I just read the following words written by Mary Beth Chapman, mother of little Maria that passed away in May.
As I anticipate Christmas 2008, I have many thoughts flying through my heart and head. The last several days, my mind has not been able to stop thinking about Mary, the mother of Jesus. Pregnant and scared, knowing that the baby she was carrying eventually would pay the ultimate price of His life. How would I have lived differently if I knew that my time with Maria was going to be this short? Regretfully, I would have lived much differently. I would have purposely hugged and kissed more. I would have tried to memorize and lock away in my heart certain smells and smiles. I would have colored more and worked less. I would have laughed more and fussed less. Bedtime wouldn’t have become a chore to check off the list of things to get done. Instead it would have been more of an opportunity to listen about the day and offer whatever words were needed. The swimming pool wouldn’t have been too cold to swim in. The flowers in the garden would have all been picked, and definitely more ice cream would have been consumed!
Why is it, even when we know our days with our loved ones will be so short (and some so much shorter than we could ever anticipate), do we make vows to enjoy our time with them more, then let it go? Why do I constantly have to be reminded of how much I'll miss these days? Why can't I just remember that my kids will one day, much too soon, be grown? Why do I shoo them away while I'm trying to clean the kitchen, instead of taking the time to play with them and hear their laughter? Why do I care how much dog hair is on my carpet instead of just having fun with my kids and letting them stay up late to cuddle?
I am feeling very convicted right now. Though my time on the computer has been cut drastically lately, it's only been to spend more time on my house. Constant cleaning and organizing is still leaving my kids without an active mommy. And I feel horrible about it right now.
Despite all the best intentions, I don't feel like I'm living very purposefully right now.