Kara’s Collection: Intensity

From an article originally posted April 13, 2013…

25 ”Therefore I tell you, do not be anxious about your life, what you will eat or what you will drink, nor about your body, what you will put on. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothing? Look at the birds of the air: they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not of more value than they? And which of you by being anxious can add a single hour to his span of life? And why are you anxious about clothing? Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow: they neither toil nor spin, yet I tell you, even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these. But if God so clothes the grass of the field, which today is alive and tomorrow is thrown into the oven, will he not much more clothe you, O you of little faith? Therefore do not be anxious, saying, ’What shall we eat?’ or ’What shall we drink?’ or ’What shall we wear?’ For the Gentiles seek after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them all. seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you.”

Therefore do not be anxious about tomorrow, for tomorrow will be anxious for itself. Sufficient for the day is its own trouble.
— Matthew 6

WARNING: This is a detailed post on how I fail at taking these verses seriously! 

I struggle with jealousy in a way I have never experienced in my life. I look at people and long for carefree thinking. I long to be anxious over things like my weight, kids’ behavior, education, politics, the environment, or farming and food production. I never have been much of a worrier. I rarely struggled with anxiety or getting stuck in my head. Certainly, I experienced these things in the intense moments of life, but not on a regular day-to-day basis.

Now, my heart is different. Heavier. More focused on each moment. Everything feels intense. I had some mamas laughing yesterday over my overwhelming need to create memories for my kids. Death is a reality for us all, but it was once a distant reality. It has come near. Closer. More certain. I want to wear a banner that says, begs, REMEMBER THIS MOMENT! WE ARE NOT PROMISED OUR NEXT MOMENT. I’M PRESENT IN THIS MOMENT FOR YOU! As one can imagine, it’s not a normal place to live. It has its benefits and drawbacks. This living comes with more hugs and kisses, more I love yous, more, more, more.

I can’t just have fun sledding. I want the joyous moment emblazoned on the thoughts of each of my children and husband. The thoughts that will remind them of a mama that had fun. A mama that isn’t sick, a mama that was silly. “See me, kids, I’m laughing, I’m not face down in bed.” It can be exhausting.

So when you see me staring at you holding your Starbucks, laughing with friends, just know I’m a tish jealous. Cancer has robbed me of being carefree. I wonder if it will lessen over time.

As I have felt better, I have been fighting to win the happy memories of the ones I love. Here are the treasures that I have stored in my heart. The moments I was able to be present in:

An ice cream


A birthday

A holiday

A return

A first Sunday, and a second, and a tenth

A concert

A morning coffee

Time with sisters in ministry

Dress up

Every moment seems so special. The truth is, it is. That is the gift of cancer. The struggle is the fear. The fear of this amazing world of people I love more than anything marching forward without me in it. There is a lot of pride and arrogance in that thinking. A friend and I were talking about the control that comes with thinking life is as it should be with us in it. But the truth is, life is exactly planned. Exactly numbered. My job in this day is to live near to Jesus. To seek faithfulness in this day. I want to have a peaceful heart that embraces each gift of joy as it comes. I long for the moments where I’m not screaming in my head and heart, ”see me, I’m still alive, I’m right here.”