The beauty of life…

Three separate and seemingly unrelated experiences today reminded me of the beauty of life…

Waiting for food at a local restaurant I spied a friend of mine who I hadn’t seen for years…well, maybe only 18 months.  I knew that he and his wife had recently had a baby and I was so excited to see all of them on the opposite side of the room.  I was even more excited to see their newborn was with them sleeping peacefully in the booth.  They joyfully let me hold her and take her to my table while they ate a few bites with the ease new parents are not accustomed to experiencing.  It was one of the highlights of my day.  She was so precious in my arms and I marveled at how just yesterday I held Addison in my arms the same way…

…and now Addison is 10.  She finished grade school today.  She proudly represented her class by making a speech to the hundreds of people who were present.  She walked across the stage as they called her name.  She was ready to leave Elementary School as a thing of the past.  She is a child of relentless forward motion.  I marvel at her self confidence, joy and innocence.  I pray she is able to keep her confidence even when she fails miserably because she’s trying to experience so many new things that are outside of her comfort zone.  I long for her to remain joyful as she lives life to the fullest.  I want her to remain innocent, yet wise in the ways of the world.  I hope she is always open to talking to me about what’s happening in her life with her friends….and school…and sex…and boys…and God.  I want her to be able to tell me everything (ok…maybe not everything), but at least the important stuff.

I talked about some important stuff with my uncle yesterday and received a text from him today that told me there had been no change in my grandma’s status.  She’s been unresponsive for three days now without food or drink.  Her breathing is more shallow and the moments in between breaths are further apart.  She is likely hours or days away from taking her final breath.  She’s ready.  So is my uncle.  So am I.  She has lived an amazing 94 years, loving people to the best of her abilities.  She didn’t always get it right.  None of us do.  She was a fearless follower of Jesus who was a prayer warrior to the very end.  Somehow at this stage in her life I believe she’s still praying and that God is still listening.

At the beginning of life, in the middle and at the end God grants us the grace to experience joy unspeakable and sorrow because a life was lived well.  God allows us to celebrate markers as we move from one stage of life to the next, always carving out the path we follow.  God picks us up when we make mistakes and provides opportunities to step boldly into the future to fearlessly follow all that God has in store for us.

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