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Now Choose Life

Choose to Live Your Life in Abundance in the after--- after the spouse dies, after the marriage ends, after the kids leave. Join me on my journey of CHOOSING LIFE in my after. This day I call the heavens and the earth as witnesses against you that I have set before you life and death, blessings and curses. Now choose life, so that you and your children may live- Deut 30:19

December 15, 2019

Life After Loss- A Glimpse- Family Calendars

I just finished putting together the 2020 Family Calendar. This calendar is probably the most significant family tradition that we have.

It all started when the kids were little. R and I had a friend whose niece always made a handmade calendar for him. I decided to do the same for my parents. I had to make sure that I got double prints when I had pictures developed!!! Each year before Christmas, my sister sent me six of her favorite photos from the previous year. I used the computer to print out the next year's calendar and glued each month with a picture on top of a piece of construction paper. It was held together with yarn through holes at the top. My parents loved it.

Over time the tradition grew. It soon became the reality that I had to start the calendar weeks in advance. I had to give Walmart at least 21 days to get each calendar made. Since I could order it through Walmart, I also started getting one for my sister and me. Life got crazy at times, and my sister took over the making of the calendar for many years. We couldn't bear to miss a year!!

My parents even made the calendar some years!

Soon my kids and my nephews became old enough that they all wanted a calendar of their own. It became a joke in the family as to which pictures were "calendar worthy." This calendar is so important to my kids and nephews that my daughter even took up the making of the calendar a few years ago when life was just too stressful for my sister or me to get it done!! Thanks, Molls!!

I have saved every single calendar that I've ever gotten. When I helped my parents clean out their antique store a couple of years ago, I found that they, too, have saved every calendar. I regret not taking some pictures of those construction paper ones!!

That all leads me to this. As I got all my calendars out of the box to put up on a top shelf of my new bookcases in our office a couple of months ago, the one that fell to the side was 2012. 2012 was the year that changed everything for us. It was the year that marks the before and after for our family. It was the year that my husband- the father of my children- passed away.
As the kids got older, those square filled up fast!!

I sat down immediately to look through that 2012 calendar. My heart sank as I saw his handwriting on so many of those squares. All of the plans we had for that year laid out before me on those pages... medical tests his dad was having done, the kids' dates for finals at college, our anniversary trip to San Antonio, our daughter leaving for her study abroad in Spain, the date we were going to meet her in Europe---- so many plans that we both had.

But all of those plans didn't matter. April 29th came. It didn't care that we had grand plans. It didn't care that we had so much living still to do together. It came, and it took. It took him from our lives. It took him from his plans. It took a future that I thought was solid and certain.

Life after loss teaches us that our plans don't matter.

It's wonderful now that we can add multiple pictures to a page.
As you look at 2020, what are your plans? It's a new, fresh year. It's a new, fresh decade. What are you going to do with it? From my perspective, I will tell you that if you have anything that needs to be said to someone, you better get it said in January. If you have someone that you need to forgive, you better forgive them in January. If you need to tell someone that you love them, you better tell them in January. If you need to start going to church, you better start doing it in January. If you need to start reading your bible, you need to start reading it in January. You might just need the words from that bible in February.

If you need to finalize a plan of your faith; finalize what you believe to be true about God; finalize in your mind what Jesus Christ means in your life- you better get it marked down on one of those squares in January. 
Not sure what I'm ever going to do with all of these old calendars, but I just can't get rid of them!!

You do not know what this next year is going to bring. What are you waiting for? 

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