By Charity Rattray
When they discontinued that lip color, it was life preparing you.
When the holiday edition came and went another reminder.
When the chef’s talent in summer so extraordinary that you had a pulse of panic that the fall menu couldn’t compare to the fresh tastes of summer you were learning.
When your last baby walked. A hard lesson.
When your little girl’s favorite cowboy boots no longer fit, you prepared for it.
When that tween, turned into a bright young man before your eyes the lessons start to take.
You had 18 summers to fill.
Life is changing rapidly like a river.
It was like an athlete’s training a breakdown of muscles to make you strong.
Winter was coming. And you didn’t even know. She would dance everywhere like a gypsy mama. She would break your heart and believe in you all at the same time. And the truth is I miss her.
Like I miss perfect days gone by.
The ones that gloss in your memory and you don’t remember the sweat of the sun just the warmth on your skin.
And it’s the first Christmas without a gift I hardly like. And I miss that too.
I miss her like a snorkeling diver misses swimming weightless in the salty sea. I was awkward at snorkeling. My brother once saved me from swimming directly out to sea. I remember choking on sea water choking for air. I’m there again not knowing the real weight of my own heart’s mass. I want to stay in her world but I can’t. Can’t breathe there. We don’t live in the deep seas of grief. I must adapt. I must change with the calendar year. 2015 you were bitter sweet. You gave me so many wonderful days and new truths to life.
For example I JUST don’t mind, so much anymore. I am better at liking people.
Yes, I’m better at loving people. It started with my family. I’m not so important that I matter more than them. I realize more now it’s either selfishness or love. No middle ground.
I know the wise mums “balance” it all so well. And as a mom I don’t run myself into the ground. I get that. What I didn’t get was how short the days really are. How few opportunities we are given.
They, 3 sons and 1 daughter are my life. I wish I had known how building a family wouldn’t just be nice it would be life! A life rounded with all of it the surges of frustration and the belly aching laughter. The gift is who travels with you. Those faces. Their struggles and joys. And mostly I’m grateful to Christ for teaching me preparing me, the most valuable lesson yet. He counter balances all those gut wrenching lessons. He is teaching me that eternal life is long and family is forever. Year end tidings of comfort and joy welcome my heavy heart home. Christ is my heart’s home in a world ever changing. A family ever changing. He demonstrates death is not final and life/yes love is all. Live well and love well.
Happy New Year. I will leave you with Psalm 90:12 (NIV).
Teach us to number our days, that we may gain a heart of wisdom.
All day. Everyday. “But each one must examine his own work for boasting in regard to himself alone and not in regard to another.” Galatians 6:4
How are you running your race? This one life is brief and our time is one of the most precious commodities we offer our family. Focused, present, open, and listening these are my goals for 2016. What are yours?
Charity Rattray lives in Ellensburg, Washington, with her husband Jared Rattray and four children. Charity had a profound love encounter with Jesus at the age of 18 and all aspects of her life are fueled from the source, Jesus the Love of God. Charity and Jared founded United By Love, where people of various denominations and religious backgrounds can come together with the common, united mission of sharing the love of Jesus Christ. She serves at Mercer Creek Church happily leading kid’s worship, summer day camp, and various church activities. You can find more blogs by Charity at mrscharityrattray.com.
We would love to hear your thoughts on “Running the Race”, please don’t hesitate to share your stories or comments below.
If you found this blog helpful or encouraging, it would be the greatest complement to today’s blog contributor if you shared this blog on your social networks. Thank you for helping build our HER VOICE community – Strengthening and Developing Empowered Leaders and Churches.