We are still waiting. Will you please hang out with me for awhile longer and keep me company? At least until we have a few more answers? See, because I think I’ve discovered some things that might help you sometime when you find yourself flying in a holding pattern. There are still a few more really critical questions remaining. Answers that will tell us what the next several weeks might look like for our daughter and our whole family. We are now six weeks into her cancer journey.

A person’s cancer story is what grade school kids call a “chapter book”. The kind that isn’t finished in one bedtime story. It takes awhile to read this one. It isn’t at all predictable and we learn a whole lot more than we thought we might when we opened the cover. A whole lot more.

Hold on while I explain what I mean by wait lifting. I had this wild thought that all this waiting might actually be really good for all of us. Maybe it is meant to strengthen us emotionally and spiritually in the same way that we build our muscles and bones by intentionally putting pressure and strain on them when we lift weights. When we lift weights, we actually create little tears in our muscles. It can be tough and it hurts but the effort followed by rest makes the muscles heal back stronger than they were. That’s a little oversimplification but I think you see where I’m going.

We are actually learning to enjoy the pauses in the process of determining what comes next. It’s like for a few days or a couple of weeks we can push the resume button on normal for a bit. Why not? In this present stretch of time everything is just fine. We have everything we need to be happy right now. In this time. Today. If we allow ourselves to relax and savor the right now-ness of it all and let tomorrow stay tomorrow.

The other thing we are learning is the awesomeness of what everyday normal is and appreciating it. Meals, laundry, homework, chauffeuring kids to practices, ball games. Life. You begin to realize and appreciate that it is really a sweet thing to be in the middle of a full, crazy, hectic  life. Being busy, absorbed  with life today instead of fretting about the what-ifs that may or may not even happen. It all comes down to a choice to live in a way that Sir William Osler called “day-tight compartments”. Let tomorrow take care of itself.

The Bible is full of messages about waiting and patience. I like the King James version of Psalm 27:14. “Wait on the LORD: be of good courage, and he shall strengthen thine heart”. I am beginning to understand that it really builds not only our patience and character but also strengthens our gratitude muscle along the way.

We don’t know what lies ahead. None of us ever do. But while we wait to see how things unfold, let’s do some wait lifting. When we learn to live with a profound appreciation of the moment, the wait just might become as light as a feather.

Betty Streff

Betty Streff began her career as a customer service representative for a large corporation in Omaha. Four years later she found herself to be a farm wife in a small rural community with limited opportunities for women. After a humbling self assessment, she listed her assets as talents for sketching, sewing, and the natural ability to strike up conversations with complete strangers. Using these and her optimistic nature, she began stitching up some bibs and pillows for a craft show, who wouldn't? Over the next 25 years she became a serial entrepreneur obsessed with studying faith, spirituality, leadership, motivation, and management as she developed her businesses. Betty has spent the last few years working in corporate America in the hospitality and manufacturing world and she continues to immerse herself in the study of what makes people tick. The explosive growth in the relatively recent science of positive psychology fascinates her. Betty devours everything she can find on the subject and is especially intrigued with people who thrive no matter the circumstances and in discovering ways that happiness and optimism can be learned. She is currently exploring ways of sharing and cultivating the exciting possibilities with both individuals and businesses. She and her husband Steve have been married 45 years and are blessed with 2 incredible daughters, 2 fantastic sons-in-law and 6 amazing grandchildren.