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The PAUSE Button

By April 28, 2020April 26th, 20242 Comments

Many years ago, I lived in ‘Crazy Town.’ I was a full-time, stay-at-home mom for seven years. By 1995, I had four young children, a couple of pets, dishpan hands and tons of laundry. My husband worked long hours, and more often than not, I ‘flew solo’ as a parent. From sunrise, when the first ‘little darlin’ jumped out of bed to sunset, when the last ‘little darlin’ refused to go to bed, I was in survival mode. Many times, I found myself watching the clock, waiting for minutes and hours to pass, and sometimes mercifully, for days to end.

Please understand, I absolutely adore my grown kiddos, and I treasure my active mom years, but during their childhood, some days were absolute ‘whoppers.’

Fast forward to 2020. This pandemic sort of feels like deja vu. I’m staying at home. I have a ‘little darlin’ with fur and lots of energy. I’m back to dishpan hands and tons of washing. I’m watching the clock again, waiting for minutes and hours to pass, and often, for the day to end.

I’m also now a grandmother of three precious little granddaughters. I ache to see them. I miss my family, my friends, my church. I miss ‘normal’ just like everyone else on the planet.

In some ways, it feels like someone hit the PAUSE button of regular life.

We find this passage in the book of Ecclesiastes:

There is a time for everything and a season for every activity under the heavens:

 a time to be born and a time to die,

 a time to plant and a time to uproot,

 a time to kill and a time to heal,

 a time to tear down and a time to build,

 a time to weep and a time to laugh,

 a time to mourn and a time to dance,

 a time to scatter stones and a time to gather them,

 a time to embrace and a time to refrain from embracing,

 a time to search and a time to give up,

a time to keep and a time to throw away,

a time to tear and a time to mend,

 a time to be silent and a time to speak,

 a time to love and a time to hate,

 a time for war and a time for peace.

 Chapter 3: 1-8

This is a time of pandemic, but are we really on ‘pause?’

As I look back, I realize that while I was rearing my kids, life was rearing me. I learned patience. I learned to put the needs of others before myself. I learned contentment.  I learned that no matter how long the day, it would eventually end.

In the midst of so much bad news, we are seeing and hearing of good. Incredibly, each evening Lester Holt of NBC Nightly News closes the show by saying this:

“Take care of yourself and each other.”

 I hear in these wonderful words an echo of Jesus’ admonition “to love your neighbor as yourself.” (Matthew 22:39) And guess what? People are doing it! How cool is that?

This ‘season’ is tough and sad and feels like a prison sentence, but we are definitely not on ‘pause.’ For me personally, I’m getting a ‘whopper’ of a refresher course in, you guessed it, patience, self-sacrifice, and contentment—not bad things to re-learn.

Until next time.

P.S. Okay, I’ll get out of my pajamas now.


Author Joy Cleveland writes Small Town Contemporary Christian Romances that will warm your heart, feed your soul, and quite possibly tickle 'your funny bone.' A product of small town living, Joy strives to craft characters that feel like family and places that feel like home. Currently, she calls Iowa home. When she's not tapping computer keys, she's playing with grandkids, mowing grass, or chasing her dog. A lover of words, she's published short stories, plays for children, and quirky newsletters. "To Call My Own' is her first novel.


  • Kimberly Cleveland says:

    As usual, Joy, your thoughtful and insightful words hit the nail on the head! They were what I needed to hear today, thank you! As painful as this pandemic time may feel at times, we need to stop and appreciate the rediscovering time it is giving us. Patience is never easy! Thank you for letting us know we are not alone with your inspiring words.

  • Nancy says:

    Wow! Well written, Joy! I agree with your message! I read Ecclesiastes today..such good teaching! Thank you!

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