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Friday, September 23, 2011

A Walk That Makes Me Think

I love walking in cemeteries.  Is that weird?  I think it's because it makes me think.   Reflect on the fact that my life will most certainly end.  And I don't know when.

And I want to live each day so that if the day I die comes sooner than I hope (you know, after a long, happy, productive life... peacefully in my bed) then I will not stand in Heaven with regrets.

Okay, obviously I will have regrets.  I want to be perfect, but I am not.  I want to be the best wife in the whole wide world, but I am not.  I want to be the most fantastic mom ever, but I am not.

I'm just not.  And I like walking in cemeteries and talking to God about how He knows this is true.  And He knows I'll die.  And I know it.  And it's okay.  Because as long as I have breath I will give myself to His work.  I will serve and love my husband and family.  I will cherish them.  I will love my friends and my church and those who don't know Him. 

This blog post by my friend Carrie the other day reminded me of these truths and that I still hadn't gone down to the cemetery with my camera. 

I walk there often with the girls.  I love it.

Some people might think it freaky.  But I seriously walk around in cemeteries no matter where I live.  In our second apartment in South Corning, my favorite spot to walk to was the Catholic cemetery down the road.  I actually would walk there when I was pregnant with Lily, trying to come up with a name for her.  (In the end, Jesse just randomly pulled "Lillian" out of his butt and I fell in love!)

And the first time Jesse held my  hand was when we were on a cemetery walk.

Having a cemetery right down the road is cool to me.  I love the reminder of the reality of death.  Seriously, I do!  It's too easy to get caught up in life and forget that this life is not forever.

It's too easy to forget that not all children live to see their third birthday.  So instead of being frustrated with my whiny toddler, I want to hug her and kiss her and be so so so thankful that I have her happy, healthy and alive today. 

It's too easy to forget that not all husbands and wives live to a ripe old age together and die at the same time.  Sometimes there's a thirty year gap between the death of spouses.  So instead of being a nag and picking fights with my husband, I want to curl up on the couch next to him while he plays video games... soaking up every. single. moment we have together.

Cemeteries are pretty on a sunny, fall day.  And they make you think.  Find a cemetery near you and think about your life.  Think about how everyone who has passed before us has left their mark on this earth.  Only God knows the true, lasting impact we will have.  But we do have one. 

If you want to see the rest of my pictures from our cemetery walk, check out the Otterberg facebook album.  It's interesting to see the differences between an American and a German cemetery.  Plus it was a really beautiful day so I took a bunch of pictures! 


  1. Jess-

    I love it! We really are twins separated at birth. Can't wait til we live in the same country again- although I'd prefer the same town so we can walk together in cemeteries appreciating our lives and tell each other it's okay we're not perfect every Sunday afternoon.

    That would be lovely! =)

  2. The German word of the day is very ironic to this post "Sterben" to die!

  3. That was a great post my little girl. Can't wait to see you.

  4. Carrie - I know! Why, oh, why, can't we be neighbors??? :o)

    Steph - thanks for pointing that out! I hardly ever look at it lol

    Mattea and Dad - thanks! (Dad, I miss you!)