Very early yesterday morning I watched as this girl, one of my best friends in the world, drove away, her minivan loaded down with luggage, crafty gear, and her 3 darling (and very sleepy) little girls, headed back home after spending a week here with us. I'm grateful for the sacrifice (of time, car mileage, and money) she made to make this happen. I love that our children love each other like brothers and sisters. I love that we are making memories with them, memories that they will carry into adulthood. I love that Amanda understands as I do that we have to make the most of the moments we are given....and as overused as YOLO has become, that we share that theme when it comes to how we do life, and the experiences we want our families to have.
Yes, it's been a fun summer. A summer full of travels and family and friends. It hasn't been a restful summer, but after a weekend of reserved downtime where I actually did nothing, I realized that I don't do well with nothing. I truly do thrive in the chaos. I'm happier when there's a plan....when we're busy. At the same time, I know the importance of quiet time....of being still. Sometimes during the still moments God shows us things that are we need to do differently. Sometimes then He calls us to do something new...something that may seem scary. So I think I use the busyness to avoid that. It's unwise, so I'm working on being ok with the quiet, and the realization that God also uses those times to just let us rest and reflect on the good. I'm learning to treasure those moments and crave them as much as I do the crazy-full-scheduled times. To find the balance between the two. I have a ways to go with all that....but we're getting there. (**case in point: right now I'm blogging, and my house is in desperate need of cleaning. You can call it procrastinating, or you can call it getting some much-needed downtime. It doesn't take away the fact that my house is a wreck, but I'm realizing that sometimes some things have to take a backseat. Sometimes it's more important to sit here snuggled with my littlest guy while he has some chill time too. Pretty sure I'm not going to regret this:)
Late Saturday night I received a text from my sister that my favorite radio jock had passed away very unexpectantly. I'm heartbroken. That may seem silly because I never had the opportunity to know Kidd Kraddick personally, but it's not silly to me.
This guy has made a mark on my life. He was a forerunner in my "Be the Good" lifestyle, and one of the inspirations for why I do it. I've listened to him since I was 11 years old. I literally grew up with him as a staple in my morning routine. Kidd was the funniest person on the radio. He and the rest of his morning show crew played a part in naming Hunter. After Harrison's insistence that our 3rd have an "H" name like he and Hud, they were talking about what a "hot" name Hunter was, and I was sold. Lol...we had already chosen it, but that was good confirmation, right? ;) When we moved here over 3 years ago, I was so thankful to be able to listen to his morning show online each day. I found comfort in all of their funny catch phrases...."Boogaloo!" and "Love yours!" (when a caller would say "love your show!), "Have a good circus!" and the thing that was said at the end of every show: "Keep looking up, because that's where it all is." It gave me a feeling of normalcy when so many things didn't feel normal yet. Especially during those first several months when I was so incredibly homesick, he made me feel like we were still home. It truly helped me adjust to living here, and I will forever be thankful to him for that.
Kidd was also one of the most generous people I've ever had the opportunity to learn from. His Kidd's Kids charity (you can learn more and take part here) has sent thousands of disabled and terminally ill kids and their families on an all expenses paid trip to Disney World for a magical week free of hospitals and tests and scary stuff every year for the past 21 years. He made a difference in so many lives....he taught me the importance of doing all I can to help others. To not avoid difficult things...to face them head on. To look at (instead of trying to avoid) people who are hurting, to smile and sincerely show that I care. To do what I can to help. This is huge.
Realizing today that he's brought another lesson to the surface, one I would rather not have to reminded of. Life is short. No one knows how much time we have. This is the second reminder of this reality I've had this summer...two lives cut short. That in itself breaks my heart. We have to make the most of all of our moments. To make our mark here. It's why we are here. When you stop to think about the scope of that responsibility, it's overwhelming. Makes me want to shut down, crawl under my covers, and hide. So I don't try to think too hard about it, instead trying to stay in tune with Jesus and trust Him to show me, one thing at a time. Making myself be quiet, to listen for His voice...to make my walk with Him the priority. To take care of and love my family hard. To stand beside my husband and be a true partner in the ministry that God has called us to. To make time for friends that need encouragement. To push forward with this Save the Storks ministry that has quickly become near and dear to my heart. To realize when I need to rest, to shut out the world for a bit, to give into my introvert-ness and not feel guilty about it. And to be on alert for when other opportunities arise that I can help with. If I can do this with the half the amount of humor and compassion that Kidd Kraddick did, then I think it has to be good, right?
For these last couple weeks of summer we're going to make the most of our moments. I'm not quite ready to have 7th, 4th, and 1st graders just yet. We've got more pool time to have,
more dreams to pursue,
some football to play,and yes, it's already time to hit the ball fields with this group of boys again. Love this baseball family. :)
I encourage you to do the same...to treasure the moments that make your family yours. Listen to what your heart says....find your thing and do what you can to help make it better. Just as important? Let yourself mess up. Don't feel like everything has to be just right. Be quiet. Be funny. Live big. Love bigger.