So there is a lot to be thankful for this week for sure…
There were some cool victories for my kids like an internship (paid even, phew!), decisions made, and confirmations that they are right where they need to be. And another victory of my daughter passing a not-so-easy test ( the BEAR of the NC Realtor’s Licensing Exam.) There were also some not-so-cool or fun ‘opportunities’ that lead to eyes wide open and determinations made and support in the form of tighter boundaries. I was also thankful for the last few days of break and time well spent, and then the week of back-to-work routine and structure and goals. Good to have a balance of both for sure. I mean, I love love love free time, but it’s also so good to have structure.
But the thing that I’m more thankful for than anything this week is the whole ‘against-all-odds’ grace and provision that we experienced this past Sunday. My husband’s mom, my kids’ grandma, and my mother-in-law (who is so much more to me than a ‘mother in law’), had a heart attack. Sunday morning as I was just walking in to do nursery duty at church, I got the call from Buddy. Within the hour, we were all on our way back down to the South Carolina Coast to see her. By the time we had left to go see her, she had two stints put in and was reported to be doing well. (After 80% block and 100% block, that was huge.) When we saw her, she was tired, but her usual pleasant self and she seemed more worried about her cat than herself.
So, the details of the week aren’t important, but what is such a significant gift is that we were spared a tragic loss and we know it.
Sometimes in life we’re not spared. Sometimes we are. And maybe the times when we’re not make us appreciate the times when we are so much more.
The light yellow orchid in the photo is my mother in law’s favorite color. I took the photo of this while I was down at her house about a week before she had the heart attack. I mean, this little flower is just beautiful and its beauty brightens up the room. It blooms and blooms and blooms… The beautiful pale yellow blossoms are so delicate and appear on such a regular basis, that on many occasions, we’ve marveled at the frequency of the blooms.
We’ve marveled because from what I understand, orchids are only supposed to bloom once or twice a year. Not so with this orchid. It’s an against-the-odds kind of thing.
This little orchid has bloomed in season and out with little care or work. Just a little sunlight, just a little water. Then whatever it is that is that thing that we can’t manufacture… the component that is beyond the seeds and stem, beyond the roots and blooms, …that element called LIFE… inhabits that little plant and makes it beautiful…and makes it bloom.
None of us knows how long that breath called “life” will be in us. We don’t. We can control a lot, but there are forces way beyond our realm that determine the number of our days. We don’t know whether we have 50 more years or 2.
Am thinking that this knowledge of the brevity of life and the belief that each day is truly a gift of God makes me want to be like that orchid…’blooming in season and out.’ I love that the blooms just seemingly come out of nowhere randomly on the bare sticks of the orchid…but they are a natural overflow from what’s in the plant. (Am thinking that gratitude to God for the big and the little things of life often flow out as beautiful grace.) These blooms are there for a season, then die, only to make room for another bloom to come in later.
I guess my thought is, that if we know that our days are numbered, it will hopefully make us want to make the most of the gift of each one, and that the overflow of that gratitude might just be to…well, bloom.
I’m so thankful my mother in law has more time here on earth. She’s like that beautiful light yellow orchid that brightens up a room, and lightens up our lives. I’m thankful for the many, many “near -misses” that have awakened me and can awaken us to the fact that each day is a gift received. Gifts can be used — or — put in a back closet. I mean, we get to choose what we do with the gift, right? But each day is a gift, regardless. Here’s to receiving it with arms open wide and a heart of thanks. I have a feeling that when we do that…beautiful things can flow out….kind of like the blooms on an orchid twig that just can’t help but bloom. Whether it’s in season or not.
But as for me, I trust in You, O Lord; I say, “You are my God.” My times are in Your hand. Psalm 31:14-15
Commit your way to the Lord; trust in him, and he will act. He will bring forth your righteousness as the light, and your justice as the noonday. Psalm 37:3-6