Throwing in the Towel – It’s Time for a Make-Over

The make-up artist did such an amazing job that I almost didn’t recognize myself! Sitting still for an extended time eased my mind of the wedding jitters. I hadn’t anticipated feeling this way as mother of the groom. “My baby is getting married” I thought. “Oh but wait … he’s 30.” “Don’t blink! You might just miss your babies growing like mine did.” Kenny Chesney nailed it, and I hope you take note because “life goes faster than you think!”

The lyrics ran through my mind and brought bittersweet makeuptears to my eyes. If I could “make-over” my life, what would I change?  As a mother, a wife, friend, sister, daughter, caregiver, entrepreneur … they’re all me and I’ve done my  utmost to be who God made me to be.  I can’t claim perfect, but I can certainly claim persistent.

I’ve been labeled bold, tenacious, and driven. When people first meet me they look surprised by my petite  5′ just over 100 pound framework. It’s your heart that determines your capacity for the journey though. A close friend once said, “your heart’s so big, it shouldn’t fit in your chest.”  I pray I never forget that gift my friend saw in me. I pray I’ve passed such compassion onto my children. I pray God will use me to increase hope in others’ hearts, all the days of my life.

November 14th 2014 – our 33rd wedding anniversary and our son’s (coincidental) wedding day – the day I knew in my heart it was time to throw in the towel. Time to put aside some of my aspirations for Hope Matters, including our co-hosted radio show. Time to plug into what matters right here and right now.

Caregiving for my parents, loving them through Mom’s battle with Alzheimer’s disease, has become increasingly more stressful. You see, first your parents worry about you and you age them … then you worry about your parents and they age you! I’d been mulling over what to give up. Too many plates spinning. Too little time to just be and enjoy the moments. Too few hours to get too much done. It all flooded my mind as I looked in the mirror. The “new me” stared back and I thanked God for familiarity. I now have to remind Mom “who” the mirror reflects back. Such moments are among the heart-heaviest in this caregiving journey.

Oftentimes, doing things more slowly actually means doing them better. Being more present is a “present” in and of itself.  Letting go of the glorification of busy is a beautiful and peaceful maneuver. Being bold, tenacious, and driven to care for oneself is equally as important and rewarding as caring for others.

Does your life need a make-over? Throwing in the towel isn’t about giving up, it’s about knowing what and when to change … and then having the courage to do it. Focus. Listen to your heart. Embrace change. Don’t blink or life and its blessings will pass you by.

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