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  • Sonya Leigh Anderson

All the Time We Need



“We have all the time we need.”

I’ve heard Michelle say this, countless times, before every Bible lesson. And I’ve taken her words to heart. This morning, early, an attempt at praying, too many competing thoughts. I close my eyes and the Spirit whispers. You have all the time you need…

Michelle is my college bestie, beloved bridesmaid, and vacation buddy (along with her family). She is also a director of schools and my most accomplished, highest-capacity friend. Years ago (fifteen, give-or-take) I was a teacher at Mrs. Thompson’s Hand-in-Hand Christian Montessori, where my boys were students. And this fall it looks like I’m heading back, as a long-term HIH sub.

The decision was made in a bit of a whirlwind, the idea taking shape the morning before my third-born son’s recent wedding. Texts exchanged the following week, while speaking at a camp for my first-born’s youth group. And then, I’m on FaceTime with my husband, telling him the job’s official. (Kyle, at the time, was on his way back from New York City, where he’d moved son-number-two into law school, and was now riding shot-gun, our youngest son taking his turn at driving.) Whew.

All the time we need.

I remind myself as I mentally calendar my fall schedule. Mondays and Tuesdays blocked off for serious writing. Wednesdays through Fridays at the Montessori school—a good hour commute, both coming and going. Collegiate soccer most Saturdays, the day I also hope to tackle my chores. Volunteering Sunday mornings, and back home for an uncontested day of Sabbath.

It’s not like I haven’t been employed before. Besides, this was the deal all along. I’d take until summer to finish my book, and then head back to something with a paycheck. And this, it would seem, is the perfect something.

The thing is, I’ve grown rather fond of this bit of retreat. Working from home, frequent breaks, enjoying my woods and water. Time for friends and cups of coffee. Surprise visits from grandkids on a Monday morning.

Summer vacation. That’s what it’s been. The same as all those years when the kids were young, and they were students, and I was teaching. And now it’s time for back-to-school. I’ve been there and done that. I can do it again.

And He faithfully gives me time.

The first full draft of this book I'm completing was mostly achieved while I was a working mother with a houseful of adolescents. And I remember thinking: My God multiplies loaves and fishes. And He does the same with my time.

Last week I’d just barely said good-bye to the last of my wedding-week houseguests when it was time to pack my bags for camp. I knew I was running on fumes, and I reminded the Spirit He’d have to make up the difference and then some. I opted out of free school-bus transportation, and opted instead for five blessed hours of alone-time in my own car, desperately needed. Students were engaged in a game of gaga ball when I arrived, and my Youth Pastor son met me with a hug, introducing me to his teens and leaders. This is My Mom. And it hits me. It’s not just time He multiplies. But

So. Much. Favor.

And then I’m back at home tackling much needed post-wedding cleaning. An entire day to sanitize bathrooms and dustmop dog-hair (not ours) and vacuum legions of dead bugs off black-painted window sills. (Two weeks of continuous coming and going, doors opening and closing, and we live in the woods.) I wash sheets from bunkhouse beds, endless towels, and more of the same in the upstairs guest-room. And I’m grateful. Because the God who multiplies hours and fish, also multiplies blessings. And all of this. House. Bunks. Dogs, even. Are reminders of the people we love and our growing family.

I grab yet another tissue, not so much to dab eyes misty from nostalgia, but to blow my congested nose. Those cold germs acquired from too many kisses on the scrumptious necks of my grandkids, are also an answer to prayer. Post-wedding/post-camp, Gesundheit-blessing.

Just at the perfect time.

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