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To the Mom Who Is Always Running Late

Hey. I know you. You’re the lady hustling toward the school doors, carrying your child’s backpack and pulling on his jacket sleeve. “Come on, we have to hurry!” I hear you say. “The bell’s about to ring!”

To the mom who is always running late

Haven’t I seen you at the library, too? You walk in five minutes past the start of story time, searching for a spot in the back of the room because all the good seats near the puppet show are taken. Well, at least you made it. And the puppets don’t come out ‘til the end, anyway.

Yeah, you’re the one who thinks she can squeeze just one more quick errand between soccer practice drop-off and pick-up, then you curse every red light between the pharmacy and the field because you’re about to leave your child stranded—again.

I get you, sister. I am you. And I know you don’t need a lecture about how you’re overscheduled. Or about why a lack of punctuality means blatant disrespect for other people. You don’t need a time management course or yet another alarm on your smart phone to remind you of what you already know—you’re running late.

You don’t like running late. But you just can’t help it, right? You’re a natural born late runner.

You know what you need?


Not just from other people, necessarily, since you can’t control their response to your usual apologies and excuses. Some people have little patience for chronic tardiness. Let it go.

No, what you need is the deep, all-consuming grace from God. Because when you get it, or more accurately, when you finally slow down enough to receive it, you just might find you don’t feel like rushing anymore.

Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light (Matthew 11:28–30).

In our hectic drive-through pace of modern parenting, it’s common for us moms to pack a heavy burden. We juggle childcare, housework, ministry, and careers. We schedule sports, carpool, music lessons, and play dates. We usher our children from one activity to the next, one season to the next, rarely pausing to breathe and look around.

Aren’t you tired, late-running mom?

I sure am.

Yet Jesus invites us to rest. How?

Come to me, he says.

Just call on his name. Pray. Crack open your Bible and read the words in red. When you do, it’s likely you’ll discover Jesus expects far less from you than you do. In his eyes, who you are is not what you do, where you go, or how fast you get there. Your agenda does not define you. Your achievements do not define you. Your children do not define you. Not even your behavior defines you. (Tell that to your friends who’ve labeled you the late comer.)

With Jesus, you are simply loved and forgiven. And free.

So next time you’re tempted to cram so much into a day that there’s no way you can get it all done on schedule, go against your gut. Instead of pushing ahead, stop. Look to heaven and reach for Jesus. He may not freeze the clock so you can make it to school on time, but he will remind you why that clock is not your boss.

His yoke is easy and his burden is light.

Let’s stick that in our kid’s backpack and carry it. Amen?


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  1. Oh my goodness… This is me. I hate being late. Absolutely hate it. Although everyone who has known me since a kid, knows me as the late one. That I will be late.to my funeral (which that doesn’t sound that bad, as long as that means I’m still alive, lol) 🙂 Plus, I know no one wants an excuse. I don’t have any desire to lie either. I have 3 kids now and am constantly doing everything I can. I make way too many plans/ ideas of what either needs to Be done, or how to make things better. Lol. But I love this article! Thank you! Because although people think I don’t care… I am extremely hard on myself. I seem to judge myself far too much.

    1. I am so grateful to know Jesus loves me and His timing is perfect even when mine is five minutes behind! Thank you for sharing your heart, Danielle!

  2. This is totally me! It doesn’t matter what I do to try and be “on time”, I rarely am. This is hard for my husband, who is a super punctual person. Honestly, I constantly feel like I am letting him down, and I know it has affected my relationship with Jesus. Any advice on how to “keep the peace” in your marriage when this is an issue?

    1. I can relate to that, Jill! My husband prefers to be early for everything. I have tried hard to respect his standards for punctuality, which means we BOTH have to contribute to the cause. For me that might mean getting up 20 minutes earlier, while he agrees to help get the kids ready so we can get out the door on time. Honestly, it might help to talk to a Christian counselor about this issue. In the end it’s a difference in view; not right or wrong, just different. An impartial third party can help you both see the conflict in a new light. Nothing is worth harming your relationship with Jesus or your marriage. Blessing to you, sister!

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