Time’s Up

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“Your roses are dead.”

One of our boys gently pointed to the lovely roses my hubby had brought home the Friday before Valentine’s Day. They leaned heavily against the vase, spread wide and wilted.

Beyond wilted.

“It’s okay. I like them when they’re dead and dried out, too.”

“But the time you had them wasn’t very long.”

I nodded. It was true.

That batch of roses hadn’t lasted very long. One bouquet of roses my hubby had gotten me in the past had lived nearly two weeks; these lavender and white beauties had peaked out after three days and started wilting within five.

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They hung limp, crinkly-edged, tired versions of their former self.

Later that night, my hubby and I talked about the short-lived bloom of the roses. And I thought of his beautiful younger sister, who’d stepped into eternity days before, after an awful, brave battle with cancer.

She passed away three months from her thirty-eighth birthday.

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And I realized, the fact that the roses only bloomed for a short time doesn’t take away from how beautiful and treasured they were.

The shortness of time–of someone’s life–isn’t what matters.

Corrie ten Boom said it well. “The measure of a life, after all, is not its duration, but its donation.”

You’re missed and thought of, Heather, loved much and wished back. But we’re so glad you’re with Jesus and healed.

***

At the end of 2015, Facebook offered a graphic of your most-used words in posts. Weird. I scoffed at it for a few days, then finally my curiosity got the best of me.

In the middle of the bubble cloud of my most-used words, above ‘God’ and below ‘boys,’ was the massive word TIME.

Huh? Had I really posted about time that often?

I ran the app, or whatever it was, again calculating my most-used Facebook words.

TIME stared back at me. I might’ve flicked the computer screen.

TIME.

That word bothered me. Nagged me. Convicted me, even.

Because I’ve battled a borderline-obsession with time for a long time (ha ha). After all, our lives run parallel to it, so how can we not? I’m too aware how long tasks take, even if I’m not consciously keeping track.

I clock-watch and worry about minutes and hours wasted.

Whether from faithfully watching the clock on the pool deck during my swim team days, or just because that’s how God made me, my awareness of time is a big part of who I am.

Too big, perhaps.

“So teach us to number our days, that we may gain a heart of wisdom.” (Psalm 90:12)

And sometimes I get this dumb idea in my head.

That if I’m not using my time perfectly, then God won’t be pleased. If I’m not accomplishing this task or that task in this hour or that hour, or finishing a book by blah-blah date or editing 50k words before Friday, then God’s shaking His head in frustration.

Ready to give up on me and my far-flung writing dreams.

While I logically know that’s not true–that’s not how God works–it can be a daily battle.

Time. It frames our lives, yet shouldn’t define them.

Tomorrow I’m heading off to a writing conference in my home state. Too many clothes are packed, pairs of shoes lined up like invisible people dance the conga in my guest bedroom.

Three days at the Florida Christian Writers Conference–time spent in the presence of other aspiring authors and many veterans, too. My second big conference, after ACFW last fall. I’m excited-nervous, a bit anxious (no idea who my roommate is!), and thrilled to see what God has in store.

I’m praying He’ll use me to bless and encourage others.

Because there are writing prayers on my heart and publishing dreams in my head, and they mix often, creating a soul-filling soup of what God wants me to do and what I long to do.

And I’m choosing to trust the promise that He makes all things beautiful in its time. (Ecc. 3:11)

If you’re in the same boat, floating along the waterway of waiting and watching, trust Him. He is faithful and True.

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8 thoughts on “Time’s Up

  1. WordsasWorship February 25, 2016 at 1:03 am Reply

    This is a great post, Kerry, and a tribute to your sister-in-law. I’m sorry for this loss at such a young age. I hope you have an incredible conference experience and look forward to hearing all about it when you return. Write on!!

    • candidkerry February 28, 2016 at 6:30 pm Reply

      Thank you so much, Cheryl! I appreciate your text and checking on me, and especially your prayers! It was a great conference. Memorable and so soul-satisfying for the writer. I sent you an email with details. 🙂 See you in March!

  2. Rick Christensen February 25, 2016 at 6:24 am Reply

    Thank you for your heart touching and inspirational writing! I will pray for you to have a wonderful TIME at the conference!

    • candidkerry February 28, 2016 at 6:31 pm Reply

      Thanks, friend. I appreciate the prayers and your faithful posts sharing about what God’s doing in your life. I look forward to seeing you all in March.

  3. Jennifer Deg February 25, 2016 at 9:57 am Reply

    Beautiful post my friend! Have a great time at the retreat!

    • candidkerry February 28, 2016 at 6:32 pm Reply

      Thanks, Jen! It was a wonderful experience that will stay with me a long time. Refreshment and worship and connection. Such a lovely time! *Hugs*

  4. Emily Conrad February 25, 2016 at 11:02 am Reply

    A beautiful post, Kerry! So interesting that “time” was one of your most-used words. Now I wish I’d looked to see what mine were! Loved the stunning application of this line: “And I realized, the fact that the roses only bloomed for a short time doesn’t take away from how beautiful and treasured they were.”

    • candidkerry February 28, 2016 at 6:39 pm Reply

      Hi Emily. 🙂 Thank you for stopping by and commenting. I almost didn’t do the FB ‘word’ thing but finally gave in. I was really surprised about “TIME” popping up! So glad God crossed our writing/publishing paths. Hugs to you and Frank. 🙂

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