Get Over Yourself

That’s what my sponsor would say. When I felt alone, or decided to have a pity party, she would encourage me to look outside myself.

To find a need and fill it.

Not my own need, but the needs of others.

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The first line you’ll read in the book, “The Purpose Driven Life” is, “It’s not about you.” I’m continually reminding myself of that.

Yes, there has been a pattern to my life. In a society focused on self-care, we tend to focus on ourselves a little too much. ‘Take care of yourself first, so you can care for others’, but I don’t believe self-care was meant to turn into self absorption.

I’m glad I had a sponsor who would tell me to get over myself. Anytime I feel that tilt in the scales of, ‘What about me?’, I hear her voice. To live a life on purpose means living outside of ourselves and it’s not always convenient. I’m learning that.

I’m thankful to have people in my life that tell me what I don’t necessarily want to hear, but really need to hear.

Even if it is, get over yourself.

Let’s Get Real

Thank you for requesting a handwritten note. (You know who you are) They’ve all been mailed.

I don’t know one of the people very well that requested a note, so I just sat down and shared my morning. Each word written was like she was sitting at the table with me. I hope she can sense it as she reads it.

Or, she’ll think it’s quite odd. 🙂

Either way, I feel quite accomplished with making the offer and following through in a timely manner. A good part of life entails doing your part and watching where that leads.

I received a handwritten note from my friend Paula. Just like her, it’s beautiful inside and out.

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Yesterday, I found a card from a friend written a couple of years ago. I’d forgotten how close we once were and reached out to her on Facebook to reconnect. She responded to my message and it was clear, we’re still traveling different paths.

There’s nothing wrong with that. She’s going her way and I’m going mine, but there was no connection. This is the year for community. WordPress is the only online community I’m active in at the moment. The rest is all real.

My Front Yard

This is one of my favorite memes.

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Last year, I wrote about The Bird Feeder.

I loved it, but spent a lot of time agonizing over the squirrels. They wouldn’t stay off the feeder and wound up destroying one of them.

Fast forward to today, I feed the squirrels.

I pour the feed right on the ground. Didn’t realize they make a feed for squirrels and birds to share. I found it at the local hardware store. My daughter laughs at me for doing this.

At first, she saw it as defeat. I’d given up on having a pretty feeder and the squirrels won, but I don’t see it as that. I see it as making a difference in their lives. If they come into my yard, they’ll be fed without a fight.

I don’t dump food out everyday, but this is the year of making a difference in community. Last year prepared me for this year.

I added to the meme.

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I didn’t spend a lot of time on this meme to make a difference in what it says.

Last year was preparation. This year is to make a difference. It seems that begins in my own front yard.

 

I Love Lucy

My daughter is spending time this week with one of her best friends. Her friend goes to college in Florida, so they haven’t seen one another in years. She came to Texas to celebrate my daughter’s birthday, which was Wednesday.

Yesterday, I checked the mail, and it was stuffed with all kinds of goodness. I had ordered film for my daughter’s Instamatic camera, and it came in. We weren’t sure the film was going to arrive in time for her to use it during her friend’s visit, but God took care of it. My package from the UK was there as well, and I squealed with excitement!

Lucy was here!

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Lucy from Little Fears.

Peter Edwards writes a Blog entitled, Little Fears.

He showed up on my Blog during my Cancer Journey.

Peter has always been an encouragement to me, and I admire his passion for what he does. I believe we have numerous opportunities as a community of Bloggers to encourage one another. Purchasing Lucy was my way of giving Peter a little bit of encouragement.

There is something about this scary looking creature, holding a heart that makes me smile. I can’t tell if she is offering it, or taking it.

My daughter and her friend stopped by yesterday just to give hugs. She saw Lucy displayed in the frame we had chosen for her together. I was beaming with love over Lucy, and my daughter shouted, “I love Lucy!”

Thank you Peter for helping us face our Little Fears.

You are Good

I went down to the corner store this morning, and was greeted by my friend behind the counter. We love one another like good friends do, even though I just met him a couple of years ago. He is a real life superhero in my book.

I don’t know his story, only what I’ve seen. He has a heart the size of Texas, but he isn’t native Texan. He is from another country, and he runs the only store in little Dale Texas.

