I’ve recently been shaken up by a series of tragic events in the lives of a few friends and friends of friends, or friends from the social media world. A few weeks ago, the world lost the bright, beautiful heart of Baby Boy Bakery – a young boy, age three, I did not have the privilege of knowing personally. His parents lost him to a horrible accident – hit by a car while playing in the neighborhood – many a parents’ nightmare. Then there was Trevor Davis – a musician/worship leader I’ve followed for many years – he and his wife lost their baby girl at only hours old due to some severe complications at birth. I can’t imagine the crushing devastation of having looked forward to bringing your first child into the world for so many months, only to never bring her home from the hospital. Then today, our friend and wedding photographer Karey lost her sister-in-law to yet another awful accident. The young mom of two suffered a terrible brain injury while skateboarding with her family at the park last weekend. She was just taken off life support and passed away within minutes. I’ve cried and cried reading each of these stories as my heart breaks for these couples and families. I can’t even begin to imagine the turmoil and heartbreak they are experiencing right now. At the end of the day I hug my baby boy and my husband both a little tighter… appreciate them and love on them just a little more than I did yesterday.
But amidst all of this heartache, I’ve experienced a new revelation for how short and temporary our lives here on earth truly are. This has put so many things into perspective for me – mostly, parenting. Deven and I have our own unique set of beliefs in terms of raising our kids, having a healthy home and other things that we place value on. We may butt heads over our decisions with friends and even family members. Sometimes I get all worked up over things like toxic chemicals in food and cleaning products, or the latest dietary guidelines I’ve decided to follow, or the vaccine debate. There have been days where I’ve let these concerns take over my mind and become my focus. I have this desire for everything to be a certain way, and I want everyone else to jump on board with me as well, and so I feel burdened to change the way everyone around me lives for the better (my version of better, of course).
Not only is this not my calling or my responsibility in life, but it truly matters so little. There are so many decisions you’ll be required to make as a parent – what to feed your kids, what you’ll allow in their tiny fragile bodies, what you’ll instill in their moldable little heads, where they will be schooled, what parenting methods you will practice. So much time can be spent researching all of these options, reading blogs and books and worrying about whether or not you are doing the right thing in any given moment in your parenthood journey. Oh and not to mention, everyone has a suggestion for you too.
The life of mortals is like grass, they flourish like a flower in the field;
the wind blows over it and it is gone, and its place remembers it no more.
But from everlasting to everlasting the Lord’s love is with those who fear him,
and his righteousness with their children’s children – with those who keep his covenant and remember to obey his precepts.
The Lord has established his throne in heaven, and his kingdom rules over all
This verse has been on repeat in my head for the last few days and I’ve been overcome with the realization of how fleeting and short our lives here on earth are. In the scheme of eternity, what is a mere 75 years? 100? I may have 60 more years to live, I may have 20 more. Or I may have just one more. And it’s okay. I used to think the people that looked forward to death or being in heaven more than this life were totally nuts. I like this life. But now I kind of get it. In this world there is worry, fear of death and all sorts of tragedy. When we arrive at home in heaven, there will be peace, health and joy overflowing – forever – with the people we love.
Our task here on earth is to live in light of our more permanent home – spend your time doing things that matter in eternity. Invest in people, your spouse, your children, your family. Make them happy. Don’t let them become an inconvenience to your schedule or your to-do list. Don’t allow foolish pleasures like clothes, toys, cars or well-decorated homes become your objective. If someone needs you, stop everything else you are doing and give them your time and your love. It could be your last day. And just do your best. Be the best parent you can – which inherently means you will most certainly not do everything right. Be the best spouse you’re able to – TODAY. None of us are guaranteed a single day, nor are our babies or our hubbies or anyone else we love so much. It’s imperative that we be present today.
Take heart that we are placed on this earth to enjoy relationships with one another. If you are a parent, God has given you a little blessing to enjoy during your 100 years here; but, ultimately, he belongs to the Lord. Do your very best on earth; honor and love the Lord. Then you will be able to look forward to the life after with great joy.