Weather ~ a cold, clear, sunny winter afternoon
Wildlife out the window ~ Downy and hairy woodpeckers, doves, fox and gray squirrels, juncos, blue jays, cardinals, sparrows, and two wonderful, giant St. Bernards whose barking creates puffs of warm steam I can see through the fence posts next door
Mood ~ taking stock of endings and beginnings
Most days I feel like I’m still 24 trying to figure it all out. Or 14. So often, like Paul in Scripture, I do what I don’t want to do, and don’t do what I should. Honestly! I’ll change decades at my April birthday this year and, although I’m closer to heaven than earth at this age, I usually feel like I’ve missed most of the point of this life and there’s quite a bit more struggle than I anticipated at this age and stage. I’m supposed to be wise and serene by now, right?
It bears explaining that 2017 exited and 2018 arrived in a whirlwind of accident, illness and calamity. In September, Christopher broke both hands in an accident that miraculously didn’t kill him. At the end of my November visit in Denver, he helped me board the train and, while we were saying goodbye, the train started rolling and he got stuck on the train — had to ride to the next “stop,” a wide spot in the road an hour away from where he spent most of the night and $200 trying to get back to Denver. It was a dangerous and surreal town filled with such incredible characters that even today’s sophisticated audiences would doubt a playwrights’ credibility watching that story unfold on stage. I’m not exaggerating to say, again, it was a miracle he wasn’t killed.
Then, once I was home, the bottom fell off my house’s water heater (literally, fell off onto the floor!); the flu hit me hard and I missed the annual Christmas trip/party with Christopher in Chicago, my freezer died, and so did my kitchen mixer.
On New Year’s Day, our water supply pipe froze in the ground and we roughed it at home without water for days – the very time I’d planned to have a wonderful week of vacation “doing what we please to please ourselves” as children’s author Esther Averill writes of some favorite characters.
It’s been much like that for several years, really, and the famous Jessup resilience is wearing thin. But then, something happens like the inspiring sacred music experience two friends recently shared with me, or my blessed and transformative meeting with my pastor this week and, while I’m finally paying attention, God’s glory is revealed anew as Creator, Redeemer and Comforter.
So, what now? Look heavenward.
In my remaining time, I will cherish loved ones, accept God’s love and watch for opportunities to serve.
My life is more about simple pleasures than extravagance. I love that, and will claim contentment in those quiet places of beauty and peace.
I will try new things and make new friends, including younger people whose fresh spirit will keep me positive.
I will commune daily with the Holy Spirit in prayer and study. Therein is true wisdom for today and hope for tomorrow.
I will remember that this temporal. My Home and inheritance, and yours, await at the end of this journey when, as Pastor Jeff said this week referring to words of C.S. Lewis, the cover and title page of life will be turned over and the real story will begin. Be encouraged!