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  • Melinda K. Bowens

You're in Timeout

#BreakingTheCycle: You’re in Timeout

Now a more appropriate title for this post would have been, “I’m in timeout, you’re in timeout, we’re alllllllllllll in timeout (*in my best Oprah voice*)!” But that was a little lengthy and I need it to fit on the title line of the Google search page. So, there’s that random fact for the day; we can carry on now.

I wasn’t really raised in a timeout kind of household (my mom more so believed in “the look”, lol), so most of my knowledge for how they work is from watching reruns of Full House. Yes Danny Tanner and his mini-tribe of people taught me most of what I know about this process. Well, him and the occasional kid having a melt down on the cereal aisle in Target (I know I reference Target a lot, but it is legit my favorite store). But from what I gathered through Daddy Tanner and crew is that the whole purpose of a timeout is to take a breathing period from what’s going on presently.

But not only take some time away in the moment, also thinking about what just happened. Now, I’m on the outside looking in with this thing, but it sounds pretty helpful. And not just for kids, this timeout business sounds pretty legit for us adults too. Think about it. Taking a minute, hour or even day away from what’s going on in front of our faces and thinking about how we got to this point. Breaking up the hustle and busyness (there goes that word again) of our schedule to just “be” and reflect.


Now, I know that took a very whimsical, earthy, slightly hippy turn pretty quickly; but stay with me. Haven’t we found ourselves more than once trying to figure out how we ended up in a certain situation? Or confused ourselves with the tangled mess we created in life? Or even sat a little puzzled with why we felt the way that we felt (in life or about a situation)? For most of us, the answer is yes to all of those questions. But how often have we given ourselves the space to deal with those answers in the moment? For that question, the answer is probably not too often, if at all.

More accurately, it’s much more likely that we brushed most of those little things aside until they became big things. Then we just didn’t know where to start. But I think the idea behind a timeout is to pause at the little things before they even have a chance to become the big things. Because it’s much easier to handle a pebble compared to a boulder. The timeout is where we can be still and steal.


Now, if you read that and gave me a little side-eye when you saw the word “steal,” let me explain. I’m clearly not asking anyone to turn to a sedentary life of crime in pursuit of peace (I don’t need that struggle in my life). I’m referring to some examples God already gifted to us.

Be Still

"Be still, and know that I am God! I will be honored by every nation. I will be honored throughout the world." Psalms 46:10, NLT

Steal Away

But Jesus often withdrew to lonely places and prayed. Luke 5:16, NIV

For our energy and hearts to be in the right places, we have to take hold of the fact that God already told us to settle ourselves and quietly come to Him. It’s only in that place will we be honestly and accurately able to know what is really happening in us. So, it looks like our heavenly Father was teaching us about having a timeout long before we ever realized it.


Chat with God


When do you notice yourself needing a timeout?


What keeps you from stopping in those moments to figure out “why?”


What is your one sentence prayer in this situation?


Please invite a friend to this series who you think would like to join this journey! Click here!

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