If I Had a Tardis…

tardisblog

Our kids have enjoyed the many adventures of Dr. Who. One of the most intriguing things about that Blue Box is the possibility to go back (or forward) to any moment in time.  He witnessed Pompeii, conspired with Winston Churchill, engaged in a mystery with Agatha Christie, met Vincent Van Gogh, and saw the birth of the Universe.

I recently saw a meme on Facebook which asked, “If you could go back to any moment in time, what would it be?” And the memories began flooding in.

Our wedding day? The moment when I first looked into the eyes of each of our babies? The magical moment when our two oldest saw fireflies in the twilight for the first time?

I thought back to that one Christmas long ago when my brother Dave surprised us by traveling home on his motorcycle. I thought I would be the only kid at home that Christmas, and it just seemed so lonely. Seeing that old Maxwell House commercial always reminds me of it.

I remembered the mysterious night when my brother Tom (then in the Air Force) was stranded at the airport in Philly because of flooding and we waited in the parked car in the dark for what felt like days. Daddy slogged through the high water (who knows how far) to meet him…what a relief to finally see them both.

I think of more recent times when we were able to vacation in California and our kids got to play together on the beach for the first time in their lives. It was golden.

I find the most significant moments are not about stuff. They are about people.

It is so easy to become busy. It seems there is always something tugging at our sleeves, requiring our time.  Here I am in my mid-50’s, coming up on a 25-year anniversary with my husband. Our kids are growing up too fast. There is a reason that songs like Cats in the Cradle resonate with us. When we begin to see more years behind us than before us, we reflect. I suppose if my husband and I were to choose, Time in a Bottle would be “our song”.

Thoughts like these leave me wistful…a word not used much anymore. Longing for simpler times, lasting experiences. A bit of regret that so much of life is taken up with “planes to catch and bills to pay”.  So much of the book of Ecclesiastes has that feel to it too. I think there’s a reason that Solomon wrote, “Whatsoever thy hand findeth to do, do it with thy might; for there is no work, nor device, nor knowledge, nor wisdom, in the grave, whither thou goest.

The 17th century English poet, Robert Herrick, put it this way:

Gather ye rosebuds while ye may,
Old Time is still a-flying;
And this same flower that smiles today
Tomorrow will be dying.

Shakespeare wrote:

“Life’s but a walking shadow, a poor player that struts and frets his hour upon the stage and is heard no more.” Macbeth, Act 5, Scene 5

Life is a fleeting thing, a “vapor” as the Bible says. It may not feel like it today, while it is jammed with things-to-do-and-people-to-see; but one day in eternity we will look back and view things quite differently. We’ll ask ourselves how much of those years we had here resulted in wood, hay, and stubble, and how much of them yielded gold, silver, and precious stones. (1 Corinthians 3:12,13)

Amidst all the flurry today, let’s look for eternal dividends.

This poem by C. T. Studd is worth our time today.

 

Our Daughter, Injectagirl

injectagirlBecause traffic has picked up in a crazy way lately (nearly 1,500 visitors each day–which can be attributed to lots of things including wonky SEO…but I’ll take it!), I thought I’d use the opportunity to do a little promo.

I’ve written a couple things here about our youngest and her diagnosis with Type 1 Diabetes. I thought I’d just throw a quick blurb up here right now, in case there are some new visitors for whom this could be an encouragement.

Last fall, our oldest daughter, who loves make up artistry, created a persona for Katie for Diabetes Awareness Month”. She became “Injectagirl, the Type 1 Superhero”, so that we could empower her, and encourage other families dealing with this challenging disease.

We took a little break from activity, but are now getting things running again. You can find videos, helpful and heart-full blog posts and more by visiting:

The Injectagirl Blog (mainly for parents)

Injectagirl YouTube Channel (with interviews, Q & A, how-to’s and more)

Injectagirl Facebook page (blog updates and video updates are posted here as well as simple day-in-the-life kinds of things)

I hope you’ll join us. Share the links with parents and kids who need some super power! 🙂

More “Mid-Life Crisis” Resources

hourglassBy far, the posts on this blog with the most “hits” are those regarding “mid-life crisis”. Just out of curiosity, I looked at the numbers…there were nearly 12,000 clicks on one article alone. Hearts are aching and distressed. The search terms which brought folks to my blog are sometimes painful to read. Hurting people are searching in the blogosphere…a venue that feels safe for them. It makes me want to be sure that I’m providing solid, biblical resources, because God has the only right answer. The previous posts can be found here. It’s been nearly a decade since I’ve posted on this topic. Below, I’ll share a few more current resources:

John Piper on “What Would You Say to a Christian Going Through a Mid-Life Crisis?”

Paul David Tripp’s book, Lost in the Middle: Midlife and the Grace of God

At Crosswalk: Mid-life Crisis, Mid-life Hope

Focus on the Family’s “Tackling Mid-Life Transitions” (2-part series)

Revive Our Hearts: Learning to Love Your Husband Again

Dr. James Dobson on “How to Avoid a Mid Life Crisis

As always, please read/listen with discernment. Providing links to resources does not imply my wholesale approval of these individuals/organizations.

