Another Chance?

Do you remember hearing stories of the dead brought back to life?

It sounded good to me.

Who doesn’t want another chance at life?

To see people, they love again?

Then I got a different perspective.

Imagine being resurrected. Maybe you are happy. And then you look around and remember your old life and problems and you wonder, "Why oh why did this happen to me?"Imagine being resurrected. Maybe you are happy. And then you look around and remember your old life and problems and you wonder, "Why oh why did this happen to me?"Imagine being resurrected. Maybe you are happy. And then you look around and remember your old life and problems and you wonder, "Why oh why did this happen to me?"Imagine being resurrected. Maybe you are happy. And then you look around and remember your old life and problems and you wonder, "Why oh why did this happen to me?"Imagine having another Chance?

 

When my step father got colon cancer and was dying, I drove across the country to be with him. Helping care for him and encourage him during his final days.

He was walking when I arrived. Super skinny but getting around.

Day by day he got weaker. His body shutting down.

He progressed to a cane. Then a wheelchair.

After about 2 months, he knew it was getting close and called the whole family in to gather around his hospital bed in the living room. He blessed us, asked for forgiveness for past wrongs, and told us good bye.

A day or two later he went into a coma.

Hospice told us that he would not come out of the coma. Slowly his body would shut down and he would die in a week or so.

We were pretty somber. We knew this day would come, but now it was here.

We tip-toed and spoke softly at first. Then we carried on at a normal sound level because hospice said it would comfort him to hear us.

After a few hours he woke up.

It was like a resurrection.

We were all so happy. Telling him hi. Asking if he needed anything.

But it became apparent he was not happy.

It felt strange. He had been so positive, kind, and full of love this whole time he had been slowly wasting away, but tonight he was in a downright bad mood.

I didn’t know what to think. I thought he would be happy to see us again.

My step dad asked a friend, who happened to be visiting, to wheel him into the next room. They talked for a while. My step father also answered some email.

He was calmer when he came back to bed.

In a quiet voice he told me what had happened.

“When I last closed my eyes,” he said, “I was prepared to die. I fully expected the next time I opened my eyes I would be before Jesus. And then I open my eyes and here I am. Still on earth. In my old body.”

I was quiet. This wasn’t what I had expected him to say.

“I didn’t really want to see this world again,” he continued. “It has no more appeal for me.”

I had noticed how as he got closer to death this world had weighed heavier on him. He saw sin more clearly and it bothered him. Old TV shows he had watched in the past, he now wanted turned off because he didn’t like the message they were portraying about life and people.

We had been in the store one day and the suggestive magazine covers had upset him. “Women don’t have to look like that to get approval,” he had said. “They are already loved.”

For him, the world had lost his glamor. It’s appeal. He saw it groaning for its creator’s return more fully than the rest of us.

He went to sleep again. This time he never woke up.

I imagine the great joy he experienced when he saw his Lord’s face.

 Imagine being resurrected. Maybe you are happy. And then you look around and remember your old life and problems and you wonder, "Why oh why did this happen to me?"Imagine being resurrected. Maybe you are happy. And then you look around and remember your old life and problems and you wonder, "Why oh why did this happen to me?"

Perspectives change

 

When I was a teen, I hoped the end of the world would not arrive before I grew up and got married. I didn’t want to miss out on any of the good things in life or on things that others had already gotten to experience.

In my naivety, I wasn’t even sure heaven had anything over this beautiful world.

The years passed. I saw death. Trials hit me. Trials hit friends. Friends lost babies. Friends died. I heard about the news and sadness going on all over the world. Saw poverty. Read about heartbreak. Experienced heartbreak.

Over the years my prayer to stay in this world and enjoy all it has to offer has changed into “thy kingdom come.”

This world is such a mixture of good and bad. Sad and happy. Beautiful and ugly. Sin and goodness.

If I had died in my younger days, I would have had my hand raised and waving to be sent back to earth. Now I am not so sure. I see my step father’s perspective a little clearer.

Imagine being resurrected. Maybe you are happy. And then you look around and remember your old life and problems and you wonder, "Why oh why did this happen to me?"Imagine being resurrected?

