So God Made a Teacher Collection (Sale!) ➔

Imagine this with me: You are standing in a beautiful garden that stretches as far as you can see – there is no end in sight. Trees, with their roots deep in the ground, line up one after another. Plants, green with life, spring up under them while flowers of every colour demand your attention and marvel. You can feel the warmth of the sun on your arms and the aroma of fresh flowers floods your nostrils. You gaze across the garden and notice that there are several deer on a nearby hill. They are drinking from a river that winds through the entire garden. Just below their lapping mouths, you see fish – yellow and red, small and large swimming to the river’s tide. Your eyes drift upward and see that the clear blue sky above the river holds birds of every colour and kind. As they soar across the sky, you realize that the only sounds you hear are those of the river and the birds. There is no one around you and yet, you feel at peace – welcomed, even – in this garden that seems to hold no bad thing.

I am often overcome with emotion when I read the first three chapters of Genesis. The description of the Garden of Eden brings me to my knees in reverence to a God who not only created the universe in all of its vast array, but who considers me worthy to dwell in such beauty. Genesis 2:8 tells us that the Lord God, himself, planted the Garden of Eden and that once he had planted it, he put man there. In other words, God created a space that was fitting for man to dwell – a space full of beauty and peace. We read over and over again in these chapters that God saw that what he had created was good. The beauty and the stillness of the garden were good. It was the very best dwelling place for man to be. God knew that man needed a place of stillness and peace in order to thrive. Furthermore, Genesis 3:8 tells that us that the Lord God, himself, walked in the garden. He did not place man there to be alone, but rather, dwelled with him there. God, himself, can be found in the stillness, in the peace, in the beauty of the garden.

I don’t know about you, but the words peaceful, still and beautiful would not be the same words that I use to describe my life these days. In fact, they wouldn’t even be in the top one hundred. My husband works two jobs while I stay home to raise our two beautiful daughters, both under the age of two. We are part of an active church community and volunteer regularly, and attend frequent gatherings with family and friends. Just a few weeks ago, to add to the chaos, we decided it would be an appropriate time to add a dog to our family. In other words, we are busy. We live active lives and we are busy from the time that we wake up to the moment our heads hit the pillow at the end of the day. This is not too different from most people. I would argue that many people (moms especially) stretch themselves to maximum capacity in order to get things done and take care of those whom they love.

The problem, however, is not the busyness. The problem is when the chaos becomes overwhelming. The problem is when the wiping of noses and the number of timeouts and temper tantrums before breakfast leaves us feeling tired, beaten down, and exhausted. The problem is when you feel that you can’t find beauty in the chaos. The problem is when you can’t hear God’s voice amidst the crying of the babies, or the busyness of your schedule.

If this sounds at all like your life lately, I want to encourage you to spend time in the garden. Set aside time and space to dwell in the stillness. If the very place that God created for man to dwell was one of peace and stillness, isn’t it worth considering that this might be something that we need today? And here’s the thing: We needed it then and we need it now. When we intentionally create a space for stillness, we enter into the peace that only He can provide. This space provides us the opportunity to dwell in relationship with the One who created us and who knows our need for quiet. How can we not fall to our knees in earnest thanks to the One who welcomes us into the stillness, who calls for us there when we hide from him (Genesis 3:9)? There is beauty in the chaos and you will find it when you spend time in the garden.

Candace Kikkert

Hi there! My name is Candace and I am, first and foremost, a daughter of the King. I am also a wife and mother to two beautiful girls under the age of two. You can often find me perusing the local thrift shop for a chance to reclaim the beauty of things thrown away and forgotten. I like to think that Christ does the same with us, as He looks past our brokenness and calls us beautiful. My hope is that the tedious and seemingly insignificant things like changing diapers, cleaning hands and faces, and preparing meals for my kids (only for them to be hungry again an hour later), will be the very things that show my girls how to be God-fearing, Jesus-loving, people-serving women. I find tremendous peace and joy in reflecting, writing and piecing together the lessons He teaches me daily. The bottom line? We all stand in need of grace.

When Life Feels Hard, Sit in the Light

In: Faith
book plate and mug sitting in light on a table

Because of the way our house sits, there isn’t a lot of natural light that flows into our home. As a girl who loves the sun and works at home, this has been a problem, especially in the winter months. I often find myself identifying deeply with my dog, who walks around the house in search of patches of sunlight to lay in. In fact, there is a section of my kitchen where I often sit and do my devotions because the sun shines down on me—a physical reminder of God’s love and presence. The first time I did this...

Keep Reading

Jesus of the Rock Bottom Rescue

In: Faith, Living
Sad woman sitting on floor

Have you ever hit rock bottom? I have and it was the scariest place I’ve ever been but that’s where I found Jesus. Where I truly encounter the Holy Spirit and the healing power and life He can give. I was raised in a Christian home by good parents that would have given their lives for me. I was raised in the church and loved by my church family. I enjoyed going to church as a child and I loved Jesus my whole life. At the age of 8 years old I asked Jesus into my heart and was baptized....

