Tuesday, May 2, 2017

My Answer . . . The best I can be at the moment


So I guess the aftermath from my last blog post has blown over. That was interesting to say the least. So now what? What happens now that I opened a little of Michelle Cooper’s life for public consumption? It’s been eight months. You might think those eight months must have been so freeing for me. I mean, why wouldn’t it be? I was able to get some stuff off my chest. Maybe helping others see me for the first time would help me feel unrestricted. Perhaps you have been thinking some of these things or maybe you have not. Well let me tell you, if you have not been thinking these things, I have been thinking them for you! Either way, the reality is, time has passed. So where to begin?

Over a year ago, I felt God telling me to write parts of my story down. I thought He wanted me to do this in order for a voice to be given to those who suffered from mental illness. What I failed to see, He had a completely different plan for me. There is a reason God made the choice to only fill me in on part of the plan. The truth is, if He would have disclosed the entire design, I would have run out the door and slammed it shut behind me. I would have made sure the door locked on the way out. I might have even stopped long enough to double check the lock to make sure it wouldn’t jiggle loose and become unlocked. Nope, I did not know the full plan God had for a very good reason.

If I had known that I would experience a perpetual winter season for over a year, I never would have done what I did. The wind is so cold and fierce that it burns as its tendrils stretch out to slap my face as they pass by. The bitter cold continues, it steals my breath away as it wraps around me tightly. The grayness of the sky has sunk into my soul causing such a deep darkness I am searching to find my footing. The blinding snow and sleet continues to fall from the sky like bullets careening toward its target ripping away any warmth. My stance becomes crippled causing me to stumble and fall. I have never felt so alone, scared, numb, and desolate in my life. My husband has been the voice pulling me in from the cold and wrapping me with warm blankets trying to breathe life back into my body. No, it’s not been an easy 8 months to say the least. It’s taken me a while but I finally figured out why God wanted me to take that step.

“Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a huge crowd of witnesses to the life of faith, let us strip off every weight that slows us down, especially the sin that so easily trips us up. And let us run with endurance the race God has set before us. We do this by keeping our eyes on Jesus, the champion who initiates and perfects our faith. Because of the joy awaiting him, he endured the cross, disregarding its shame. Now he is seated in the place of honor beside God’s throne.Think of all the hostility he endured from sinful people; then you won’t become weary and give up. After all, you have not yet given your lives in your struggle against sin. And have you forgotten the encouraging words God spoke to you as his children? He said, “My child, don’t make light of the Lord’s discipline, and don’t give up when he corrects you. For the Lord disciplines those he loves, and he punishes each one he accepts as his child.” As you endure this divine discipline, remember that God is treating you as his own children. Who ever heard of a child who is never disciplined by its father? If God doesn’t discipline you as he does all of his children, it means that you are illegitimate and are not really his children at all. Since we respected our earthly fathers who disciplined us, shouldn’t we submit even more to the discipline of the Father of our spirits, and live forever? 10 For our earthly fathers disciplined us for a few years, doing the best they knew how. But God’s discipline is always good for us, so that we might share in his holiness. 11 No discipline is enjoyable while it is happening—it’s painful! But afterward there will be a peaceful harvest of right living for those who are trained in this way. 12 So take a new grip with your tired hands and strengthen your weak knees. 13 Mark out a straight path for your feet so that those who are weak and lame will not fall but become strong.”    Hebrews 12:1 – 13 (NLT)

See, it’s not that God wants me to hurt so deeply. However, He knows it is necessary. I have been broken for most of my life. Because of people and events, I have built a very unhealthy reality for myself. The things that have slowed me down most of my life finally caused me to stop my forward momentum all together. God is not disciplining me in the way we traditionally view chastisement. He is loving me by taking me through the steps to begin to pick up the scattered remains of my life. He is taking me through the discipline of accepting myself and learning my past doesn’t have to dictate terms anymore to my most inner being. He loves me, the inside me! He said He does this to the ones He loves. He also said it would be painful but He loves me and I am His child. He is so patient to wait for me to take these steps so that I might know the freedom I have not felt in more years than I can remember. He longs for me to take my shoes off, have the blades of grass tickle my toes, jump in mud puddles, to dance in the rain, pick wild flowers, and have my skin kissed by the warm rays of sun. He wants me to be happy and strong. So for now He is calling me to take each footstep and to;

“Be still, and know that I am God! . . .” Psalm 46:10



Monday, September 12, 2016

I'm good . . . How are you?



