My6inchchallenge's Blog

Tackling difficulties and overcoming the challenges life serves up – by Dona Halliday

Archive for Difficulties

KISS me slowly, sweetheart. In honor of breast cancer awareness month

Breast Cancer Pink Ribbon

Find help to remain strong when dealing with the challenges of Breast Cancer

Kiss me slowly, sweetheart, she whispered. It was another one of their games she had invented after being diagnosed with breast cancer.

Life had been such a whirlwind before. Their schedules hardly allowed them time together. They would dash off to work at mornings and fall into bed exhausted at nights. With schedules and functions and staying focused on that damnable goal they would throw each other a quick kiss accompanied by a sleepy goodnight and drift off to sleep.

Why does it take something devastating to make us reevaluate our lives? How do we lose sight of the really important things so easily?

Sabina and Sebastian had been stunned after they had received the diagnosis – Sabina had Stage III breast cancer. In the midst of the decision-making, surgery and treatments they had needed help to just cope with it.

One morning as Sebastian had brushed her lips with a kiss, she had wrapped her arms around his neck and whispered, “Kiss me slowly, sweetheart.” She hated this terrible disease and what it had done to her body but loved this person she never knew her husband could be.

It was he who had told her to ask for the KISS  principle or any variations of it when she needed it. When things got overwhelming, she would say, “Keep It Simple, Sweetheart.”  Shortly after, that had morphed in any request she could invent that involved the word kiss and they had found pure, simple fun even in their tragedy as they tried to out do each other’s level of creativity.

Sabina had excellent doctors, her faith in God had been challenged and strengthened, her love for Sebastian had deepened, yet she knew tomorrow was not promised. She had to love and live well, today.

So whatever you are going through:
Find the “simple” in the midst of it
• Allow yourself to be loved
Have fun with those in your space
Remember your faith in God CAN bear up beneath tough challenges
• …and if you have someone to share a kiss with – take it slow and savor it – tomorrow is not promised.

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Fit for something

Surrounded by Senior Sheroes

A FIT life requires flexibitly

We walked around the park enjoying the cool weather, over 200 years of life and life’s experiences combined, “pounded” the track. No matter our age we still need to exercise, so we had gotten in the car, Laura, my mom and myself and had headed to the park.

At 88 years Laura had the privilege of setting the pace and as we walked I was about to jokingly comment on how fit we are but stopped myself because I knew what the responses would be. Laura would be quick, she would laughingly say, “yes, fit for something!” my mom would say, “of course we are fit, right Laura?”

I’ve thought about getting them little exercise outfits complete with headbands and a little cape with SS embroidered on them – SeniorSheroes. Do you know how parents sometimes dress their children in ridiculous outfits because they think it’s cute? Well,…

I remember my mom made almost all our clothing when we were little and some even as adults, (the dress in the above photo she made about 6 years ago). I had never given it much thought before but it came to me that by the time my mom was about 21 years she had already had three of her four children. Lost in thought I was amazed at this woman who with limited education, (mama had pulled her out of elementary school because of a fight), had cooked, baked, done hair, made clothing for others and whatever else her hands had found to do to take care of her family. Then had worked toward her dream of her own clothing store. She had shopped in Puerto Rico, Miami and New York for clothing and had loved it.

I’ve learned so much from these women, my SeniorSheroes, from their wise and not so wise choices, from their triumphs and their really tough challenges, I’ve seen life rob them of their ability to remember and slowed their ability to move, but these women are fighters. I realize that as long as something stands up within us and refuses to curl up and surrender when we face the tough things of life, we will always be fit for something.

Breathe, Just Breathe. Bearing Life’s Challenges

My heart was pounding – this unfamiliar beat was unsettling, especially at 4:30 a.m., but a waking thought, a reminder of a certain challenge was causing me to pa….

Dona, DONA, breathe, just breathe, something within me whispered.

I inhaled, drawing deeply, held and released my breath slowly. I repeated it again and again until my heart rate slowed and I felt my body relax.

What had happened? Life. It has a way of delivering pleasure mingled with pain, ease along with hardship, joy partnered with sorrow, health and sickness,… and just when we feel as if we have our ducks all lined up, in a second, a strong wind can blow and take off with some of those ducks.

But the challenges of life are “common to men,” so the Bible reminds me. As I started thinking about plans I have to change and sacrifices that will have to be made I remembered hearing about this young man who had seen someone along the road who needed help, he had stopped to assist and had been hit by a vehicle, he had lost a leg. I thought about my 38-year-old cousin who had just discovered she has cancer, stage 4. I thought about the challenges of others in our nation and around the world and I wanted to whisper to them, breathe, just breathe.

Though challenges are common here are 6 choice-actions that will help us to bear them:
1. Refuse to engage battles that are unimportant
2. Be focused – seek resolutions. There is a hidden strength within all of us
3. Laugh often, give it all you have
4. Refresh others and you will be refreshed
5. When life gets overwhelming reset priorities
6. Do what helps you to breathe easy…

So this evening I had pulled out the laptop, searched for the Gaithers on YouTube, gathered with my mom and Laura and we raised our voices in song after song… “Through It All“, “Because He Lives“, “The Love of God“, “It Is Well“…

Move forward with courage, there are giants ahead

Today, I’m allowing myself the rare indulgence of remembering some experiences I’d rather forget. These were tough ones, my giants, I call them. Though they were challenging, I’m reminiscing not with regret, but with awe, because I found the courage to move forward and overcome; as a result I’m stronger because of, and, in spite of my giants.

Last week I read of someone else who had to face a giant, his giant had a name, Goliath. As I read the story again I was impacted by this — the story says that as Goliath was moving toward David with the confidence that he was going to destroy him, David started running toward the giant.

Now, what causes one to do that? What made David, the boy, run toward Goliath, the champion giant, to do battle?

Here are 6 things I learned from that story:

1. We might as well develop the spirit of a giant slayer, giants will be around as long as we live. (David had been chasing giants and slaying them as a shepherd tending his father’s sheep, these giants were in the form of lions and bears)
2. Shout the battle cry even if you are afraid. (The israelite army took up their battle positions, shouting the war cry, but they were afraid. God sent a deliverer, David).
4. Expect criticism and put down from others, even those closest to you. (David’s brother derided him for having the nerve to see himself as a giant slayer).
3. Use what you have, and what from experience you know will work (David fought Goliath with what he knew, a sling, a stone and a mountain of faith).
5. Check your motives and know that your love for what you are defending can give you the courage that drives you toward your giants. (David’s indignation propelled him to do battle with the one who had defied God’s army).
6. Know the source of your power. (Though seemly armed with only a sling and 5 stones, David knew his power came from God).

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