Do not worry

Apr 11

It’s been happening.  A couple of my nearest and dearest of friends, they have said it.

“You are glowing.”

“You look amazing and strong.”

“You look taller (haha), your skin looks terrific.”

“You look great.”

I am glowing.  Brad and I look at each other, and shrug, and agree: we are not stressed.  We, as with every young family, have known stress and deadlines and crises and problems.  Stress is the day-to-day anxieties.  Stress is what every person should leave at the office (whether they have an office or not).  Stress exists and motivates and exacerbates.  My dad’s motto is “Work hard, play hard.”  Work hard so you can feel good when you put your head on the pillow at night, and have enough balance to enjoy life.  Life is awesome; act like it.  Cancer puts stress in perspective.  So, yes, it’s true.  Brad and I feel we have less stress.

What I do have, though, is worry.  However, it is not a new worry.  I am worried that something will happen to me, and I won’t be here for my girls.  This worry took root on the day Maren was born, and it doubled on Greta’s birth day.  My worry sort of has a spotlight on it now.  Mine is harder to ignore, but The Worry is part of every parent’s reality.

Here is what I have decided about the worry: I want to live my life the same way whether I have five more minutes or fifty more years.  Phew.  The tension in my shoulders literally relaxes as I think on that statement.  There is a plan, and it requires no action other than to Do Today Well.  I can do that.  I truly have an ocean of peace after dealing with and finding a resolution for that weight.  I will not worry.  Worrying takes up a lot of energy if you let it, and I don’t let it.  Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.  –Matthew 6:34

I need lots of energy.  I am a mom.  I am separating the things I can control from the things I cannot control.  I am building forts out of cardboard boxes in my backyard.  I am perpetually working on baby books for my girls because, at 32, I still love hearing about what I was like as a child.  I am snuggling my husband.  I am regularly using my Mommy Superpowers to heal boo boos.  I am teaching Greta to wave and clap, and I am teaching Maren to do her own hair without looking like a banshee when she’s done.  I am happy: big picture happy and little moments happy.  I am busy finding joy and trusting I am doing today well.  Work hard, play hard.

27 comments

  1. Sue Nitz /

    You are amazing, Jen! Just like your dad you are teaching your children valuable lessons. And I guarantee you, even at this young age, they are taking it all in. About your hair, I was so worried that my grand kids would think it was too weird. My 4 year old granddaughter, Adey, was so proud of me she boasted to her friends “My mamma can take her hair off.” I have a few funny stories to share about that. Love you and look forward to someday meeting you. In the mean time….I am storming heaven for you.

  2. Doing today well. This simple thought shakes off my worries. Thank you.

  3. “Here is what I have decided about the worry: I want to live my life the same way whether I have five more minutes or fifty more years. Phew. The tension in my shoulders literally relaxes as I think on that statement. There is a plan, and it requires no action other than to Do Today Well. I can do that. I truly have an ocean of peace after dealing with and finding a resolution for that weight. I will not worry. Worrying takes up a lot of energy if you let it, and I don’t let it. Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own. –Matthew 6:34”

    Um, wow, this just made my shoulders relax too. Thank you!

  4. “Do Today Well.” and “Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.” [Matthew 6:34]

    I think I come here to get your updated prayer requests… yet I come away with a message from Jesus.

  5. Oh sweet girl that I have never met and will likely never meet….I so treasure your words each day. They are wise & wonderful and make a difference in my day. Crazy how this thing called life works and how technology can get your wisdom & heart to my life her in Redmond, WA. Praying for you & grateful for you.

  6. Maryann /

    Have I told you lately how much you rock? How lucky your family is to have you as their wife, mother, sister, daughter? How we won the neighbor lottery when you moved in? Consider it done! You and your family are a blessing to us all! You are radiant from the inside out! Much love, blessings and continued prayers…

  7. I can absolutely relate to the worry part. What I’m still working on is accepting that the “living today well” will make tomorrow the best it can be; worry still sits on my shoulder. So thanks for the encouragement to give the Worry Wart on my shoulder the boot!

  8. Stefanie /

    I love reading your story. As a mom with little ones, I feel connected to you and have so much admiration at the way you are handling yourself through this trial. Life is so difficult trying to just raise little ones, and yet you’ve thrown in, um, cancer (!) with such amazing ease. You are very inspiring! Praying for you even though we will never meet — Do Today Well. I love it.

  9. I’m Kim Storey Lightner’s sis-in-law and she passed on your blog. Lots of prayers from Minnesota!

  10. Cyndi /

    Glow on, sweet Jen!!

  11. I found your blog through Momastery and I am sooooo glad! You. Are. Inspiring! I feel as though I’ve learned so very much from you… My husband is a resident physician and right now, that feels a little overwhelming at times. Last night I told him every single detail about your blog and your courage and how you constantly sing praises for Dr. Wonderful and Dr. Awesome. Because of your words, he was reminded that God chose him to help others and that while that can be such a huge responsibility, it is an equally amazing blessing. I’ve also learned some really incredible things about how to be a good friend – You have GOOD friends! I love the hat and scarf party! I love that you have your very own little helper army! Thank you for sharing the wonderful ways we can help others and tell your friends thank you for setting such a wonderful example for us all… And today, you share about living with less stress! I LOVE your perspective, your positive outlook and your bravery!! Wow. So, even though I am well aware that “you’ve got this,” I thought I’d share one of my favorite things my pastor, Craig Groeschel, said, “Worry does not solve tomorrow’s problems, it simply steals today of its strengths.” You and your precious family are SURROUNDED by prayer warriors and you are loved by the ALMIGHTY HEALER… what’s left to worry about? Please know that we are praying for you non-stop. Thank you for your inspiration!

