I’ve *challenged myself to be kind this year.
The hardest part so far is not knowing how the act of kindness was received, or if it was spotted at all.
It seems there’s more to it than the act itself.
I love my two neighbors! After Christmas, I left a note in one of their mailboxes wishing them a beautiful season. We are newly getting to know one another, and as you know, I Scare People!
Once I do these small acts, doubt sets in.
Was it the right mailbox? Will the mail lady see it has no postage and take it? Silly stuff!
I blew it big time yesterday. I left a small gift under the counter of a friends workplace who needed some kindness. I told her boss it was there, and to let her know. He was distracted at the time, so what did I do? Texted her to make sure she found it. 😦
I have to do this with zero expectation.
My neighbor got her note, and left one in my mailbox in return. The note was tied around a bar of candy. How did she know it was one of my favorites? She most likely had peace about it.
So, even in this, I need to trust God more.
My Bible verse this morning was, “Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways submit to Him, and He will make your paths straight.” -Proverbs 3:5-6
Coincidence? No way.
God is big into the finest of details. The note my neighbor left for me had a sticker on the back of the envelope. When I saw it, I just stopped and stared.
Yes Lord, it’s all about growth. Not the act itself.
*Credit for this challenge goes to Donna Cameron of A Year of Living Kindly.
I sat in my bed this morning, and had a talk with God. He has a plan, but I just wanted to share my requests.
I’m in a quiet season of my life. It’s been this way for months, but I’m learning to sit with it. After He healed my Breast Cancer last year, I was ready to be His mighty foot soldier again, but He has other plans.
In a quiet season, you do quiet things.
Come sit with me, and help with this puzzle.
I sat down in front of it this morning, and asked to find this one piece. It would be completely dark green, so you would think it would be easy to see. Scooping up a handful of pieces from the box, I looked in my hand, and there it was. The piece I asked for.
My natural response was, “Thank you God”, because I had gone through these pieces last night and couldn’t find it, but today is a new day. He was ready to reveal it to me today, and knew I needed that small piece of encouragement while sitting in this quiet season. When life is quiet, God is there.
If God can show me one missing piece to a 1,000 piece puzzle, then I can trust Him to show me the missing pieces of my life.
Trust Him I will, because the puzzle laying on this table will come together one piece at a time, very similar to life. My friends tell me, “He’s preparing you for something”, but I don’t know what that is.
If I overly focus on finding a piece, I miss the overall picture. The box the puzzle came in reveals how beautiful it can be!
I’m good with taking my time and enjoying the process of finding every missing piece. It will come together with time, in this quiet season.
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I haven’t had any reliable Internet the last couple of days. Seymour and I took off, and drove to the beach. We saw the ocean, but it was raining, so we didn’t get to enjoy it as we had planned. The trip wasn’t about walking on the beach. It was about all the time spent together in the car, sharing a room, and talking and listening to one another’s life stories.
As I was driving to my Mammogram appointment Thursday morning, all these recollections of my Breast Cancer journey came to mind. Driving down a country road, toward the city, I saw a slide show before me. Moments where my faith was tested, and I was ready to call it quits. Seymour mentioned that I suffered in silence, so why did I feel so exposed?
I arrived at my appointment, was escorted to a screening room, and stood before that massive machine for the first time in a year. The last time I was there, I could only hug it, and sob. This time was different. The technician had to keep moving the machine upwards to accommodate my height. I was stronger now, so maybe I was standing a little bit taller.
The technician used the machine to take pictures of both breasts in 3D. When she was done, I went to sit in a private lounge, just for women waiting for the test, or the results.
I sat down across from a woman, I guessed to be retirement age. She had been crying, and was clutching the front of her gown, trying to keep it from falling open. I had been right where she was sitting, so I asked her, “Are you okay?” She started to cry some more.
She told me that she had been so faithful with her Mammograms. She had received one every year for as far back as she could remember. She was late in getting this one, and when she did, they saw something concerning. They had just done a more in depth one, and she was waiting to hear the next steps. She was at her beginning, and I was at my end.
The first thing I assured her of was, there is no such thing as ‘late’. You are here now, and that is all that matters. I shared the names of all my doctors with her, and she frantically took notes. The technician came back to get me, and as I left, I looked at her and said, “God bless you.” She whispered the same to me, and I told her, “He does everyday love.”
