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No Regrets - Issue 214
August 26, 2011
Hi there! ....

This week: I started out with great plans for great lessons and times of learning. It didn’t happen – at least not the way I planned. Instead, the kids and I worked together in cleaning up the house and on a project that had a deadline. We cooked for a new mum and Mainly Music morning tea. We celebrated a friend’s birthday and we relaxed together. It was a good week. Another bonus is that all my planning for the lessons that we didn’t do this week, will be waiting and ready for next week!

Another thing we did yesterday was join the farmers in our community for a time of prayer for the harvest. It was a new initiative for our town, where the Christian farmers invited both the farmers in general and the church to join them in asking God for his blessing and protection over the coming months. It was a good reminder that God is our provider – we may work hard, but ultimately God is our provider (regardless of the harvest).

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No Regrets

This week, in Australia, we’ve seen an extended family lose 11 members in a house fire. Yesterday the kids and I caught a press release – where one man stood up to be the spokesperson for the family (he himself had lost his wife and children). He gave one of the most powerful press-releases I’ve ever heard. After thanking all those who had helped the family, and after explaining some of the Tongan/Samoan customs he gave out a plea, and he clearly instructed the media to cover this part of his statement. He implored people not to take their loved ones for granted, to spend time with their children, to hug them. He himself said that this sounds cliché and in our good times it does. And yet there was a ring of truth in what he is saying (which is why the room full of reporters was totally still and not a sound was heard). He was speaking truth from the midst of his own pain; he was exhorting others to take the opportunity while they can.

This morning Peter his leading a memorial service for a man who was a part of the pioneering of this town. So we are reminded, not only from afar but also in our own backyard, that life is short and we need to treasure our family and loved ones.

It always frustrates me that it takes a tragedy, a loss, a sickness before people take stock and really evaluate priorities. My prayer for Peter and I is that it will not take such an event in our own life but we will be wise with the time we have here on earth. That we will treasure the relationships we have, that we will be productive in God’s Kingdom with the time, skills and resources God has given us.

And though I don’t intend to be sombre it is a good time to be reminded of those things that people regret when they do lose a loved one. Let’s take this day to:

  • Spend time with our loved ones – do we keep putting off a family outing, a date, watching a movie together, playing a board game? For those who live with distances, take the time to write a letter, an email, make a phone call or a Skype call.
  • Give a hug – to look them in the eye and say “I love you”.
  • Sort through issues and forgive – We need to sort through disagreements quickly – and don’t hold grudges. We need to let go of ‘offenses’ or better still don’t pick them up! Do not let the sun go down while you are still angry Ephesians 4:26
  • Laugh together. Laughter cements memories, uplifts a sad heart, and heals rifts
  • Be kind to each other. Our actions speak louder than our words sometimes. We may say we love but we also need to show it.

I don’t know about you, but I have a pretty long to-do list. All the things I need to do as a mum, as a homemaker, as a homeschooler, as a committee member, as a … (the list goes on) and some of these things seem pretty pressing. It isn’t that we don’t do these things, but rather that we need to see our whole life and find balance – and that includes relationships; we need to make room for people. Here are some of the things I’m working on to help this be a reality (more consistently) in my own life:

  • Declutter – stuff unmotivates me. When there is clutter around, I rather hide in busyness. When the house is fresh then I delight in spending time with family and friends in the house.
  • Free up my evenings for relationships and relaxation. Which means I need to work hard and efficiently in my ‘daylight’ hours. I’m not strict with watching the clock here, it is just something I’m working towards. Time for work, time for play – regularly.
  • Reducing my to-do list. I’m asking myself is this task important for where my family is at today – and if not, then I’m trying to learn to say no.
  • Prepare for our weekend. I want the house to look clean and tidy, clothes to be ironed and food planned. This is a new goal I have (or one I am re-establishing).

It is easy to get caught up in the busyness of today. In the planning of the busyness of tomorrow even! But don’t let that be the regrets of tomorrow!

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Until next week

Belinda Letchford
Living life with her kids in Australia!

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