On occasion, time does stand still in my hectic world, and I’m drawn into the moment. Leaning in, I try to listen to the world around, hoping the essence of the moment does not fade. This week, has been an incredibly busy and emotional week, one that did not lend itself to many of those still moments. We’ve required the support of our village, and so thankful for family who have adjusted their lives for us. It’s been quite the dance, coragraphing schedules, booking flights, moving, attending holiday feasts, working, emceeing events, speaking to groups, and making sure bags are packed for the kids’ travel.
Not only did we move homes this week, but my grandfather also moved from his earthly home to his heavenly home. Prior to losing my first grandparent this week, God was already at work and preparing me, my heart and my mind for something I didn’t know was about to happen.
Let’s rewind to last weekend…It was Sunday morning and I was nestled in my seat at church, waiting for the service to begin. I let my head begin racing with all that had to get done for the week. I was thinking through the dance of the schedule, hoping to carefully execute everything that needed to get done.
As I sat listening to the melodic music, in my mind, I’m feeling I have a fairly good handle on the intricate steps of the week. Then, my phone buzzes. It was the weekly email from my daughter’s teacher, informing us of their daily topics for the week, schedule changes, and most importantly….whose “share week” it was…in taking a mental inventory of all that needed to get done for the week, I made a silent request in the church pew: “please Lord, don’t let it be Reagan’s share week. I can’t add one more thing to my plate.”…I quickly opened the email, scroll to the bottom and guess whose “share week” it was??? Yep, you guessed it…my little girl’s name appeared.
As most moms would agree, share-week (which is basically show-n-tell with some guidelines) has to be great! In my daughter’s class, it is recommended that what you are sharing coincide with lesson/topics of the week or it has to be something from nature. Fitting, because this week’s lesson was all about being thankful. I thought, “surely my little girl can think of a million things she’s thankful for.”
Immediately when we headed home from church, no later than the click of the car-seat buckle, I dove in.
“Hey Reagan, guess what!!!”
“It’s your share week!!! What do you want to take and share with your friends?”
“Okay, well, you can’t take your brother to share. This week is about thanksgiving. What would you like to share that you are thankful for?”
“Hmmm….(as her eyes point upward to the sky, as if she is in deep in though)…I want to share cookies.”
“Okay, that is great, but we’ll have a thanksgiving feast Friday and you don’t have to bring cookies. Let’s think of one thing you want to talk about that you love and are thankful for”
“I love my mommy, my brother, my daddy, and Jesus. Thems are my best friends”
“Well Reagan, would you like to take your bible and share with them about how thankful you are for Jesus.”
“YESSSSSSS!….and my pumpkin”
“Okay, you can take your bible and pumpkin.”
One more box added to the to-do list, but also checked off as quickly. I was feeling a bit relieved that we had quickly come up with a share day item(s) so quickly.
So, as the week rolled on, in addition to the craziness of the schedules and making sure I don’t forget to feed my kids, I was informed that my grandfather’s health was fading. News like that will rock your world and quickly shift your focus. I had to start thinking about how I could possibly get from Birmingham to Texas, how I was going to ask off work, when I would go…and and and. Clearly, in that moment, the world seemed to spin more slowly. Receiving that kind of call, you can’t help but to be reminded of your earthly responsibility and also making sure that you are doing your part in leaving a legacy of your own, all while supporting family through a difficult time.
Schedules are fleeting, death is permanent and eternity is forever. In that moment, when I froze in time, but it seemed like everything else around me kept on going, I realized that the timing of Reagan’s share week was perfect. Yes, it was ‘another thing to do’ but it was also the greatest thing to do! We have to talk about eternity and talk about Jesus being our best friend.
You see, my kids go to a secular school. It’s not a Christian school, there is no teaching of scripture, or singing songs of Jesus. There are many children from many different faiths and cultures. We love it! There are days I wrestle with sending them to a bible based preschool and staying the course with what we’re doing now.
This week, God affirmed our present decision by making it clear that, although my children may learn about Jesus at home and church, they GET to share him at school. (I even went so far as to contact the teacher and ask if it was okay for Reagan to bring her bible. Her response, “absolutely, if that’s what she wants to share, that’s what she gets to share.”) So, with much clarity God was telling me, this IS your mission field. Embrace it!
Overlaying the emotions that come with the finality of death and with the celebration of life, it became clear that my 3 year old was actually teaching me something about eternity. The really simple fact of it all is that…it’s ALL about eternity. We are heading to an eternal resting place.
There are lost people all around us. In our work place. In our neighborhoods. In our schools. We need more Reagans. We need believers among the lost. We need to be in places where we look different so we get to share why our light looks different.
My 3 year taught me so much this week…
1. To not be ashamed of the gospel
2. To share the good news of Jesus
3. To remind everyone that Jesus can be our best friend
Through the busyness of life, through the reality of death, through the certainty of eternity, I challenge everyone to be the light in the dark world around them this week. As we visit family, embrace the memories. I am leaving Fort Worth without being able to see my grandfather on this earth again. Hold tight to the truth of scripture and be an influence in the world around you. Do something to leave a legacy. Share a pumpkin and prayer this holiday season!