We have all the time we need. What happens when we have enough time for others? What happens when others have enough time for us?

Recently my daughter, Emily, shared with me what it meant to her for someone to share with her all the time she needed. My daughter is in full nesting mode. If you aren’t familiar with nesting, it is when a pregnant woman approaches her due date and she gathers all the necessary staples to prepare for the birth of her child. Emily wanted to stock up at a local warehouse store but wasn’t able to go with her husband. It turned out she needed to go alone with her two-year-old in tow. Her one full cart turned into two carts after it was boxed and ready for the car. And then she tells me…

The part I had been dreading – loading the car. Did I mention I had a lot of stuff? I took a deep breath and started to load. The first box was heavy; then I bent down to start pulling items from the bottom of the cart. I won’t get into the details, but I was very uncomfortable. As I stood up, a lady was walking past and asked, “would you mind if I helped you?” I paused, considering whether or not I really needed the help, and then said, “yea, that would be great.”

She handed items to me, helping me play life size tetris to get everything loaded safely. She took the first empty cart to the stall – I glanced up and watched her and noticed she had come with someone else. She came back and continued to help me load my car, insisting she do the lifting. Filled with more gratitude than I knew how to express, I said “thank you so much, you most certainly did not have to do this.” 

She promptly responded, “I have all the time we need – my dad is retired so we are just out and about this morning.” 

She waited till the final item was loaded and then took my second cart to the cart stall.

She was an angel to me today – entirely a stranger, stepping in to lend a hand to a young expectant mother. Her genuine offer of time made me feel valued, seen, and treasured. Her act of kindness reminded me that my heavenly father values and sees and treasures me too; and knows the ins and outs of my every need. 

Do you have time to help someone today? You might just be someone’s angel!

Listen: Just Be by Kim Walker Smith

Before you click out of this post thinking, “I don’t have time to listen to a song right now!” let me tell you, it will take less than five minutes of your time. Will you choose to be concerned about the details or sitting at the feet of Jesus?

Remember: we have all the time we need!

How often in a day do you say “Hurry up!” That phrase pops into my head way more than I care to admit.

I am most likely to say, “Come on! Hurry up!” when I am driving. No one drives quite as well as I do…said everyone! So it seems I am in a hurry when I drive. Is that because I left late or because I can’t enjoy the present moment of being in the car? Hmmm.

Katlyn, my youngest daughter, and I flew to Florida on Friday for the weekend. I love her like everything, but she moves at a sloth’s pace. She is fastidious about keeping her possessions with her and organized. That takes more time than you might imagine. She double checks when she leaves the car or house or restaurant or wherever we are to be certain doors are locked, windows are up, possessions are claimed. Time consuming! I want to say, “Hurry!”

She doesn’t seem to be in a particular rush when we are walking somewhere, like from the car to the beach. She strolls. From the beach to the car – she strolls. I want to say, “Hurry!”

Her get-ready routine is painstakingly slow. Hair drying and styling, make-up application, choosing an outfit – all in slow gear. I want to say, “Hurry!”

On Saturday we made a stop at a fabric/sewing shop that I frequent in Florida. As luck would have it, I found some things to buy. We planned how much time we could spend at the shop but unbeknownst to Katlyn, there was plenty of cushion in our schedule. As the agreed upon departure time crept closer, she got a bit antsy. She wanted to say, “Hurry!”

But Donna, the sales clerk, was in no hurry. She was thorough and helpful. You know, the kind who stops to meet your gaze when you ask a question. She didn’t appear to value the efficiency of multi-tasking. I know this about her and deeply appreciate Donna as a person, so I wasn’t flustered by it. Katlyn was. We needed to hurry Donna along. (I do offer a pat on the back to Katlyn at this point because she willingly slowed herself down to appreciate Donna’s thorough approach to cashiering.)

So for the last three days, I have bit my tongue. I may have said, “Hurry!” once or twice, but for the most part I told myself to take a breath. I slowed my steps. I sat down, I waited, I rested.

It seems I want others to drive at my pace, walk at my pace, live at my pace. And when I am hurried, others need to be hurried as well. When I am strolling, others may also stroll.

As I lay in bed today, in that state of semi-consciousness between deep sleep and awake, I experienced a sense of urgency. I felt more than heard the words “hurry, hurry, hurry!” It took me a few minutes of listening to understand who needed to hurry.

My body, mind and soul seemed to be crying out to God to hurry. Hurry and answer my prayers for my children, for my friends, for me. WHY IS THIS TAKING SO LONG??? Can’t you hurry? Can’t they hurry? Do you delight in making me wait? Do you enjoy the stroll?

