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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First Day of School (My Thoughts on Surrender…)

Part of learning to live right now is learning to surrender.

And surrender is hard.  So hard.  Interestingly, even writing about it is hard.

It seems like lately my life has been one moment of surrender after another.  It’s becoming more and more obvious to me that God really wants me to trust Him and Him alone, because He has asked me to surrender some pretty big things (to me), things that I maybe had more faith in than Him.  He is teaching me that I need have full confidence and trust in Him alone, and not in these other things. Continue reading


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Who Do You Say I Am?

There is a point in Jesus’ ministry where he asks His disciples a question:  “Who do the people say I am?”  The disciples reply with a variety of answers.  And then Jesus asks the more important question:  “Who do YOU say I am?”

Interestingly, I have found myself at a place where I am asking God the very same question.  I’m asking, “God, who do YOU say I am?” 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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When Numbers Have Too Much Value

I’ve posted before about keeping a list of things to be thankful for, about the way counting to 1000 gifts was life-changing for me. What I didn’t share before is that I keep that list in an app on my phone. I guess I could put a pencil to paper, but my phone is always close by, and the app has a cool camera feature so I can attach photos to my gifts… that just works for me.

I’ve heard it said that technology is really great when it works… Continue reading


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In the Woods

One of my favorite things to do is take nature walks with my kids. We look for bugs and interesting rocks. We try to see how many different kinds of “critters” (birds, squirrels, turtles, frogs, etc.) we can find. We try to take notice of the small things that we might otherwise miss, like flowers, moss growing on old logs, spider webs, and shadows. There is something about these walks, about being in nature, that makes me feel more connected to my kids and to God. Continue reading


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Counting to 1000

I’ve mentioned it before, but it is worth repeating: Ann Voskamp‘s book, “One Thousand Gifts” seriously changed my life. And I don’t use the phrase “changed my life” often or lightly.

I found out about the book at a time when I desperately needed it, but didn’t know it. 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