Birth announcmentSeveral days ago, I watched a friend of mine welcome into her family a precious new baby… her first grandchild. It was beautiful to see the instant love they all experienced, the priceless pictures that they shared, and to read the words of pure gratitude and love. On that same day, I watched another friend and her family say goodbye to a very godly man who impacted so many lives while he lived out his days on this earth. It was heart breaking to know they were saying their final goodbyes; even though he awoke in paradise, his wife, 6 children and numerous grandchildren will forever have their lives changed here on this earth. Although they have hope in Christ to see him again, they will still mourn his loss greatly as they loved him with their whole hearts.

One day. February 17, 2016. A day that brought tears of both joy and sorrow. One family will forever celebrate this day while the other family will forever use this day as a remembrance of a life that is gone from their presence.

Dates have a tendency to define our lives. We have our birth date, which we celebrate each year, the date we marry, the date our children were born, the dates of our vacations and holidays, many other significant dates, and then finally the date that will be etched on the stone that lies above the ground as the date of our last breath. These are the dates that are remembered the most… but in reality, they total just a few moments in our lives. What about the other days that we flip back on in our “calendar of life” only to find blank pages?

I have several old calendars I have kept for many years. I am not sure I will ever truly go back and read through these, but even before my children were born, I would write down something that happened or something that I did on almost every date. It seemed to give more weight to each day of my life instead of just the “special” days written down. Although I struggled waiting for those days of significance, each year when I would put away my calendar in preparation for the new one, I would glance back at each month, remembering that each day held value within my year.

I will admit that I had many of those years where I was just waiting for the “next” day, month, vacation, pay check, celebration, etc… Too many times I rushed through what I thought at the time was meaningless only to wish later I would have held onto those moments a bit longer and enjoyed the season of where I was at that time.

TombstoneWhen we close our eyes and take our final breaths, the obituary and gravestone will only list two dates: the day of our birth and the day our death.

(Pause)

Is that how you want to be remembered? What about every day in between that helped to shape your life; every day in between that helped bring meaning into your life? The beautiful, the difficult, the joy, the pain, the tears, the laughter, the mistakes, the new path…

The Dash
by Linda Ellis copyright 1996

​I read of a man who stood to speak
at the funeral of a friend.
He referred to the dates on the tombstone
from the beginning…to the end.

He noted that first came the date of birth
and spoke the following date with tears,
but he said what mattered most of all
was the dash between those years.

For that dash represents all the time
that they spent alive on earth.
And now only those who loved them
know what that little line is worth.

For it matters not, how much we own,
the cars…the house…the cash.
What matters is how we live and love
and how we spend our dash.

So, think about this long and hard.
Are there things you’d like to change?
For you never know how much time is left
that can still be rearranged.

If we could just slow down enough
to consider what’s true and real
and always try to understand
​the way other people feel.

And be less quick to anger
and show appreciation more
and love the people in our lives
like we’ve never loved before.

If we treat each other with respect
and more often wear a smile,
remembering that this special dash
might only last a little while.

​So, when your eulogy is being read,
with your life’s actions to rehash…
would you be proud of the things they say
about how you spent YOUR dash?

So my question for you today is, “How are you living your dash?” Although I am a work in progress, I am striving to live each day to the fullest. I am striving to cherish each and every moment of each and every day… to live in the present, love with my whole heart, not skip a beat, and not wish away the mundane while waiting for the special! The journey of our lives requires daily steps; there are no short cuts, so we need to embrace each one that is taken as it helps to determine who we are and how we are remembered.

I pray for my friends that welcomed new life into their lives… may they truly cherish and celebrate each and every day; may they make every single moment count. And I pray for my friends who said goodbye to their precious loved one… may they have a lifetime of special and ordinary days to always look back on and remember; may they continue to embrace each new day with joy, love and hope as the bittersweet moments are met.

Live your life to the fullest!

Live with no regrets!

Love with your whole heart!

Forgive often!

Laugh, cry and just be still!

Your life is beautiful! Celebrate each day that you have breath in your lungs and be grateful to the One who gives it to you!

The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy. I came that they may have life and have it abundantly. (John 10:10)

I dedicate this post in loving memory of a dear, humble and godly man that impacted so many lives, Pastor Mike Duke. Thank you for pouring so much into the lives of others!

Mike Duke

May you find the beauty in today,

Tara ♥

“He has made everything beautiful in its time” (Ecclesiastes 3:11)

~ Leave me a comment, I would love to read YOUR thoughts~♥

Recent entries from my gratitude journal (to read more about this, click here):

716. That You (God) love my children even more than I do!

739. A Gorgeous day even though it is chilly!

743. New Friends! 🙂

 

 

 

 

 

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One Response to

  1. Anonymous says:

    Thank you Tara.

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