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Today is the day following Independence Day.  A holiday that is a celebration of the freedom we fought so hard to gain all those years ago, and continue to fight for to this day.  It’s a great day for all of us in the United States because we can reflect on everything that we are so very blessed to have, enjoy good food, family and fireworks at the same time.  As a veteran this day is near and dear to my heart.  Happy Belated Independence Day!

When I got to work this morning I learned that, once again, tragedy has struck very close to home.  Overnight, 2 young men were gunned down inside a home right around the corner from where I grew up.  In fact, it’s an area where some of my family and friends still live. These young men were in their late teens and early twenties.  Still babies in my eyes (my children are 27 and 14).  Immediately my heart started to ache for their mother who I knew, although not very well, from when I was growing up.  It doesn’t matter that I am not connected to her as her close friends and family are, it only matters that I can feel her pain.  It matters that I too am a mother and can relate to her as only another mother can. Once again, I was forced to look at time and how we continue to take it for granted without regard for the way we live our lives.  These 2 young men were here celebrating Independence Day, just 24 hours ago.  Now, they are gone.

I can’t begin tell you how this is affecting me.  I can’t imagine losing 1 of my children, let alone 2.  I am in a place of total and complete bewilderment.  I am hurting inside because I know that personally, I could be doing some things differently… making better choices in my life… but still, I drag my feet.  Still… I continue to try to fix all of the broken things in my life rather than allow God to do it for me.  His word tells us to rest in Him and lean not to our own understanding… but you know how stubborn we are… I know that nothing happens unless it is according to His plan, but even in the knowledge and security of that, I can’t help but ask “why?”

Have you ever thought back to when you were a teenager?  Have you thought about how you related to your parents… we would say that our parents think they know everything, but they don’t really. Don’t we approach life in the same way?  We think we know it all, and that we have plenty of time to do the things we just haven’t gotten around to yet.  Hmmm… that’s a very powerful statement.  Do we really have “plenty” of time?  Reflect on that for a few minutes.

Yesterday was a day of celebration with fireworks, countless cookouts, parties and family gatherings.  Today… well, today is a day of untold pain, and a sudden rush of realization (for some of us) once again, that tomorrow is not promised to us.  We have choices to make in life, but are we making them, or are we simply rolling with whatever is going on?  One of my favorite sayings is “It is what it is…” but, really?  Is it?  Or am I allowing it to be that way so I don’t have to take responsibility for the things happening in my life?  How many of you are in the same boat?  How many of you know you should make changes, but you don’t because you figure you have time?

When will WE (yes, me too) wake up and do what needs to be done?  Forgive yourself and others so that you are free to move forward in your life.  Make the changes needed so that you are restored and whole again because that will take you to a place where you are free to love and live!  After all, isn’t that what life is all about?

Just another random thought.