Without fail, it seems that the best writing I produce stems from some event that has caused me pain. I guess you could call me a girl that learns the hard way. My Native American name would probably be: Shannan One Who Has Thick Skull. I know my dad has told my sisters at times "don't make the same mistake Shannan did!"
Recently, the lesson I learned was particularly painful. You see, life has gotten busy. Unbearably busy. It seems like each day I have an insurmountable to-do list that I never quite get through. With the kids out of school for the summer, I now have the added challenge of trying to get work done while the kids race through the house with laser guns that make the dog go crazy, barking and attacking the walls. Growler actually took a chunk out of the bathroom wall today trying to bite the light coming from the toy gun.(sigh) Anyway...last week I was having a particularly rough day. I had planned a trip up to my great-grandfather's house to pay the 101 year-old a visit, and greet my great-grandmother who had just come home from open heart surgery. I just didn't make it. I was exhausted. I didn't want to wrestle the boys. I had all sorts of reasons. So, I stayed home.
The next morning I was back at my frantic pace, only stopping briefly, on my way out the door to check my voice mail. Great-granddad had passed away.
I was consoled by friends and family that he went peacefully, that he wouldn't have known I was there yesterday anyway. After all, he had started to be less aware of his surroundings. Still, I had been too busy.
Later that week I went through a file that had been uncovered sorting through his things. He had kept every letter I had ever written him, starting with 3 letter words I knew how to spell in my sloppy 4-year old handwriting. I was amazed at the length and detail my mother went to to keep in contact with him over the years, and I was grateful for all the times she sat me down and made me write thank you notes, because they were now priceless as I re-read them years later.
One of the greatest challenges as a mother is maintaining our priorities. It's so easy to get caught up in everything we have to do: the laundry, the homework, work-work, running errands, exercising, feeding the dog...(sigh again!)This week I am reminded that life is short, and I have to weigh the cost of accomplishing tasks. For example, I might get a lot of work done, but will it come at the cost of my boys feeling neglected? The yard could look fantastic, but is it more important to visit with the neighbor who might be lonely? It's hard to keep a balance. Life is demanding, but at the end of the day, I don't want to have any regrets. I would trade all the work I got done that day, and do it 3 extra times just to squeeze my granddad's hand one more time and see him smile at me. I guess I'll just have to wait.
In order to have fewer moments of regret, my goal this week is to be more like Mary:
38 As Jesus and the disciples continued on their way to Jerusalem, they came to a certain village where a woman named Martha welcomed him into her home. 39 Her sister, Mary, sat at the Lord’s feet, listening to what he taught. 40 But Martha was distracted by the big dinner she was preparing. She came to Jesus and said, “Lord, doesn’t it seem unfair to you that my sister just sits here while I do all the work? Tell her to come and help me.”
41 But the Lord said to her, “My dear Martha, you are worried and upset over all these details! 42 There is only one thing worth being concerned about. Mary has discovered it, and it will not be taken away from her.”
Sit at His feet today. Slow down and listen to Him tell you how much He loves you. Listen to Him tell you that you are ENOUGH. You are valuable. You are precious. Then, you will have what you need to face the day. :-)