This week has been crazy busy...so many irons in the fire. Suitcase sits in the bathroom floor with piles of stuff on top of it. I had so hoped to be more along with packing that I am...less than a week out from leaving.
Let's see...I'm working 8-10 hours a day, trying to make purchases and last minute decisions about the bathroom remodel that will take place while I'm away...planning a meeting for Saturday that's very important, making purchases of things I'll need to take and for a few things I'm taking some my DR family, then there's the trying to keep up with laundry, deciding where we'll eat OUT for dinner each night because trust me...there's no cooking going on for sure!
Earlier today, I scanned through my email to try to clean it up and happened up a devotional email I get each week from a friend. For 7-8 years now, since our DR trip, he has forwarded to me a weekly devotion he receives from a man. Sometimes, they are ones that I've read before and I will glance through them then delete...but more times than I can count...it's one that sticks to me. Many times it's been the ones that I've left in the mailbox unread for a week or more, then go back to...somehow knowing God is using those to speak to me just at the right time. Much like the one below...
In the busy-ness, craziness, of my life right now of doing, preparing, working, packing, deciding...all those 'action' words...I realized am I really remembering to be thanking, loving, and praying.
So tonight, with so much to do...a bed full of bags from the store that I need to go through...I stop, watch some TV with my sweet husband, who loves me more than I can ever comprehend and am thankful. Tonight, I'll rest and be thankful.
My Uncle Marshall, my Mom's brother, has been battling Pancreatic cancer for 2 years. If you don't know a great deal about this type of cancer....it's nasty, it's deadly, and it's winning over his body. I found out today that Uncle Marshall was told this week he has a couple of weeks. After talking to my mom this afternoon, I wept...then I made that phone call. I called him to tell him "I love you Uncle Marshall. I have such wonderful memories of my childhood, with you in my life. I have wonderful memories of you in my adult life and I will always have them." I wanted him to know before it was too late and I wanted him to know before I leave...because there's a good chance he won't be here when I return. He's my mom's only brother...I hurt for her, and a part of me hurts for my sisters, and all brothers and sisters who go through this pain...to loose a sibling.
I wished I could tell you what all the last 2 years have given him...I don't know them all. But I can tell you a few...Uncle Marshall was always a fisherman, he competed in fishing tournaments a lot, he loved golf, and he loves his wife. When he was diagnosed 2 years ago...he didn't think he would live long and wasn't given very long....but this big man, who had not been church going or "God talking" to my knowledge enough to make an impact on me....starting attending a church who believed ....no, REALLY believe in the power of prayer. They prayed over this man...and Uncle Marshall began living, breathing, and believing in the healing power of Jesus Christ. He went through lots of cancer treatments, but he remained faithful in his belief that prayer works...prayer is powerful. So much so that when my step dad was so sick at Thanksgiving/Christmas last year...that same preacher from Uncle Marshall's church came with Uncle Marshall to pray over Papa...and I know without a shadow of a doubt...that those prayers, and the prayers of so many of my friends, and our family sustained him and brought him out of that crisis.
My Uncle Marshall is going to die...he knows it, I know it, my mom and her sister knows it. But in the past 2 years, he has been able to fish, play golf, spend quality time with family, go see friends and family he hasn't seen in years. He has had 2 years to 'heal' some things in his life...and no, this cancer may be winning at taking his body...but God and all those prayers have healed his heart, his spirit, and will prepare him, has prepared him for his homegoing.
So tonight...I add prayers and love to my suitcase. It's with a heavy heart that I made that call to him. I will call him again next week before I leave, for I want nothing unsaid...my prayer for you all...is so share your love, right any wrongs, fix any fights, and don't let the sun go down on hurt feelings. We have no guarantees of tomorrow...none.
I'll close with this devotion that I so needed this day...God knew I needed to save it for this day. Had I read it when I initially recieved, I would have glanced, scanned, and probably deleted.
Some thoughts for the new year...~Author Unknown~
The paradox of our time in history is that we have taller buildings but shorter tempers, wider freeways, but narrower viewpoints. We spend more, but have less, we buy more, but enjoy less. We have bigger houses and smaller families, more conveniences, but less time. We have more degrees but less sense, more knowledge, but less judgment, more experts, yet more problems, more medicine, but less wellness.
We drink too much, smoke too much, spend too recklessly, laugh too little, drive too fast, get too angry, stay up too late, get up too tired, read too little, watch TV too much, and pray too seldom. We have multiplied our possessions, but reduced our values. We talk too much, love too seldom, and hate too often.
We've learned how to make a living, but not a life. We've added years to life not life to years. We've been all the way to the moon and back, but have trouble crossing the street to meet a new neighbor. We conquered outer space but not inner space. We've done larger things, but not better things.
We've cleaned up the air, but polluted the soul. We've conquered the atom, but not our prejudice. We write more, but learn less. We plan more, but accomplish less. We've learned to rush, but not to wait. We build more computers to hold more information, to produce more copies than ever, but we communicate less and less.
These are the times of fast foods and slow digestion, big men and small character, steep profits and shallow relationships. These are the days of two incomes but more divorce, fancier houses, but broken homes. These are days of quick trips, disposable diapers, throwaway morality, one night stands, overweight bodies, and pills that do everything from cheer, to quiet, to kill. It is a time when there is much in the showroom window and nothing in the stockroom. A time when technology can bring this letter to you, and a time when you can choose either to share this insight, or to just hit delete.
Remember, spend some time with your loved ones, because they are not going to be around forever. Remember, say a kind word to someone who looks up to you in awe, because that little person soon will grow up and leave your side. Remember, to give a warm hug to the one next to you, because that is the only treasure you can give with your heart and it doesn't cost a cent.
Remember, to say, "I love you" to your partner and your loved ones, but most of all mean it. A kiss and an embrace will mend hurt when it comes from deep inside of you. Remember to hold hands and cherish the moment for someday that person will not be there again. Give time to love, give time to speak, and give time to share the precious thoughts in your mind.
Life is not measured by the number of breaths we take, but by the moments that take our breath away.
I love you Uncle Marshall!