“Death with Dignity”

I have had the opportunity to watch people who not only talk about walking by faith, but I’ve seen them walk the walk. I’m sure you’ve been in their presence as well. They are the ones that experience seemingly back-to-back losses or calamites, such as multiple deaths of loved ones, or being outsourced from their job when they are the sole provider for their family, or undergoing grueling treatment for their terminal illness. Even in the face of all these trials, they never complain. I have discovered their secret.

These individuals have learned that although their situation may not be ideal, they discovered that they were well equipped to endure the hand that they were dealt. They didn’t know what they could handle until the situation called for them to step up and face it. They didn’t have time to cower in the corner and cry. They knew that wouldn’t help, although it may have felt good to do so. Too many people waste energy being mad and complaining about how unfair life is. Life isn’t always fair, but I have yet to read anywhere that life was meant to be fair. Let me encourage you not to stop praying even if you don’t see a change in your situation. The change may not always be visible to the eye, but sometimes the change is internal. Praying (which is talking to God and allowing Him to talk to you) brings you into a closer relationship with Him to the point that you may find yourself saying, ‘not my will but Your will be done’, just as Christ prayed when he felt alone in the Garden of Gethsemane. His disciples may have failed Him, but God didn’t and never will.

A friend recently lost his twin sister after a long bout with cancer. Everyone prayed for her to be healed and to be restored to good health. When it became evident that she was going to succumb to the disease, she faced her pending death with dignity and grace. She told her family that she wanted to “represent God in the best way possible, even unto death” and she set about being true to her word. She was a very detailed and orderly person, so she wrote detailed, step-by-step ‘how to’ processes for her family to follow, so they would know how to take over the responsibilities that she once had, without missing a beat. It sounds similar to how Christ showed His love for us that when He knew He was going to be put to death, He left a Comforter, the Holy Spirit, for us. Our prayer request for my friend’s sister wasn’t denied, because her healing took place as soon as she closed her eyes here on the earth. The cancer didn’t win because living eternally with God is definitely not a loss.

Take action now: Meditate on 1 Corinthians 15:42-44 – “ It is the same way with the resurrection of the dead. Our earthly bodies are planted in the ground when we die, but they will be raised to live forever.  Our bodies are buried in brokenness, but they will be raised in glory. They are buried in weakness, but they will be raised in strength. They are buried as natural human bodies, but they will be raised as spiritual bodies.” (New Living Translation).

Embrace this truthDeath is not final for the believer.

In honor of Memorial Day, take a moment to remember the brave men and women who sacrificed their lives while protecting our freedom and thank those who currently serve.

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“Mental Pause”

I hit “Golden Girl” status a few years ago and my life hasn’t been the same since doing so. I have always prided myself on being the ultimate people person…you know the one who remembers everybody’s name, birthday, and the names of their children and their pets? Yep, that was me. I’ve always lived by the philosophy of showing interest in the minor details of another person’s life is what makes a great relationship.

Now, I’ll see at a person who looks vaguely familiar to me and I can’t remember their name and I even question if I actually know them! It’s frightening, especially when it happens with my own family members (I’m not kidding!). I’ll sometimes have a person’s name on the tip of my tongue and can’t retrieve it from my memory bank. What’s worse is being in a conversation with someone and then pausing in mid-sentence because I can’t remember simple words or what the conversation was about.

When I first began experiencing memory lapses, I began to worry that I was suffering from the beginning stages of memory loss associated with Alzheimer’s. Then it hit me: I’m simply getting older and experiencing what I like to refer to as Mental Pause. As frustrating as this newfound ailment is and knowing that my ability to remember will get worse, I take solace in knowing that there are millions of others just like me and most of them are in my close circle of friends, and not surprisingly, we’re approximately the same age. We extend a lot of grace to one another and we laugh out loud at the changes that we’re experiencing, because it really is comical. Here’s an example, a friend called one day to share with me that she believed that she had her first bout with Mental Pause. She said that she was in the shower a few hours earlier and she was soaked from head to toe, but at one point she couldn’t remember if she was getting out of the shower or getting in. I tried to comfort her by sharing what my mom often says to me, “keep living. It only gets better”. I didn’t tell her that my mom usually says this when I’m telling her about strange occurrences in my house, such as my keys disappearing when I know for a fact that I put them in my purse, and then finding them in the pantry or some other odd place. Hmmmm, I’m starting to wonder now if my mom has been mocking me all these years…

Take action now: Meditate on Proverbs 16:31 – “ Gray hair is a crown of glory; it is gained by living a godly life.”(New Living Translation).

Embrace this truthEvery candle on your birthday cake is a blessing.

“Role Models”

As a young teen, I often spent time in the company of older teen girls, soaking up what I thought was great “wisdom” from them and hanging onto every word that they said. They seemed to have it all together and I idolized what they represented: prestige and acceptance. They wore makeup and heels and they dressed as though they were supermodels for popular magazines. Many of them were allowed to date and their boyfriends were old enough to drive, which appealed to me at the time.

As I’ve gotten older, I still find that I gravitate toward older women. However, these women that I hold dear now are indeed wise and give good advice and show me that being kind to others is a must and they help me realize what is important in life. I’ve spent many hours watching these women gracefully handle the many roles that they fill: wife, mother, grandmother, daughter, sister, friend. And what they have in common is the ability to remain calm under pressure and to do things without complaining. I’m sure there are days when they want to tell everyone, “can you give me one minute to myself”?! Yet, they smile and give an extra measure of love to the task that they’re being asked to do. I think their secret is that they find joy in seeing others happy.

I was recently reacquainted with one of the girls that I idolized all those years ago (on a social media site) and not surprisingly, she and her high school heart throb had gone their separate ways many years ago – shortly after they graduated and the undying love and commitment that they had for one another at that time, was long forgotten. I’ve come the realization that role models come in many shapes, sizes, income brackets and from various walks of life. They may not look like super models, but their lives model what’s good in life – genuine relationships. I’ve learned a lot from watching these women and I hope to encourage a young woman who may be watching me.

Take action now: Meditate on Philippians 2:5 – “Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus.” (King James Version).

Embrace this truth: We owe it to others to be good role models.

Today’s blog is dedicated to all mothers – Happy Mother’s Day with love and gratitude! Enjoy your weekend!