My tests results were good today. I awoke at 4:00 am thinking about seeing my oncologist. I love her. I’m feeling well and my prognosis is good. It’s been 2 years now since I had 16 rounds of chemo and 4 surgeries. Other than some minor aches and pains that come with a ‘certain age’ I am doing well. However, until they tell me every 6 months that I am clear…. Well, it’s unsettling. So today I got the good news again. I was relieved but not happy, not really. Why? I had to ask myself. Well, there is Paris… and before my appointment I had lunch with a dear friend that just returned from India. Listening to her stories about her trip made me so aware of how blessed I am to live here. In this country, in this town, born free and living what most of the world would consider an extravagant lifestyle.
I was reminded by Pastor Andy Stanley this week while listening to a series on happiness that if you make thirty thousand dollars a year you are in the top 1% wage earners in the world. Does that make you feel rich? It did me. I have everything I need. Although my husband lost his job recently, we are still ok, at least for now. We don’t need to be afraid that we will have to resort to begging or digging in trash piles like the children in the pictures my friend showed me on her cell phone. Then a phone call came from my daughter whose good friend delivered a full term still born baby girl. Devastating bad news. How could I be celebrating my good fortune when so many others that I know and countless others that I don’t are suffering in a way that most of us will never experience? The only thing that brought me comfort tonight was that we are called to “Carry one anothers burdens and this way we will fullfill the law of Christ.” The way I was carried through the scariest time in my life. This is what we do. This is how we go on. I must carry that sweet mama with empty arms tonight and the hungry, homeless and the sick. However I can and the best way I can. Prayers to the Father tonight for all, and yes gratefulness for my healing. But only because I am then able to carry the next one, carry them to Him. The one who can truly heal.
I am oftentimes inspired by music. Although ususally it’s not music that is currently playing but a tune that is stuck in my head. We all have them right? Hopefully they’re mostly good tunes not some obnoxious ditty we’ve heard on a commercial. Lately, I’ve been inspired by Sir Elton John. I don’t have much money, but if I did, I’d buy a big house where we both could live.”This tune brought about a conversation with my husband last night. Ashamedly, I had purchased a couple of lottery tickets as it was my birthday and I thought, what the heck? Driving home after dinner I was fantasizing as to what our lives would look like if we ‘won’. I was thinking a bigger/nicer house here in FL, one where the kids are and one over by my sister, you know, real estate investments. Ahem… Then I asked my adorable husband who has been going through a terribly rough time career wise what he would want to do with the winnings. He answered, I’d want to keep things as they are other than helping our family members and those less fortunate and to further his education for the love of learning. Wow! Wake up call, I thought. But that is just like him, unselfish and thinking of others before himself.
I pondered this and realized that simple thing is what we’re here for. To help others. There are many, many ways to do that of course, but I firmly believe we need to do it to the extent that we’re able. It might be a card, a phone call, a text, visit or a meal. It doesn’t have to be anything huge! A couple of years ago after I was diagnosed with breast cancer, I had so much love and support from friends, family and strangers! I’ve had a lot of self doubt, self esteem issues in my life and this single period in my life brought about a healing I cannot put into words. It wasn’t any one thing that a person or persons did. It was a collective act of love, kindness, thoughts, prayers, food, cards, ect… No one thing meant more than the others. This healing is because of the acts of unselfish love, time and kindness.
I hope I remember this the next time I want something bigger or better, or where I want to go next or for that matter what I want to ‘Be’.
“Do small things with great love.” ~ Mother Teresa
This song is a sort of sad song, but I love it. We are all free to fly, free to dream.
As C.S. Lewis said. “We are never to old to dream a new dream”. I am so happy & relieved to believe that is true! I’ve had many dreams, some came and went, others were and are being fulfilled each and every day I wake up.
