Wednesday, May 7, 2014

10 Defining Influences In My Life

If I had to name 10 things.

10 defining influences in my life.

What would they be?

10.    Fear

Fear would be in my top ten.

And I hate to admit it.
For many years, fear hindered me.
It was a defining obstacle.
At least for a time.

It made me afraid.
Of what people thought.
Of what the future held.
Of failing.
It  kept me bound.
And limited held me back.
I'm not happy it's on my list.
But it played a role.

For a time.

9.      Being Underestimated

I've been underestimated in my life.
And it always strikes a sensitive cord. also makes me rise to the occasion.
(Usually) with an attitude.
And that's not always a bad thing.
When I'm underestimated.
I rebel.
Against the source of  the underestimating.
It inspires me.
In an irritating kind of way.
And I set out.
To prove myself.
Being underestimated is a great motivator.

Don't ever underestimate me.
I don't shrink away.

8.    Living with Cancer

My eight year cancer anniversary is coming up in a few days.
I was diagnosed with a rare uterine cancer when I was just 47.
Endometrial Stromal Sarcoma.
Surgery took care of the initial tumor,
But there's pretty good odds of it coming back.
No surprise.
It's had a defining influence on my life.

I often think of my life. cancer.
And me.......after cancer.
It caused me to take a really hard look at myself.
And what I want to accomplish with my life.
It changed me.
It's still changing me.
I live life differently today.
Because of it.
I think I'm a better human being because of it.
I know I am.

7.   Taking Risks.

Being willing to take risks.
Has greatly defined who I am.
"With great risk.
Comes great reward."
I've heard that many times.
It's true.
And the very things in my life.
I can honestly say have made my life richer.
And more valuable.
All came.
ALL came.
From taking a risk.

I would have missed.
Many wonderful experiences,
Many opportunities,
If I hadn't been willing.

To stick my neck out.
To be afraid.
And uncomfortable.
To risk failing.
Or looking stupid.

Being willing to take risks.
Greatly defined my life.

I heard Beth Moore say once.
If you aren't willing to take a risk.
You will never.
(That's a strong word.)
Live out the purpose God has for your life.

I've settled that one.
And I keep taking them.

6.   Not being pampered

I wasn't pampered growing up.
And it definitely defined who I am.
Three brothers.
All of us close in age.
I got no special treatment.

Suck it up.
Stop your whining.
Do it yourself.
Learn the hard way.
A girly pampered life was foreign to me.
That was how I came up.
And it made me who I am.

I knew everything there was to know about football.
I rode motorcycles.
And go-carts.
I beat my brothers at Indian leg wrestling.
(still can....p.s.)
And learned to hold my own.

All of it turned out to be a good training ground.
For what would come down the road.
It made me strong.
And defined.
What I expect of myself.
And what I expect of others.

5.   Creativity

I love everything creative.
Making glass mosaics.
Putting things together.
Bringing things to life.
It's a defining influence in my life.
It fulfills me.
And makes me........ satisfied.
It taps into my happy place.
I can't image my life without it.
Definitely a defining influence.

4.    Serving in Africa

Most people don't get it.
Not everyone has the experience there that I did.
But I was broken there.
And I never got over it.
God used my time in Africa.
To widen my view of the world.
And give me a better picture of my place in it.
It was a place He used.
To remove a lot of barriers and walls in me.
And show me what's really important.

It happened there.
And it continues to happen there.
Every time I go.

3.   Tough Times

Tough times always have a defining influence on my life.
Through them.
Ready or not.
I see what I'm made of.
What I'm really.....made of.

And sometimes what I'm made of ain't so great and wonderful.
And other times.
I surprise myself.

But all the times.
What results.
From tough times.
Has a defining influence on me.
Much easier to see.....of course.
At the end of it.
Not so much in the mist of it.

2.     My Work

For someone that never knew what they wanted to do.
I fell into a career path.

And there I have remained.
For many, many years.
28 to be exact.

Totally unexpected.
But clearly what God had planned for me.
I've grown up there.
And met and worked with terrific people.
The best people in fact.
I've ever known.

A work that is meaningful.
That's allowed me to grow.
And make mistakes.
And have successes.

A work that's given me countless experiences.
Some difficult.
Many, many more rewarding.

All a defining influence on my life.

1.    Jesus

It's simple.
With Him is life.
And freedom.
And meaning.

I get it wrong all the time.
I still have so much to learn.
But no other influence.
Compares to His.

It's hard many times.
To depend on Him.
And trust Him.
Especially when the answers are not always clear.
And His timing seems too slow.

I'm learning as I go.
His influence.
I hope anyway.
Is the one that defines me the most.

No comments:

Post a Comment