Blooming Nicer While I'm Here
“…Men and women don’t live very long; like wildflowers they spring up and blossom, But a storm snuffs them out just as quickly, leaving nothing to show they were here...” Psalm 103:6-18 (The Message)
Lots of sadness this past week… Losses… Witnessing suffering and grief.
And I am reminded that life is just too short.
1) I was notified of my 43-year-old cousin’s passing. He lived several states away and while I did not see him very often, I was grieved; mourning his loss and praying for those he left behind: his mother, his wife and 2 beautiful daughters, and his siblings.
2) As I cooked and delivered a meal to a dear friend from church, I was saddened of the suffering she is experiencing as a result of breast cancer. It was a rough week of chemotherapy for her and I have been praying for her strength and complete healing.
3) There was a terrible car accident that took place on the outskirts of our small community last week. A young mother was killed and left behind a husband and a precious little boy. I learned that her son attends the same preschool as my youngest son. For some reason, this tragedy has really affected me. My heart has ached for this family and I have shed tears for a woman I did not even know.
4) And of course on an international level, there is the news coverage on Japan – the aftermath of the massive earthquake and tsunami. Footage of parents calling out for their child in the rubble, reports of tens of thousands missing and most likely dead. The threat of a nuclear power plant exploding and possibly destroying even more lives…
I’m probably beginning to sound like “Debbie Downer” but this is what has been going on. And yes, it is depressing.
Overwhelming sadness…followed by counting my blessings. Vowing to make the most of every day with my family…yet still struggling to live in my flesh. This has been the formula of my emotions the past few days.
Thoughts of my own mortality have consumed me. What if I were suddenly gone? What would be left undone in my relationships? What kind of memories would my husband and children have of me?
Life is busy. Life can be hard. There is so much to be done, so little time…I take it for granted that I will have breath in me tomorrow.
That I will get around to doing that special thing with my child, or having that particular conversation. That tomorrow will be different somehow. That I will finally make it through a day without raising my voice; or grumbling about picking up toys or pieces of popcorn on the rug beside the sofa…
My daughter made a comment to me on the way to school this week. It seemed funny at the time, but it is kind of a reality check.
Madison: Have you already had your coffee this morning? Me: Yeah, why do you ask? Madison: Because I don’t see a cup and you’re nicer!
Ouch! Is that how she sees me as I drop her off at school each day? A grumpy, old woman who needs caffeine intravenously in the mornings?
What kind of legacy am I leaving my children?
Would they remember my sharp tongue more than they would remember my soft, loving tone?
Would they have fond memories of special times together, or would they think of how their mother used to nag each time they made their bed or took out the trash?
Does my family really know how much I love them???
Just some things I am pondering these days…and asking the Holy Spirit to help me with my need to be nicer…especially to the ones who matter the most when all is said and done!
And so I’m not stopping at the one verse, but reading the entire Psalm 103 (The Message) and I encourage you to read it also. It begins with these words:
“Oh my soul , bless God.
From head to toe, I’ll bless his holy name!
Oh my soul, bless God,
don’t forget a single blessing!...”
Lord, please forgive me for taking my days for granted and for all the times I have been short and grumpy with my family. Please help me remember to ask to be filled with Your Holy Spirit each morning, even before I reach for my coffee cup. For You are the true fuel for the day that helps me be nicer and kinder to all You put in my path. Help me to represent You well and count each day and each activity as a precious and beautiful gift – making the most of life as a wildflower!
I would love some feedback! I sure hope I’m not the only one who struggles with this! Please feel free to share your comments!