A good friend of mine was recently told she has malignant melanoma. Thankfully, they caught it early enough so she will be fine, but the journey itself has been mind-wrenching, as she thinks about her family and how in the world she could try to fathom their lives going on without her. It was a rude awakening and, with her urging, I scheduled an appointment with her dermatologist. With a Dad who is in remission from stage four cancer and the fact that I tanned in high school, I knew it would be stupid of me to not get checked out. I had a mole removed from my foot and the results came back this week, telling me it was okay. I'm going in next week for a full-body lookover, just to make sure everything else is okay, too.
The experience was slightly jarring for me, realizing that I am growing up and beginning to deal with these things and having loved ones who deal with even more serious things. These things have also contributed to the diet overhaul in our home. It's not only the kids I want to keep healthy--I want to make sure I'm healthy for them as we all grow older. I'm becoming more aware of the day-to-day decisions we make to keep our bodies in check. I keep thinking of Romans 12:1 that tell us that our bodies are to be "holy and pleasing to God". I know that holiness is not skin deep, but would God be pleased with how I treat my body? Am I making sacrifices to make that happen? Can a "living sacrifice" mean saying no to certain foods? I could be interpreting that verse wrong. All I know is that it stands at the forefront of my mind every day. Holy and pleasing. What does that look like?
One of my favorite quotes is a passage from Luke that, loosely translated, states "To whom much is given, much will be required". I'm sure that I am taking it out of context, but this is another topic I've been mulling over. I recently started volunteering for a ministry at our church that provides a class for pregnant teens or young twenty-somethings, and also for young parents. I'm a co-facilitator for the parenting group. We've only met once, but I already know this is where I am supposed to be. My passion is for young women and young Moms (I worked at a girls' home in college and did my internship at a crisis pregnancy center) and this ministry reaches both. When the opportunity came up to help, I jumped in. My husband was excited, too, because he knows how much I have wanted to be involved in something like this. Five years after college and two years after leaving the workforce, I am finally using my degree. I feel that I have been given much and I want to be responsible with giving back. And now that I am a Mom, my heart longs to connect with these young women. Being a mom can be tough even when you have a good home, an awesome support network, and consistent income. So many young women do not have those things and I admire and respect their resilient strength and desire to create a good life for their children.
For some reason this morning I woke up feeling sleepy, with a lot on my mind. I feel more awake now that I've typed some of those things out.
So. These are the things of which I have been thinking. A peek into my brain.
And here is my picture for Friday Love...
...and the reason I think so much. I am amazed at how differently I look at my life now that my children are in it.
Have a lovely day.