I think we are all guilty of allowing Google to diagnose us as dying at some point or another in our lives. If you’re reading this and you haven’t done so, congratulations to you, and for future reference don’t Google “Why is *insert random body part* hurting”. When doing this, pretty much every ailment leads to some disease that leads to death am I right?!
I of course Googled “Abdomen Pain” a few weeks back and came up with a list of things that could be wrong with me like Appendicitis, Cancer, Crohn’s Disease, Endometriosis (which my sister has) Kidney Stones, Ovarian Cysts (Which I’ve had and have felt different than this) UTI (I’ve also had and felt different than this) and Ectopic Pregnancy. I ruled out the latter thinking, nah I have my IUD, impossible. Then of course I Googled “Abdomen Pain with IUD” and another list of things that could be wrong with me showed up…so, pretty much I was dying! I 100% thought I was a shoo in for death when I found a palm sized lump where my abdomen pain was coming from. A lump is a scary discovery, but a painful lump is even more so.
I went to the doctor to have my lump checked out, and it was diagnosed as a lipoma, a benign tumor made up of fat cells. They are pretty common, my sister actually had one removed from her neck a few years back. The doctor told me he’d like to remove it because it will only get bigger over time. So I am scheduled for surgery tomorrow morning at 8 am.
Praise the Lord, I wasn’t dying!!! All of those thoughts about death courtesy of Google got me thinking though…
I embarrassingly admit that I think about my family dying way more often than what’s probably considered normal. Pretty much every time Patrick leaves the house without me I think to myself “what if he dies”…this is why I’ve made the rule that we never leave mad at each other, and no matter what, give each other a kiss before departing.When the kids are with him, ugh, don’t even get me started! I give so many kisses and then feel bad that all of them can’t be my last kiss! I have to keep busy with chores (thankfully there are enough of those to go around!) to keep my mind from going to those morbid places. It’s a problem, but I suspect I’m not alone (Garth Brooks – If Tomorrow Never Comes…hello! I know I’m not alone!) Instead of getting ultra paranoid over these thoughts, I take them as a prompting to pray for Patrick and/or the kids instead of worry about them. Philippians 4:6-7 says “Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.” And you know what, after praying, I do feel more at peace! So try it out if you too are a worrier!
Anyhow, I realized that I pretty much constantly worry about my family dying, but I never really worry about myself dying…that is until I Google “lump on abdomen causing sharp pain”…
This “Death By Google” really got me thinking about my legacy. How will I be remembered if I were gone? Sure I think about it, but I’m not really worried about it. When my time comes, I’m at peace with it, knowing that I will be meeting my maker and spending eternity in this place I’ve always read and wondered about, meeting the Lord Jesus whom I love above all. I don’t fear it, but I do get a little sad thinking about it, mainly because I think of Patrick and the kids. I don’t want to leave them, and I don’t want them to leave me. I don’t want to live without them, and I don’t want them to live without me. I want to grow old with my husband and be that couple I saw in a doctors office helping each other put on their coats and holding hands as they left…I couldn’t tell which was holding the other up and it was such a beautiful sight! I want to be that! I want to see my babies grow into adults and share stories of these days together now! I want to see them marry and have children of their own, and if I’m lucky enough, their children’s children (now talk about a blessing!) When I draw my last breath, I want it to be said that she traveled so many places, there was nowhere left to travel except home to heaven…
Yes these are my wishes in how I go, but as far as I know I don’t really have a say in this matter!
If tomorrow were the day, I know I can be at peace with it because I’ve done what I came here to do. I created two little lives. Knowing them, this fact alone lets me know I would be leaving this world a better place, solely because I would be leaving them here. They are still so little, and there is so much more I want to pour into them, so in case I never get the chance to, I want to compile a list of things their Momma thinks they should know 🙂 Please don’t find this morbid, that’s not my intent. It’s more of a covering of bases so my babies can grow into the best human beings possible, even without the constant nagging of their Momma 🙂 BUT hopefully they have to live a lot longer with that constant nagging of their Momma 😉
1.) The Golden Rule: “Do unto others as you would have them do to you”…if that’s too hard to understand, I’ll simplify it, “Treat others the way you’d like to be treated!” This is so important for all of mankind!
