Life. What exactly is life? Is it all simply random trips around the sun that simply and completely end in death or is there more to it? Was the inception of life one cosmic accident and in the end, none of it matters because his ears will eventually burn up anyway? Or was there an intelligent design and something beyond our final breath and heartbeat?
I have never struggled with this concept but I know many who have or still do. When faced with a “terminal”diagnosis, one tends to dig deep and either confirm their theories on life and death, or discover their views were flawed. Me? I dug deep and my faith in the God of the Bible has been cemented even more firmly. For that, I am so grateful.
While I don’t question the origins of life or the concept of life after death, I have found myself pondering the frailty of life and the moments when you realize you are no longer the “young” generation but are now firmly “middle age.” This Christmas, we were blessed to be able to visit our families in California to include my parents, my paternal grandmother, my brother and sister-in-law, my husband’s parents, and his paternal grandparents. (My maternal grandmother lives in Michigan and my husbands maternal grandparents live in Ohio.)
The past oh, 6 years, I have realized that every time we visit our grandparents, it might be the last time. Sure, anytime we visit ANYBODY could be the last time but statistically speaking, they are in the last proverbial chapters in their life books. It is an honor to say that our grandparents have all lived their lives well. They lovingly raised their families, poured out into others, and truly showed God’s love to those around them. Likewise, I have no doubt that both my grandfathers who have already died are in the presence of The Lord right now. I am humbled at the legacy they all have made for our families and their communities.
That all being said, our visit didn’t turn out exactly the way we had planned. Halfway into the visit, we were told that my husband’s grandfather had a stroke and two days later, my grandmother in MI had a stroke. Both seem to be recovering but permanent damage, to varying degrees, has been done in both their 90something year old bodies. It is one thing to know a loved one is living their final chapters but to realize how frail the body is, how quickly it can degrade, is a bit frightening. Realizing after our grandparents go Home, our parents are the next generation…..and then us…and then our children is sobering. I have had to face the fragility if MY life on several occasions but this was different. Thankfully, this is a realization that doesn’t scare me because I know what lies ahead, beyond death.
These feelings were compounded when an uncle informed us that he has cancer and then my sweet mama received a breast cancer diagnosis too. I won’t lie, I cried. I have ugly cried. Not because I fear death or cancer but because I hate the thought of our grandparents suffering in their final chapters and our family suffering through conventional cancer treatments. It angers me that this metabolic approach is not already the norm; the theory was proposed nearly ONE HUNDRED YEARS AGO! It is absolutely maddening that the answers have been sitting under our noses for close to a century.
After my ugly cries, I would gather my composure and find peace and rest in the assurance of Gods unending, never-failing grace and mercy. To know that the present sufferings cannot compare to the Glory we will experience for eternity is priceless.
One of my absolute favorite artists, JJ Heller, recently debuted a beautiful song that talks about finding big magic in the mundane, that everything is sacred if you tske the time to notice and that big love happens in the small moments.
How very true this song is. So often we get caught up in the BIG moments of life; trips, plays, games, work project completions, hitting certain milestones, etc. But in focusing our attention on the big things, we miss the small things and the mundane: reading a book to a child, enjoying a simple meal with your significant other or a dear friend, talking to your mom or Dad, folding laundry (it never ends, does it?) walking through the grocery store with your whining child in the cart (can I get an amen), studying for a class with Friends, stuck in traffic, etc.
Our lives mainly consist of the mundane and small moments. These are what we are made of and largely made FOR. There is nothing wrong with looking forward to the big moments but let us all consciously stop to put more awareness towards the mundane and appreciate it. You will probably find that when you do this regularly, you will experience contentment and peace as you savor the small stuff.
I highly encourage you to give JJ’s new song a listen and share with your friends!
The music video is stunning but you may want some tissues handy. I can’t tell you how much this video gutted me as a Home water birth mama (who labored and gave birth to JJ’s music) turned cancer patient in the span of 8 months….ALL. THE. FEELS.
I would LOVE to know what small moments you have cherished in the past or perhaps comment and let me know if this post inspired you to appreciate some small moments after reading!