I am sure the 10s of readers are thinking.... whoa, it has been a while! Where has this chick been? Well friends, I have been mommin' around, workin' a bit, dealin' with my sick people (on and off with flu and strep... then back to strep again, puppy pee cleanin', homework helpin' kinda stuff, Pinterest searchin' for a recipe that only myself and the man friend will eat, cookin' that recipe, and then I sleep, and repeat! Same stuff just a different day and I am always trying to do it a little bit better with a bit more kindness and patience (it is normally a HUGE fail, but ehhh, I try). I have been feeling a bit stressed, tired, cranky, a bit premenstrual (but who am I kidding... I can only use that excuse for a few days... not a few months), grumpy, my replies are sometimes not so sweet, and I have just not been the best version of myself. I have been feeling a bit cringey... fo real, like if I watched the movie reel of my life over the past few weeks and how I speak to the ones I love most I would probably want to crawl under a rock (and not come out...ever). I am sure no one else has ever felt this way... and I am alone in having these thoughts... no need to comment if I am, I'm a work in progress.
A few days ago, I got an email from our church. We get daily emails about people having a baby, any events that are happening, prayer requests... ya know, stuff to keep you on the up and up. Well, last week, we received an email about a lady in our church who was taken to the hospital because her mother could not wake her. The next day, the lady passed away.
Just like that. Unexpected.
Today, I went to her celebration of life, and as I was sitting listening to one of the songs being sung, I started looking at her family sitting on the front row. As I was sitting there thinking... how on earth am I so close to the family right now, as it seemed like such an intrusion of their private moment listening to, I Can Only Imagine. I could see the sadness of her mother, her sweet daughter on the end of the row, the lady's brother and his family... and so many other family members. The pews in the church were filled with people whose lives she had impacted in some way. She possibly taught their children in Sunday school, crocheted with them in a Dorcas group, or even worked with them at a previous job. She devoted her full time to care for her daughter who has multiple health struggles and her family. She kind of seemed like the woman that if she ever had a bad day, that she would never have let on about it (coulda learned a thing or 12 from her). I sat there thinking of one of the last times I saw her, pushing her daughter in a wheelchair with her mother walking along side of her, after a Sunday morning church service. I always admired her, thinking it would have been so easy for her to throw in the towel, just stay at home and not bring her people to church, just stay in bed, but each Sunday she was there with her mother and daughter on the 2nd row. I wake up most Sunday mornings, thinking... oh, I only have 40 minutes to get everyone ready, we will just stay at home. Anyways, I remember thinking how I had wanted to say hello to the three of them as they left the sanctuary, but I was too consumed with telling my children that they had to go to Sunday school... and trying to avoid a huge crying fit. Needless to say, I did not get to say hello to her that day, and the opportunity did not prevent itself again. You never think today might be the last day I ever see "that person" again, but it just might be.
I have been thinking of all of the opportunities that I have missed out on to speak someone when I see them at Wal-Mart, but dart down a different row to avoid them because I am in a hurry! Or, how I should call a long lost friend or even call a friend back in a timely manner! Or when I see that someone is having a bad day and I do not stop to check on them to ask if all is okay or offer them a kind word. Missed opportunities to connect with someone.
I wish I was not always so consumed with my list of things to do, places to be, my need to be on time, worrying about things that really do not matter... and I wish I was just able to focus on what is most important. Those things that are most important to me are people... my people, loving people well, and being a blessing to others.
I have been thinking about if I were to pass away tomorrow, next week, a year from now... how would I be remembered?
Would Aron know that I really love him more than anything?
Do my children know that if I get on to them, that it really makes me more sad than it makes them... seriously, I hate to be the bad guy. I think they are two of the best things in my day.
How would they remember me?
How would others remember me?
What is the impact that I am having on their life?
Am I adding to someone's life? Am I a blessing to others?
The other day, I was telling Aron how when I broke my leg and was sitting around feeling sorry for myself, I had so many people reaching out to me... daily... offering encouraging words, checking in, giving me their time, cooking, cleaning, true servants heart people. I mentioned how I should really be showing that same love to someone else. Am I paying it forward to someone else that is in need?
I know it is February... heck the month is nearly over. January was the month of resolutions (whomp, whomp... I did not make one), today is February 21st, and tomorrow will be a new beginning for me, starting fresh. I want to resolute to invest in people... my husband, my family, my friendships... real friendships, being an encourager for others, a listener. I do not want to have anymore missed opportunities... life is too short.
So, that is how I'm living.... how about you? Is there something you are not doing today, that you want to be doing tomorrow? How do you want to be remembered?
I probably won't post this... it is too deep for a Wednesday.
Thank you for being so transparent and honest. We all need a wake up call from time to time as it is easy to become wrapped up in our own little cocoons. I’m sorry for you that it came in the passing of one of your friends. May we all be mindful to always reach out to others, with eyes to see, ears to hear, and a heart full of Jesus.
While I’m here, I must tell you that no, you don’t know me, but I’ve been reading your blog for some time now. I think via Kelly’s blog around the time that Harper was born? I do enjoy your witty sense of humor and how you’re so ‘real’. Blessings to you and yours.
I completely understand where you are coming from. This year, unfortunately, we have already had several close friends pass away..some unexpected, some not. It definitely makes you stop and think about how you are doing things and how things should be done differently. But the fact that you are concerned about it, just shows how in touch you are with the people around you..and you must be a great friend!
I also have been reading your blog for a while and truly enjoy how "real" you are with your situations.
Hope you have a great week - and I am going to try to follow your example and try to pay it forward!
Karen, you do a wonderful job. I have always enjoyed reading your blog. You are more than generous sharing your time and family and writing abilities with us. You make me smile each time I read your blog. You are real and you share so much emotions with we readers. I pray you continue to write and share you world with us. An avid reader,
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