Last Thanksgiving, he was overwhelmed with gifts of food from the locals. He said it was a huge difference from the previous year. He received a couple of pigs that year, but last year it was in the double digits. He has a good heart, but it took time for people to see it, believe it, and trust him.

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He asked, “You missed the fireworks lastnight?”

I responded, “I saw them from my front porch.”

He asked, “Are you okay?” Tapping his chest in reference to last years Breast Cancer.

I reassured him, “I am good, just tired.”

Then it was like God entered the conversation, because he said, “Of people?” We were talking about health, so this comment surprised me. The fireworks celebration brings in a lot of people, so it hit me right in the heart when he said this.

Tears welled up in my eyes as I looked at him and said, “Maybe.” He started shaking his head furiously, and said, “NO NO NO.”

He opened his arms, leaned across the counter, and pulled me into his arms, like it was forbidden for me to be tired of people. He hugged me, let me go, and said, “You are good.”

Plug Into Community

Whenever I mention attending a public event to my daughter, she says, “No. I don’t like people.” We laugh after she says it, but there is a lot of truth in it. I hear other people saying it too. God wants us to love; He doesn’t mention like.

The word ‘love’ is mentioned 365 times in the Bible.

That would signify enough love for each day of the year. It depends on what version of the Bible, but I can see where that might be true. God wants us to be filled with love each day. Where we get hung up is spilling it out on others. The amount of love we give will be the amount we receive.

I went to a community event lastnight. Living in small town Texas, I have not taken time to plug into the community.

They had their annual tree lighting in the square. Not sure you can call it a square, more like the grassy area near the four-way stop. This town consists of one intersection, a Post Office, Fire Department and one gas station.

It was windy and misting rain, but I felt led to go.

There were probably 30 or 40 people there at one point, and the atmosphere drew you in. They had a bonfire blazing with colorful metal barrels placed around it for seating. An old pickup truck pulled up near the fire, opened the doors and let the stereo blare Christmas music. We learned to talk over it.

There was a table with hot chocolate and cans of whipped cream. A young lady was walking around with a container of homemade cookies, holding them under our noses. I sat on one of the barrels and talked to the people around me. It was nice to sit and listen to their stories and to laugh.  A few knew that it was God who brought them here.

It was my first time in the community, and being in a small town, everyone knew I had moved there. I had become known as the lady with the giant Rooster in her yard. When they asked where I live, and I pointed down the road, they would gasp and exclaim, “You live in Pete’s old house and have the giant Rooster!” Well, I guess I could be known for worse.

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As I said my goodbyes and turned to leave, a man yelled, “We need volunteers at The Community Center.”

I stopped walking, turned toward the man and started walking back to the group of people. I gave him my number and told him I would be happy to help. His wife was standing next to him, and she said she would call.

I asked God earlier in the day to use me to serve others. The day was almost over, but He did.

No Regrets

Just because we have them, doesn’t mean we have to keep them. The dictionary describes it as: Regret is a negative conscious and emotional reaction to personal past acts and behaviors. Regret is often expressed by the term “sorry.” That is encouraging to me because it reveals itself as consciousness and emotion, which we have control over. It also places it in the past, which we can choose not to live in anymore.

Some of you know, I spent a third of my life drowning in alcoholism. Early in my sobriety, I told a friend that I regretted all the years I lost to drinking, and wish I had them back. She quickly told me, “God was with you that whole time. Watching over you, protecting you, and allowing that experience to form you into the person you are today.” It’s true, and I wouldn’t have met her. One of my most treasured friends.

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The most important thing to know is….We’re not alone. There are people out there who have done the same stupid things we did, if not worse, and are alive to tell about it. If you want to hear some, go sit in an AA meeting with a lot of newcomers. This is called a ‘Beginners’ meeting, and they usually have just a few hours sober. They are full of regret, and share snippets of things they did drunk, and are trying to accept sober. What’s interesting is almost everyone in the room will be nodding their head in agreement as their story unfolds. We can relate to their pain because we did something similar, if not the exact same thing!

I saw a quote this week that grieved me. “I used to think the worst thing in life was to end up all alone. It’s not. The worst thing in life is to end up with people that make you feel all alone.”

Do you know who said it? The late, great Robin Williams. How can a man who brought so much joy to millions of people, live in darkness? I’m guessing he kept it hidden from the world, and it took his life. For me, that would be the ultimate Regret.

Genie…You are now free.