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Valentine's Day Special: Adventure by the Sea, part 3...
Cassandra Frear continues her story of her 25th anniversary trip with her husband... even though times were rough, and the future was uncertain. Cassandra is a homeschooling mother of two graduates, and an inspirational speaker and writer and mentor. Do check her website link on our side bar for 'Apple Pie for Moms.'
Behold, we know not anything;
I can but trust
that good shall fall
At last -- far off --
at last to all,
And every winter
change to spring.
- Alfred, Lord Tennyson
I could be sad.
Over disappointments, over the way life has stalled, over our current situation. I could despair over not having more, not being more. I could look at how much we might have been able to do at another time. I could compare our present reality to the ideal.
Or I could just be grateful.
I've wanted to go to this place on our anniversary for years. Here we are, in the midst of hard times, actually doing it. Amazing.
I could kneel down in awe. Who can fathom the ways of God?
I could take this chance for joy and take it with the companion I've been given, in the place where it came to me. Here and now.
Our longings have been woven into our design by the Great Designer. They are part of the truth about us. Sometimes it's easier to ignore them and settle for less than we might have. That's what God seemed to be pressing on me that day. I could settle for less.
It would be safe and practical. But it would also mean that I was not living as well as I could. There are great risks in dreaming of possibilities and stretching myself for something that might be out of reach. I may fail and have to face the resulting emptiness. But even if this happens, I'll become someone different because I've stretched myself. I'll live a richer life, one that would not have otherwise been possible.
Yes, I could settle for less. No one would know. The familiarity of it is comforting in some way that's hard to define.
But God was urging me forward. Now is the time. Take the next step. Take hold of each moment and live as fully as possible in it.
"The glory of God is man fully alive." (St. Irenaeus)
The sentence marched like a drumbeat through my head while I packed and prepared.
That day, I chose to live deeply and joyfully. Not as a way of escaping realities or putting off the inevitable or insulating myself from hard things. But as a way of being fully alive. I decided I should waste no more time on regrets. I should spend no more precious minutes wishing I was more, had done more, had more -- of anything. Each day, each moment, was a gift.
All I had to do was untie the ribbons.
Can you think of a moment when you felt fully alive?
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