To be truthful, I have had a lot of negative retrospection these past months as well, with if only…I should have…perhaps I could have…and on and on. The hard part is knowing that if I should have, or could have, it is too late now. Of course the scriptures also remind me that I do not have the power to add or subtract a day from my own life, let alone my child’s life, or that of anyone else. In my weird sense of humor I can admit that if I had that power, some lives would have been extended and others abruptly cut off – likely including my own on an infamous PMS day! It is a comfort, therefore, to be reminded that only God has that power.
As I’ve looked through many of my daughter’s email messages to me, I’ve noticed several consistent things – two most importantly.
One – her faith. No matter how her faith was stretched or challenged the basics remained the same. God was God – Elohim. Jesus was God’s son who gave His life and glory for our sin, and the Bible was God’s Words.
Some call it the life or ‘cards’ you are dealt, fate, your days. Laurie accepted who she was, who I was, and whatever came up in her life. She got more distressed about injustice done to another person who couldn’t or wouldn’t speak up for themselves than she did about personal injustices. Oh, she ranted like the rest of us women. Shortly after the birth of her first child I was tempted to have a poster made of her with a Bible in one hand and a breast pump in the other! One email message stated it well – that yes we will have many obstacles and outrages but they should not be able to reach, touch or change the internal. They are there, they must be dealt with, but they are only external – hope is the internal.
So – how does this get me to Reverse Resolutions? It is because I’ve read such comforting and encouraging things in her emails that I’ve come to writing things that God accomplished for which I can be thankful. Journaling these moments of thankfulness gives me encouragement that based on our history with God in our midst – what He has done in us in the past – He will be doing something more in the future.
My word of the year is Live. A granddaughter was with me when I got it and to her, it was ridiculous. But to other moms who have lost a child it is fully understood.
So here are three of my reverse resolutions that activate the 2015 word of the year – Live:
This year instead of focusing on giving up certain foods, I am instead adding more deliciously natural delights to rebuild and restore a healthy lifestyle. Pumpkin pancakes, coconut macaroons, zucchini lemon and garlic noodles and veggies and dill dip don’t sound so painful do they? I have already found adding ON the healthy foods, has already taken off 10# without trying. Interesting how that works.
Instead of whining because we couldn’t exchange gifts at Christmas, and remembering 2014 as one of the toughest years of my life, I’m making a list of things I received and experienced last year. I’m startled how quickly a lot of love, support and surprising gifts had been obliterated by the fog of grief. As I add ON to the thankful list, I find a growth in appreciation for what I already have and an eagerness to share replacing the former consuming desire for more. I’ve lost a couple carloads of “stuff” too – and quite painlessly.
When you have lost a child, rest can almost be a fearful thing – a place where I cannot hide from clamoring thoughts, sad memories of my loss, regret, and helpless feelings that can lead to depression. So I have added purposeful times of rest. Rest – and peace – can come from different things for different people. For me it comes from reading, losing myself in music, photographing nature, and writing for worship. Instead of focusing on what I think I want to get done, or should get done, I am practicing playing hooky! By adding a couple times a day where I curl up in my favorite chair, in the sun-splashed chair in Ken’s study, or take a walk, I am careful to warn my hubby that I am unavailable to calls until I am done. Adding these seemingly selfish moments, has slowed down my formerly frantic pace, and I find I am accomplishing more when I do work than I had before.
Luke 6:44 The health of the apple tells the health of the tree. You must begin with your own life-giving lives.
Got any reverse resolutions? Please share!