Sunday, July 10, 2011

Not so Sassy....

This is me, age six years old. I've changed, I am changing. Aren't we all? Whether we know it or not?

These past few months God's been working on my heart and head, drawing me closer and closer toward a 'pivot point'. I've been driving in the fast lane, stuck behind the semi, trying to look around, see what's ahead, looking for an exit sign. I've been squinting, trying to catch a glimpse of the sharp bend as it got closer and closer. It's smack dab on me now, time to lean into it, make a sharp turn, or hit a wall.

We live on a lake, in the boonies of eastern Texas, 30 minutes from anything. You know you're a newbie when even the farmer pulling a load of hay goes around you. A year under my belt, I've gotten better at country driving but there are still a few turns I have to slow down, press the brake gentle but firm, or I'll end up in the Birdston Cemetery, permanently. That's my goal - make a gentle but firm sharp turn.

On a recent road trip with my mother we meandered in a misty rain, through several old cemeteries, peering at headstones. We were in search of long gone relatives with names like Penelope. Believe it or not, one headstone actually said something about how clean her house was! Really! It made me think of what I want mine to say. Nothing about dust bunnies or the lack thereof, but not 'she was sassy' either. Maybe what Sally Clarkon's book review (Mission of Motherhood) said of her: 'She hasn't one impolite bone in her body. She so politely passes on what is actually a powerful message... and a certain sympathetic sweetness.' I could live with that, or die actually.

I've also decided I don't like sweet tea. Not sure if they'll let me stay in Texas if that gets out! A bit like drinking liquid with grit floating around. So it's time for a change of my blog too. Because neither fits the new, changed me.

I counted. Starting today, if I live to be 100 (June 8, 2055), I have 16,039 days left. I'm learning they go fast. Actually faster all the time.

Psalm 90:12 says: "teach us to number our days aright, that we may gain a heart of wisdom." That's what I want -wisdom. The wisdom to wake up every morning aware to the center of my bones that this day of breathing and drinking coffee and brushing my teeth and seeing my sweet husband's face and hearing laughter and paying bills and cleaning toilets and getting stuck in traffic and being growled at by the checker at the grocery - it's all a gift. Not everyone gets today. I want to number my days, busy with what really, really matters. Some days that will mean not being busy with anything. When I tuck me in at night, I want that one day to have been spent wisely.

Some won't understand that I'm changing more than my little blog, I'm choosing to change my life, at least the last 16,039 days of it. I've already cleared my calendar of most of what isn't important to me; now it's time to add in what is, or should be. Maybe learn enough spanish to talk to those who come into the Care Center? Spend more time with aging parents, or siblings? Fulfill the promise made to my mom to write a book? Grow beautiful peonies, to cut and take to new neighbors? Open our home to friends, or those who need one? Most of what I'm busy about, what we're busy about, doesn't matter much. Or at all. I don't want that to be my life. I want to live like each day is a gift, because it is, and I don't know if I get tomorrow. Does anyone know? If my teeth and knees hold up, I'd love 16,039, but what if I get 8,000? or 4000? Or 1?

The verse says "teach us". That means I can learn. Learning to 'number the days aright' matters. I just got off the phone with a very dear friend; her husband should have gotten another twenty years, but they just found out he won't. They won't. My oldest grandson is going to hit double digits this summer. He's likely half done with his time of growing up in his Daddy's and Mama's home, half done with days shared with his brother and sister, days he can't get back. Don't mention it to his Mama - she's feeling time with her children slipping through her fingers more every day.

The days we have been given go by too fast to count, to just count, but we can still learn to number them aright. I so want to do that. I am honored by your time here and pray that sharing what is on my heart will bless you.

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