All in….

Kelli was anxious for Saturday.  That is the day her husband, Joe, would arrive home for a 2-week leave in the middle of his 9-month long deployment with the military in the Middle East.  Kelli was excited about having fourteen full days to be with Joe.  She hadn’t seen him in nearly 5 long, miserable months.  Sure, she had a great support network at home.  The other military wives were great!  They had outings, shared long talks about their dreams and fears, and celebrated birthdays, anniversaries, and special events together.  Her family, though a several hour drive away, stayed in touch and visited as often as possible.  But, in two more days, Kelli would finally have Joe all to herself for two weeks!

However, Joe’s coming visit also brought back those nagging fears and that dread of taking him back to the airport when the leave was over.  She knew that these two weeks were precious and that she must enjoy every minute.  But, the thought that any visit might be their last together brought back the tears and her fears.  Sometimes, these become so great that it caused her to hold back.  In some ways, these fears prevented her from enjoying these times freely.

Joe’s visit was great!  They enjoyed their two weeks together and with friends.  It was good to re-acquaint and re-connect.  Kelli loved these times, but still, she was pained to know that this time would end and Joe would be back in the Middle East in just a few days.  She struggled with being “all in” or totally committed to their time together because she knew the time was short and precious. 

Exactly one month after this leave, Kelli received the horrific news that Joe had been killed while on duty.  Their last phone call was filled with remembrances of their last days together and their plans for his return home in three short months.  Kelli loved Joe very much, but she spent the next few years haunted by the fact that their last days together were hindered by her fears and the fact that she could not allow herself to be “all in.”

“All in” is a term derived from gambling.  When you feel that you have a sure winning hand, you bet everything you have (e.g., all in).  In short, you put everything on the table to win.  Do you live your life with an “all in” attitude?  Or, are you holding something back out of fear, frustration, or lack of motivation?  Are you “all in” at work?  Or, home?  With your kids?  With your friends?  When you lay your head down at night, can you consistently say that you gave everything you had to every activity of the day?  Or, should you receive the horrific news that Kelli did, would you regret holding back from your work, your family, or your friends?  Do we need to re-establish our priorities in life?  Or, do we need to rebalance what we do with our time?  Do we need to refresh or restore any relationships?  Is there something out there undone that needs to be corrected?

Today, let’s consider what it means to live an “all in” life.  Then, let’s simply do what we need to do.  Have an awesome day and take the time to make this an awesome day for someone else!


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