This story was a hard hitting reminder of the truth of life.
Last week was a heavy reminder how short this life is and how quickly it can change.
My mind and heart have been so heavy this week.
As you know, my husband is a firefighter. He's had some heavy hearted and deeply sad calls recently.
And last weekend, on Valentine's Day, he was on shift and called me shortly after getting to work.
Their first call of the day involved a sweet woman who woke up to find her husband had died in his sleep.
He was only 57.
Chris said when they walked in she was in utter shock.
There was a Valentine's Day card for him on the kitchen table waiting to be opened when he woke for the day.
I can only imagine the plans they had to celebrate the day together. Never, in a million years thinking this day together would not happen.
It is loss and grief I can not even wrap my mind around. It is stories like this I say "Why God? Why them?" If you have suffered this similar grief, my heart is so tender for you as you walk this path.
I am not sharing this story to bring sadness to your morning...I share this because I need these reminders. I get so wrapped up in the day to day of life that I can easily forget how precious it really is.
IT. IS. A. GIFT. EVERY. DAY.
It is a gift we both received today. You. Me. We are up. We are alive. God has you and I here. And stories like the one above, reminds me to love fiercely today.
There is someone today that needs your forgiveness.
There is someone today that is heavy on your heart that needs your encouragement.
There is someone today that needs the gift of your time.
There is someone today that needs you to pick up the phone and ask them how they are doing.
There is someone today that needs your reassurance.
I know, I know, you are busy, you are barely keeping your own family or yourself afloat etc. I get it. I make the excuses too but something tells me this now widow also thought "we have time to do that. We will do it tomorrow." But tomorrow didn't happen.
I want a life with less regrets.
I want a life where there is intention followed by action and real presence.
I want a life where my love I give isn't just when it's convenient or planned in my schedule.
And it won't ever be perfectly timed and crafted.
It will be inconvenient most days. We will come up with excuses.
Because we are all a bit selfish, okay, sorry, maybe that's just me...I am not calling you on that. I just know I can be.
Many days, I want everything to line up on my timeline.
What this heartbreaking story reminds me of is this life is short. And being intentional has to be a practice every single day with the people who matter most.
Even after this kick in the stomach with the story above, I still struggle.
The other night, I was tired. Chris wanted a date on the patio, I wanted to snuggle up in my bed. I said 'no' and then quickly my heart drew back to what I just told myself to do...say 'yes' to the people that matter most. Don't wait for it to work for your schedule.
And so, jammies and all, we had the BEST date by the fire on the patio. Unplanned and perfect.
I want LOTS of those moments etched deep in my mind and planted in my heart forever.
Stay up late.
Go on the date.
Have the much needed heart felt, hard conversation.
Extend grace even if you think they don't deserve it.
Make the cookies and drop them to their door.
Stop keeping track of what they forgot to do.
Buy their coffee.
Smile at them.
And above it all, love them fiercely today because today is what we all got and today we've got to make it count.
And friend, will you remind me of the urgency of this on the days I fail at this or grow tired of it? Will ya? Thank you.
Let's keep working at our hearts together. Let's let God do all the goodness inside.