Sunday, July 15, 2012

99 and Counting

Here I am with my siblings today as we celebrated my mother's 99th birthday.  It's interesting how God weaves the stories of our lives and puts us into families  so we can ideally learn to love in a safe and caring environment.

That was certainly true in my case.  My mother was suddenly widowed at age 34 when her first husband died in his sleep the night the family moved into a new home.  My mother was left with 4 children ranging in age from 4 to 12 years old.  It was a great tragedy for sure, but without that tragedy I would not have been born.

A few years later my mother remarried and then I came along--the adored baby sister to four older siblings who fought to take care of me.  Eighteen months to the day after my birth, my mother gave birth to my little sister.  But, in God's plan, she lived only 10 weeks and then died from an undiagnosed congenital heart condition.  So I am left as the youngest and only child from my parents' marriage.

My birth and my survival are a mystery to me, as God's plans probably are to each of us.  For some reason, though, He willed to breathe me into being and continues to give me breath each day.  Likewise, He has given my mother breath day by day into what I call her "last year in double digits."

Why?  I don't know.  But I do know that I want to please Him.  I want to fulfill His purpose.  Whether it's continuing to minister through Operation Christmas Child or cleaning my house, I want to be obedient.  I want to make God smile.

I haven't yet had 99 years to do God's will like my mother has had, but I've already had 59 more years than my sister had.

Whether I have 99 more seconds to please God or 99 years, I'll say with the psalmist, "My times are in Your hand." Psalm 31:15

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