Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Daughters, Dolls, and Doctor Who: Reflections on Time Guest Post Series

Welcome to our new guest post series about "time."  
How do we use it? Misuse it?  Many of us spend so much time complaining we don't have enough of it, but how often are we grateful for what we actually have?  It is a gift we receive every day...a fresh allotment.  But how will we spend it?  And what values shape how we use it?  As we reflect, may there be space to consider how and where we spend our precious seconds of this gift.

My daughter sits on the floor, cross-legged, brushing a doll's hair while watching an episode of her latest favorite science fiction series, Doctor Who.  Six dolls surround her as I capture her with my camera. She huffs her disapproval,  "Really, Mom!" I watch and wonder where the time has gone.

This TV series she loves is almost prophetic in message to me. The main character plays a Doctor who is also...well, kind of immortal and pretty much king of the universe. He is a “Time Lord,” meaning lord of all time, so the story goes. Hmmm...sounds like someone I know. And just as this Doctor is often on some time altering misadventure in the galaxy, I sometimes feel like her childhood has been fast-forwarded. I see her, not as she is, but in a series of snapshots, captured in time, held in my memory.

Is this all life is?  Moments captured, images snapped in time.

Snap. I am rocking her.  She is but one eye peeking up at me, contented on my breast.
Snap. She straddles the crib, determined to get out, while I peek through door cracked open, amazed at her early rebellion, humbly determining my next parenting strategy.
Snap. The doll whose hair she now brushes I see then, escorting her to the bus stop, 2nd grade.
Snap. She is driving off with Daddy in his Volkswagen Bug for the first Father-Daughter Dance.
Snap, Snap, Snap. I can't make it stop, yet I want to slow it down. Make it linger, this precious time. Yet, as quick as the shutter clicks, our moments turn into memory. She had five dolls and saved the one. She decided to part with the rest, let them go. She doesn't really play with them anymore, and after careful consideration resigns to release them to make room for the new.

Snap. How can it be that my daughter understands now what I am still learning? That when we are unwilling to let go, release the things we have outgrown, we limit God's ability to give us the new. God wills that we remain sensitive to Him, in the present moment. Love has open hands, does not cling tightly to that which must be loosed. We can't stop time as it seems best to us. It cannot be controlled nor should we allow it to control or drive us, or our intentions. All must be yielded to the One True Lord of Time, and that time lord is not the good TV Doctor, but the Great Physician who was and is and is to come.

We must let go of our past expectations, desires, and plans so that we don't miss what God has for us and our children right here in the present moment. (Isaiah 43:18-19).

It pains me that my little girl is growing faster in many ways than I'd like. But God has a plan for her, beyond what my own expectations, desires and plans for her might be. I will still try to capture her sweet smile and curls with my camera, parent her lovingly (by His grace) despite her objections; but more than ever as she grows and continues to become who she will be, I will acknowledge and seek the One who knows all, and who can be trusted with time.

Snap. He's got this. 

Dawn Paoletta is a writer who is finally coming out of the closet and following her dream to share her life lessons and insights with anyone who will listen.  Having worked as a Personal Trainer &  Group Fitness Instructor most of her adult life, she is a natural coach and encourager who can’t help sharing what she’s learned along her journey. She likes to serve up spiritual lessons learned with authenticity, grace and truth. She shares thoughts on Faith, Trust and Pixie Dust @ Beneath the Surface: Breath of Faith.

Linking with EmilyMichele and Women to Women today.


  1. Oh my heart! This is so beautiful Dawn! I can see your girl sitting there and I can feel the "snap" of the memories. Just lovely! Susie

  2. He's got this. I've said that so much lately. Beautiful words Dawn.

    Jen, Thanks for linking up with Woman to Woman's Word Filled Wednesday God bless.

  3. Keep that camera snapping!! And relish every sweet moment. Mine are all grown up now, and have lives of their own. I see them at times, but my heart goes out to the time they were small and so much closer and needy. Not long after my eldest married, she sent me a card with the picture of a bird sitting in a nest in a tree, with a little bird flying away. The captions read, "Thank you mum for giving me my wings." Yes, enjoy everything and it will one day be such a joy for you to look back and remember.

  4. I read this with tears in my eyes as I remembered my children; now it's just Dave & I growing old together. Presently I'm the care-giver for him as he recuperates from surgery to check out his heart.
    But today I am thinking more about our son - you see 4 years ago today was the last time I talked with him. He died unexpected from a heart attack at the age of 37. I can truly say he was a blessing, not just to me and our family, but to everyone he touched. So I say to all of you who are relishing your little ones -- love them & tell them that you love them every day. God has placed them under your care. They may outlive you (as children should do) or they may not. And if they don't then count your blessing for every day that you are able to spend with them. God has a plan for them and for you. Trust Him in all circumstances. Thank Him for all circumstances, even if you don't understand.

  5. My daughter is a senior in high school and I am remember when she was little. Time has marched on and I am just thankful for her.

  6. Amen, friend. He's got this! Love you.

  7. Hi
    I followed you from Emily's blog. Great to meet you. Yes enjoy and live each moment.


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