This season of change is hard. I'm sure everyone is feeling some disconnect, loneliness, and confusion. For some reason this week has been harder than usual for me. I have had some great connections and conversations, a grandbaby will be joining the family soon, I am healthy, have the most amazing job, food on the table and a warm home to live in. I am beyond blessed. So why the tears and brokenness now? I think I am trying to figure out tomorrow and the day after that and the day after that. Village to Village continues to do good things daily, but it is so different than it used to be. Ministry may never be the same, but that's ok, even if it brings some heartbreak.
As my children grew I wanted them to have memories that would last a lifetime. I was also a little OCD about cleaning out and not holding onto things we no longer used. This brought me to cutting my children's favorite blankets and clothes up to make them each a quilt with all the things that made their childhood memories stay with them for their lifetime. This past December I finished our youngest child's quilt. As I looked at each square I remembered exactly what came with it, the good, the hard, the tears, and the laughter. I am not an avid sewer and certainly have no idea how to quilt but I wanted to do this for them. Just like that quilt ties all the things together in one place I pray those events and relationships tie their lives into a beautiful masterpiece centered around God.
I have been studying Daniel since Christmas and it is a powerful reminder that we can thrive and make a difference for Christ in the hardest situations. I not only need to know my life has counted because of the things God has allowed me to experience, the places I have gone, the people I have met, the mistakes I have made, the heartbreaks, tears, and laughter, but also in a world that seems to be falling to pieces I can be a light in the darkness. I can show kindness and love, I can respect those that are different than I am, I can speak peace and healing into everyone God places in my path.
I am currently reading Mark Batterson's book, Win The Day. When I begin worrying about tomorrow and the next month and year this is a great reminder to take it one day at a time. We can do anything for a day. I can fast for a day, I can give up social media for a day, I can do a live event for a day, I can eat healthy for a day. It's not hard but we tend to look at not just today but the next six months or year.
In Mark Batterson's book, he reminds us that time is measured in minutes, while life is measured in moments. Like the quilts I made for my children, each square is a moment from their life. They all add up to a beautiful existence.
The only moment we have is now. How hard is it to be kind at this moment? I know that it only takes a minute for a life to be lost in an accident. How amazing to know we can be a life-giving influence in that same time period. We only have to choose to allow God to use us in these fleeting moments. He will.
One last thought from Win The Day (well two because if you haven't read it you should get it now and begin reading it), we think God does for us is for us, but it's never just for us. It's always for the third and fourth generations. Can you imagine your life impacting generations? I want that. I don't want people to remember me for the good things I may have done, I want them to remember who was in me, who I represented, and how I shared Christ with others.
Today our dear friend Mr. Beery, who was our neighbor for over 20 years, passed away. He and his wife loved our children, checked on us, took an interest in us, and simply cared. I have cried tears of sadness that he is gone but also tears of joy that he is with his wife and son in a much better place.
This week a friend of mine lost her father and I have watched part of the memorial service today. It was filled with all of the things this sweet man did throughout his life. The people he invested in and loved while in the military, as a pastor, neighbor, father, and husband are incredible. He was not superhuman. He was a man that loved God and loved others.
I hope the quilt of my life that I leave behind will have stories of lives changed because of the time I took to love others and invest in a world that seems so lost. I pray my husband, children and grandchildren will know how loved they were not because I told them but because I showed them every minute of every day.
There is sadness but joy comes in the morning and beauty comes in the everyday, ordinary moments.