Family God Moments

Our Family’s Journey to Find God in the Everyday

It’s summer – open up that calendar!

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The words I write this week are more for myself than for anyone else. I have this need to fill every moment of our summer with activities! We must take the kids to the ballpark, swimming, camping, to the lake, to a parade, out late to watch fireworks. If I do not check each of these items off of the summer “to-do” list I have failed as a parent!!

This usually means we run from one activity to another – never stopping to rest, allowing time for reflection, or letting the simple enjoyment of each others’ company be acceptable summer fun!

We had a weekend like this recently – running everywhere, doing everything. It was fun – don’t get me wrong! We shared laughter and smiles. But as I look back on our time together, my very favorite part was on Sunday morning; before coffee, before acknowledging the glaring sunlight. As we each awoke, we crept into my son’s room and climbed onto his new full-sized bed in his new Star Wars themed big-boy bedroom. After some time, we were all cuddled together – 60 pound mutt dog included – sharing a half-awake moment of peace and uncomplicated bliss!

Sometimes to find real peace and joy we need to allow ourselves time to pause.

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Finding this space and time for peace and rest in this busy world is critical. Even more critical is to allow God to be present in that time. When I am left alone with my own thoughts and God is NOT present, I fill my mind with planning, fear and feeble attempts to control life. With God I find a far deeper and more complete peace than I could ever obtain on my own.

I have said these things to you, that in me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation. But take heart; I have overcome the world.”  John 16:33

There is a Lutheran church located about a block from my office. Every Tuesday at noon they have a Taize-style service. This type of worship is peaceful and reflective, and involves simple chants, prayer and meditative silence.

This 30-minute service is blocked out in my calendar every single Tuesday, and I greatly enjoy the time to step away from reality and let God enter in. Yet too often I find some excuse at 11:50 on Tuesday for why I cannot escape the office. This last Tuesday was particularly stressful at work as I tried to wrap up big deadlines; I was grumpy and I was very tired. But I had arranged to attend the service with my husband that day, so no excuses!

This time of rest and meditation was just what my soul needed! When I chant the words:  “Give to us your peace, O Jesus Christ” 50 times, the distractions float away, and I can sincerely ask and receive that deep, calming peace. Paul writes to the Romans, and I think speaks to us:

May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, so that by the power of the Holy Spirit you may abound in hope.  Romans 15:13

I must be clear here – living securely in God’s peace does not guarantee a perfect life. It simply means that you can be content to just “let God” and have the ability to give to God fears and control.

Summer is drawing to a close. Seasons of life are passing by in a blink. This is a reminder to myself – just pause! Pause and just be with your kids; be content with cuddles and laughter. Pause and let God in; allow yourself to be filled with God’s peace!!

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