Sometimes my life can get incredibly busy, like lately. A little over a week ago, I was picking up some meals donated by a sweet lady from my church to be delivered to a local outreach ministry. Though the temperature was near zero, the sun was out. Due to some unexpected cicumstances, I got home earlier than I thought I would, and I was relishing the idea of a little "free" time. That was when I noticed the blinking light on the answering machine.
My mother-in-law, almost 85, had taken a fall and was in the ER. After a couple quick phone calls, I was out the door again. By the time I got back home many hours later, the roast beef I had in the oven, even though on "time bake" was pretty much inedible.
The next two days were spent babysitting two of my grands, and the evenings were spent at the hospital. My hubby is an "only" so we are "it". On Friday, a "day off", I had previously scheduled to do some things with my mom, who no longer can drive because of her macular degeneration. It was also our younger son's birthday and we had promised to keep the grands overnight so my son and daughter-in-law could have a date night. That extended half-way into Saturday, so hubby went to see his mom without me. We had planned to celebrate Valentine's Day by going out to dinner and to a movie that night and we did keep our date! Sunday was another visit to the hospital, and a previous obligation to serve at our church in the evening. It was a "Night Out" for younger married couples, and our small group had volunteered to help with child-care. Our assignment was to help entertain about 5o Kindergarteners and First Graders for 1 1/2 hours! I hit the ground running again on Monday as the grands arrived before 8 am, did my 9 hours, and when hubby got home at 9:40 pm, I surprised him with supper in bed and a few other things you can read about at the tail end of THIS post. Tuesday, my day "off", I went back to the hospital and then did my grocery shopping. Yesterday I babysat again all day, then back to the hospital last night. The grands should arrive here again at any minute. I'm making a meal today for a friend who had surgery on Monday, and I still have a writing assignment to polish up for my writer's group on Saturday morning, a surprise birthday party Saturday night, and a wedding shower to attend on Sunday. Someone from the hospital wants to meet with us this weekend to discuss my mother-in-law's situation.
I'm frequently told by family and friends that I don't "have a life". Really? My response to them is "this IS my life!" It's not exactly the life I thought I would have when I was old enough to collect Social Security, but here I am, and I'm making the most of it. Every day is a gift and I never want to take it for granted. I want to look forward with confidence and back without regrets. I want to run the last lap the best. My house isn't as clean or as organized as I wish it was. My energy level isn't where it used to be. But my moments and my days are blessed with a sweetness that money can't buy. Just yesterday I "caught" my 5 year old granddaughter about to blow out the candle I had burning in the bathroom. I watched as she paused, then gently and carefully put the flame out. I asked her if she made a wish. "Yes Grandma!" I asked her what she wished for. "I wished that you will love me forever!" Priceless.
The 79 year old lady who shares the hospital room with my mother-in-law had her leg amputated last week. She's going home today to face her life with many unexpected adjustments to make. I've had a couple of conversations with her, and I'm amazed at her attitude. She has accepted what life has dealt her. We talked about the importance of living each day to the fullest because we do not know what tomorrow might bring us, though none of it is a surprise to God.
In spite of busyness, my life in the sandwich generation offers many opportunities for teachable moments and also for preaching the gospel, with or without words. I woke up this morning with a scripture passage on my mind, one that helps me get through my busy days, or any days for that matter.
"...Jesus said to his disciples, “If anyone would come after me, he must deny himself and take up his cross and follow me. For whoever wants to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for me will find it. What good will it be for a man if he gains the whole world, yet forfeits his soul? Or what can a man give in exchange for his soul? For the Son of Man is going to come in his Father’s glory with his angels, and then he will reward each person according to what he has done." Matthew 26:24-27 NIV
Have you lost your life?