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Sunday, March 13, 2011

Make Every Second Count

Lately my children have been squabbling over the most ridiculous thing. It’s on the verge of driving me insane.

Practically every time we get ready to go somewhere, we end up having a long, drawn-out, sometimes heated discussion about where everyone will sit in the car. We hash out which combination of children will sit in the third row, who is sitting next to the baby, what side of the car everyone will sit on and so forth.

For a while, I tap-danced right along and indulged this silliness. I even instituted some crazy system where everyone rotated seats each time we got in the car – of course this system lasted about one day since I could never remember who previously sat where and whose turn it was to sit next to the baby and what not. And so the squabbling just continued.

Friday was no exception. I told the kids to load up in the car for a little field trip – we were headed north of the city to visit a friend’s farm. I got the baby up from her nap, fixed her milk, walked into the garage and guess what I found… yep, the four big kids arguing about where everyone should sit in the car.

And I decided that this conversation was OVER. Permanently. “Guys, ENOUGH!! Seriously. Who cares? The fate of the republic does NOT hinge on where you sit in the car. Boys in the back, girls in the middle. I don’t want to hear another word about it. Ever.”

And with that, we got in the car and headed up to the farm. I huffed and puffed most of the way there, still irritated with the whole situation. I was irritated at myself even, just for putting up with it for so long. Such silliness, so much time and energy wasted.

But then a thought popped in my head… I wonder how many times I’ve done this exact same thing? How much time and energy and money and effort have I wasted on completely meaningless things? Things with no eternal value whatsoever. How many times has the Lord looked upon me and thought “Shelly, enough! Who cares? You’re missing the point.”

The recent disaster in Japan has me thinking. And no, I’m not about to start spouting end times prophecy or anything… I have no idea when Jesus is coming back. But the tsunami in Japan, and other such tragedies, should serve as a clear reminder of our own mortality. We’re all just a vapor, our time is so fleeting.

Whether Jesus comes back tomorrow or a 1,000 years from tomorrow doesn’t really matter. Because one day we will ALL stand before Him and give account. We will answer for the ways we’ve used or squandered our resources, our time, our talents.

Dan and I get emails from people all the time saying things like… “we love what you guys are doing with your ministry in Africa, your adoptions, your general craziness. One day we could see ourselves doing some of the same stuff.” And I can’t help but think…well, why not today?

I know that everyone’s circumstances are different, and I’m not trying to cast blame or judgement. But if the Lord has pricked your heart for something, I would urge you to act. If you’re waiting for that perfect time when all of your finances are in order, your marriage is like a romance novel and your children are behaving beautifully… I hate to break it to you, but that time is probably not ever going to come. Not on this side of Heaven at least.

Who knows how much time any of us have left? Personally, I want to make every second count.

"For He is our God and we are the people of His pasture, the flock under His care. Today if you hear His voice, do not harden your hearts..."
--Psalms 95:7-8


Jennie said...

Love you, girl. Keep preachin' it. And send up some prayers for us and some decisions to be made.

The Fruitful Family said...

Ditto to what Jennie said!

La Dolce Vita: The Sweet Life said...

Love it. Been there and had those same thoughts about the trivial things I get worked up about!

Thanks for reminding us to respond when we feel God's nudge!

Angeline said...

I always enjoy your blogs, but this one in particular pierces my heart. How many times a day do I catch myself getting caught up in small things and second-guessing myself, instead of simply moving forward? It's a "Martha" instead of "Mary" moment. The small things that we should get caught up in are precious heart moments with our children, family, friends, and neighbors, or simply times like your day at the farm. It's about keeping our hearts open to God and choosing joy. It's not easy, but you get it :-) Because of the sacrifices you are making with your life ... not just your time and money, but your life, you are receiving so much joy in return .. a larger life!
And btw, teenagers have been known to squabble over seats in the car. I wonder if the wagon had the same issues ........

Wild Olive said...

First of all, I have to say how proud I am of your photo editing. Way to go, T! And secondly, I love what you said here. Making a difference doesn't have to be something earth shattering, like flying over the ocean and starting an orphanage! There are so many needy people, right in our own back yards who need love and help...things that need to be done today...not later.
Good word!

Christy said...

Love this. Wish I could do more... still waiting on health issues and seeing where God will use me. Open and willing and trying to do what I can!!! But posts like this have me really wishing I could move God's timing on things. ;) As a side note, you are an amazing photographer!

Heidi And Jason said...


Heather said...

Ahh, so very true. Thanks for posting this. I need to hear this stuff every day!

Wife of the Pres. said...

Wow. I love your blog and your heart.

I stumbled upon your blog from lydiahope (Naomi) and I'll be back for more! I HAVE to go to bed though. Yikes! Been reading awhile longer than I planned.

your adoption video was amazing.

We brought home two unrelated sons this past summer, ages 10 and 5, at the time. Out of birth order, going from 3 to 5, yeah we're crazy too!

It has been HARD and not easy, but our older son too has shown no aggression toward his 3 younger siblings. I could write a book. Hey, maybe we should do that LOL!?

Anyway, thanks for sharing and I can't wait to read more of your story.

Leslie (http://roomforatleastonemore.wordpress.com)
blogger is not letting me sign in under my WP username for some reason; there is my blog in case you want to see our craziness :)

HealthyChick said...

Amen Sista! Preach it! Now I need to go ask the Lord what He wants me to do now and not wait on! :)