And also as always, if you have prayer requests, please post in comment section or use the email feature.

 

 

If Mama Ain’t Happy…

womanhometone quoteWell, yesterday I had to make an apology to our youngest. But let me back up.

We have “One Another” verses on beautiful plaques above the windows in our church. Each week, a new one of the verses is put in the bulletin for us to meditate upon and memorize. This was the verse for yesterday:

“Thy father and thy mother shall be glad, and she that bare thee shall rejoice.” Prov. 23:25

I got to thinking about my mother. I think I got some of my perfectionist tendencies from her. As a kid, it seemed I never did things well enough. Words of affirmation were few. Looking back now through eyes that understand grace, I can see that my mom didn’t have a lot of mom skills passed down to her. She was only a girl (about the same age as our youngest) when her own mother was hospitalized and then placed in a facility long-term. It was a situation where there was not much parenting or mentoring that could happen from then on, and mom was raised largely by an older sister. My mom also didn’t trust Christ until very late in life–long after I was out of the house. So she didn’t have the comfort and instruction of the Holy Spirit in her life either. She did what she could do with what she had.

Anyway, I began to ask myself if my mother would “rejoice” over me today. I think she would. When I was in college, there were many times that she and my dad were a little mystified by how I had changed my major to church ministries. How would I get a “real job” with that? Mom had aspirations of my being a teacher or a nurse. But today, I am both of those things. I teach our kids at home, and also teach women and children in various ministry settings.  Beyond the regular nursing duties performed by most moms, I am primary care giver for our youngest who was diagnosed about a year ago with Type 1 Diabetes. I’ve also been a “nurse” for myself through years of dealing with chronic autoimmune disease. Do these things pay the bills? Not really. Do they bring me joy and fulfillment? Most days. And that is something I believe my mom would rejoice in now.

I think she would also rejoice in what she saw yesterday morning over the battlements of Heaven (however that works, with the “great cloud of witnesses”). I was ironically, simultaneously reviewing that verse above, and giving our daughter directive after directive. She had taken a shower, but the soap wasn’t rinsed out of her hair very well. No time to jump back in, so we were trying to make it work for Sunday morning church. The dress was itchy. Her shoes were pinching. She was dawdling over breakfast. I began to get impatient with all these last minute things on an already busy morning. In spite of my efforts to plan lunch the night before and get it early into the crock pot, and lay out outfits, etc. I was still running out of time. There was breakfast mess on the counter. The printer wasn’t cooperating. Other small irritants were piling up to create a mound of frustration of Mt. Everest proportions. My words got pointy and prickly. My demands grew more and more unattainable for her childish heart.

All of a sudden I was not the glad mother. I was not the rejoicing one who bore her.

That one verse spanked me.

Do you memorize scripture? This is one of the big reasons that I see value in it. It gives the Holy Spirit a tool box, and He can pull out appropriate verses to fix my life conveniently, right out of my own heart.

It is true that the woman sets the tone in the home. So, if I observe a grumbling or irritable spirit in our kids, I need to look in the mirror first to see if I’m the one stirring that up. I could see a storm brewing in our youngest, and I was the one who seeded those clouds.  It was worth the couple of minutes to reconcile with her and ask her forgiveness, even though we were running late. It allowed both of us to arrive at church with a cheerful heart.

Another small victory won in two small hearts in a small rural town on this small planet. But friends, oh, it was also such a very large one.

Finishing the Race

marathon-250987_960_720I’ve been a Christian now for nearly 40 years, and it took until just recently for me to understand something big. We don’t run this race alone.

Now, I understand that God says “I will never leave you, or forsake you“…it’s not that. I am very grateful to know that His presence is with me (although I need to remind myself of that…I tend too often to look from horizon to horizon instead of looking up for help).

No, what became clear to me is this– the Christian “race” is not a sprint that we run alone, with God cheering us on at the finish line. Growth doesn’t happen fast. If it seems to, it is probably questionable. We shouldn’t be looking over our shoulder at other runners, wondering if they are gaining on us. Know what happens then? When our eyes aren’t forward, we get off track, we trip, we cause others perhaps to stumble over us. That doesn’t help anyone win.

This isn’t a competition. We should strive for our own personal best. It’s a team effort, similar to a marathon in which a group of people rally together to support a cause. We help each other succeed, and in the end our team will be victorious. We look to see every member cross that finish line. That “great cloud of witnesses” will be eager to see us all complete the course.

You see how this is a game changer? Stop comparing. Run your best. Strive your hardest. Show others what it looks like to persevere. Look for who is exhausted and come alongside them. Speak words that hearten. Offer the cool water of the Word. Refresh others like Onesiphorus and Philemon did. Console others along the journey, like Barnabas.  Other days, you will be the one who is spent and breathless, and so grateful to have your teammate reach out a hand to you. The goal may seem to be forever out in front of us, but it is never out of sight.

Jesus is the “author and finisher of our faith“… He’s made it possible for us to be winners at last–to finish well. Let’s do that.