On God, Giveaways, and Several Pairs of Sunglasses

Several weeks ago, we left the oven that was Arkansas and trucked our way down to Florida. The trip there and back—six of us stuffed in a minivan with four car seats, five (ridiculously large) pillows, 56 blankets (why??), sand pails, beach chairs, dirty diapers, crumbling cheez-its, a leaky radiator (hence: dodgy air-conditioning), a bloody nose or two, and a speeding ticket—was, well, mildly unpleasant.

Notice the shades.

Doesn’t look unpleasant, does it? Oh how they have you fooled. (Especially Shades there in the front.)

Thankfully, the ocean can always be counted upon to soothe the frazzled mother’s soul. For a bit, anyway.

While there, we got the word that the farm we are hoping to purchase (you remember the one) had hit some snags in the loan process. Despite our efforts to make it work, doors were closing at every turn.

Our long-held, deeply prayed-over dreams seemed to be coming to an end. It appeared, quite simply, that God was saying no. (Funny that I had written about that very thing just a few days before.)

I must’ve still had something to learn.

~

I’ve been in and out since. Busy with life, yes, but mostly just avoiding the blog because I wasn’t sure what to say about it all. (Uncertainty does that to you.)  

And in the many hours between then and now, when I’ve considered that the farm might not get to become Our Farm after all, one big ol’ ugly question looms before me and makes everything else seem much less important:

What will we tell the kids?

~

Hattie was just tiny blip inside me when we first fell in love with the property. Since then, nearly every prayer at our dinner table has included mention of this farm.

It’s not because the house is lovely. (It’s not.) And it’s certainly not because life is going to be easier there (It won’t. Josh envisions me having time to make homemade cheeses and milk a goat…And I laugh at him.)

It’s because we want to train our children there. We want them to see sunrises and morning chores and vegetables and manure and how God makes it grow and we get to work it and play it and eat it and enjoy it. 

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They need some farm chores to do. Wouldn’t you agree?

We want the farm because we think it will make our children into better humans.  And so they have been immersed in talk of this dream for as long as they can remember.

Perhaps that was foolish of us, but it’s too late now. We have prayed and we have asked and the time has finally come. And now we wonder and wait.

What if God says no? What then? What will we tell them?

What will they think of prayer? Will they think it doesn’t work?

But more than that, the one that I fear the most: What will they think of God? 

~

A favorite verse of mine—one that inspires my parenting perhaps more than any other—is Psalm 78:4.

“We will tell the next generation the praiseworthy deeds of the Lord, his power, and the wonders he has done.”

As parents it is our job to make God’s character known to these little Souls running barefoot our house. They are the next generation, and they need to hear it. Who else is better equipped to tell them?

When God takes care of a financial need, we can tell them that he is our Provider. When he protects us from a flat tire or an overheated minivan, we can boast that he is our Protector. When he gives wisdom when we need an answer, we can assure them God is our Teacher.

He is worth bragging on, especially in front of our kids.

So we must talk about him regularly in our homes. We must lift him high. We must declare his name and his character.

Yes, we must brag on him to our children, both because of who he is, and because of who he is not.

~

A few days later, as I debated what to tell my kids, I noticed another spot in Psalms. It’s just a snippet at the end of a verse—almost a tiny tagged-on thought—but it answered my question completely.

Psalm 92:15, “’The Lord is upright; he is my rock, and there is no wickedness in him.’

That is what I’ll tell the kids.

There is no wickedness in God.

No matter what happens. Even if he says no. Even if our dreams don’t come true.

He is not and cannot ever act in wickedness towards us, my darlings.

And that is worth bragging on. 

***

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Speaking of bragging on God, how about a giveaway!?

My newest book, God Bless Our Fall, released yesterday. I am continually awed at how kind God has been to me through getting to write these books and how very kind you all are for reading along. I wish I could reward every last one of you with a free copy, but, darn it, I guess we’ll all just have to settle for one winner this time. (That is until I start my award-winning goat cheese making business. Then free books and free cheeses will be abundant…says Josh the Optimist.) 

For a chance to win, either subscribe to the mailing list in the sidebar or leave a comment below (or both).

