Sooner than I am ready for

empty swingsToday I took my 6-year-old son to the park dressed like a Power Ranger. I suspect, this is the last time I will get to say that.

Today came sooner than I am ready for.

When we arrived at the park, several of the neighborhood boys were already there playing. Nicky, my son, said nothing, but his face said more than I was ready to hear. His private thoughts betrayed him as his cheeks flushed red-hot:

Why did I insist on wearing this costume?

What if they make fun of me?

Will they like me?

Will they accept me?

I admit, some of those questions might be projections of my heart, and worry for a son I can’t always shield. But that moment revealed a vulnerable side to my normally secure and wild-hearted little boy. Not surprisingly, after only a few minutes, the Power Ranger costume was off and in my hands. He played it cool, assuring me that it was the heat that demanded the wardrobe change and nothing more. But as he laid the costume on my lap and ran off to throw the football with his new friends, I couldn’t help but think,

“Lord, today came sooner than I am ready for”.

I wasn’t ready… I AM NOT READY to watch my son grow up right before my eyes. But today, I would have to learn to trust God with my oldest child because ready or not, he was growing up. I could actually imagine a day when my son would want to go to the park without me (shocking, I know). And it brought tears to my eyes to think of a day when I wouldn’t be his best friend, his confidant, or his playmate anymore. Oh I know I will always be his mother, and hopefully his most trusted advisor. And when he is grown, God willing, we will share a friendship that adults share with their grown kids. But these days, just as they are now, are numbered.

I wondered if I had poured enough of myself and of the Lord into his impressionable mind. Or even if having done my part would be enough to protect him and guide his decisions and choices. I wondered, just for a moment, if I could snatch him up, run home, change him into his footy pajamas and freeze time. I decided that might cause a scene.

I wondered if I could ever be ready.

Isn’t that just like life? One moment you are walking to the park in March with a 6-year-old blue Power Ranger, and the next moment you face the reality that nothing is in your control! And you’ve got to wonder, “Who is calling the shots here?” Honestly, if in those moments escaping reality were a practical, life-giving, option, the majority of us would run like mad! But neither you nor I can opt out of moments like these. Some lessons can only be learned by living them.

Maybe for you, it wasn’t your child growing up before your eyes that came sooner than you were ready for. Maybe it was something else. Bad news from a doctor, a death in the family, a relationship that seemed beyond repair, a job cut that stripped you of your financial security. Life is full of moments like these. Moments that demand our attention and remind us how our insufficient and feeble grasps on the world around us are just that: feeble and insufficient. These are the moments that will bring us to our knees saying:

“Lord, today came sooner than I am ready for.”

And it’s in these moments when God whispers in our ear:

“I know, but I am always ready.”

Jeremiah 29:11 “For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.”

I choose to trust the Lord in these moments. I rest, sometimes uneasily, but always assured, knowing that God is always in control. He is working today his plan for tomorrow! So what that means for you and me is this:

We can trust God for our today and believe Him for our tomorrow! His work is good and He has been busy!

Praying for you this week, that Christ would be more and more at home in your hearts, living inside you as you trust in Him! (Eph 3:17)

Please leave a comment, I love to hear from you! What are some moments in your life that came sooner than you were ready for?

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I’ve been tired.

I’ve been tired. I’ve spent a lot of time just me and the kids lately. My kids are great. Arguably two of the cutest, sweetest, and all around awesome kids I know. But sometimes, I’ll admit, their awesomeness overwhelms me and I O.D. on quality time. When my son mentioned for the 100th time how much he missed daddy, I couldn’t help but think, “I wish you would miss me, because that would mean I was somewhere without you”. Compassionate right? Trust me, there are times when I am even less charming. The truth is, sometimes life, even a great life, is exhausting. Both physically and emotionally exhausting. It’s sometimes hard to think of anything but rest.

So I took a rest.

  • Physically.
  1. I let the laundry pile up until I couldn’t see the floor (okay so not that), but I stopped obsessing over my need for perfection.
  2. Skipped the gym a couple of times to eat chocolate and popcorn in my pajamas. (even my diet took a rest although I will point out I feel better when I am eating well and exercising, sometimes you just need a rest).
  3. I took a nap.
  4. I stopped letting the fear of losing momentum keep me from ever taking a break.
  5. I remembered that even God took a rest (Gen 2:2).
  • Emotionally.
  1. I quit beating myself up over selfish or rude thoughts. Instead, I started rejoicing over all the times I didn’t say those things out loud. Funny thing happened, my thoughts were gentler when I released their hold on me.
  2. I was kind to myself, extending the same grace and love I extend to others. God is gracious with me, I ought to be gracious with myself.
  3. When my own thoughts discouraged me, I took them captive.
  4. I stopped wrestling with my mind; I was too tired for that. Instead, I locked up my self-loathing in a box and purposed to trust God with the only key and the task of cleaning it out.
  5. I remembered that the mind controlled by the Spirit of God is life and peace (Romans 8:6). That sounds restful.
  • Spiritually. I waited. I listened. I read. I prayed. I trusted. I believed. I humbled myself enough to lay down in peace knowing He alone keeps me safe, sane, calm (Psalm 4:8).

Physically and emotionally I had to take a break to get rest, but spiritual rest is active. I had to actively shift my focus off of me being tired and put it back on trusting God’s word as truth.

You will keep in perfect peace him whose mind is steadfast, because he trusts in you. Trust in the Lord forever, for the Lord, the Lord, is the Rock eternal.

Isa. 26:3-4

Are you tired?

Tired is okay, because Jesus gives rest to the weary. Whatever it is that makes you tired, God knows it and He wants to give you rest in the midst of it. Don’t be duped into thinking rest is for the weak. Rest, my friend, is for the wise. Focus on Him. And believe that true rest flows from the heart, to the head, and through the body.

Praying for you this week. That God would be your resting place.