“I’m good” falls out of our mouths so quickly when asked, “How are you?” Sometimes it’s said and then we think to ourselves, “No, I’m not good. Why don’t I just say I’m not good?”

Why do we do that? Why do we tell others we are good when we really are not? I have been asked that question more times than I can count. My reaction is usually “I’m good” or “I’m okay”. However, lately my answer has changed a bit. If you have been one of the lucky ones to ask me how I was and got my answer of “Tired”, well, that is very much the truth. Yet, the real truth is still hidden in there. But it pacifies the asker and we move on to another topic of discussion. Well, I’m here to truthfully answer that question now. I’m not fine, I’m not okay, and I’M NOT GOOD!

I am no longer going to hide behind myself. I am tired beyond what words can describe. The rush of emotions overwhelms me on a regular basis. It’s time to give voice to this quiet killer. Strap in because it’s about to get bumpy.

Life for me, as for most everyone, has not been an easy one. I’ve struggled with many things in my life. It started at a very young age when my parents split up. My parents did not get along and fought a lot. I don’t remember much of that, but enough to know it was pretty heavy. They decided it was better to live apart than together. I was left with my mother and my two siblings went to live with my father. I loved my life with my mother and her girlfriend, Sam, who spoiled me greatly. I never wanted for anything. It was a truly amazing life for a little girl. My dad got remarried when I was 5 and I still lived with my mother at that time. However, my father was trying desperately to obtain custody of me. One day, he received a call from my mother while at work. She told him to pick up all my belongings and get me from school. She was giving me to him. He picked me up from school that day and I never said goodbye to my mother. I had no clue this was going to happen. All I knew was mom and Sam were breaking up and I wanted to go with Sam because she took great care of me and I loved her. I thought I was given up because I wasn’t good enough for my mother and she just didn’t want me anymore. After a few years passed, she got pregnant again and had a little girl. That solidified more in my mind what I felt before, that I wasn’t good enough so she gave me up and had another baby. She kept that one because the new baby was better. I buried those feelings deep down.

I was excited to have a new mom and family. I was the youngest of 5 now. I had 2 older brothers and 2 older sisters. They kinda hung out with each other and I got left out a lot of the time because they were closer in age. I learned to play by myself a lot. My brother would go fishing and work on bikes with me. I have to give him props because he would even play Barbie with me from time to time. I’m sure it’s not something he wants to admit though. Living in the country was a great place for a little girl like me to grow up. I wish it had stayed innocent and carefree. Unfortunately, darkness found its way into my young life. Beginning in my single digits and continuing into my double digits I was sexually molested. It occurred many times over many years. It shook me to my inner core and that’s where I went to hide. I found it safe, so I stayed there for many years. I reached out for help, but none was given. So, those feelings were buried deep down.

I was a very troubled teen. I was always searching for something but could never find it. I didn’t know what exactly it was I was searching for but it didn’t stop me from looking. I tried God, but I wasn’t a big fan. I went to alcohol, smoking, partying, and caring less about school and friends. I was not popular with the guys and I guess the girls didn’t care too much for me either. So I kept my distance.  I found myself in a very dark place. Tried to kill myself but I wasn’t smart enough to figure out I was taking the wrong kind of pills for such a thing to happen. Just got really sick and passed it off to my parents as the flu. I tried to find comfort but none could be found. So I buried those feelings deep down.

