I attended another funeral last week. This time I thought it would be “easier” on me since the sweet woman was able to meet some of her great-grandchildren before meeting Jesus face to face.
I was wrong. It was hard.
I cried lots of tears. But it was a different kind of hard than the many funerals I’ve attended for younger-in-age friends and family. This precious great-grandmother (she was the mother of a friend from my church) had favorite memories written down by her grandchildren to be read aloud by the minister during the funeral service.
Over and over the theme from their memories illustrated how loved her grandchildren felt and how present she was in their lives. From long talks over home cooked meals, attending Razorback ball games together, sleep overs always ending the next morning with chocolate gravy, and the example of Jesus prevalent in her life, this family knew what was important to her.
As this theme of being “present” kept showing up in their memories, it reminded me of a magnet I read on a friend’s refrigerator last week.
I love this so much, “Wherever you are, BE ALL THERE.”
How do I be all there? I’m working on this answer. So far I realize I need to really listen to whoever is with me in the room. With my mind, ears, body language, all of it. My precious 5 year old son, has an
annoying sweet habit of turning my head with his hands so that I will look right at him while he’s speaking. He needs me to be ALL THERE. (And I’m trying within reason! “I can’t look at you while I’m chopping this onion…or driving…or changing a diaper!!)
But when it’s possible for me to be ALL THERE–wherever “there” happens to be at the time, it is a beautiful thing to attempt. The worries, to-do lists, expectations all fade to the background and I can experience a peaceful, unrushed joy in the moment. What a gift.
I’ve been accepting rest as part of my well-being, to become more unrushed. I’m not sure why it’s so hard to allow myself to just “be still and know.” Maybe it’s the season I am in of three small kiddos. (Do you realize that means I’m in charge of trimming 80 fingernails and toenails?! Tyler fends for himself…)
But seriously, this idea that I must be so busy every second of every day in order to prove what? My worth? Acceptance? Or even worse, checking enough boxes to earn or prove my salvation? It is so ridiculous, but I was trying to do it…Until God showed me the error of my ways.
“Yes, my soul, find rest in God;
my hope comes from him.” Psalm 62:5
It was a painful process to let go of some areas of my life that kept me from finding rest, but it was oh so very necessary in order to love well.
So as I have moved from my word study of “rest” into practicing it with my “new” for this year, I have a firmer resolve: To be remembered by my children, and Lord willing, my grandchildren as not only present in their lives, but all there…and that I loved them.
What is holding you back from being “all there?” Here’s a question for you that’s also for me: Are you finding time to rest each day with Jesus in order to love others well?
“Let me give you a new command: Love one another. In the same way I loved you, you love one another. This is how everyone will recognize that you are my disciples—when they see the love you have for each other.” John 13-34:35