Have you ever felt so strongly that God is trying to tell you something?
You know the feeling I’m talking about? I’m referring to those times when He puts it in your face until you get the recurring theme.
I had just such an experience this week. It took me three times to realize what he was saying very clearly. As you continue reading, see if my lesson becomes clear to you.
Clue #1 came when I attended a Memorial Service for the mother of a dear friend. I enjoyed hearing stories about their frequent phone calls to each other. I was a bit envious that she was able to see her mom multiple times each week and mine lives out of state.
My tears fell not only because I felt empathy for my friend, but I now realize I was also jealous of her joy. I have a wonderful mother, whom I love with all of my heart. I am fortunate to see her as often as I do considering she lives out of state. I realized I was jealous that my friend has no regrets and I wondered if I will be able to say the same.
Clue #2 was on the following day when I went over to visit my Grandma. Due to my hectic schedule I usually combine one of her doctor’s appointments with our visits. My heart sank as I entered her apartment and watched my ninety-eight year old grandmother hurry to put on her jacket and grab her purse. It didn’t even occur to her that I was just coming over to visit.
We spent nearly three hours together. I offered to take her out by the pool to get some sunshine. She said she just wanted to visit. We sat and talked about everything from her friend who has been in the hospital to her great grandmother who had nineteen children and visited them every summer.
I could tell she did not want me to leave. She continued to ask me questions as I headed toward the door. Again she broke my heart when she said, “This was the best visit we’ve ever had. I know you are busy, but I wish we could do it more often”. I held back my tears as I promised her that we would.
I went on to my appointment and stopped to grab dinner afterward at my favorite local spot, Casa Ranchero. As I sat at an outdoor table, I could overhear a conversation between an adult son and his mother. He told her he had to get on the road before the traffic got any worse. She kept telling him she didn’t want him to leave. Clue #3.
It was as I sat and finished my meal that I had my epiphany. The three scenarios swam around in my head. “I’ve got it! Spend morequalitytime with the people I love! I hear you loud and clear, Lord.”
My mind continues to wander back to my friend who had such a great relationship with her mom. What a marvelous feeling to have “no regrets”. It is not too late for me to change and make myself more available. I could have that same satisfaction of having almost “no regrets” when the time comes to eulogize my mother and grandmother.
I have come up with the following 3 ways to commit and give the gift of my time:
Who do you need to make and keep personal appointments with?
How will you make positive changes in order to have almost “no regrets”?
Have you had similar wake-up calls like the one I had?
Lucky you! Not everyone gets the things being put in front of them every day! That being said, my family and a lot of my friends are on the East Coast. Obviously, trying to find time with them 3000 miles away is mostly impossible. However, I have a phone, and I need to pick it up and use it more often. And skype!
Yes, I was blessed to have such an epiphany!
I am glad you made a connection with this post.
Thank goodness that we have the technology for you to be able to schedule long distance appointments.
Thank you for this perspective. You mention “quality time” and I recall someone saying that you cannot manufacture or create true “quality time” without spending “quantity time” with someone. The quality moments seem to happen in the midst of some of the most mundane and unexpected times. The other idea reminds me of Neil’s earlier post regarding being in the moment. Shutting the cell phone off, closing the computer, turning off the television or radio. My daughter’s favorite verse at the time she was baptized is Psalm 46:10, “Be still and know that I am God…” . This literally means, “Drop your arms to your side…” or “Cease striving…”. The modern vernacular might be “Take a chill pill.” or “Take the BIG chill pill”. At any rate, I appreciate your heart and being willing to listen to that still small voice when a “theme” begins to develop.
Thanks for reminding me that people and relationships are the most important and precious things of life. I wish at times that I didn’t have to learn this over and over again. But I do. Hopefully the interval between discovery grow shorter with age.
I agree that you have to be willing to put in the quantity of time in order to experience the quality moments.
We live in a fast-paced, busy world and your suggestion of “taking a chill pill” is crucial.
I am making every attempt to listen to that voice. I have scheduled another “appointment” with my Grandma this Thursday.
I am glad that you were reminded of the importance of the people in your life. I have to remind myself constantly. It is so easy to blow off those personal appointments.
Thank you for your comments,
Lori, this really struck home with me. I am often guilty of not setting personal appointments with friends & loved ones, occasionally canceling when I do set those times or being distracted when I’m with them. You have done an excellent job of reminding us to dedicate our time & be all in the moment- for we may not have the opportunity again, as we know all too well in our profession. Thank you so much for reminding me of what is important! XOXOX Carrie
Thank you for commenting Carrie and admitting you too are guilty of not keeping your personal appointments.
I think when our work time is scheduled for us and we cannot change that we tend to change what we have control over, which are the personal appointments.
Let’s hold each other accountable to spending more time with our loved ones!
Well, that sure struck home with me. The message I get a lot is “Make time for Me First, and I will guide the rest of your day.” I find when I do that, I do better with the rest. At work, one of our mantras is “Relationships first, Tasks second.” When we carry that over into our non work hours, it really helps.
The first thing it made me think of was this: I have a dear sister, who lives in another state and who is quiet and was never one to pick up the phone and call me. A few years ago I found out her daughter got her a cell phone which gave us the same carrier. I began calling her every Wednesday on the way to Rotary. Now it is a sacred thing and we have become so very close because of our standing Wednesday appointment. We both look forward to it.
I plan to make more appointments with loved ones.
It is funny how the most basic of concepts sometimes escape us until they are repeatedly put in our face.
You have modeled my plan of scheduling and keeping personal appointments. It is crucial for us to have peace in our hearts.
I need to remind myself not to focus so much on time to myself. I will get much more out of giving my time to others than I would doing something on my own.
Like you, I plan on making and keeping many more appointments with loved ones.
That includes you! We still need to have lunch together.
Hi Lori –
I love the fact that you are listening to God and the messages are coming to your loud and clear! The more you listen the more you will hear, if you stop listening you will go deaf to the messages.
Ever since Jesse came into my life, I have been shifting what I thought was important to the back burner. I have been making more time for family than ever, between Lisa’s family and my family. Life is very short, we all have to take stock of where we spend it.
The messages are out there everyday, the saddest most profound event happened in Aurora Colorado last week. We never know when it is our last day, thank you for this great reminder.
Children sure have a way of putting this concept into perspective.
I usually try to fold laundry or get things done around the house on the days I am watching Malia.
Last week she wanted me to lay down with her during her afternoon nap. She would scream each time I thought she was asleep and tried to get up. I finally thought, “How often do I have this opportunity, embrace it”.
You are right about us never knowing when our last day may be.
Thank you for your comments!