Tag Archive | perseverance

04/09/13 Today’s Advice to My Beautiful Daughters: Live Another Day

Today’s advice is a re-blog from Ellie in Ireland.  She shared the story of a young man of 16 who is in his last months of life.  He is spending some of that time with an important message about the gift of life, specifically to those who give in to despair and take their own life.

Live another day.  What a great message.  Thanks Ellie!

But if you were 16 years old and knew you only had months to live, what would you do with your time?  Would you rush out and live it up as much as possible? Would you travel, go bungee jumping, go to concerts, parties and gigs with your friends?  What would you do? (click the link to read more and to see this young man’s interview)

Live Another Day.

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12/21/12: Today’s advice to my beautiful daughters ~ Don’t let your expectations steal your Joy

As seen in the posts of the past few days (here and here and here), this is one of those lessons that I had to learn the hard way…and then some.

And although I am still learning and struggling, today, I have a greater sense of understanding about how our expectations about where we SHOULD be, how we SHOULD feel, how the world SHOULD line up for us gets in the way of where we are.

Joy is not happiness.

Joy is the peace that comes from the knowledge that we are where we are supposed to be. In this moment.  Now.  Even if we don’t like it.  Joy is the deep knowledge of God’s grace.  Joy is finding the opportunity in the place where your hope and fear and happiness and pain intersect.  It sets aside what we want and what we expect and makes space for who we are meant to be.

Your opportunity in the place you are right now is not a mistake.  It might not feel good or comfortable, but it is not a mistake.  The real opportunity for you, the real joy, comes from how you respond to where you are, and is born from the acceptance that everything that has led you to this place and has prepared you.  It has prepared you to be exactly who you are right now.  The pain has prepared your heart for compassion.  The challenges have prepared you to overcome.  The loneliness has prepared you to reach out.  The roadblocks have prepared you to persevere.

Life is full of a mixture of pain and happiness, loneliness and contentment, peace and turmoil.  God uses all of those things to make you the person that He wants you to be.

Your expectations can make you miss it.  If you are too busy looking for what you want, what you expect, what you think you deserve, you may just miss the JOY that comes from the now, from this place, from the reality that combines all that you have been with all that you can be,  if you can just stop expecting and start accepting.  The you that is unencumbered by all the pressure of expectations is so much greater than the you who might miss it all.

Grace.  Joy.  You.

Don’t let your expectations steal any of them.

5/31/12 Today’s Advice to My Beautiful Daughters – It’s not a race.

It’s not a race.

More and more, we treat life like a race, like a sprint to some imagined finish line.  We just want to get to the next thing, to be done, to get there.  When we don’t get that instant gratification, when things take longer than we would like, we get discouraged, and want to give up.

Life is not a race.  It is a journey.  Most of the good things happen between the milestones, between the start and the finish (whatever that may be).

When I walk in the Susan G. Komen 3Day for the Cure, the start is exciting and invigorating, designed to pump us up for the journey ahead.  The end is emotional, exhilarating, and is often an emotional highlight of my entire year.  It feels so incredible to finish something so hard.  But between the start and finish is the EXPERIENCE.  The pain of all those steps is a reminder of the battles that people fight every day.  The end wouldn’t be nearly as sweet if the middle wasn’t so hard.  If I treat it like a race, not only do I miss the good stuff, but I risk injury (trust me!) Long journeys  teach me that putting one foot in front of the other, ESPECIALLY when you don’t want to, result in the sweetest finishes.

Don’t get me wrong, beginnings and endings can be beautiful, heartbreaking and memorable.  But they aren’t the only thing.  When we focus on the finish, we lose sight of the now.  If we focus on death, we don’t live.  If we focus on being done, we miss the experience of doing.

So don’t forget the journey.  Don’t focus so much on the end, that you get discouraged or miss something.  Put one foot in front of the other.  Look around.  Slow down.  Eventually you will get there, richer for the experience.

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My new friend from Ireland climbed a mountain last weekend, and her post  had a comment that inspired this.  Someone else who had climbed this mountain was inspired by an old woman who noticed that she looked discouraged and said, “sure, you’ll make it. It’s not a race. You just put one foot in front of the other, and before you know it, you’re there.” (Thanks to Lois  for the inspiration!)