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Friday, November 26, 2010

What Matters Most

Living as a cancer survivor is as difficult to get used to as living with a cancer diagnosis. There aren’t as many tears but there are lots of uncertainties. There aren’t as many urgent decisions but there is lots of guilt that every decision is urgent.

When I got the all clear from my doc, I celebrated. I have been living my life in three-month intervals. As a survivor, I never want to take my stance for granted. I feel vindicated when I set out to run a marathon, write a book or organize an eternally junky pantry.

I like measurable results. Producing something, anything helps me to feel like I’m not wasting these days God has gifted me. The reality is my days offer little opportunity to run or to write or to organize. The minutes tick by as I kiss a child’s boo boo, soothe away hurt feelings and fold endless loads of laundry. Always laundry.

While I can’t measure the effects of kissing boo boos, mending hearts or keeping a household running daily, I’ve already lived long enough to know these things matter. Lots.

If anyone should be able to see and live what matters most, it’s a cancer survivor. Don’t ya think?

That’s the question that gnaws at my heart.

That’s the question that gnawed at my heart this time last year. Before I was diagnosed with cancer. Before I became a “survivor.” I “knew” then what matters in life. I mean, I thought I knew. 

I've come to know that sometimes life produces moments that can't be measured. They're simply too big. Even the ordinary seemingly mundane moments in my mind can be monumental to the child's whose boo boo is being kissed. 

I tried to live like this last year and all the years before that. This past year has made me realize that ordinary is priceless. I've tried to line my priorities with my heart, my beliefs and my convictions.

It’s hard to line things up in a neat little row. And so I sit here tonight wondering if somehow over the last three months my row has gotten a little crooked.

And then I walk over to my eternally junky pantry to search for the Saltines and glance at the overflowing laundry basket and sit back down to eat a snack with my kids. Because they matter most and I know they are only little for a bit. And I never want to take a second for granted.

I am so thankful for the immeasurable moments.

God stuck by me.
   He stood me up on a wide-open field;
      I stood there saved—surprised to be loved!

God made my life complete
      when I placed all the pieces before him.
   When I got my act together,
      he gave me a fresh start.
   Now I'm alert to God's ways;
      I don't take God for granted.
   Every day I review the ways he works;
      I try not to miss a trick.
   I feel put back together,
      and I'm watching my step.
   God rewrote the text of my life
      when I opened the book of my heart to his eyes.
Psalm 18:19-24 The Msg


Andrea said...

AMEN, Sweet Sister! I praise GOD with you...celebrate every day what matters most!

Please continue to pray for my friend, Jane. We got the news we did NOT want!

Blessings, hugs, and prayers,

MommaMindy said...

Feasting on this thought....
"ordinary is priceless."

When you first face cancer and the possibility that your years of kissing boo-boos and folding laundry might be numbered less than you imagined, it does change your perspective.

I have found new meaning in the verse, "To live is Christ, but to die is to gain."

Smelling Coffee said...

This was beautifully said, Lisa - and what an appropriate scripture text from the Message! I'm SO thankful that the Lord healed you and that you are a survivor, and that you stand as a reminder for all of us of investing in what is important.

Blessings to you and your family, Lisa~


Sandy Cooper said...

You know how sometimes I say "you need to submit this post somewhere" and you said you never do? OK. You need to submit this post somewhere.

Hanging on every single word of it, because I'm right there with you.

Maybe we can talk this week. This time I'm the one who needs a boost and a lift.

Love you.

Stacy said...

Oh Lisa...you are investing in what matters most...investing in lives, hearts and your children and as it is with investments.....it takes awhile for the return to be made known. Someday, maybe not even on this side of heaven, you will get to see the return. Until then...press on and press in....He will make the crooked road straight. :) Yes, ordinary is priceless!

Much love,

Cindy Bultema said...

What powerful Truth (love how the message always brings it home!). Celebrating and rejoicing with you and the gift of your health :) May 2011 be an amazing year for you all ~ filled with immeasurable joy, hope, peace and ordinary, life-giving moments.
Love to you~
Cindy :)

nancygrayce said...

You are among the things I'm thankful for. Even though we have only met via blog and in bad circumstances, we both watched God's hand move! He is still teaching me to treasure what really matters!

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