Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Do you fear the thought of dying?

I posted this question to my friends on facebook - "Search your own heart. Yes or No - Do you fear the thought of dying?"
Does the thought of death scare you? From the responses, not many people are actually afraid of dying, but
afraid of not having done all the things they want to, or living to their full potential while they have the chance. As my friend Jo Raymond, the author of the book "Awakening" says, "I was not afraid to die, but I was afraid to leave." Something to think about.
In my mind, I would think the 'possibility' or 'threat' of dying might change a bit for me, but now I've thought of it, I'm not so sure. I searched my heart this morning. I realize that like many people, I don't really fear the thought of dying but scared that death would tear me away from my loved ones. My husband and I often say it: "What would I do without you? How could I stand it?" - even though we know God's amazing grace.

I believe that death is a transition from life to life - that is, from creation life to resurrection life. Death is a friend who will bring me through the door and into God's very arms. Like some of my friends said on facebook, "I know my destination.....I know I will be going home to Eternity with Jesus."

Personally I think a great way to prepare myself for my own death is by learning to practice solitude and mindfulness. By getting used to withdrawing and being alone with the sweet presence of God (Immanuel - God with us), and being still and know that He is God, the thought of dying will be one of expectancy, and being set free.

Thursday, July 03, 2014

My Dad & My Mindful Stop

Today is the anniversary of my beloved Dad's death. It's been more than 20 years since he left us, but I still miss him tremendously. When someone you love dies, you never quite get over it, you just learn to slowly go on without them. But always keeping them tucked safely within your heart.

Here's my mindful S.T.O.P. experience today:

S - Slow down. As I finish my day of work this afternoon and get ready to head off to a business appointment, I mindfully close my eyes and take a few deep breathes in and out as I slow down to reflect on what my Dad means to me on the anniversary of his death.

T - Take note. I start having racing thoughts about the meeting coming up and my sadness of having lost my Dad. My silent observer puts these thoughts aside.

O - Open up. Before I leave the house, I take some time out to sit in my living room couch looking at the patio outside. With a few deep breaths, I focus on appreciating the moment. I can see the winter sunlight beaming into the house, feel the warmth of the sun, hear the sound of birds tweeting, and dogs barking from next door.

P - Pursue values. In this moment, I particularly value the values that my beloved Dad had instilled in me. He was a man of courage, generosity, kindness and boldness. Most of all, I value the love that God has given me through him.