When I think about the word Fresh, many thoughts come to mind. Doug E Fresh and Slick Rick, old school rap circa 1985, now that’s fresh! Spring and the rebirth it brings. My longing to deeply inhale some fresh air after being cooped up all winter. God’s promise of fresh hope and renewal as we wake up to each new day. The opportunity we have to start fresh on those dastardly New Year’s resolutions that fizzled out a few months ago. How delicious a donut tastes fresh from the bakery. How fun it is to shop for fresh spring outfits and perhaps a new purse. The angst and ease that comes with starting new relationships or asking for a fresh start with someone.
[pullquote width=”300″ float=”right”]One of my mantras is “I will remain positive and present minded.” It helps me to remember that today is all I have. It reminds me to slow down and be fully present in every moment that God gives me.[/pullquote]As you can see, my mind was all over the place. I was struggling to find some focus. I’d been kicking around the notion of mindfulness and then God put circumstances in front of me that reminded me just how important it is to live in the present.
A co-worker of mine shared with me the story of Rory and Joey Feek. I’d seen some press about them and some of their commercials and I from what I gathered Joey was dying of cancer and they were country musicians. I took a moment to read one of Rory’s blog entries called “One Last Kiss”- here’s the link http://thislifeilive.com/one-last-kiss/. Holy wow- what a powerful love story and testimony! And the song in the blog- In the Time that You Gave Me-
In the time that you gave me, did I give all I could give?
Did I love all I could love?
Did I live all I could live?
Was my faith in your grace strong enough to save me?
Did I do all I could do in the time that you gave me?
Joey has passed since I penned this post. May she rest in the arms of our heavenly Father. She reminded me a lot of my Mom who lost her battle with cancer at age 32. Same long brown hair, hazel eyes, bright smile, fiery personality. Lost far too young. I was only 11 when she passed. I have a handful of memories of her and even less photos. My daughter looks so much like her. I think she’d have been a spunky, fun Grandmother to my kids. I’m sure she would have adored them as much as I do. I miss her and I miss the loss of the woman she had yet to become.
I experienced a great deal of loss when I was young- deaths, divorces, shattered relationships and trust. Because of that I lived in the future. As a little girl (and still today) I was a dreamer, always thinking about what my life could be. That future focus led to a never ending quest to find happiness outside of myself. I told myself that if I could just hold on, the future would bring something better. Looking back I don’t regret that mindset, I believe it was a temporary survival mechanism that helped me to move forward. The key word is temporary.
When we dwell in the past or focus too much on the future, we aimlessly fritter away the best gift of all- today.
One of my mantras is “I will remain positive and present minded.” It helps me to remember that today is all I have. It reminds me to slow down and be fully present in every moment that God gives me. To me, living mindfully means looking at everyday moments in a fresh way. If you’re a dog owner you’ll understand what I mean. I can leave for the grocery store and come back in an hour and my dog goes nuts like she hasn’t seen me for years, spinning around in circles and carrying on. Imagine approaching every minute of your day like that.
My husband calls me the memory maker because I take so many pictures. I also do my best to capture moments in my heart. The everyday moments like shopping with my daughter. I hear the echo of her laugh and feel the joy of just being with her. When I drive my teen son to work, I see his crooked grin when I crack a corny joke, or his eye roll when I’m nagging him about something and I think— What to Expect When You’re Expecting never warned me about teenagers! Harrumph! I sit with my husband to decompress after a work day and I appreciate how he loves and listens to me and how his blue eyes are the same blue eyes that captured my heart 26 years ago. Or when I hang out with my best friend and belly laugh until it hurts and thank God that I have someone who gets me. When we visit with my mother-in-law who is battling terminal leukemia, I do my best to absorb the details of simply being with her. We’ve had her for longer than we expected and we don’t know when her time will come.
It’s in these moments that God writes His love on our hearts with a freshness that can only come from him. “Dear friends, let us love one another, for love comes from God. Everyone who loves has been born of God and knows God.” 1 John 4:7
Reminding us to slow down and love on each other, to slow down and love on life. Giving all we can give, loving all we can love and living all we can live.