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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Still… (For When the Winds Blow – Part 2)

So that flag at the top of the flagpole, the one feeling tattered and torn?  Yep, she needs this today.  You too, maybe?

She tries to hang on and she tries to stop flailing.  She even tries to stop the blustery thoughts that whip her around and tear at the threads that hold her together.  She is so afraid that she will be rejected or abandoned that she tries desperately to hold on to anything that makes her feel secure.

Maybe in all her trying, she is forgetting the most important thing.  She doesn’t need to hold on.  She needs to be held.

(Casting Crowns has a great song about this very idea:  “Just Be Held”)

She is held.  The flagpole is secure.  And it’s not going anywhere.  It holds her.

If she remembers she is loved, she can rest.  She can stop flailing and simply rest in His Love.

She forgets sometimes, but she can be still.  She can be still because HE is still:  He is still on the throne.  He is still faithful.  He is still a good father.  He is still loving her… and will always be.

That’s security.

If He is Love, then Love is in his very essence… and Love is in His presence.  And this Love is strong and powerful and secure.

The wind is no match for His Presence.

He can quiet any storm.  And He can quiet her.  He quiets her with His Love (Zephaniah 3:17).

As she takes a deep breath, the winds subside, and she feels herself relax into the security of the Flagpole.

She is held.


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Icicles

It’s been several weeks ago now.  I was sitting in my car with some time to kill because I was early for an appointment. Just the day before, a pretty significant snow storm rolled through, but that storm was gone now and all that was left was cold air, sunshine, and a snow-blanket on the ground.  I don’t know what made me notice, but the sunlight was hitting the mirror on my car door in just the right way and drops of melting snow sparkled and shimmered. I watched as the snow melted into drops of water that swelled until they couldn’t hang onto the car anymore, and then they fell to the ground.  Drop after drop formed… the same way, with the same result.  Continue reading


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Clouds on the Ground

It was early, and it was dark and quiet.  I sipped on my coffee as the radio played soft music.  My drive to work has become one of my favorite times of day, because it is also a quiet space to spend some time with God.

As I drove, I looked out over the fields and I saw it.  Nearly every morning, the fog hovers over the fields, almost touching the grass and crops that grow.  In the distance beyond a row of trees, there is a river, and I could almost see the water glistening in the silver moonlight. Continue reading


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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