Tuesday, December 30, 2014

Intentional Love

I don’t remember how I found Kara’s blog. What caught my eye was the title of her book. The Hardest Peace: Expecting Grace in the Midst of Life’s Hard.

I then found her Facebook page. Mundane Faithfulness.
Kara is dying. And she is dying with grace. She recently wrote a blog post about Intentional Love.

It was about her daughter’s deliberate gift. A friend of mine once told me that love is a verb. It is something that you “do.” I remember reading Eat, Pray, Love when I was undergoing chemotherapy treatments. Part of Elizabeth Gilbert’s message was not to ask “What can I do for you?” Rather, find out what someone needs, and do it.

That is the gift we can give someone in need; someone who is hurting. The gift of intentional love.

If you enjoy my blog and would like to follow me on Facebook, I can be found at The Reluctant Survivor. And on Twitter @relucsurvivor.

Sunday, December 28, 2014

I Believe

I believe in the magic of Christmas. Christmas Eve is my favorite day of the entire year. There is something magical about the day; an evening that wakes to gifts that weren’t there the night before. Even long after I learned the truth about Santa Claus I knew that Christmas Eve was still very special. I still go to sleep anticipating the “good” that the morning will bring. I still wake with the excitement of new beginnings Christmas morning.

This year my husband and I decided to keep Christmas simple. Simple, in terms of what the world knows for the season. Our Christmas is always extended over the week between Christmas and New Year’s. We’ll spend one holiday with his family, the other with mine, and somewhere in between we’ll exchange our own gifts. Some years we are elaborate with our gift giving to each other. Other years we just stuff a stocking for each other. This year will be a combination of stockings and a couple small gifts (when we get around to our day together).
Simplicity this year meant a few decorations to make the house look special and festive. But instead of running around like crazy and trying to do too much we took the time to be with friends and family. Each weekend during this holiday season we have gathered with different friends or family to just enjoy each other’s company. One weekend was a dinner, complete with a smoked turkey.

Each weekend has brought us something special; time with friends. Time that we cannot get back. But also time that we would never trade. It is those times that have meaning and make memories. While gifts will wear out or break or fade, no one can take those moments, these memories, away.

Our celebrations will continue this week with some more gatherings. They will be filled with laughter and love. Most of all, they will be filled with the magic of Christmas.

If you enjoy my blog and would like to follow me on Facebook, I can be found at The Reluctant Survivor. And on Twitter @relucsurvivor.

Wednesday, December 24, 2014

Boston Herald

As you have often seen me write, I wonder why. What is this all about? Mine is a story of healing. It is a story of hope. It is a Lifetime Television Movie. Yet I wonder why and for what purpose it all has meaning.
Recently I was reminded that for “Everyone to whom much was given, of him much will be required.” – Luke 12:48 ESV. Yes. Much has been given. Therefore much is required.
And then I met Herald.
My dear friend Shelle introduced us. I kept wanting to call him Hal or Henry, but I knew that wasn’t right. With a twinkle in his eye he said, “Think of the Boston Herald. It’s even spelled the same way.” But Herald is not from Boston. Throughout the evening we shared our stories. How I met Shelle. How my time with her was continually extended. How our friendship grew. The fact that God allowed me to be with her during the passing of her mother. None of which was meant to be in the original scheme of things. Yet God provided her with a friendship that she needed at the time; a friendship that I didn’t understand at the time. Now I do.
As my own story unfolded Herold pulled out his “smart phone” and pulled up a Bible verse. “Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies and God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our affliction, so that we may be able to comfort those who are in any affliction, with the comfort with which we ourselves are comforted by God.”  – 2 Corinthians 1:3 & 4 ESV
I still don’t get it. I still don’t understand “why me?” I am not an angel. I have so many doubts of my own. I question so many things. But not my faith. I believe in God and His purpose. But why would He choose someone who cannot reconcile her own beliefs, let alone reconcile this journey? I lived against the odds. I celebrate the hope and the pink ribbon. But I am conflicted with the truth that is my friend Linda.
She will die.
Within the next few days. Within the next few weeks. She will not be alive when I walk in the 2015 Boston Avon Walk to End Breast Cancer. I don’t get it. I truly don’t understand. Yet, for Boston Herald, I know that I have been given much. Therefore, much is required.