Is it possible that my youngest, my wonderful Joy, is graduating from college?
Mays are so often busy for all of us, and this one is no exception for me. Can't believe that Joy is graduating in just a couple of weeks and moving ahead to bigger things. As I am preparing for her senior party, her birthday, another trip to California, and all the family gathering, I am putting regularly scheduled commitments and life chores aside and accepting my limitations to "get it all done." And I am determined to enjoy each day, and notice in the minutes the grace of God. It is more my nature during this season to be a "Martha," instead of a "Mary", but little by little God is changing me and teaching me not to take everything too seriously.
In the midst of slumber-partying last weekend, we were looking at pictures, sharing old stories and this one came up. And I remember, to "lighten up" one more time and to take time for a sense of humor.
A few years ago, we fell into bed as we returned home from 4 national conferences. Suitcases full of dirty clothes, mail piled high, a general disarray in our home. I, with tear filled eyes, simpered into the den where my children were lounging on couches and said, "We have to get this house cleaned up. I know it will take a lot of work and none of us feel like it, but it's got to be done." tears streaming, sad face, grumpy look.......
My 6'-5", tender-hearted Joel, put his arm around my shoulders gently and said, "Mom, we know the routine. We can get it cleaned up and then it will just get messy again and then we will clean it up again. But when you are sad, we feel guilty.
"So lighten up, Mom, and then we can all be happy, cause when you are happy we feel good, and we will still get it all done."
How true. Lighten up. It isn't that big of a deal. Practicing celebrating life, putting on loud music while cleaning, choosing to smile and laugh and be gentle and asking forgiveness if/when my attitude was blown--all in the life of a house full of sweet sinful, flawed, but darling people. As Joel says, it is all just going to happen again.
And so, these many years later, I still need to remember his admonition, even amidst different circumstances.
Today I have, done a whole year of business expenses to turn in for reimbursement; arranged for 3 medical tests and sat in urgent care for 3 hours; (how did I injure my leg? I have been walking miles a day for years and years!) worked on Joy's graduation party, talked on the phone for 2 hours to 2 different children making big decisions and needing input, (now it is where to go to graduate school and what plane to take home from Oxford and how to figure the dates.)
I stopped for a mug of coffee at my local favorite place because I had never even eaten breakfast and it was 2:30, put together a packing list for the weekend when we leave for a trip back to Ca; met with my Bible study group tonight and taught for 2 hours and still have lots I have not been able to do. And now bed calls again...........!
But God prompted me to stop and look at what is obvious--4 children who love us and are growing, a long-suffering husband, plenty to eat, a warm bed (I love my bed), His presence and knowledge of His love and Fatherhood and desire to take care of me; a beautiful spring day and ability to see the snow-covered mountains as I attempt to take my daily 2 mile walk.
When I stand back to make a list of all the ways I am blessed, my heart eases and my spirit fills with gratefulness--
but I needed that moment to consider, to count my blessings over my cup of coffee--it was essential.
And so, the rest of the day, I will "lighten up" in order to make it through it all with grace---because when I am sad or overwhelmed, everyone feel guilty. And when I am happy, all feel happier.
Hope you are all faring well and enjoying this spring day.
Thanks for your patience with me and all of you who are praying, and helping with all the issues of ministry and life on my plate this season. I so appreciate you and love you with all of my heart!
Own your life today, this day. Own your attitudes. Own your legacy. Own your ability to have joy.
So tomorrow I will smile more, kiss more cheeks, breathe in grace and make it a day to remember. That is what I am going to try to do.