2.) If life ever knocks you to your knees, and heads up, it will, always remember you’re in prayer position. Give it to the Lord and he will help you though!
3.) One of the smartest things I learned in college were the CBA’s. Professor Liss would say “You know the ABC’s but I’m going to teach you the CBA’s…Conceive, Believe Achieve.” If you can conceive a dream, and you truly believe in that dream deep within you, then you can achieve it! Please my babies, never stop dreaming!
4.) If you say you’re going to do something, do it. It doesn’t matter the timeline, just get it done. Don’t leave promises unkept! Your daddy is big on keeping your word, so, keep your word!
5.) You only get one name, don’t make a mess of it. We put great thought into picking out your name, so keep it clean! Always remember that you share your last name with everyone else in our family…don’t be the one to bring shame to it. (Listen to Dierks Bentley – My Last Name)
6.) Always remember that God created you in His image and He thinks you are perfect, and so do I!
7.) God blesses each and every one of us with special gifts. These are the things that come easy to us. Find your gifts and hone in on them. They may not be the gifts that you wish for, but they are yours, and God gave them to you for a purpose…don’t waste them!
8.) Smiles are free…give them away! You can brighten someone’s day just by smiling at them! I know this is true because you have brightened so many of my days in this simple way!
9.) Care about your appearance, but don’t spend so much time looking at the beauty in the mirror that you miss all the beauty around you.
10.) Choose a mate on their inside beauty over their outside beauty. Outside beauty fades over the years, but inside beauty never leaves.
11.) Marriage isn’t easy. The vows you state on your wedding day hint at that, but you won’t be able to fully grasp it until you are walking through it in your own marriage. God does not promise that there won’t be hard times, in fact, you are the one who promises before God that you will love your mate in good times and in bad, in sickness and in health, for richer or poorer. Know your mate before making your vows, and know your vows before making these promises.
12.) You don’t have to have children if you don’t want to, but I would love nothing more than for you to feel that instant love that a child brings into your life! There is nothing else in the world like it!
13.) Keep a journal. You don’t have to read it, in fact, you probably won’t! But it’s a great way for you to get your emotions out…especially in the tough adolescence years.
14.) Take so many pictures! Way too many pictures! Document your special times because they are so very fun to look back on and smile!
15.) Some people you meet in life won’t like you. You may not have even given them a reason to dislike you, and that’s okay. Be nice to them anyhow. The cream always rises to the top.
16.) Simply put, be a leader, not a follower.
17.) Some people think it’s cool to be mean to other people, or make fun of them because they’re “different”…this is especially prevalent in the teenage years. Please don’t fall into this trap of “popularity”. I pray you’ll always have the confidence to stand up for what is right, not what is cool. (Listen to Mark Wills – Don’t Laugh At Me)
18.) College will be some of the best years of your life, have fun, but be responsible, and remember, you can’t change your track record…
19.) Don’t drink and drive. The price of a cab is far cheaper than the price of a DUI, accident and medical bills, but especially human life which is priceless.
20.) You can do absolutely anything you set your mind to. It may not be easy, and it may not be pretty, but you can do it!
21.) Travel is the only thing you can buy that makes you richer…see the world my loves!
22.) Be the change you wish to see in the world. You CAN make a difference!
23.) Be the type of man/woman that you’d want your son/daughter to be with!
24.) Sing…even if you got your Momma’s bad voice, sing! I was always self conscious of singing, that is until you came along…I wasted so many years not singing!
25.) Be generous to those who are less fortunate than you. You will grow to find that giving is far more gratifying than getting.
26.) God gave you two hands, one for helping yourself and the other for helping others. Be charitable. Monetary gifts to charities are helpful, but there is nothing like getting your hands dirty to physically help those in need.
27.) Be yourself! It’s better to be hated for who you are then to be loved for who you’re not (Listen to Van Zant – Help Somebody)
28.) Always remember the Serenity Prayer: “God grant me the SERENITY to accept the things I cannot change, the COURAGE to change the things I can, and the WISDOM to know the difference.”
29.) GIGO = Good In, Good Out…Put “good” in to your mind and body and “good” will come out.
30.) You’ll probably get your heart broken at least once in your life. Though it hurts so badly in the moment, I promise you, time heals all things. Learn from it, grow from it, and be better for it.