Having a birthday today makes me happy. Happy to be here to celebrate one more trip around the sun! After the last two years of being cancer free, I count each day as a gift. They have all been gifts but I’ve fretted away more days than I care to think about. Life is just too short to be anything but happy and grateful. Even if I’m not happy at any given moment, I can be grateful, then before long I will be ‘happy’ once again. That’s just how it works. If I take the time to count my blessings, I have no time to complain. My husband, my family, my friends, my home, my health, my freedom and my faith.
Faith has brought me through some of the scariest times in my life. Faith has brought hope when there has seemed to be no hope, only darkness and dreams dashed. Loved ones leaving, rejection, failed health, self abuse in many forms, abuse from others, dashed self confidence. I could go on and on.. But the one thing that has remained constant is the hand of God on my life. I know it’s there, it’s always been there. Even in the darkest of times when my faith wandered and I wondered if there was a God. If there was I thought, how could I possibly be in this state (whatever that was at the time), but time and time again, I have been picked up and dusted off and put back on the road, my journey if you will to be free. Free to be me and to love myself unconditionally as HE loves me. It’s not easy, I’ve messed up more times than I can count. But I know I’m loved. I can feel it in my soul. It’s more than an earthly love, it’s an unconditional acceptance. No matter what! This inspires me to be more like Him. To love and accept others unconditionally. The unloveable, the ones who have hurt me most…..Somehow, this increases my faith, my hope that one day we will be truly free. Until then, dream and do and be as free as you can be.
“He who the son sets free is free indeed.” John 8:36
There are times in life when I’ve felt under prayed & overwhelmed. Usually in that order. What amazes me is that when I’m confused about life and the why’s of the things that happen. Loved ones that become ill, jobs change, money gets tight, whatever the ‘it’ is….Friends are there. Maybe not immediately, but I’m lucky enough that I can make a call or send a text & I have friends that will be there for me. No judgement, just to listen & even make me laugh! Then another to share love stories that begin unexpectedly when she has been in a loveless relationship.
My husband who is the best friend I could ever hope for, who has truly seen the good, the bad and the ugly in my life and still loves me anyway!
Then there’s my sister that’s absolutely always there no matter what, even as she herself has many concerns of her own. Her love, friendship and unconditional love has anchored me for most of my life.
My children are my friends now that they’re adults themselves. My employer Is my friend, a really good friend! This is a unique and special gift for anyone who is lucky enough to work with and for someone they love, like & respect.
Last but certainly not least, my mother is my friend and I cherish her & the ways she has taught me about friendship. There are many, but one that I think of often is, “You have to be a good friend to have them.”
Friendship is a saving grace in my life. I’m so grateful to be blessed with truly good & faithful friends.
I aspire to be the kind friend that so many are to me. Friendship is a gift I celebrate today.
~Every good & perfect gift comes from above…James 1:17
~A friend loves at all times…Proverbs 17:17
Love to you all!
There’s always time & energy to do what we want, right? I’m finding as the years go by it seems I have less of both. Time & energy are precious commodities. Gifts if you will. I want to view them as gifts. As privileges. At times there are so many things I want to do. Then I have to stop and ask myself, is it important? Will it matter in the future? This is one of the main reasons I’ve chosen to limit my time on social media through Lenten season. I thought it would be difficult, but it hasn’t been. It’s been freedom. Freedom to do more important things.
Not to say there aren’t important & good things happening on social media. But, I’ve decided if there was really anything important the people I know & love can & will let me know the old fashioned way, by picking up the phone, writing an email or even a text message. And vice versa.
Interestingly enough my social life hasn’t suffered at all. I’ve spoken with and seen people face to face. I’ve shared a lot in person. I find it much more satisfying.
