I’m sick…really sick. I’ve never been this sick in my entire life…except for the scarlet fever I had when I was 13, but I don’t remember those 2 weeks of my life. I won’t bore you with the gory details…well…maybe I will. Did you know that Strep throat can travel to your other organs? Except by the time it gets to your kidneys, it’s no longer strep “throat”. I wonder if they call it strep kidneys…hmmm. I think maybe not…Anyway, talk about painful. In addition to this, my littlest one has had impetigo which is also caused by the streptococcus bacteria. This can actually lead to flesh eating disease, so we have had to wash his face, hands and arms with a prescription cleanser and apply antibiotic ointment. He is looking much better, but not entirely cleared up and this morning he started coughing (which I started 2 days ago) now I am wondering if I am developing pneumonia.
Throughout this time I have been having excruciating headaches and dizziness and that has prompted me to think about the many dear souls who are chronically ill or even terminally ill. They are in constant pain, with the knowledge that there is no light at the end of their tunnel…at least not on this earth. I have wondered how I would function if I were terminally ill and in pain 24/7.
All that thinking about being terminally ill, lead to thinking about my family and how they would handle me dieing but more importantly, if I did die…what would I leave behind? And by that I don’t mean who I would leave behind. I already know that, my beautiful man, our 6 kids and one grand-baby. What I meant by “what would I leave behind” is what would I be leaving them? What will my legacy be? What will there inheritance be? How will they remember me?
I know that some might think these are morbid thoughts, but for those of us who live with an eternal perspective, I believe this is a must. We must question our actions, our motives, and our impact on others. In my journal I wondered the same things I have been wondering of late.November 2, 2005: “I often wonder how I will be remembered by my Husband & children. What will they say about me when I am gone? Will a sweet smile come to their faces when they think of me? Will they carry on the traditions I started? Will they speak well of me to their own children? I have stumbled and fumbled through these years … 22 years of parenting. Will they resent me for this?”
I’m pretty sure I’m not going to die from this strep thing, but I think it is healthy to hold ourselves accountable for the impact and impressions we will leave on others, especially the ones that God has entrusted us with. He gave me a beautiful man to love and honour. Am I doing that? I hope so…I know I need him more than oxygen. How to get him to need me that same way remains the elusive dream. But I will honour and love and cherish him till the day I die.
And hopefully my daughters will find men just like him and will know from my model how God wants them to treat their husbands. God also gave us 6 amazing children. How I have done with them still remains to be seen. If I could measure my success as a parent by the amount of love I have in my heart for each of them, then I would be the best parent on the planet! But unfortunately there is so much more to it and God doesn’t send them with a manuel…well He does, but we actually have to read the Bible and spend time with Him to hear Him.
I have, at times failed my children, just by not spending time with Him. Then there are the things we cannot protect them from. Like people who also have an obligation to them, but treat them as pawns and use them to either make them look good or to use against those of us who truly love them. God help the man who has messed with my children…he will answer one day.
Beyond that, what will they say? In that same journal entry I wrote: “I am in a season where more than half of my children either think I’m stupid or they hate me for even being involved in their lives. It’s kind of lonely. But I believe they are worth it. How your heart must break LORD when we turn our backs on you or don’t allow you to help us. Forgive me Father.”
I guess in the end we wont be able to control others’ perceptions of us, but will matter is what He says when we stand before Him. Will He say, “Well done my good and faithful servant”? Let it be so dear God! In the mean time, I will try to keep the thoughts in the front of my mind that every little thing we do here, in this little blip of time on the huge time line of eternity is counting for eternity.
I will remember that I want my kids to say to their kids, “my mom was the sweetest lady, and I always knew she loved me, and I always knew I had a soft place to fall with her”. I want them smile sweetly when they hear a song I used to sing and hear my voice whispering, “I love you - - - don’t forget”. I want them to treasure every memory they have of me. I want their heritage to be rich and full of love, so that they in turn will love the spouse and children God gives them well.
And that is why, I press on.
“I'm not saying that I have this all together, that I have it made. But I am well on my way, reaching out for Christ, who has so wondrously reached out for me. Friends, don't get me wrong: By no means do I count myself an expert in all of this, but I've got my eye on the goal, where God is beckoning us onward—to Jesus. I'm off and running and I'm not turning back.” ~Philippians 3:12-14
”I've learned by now to be quite content whatever my circumstances. I'm just as happy with little as with much, with much as with little. I've found the recipe for being happy whether full or hungry, hands full or hands empty. Whatever I have, wherever I am, I can make it through anything in the One who makes me who I am.” ~Philippians 4:11-13