    Raegan

  12. Allison /

    Thank you for sharing your journey! You are an inspiration! Prayers for you and your family, keep up the kicking cancer’s ass fight!

  13. So true, that age-old worry that is true to all parents. When my mom left after my first was born (I have the opposite of you – 2 boys of 5 and 2) she said, “Now you have something that you will worry about every day for the rest of your life.”

    BTW, me the random stranger found my way here from Momastery. I caught up and am following you now.

  14. Geesh. You inspire me. I’m pretty sure your attitude would inspire me had I found your blog before your cancer diagnosis, but I’m pretty amazed at how you inspire me now. Thank you! Blessings on your day–every day, one at a time.

  15. Jenifer /

    You don’t know me, I found your blog through momastery. This post is so good to read. My husband and I have been really stressed about all sorts of little things and some big ones (we are moving tomorrow!) but I was telling him about your blog and how we need a little perspective. Our problems aren’t that big and we need to be thankful for everything we do have. Be thankful we are healthy and have all these stupid things to worry about. Thank you for giving us perspective.

  16. Melissa /

    “Worrying is like praying for something you don’t want.”

    You are a very wise woman and a true inspiration!

  17. You give me hope. Each and every day. May God have blessings on you and your family. Keep blogging! He has given you a cross to bear and you have made him proud along with giving others hope. Your perservance is amazing. I thank you.

  18. Keep on glowing sister! Peace to you and your family

  19. cjsego /

    Amazing! I also found you through Momastry and I have been amazed by every post of yours since. I have never met you, but I check in to see how you are every day. And every day you inspire so many. Your mom must be very proud :-) And the reminder to Do Today Well was perfectly timed. Love IS big!

  20. Nomads By Nature /

    Besides that beautiful passage in Matthew about letting worry go, I like the saying: “Worry is like a rocking chair. It can give you something to do for hours, but it won’t get you anywhere.” Praying for you from Mozambique and inspired by your decisions to live boldly each moment! Glow on and kick that cancer’s butt.

  21. Karen said it well: “I think I come here to get your updated prayer requests… yet I come away with a message from Jesus.”
    Just the other day, I listened to Steven Curtis Chapman’s song, “Next Five Minutes”, which is a perfect echo of what you shared.
    Today, I will not only pray for you but also thank God for sharing His wisdom through you. Thank you!

  22. Rebecca /

    I can do today well. Wow, I like that! I think I need to post that where I can see it everyday! Glow on, sister! :)

  23. Seriously!? If i weren’t a year older than you, I’d wonder if we were twins. Ya know, like ‘Parent Trap’ type of meet-each-other-at-camp-kind of twins. So fun. Anyway…thank you for sharing your honest heart once again! Fear has been such a HUGE deal in my life as well. It kinda pisses me off that I’ve wasted so much time and energy on it. But, over the last four years of health drama and unanswered questions, it has been, on the forefront, to say the least. I kinda think God lovingly said “Hmmm…you continue to live afraid?? Ok, I’m going to allow something to come to your life because I need you to truly trust me. For my glory. So, here we go…” I think He loves us enough to do that. He is trusting you with this cancer. He is doing big things through this cancer.His Name is being made great by this cancer. I would love to bless you like you bless me if you feel like going to my site and reading my recent confession about fear. To God be the glory. http://carolineholzberger.com/2012/02/13/here-comes-the-bag-of-hair/
    Love love new friend,
    Caroline

  24. “Life is awsome; act like it.” Indeed! And you are doing such a great job with that. Stay strong.

  25. I, too, found you via Momastery and have been silently following your story and praying for you since that first week. Now that I know you receive these well wishes in real time, I wanted to let you know that you have another beam of prayer coming your way from Minnesota. Thank you for sharing your story; please know that as your body is healing, your words and messages are healing me (and I’m sure there are others like me). I needed to hear this worry message today. I will plaster the Matthew passage all around me to remind me today is what matters. You are a graceful warrior; thank you for sharing your journey.

  26. Erin Tilling /

    Yes! “Do Today Well”, I’m posting that somewhere in my house so I see it everyday before I head out the door. You are inspiring, thank you for writing and sharing yourself. Sending love, love, and more love your way.

  27. I am a life-long friend of your Aunt Ann. I knew your mom and dad back here in Westlake. Your story is amazing and your writing is inspirational. Thank you for sharing your story. I just know that between God and the doctors, you will kick this cancer to the curb.

Trackbacks/Pingbacks

  1. Refine me | AndersonFamilyZoo's Blog - [...] Chemo’s job in the coming months: shrink the tumor(s) to the point where Dr. Awesome can operate and cut…
  2. Connections | AndersonFamilyZoo's Blog - [...] fun with his son’s class.  Conversations like the ones I had today reinforce my desire to Do Today Well.…
  3. Choice | AndersonFamilyZoo's Blog - [...] fight hard, every day, to Do Today Well.  Because that sounds so much better than the whining and crying.…
  4. Speaking out | AndersonFamilyZoo's Blog - [...] (obviously), how to treat/love people with cancer, what I think about cancer and why, and why I Do Today…
  5. Heart | AndersonFamilyZoo's Blog - [...] this cardiac development is neither final, nor fatal, I shall keep my chin up, and do today well.  I…
  6. Friendship | AndersonFamilyZoo's Blog - [...] Cancer is cruel and crappy and ugly.  I have to deal with that, and work through it.  As a…
  7. Life is hard, but God is good. | AndersonFamilyZoo's Blog - [...] It’s hard to walk around momming my kids, doing laundry, going to the grocery store, and Christmas shopping when…
  8. Busy | AndersonFamilyZoo's Blog - [...] I made my plan to Do Today Well.  It took me a couple of weeks to quell the volcano…