Time…Is NOT running out


Take a moment. Think of everything you need to do today. Think of everything you need to do this week. Even this month.

Now think about someone telling you to stop. For an unestablished period of time. Starting right now.

What is your gut reaction? Do you beg for 24 hours to get organized first? Do you “stop” in theory but the reality is that you are still going strong? Do you welcome the break and figure things will take care of themselves?

For most of us who are stopped dead in our tracks we panic. Sure at different levels and in different ways but underneath it all is a sense of panic. TIME IS RUNNING OUT!

This exact scenario happened to me. I am here to assure you that time is NOT running out.

This is an invitation to slow down.

Time has always been and will always be. (The theology and reality of this is long and complicated and I could be wrong…I know, but hang with me.) My personal summary is that in the beginning (time word) there was (time word). And in the end (time word) there will be (time word). In the most literal sense time itself is not running out.

This should help us feel relieved. We are not at the mercy of time.

As I have sat in this for going on 6 weeks I have gone through many feelings:

Panic: What is going to happen with _____?
Fear: If I don’t _____ who will?
Regret: If I had only done ______ then I wouldn’t have to deal with my current situation.
Numb: Whatever. ________will get done somehow.
Wondering: Well, if I can’t _______, what CAN I do?
Relief: I couldn’t do _______if I tried, glad I don’t have to try right now.
Acceptance: Just because I can’t do _____, doesn’t mean I can’t _____.

The clock is still moving. The world is still turning. And I am still a part of it.

You see, in accepting that time does not rule me I feel like I have been given the gift of perspective. If time does not rule my days what does? What ARE my priorities?

To get to this place I had to stop completely. Can you stop? Will you? Even for a moment?

Now that I am nearing the end of the stillness I start fresh. Clearer. More aware.

I am not ruled by time. I am only limited by capacity. What can I do? What can my one single person Handle? Manage? Process? Give?

I’m still sorting this out but I know my family is a big part. And the work commitments I have made. My husband matters a great deal. Our community both church and local have a piece of my heart.

If time were my ruler I would look at that list and feel defeated before I even began. I don’t feel that way. In slowing all these areas have still required attention and all have received it. Not because of time but because of who I am.

This is the place I am called to right now.

As I look at it today I don’t see a full calendar or feel overwhelmed with lacking energy or endurance. Instead, I see a list of things I have been called to love and in my heart and soul know, my God given capacity is enough.

Time is not running out. I am not chasing her and she is not chasing me. Instead, I am walking in the ever growing knowledge of who I am today and what I can do. Right here. Right now. For it is the now that matters most.


Talking about Special Needs with Younger Children


Kids are some of the most observant creatures on earth. Younger kids especially don’t know what it means to filter their thoughts and feelings!

Recently a friend asked me “If my son recognizes that a child is different from him, as a special needs mom, how would you want that handled?”

(Did I mention I have the sweetest friends, what a gentle and honest way to ask me something really hard!)

Honesty is always the best policy. However, at 3, 4 and 5 a long explanation of development would go in one ear and out the other.

So we have to ask: How do I want my child to relate to people? What understanding of people different from themselves do I want my child to have?

I wrestle with these questions with my own children. When my 7 year old and 5 year old are developmentally very similar it becomes difficult to explain to the younger one that her brother isn’t “bad” or “broken”.

What I really want my kids to understand is that we are all humans with hearts and souls. When we take away disabilities, physical and mental illnesses and just our own human oddities, we are all still people. And people are meant to be loved.

So if you have a child who is noticing his friend is different, slower, delayed, lounder, quieter, remember that what you share with them teaches them about all of humanity.

My advice, remind your child that we are all learning.

Even into old age we are all learning.

At a young age this makes so much sense. Kids look at mom and dad, teachers, friends and realize there are things they do not know. As children encounter the special needs kids around them the idea that they are also learning is concrete. It also creates an avenue for your child to encourage and love that child in a new way.

Next time your child sees a special needs child remind them the child is learning and ASK them how they might be able to help. Maybe it is a simple thing like carrying a bag or opening a door. Maybe it is more involved like having the patience to play with them or help them read.

Dream about how this plays out in their adulthood. Instead of seeing those that are struggling as “less than” you are creating a positive perspective that everyone can learn AND that they can be a part of that process.

Talk to your kids about their own needs to learn. Point out when someone is helping them to grow and change. Encourage them to teach and engage their peers, special needs or not, remind them that they can help others just by being a friend.

I want to live in a world of compassionate, life long learners, don’t you?

Pewee Football, Pride and Parenthood

 Take a Knee

Yep, I’m that mom dressed in the team colors on the sideline clapping and cheering visibly and occasionally, loudly.

I’m that mom whose heart swells when my son makes a great tackle and celebrates when he gets an encouraging word from the coach.

