Written by: Ms. O

I have lived quite a few years on this earth. No, I am not ancient of days…although there are moments I feel it more than others…but as I have gotten older I have learned to cherish more. It’s about being in the moment….and making sure it is treasured up in my heart….to be remembered.

When my children were babies I think I was so worried that I would do something wrong that  I missed out on the memory bank. Sure I have snatches of time…their births…first steps…first words…you get the picture. But as they got older and I got more comfortable, I became more intentional on the remembering.

It will never leave my mind the last time Doug walked off the football field…his last game…I watched his measured steps…the finality of it all. I met him at the gate as I always did…and pushed past the point that he was a sweaty mess…and hugged him tight….wanting to hold on to the memory. Time had caught up…all the years of hard work and dedication…had come to an end.  I will always be thankful that my sister was there…camera in hand…I think we Shaw girls were born with a Kodak  in our hand…to capture the moment….but really it is not necessary….it will always be ‘there’.

One of my all-time favorite memories of Mandy is on her first birthday away from home…her first year of college. I had told her I would not make it up there for her actual birthday but we would celebrate when she got home that weekend. I could hear the resignation of the obvious…I had work…she had class…time did not permit for the usual start the day off with celebration kind of birthday. Later my heart tugged at me enough to take off that morning early…make the drive to College Station…to surprise her…and wait for her to come pick up her brother to take her for a birthday breakfast. I pulled in behind her…and that moment is still so fresh to me…many years later…her looking in her rear view mirror….her eyes recognized me…and she realized I came to be with her. It is one of those times I listened to God’s urging…when I knew I made the right choice….and I thanked Him the whole way home.

I remember the days I moved my each of my kids away to college…semester after semester…year after year…and wanting to memorize their new surroundings so that I would be able to picture where they were when we talked on the phone. Of sitting in their empty bedrooms at home…. remembering bits and pieces of their upbringing….the shadows of days past that linger.

Last year when the wedding planner called my name…to tell me it was time for my son to walk me down the aisle to my pre-assigned mother of the groom seat…as much as I wanted to stop the clock…instead we walked together… I treasured the moment…the last time to walk with my son as single man…and smiling with God on this snatch of time. To see the face of the woman who was marrying my son…as she walked down the aisle…the joy is etched in my brain…as an exclamation mark on the answered prayer column of my heart.

When I look at my daughter I still catch glimpses of the little girl with the mischievous smile…determination written all over her face. I see the triumphs…the things she has done that will ever outshine anything I could ever do. I want to tell her that I knew…. way back…. when she was so little…so set in her ways…that she would make it…at whatever she attempted. Even with the setbacks, she has overcome.

Being away for the past couple of weeks, I have missed my kids. I had to reach into my reserve and retrieve what I had set aside…for just those times…when my soul ached with the missing. I have a stock pile of the “remember whens” that kept me nourished in the absence of hearing their voices…seeing their faces.

Remember the former things, those of long ago; I am God, and there is no other; I am God, and there is none like me.” Isaiah 46:9

My resolution over Lent is to remember the Lord and how He has worked blessings in my life…so as to store them up for the times when the remembering will carry me through the valleys. To ‘see’ how He wooed me…called to me long before I ever knew Him. The people He has placed in my life to surround me like a great cloud of witnesses…the community He created me to be a part of. There is no one like God….of that I have no doubt. What I need to remind myself of is that His intent is to keep me by His side…be a part of every ebb and flow. When things are going great…I need to pause in the joy and drink in offering that has been given to me. On the flip side…when the clouds gather and it is hard to come out from the shadows…I need to remember that I am not alone in that cover…instead He has me covered with His ever righteous Hand.

I mark this day…as a remembrance…of Your great love God…to say it may seem like it at times…that I forget…but Your mark is like indelible ink on my soul…and I sort of…kind of…definitely…love that… a lot. It’s a new day Lord…and I’m ready to make it count….amen.

Ms. O