This morning I want to tell you a story. One about sharing what I have learned about life. Life is a choice. You can dwell on all those that have given you hardness and grief, those who have made you sad and cry, and those who have betrayed your complete trust in them. This is not that story. I forgive those who have betrayed me. I pray for those people daily as I have always found that peoples words and actions tell you a lot more about their pain and sorrow than anything they could ever do or say about you. Remember that, most people who cause your grief are just broken people whose only way of coping is to make others feel bad so they can feel better about themselves. That never works but that is not my story today.
This is a story that if you choose to believe that life is about LOVE you will find that LIFE is a true blessing. Choose LOVE and choose living life to your fullest. All I have ever wanted in life was to love and be loved. Simple right? Harder than you think so we have to continue to work to be better than we are and I will tell you I learn that lesson every single day. I have to do better and I sure try.
Yesterday I had my doctor’s check up for my diabetes determining when or if I will ever be able to get off of all the medication I have to take. Blood tests were done. I have worked really hard to change everything about my life so I can live healthy and to get off this medication. This has not been easy, In fact, one of the hardest things I have ever had to do as I enjoy eating, especially all the good stuff. Homemade yeast rolls with butter, homemade cookies, homemade pies with Blue Bell Ice Cream and then boom. I can no longer have none of those delicious treats as on a plant based diet with a few fruits like berries and select small quantities of nuts. I told myself that this would be okay as I have had enough good stuff in my lifetime, it was time to pay the piper if I wanted to live.
All of that to deal with then Covid hit, stuck at home for now going on two years, with my high health risk of being a Senior Senior with heart and health problems, and a B positive blood type. My doctor instructed me to stay at home so I did. I want to live. I have a new grandson that is everything to me, I want to see him grow up.
Then we got hit here in East Texas with an ice storm that was unprecedented since another freeze back in 1963. Below zero temperatures in East Texas, shoot Texas, and beyond for that matter. All my pipes froze even with running, dripping water and burst throughout my entire house. Stalagtite icicles went around my cabin from roof to ground. I could not get my screen door open due to ice and foot of snow. I was trapped inside for weeks with no water, rolling electricity blackouts, loss then of phone and internet. Wait this is not the 1800’s then is 2021. I became a pioneer woman left to melting snow for cooking and bathing. It took me 3 and a half weeks to get my pipes replaced due to high demand of plumbers and cost me nearly $4,000. Then my heating and air conditioning went out. Murphy’s Law strikes again.
As I sit here in my polar fleece robe it’s freezing cold in my cabin. Later on the doors will be open and I’ll be roasting from the heat. Not condusive temperatures to truly get any work done comfortably. I am so spoiled. Yes, I am. 78 people were behind me with my plumber to get their homes replumbed, can you imagine. Lots of hits at my little cabin in the woods that I appropriately named Murphy’s Law. Others have it so much worse, I will not feel sorry for myself. I will be pro-active and just deal with it.
Yesterday after the doctors visit I listened to author, Adriana Trigiani’s interview and showcase one of my favorite personal authors, Anne Lamott. She said something very profound, in fact, she always says everything very profound to me but this stuck. She was paraphrasing Mr. Rogers, of Mr. Rogers Neighborhood television program, another personal favorite of mine Something that his mother said to him, “Look for the givers”. There are so many that have given to me in this world. I look to them.
Yesterday I spoke to my daughters, my childhood best friend Heidi Surber Teichgraeber and my Aunt Marty out in Palm Springs, California. I talked to all of them. They listened to me, they asked about me, and I told them my story and they told me their stories too. No judgement, they just listened and told me how much they loved me as I did to them. Are you paying attention?
Love. Life is very simple. Life is a choice and the choice you should always make is Love. Life can hit me with its best shot. Life is not fair, not fair at all. I was really paying attention this morning when I woke up as I was thinking about all the angels in my life. You know those people that walk this planet that reach out to you to offer a listening ear. The encouragers, you can do this Kathy. I am with you Kathy. Angels like my authors, Stephanie Chance, Tamara Bolton, Mandy Haynes, Robert Gwaltney and book club members like Margie Dilday. Tiajuana Anderson Neel was an angel, now up in the big library in the sky. Yes, I can do this and in this so called life I have “gone back to school” over and over relearning the lessons life gives us. I am currently working on the sequel book, “The Pulpwood Queen Goes Back to School” as we speak. It’s all about the story and nobody can tell your story better than you. Write your story. You will find out more about yourself than anybody and that is a really good thing. You will know what you believe in then follow those beliefs.
As Easter is upon us for me as I was raised Christian, this was always a very special time for me. I was very involved in my church back home, the First Christian and Congregational Church of Eureka, Kansas. Sunday, Easter Morning, we would get up before the chickens. It was still dark. We would throw on our blue jeans and a jacket, electric rollers on my head, and all travel out to the Christian Hills in Greenwood County, our own church camp nestled in the Flint Hills of southeastern Kansas, near my hometown of Eureka, Kansas. We as a congregation would all gather in the lodge and then when everyone arrived we would walk out through the prairie fields to a hill where a tall cross had been planted for years and have our Sunrise Service. Just writing about it I am right there now. Reverend Daniels would open the service and we would hear the message of Christ dying on the cross, dying for our sins only to be resurrected. The day had come as the sun burst forth over the hill to shine on the cross and all of us. The message was heard an heard well.
This is my story and each and every one of you have stories too of how you were raised, what your faith and beliefs are, and how you navigate this world. For me the story is all about Love. Love costs nothing and it’s free to give. I give it freely to all of you today. Choose Love.
This week has all been about this year’s theme “It’s all about the story.” Do you have a story of Love. If so, I certainly hope you will share it because that is how we all get to know each other better. We share our stories and exactly why my book club, The International Pulpwood Queens and Timber Guys Book Club Reading Nation is so important to me. By reading and reading a lot I have found out in life what is really important. Books have always saved me, over and over again. Honestly, reading is the one true thing I most love in this world besides all my family, friends, and dear beloved pets, so share your story. I know it is going to be a good one.
Singing, “This is my story, this is my song”!
Truly, Tiara Wearing and Book Sharing going on now for 21 years,
Kathy L. Murphy
CEO and Founder of The International Pulpwood Queens and Timber Guys Book Club Reading Nation
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