I am a constant work in progress.  I am a full time working Mom, with two teenage daughters and two daughters in their thirties!  When I get home from work at around 9:30p.m., I make a concerted effort to take the time to talk to my children and listen to what transpired in their lives, while fighting sleep.  My 85 year old Mother lives with us and I love sitting by her each night to get an update on the political stories and the court cases that she has watched that day.  As many friends do, I attempt to listen and help my friends who are experiencing life’s challenges.  I also fit in working out, here and there.  Sadly, at the end of my busy day, my dear husband gets what is left over – a tired, sleepy woman.  Does that sound like anyone you know?  I am being real.  For the women reading this, we have to take time for ourselves and our mates.

Breast cancer opened up my eyes and the saying “Wake up and smell the coffee” very aptly applies to my life.  The article quoted below helped me to realize that I need to have enough room for the cream in that coffee that I am so blessed to be alive to smell.

Today, July 22, 2013, is 27 years since my first husband and first love was tragically killed in a plane crash.  He still has a special place in my heart.  I am now blessed to have a wonderful husband who loves me and our children dearly.  This article and the painful memory of losing someone I loved, makes it even more important to leave room for cream in my life!!  I hope it does the same for you!!

”Here is an encouragement that can be a permanent reminder throughout our entire lives – some people literally overfull their cups….enjoy!!

“The thief comes only to   steal, and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it   to the full.” John 10:10 (NIV)“Shall   I leave room for cream?” the smiling barista asks me as I place my   coffee order.

I smile back at her and nod, anticipating receiving my cup full of dark liquid so I can carry it over to the doctoring station and customize it with a generous splash of cream and two sweeteners.

As I wait in line to create my comfort in a cup, I ponder the barista’s question. I think about the idea of leaving room for cream—not just in my cup, but in my life. I always leave room for cream in my coffee, but I can’t honestly say I always leave room for cream in my life.

Cream sweetens and lightens and richens. How do I leave room in my life for the things that sweeten and lighten and richen? As I pour and stir, my thoughts drift to the last week. I’ve done the have-to’s: laundry, carpool, dishes, exercise. But it’s harder to think of those little extras that fill my cup to the brim… sweet, white, rich extras.

Sweet: Time with friends just laughing and enjoying each other. Turning on a favorite song and dancing in the kitchen. Listening to my children when they talk. Taking the extra time to hear their hearts. Putting fun things I look forward to on the calendar. Turning the pages of a novel just for the joy of experiencing a great story. Pushing pause on my life so I can rest and recharge.

Light: Time in God’s Word, which the Bible says is a light for our path in life. Journaling what He’s telling me and what I’m learning about life. Time to pour my worries and anxieties out to Him, then leave them at His feet. Time to press into Him so I can hear His voice above all the others in this loud, busy world. Stepping out of the rat race and worshiping Him with abandon lightens my load.

Rich: Giving of myself through my time and talent. Tithing regularly to my church. Finding people who need a meal, a donation, a word of encouragement and then making the effort to actually give it to them and not just think it’s a good idea. Surrendering myself to God’s will instead of holding fast to my own.

All of these are things that bring me great joy, that help me reach that place of abundance I believe Jesus wanted us to live in now. Abundance, I am finding, does not come from merely wanting it. It comes from intentionally reaching for it—a result that requires action. It requires leaving room in my life for these things—not packing my life so full of have-to’s that the cup is already full.

When that happens, I can try to add the cream but it will only spill over, wasted. It starts when I leave room from the beginning or take a moment to pour out what is already too full. With a little thought and a little effort I can learn to hear Jesus ask me, “Did you leave room for cream?”

And I can smile back at Him and say, “You better believe I did!”

Dear Lord, I want to live the life of abundance You called me to—a life that is sweet and white and rich. Help me remember that I have to leave room in my life for abundance or it will always elude me. Help me to seek You first and let You show me how to leave room for cream, in Jesus’ Name, Amen.

Without failure, success is absent as the one who doesn’t fall cannot stand up”

P.S. If you know anyone who has recently been diagnosed with breast cancer, please take a look at my website for helpful information.  It is: www.theaftermas.org.