Life called for me to slow down last month when I received the call from my brother that Dad was being moved to hospice. I quickly packed my bags and got on the road to California. I had 7 1/2 hours on the road to think and pull upon God’s strength to walk through the difficult days ahead.
The next 5 days I spent close to Dad’s bedside. There were moments of saying what was on my heart to say and other times where no words were necessary and being near was enough.
My Dad passed away on October 28th at 88 years old and my heart is forever changed and expanded in a way I never expected. This still feels raw, but I’m certain I will share more at a later time.
However, there is one thing on my heart to share and it comes from one of the last emails he sent to all of us kids. Dad was a man of few words and not ever one to give advice, but we all received a “Do’s and Don’ts email” a couple months before he passed.
There was one thing that appeared twice on his very short list.
It began with “SLOW DOWN”.
and ended with “SLOW DOWN”.
My Dad was on the move for most of his life, but I have to believe in his later years he saw something that had him list this twice and in all capital letters.
During this Christmas and holiday season, I am passing that along as a reminder to create some intentional SLOW DOWN time.
The things we truly desire live in the gaps between busy – where we connect with a loved one, pause to reflect, catch the sun coming up, take a deep breath and respond in love instead of anger, glimpse our children doing something cool that we otherwise would have missed, stop to open a door for a stranger, and on and on….
I wish you moments of slowing down.
I wish you moments of deep connection.
Because in the end, we won’t wish we’d been busier….we’ll wish we’d stopped to do the simple, most meaningful things that bring the deepest sense of purpose, gratitude and joy.
May your December be filled with moments like these.