I read a post the other day that is a powerful example of what I wrote a few days ago on being, “Unstoppable!” I decided to post it here to encourage you. This is from one of the best writers I know, and someone who has some deep things to say to us all – my wife, Hope.

By Hope Ettore — May 24, 2016 3:09pm

I turned 45 on Friday. I am grateful to be alive to see another birthday! John and I spent the morning in La Jolla, then went to Bernardo Winery and later had a family dinner at home. It was lovely. And Bella was allowed that photo-bomb because she made the Coconut Tres Leches Cake. 🙂

Hope's 45thI wish I could say at this point that John and I have bounced back and we have life by the tail, but that hasn’t exactly happened yet. I get better day by day, but we are still struggling to keep up/catch up. It is tempting to revert to old, unhealthy patterns of coping. That is where I found myself recently, and then I remembered, “the list.” I started the list back in the beginning of this journey–“Things I’ve Learned” in the darkest places along the way that I knew I didn’t want to forget.  So, over the weekend, I took out the list, and I got an internal “adjustment.” Here it is:

  1. Accept that often life isn’t fair…and then get over it.
  2. Very little of what I have allowed to be a “big deal” in life was actually a big deal.
  3. Life is too precious and short to be negative or to give time to negative situations and people.
  4. I need to pick my battles better, especially with my kids. (See #2)
  5. In hard times, you will come face to face with the best and the worst of yourself, and you must choose every day which one you are going to hang out with.
  6. My worth is not defined by my hair, breasts or a number on a scale.
  7. Behind every problem lies a gift or opportunity, if you look for it.
  8. I need people. God’s provision flows to me through others, and when I don’t accept their help and love, I cheat myself.
  9. Imagine what you could accomplish in life if you didn’t care about the opinions of others.
  10. Living victoriously is first and primarily an internal posture, regardless of my personal circumstances.
  11. Focus and give energy to the things you actually have control or influence over. Pray about the rest and then release them to God.
  12. The mercy I extend to someone today is the mercy I will need back from someone else tomorrow.
  13. Self-pity prevents you from taking personal responsibility, keeps you stuck in the problem and annoys everyone around you.
  14. The good thing about hard times is that they are the one place character and endurance are developed.
  15. “What lies behind us and what lies before us are tiny matters compared to what lies within us.”

On a happy note: As I lay in bed the other night, I was feeling a little overwhelmed imagining myself returning to my doctoral program. August isn’t that far away, and carrying that load again is intimidating. I was praying about it, and I asked God to give me some assurance that I would be ready. The next morning I received an email, informing me that I had won a $2,000 scholarship–because of the cancer–to help me go back and finish. Coincidence? Maybe….but I don’t think so…

Planning for Longevity,

Hope