Yesterday, January 31, was my birthday—I am thinking about my parents and the past eight decades. And wondering where the time went. It passed too fast. There’s never been enough time to do all the things I want to do. I am seriously behind schedule! And there are lots of books still to read!
I’ve been searching through old papers and picture albums hunting for a little poem my dad wrote that I wanted to share. He portrayed perfectly what surviving is like. Yes, I call getting old surviving because that’s really what it is.
There is a quote that says I was born in a snowstorm and some of the roads I’ve traveled were not paved. I chuckle every time I read it because I was born in a snowstorm! And the many unpaved roads I traveled are now scars on my soul, but embedded along with the scars are times of great happiness and joy.
Is there anything I would change? Oh, yes, there are lots of things I wish I had learned earlier in my life. The most important is that Almighty God and Jesus Christ are really REAL, that God means what He says, and He always keeps His promises. I wish I had known that when I was young.
I’ve been thinking I should have learned at least 80 things along the way … after all—one a year isn’t a lot to learn! Here’s a few of them.
1. Life is about people—it’s not about possessions, careers, money,
houses, cars, or worldly stuff.
2. Life isn’t easy, but it’s also incredibly wonderful.
Life is a gift—don’t ever take it for granted.
3. It is in the pain of tragedy and sorrow that we discover who we are,
and we are changed by that.
4. Grief and trauma permanently changes us—we either get better or bitter.
It’s our choice.
5. Grief is both emotionally and physically painful.
But with time, the raw intensity fades.
6. The more you run from trouble and the storms of life,
the more lost you become.
7. Until you embrace the storms of life,
you really don’t know how great the Lord is.
8. Avoiding the Lord leads you directly into Satan’s arms.
9. Satan doesn’t play fair, he plays hardball, and he’s out to get you!
10. More often than not, we have no control over what happens to us,
but we can control our reactions and what we do.
11. Remember, nobody is perfect!
No matter how perfect someone’s life looks, it isn’t.
12. Everyone you meet is better at something than you are.
13. Emotions are a slippery slope—you need to find a Truth to stand on.
14. Most of the time, angry people are fearful people.
15. Failure is an exceedingly powerful teacher.
16. Does anyone like adversity—a big resounding NO.
But it is the vehicle that teaches us to rely on the Lord.
17. There is a point in life where you just have to have faith in the Lord,
no matter what.
18. Faith is the enabler that allows us to look beyond the pain.
19. Light always comes in the morning, no matter how dark the night.
20. The Lord is the only one who will be with you forever.
21. He is still in the business of miracles.
22. The world can change in the blink of an eye.
23. The “whys” are never answered, so don’t bother to ask.
24. Just drifting along will not get you anywhere,
nor will sitting on the fence.
25. TODAY is where LIFE lives,
yesterday is gone and tomorrow never comes.
26. Happiness is something you decide on—
no matter what your circumstances.
27. Real love is not centered on self. It’s not about what “I can get,”
but about what “I can give.”
28. Peace of mind is not the absence of trouble, but the presence of God.
29. Ah, being young is beautiful—but being old is comfortable!
30. Our bodies are just the shell, it is not who you are.
31. No matter how old or young we are; we need goals,
something to get out of bed for.
32. Growing older is inevitable; growing wiser is a choice.
33. Life is being with, loving and caring for and about, the people
in your life.
34. When you are dissatisfied and would like to go back to youth,
think about high school Algebra!
35. Talking to our best friend is sometimes all the therapy we need!
36. A good night’s sleep is a promise of heaven!
37. AND last but not least, eat chocolate—and enjoy a little wine!
After hours of searching I never did find my dad’s poem, but I did find a note in his billfold that he had written on his last Christmas Eve with us, and it has the last line of his poem.
“It has been the tradition on Christmas Eve for the oldest in our family to read the Greatest Christmas Story ever told. To prove I should receive this honor, I want to tell you about the Seven Stages of Life.”