Six Weeks and Counting. . .

Al and I had to make a somewhat risky decision six weeks ago. With the pandemic looming, we had to decide whether or not to attend a wedding of our friends’ youngest daughter Phoebe and her sweet Jacob. We decided to go and were blessed to ride downtown with a couple of great friends we too seldom spend time with.

The next day we went to church as usual. But after listening to the news that afternoon about the Coronavirus, I decided to stay home from Bible study. Since then, our church has depended upon livestream worship and Zoom. Our lives together had changed—suddenly and drastically.

Since then we’ve crossed out over 20 events, appointments, etc. on our March-April calendars, cancelled an Airbnb in Flagstaff, AZ for our May family reunion, and thankfully not gotten COVID-19.

With all the changes have come new insight and skills. From YouTube, I’ve learned to make pompons for knitted hats completed for next year’s NBA All-Star game and face masks that have been donated to St. Francis Hospice and Valle Vista Health as well as given to family and friends. BTW: I’m still making them if you need some. And of course, I’ve learned to Zoom.

How have I spent my time? I’ve zigzagged between writing, reading, cooking, baking, sewing, bike riding, practicing yoga, and most recently gardening. Some things haven’t changed much. I still get up at 6am Monday through Friday and walk with two friends around the neighborhood for 40 minutes with social distancing, of course! Al and I still watch TV or movies almost every night. BTW: If you haven’t seen vintage movies such as Lilies of the Field or Casablanca, now would be a good time.

The absolute BEST part of these past six weeks, however, has been not looking forward to the next event or activity but enjoying the NOW. I’ve listened to and watched more birds than I have in my entire life. My time with God doesn’t stop with the morning study, prayer and devotional. I’ve felt His presence throughout the day—especially when I wash my hands reciting James 4:7-8. I think He gets a big kick out of that.

Relish this time. And count your blessings—one by one.

In the Rearview Mirror

I blink! Another year passes. And another. In my seventh decade, time has shifted into warp speed. When I realized 2019 closed out a decade, I couldn’t help but reflect on the last ten years.

On January 1, 2010, I would not have known my parents would pass into eternity within the decade’s first three years. Neither would I’ve comprehended that our children would marry the loves of their lives and then grace Al and me with the most beautiful granddaughters in the universe. Too often I said they would never marry. “Al and I will never be grandparents!”

Thankfully I was wrong!

 I’m not going to make any New Year’s predictions for 2020 or for any decade to come. I truly don’t want to know the future this side of Heaven. If I’ve learned one thing in 65 years, it’s this: I don’t know what tomorrow brings so I will live in real time, praising a real Savior.

Jesus cradles my time and circumstances in his hands. How do I know that? From the past. He’s been faithful and I know He cares for me now and forever.

If you don’t have Jesus in your life, consider the fact that He died to give you eternal life. While time in this finite world matters, it’s not the end of your story. Nor is it the end of mine.

Look back but also look ahead. Your final destination is at stake.

Best Yet

Last week my husband Al decided it was time to talk about my upcoming birthday. Thinking this meeting was going to be all about me, I was thrilled.

As we sat together at the kitchen table, a new reality trampled my expectations as he pulled out spreadsheets—never a good sign. Groaning, I immediately thought, “Oh no!  Budget adjustments for 2019.” Welcome to retirement world!

Instead my birthday tĂŞte-Ă -tĂŞte with my beloved delved into the amazing world of Medicare, where part and plan are not interchangeable. Supplements are not advantages and donut holes are not edible.

My first question: “Am I really going to be 65 this year?” Surely not!  I remember thinking my folks were old when they were in their mid-sixties. Father Time could not have thrown me into that future so quickly, could he?

In my mind, I’m mid-forties at the most. But I will admit that sometimes my body and mind don’t concur with that calculation—such as when I get out of bed in the morning and wonder how long it will take to straighten up and walk a straight line. Or when I walk into a room, look around, and wonder why I’m there. Or when I spend way too much time chasing down my phone. That little techie rascal plays hide-n-seek.

But wait a minute. I’m not complaining! I praise God that He has given me 65 years of a good life, a blessed life, in fact.  Born into a great family, being married to an amazing man, having healthy children and grandchildren. and a multitude of loving friends—I have no reason to complain. Ever!

The best part is that God sees my being 65 years old as just a blip in time. He made us to live forever.  All we need is to trust in Jesus Christ. After all, the Son of God conquered death on our behalf. Life everlasting is ours through Christ alone.

The best is yet to come.

So we do not lose heart. Though our outer self] is wasting away, our inner self is being renewed day by day.  For this light momentary affliction is preparing for us an eternal weight of glory beyond all comparison, as we look not to the things that are seen but to the things that are unseen. For the things that are seen are transient, but the things that are unseen are eternal.  2 Corinthians 4:16-18, ESV