|Photo Credit: MaryRN from morgueFile.com|
So, how is everyone enjoying (or not enjoying) this time change? Over the weekend, I heard many people grumbling about it getting dark ridiculously early, with the days feeling ever so short. The darkness of night crept in around 6:00 pm on Sunday and it felt like I needed to yawn, tuck everyone in, and give good-night kisses.
However, there was the blessing of an extra hour in there somewhere, right? How did you use it? Did you stay up later? Did you trick-or-treat longer? Did you catch an extra hour of snooze-time? Or maybe you were captivated by a Christmas love story on the Hallmark channel that you’re getting for free so they can sucker you into adding it to your television package? (Yep. I watched it. Christmas already?!)
It amazes me how fast that extra hour goes by. When there is a change in season or a change in the time, I always find myself feeling a bit more reflective.
Sydney’s mom, Jennifer, must have been pondering time as well. She said that it was a challenge to pack for their “Make-A-Wish” Disney trip. Why? Well, Jennifer shared that at the same time they were eagerly packing for a week of fun, they found out that two of their very special friends from MD Anderson Children's Cancer Hospital passed away.
Connor (5 years old) was diagnosed with cancer just before Christmas last year and passed away on Thursday. Jennifer said that he and his family had been such an inspiration to them. Connor’s parents encouraged them to never take a moment with your children for granted. Connor’s family spent the past ten months celebrating his life and living it to the absolute fullest, never losing hope.
Sydney’s other friend was Maddie Grace (10 years old). She was bravely battling leukemia, but died last week due to complications from a fungal infection. Sydney spent many days with Maddie in pottery and art class. Jennifer said that Maddie will always be a part of them.
Jennifer shared that it is incredibly difficult to be happy at a time when others you care so deeply for are hurting. “We are celebrating, following the anniversary of Sydney's diagnosis that she is in remission, while others are mourning the loss of their precious children. It just doesn't seem right. It isn't fair.”
Then she remembered Ecclesiastes 3:1-8.
“There is a right time for everything. A time to be born, a time to die. A time to plant, a time to harvest. A time to kill, a time to heal. A time to destroy, a time to rebuild. A time to cry, a time to laugh. A time to grieve, a time to dance. A time for scattering stones, a time for gathering stones. A time to hug, a time not to hug. A time to find, a time to lose. A time for keeping, a time for throwing away. A time to tear, a time to repair. A time to be quiet, a time to speak up. A time for loving, a time for hating. A time for war, a time for peace.”
Jennifer also shared that Sydney's sweet friend Liz (7 years old) moved back home at the end of summer to finish up her last few rounds of chemo. Two weeks ago, she had clean scans and they are happy to report that Liz is cancer-free! They know that God heard all of the prayers for Liz, Connor, Sydney, and Maddie. They also know that His plans are so much bigger than ours. Jennifer said, “We often don't understand the plans and sometimes we don't agree with them, but we have to trust that He is a loving God and all things will work for His greater glory. Thank you, Lord, for healing Liz and Sydney, and thank you, Lord, for allowing Connor and Maddie to be in Heaven with you for all eternity and for giving their families the strength and peace that only comes from you. In Christ, Amen.”
Oftentimes, when I’m feeling down, worried, or anxious about something, I fight that feeling. I think, “Why on earth do I feel this way? I have so many things to be thankful for. I shouldn’t feel this way.” I fight it…tooth and nail. However, in reading over the verses from Ecclesiastes, I realize that there IS a time for everything and every feeling. It’s okay. Let the feelings be what they are. Don’t fight them. Allow them in. Feel them. Acknowledge them. Let them linger. Ponder them. Pray about them. Ask God what to do with them.
I enjoyed the reminder that there is indeed a time for everything...bad or good. Maybe you just turned 40 and you decided it was time to run a New York City marathon (Woo-hoo!! Go Melinda!). Maybe you decided that your closets wouldn’t clean themselves and you tackled that monster? Maybe you decided it was time to let go of the burden of anger and you finally forgave that person? Maybe you decided it was time to stop living in fear? Maybe you decided it was time to stop procrastinating? (Well, at least in the next month or so…ha!) Maybe you decided it was time to let that special person know how you feel about them? Maybe you shared a dream with someone, who then led you down the path of publishing your first book? (Yes, I totally did! Shameless plug here, but my first children’s book will be available to purchase in a few short months! Yeah!)
If you are looking for a sign to know whether the time is right to do this or that, maybe this blog post is it? Maybe it IS time? What are we waiting for? Time waits around for no one.
Some of you love this time change. Some don’t. However, everyone talks about it each time it changes. “Fall back and Spring forward” and everyone has an opinion. Many love the early sunsets so that kiddos can get the sleep they need. Others are bummed that they drive home from work in the dark and there is no time for anything outdoorsy when they get home. Either way…we still have twenty-four hours in each day to make the most of. Some of those hours are a wee-bit darker, but hey!
One last thing to ponder…are you wondering what it’s time for? Maybe you have no idea. Maybe you do. Here’s a quick suggestion…maybe it’s time for joy…complete joy…the joy that comes from Jesus. Is there anything robbing you of joy right now? Is there anything standing in the way of your joy? Sometimes, WE are in the way. How about this prayer, “Lord, help me get out of the way so that you can fill me with joy.”
It’s time, Sunshines. Don’t put off until tomorrow what you can do today. Love. Learn. Live. Laugh. Lean on the Lord.