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How to really be where you really are.


A husband deliriously ill.  A set of children who needed to get to school, who would have gotten there by that aforesaid husband, who now needed a wife to run the carpool and hunt down a doctor’s appointment.  The one year old is half eating-half finger painting oatmeal over kitchen table.  One kid is still deep in slumber, another having just stirred due to wetting the bed from such slumber. A quick dash out the door with school kids and oatmeal boy (now wiped up), hoping the groggy ones won’t reap typical destruction in the forty-five minute time it will take me to return. The trash is overflowing…sick husband can hardly lift his head, much less it. Oatmeal bowls towering precariously, oatmeal artwork crusting away on table, wet bedsheets, and the doctors calls all await my return.

The day planned for all the laundry and those extra chores, and three errands, and that appointment, and a hoped-for chance to exercise, that day that had been laid out in a mind distracted from the present to the future dreamings of “all she was going to get done”…… now that day rearranges to revolve around getting ill husband to a doctor, with three small kids in-tow.

During the drive-to-school- turned-Scripture-memory-time, we sang and resang the passage we’ve been working on. Until…until the looooong line of traffic was noticed.  Not in front of me, but rather to the left of me, the entire route that would take me back home, to a 4 and 3 year old under the care of a sleeping,  feverish, delirious husband. The questions and chatter from the kids in the car were tuned out. Suddenly mother was transported, transported to sitting in traffic, stressing about hurrying home, agonizing over how long it was taking. Shoulder’s tense, the priceless moments with chatty children are escaped, escaped into a stressful scenario not even reality.

And she was no longer present in the present.

Her mind carried her to a future, predicted, imagined moment not yet happening, or maybe never to happen.

“Whatever is true….think on these things.”  Philipians 4:8 
What is NOW is what is real. What is tangible. What is enjoyable and savorable. But this is not what I was living in.  I was living in the imagined stress, the conjured prediction that i would be sitting in traffic for an hour just to get back home again.  But it wasn’t real.  It wasn’t true. And the opposite of truth, are LIES. The hurry of my heart and mind, keep me there, bound by lies of anticipated future and unable to savor and receive the present.
Sitting in a car with children ripe for receiving attention and heart probing questions…THAT was real.
Getting time with the older ones without a whining three year old and a complaining-about-her-seatbelt four year old…THAT was true.
A chance to sing together, or laugh together, or tell a funny childhood story…THAT was a reality.
An opportunity to really ask questions about the passage of Scripture being memorized…THAT was truth.
But all those, they slipped by…I exchanged the truth for a lie (Romans 1) and meditated on the imagined annoyance of having to wait in miles of traffic while little kids and husband needed me.  Where I was, it wasn’t true, it wasn’t real. And those kind of lies bring death, and steal, and kill, for they are from the one, that ancient serpent, whose purpose is to do such.
It was a death of opportunity.
It was the stealing of my moments.
It killed my joy.
As what was REALLY happening, crystalized in my mind- what was real came into focus again.
And Mamma was present in the present again. So, long hugs were lingered over and heartfelt prayers poured. And life and courage and approval were spoken over, into those children instead of a hurried, “Bye, honey, have a good day!” so i could rush off to the anticipated reality that was not yet.
And He, gentle Teacher, and Loving Father gave me a picture, to lead me into worship and prayer.
Under a sky like that, traffic time can be prayer time and therefore productive time. Joyous time. Time in the PRESENT.
And lo, and behold, that long line of cars had already begun to dissipate by the time my faithful minivan drove up to join the ranks of sitting.
All that worry, stress, and missing LIFE….all over a LIE.  Something that was not, nor ever would be TRUE.
…whatever is TRUE, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things.   Phillipians 4:8
….and tonight, my husband played THIS for me….an expression of the same heart lesson, much more poetically communicated….