Priorities change when you are in the middle of a difficult diagnosis, like cancer, and during the treatment period that follows. While I was on chemo, a good day meant doing one thing – I could go to church, or I could clean the bathrooms, or I could sit for a while at the piano. (On one particular day, my “one thing” had to be to renew my driver’s license. I would much rather have rather used my limited energy for something else!)

On the bad days, I might take a shower. But, then again, I might not. I might just watch TV all day without moving.

But after the treatment ends, and you begin to regain strength, I discovered something interesting happens (or at least, it happened to me). My perspective and my priorities are different, and I think the change just might be permanent.

Petty bickering and mindless complaining? Don’t ask me to get involved. Holding a grudge or having a pity party? I don’t want to be invited.

Life is too short to nurse grievances, real or imagined. My situation or yours might change tomorrow, and if it does, we won’t have time or room for the small things.

Don’t misunderstand me – feelings are important. They move us to accomplish more, empathize with others, and give compassion when it is needed. But wearing our feelings on our sleeves, as the saying goes, is just not productive, nor is it healthy.

I want to be able to embrace the life that God has given me without worrying that doing so will upset someone else. I want the opportunity to use my gifts and talents, and I want you to use yours, too. I want to look for the good around me – for the beautiful, the lovely, the inspiring. I don’t have time for anything else.

My priorities have changed. I have always struggled with worrying what others think. I shudder to consider how much time and energy I have wasted trying to figure out what so-and-so is thinking about me, why she hasn’t returned my message, why he doesn’t notice my hard work, and on and on.

The past year has made me refine my priorities. In whatever I do, I want to bring glory to God. And I believe that He created me for specific tasks that He has designed just for me. He created me to be a wife to Chris and a mom to Henry. He created me to be a part of our extended family. He has given me certain experiences and abilities, which enable me to write and to make music.

In the past, I felt guilty because I couldn’t do it all (and, frankly, didn’t want to do it all). I couldn’t do the things that I really believe that God is calling me to do, as well attend all the Bible studies, prayer meetings, teach Sunday School, go on all the mission trips, and on and on.

I couldn’t do it all before, and I certainly can’t do it all now. My old friend chemo brain is still hanging around, keeping me from multitasking, dealing with stress, and problem-solving. But now I understand more clearly that God isn’t calling me to do it all. He’s only calling me to do the things He’s calling me to do!

Life is short. Do everything that God is calling you to do. Don’t get involved in pettiness. Embrace who God made you to be. Live fully and deeply. Let His priorities be yours.

How is God asking you to change your priorities today? How has He altered your perspective about what really matters in life?

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