Monday, August 8, 2011


Life is different with kids. (Shocking revelation, right?) Mornings used to be quick, groggy times to shower and leave for work. Karen would wake up first, and my mind would slowly slip into consciousness as I'd hear the shower water running from the bathroom. Then I'd get out of bed, shower, kiss her goodbye and leave.

But now, mornings are a treasure. Owen generally wakes us up way earlier than we'd like, but we get out of bed anyway. I make coffee. We wait for Jude to climb out of bed and tiptoe into the living room. We feed the kids breakfast. We play music and dance. We sit in the driveway and watch cars go by. What used to be a quick transitional period is now two hours of priceless family time.

For years now, the Today Show has been part of our mornings. Some days it's just on in the background, other days we actually watch it. This morning I watched a story that was particularly gripping, and I figured I'd share a few of my thoughts here. The news just came home of the largest single-day loss of American life in the war on terror when 30 US military personnel were killed in Afghanistan. Today, Matt Lauer interviewed the family of one of those fallen soldiers Aaron Vaughn, who was a Navy SEAL. As I listened to their story, I was really moved by how painful life can be. This guy was able to come home a month ago for the birth of his daughter - but then he immediately left again to join his team in combat. He left his wife at home with their newborn daughter and a two year old son. You can watch that interview here.

Even typing these words I feel an immense amount of pain for that family, and for others who are struck by tragedies like this one. I can't imagine leaving home just after the birth of my child... but the thought that I would never see that child again is too much for me to handle. Here's a picture of Aaron Vaughn in 2009 with his oldest son, who is now 2 1/2: Jude's age.

That little boy will grow up with no real recollection of his dad. I see two things in Aaron's eyes: immense love for his child and immense appreciation for the present. This picture captures for me a moment - and life, really, is a just series of moments. It may sound obvious, but we always live in the NOW. However, we spend way too much time regretting the past or dreading the future. Are you taking advantage of the priceless moments that you've been given? What are you doing with your NOW?

I've been really moved lately by Tim Hughes' song, "Ecclesiastes." It's on his latest album, and it was written and produced by Martin Smith, long-time lead singer of the band Delirious. But it's a song about moments - how some are great and some are terrible. Life is full of so much uncertainty, so much change. Often times nothing seems constant, but all we want is stability.

Well, in this song there are some beautiful musical elements that reveal an extremely impactful truth for me. Out of this mellow tune of uncertainty and pain comes something constant: a heartbeat emerges from behind the music; then, everything stops except that heartbeat and a simple quarter-note middle C begins to drone on and on. Then the words begin to repeat and repeat, "Now's a time for singing..." In all the change, uncertainty, fear, pain, heartache, dysfunction, crap, and brokenness of life, NOW is a time to worship. Because God stands above all the junk, and He is in control. And the love of God is stronger than any pain, any evil, any sin.

I hope this song can be an encouragement to you - for you to live in the NOW, whatever that moment is bringing you. Now's a time for singing.


There's a time for tears and a time to dance,
There's a time to let go and a time for romance,
There's a time for war and a time for peace,
There's a time to embrace and a time to release.

O, my Lord, I need to find, 
Take my hand, and I will follow.

There's a time to love and a time to hate
All the evil choices that we make,
It's a time to rise and a time to fall,
It's a time to keep or just throw it all.

O, my Lord, I need to find, 
Take my hand, and I will follow.

(Now's a time for singing...)

Raise your voice and sing,
Raise your voice and sing.

Your love in every breath I take,
In every step I make,
Your love will shine on me.

Love will shine. Love will shine.

Take my hand. I will follow.

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