I’m that mom, the one who is trying to teach my son about character and teamwork above winning but celebrates when victories are achieved.

And yeah, I know he’s only 6.

This year was the first time he decided to do something he had never tried, to learn a game with lots of details and instructions and this mom could not be more humbled.

When he started I was worried, concerned. Not so much for his safety but for his emotional well being. What would happen when the other kids found out he still wears a pull up? How would the coaches react if he lost it and had a meltdown? Would his very temperamental ADHD brain really be able to comprehend all the idiosyncrasies of a game like football?

And then there were blessings. Coaches we knew and could approach with tips to help our son. A sense from the league that playing was supposed to be about having fun and not just winning. And a friend who played on the team who we could car pool with who was always encouraging and excited to play with our son.

Then we had games. Games where I saw my son go from confusion to execution. Games where his acquired skill helped the team win. Games where he did his own celebration dance when he made a good play. And I felt proud.

Not a pride that expects perfection. Not a pride that expects wins. But an overflowing heart, a humility that comes from having your concerns and worries flashed before your eyes and the only outcome is beauty.

A moms pride that knows her child has overcome the large difficulties of his own humanity and chosen hope.

My son knows every player on his team and greets them by name. When a player gets hurt or has a bad game my son hangs his head in the car exclaiming how his heart breaks for his teammate. My son enjoys winning but says “mom, I still have fun when we don’t win.”

My heart is full and humbled. For we do not overcome ourselves but God in us can overcome all things.

In this 2013 Peewee Football Season I have become that mom. The mom who knows there is a .08% chance that my son will ever become a pro football player. The mom that knows this may be his only season playing this sport if he so chooses.

I have become the mom that knows there is a 100% chance that every time my son tries something new I will be there to cheer him on and in the end I will be the one to learn what team work, sacrifice and humility really look like, all because of the heart of this child.

Keller and I

Thoughtful Thursday: Mountain Tops

Ever have one of those days, or weeks, when you want to stand on the top of a mountain and shout out something wonderful?

This past week or so has been one of those kind of weeks for me.  A tidbit here and a little bit there, I feel full and overflowing with things I just want to shout out. Funny though how often times I don’t.

Why? What if someone thinks I’m crazy? (I mean, I know I am a little nuts but what if someone thinks I’m actually crazy!) What if someone disagrees with my joyous shouts? Worst of all, what if someone misjudges what I am trying to say and the heart of my joyous proclamation gets lost in translation?

Can I just say in all honesty to any of these things, SO WHAT! Is my life going to change if people think I’m crazy, or disagree with me or even mangle my thoughts and joy into something I did not intend? No.  The answer is no. My life will generally not be greatly altered.

Why? Because I don’t stand on the mountain and shout just because.  I only make the journey, take the time, have to energy, to get really loud when it matters most.

But what happens if I hold back? What happens if I keep joy to myself? Nothing. I can not pass on an encouraging word to the friend that needs to hear it.  I can’t shine my light of love to those who need to see it. I can’t pay it forward to those who might be living in the same joy and are willing to pass it on.

The greater risk in life is keeping the good to ourselves because of fear. 

So take the risk.  If you have something good to share, SHARE IT!  A good story, a moving song, a sweet moment. In the midst of the heaviness of every day life in the dark world we live in, be the light.

Thoughtful Thursday: So many thoughts…

My favorite thing about posting on Thursday’s is that I get to put a little bit of my heart on paper and share it with you…This week my heart is so full and overflowing I don’t even know where to start.

So here is a piece of my week…how has your week been?

  • I had a great time away with my husband.  I have decided he is best described as my calm in the midst of chaos. I love that we sat and listened to beautiful live music together and just let it roll over us both. Beauty in this love I have.

  • There are some moms who I study the Bible with and I love them. From advice on what to do with my earlier riser (thanks ladies!) to the miracles God is doing in their life.  They remind me that God is alive and active.

  • I’m experiencing Advent in a whole new way this year.  Every day I am learning something new about the Gospel. I’d say it is like an Advent high ; )  If you want to talk about this or have resources you love please, pass them on, let’s talk!

  • Life is full of constant ups and downs. It is a wonderful place to have peace about both.

“Therefore, since we have been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ. Through him we have also obtained access by faith into this grace in which we stand, and we rejoice in hope of the glory of God. Not only that, but we rejoice in our sufferings, knowing that suffering produces endurance, and endurance produces character, and character produces hope, and hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit who has been given to us.” 
Romans 5:1-5

Thoughtful Thursday: Stories

“Oh what a beautiful piece of heartache, this has all turned out to be…”
~Over the Rhine

In the last month every day I seem to hear this whisper in my head. From church like testimony to hope of something new emerging out of the ugly, life happens in stories.

