I had a brain tumor in this picture.

And most likely, even five to six years ago, it was there. Yes, that’s through two pregnancies, countless adventures with my kids, two of my siblings’ weddings, and a few GREAT vacations. I don’t like to think about it. But we all know that life doesn’t come with any guarantees.

So here’s what I want you to know. It’s a message that I’m sure you’ve already heard countless variations of. I want you to ACT on it after you hear it again today from me though, OK?

It’s only by the grace of God that I had a brain tumor and didn’t die. I GET to raise my kids. I GET to grow old with my husband.

So, when they say, “Take the family pictures,” take the family pictures! Someone might not be here tomorrow.

Eat the cake. Or donut. Or cookie. Or whatever blows your skirt up. Because life truly is too short to count calories or feel guilty about food.

Quit the job you hate. Yes, it might be scary, but you have a far greater purpose than staying stuck somewhere that doesn’t ADD value to your life.

Wear your “good” perfume even on ordinary days.

Take the vacation. You have the time. Experiences are far more valuable than THINGS.

Wear the bright red lipstick. Who cares what other people think.

As my friend Ashli says, “Wear the damn swimsuit.” And she’s right.

Having fun with your kids in the pool or feeling the saltwater of the ocean on your skin is FAR more important than any insecurities we have about how our bodies look in said swimsuit.

Fall in love.

Buy the shoes. This one needs no explanation either.

Get to know Jesus. This one will change your life more than anything else.

In the words of another woman—Brooke Taylor—who I greatly admire, “You absolutely do not have to look heaven in the face to start living like you’re dying.”

Originally published on the author’s Facebook page

Michaela Gasseling

I am a Christian mom, farmwife, La Leche League Leader, and health and fitness enthusiast. My passions are helping people to get to know Jesus, and encouraging others that having a good relationship with food and movement is worth learning! I am also a small-town Nebraska girl, a runner, coffee-addict, a certified PiYo Live group fitness instructor, an empowerer, and a rural influencer. I blog about our crazy life at http://cowgirlbootsandrunningshoes.com/.  I have a new title of SAHM and all my listed roles fill MY cup. The loves of my life—along with my farmer—are our four kids. I am learning to navigate life on a farm and at home after moving to my husband’s family’s place after 10 years of living in the city. Prayers and coffee accepted.