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Are we only visiting?

Are we only visiting?

When it’s over, I want to say: all my life

I was a bride married to amazement.

I was the bridegroom, taking the world into my arms.

When it is over, I don’t want to wonder

if I have made of my life something particular, and real.

I don’t want to find myself sighing and frightened,

or full of argument.

I don’t want to end up simply having visited this world.

~ Mary Oliver, “When Death Comes”

This poem by Mary Oliver has stirred something deep inside me.

I don’t want to end up simply having visited this world.” 

Let that sink in for a minute.

Life is such a gift – and each day is a new opportunity to look at our lives with amazement. Every moment is a chance to take the world into our arms and embrace it.

My to-do list is full of reviewing division facts, errands, practicing sight words, going over Bible verses, and reading to my boys about World War I. There will be hugs, laundry, jokes, and discipline threaded throughout my day. I’m will be looking at my day a little differently today.

What about you? What things are waiting for your embrace? Your work at the office? A classroom of little faces? A sink full of dishes? A tiny one that needs your constant love and care? Let’s not be visitors in our own lives. Whatever your day holds for you, I hope that you can take a little time to embrace your world and see your life through the eyes of amazement!

*Photo credit – NZ Portraits by Joanne.

Linking up with Holley Gerth today in her new series ~ Coffee for Your Heart.


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Written by ginger


  • Jennifer says:

    Currently there dishes that need washing, clothes that need sorting, articles that need reading, and a project that needs finishing that all await my attention this afternoon. Thanks for this thoughtful reflection and for the motivation to embrace these tasks with renewed enthusiasm, Ginger!

  • Holley Gerth says:

    Thanks so much for linking up today with Coffee for Your Heart, friend! XOXO

    • ginger says:

      Hiya Holley! Thank YOU for hosting this fabulous linkup! Each of the posts are so encouraging and full of inspiration! I can’t wait to read more next week! Thank you so much for stopping by and your encouraging words! 🙂

  • vernette says:

    I just found out about this series (how could I not know about this before) and I’m reading through some of the entries and this is awesome!

    • ginger says:

      Isn’t this a great series?! 🙂 I am loving getting to read all of the posts in the series, and I can’t wait to read more next week! 🙂 Thank you so very much for stopping by – your encouraging words mean the world to me! 🙂

  • Mary says:

    I love that phrase “a bride married to amazement!” That gives me a whole new way to look at life.

    • ginger says:

      Hiya Mary! Isn’t that a lovely phrase? The whole poem just gets to me in such a good way! Thank you so very much for stopping by – Your encouraging words made my day! 🙂

  • Mel says:

    I love this…it truly made me smile. (And made me want to go wake up my daughter so I can love on her a little extra tonight!) Thank you for the reminder to live fully…it’s even a tagline on my blog, and I don’t always do it. Tomorrow is going to look much different. 🙂 Blessings to you, friend…your words are a gift today.

    • ginger says:

      Hi there, Mel! I am so happy that you stopped by today – your encouraging comment means so much to me! I hope you were able to give your daughter an extra squeeze today!

  • What a beautiful poem! To me, this is easier to do in terms of kids, since God willing, they will outlive me, but my work? The more mundane tasks (laundry, dishes) that have to be done to keep our little world spinning smoothly? It’s definitely a challenge to see the wonder in that. But all we can do is small things with love, right?

    • ginger says:

      I am so happy that you enjoyed Mary Oliver’s poem! It has stuck with me since I first spotted it in Jesus Feminist. You’re so right – it’s a challenge to see the wonder and amazement in the little daily things – but doing them with great love is a wonderful thing to work toward! (Didn’t Mother Teresa say something similar about doing small things with great love?) Thank you so much for stopping by today – I can’t wait for our posts tomorrow! 🙂

  • Mark Allman says:

    Very thought provoking. I don’t want to be just a visitor either although it seems that I am at times.

    • ginger says:

      Hi there, Mark! Doesn’t it seem too easy to go through life as a visitor – and not fully engaged in the wonder and amazement of the life that we have been given? It’s one of my goals this year – and I hope that others feel the same way – to change our perspective on life and to see it as the gift that it really is! 🙂

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I’m Ginger ~

I'm a wife to my Beloved, mom of three boys, bookworm, survivor of a broken heart, and Kansas Girl. It is my desire to encourage you. No matter what storm you're going through right now, you are not alone. I promise.

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