Keep Reading

While I Wait for Another Door to Open, I’ll Hold One For Someone Else

In: Faith, Living
Woman teaching another woman by computer

I’m waiting for another door. All my life, I’ve been told that when God closes one door, He opens another. And here I am, staring at the imminent end of the business I’ve built from nothing. Closing down what I started up from sheer willpower, too much caffeine, and the bold determination to work for myself. Scratching out what I made from scratch . . . and it feels horrible. God didn’t just close this door. He slammed it shut, boarded the whole thing up, and hammered the nails in where I cannot pry them open. Believe me. I’ve tried....

Keep Reading

Separating Work From Home is a Must For Me

In: Faith, Motherhood
Mom with baby smiling

If I close my eyes and let myself, I can still see the 11-year-old boy with his pale feet sticking out from under the blanket, on his way to the morgue after a gun accident.   If I close my eyes and let myself, I can still see the still, blue form of the 3-month-old who passed away in his sleep. We gave CPR and all the medicines “just in case,” but that baby was gone long before his caregiver brought him in through the door. If I close my eyes and let myself, I can still see the 3-year-old...

Keep Reading

When Teens Are Hard to Love, You Love Them Harder

In: Faith, Motherhood, Teen
Teen boy sitting with hood up

I lay face down on the floor, praying. Praying in the loosest sense of the word. Praying in the Romans 8:26 way—you know, when the Spirit “intercedes for us with groanings too deep for words.” Because I could not utter any actual coherent thoughts at that point. I was weary and beaten down. Day after day I had been in combat, battling an opponent I didn’t anticipate: one of my children. My own child, one of the people I had lovingly grown inside my body and loved sacrificially for all these years, had staunchly and repeatedly put himself in opposition...

Keep Reading

In This Stage of Marriage, it Feels Like We’re Roommates Who Share the Same Kids

In: Faith, Marriage
Distant couple on phones in bed

How do you get it back? How do you get back the love you once had? Everyone told me marriage was hard and having kids was hard, but I had no idea it would be this hard. I thought everyone was lying because our relationship was solid before marriage. We were best friends. Some days I feel like we’re roommates who share the same kids. It disgusts me even to say that, but it’s the truth. Marriage is hard and has ugly sides to it that everyone seems afraid to talk about. RELATED: Keep Showing Up Even When Marriage is...

Keep Reading

You Are the God of Details, but God These Details Don’t Make Sense

In: Faith, Grief, Loss
Window open with shutters

That was not the plan. What just happened in there? We walked out a bit defeated. More than a bit. I felt deflated. Things were supposed to be different by now. This wasn’t what I asked for or expected. This wasn’t even what they told me would happen. We cross the street in silence. Headed to the car and as soon as I shut the car door, I could no longer hold it in. I let the tears flow. All this unknown. I don’t understand. This is life. This is foster care. This is what we chose. That doesn’t make...

Keep Reading

I Am a Good Enough Mom

In: Faith, Motherhood
Mother kissing toddler

I came to motherhood knowing nothing about the job. My mother’s example wasn’t an example at all, more of something to forget, and maybe even get therapy for. My own son was the first newborn I’d ever held. When I became a mom, I was 23 and clueless.  Because of my personality, I wanted to do everything right and parenthood was no exception. I read all the books on parenting I could. I talked to older moms and soaked up all the advice they gave me. Having no idea what I was doing made me look to outside sources to inform...

Keep Reading

God’s Plan For Me Wasn’t What I Expected

In: Faith, Motherhood
Woman walking with children silhouette

I grew up in a family where we knew who God was. We went to church, and we were involved in church. However, when we weren’t at church, time spent in the Word fell to the wayside. Don’t get me wrong, my parents were wonderful people, but we didn’t make that a priority in my house.  Going into adulthood, I realized I had deceived myself into believing I had a relationship with God. I knew God loved me, but I questioned whether I loved Him. I wasn’t living life in a way that was glorifying to Him. I’m not only...

Keep Reading

But God is Still Good

In: Faith, Living
Woman looking out window

“I can’t afford a new one,” I thought to myself as I shampooed another stain. This can’t keep happening. Maybe I made a mistake. I have to make this last. And the couch. And the clothes. And all the things. We are done having babies. The price of food has doubled. It’s astronomical to fill the cars with gas. Things are closing in on me. How can I best serve my family? Survival mode engaged. When I read the news, when I follow the headlines, when I listen to the conversations around me . . .  I hear fear. Loss....

Keep Reading

Get our FREE phone wallpaper to encourage you as the new school year begins

It's bittersweet for a mother to watch her child grow—but you both are ready to soar.