 

Experiences of life color our perspective.

It had been a hard week. One of crying with a friend over her tragic loss.

The pastor was talking about Peter bringing Tabitha, a woman who had a heart for helping the poor, back to life.  “The verse mentions that her friends were over joyed when she was resurrected.”

“Imagine if you had been there, you would have been rejoicing too. Happy to see your friends again. Knowing the work, she had started, would be continued.”

“Can you imagine what Tabitha felt?” she pastor asked.

I thought about how my step dad felt when he awoke again.

“Disappointed,” I muttered. “Upset.”

“What?” my husband whispered. “What did you say?”

“Never mind,” I say.

But I wonder. Was she happy to be back? To Keep working? To return to this world and all her old problems?

Or was she secretly a little angry and wishing her friends had let her stay where she was? A much better place than here.

And what about all the people who came back to life after Jesus died? It talks about the tombs opening and saints returning.

Were they full of mixed emotions?

Some delighted and kissing the ground?

A few shaking their head and asking, “Why, oh why, did I have to return back here?”

I imagine one woman returning to her family and getting hugged by her little ones and kissed by her husband. She touches all their faces and smiles.

Shares a few laughs with her loved ones.

She looks around the house and with a sinking heart realizes nothing has been done since her absence a few weeks ago. Time to get to work, she sighs.

And then the littlest one pipes up. “Mom. What’s for dinner?”

Imagine being resurrected. Maybe you are happy. And then you look around and remember your old life and problems and you wonder, "Why oh why did this happen to me?"

Thanks for stopping by. Keep remembering what’s important.

Theresa

 


If you need some weekly encouragement and hope, tied up with some humor? Subscribe and join the journey. Life is sweeter when we walk alongside one another.


Join the discussion: What would your thoughts be on returning to life?  

Imagine being resurrected. Maybe you are happy. And then you look around and remember your old life and problems and you wonder, "Why oh why did this happen to me?"May link up at Holley Gerth (#coffeeforyourheart), Lori Schumaker (#Moments of Hope), Crystal Storms (#HeartEncouragement), Arabah Joy (#Grace & Truth).

Imagine being resurrected. Maybe you are happy. And then you look around and remember your old life and problems and you wonder, "Why oh why did this happen to me?"
Imagine being resurrected. Maybe you are happy. And then you look around and remember your old life and problems and you wonder, "Why oh why did this happen to me?" #faith #choices

What I Wish An Older Woman Had Told My Younger Self

Like most things do, it slowly snuck up on me.

There were a few warning signs, but I am not that observant.

I had noticed I wanted and needed more naps to stay alert, but I was just thinking naps were one of my best friends.

I had noticed I had less energy, but after all I am no spring chicken. I also reasoned I was also doing more. And I could still do hard things, like hike 14 miles on the continental divide in less than 7 hours.

I had noticed I seemed to be shedding a bit more hair. But I reasoned it was spring, and I usually shed more every spring.

9 things I would give as advice to my younger self. Everything from mental health to checking my iron and hormones, to setting boundaries and playing more.9 things I would give as advice to my younger self. Everything from mental health to checking my iron and hormones, to setting boundaries and playing more.9 things I would give as advice to my younger self. Everything from mental health to checking my iron and hormones, to setting boundaries and playing more.9 things I would give as advice to my younger self. Everything from mental health to checking my iron and hormones, to setting boundaries and playing more.2 weeks later I was getting my hair cut. At the end of the session my stylist pulled his stool up and sat down to face me.

“I am a little worried,” he said. “You are shedding more hair than normal. If I were you, I would get this checked out by a doctor. My mom was shedding lots of hair and it turned out to be her thyroid.”

I was now sitting up and listening.

I saw my doctor two days later. She ran some blood tests and it turned out my thyroid was fine, but I was low on iron. Very low. And yes, hair loss can be one of the symptoms of low iron. I was suffering from anemia, caused by low iron levels. Low energy, hair loss, and being sleepy and some of the symptoms.

