The Roller Coaster of Life
I absolutely love when my life feels a bit like an amusement park ride. The excitement, the thrill, the unknown, the joy I feel when I turn another corner and find adventure still lives up ahead and the ride seems to go on forever. We don’t always know what’s right in front of us.
Of course there were those times, moments, even years where the ride felt more like a nightmare than a dream. Sorrow, hurt, regrets.....I’m not immune to the darkness that comes from going through a mysterious tunnel of fear or doubt or insecurity or a number of other emotions I experience. Sometimes I was successful in navigating the rough path strewn out before me. Other times I’d fall flat on my face and land in a puddle of tears and heartache.
Life is unpredictable and the only thing we can control is how we respond to any given situation, challenge, distraction or painful setback.
Lately I’ve been feeling like I’m soaring. Change is good and I’ve been immersed deeply in every aspect of it in my life. Traveling for nearly a year, changing homes every week to month, settling in a real home in Nashville and looking for work and purpose here. Big things are on the horizon and I’m taking my place, best I can.
One aspect of change I’d like to hone in on is the art of giving. Giving can catapult you into a new era of peace, joy and yes even prosperity if you apply yourself.
My grandpa has been planting stunning gladiolus for well over 60 + years. He takes pride in the breeding and cross breeding of multi color beauties that grow as high as 5’ tall. Now if you don’t know about glads I should tell you that every spring you plant their bulbs 6” apart, roughly 6” deep into the ground and cover them with hearty soil. Water, wait and watch the miracle of life happen as they shoot up from the ground. He would harvest about 2-3000 bulbs a year. You read me right!!!! You can’t imagine the size of his garden and that’s not even the edible portion. Every harvest season he could cut 1-5 dozen stems a day while they bloom out. The work doesn’t stop there. In the fall every single bulb must be dug up, cleaned off, spread out on a flat surface (the old hay rack) and left to dry out over the winter so they’re ready to replant in the spring. Oh my heavens, what a process! What a grand amount of work....and all for what?
This brings me to the point my story. Grandpa Wayne spends such time, care, and attention in hosting these lovely creations in his prosperous garden.....why? TO GIVE! And to put a smile on peoples faces. I truly cares deeply for each person he gets to love on with his gift. He cuts and carries these beauties off to nursing homes, assisted living facilities, county offices, police stations, doctors offices, shops and even fast food places in town. He never expects a thing in return for all his hard work (at the age of 90, no less)! That’s true giving., my friends.
He gives cards to each person at the nursing home every Christmas and takes time to stop in their rooms for a little 3-10 minute chat. Every single time he enters an elderly persons private quarters he takes time to ask not only how they’re doing but all about their family or hobby or whatever else came to mind I suppose. He always concludes with a heartfelt prayer. He is unashamed of Jesus and has powerful stories to backup our Savior’s love.
He is my numero uno super hero when it comes to giving and compassion.
Why is this something I want to highlight when I was clearly talking about the roller coaster of life? Because being generous is one of the few things you can control and the outcome has far reaching effects on countless individuals and organizations. Giving is POWERFUL! Generosity is key to living the ultimate, meaningful, wild ride of a life....in other words Live Decorated by being generous.
Even if you don’t have much to give, you have something. Energy, wisdom, assistance, advice, a leg up, an introduction, a compliment...these are just a few ways you can get out of your comfortable place of existence and reach out a hand to another.
How do you give back? How are you pouring yourself into others without expecting a return? Donate your time, money, gifts and talents to someone in need or a cause bigger than yourself. The results can be grander than your mind can imagine.
Take the challenge.
Join the journey.
Be a giver.
Here’s the latest video and grandpa‘s all over it.