Carpe Diem

Do you ever get caught up in so many little things that all of a sudden the day slips away from you?  You didn’t get as much done as you had hoped. Maybe you checked one or two things of your To Do List, but the majority of the list is still there, staring you in the face and you wonder why? Sometimes this happens to a whole month for me. I am halfway through October, staring November in the face and thinking, “Whatever happened to September?” Time. Flies.

But here’s the reminder I need each and every morning — Today is a GIFT. Slow down. Live it. Don’t just let it fly by. Be aware.

I need to notice the people I share space with today. My husband, my friend, the barista at Starbucks, the cashier at Safeway. Life isn’t about me and my list and my agenda. It is about love.  Loving others where they are. Where I am. Instead of trying to cram another errand into the day. Slow down. Breathe. “How can I help? What do you need? How can I love you today?”

That To Do List will get done eventually. And if it takes a while, that’s okay. I want my journey to be one of joy, not stress. How about you? One day at a time, waking up and taking each moment with intention, instead of the moment taking me. Savoring and enjoying the life we are living and each other. Time doesn’t stop but we can slow it down, plant seeds of love and reap joy each day.

Trust in the Lord and do good; dwell in the land and enjoy safe pastures. Delight yourself in the Lord and he will give you the desires of your heart.  Psalm 37: 3-4  NIV

Carpe Diem

Carpe Diem

Life with 4 twenty-somethings and an eighteen-year-old going on 25.

Let’s just say, it is not what I expected. Between my husband and I we have 5 kids. Somehow I thought that when they all got past high school, life would be easier. Our family would be all rainbows and sunshine and all of us would skip merrily into the “happily ever after”. I am here to tell you that’s not true. At least not in our case. Our days are still filled with issues – and it’s not just “Junior won’t eat his green beans,” or “the little princess won’t go to sleep in her crib.” Oh, how I long for those days. Looking at my 6 month old grand-baby, I remember what it was like when mine were young. It seemed so tough, with each new stage bringing new challenges. Back then, I remember hearing other people say that as the kids get older, the problems get bigger and more expensive. I laughed. But now I know it’s true. And the thing is, as a parent, you always look at your child as a kid , even if they are a man or a young woman. There is no escaping the heartache as you watch them make a wrong decision or head down a poorly chosen path. Sometimes there is no “choosing” at all, something bitter or unfair or tragic strikes in your child’s world. And you wish beyond everything humanly possible that you could do something, or change their reality to ease their hurting. As I am thinking back on the last year, each one of our kids has tugged our hearts in one way or another, good or bad, happy or sad. Since last summer, there have been “moving aways” that were painful, “moving ins” full of trepidation, “moving ons” full of regrets and guilt, “moving ups” full of fear, “moving outs” full of angst, “moving overs” full of selfishness. This blogpost is waaayyy too short to get into all the nitty gritty details of this stuff. Trust me when I say that every one of our kids was “going through a stage” of one sort or another this past year. But through these times that try our heart and soul, there is also pervasive hope. Hope that believes that our child will have a better job, a fulfilling career, a forever love, a rewarding experience, a new start, a brighter future, a golden opportunity. Our hope comes from prayer and believing that God’s will for our lives and our children’s lives is for good, even when we, as mom and dad, can’t always see it. God is love, after all and above all. My husband and I may never understand why each of our kids must go through what they go through these days, but, looking back, both of us have gone through a lot in our lives too. So many things that we didn’t understand at the time. So many things that changed us and made us who we are today. Many things that when we look back, we can see how God’s hand was guiding and leading us, but also many things that we still even now may not understand. I wish that I had always trusted God with my future, but the truth is I didn’t and I am certain it brought unnecessary pain to me and to those around me. Today my prayer is that all 5 of our children will learn, without any doubt, who has the answers and will learn to seek Him on a daily basis. Of course I hope that they will come to us to talk things out, to plan and to dream, but what I hope they are learning along their path is that God has the answers – He has the best plan for their life. He holds the key to their future. The following Scripture hangs near the bedside table in the spare room where our children sleep when they come to stay with us these days. I hope it is a comforting reminder for them of their heavenly Father who loves them even more than my husband or I ever could:
“For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” Jeremiah 29:11
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I Wanted to be Skinny at my Daughter’s Graduation.

The Lord your God is with you, he is mighty to save. He will take great delight in you, he will quiet you with his love, he will rejoice over you with singing. — Zephaniah 3:17

 

My daughter will be graduating from high school in 3 days.  An anxiety-filled  thought crossed my mind today, “I wanted to be skinny by her graduation day.”  After all, I will be seeing family and friends from all over the country. People I haven’t seen in ages. I want them to see how healthy I look, how much weight I have lost and how chic I look in that new dress I bought (in a bigger size than I had hoped.) But now the ceremony and party is just 3 days away and I haven’t lost a pound all year. I can’t believe it. What was I thinking?  Where did my New Year’s determination go?  I was so mad at myself….  for about 2 minutes. And then I realized what I really should have been telling myself all along — “I am thankful I am AT my daughter’s graduation!”  You see, my mom never made it to mine.  She passed away in February of my junior year from a series of strokes.  She never got to experience the sense of pride when her daughter came home with a cap and gown. My heart was full when I saw that look of pride on my daughter’s face last week. My mom never celebrated the last day of my high school classes when all requirements were completed. I felt the joy in my daughter’s voice when she received the flowers we had delivered just for her “job well done.” My mom didn’t get to help me plan a party or address the invitations to the commencement. I am loving every minute of planning, some of which we are doing together and some surprises I have planned.

A few years ago, things could have gone completely differently and I wouldn’t be here sharing in this special time with my daughter, Savannah. When I received my breast cancer diagnosis in 2010, my doctors weren’t really sure how advanced it was until they  performed surgery. In a brief afternoon of unconsciousness as I passed under the knife I also dodged a bullet — my cancer was detected early. I could expect a full recovery/remission. I would be around for my daughter’s graduation from high school. (Or at least breast cancer wouldn’t stop me.) Four years have passed since I got the incredible news that “the cancer hadn’t travelled to my lymph nodes.” And here I am. Preparing for the milestone that is my daughter’s graduation. Lord, forgive me for forgetting the blessing that is daily life and breath and health. Remind me that you are the One who has the power to save. You have numbered my days. Thank you for every precious moment. Especially the moments of celebration. Thank you that you take great delight in me and all Your children, quieting me when I fret. About being skinny or any other silly thing. And finally thank you, that you rejoice over me with singing — no matter what size I am wearing.

 

#momswithgrads #breastcancersurvivor #coffeeforyourheart #happytobealive #Godisgood

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~holleygerth.com