The Gift in Your Present.

by Amber Weigand-Buckley, editor in Leading Hearts magazine

I’VE BEEN SITTING HERE FOR THE PAST WEEK WITH A VIDEO ON REPEAT. It was January 4, 2020, my father-in-law John Buckley’s last birthday. At 91 years of age, he was surrounded by my husband and daughter, his wife and friends as they sang “Happy Birthday” round the table. Glasses raised, smiles on faces.

Who would have known this would be the last time he would wear those paper crowns from those traditional British Christmas crackers or the last time he would ask Mum if she wanted cream on her cake?

No one knew it would be the last time we saw him blow out his candles. And right now it seems like one of the most precious moments in the world to me that I have caught on video.

As I write this, it’s just a week since we received the phone call from Mum that he passed away peacefully at home — with a beautiful smile on his face.

If I have relearned anything in the first few months of 2020, it’s this: It’s those little things that mean so much when the big things of life forever alter the present.

To appreciate the present, we must realize it’s just that — a gift that will do no good if we don’t take all those little things out of the box and meaningfully make time to enjoy them.

And that is so hard to focus on when you are going through life simply checking off a daily to-do list.

Psalm 90:12 says,

“Teach us to number our days, that we may gain a heart of wisdom.”

Numbering my days is not just a gigantic countdown on my clock; it’s adding value to those days, making each day count for something bigger than checking things off that list.

And, that’s hard to do when you have so many roles to fill in the business of just doing life.

But this one week was another reminder. God, please help me acknowledge the treasure of the past and see the “present” in my present and open the box with my mindful presence.

That means pushing to-do lists to the side and mindfully connecting with others, acknowledging the treasure they impart into my life.

Leaving this world with a smile on your face. Not just because of the heaven you’re going to, but the beautiful reflection of a life mindfully focused on unwrapping each precious present with loving-kindness, compassion, serving and of course, laughing.

I hope this issue inspires you with words to help shift your perspective in the year ahead so that you might gain the greatest gift in your present. LOVE, —Amber

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