why time never stops

Time has passed quickly, and I'll be heading back to Beijing this Friday. Today was absolutely beautiful with a big blue sky and sun shining past the puffy clouds. The grass was fresh and still damp from the rains of the past week, and the smell of fir trees floated about. These are the days I dream of, and here was a perfect one.

My sisters were pulling weeds, mom and dad were doing other yard work, and I was brushing my dog when I realized once again just how fast this time passes. As much as I love Dandelion School and have a purpose behind my life there, I miss this life at home too. I've learned that it's okay, even beautiful, to not want to leave this place. Today, there were so many moments that I wanted to simply pause and stay in for hours, days, months so that I could just bask in their breath-taking simplicity and beauty. Here are a few:

my dog and best friend, and I'm not ready to say she's old. 

I tried imagining what life would be like without them today.
It made me even happier to go outside and see them there. 

and of course imagine that 100x better. 

caring for his home on a perfect day. 

But as I was there brushing my dog today, wishing I could pause this moment, I stopped to ponder what that would actually mean for my life. What if I really could stop the time and just dwell in the beautiful times? I would have stopped on a summer day exploring the forests with my best friends - would I have started again? I would have stopped during my favorite gymnastics classes - would I have stayed there without knowing that even better lay ahead? I would have stopped during high moments in speech and debate, or joyous days of staffing with TeenPact, or times in China with Rachel, and I might have been tempted to simply stay in those moments where I was comfortable and happy, complacent and content. Especially if I knew when the hard times would come, would I still have chosen to go through them if I had the power to stay put in time?

All this to say, God showed me a little piece of why time never stops. Not only does the rarity of the moment increase its value, but forcing us to keep moving is what brings as into fuller and fuller joy. The hardships we would never choose shape the redemption we would never imagine. And the moments we would cling to as perfect are only stepping stones to more and more.

These days at home with my family and friends have been treasures and comfort to my heart. And though these moments will not return, God will not fail to bring more glimpses of Heaven until He brings it into full view. Oh, such hope indeed.


  1. Hi Shelby,
    Thank you so much for this post today. What you said about loving your life at Dandelion School but also loving home really spoke to me. I just got back from a mission trip to India and I absolutely loved it there. I didn't want to leave (one of the kids at the orphanage told me to hide with her and let my team leave so I could stay with them :) I so wanted to stop time and stay there, but God's plan was for me to move on, to come back home. Now I am back home and enjoying my family, but I felt almost guilty, because I am torn between loving my family and loving India. You reminded me that it is okay to enjoy where I am now and trust God with tomorrow.
    Thank you!


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