Got married at a very young age, but was the happiest I’d ever been. He loved me for who I was and didn’t expect me to be something I wasn’t. We attended a church that was not very Spirit-led. It was more law-driven than anything else. I was scolded many times for several different things. I was literally called into the pastor’s office and called hard-hearted and if I didn’t change my ways I was going to hell. I wasn’t a good Christian no matter how hard I tried. I reached out for help but that didn’t come for many years. So I buried those feelings deep down.

As an adult, I have suffered from many unexplained issues. I’m seriously a walking medical mystery in so many ways. I’m used to hearing “Hmm, I’ve never seen that before” or “I don’t know what to do” from a doctor. It doesn’t matter what kind of doctor it is. I’ve heard it from just about all kinds. I’m the patient who gets all the fine print on those documents you have to sign. You know, the ones talking about the slight possibilities of things that never happen but we have to tell you just to cover ourselves in case they do. Yep, that’s me. All the drug side effects, yep again! So many things weighing on me that keep picking away at my physical and mental well-being. I developed severe pain that occurred all the time over many years. Nothing I did would bring relief. No amount of strong pain meds even did. My reality was becoming dark and I was slipping into a cold, lonely abyss. I went to this place many times and decided to stay for a while. On one of these occasions, I lost the will to live. Every day my husband was scared he would find me dead when he walked through the door after work. The numbness overwhelmed me and I hid in the dark and buried myself there.

Once I began to climb out of my hiding place, I was smacked back down with the resurfacing of an old ugly wound. The sexual molestation I lived through many years ago had decided it was going to remind me of the pain I endured for so long. My life became completely unbearable. With physical pain and emotional torment, I was doomed. I finally took a huge step and decided to seek professional help. Unfortunately, it was not successful and I once again found myself burying it all and trying to move on.

Life has moved on and I have tried to find where I fit in this world. Time has moved forward. Our lives have changed. Where we live, how many live at home, more added to the family, the loss and addition of friends, and even a College graduation under my belt. However, all the things I have buried over the years decided they wanted to be unearthed. I wish I could say I found a healthy way to deal with all of it. Unfortunately, I did not. Since I reached out so many times through the years and I found no help, I have learned it doesn’t matter if I do, help won’t come. I keep to myself and have become a very private individual. I keep most everything to myself or to only a select few. I’m nobody special to anyone to have them care about me. I’ve had some pretty major things happen to me that I have told very few. One of those things was major surgery a couple years ago. I did not want anyone to know. My husband even took his vacation days to spend with me in the hospital so he wouldn’t have to tell anyone. It was supposed to be a one night stay but turned into a week. I went through a difficult recovery and I did it alone with the support of my husband. I conditioned myself to believe nobody needs to know because nobody will care. The truth is, I don’t want to face the hurt of being rejected yet again. So I just don’t. I bury everything deep down.

So, I’m brought to the state of replying “tired” when asked how I am. Depression knocks on my door often. I’m tired of fighting. Anxiety is a new one in the last 4 years that has been thrown in the mix. Oh that’s such an ugly thing. It is truly a debilitating disease along with the depression. It renders me useless. I cannot function, think, or form a sentence when I have an anxiety attack. Between depression and having anxiety, my brain is mush most days. I struggle to get out of my house. I would much rather stay in my “safe zone.” Let me tell you, having an anxiety attack in the middle of a store is no fun at all. Going to the store used to be an easy task for me, but it no longer is. If I don’t have a detailed list, I get overwhelmed. My heart pounds like a hammer, head throbs, stomach churns, brain can’t form a logical thought, and I want to run as fast as I can out the door. I hate these things. I don’t want to have them. I try so hard to not let them take over. I wish I could say I have overcome them. Sadly, I can’t. These two diseases have a mind of their own and they are being told to attack at full force. I die a little every day when I’m dealing with them. They tear away at my ability to live a happy and productive life. It’s the silent killer.

