It took me a while, but I made it back. I don't get here as much as I used to. It seems that many of us love the one-line life over at Facebook. It's just so much easier to come up with one line than a whole post. I just thought I would drop in and leave some thoughts. As usual, get your coffee and come back for the marathon read.
Well, the TREE is down, the gifts are mostly put away, and life ebbs on, and I am more pensive than ever. There are milestones you hit during your life that have a way of not only slapping you in the face but knocking you painfully down on your backside, leaving you stunned, hurting, and somewhat embarrassed, in a metaphorical way.
As 2009 ended, and 2010 quietly slipped in, finding us doing virtually the same thing we typically do every December 31, I was startled with the realization that a full 10 years had passed since Tim and I passed our first married New Years Eve in Tennessee. Back then, I was heavy "with child," the female child that would rock our worlds and change the course of all our lives. In 1999, not only did we have 3 male children that were "mine" by birth, but now, we were going to add an "ours," an act that would forever change everything. Sarah's birth in March of 2000 was one of those life-altering events that forever impacted not only 3 little boys who had never imagined adding a female component to the sibling pool, but also the mother and step-father of said children.
We became parents in the summer of our lives, when legs don't run as fast to chase little ones that are only outrun by mice and cougars. We committed to raise a female of the species, so different from the males I had become accustomed to herding. Three years later, we got another of those life-changing moments when we added Hannah to the female side of the tick sheet. Four and three. I was no longer the only hormonal entity in the house. I nearly gave my life to bear Hannah, and the experience changed me in ways that still send shivers up my spine.
So when I go back and think about what life was like 10 years ago, I can scarcely believe that I am really here--right here!-- in 2010. I don't know how 10 full years passed so much more quickly than 10 years have ever passed for me before. I do the math, and I realize that I have about 2 blinks before I am "three-score and ten." It's sobering--so sobering that I've been sitting on my metaphoric backside reflecting since New Years Eve!
Then, there are two truths that have more meaning to me each and every day. There are two men who have sacrificed their lives in different ways for me, and I am awed by their selflessness, not fully understanding why either chose to be a part of my life.
The first is obviously Jesus Christ, and I cannot even comprehend what led Him to lay down His life for mine. I like to think that, as I come to understand more and more about sacrifice because of the aforementioned sobriety that accompanies maturity, I do a little better at appreciating His love, His plan, and His sacrifice, and that I do more all the time to make myself the kind of ground that "drinks the rain which often falls on (me) and brings forth vegetation useful to (Him) for whose sake it is also tilled." Hebrews 6:7
The second man is my second husband. Having had a first husband who was not what he should have been, I appreciate the second so much more! Had Tim not entered my life when he did, my present would be so much different than it is now. I sincerely doubt that I would have had the life I have if he had not been giving enough to not only take on three little boys who could frighten the bravest of warriors but also to give me two more daughters for a grand total of 5 little indians! He and I have had to circle the wagons a few times, but we have gotten through some challenging moments of child-rearing together and come out the other side stronger for it.
There is no more wonderful place to be than secure in your love for someone. To be able to trust both my Saviour and my husband implicitly is more of a blessing than words in the English language can convey. I'm walking, safely holding one hand tight in the spiritual realm and one in the here-and-now with my husband.
Are things in my life perfect? No--far from it. Parts of my house need serious attention because the promised moth and rust are doing their work. My newer van has a newly-crumpled bumper, and both my dogs are badly-behaved. We deal with our share of scares in health, jobs, and loss of family and dear friends on this earth. My children sometimes fall down. We've worked to raise them right, but sometimes they try their wings prematurely and crash. Sometimes it is I who falls down. I try my best to pray from that prone position and move on. I have not perfected time-management. Truly, there's a long list of things I have not perfected.
Yet, somehow, when the day winds down, and all the members of this family crawl home at night, hungry, cold, and weary, we find strength in one another and in the faith we share--the faith we have tried so hard through the years not to compromise, even when that was very, very hard. And we still hold hands, and we pray, and occasionally, we still break out in song together or laugh at something silly til the tears stream down our faces. And when the bad days come, we still hold hands, and we pray, and while the tears stream down our faces, we try to remind each other what we do this all for. We've crawled in beside one another on hospital beds and sick beds and just lay there, because it was all that could be done at the time. When one of us gets weak or weary, the other six hold up his hands until the battle's won.
And at the helm of our ship is that dear man I am proud to call my man, guiding us into eternity with his eyes fixed on the goal, watching for his Lord to come back and take us all to real perfection! No one is going down on his watch, he often says in different ways on different days.
So what's happened to me in the last ten years? Well, the short answer is, "A lot." What's coming up this year? I haven't a clue! Yet, I know that I am in the best hands possible, here and beyond here. What do I wish for? I hope men will learn to be better to each other. I hope that people who have others to love will love them and not take them for granted. I hope that friends and family members will learn to not always be looking for the "bigger, better deal" where friends and family members are concerned. You have who you have. Love them. I hope that people will not waste a lot of time finding reasons not to love. I hope that people who know they are doing something wrong will just find a way to step out of that and do the right thing, no matter what consequences may come here, because the eternal consequences are far more severe. I hope that I have some more good time with those I love until it is time to move on into eternity. I hope some that have recently passed and some who have been gone a long time by my clock are so happy where they are now. And I hope to do a better job this year of getting ready to join them, because even if I have 50 more years, and the Lord delays, 2060 is just a few blinks away.