Not the fiction kind where it ends in happily ever after, but the real story. Those stories we might label as “true”. My story.

Forever I have looked at my story and hurt. All I could see was heartache, bad decisions and disappointment. My story was my life, I held it in deep regret.

Slowly, when I wasn’t looking, my story began to change. I can’t tell you when but things I knew in my head began to seep into my heart. The whole of my story shown in a different light. Grace.

Now I look at my story and see hope. I no longer cling to regret but hold tightly to hope all while breathing in the deep breath of grace.

Sure, it is still messy. But somewhere in the mess, grace took root and beauty began to grow in its midst.

Friend, let your heart ache. Allow your soul to be weary. But grab onto grace and watch as the beautiful mess arises.

Thoughtful Thursday: Love and Acceptance

Welcome back to Thoughtful Thursday.  We are working through “Power of a Praying Parent” .  If you are just joining us stop by here to get started: Introduction

by edenpictures

Chapter 4: Love and Acceptance

Love and acceptance. The desire for love and acceptance is universal. As adults we want to be loved by our spouse and children and generally accepted by our employer, friends and neighbors. We say and do based on our desire for unconditional love and acceptance.

While we strive to love our spouse, children and those around us unconditionally there was only one that did it perfectly.

Biblical Basis for Love and Acceptance

1 John 4: 7-21

7 Dear friends, let us love one another, for love comes from God. Everyone who loves has been born of God and knows God. 8 Whoever does not love does not know God, because God is love. 9 This is how God showed his love among us: He sent his one and only Son into the world that we might live through him. 10 This is love: not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as an atoning sacrifice for our sins. 11 Dear friends, since God so loved us, we also ought to love one another.12 No one has ever seen God; but if we love one another, God lives in us and his love is made complete in us.

13 This is how we know that we live in him and he in us: He has given us of his Spirit. 14 And we have seen and testify that the Father has sent his Son to be the Savior of the world. 15 If anyone acknowledges that Jesus is the Son of God, God lives in them and they in God. 16 And so we know and rely on the love God has for us.

God is love. Whoever lives in love lives in God, and God in them. 17 This is how love is made complete among us so that we will have confidence on the day of judgment: In this world we are like Jesus. 18 There is no fear in love. But perfect love drives out fear, because fear has to do with punishment. The one who fears is not made perfect in love.

19 We love because he first loved us. 20 Whoever claims to love God yet hates a brother or sister is a liar. For whoever does not love their brother and sister, whom they have seen, cannot love God, whom they have not seen. 21 And he has given us this command: Anyone who loves God must also love their brother and sister.

That is the biblical basis for love and acceptance! God is the lover (vs. 7) and we are the loved (vs. 10) for whom he gave everything. As we walk with him he gives us this love unconditionally (vs. 13-16) and only asks that we do the same in return (vs. 11, 21).

We need to understand as parents what love is, where it comes from and what it means to be loving before we can show a deep seeded love and acceptance to our children.

Remember that only God loved perfectly and gave us the living example of that through Christ. We will not love and accept perfectly every time but God is also gracious! On page 47 this week our author says “…And don’t listen to the devil weighing you down with guilt about past failures.  These are lies from the pit of hell and part of Satan’s plan for your child’s life.  If you are tormented by guilt or feelings of failure in this area, confess your thoughts to God, pray about it, put it n God’s hands and then stand up and proclaim the truth.” 

Love, Acceptance and Children

In the book on page 48 Ms. Omartian makes a very clear  point of asking: what constitutes love and acceptance for our kids? She lists the following:

  • Eye contact
  • Physical Touch
  • Loving Acts
  • Deeds
  • Words

(Gary Chapman of 5 Love Languages fame restated this as words of affirmation, quality time, receiving gifts, acts of service and physical touch.)

Based on this list fill in the blanks:  My child ___(NAME)____ feels loved and accepted when (Specific Way/Time/Event).

Stop right now and pray that God would provide an opportunity this week to interact with your child(ren) in this way!

Love and Acceptance: Extra Credit 

Group Hug by deltaMike

You can stop with the exercise above but if you want to dig deeper here are some ideas:

Pray: Pinpoint one situation for your child(ren) and pray that God will show them love and acceptance this week for that particular thing. Are there specific or isolated situations in your child’s life when he/she feels rejected? Do you think this is a real concern, or has your child believed something that has no basis in the truth? How could you pray specifically about that?

Proclaim God’s Truth: Pick a verse about God’s love from the Study or elsewhere in the Bible and pray it over your child(ren) every day this week.

Practice: Commit to take the opportunity God puts in place for you to show love and acceptance to your child(ren) one time this week.

Participation: When your time and energy are running low ASK for participation from others! Reach out to a friend or family member and ask them to participate in showing your child(ren) love and acceptance this week!