I am a survivor!

Today is my 26th cancer-free anniversary!  I am a survivor!!!

Yep! 26 years ago, God took my leukemia filled body from being 95% cancerous to remission within just 8 days of diagnosis!  He is so good!!!

Yesterday, I started thinking about how I have spent so much time being worried and stressed.  I don’t believe God saved me 26 years ago to spend my days being weighed down by stress.  I have been having a “next 30 years” (like the song by Tim McGraw) couple of days thinking about how I don’t want to spend my next 26 years under the load of worry and stress that I have had for most of the past 26 years.

I don’t want to feel hurried anymore.  I want to slow down and simplify my life so that I can enjoy all of the ways God has blessed me without  feeling like I am already running late for the next thing on my never ending list of things to do.  I don’t mind being busy, but I am tired of feeling rushed and not getting to be mindful and enjoy whatever activity that I currently doing.  I want to show my kids that life is a blessing not a never ending, stress filled, worry inducing to-do list.

Okay, so easier said than done – I get that.  I am still going to try to find greater joy in this life that God has given me.  I am going to try to show more grace to those around me and especially to myself.  I am going to try to listen and look for the positive and let the negative run off my back.  I am going to choose to embrace the crazy and the chaos when the choice is laughter or stress.  I am going to try to reduce and simplify my schedule so that I have time to play and rest – so I am not always scurrying from one thing to the next without even being able to enjoy them.

I am a survivor!  I want to start living like it!!



Have you ever noticed how, when kids get tired, they go in a downward spiral from bad to worse.  This can be especially true if they refuse to nap or have had a very long busy day (like lots of errands, appointments, activities).  It’s not just true of preschoolers, either.  School age kids and teenagers suffer from this problem too.  Even grownups suffer when we don’t get to rest.

Have you ever noticed that, when you don’t take a break, EVERYTHING seems harder?  Our work load seems bigger and more overwhelming when we are tired.  We get less done because we are stressed.  The less we get done, the more stressed we get.  It keeps snowballing until we have this avalanche of being completely overwhelmed and overloaded.  Chores pile up.  We yell at our family, are melancholy with our friends, and get so worn out that all we want to do is cry.

Why do we do this to ourselves?

Why?  Because we are trying to be superwomen.  We try to do everything and be everything for everyone all the time.  We don’t stop.  We don’t rest

But rest isn’t just important because we need a physical recharge.  God actually commands that we rest.  The 3rd commandment says, “Remember the Sabbath Day and keep it holy.”  Now God thinks that this is so important that He put it right after the 2 commandments stating that He is to be our only God and nothing should come before Him.

Hebrews 4 talks about how the Israelites were disobedient in the wilderness and God said that they would never enter His rest.  The Israelites could have had 40 more years of enjoying the Promised Land but instead they wandered around in the desert for 40 years.  40 years!  All those who had been disobedient died.  Their children received the promised inheritance.

We have got to stop resisting and give in to the need for rest.  We all need to give ourselves a Sabbath.  For our sakes.  For our kids.  For our spouses.  We don’t want to fall under a curse like the Israelites and wander around in a wilderness of stress, grumpiness, and being completely overwhelmed and stress paralyzed for 40 years.  We need to teach our kids the importance of rest.  With today’s world of go, go, go and packed schedules, it’s so easy to get caught in the flow of doing all the time.

I challenge us all to stop and take a day, or a couple hours, every week to focus on our Creator and cherish our families.  I also challenge us all to take at least 30 minutes every day to stop and rest and recharge.  Drink a cup of tea or coffee (while it’s still hot!) and eat a snack (I don’t know about you, but I forget to eat most days then get really hangry around 4 PM.)  Listen to a praise CD and worship the Creator and thank Him for knowing that we need rest.  I know it can be hard, with kids, schedules, work, life, etc.  You may have to be creative and find a way to work it in.  If you are stuck, pray.  Ask God to show you how to find a time of rest in your day and in your week.  He will show you where.  He blesses those who walk in His ways.  He may ask you give up something, but it will be worth it.  Things always are when we are walking in obedience.