My pastor has started a series called "One Month To Live," and I've been doing a lot of soul-searching about that topic. If I knew I had one month left to live, what would I do differently? What would my priorities become? What actions and reactions would I monitor closely?

I started by examining my daily routine filled with diaper changing, nose wiping, silly giggling, book reading, house cleaning, potty training, no-no repeating, meal preparing, toy-share monitoring, husband feeding, friendly phone and email conversing, nap-time enforcing, and Jeremy conversing and cuddling. I assumed I would need to drastically change my way of life if I knew I was about to die, but after listing my daily activities, I realized not much could be changed without someone in my immediate family suffering because of it. The minute details of my day are IMPORTANT. Bottom wiping? That's serious business. No-no repeating? At least two future contributors to the world are becoming slightly more responsible and worth-while (hopefully) because of the training they are currently receiving.

Realizing that my activities could not be changed, I decided to focus on my attitude. Admittedly, there are times (especially early in the morning, or in the middle of the night) when my attitude does not point others to God. Most of the time, no one around me realizes it because I keep it to myself, but even that internal "I'd rather be sleeping" attitude is not the way I want to exit this world and stand before my amazing Lord. Something to work on.

I moved on to the various relationships in my life. There are people who refuse to speak to me, and there are other people who speak to me, but the relationship is gone or broken. I considered those situations, thinking, this definitely is an area that I should work on. Ephesians 4:3 says "Make every effort to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace." Hebrews 12:14a says "Make every effort to live in peace with all men and to be holy..." I thought about it: what could I do to build or repair relationships with those people? And I discovered a concept that I did not expect to find. Freedom.

I have tried to rebuild or repair those relationships over a period of time, and my efforts have either been rebuffed or the bridges attempted have been set on fire from the other side through lies and manipulation when my back was turned. That sounds dramatic and finger-pointing, and I did not mean it that way, but the truth is, I have tried to live at peace, and even more -- to live together in love and joy. With my final month on earth, I do not need to work and work at a relationship that is not happening. That would be a foolish waste of time, but I should continue loving and extending grace in my heart.

I mentioned in a previous post that I am currently reading through the book of Jeremiah. Here was a guy who tried! And tried and tried and tried. He spoke the truth. He loved. He reached out. He cried over his people. But they would have none of it. When he stood before God, God did not berate him for the failed relationship. The parties responsible for that failure would be the parties who refused the Truth. Refused the Love.

Surprise entered my soul. Windows opened. Freedom walked in.

So far, I have learned two things:

1. My daily, sometimes boring, sometimes mundane, lots of times fun and just-plain-silly routine has vastly far-reaching results. Not a single action, attitude or facial expression is unimportant. I am fulfilling a mission!

2. "Make every effort..." means just that. God doesn't command the end result. He only commands the effort. There comes a time when the effort has been made. Keep an open heart, and drop the burden.

Did I say two?

3. If I had only one month to live, I would go to bed at the exact same time that Jeremy did every night. I would watch Star Wars with him whenever he wanted me to watch (unless I was feeding the kids or something equally important like reading a good book to myself or soaking in the tub.)

Hmm, maybe I should just stick with two!

I was going to end the post there, but another thought just presented itself: God doesn't tell us how much time we have left because He doesn't want us to burn ourselves out. If I knew I had one month left to live, I would spend every second possible with Jeremy, or on the phone with my relatives and friends saying goodbye and hopefully uttering amazing final words that could be quoted and passed down for generations to come! I would cut out my own needs like exercising or time alone to read or soak. I would do this because with only a month left, the need to be of sound mind would be less and less important. But God calls us to balance. Rejuvenation is an important part of an on-going life, and reading and bathtub soaking are an important part of my duty to remain balanced.

See? I should have been a salesman.
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4 Responses
  1. Rachel Says:

    This reminds me a bit of a song a friend shared with me by Tim McGraw:
    He said I was in my early forties
    with a lot of life before me
    when a moment came that stopped me on a dime
    and I spent most of the next days
    looking at the x-rays
    Talking bout the options
    and talking bout sweet time
    I asked him when it sank in
    that this might really be the real end
    how's it hit you when you get that kinda news
    man what'd you do

    and he said
    I went sky diving
    I went Rocky Mountain climbing
    I went 2.7 seconds on a bull named FuManchu
    and I loved deeper and I spoke sweeter
    and I gave forgiveness I'd been denying
    and he said someday I hope you get the chance
    to live like you were dying.

    He said I was finally the husband
    that most the time I wasn't
    and I became a friend a friend would like to have
    and all the sudden going fishin
    wasn't such an imposition
    and I went three times that year I lost my dad
    well I finally read the good book
    and I took a good long hard look
    at what I'd do if I could do it all again

    and then
    I went sky diving
    I went Rocky Mountain climbing
    I went 2.7 seconds on a bull named FuManchu
    and I loved deeper and I spoke sweeter
    and I gave forgiveness I'd been denying
    and he said someday I hope you get the chance
    to live like you were dying.

    Like tomorrow was a gift and you got eternity to think about
    what'd you do with it what did you do with it
    what did I do with it
    what would I do with it?

    Sky diving
    I went Rocky Mountain climbing
    I went 2.7 seconds on a bull named FuManchu
    and then I loved deeper and I spoke sweeter
    and I watched an eagle as it was flying
    and he said someday I hope you get the chance
    to live like you were dying.
    To live like you were dying
    To live like you were dying
    To live like you were dying
    To live like you were dying


  2. Donette Says:

    I'm with ya, Missy. I have "worked" for God for a few years now, trying to make a relationship work, mend fences, and force it to be the kind of friendship that I truly believe God wants us to have. However, I can work no longer. There has not been any reciprocation, and while I do believe there is a need to stick it out, I have given that relationship over to God, content that I'm not going to be that friend unless He intervenes with a miracle.
    It's hard to step back from relationships that you have pursued, but if you are doing all that you believe God has called you to do, leave the rest up to Him!

    Loved this post!


  3. Cora Says:

    Beautiful thoughts! Love ya!


  4. Debbie Awful Says:

    There are two things you should do:

    1. Write both a devotional book and a children's book.

    2. Send me an autographed copy of each! =)


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