God is like
BAYER ASPIRIN

He works miracles.

  

God is like
COKE
He’s the  real thing

God is Like 
HALLMARK CARDS
He cares enough to send His  very best

God is like
TIDE
He gets the stains out others leave behind. ..

God is like
GENERAL ELECTRIC

He  brings good things to life

God is like
ALKA-SELTZER
Try Him, you’ll like Him

God is like
DIAL SOAP

Aren’t you  glad you have Him?  Don’t you wish everybody did?

God is like
Maxwell House. …. .
Good to the very last drop

God is like
A
FORD
He’s got a better idea…

Every day I expect God to use me in some way to be a blessing to someone else.

Today, He gave me a grand opportunity and I took full advantage of it.  I went to the post office and noticed an elderly couple in the car.  The woman got out.  I thought she was heading inside so I slowed down a bit to hold the door for her.  She didn’t come in.  Instead, she started talking on her cell phone. 

After conducting my business inside the post ffice, I was heading for my car when I noticed the couple still there.  The woman was still on the phone.  Instinct told me to ask them if they were OK.  The man said his car wouldn’t start.  I asked him if he needed a jump.  He said he didn’t know.  I told him I would give him a jump and them asked him to pop the hood so I see where his battery was.

OK–here’s the funny part.  I couldn’t find his battery.  I couldn’t find my own and I didn’t have any jumping cables.

The not-so-funny part was the number of people who walked and drove past us without stopping to offer assistance. 

Luckily, one man did come over to help out.

After the car started, the couple thanked me for helping them out. I thought to myself, “No thanks needed.  I just got what I had asked for.”

Earlier this week I read a post from PR Guru Shannon Cherry which read:   I need to stop beating myself up cuz I’m not like this person or that person. I need to embrace and respect me!  I don’t know what prompted the post but it generated tons of responses from people offering words of encouragement.

Shannon’s words struck a chord with me because during my moments of weakness I have also  compared my life to others and questioned the would’ve, should’ve, could’ve….

This week has been a serious challenge to my entrepreneurial spirit.  With hubby out of town all week I have been the single, primary caregiver of my three-year-old grandson.  I’ve been feeling like my life has been rearranged for me without my permission.  I’ve had to put clients on the back burner while committing myself full-time to my grandson’s needs and wants.  Challenging is putting it lightly! 

I couldn’t help thinking about some of my friends who seem to be moving along in their lives just fine without the added pressures of live-in grandchildren, weekend husbands, health issues and so on and so forth.  But here’s what I’ve learned:

Where you are in life right now is where you’re supposed to be.  God has a specific plan and purpose for your life.  It may not seem rosy in comparison to others but it’s your unique life.

Comparing yourself to others serves no purpose because you have no idea of the trials and tribulaitons of another.  Most people put up a front and disguise what’s really going on in their worlds. 

The challenges you’re faced with in life are designed to make you stronger and wiser.  If you learn nothing from your challenges, you are doomed.

Children and grandchildren are a blessing from God.  Some who have none wish they could fill your shoes.

Play the hand you’re dealt to the best of your ability and stay in the game to win.

One of the things I’ve come to realize as a mother is the relationship between a mother and her daughter is complex.  It’s the best of times—and the worst of times.  

After spending the last several years dealing with the WORST, I am starting to see what I’ve been hoping to see all along.  My daughter is finally growing up and becoming a responsible young lady.  She’s actually kind of fun to be around these days.

Yesterday she came home from college and treated me to an evening out.  First,  we went enjoyed a nice dinner together.  She shared her college experiences and I updated her on the her three-year-old-”kids-say-the-darndest-things”-son.  Then went to see a Tyler Perry play.  

Hanging out together made me realize some things about motherhood:

1)  If you train up a child in the way that they should go, when they are old they will not depart from it.  They may stray away from time to time but I truly believe they will come to their senses.  I’m living proof of that!

2)  You cannot be your child’s friend while trying to raise them.  Children need an authority figure and not someone they can “negotiate” with on important things like discipline.