Why have I told you all this? I did not tell you all of this to receive sympathy or to make anyone feel bad for me. I simply can no longer sit by and let this silent killer not only kill me physically, but mentally. I HAVE HAD ENOUGH! This has taken me a long time to get out but I feel it is something I’m supposed to do. By looking at me, you would not know I suffer daily from something that cannot be seen. Depression and anxiety have taught me how to create a sturdy mask. I’m taking the mask off. I’m taking it off for all those who suffer from these diseases. Don’t be ashamed or discouraged. Our silence is killing us. It does not mean we are weak because we have these ugly diseases. On the contrary, I truly believe because we have suffered for so long and still breathe means we are pretty tough. I’m begging you, when someone is bold enough to come out of the shadows and share their pain with you that you do not just say “I’m so sorry” and then go about your business as if you were never told. When someone suffers from an illness whose symptoms you can see, don’t you inquire on a regular basis how they are doing? When they respond, don’t you listen patiently to what they are saying? Do you offer your love and kindness even if you do not understand what they are going through? I’m asking you to do the same thing when a courageous person suffering with depression and/or anxiety finally opens up and gives you a glimpse of what they are going through.

“Are you strong because you belong to Christ? Does His love comfort you? Do you have joy by being as one in sharing the Holy Spirit? Do you have loving-kindness and pity for each other? Then give me true joy by thinking the same thoughts. Keep having the same love. Be as one in thoughts and actions. Nothing should be done because of pride or thinking about yourself. Think of other people as more important than yourself. Do not always be thinking about your own plans only. Be happy to know what other people are doing.” Philippians 2:1-4 (NLT)



Update: September 25, 2016 I read and spoke at my church. I did read this but also interjected a few things along with a short talk after. You might want to check it out. There is a lot of feelings and emotions behind my words! 


  

Monday, March 23, 2015

Dog At Your Feet



As I sat in a quiet home with my dog laying at my feet this morning, I could hear birds singing their delight of the returning of spring. There was a joy from the birds and contentment of the dog in that moment. Yet, somehow those same feelings seemed to escape me. I sat for a moment trying to capture the simple yet complex environment around me. Everything else had the capability to notice and bask in it, why couldn't I? I have a warm house, a comfy chair, a tasty beverage, a soft blanket, and no one or nothing demanding my time and attention. So why couldn't I complete the simple task of soaking in the moment?

The last few months have depleted my emotions and physical well-being. I have had numerous illnesses and physically demanding situations which feel unending. Could these have possibly taken so much from me that I am no longer able to capture the essence of simplicity? Okay, Michelle, time to center your focus and have a talk with God.

“If you need wisdom, ask our generous God, and he will give it to you. He will not rebuke you for asking.” ~ James 1:5 (NLT)

It was time to begin asking! He answered!

“If you think you are standing strong, be careful not to fall. The temptations in your life are no different from what others experience. And God is faithful. He will not allow the temptation to be more than you can stand. When you are tempted, he will show you a way out so that you can endure.” ~ 1 Corinthians 10:12-13 (NLT)

God just wanted me to ask Him! He was then faithful to show me I needed to be careful. He wasn’t telling me that I had fallen into temptation. He was saying, “Daughter, I know you have feelings and emotions. I gave them to you! But please be careful to not allow the devil to use them against you. Your faith is strong, but if you allow him to steal the simple moments in life, your faith will begin to crumble. Yes, I am in those moments, even if it is not plain to see. I am the birds singing, the sleeping puppy at your feet, the soft blanket you are cuddled under, and the quiet house you are sitting in. I’m the simple and complex. Have your feelings for a time, dear daughter. However, soon it will be time to get up and dust yourself off. There is work to be done!”

OH WHAT A FAITHFUL AND LOVING FATHER WE HAVE!!!!!! He provided a way for me to endure my temptation by reassuring me I’m not alone!