Just say ‘hi’ if you’re the quiet type, or, better yet, in your comment, take the opportunity to brag on God a bit. Tell me how kind he’s been or how he’s provided or share how he’s been merciful.

Either way, I want to hear it. And then I want you to go tell your kids.

Winner announced next week. 

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26 Comments:


  1. Lindsey said:

    I’m first, so I win right?? Love this, Hannah. He’s telling me a quiet no cloaked in “wait” about Amelia’s school choice this year and I’m kicking and screaming and then getting quiet again and listening.

    Reply

    1. Hannah Post author said:

      Well, you certainly win my respect and admiration. I can’t make any promises about the book though. 🙂 And I’m praying for wisdom for you about Amelia’s school.

      Reply

  2. Helen Carter said:

    Our GOD is an awesome GOD. He blesses us with children. Love your posts.

    Reply

    1. Hannah Post author said:

      Thank you, Helen! And thank you for reading!

      Reply

  3. Sarah said:

    God is merciful even when I don’t deserve it. I am so glad that his mercies are new every morning. What a blessing. Love your blog and your books. Just read “God Bless You and Goodnight” to my little one.

    Reply

    1. Hannah Post author said:

      Oh, I am so grateful for his mercies too, Sarah. After a rough night with the kids last night, I was thinking about that very thing. I’m so thankful that each day is new. 🙂 Thanks for reading and commenting!

      Reply

  4. Kendra said:

    Our God is SO amazing!! He has blessed our family abundantly!! From our marriage to our two miracle daughters! “God is Good All the Time….All the Time God is Good.” Thank you for your posts each week Hannah! They are so encouraging!

    Reply

    1. Hannah Post author said:

      I love that quote, Kendra. It runs through my head a lot, especially when I don’t understand what is going on in my life. God is good, and that is (or should be!) enough for me to know.
      And you are a blessed a woman, Kendra. 🙂 Thanks for your sweet encouragement.

      Reply

  5. Margaret said:

    My husband and I have been blessed by God day in and day out, even when it doesn’t always feel that way. He has provided for us this past year, allowing for me to spend most of my time at home with our daughter, who just turned one!

    Reply

    1. Hannah Post author said:

      God knows the desires of our hearts, doesn’t he? He is so kind to let you stay home. His kindness is one of my favorite qualities of his. 🙂 Thanks, Margaret, for reading! God bless!

      Reply

  6. Megan said:

    I have a rather fantastic story. Out of the blue, we run into a school mate of Drew’s whom he hasn’t seen in 10 years. In the middle of the lobby, he randomly says he used to be an atheist to the core, but one little sentence Drew used to say to him, “But what if you’re wrong?” -about God, the after-life, all of it; stuck with him. He said he chalked it up to stupid at the time, but that one little response stick with him all those years and he gave his life to the Lord. God IS merciful and full of goodness!

    ……and he also wants me to win your new fab book. 🙂

    Reply

    1. Hannah Post author said:

      Wow! That is a great story! Good job, Drew. And good job, God. 🙂 Thanks for sharing, Megan.

      And don’t worry, if it’s God’s will that you win the book, then you will. Easy, peasy, lemon squeezy. 😉

      Reply

  7. Laura Smith said:

    Oh my goodness, Hannah. You make my eyes leak and my heart squeeze inside my chest! Yes, He is always good! He defines good. I once heard someone say that “goodness” should really be called “God-ness”. We get things so mixed up with our own definition of what is “good” because that definition usually revolves around what is “good” for me, and goes no further than our own limited perspective. There is no wickedness in God–AMEN! It would be a contradiction of terms. As Jesus said in Matthew 19:17–“No one is good, but One, that is, God.” Love this!!!

    Reply

    1. Hannah Post author said:

      Thank you, Laura. What a fantastic word-switcheroo. God-ness. I love it. 🙂

      Reply

  8. sally apokedak said:

    Love this post. Love those cute kids. Hope you get the farm and keep them busy with chores.

    Love that you got to the place of bragging on God even when he says “no,” because when he does say no, he’s always saying it out of love for us. Never out of a meanness or stinginess of spirit.

