Posts Tagged ‘#reallife’

Fairy tales are to girls what big truck shows are to boys … they grab their attention from beginning to end, they amaze the viewer and make them think that what they see and hear is actually attainable reality … it is not.

Fairy tales are just that, they are the tales, or stories, that include imaginary characters such as fairies, or dwarfs, or talking mice, or flying carpets. They are, from their very name, made up stories, full of made up characters, and made up endings.

If I were to write a fairy tale it would be different, and probably not as widely read, or made into a major motion picture. Little girls would not wear t-shirts of the princess, or have her coloring book, night lights and video games. No, the ‘fairy’ parts would be absent. But, the ending would, in all honesty, be better than any starry-eyed little girl could ever imagine.

Here is my version (we will call it the Carole’s Notes Version):

Once upon a time …

In a land not too far away, lived a young woman with many dreams in her head. She dreamed of her future every day, and went to the King daily to ask him to lead her in the direction he had for her, and for the strength to do all that she needed to do in order to fulfill those dreams. She knew that the fulfillment of her dreams was reliant on her, and her trust in the wisdom of the King. She knew that she would have to work hard, stay focused and not expect for her dreams to just fall into her lap.

She knew that her goals could only be obtained by first getting a good education, so she studied her best and worked at her school work as if it were her job.

This princess was one who worked hard at all that she did, but she also played hard, knew how to have fun and how to relax.

She also knew that her goals could not be obtained without the support of good friends … girl friends and boy friends. These relationships would be chosen ones, ones that encouraged her to be a better person, as well as relationships of sharing the experiences of growing up. Romance was not in the cards for her at this point in her life, because she knew that it would only serve to divert her attention from the goals set out for her by her own mind, and by the King.

The princess made efforts to be helpful and kind to those around her. She tried to treat others fairly and with mercy. She acknowledged that she was given much in her life, and she needed to share what she had with others.

Throughout her life, the princess pursued her dreams, and relied on the King, but doing good and living right did not always prevent bad, disappointing and sad things from happening in her life. When she was just a young woman her mother died. She did eventually meet a Prince of a man, and marry him, and they shared a deep love, but marriage, she found was not an easy thing, and there were times when she wished she had not married him (and times when she could tell her prince wished the same of his marriage to her). There were times when the pressures of paying the bills for their castle small house just about smothered the princess. The couple had children who they loved, but who did not always look, act or smell nice.

Life was not happily ever after for the princess, despite her best efforts at living well, but she did live a life of joy, always thanking the king for all that she had.

When she reached her later years, she was still seeking the wisdom of the King every day. He was the focus of her days, He was the anchor that kept her where she was, and heading in the same direction. He was her focus …

And when she was breathing her last, she heard the voice of the King whisper into her soul, “well done, good and faithful servant, come and share your King’s happiness” (Matthew 25:23) … and there, in that kingdom, she lived, happily ever after.

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There is nothing as life reflective as going to a wedding anniversary party for a couple married more than forty years, or a birthday for someone over seventy, or a funeral of one who has lived long.

To attend such a function is to look at your own life through different eyes. Eyes that look back, eyes that look forward.

I love these events because you get to look at where someone is, and see their life in reverse.

Real life is not lived in reverse.

Real life is lived today, appreciating the journey that brought us thus far, and dreaming of the future to come though the future is always without guarantees. Today needs to be fully enjoyed, fully lived, because it could always be our last.

Whenever I attend those special events, I intentionally remind myself of three things :

1. Live with faith in God. Of the many celebrations I have attended, the ones where God’s presence in the life of the celebrated has been acknowledged, there is no fear of the future, and only thanks for the past. The life of one with a faith in God is one of acknowledging that the best is always yet to come.

2. Family comes first. If I want to be celebrated in such a warm and loving way, treat those who would host such an event well today. That means, family comes before career, before obligations, before friends. My theory is, treat our kids with respect because they will be the ones choosing my care home someday! Family comes first.

3. Live with legacy in mind. How I live today is the pen to paper writing the story of what I will leave behind. I have been to celebrations of life and marriage that are rich in love, in positive impact on others, in stories. I have also been to such celebrations that are barren … simply a nice meal, and pretty decor, but empty of substance, and full of tensions. How we treat others, how we give, the choices that we make all form the legacy that we leave. Live with legacy in mind.

To live intentionally with the goals to live with faith in God, family first, and to live with legacy in mind, is to live well, in the present, through the lens of the future.

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