Sunday, September 14, 2014

How I Want to Be Remembered

Not too long ago I was thinking about how I want to be remembered. I'm not entirely sure how I got onto this subject in my head, but there it was. To be honest, I wasn't necessarily thinking about death. I mean, that was part of it, but I also wonder how my kids will remember me when they're older and have their own lives/homes/families. I'm definitely hoping that the times I lost my temper or was unnecessarily short will be overshadowed by thoughts of love. I suppose it's unrealistic to hope they won't remember the anger at all.

While I was mulling this over, I happened to receive an email with this blog entry at Chasing Blue Skies. It was like she knew what I was thinking! I really wanted to call her and talk to her and tell her my thoughts...except I don't know her and that would be strange. But, she really did get me thinking.

I initially thought I wanted to be remembered as funny and kind. (My husband often teases me and says that I'm the funniest person I know. I think I kind of am.) I like to joke around and I certainly like to be liked. One of the ways to ensure people like you is to be kind, right? Being kind makes me feel good and certainly makes the recipient of the kindness feel good. So, this can't be a bad thing. Except...I wonder if it is. Really, why am I being kind? Is it only to be liked? I don't think so. But...maybe.

The motto of the church my family attends is, "Love God, Love Your Neighbor, Nothing Else Matters." I like it. It reminds me that love is the most important thing, all of the time. Love everyone. (Note, that doesn't mean you won't ever be angry or hurt or anything like that. There are sermons and sermons and sermons about that.) If all of our actions are driven by love - love of God - then I believe we will be kind. But, if my kindness is driven by wanting to remembered as being kind...well then I've missed the mark. Being kind for the sake of being remembered as kind will also make me remembered as someone a little adrift. Nice, but no substance.

If I show love to my friend by making a dinner for her family while her father is sick, that's certainly kind. If I show kindness by holding the door for the man holding all of the grocery bags, that's a good deed. If I hold my daughter after her heart is broken or listen to my son talk, again, about the great play he made in a video game, I'm showing patience. Patience, love...and parts of kindness.

I think, ultimately, Kristen is right. I want to be remembered as someone who deposited Christ's love into someone else every day. Sometimes that is kindness. Sometimes it's structure and discipline. Sometimes it's laughter. (I think it's very often food.) If I'm relying on God to help me show kindness, then I can't go wrong. If I'm relying on myself to just be kind, then it may not work. I know that I can't rely only on myself to be patient; I was not blessed with much of that. I know, though, that I can show kindness via patience by relying on God.

I'll keep trying to be kind through love, knowing that it's always a work in progress.

How do you want to be remembered?

Monday, September 1, 2014

Summer time is done so here's a list of fall favorites

This is it! Labor Day has arrived and the kids go back to school tomorrow. I'm taking the girls shopping   for some last minute things today and then - that's it! I'm actually pretty glad that we're approaching school because that means cooler weather is finally around the corner. I don't love to be hot. I only like to sweat if I'm working out. I will say that I don't necessarily love letting go of the ease of summer and it's lack of schedule. But, we can't stop the passage of time! So, since I'm sure you're dying to know what I'm looking forward to this fall, here's a list:

1. Sunday School and Confirmation - I probably had the most enjoyable year ever teaching Sunday School last year and am lucky enough to have the same class again this year (with the addition of one more age). My younger daughter is in that class and I'm excited to have her again. I also lead my older daughter's Confirmation small group and had so much fun getting to know the girls last year. I think this coming year is going to be even better!

2. My birthday - I turn 40 this year! I'm a combination of excited and nostalgic about this. I can't believe time has gone so quickly, but I also know that I'm the best "me" I've ever been right now. I'm ready for another decade!

3. Jeans and sweatshirts - I don't think this needs any explanation

4. Turkey Trot - I don't love Thanksgiving (at least, I don't love the meal itself - I do love being thankful with family and friends), but I love getting together with 20,000 of my closest friends here in Buffalo and running 5 miles in the freezing cold. This year younger daughter is doing it with me and I can't wait!

5. CHRISTMAS MUSIC - Yes, I realize I'm talking about fall right now. But, I tend to listen to Christmas music all year long. It makes me happy. But, I bring it on full force in October and make my whole family listen starting November 1. (This is not my husband's favorite thing about me.)

6. Crockpot food - Fall food gets so thick and yummy. Chili and pasta and all kinds of hot stuff. I'm looking forward to the watermelon salad I'm having for lunch today, but I definitely can't wait for cold-weather food.

7. Blankets - Oh, how I love to curl up under a blanket and read a book with a cup of coffee in hand!

8. Crunchy leaves and crisp air - Taking walks and hearing the crunch of leaves under my feet is one of my favorite sounds. The colors are so pretty and the air smells so...crisp - like the earth is cleaning up before its long sleep.

9. Celebrations - My husband's birthday is in August, which starts months of celebration. My father is also in August, then my mom is September, me and the boy are October and then it's full-on holiday season in November and December.

10. Pumpkin seeds and pumpkin bread - So, so delicious. I'm not as big a fan of the all-things-pumpkin that seems to have taken over our country, but I do love me some salty pumpkin seeds. And, who doesn't love pumpkin bread with coffee?

I guess I'll have to keep thinking of this list as I try to stay as cool as possible. I hope you have great plans for Labor Day - tell me about them!