You have no guarantee of tomorrow. Hug them today.

Diana WinklerPhysical Violence

Brian, Diana, and Bear at Saving Paws Rescue

Some of you know that we lost our dog Bear suddenly last week. As far as we knew, he was a healthy and active dog of 8 years old. We woke up on 9-11 and found Bear on the floor unable to get up for his breakfast. We rushed him to the hospital where they worked hard to stabilize him. The vet revealed to us that he had cancer all over his body, and he was declining rapidly. We had to say goodbye to our beloved dog that day. For those of you who have lost a pet, it is devastating. He was spoiled rotten every day of his life with us. We were thankful for so many good times.

Life is short

The book of Ecclesiastes is very good about bringing us to the realities of death, even to go so far as to say death is good because it gets us to look to God and our finite selves. You’ve all been told to Carpe Diem or Seize the Day! How true is the fact that we don’t think about this until we get terminally sick, someone close to us dies, or we have a close call to death.

We’re going to give you a little reminder now instead of later why you need to live each day to the fullness and love those around you.

Things can change in an instant.

Losing your job, a natural disaster, a car accident, a terrorist attack, and The Rapture are events that can change your life very fast. There is no warning. It is a reality of life. We don’t know when terrible things will happen in our lives. We can’t prevent everything either as much as we wish we could.

Do you think those people in the Twin Towers expected a terrorist attack when they woke up for work that day? No, they didn’t. They went through their usual routines. That unthinkable, horrific day. We feel totally powerless to do anything.

Today is the day to live.

Those of us who survive when our loved ones leave this world, must go on living. There are many thoughts about living we just ignore day to day in our busy lives until it is too late.

My dog Bear was 130 pounds at his heaviest. He required daily walks and exercise for sure. There were many nights I didn’t feel like taking him for a walk or playing with him in the backyard. Most of the time I sucked it up and did it because I loved him and he was home all day waiting for us to get home. We would cuddle on the couch and share niblets of food together. He was usually in the way or blocking us since our home is small and he was so big. Sometimes he could be a real pain with all the begging he would do or bugging us when we were in the middle of something. But 99% of the time he was such a good dog. He never barked or dug up the yard or peed in the house. He loved everybody. Everybody loved him. What I wouldn’t give to have him back with us. There is definitely a hole in our hearts. It is hard to go on without him. But someday we will invite another dog into our family who needs a home.

Make amends with your family

Yes, we all have those skeletons in the closet, estranged family members, and words exchanged that you both regret. Make that call today and make things right. It might not be perfect but it is better than wondering “what if” during those dark times. I didn’t talk to some family members for years. We are now all talking to each other at least. We have some hard days, but we are working through it.

Enjoy your children while they are young

Take that Disney vacation with them. Go swimming with them. Read a book to them. When you are tired, listen to their stories and ramblings. It’s so easy to get annoyed with the kids or frustrated with our spouse. It’s common to take our loved ones for granted. That’s being human. Take a deep breath next time and evaluate the situation long term. Your whiney two year old won’t be this age forever.

Take care of your health now

Lose weight, quit smoking, reduce your stress level, start that exercise program, eat your vegetables. If you don’t have good health, you can’t enjoy life to its fullest. Even small changes to your diet and exercise help. Quitting smoking even if you smoked all your life is possible. Your body can heal if you let it.

Get an education or continue your education.

My aunt went back to school at 50 years old to get her high school diploma. It is never too late to get an education. Perhaps you want to go to college. You want to go to the next stage in your career and need a masters degree or doctorate. There are ways to afford an education today. Scholarships, grants, work study, military service, and some employers will pay for job related college coursework. Where there is a will, there is a way.

Quit that dead end job!

Life is too short to spend 8+ hours at a job that you hate. It is not worth it in the long run. I thought I was going to have a heart attack before I turned 50 at my last job. My stress level was so high. My stomach hurt Sunday night. I made a lot of money, but after a lot of thought I decided I would rather make less money than suffer in that job any longer. My new position is much less stressful and I don’t miss the money as much as I thought I would. I enjoy going to work everyday. Life is good.

Learn a new skill you’ve always wanted to do

Maybe you want to learn to paint, learn to play the piano, speak a foreign language, travel to a distant country, or run a marathon. Now is the time! Quit watching Netflix and Facebook and spend the time using it for your new hobby! Even 15 minutes of cross stitch or knitting is an enjoyable break from your day.

I went to one of those “paint your dog” classes for our dog rescue fundraiser. I am not very good at painting figures, but the instructors were great and it was so much fun! I had a portrait of my dog, made some new friends, and had an enjoyable afternoon. Try it!

Live life on your terms

Stay away from the people who suck the life out of your soul. Create some boundaries against the negative energy out there. Decide for yourself how you want to live your life. Choose how your day unfolds. Don’t give it to someone else to decide. You are responsible to God for your own life, and you should never let anyone else manipulate you into something that is not right for you.

Get out of that abusive relationship

If you have been reading my blog posts for any length of time, you know that I am an abuse survivor. The only reason I am out of that toxic, abusive relationship is because I woke up one morning and realized I have one life to live and I was miserable. I could not imagine the rest of my life with that man. It was destroying me. I woke up and made a choice.

Start taking little steps today towards your goal to leave. It will be hard. It will be scary. But you owe it to yourself and to your children to have a new life free of abuse, trauma, and fear. There are many people who will help you. I will help you. Just reach out and be willing.

Get your will and health care directive written

Yes, that is a morbid thought to plan your own funeral and make life and death decisions now when you are not sick. But it is better than your family dealing with it during a crisis or your death. Do it now while you can still think these things through and choose wisely.

Get right with God

Eternity is forever. When you draw your last breath, you will step into eternity. Are you prepared for that? Do you have assurance of a home with God in heaven? You might be reading this blog and not even have a relationship with God. You don’t know how to start. You have questions and doubts. You are angry with God. That’s ok to have those thoughts. They are valid. Just don’t stay there. Reach out to someone and get those taken care of. Look for a bible believing church. Open a bible and read the book of Luke. Have coffee with a friend you know that is a Christian. He or she would love to talk to you about faith and walking with God. You are also free to email me too.

If you are a Christian but have walked away from Him and struggling with your beliefs, you should take steps to get reconciled to the Lord. He is patiently waiting and wanting to meet with you. It is OK to be mad with Him sometimes, because you don’t understand why He does things. It is OK to struggle with sin in your life. We all do. Just don’t cave in to it. He understands that we are weak. Life is always better with God alongside you. Take care of that today.

Take action today

I hope this gives you a little food for thought. None of have any guarantee of tomorrow. We have the day the Lord gives us now. Make the most of it.