Thursday, December 4, 2014

Embrace the Pace

Have you ever been in a rush?  You know the feeling… you are late, but you think you can still make it.  When you see the time and realize your dilemma, you put your crazy on… you run around grabbing all necessary items and fly out the door.  Your heart is pounding and you are panting as you leap into the car.  You put the car into gear, hammer down the accelerator, and pray for green lights and no old ladies taking leisurely drives ahead of you. 

You aren’t so lucky.  You hit every red light, you have to pull over for emergency vehicles, and you have to break up a fight in the back seat amongst your precious angels.  By the time you make it… only a few minutes late… you are out of breath and a mess of emotions. 

Well, maybe I’m not talking about you today.  This was actually ME for many years.  I rushed around driving like a maniac endangering the lives of my children for what… only to be stressed out when I arrived.   I always had a good reason why I was late, but if I had only planned better the outcome would have been all together different.

I am happy to report today that I have had a break through.  When it comes to being late I have changed my ways… well at least on MOST days.  My whole perspective has changed.  I guess struggling with my health and all that goes with it has helped me out in at least one area of my life.  I have realized that “the rush” doesn’t help anyone.  It brings with it a grouchy mommy, unwanted stress, hazardous driving, and unhealthy consequences.   This mommy has learned to slow down and…  “Embrace the Pace”.

Recently I tried to impart this notion upon my son.  He had made a commitment to be some where, but was running late.  I was the taxi.  Some how he lost track of time and then started that dreaded cycle of the “rush”.  He ran around crazy through the house shouting out the urgency of our departure, all the while grabbing things as he rushed out the door.  I was moving at a slower pace. 
Once we got into the car the crazy continued.  “We have to hurry mom.  Go faster!  Oh, I can’t believe they are going SO slow.  We would hit all of the red lights today of all days.  Now we only have two minutes to get there! These people are going to make us late!   Ahhhhhh!” 

It sounded way too familiar.  This sounded like the perfect time for a lecture on how we should plan ahead so we don’t have to stress on the drive!  My kids gotta love these driving lectures!!!  They are my captive audience.  Hopefully some of these words of wisdom are getting into their heads and hearts.  On this day the words were… “You need to embrace the pace… go with the flow.  Why get upset with everyone else because YOU left the house late.  Just chill!  You can’t do anything about it now anyways except plan ahead next time.”

We are all works in progress… God is still working the kinks out of me and my kids.  But, with His help we will become better at moving at His pace instead of rushing ahead.

What a great lesson to remind myself as I am facing the rush of the holidays and…

I’m heading into a busy season now as a mom.  I knew it was coming, but had no idea what to expect.  I had a friend years ago who faced this season with six kids.  I watched in amazement and wonder as she spent most of her weekends sitting in her 15 passenger van waiting.  When I asked her why she did this, her answer surprised me.  “This season is all for my kids.  Later I will take time for me.  I won’t have them home forever.  I am savoring the moments.”

This is how I remember them during this season
Not only did she haul all of her kids to and from sporting events on the weekends, but she also hauled a van load of kids to church every Wednesday night (and some times two loads on big event nights for youth services). She was and is their greatest fan cheering them on in life.  What an amazing lady!

Now I know how she must have felt.  I am here now in that special place…

I am the taxi for two incredible boys.

During this season I am wearing many hats.

I am hostess on Sundays for a Bible study for boys.  After a radical encounter with God at church camp, my son felt directed by God to lead this group.  Not only am I the hostess, but also his personal secretary.  I help him prepare for this group and a Bible Study he started at school.

I am personal chauffeur for my boys and their friends.  I am convinced that we need bumper stickers on the back of each of our Honda Civics that say “We Haul Kids!!”.  I’m thinking during this teen season that we need to invest in a van.  Some times it takes two vehicles to get everyone to their required destination.  I’m sure the minute we got a van it would be full all the time.

I am cheerleader.  This year my boys are on two different basketball teams.  As a result, my husband and I are running like crazy.  We choose to use the divide and conquer approach.  With varying practice times and games, we live by a calendar with all sporting events scribbled on it to guide us.  We juggle our schedules accordingly. They love basketball!  They don’t want to play any other sport.  They wait all year for this season!  They shoot hoops and practice nearly every day… rain or shine.  Their heart is basketball so this momma will make every effort to try to get them where they need to be when they need to be there… and cheer them on to win!

Why do I do all of this?  I do it for my boys.  We are in a season of sacrificing so our kids can thrive.  We are investing in their future.  We are helping build character.  We are teaching them leadership skills and helping them learn the importance of being a godly example on and off the court.  They are growing, thriving, and learning to lead.  It is amazing to watch!

I remember daydreaming with my husband years ago about a day like this.  We talked about how we wanted it to be when we had kids.  We had decided that when our kids became teens that we wanted our house to become “THE HOUSE” everyone wanted to be at.  We knew it would take some work on our part, but we were prepared to pay the price.

You see by being “the house” we would have a greater advantage.  We would be able to see who influenced our boys and be able to be a POSITIVE influence back on those connected to their world.  It’s would be a win-win situation.

It’s hard to believe that we are smack dab in the middle of that season right now.  We are beginning to pay the price to make it happen.  It’s actually a lot harder than I thought.  It takes a lot of sacrifice… time, money, and my desires being set aside, to make a focused, purposeful effort on our part to invest in the lives of these impressionable boys.  Don’t get me wrong, I’m not complaining.  It’s totally worth it!

Without us saying one word about wanting our house to be “the house” for our boys, they are already making it happen on their own.  They are asking kids to come hang out before basketball practice.  They are volunteering our car to give kids rides home.  They are having Bible Studies, sports parties, and overnighters.  I can’t count the number of boys that have stepped through the doors of our house just this year.  It’s overwhelming.

God is using my boys and our open house to reach their friends.  Spiritual growth, discipleship, leadership development, and radical times with God are all happening here.  Our house is becoming a refuge for broken, hurting boys and a sanctuary for those hungry for more of God.  I love to watch God move through my boys.  It makes my heart smile. 

SO, I do all of this gladly… I “Embrace the Pace” of this season.  I savor each moment as I am helping these amazing boys make memories that will last a lifetime. 

I don’t know what season you are facing today friend, but I challenge you to give it to God.  Don’t rush ahead without Him.  Hold His hand and walk at His pace.  I know with God’s help you can make it through.

Living to leave a legacy,