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Welcome to my blog: Today's Lady Virtue. This site is for women--wives, mothers, singles, widows, family, friends, etc.! My heart is to share loving encouragement coupled with timeless truths from God's Word, the Bible, to enlighten, uplift, and empower women of today. At Today's Lady Virtue we're about "Reclaiming Virtuous Womanhood today the Time-tested Way!" Here you will find a variety of posts from poems, to "Put into Practice" principles, to pictures and more! I invite you to voyage with me on the quest to become Today's Lady Virtue.

Sunday, January 17, 2010

Tribute to My Daddy, Part III

Life is Precious, Time is Short, There are NO Guarantees.
So Waste it NOT and Say your ABC's!


Part II of my dad's story:

To everyone:    Thanks again for all the heartfelt thoughts and prayers and emails and calls and cards.  I am blessed to know so many fine people.  Everyone has asked what they can do to help.  Teri and I appreciate that and we will call if we think of something, but right now we are in pretty good shape.  

I am apparently on dozens of prayer lists in several states.  I can't tell you how uplifted I feel due to your thoughts and prayers and nice things you have said to me this week.  It is overwhelming and humbling. You have really made a difference and have strengthened me.  I have never felt God's presence to this extent, in my life.  I am going to claim His comfort and peace as I face this scary event.

Actually, there is something you all can do to help, other than pray and give God the glory for whatever happens.  It came to me at 2:29 AM this morning.  I'm going to call it "ABC Thinking".  To explain it, I need to start where I left off on last Thursday's email about how the appendix is like "excess baggage": 

"I was thinking about an appendix, especially one with a mucous-leaking tumor on it like mine.  Look how much trouble it has caused.  An appendix is not even needed by the human body.  It is not important, it is not essential, it is not constructive.  It is excess baggage.  Hanging around it can only lead to trouble (like a tumor).  That could be a metaphor for our lives.  So many times, if we add excess baggage, the nonessential, the unimportant, and/or the non-constructive stuff to our lives and our jobs and our relationships, we pay a heavy price.   Why even go there .  On the contrary, if we focus on the important, the essential, the constructive, think how much more fruitful our health, our careers and our relationships would be?  Why dwell in the badlands of the bowels, like the appendix, when you could live happily ever after, up high, in the healthy region of the heart and the mind." 
If you like, you can help by helping me knock a dent in "wasted time" and "excess baggage".  For the next ten days, while I'm in the hospital, try to exercise ABC Thinking as you go about your day.  I did the math, and just from the people reading this email, by the time I get back to Midland, the quality  of our everyday decisions will have been improved.  In fact, there will be over one million better decisions or good decisions already in the books.   

How can this be?  When we decide to shun wasted time and excess baggage, we only focus on the opposite, that is, the important, the essential, the constructive.  We, therefore, will tend to make good decisions or at least, better decisions.  That will pay huge dividends. 

So what is essential, important, and constructive?  Many things could be listed, but the list should include at least these four elements of our lives - spiritual health, physical health, career health, and relationship health.   

ABC Thinking is easy.  All you have to do is right before you decide to say something or do something, just ask yourself, "Will this comment or action I am about to do, increase or add to my spiritual health, literal health, career health, and/or relationship health?  Or will it increase the amount of excess baggage in my life and/or in society?  Is it essential, important, or constructive?  Answer those questions honestly to yourself and then you will know what you should or should not do or say.  Do that for 10 days, then it becomes a habit, and then the truly essential and important things in our lives grow and the amount of excess baggage in our hearts, minds, bodies, workplaces, families, circle of friends, and society drops dramatically.  A win for people known and unknown. 

To help remember to do ABC Thinking, remember these acronyms: 

A ssess B aggage C ount - Before speaking or acting, ask if your personal and/or the world's "eXcess baggage" count will increase or decrease because you did or said what you were considering? 

A lways B e C onstructive - Is what you are about to do or say going to add to the important things or subtract from them? 

A lways B e C ommunicating - If it is constructive, tell people what you are thinking now, while you can.  Don't go to somebody's funeral and wish that you had told them this or that, and know that you will never get that chance to brighten their life again. 

