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Tag Archives: time

Thank You for Your Time

BillygrahamI have a friend named Sean who knows Billy Graham. For years my friend was a manager at a hotel that connected to a hospital, the same hospital that Mr. Graham visited regularly to have tests run. At some point during his stay each time, the evangelist would come into Sean’s office, take a seat and talk with him. About life. About God. About the state of the world and the state of his heart. I was amazed by the idea of such an icon taking the time to get to know this young man. But what impacted my friend most by the whole interaction was the way it ended each time. Billy Graham always said the same thing as he was shaking his hand and leaving his office, “Sean, thank you for your time”. Wow. Can you imagine?

Is it possible that our rarest commodity is time? In this age that values money and materials above all else, perhaps what we should be most acutely aware of is the way our time is spent. We each have choices to make every day; spend hours in front of screens, drinking in the latest/funniest/edgiest offerings by creative strangers or share our dreams and hearts with those in the room. Have you ever had someone you trust and admire pour themselves into you, investing their time and attention into your story? If so, you know the feeling of worth this gives, have you then turned around and done the same thing for someone else?

It’s been at least a dozen years since I’ve heard this story, but it still stays with me. When I am leaving a meeting or an interaction that involved someone choosing to spend their time with me, I try to remember to thank them for their time. If it’s good enough for Billy Graham, it’s good enough for me.

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Get on the Floor

floor

When my kids were little, I felt like I lived on the floor of our living room. Looking back at video footage of Christmas mornings and birthday celebrations seem to confirm my memory because the entire time I seem to be at their level, assisting in present opening and sharing excitement over every little thing. I felt like a human Jungle Gym, with babies climbing and hanging off of me all day.

But when I watch footage of regular days, the quick capture of dressing up and dancing and playing with cars, I see that I am often on the periphery, cooking or cleaning and walking through the chaos, responding but not really a part of the fun. Why is that?

I can remember my guy pulling the big video camera out of it’s bag (yes, really) and starting to record whatever our little treasures were into, and I would react with a need to clean up the environment. We can’t let ourselves believe we lived in this mess, can we? The pressure to appear that we have it all together is so strong, even in our home movies. And what if a friend came over? How awful to be caught with this morning’s dishes not done, or to appear that I don’t have this parenting thing nailed?

I often have young moms ask me what I wish I had done better when my children were the ages of theirs. Many things, but high on the list would be: I wish I had spent more time on the floor with my babies. You can’t do laundry or cook dinner or run errands from down there, but you can read books and fire up imaginations and give unlimited hugs, kisses and affirmation.  Have you ever noticed that you’re better at this at someone else’s house? It’s because you don’t have tasks to do there.

I want to encourage young parents to get on the floor (and the grass) and stay there longer than you intend to. Everyday. That other stuff? It can wait.

 

 

Get Off the Monkey Bars

TimeFor years my life was incredibly busy. I won’t bore you with the details, but I call that period of my life living monkey bar to monkey bar; as your hand is leaving a bar the other one is firmly grasping onto the next, with little thought of where you have been or where you are headed. The whole point was not to fall.

This worked for several years, I would make time for someone by dropping something else and I was always running late, once I had squeezed out all possible down time with busyness, all good stuff, I realized I had zero margin. I would drop into bed at night and sleep without moving until morning, only to go hard at it again.

I don’t think I could have stopped myself, so God moved us to another state. I’m not saying that God moved us because I was too busy, but I do believe it was a contributing factor. I have spent the last few years doing about 20% of the activities of my previous life and it has been wonderful. I have known that it was a season, but I have really enjoyed it.

Lately I have been putting more on the calendar and committing my time to people and organizations, and I want to remember this feeling of having the luxury of time.

Time to invest in myself and others.

Time to be creative.

Time to be what my family needs.

I want to chuck the monkey bars for good, to be present in the moment and to know where I’m headed.

True Confession

todoDo you know someone who will write out a list of to-do’s for the sole purpose of marking off the items already accomplished? When they share this about themselves, it’s almost like a confession. Now, I am not a list maker, I try just about every trick in the book to keep from needing a list; alphabetizing my  grocery items in my head, or making up an acronym with the foods I need to buy. But I do have a quirk that needs a confession, and in my mind it is rooted in pride.

