend of our son that I didn’t know where he was when I DID know. I wanted our son to come right home and thought if the friend called him, they would go somewhere else.

I became convicted of the error of that lie and later confessed and apologized to our son’s friend. I was wrong and I needed to admit it.

We will make mistakes as parents, but God is faithful to forgive. Our goal should be to lead by example.