Ok, so I have to share this memory from childhood.  My dads gonna kill me, but here goes.  I distinctly remember as a child, pre-school and kindergarten age, cuz I’m home for lunch.  My dad was a full time evangelist. Means he went to different places and preached every night for a week, ala Billy Graham – but it was more Pontiac than Peking, and Utica more than the United Kingdom.  He was however, pretty successful, and gone quite a bit.  But, he made it a point to come home every night.  No matter how far away he was, he was home at some point so that he was able to get up and spend some time with his family before leaving again in afternoon.  Now, the memory is this – every day for lunch, mom would make something for him to eat and he would enjoy it while watching, you guessed it, “The Days of our Lives!”  And everyday I would hear, “Like sands through the hourglass, so are the days of our lives!” Now for the life of me, I can’t remember one storyline from that show, but I remember that tagline… “So are the days of our lives.”  Now at age 5 or 6 I am thinking that sand passes through pretty slowly.  Remember sitting in class on some days in school and thinking you aren’t only never going to make it to the end of the day, the class your in is taking forever.  When will this hour end?  Interestingly enough, the older we get, the faster the sand seems to pass through.  What do we do when our kids are wanting life to speed up and we are begging for time to slow down?  In the whirlwind of warp speed life that is still less than a decade old, we have experienced drivers license, open houses, graduations from high school, moving out and on to college, senior recitals, graduations from college, first cars, first jobs, first ministries, and on the list could go. In the next few days, our oldest will release her second recording project in Nashville as part of Water Within. It is absolutely incredible.  Yeah, I’m supposed to say that, but I also have a degree in music, I’ve been fortunate enough to sing/speak in hundreds of churches and concert venues, and through the church and association hosted hundreds of artists.  All that means is I’m now old and have some experience in this and I can safely say, it is incredible!  And your going to want it as soon as it becomes available.  ( I’ll give you a heads up on it with a link )  Could not be more proud of what she’s doing and been able to accomplish.  While parents do this in sports, I sometimes vicariously live through Whit as she seemingly travels the world with a carefree spirit, writing, singing, leading worship with Michael W. Smith. (True story!)  She’s a wonder!  Also in the next few days, our youngest will walk the aisle and marry the love of her life.  You ever see “Father of the Bride?”  Awesome movie, but I’m trying desperately hard NOT to watch it during these days.  I can so relate to the Steve Martin character.  Trying to figure out how to pay for the whole thing, yet wanting it to be the reality of the dreams Kaylie’s had since watching Cinderella!  This incredible sense of pride, while at the same time this piece of you or your life that feels like it’s passed by.  What in the world is that and where did it come from and can anything be done about it?

Well, let me try to summarize with hopefully at least a glimmer of spiritual encouragement.  I remember the experience at Liberty with Whitney, and the perpetual smile and sense of “That one’s mine” that we felt as we watched her receive that diploma.  Same thing as we watched Kaylie walk across the stage and accept her accomplishment at Taylor.  It really isn’t much different than when they were kids on a stage for their first musical performance.    They would come on the platform and look for us – and once spotted, we couldn’t help but wave and smile, as if to say, “That one’s ours!”  I believe that pride we feel for our children is something that was created in us by the very one who feels pride for HIS children.  It’s hard for us to imagine, isn’t it?  The God of the universe actually pointing us out to some angels and saying, “that one’s mine!”   Now, were our girls perfect growing up?  Far from it – made some mistakes, had some missteps, and were part of their share of misunderstandings.  But none of that mattered in the overall scope of things. Especially on these special occasions when parental pride is not only accepted, but expected.  So God, in His incredible grace, accepts us with our imperfections and loves us unconditionally, while still pushing us to be better not only FOR Him, but THROUGH Him!(Philippians 4:13) The emotions we go through are emotions He gave us!  He is an emotional God!  We were created in HIS image and that image gives to us the emotion that travels with us through this life and I believe on into the next. Part of heaven’s greatness is the lack of longing that will accompany it!  We’ll never have to say good-by again.  (Forgive me all you ex- HYC staffers who cried on those last Friday nights whenever that song would play!) One other thing, and with it I’ll close this blog entry that’s nearing the length of “War & Peace!” As the sands of time pass through life’s hourglass, I believe God’s intention is for us to move from season to season.  Continuing to GO, continuing to GROW.  Sometimes that pace will be frantic and frenetic with no time to think towards the future, let alone remember the past.  At other points, it slows down a bit.  Giving us the opportunity to look back and remember the seasons that have been but also look forward to the seasons that are yet ahead.  And in the midst of it all, remember that the most important thing is to live in the moment that we have been given.  Life is a series of seasons, seasons are years, years are months, months are weeks, weeks are days, days are hours, hours are minutes and minutes are seconds which hold the moments that we call NOW.  Oh, there goes another one!  See how quick they are?  Let’s make them count. Let’s enjoy not only the destination occasions that come for our family, but the life travel that moves us to those points.    Whatever season you find yourself in – the sands of time continue to pass through, let’s make them count.  Not just for ourselves, but for our family, for our communities, for our world, and most importantly, for our God.  You know, maybe I’ll catch lunch tomorrow while taking in an episode of “Days of our Lives!”  Nah!