Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Live It Forward - In Real Life

The below article has nothing what so ever to do with home computing, but I felt compelled to share it here on Web Bytes Blog. Let me know your thoughts on this article or better yet checkout Kent’s Web site for more articles of this type if you are encouraged by this one.

Live It Forward - In Real Life
By Kent Julian (www.liveitforward.com)
If you read only one post from me, this is the one to read!

I wanted to update all of you on the life and times of the Julian family :-) But I really want you to understanding something as I share. Even though this has been a difficult week for us, Kathy and I feel like we are as blessed as ANYONE on the face of this planet. Let me explain.

Monday morning, my mother passed away suddenly. In other words, we were not expecting this. She had some health concerns, but nothing life threatening. So it was a surprise.

My mom lived her life well. Not perfectly, but well. She was a follower of Jesus Christ and stayed committed to Him during her entire life. During the past 2 days, this reality was very apparent to her family as over 1,000 people came either to the viewing or funeral to honor her life and her commitment to Christ. So while I'm sad that my mom is gone, I'm blown away by how many lives she impacted. If you get a chance, pray for my dad...the days ahead will be esp. sad and lonely for him.

Also, on Wednesday morning, Kathy and I rushed Kelsey (one of our twin daughters) to the hospital. I won't go into all the details, but 3 or 4 weeks ago we notice a few, slight changes in Kelsey--in her eating, drinking, energy-level, and more. The changes were very slight at first, but starting this past weekend everything accelerated, with each day getting worse. With all the chaos with my mom's death and our kitchen/hardwood floors being remodel (our house is currently a construction zone :-), we were not sure what was happening with her. We tried everything we knew to figure out what was going on and finally, in desperation, took her to the Emergency Room at Gwinnett Medical Center on Wednesday morning. Within a matter of minutes they diagnosed her with diabetes, and when all the test came back, we discovered she has Childhood Type 1 Diabetes. She is currently at Scottish Rite Hospital and all her training starts Friday.

So, our lives have changed a lot this week. Mom will no longer be with us here on earth. And we will now be a family learning what a "new normal" is all about. There is, of course, mourning and sadness. We have all shed tears during the past several days because Gramme is no longer with us and b/c Kelsey now has a life-long condition that, while she can live a normal life, requires constant monitoring, multiple shots and finger pricks on a daily basis, and more.

Yet again, Kathy and I feel as blessed as we've ever felt. Ever!!! One of our philosophies in life is that seldom are we in control of what happens to us, but we are always in control of our responses. In fact, the attitudes we embrace and the responses we choose are basically the only things in life of which we have 100% control. This is what I speak about and write about through my company--Live It Forward (www.liveitforward.com). Obviously, if I'm going to inspire others to live this way, I better be living this way myself.

So today, the Julian family chooses:

1. To embrace Kelsey's condition as normal.

2. To believe that Jesus is smiling on Kelsey, saying: "I have something extra special for you that you can only experience through having Diabetes. Trust me Kelsey, I have your absolute best in mind. I'm gracious and kind, and this condition is something that will ADD to your life, not take away from it. Remember, you are my special child."

3. Be excited about encouraging and leading Kelsey through the range of emotions she will experience because of this challenge. We know she will feel sad, scared, disappointed, and confused (we, as her parents, are feeling these emotions as well). However, we also know that as time goes on, Kelsey can choose to see her new life as normal and, even more, as something special and unique. What a great opportunity for Kathy and I to encourage and lead Kelsey, as well as Christopher and McKenize, through new challenges and options we could never have experienced without having a family member with Diabetes. As a family, we are beginning to realize that these new challenges also lead to new adventures that we would never have the privilege of experiencing if not for our "new normal." Sure, there are costs, but there are also unique privileges and rewards that we could never experience others.

4. To know that Kelsey will be an overachiever, which she has always been. One of my nicknames for her is "Competitive Princess." If you know Kelsey, you know she is sweet, quiet, gentle, and kind (i.e. "Princess"). Yet, you might not know that while quiet and gentle, she is extremely driven (i.e. "competitive"). Hence, my nickname "Competitive Princess." I think that nickname fits her even more now.

5. To understand that we are so BLESSED to live in the USA. Kathy grew up overseas in a third world country and KNOWS how hard it would be to support our daughter in a different county. I've led over a dozen short-term youth ministry mission trips and have seen this reality myself firsthand. The opportunity to embrace a "new normal" has a lot to do with the privilege of living here.

6. To understand the AMAZING communities which surround us. Stonemill Church, the Stingrays Swim Team, Jackson Elementary School (where Kathy works), and the national entrepreneurial networks like 48Days.Net and FreeAgentAcademy.com (networks I am connected with through my business) have been amazing during this week. We are thankful for each of you who have given of yourself to us.

7. To "live it forward" in the most important roles of our lives. To live WAY BEYOND our average.

I could say so much more, but are you beginning to see why we feel so blessed? While we would not choose Type 1 Diabetes for Kelsey (and we know she would not choose this path either), we do choose to accept it and believe Kelsey will do the same. But even more, we choose not to just accept it, but to embrace it! To experience life in a new and even better way. To choose, by faith, to know that Jesus has Kelsey's very best in mind. We choose to "live it forward" and live WAY BEYOND our average.

For the Julian family, these are not empty words...they are words by which we live.

© 2009 Kent Julian, Live It Forward LLC — All Rights Reserved

Life and career coach Kent Julian, "America's Career Coach for a New Generation," publishes the "Live It Forward™ REAL Success EZine," a bi-monthly ezine filled with free tips and strategies for pursuing the life and work you love. If you are ready to jump-start your career and find more joy and fulfillment in life, join the growing and dynamic Live It Forward community now at http://www.liveitforward.com

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