Many years ago I was given a gift of a book titled 10,000 Things To Be Happy About. I haven’t thought about that book for a long time, but for some reason today it came into my mind. It was a pretty cool concept. This girl had just kept notebooks for years of anything that made her feel good, from kids jumping rope to the color of her socks to eating pixy stix (remember those?) and thousands of other little everyday things.
I think the book came to my mind because of a song by Superchick called We Live. The second verse goes like this:
There’s a man who waits for the tests to
See if the cancer had spread yet
And now he asks so why did I wait to live ’til it was time to die
If I could have the time back, how I’d live
Life is such a gift
So how does the story end?
Well, this is your story and it all depends
So don’t let it become true
Get out and do what we were meant to do
(see the song here) http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=C_whi9GmAO8
I used to hear that song and not quite get it. What did it mean, wait to live till it was time to die? We live every day. What else do we do? But now it makes more sense to me. I think about how many days I wasted doing nothing of any real meaning. And I’m blessed. I am reasonably sure that I will be cured and go on to live a normal lifespan.
But right now, when I am so aware of the fact that I have cancer, and I want to live my life for all it’s worth, ironically I am pretty much locked in a very small world of working part-time, coming home and resting till dinner, sometimes getting up and spending time with Sam, sometimes just going back to bed. I might make it to church on Sunday, but not the last few weeks. Praise God our church streams the service live on the internet, so I’m not totally missing out, but it’s not quite the same.
So I was thinking about that song, and wondering what it is that i do about “living” when I am so constrained, and for some reason that book came to mind. And I just laid for about half an hour or so and thought about things to be happy for. Things like the fact that the sun rises right in my kitchen window every morning right when I’m getting up for work. And the really good hand lotion my mom sent so I don’t itch anymore. And cards from friends surprising me in the mail. And the way my kitchen looks when the sun comes streaming in.
Things like having a laptop so I can type in bed and have a blog and facebook with friends – oh, and video chat with my grandkids! And playing Words with Friends on my phone with my husband and my son and my stepson. And getting a goodnight text from my daughter.
Things like the smell of my favorite Yankee candle – lemon splash. And the look of our fireplace on a bleak afternoon like today. And Sam and my devotion time before bed. And soft knit hats to keep my head warm. And the fact that since chemo I only have to shave my legs about once a month!
Things like the fact that I have the absolute greatest husband, family and friends in the world. And I’m blessed by an incredible job and coworkers. Above all, I am loved unconditionally, accepted completely, forgiven totally and wanted forever by the Creator of the universe. Now THAT is something to be happy about.
I’m glad in God, far happier than you would ever guess… I’ve learned by now to be quite content whatever my circumstances. I’m just as happy with little as with much, with much as with little. I’ve found the recipe for being happy whether full or hungry, hands full or hands empty. Whatever I have, wherever I am, I can make it through anything in the One who makes me who I am. Phillipians 10a, 11b-13