daily devotional

There’s a story of a young woman diagnosed with terminal cancer who began planning her own funeral. She met with her pastor and selected the scripture and the songs. One final detail as their meeting came to a close, she asked to be buried with a fork in her right hand. The pastor was puzzled. Why a fork? The young woman shared how growing up she would go to church with her grandmother. It was a good ol’ country church where once a month they would have a potluck dinner. All the best homemade dishes would be served. After eating her grandmother would lean over and say, “keep your fork.” That was her favorite part because she knew this meant the best was yet to come. Dessert was on it’s way and it was going to be marvelous.

Weeks passed and the young woman died. At her funeral it was standing room only filled with friends and family. One by one as they paid their final condolences to a life well lived, they asked, “what’s up with the fork”? Then the pastor preached the best sermon of his life sharing how this woman knew the best was yet to come. After this life was an eternity of the best darn dessert you could ever have.

Hey sister, keep your fork. We have heaven awaiting us. AND IT’S GOING TO BLOW YOUR MIND!!!! 1 Corinthians 2:9 says “No eye has seen, no ear has heard, and no mind has imagined what God has prepared for those who love him.” You simply can’t imagine what God has prepared for you on the other side of this life. Everything you’ve gone through, everything you’ve endured, all the hard days will be overwhelmingly and totally worth it when you spend your first moment in eternity. You’ll want your fork for this. It’s gonna be really, really good.

But I encourage you today to not only keep your fork for heaven, but keep your fork for what’s coming next in this life. You have opportunities ahead of you on your journey to live bigger, be bolder, create epic memories, and share priceless adventures. The best is yet to come right here for you too!

A few years ago I read “Awaken the Giant Within” by Tony Robbins. It’s a giant of a book that should be more like a year long project to read and complete the assignments, but I tried to rush through it in 2 months. One particular assignment stopped me in my tracks and opened my eyes to a deep seeded belief I held within. It was a journaling exercise in writing, not necessarily thinking. You read the question, then you just begin writing and let it flow. One question was “what negative beliefs about my future do I have?” I sat in a bubble bath and journaled my answers, just trying to rush through it so I could get to the next page and complete this humongous book and move on to the next one. Once I got out of the bath, I sat and reviewed what I had written, and there in my own handwriting was a confession I didn’t even realize I needed to make. It said “I believe my best has come and gone. I have already peaked.”

Years before I had reached all my goals. I had slayed everything I had set out to do. I had experienced that perfect season in life where my kids still wanted to be with me, but didn’t need me for sheer survival. And it was over. The kids grew up and there were more important things for them to do on Saturday night than play a family game with their mama. The marathon had been run. The big house had been sold. The one year beach adventure was over. I was growing grayer, wrinklier and saggier and my best days had come and gone. And honestly, I was sad.

And then it was like God shook me and said “girl, snap out of it!!!!! I have so much more for you. Keep your fork.”

The next year I set out to make it my new peak year. I intentionally created more adventures and memories than ever before. I worked to become my very best again. With laser focus I climbed that mountain and stood on top by the end of that year and looked back with pride knowing I had conquered living well. Then I looked forward with absolute certainty knowing THE BEST IS STILL YET TO COME.

There’s more in me … and there’s more in you. How do I know? Because I know your creator, and he doesn’t play little. I would bet every dime I have on the fact that there is more in you. That’s why you’re still here my friend. You may think the best is already behind you, but that’s only true if you settle for it. You have been given the opportunity to live this year, as we come to the end of it, I wonder what you’ve done with it. Have you shown up with your best effort and been intentional with your days? Or have they just passed and have you just slipped?

Yesterday I had a conversation with a vibrant 73 year old great-grandma I get to mentor. Her name is Kathy and she’s one of the most beautiful silver haired women I’ve ever seen. At first glance I thought she was one of those young women who had done the trendy thing and died her hair gray … but no, she’s the real deal. Yesterday she shared with me how she has been inspired by her grandaughter who is currently in Army basic training with my son at Ft. Leonardwood Missouri. While her granddaughter has been away training, she too has been training and doing situps. This 73 year old great grandma is now able to do EIGHTY situps in 2 minutes. 80! That’s a woman who has held on to her fork. That’s a woman who has decided as long as God keeps giving her days to live, she will live them well.

I have since decided I need to do some more situps!

So, where have you sold out believing your best days are over? Where have you settled into believing you’ve already peaked and it’s all downhill from here? Have you given up your fork?

As a believer in Jesus Christ, you not only have heaven awaiting you, but you have a life here on Earth that is highly blessed and favored. You have a God who has gone before you and made a way where there was no way. You have the Holy Spirit guiding you in doing the next right thing. This next year of your life can be your new peak. You can accomplish things you have never dared imagine possible before.

You can … will you?

Within you is the potential to be a great-grandma cranking out 80 situps in 2 minutes. But that means right now in your 50’s or 40’s or 30’s, heck your 20’s start taking care of yourself! Within you is the potential to write that book, build that business, raise that family, cross that finish line, have that marriage, but you can’t waste any more time. Get cracking sister.

If you threw away your fork thinking the best had already passed, know this, God is passing out forks today. Come get your second chance. There’s more available to you and there’s zero shame in claiming you want it. In fact what a shame it would be to pass up on the adventures and successes and opportunities God had specifically for you, just because you told yourself it was too late. Dinner time might be over for you, but girl, what about dessert!

I began writing my list of goals for 2019, and should God choose to gift me with another year of life, I completely plan on making it my new best year ever. What about you? No eye has seen, no ear has heard, and no mind has imagined what God has prepared for those who love him. Yes that means heaven, but I believe it also means here. This life. This new year coming our way. What has God prepared for you just because you love him? Opportunities. Possibilities. New peaks!

You just can’t even imagine. You better hold on to your fork and your pants … you’re not going to believe it!