“I thank my God always
concerning you for the grace of God which was given to you by Christ Jesus.” 1
Corinthians 1:4 (NKJV)
I was recently challenged by a fellow author to write about a person I love, near the time of Valentine’s Day. And of course, naturally those two people to describe in this manner would be my wife and daughter, Lisa and Annabelle. In addition to adoring my two best ladies, should I not also love the life that I have been given in the present hour? In other words, as Christians, we could choose to love each day while the current moment happens right now, this very minute, this very second. Taking our additional days for granted, we journey through life, expecting another day to come tomorrow as if no big deal. Of course, there are no guarantees that the next day will come.
With recent events in my life, I have really been trying to appreciate my time with family and friends, or maybe even just completing simple tasks. I get to do these things instead of thinking about these things as a boring agenda item to knock off my to-do list. In fact, there are talents that I possess that I even take for granted simply by the ease of doing them. For example, I am great at school (working on my doctorate). I write well. And I grade many assignments in an efficient, productive, positive manner, which might take someone else much more time to do so. When you are good at an activity, even if you find it monotonous at times (sitting at a computer for hours), try not to take it for granted. This activity might take someone else several hours to do what you do in a shorter amount of time.
While our daughter entered the world in August last year, which turned out to be the best blessing ever, Lisa and I also experienced many losses this year – two aunts, a former boss, a great uncle, a grandmother, an uncle’s mother, another uncle’s mother, a friend’s son who we know through church, and even some others I cannot recall right now. Some of these loved ones suffered greatly, and while it might sound self-focused, I am glad to be healthy. I took a walk today. I can eat good food from a grocery store or decent restaurant. I go to the gym several days a week. I can afford the gym membership to go work out. The blessings keep unfolding as I could spend hours writing them down.
Perhaps these are the details we should focus our energy on. Life is precious. Even though I work more than I would like to sometimes, I seek to enjoy my life in case my end is soon coming. Not to say that it is, however the days go by fast. And we have been given a chance to live this very present moment. That is no small thing. So, while I love my girls, I also want to make sure I love my life as it is right now.
While Valentine’s Day might be the cheesiest special occasion of the year, if you can, try to love everything about your life circumstances, not just one or two things. Only then will you truly be content.
Lisa and Annabelle, I love you! Happy Valentine’s Day!
-James L. Cartee, III
Here are some of the latest Annabelle photos for your viewing enjoyment.
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