3)  You have to be willing to forgive your children for their mistakes.  I definitely was not happy about my daughter becoming a teenage mother but harboring those negative feelings three years later serves no purpose.

4)  A mother is not a person to lean on, but a person to make leaning unnecessary.  I see so much of myself in my daughter, and even though her struggles and challenges started out much differently than mine as a young woman, I am convinced she’s going to be alright in the end. 

I guess I have my own mother to thank for that.

Have you ever noticed how there’s always one person in your circle who will try to rain on your parade?  Sometimes it’s unintentional—they really mean no harm.

I think that was the case the other day when a friend of mine read my blog about graduating from the Cardiac Heart Failure Program at Duke University.  Not long after reading the post, she sent me an email suggesting that, perhaps, I should’ve thought more carefully about exposing my “medical issues” because it could hurt my “professional business.”

I never really thought of it like that. I was just happy about completing a program that was rigorous and restrictive.  But her email got me to thinking if, in fact, people are less likely do do business with someone they know has health issues.  Does your knowing I have a heart condition affect whether or not you will deal with me?  Do you think that affects my ability to give you 100 percent effort on whatever task you’ve hired me for? 

What if I had aids or terminal cancer or was just exceptionally obese? 

I know my friend meant no harm in her comment but she raises a point.  I’m sure there are people who use excuses not to deal with others in business.  But as my good friend and fellow Boomer Diva Nation member, Leslie Flowers, told me:  

For those who may be less likely to do business with you as a result of health issues … it’s their loss and … there is an ABUNDANCE of clients who look deeper than that! Follow your heart, my friend, follow your heart!

Today I graduated.  There was no cap and gown—no pomp and circumstance–just sheer joy and renewed hope.  Today I became a graduate of the Cardiac Heart Failure Program at Duke University Medical Center.

When I signed up back in September, I saw this as my last hope.  I was taking medication but didn’t feel I was getting any better.  When my doctor suggested the program, I knew it was something I just had to do.

For the past three months, I went to the facility for cardiotherapy and nutrition assistance, faithfully, twice a week–24 sessions in all.  

I’ll never forget how hard it was to walk a few short feet from my car to the gym without being out of breath for the first couple of weeks and how often I cried because I was so embarrassed to be the youngest patient there.

But as time went on, here’s what I learned:

Stay out of the pity pool:  It’s too easy to jump into but hard to get out of.  And some well meaning folks will keep you there if you let them.

The mind is powerful:  In order to achieve it, you must first believe it.  Getting healthy required a strong, positive attitude and a determined spirit and will.

You reap what you sow:  Bad habits of any kind will eventually catch up to you.

Be a testimony:  Use your trials and tribulations to be a testimony for someone else   so that they may be encouraged. 

Never, ever give up!

As a final requirment for graduation, I had to take a test and I’m happy to report I did a little over two miles in 39 minutes and had NO shortness of breath! 

Yes, I will live the rest of my life with congestive heart failure but how I choose to live will be totally up to me.

If you were heading into the wilderness for a camping trip, you would certainly pack a survival kit.   Life, in general, can sometimes be thought of as a wilderness adventure.  You know you’re headed somewhere–but trying to get through while going through can be challenging.

Here are some items I recommend for a Daily Survival Kit:

*TOOTHPICK – to remind you to pick out the good qualities in others – Matthew 7:1

*RUBBER BAND – to remind you to be flexible. Things might not always go the way you want, but it will work out – Romans 8:28

*BAND AID – to remind you to heal hurt feelings, yours or someone else’s – Colossians 3:12-14

*PENCIL – to remind you to list your blessings everyday – Ephesians 1:3

*ERASER – To remind you that everyone makes mistakes, & it’s okay – Genesis 50:15-21

*CHEWING GUM – to remind  you to stick with it, & you can accomplish anything – Philippians 4:13

*MINT – to remind you that you are worth a mint – John 3:16-17

*CANDY KISS – to remind you that everyone needs a kiss or a hug everyday – John 4:7

*TEA BAG – to remind you to relax daily and go over your list of blessings – 1 Thessalonians 5:18

© Barbara Cagle Ray

 

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