Every few years I get blood work done, but because my doctor had never checked my iron, so it had slipped by unnoticed.

Thankfully, 4 months of taking a high dose of iron had my iron levels back on track. I noticed I had more energy and don’t need to take naps anymore.

Ladies, sometimes we are so busy taking care of everyone else, that we forget self-care—taking care of ourselves. We need to take care of ourselves, or we can’t take care of others.

I know life is busy. And getting to the doctor can seem like another chore in a long line of to-do’s, but we need to make it a priority. We need to buckle down and not let things slowly slide until we are having real big problems. 9 things I would give as advice to my younger self. Everything from mental health to checking my iron and hormones, to setting boundaries and playing more.9 things I would give as advice to my younger self. Everything from mental health to checking my iron and hormones, to setting boundaries and playing more.9 things I would give as advice to my younger self. Everything from mental health to checking my iron and hormones, to setting boundaries and playing more.

Here is what I wish an older woman had told my younger self:

 

1. Get baseline tests in your 30’s, but especially by your 40’s. Test your thyroid, vitamin D, iron, and hormones. Get a lipid profile to check cholesterol. Get pap smears. Don’t forget skin checks for moles and skin cancer.  Test for diabetes. Get your vision checked. Get a mammogram. Schedule regular dental check-ups. Don’t forget to have your blood pressure and heart health checked.

Also talk to your doctor about other tests you may need.

The goal is to see what your numbers are when you are healthy and feeling good. Then when you recheck later, you will know how far your levels have dropped or risen and you can take action before things get so low you are exhibiting many of the symptoms of something.

Some of these tests may cost a little out of pocket money, but remember they are to determine your baseline when healthy. For example, you want a baseline of your hormones before you enter menopause.

2. Address your mental health. Emotional and psychological issues creep back to the surface if they are ignored and not dealt with. This means we have to deal with past loses, abuse, trauma, unhealthy relationships, and more, or they will eventually affect our current life and patterns of acting and thinking.

This may mean talking to a close friend, seeing a therapist, seeking out a psychologist’s help. Several times in my life I have benefited from seeing psychologists. Both individually, as a couple, and as a family. They provide a new perspective and help us better understand our self and others. They can help us find new ways of dealing with patterns and obstacles we have given up on ever changing.

9 things I would give as advice to my younger self. Everything from mental health to checking my iron and hormones, to setting boundaries and playing more.3. Study yourself. Discover who you are and what brings you joy and sadness. Learn your faults and good traits. Are you a people pleaser, perfectionist, an optimist, encourager, problem solver, an introvert or night owl? We are better able to change for the better when we are aware of what we need to change. And likewise, we appreciate our wonderful and unique self if we know what we are good at and enjoy.

4. Exercise. I know it is hard. But walk a little. Dance in the kitchen. Garden. Do squats while the pasta is boiling. Run up the stairs. The goal is to move. And to move in different ways.

5. Form meaningful relationships. Make friendship a priority. Friends to do things with. Friends to share good and bad with. Friends that will listen to you and help when hard times hit.

6. Learn about menopause long before it hits. Read about it. Talk to older women. Discuss the symptoms and treatments. Find out all you can so you are prepared. It’s kinda like childbirth. Everyone’s experience is a little different, but there are enough commonalities that overlap that you won’t be the only one going through what you are experiencing.

9 things I would give as advice to my younger self. Everything from mental health to checking my iron and hormones, to setting boundaries and playing more.7. Engage in self-care. All the above is taking care of yourself. Now add a few other ways to care for yourself and nurture your soul. Like quiet time each day. Drinking your favorite tea. Reading. Calling a friend. Sleeping on your favorite sheets. Painting. A girl’s night out. Playing the flute. (As we are all different, your self-care will look different than other women’s self-care.)

8. Learn to love yourself. Realize your worth. Whose you are. And how valuable you are. Deal with your insecurities and critical voice. Replace lies with His truth. For when we are less hard on our self, we are less hard on those around us. And we are better able to love and care for others in the way they require or need.

