Time is funny thing. No better gift, than the gift of our time. We hear all of the sayings:

– “Time is money”,
– “Don’t waste my time”,
– “Cherish these moments”,
– “Time flies when you’re having fun”
and my personal favorite, “ain’t no body got time for that!!”


We can agree on an even better philosophy found in Psalms.

 “Teach us to number our days that we may get a heart of wisdom.”  (Psalm 90: 12)
Why then are we so selfish in lending it to ourselves? In an effort to refresh our spirit we often vigorously “task” in an effort to seek God. In our efforts to reflect God, we often leave ourselves empty. Why is it we clinch our fist to allowing ourselves the stillness we require?
Why do we not give ourselves the time He asks in order to pull us aside and speak into our hearts?
I found this question “simple to answer”. In other words, I found it simple to create a laundry list of excuses.
Once, when I was preparing to speak at a conference, I found myself struggling. Struggling to put together a lesson.
But, why?
My heart was for this! I had desperately prayed for this. I worked diligently for the opportunity and God saw it fit to open the door. It was not a responsibility taken lightly. I realized this was not “my lesson” to deliver, but HIS.
Still, I found myself struggling to sit down, pray, focus and pour out what He desired. Struggling with that gift of “time” and with giving myself the time to press in an hear the soft whispered wisdom of God.
You see, I’m a mother of four young boys. Yes, FOUR! It’s this very reason that in our home time isn’t just a gift, but a mystical imaginary treasure in a far off land. Still, I knew it was not only necessary to allow God the time He requires with me as a leader and a mother, but it was a nonnegotiable.
I know these things, yet I often find myself struggling. Why?? Why do I struggle? Yes, I am a mom. Yes, “life happens”.. but giving myself time to press in is a necessity not simply a luxury. This is what my heart desires, to sing his praises and share his word, but I was finding myself with NOTHING. No words of wisdom. No gentle whisper. Knowing what I needed to do, but NO TIME to spare.


“Help me ABBA, please!”

