My Right Now Life

learning to fully embrace this moment and fully live right now…


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Heard

“But Mom!  He…”

She’s 5 and she wants me to know what her brother did.  She wants me to hear her side of the story.

I take a deep breath.  “I know what he did.  But we are talking about what you did.”

Again, she replies, “But he…”

My 8-year-old is trying to get his side of the story out, too.  It’s a war of “who started it” and the volume increases.

I wish I would have prayed and listened in that moment.  Maybe it was the fact that we were in the grocery store and I was preoccupied.  Maybe it was the attention we were drawing to ourselves.  I don’t know… I just wanted the sibling fighting to end and for there to be some kind of peace until we could get out of the store.

Sometimes I’m human and I miss the real issue.

Later I remember the fighting that broke out in the cereal aisle.  I choose to pray and I choose to listen.  I know they just wanted to be heard. Their argument was very real to both of them, but I think, more than anything, they wanted to know I was listening.

And I wish I would have held them both close and whispered the words they needed most in that moment:  “I hear you.”

She is 5 and he is 8 and they want to be heard, and I am 30 and I’m not so different.  It’s not always about who is right and who is wrong.  Sometimes it’s about whether or not my voice really matters.

Because when I was a child, many times it didn’t.  Abuse and lies and secrecy and shame:  those things can silence a soul pretty quickly.  As a kid I was silenced, but as an adult I scream.

Sometimes I scream and I flail and I wrestle, not as much in the cereal aisle as in relationships and in my own skin.  Sometimes I try so hard to make sure someone hears me.

“Do you HEAR that it hurts?”

“Do you SEE what he did?”

Sometimes I need someone to say those 3 words to me.  “I hear you.”

I’ve tried this approach with my kids since the day in the cereal aisle.  I’ve pulled her close and affirmed her feelings.  “I hear you.”  I’ve stroked his hair and wrapped him in my arms.  “I’m so sorry that happened to you.”

They relax in my arms.  Somehow tantrums die quickly when we know someone cares about how we feel.  Somehow the things we are so upset about seem much smaller when we know we are heard.  And when we know we are heard, and we are loved, it makes it easier to work through whatever that thing is that has us so upset.

And as I do that for my kids, God does that for me.  That’s the thing about God.  He’s a good Dad.  He doesn’t miss the real issue like I so often do.  He knows my tantrums are likely about more than what is seen on the surface.  And He longs to pull me close and wrap me in His arms and whisper those words to me.

“I hear you.  It was wrong.  I’m so sorry that happened to you.”

Those words comfort my kids.  And they comfort me… those words are balm to very deep wounds.

I can stop flailing and let Him hold me.  When I know I am loved, I don’t need to struggle.  I can rest.  I can be present with the God who hears me.

RIGHT NOW, in this moment… I am heard.


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A Letter to My Kids (and ALL of Us)

My child,

Do you know what you are worth to me?  Do you know how much I love you?

I open my arms as wide as I can, and say “I love you THIS much!”, or I say “I love you to the moon (and back)!”  That’s really not even a fraction of how much I love you, but it is the best way I can help you understand. Continue reading


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Go Anyway

Drops of water hit the windshield and my heart sank a little.

“It figures,” I thought.

We recently discovered a park in our city and I had promised the kids we would go back when we could stay longer.  This was the day.  The weather report said there was a chance of rain, but it wouldn’t be a wash-out.  I was hoping we would be on the dry side of that chance.

Evidently we weren’t. Continue reading


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Living Backwards

The other day my son drew a picture of what he thinks heaven looks like.  As he explained his picture to me and my husband, I have to say I was a little awe-struck.

He explained that there was light everywhere.  I winked and said teasingly, “You mean heaven’s not a dark place?”  He explained to me that “no, it’s not dark” and that “everything in heaven is bright and shiny and glittery” and how “Jesus is there and everyone is happy.” Continue reading


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All work and no play?

Today as part of our school lessons, my son was to read a short story called “At Work“. The story is about a little boy who knows that work and play are different and that there is a place for both in his day. This prompted a conversation between me and my son about the difference between work and play, and how both grown-ups and children need to have a little of both every day. Continue reading