Since I had cancer I have had a life motto. It is… Live Fully! It means to take each day and live it as if it is your last. Not to put things off until someday…after you retire…when you have more money…or when you have more time…when the kids are grown…when you finish school…when you are more settled. I found when I had cancer that the things that were holding me back were illusions. There are no guarantees that they will ever happen. Today is the only day I know for sure that I have, so I should make the most of each one I am given. Truly accepting each gift…each breath…as a miracle. This was easy to do immediately following treatment. I was still bald, and pale, and weak, all reminders that life can be shorter than we think. I only needed to look at my sunken eyes without eyelashes or eyebrows in the mirror to remember to embrace life. It got harder as I returned to “normal” whatever that is. Now I am 7 years out, and many times, life is back out of focus. I have forgotten the lessons of Cancerland. I have allowed stress and pressure to enter back in and steal my life. Thinking long term to someday, has become the norm again. Making excuses for why I cannot do ______________. Fill in the blank.
My most recent desire is to go to Thailand to see Hannah in Feb. The World Race offers parents a chance to go spend a week with their racers. Once your racer invites you to participate, you sign up to go work with them wherever they are in the world. When I found out it would be Thailand I almost immediately dismissed it as too expensive. Then a job came available and I took it thinking that working two jobs I could save the money to go. In addition, some other money came in so it looked as if both Bill and I could go…which is Hannah’s desire. You know how things just seem to work out sometimes and you are just so thankful? That is where I was, just so grateful that it had all worked out.
Until. I hate that word. Until Peter’s car died. I mean, just quit. Fortunately…miraculously even…a great deal of a car presented itself. Having bought numerous cars over the years of having 4 kids, we knew what kind of deal this was…the kind you cannot pass up. And so we didn’t. We bought it without hesitation, knowing that next year when he goes off to college reliable transportation would be important. All the money I had worked so hard for gone. For a good cause mind you. For a necessary item. For important reasons. But gone nonetheless. Thailand slipped from my fingers. Though I was saddened, I accepted the reality and thanked God we had the money to buy the much needed vehicle.
Then Hannah called. On Christmas morning. To surprise me. After a short visit, I told her we wouldn’t be coming to Thailand and how disappointed I was. I cried when I told her how much I had wanted to come. I try very hard not to cry whenever I talk to her, but I couldn’t hold it back this time. I told her how the money I had been working two jobs for was used for reliable transportation for Peter. I told her that it was a good thing, but that it meant we were not coming. Then my daughter, who has become my teacher this year, said, “Mom if God wants you to come he will provide the money. Do some fund raising…this is a mission trip not a vacation. You will be working. People will help you. Don’t be afraid to ask them. Don’t let this stop you, God is bigger than that and he will work it out if you think you are supposed to come. Just come. Do it.” In my daughters voice I heard my life motto crying out to me: ‘Live Fully! Do not wait for someday, or more money. You do not know if there will ever be an opportunity to work alongside your daughter, doing what she loves, serving the poor in a foreign land again. Grab this chance. You will not regret it. What’s your excuse? Money? Not a valid one. It is not really the reason anyway…the real reason is fear. Do not shrink back. Open your eyes. Go and do.’ And my motto is right to speak to me in this way. To wake me up once again to what is important and what is not.
And so, we are going to Thailand. I am not sure how God will provide the money, but I am sure he will find a way. I am trusting him to do so. I am stepping out. I choose to Live Fully. No excuses.
If you have any fundraising ideas, or want to contribute contact me. Stillwaters4@juno.com