Living God’s Best

I ran into a friend yesterday, and she asked, “Are you okay?” She had a look of concern on her face, and I assured her that I was. She had read my Blog about the Cancer scare, and wanted to make sure I was all good. She is not the only friend that wasn’t sure, so let’s see if I can be more clear.

What we go through in life is a test of some sort.

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I don’t believe there is Cancer in my breast. The technician wasn’t sure what she was seeing during the sonogram, so I had the films sent to my Oncologist who knows my history. He didn’t see anything concerning, but wants to see my next film in six months. I’m not worried, so don’t you be either!

God used that situation to reach the right people, and I now have really good health insurance!

In March, or April of next year, I will have another mammogram, and have faith for God’s best. Since walking out of the imaging center a month ago, I have made life changes, and am still making them. When God shows me His best, I want to give Him my best in return. The entire incident brought this to the forefront of my mind.

“What do I want my life to look in six months? Am I living God’s best?”

Soft and Strong

I woke up early this morning, and was able to think. There is a distinct difference between thinking, and having thoughts. Thank you Chemo for teaching me that difference.

A lot of thoughts came rushing in, once I had my coffee. Most of them were pictures of my past, and mainly my Mother.

Pieces of the path that helped make me who I am today. She was such a strong woman. I don’t recall seeing her sit much, and if she was napping, it meant she had worn herself out. The same with crying. She would hide somewhere and weep, and if my siblings, or myself, heard her weeping, something was big time wrong. My daughter sees me cry quite often, and I’m glad.

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My Mother grew up as an only child. Her Mother was of small stature; maybe 5 feet tall. Her Father was a big man, and stood soundly at over 6 feet tall. My Mother was built like her Father, so this ain’t good. She was told, her birth was so traumatic on her Mother’s body, her Mother couldn’t have anymore kids. She grew up believing it was her fault she was an only child.

What a burden to carry. I think because of this, she thought she had to be everything to everybody. I’ve seen a lot of similarities between my Mother, and me over the years. The first time I went through the ‘Letting Go’ process, I looked at what I learned growing up, and if that served me today. I loved my Mother, but I saw areas in me that needed to change.

My Father was an alcoholic, and so am I. My Grandmother, Mother, and Sister all had Breast Cancer, and so do I. Some traits we inherit, or call it genetics. We might not can change that, but we can change what continues. God is a master at breaking chains, and strongholds, so through Him, we can choose what is good to pass on to our generation.

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I didn’t quit. I stopped it dead in it’s tracks.

My Mother waited until all four of us kids were grown, and then she left my Dad. He bought her a beautiful house, with everything we didn’t have growing up. Air conditioning was one of those things, and this new house had that. Her walking away pissed me off in more ways than one. This new house had everything she could ever want, but it didn’t have that one thing she craved.

It still lacked love, and acceptance of who she wanted to be. She was tired.

I was the same age as her when I walked out of mine. That was my first clue that something needed to change, and it was probably me. Mother stayed strong, and stubborn till her death, but I wanted a different ending to my story. I wanted a story filled with love, and goodness. I refused to allow my daughter to grow up, and not see her Mama truly loved.

Strong will get you through, but soft will get you more.

I walked into the bathroom this morning, and noticed a package of toilet paper sitting on the counter. It was being advertised as ‘Soft and Strong.’ I thought, “Well heck! If a roll of toilet paper can be that, then surely I can too!” I am hoping God sees me as more than something we use to wipe with.

I will fast forward to the end. My Mother’s funeral. I believe she gave of herself her whole life. She was always busy, and helped anyone at the drop of a hat. She gave, but she sucked at receiving. From the simplest compliment, all the way to, “I can do this myself’ mentality. The people that came to her funeral, were the people that felt indebted to her.

We need to receive as much as we give. This is what fuels our flame, and gives us even more to give. Maya Angelou said, ‘I’ve learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.’ I hope a lot of people are at my funeral, and not because of what I did, or who I was, but how I made them feel.

 

The Final Day of A Better Way To Live~Day 17

Woman-by-Ralph-Lauren-perfume

My hope is you get this faster than I did. It took me over half my life to find this truth.

Realize that true happiness lies within you. Waste no time and effort searching for peace and contentment and joy in the world outside. Remember that there is no happiness in having or in getting, but only in giving. Reach out. Share. Smile. Hug. Happiness is a perfume you cannot pour on others without getting a few drops on yourself.

I have had a lot of levels of success, and all the material objects that brings. None of that brought me happiness. If it did it was a fleeting moment like driving the car off the showroom floor. It was temporary like the new car smell.

I finally realized if I was happy on the inside, I was successful. Success doesn’t bring happiness; happiness brings success in every area of my life. Giving of myself to others bring even more happiness. A friend once told me, “You can’t give away what you don’t have, but you must give away what you want to keep.”

Let the goodness inside of you flow onto others. It will come back to you in such abundance, you’ll never be able to give it all away.

 

Quote is from, “A Better Way to Live”, by Og Mandino. To view all 17 days of this series, click here.

A Perfect Day

My daughter has a sign hanging on the wall in front of my desk that I get to read everyday. It simply says, “Today is a perfect day, for a perfect day”. This inspires me with its simplicity, and the fact that a 15-year-old found it true enough to purchase it. There is so much pain in the world today, I believe we’re in a season of giving. One of my favorite sayings is, “What we take for granted, someone else is praying for”.

You may be having a hard time yourself, and it seems you have nothing to give. That’s when we give of ourselves.

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I enjoy watching people’s faces as they walk through the airport. Their facial expressions tell a lot about who they are, especially women. When I was little and I made a mean face to my brother behind his back, Mama would say, “You better be careful or your face might freeze like that”. Maybe if I had spent my life making faces at my brother,  it would be true. I saw so many women at the airport this week, with a face of sadness, or an embedded frown. That tells me, they spent a lot of time with that look on their face, so now their face automatically relaxes into that position.  It’s sad.

So, I made a practice this week of everyone I saw walking toward me without a smile, I gave them one of mine. Everyone I encountered at the Airport, I was ‘over the top’ kind to them. Everyone I smiled at… smiled back. They gave me a look of hesitancy at first, and then there was a sign of relief, and happiness, just for a moment. Maybe that was the first time they had smiled all day. For some, it was the first time in years!

Luke 6:38 says, “Give, and you will receive. Your gift will return to you in full–pressed down, shaken together to make room for more, running over, and poured into your lap. The amount you give will determine the amount you get back.”

I encourage you today, if you think you don’t have anything to give, dust off your smile and kindness and give it away! It will come back to you.