In the last five days I've been to my favorite beach on the planet.
Decided on a major business decision.
Um, and my dad passed away.
And … just to keep things interesting, my husband and I paid our house off completely too. (Keep reading. The house being paid off had absolutely nothing and absolutely everything to do with dad passing away too.)
It's been quite a week.
Last Friday, I got a phone call that I needed to come see my dad in the hospital ~ he wasn't doing well.
I'd been with him the weekend before (to give my stepmom a few hours off), as dad had been struggling with dementia for quite awhile.
(They've been married since I was four, and bless her sweet heart, the woman is a saint and an amazing gift to our family. And a wonderful grandma to my kids, beyond what I could ever ask for!)
While we were there last weekend he just was off, and I knew things didn't look good.
So I headed to Kentucky Friday where he'd been hospitalized, stayed the night with him there, and felt when I left the next morning his future looked bleak.
Mercifully, he passed away Sunday night.
I'm not gonna lie. (I truly don't believe he'd ever expect me to.) Our relationship has been okay these last few years, but he'd made some choices along the way that has made my life a wee bit more difficult at times.
And these last few weeks as I've watched him struggle, for whatever reason I've questioned my own value, and Whose I really am over and over each day.
I've questioned my own parenting decisions, our family's financial decisions, and my business decisions. But more than anything, I've struggled way way deep down questioning my own self-worth. (Something I'm pretty sure I've struggled with since the very day I was born. Anyone else?)
I've watched my parents make a lot of decisions over the years. Some good, some not-quite-as-good, and I've learned so very much from them.
But over and over this last week as I've struggled through 43-years-of-deep-seated-self-doubt, the words “be a beautiful reaction” have been right at the front of my mind.
(A friend of mine took me to hear Bob Goff a few months ago where he talked about being a beautiful reaction to whatever life hands to us each day. I've posted it on my computer. Said it out loud to my husband. And muttered it to myself over and over recently in times of uncertainty.)
Fast forward 4 days.
Because the services aren't until early next week, my girls and I snuck away to the beach yesterday since we'd already had the trip planned.
Today we put our toes in the sand.
Jumped a few waves.
Got more sun that a few cute blonde girls could ever possibly need.
And had just the most lovely day.
But it gets better (keep reading!)
My husband called me tonight and was almost giddy with excitement.
He paid off our house today.
WE PAID OFF OUR HOUSE TODAY.
OUR WHOLE HOUSE.
Allllll the things.
They're all paid for.
We've been working towards this crazy-obnoxious-goal for the last few years, but over the last few months we kind of just got crazy.
And when dad passed away just a few days ago, I was reminded that I wanted to live this life knowing full well we were completely financially cared for.
So my sweet husband wrote the check today, giving us true financial peace that is beyond just crazy to me.
Now I'm not going to lie about this one either.
For the last ten years I haven't gone on vacation once without my laptop.
While other folks sleep in, I'm up almost every morning at 4:45AM so I can get started for the day and still (somewhat!) manage my family and home.
I haven't had a day off 100% fully from work except Christmas Day since September of 2009.
(That being said, I have an AMAZING TEAM and I'm now sometimes able to only work for a few hours while they handle so much of the rest. I am so crazy thankful for each of them and could never-ever-never do this on my own!)
My kids don't know though that other families discuss things besides business strategies, coming up with Facebook growth plans, and email marketing ideas around the dinner table at night. (Bless them, they tell me other stuff in their lives, but business talk always takes over the table. EEK!)
I wake up at least 3 mornings a-week-almost-every-week and do Facebook Live videos for a few thousand folks that are willing to watch.
(YOU GUYS. I HATE FACEBOOK LIVE AND I HATE VIDEO IN GENERAL WITH EVERY SINGLE OUNCE OF MYSELF. IT IS CRAZY PAINFUL FOR ME. But I know it works and is the only way I know to get “seen” in an awfully noisy world. So I do it despite the huge level of frustration I feel against it every day!)
And I watch other moms be normal moms, attend Bible Study, volunteer, and grab coffee or get their toenails done just for fun. I sometimes watch with a tinge of jealously, wondering what that must be like. But (at least most of the time?), I feel so strongly that what we do here on PPP might add true value for the million-or-so-folks who choose to stop by, that I keep right on typing.
I've chosen instead of coffee and long vacations and sleeping in, that at least for this season, my beautiful reaction to my parents good and sometimes not-good-at-all choices, I will figure this whole business thing out.
And today was oodles of proof that sometimes the hustle truly works.
I think my dad would have been plenty proud. (He'd always been super proud of me, and for that I'm forever thankful!)
I don't know much about what kind of past you've had either.
I don't know what kind of regrets you've seen.
And I don't know if you've ever been given something to deal with that just felt so much bigger than something you could ever tackle yourself.
But I do know this.
You and I get to choose to be a beautiful reaction to whatever life throws our way.
Although my heart has hurt more times than I ever would choose, I'm incredibly thankful that even in that hurt God has orchestrated so many unique opportunities for me to beautifully react each day.
And I have full faith that if He cares enough to do that with this mess-of-a-momma,
He absolutely cares enough for you to do the exact same thing too.
Don't give up on your crazy dreams.
Don't ever think once that something's way too big for you.
Know instead that if you're really willing to make a few sacrifices along the way, those small daily sacrifices might just add up to a whole heaping pile of success, turning your biggest dreams into reality too.
Whatever comes your way today,
be a beautiful reaction as you head along your way.
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