Milestones

Hey there everyone!  I know, I know, it has been a while since I actually sat down and put some rambling thoughts on my blog.  To say that life has been hectic would be the understatement of the year, nay, century!

My post today is a reflection on reaching milestones in life.  We all have them, some dramatic and some almost inconsequential in the grand scheme of this little thing we call living.  I wanted to take a moment and address some of the biggies that touch us all.

Birth:


Yep.  If you are reading this, at some point, you were nothing but the dreams and thoughts of the two people that anxiously awaited your arrival.  Whether you were planned or a surprise, wanted or even unwanted, you are here.  Now.  Your life began in a miraculous way, so make sure you live the rest of it the same way.  Treasure each breath.

The Teenage Years:


Remember the first time you drove, all by your lonesome, behind the wheel of that incredible piece of machinery that allowed you unfathomable freedom?  Or how about that first kiss from the person that made your heart thump so loudly in your ears that you just knew the entire world could hear it?  Better yet, recall how you thought your parents were the most ridiculous beings on the face of the earth and couldn't WAIT to move out on your own?  Close your eyes and recall the feelings of invincibility and knowing the entire world was just waiting for you to conquer it.  Remember those days?  Fear of nothing and in awe of everything (except, of course, your unbelievably stupid parents).  The adrenaline rush of living for the moment and not knowing what was around the next bend, yet racing towards it at breakneck speed?  Looking at someone over 30 and thinking "man, there is no way I am ever going to be that old and boring?"  Totally secure in the notion that your best friends would be in your life forever?

Adulthood:


Marriage.  Children.  Divorce.  Death.  Bills.  Responsibilities.  Learning, sometimes the hard way, what is around the next corner as you crash headlong into it.  Staring down into the eyes of your newborn in complete and utter terror, yet your heart bursting with love?  That moment when you clasped your hands with the one you love and pledged in front of God Himself your undying devotion?  Do you remember the spark of light that suddenly illuminated your hormone engorged brain from adolescence the minute you realized you were now someone's stupid parent?  How can that be?  When did that happen?

Who the hell am I?


In the 45 years that the Lord has allowed me to walk on this earth, life has been a constant roller coaster ride.  Each day, I learn something new, make new friends, derive enjoyment and satisfaction from a variety of little moments that I glossed over in my youth.  Through loss of loved ones, I learned the hard way to appreciate and cherish every moment with those still in my life, for we never know when their lovely presence will disappear.  Through all the pain and heartache of some of the darker moments in my life, I learned to treasure the gloriously happy ones with stronger conviction and fervor.  I learned that the best laid plans, carefully plotted and thought out over grueling hours, can vanish in the blink of an eye, the course shifting over into a new territory that previously, I would never have considered.

I learned about betrayal, sorrow, pain and grief.  Watching my Grandparents pass away while sitting in a hospital room, surrounded by smells and noises that made me want to run out screaming, pleading with God not to take them away.  Betrayed by my own idiocy of thinking I would have more time "later" to spend with them.  The anguish knocking me down to my knees, knowing those wasted moments would never reappear.

I learned about letting go when I watched my one and only son grow up.  No longer could I run behind him and pick him up when he fell.  Oh my, the internal struggle to stand idly by and watch your whole world venture off into their own was a strange mixture of pride and pain.

I learned how to love again after the broken pieces of my previous life were shattered.  My Knight in Shining Armor, delivered to me personally by the grace of God, rode up and swept me away.  For the first time, I understand the true depth of real, unabashed love.  How grand!

But the most important thing I have learned over the years is that no matter how torrential the rain, how parched I am from the stressful heat of life nor the darkest moments that cloak my soul, God is always there, showing Himself to me in ways I am just now beginning to understand!

Love your milestones.  Embrace each one and treasure it like there is no tomorrow.

Love to you all,
Ashley

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