“…for such a time as this…” Esther 4:14
When presented with a new opportunity, we stand on the threshold of something new. We can cross over or stay where we are. Crossing over creates a sense of anticipation; remaining in place feels familiar and comfortable. A threshold seems like a place of limbo. We stand between two options, looking ahead to whatever is on the other side while retaining a sense of where we’ve just been.
A threshold gives us a chance to pause, to take a breath and consider our next action. We may linger here a bit, needing to observe the traffic flow and consider who is passing through. Are these footsteps here some that we can follow? Is this the time to pursue this particular path? How will this change of course affect our perspective? How could it impact our family?
Some thresholds are fairly easy to cross. There aren’t big differences in the landscape. The footing is similar from one side to another, inviting a gentle transition. We can ease our way through at a natural pace. Some thresholds are expected transitions and we are part of a group that is facing the same changes (passing from one grade to another or starting a new semester of classes). We feel comfort in the shared process.
Other opportunities may generate a keen sense of excitement – a new adventure, a risk. These thresholds are more intimidating. You naturally hesitate, feeling the need for more preparation to cross over. Sometimes rushing through may cause you to stumble. You may need a tug from someone ahead of you to steady you, or perhaps a gentle nudge from someone behind you to encourage you forward.
As a parent it’s extremely helpful to have a mentor a step or two ahead of you, encouraging you to step across the threshold into the next season of parenting. This can provide a sounding board for setting realistic curfews, handling emotional outbursts, or figuring out how to manage playdates when you may not feel a connection with the other parent even though your child is begging to spend time with a new friend.
So, we take a step or two into this new phase, consulting our mentor and getting our feet wet…
These last few days of December seem like a threshold to new beginnings and opportunities, offering us a chance to make some adjustments in different areas of our lives. As the New Year beckons us with a fresh start and many open doors, may you be able to discern which thresholds to step boldly across and may you have a steadfast companion to accompany you on your journey!
“Commit your way to the lord; trust in Him.” Psalm 37:5
There is an unconventional layer to a home that you may have never considered. It is the White Noise that plays as the background music to our lives. It is usually unspoken, but for our memories it is SO powerful. It’s worth taking a look at.
Songs have a way of mentally dropping you back to a certain event and time; so do the sounds of a home, and they are a layer to each of our lives.
Definition of White Noise: random frequencies with equal intensity
Here are a few of our families’ favorites:
A football game on TV Sunday afternoon signals that Dad is home; the best naps come with the low steady rhythm of a football game on.
Pots and pans clanking in the kitchen entice you to expect something delicious soon.
Children giggling in another room as they play are branding brotherhood onto their hearts.
The hum of the washer and dryer in the evening at bedtime lulls you to sleep and secures your spaces.
Lullabies and music calm children and invite them to linger longer.
Basketball games in the driveway are a beautiful noise to neighbors that are empty nesters.
The rustling of pages during family reading sessions…Everyone is absorbed in their own books yet this shared time itself is becoming a beloved chapter in the family’s own storyline.
The panting and giggling interwoven into the beat of “Just Dance” tunes during family Wii competitions evokes a sense of spirited togetherness.
The jingle of the dog’s collar rushing to greet the kids coming home from school is a joyous welcome.
The creaky sound of the garage door going up signifies family members returning home.
A Dad’s chuckle and a boy’s snort as they read the comics together is a bond of humor.
An instrument being practiced in a particularly diligent way just before a recital adds a vibrant undertone to other activities.
The loud clatter of Legos tumbling out of a bin and then the quieter clinks as little hands search for “just the right” pieces are echoes of boy happiness.
The signature clap of Papa’s hands as he greets his grandsons at the door provides a generational connection.
God interweaves some beautiful White Noise into our settings as well. Just stop and quiet yourself to listen: the melody of a bird song, the katydids and tree frogs on a hot summer night, the wind that whips through the trees, the waves that crash to the shore, the rain that drizzles and sometimes pours, the crackling leaves underfoot a child that enjoys the “stomp”; all so intrinsic and beautiful.
This layer of White Noise has so much richness to it; it is a constant, steady rhythm in our days, wherever we go and whatever lies ahead of us, there is a steady beat in our background, a soundtrack that keeps our pace. I ask our Lord for forgiveness on the days that I have created the Noise that can be ugly. My heart is sad on the close of a day that I may have produced sounds of irritation to a loved one, or harshness and impatience to a stranger, not knowing their story, and now considering the impact.
I relish the days that my ears hear the sweet sounds of a happy home, the gentle sway of nature and it’s seasons. These are the days that I am grounded in God; embracing His plans for the day ahead. There is peace that surrounds those day even in the midst of Noise. Stop and listen; not just with your ears, but also with your heart and soul. The White Noise is no accidental occurrence in our lives. We produce it and blend our sounds with the amazing soundtrack of the Lord. White Noise is an incredible layer to a home if you are aware of its presence. Enjoy the melody.