A brother is gone
A relationship is broken
Dreams are diminished
A mother’s heart is wounded
Health scares are faced
Souls are weary
Anxieties have surfaced
In past weeks, as the holiday season approached, it seemed as if every effort to embrace the festive spirit was interrupted by unwelcome news. Some news prompted a gasp and I had to catch my breath. A friend who shared pain that is so deeply layered, caused me to breathe deeply and choose my response carefully. I wanted to choose my words on purpose and with purpose.
My own Christmas season was interrupted, but not in these painful ways. I was not facing the pains that prompted gasps. Our routine was different than it had been in past years. Schedules were shifted and traditions were adjusted. These minor interruptions prompted many wonderful things. My interruptions offered extended game nights, quieter celebrations, simpler preparations, and shared moments that I will hold close. It also brought a delay in putting away the decorations. And, now I am writing and extending the delay.
It took a while to accept the changes, as sometimes I wanted to resist the change. In truth, I pouted. The pouting sessions were short-lived . I just didn’t want to have to rearrange or fix things or figure stuff out. The funny thing is that it (the routine, schedule, etc) will probably all change again next year. That is our season of life right now and it is okay. Like many families, our family and the extended gang have schedules that make it interesting to coordinate. We didn’t have the large gathering this year. It just didn’t work. We didn’t have the big meal, and we all survived. We sought to remove expectations and take in what we experienced. It was all good! It was better than good!
The interruptions caused me to take pause. My minor alterations were so minor that they really aren’t worth much of my focus. But the pauses are more significant. The pauses brought:
- clearer focus
- reminders of what is of value
- time to take in the scenes playing out before me
- laughter and tears
- a reflective heart
- less stress
- clearer sense of priorities
- reminders that others were facing much harder interruptions
I wish that the pauses would remove the pain my friend feels from losing a brother all too soon. I wish the pauses would mend the broken relationship. I wish the pauses would undo all the pain of life’s tough interruptions. The pauses have reminded me to slow down a bit, remember the important lesson of living moment by moment, and to offer kindness, gentleness and encouragement in thepauses.
I’m not much for resolutions or such, but I think I will focus a bit on taking pause.
I will take the pauses as reminders to encourage with kindness and gentleness.
May 2018 be a year that causes you to take pause as well!