(Originally posted 10/15/15)
Photo: Kristine’s Famous Pumpkin Cookies (At least what’s left of them)
Sometimes I don’t give myself enough credit for what is accomplished during a week, and instead focus on all the things I didn’t get done. For example, my current panic is that I didn’t look ahead on my calendar to realize I’m hosting a meeting at my house in 3 days – a meeting that requires a clean house and beautiful spread of treats. Oops. Guess I’ll be baking on Sunday afternoon.
But what did happen this week is this: our 22nd wedding anniversary; a day long volleyball tournament; a 2 hour baseball game; yard work, job work, grocery trips; taxi-driving to ballet, baseball, basketball and school; a round trip to Arkansas for lunch with my mother-in-law; a sewer leak in the backyard; cooking three dinners and making numerous lunches; put a contract on a new house and then withdrew it; prepared our house to put on the market and then withdrew it; led a volunteer meeting focused on homelessness and poverty; met with the city planning director to discuss homelessness and poverty; hosted an evening dinner meeting for 25 riders who are biking from here to Nashville to raise money ($100,000!) for women and families who need housing; and then my neighbor died.
So maybe I can let myself be tired and not fake too much interest in the playoff games that my husband and son are up watching each night. (Go Dodgers & Royals).
What I want to take the time to do tonight is to mourn the loss of our wonderful, young, fit and generous neighbor David, who died so young at age 47 of complications from a brain tumor. David and his adorable wife Amy were so cute together and he so obviously loved her. They raised two children, who are now in their early 20s, and family meant everything to David. He gave my own husband lots of encouragement and humor across our backyards that touched – one dad to another, as he told stories of raising his own children in sports and school. And his faithful yellow lab Maverick, who reminded us so much of our own Ellie who died at 14.
And when J and I told David about the baseball league we helped run for kids with disabilities, David came to check it out one week – and then came faithfully to serve as pitcher most Saturday mornings for 2 years until he became sick. We saw his son get married just less than a year ago. So it’s all just very…sad. His life was so meaningful – hard worker, servant, family man, athlete – that it’s hard to believe he is gone so young.
His was a life that exemplified the verse I’ve been reading every day for a few weeks – Proverbs 16:3: “Commit your actions to the Lord, and your plans will succeed.” Some days I wake up and just “plow ahead.” Some days I wake up full of energy for my family, my marriage, my work. But on all of those days, I try to apply Proverbs 16:3, and tell myself that with grace and prayer, anything done for God will be a success.
Ultimately, after the long should-we-or-shouldn’t-we-move discussions, and backing out of a contract which disappointed the sellers and our friend the realtor, we had some nice reminders of why we love our little community neighborhood. My friend showed up with her famous pumpkin cookies with buttercream frosting (“to thank us for making the decision to stay”); J helped a neighbor move some furniture, which turned out some funny stories; and our kids were ultimately happy they were staying put. I’ve learned (the hard way) that whatever plans we make or move ahead with, if we commit our actions to God, we’ll succeed. Just not always in ways we predict.