Rare is the day when I have even a couple of unplanned hours. My story has been one filled with my children going and coming home, ministry, people visiting from out of state, family commitments, cooking, cleaning, details of life--you know the story because we all share the scenario of too busy lives.
Because of always longing for more "me" time and just time to be and to breathe, I guard my time when I get it fiercely. Many years ago, I was looking forward to what appeared to be a clear-calendar day, allowing time to complete some work that really needed my attention--as well as time to just sit for a few minutes.
And then came the knock on my door.
In response to my hesitant "Come in," Nathan poked his head inside my room.
He had been busy all summer with his many friends who had just finished the high school portion of their lives. They had designated every single day of the summer as their "last chance" to celebrate and make memories before they went their separate ways to various schools, jobs, and internships. They banged in and out of the door almost daily, reminding me of hysterically bouncy and playful puppies frolicking, nipping, and growling at each other. Theirs was an endless circle of laughter, eating, talking, and "going somewhere"— not one moment was lost! Nathan worked as a pizza delivery boy in between and took the occasional weekend job for a local marketing company. I had given up any expectations of seeing him much during this busy season of life.
Yet, having had 2 before him, I knew that I still wanted to imprint Biblical values, messages of faith, foundations of love on his heart before he moved into adulthood.
"Hey, Mom, my friends are all busy today, and I don't have to work until tomorrow. How about you and I go out to lunch together today or go out for coffee or something since I don't have any definite plans yet?"
My mind immediately began to calculate what it would "cost"me to change my plans and give them all up for the whims of my persuasive son. I was so late getting this book written; there were just two more weeks of free time before I had to travel again; and Sarah and Joel would be back soon. Joy had spent the night at a friend's home. But, I had been praying that God would give me some alone, "discipleship" time with him. So, I made a spur-of-the-moment decision to not even contemplate the crammed agenda of the coming fall. Instead, I just looked up and smiled.
"Let me take care of a few details and make a couple of phone calls, and then my day belongs to you," I answered with as much enthusiasm as I could muster, by faith.
"Great!" he beamed back. "And I know you would just love to make me a piece of your cinnamon toast and a cup of tea if you're in the kitchen, and I would love it too. How 'bout I be your little boy today?"
I knew intuitively that someone would probably call Nathan to suggest a get-together by mid-afternoon, so I planned my time strategically. As he munched, I suggested going to Barnes & Noble for a quick look at books and music, followed by lunch at his favorite restaurant. Then I added, "And I do have one more place I want to take you that will be a little of a surprise and won't take too long. Okay? Drive to Glen Eyrie Castle," I said, knowing he knew the way. Having spoiled him for a couple of hours, I had earned a few moments to speak into his life. "I want to show you something I don't think you've ever seen."
Glen Eyrie is the beautiful headquarters and conference center of The Navigators, an international discipleship ministry. The "Castle" was built by General William Palmer, founder of Colorado Springs, for his wife on one of the choicest foothills properties in the region, surrounded by pines and red rock outcroppings. He spared no expense in building the Castle, bringing in materials and interior decor from all over the world. But like so many other Gilded Age mansions, it passed out of the family and through several owners. In 1951, God enabled Dawson Trotman to purchase the Castle and surrounding property for The Navigators...
Join me tomorrow for part two! And make plans to join Nathan and I on May 24th for a special webinar, How to Love Your Outside the Box Kid. Sign up here!
Also, Don't miss: Lifegiving Home Encounter live evening events!
Joel and I had so much fun visiting with several hundred amazing women when we traveled to North Carolina to host 2 Life Giving Home evenings with speaking and music. Many of you have invited us to speak in your areas and we are hoping to add more. But we are excited to tell you about two places we will be in the next couple of months. If you live in these areas, join us and tell your friends.
Brentwood, Tennessee (Nashville) July 14, 7:00 P.M.