Thursday, April 28, 2011

Thoughtful Thursday-Joy in the Morning

Thoughtful Thursday is back!!!!  Since we completed 16 weeks of Making our Homes Like Heaven in 2011, it is now time to return to our usual slot on Thursdays :)

Last week on GratiTuesday I posted to Frosting for the Cause that I was preparing to say good-bye to yet another person in my life because of Cancer.  And, on that same day she did go to be with the Lord.  Last night we had her memorial service at out church.  It was such a beautiful service, and I mean that.  There were tears, yes, because Bev will be dearly missed, but there was more joy than anything.  We know where she is and we rejoice for her.  She taught us all a little about how to love people.  The songs were all joyous and glorifying to God, and we could all hear her voice in our minds saying, "I'm fine, REALLY, I'm fine."  And we know she is.  The whole evening was such a tribute to her.  I was so blessed to be able to be there.

That got me thinking about my own death.  We ARE all dying, you know.  It's something we don't really talk about very often because most of us do not feel ready to leave our loved ones behind.  I'm certainly not, but I have to think about it, and especially lately it seems like there has been so much death in my circle. 

If I were to die tomorrow, there are somethings I would want my friends and family to know.  First, I would want my husband and my children to know that I do not want them to grieve.  They have so much ahead of them, and if they can do anything to honor me, it would be to keep their smiles.  My joy in life comes from those smiles.  I would never want them to lose them.  Second, I would want my husband to know that he saved me.  I really do not know where I would have been in life if it were not for him.  He has been my anchor and I have always known that he married down.  I could not have asked for a better husband.  I mean really.  There is nothing at all I would change.  My children are gifts.  They are so kind, and loving, and I honestly can not put into words how proud I am of them.

Writing all of this makes me think I should write letters to each of them so they have them if something were to ever happen to me......

My close friends also have kept me accountable and been there to love me unconditionally.  This is such a gift.  I have friends whom I know pray for me frequently and there truly, truly is no greater gift a friend can be. 

My church family is just that.  They are extended family.  I can't emulate enough that they are so important to me.  I literally feel like I am home when I walk in the doors of my church.  I know I could walk in that church as broken as they come and I would be loved.  I wish every church were like that.  They aren't, but mine is.

My extended family, my sisters, parents, etc have made me who I am.  You all have had an incredible impact on me, and I am so grateful.  My husband's family has accepted me truly as one of their own and I don't feel like an in-law at all.  My sister in law is more like my sister, mother in law more like my mother.  Thank you.

To my Daddy, Ray.  I would have one final wish for you.  I wish that you would have the joy of the Lord.  I know your heart is broken, and you have so much pain.  I know your unbelief and bitterness comes from that pain.  It is my hearts desire truly, that you would accept Christ as your Savior and let Him cleanse you of that pain.

To my mom:  I have no anger, no resentment, I hold absolutely nothing but love and gratitude for you.  We have had a difficult relationship.  There is no room for guilt in love.  We both did the best we could do, and I love you to infinity. 

To everyone:  Please do not mourn.  Do not be sad.  Go out and enjoy life, love every minute of it and touch people for Christ.  Life is just a blink, separation only temporary.  I'll be waiting.

That's what I would want people to know.  Why do we wait until the end to say these things?  Why don't we tell the people we love today what we would want them to know?  Why don't we let our guard down, let our anger disappear.  In the end, nothing matters but love.  Nothing but love, and God.  Don't wait to tell your loved ones how you feel, don't hold on to resentments and anger.  It only weighs you down.  Believe me, I know.  I've done my fair share.  There is healing in forgiveness, not necessarily for the forgiven, but for the forgiver.  If I were to die today I would want my family to know that no one let me down, no one disappointed me, no one owes me anything, except to be happy and live full lives.

That's what I got from Bev's funeral, there is joy in the morning, as life goes on.  Embrace it, and enjoy it.

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