My husband and I were talking about the difference in our lives just the other day. I started working when I was fourteen. Waiting tables by fifteen. And thus began my "real life" experiences. I remember at one season in college I had three jobs! But now life is different. If you asked me what my hobbies are I would tell you that they are writing and teaching. I have been writing now for over fifteen years. Many years for other people. And the last ten for myself. I have also been teaching for about as long. It began as teaching Sunday School for College and Career and has turned into a non-denominational Bible Study for our city. These are my hobbies. My job I feel is something different...
The great writer Frederick Buechner said we should "listen to our life." And in doing that we can often encounter the very heart of God. I spent many years just trying to "make" it through life. And a few years back after the heartbreaking loss of my thirteen year marriage I have lived very differently. And what I've discovered is that my best stories and most meaningful lessons are often birthed through movies I've seen, conversations I've had or great food I've tasted.
We live in a generation that often wishes life away. But I have found that in being truly present with the life that I have, whether it is screaming at a nine-eleven year old football game, or eating ice cream in the middle of the afternoon, or drinking a cold Coca-Cola on a Saturday morning, or walking down the streets of Charleston with a forever friend, life is speaking to me. I have one job. It is to be present in this beautiful life that I have been given. And in doing that, I am better at each beautiful opportunity I have been given, wife, bonus-mom, friend, daughter, writer, teacher.
May you take in your children today. May you really taste your food. May you actually listen to that story your spouse is telling. May you actually read the book you hold in your hands and not skim it. And may you soak in the sunshine, or dance in the rain. We only get one life. May we listen to it...
Denise Hildreth Jones makes her home in Franklin,TN where she leads Reclaiming Hearts Ministries. She enjoys riding bikes with her five bonus-kids, watching movies with her husband, good books, long walks and cold Cokes. And every now and then she writes a few novels. Her latest is The First Gardener.
Jones's novel offers comfort and challenge, and readers will find it lingering in their hearts and minds long after the last page has been turned. Publisher's Weekly