I know I am not the only one that has been here. My challenge to you today:

Purposely pay attention to God. He will make sure you are on track. He does not forget we are human. Take a moment to make sure you are not allowing the devil to use the small things in your life to chisel away at your faith. It can begin to crumble without you noticing.   

Thursday, June 19, 2014

They Said Sorry...


We know our words and actions can hurt and/or damage individuals. As Christians, it seems this concept has been taught to us from day one. There is no misunderstanding this idea. It is spelled out clearly. We have heard, “Actions speak louder than words” countless times. So we pay attention to how we conduct ourselves. We know one word can tear down. We learn to be more mindful of our speech. Yep, we got this part down as Christians, well hopefully. However, what happens when someone hurts us and says a heartfelt apology?

Yep, that’s right…. They said they were sorry. What are we supposed to do with that? What they did was rude. Yeah, they explained it was a bad morning and were caught off guard. They even said it was not an excuse but was explaining why they came off so short. But, they hurt our feelings. How can we just look past that? What if the action they did was more damaging to us? We have all had events or words in our lives that damaged us greatly, perhaps to a level it takes a while to heal from. Remembering the situation brings the pain back. But, they said they were sorry………

“If you forgive those who sin against you, your heavenly Father will forgive you. But if you refuse to forgive others, your Father will not forgive your sins.” ~ Matthew 6:14 & 15 (NLT)

That is right, there is another side to this thing. Think about how you would want someone to respond to you if you made a mistake and had to apologize. Would you want them to dismiss your genuine admission of guilt? We are not just called to watch our words and actions. We must forgive. Forgiveness is a hard pill to swallow sometimes. It does not mean we automatically forget what was done to us. However, forgiveness is not supposed to hinge on that. The damage was done. Jesus had the ultimate betrayal. With one of his last breaths, Jesus said, “Father, forgive them, for they don’t know what they are doing.” ~ Luke 23:34 (NLT). That my friends, is forgiveness from the heart. When we forgive from the heart, it makes working past the memories easier. The bitter feelings disappear and healing can begin.

My challenge… what are you holding on to that needs forgiven? Is there a person you have bitter feelings toward who hurt you but said they were sorry? It is your responsibility to finish the steps when asked to forgive. Take time to examine and if needed, make it right! You will finally feel the freedom you need!  

Friday, February 15, 2013

Security




Those of you who know me know that I have three favorite childhood cartoon characters, Curious George, Care Bears, and Peanuts. If you are friends with me on Facebook, I know you have noticed that I have been posting Peanuts Characters a lot lately. I find the innocence rather refreshing. Nevertheless, I still feel sorry for poor Charlie Brown. He’s not a blockhead. He’s just misunderstood. I watched the Valentine specials and WOW that poor guy. I just wanted to reach through the screen and give him a Valentine. However, it isn’t good old Chuck that I am focused on right now. It is that smart little boy named Linus. What an interesting character. So intelligent yet can’t be one minute without his trusty blanket. That security he receives from it cannot be found with anything or anyone else.




My son Nicholas was a lot like that when he was a little guy. He and his blanket were inseparable. Someone even said, “Is he going to attend school carrying a blanket?” I responded with “He is not in school yet so we don’t have to worry about it right now. Let him have his blanket and be a kid just a bit longer!” However, washing that blanket was a BIG ordeal. I would have to try hard to convince him that it was time to wash the precious piece of material. OH the tears would start. While in the washing machine, Nicholas would wander around the apartment asking over and over again “Banky done yet, banky done yet” while his voice quivered.  To which I would reply, “No son, your blanky is not done yet.” I would have to explain to him that I was going to the laundry room to put it in the dryer. So while in the dryer, again my precious baby boy was wondering around the apartment, in tears this time, “Banky dye yet, banky dye yet?” My heart breaking, I would have to explain once again that it was not ready yet. OH THE JOY in my little boy when that soft warm blanket came out of that dryer and was once again wrapped in his arms as he hugged it. He was reunited with his security. All was right with the world again.  




