Thursday, July 23, 2015

Honor the Past by Honoring Others

I'm not a person who has a past riddled with pain and tragedy.  I've lost 3 grandparents, an uncle, and then a handful of friends, but nothing so personal as a spouse or a child.  This week marked an anniversary of a sweet Roscoe's passing and then we received word of a sweet family's loss of a precious little girl.  Miss Z is just a little bit older than Carly and that combined with my overactive empathy bone, I'm just over here sobbing during nap time.

The pain we endure, directly and indirectly, is usually ugly and for little profit.  I know nothing of a parent's painful loss so I will not pretend to offer some cheap quote that presumes simplicity and order.  I never actually met either child and I'm a blithering mess over them both.  Clearly I've not mastered simplicity and order.  Still, my heart wants to do something and so I write.

So, as an introverted mother who is homeschooling, gardening, working (from home) part time and a lousy housekeeper in the first place, I've seen why moms need a break from their kids.  It is challenging to be everything to everyone in every situation.  But today as I weep for families who have lost, I'm convicted to honor the little innocent souls who look to me and every other adult to make sense of their world.  It's so easy to communicate annoyance to our kids.  They pester and whine and argue.  It's so tempting to diminish their needs or experiences because we have weightier matters to worry about.  They are messy and complicated.  But so am I.

While we have today with tiny fresh souls (or even the jaded, old souls), let's do more than just survive a moment.  See it through the window of the future when, whether through loss or maturity, these trivial moments will cause your heart to swell with yearning.  Give those you love more honor today.  The past cannot be changed, but you can honor it through the relationships you feed today.

Right before Miss Z was born, we planted a peach tree in our yard.  My parents used to have one before their home was hit by a tornado a couple of months before that so we were hungry for it.  This year was the first season we had peaches.  The tree was full and we had already had 5 or 6 - delicious!  The other day I went to pick a few and I felt disoriented.  There wasn't a peach on the tree.  Not even on the ground half eaten!  Apparently, squirrels can and do wipe out a harvest over night once everything is really ripe.  I cried and Mr. Butler was ready to kill some varmints.  The taste we received of the sweetness of peaches wasn't enough.  It was delicious but it was over too soon.  These precious babies' lives were only beginning to charm us with their purity and joy.  And yet.  So, what can we do? What I can do is desperately try to live this way:

Every blessing You pour out
I'll turn back to praise
And when the darkness closes in, Lord
Still I will say

You give and take away
You give and take away
My heart will choose to say, Lord
Blessed be Your name

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