This week was hard. I attended the funeral of sweet Manda Maxwell. I knew her reputation better than I knew her personally, which tells you a lot about her. Her life’s goal was to point people to Jesus and what a life well spent! Her funeral was the a beautiful mix of worship and grief. I cried throughout the service, but I was in awe by her entire family’s outpour of love to our God even in the midst of the most tragic loss. If you have a few minutes, I highly encourage you to watch this video that is such a perfect expression of who Manda was.
My friend Jennifer spoke at the funeral, she had walked with Manda through the last two battles with cancer (she fought it three times, the first time at age 5). Jennifer shared that what Manda wanted most was to be a “normal” mom, something most of us take for granted everyday. Those words pierced me and reminded me of the last time I spoke to Manda, at our girls’ Christmas program. She said to me, “Miley just loves Hope. I’m so sorry we haven’t invited her over for a playdate”. This woman, battling cancer for her life, apologized to ME for not having Hope over to play. Manda wanted to have a normal “mom” life: take her kids to Chick-fil-A, to the park, invite friends over to play, or simply just play with her kids. She didn’t want hospital stays, tests and chemo, but she pressed on and made the most of it.
My conviction from Jennifer’s words were to not take my days with my children for granted. These moments are fleeting. I need to sigh less, yell less, and have more patience. I need to be grateful for the messes they make and even the pants they poop in. I need to feel blessed watching them play at the park or even when they drive me crazy at Target. I need to be thankful and grateful and blessed for each moment of each day.
I was going to pick just one verse today to share, but this section from Colossians 3:12-17 just spoke to me:
12 God has chosen you and made you his holy people. He loves you. So always do these things: Show mercy to others; be kind, humble, gentle, and patient. 13 Do not be angry with each other, but forgive each other. If someone does wrong to you, then forgive him. Forgive each other because the Lord forgave you. 14 Do all these things; but most important, love each other. Love is what holds you all together in perfect unity. 15 Let the peace that Christ gives control your thinking. You were all called together in one body to have peace. Always be thankful.16 Let the teaching of Christ live in you richly. Use all wisdom to teach and strengthen each other. Sing psalms, hymns, and spiritual songs with thankfulness in your hearts to God. 17 Everything you say and everything you do should all be done for Jesus your Lord. And in all you do, give thanks to God the Father through Jesus.
Verse 17, of course, speaks the loudest to me. “Everything you say and everything you do should all be done for Jesus your Lord. And in all you do, give thanks to God the Father through Jesus.” Even if everything is just being a “normal mom”, it should still be done for the Lord. I don’t want to ever take that for granted. I want to be thankful for two girls that drive me crazy and don’t pick up their toys and make mistakes. I want to be thankful to empty the dishwasher and sweep the floor. I want to be thankful to my Heavenly Father for a being a “normal mom” and for whatever else He calls me to do because at the end of the day, I want my life to be a reflection of Him. Thank you Manda for using your life to point others to Him.
Thanks for letting me share,