“I once thought these things were valuable, but now I consider them worthless because of what Christ has done. Yes, everything else is worthless when compared with the infinite value of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord. For his sake I have discarded everything else, counting it all as garbage, so that I could gain Christ and become one with him. I no longer count on my own righteousness through obeying the law; rather, I become righteous through faith in Christ. For God’s way of making us right with himself depends on faith.” ~ Philippians 3:7-9

I want to ask you what you find as your security item that you hold tightly to. There are so many things in this life that we hold on to because it makes us feel good. It has become our security blanket that we cannot go without. Matter of fact, we are lost when we are not able to be with that thing. It could be a physical item, an act, a place or even a person. We are no longer little children who need to carry around the security of this world. We have grown up!


My challenge to you… As you go through your day, I would like you to take note as to what you lean on for security. When you have had a bad day and everything seems to have gone wrong, what is it that you do to find that calm at the end of the day? Have you clung a little too tightly to “security” here that you have forgotten that God has called you to be one with him? He is our ultimate security. Let him wrap around you as you hug him and the joy fill your body like Nicholas did when he was reunited with his “banky!”   




Thursday, October 11, 2012

Worried Shoes



I spend a lot of time driving back and forth to school during the week. It gives me a lot of time to listen to music that I haven’t listened to in a while. Today as I drove, I picked something from my mp3 player and began enjoying what I chose. As I got closer to school, a particular song came on. I have always liked this song and sang along. But for some reason today, I actually heard what I was singing. “My worried shoes. And with every step that I'd take I'd remember my mistake. As I marched further and further away. In my worried shoes.” Wait, WHAT? I need to restart this song, so I hit the button. “My worried shoes. And my shoes took me down a crooked path. Away from all welcome mats.” Man this is really speaking to me. I stopped the song and went into class. As soon as I got back to the car, I hit play but then replay again. This time I really listened to ALL the lyrics:

I took my lucky break and I broke it in two
Put on my worried shoes
My worried shoes
And my shoes took me so many miles and they never wore out
My worried shoes
I made a mistake and I never forgot
I tied knots in the laces of
My worried shoes
And with every step that I'd take I'd remember my mistake
As I marched further and further away
In my worried shoes
My worried shoes
And my shoes took me down a crooked path
Away from all welcome mats
My worried shoes
And then one day I looked around and I found the sun shining down
And I took off my worried shoes
And the feet broke free
I didn't need to wear
Then I knew the difference between worrying and caring
'Cause I've got a lot of walking to do
And I don't want to wear
My worried shoes

How many times do we put on our worried shoes because we forget that God can handle the situation? For a little while, those shoes seem to hold up pretty good and carry us along our way. However, it doesn’t last a long time. There is always something that ties us up and we realize how big of a mistake it was to put on those worried shoes. At that point in time, we have gone so far with our shoes that it seems like we will never be able to take them off. So we just keep walking further we encounter a rough path that leads us away from the place that would welcome us without question during our situation. Until finally while in these shoes, we realize we just can’t do it anymore. We fall down and finally look up and see God shining down on us with open arms. We finally give up our thought of “I got this” and give those shoes over. Once we do, man do our feet feel so much better and our blisters are automatically healed. The heaviness is lifted and we feel free. We now see the difference of us worrying against allowing God to handle it. He has a lot more walking planned for us and it would be so much easier for us to do if we left those worried shoes off.