We have a large family calendar that hangs in the kitchen. It is used by the entire family, a place for everyone to be able to see what’s going on each day. I have been known to fill in the calendar after the fact. Maybe a last minute meeting isn’t penciled in or a game was never recorded – I will often write it in anyway.

You see, a lot of people walk through our home and if they are somewhat observant, the calendar will be seen. Heaven forbid if they should think that we had a night off! Especially if we didn’t! I’m not sure why but somewhere along the way I decided that busyness equals godliness or success or happiness. Of course I’m a good Christian, can’t you see how busy I am, serving God? Yuck.

I don’t want to equate busyness with anything but the state of being over-scheduled. I don’t want to care if people see that I cannot account for every waking moment. I want to be known for my heart. By God first, then my family, then the people God has trusted me with.

1 You have searched me, Lord,
    and you know me.
You know when I sit and when I rise;
    you perceive my thoughts from afar.
You discern my going out and my lying down;
    you are familiar with all my ways. Psalm 139:1-3

Does This Family Make Me Look Short?

2013-12-31 22.10.50The time has come….my entire family has outgrown me.

For years I was the measuring stick, with the kids siding up next to me to see where the tops of their heads hit against my hip, arm, shoulder then head. These days I can completely disappear  in the arms of my boy and I have to crane my neck to see the deep beauty of both my girls. Sometimes I have to remind myself that I am the mom, because they are becoming so big and capable. Sometimes I wonder if I am really needed all that much, and then I remember that this is exactly what I have wished, prayed and worked for. I knew the day would come, it just seems like it came so quickly…..

Thank you God, for this short life.

2013-12-31 22.08.11

 

Time’s Up

timesupOn the plane yesterday the flight attendant announced that it was time to power down all electronics while we were about to take off. Of course, we know that this practice will soon be extinct, but yesterday the rule was still in place. Immediately I remembered an important email that had to be sent, couldn’t wait the three plus hours until I had another opportunity. I tried to shoot off a quick note, but had to put my phone away and be all right with waiting.

It’s funny how hard we will work to make time to not need to work. Every year during the holidays, we stress over a list of gifts, food and acts of kindness and as Christmas gets closer, the frenzy becomes stronger. And then suddenly, you have to be okay with wherever you are in your list. Time’s up.

Those first few minutes in the car at the start of a long trip are hard for me; did I remember everything? Are all the details taken care of at the house and at the place we are going? And then suddenly, it really doesn’t matter because you have left the neighborhood and however much was done will have to be enough. Time’s up.

Years ago I was having major surgery, and felt pretty certain it was not going to end well. I wrote letters to my closest friends and family. I loved on my guy and my babies the best I could and cherished every minute I had with them, until it was time to be wheeled into the operating room. Suddenly, it didn’t matter that I wasn’t ready for what could happen. Time’s up.

I wish I didn’t need to have these stopwatch moments in life that force me to really cease and desist. What if we lived more like those final minutes of letting it go, being more okay with where we are and less concerned with where we should be? If I’m honest with myself, there is a feeling of relief when I realize that the time is up, that the ability to improve is no longer an option and I just need to rest in what has been done.

Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. Matthew 11:28-29

Get Off the Monkey Bars

TimeFor years my life was incredibly busy. I won’t bore you with the details, but I call that period of my life living monkey bar to monkey bar; as your hand is leaving a bar the other one is firmly grasping onto the next, with little thought of where you have been or where you are headed. The whole point was not to fall.

This worked for several years, I would make time for someone by dropping something else and I was always running late, once I had squeezed out all possible down time with busyness, all good stuff, I realized I had zero margin. I would drop into bed at night and sleep without moving until morning, only to go hard at it again.

I don’t think I could have stopped myself, so God moved us to another state. I’m not saying that God moved us because I was too busy, but I do believe it was a contributing factor. I have spent the last 15 months doing about 20% of the activities of my previous life and it has been wonderful. I have known that it was a season, but I have really enjoyed it.

Lately I have been putting more on the calendar and committing my time to people and organizations, and I want to remember this feeling of having the luxury of time.

Time to invest in myself and others.

Time to be creative.

Time to be what my family needs.

I want to chuck the monkey bars for good, to be present in the moment and to know where I’m headed.

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