The grand sweep

When I left my home for this extended absence, I left a basket full of gifts for my children. One for each child, for each day. I envisioned them opening them in a difficult moment...a moment of missing Mama, at different times each day. Instead, they rush to the basket first thing every morning, and gleefully open their gift to see how I intended to start this day for them. I am thankful God directed me and gave me heightened awareness as I carefully selected each day, calendar in hand, knowing a few skeleton details of what that day would hold for them. Monday was picture day. Cute, decorated 3"x 3" picture frames, one for each child, with a photo of me loving them up. Something to brighten the beginning of another week without Mama. A visual reminder of the strength and tenacity of a mother's love.

I find myself waking in the morning, a little later than usual, but still at a reasonable hour. Around 7 a.m., I wake up, look into the sky and unwrap the day like the gift it is. I am away from my loved ones, it is true. Yet here I am, on the North Shore of Lake Superior, with the pale blue sky above and the grandeur of that beloved and familiar wild granite shore undergirding me. Enveloped in the warm air and presence of two of my favorite people on earth. Eating tomato soup and grilled cheese sandwiches, the familiar slip of a hand of cards under my swollen fingertips. I am incredibly alive. There is poison brewing in me, and I feel it's undercurrent, but I am not pulled under by it. I am buoyed by it. I bob on the surface with remarkable resilience and spirit. "I flit, I float, I fleetly flee, I fly"...as do the days.

This day is a pearl, just like my unexpected Monday of a week past. Sometimes my pearls reflect the dull tears my eyes refuse to cry in their dry state; sometimes the crinkle of swollen eyes curved in smile. These are bittersweet days, but days nonetheless. I read something today that reminded me of WHO is waiting, and what Home He is waiting in! Who am I to ask to linger? How would my husband feel if I begged to stay away from home just one more day, stretching the 17 to 18?? How would I feel if my husband begged me to stay away for just one more? How ridiculous! Yet that is what my request for "life" amounts to! My God has promised that He, in His wisdom, omnipotence and grace, has granted me the perfect number of days! Why do I ask for "just one more"? I cannot get my head around that question right now. Not to mention my heart!

Man's days are determined; you have decreed the number of his months and have set limits he cannot exceed. ~ Job 14:5

Teach us to number our days aright, that we may gain a heart of wisdom. ~ Psalm 90:12

And when I turned I saw seven golden lampstands, and among the lampstands was someone "like a son of man,"dressed in a robe reaching down to his feet and with a golden sash around his chest. His head and hair were white like wool, as white as snow, and his eyes were like blazing fire. His feet were like bronze glowing in a furnace, and his voice was like the sound of rushing waters. In his right hand he held seven stars, and out of his mouth came a sharp double-edged sword. His face was like the sun shining in all its brilliance.

When I saw him, I fell at his feet as though dead. Then he placed his right hand on me and said: "Do not be afraid. I am the First and the Last. I am the Living One; I was dead, and behold I am alive for ever and ever! And I hold the keys of death and Hades." ~ Revelation 1:12-18

Who am I to be afraid? For the First and the Last, the Living One, miraculously, tenderly, whole-heartedly and unabashedly cares for me!