Not Goodbye ❤️

This past year for me has been full of death of all kinds. 
Death of dreams, and of goals, and of self and of fears.
But the most heart breaking by far has been the death of one of the most special people in my life.
She was a woman so amazing and beautiful; my Aunt Anne.
The world is emptier without her and definitely more rich because of her.
Aunt Anne baking brownies with my kids

Lessons I learned from my Aunt Anne:

  • Just because other people think you can't sing doesn't mean you shouldn't. 
  • Kids are valuable and worth spending time with and for.
  • Grown ups, even grumpy ones, are valuable, and worth spending time with and for.
  • Jesus loves me.
  • A Sunday School craft can be constructed using what you have in your cupboard, maybe something found in the recycling, and a glue gun and it will be amazing
  • It is okay that you have twenty three glue guns in the closet. You never know when you will need them. All of them. 
  • Forgive. 
  • Keep believing. Even when you can't talk, can't move, can't breathe- Keep believing. 
  • Listen to others.
  • Call your family.
  • Pray.
  • Write thank you notes.
  • Have nice dishes-and use them.
  • It's okay to let your kids eat the brownie batter. In fact, it's not just okay, you are keeping them from good things when you don't.
  • Always leave your house prepared. This means you will win every baby shower and bridal shower "do you have this in your purse?" game. Hands down.
  • Make strawberry jam. Keep some, give some away.
  • Use cloth napkins and real table cloths.
  • Don't wear pajamas during the day. No matter what. Even if you are so sick you are just going back to bed. Get dressed.
  • Read. 
  • Celebrate traditions.
  • Volunteer.
  • Work hard.
  • Love your family with all your heart, even when they do things that break it. 
  • Never give up.  Even when you can't talk, can't move, can't breathe. Keep going.
  • Go to church on Sunday. Listen-to the sermon, to the kids, to the strangers and to your friends-you will always learn a lot. 
  • When you go to church, bring someone with you. Is there someone you know who can't drive? Bring them. What about a few kids who need a ride? Bring them, too. 
  • An afternoon spent with a movie and popcorn is a good one.
  • Anne of Green Gables-so good.
  • Love.
  • Make extra gravy for Thanksgiving -without the giblets-for that picky niece (and never once tell her how picky she is).
  • Christmas break is synonymous with "cookie baking week".
  • There is always room at the table or in the house for an extra person.
  • A life lived loving and following Jesus is a life that shines. 
She always shined. I am sure anyone who knew her could make their own list of beauty-filled things about her because she was just that way.
I am going miss her----I already do, for sure. 
But, I am reminded that this is not a forever goodbye-just a temporary one. 
When we accept Jesus as our Lord and Savior, our death is not the end. 
It is just the beginning. And our separation from other believers is just a temporary situation. 
Here is something I read recently from Randy Alcorn's book Heaven:

I'm standing on the seashore. A ship at my side spreads
Her white sails to the morning breeze and starts for the
Blue ocean. She's an object of beauty and strength, and
I stand and watch her until, at length, she hangs like
A speck of white cloud just where the sea and the sky
Come down to mingle with each other. And then I hear
Someone at my side saying, "There, she's gone."
Gone where? Gone from my sight, that is all. She is
Just as large in mast and hull and spar as she was when
She left my side. And just as able to bear her load of living
Freight to the place of destination. Her diminished size is
In me, not in her.
     And just at the moment when someone at my side says,
"There, she's gone," there are other eyes watching her
Coming, and there are other voices ready to take up the
Glad shout, "Here she comes!"                                              

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