Trying to keep my ADD head in the game this weekend and it's going everywhere. Which is an ADDers confused excuse for "I was going to move the furniture, but I spent 2 hours on a table top display that still doesn't work instead." I was headed for the shower, got pulled off into dropping this old watercolor into a new frame, which is one I had planned for something else, so I need to put it on the shopping list and then someone brought up West Virginia where my mother is from and this is actually an old picture she was given back when Dad was in Vietnam and we had a boarder. I think he drew it, but don't quote me on that.
I'm surprised how well it looks in it's new frame, same grasscloth mat because that's just how we rolled in the 60's. Looking at it, I am just struck - really, like a firm punch from a boxing gloved hand - how MUCH she had in her life, how MUCH she was given, how MANY really good people she had for friends and family. But she was never grateful TOWARDS THEM for it. She never turned around and said, "I'm so glad I have you in my life. Let me cook your favorite things and invite people over and we'll celebrate YOUR birthday in style this year!"
She never cleaned up her own house and took care of the things she had, never made room for her family to enjoy being there, never would accept offers of help or a maid service, and never was grateful that so many people stepped up to help her when she wasn't getting the job done herself.
I looked that little watercolor and thought, "If only she had been thankful for all she had, she would have still had it." She would have had a full family around her helping, she would have had a lovely home and friends to fill it, and she would have probably lived a lot longer.
One thing that really came home to me in her final days and in the weeks following is that we all leave EVERYTHING behind when we die. We don't even take the clothes on our back when they lay us in the grave. It ALL stays here. The only thing you have any hope of taking with you are the personal relationships and the fruit of the seeds of kindness you sowed while you were here. SOME of that might last forever.
But you have to have a thankful heart while you are here. Recognize how much you've been given, how people and beauty are God's gift to you, you didn't earn any of it. Until you do, you don't even know they are there. You will just gripe and grasp for more, never knowing what's in your hands already.
I don't mean to be a grump. I'm actually having a fresh, new season in the gospel of John. Because I haven't been in church for awhile and haven't been listening to sermons all that much, I'm not really swimming in a sea of everyone else's opinions about the scriptures right now. As a mature Christian it's a first for me. I'm reading in true silence, with no other voice but the Lord, who is the Holy Spirit, to talk to me as I study.
There haven't been any doctrinal upheavals, but I have noticed some things that I've never heard preached before. I'll write up some of them and make my next post out of that. Maybe I can avoid any ADD or mother references. ;)