I've been thinking a lot the last few years about dying. I know, it sounds totally morbid. But I think it's a great exercise for every human. To take time to think about your funeral, what you hope people will say, what you hope they will remember about you when you're gone. What heritage you are passing on to your children. What your life will have said about you, about God, about what's important. On the one hand I've always hoped I would know ahead of time that I was about to die so that I could say the things I need to say before I'm gone. On the other hand I've hoped I would go quickly, without a warning. It would also be awesome to be here when Jesus comes back and takes me to heaven Himself. Since none of us really knows how or when we will go, I'd like to put my thoughts out there as often as possible so there is no doubt how I will be remembered. :)
I hope that I don't stress about the cleanliness of my house so much that it steals my joy or sacrifices the peaceful atmosphere of my home. I've heard it said once, "When you are gone, people won't remember what car you drove or how nice your house was or how many degrees you had. But people will remember how you made them feel." I'm sure this principle is magnified within the home. My children will remember if I laughed, if I stopped what I was doing to play with them, if I kept my joy even in the midst of stress and mess. You don't hear many people say at funerals, "I'm so glad she kept her house so spotless. We never got to hang out with her because she was always cleaning, but wow isn't it great that her house is so clean? So glad that's how she spent her time." Yes, this is why my house is rarely spotless. It's not worth it to me. I would rather play Scrabble with Maggie or snuggle with Rosie. And I believe they will remember those moments when I'm gone far more than they will appreciate having had a spotless house.
I hope that when I think something nice about someone, I will say it to them. And I'm not talking flattery, but genuine compliments. Everybody has something really awesome about them. If you think it, you should say it. I recently noticed that a friend of mine had great legs, so I told her. It took her off guard a little, but I think she appreciated it. :) I hope I do that often. Who doesn't like to be lifted up?
I hope that I genuinely forgive and keep on forgiving those who let me down. Nobody is perfect. Everyone in my life has let me down at some point or another. If I only loved the ones who didn't, I would be very lonely and have no one left to love. How terrible! I hope others will be as forgiving and gracious toward me. Speaking of forgiveness, I hope that I never destroy Allie's life by saying anything negative to her about her dad. If I can't think of anything nice to say, I hope I don't say anything at all. She has two imperfect parents who love her very much. I hope my life teaches her how to be gracious and forgiving with the faults of others. That love is a verb and it is sometimes very hard work. As Maroon 5 so elegantly stated, "It's not always rainbows and butterflies, it's compromise that moves us along. My heart is full and my door's always open, you come anytime you want." Basically I hope I remember that life is all about relationships and that I will keep that as my focus. My relationship with the Lord first and foremost. My relationship with Brian as being more important than any other earthly relationship, the one that is worth my time and my effort and my hard work and energy. Worth biting my tongue when I want to say something that would hurt. Worth letting go of the little stressors and energy busters, the "little foxes that spoil the vine", so I can love him well. That I will remember that my job is to prepare my children for life by giving them roots and wings. I hope I will remember in all my other relationships that very few things are worth fighting about, and that love really is a verb.
I hope that in schooling my children at home, I will remember that character is the biggest priority. It's good to know math facts and how to conjugate verbs, but far more important to learn honesty, integrity, and hard work. I hope I will remember that "The atmosphere of the home is breathed in by the child, and exerts and influence in his training more than all other things put together. The child receives more by unconscious absorption than in any other way." -S.D. Gordon I hope we will do science projects and take nature walks and go on lots of field trips. I hope I breathe life into them every day.
I have lots of regrets, but. . .
I'm so glad that I have been skydiving and lived to tell about it.
I'm so glad I took a girls' trip to the Dominican Republic, where we did topless aerobics on the beach with the locals. :)
I'm so glad I've been repelling and hiked at least a small part of the Appalachian Trail.
I'm so glad I have experienced a natural birth and the joy of nursing a child. I'm so glad I've let them sleep with me in the first few months.
I'm so glad that I married the man that I did. He's perfect for me.
I'm so glad I've been given the opportunity to stay at home with my children these few short years of their childhood.
I'm so glad I've traveled a lot. I hope to travel a lot more and take my family with me. I hope that we take a cross-country RV road trip at some point and travel on Route 66. I hope we all get the opportunity to do missions in a third world country together.
I'm so glad God has given me the ability to run in the mornings and see the sunrise.
I'm so glad I have the friends that I do. I hope I never take them for granted. I hope they feel refreshed and full of joy after leaving my presence.
I hope that my funeral will be the biggest celebration/party/praise and worship session that any of my people have ever been to. I hope there will be joy and laughter there.
I hope all my organs go to people who need them. It would be really awesome to give my heart, my kidneys, and anything else that can be given, to someone who needs them to live. Please make sure that happens.
I hope my children find my Bible and prayer journals and are inspired by them.
I hope they know that I love them more than they can imagine, but God loves them even more. I hope I see them all in heaven.
I hope I read this list often and remember what's truly important while I'm still alive.