HAPPY ANNIVERSARY TO ME: 2017 UPDATE!!

 

     Yes, indeed, I am one fortunate woman, sharing my story and my joy with y’all. Eleven years ago, Easter Sunday was April 16. Visiting daughters tricked me (they lied, actually) into my truck and drove to the small local hospital. After a CT scan, the emergency room doctor delivered the findings, prefaced by the words “I cannot believe you can walk with the size of that thing growing in your head.”  I was shipped off to Green Bay, interrupting everybody’s Easter dinners. Two days later, Tuesday, April 18, a neurosurgeon and his team took a buzz saw to my skull and a scalpel to my brain. Later he delivered the news that the tumor they had removed was malignant and I had a fairly virulent form of brain cancer. 

     Waiting daughters, family, and friends had already been given the information and the stats were not great; conventional medical prognosis for that cancer is 12-18 months to live. In my worldview, the clinical folks leave out a huge piece and that piece is a fairly major game-changer. My Father had plans and as He says in His book, “I know the plans I have for you, plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future” (Jeremiah 29:11 NIV).

     Those plans included handling that tumor and eleven years later, despite enormous odds and severe statistics, I surely do have hope and a future and I am on a mission to share the blessings and the joy!  This is also a bittersweet day because I  have lost two friends to the same disease, one in the last two years and the other five years ago, the day after my  survival anniversary. Yet here I am alive and well, and most content.

     I wondered, sometimes aloud, during my friends’ ordeals, asking the perennial questions about the mind of God when He wrote the story so long ago. Why are some folks here for longer or shorter durations than others? What is the plan? Those are unanswerable questions in this temporal world, but in my heart of hearts, I believe in an all-knowing, all-powerful Creator God, that did, indeed, write the story before the world began, as we first talked about eleven years ago when I was diagnosed.  

     My friends are gone, their families grieved, each in their own way and time. Yet I know on this warm April morning in South Carolina, that my Heavenly Father has the plan firmly in hand and that despite my friends’ families’ losses, they would not begrudge me the celebration of this anniversary in my life. I will celebrate that I am here, that for whatever reason, God has still got me on my feet. I am most grateful to be here, to have family and friends with whom to share this post, and I will continue to move forward and play my part in the story, hopefully with grace and dignity.  

     As I say repeatedly in these pages, hold your loved ones close; tell them regularly and often how very valuable they are to you. Share with me, please, my joy that eleven years later I am alive and well!  Thank you for joining me in in giving thanks and celebration; be blessed 

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The Tyranny of Should

You should go …  You shouldn’t ….  I should… I should have ….  A loaded word, one syllable, indicates that the subject of the sentence has some obligation to execute the sentence predicate.  So the subject, in this case moi, has an obligation to do whatever follows the should.  How does that work?  Who’s deciding that I have an obligation and how do they have that right?  Did I hand it over? And failing to fulfill the obligation am I then supposed to feel guilty?

Say it’s me who’s deciding I should ….  Why?  According to whom? So many questions from a single word – did I say I love words ?  🙂  I have a challenge with this “should” thing.  A dear friend, one of my brothers, actually, called me on it AGAIN in the last day or so.  He said, “LeeAnn,  you have GOT to let this go.” One more of many conversations we’ve had over life challenges – mostly mine. I know he’s right;  I regularly struggle with  “should” thinking.   That said, then we know what follows – the guilt thing.  And that is what he’s referring to as having to get out of my life – false guilt.  Done, over, the price paid, victory won.  The guilt carried to the cross on my behalf and who am I to pick up again?

I really like one of the origins of the word tyranny: The word derives from Latin tyrannus meaning “illegitimate ruler.”  Illegitimate ruler – how’s that for a description of should and it’s baggage in my life?  As we can have only one Ruler in our lives, the shoulds and the accompanying illegitimate guilt have no home in my heart and life.  So while Her Father’s Homestead is about home, not everyone is welcome, nor every thing.  In this home it’s all around wholeness,emotional and spiritual health and wellness, no illegitimate rulers here.

So my campaign of improving my outlook over the next 30 days is to rid myself of the tyranny of should.  I Can, I May, I Will, even I will not, but no I should.  What a lighter world I’ll be dwelling in, wrapped in grace.  I extend it to others, now I accept it for myself.  I look forward to the progress I will make in the coming month – being kinder and more grace-filled to myself, remembering that Amazing Grace has been granted me.  Reminds me of one of my newer favorite songs, Amazing Grace (My Chains Are Gone) Stay tuned as I move forward with my purpose to let go of an illegitimate ruler and fill the space with  amazing grace.  Amen!

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