 “That is why I tell you not to worry about everyday life—whether you have enough food and drink, or enough clothes to wear. Isn't life more than food, and your body more than clothing? Look at the birds. They don’t plant or harvest or store food in barns, for your heavenly Father feeds them. And aren't you far more valuable to him than they are? Can all your worries add a single moment to your life? “And why worry about your clothing? Look at the lilies of the field and how they grow. They don’t work or make their clothing, yet Solomon in all his glory was not dressed as beautifully as they are. And if God cares so wonderfully for wildflowers that are here today and thrown into the fire tomorrow, he will certainly care for you. Why do you have so little faith? “So don’t worry about these things, saying, ‘What will we eat? What will we drink? What will we wear?’ These things dominate the thoughts of unbelievers, but your heavenly Father already knows all your needs. Seek the Kingdom of God above all else, and live righteously, and he will give you everything you need. “So don’t worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will bring its own worries. Today’s trouble is enough for today.” ~ Matthew 6:25-34 (NLT)

“Can all your worries add a single moment to your life? And if worry can’t accomplish a little thing like that, what’s the use of worrying over bigger things?” ~ Luke 12:25-26 (NLT)

Are we going to be able to add anything to our lives if we worry? NO! I think it is pretty clear that God doesn't want us to worry. There are several more scriptures that we could look at about not taking things on ourselves and letting God take care of it all.

My challenge for you… Are you wasting time by worrying? Do you even realize you are worrying but somehow you feel sad, lonely, and lost? Maybe you should look and see if you have your worried shoes on. Take them off this week. Put them in a box and get rid of them. Try your bare feet and see how it feels to wiggle your toes and allow God to take the worry from you. Let the sun shine down on you!

Monday, August 6, 2012

Did you live today?




Many of you know that we have recently purchased a house. This house was in such disrepair that it has taken a lot of our time and resources to make it into a home. We are on the last stretch. It may take a little longer but things are getting done, and most of the hard work is completed. That unfortunately has not left me with much free time. I have had many things laid on my heart during this time though. God has shown me so many different things that need to be refreshed or simplified. So I will do my best to follow through, as much as I can, and bring some of these to you, Lord willing.

Our family has experienced a death yet again. There is no amount of time that can prepare for the loss of a loved one. It never will be an easy thing to have to endure. No matter how you look at it, death is a fact of life and will consume us all one day. I have gone through the death of countless family and friends. Between my husband and me, we have had both young and old alike, leave this journey and venture into the next journey of eternity. With some, we had foresight that life would soon end. With others, we were in shock with the passing. They seemed filled with energy and then suddenly it was taken away from them. Death is a part of life yet we sometimes question and wonder why it happened. There was still so much life to live. They will miss out on so much. There are so many experiences that were not able to be explored. We begin to bemoan the life that will not get a chance to experience so many different things.

This got me thinking. Thinking about what if we began to notice what life has for us and what we can do BEFORE we lose it? We get so caught up on what a life missed out on or will never get the chance to do. What will people say about us when our life ends, and we begin our next journey? Will they see moments that we missed? What if we don’t miss anything? No matter what time in your life God calls you home. Are we missing out already on things in our life that we don’t notice? There are so many things that we don’t see or notice because we are so busy with life. What if we set the busy life aside for a little bit and focused on what we can do with our lives instead of what we can get out of it?

We were given a gift. Life is something that too many take for granted. We are not meant to live forever. Every day we wake up is a gift. We have never been promised tomorrow. You only have today. Do we know what tomorrow will bring? Not really. Our life could end tomorrow. What if we started to try to make each day count? What if we set goals for each day? These goals would be to cause a change in the world around you. The actions probably would change each day. What if we didn’t focus so much about us but instead, decided to think about someone else and how you can help? What do you think your life would look like if you did this?

“Look here, you who say, “Today or tomorrow we are going to a certain town and will stay there a year. We will do business there and make a profit.” How do you know what your life will be like tomorrow? Your life is like the morning fog—it’s here a little while, then it’s gone. What you ought to say is, “If the Lord wants us to, we will live and do this or that.” ~ James 4:13-15

My challenge… begin to ask God what HE would want you to do with your day. Be purposeful about what you do each day. At the end of this life, there should not be any regrets or wishful thoughts. We live, we love, we forgive and never give up Cuz the days we are given are gifts from above And today we remember to live and to love.