Pause, on Purpose

DSC00798I need a few more hours in this day.
I need a couple of extra days in this week.

My thoughts when I’m stressed… when I feel like I’m running out of time to accomplish what I (or someone else) thinks needs to be done.

It’s crazy how often the unexpected happens: Driving around town in search of school project parts. One child gets sick and then the other two catch it. We get sick. A new work project deadline pops up in our email. Our car breaks down. A dear friend in crisis needs support.

Yet, none of this is unexpected to God. He dwells in all of time – past, present and future.
He knows what we’re thinking, feeling and stressing over.
He knows we need him throughout the day.

DSC00796Pausing, we give an opening.
We interrupt our thoughts. Stopping temporarily, from talking and doing.
We give God what is already his – our time. The minutes, hours, days and years he’s given us to live on this earth that he created among the people he created.

Pausing, we practice abiding. Being present to God, who is present with us 24/7.
One pause at a time, we learn to dwell in God’s presence.

Pausing, we begin to see what God wants us to see.
Pausing, gratitude for the ordinary ripens in our heart.
Pausing, we give more…smiles, kind words, even hugs, as we enjoy God’s love.
Pausing, we pray. I need you. Help me. Help my child. Fill me, fill us with your love. Forgive me. Thank you. I love you.

On purpose, pause.

“Then I saw and considered it; I looked and received instruction.” (Proverbs 24.32)

Blessings for the day,
evidences of His nearness,
clarity to replace confusion,
encouragement to erode discouragement
glimpses of His glory,
… MORE THAN WE CAN IMAGINE.

Making Moments Matter  

IMG_0748Raising our kids, my husband and I lived on a learning curve. The funny thing is each of our kids did, too – having no idea Terrell and I were trying to learn and discern from the Lord as we taught them!

Trial and overcoming. Failure and success. Tears and laughter. Short and long talks. Pain and celebrations. Distance and great intimacy. Unfun days and tons of fun days. Exhaustion and well, more exhaustion. Companion memories we share with our children.

IMG_0749The truth is I’m still on the same learning curve. Always will be, I hope.

Sure, details change over the years, but learning how to love our children through all the challenges and seasons of our relationship remains. Drawing from how our Father loves us, we practice – humbly acknowledging we’re lifelong learners. What’s so amazing is that the more we practice, the more we grasp how deeply we’re loved.

Moments make for good practice.
They’re simple, brief, ORDINARY …. and easily taken for granted.
Each is an exact point in time that God presents for us: Opportunity to enjoy His love to us and to share His love to our child.

God, help us see the moments and seize them.

IMG_0750Observe – as a child plays, does homework, enjoys an activity, interacts with a friend or sibling, manages change or tackles challenge. Encourage and build him up.

Listen – Hear their heart through their tone and words. When words are few, pray for more words, more intimacy.

Lock eyes. As you do, GIVE LOVE THROUGH YOURS. Ask God to show you what He wants you to see.

Give – hugs, kisses, TIME.

“Look carefully then how you walk, not as unwise but as wise, making the best use of time…” (Ephesians 5.15-16a)

M is for More

“There aren’t enough hours in the day!”
I’ve said that more times than I can count.

I want MORE.

But I say, I need MORE

…more hours in the day,
…more sleep,
…more time with my husband,
…more time with each child
…more time alone
…more time with family and friends who live far away

Here’s my pattern:  I think it; next, I mumble it to the air or whoever is in earshot. Eventually, I address it to God.

He’s the One who can bring change or present a new way:
Sometimes I need to change.
Sometimes I finally see the way to MORE, that He’s been presenting for who-knows-how-long.
Often giving thanks for what IS opens my eyes to how blessed I already am with MORE.

God gives ALL we need. We only need Jesus.

MORE JESUS

He knows our heart. Our aches, longings, struggles. He wants to show us the way to live each day. The way that yields peace, given by the Prince of Peace.

Peace beyond understanding.
Peace that absorbs the stress of the not-done.
Peace that fills the place of longing.
Peace that sustains in our exhaustion.
Peace grown like fruit in our heart and character.
Peace called winsome as we respond to hard things.

Jesus,
You are perfectly sufficient. You are all the MORE we’ll ever need. Grow us to trust You. Alert us and help us come in to Your order for living the day, celebrating the time You give, Your way. Amen.