Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Every Day is a Gift

Today we woke up to learn that school had been cancelled for the day. No dragging the kids out of bed and rushing them through breakfast and out the door. No running off to teach a room full of preschoolers. Curly is supposed to have a basketball game tonight, and I'm waiting to hear whether or not it will be cancelled too. I've been given a gift of a day with no place to be, at least for a while, and hours that to do what I choose.

I made a long to-do list. (Yes, I made sure I wrote down "Blog" as one of the items.) I've been puttering around this morning--I made some banana muffins for breakfast, threw a load of sheets in the wash, hung up some clothes, and wandered around outside snapping photos like these:

What does the rest of the day have in store? If the kids don't kill each other, we'll spend some time cleaning the house and maybe play a board game together. I have some catching up to do with my preschool and Religious Education planning. I might even take a nap. I'll wash and fold some more laundry, and maybe iron some of Joe's shirts. Even if Curly's game goes on as scheduled, there will be much less of a rush to get him there and get everyone fed before they all go to Tae Kwon Do.

This past weekend I was reminded of how precious each day is. I left Joe at home with the kids and drove to North Carolina for my cousin Greg's funeral. Greg was my Dad's nephew, his sister's only son. During the service at the Mormon church he and his family attended (By the way, no matter how much you might disagree with certain Mormon teachings, one thing is true--and I already knew this--our Mormon brothers and sisters sure do love Jesus. I may share some thoughts about this in a future post.) friends and family members stood up one by one and shared their memories of the time they had spent with Greg. His sister reminded everyone in the congregation that every moment you spend with someone you love, every conversation you have with them, could be your last. We need to cherish every moment of every day, and always let our friends and family know that we love them. We often tend to take people for granted.

I spent the weekend with people who I've known for a long time and I don't get to see very often. Over the years new family members have been added by birth and by marriage, and it's always a blessing to get to know them each a little better every time I see them. Greg has left us, but I still have my other cousins, and their children and grandchildren. I'm looking forward to seeing Greg's widow and their sons again, and getting to know their families better as well. On my mother's side I have relatives who I see even less often, and I pray that I'll have a chance to get together with them again soon as well (although, preferably not because of a death in the family, thank you very much). I still have my parents, Joe's parents, our brothers and sisters-in-law and our niece and nephew. I have aunts and uncles still with me. I have my husband and our three boys, who are growing up before our eyes. I thank God for them all, every day.

My Dad sang a beautiful solo:

I walked today where Jesus walked,
In days of long ago.
I wandered down each path He knew,
With reverent step and slow.

Those little lanes, they have not changed,
A sweet peace fills the air.
I walked today where Jesus walked,
And felt Him close to me.

My pathway led through Bethlehem,
A memory's ever sweet.
The little hills of Galilee,
That knew His childish feet.

The Mount of Olives, hallowed scenes,
That Jesus knew before
I saw the mighty Jordan row,
As in the days of yore.

I knelt today where Jesus knelt,
Where all alone he prayed.
The Garden of Gethsemane,
My heart felt unafraid.

I picked my heavy burden up,
And with Him at my side,
I climbed the Hill of Calvary,
I climbed the Hill of Calvary,
I climbed the Hill of Calvary,
Where on the Cross He died!

I walked today where Jesus walked,
And felt Him close to me.


Dad doesn't sing much in public any more. At seventy-five, his voice isn't as strong as it used to be. But as I sat and watched and listened to him, my eyes filled with tears as I thanked God for the gift he'd just given me--another chance to hear my Dad sing in his clear, sweet voice. I hadn't heard those beautiful lyrics in years and years, but now I think it will forever be one of my favorite gospel songs.

Greg's wife shared that their marriage wasn't always a bed of roses, and they had recently spent a year living apart. These last eight months, she said, ever since they decided that their marriage was worth saving and began living together again, has been one of the best gifts God has given her, right up there with the births of their children and grandchildren.

Cherish each moment of every day. They are gifts that can never be replaced.

Now I must leave you and go vacuum some rugs and do some more laundry and put away the rest of the Christmas decorations. I'm hoping to share our favorite barbecue recipe later on Cooking Nick's Books, A Sparks Fan's Food Blog, so stay tuned for that as well.

The ice is already melting off of the trees. Tomorrow we'll be back to our regular busy routine. No matter how rushed I feel, I hope I will thank God for each moment--today, tomorrow, and every day.


  1. so sorry for your loss Sharon. Life most certainly is a gift and sometimes it takes the death of someone to realise just how much of a gift it is.

  2. Thank you, Therese! Please keep Greg's family in your prayers.

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