I absolutely love summertime!! I love my kids being home, no crazy schedule to keep, spending time by the pool with friends, traveling, and much more. It always seems to be over way too fast for me. I just got home last night after being gone for over a week to OKC and Louisville, KY. Scott and I were in Kentucky for part of the Nazarene Youth Conference last week...this is a week set aside every four years for high schoolers from all over to come together and have fun, meet new people, do work projects, and be challenged in their walk with the Lord and grow spiritually. It was great to see people we haven't seen for a long time and catch up, but I have to say that my favorite part of being there was looking across the arena during the services and seeing my boys standing with their hands lifted high worshipping the Lord....it brought tears to my eyes! It is amazing to see them taking on their own faith and living out a relationship with the Lord! Like so many, we've raised our kids in the church and talked to them about faith and how it should impact our lives and the way we live, but now I'm seeing them own their own faith and it is so neat!! By no means have I been the perfect example to my boys...I've made so many mistakes and have struggled in my own faith over the last several years, but God has been so faithful and patient as I've been humbled and broken before Him....I'm so thankful for His love and grace in my life!!
One of the nights we were there, Francis Chan spoke and it was great!! He gave an illustration that has really stuck with me and forever will. He challenged me to not just live for the now and what happens in this lifetime, but to live with eternity in mind....wow!! We hear that all the time, but the video below is a great illustration of it.
I know, for me, that I spend a lot of time thinking about and dreaming about what I'm going to do during this lifetime....not really thinking about how short this life really is....even though I do recognize how precious life is and how in a moment everything, in what seems to be a "perfect" world, can be taken away....I've been there. As a 12 year old, on Feb. 14, 1985, my life was changed forever when my mom was home one day when I got home from school, in a coma a few hours later, and 4 days later gone from this world forever...I have to say, my little world was shattered in an instant and what happened back then has shaped much of who I am today, 26 years later. What and Who am I living for today?? I may not have tomorrow so I want today to count. I don't want to miss out on a chance to tell my boys how much I love them and how proud I am of them. I don't want to miss out on the chance to make a difference in the life of someone who doesn't know that there is more to this short time here on earth. I want to make each day count!!
So, as I stood in the Louisville, KY airport last week, on my way to OKC, I was reminded of what I heard the night before from Francis Chan. I stood behind a lady who was complaining about the line being so long to get through the security checkpoint and how they needed to have more people working, bla, bla, bla:) I just smiled at her, asked her if she was running late to catch her flight, which she wasn't, told her that maybe they were shorthanded because someone had called in sick, and just tried to be positive (even though my shoulder and back were tired from my heavy backpack and I was ready to get through the checkpoint too:). She just looked at me and continued to pace and grumble. I don't know what she'd been through that morning or the day before or what her life was like, but I do hope that in that few moments in line she was able to see, not me, but Him shining through me. This life is short...just a small red mark on a rope...but I want to live with eternity in mind.
So, the first thing I'm going to work on in my "countdown to 40" is...
1. Being positive, even when those around me are being negative. This kind of piggybacks what I talked about in my last post about things I've learned from my past....learning to focus on the positive things from my past and not the negative things. I want to be someone who is positive and encouraging in a sometimes very negative and discouraging world. I love being around positive people...they are uplifting and fun to be around....I hope I can be that to others around me, even those I only come in contact one time in my lifetime. God, help me to live my life in such a way that others see You through me.