Forgiveness as a daily act…

With so many irons in the fire as a middle-aged working mom, grandmother, friend, teacher, daughter, sister, etc, I find too few hours in the day and too few minutes in the hour. There is always someone, several someones, who remain on my heart and close in thought at the end of each day that I haven’t been able to call, see, or write. I say a prayer for them and hope my love spans the distance and the silence. Never seeming able to make the many needed connections, I must rely on forgiveness for lack of being as present to them as I would like.

Life demands seem to be ever increasing with none frivolous or shallow that can be discarded. Every day is quite intentionally lived and commitments all worthy of my best. Thus the ordeal I describe…too little time to do all I want to do.

Recounting the years, decisions I’ve made, time spent, I do find things I could have and should have done differently and those lessons learned greatly inform the way I choose to go about my days at this season of life. Home is most assuredly a place I want to make memories. Time with the little ones evaporates like early morning mist when the sun reaches it with its warmth so time with them must be cherished, guarded, and celebrated! Teaching those precious students of mine holds value beyond the small rooms wherein we gather and the limited time we spend face to face. That too, must be handled with diligence, patience, and great love!

My husband, I was thinking today, has been alongside me for nearing 18 years. Marriage can never be taken for granted or pushed aside until a less busy time. I’ve learned all too well that we aren’t promised the gift of future years together, not even tomorrow, so I must invest my heart and time with my companion.

Friendships are precious and are so often the sustaining power that keeps us walking through the deepest valleys of our lives. Friends remind us of who we really are, of strength they know we have, of the goodness that dwells inside us when we are unable to see any worth in our own selves. Oh yes, friends must always be cherished.

And family…those who are our kin, who knew us long before we were adults, who watched us learn all the lessons of childhood, watched us falter, laughed with us, cried with us, and loved us through it all. All families have their own unique dysfunctions, idiosyncrasies, and struggles, but they all matter. God chose in wisdom beyond our own the families He would place us into. He intended for us to love regardless of the circumstances and to learn from Him how to navigate through all the storms that were sure to come. I find myself cherishing family more with the passing of time, realizing the precious nature of the life-long bonds inherent in His design. As I think back on life, I often think in terms of “us” instead of “me” because that is how I grew up. I grew up as a sister, with a sister. It was both of us there in that far away time and place learning together to be who we are.

I can’t imagine life without the important relationships I have now and the ones I’ve had in the past. Each one has contributed to who I am now and how I view this life of mine. For even those who no longer choose to walk by my side, I have fondness and appreciation for the good things I learned and the happy times I had because of them. Though I remain so very far from perfect, I can honestly say I am good-willed. I wish no harm on anyone and desire for all to walk in loving-kindness all their days. I wish no good thing for myself and my family that I don’t also wish for all others. Forgiveness is a beautiful thing, a gift to us from the Lord, from Him to each of us, and for each of us to have continually for ourselves and for one another.

May we find the precious gift of forgiveness fresh and new in our hearts each morning and    offer it freely knowing it as a bridge to peace.

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