Wednesday, September 25, 2013

A Rich and Full Life

Christina's Dad (Doug) and I just returned from Christina's grave.  It is a beautiful spot overlooking the Strait of Juan de Fuca.  It is a place that draws my heart to God.  Sparkling water, glowing sunset, and unhurried calm.  We talked a little about Christina and then sang a couple of songs she loved.  The last song we sang was an old one from Christina's childhood--"You are My Hiding Place".  We have a recording of our little family singing it when Christina was about 3.  "I will trust in Youuuuuuuuuu, I will trust in Youuuuuuuuuuu...."  Christina loved listening to that recording.  We always laughed and laughed at our vigorous, slightly out of tune rendition.  Singing it reminded me of the day she died.  That morning I was singing to her and she was very peaceful and quiet.  It seemed like any other day.  Sing to Christina.  Pray over her.  Tuck her pillows around her.  I decided to sing her childhood favorite to her.  As I began, she rustled a little and then she began to vocalize along with me--not words, just her sweet voice moving along with mine. Not really in tune but it didn't matter.  She was with me.  It was a very special moment.  Though she hadn't communicated in a couple of days, her spirit was singing along.  Just a few hours later she was fully in the presence of Jesus. Her deepest longing and prayer had been answered--she had ended her life praising Jesus.  I think it was a miracle.  

Her amazing husband, Doug, shared with me another fully answered prayer.  He told me that for the last year of Christina's life he had prayed daily that her life would be rich and full.  "Please God, give Christina a rich and full life." 
Christina would look at him and say, "Don't you think my life is rich and full?"
He just realized this week that God had answered his prayer completely.  She did have a rich and full life.  Every minute was used well.  She lived life to the fullest.  She was fully present at each conversation.  She could experience more joy and fullness in one afternoon than most people find in a year.  He said, "I just had a different definition of rich and full.  I thought rich and full meant a lot of years.  But a rich and full life has nothing to do with the number of years--it is the quality of every moment."  Amen, Doug!

Speaking of rich and full--I love my time with little Isaiah.  I arrive every morning at 7:15.  Usually he is awake in his crib.  As soon as I say his name, he pulls himself up, holds on to the rail and starts jumping up and down, smiling and laughing.  Then he throws himself down, laughs some more, pulls himself up and starts jumping up and down again.  I am thankful to the core of my being that I get to share a little bit of my life with Isaiah and his Dad.  What follows is the morning cooking show (me mixing up Isaiah's cereal as he watches from his high chair while nibbling on a Baby Mum Mum--who invents these things?)  We then move to the dining room where I say grace and we begin shoveling in the food--Isaiah loves to eat.  Daddy Doug has joined us by then with his coffee and cereal and we talk about Christina or work or lessons we've learned or we just make faces at Isaiah.  It's all good. 

God has whispered to my heart, 
"Enjoy every moment of this season.  It is a special gift." 


  1. And once again this shows me the joy and purpose in all things.

    1. Yes, Karen, joy and purpose in everything. In John 17, Jesus says, "I say these things while I am still in the world, so that they may have the full measure of my joy within them." I ponder that often--the full measure of His joy. That's a lot of joy:)

  2. "A rich and full life has nothing to do with the number of years - it's the quality of every moment." Probably more than anyone else I've met, Christina gave me a picture of how it's possible to live each moment fully - regardless of circumstances. Thanks for sharing another glimpse of that, JoDee, and also letting us see how you're learning to delight in the gift of each moment even in the midst of grief. Your words and pictures reawaken in me the longing to keep learning how to live that way.

    1. Carolyn, I have been very thankful that you were able to sit with Christina and me in those last days. What a beautiful gift from God.