Tuesday, June 14, 2016

A Life That Goes Beyond~

"Don't be hot, Beautiful.  Please, Baby.  Don't be hot."

As I started my car, turned on the air conditioning, and buckled my seatbelt, I felt like going anywhere, but home.

Four weeks of temperatures in the upper 90s,
plus home air conditioning that was refusing to "condition",
plus four months of living alone in an empty house without my handsome honey
had me wiping tears as I turned to back out of the church parking lot.

"Just do it, Beautiful.  Just ask them.  They won't mind.  Please, Baby. Don't be hot."

As I headed down the street toward my neighborhood, I could almost hear the voice of my husband.
And, in my heart's ear, it sounded sad -
so very sad.

Just knowing the way he loved -
the way he always wanted to protect me,
the way he always longed to make things right for me,
the way he couldn't stand to see me
struggling -
I knew it would break his heart if he knew I had been living in this heat with no air conditioning.

Back in May, before the weather ripped off its spring attire and started strutting its full summer look,
my neighbors graciously offered to service my air conditioner and get it ready for summer.

Only, when the weather finally did turn hot, and I turned my air conditioner from "off" to "on", nothing happened. Hot day after hot night, after hot day after hot night, I was hot. And yet, I couldn't muster up the courage to go next door and ask these kindhearted neighbors to climb back up on my roof.

What is it about asking for help that keeps us from asking for help?

Getting closer to home the radio reminded me of the forecast for the week ahead - triple digits.

And again, these words:
"Don't be hot, Beautiful.  Please, Baby.  Don't be hot."

Arriving home, I decided to put off going inside as long as I could. So, instead of reaching for the key to unlock the front door, I reached for the faucet and the hose and began watering some flowers along our front walk, praying all the while God would "make a way" for me to ask the neighbors for help.

And, that's when it happened. The gentleman of the house next door came out to do some watering of his own.  And, at that very moment, it was almost as if the love of my husband and the love of my Heavenly Father came together to give me the strong nudge in the back I needed.

Before I knew it, I heard myself saying, "Hi. I hate to bother you, but . . ."
And, just like that, a ladder was propped up next to my house, and my neighbor and his son were on my roof.

For over 2 hours they worked on my roof.  But, when the ladder was taken down, and the tools were all neatly tucked back in their toolbox, cool air was blowing through out my house.

And, I tell you all of that to ask you this:

Have you ever thought about the span of your life?  Not the time of your life between the moment you take your first breath and your last, but the span of your life long after you have gone.

Losing my husband has completely changed the way I view most things now. Before he passed away, I thought I wanted to leave behind a legacy.  Now, I am thinking more in terms of extending the span of my life.

Because you see,
a legacy is just that,
something you leave behind.

But, to extend the span of your life -
long beyond the actual living of your life -
this, this reaches out into the future even after you have gone.

The way my husband loved -
is spanning the chasm of death and reaching out into my today and tomorrow, even now.

Knowing the way he would feel about something,
hearing the words he spoke time and time again replay in my mind,
remembering the actions of his heart and what he would do if he was here to do it,
all of this and so much more
keeps showing up here and now, still, even in his absence.

Dictionary.com defines span as:
the full extent, stretch, or reach of anything
to extend over or across

The way my husband lived and the beautiful, faithful way he loved,
is still reaching into my today and my tomorrow.
And, I am so grateful.

More than this, though,
I am grateful for the love of my Jesus that spans this life and continues on for all eternity.

His love,
a love that was born to die,
a love that spanned the width of a cross and the width of all humanity,
will forever be reaching into my today, my tomorrow, and my forever.

Knowing the way He loves,
grasping the way He feels,
hearing the words He speaks into my life time and time again,
remembering the actions of  His heart and what He would have me do,
all of this and so much more
is every part of every moment of every day of my life.

To make a difference while we are alive,
but to make a difference even after the sting of death -
this, this is the desire of my heart.

I want my life to count with every breath I take,
more than this,
so much more than this,
I want it to count long after my breath is no more.

I want the way I love to count now,
I want the way I loved to one day combine with the love of the Holy Spirit
and be the strong nudge that others may need to
ask for help,
pray a prayer,
pick up their Bible,
surrender their heart,
flee the voice of the enemy,
run straight to the arms of God.

I want words I have spoken in the past to remind someone who needs reminding that

"God loves you."

"God will always bless you with that which matters most."

"Nothing you can do will ever make God love you less. Nothing you can do will make God love you more. God loves you because He loves you.  It's as simple and as amazing as that."

"God's ways are perfectly perfect."

"No matter how many steps you've taken away from God, it only takes one to get back"

and then, propel them upward and onward into their future, ever closer to their Heavenly Father.

I don't want to leave a legacy behind me,
I want to love and live in a way that my life
spans out beyond me,
even when,
especially when,
I am only a memory.

I want my life to keep on drawing others into a saving knowledge of Jesus
all the way
up until
the very moment when
our Savior returns to take us home.

1 comment:

  1. Stacy, this post so touched my heart , thank you . If you were here I would give you a huge hug . Thank you . Thanking God in His perfect timing and sovereignty for using you to bring this message to us . In his amazing love .


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