When I was young I was smoking hot, smart as a whip, strong, capable and virtually tireless. I was into helping others, and trying to better myself at the same time. Life seemed one long blur of constant activity. I worked, studied, worshiped and dated with enthusiasm and eagerness! I was hopeful and yearning, and dreaming.
As the years rolled on I went from smoking hot to comfortably warm. I was blessed to achieve many of my dreams – though often not in the ways earlier imagined. I was privileged to marry a dreamy man. With whom I birthed and successfully home educated seven children K-12, also trying our hand at discipling them into the service and loyalty to the LORD.
During those already full, hectic years we also provided elder care to two of our aging parents, who needed serious levels of care physically and emotionally over many of those years. And in the midst of all of that, I managed to keep home neat, clean and fairly organized – though not obsessively so, and nourishing food cooked, and friends shown the proper hospitality, etc. I was still into helping others – but I had given up “bettering myself” – having realized that the Holy Spirit had been working on that full time since I gave Him the go ahead. But I was living most of my dreams – except the really far out ones – and I had obtained the home I once yearned for. Life was progressively good.
Now, my once hip length, very dark, very straight, shining chocolate brown hair is shorter, sassier, and shining silvery white - gravity has taken its toll in too many areas to count – and now my nearly grown, children – who are the smoking hot ones - refer to me as “cute little mommy”! Now, the same people who learned everything from me - from moving, to eating to reading, to moral values - now think it somehow miraculous that I can operate a computer, or a phone, with some savvy! Those to whom I once provided everything for life, now frequently fill some of my needs. I still dream the far out dreams, try to appreciate the close up blessings, and cherish the loves in my life. I try not to live in the past – which can not be revisited, nor the future – which may or may not manifest in my life time, but to really engage in each moment as it is passing. To be alert, aware and compassionate to the world around me.
Funny how, as we age, we lose our edge, our memories blur with our eyesight, and our hard earned respect becomes an ever decreasing commodity, which some people seem to feel compelled to offer due to the years garnered – though it seems to be forgotten that it was actually earned for so many other reasons in seasons past! It is sadly ironic how the people we raised barely recognize our gifts, talents, and abilities – which we vouchsafed to them – carefully protecting and nurturing in them - and for which they now credit mainly themselves. And it is odd how we – who once seemed to run the known world - now seem to be fading into an invisible anonymity as the next generation takes the helm and catches the batons which we will inevitably, eventually drop into their waiting hopefully prepared hands.
The circle of life from the cradle to the grave – rolls in one seamless flow of years – passing through the learning and achieving years, into the productive years and then onward into the slowing down, cherishing, exiting, years without so much as a warning bell being sounded. Suddenly people find themselves being cared for, instead of giving the care – hopefully by people who understand what it is to really care. Wondering, when we gave the care did we care enough? Did it show?
I am far from the end of the circle – unless there is a serious interruption – and yet I have observed enough to know that the end is not as far off as anyone would love to think. Twenty, perhaps thirty, at the most impossible stretch forty years.....which – as the last fifty- plus have proven - will go by as swiftly as an hour of sheer intensity....and I will fade like the last leaves of autumn...like the last silvery-white frosts of winter....into a silent memory.
Hopefully, I will have left a mark on this world for the better. Hopefully in allowing the betterment of myself, I will have bettered those around me as well. Hopefully, I will not have lived in vain, nor loved ineffectively nor unintentionally. Hopefully, that I was here, in the end, will have been a good thing.
Hopefully my dreams will have been achieved, my hopes will have been fulfilled, and my gifts deposited where they will do the most good. And most of all, I hope that I gave my God the glory that He deserved for making me into the best me I could be, and that I gave myself the credit of living a life with minimal regrets – due to the purposeful way it was lived by me – in spite of all the reasons for it to have been otherwise. Hopefully I will have been a monument to the goodness of God in a very twisted world. And one can hope that His light shone more brightly through my intense, inherited, darkness.
Hopefully I will join the heroes of the faith, as, Like Paul I will one day stand and say -
“I have fought the good fight, I have finished the course, I have kept the faith; in the future there is laid up for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous Judge, will award to me on that day; and not only to me, but also to all who have loved His appearing.”
As the circle of life begins its last arc to completion, as I round what looks to be the last stretch of my race, I take a deep breath, steady my pace and I say, Amen, May it be so, LORD Yeshua, may it be so, and Lord, May I make you proud!