The adventure of living with teenagers is multifaceted, especially as I age. My mother once reflected that the way she felt inside didn’t match how she looked on the outside. Inside, she still felt twenty. Outside, she looked closer to fifty (even though she was sixty…oh how I hope I have those genes!). Inside, I’m still in my twenties, so when my girls try all these darling new clothing and hair styles, I picture myself doing the same and looking just as cute as them. Like the romantic, chic dress with cowboy boots. Love that look! On a teenager or young woman. On me? It never quite worked. Try as I might, it just didn’t look right. Determination won out, and I did eventually find the right dress to pair with my western boots, but a recent scenario I pictured in my head wasn’t met with such successful results.
In my motherly estimation, YouTube supplies a nearly inexhaustible variety of home spun videos on a myriad of beauty tips and instructions, the viewing of which is one daughter’s favorite pass time (read: near obsession). Hours of surfing vignettes has paid off with a few low-time, high-impact hair styling techniques. One such no-fuss solution did not end up so no-fuss for me, however. The experience was akin to buying a box of hair color and expecting to look just like the model on television. After following all the instructions, it’s still my exact hair, just a different color. As I see it, my daughter goes to sleep with damp hair in a French braid and rolls out of bed with commercial ready, toss-slow-mo-over-the-shoulder, perfectly wavy hair. It looks great on her! So, I thought to myself, “I’ll try that!” And I broke my number one beauty rule: Never try anything new when you have somewhere to go.
Caution to the wind, I weave my dripping wet hair into a French braid Saturday night and head to bed. I wake up Sunday morning, leisurely enjoying my quiet time and java. After all, I’ve embraced a time-saving, no-fuss hair do! I make my way to my bathroom to get ready, slip the braid out, and it’s a disaster. What do I do now?!?! I panic! My normal “quick fixes” aren’t an option for church. Baseball cap for the sporty soccer-mom look? Nope. Skinny stretch headband with a pony for that freshly worked out look? Nope. I finally settle for the claw clip anchored at the top of a single twist, hair flowing like a fountain from the top. Instead, the effect I get because of the braid is an electrocuted explosion firing frizzy in every direction. No time. It will have to do. I will never do that again! Lesson learned. It’s not bad that I tried a new hair trick. It’s just bad that I tried it for church on Sunday!
Timing is everything, isn’t it? If I need my husband’s complete attention, I know not to talk to him in the morning when he just wakes up or during the day when he’s in “working man mode.” If I want to have a heart-to-heart with a child, the heat of the moment is not the right time. If one hand is stirring dinner, the other checking homework, and my mouth in a conversation with another, it’s not a good time to ask me what we’re doing on Friday night a month from now! If I’m in a deep conversation on the phone, please don’t talk to me at that exact moment to ask about a television show. Please don’t tell me something to do if I’m not able to write it down. I’ll never remember. If I happen to be in a hormonal state, it’s a perfectly good time for a large dose of chocolate. Not a good time to add anything to my plate or surprise me. After a weekend away just the two of us, it’s a great time to ask James for anything! You get the picture.
Timing is everything with God, too. His perfect timing. His clock. His calendar. His agenda. His way.
Fast forward to Tuesday. A glorious day! Picture a perfect morning: curled up in my PJs on the couch with my girls, sipping on coffee, memorizing scripture and discussing Proverbs. A day at home with no deadlines or commitments. A favorite kind of day! Time to school my youngest. Time to work in the office. Time to exercise. Time to organize the accomplishment of various tasks. Productivity at its best! The phone rings, and everything changes. From PJs to the car in ten minutes, I’m off to transport my daughter to math and science class, and then on my way to the emergency room. James’ mom’s heart rate is way too low and she’s being admitted to the hospital. God interrupted my day with something much more important: remaining at the side of a weary, wary, precious woman facing uncertainty, tests, and a pace maker. Encouraging and praying with her. Just being there, so she won’t be alone. We might be here a day. Maybe two. It doesn’t matter. God is in control. It’s His timing. His clock. His calendar. His agenda. His way.
As critical as timing is to a human heart beat, so is our need to remain close to the heart beat of God. To walk by the Spirit. To invite His interruption. To trust Him to be strong when we are weak. To trust Him to restore what is lost to the devil’s schemes. To trust Him to make everything okay when regular responsibilities are suspended for a time. To trust Him to take care of our families when we’re absent a day or two. To trust Him to care of our aging parents. To trust Him to show us the way when there appears to be no way. To trust Him to work things out in His timing. His way.
It requires faith. He is faithful. It requires patience. He is long suffering. It requires trust. He is trustworthy.
“Have you not known? Have you not heard? The everlasting God, the Lord, the Creator of the ends of the earth, neither faints nor is weary. His understanding is unsearchable. He gives power to the weak, and to those who have no might He increases strength. Even the youths shall faint and be weary, and the young men shall utterly fall, but those who wait on the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings like eagles, they shall run and not grow weary, they shall walk and not faint” (Isaiah 40:28-31).
Being in the hospital with my mother-in-law has been a vacation of sorts. I haven’t sat so still for so long…well, I don’t remember how long it’s been! Perhaps that, too, was part of God’s perfect timing.
I pray we all find peace that passes all understanding as we wait on the Lord in our quest to be more wholly His today.