I read a blog post today. Big deal. I read at least a blog post every day. I'm sure I'll read one tomorrow. Not like today's. May be a long time before I ever read another one like today's. Please Jesus, I hope I never do.
There are days I become bogged in life. Laundry. Dishes. Groceries. Sibling squabbles. Marital misunderstandings. There are days I beg for meaning, existence, passion to do more than monotony. I'm even reading a new book challenging me to do life differently, to grow where God has me now, for this season, right here in my home, church, work, my immediate skin.
I usually judge time by weeks or years. Today's blog post challenged me to judge time by breaths, minutes, moments. Sounds so cliche to say "...life is measured by the moments that take our breath away." What if we actually lived like we had only moments? What would we do differently? Would I hold my tongue? Let is all out? I don't know. That challenge is not before me just yet. And if I knew my expiration date, would it really change my perspective? I know I would be welcomed into the other side by my Savior, my paternal grandparents, my half-sister. But would be the sound of my steps towards the pearly gates? Would they be carefree and full of wonderment of the other side? Or would I trudge with bitterness and moaning for life I never got to live here?
Today's blog post was written by a 27 year old woman living in Phoenix. 27. I'm not sure I remember 27. But I can promise you Crystal will. That's her name. The author of this blog that messed with my thinking. She's been given 6-12 months to live. Stage 4 cancer. Stage 4. For a 27 year old. Isn't that a diagnosis for someone 3x her age? Her insight into her condition is ugly cry beautiful. She's got a termination date and there is no exasperation in her written voice. Even if it is a voice on a schedule 182 days. Tick. Tock.
Choosing to skip towards those gates, this tattooed, gorgeous, fair skinned angel is writing a list of what she wants to experience in these last, calculated, measured, docketed days. What are some of these things, here's just a few:
1.) Win a contest
2.) Volunteer in a 3rd world country
3.) Hold a newborn baby
4.) Pet a lion.
5.) See an elephant.
6.) Learn to knit.
7.) Get a tattoo on her hand and neck.
Kiss James Franco
I have an amazing friend who lives out love the only way Steffany knows how: out LOUD. Upon reading Crystal's "bucket" list, she contacted Crystal and told her she had won a trip to Ethiopia, a "contest" that did not exist until Steffany created it in her head, 5 minutes after reading Crystal's list. I love that Steffany. With no plan of how to pay for such an adventure, just a faith that screams to the mountain "MOVE", she gets on her knees and prays it into moving and then picks up a shovel to make sure that mountain is moved precisely to the spot Steffany planned it.
This trip that Steff has planned has been planned for months. She's heading back to Ethiopia. This trip will also mean checking off 7 of the things off of Chrystal's list (but if anyone knows James Franco, Steff would like to pull off 8!). It just so happens (like it always does when the Holy Spirit is involved) that Crystal will finish a round of chemo and have the exact time off she needs to regain energy and head to Ethiopia in a few weeks with Steffany.
Why did I tell you this story? Did you really need a sad, dramatic end to your weekend? Yes. Yes you did. Why? Because I live out LOUD too. Tomorrow is valentine's day. I personally hate the holiday. If the hubby needs a Hallmark date to be reminded to buy me flowers that I don't need, chocolate that's been harvested by slave labor and a card that he put no thought into, then he and I have bigger problems than just where to go for dinner tomorrow night. This entire month, we've been challenging you to Recycle your Love for adoptive families. Tonight, we're asking you to Recycle your Love for Crystal. To give a woman a chance to pet a lion, hold a newborn, win a contest, learn to knit, see an elephant, get those tattoos and volunteer in a 3rd world country. My friend Steff has been hard at work all day trying to raise $2000 to cover Crystal's expenses to Ethiopia. She more than halfway there.
Go read Crystal's blog. Leave a Comment. She's asking for quotes that you love and your suggestions about what you would do if you only had 182 days left. Do you even know? Go here and donate directly to her travel fund, please make sure you put "Crystal" in the memo line. Or you can buy a Recycle Love tee (or 10) and put Crystal's name in the memo line and we'll donate $10 for each shirt sold to her travel fund.
I know you guys are tired of me tweeting, blogging and facebooking about one more cause, event or need. But I cannot believe that if you didn't understand my crazy, passionate heart, you would still be on this journey for me. I thank you for that. For understanding, for supporting and helping me get the word out. Let's do it again!
We designed Recycle Love to be an overflow of people's love to help others who have a great cause. Crystal has 182 of them.