Saturday morning, just over 10 months out, I got up at first light to go for my favorite 20 mile bike ride. Normally I would drag my kids along with me, but this morning I wanted to think, so I left them sleeping. We have some wonderful trails and the weather was beautiful and just the perfect temperature for a ride.
I like to use the time in the morning to ponder.
As I flew down the hill leaving my house… the wind was blowing my hair back, and I felt this happy content feeling as I sucked in the crisp autumn air. My mind was drawn back to my thoughts on a prior bike ride and while skiing last Christmas. I remembered hearing the words in my mind,
When my husband first died I remember thinking that he was so lucky not to have to deal with everything here that was stressing my life. I complained and fretted and wished desperately that our roles had been reversed… that I would be enjoying the peace of heaven. I felt so poorly equipped to deal with sons and finances and legal issues.
While skiing over the Christmas break with my husband’s family, I remember one particular run that was nearly desereted. My children were up ahead of me, and I looked around at the scenery around me, and for the first time since my husband died… I noticed beauty. My heart softened and I felt peace enter. The words,
Then the understanding that I was here experiencing wonderful memories with my children came to me. I had always had the privilege of building relationships and spending time with my children when they were younger and durring the summer while my husband was at work.
I felt gratitude for that and for his sacrifice that allowed me to be at home with them.
I saw this from his eyes;
I saw what he had missed in the past,
and what he was now missing.
I knew he missed his body, and though free from pain and ailments and fatigue, he wished he could feel the chill air on his face and the race of adrenaline as I spend down the steep slope.
I realized that we were both making sacrifices along this journey, and that it was not just one sided in his favor.
These thoughts have reoccurred at different quiet times when I am enjoying nature, on other bike rides and once again this morning. I am filled with a feeling of gratitude.
I am grateful for that glimpse into my husband’s soul and for the understanding that followed. I’m grateful that I am learning to take time for these moments and for the additional conversation and insights I can gain from my husband through the spirit when I am quietly pondering. The Lord does love us and will not leave us alone or comfort less, but in order to receive that comfort we have to put ourselves in the place and frame of mind to receive it. I’m trying to do that more often and it makes a big difference in my attitude and the direction I now feel in my life.
When I see things through an eternal perspective,
I am give hope,
and that hope allows me to continue on.
Questions to Ponder:
1. How can gratitude change your perspective and help you enjoy life more?
2. In what ways are you the lucky one?