How might your life be different if you knew today was the last day you had to live it?
That is a question that really makes me think. Nobody wants to look back and regret not living life to the fullest, and we all want to leave a strong legacy and make an impact on other people’s lives. So today I’m welcoming my friend Robin Bertram as a guest on my blog. She has a powerful message about this subject which she learned from her quest to learn to live with no regrets and appreciate the gift of life.
Read the bottom of the post for how to enter to win a copy of her new book No Regrets: How Loving Deeply and Living Passionately Can Impact Your Legacy Forever.
When I was a little girl, I remember going to Monterey, Virginia, for the Maple Syrup Festival each year. The festival was considered to be “Virginia’s Sweet Spot.” It was like taking a step back in time. Buckets dotted the mountainside; they were strategically placed under taps that were drilled into the maple tress where they were still “opened” by hand. A vacuum pump was used to increase the flow of sugar water, and miles of plastic tubing made it easier to gather. This process is started by reverse osmosis and finished by oil-fired evaporators. The sugar water is collected and then cooked in a wood-fired open pan and finished in an iron kettle.
We went every year, and the day was always filled with fond memories. It was such a big deal to me. We would get up early in the morning and make the drive in the spring of the year. I loved to look at the beautiful flowers that were just starting to bloom. I loved the buckwheat pancakes that were being offered up. They even had a Maple Syrup Queen. Yes, you heard me; a beauty pageant was held in honor of the festival and a winner was crowned. I loved the smell of maple syrup in the air and the candy (lots of candy). Maple doughnuts, maple pit-cooked BBQ, pork skins, and those delicious pancakes were the highlight of the festival in my mind. Sweet memories. When was the last time you shared memorable moments like this with those you love?
As adults, we often forget the fun things. We forget the events that brought us joy as a child, and we become so busy in life we forget to enjoy it and to help our families enjoy it. Often it takes a major life crisis to get us to the point of understanding that life is short and we have to embrace every moment with joy.
Why wait? Why not embrace all that life has to offer and live your life in such a way that you too can say, “I have no regrets.” Why not decide that you won’t need a crisis to enjoy life to its fullest, but instead decide today that you are going to love living? Love it, no matter the circumstances.
PILLARS OF ABUNDANT LIVING
I perceived that there is nothing better for them than to be joyful and to do good as long as they live; also that everyone should eat and drink and take pleasure in all his toil—this is God’s gift to man (Eccl 3:12-13 ESV).
Most of us know what we need to change, what we want to change, and what we can change so that we can live the life God wants us to live. Perhaps for you, it’s not about changing anything. I know that when a death sentence was handed down, I realized I wanted to get more out of life and to put more into life. I began to press into God more. I began to love more. I began to laugh more. I began to notice the small things in life. I began to celebrate more. I began to treasure my days more, and instead of just getting though my daily schedule with all the time constraints and deadlines, I began to embrace life.
A New Lease on Life
When the year of waiting to die was up, I went back to the Mayo Clinic. Tests were run. Inexplicably, there was no sign of the disease and no further damage. A year-and-a-half later, the Mayo Clinic released me with no explanation because they could not determine what had happened to me. To say I was relieved would be a huge understatement. However, during that first year, I had to deal with many internal struggles regarding end-of-life issues. One question that continually came to mind was, “What makes life worth living for me?”
Slowly, the answers came. I realized that living a life that has worth and value is living a life that pleases God. What did I learn? I learned the importance of loving deeply. I learned how to forgive without reservation. I learned to treasure the little things in life. I learned who I was and what I truly believed. I learned to have a heart of gratitude, and most importantly, I learned how to surrender.
How would I view my life from the rearview mirror?
Not only did the issue with my health change the way I think about day-to-day living, but it also gave me a new perspective on life. It gave me a desire to accomplish the God-inspired goals I had conveniently put on hold. It gave me the impetus to finish projects that had been on my heart for years. It gave me a desire to say “thank you” more often and mean it. I wanted to dance more, sing more, laugh more, and love more. I ask you, “Why wait?” Why not live this day as though it were your last?
The LORD is my strength and my shield; My heart trusts in Him, and I am helped; Therefore my heart exults, And with my song I shall thank Him (Ps 28:7 NASB).
TO ENTER to win a copy of NO REGRETS , leave a comment sharing one thing you can do differently to start appreciating and loving life more.
Robin Bertram is an Author, seasoned conference speaker, and host of nationally syndicated television program “Freedom Today”. She is the National Regions Director for Christian Women in Media. She serves on the National Advisory Board and was honored with the 2010 and 2012 National Advisory Board Service Award.
In addition to her own nationally syndicated program, Freedom Today Television on NRB Network, Robin has appeared as a guest on numerous television shows, such as TCT’s “Rejoice” “The Mike Simon Show” of Promiseland Network, “How to Beat the Odds” LeSEA’s “The Harvest Show” CTN’s “Bridges” and “The Herman and Sharron Show”
Find out more about Robin on her website by clicking HERE.