A lways B e C aring - Kindness is the hardest thing to give away, because it is usually returned. 

A ction B egets C ommunication - Lead by example. People are always watching whether you realize it or not.  And, of course, God really  has an eye on us. 

And so on. 

Please understand that I am not saying I can or do always think the ABC way, but I know two things, (1) the more I live that way, the richer my life is and vice versa, and (2) this week I have been the recipient of the blessings stemming from all you ABC thinkers out there.  This has been one of the best weeks of my life.  The things people have said and done have been amazing.  Just think if we all lived that way all the time and not just during times of trouble.  Some of you do, I know, I've seen it, but too many, like me, get too tied up in the affairs of life and forget or get too busy to pay it forward.  I'm telling you, this is powerful stuff we are dealing with here, this ABC Thinking!   

So, what is the genesis of this new revelation to me?  (First of all, this is not new, it is too important.   The real truths are too important to be new .  They just dawn on slow learners, like me, from time to time.)  I think the answer is this: 

When one is suddenly and unexpectedly faced with the possibility of death, their thinking changes.  One does not immediately think, "Man, I only have this much time left.  I need more time to gossip, hold a grudge, be bitter, be jealous, be greedy, be selfish, be envious, be divisive at home and at work.  I need more time to be lazy, unhealthy, a troublemaker.  I need more time to not  talk to my family or coworkers, for revenge, for guilt-tripping others.  I was just getting good at ignoring God, my health, my relationships and not making a hand at work."  "Why me, Lord?"   

No.   One immediately thinks of how precious life is and how one might have squandered the chance to make a difference in the world, in the family or in the workplace.  One thinks about what they should have said to others but didn't because that would have been too uncomfortable.  One thinks of what they should have done or would have liked to have done, but now it is too late.  Of course, you have to ask yourself about the question of Jesus.  With or without?  We must know where we stand with Him.  Also, one thinks...have I done enough for my family?  What will happen to them?  All these thoughts and hundreds more flood your mind all at once.  You apparently become an "ABC Thinker".  You ask yourself, why did I waste, even one minute, on nonessential, unimportant, and non-constructive items?  Or, why did I drag around that excess baggage all those years?  What a waste! 

Life is what happens while you are making other plans.  My prayer for 2007 was to get the deal done, catch my breath, make a hand for the new owners, help take the company to next level, but with a new twist.  I was going to back off on the intensity and take on a more healthy, balanced approach to work and life, and mix in some rest and recreation.  My motto was going to be:  "Wherever I am, be there."  I was going to learn to literally put the concerns and responsibilities of running a multi- million dollar company in a compartment and allow myself to enjoy whatever I was supposed to be enjoying at the moment, guilt-free.  I wanted to learn to be there in mind and spirit and not just in body.

Have you heard the phrase, "Be careful what you pray for, you just might get it?" 

This whole episode is so off-the-wall and yet, the diagnosis and finding just the right doctor, seems so divinely-directed.  What if this is God answering my prayer?  What if He is telling me?..."You want what is good for you, but I want what is best for you."  What if He is saying?..."I have heard you say that "seeking balance" stuff for decades, but you never really do it."  What if He is saying?..."All things work together for good for those that love God and are called according to His purpose (Romans 8:28)."  What if He is saying?..."Once and for all, I have a plan to (1) get your attention, (2) give you a glimpse of Me and what transcends all understanding, (3) give you the perspective you will need to truly seek the balance that you prayed for, and (4) allow you to enjoy, more than ever, all that I have blessed you with.  Not only that, but I will use your story to cause others to take a quick inventory of what is really essential, important, and constructive, to boot."  Wow! 

Under the circumstances, I better not mention to Him, the phrase, "No pain, no gain." 

Well, thanks for listening to me.  In lieu of flowers, please consider the "ABC Thinking" idea as your gift to me.  When I wake up several days from now, I expect the world to be a better place because of you! 

I will leave you with the immortal words of the 70's pop group, The Jackson Five, "ABC, It's easy as 123, as simple as do re mi, ABC, 123, baby you and me!"


A, B, C you and me! 

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