My journey created a profound intimacy with God. It’s still there, even though my journey was coming to a close. God was getting ready to test my faith, as see what I had learned.
The technician escorted me to a different room, which I recognized immediately. There was the table I had laid on during my biopsy. She asked me to lay on the table, and open the right side of my gown. I laid down, and asked her, “You realize the lump was in my left?”
She said, “Oh I know Mrs. Holmes, but we saw something in the right that we need to take a closer look at.” My world stopped. I realized I had been so concerned about the left one, that I hadn’t paid much attention to the right. I felt the warm gel hit my breast, and the wand of the sonogram machine started sliding around. At that point, I lost all control.
I broke down, and started sobbing on the table. The female technician patted my arm, reassuring me that it was all okay. I told her, “I cannot do this again! I cannot go through it all again!!!” But you know what? If I needed to go through it again, God would be there. My next thought was, I would have both breasts removed, so at least I could come back as a 36C!
She completed the sonogram, and left the room to review the results with the Oncologist. When she returned, she exclaimed, “You are all good Mrs. Holmes! It’s only a cyst!” There was more than one test given here, and thanks be to God that I was able to pass ’em both.
Barbara is a Writer, a Mom to her 17-year-old daughter, a recent Breast Cancer survivor, and she loves God. When she started this Blog in 2014 Letitgocoach was the name that stuck. She enjoys helping people Let Go of what is holding them back from having a beautiful life. Her life is beautiful, and an example of Letting Go and Letting God. You may connect with her via email. Letitgocoach@gmail.com
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Many of my daily devotionals recently have been about trusting God. It’s not so hard to trust Him, but to lay your life at His feet, and to trust Him completely with the outcome.
I’m still working on that.
Looking back over my life some rather large mountains have been removed. Things happened that I had no control over, and I worried how to get through. Worrying about the future. It’s human nature to visualize ourselves coping badly in those situations. It’s my nature to devise a plan, and fix it, but that is not including God. I’d rather have God lead.
He is the master fixer of my life. My life is very simple today, and I don’t stir things up like I used to. When a situation presents itself, I know it’s going to be an opportunity for God to show up, and show off. I will need to stay out of it, and respond as little as possible. The most recent being my Breast Cancer Journey. Oh, I had plenty of ideas how to handle that.
Sitting here this morning, pondering my appointment with the Radiologist this afternoon, thinking my journey would be over by now. Having the lumpectomy a few weeks ago, and the Cancer being removed, we should be done. Obviously not, or I wouldn’t be sitting here dreading my appointment! This is me worrying about the path ahead, and not including God.
A dear friend sent me this earlier this week. She knew nothing of my upcoming appointment, so I’m sure it was God prompting her to send it. It brought the whole Breast Cancer Journey back into view. ‘You are living through a major expansion of your faith’, describes this journey perfectly. Yes, I am uncomfortable, but I believe that is okay today.
Isn’t that why we shrink to begin with? The discomfort.
I told everyone that would listen that I didn’t want radiation. In my mind, after the surgery, I was done. It sounded good, but I must keep walking through open doors. When I told my surgeon I didn’t want it, she gasped! In amazement she looked at me and said, “Barbara. How can you come this far, and not finish the journey? This is the last leg of the path!”
Thanks to Chemo, I am not afraid of this path. Chemo could have easily been the worst thing I’ve ever been through, but God was there. Chemo was a dark, and lonely path, but it could have been so much worse than it was. I wasn’t sick during it, and the only side effect I really had was the extreme fatigue. It knocked the wind out of me for at least three days.
I didn’t write much during those dark days, as friends tried their best to encourage me.
They would say, “You’re so brave”, and “You kicked Cancer’s butt”. Oh no darlings. My body was curled up in a fetal position in the middle of my bed, and I was gazing out the bedroom window depending on God to get me through it. He did, and He will continue to do so. Radiation may look like an inconvenience to me, but it’s really an opportunity to be used by God. What I wanted to be complete, is obvious today, that’s it’s only a curve in the path.
Barbara is a God follower, a Writer, and Mom to her 17-year-old daughter. When she started this Blog in 2014 Letitgocoach was the name that stuck. She enjoys helping people Let Go of what is holding them back from having a beautiful life. Part of her mission is to show people they can start over at 50. Her life is beautiful, and an example of Letting Go and Letting God. You may connect with her via email. Letitgocoach@gmail.com