    God has said “no,” to the prayers my kids and I have offered at least as often as he’s said, “Yes,” and that just means we’re not asking for the best thing. Whenever he denies one thing he gives a better thing. We may not think it’s better at the time, but we know him, so we know it’s better.

    Really he always says “Yes,” to us, because we end every prayer with, “If it be Thy will.” And we also tell him we’ll praise him no matter what the answer is. I have friends who tell me I’m faithless to pray “Thy will be done.” They think I’m hedging my bets. But I can’t see it. I know that God is my loving Father and he’s wiser than I am. So I end every prayer thanking him for being a God who will say “no” to my prayers that aren’t the best. He’s a God who will give me the best even when I’m not smart enough to ask for it.

    The best includes letting me wait so I grow in patience and perseverance. The best includes letting others persecute me so I grow in love to the unlovely. The best includes letting my kids misbehave so I grow in kindness and gentleness. The best includes all kinds of troubles and conflicts I would avoid. The best is often a “no” when I plead for something. And I can attest, after all those no’s, that he is good and in him there is no wickedness!

    Sorry to carry on so long in your comments section. But you asked it for Hannah. You have only yourself to blame.

    I’ll sign off now and pray again for that farm. I have a feeling he’s going to give it to you. I think you are right: Those kids need chores. But the goat cheese? Um . . . tell Josh that his goat cheese may not take priortiy over cash cow duties. 🙂

    Reply

    1. Hannah Post author said:

      “So I end every prayer thanking him for being a God who will say “no” to my prayers that aren’t the best. He’s a God who will give me the best even when I’m not smart enough to ask for it.”

      Wow, Sally, there’s a lifetime worth of good theology in these lines. You should be writing these posts. 🙂 Your perspective is so good. Thank you.

      (And I’ve told Josh that very thing. If I start making cheese, something else is gonna have to give. And I don’t think he wants that. Besides, who really likes goat cheese, anyway. 😉

      Reply

  9. Marian Shoemaker said:

    Hall family, your farm time will come,God has his timing.

    Reply

    1. Hannah Post author said:

      Thank you, Marian! And thanks for reading. 🙂

      Reply

  10. Allison Nance said:

    Thank you for your honest words, Hannah. I needed to hear this today! It’s been too long since I’ve touched base with you – will send you an email soon! xo

    Reply

    1. Hannah Post author said:

      Yes! Please do! I’ve been wondering about you and your beautiful book. Any news??

      Reply

  11. Allison Nance said:

    And CONGRATS on your new book release! 🙂

    Reply

    1. Hannah Post author said:

      And thanks! God is kind. 🙂

      Reply

  12. Donno Thomas said:

    I do enjoy your life lessons Hannah and have used several in teaching ladies Bible classes. There is no greater place to raise children than on a farm, so I pray that your family’s dream will one day become a reality!
    I have not seen one of your books, but would love to!
    You are very talented young mother!

    Reply

    1. Hannah Post author said:

      Thank you so much! What a sweet and encouraging comment. You made my heart happy this morning. 🙂 Thank you!

      Reply

  13. Tara said:

    God is so good. Sometimes that really does come in the form of a “no” to a particular goal or dream. We had been considering all these fun work-related moves that my hubby had been interested in for years, but had put off since our family has been constantly multiplying and he didn’t want to have a wife with a newborn in a new place feeling isolated(he’s so thoughtful). I just saw the joy in him talking about some of these places and experiences for our family lately and decided to really consider each opportunity and encourage him to move us if he found something he loved even with baby #6 due soon. Well, a recent level 3 breast cancer diagnosis for my mother changed everything. It seems our encouragement was to find joy and contentment right where we are and be here for my Mom as she enters her breast cancer journey.

    Reply

    1. Hannah Post author said:

      I’m so sorry about your mom, Tara. I can imagine her extreme thankfulness that you are still here too. God is kind to all of us, isn’t he? To her, by providing her with a daughter and grandkids nearby. To you, to have a supportive and self-sacrificial husband who will let you stay and be with your mother during this time. His kindness just never ends. 🙂

      Reply

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