9. Set boundaries. On your time, emotions, and life. Don’t let yourself get worn out by doing too much or by not saying no. Refuse to feel responsible for things you are not responsible for. Practice self-control.  Remember to control what you can and leave the rest in God’s control.

When we take care of our bodies physically, emotionally, and mentally, we are doing ourselves a favor, and those around us a favor. We will have more energy. Feel better. Enjoy life more. And be better at loving and serving those around us.

Let’s commit to doing this.

I’ll take care of myself.

You take care of yourself.

9 things I would give as advice to my younger self. Everything from mental health to checking my iron and hormones, to setting boundaries and playing more.

Thanks for stopping by. Keep remembering what’s important.

Theresa

 


If you need some weekly encouragement and hope, tied up with some humor? Subscribe and join the journey. Life is sweeter when we walk alongside one another.


Join the Discussion: What do you wish your younger self had known ?

9 things I would give as advice to my younger self. Everything from mental health to checking my iron and hormones, to setting boundaries and playing more.May link up at Holley Gerth (#coffeeforyourheart), Lori Schumaker (#Moments of Hope), Crystal Storms (#HeartEncouragement), Arabah Joy (#Grace & Truth).

9 things I would give as advice to my younger self. Everything from mental health to checking my iron and hormones, to setting boundaries and playing more.9 things I would give as advice to my younger self. Everything from mental health to checking my iron and hormones, to setting boundaries and playing more. 

What’s the Plot Line of Your Journey?

 

We may wish for a perfect life, but our journey through life is messy, full of lessons, plot twists, conflicts, and ups and downs. Here are 10 things to remember on your journey.We may wish for a perfect life, but our journey through life is messy, full of lessons, plot twists, conflicts, and ups and downs. Here are 10 things to remember on your journey.We may wish for a perfect life, but our journey through life is messy, full of lessons, plot twists, conflicts, and ups and downs. Here are 10 things to remember on your journey.We may wish for a perfect life, but our journey through life is messy, full of lessons, plot twists, conflicts, and ups and downs. Here are 10 things to remember on your journey.What does your current journey look like?

Do you sometimes look around and think you would rather be on someone else’s’ journey? A journey with fewer twists and turns?

Or wish your journey liked a little more like Instagram? More beach days and less mess days.

We may wish for a perfect life of calm and no major swings in either direction, but our journey through this life is messy, full of lessons, conflicts, ups and downs.

There is no one in the Bible with a Pinterest life. I have never read a memoir where the main character had an Instagram life. No one I currently know has a perfectly smooth life.

I doubt you or I will be the first ones.

 

The plot line of life. Everyone has one in this journey of life. 

 

Everyone has trials, conflict, and troubles. Bible characters. Major and minor characters in novels. People in magazines, movies, and television shows.

It’s called the plot. And what makes the plot interesting and keeps us watching or reading is the plot line, which consists of conflict, partial resolution, more conflict, some resolution, a new conflict, and then another new and bigger conflict. Up and down the story goes. Pulling us in. Getting us concerned for the characters. Wanting to know the outcome for the characters. And finally, at the end of the plot, there is big resolution and we can sigh and smile and be happy for everyone involved. And on that happy note the book ends.

That plot line with conflict and resolution that we find in movies and books, well, that is our life. Our Journey.

Up and down we go on the plot line. Conflict and resolution taking turns.

Some conflict we bring upon our self through our choices and actions, some conflict is caused by others. Some conflict just arrives from nowhere, and some comes from natural disasters, disease, and chance.

Up and down on the plot line of life we go. Just like the characters in a novel.

We may wish for a perfect life, but our journey through life is messy, full of lessons, plot twists, conflicts, and ups and downs. Here are 10 things to remember on your journey.

Life is a journey. Things to remember about your journey and your plot line:

 

1. We have some control over our journey. We get to choose our actions and reactions. While we can’t control other characters or the future, we get to be in charge of ourselves.

2. We know some things about this plot line. We have an enemy. We have a lover, comforter, and Savior. We have a helper living inside us. We know we will never be forsaken for any reason. We know the glorious ending and who wins this cosmic battle. We know our marching orders: love God and others.

