Thursday, April 1, 2010
Living Life on Purpose
First I want to say thank you to the many calls and cards and expressions of sympathy we received after the death of Richard's youngest brother, Brian. We were totally shocked to get the phone call that he had died of a massive heart attack. We left Nashville immediately to be with the family in Huntsville - about two hours away. It's unbelievable how quickly life can change!
I had just finished reading the book, One Month to Live by Kerry and Chris Shook, just the week before we heard about Brian. It was a challenge to live your life - doing the things that you would do if you knew that you only had one month to live. Things like genuinely loving others and building into their lives, forgiving others and not holding on to petty disagreements, saying things that you would want those closest to you to know, and basically loving God with all your heart.
Of course, the truth is that none of us know how long we have to live, so I vowed to do some things.
Keep my house cleaner. I know this seems trivial (and it is) but we left immediately and later I thought, "I'd hate someone to have to come in and clean it." Maybe I got this from my mom who would never leave on a vacation without the house being spotless, but sometimes I leave stuff laying around when it would only take a minute or two more to put it away.
Tell people you love them every time you talk to or see them. Mostly, I do this, but it's important to say the words that build others up rather than thinking that they know how you feel already. You never know when it might be the last time.
Slow down and enjoy each day. Sometimes I feel as if I rush through life to the next "have to" event. My schedule is not always determined by what I would like to be doing but by what's on the schedule. I know that is how life is, but I want to live more intentionally and in the present.
Write down your wishes. I have planned my own funeral. (I told Richard and the kids to buy the cheapest casket in the place as know they will hate to do that. A cheap pine box would be good for me as I'm not really there and don't want to waste good money! But I digress!) I want to write a letter to each person in my family so they will know my thoughts and last words to them.
We had just been at Brian's church the weekend before and he preached with such passion. He was a generous, caring person who loved God. I hope I leave a similar legacy. Please pray for his wife, Debbi and their three adult children - Brooke, Brandon, and Bethany.