"Really? Now?"

We were just settling into a nice routine around here. I was getting lots of work done. The house actually looked fairly decent. I was feeling pretty good about our new routine. Then I picked my girls up from school yesterday.

My oldest came out with a flushed face, glassy eyes and a miserable expression. When we got home, the thermometer read 101.6. We managed exactly 2 1/2 days of school before illness struck our home.

We had a rough year last year with my girls missing bunches of school because of illness. I was so hoping for a better year this year. We had my youngest daughter's adenoids taken out and tubes put in her ears the Friday before school started in hopes we could avoid the string of illness that laid us low so often last year. So far, we're not off to a great start.

But I'm hopeful things will turn around. Maybe this is simply an anomaly for the year.

Sometimes, we start a new job, a new task, a new schedule with high hopes. We expect that everything is going to go well. All the issues we had with the last set of circumstances will be solved with this new transition. Then we hit the first obstacle, and too often our reaction is what mine was yesterday afternoon. "Really? Now? I thought we were done with this."

I have totally reworked my schedule for the fall. I know God has been calling me to do more writing, so I had crafted my schedule so the end of the week would provide me with a good block of time to write. And, here we are in the first week with a sick kid at home at the end of the week.

I'm positive that Satan has no desire for me to write any more than I am. As a matter of fact, I'm sure he would prefer that I not write as much as I do. I fully expect more obstacles to land in my lap on Thursdays and Fridays this fall.

1 Peter 5:8 says "Be alert and of sober mind. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour." When God asks us to do something, and we begin to follow through, we can be sure that Satan is going to be throwing up obstacles in our paths. Whether it's a sick kid on the first week of a new schedule or a tempting invitation to do something else, Satan wants to keep us busy with other things so we can't do the things God asks of us.

As 1 Peter 5:8 says, we need to constantly be alert, looking for ways that Satan wants to distract us from God's plans for us. Satan may not always throw up obvious stumbling blocks. He may simply offer us a more tempting option -- something that sounds like more fun or like it will do more good than what we're currently doing. But if it's not what God has asked us to do, and it is taking away from what He has asked us to do, then it's the wrong thing to do.

Help your kids stick with God's plan for them and not be distracted by Satan's temptations. Help your kids sort through the right and wrong things to do in certain situations. Pray with them when they are trying to make choices. Give them encouragement and wisdom so they can discern what God wants them to do.

Be on the lookout for ways that Satan wants to distract you from what God has planned for you. Don't get discouraged when road blocks pop up on the path God has asked you to take. Stick with God's plan because it's always better than anything we can come up with on our own.