Most remember their first introduction to the term “time-out.” And it wasn’t at a sporting event. Unless you call putting gum in another’s hair a sport. I actually can’t speak from childhood experience here, as my folks weren’t ones to waste energy touring “Time-Out Island” on their way to visit “Spanking Mountain.”
However, as a parent, I used time-out some with my boys. It worked with Child Number 3, who would rather see his fingernails pulled off than miss any outdoor activity…including putting gum in another’s hair. But, Child Number 1…well, let’s just say that when I finally remembered he was in time-out an hour after I had stuck him there for “just 10 minutes,” he was well into Act III of “Finger People Go to the Zoo.” He asked if he could stay in “time-out” just a little bit longer. You know, to finish the show, allow for curtain calls and such. I obviously had to come up with another form of consequence for that child.
Lately, I’ve been pondering other kinds of time-outs we humans may experience in our existence. Like, when we’re trying to finish college so we can get on with “real” life. When we’re losing a job and anxiously wondering when the next one will come along. How about waiting for Mr. or Mrs. Right? Big time-out for some, I know. And there’s being patient for that child we may be longing for. Or, maybe even feeling sidelined by the children we do have…like life is on hold until they get “bigger.”
I’ve been in sort of a time-out myself for the past several months. Reevaluating my priorities and what I really want to spend my days accomplishing. Taking the time to appreciate my family, and then taking the time to make sure they know I love them more than the other things that constantly vie for my affections. My time-out also caused me to take a break from sharing via blogger-land some of the cool truths God encourages me with here in my home. The home I laughingly and lovingly refer to as my “cave.”
Well, the whistle has been blown and this time-out for me is over. And while I’m thankful to get back in the game, chewing gum and blogging…it was truly a good break. One that made me realize my passion has never been stronger for encouraging others to see these things we call “time-outs” as quite often blessings in disguise. Times to realize…or maybe just remember…who we are and what we should be doing.
Much like the outcome we expect when we stick a toddler in the corner of a room.