Sacrificing to receive

We are reading a book in our small group - Fields of Gold, by Andy Stanley - all about fear and giving. As I read it, I'm not thinking about money. For one thing, giving money has never been my biggest issue - stewardship is. Personally, I think that's one reason God gave me a husband. Aaron is my check & balance. My children need to be provided for, which motivates me to be more careful that I might otherwise be with my resources (time, energy, money, consumables).

Watching the Indian summer dance of evening cooled skin glimmering in the cascade of water from the sprinkler across the dead grass of fall, it hits me deep. I love this place. I love these children. I love this countryside. I love the sights, the sounds, the smells. I love a million little details about the life God gave me. Except for one.

I don't love death. Death to self, death to money, death to things, death to people, and especially not death as in the end of life. Being a person who hates change, I would happily exist in Groundhog Day, living one day over and over until I finally get it right. Suspended in time. Suspended in this joy of sprinkler spray and icy goosebumps and laughter lilting through the thin air of autumn sunset.

There are things in life - not necessarily things, persay - that I am clutching to my chest. Things I can't imagine giving up. I only hope I learn the lessons before they are taken from me, whenever that may be. I want to treasure these moments when everything crystallizes and I know God is calling me to trust and to sacrifice. I want to bottle that aching lament I feel squeezing my chest when I think about leaving this life. I want to be able to just sniff the fragrance of loss long enough that it leaves an indelible memory, whispering, "How great is the love the Father has lavished on us, that we should be called the sons of God!" (I John 3:1)