Sunday, September 18, 2016

What would you do TODAY if you knew you only had a short time left on this earth?

WHO would you want by your side?

What DREAMS would be left unlived?

What REGRETS would you have?

There comes a time for many people when they experience a clarity in life, an awareness in what truly matters.

But, unfortunately, for many it comes too late, brought on by tragedy or life-altering event.

Our sweet Everly 💕 taught our family...and many who knew her...much in her short 11 months on earth. Taught us what was important in life, showed us how to live, reminding us to be present daily. She knew unspeakable joy in the face of adversity, finding happiness in the simple things like watching her brothers play or listening to birds singing. Her ability at such a tender age not to get hung up on the little things but to celebrate the every moment was a gift to us all.

At her Celebration of Life, I shared a poem called The Dash by Linda Ellis. To put it simply, the poem points out that it's not the date of our birth or our earthly death that matters but rather the dash--or rather the life--in between. It's how you live and love and how you spent your dash that counts. And Everly certainly lived her dash to the fullest!

Our family has been on a path since God called Everly home to be more MINDFUL, PRESENT and PURPOSEFUL about our own dashes and how we want them to be spent.  We have been purposeful about days, our time, and to our time with each other.  We've made a conscious effort to choose joy in the face of Everly's 💕 death, to make plans on paper and to live them out, each day striving to be in the moment. 

So, to actively live our DASH, for the past year, we have been planning to live out loud a big part of our dash, collectively.

A quiet, but ever-present dream of ours has been to travel together as a family, visiting our beautiful country and seeing all of its hidden treasures. 

So in June, our family set off on a nearly three month long cross country RV trip.  A whopper of a trip and a dream come true.  In order to do this, and to purposefully live out our dash, we each had to sacrifice (not too hard considering the payoff but it did require a substantial amount of work, dedication and commitment by each of us) to make it happen. The boys each gave up their summer camps, activities and time with friends. My mom retired at the end of May and my dad gave up his thrice weekly golf outings.  I (along with the Angel Team) planned ahead for foundation needs like supplying Everly After Memory Boxes and communications to our Touching Hearts, Healing Souls families for the summer months.  Jimmy squirreled away his year's worth of leave and gave the go ahead for us to do a bit more than he would be able to stay for.  Jimmy and I both saved, budgeted, planned, learned (oh, the learning!) tons and laid out the groundwork for this adventure. 

There's NO time like the PRESENT and we aren't guaranteed tomorrow.

Our kids grow up sooner than we'd like.

Our health fails as we age.

We likely will never have money or enough time.

But time passes whether we like it or not,

our kids leave home,

our knees give out,

bills come and time can be short...

so on the heels of lessons in life taught by our little Everly 💕...


Before it's too late.

Before there are regrets.

What will you do today to begin to live YOUR dash?

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