And so, like any good Father, in the moments we called out to him, He gently nudged me, “Give yourself a little time. I’m working something in you.”
When preparing and struggling with my lecture I prayed, I read the word & I checked all of the boxes I knew to check.  I also impatiently let God in on my status, (because surely He needed my input) “It still isn’t there Abba. It’s just not clicking!?!”
“Daughter, give it a moment. Sit back and rest awhile.”
“Well not now, surely not now!?! I have dishes and worship practice, kids bath time and I really have to finish this message! Can you please just tell me what it is already!?”
I, like most crazy, half cajun-creole & Croatian moms of four, was stressing and putting unnecessary pressure on myself. All the while, my Father reminding me to just be still a while.
I knew that despite my efforts, I needed a renewal of my mind and spirit.
While I know the importance of giving time to others and often sell myself short, I catch myself giving even less to my Heavenly Father. I don’t mean prayer, or the word, I mean quality time in silence and solace to hear him speak into my heart.
So what to do?
I learned from a young age that when I have a perplexing thought to meet God in nature. His answers are often uncovered there. In nature it’s clear, it’s evident, it is what it is. That is, in nature there is a pure &  unapologetic truth.
We can not argue with a spider if it is or is not to eat a fly. We cannot debate with a seed if it takes water and soil to grow. We cannot bargain with the clouds to empathize with our plans and spare it’s shower. It is what it is.
His design is this clear in nature. His truths are loud and vibrant. It’s here I find him in the midst of my chaos. A walk, a glance to the night sky while wheeling out the trash, a dandelion my five year old enthusiastically presents me.
You see, I’ve always found fascination with nature. The profound evidence of “something more”. I didn’t have a childhood filled with biblical text, hymns, pews or a pastor, but God was sure to guide me into a relationship with him despite my informal understanding of His word.  In Romans He says to us, “I’m evident in nature. Surely, here you can come to know me.”
“For since the creation of the world God’sinvisible qualities—his eternal power and divine nature—have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made, so that people are without excuse.” (Romans 1:20)
It was right here where I first met him as a child. The evidence of Him was woven into all the wonders that caught my curious little mind. In the pine needles that covered the grass, and the way the air smelled just right before a good rain.
As a child I would study the cloud formations. I would try to count the rows of wildflowers along the highway. I named every tadpole I’d caught in my rusty bucket spending summers with my grandma, and if I’m being completely honest, I may or may not have pried a rolly pollie or two apart. They never seemed to roll quite right after that. Sorry little guys!
I always found insects fascinating! Don’t get me wrong; I also found them slimey, creepy and crawly, but I often wondered how they might invision us.  Us, this giant, so vast a being. We were so distant & yet so near. In a completely different world, yet all in the same.
 (Yes, I was quite the philosopher at 7.)
Here is where I wondered how our creator might also envision us. So precious and small. Delicate in the palm of his hand. I’m grateful he is much more gentle with us than I ever was with those rolly pollies.
You might find it curious that one insect I didn’t spend much time fascinated with was a butterfly. Yes, you’d be right to say that most little girls had their rooms smothered in flowers, pink, purple, butterflies & ponies. It was for that very reason I chose to prefer zebras to horses and skip the butterfly craze and I chose to like frogs instead. Call it rebellion or a nature to color outside of the lines, my curious mind kept me often focused on what others looked passed. Speaking of preferring frogs, in case you weren’t aware; tadpoles do turn into frogs. I was completely puzzled when I first discovered Jenaveve & Henry, the tadpoles couple I’d captured in my rusty bucket, had grown one leg and one arm. Again, only God! Surely, there was indeed a creator!
But you see, I’ve come along way from the little girl who only knew a God through summers spent with grandma. I’ve met him. I’ve met him no longer in the dew of those summer rain showers, but through some pretty vicious life storms.
Or should I say…
He met me.
Right in all my mess.
Most of us have battled a storm or two and found His majesty in the midst. Once we come to know Him there, we find our spirit is renewed by His presence and discover a vigor that was never there before. These encounters have had me certain I was meant to share His wisdom with others, & in His presence I could rest assured to find renewal.
However, this means choosing how to designate my time in an effort to renew my soul. This means choosing to get alone with God in the midst of my chaos and meet Him in the one place I’ve often heard His voice the loudest.
You see, at the end of last year I was diagnosed with an incurable disease. I didn’t wallow or fuss. Even through the second round of chemo, I laughed at how I lost some of my hair, but added to my waistline somehow. I don’t say that in boast but in praise to Him, bc again Only God.
During that time I was experiencing vast transformation inside and most especially outside. My illness distorted what I once saw “me” to be. And now, I needed to be able to deliver something. I didn’t know how or if I even could. Time was crunched now more than ever. The possibility of loosing time with my family drove me to drown them with every second of it.
Still, when I find myself at a loss and I go back to nature.
“Check out that butterfly daughter, isn’t it beautiful?”
“Yes ABBA, But we talked about this, I’m not really into butterflies. Still, I must say great craftsmanship Dad!”
“But look closer. See how it dances to delight you? Why such a transformation? Once the creepy crawly insect that you find fascinating, to the regal beauty in its wings.”

So I chose to look closer & this is what I found…

Caterpillars have four life cycles. Each one a perfect illustration of God’s craftsmanship & call on our lives. There is a hormone (a change)  that must first be produced that tells the caterpillar it’s time. Then it begins to digest it self (“die to self”) inside of its chrysalis, or protection barrier. The only thing left of the caterpillar is it’s disc cells during this process. These cells were with the caterpillar the day it was born. They were there all along, but it had no idea. These cells later become it’s wings. And, when it begins to take flight it’s sole purpose is to reproduce, to create more butterflies.
God has transformed us into a new creation, to not be conformed, but to stand apart. I couldn’t see the beauty in the mess at the time, much like the caterpillar, but I had to die to self.
He was always clear.
“Give yourself time.”
More importantly, “give Me your time and see what majesty I may create! Allow Me to renew your spirit & restore your mind.”
Maybe you’re like the caterpillar on the outside you seem in rest, but on the inside there are mass amounts of changes?  Maybe you’re the regal butterfly in flight, looking to plant seed?
Where ever you are, whatever stage you’re in, remember even while the caterpillar was still just scooting along, she was always meant to be transformed.
Fly high! Which was, and is, always your destiny and exactly what you were designed to do.
•Do you give yourself time?
•What areas has God transformed you or your thinking?
•Are you inviting to others?
•Do you speak life?
•Do you expel color and light wherever you go?
Note how butterflies are not intimidating but inviting, glorious & regal. They’re full of color, light and life.

Christina Henton is a Women’s Ministry Leader, writer & artist. She resides in McKinney, TX with her Husband and their four sons. Originally from Southern Louisiana & The Gulf Coast, she embraces creativity and the importance of a community found in faith. Christina’s hope is to encourage others throughout their journey by sharing the promises from God & the victory in our testimonies.

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