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Tomorrow is Today

Sitting at Starbucks, gazing thu the window.

This past July I attended CLASS seminar in San, Antonio, Texas. CLASS, is an acronym for Christian Leaders Authors & Speakers Services. www.classeminars.org For over the last year, I’ve been writing, working with an editor and trying to complete a book.

I place great emphasis on the word trying.

If you’ve read any previous posts, you probably notice my time and attention have been given towards my parents this past year. To make a long story very short, my father came close to deaths’ door twice. After he miraculously came through, he went into hospice care for his debilitating disease in which my mother became his primary caretaker.

Last March, my mother was feeling very worn and tired. She told me “I feel like I’ve hit a brick wall.” So she pursued medical testing, which led to surgery. After her surgery she had complications and went in for a second surgery. She was then sent to the Intensive Care Unit and passed away a month later. For a sweet post regarding my mother during this time, see I Need You to be Strong. http://dancinguponbarrenland.com/2011/03/i-need-you-to-be-strong

I know all of this sounds terrible and truthfully I would say, “Yes, it was.” Yet all I can say is “But God!” His faithfulness is carrying me through this season.

With that being said, it left me, myself and I to become my father’s primary caretaker. Yes, I am an only child. (I sound pitiful, don’t I? I’m not meaning to). So in the midst of this crazy year, how am I to find the time, the uninterrupted, quiet time to write a book?  Much less complete it? Let alone, just have one hour to myself without others pulling at me?

I had signed up for the CLASS seminar many months prior to this taking place. At one point I had thoughts of canceling and not attending. I thought to myself, ‘After all that has gone on, losing my mom and all, I can’t write. I just have to put this on the shelf. I don’t have time to pursue ministry. I should just have the web designers take down the website and put it on hold for awhile.’  However, with encouragement from friends and a little self-talk, I decided to attend the seminar and not shut down the website. Their encouragement helped to plant a seed in me. I thought to myself, ‘Well, it won’t hurt to attend and glean information for the future. Plus, it would be nice to escape and be away at a hotel room all by myself.’ Low and behold, as I checked into the hotel I noticed a Starbucks right across the street! The angels and I were singing…well, maybe not the angels.

At the seminar I was placed in a group of peers who had similar writing and speaking experience, all of us were in ministry. The groups’ purpose was to critique our speaking skills. Having the experience of a seasoned mentor as our guide, as well as our peers gave a well-rounded experience.

Upon our groups’ initial meeting, the leader gave the instructions:

1) Develop a topic idea.
2) Prepare your speech within five (5) minutes.
3) You will speak for three (3) minutes.

When she first said this, I thought to myself, ‘Lady, are you a crazy?’

And then she pointed to me and said, “And you can’t speak on infertility.”

I thought ‘What? But infertility is my baby?’ What else do I have to speak about? I paid all this money for this? Arrgh!’

I must confess I didn’t have the greatest Christian attitude, instead of taking on a challenge with faith, I said to myself, ‘This is totally retarded. God, I really don’t want to be here. I’m so tired. I just want to go home!’ Well, I sucked it up and for three days, yes, three days we were critiqued on our speaking skills.

As I entered the room on one of the days I noticed to my right there were tear sheets from magazine ads strewn across the table. Our instructions were to pick an ad which ‘jumped out at us’, then start preparing your three minute speech.

Rummaging through the pile I noticed the words, “Tomorrow is Today”

Instantly I thought of my Mom. I stared at the title, misty-eyed.

Through the CLASS seminar conference we were taught a method on how to prepare an outline and a message using the acronym, PIER.

P-Point
I-Instruction
E-Example
R-Reference.

Trying not to waste any time preparing I was praying fervently underneath my breath. I read the title on the ad again…

“Tomorrow is Today”

Frantically I started scribbling in my notebook the title and Point to my three minute speech: “Your Tomorrow is Today.”

Flipping to the book of Joshua in my Bible, quickly I wrote the Instruction: “…now therefore arise.” Joshua 1:2 After my mom died, and with the great pressure of taking care of my dad I thought for the time being there is no way I can continue to pursue my goals and dreams. There is just too much to do. I will just wait and write when all this is over with. Yet just like God exhorted Joshua to arise and take the promise land, God’s Word resonated in my heart. Why was I waiting? I can arise and begin again.

Then I wrote the Example: Instantly, I thought of the Griefshare class my husband and I attended to help me through the grieving process. www.griefshare.org In viewing the video segment of the lesson, the psychologist made this statement, which spoke volumes to me.  “The other person died, you didn’t.” In experiencing the grief of losing my Mother, God gave me clarity on the mission of Dancing Upon Barren Land.  He impressed upon me, “I’m bringing you comfort and healing from the grief of your losing your mother just as I have brought comfort and healed you from the grief of infertility.”  Suddenly life came back to me! I have a reason and a purpose to continue my tomorrow, today.

I concluded with the complete Reference: “Moses my servant is dead, now therefore arise.” Joshua 1:2

Within three minutes, surprisingly with success (so, I thought) I completed my speech.

For the sake of this blog post becoming too lengthy I will not write out my speech here, but I want to leave you with some thought provoking challenges.

Has infertility sucked the life out of you?

God has placed more in you than you can imagine.  As you wait for the desire of your heart for a family, search your own heart and discover the other desires He has placed there…

“Now, therefore arise.”

You may have experienced loss from pregnancies, even repeated losses or like me you’ve recently lost a parent.  Take off the cloak of grief and put on a ‘garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness’.” Isaiah 61:3.  I say this tenderly, “Remember, the other person died, you didn’t.”

In death there is life…

“Now, therefore arise.”

If you have the quality of a procrastinator, like myself, the one goal we need to accomplish may be crucial in thrusting us to the next level in our personal lives, our marriage or our career / ministry. Most importantly, the goal you complete just may be life changing for another person.

What are we waiting on?

Our tomorrow is today.

“Now, therefore arise!”

Leave a comment

I’m very, very sorry about your loss. This was a beautiful post. Thank you for writing it. It’s encouragement I’ve really been longing for recently.

Becki Guillory

This is so beautifully expressed, Lesli. Thank you for sharing the difficult trials you have walked in, and how God has used it for good. I appreciate your encouragement through what God has revealed to you. May HE bless you as you bless others.

Lesli Westfall

Thank you Hannah. I’m so glad the post encouraged. Sometimes you wonder if all of the suffering, heartache and ‘junk’ you go through in life–what’s it’s purpose? But then God used what I am going through to encourage you. Whatever YOU are going through Hannah, He will use to bless and encourage others. Keep the faith. YOU are loved.

Lesli

Lesli Westfall

Thanks sweet Bec for your sweet compliments. I couldn’t go through this season without someone like YOU–who has been there for me– and still is. You’ve seen me at my worst and encourage me in the best. (btw – your check is in the mail for leaving a comment. (ha!) The next ‘bucks is on me. Love you.

Les