I started a post this afternoon about the busy-ness of this season...how it's keeping me from relishing in all the things I love so much about it. I took a break from writing to check email, and I came upon a letter. A Christmas letter from Mary Beth Chapman. And perhaps one of the most poignant letters I've ever read. I love the parts of it that make me feel like I'm part of her family. But I love most the parts that settle deep in my soul. Parts like this one...
As I anticipate Christmas 2008, I have many thoughts flying through my heart and head. The last several days, my mind has not been able to stop thinking about Mary, the mother of Jesus. Pregnant and scared, knowing that the baby she was carrying eventually would pay the ultimate price of His life. How would I have lived differently if I knew that my time with Maria was going to be this short? Regretfully, I would have lived much differently. I would have purposely hugged and kissed more. I would have tried to memorize and lock away in my heart certain smells and smiles. I would have colored more and worked less. I would have laughed more and fussed less. Bedtime wouldn’t have become a chore to check off the list of things to get done. Instead it would have been more of an opportunity to listen about the day and offer whatever words were needed. The swimming pool wouldn’t have been too cold to swim in. The flowers in the garden would have all been picked, and definitely more ice cream would have been consumed!
Be still, my heart. As I read these lines, the tears just rolled down my face. I know I have personally felt conviction as a mother on many occasions, knowing full well I am not embracing each moment, but, regrettably, waiting anxiously for time to pass for my own selfish purposes. I pray I never know the pain in Mary Beth Chapman's heart. I hope with everything in me that I will use her words as a reminder to cherish the moments of this season...not just the tranquil storybook moments, but, most especially, the moments of chaotic craziness...the noise from a houseful of kids, the toys and backpacks all over my floor, the sticky counters and sink full of dishes, the disheveled sofa pillows, the mad dash from parties to pageants, the dirty socks...okay, maybe I'm stretching it a bit here. The point is I want to do a little better job of making the most of ALL the moments I'm given.
Click on this link to read the entire letter...and maybe live life a little differently than you might have this weekend...I know I will.
You will notice in each paragraph of Mary Beth's letter,
she highlights the word SEE.
Maria drew the pictures above the morning she died.
The links below best explain the significance
of this drawing to the Chapman family.