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Wednesday, September 24, 2008

He Has My Attention

I guess it’s come to the point where I have to wonder what to write about. Sure, I could fill these pages with the fluff of all the activities we have going on…. Details of our camping trips, how I learned how to can tuna, upcoming plans, how Kate loves preschool, how she was a flower girl again –

But really, other than the common update, what purpose would it serve? Yes, there are family members who would love such updates – and I hope I get better and more consistent at getting those to them. Yet there are also those who read this that such things are just more details in an already overwhelmingly busy life where time is short.

So if I’m going to write, shouldn’t I write about something of importance?

It’s the middle of the night here and sleep is fleeting. Curled up next to me is the cutest red headed toddler you could ever meet. As she tosses and turns, and whimpers for her mom every once in a while – it makes me ponder. You see, mom is spending the night in a Cardiac Critical Care Unit at a local hospital. Plain and simple, it’s just wrong that mom is there. I don’t get it.

As I was walking through the waiting room this evening, I overheard a lady speaking on the phone. Today she had to give CPR on a loved one, and in those moments she still didn’t know the outcome. Her face was puffy, and her body screamed of exhaustion.

Another lady sits in the back of her dark house, sick from chemo, waiting for dinner to arrive because she doesn’t have the strength to care for herself. Having to ask for help is humbling and hard for her.

Down the street, a dear friend mourns the loss of her only son – he was my age – who was murdered by the man who had been his step dad for the last 30 years. In the same day, she lost her son… and her husband. If that weren’t hard enough, husband was her full time caregiver as she is wheelchair bound, fighting for her life as she battles Leukemia and Diabetes.

Down the street a little farther is a woman we love, who also is fighting cancer, now for the second time this year. She’s not fighting the fight for herself – she’s tired and it’s hard. She’s fighting the fight for her son who needs his mommy.

A couple that we love gave birth to their first daughter last week. On that same day, the father’s close friend of many years was fatally hit on the highway while helping a teenager who had just hit an elk. He was the father to a young child, with another on the way.
And these are just a few of the most recent stories in my life alone. You have stories that you know of right now. It can be overwhelming to say the least. Times are hard.

For me personally, Chelsea’s birthday is right around the corner. She’d be turning 15. If she were here, life would be all about studying for her driver’s permit and boys. I miss my baby terribly.

All of these things make my heart heavy, yet I’m okay. I’m good even. I’ve learned early on that life isn’t easy, that there is going to be heartaches and struggles. Yet it is these things that mold me, that make me who I am, and cause me to wonder about what life is all about.

What is our purpose here? What are our goals? Are we so busy trying to establish ourselves and achieving our titles that the world just passes by around us? Or are we impacting those around us – encouraging and loving them? If you were to look at things from an eternal perspective, what would you see? In the end, is everything that you worked so hard for worth it?

Maybe it is. I’m not saying it’s not. I do know that value of hard work, and by no means am I promoting laziness. But do you ever wonder just what you will be remembered for?

For me, tonight, I see that life here on earth is short – yet somehow long at the same time.
I realize that I can’t do anything in my own strength and more than ever I need God in my life to carry me through.

And He does, and because He does, I have peace - even in the midst of all this.
And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose. ~ Romans 8:28

Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword? ~ Romans 8:35

… who comforts us in all our tribulation, that we may be able to comfort those who are in any trouble, with the comfort with which we ourselves are comforted by God. ~ 2 Corinthians 1:4
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Lori said...

A beautiful, thought-provoking post my friend. I have thought a lot about the legacy we leave. While most of us will never be famous or capture the attention of millions of people, our lives still impact so many. Like a pebble tossed in the water. You and Chelsea and your whole family have forever impacted me. Your strong faith is an inspiration and your overwhelming love is an encouragement.

Anonymous said...

I wish I could write as elequently as Lori, please just let me say that your words hit me at the most needed time. I am truly grateful to you for opening your heart up to so many. May you be blessed as you have blessed.
Katie Newsom

Colleen Coble said...

This is a good reminder for me right now too with the birth of my first grandchild. I want to leave a lasting legacy with her.

Thanks for a thought-provoking post, Celeste. Praying for you as you go through this painful anniversary.
Love you!

Emily said...

Thank you for this post.
I read it early this morning, had to rush to get out the door, but then was on the plane for hours. And in those hours I thought and thought about what you wrote.
I had already been going through one of those times when I don't seem to "get it" and often wonder why God allows certain things to happen. I see all the sickness and the pain and wonder how all this heartache can exist, why it exists. I'd been thinking it would be much better if Jesus would take us all home, sooner the better. And yet it seems that whenever I go through these times, I always come out with a new perspective on things. I realize life is tough, and yet I'm more thankful than ever for the sweetness God places in our lives. I'm more excited for that day when we all will be forever with Him and never again will have to ask ourselves why there's so much suffering here. And because of that hope, God gives me more joy than imaginable.
Life is tough, but God is sure good.
This is already way long, but lately I've been reading Isaiah 35 - "The Future Glory of Zion". I've been meaning to study it more and find out what it's actually talking about, but it reminds me a lot of Heaven. It talks about how sorrow and sighing shall flee away, and everlasting joy shall be yours. It encourages me each time I read it.

I don't know if this made any sense whatsoever, but know that you have blessed me today and I love you so much and am praying for you. I take comfort knowing you were taking such good care of that little red-head. She sure is sweet. :)