3. Our journey is supposed to change us, improve us, develop us into better characters. Just like characters in a book are supposed to change because of the conflict they face, so we too need to change.

In literature class you may have done a character analysis paper. Where you pick one character from the story and explain how the character changed and grew, how they developed or what they learned. In other words, how the plot caused them self-awareness or necessitated change in them.

Some characters change for the good, like Anne in Ann of Green Gables. Some characters change for the worse, like Fagin In Oliver Twist. Those that don’t change, are stagnant and flat characters.

4. Our journey will have peaks and valleys. We get through the valleys as best as we can. Not perfectly, or prettily, or knowing exactly what we are doing, but we get through and learn how to better handle the next valley. We look back and see God’s hand and his walking beside us in the valleys. And as time goes by, we begin to understand how better to approach the valleys and know that they too will end sometime in the future, but none of us get perfect at traversing them.

We may wish for a perfect life, but our journey through life is messy, full of lessons, plot twists, conflicts, and ups and downs. Here are 10 things to remember on your journey.5. Don’t judge another person’s journey. You never see all the peaks and valleys their life contains or the plot line that developed character growth.

6. A perpetually happy ending is a myth. We think some day we will arrive. Be mature. Know it all. Be able to relax and watch others battle, but that is a myth. We will only arrive to a perpetually happy ending on the other side of eternity.

7. God will finish the journey with you. He promises he won’t give up on you until you make it past the finish line.

8. While we are the main characters in our stories, our story is not ultimately all about us. Not all about our glory. Because if we are Christians, the story ultimately comes to be about him, to point others to him, to glorify him. That is why we surrender our will to his will. Our way to his way. Our dreams to his dreams for us.

9. We are never alone on our journey. God is working behind the scenes, providing the courage and strength, the will to change and keep going.

What does your plot line look like?

Your character analysis?

We are on a journey of love, growth, faith, hope, and endurance.

Enjoy your journey.

We look forward to that day when there will be no more conflict and resolution. Where our plot line is steady. Because one day we will be living in a perfect world.

We may wish for a perfect life, but our journey through life is messy, full of lessons, plot twists, conflicts, and ups and downs. Here are 10 things to remember on your journey.

Thanks for stopping by. Keep remembering what’s important.

Theresa

If you need some weekly encouragement and hope, tied up with some humor? Subscribe and join the journey. Life is sweeter when we walk alongside one another.


Join the Discussion: What does your current plot line look like?

We may wish for a perfect life, but our journey through life is messy, full of lessons, plot twists, conflicts, and ups and downs. Here are 10 things to remember on your journey.May link up at Jennifer Dukes Lee (#tellhisstory);  Holley Gerth (#coffeeforyourheart), Lori Schumaker (#Moments of Hope), Crystal Storms (#HeartEncouragement), Arabah Joy (#Grace & Truth).

We may wish for a perfect life, but our journey through life is messy, full of lessons, plot twists, conflicts, and ups and downs. Here are 10 things to remember on your journey.All pictures, except flower pictures taken at:

We may wish for a perfect life, but our journey through life is messy, full of lessons, plot twists, conflicts, and ups and downs. Here are 10 things to remember on your journey.At the Volcanoes National Park It was pretty weird to see acres and acres that turned into miles of recent stark black lava. No plants. Just dried and hardened lava that once flowed and bubbled. I imagined it was what some planet looked like. Maybe Mars. It was so desolate. But keep driving to a little older flow and you start to see greenery. It doesn’t take long, before bushes, trees, and plants are growing here and there on this hard rock. Gaining a foothold. Growing despite the lava base. And over time, the landscape is transformed into a lush tropical landscape. And your wouldn’t know that it was lava instead of dirt, unless you bent down and tried to dig the black base that is nourishing the plants. We may currently see only the barren black hard lava in our life. But God can plant seeds that one day turn into a tropical paradise. And when he looks at us, he doesn’t see our barren parts, but the tropical paradise we can become.

We may wish for a perfect life, but our journey through life is messy, full of lessons, plot twists, conflicts, and ups and downs. Here are 10 things to remember on your journey.