This week’s post and challenge comes courtesy once again from my dear friend and sister in Messiah Yeshua, Laurie L. Thank you for this beautiful challenge!
Living with intention. So many people have impacted my life. So many in good ways, and others in not so good ways. I just lost a dear aunt a little over a week ago, and so, of course, I’ve been thinking about her character, and the life she lived, and how she impacted my life. I admired her beauty and her sense of fashion. Ooh, she could seriously dress! Let me tell you, those designer suits and matching hats-she rocked those hats! I am not fashionable at all; I just enjoy being clothed and comfortable! But I’m trying to put a little of her flair for beautiful things into my everyday by taking time to be a little more intentional about looking presentable. I don’t have to go out and buy designer suits or be a “mini-auntie”, but I can be intentional about caring about how I look and not fall into “comfy frumpy” me.
More important than how my aunt dressed was the beauty that poured out from her heart and soul, namely, her love for her family and friends, her constant prayers for us and her encouragement. So many people at her funeral commented on how she was constantly praying for people–and when she said she was praying, she was PRAYING! She had an unshakable faith and loved, loved, loved our Messiah. She wasn’t afraid to tell people about who He was and what He had done in her life. She was thankful everyday of her eighty years and four months of life. Though in much pain at times because of aches and pains from healing from surgery or illness, she would always say how good G-d was and how thankful she was for another day.
So in honor of my aunt, I hope to be an aunt, sister, mother, and friend like her. To be remembered for being a serious woman of faith and prayer, who was faithful in investing into the lives of her family and those around her. This trait also makes me think of our matriarchs. Weren’t they also mighty women of emunah and prayer? So this week’s challenge is to focus on intentionally remembering those who have gone on before us and to adjust our lives, to make character changes for the better, to live with intention for the NOW. Our matriarchs and patriarchs of the faith, and those in our family and lives who have left stories, traits, and things behind that we can still carry on–these are the things we should be remembering.
It is hard to carry on when our loved ones die. It hurts, it’s painful, but Baruch Hashem for time to grieve, and remember, and sort through feelings. Do you ever just ache and long for Messiah to be here like right now?! Oh, all too often, right? But there is work to do, and He didn’t leave us alone with just stories and memories to pass down.
John 14:16-28 our Messiah said,
And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another Helper, to be with you forever, even the Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot receive, because it neither sees him nor knows him. You know him, for he dwells with you and will be in you.
“I will not leave you as orphans; I will come to you. Yet a little while and the world will see me no more, but you will see me. Because I live, you also will live. In that day you will know that I am in my Father, and you in me, and I in you. Whoever has my commandments and keeps them, he it is who loves me. And he who loves me will be loved by my Father, and I will love him and manifest myself to him.” Judas (not Iscariot) said to him, “Lord, how is it that you will manifest yourself to us, and not to the world?” Jesus answered him, “If anyone loves me, he will keep my word, and my Father will love him, and we will come to him and make our home with him. Whoever does not love me does not keep my words. And the word that you hear is not mine but the Father’s who sent me.
“These things I have spoken to you while I am still with you. But the Helper, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, he will teach you all things and bring to your remembrance all that I have said to you. Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you. Not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your hearts be troubled, neither let them be afraid. You heard me say to you, ‘I am going away, and I will come to you.’ If you loved me, you would have rejoiced, because I am going to the Father, for the Father is greater than I.
We’ve been given the gift of the Bible, a book of words filled with encouragement, faith, and instruction of how to live in this life, as well as so many beautiful stories about people who have gone on before us. We can learn to live lives of faith, hope, love, forgiveness, and from the examples of others we can take warnings from and learn to change our character. If you are alive and reading this, like me, you have another moment to make a change. To learn to smile, to have joy and peace, to give with a full heart, to forgive and mend relationships, to love deeply and fully.
Yet you do not know what your life will be like tomorrow. You are just a vapor that appears for a little while and then vanishes away. (James 4:14)
May we all continue to learn and grow and labor on and leave a sweet fragrance behind when we leave this world.