31.) Be silly, and find someone you can be silly with…a silly life makes for a happy life filled with lots of laughter 🙂
32.) Friendships will come and go, and this can sting. My mom used to tell me growing up that if I had just 5 true friends throughout my entire life then I should consider myself blessed.
32.) Never judge people upon appearances. Everybody has a story, something that is cool and fascinating about them. Take time to figure out what that is! Dig deep in your conversations!
33.) Be patient with others, and be patient with yourself.
34.) Celebrate holidays! They are meant to be special!
35.) Please always celebrate your Birthday, even if you feel like you are getting “old”. Growing old is a privilege that many are denied. Your Birthdays are some of my favorite holidays because it documents the days of my two greatest accomplishments in life!
36.) Be love. Replace your name each time you read “love” in 1 Corinthians 13:3-7. Be that person!
37.) Learn the meaning of empathy and live it. (Watch Funny Face for further understanding.)
38.) One of my very most favorite movie quotes is “The saddest thing in life is wasted talent” Watch A Bronx Tale for full understanding. So many valuable lessons can be learned from this movie! Though please cover your ears every time the actors cuss 😉
39.) Always remember you were created out of love and your life was wanted so badly by your Daddy and I!
40.) Let this soak in…God gave His only son to save us from our sins. Jesus left His heavenly throne to die on the cross for our sins. Both sacrificed so much for you! Each time you sin, remember these sacrifices, and seek them for forgiveness!
41.) Knowledge is the one thing that can’t be taken away from you. Everything else can be taken away from you, but no one can take away what you’ve learned! Grow your minds big and strong my loves!
42.) Don’t let the sun set on your anger. Be the bigger person and say you are sorry first…even if you don’t feel like you were wrong. There is no gift like God’s grace, so be sure to always be an example of that grace, giving it to others as He continues to give it to you!
43.) Surround yourself around people who you can be yourself around. Better yet, just always be yourself, everybody else is already taken!
44.) Forgive and forget. If you can’t forget, still forgive, but set that person free. Nobody deserves to have a wrong held over them.
45.) Kiss your spouse good morning, and kiss your spouse good night. You should kiss them in between too! But at least give a kiss to start and end your days…it’s a great way to begin and end each day!
46.) Don’t just pray in hard times, pray always. Pray while driving, pray while washing you hair, pray while cooking a meal…there is never a bad time to pray, and God is never to busy to listen!
47.) Be sure to say thank you to God after praying for something…even if it wasn’t an answered prayer, thank Him for listening. He knows what He’s doing in how he answers, I promise you that!
48.) Don’t let chivalry die! I expect my sons to be gentleman! Open the door for others, help a woman with her coat, be attentive when having a conversation…be kind and courteous always! I also expect my daughters to not settle for less than this respect from their spouse, but to also give the same respects in return!
49.) Your daddy and I both saved ourselves for marriage, a decision neither one of us regrets. We will never force this upon you, as you’ll be wise enough to make your own decisions in life, but it really has been wonderful in our marriage never having to wonder about comparisons to other partners, diseases or even infidelity. It’s just an extra peace covering I feel we have over our marriage. A lot of friends have come to me after finding “the one” and have said they wished they had waited to share themselves with only their spouse.
I could go on and on – God knows there are more than 50 important truths and lessons that I want to teach my kids over the years, but this list has come together really organically so I’m going to stop at 50, and the last one is a big one…
50.) There may be times you think our family isn’t cool, or you wish you had your friends parents, or your friends were your siblings, or that you had no siblings at all, but God put us together for a reason! Take care of each other. Siblings fight – it’s just what siblings do, but always come back and love one another. Please don’t ever let your inheritance come between you. I’ve seen that happen and it is ugly. At the end of the day, it’s all just stuff, and money only buys more stuff. The love of family is something you can’t buy! I hope you always know the value of family because it truly is priceless!
Aside from these things, I hope my kids always know how loved they are! I hope they remember the times we spent reading together or working on puzzles over the times I was busy with chores…I know I can get wrapped up in them. My babies bring me so much joy and I hope I always let them know that!
Okay, enough of the what if’s! My surgery is a simple outpatient procedure, I’m not dying! I just started writing this list when I thought I was…lol! But please, if you have a moment tomorrow morning, please do say a quick prayer all goes well for me! Thank you 🙂