They say that people deal with death in different ways. I have never really known whether or not that was true, until tonight. I am sitting here in my living room, feeling an immense amount of pain and sadness upon losing my friend. It was two weeks ago, January 5 to be exact. I did better than I expected at the visitation, even at the funeral. But today, two weeks after being at his memorial, it has hit me. He really has gone to be with Christ. For that I am so joyful. But for the fact that I can't email him right now, I can't text to see how he is doing, that makes my heart broken. On January 5th, the world lost one of the most amazing, kind and courageous people to an ugly disease. Craig Stephen Thomas was 34 years old. Eight years ago, he was given a death sentence... ALS. But the astounding thing that he taught me, a death sentence can be the call to an end or the call to a purpose. For Craig, it was the PURPOSE! He chose to take this opportunity to find the joy in everything, to live a life OUT LOUD!!! It was a beautiful and awe inspiring thing to watch. I met Craig Thomas when I was 5 years old, Kindergarten. We swam on the same swim team. I can remember even at that young age, I was drawn to him. We remained friends through elementary and high school and had a relationship that was electric. I am not speaking in the terms of romantic, but spiritual. It was the past 8 years that God used Craig to be so influential in my life. We shared the same faith... and he taught me what love for Christ was. He was a huge part of my life and I am better for knowing him. I miss him more than words... but I can tell you that I feel so much peace knowing that he is smiling, dancing with Jesus, and I choose to believe, that come those rainy days, he is smiling down at me, still reminding me to choose joy no matter what the circumstance. Love you Craig.
Tonight was my first weight watchers meeting. It was good, I have my goal set, and by gosh darn, I am going to reach it this time. THAT, however, is not my reason for this post. It is about God ordaining moments, that is all I can say. When in fact, I sit here in my bedroom with little words. A woman at my school who I don't know well had to take a leave of absence due to medical reasons. I didn't know her well. I allowed that fact to not take the moments to check on her, to see if I could do anything. Around Thanksgiving, I thought about taking her family dinner, but then life got busy, and you know, I did nothing. I can sit here tonight and tell you that I am blessed that I have a God that is teaching me, that shows me Himself. Tonight when I walked into that meeting, there she sat. I have not seen or talked to her for probably 4 months. We got through the meeting and then spent close to an hour talking. She resigned today and is sad about it. She will miss her students, her faculty, and saying good-bye to 15 years of teaching. But God was there in that room tonight, nudging me, I could feel it. He couldn't physically put his arms around her, but sent me to do it. I don't know her well, but at that moment, she felt like family. Thank you God for teaching me another lesson. When I feel called to help someone, that is you calling me, and I need to answer the call, not get busy and forget. I was suppose to be at that weight watchers meeting tonight, and it was not for a weigh in. Now, I am going to quietly sit, and ask him to show me what to do to help her, to be her friend, to show her encouragement. God is good... all the time!
One of my resolutions for the new year is to choose joy! My family has each bought a notebook of their choice for their gratitude journal. In these journals, we will write 5 things we are thankful for each day. My hope is that this will help me to look for the blessings that each day brings, instead of focusing on those negatives that steal my joy. My hope is for my children to start this early on in life so that it creates a lifestyle for them. I am looking forward to entering my 5 starting tonight.
This past year has been a exciting year for the Roberts. It has been full of wonderful moments and new chapters. As I look back, I am just so thankful. Above all else, I am thankful for my relationship that I have with Christ. It has changed me and I pray that I continue to change. Here are a few moments that marked 2011...
Visiting Sonoma, CA with my mom
Trip with Josh to Chicago
Our new home
Doing the Jailbreak with my friend Dahlia
Visiting family ( Ava and Sawyer with their great grandparents)
Beach trip with family
Playing in the pool this summer
Watching Josh's spirit come alive through worship
Sawyer starting soccer
Running the half marathon in Dallas
Volunteering at Unity Park Shelter in Fort Worth
As I look at the new year ahead, I pray that God will guide my steps. That he shows me more about myself, my weaknesses, my gifts, and that I am transformed to be the woman he designed me to be. I pray that His light will shine through me. Through out this year, I am living a life where I choose Joy... I hope that I am become more present in life... that I enjoy the moments... that I live a life out loud!!! Here is to 2012!
I have decided to start a blog. I am not on Facebook so this will be a way for me to let friends and family know what is going on in my life. I have titled it the M&M's of Life because the four "M words" I chose are defining areas of my life. I chose "Mary" because that is my spiritural side. "Martha" is for my unsucessful attempt at trying to keep my home and family at some level of sanity. I tend to be a woman who really has great intentions of being organized, cooking four nights a week and keeping up with laundry, but by Wednesday, I tell myself, " I will start again Monday". Marriage is one of my passions, marriage ministry to be more specific. Motherhood is my greatest accomplishment and what motivates me to strive to become a better person. I hope you will join me as I do my best at working out this thing called life.