Reflections on Tuesday, August 21st

If you've been following along with my daily devotions for any length of time, you know by now that I often write about whatever is going on with me at the moment.  

This past year I've had more than a few occasions to reflect on grief and loss.  I've heard from many of you that those reflections were helpful in your own journey, and for that I'm grateful.  Perhaps today's reflection will be helpful, too. 

Today is my mother's birthday--the first of many that I'll celebrate without her in the world.  I've been quietly dreading this day for a while, but now that it's here, at last, I'm not sure how I feel.  

It's strange for this day to come, and for there to be no planned celebration, no family dinner, no present to buy.  Instead, I have a staff meeting today, a pastoral care team meeting, a meeting with the church Treasurer and I'll cap the day off with a church board meeting this evening.  

Mix in a handful of errands and other chores that have to get done, and there you go.  Now today is just Tuesday. 

I'm thinking this morning about our last birthday celebration with my mom, which was a year ago.  I remember asking her what she wanted for her birthday and she said, "A cookout."  

For my mom, that was the best way to celebrate her birthday--watching her grandsons play in the pool, laughing at a funny story one of us told and eating my hamburgers, which she always said were the best she'd ever tasted.  

I'm going to hold the memory of that celebration close today.  It's a good memory, and it makes me smile to think about it.  

And it speaks to me so clearly of what my mom truly valued in life.  You see, there was nothing more important to her than family--except maybe her steadfast faith in Jesus, which honestly informed how she prioritized what mattered to her.  

So today I want to offer you a bit of heartfelt and gentle encouragement.    

If there is someone that you have been thinking you need to reach out to and tell them that you love them--don't wait on that.  Go and do it right now.  If you have been putting off getting together with friends or loved ones because you've been too busy--make the time.  

The things that don't really matter can wait.  

May the grace and peace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you now and always. Amen.  

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