I heard these words as I lay there,

But you must not forget this one thing, dear friends: A day is like a thousand years to the Lord, and a thousand years is like a day. The Lord isn’t really being slow about his promise, as some people think. He is being patient for your sake…

2 Peter 3:8-9

So I am challenged to slow down and enjoy and trust. Trust that God has it all in his hands. Enjoy the present moment because it only comes by once. Slow down so I can experience all of the day. Has anyone ever said, “I wish I had hurried more?”

Are you in a hurry? How can you slow down today to better enjoy this present moment? Even the most painful moments of life can be savored for what they teach us.

Today my friend, Lena, passed from this life into the next. In this painful moment, I want to savor what she taught me. I reflect on her kindness and resilience. I celebrate her life. So even in sadness, I enjoy this moment of remembering.

We have all the time we need. What can this moment teach you?

Until next time…

May the Lord bless you and protect you.

May the Lord smile on you and be gracious to you.

May the Lord show you his favor and give you his peace.

Numbers 6:24-26

Last week we focused on being learners. I emphasized that there is no pressure to know it all right now because there are just lots of things we just haven’t learned yet.

Another mantra that goes hand in hand with “we are all just learning here” is “We have all the time we need!”

There is a song by Alabama that says it so well! We are in such a hurry to get everywhere and get everything done we have no time to enjoy the process, the present moment.

This week, I invite you to slow down. Step out of the chaos of the hurry and take a breath. Enjoy the moment because it will only come by once.

Read: Luke 10:38-42

What choice are you making today? Worry over the details or sitting at the feet of Jesus?

Bubble day again! Take time to rest and be renewed as you look forward to the new week. It’s a great day to have a great day!

‘I was glad when they said to me, “Let us go to the house of the Lord .”’

Psalms 122:1

‘My eyes are always on the Lord , for he rescues me from the traps of my enemies.

Psalm 25:15

‘Fearing people is a dangerous trap, but trusting the Lord means safety.’

Proverbs 29:25

I can think of nothing more detrimental to the learning process than fear of others. What will happen if I admit I don’t know? What will others think if I fail? How will I recover if I step out and it doesn’t work?

How do you need to exercise a greater level of trust in the Lord today rather than fearing people? Can you lean into the safety of the Lord?

I sew. Every day. And every day I take stitches out. You see, every time I sit at the machine I learn something. Some days I relearn a technique I don’t remember from the last time. But the last time I did it, I was being coached. This time, I was on my own. I learned by falling.

In the past I have tried with everything inside me to not fall. I don’t want to fail, to do it wrong. And when I fall, I berate myself for not knowing. I struggle to admit I don’t know. I need to get it right.

Now I know that I will fall. I don’t try to – I don’t have to try – I just will. And it’s okay. I acknowledge it and move on. I say, “I am just learning here,” and continue to press forward.

It seems to me that it is in the falling that the best learning happens. It is in taking out stitches that the more efficient way is firmly planted in my brain.

Read: Proverbs 24:16; Psalm 25:14; Micah 7:8

Don’t be afraid of falling. You will get back up again – with greater clarity and strength for the task at hand. Falling just might be the best teacher. And if you are learning, you are still alive.

A couple of weeks ago, our family had an impromptu weeknight dinner. After dinner, the conversation turned to our daughter’s work experience. She shared that in every job she had, her coworkers used the same adjectives to describe her. She admitted there might be something in this for her to learn.

My husband took the opportunity to gently challenge her to consider what she might change, since she can’t change anyone but herself. He had a simple suggestion to improve the workplace environment.

A few days later, she had the opportunity to put this idea into practice. She said, “I channeled my inner dad and sent an email to “Bob” apologizing for the surprise agenda item and assured him it wouldn’t happen again.” She did this even though she had good reason for setting the agenda in the way she did. She was pleased to report that she received an almost unheard of complimentary email in return. She was thrilled with this opportunity to learn and the way it changed the situation.

Read: Psalm 25:8-10; Proverbs 13:10

Humility is a prerequisite to learning. Are you willing to set aside your pride to learn what wisdom has to offer? Who could you tap on the shoulder to help you learn today?

What difference would it make in your life right now, if you gave yourself permission to not know? To live life with the mantra, “We are just learning here!”

Read: Psalm 25:4-7

Albert Einstein once said, “When you stop learning, you start dying.” Every day is filled with opportunity to learn. It may be as simple as learning how not to do something – like leaving your car running in a parking lot or parking in front of a dumpster. It may be learning what it looks like to treat someone with respect as you watch someone treated with disrespect.

