From Grace to Gratitude
The theme for this past year at WellSprings was GRACE. My intention was to extend and receive more grace throughout the year of 2019. All of us at WellSprings faced difficulties and challenges as well as successes and celebrations just like all of you. We have striven to grow in grace through all of our circumstances.
As I have said good-bye to my precious father in November of this year, my spirit is heavy and I truly feel that I have received much more grace than I have extended. My father was an amazing man with accomplishments known to many. He was an accomplished General Surgeon, philanthropist to our community and state, leader serving on many boards throughout our state and country. He left a legacy of being a servant leader that I will strive to follow throughout the rest of my life.
He also had another side, my Dad. I want to share the following that I asked the preacher to read for me at his funeral. “Many of you know my Dad in a very professional role, whether that be as a physician, leader, board member, a giving steward of his blessings, Sunday school teacher or in many other roles.
Yet I would love for you to see just a little different picture of the man I called ‘Dad’ and my children called ‘Grandpa.’
From the time he was in college and worked on an old beautiful farm in Midway, he was fascinated by landscaping and gardening. He could just look at some plant or rose and it would flourish. We all have vivid memories of weeding, trimming and mowing in the yard and garden with him.
When I had my one month driving permit at the age of 16, he took me out every night to practice parallel parking behind every single car on Jefferson and West Jefferson and to this day I can do it!
He spent hours fixing the most amazing fruit salads for every family event and gathering. Usually enough to feed an army.
He was eager to keep up his dexterity for surgical skills and would spend hours at night doing needlepoint work. I remember his needlework loom that he kept in the living room at night and worked on a beautiful fireplace screen while watching football.
I loved watching sports with him especially football and basketball as he would teach me all the rules. If I ever struggled to decide what team to cheer for, he would definitely let me know. He would get every dog we ever had all worked up and then calm them down as well by just talking to them. He LOVED dogs, especially dachshunds.
He taught me to suture “the right way” when I was doing a high school science project.
Once he retired, he would be the chaperone to take my three children to school, always wearing his Disney cap that said, “Grumpy Doc.”
He absolutely LOVED to play in the snow. He would wish for snow every winter and spend hours throwing snowballs with us, building snowmen or pulling us around on a sled.
He believed in staying an informed and educated citizen, reading the newspaper daily. However, the first section that he would go to in the newspaper would be the comic strips/cartoons. And if there was a grandchild in sight, he would either get down on the floor with them or grab them up in his lap and read to them as he pointed to the pictures with his glittering blue eyes.
I would be remiss not talking about the HOURS we would spend playing Rook as a family. He loved teaching us and all of the grandchildren how to play Rook. He did not always win, but he would ALWAYS bid. He would rather go set than let someone else get the widow.
My Dad, was simply AMAZING!”
As I reflect on his life, and honestly on mine, I am touched by the fact that the most important part of our legacy we leave behind are the relationships we have with not only those we love the most but also those we barely know. This thought has formed the theme for the upcoming year for me personally, as well as at WellSprings.
Our theme this year is GRATITUDE! I am so grateful for my Dad and his legacy and especially his LOVE.
With the loss of my Dad as well as three close friends, each in their 40’s, 50’s or 60’s in the last two months, I am reminded of a beautiful poem by Linda Ellis:
THE DASH, the poem by Linda Ellis
I read of a man who stood to speak at the funeral of a friend. He referred to the dates on the tombstone from the beginning… to the end.
He noted that first came the date of birth and spoke of the following date with tears, but he said what mattered most of all was the dash between those years.
For that dash represents all the time they spent alive on earth and now only those who loved them know what that little line is worth.
For it matters not, how much we own, the cars… the house… the cash. What matters is how we live and love and how we spend our dash.
So think about this long and hard; are there things you’d like to change? For you never know how much time is left that still can be rearranged.
To be less quick to anger and show appreciation more and love the people in our lives like we’ve never loved before.
If we treat each other with respect and more often wear a smile… remembering that this special dash might only last a little while.
So when your eulogy is being read, with your life’s actions to rehash, would you be proud of the things they say about how you lived your dash?
I have recommitted to God and honestly to myself to live for Him more fully in 2020 as I steward my temple, my life, my “dash” with my choices, focusing on gratitude in the big and small things.
Colossians 1:9-14, “For this reason also, since the day we heard of it, we have not ceased to pray for you and to ask that you may be filled with the knowledge of His will in all spiritual wisdom and understanding, so that you may walk in a manner worthy of the Lord, to please Him in all respects, bearing fruit in every good work and increasing in the knowledge of God; strengthened with all power, according to His glorious might, for the attaining of all steadfastness and patience; joyously giving thanks to the Father, who has qualified us to share in the inheritance of the saints in light. The Incomparable Christ for He delivered us from the domain of darkness, and transferred us to the kingdom of His beloved Son, in whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins.”
I truly believe that we are not able to walk worthy and bear fruit to our full God-given ability, if we are not intentional about developing our spiritual and physical health. So, as I am focusing on how grateful I am for my God-given abilities and resources and health and blessings, I am holding myself accountable to be thoughtful about my choices and steward them well for Him. I want to encourage you to do the same. Each one of us must figure this out for ourselves, but I ask you to consider some of the following:
- Begin a daily morning Bible reading.
- Journal your prayers and frequently look back and see God’s hand in answering them.
- Start a deep-dive word study in the Word.
- Begin a bible study with a group of friends.
- Spend some spontaneous fun time.
- Listen to your heart and do some things for yourself that put a smile on your face.
- Begin a yoga practice
- Incorporate movement into your day with less sitting and more moving
- Lift weights or do weight training 2-3 times a week, seeking advice from a trainer if you have never done this before
- Drink more water
- Drink fewer sodas every week so that by the end of 2020, you have eliminated sodas from your life
- Stop using artificial sweeteners
- Eat more vegetables. Find a new vegetable in the produce section of the grocery every month and find a way to prepare it. ENJOY!
- Eat more fruit.
- Eat more whole, real food and less processed, packaged and fast food
- Add Juice Plus to your daily regimen: Studies have shown that to optimize health and prevent disease we need 9-13 servings of a variety of fruits and vegetables every day. I am very diligent about what I eat, however, I cannot get the variety and the number of servings I know that I need to optimize my health, therefore Juice Plus is my extra insurance that I need. As I take these capsules, I flood my body with over 30 servings of fruits and vegetables every day. If you are interested in adding this to your daily health plan, please call us at WellSprings and we can help you get started on this.
- Love your skin by using a daily regimen of Cleansing and Toning your skin twice a day and using a scrub twice a week.
- Wear sunscreen every day
- Add skin care products that help cell turnover, minimize the texture irregularity, pigmentation and fine lines.
- Add more LOVE
- Write notes of gratitude
- Start a daily gratitude habit
Add choices that you can think of that will improve your spiritual and physical health and lead to fruit-bearing for the Lord.
I am so grateful for all of you who allow us at WellSprings to be a part of your story and journey in this life.
Blessings to you in 2020!