I have to wonder how this is changing me spiritually. The one on one. The ‘face to face’ with my Heavenly Father. Not just a quick 2 min prayer request or a hurried devotional time. No, real time conversation which includes more listening & less talking. What could be more important? What I’ve come to realize is I want more time, more energy for the things that matter. Eternal things. People matter but not so much in the way I’ve been looking at life through Facebook & Twitter. But in my heart. In my prayers & definitely face to face. Now I love me some FaceTime. Especially with my loved ones I don’t get to see often enough. I hope Jesus is happy to see me looking for His face. I want to seek it more & more. But I know in order to do that I have to give up more than just social media. Way more. I have to die. Everyday die to myself & what I ‘want’. Maybe then as I do I will truly feel more satisfied with how I’m spending my time & energy. I believe it will be restored. We do have that promise. And I’m so grateful we do.
“He gives power to the weak, and to those that have no might He increases their strength. Even the youths shall faint and grow weary; and the young men shall utterly fall. But those who wait on the Lord, shall renew their strength; They will mount up with wings as eagles. They shall walk and not faint.” Isaiah 40: 39-31
Love & Blessings,
The old James Taylor song Fire & Rain just jolted that grief part of my gut. You know that place of utter hurt & despair of that loved one we know we’ll never see again, at least not this side of heaven. If you believe in that sort of thing.
But what about those people we just naturally think we’ll see again?Our people, friends, neighbors? The ones we do life with. The very ones we take their presence here for granted.
Even when I knew my dear brother Jerry was sick, and I left Hawaii with my sister to fly home we didn’t say goodbye. We couldn’t! We always thought we’d see him again. Sadly, we didn’t.
Then my Daddy living ten years after a brain jury. I never once thought of my visits to him as possibly the last one. I couldn’t. Then one day while in Atlanta I got the call from Mama that Daddy had passed on. Why was I so shocked? I drove eight agonizing and amazing hours home saying goodbye in the most ethereal way imagined. He was with me all the way.
We never want to think of our times with loved ones as possibly the last time. It’s too painful. But what if we did? How would it change our interactions with them? Our patience & kindness in general? May all our last times be the best times.
And if like me, you do believe in heaven then the best times are yet to come.
“So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but what is unseen, since what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal.” ~2Corinthians 4:18
Love & Blessings!
I like my alone time. I like solitude. Time for reading, prayer and mediatation. There are so many things to learrn, to discover in the quiet.
Then there are times that solitude is overwhelming there is so much sickness and suffering in the world we live in. I feel I must do something, and I try to do the things I can that affect change. Especially prayer. I believe it changes things. It has for me and many, many others that I know.
Last night I met with a couple of friends I’ve known for some time. And one new friend to be. We went around the table and shared our goals, our dreams for our respective businesses. They were all different but there was a chord that ran through them all. We all need others to help us accomplish our dreams and goals. There was something else we discovered. Three of us have recently embarked on a healthier way of living, eating and moving. This in turn has inspired us to open other doors just a bit wider with more confidence than before. Allowing us to see some of the possibilities when we open ourselves up to change. Positive change.
Why is that? I believe there is strength in numbers. That we’re made to need others to succeed. No matter how large or small the goal. Who wants to reach their dreams and say, “I did this all my myself?”
Your three year old maybe, but not us as adults, well, hopefully not anyway!
We all want to ‘belong’ to something. A club, a church, a social networking group, a team. Something that helps us to feel we are in ‘it’ together with other people of likemind.
The ‘it’ I’m speaking of here is just doing life with others. Who are your others? Are they positive? Do they help you affect the changes in your own life that you want to see come about?
Now, of course we don’t always get to choose the people we spend a lot of time with in the work place and in other situations. But our other time we do have a choice. Choose carefully, there is strength in numbers. Positive and negative.
“Two can accomplish more than twice as much as one, for the results can be much better. If one falls, the other one pulls him up, but if a man falls when he is alone he is in trouble.
Also, on a cold night, two under the same blanket gain warmth from each other, but how can one be warm alone? And one standing alone can be attacked and defeated, but two can stand back to back and conquer. Three is even better for a triple braided cord is not easily broken.”
~ Ecclesiastes 4:9-12 TLB