Choose Before You Lose the Choice

IMG_0192I’ve always prided myself on being independent. I enjoy my privacy and “me” time. I can sit for hours reading a book or watching “chick” flicks and be totally content. When I was a young girl, I could completely tune anybody out if I had a good book in my hand. I have gone to movies and restaurants completely by myself. I never realized how much I would miss the presence of just being in the company of another woman. Not til recently that is. You see, we lost my mother- in- law to a fight with pancreatic cancer last summer. On July 7th, it will have been a year.  When we would visit, she would just sit in the same room with me, while the guys would be watching football or NASCAR, or whatever stupid stuff that guys watch. I admit, at times, it slightly annoyed me. I just wanted to be left alone. With a new baby and working part time and keeping the house in order, it was nice to get away, to not have to worry with responsibility, to not worry about spending the few hours my baby was asleep in getting the laundry done, getting dinner started, etc. Even when my baby was awake, she was entertained by “Mimi”, and her uncle and “Pop”, and I could get even more time to myself or just feel free to be with my daughter without having 15 million tasks in my head. I longed for alone time, as it had become a luxury.

Now, it’s changed. There are still the presence of people, but nobody is there to just talk, or just be. (Not in the same way, at least). I try not to live with regrets, but I regret not utilizing that time to open up and talk, instead of selfishly reading my magazines or books. Sometimes, now, I wish for someone to just sit with me, not having to say a word. I know it will get easier, but it was not expected so soon. You never have enough time. The choice is gone, the choice to talk or the choice to be silent. Not that I can’t talk to the rest of the family members, but as all women know, it is not the same. God made men and women different, and we need both for a reason.

So the next time you find yourself getting annoyed, remember you nor they will be in this world forever. God plants you in this world and other people’s lives for a  reason. Don’t waste your time not realizing what you might be missing one day. One day you won’t get the choice.

As we approach the year anniversary of our loss, we have recently lost another family member to cancer.  The upcoming anniversary of my mother-in-law’s death and the recent loss of my husband’s beloved uncle serve as reminders for us to live in the moment. And to remember, that if it is not going to matter in a year or five years, then it should not matter now.  This has always been a challenge for me, as I do have the tendency to worry and be overly critical. I tend to avoid the awkwardness of those “touchy, feely” moments”. I am not the girl who needs lots of affection. Not that I don’t love my family or my husband’s family, I just don’t have the inclination to always be holding  or hugging somebody. My love language tends to be more quality time and acts of service then touch. Being that I am almost 8 months pregnant, I do not enjoy people touching my belly, even if they are family. I will let them, but it is honestly just awkward to have anybody touch my belly, including my husband. Now of course I will let my husband touch my belly, as I want him to feel his son kick. (and kick he does!)

I know we all get busy in our own lives, and our intentions are rarely to not spend time with our loved ones, but truly our time is fleeting.  Recent events in my own town serves as a reminder of that as well. Recently there was a horrific crash, totaling six people dead and three more injured.  These were wives and husbands and fathers and mothers and friends. It all seems so meaningless, but let it remind us that our life on earth is but a moment. I see it all too much in my career as a nurse:  A young man’s life taken from one silly driving mistake, by him or others. A bad judgment call of the elderly women, only to cause her to fall and hit her head.  A complete accident on a horse or at your job, that can completely paralyze you or take away your ability to work. It only takes one of these times for you to know that life is too short. We need to hug our loved ones close and let them know how important they are to us.  Love like it is your last day. I don’t mean you have to spend every last moment checking off your bucket list, and telling people you love them constantly. We all have our daily tasks that are important in their own right. But don’t let it consume you, and even through the fights and tears that we all have, make sure your husband or parents or children, or anybody else in your life know that they are loved. Maybe all you need to do is send a text, maybe it is a phone call to a long lost friend, maybe it is a hug or reaching out and holding somebody’s hand, maybe it is simply being in their presence or bringing them their favorite tea or coffee. We all have ways of showing love, we just need to choose that path.

My mother-in-law was a great example of loving like it was your last day. She had a servant’s heart. You knew you were loved in her presence. Even in her sickness and last days, her utmost concern was for others. She must have learned the art of loving early. She lost her mother at a young adult age, too young in a tragic accident. She must have known all too well how fleeting life could be and how one phone call could change your life forever. She had not time to anticipate a loss; one day her mother was alive, the next day she wasn’t. I did not know her then, but I can only imagine how that would change your perspective on love and life. She also did not get married until her late 20s or early 30s.  For that generation, I can only imagine the pressure she felt to settle down. I can imagine when she did finally find that love, she was not going to let it go without a fight.

You can’t always control life and what may or may not happen to you, but you always have a choice. To know you need to love everyday is one thing, to practice the art of loving and choosing to love everyday, that is extraordinary.

Choose to Fight for Love! Choose to Love Everyday

What are some ways you can show love today?

“If I could speak all the languages of earth and of angels, but didn’t love others, I would only be a noisy gong or a clanging cymbal. If I had the gift of prophecy, and if I understood all of God’s secret plans and possessed all knowledge, and if I had such faith that I could move mountains, but didn’t love others, I would be nothing. If I gave everything I have to the poor and even sacrificed my body, I could boast about it, but if I didn’t love others, I would have gained nothing. Love is patient and kind. Love is not jealous or boastful or proud or rude. It does not demand its own way. It is not irritable and it keeps no record of being wronged. It does not rejoice about injustice but rejoices whenever the truth wins out. Love never gives up, never loses faith, is always hopeful and endures through every circumstance. Prophecy and speaking in unknown languages and special knowledge will become useless. But love will last forever! Now our knowledge is partial and incomplete, and even the gift of prophecy reveals only part of the whole picture! But when the time of perfection comes these partial things will become useless. Three things will last forever-faith, hope, and love-and the greatest of these is love. “ 1 Corinthians 13: 1-10, 13

Thank you for reading! Please feel free to share if these words helped you in any way. My prayer is for God to use my words for his glory!

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One thought on “Choose Before You Lose the Choice

  1. Yes, ❤ is everything…

    Liked by 1 person

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