When We’re More Focused on Next than Now

I spend a lot of time focused on NEXT rather than NOW. My thoughts are toward the next thing that I need to do: When I finish this, I’ll begin that.

After I drop her off, I need to run to the grocery store because we’re out of bread.
While he’s with the tutor, I’ll finish making those calls.
I think I can finish that report when the kids go to bed.

Planning is helpful and wise—but not at the expense of missing the purpose of the present. God is moving right now. He wants us to experience him now—to know he is real and living. He wants to bless and encourage us, to give us insight and understanding, to help us see his faithfulness in the smallest things and in big matters, to show us his glory in creation around us and in how he is at work in our life, our children’s lives, and our relationships.

God gives us each minute, each hour. Time is his. He wastes none of it. My frequent prayer is God, help me be more present to you. Why? My natural tendency is to lead me, rather than follow him. When I lead, my mind gets so busy that I exhaust myself before I’ve even done anything. When I follow him, peace anchors my heart and a welcoming sense of order unfolds.

“You keep him in perfect peace whose mind is stayed on you, because he trusts in you. Trust in the LORD forever, for the Lord God is an everlasting rock.” (Isaiah 26.3-4)

God knows what we truly need to accomplish in a day—those things that serve his purposes for our family, for our self, for our work, and for others. He wants to help us, even show us how. His design for our day includes rest, pleasure, and a deepening awareness of his presence and love.

The other day I was in the airport, rushing to the gate for my next flight. My mind was running, Maybe I’ll have time to grab something to eat and attend a few emails. Then one of the kids called, “Hi Mom, I only have a few minutes. How are you?”  God had a better plan for my NOW. I pulled my suitcase to the nearest wall and tuned out the people rushing around me. Five precious minutes, from God.

When I practice being present to NOW, I stop moving in my momentum and I become open to the moment that God has for me.

NOW is significant because it’s from God. We can trust that He has NEXT covered, too.

Dear God,
I want to trust you more. I want to see and experience you more in my day, in my life. Help me learn to be more still and present to you throughout the day. Help me learn to enjoy more moments, to enjoy You, and to trust that you have the way forward for all that I truly need to do. Amen.

Perspective for Your Right-Now Season

get-attachment-2-aspx“They grow up so fast.”  Whenever someone said this to me, I paused for a second, thinking, I should probably appreciate her well-intended words.  But silently I reacted, Right now, it’s not going fast enough.  Days can be long.  Hard seasons feel endless.

Mothers on the other side of our current season look in their rear view mirror of motherhood, and the details of their former seasons blur.  They bear witness that children do grow up—and we grow with them.

From the best days to the hardest, God bonds our heart with each child’s heart.  He supplies all that we need even when we don’t ask.  Looking back even now, we can see much that God has done—in our child and in us.  We can mark his allowances and protection, his grace and mercy.  Gratitude swells for all that he has helped us do up to this point—things that we never imagined we could do.

cimg2805As time distances us from prior stages, we realize how short each really was.  On the larger canvas of life, each stage blends into the next.  Each brush stroke has purpose, for the child and for us.  Memories of hard experiences slowly fade as love covers all.

Treasure now.  Soak up what God has for your child and you now.  Don’t wish or worry it away.  They grow up so fast.

~ From Becoming A Peaceful Mom: Through Every Season of Raising Your Child

. . .  Thank You to all of you who have read or are reading Becoming A Peaceful Mom. I love receiving your emails as you make your way through and express what the Lord is doing in you or how you’re encouraged or how you’re challenged. I pray for you daily.

 . . . Thank you for recommending the book to your friends. I am blessed to be connected to those you hold dear.

. . . And thank you for using some of your precious time to write a review on Amazon, Christianbook.com, or Barnesandnoble.com. Moms want to hear what other moms (like you) have to say.

A Mother’s Perspective and Prayer for May

DSC00004Happy (belated) Mother’s Day!

Don’t you like the way that Mother’s Day is in May? I like to think it gives us a second wind to finish this month strong. (just kidding)

When our children lived at home, I loved the month of May and I braced myself for May. I loved that the school year was soon to end – which meant homework reminders, last-minute projects, making lunches, hurried mornings, jam-packed afternoons, and rushed suppers would end for a season. I braced myself for everything that would happen before that. During May every final project, paper, test, exam, field trip, award ceremony, athletic game or play-off, art or music or drama program, or other special day happens. It’s just the way it is.

Every year I tried to “handle” May better than the year before. I tried not to live to get through it, but to savor it. Plenty of hours I failed, but plenty were delicious.

Through the hurried meal preps and even-more-hurried meals, the endless car time, the homework, after-school activities, and learning how to get along under our own roof – our family grows. Our children are learning – all kinds of things. Activities reveal interests, accomplishment, or a new friend. Moments around the table, in the car, or hurrying out the door provide snapshots of relationship growth, even friendship. We are learning.

DSC00975I hope you find this prayer helpful to savor more days of May ~

Dear God,
Thank you for giving me today and for each of my children. I commit this day to you. Help me seek and follow your plan – and not mine. Prepare me for what you already know will be a part of this day. I give you my weariness, my hurts, and my worries. Please refresh, heal, and comfort me. Fill me with your love and help me love with your love this day. Help me see each child the way you do. Alert me to be present to you – so my thoughts, words, and behavior reflect you more. Help me learn to seize moments to be still and enjoy each child. Thank you that you love me so much. I love you. Amen.