I’ll be happy to see 2015 go. My father passed away unexpectedly earlier this year, and the Alzheimer’s that is stealing my stepfather from us is progressing more rapidly than we can bear. The stress of both has impacted my sleep, my eating habits, and most definitely, my sanity. I thought perhaps that adopting the stray cat that showed up last month might be just the distraction I needed….Who knew that you can catch a really, really nasty case of ringworm from a stray cat?
Unfortunately, dealing with life’s upheavals can cause me to become frozen. And unlike Elsa, the cold really does bother me. My state of mental inertia also annoys those who depend upon me to get my you-know-what in gear. Life-altering choices aren’t required to freeze my decisive abilities; depending on my stress level, a query as simple as “What do I make for dinner?” can stymie me. When this happens, my go-to coping mechanism is to pull a Scarlett O’Hara and decide to not think about making a decision. Why, after all, should I agonize over something today that I can put off agonizing over until tomorrow?
The problem with this strategy is that because all our decisions lead us down a certain path, not making a decision can lead us away from the path on which we need to be. In this state of indecision, I almost always end up on the path that leads me directly to a big bag of Reese’s Cups and a glass of wine. Don’t get me wrong: I love Reese’s Cups and wine. But unless I want the path to take me to the nearest Weight Watchers and a detox center, I probably need to consider the benefits of tackling difficult decisions in the first place so that I end up where I need to be instead.
It’s the lack of control that paralyzes me. What if I make a mistake? What if I choose A when I should have chosen B? What if, despite my best efforts, I can’t manage every possible outcome and there are unpleasant surprises and disappointments? Now that you’re in my head, the candy and the wine are starting to look pretty darn appealing, aren’t they?
I am working on not feeling so overwhelmed by life’s difficulties. For starters, I’ve taped a quote by Christian author and speaker Elisabeth Elliot to my bathroom mirror: “Today is mine. Tomorrow is none of my business.”
As you read the stories of the LKN women we honor this month who are battling or have battled breast cancer, you’ll see that Elliot’s assertion is a truth that they already live. Our breast cancer warriors have chosen a path that takes them away from despair and pity, away from anger, and away from bitterness. That doesn’t mean that the paths they chose weren’t fraught with bumps and roadblocks. They often had no idea what to expect around the next bend or over the next hill. But every leap of faith has moments of uncertainty. These courageous women leapt anyway. They understood on a basic level that it is only by exercising their faith that it would become stronger.
We are not in control. Sometimes things just don’t turn out the way we want them to. But we do hold the key to how we react and to choose our paths. Will you be like me and let the path of indecision lead you to Harris Teeter for another super-sized bag of satisfaction-substitute? Or will you be like our survivors and put up your dukes and fight? I promise to give it a try—to let go and have faith. Things may not always turn out the way I want, but I know they will turn out the way God wants.
I wonder, though, who will eat all these Reese’s Cups?
We always want to know about our LKN community! These are recurring features; see how many LKN people you could recommend.
Do you know a…
We want to know!
A WOTM has just moved into the LKN community, earned a new certificate or degree, or received a promotion or award…something like that.
Send us the WOTM’s name, where she works and her title, her email address, and in 1-3 sentences, tell us the news. WOTM entries are not advertisements. We will not include “for more information.” As Dana likes to say, “Just the facts, Ma’am.”
If you think you know a WOTM but aren’t sure, assume she is! Send us her information.
We celebrate the guys, too! Email us and tell us why your husband is fantastic. We feature these great guys in our February issue, but the sooner we know about him, the better!
These days, the definition of family has evolved. Throughout the year, and particularly in September, we like to share family stories. So, whatever yours looks like–if it works, shout it out! Of course, if you know another successful LKN family, who just happens to be slightly left–or right–of center, we want to know about them, also!
Work teams of mothers, daughters, sisters, grandmothers, granddaughter, aunts, all relations!
We ask school and community leaders for recommendations, but if you know an outstanding LKN girl, age 10-18, to nominate for our June issue, please do. Girls are selected by a committee, based on the details of the nomination (so be thorough! We need a little more than “excellent grades,” please.). Include her parental contact information, if possible.
If you think you know an amazing LKN girl but aren’t sure, assume she is! Send us her information. But we’d like her parental contact info, too, please.
We love to tell the survivor and success stories of women who’ve triumphed over domestic violence, breast cancer (any cancers), rape, and other injuries and situations. Tell us with whom we should talk; tell us whose voice should be the one to convince other LKN Women they are survivors, too!
This one is a little more involved, but don’t shy away. Each December we have a Woman of Will Awards Luncheon. If you know a woman who qualifies (in your opinion is just fine!), please nominate her today. You do need to formally nominate her. If you’re not ready to complete the application, go ahead and send us an email and let us know. We can nag you to complete your nomination by the due date.
Bring it on! Tell us whom you believe would make a fantastic LKNW feature and why, in 100 words or fewer. Please include contact information. We may not reply to every recommendation, but we will read them.
*Any story idea sent in to us is considered our property. You are giving it to us.
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