Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Watching and Waiting...

And learning about patience.

Have patience, have patience, don't be in such a hurry.
When you get impatient, you only start to worry.
Remember, remember that God is patient too.
And, think of all the times when others have to wait on you.
Songs from The Music Machine, circa 1978, stick in my head like it was yesterday. Those were the years when I made a mission of teaching my children important life traits like patience, along with love, joy, peace, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. It was a lot to teach, a lot to try to demonstrate every day, in every way -- and I didn't always succeed, not with the teaching part or the demonstrating part. I had a theory that if you could just get the first and last down pat: love and self-control -- the rest would sort of fall into place.
Who's with me? (Lucky for us, diligence didn't make the list.)
That marvelous kids album came to my rescue and helped me clue my kids in on all nine marvelous character traits known as the fruit of the spirit: love,  joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. Nothing is more important than love, which we know in our hearts, even if we don't know the Bible verses, is the greatest command. And if you skip from that to self-control and master it as well, then surely joy, peace, patience, kindness, gentleness, faithfulness, and goodness will work themselves out. That's my story and I'm sticking to it. Regardless, we played the songs over and over, sang along while working, playing, and swinging on swings. At night the "Peace" song was a favorite lullaby.
Peace, peace
I think I understand.
Peace, peace
is holding Jesus' hand.
They were songs for kids. Just for kids. But today they are songs for a grown up -- me. They run through my mind bringing me comfort...and peace. When my boys were little I sang those songs and rocked them. And rocked and rocked and rocked. I used to wonder why it took them so long to close their eyes and go to sleep. 
Now it's a grown up me replaying those old songs in my mind, singing them to Mom when no one is near enough to hear. Singing and watching and waiting -- patiently -- for her to pass into the presence of Jesus, wondering why it takes so long. 
And somehow everything gets mixed up. I think of my mom when I was young. I'm reminiscing about family life, times with my siblings. I call to mind special moments my kids had with their Oma and Pop Pop, my mom and dad, back when they were young grandparents. And then somehow it's my own grandparents I'm remembering and missing. It's all mixed up. All the stages of life with generations coming and going. And I know, like it or not, this is how it should be. This is in the right order, the kindest, best, natural order of life. Like it or not. All our days are numbered. And suddenly we're left with two paradoxical thoughts: Where did the time go? and Why does it take so long?


Ellen Campbell said...

I pray for peace and ease for you all as you watch and wait It is an honor and a gift to walk this road with your mom…be well and take care of yourself too, good friend. You are prayed for.

RuthAnn said...

Betsy, sending loving thoughts and prayers for you and all your loved ones.

Kristine Riddle said...

Sending hugs and praying for peace for both you and your family.

Erie Doula said...

Comings and goings, arrivals, departures, generations, seasons, memories - how mysterious, yet ordered this life is. Who knew in those long days, short years of mothering littles that those songs would come to comfort you now? Our Father did. May you and all your family be deeply blessed in this Advent time as you are immersed in a season of expectant waiting. Praying you peace and joy through it all, friend.

Betsy Henning said...

Thank you dear friends, I'm in the airport. Heading home. I had a ticket to fly home today and didn't want to leave my mom... on the brink.

God saw to that. He called her home last night. It was a blessed experience with my sisters and Dad, an honor to see Mom off to heaven. It brought me joy to let her go. My only sadness is for our loss, especially my dad's loss and loneliness.

Thank you for the lovely and comforting words, girls. Thank you so much.