Friday, October 19, 2012

{Thankful Thursday | Mortality} Personal

I am reminded daily of how blessed I am. To have a job that pays my bills and puts food on my table, clothes my two kids. And I love my job... I truly love what I do. I also have to be honest in saying... sometimes it really overwhelms me. But what a blessing to be overwhelmed with work vs. not having the ability TO WORK. I am thankful. He takes care of me the same through the calm as He does the storm.

I have always been a very driven and productive person. I often wonder what I'd do without an insane schedule. :) But even more so now than ever...  I am more than ever grateful for having something that keeps me focused on blessings rather than deficits.

Going through the storms of life has made me realize that more people are hurting silently than we are often aware of... and to be compassionate. To pray more. To be thankful more. To listen more. To focus more on what I can control and be accountable for personally. To not fear. There is no fear in love. There is no fear in living. Fear itself is SO counterproductive to who we are to be.... to who we are becoming.

We all have our crosses to carry - you know? As the years pass - you hear of friends who have faced hardships, some who have lost and some who have won. None the less, we all face the hardships. Some we don't plan for or wish... at all. Yet here they are in front of us. And there's no way of getting around them, only through them.

I think about my friends who have faced SERIOUS hardships. Like cancer. Granted, I don't know what my days ahead hold. We pray for health - but sometimes life doesn't promise it. This past week I watched a video of a photographer who was diagnosed with ovarian cancer - she had two boys. She was my age. It broke my heart.. that out of nowhere - life is like that. Sometimes it just doesn't hand us a cross, it literally knocks us down with one, injures us and then tells us to carry it... oh - and it's heavy, weighs more than you and will at times seem impossible to carry... but you must carry it. Thank God for His strength. Because I watch these people with incredible testimony CARRY their cross, bravely, courageously.

“Courage is found in unlikely places.” 

Courageous ... such as Jen Thompson. If you have two minutes.. or three. Please click on that link.. watch her video. I promise you... like mine, your perspective will be changed - your priorities and view of mortality.. specifically life's brevity.

I don't understand why life is sometimes so unfair, so hard. Why we are handed things we don't deserve or even plan for... except that in life the balance hangs on good and bad. We all want the sweet, but sometimes the bitter is so hard to swallow.

All of this thought of mortality... and my own specifically... I started thinking about a bucket list today. It's not morbid to think about your mortality or your life and what you want to do with it... Because well... life is short. I know this b/c when I was 20 I thought I had the whole world ahead of me and all the time needed to conquer it. I realize that I blinked and ... here I am today at 36 not sure of where the time flew away to... but once time has flown away, you can't get it back.

You know... we ought to be thankful for the opportunity to complete even one item on a bucket list. Don't wait until your 50 or 70 to make one. Start working on it now. Start checking it off now too.

I want to see the world. Any part of that I can. I want to savor the light, the sound, the color and senses around me, the love I am given in life and at the end of a full day, sit back, reflect on it - none of it material possession - only time and space - and think... undoubtedly, I am BLESSED. To sit on a beach and watch a sunset is free. You don't get a free prize for attending other than the experience itself... Taking in the sound of the waves, the seagulls, the light as it shifts and changes, the colors of the sky as it paints itself in oranges, blues, indigos and crimsons, the smell of the sand and water carried in the breeze, the joy of a loved one sitting with you - and the TIME, simple time within those moments that make you gain perspective and clarity.. that is truly saying you lived a full life. To be able to take those moments in of time and space... and realize the GIFT they are... all of these aspirations in our short lives for accolades and possessions... and in the end all we ever really wanted was time and the simple but full moments that were painted with love and light. Why we chase our tails searching for anything else...

My unofficial bucket list... thus far:

  • Climb the pyramids of Egypt.
  • Photograph the Eiffel tower.
  • Photograph the Coliseum.
  • Eat true Italian food in the streets of Rome.
  • Be photographed by my inspiration Jessica Drossin. Just me and for me. And with Monarch butterflies. 
  • Spend the night on a beach.
  • See Jerusalem.
  • Visit the East Coast, DC and historical sites.
  • Research my ancestry and roots.
  • Visit my family in Alaska.
  • Take a big bite out of NYC.
  • Take a Mediterranean Cruise.
  • Have a place in Florida one day when I am old... complete with orange, lemon and lime trees.