Wednesday, March 30

10 million minutes

"The days are long, but the years are short."

I'll bet you've heard that many times, haven't you?  Sometimes upon hearing them you dab your eyes; other times you roll them. I know.

Here's a photo of what was going on in my life exactly 19 years ago:

My baby boy was born. My last baby. This photo was taken when he was less than five minutes old.

Now he has lived nearly 10 million minutes.

10 million.

Millions of minutes of everything that goes into a life--eating and sleeping and laughing and crying. Thousands upon thousands of minutes of listening and talking and yelling. Hundreds and hundreds of minutes of walking and running and falling and getting back up, of mess-making and fighting and cleaning up and making up.

Layered into those minutes of living have been many minutes of pain. Illnesses and injuries have left scars. Broken bones and broken hearts are part of the record.

So many minutes.

I've had the privilege of being part of these minutes. Some of them seemed to flash by in an instant; some seemed to stretch for hours.

Some of the minutes I wanted to capture forever in my memory; others I'd honestly rather forget.

Some minutes I was a wonderful mother to my "baby" boy; other moments I was a dreadful parent.

No doubt about it: I have left undone those things which I ought to have done, and I have done those things which I ought not to have done.

Yet our good and merciful God has taken all those minutes--the good and the bad, the glorious and the frightful, the momentous and the mundane--and fashioned them into a blessed life.

And in God's good and merciful hands, none of those minutes is wasted. Some have been painful, but nothing is wasted.

My baby boy has grown into a young man.  I thank God for every minute of his life.

How about you? Have you ever counted the minutes of someone's life?

Wednesday, March 23

Adjusting to Springtime

It's spring! How lovely it is! But oh, how grueling the transition.

For the past 10 days I've felt like I needed a nap. Have you?

Somehow "springing forward" into Daylight Saving Time ends up affecting me much more than losing one hour of sleep. I've felt downright bedraggled. I've struggled to get out of bed in the morning (it's so dark!). I've struggled with preparing dinner in a timely manner. I've stayed up way too late, and not just on NCAA tournament days.

But I can't complain too much, because here's how my house looked at 5:00 P.M. last week:

Isn't it nice to have light in the evenings?

Oh, Lord, thank you for the seasons.

And Lord, please improve my attitude about Daylight Saving Time.

What about you? Do you struggle with springing forward?

Sunday, March 20

Welcoming the Lord

The calendar tells us it's not quite springtime yet, so our hearts may be a little surprised that it's already Palm Sunday.

Are we ready?

Is my heart prepared to welcome the Lord?  Is my mind open to welcome the Lord?  Is my soul ready to welcome the Lord?  Is my strength girded to welcome the Lord?

Oh, God, please make it so. Give us grace to welcome you, today and every day.

Wednesday, March 9

A different kind of dream vacation

When I was younger, I dreamed of vacation spots that looked like this:

Or this:

Or maybe this:

Maybe I dreamed about cobblestone streets and historic buildings.  Or perhaps I dreamed about glorious museums. Always, though, a vacation spot was some kind of preferred destination--some place I'd always wanted to go.

I'm on vacation this week, and this is the view from my room:

Nice, isn't it?

But I haven't dipped a toe in that pool. I haven't ventured onto a boat. I haven't walked on the beach. Why? Because this vacation wasn't about the destination. Sure, I'm in Florida, but the landscape isn't what I came to see. Instead, my vacation is about this:

That's my whole family, gathered around one table.

My oldest son (in the very back of the photo) became an officer in the U.S. Navy last fall. Since then, he's been at the Naval Air Station, in Pensacola, Florida, awaiting flight training. Soon he'll be part of the force of men and women who serve "around the world, around the clock." 

Oh, there are still plenty of spots on my list of preferred destinations. But for now, anywhere I can be with all of my children is a dream vacation for me.

Funny how dreams can change, isn't it?

How about you? What does your dream vacation look like?