I have had March 3, 2015 circled on my calendar for almost four years. The date represents a cancer milestone for me, and an anniversary of a conversation which was filled with wisdom.
Photo credit: Victor Correia©
4 Months, 4 Years, or 40 Years
1. A stone functioning as a milespost.
2. A significant event or stage in the life, progress, development, or the like of a person, nation, etc.
Actually the significance of March 3, 2015 points back to a pivotal conversation which occurred four years earlier on March 3, 2011. On that day my fiancé and I were meeting with the Pastor who would marry us. Mike Teston asked us to share our stories and why we wanted to be married now rather than in the fall which was our original plan.
I shared how merkel cancer had returned for a third time with a stage-four diagnosis. Shari told Pastor Mike how she wanted to be with me through the radiation, chemotherapy, and surgery regardless of the outcome. In the two hours we were together, questions were asked and answers given, tears were shed, and prayers were prayed. As we were saying goodbye Mike said,
Photo Credit: Today Show
The Truly Brave video is Hoda Kotb‘s contribution to the NBC Today Show’s Shine A Light program, where each anchor selected a worthy cause to support throughout the year. Hoda, a breast cancer survivor herself, chose to lift the spirits of children with cancer and raise money for pediatric cancer.
The opening rounds have played themselves out and no one can lay claim to winning a billion dollars for a perfect bracket. In the midst of all the competition, the highlights, and the heartbreaks a story bubbles to the surface which illustrates how the game of life, when played well, creates a MVP in the most unlikely of situations.
Meet Cinderella: Actually the Cinderella of this story Lacey Holsworth, aka @adorableLacey as she is known by her 12,000 Twitter followers. Lacey is a vivacious 8 year old girl who loves Michigan State basketball and is battling neuroblastoma, an aggressive form of childhood cancer that has threatened her life for nearly two years.
Photo Credit: CBS Atlanta
Rachel Buckner is a nine-year-old fourth grader who loves high school football. And if you asked what her favorite thing to do is, she would reply watching the Roswell Hornets play on Friday night.
When RHS coaches and players learned about Rachel’s favorite thing and also her battle with Leukemia they chose to rally around the Buckner family offering support and distractions while she was in treatment. Cards and posters were sent, a pep rally took place along with a fund-raiser, and earlier this month during the Homecoming Game Rachel was named the Varsity Football Sweetheart.
Which is Why I Hope You Will Join Our Team
When David answered the door, he had no idea how his life was about to change. His doctor and friend had come to tell him he had chronic myelogenous leukemia and just 3-5 years to live. Click on the screenshot and hear about David’s remarkable cancer journey.
Even if you can’t walk with us on October 1st, you can join the Leveraging Life Stick It 2 cancer team by making a donation of any amount. It all adds up and has the potential to save lives like you just saw in that video.
- iStockphotos © RTimages
The last few weeks have been a blur! An example of that fact is you seeing this post now and not July 11th as originally planned. There is a saying, “life get’s in the way,” and I think you’ll agree there are times when “stuff” gets in the way of life as well…and boy has that been the case lately for me!
How are you feeling is a common question I get asked several times a day, and a few times there is a follow-up question that gets asked before I answer the first question, “bet you get tired of answering that question don’t you?”
Actually I don’t mind answering that question at all because the fact that someone asks shows they care!
But something you probably should know, and I don’t think I’m alone feeling this way, is that the answer you get may not always be totally truthful at all times. There are a few reasons why, and I’d like to share them:
I’m not sure if I should classify today as a milestone or an anniversary? Truth be told four months ago a conversation took place which caused me to circle this date on the calendar and I hoped I would reach this milestone.
iStockphoto © Victor Correia
4 months, 4 years, or 40 years
I always envisioned the day my fiance and I applied for our marriage license would be a fun day. Unfortunately March 3, 2011 was anything but fun as we had to squeeze in getting our marriage license between a series of doctor’s appointments. The last two weeks were a blur of activity as Shari and I learned my cancer I not only returned but had metastasized to the point where I was now categorized with Stage 4 merkel cell cancer. Our plans for a Fall wedding were radically changed with the cancer news and we found planning for our wedding which was only 21 days away. Sadly I never allowed myself to experience fun or joy this day, I was too busy feeling sorry for myself, being angry, and I was looking for someone to blame…God!
- iStockphotos © Michel de Nijs
Sixteen hours in a car driving to and from Indiana for a wedding last weekend afforded me a good bit of time to reflect on the first six months of 2011. In the moments when my family dozed, one thought emerged almost as often as overpasses appeared on the horizon:
I had not “paused” as often as I hoped to this year.
My first inclination was to go through a long list of excuses why, and those familiar with my story might consider most to be legitimate. Regardless of the excuses, though, one question lingered.
Is there a correlation between pausing and being grateful?
When you live your life at a pace life dictates, you miss what opportunities are present to go deeper, past those surface level observations. At the surface everything is a blur, much like when you lie in bed at night and the day just plays through your head like a movie preview trailer. But if you truly desire to see the real story being written by your life, you need to make an effort to look past the obvious and find the picture God is painting.
- iStockphoto © PeskyMonkey
If you were to take the time to poll my family, my friends, and my co-workers asking them to describe my outlook on life, most if not all, would described me as an optimist…a glass half-full guy. Dig a little deeper into what makes me tick and spend a little time reading through my DISC profile (high D & I) you would learn that being an encourager is another characteristics which makes up who I am. Optimism and encouragement come naturally to me and throughout my career they have been utilized to build teams and help grow businesses.
However in the scope of writing blog such as Leveraging Life, I have a genuine concern, what comes naturally (optimism and encouragement) could be taken out of context or be misconstrued leaving readers with a false impression that I never have doubts, that I live my life without fear, or that I somehow trust blindly when facing trials or adversity.
“saying trust God period and living trust God period are two totally different mindsets…one is contingent on circumstance and situation warranting that trust, and the other is influenced by a relationship which is nurtured through circumstance and situation creating an environment of trust.”