What are you learning right now? Does it feel like a lesson you have been working at for awhile? If so, try talking with someone you trust about it and ask for honest feedback. You might be surprised what you can learn!

Friday my daughter and I attended a benefit auction. We had my two-year old granddaughter with us which didn’t seem like a big deal. Two adults with one child – good ratio!

My daughter decided to come directly from work and I picked Finley up and was meeting her at the school where the auction took place. When I arrived, I noticed most of the parking was remote and with a small child I didn’t think I wanted to park up the road. I drove to the school and pleaded my case and the gentleman kindly let me park behind the school next to the dumpster. Perfect! I didn’t have far to walk with a small child and all our bags.

I wanted my daughter, who is only weeks away from having her second baby, to park at the school as well but a phone call to her went answered. She called back within minutes to tell me that she was waiting for me. She had parked up the road and ridden a trolley to the school. “Oh my!” I thought to myself.

We entered the gym and proceeded to the food line because it was past Finley’s dinner time. Two adults managing two trays, three bags and one toddler proved to be more challenging than I thought it should be but we finally sat down and ate. As we finished our food, an announcement came from the auction stand. “If you are driving a red Ford Explorer you need to go out and turn it off. You left your vehicle running,” said the announcer.

I leaned over and asked Emily if that could possibly be her vehicle. She asked if they had a license plate number and, sure enough, it was her. (We had probably been at the auction for close to an hour by now.) But she had parked down the road and I wasn’t going to let her walk to her car. She is pregnant after all! I gave her my key fob and said I would stay with the toddler and she proceeded outside to my car as a second announcement came from the auctioneer stand. “If you are driving a red Lexus, license plate #123ABC, please move it. You are parked in front of the dumpster and we can’t access the trash bin,” he informed the crowd.

Would you believe it was my car? Of course, it was going to be moved because Emily was taking it to turn hers off. But I had no way to tell her that she shouldn’t park in the same spot because she had taken my purse with my phone inside. She thought she heard an announcement about my car on the way out so she called to ask me about it, only to realize my phone was with her.

She did return and she did park the car in a different spot. It kind of reminded me of that book “Alexander and the Terrible Horrible No Good Very Bad Day” except it was not as horrible as his day – we didn’t call Australia.

It is times like these when I remind myself, “I am just learning here.” Too often I set the expectations for myself quite high. I should know not to park next to the dumpster. She should know not to leave the vehicle running. We should know how to manage with a toddler and trays and bags. We should know….!

But most of the time, I am still learning. Learning what it means to be a grandma and have a toddler in tow again. Once I had three small children to care for, but that was many years ago. I forget what it is like to care for someone who is looking, exploring and learning all the time; someone who never tires of running, running, running.

I am learning what it means to have adult children who need me in a different way. No longer do I need to set boundaries for them or limit their choices to just a few or correct them when they make a choice I would avoid. I’m learning how to listen, affirm and challenge them as adults.

I am learning how to be retired, or close to it. Discussions about next steps for my husband and I come around often. We dream of what we might do when he is finished working in his current capacity. I am learning how to face the future courageously and with anticipation of how the next phase of our life will look.

I am learning what it means to have hobbies again. I take classes to learn new skills and explore more efficient ways of doing the project while maintaining love for the process of working with my hands. Making mistakes has become a regular part of my learning. Rather than becoming frustrated and quitting, I store the memory of taking out the stitching or a finished project that isn’t quite like I want it so I avoid doing it again.

You see, I am still learning. And as long as I remind myself of that on a regular basis, I enjoy life so much more. I don’t need to know that parking next to a dumpster might not be a great idea. I did it and now I know. I am learning.

My daughter is learning too. She is learning how to be a mom to a toddler while she looks forward to her second child. Soon she will be learning how to care for two children with different sets of needs. And she probably won’t leave her car running again in a parking lot. But if she does, that’s okay too. She’s still learning.

Are you discouraged with yourself for “not knowing it” whatever “it” is? I encourage you to take a step back. You don’t need to know yet what you don’t know. It’s okay to be in a learning mode, to be teachable and pliable. God is pleased with that kind of approach and he is so eager to teach you. There is even a sense of gentleness and humor in admitting that you don’t know, but you are willing to learn.

Until next time…

May the Lord bless you and protect you.

May the Lord smile on you and be gracious to you.

May the Lord show you his favor and give you his peace.

Numbers 6:24-26