Wednesday, May 7, 2008

Giving a talk in 2 weeks

and I am at the point where I always get "WHY DID I SAY YES TO THIS?????" I'm speaking at my first retreat, with a theme of "class reunion". My talk is going to be basically: we need to evaluate our lives at least as often as we go to a class reunion. Then talking about how at my 5th reunion, not much had changed, at my 10th I was 9 months pregnant (had Joseph the next day), didn't go to my 15th (there's some analogy there about not being present in my life at that point), 20th decided to go at the last minute and had a blast but realized alot of people hadn't changed much in 20 years; and our 25th we didn't go because our marriage was a mess and I couldn't imagine what I'd say 2 months after all hell broke loose. But they had an impromptu one the next year, and we went (I must say, I looked great) and had a really good time. And a few things I've realized: at each reunion, we've lost a classmate. Some to tragedy, some to illness, and now this last one, to an aneurysm. Lesson learned: don't expect to be at your next each day to its fullest and without regrets...and ask yourself (answer honestly): if I passed on between now and the next reunion, would I have left the legacy I wanted to? Would I have left a mark on the world for the better? What loss would be felt? And if something needs to change...CHANGE IT NOW.

Momentum changes one step at a time...over a period of if your life isn't what you want it to be at 23 or 63, change that momentum now. Do one thing today to change it. Then wake up and do another tomorrow. And another and another. Grow your friendships, value your family. Plant a garden (container or big), grow your faith, read a book from the library, take a walk. Laugh. Cry. Watch the stars and night and a good comedy with someone you love. Call someone you love...tell them. Write that book, or article, or journal entry you've put off. Send a card. Buy yourself flowers or chocolate or your favorite treat.

And after awhile, you will see that your life is richer, deeper, more filled with joy. You will not that not many of the things I listed cost money. And therein lies another lesson. Life, between reunions, doesn't have to be expensive to be EXPANSIVE. Live fully today. None of us are guaranteed tomorrow. Be kind today. We all like to be treated kindly. Start the trend. Forgive someone who has hurt you. Nurture a hope in someone else. Dream...a little dream. Where do you want to be at your next reunion? WHO do you want to be at your next reunion?

As for me...I want to be a woman with rich friendships and a deep abiding faith. I want to be a mom who unabashedly loves her children and whose children respect and love her. I want to be a doting grandma of my sweet grandson. I want to be a mother in law who supports but gives enough space, who celebrates the man my daughter married. I want to be a wife who loves and respects her husband and shows it. On a lighter note, I want to be a few muffies lighter and a few scrapbooks heavier. I want to be AG, the most frequent visitors of my beloved nieces. And I want to keep up. I want to age well. I want to sleep through the night and wake up refreshed (perhaps those cups of tea late at night need to STOP!!). And I want to walk one step closer to serving Jesus well every single day of my life. Because I'm either heading toward him or away. I choose toward.

What do you choose? Choose well...and I'll see you at the next reunion!!

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