“We’re praying for this next chapter,” I heard the greeter mention to someone as they walked out of the sanctuary. I glanced up to see who she was addressing, and my sweet friends came into view.
“Chapter, what chapter,” I inquired? Anticipating the announcement of an engagement or a trip, or some other fun endeavor, I smiled, and snagged a big hug.
She paused, grabbed my hand, and whispered, “Paul. Cancer. It’s everywhere. It’s in the bones, liver and gallbladder. There is no cure.”
My hug deepened and slowly, raw emotions started pouring out in the form of that huge, soul wrenching, ugly cry. For me, it’s an act so foreign, I wasn’t sure where to go with my response.
Ever so quietly, I heard her state, “I want you to sing.” My sobs intensified.
Today, as I type, tears fall to the keyboard just thinking of those private moments this past Sunday.
I gazed into her eyes. Eyes of a true servant. Eyes that mimic Oswald Chamber’s words, “We have to pray with our eyes on God, not on the difficulties.”
That is their life testimony. A couple whose eyes continuously gaze on our Savior. Words escaped me, and all I could get out was, “You two are the hands and feet of Jesus.”
She comforted me with the assurance , “It’s Ok to be sad, we’ve been sad.” Then she added, “But pray that. Pray others will see His faithfulness. Of course, I pray that we would be healed from this disease, and that ultimately His plan is complete healing on earth, but if it’s not, we want people to see Jesus through this.”
We continued to share. I continued to cry, and as we closed, I declared, “I don’t know what to do. What can I do?”
Ever so simply, she commanded, “Love him well. Grab your husband, and do something fun. This month, I want you to say, ‘We are going to go have some fun together in Liz and Paul’s honor.'”
Love him well.
Applicable to my own life, I’ve extrapolated that to, Love them well.
Can it really be that easy?
Daily reverberating through my mind, those three little words, Love them well, have made their mark.
You see, I’m a live Life with no regrets kind of gal. I’d like to even think I’m quite intentional with my choices. Next month, I host the Becoming Conference– a weekend designed to bring encouragement and tangible ideas for becoming more frugal, creative and purposeful in our every day lives. It’s going to be a weekend of refreshment for all walks of life.
Yet while I have pages of ideas to share, filled with creative and meaningful ways to be more intentional with our time, resources, and families, none of those hold any meaning unless I Love them Well, unless the best intentions take flight.
This past week, those words really hit me hard, because while I have loved my family deeply, I have not loved them well.
My blog is filled with the theme: Embrace the little things, they are most often the big things, and yet all month I’ve been too busy to savor those little things. I’ve been too busy to seek meaning and magic in the mundane.
Yet, that excuse is a lie. I find the time for those things that I really want to do.
Busyness is a choice. Busyness robs me of community, and it’s my excuse for the ultimate reality which comes from not guarding my moments well.
Loving well looks different for each family. For me, I needed to nurture the small sacred moments that I’ve been missing. I needed to be present and available, not just living among them.
So yesterday, when our youngest daughter wanted to play salon, which always lasts at least an hour, I changed my “No,” to “Yes,” and reminded myself that I will never get these moments back.
When our eighteen year old walked in the door at 11:00 pm wondering what was for dinner, I remembered the whisper, “Love them well.” While it would be a completely acceptable reminder that the kitchen closed hours ago, I made him some dinner and listened to stories about his day. Even though exhausted after a long day of work, I just wanted to be with him; to share Life with him.
When my eldest daughter wanted to watch TV, freeing up some computer time for me, I insisted, “Let’s go outside for a walk and enjoy time together. It’s such a beautiful day.”
These moments, once spent, can not be reclaimed. Guard them wisely.
Love them well. Love them deliberately.
Three simple words which yield a radical response.
Love them well.
It doesn’t have to be complicated.
Love them well.
It just has to be done. It’s a choice.
Simple. Deliberate. Intentional.
Love then well.
And now, in honor of my special friends, I’m off to plan a hot date for my honey and me. It’s been too long. I need to Love him well.
How are you doing with loving your family well?
Has busyness robbed you of any sacred moments lately, or maybe you have some encouragement for those trying to be more intentional with their time?
I’d love for you to share in the comments.
(Shared by Jen Schmidt, author of Balancing Beauty and Bedlam)