A busy schedule and preparing for two craft shows next month has kept me hopping these last couple weeks. I have tried to peacefully and practically plan my time but I discovered that my days and evenings are just too full! The irony is that the thing I love to do the most (write) is what has been shoved to the back burner. Thank you to those of you who still hold out hope for finding a new blog post. Sorry for my inconsistency and thanks for checking back!
Saturday was just going to be another ordinary day. Friday night I fed about 15 college kids and Saturday's schedule was full with a cross country meet, a football game, a visit to my friend's house and plans to update my blog. First thing this morning, however, was a text from my daughter… "One of our basketball players died of a heart attack either last night or this morning. He was only 23." Next text… "4th student in the last year (actually since May). It is super sad!"
Nothing like a message like that to put things into perspective. It made me think how happy I was to have said yes to my other daughter, Hannah, when she texted me Friday night at 10:30 and wanted me to meet her at a nearby restaurant. Honestly, I was exhausted, but have made it a point to never turn down an invitation to be with either of my daughters. So I went. This morning's text reminded me that I had made the right decision. Life is short.
Jenna had almost begged me earlier in the week to NOT go to her cross country meet. I had assured her I would be there. This morning both of us were extra glad that I was. Life is short. I talked to the kids after their race; congratulating each one for a job well done, for staying the course, for being strong, for finishing the race. Life lessons they are. One of the girls told me through eyes filled with tears that during the race she thought of her friend who had just passed away and decided that she would run her very best – because she could. She went on to tell me that she just needed to sit down and thank God… for giving her strength… for life on this beautiful Saturday morning… and for an answer to prayer in the middle of the race. Jenna agreed that she needed to thank Him too… for giving her strength…for helping her to run without pain… for improving her time from the last meet by four minutes… for finishing strong. I listened and learned.
I went to Hannah's football game. All of the dancers and cheerleaders were in pink in honor of Breast Cancer Awareness Month. My mom fought breast cancer. Another reminder… life is short… cherish today. Later in the first quarter the announcer directed our attention to a man standing on the sidelines. He was the brother of one of the football players who had just returned home from a tour in Iraq. The applause and whistles and yells clearly humbled him and brought tears to my eyes. So often, we show appreciation too late. I was thankful that we could thank him in person. Life is short.
Lessons are everywhere. Abundance abounds. We just need to continue to take the time… to pay attention… to listen… to watch with hearts and eyes wide open. This morning's text, though heart-wrenchingly sad, reminded us to not take one moment for granted. Life truly is short; much too short for some. Each day we are granted is truly a gift. Before my mom passed away she started to write us a letter. It is only one line…
"Dear Diney, Debbie, Jenny and Rich, The best way to honor my memory is to continue to lead full, happy lives."
I found it amidst her things and framed copies of it for each of my siblings. It is in her handwriting and from her heart. A poignant reminder.
In these busy, fast-paced lives of ours, it is easy to take for granted much of what makes our lives so full. This weekend was a reminder that the greatest present to one another is our presence. I encourage you to keep showing up, keep encouraging one another, and keep looking for the Abundance that surrounds you!
Eating Dessert First With You,