Stop the world to enjoy family

I dropped my girls off for school and was anxious to get home to blogging again for the first time in nearly a month. After twenty-plus years of home educating my six kids, my two youngest (9th and 11th graders) were going to school.

The last month had been especially full.  My out-of-town kids were home. (Mama Like). They were coming and going, each one staying for varying lengths of time. I’ve discovered I’m best able to accommodate their schedules when these two things happen: my own agenda is put on hold, and I’m willing to be the completely flexible one. Stop the world. Enjoy family.

Of course, I loved having as much time with them as possible… individually, in pairs, in groups, and even at one  point we had  FIVE of them here at the same time. Can I just go ahead and say it again… Mama Like!

Anxious to accomplish my agenda

You can see why this first “empty square on the calendar ” day was so highly anticipated. No appointments. No obligations. The house would be quiet. No one to feed or tend to or talk with. Before taking the girls to school, I’d thrown a load of laundry into the washer and would toss the clean clothes into the dryer as soon as I got home. But, I’d determined, that after that I wouldn’t go in the laundry room again. Those clothes would have to wait to be folded. It was Serious Writing Time.

… for the first few hours.

I had ignored the ringing phone, social media, emails, texting, and was typing away…

Until the phone rang again. This time it was my neighbor… a widow.

She rarely called. I wanted to make sure she was okay, so I answered.

She relayed some important information. And… before long, tears were shed. The Lord instantly and so lovingly settled my restless heart, reminding me to trust Him, to lay aside my long-awaited-for time of writing to be fully engaged in this new priority directly from Him. An opportunity to encourage and be a listening ear to the widow next door.

Love thy neighbor.

Nearing the end of our hour-long phone conversation, “it” happened.

You know… that gentle nudge from the Holy Spirit, resulting in a specific idea.

“Take lunch over to her.”

“Yes, Lord,” my mind responded without hesitation. I’ve experienced the TRUE  JOY of living a life obedient to these very types of promptings. Reminding God of my agenda was a flashing thought, quickly thwarted with the absolute assurance that He is the Great Redeemer of time.  I really enjoy these moments of silent communion with the Lord and surrender to being a part of His plan to encourage and come alongside someone.

I wrapped up the call by saying, “I’m bringing you lunch right now”  She welcomed it.


Lunch was leftovers, so don’t be super impressed or anything.

No sooner had I put the food on the plates, then the next clear directive popped in my mind.

“Write her a note.”

“Okay, Lord.”


“Anything else, Lord?”  I mean, might as well double check. Right?

I grabbed a few pieces of fruit, gathered everything together, and headed to her home.

Meals Delivery and a little more. 

A knock on the door, a smile, warm hug, delivered meal, a listening ear, encouraging words, and a little more conversation full of tears interjected by sporadic comforting hugs.

That’s what loving well looks like… “People over things.” Elevating someone else’s needs as more important than my own.

May we as Believers desire to touch lives of those around us and immediately recognize and respond to the promptings from God. May we be willing to lay aside the less important agenda to engage in a spirit-inspired opportunity to invest into another.  May we trust Him to redeem our time…. which He completely did for me.. and then some.

Love thy neighbor. Is there someone who needs you today?

Rhonda HereIamLordsendme ellis


  1. Sheryl

    Oh Rhonda this is SO very good to share. If we could get a glimpse of what it means to live the FULL surrendered life to Christ; to hear Him, to know your serving Him as you serve others, to make His love and ways known…like concretely known as we are His hands and feet, to experience the mystery of His presence as He is right there with you and the awareness of His presence…well, just, waahooleluia! We are made for so much more than crossing off check lists and getting things done. God richly bless you and your sweet neighbor!

  2. Rene

    Great reminder Rhonda! People over things! (To do list! ) Need this reminder with family… Frequently.

  3. Nancy

    Thank you for this, Rhonda. Very authentic and powerful. Made me cry. I needed the reminder about God redeeming the time.

  4. Cindy

    Rhonda, what a blessing you are. As I read this story, I was reminded of the kind acts of love you have given me over the years. You walk your talk! Thank you for reminding me that we have the opportunity to be a vessel used by our Lord. I know she appreciates all you do to encourage her. Thank you for being there! I love you my friend!

Comments are closed.