Tuesday, February 04, 2014

Celebrating My Birthday with a little bit of MOXIE :)

It's a street-smart spirit that's as old as 
recorded history and as new as the rising sun.
David had it; Goliath didn't. It's that intangible
tangible. You don't learn it in school and
you can't get it from a book. It can jump
oceans and move mountains. It says,
"Make your life what it can be. Take your
life wherever it can go."
                                                                      -Kobe Yamada

Years ago I remember my Nana exclaiming about a friend of hers who had
"MOXIE." I was little at the time and while I wasn't sure exactly what "moxie"
meant, I could tell by the way my Grandma said the word that it was full of "vim and vigor," also her words. 

It was her friend's birthday and Nana had paid her a supreme compliment by telling her 
she had MOXIE. What was "MOXIE"?

Spirit! Perseverance! An over-the-top  love of life! 
Energy! Full of fun! Optimistic!  Courage! An"I Won't give up!"attitude! Being an Overcomer!

Her friend, I remember, had just turned sixty seven. I couldn't possibly
imagine how old that must be, yet if my Grandma's friend could have MOXIE at that age...
I felt there there was hope for all of us.

Tomorrow, February 5th, amazingly, I turn 67 and today, in a de-ja-vu moment, one of my dear friends at the college where I teach laughingly told me I had "MOXIE!" Colleen looked just like my Nana when she said the word; ear-splitting grin, fun spilling out of her with joyous laughter. She then shared with me a Kobe Yamada saying that "reminded her of me":

"At times it is necessary to go 
over the top
How else can we get to the
other side."
                      -Kobe Yamada

She thanked me for "spilling over in spirit", not being afraid to be over the top, and sharing that spirit with her.

How could I not?

I have always loved life. That's how God made me. I was blessed to be loved and cherished and it is a blessing for me to give back to those who matter so much to me. I feel like every day I have been given is such a gift and every hard-fought lesson a chance to grow. I feel like we are all God's one-of-a kind creation and He made us to shine.

One of my very, very favorite songs growing up was "I'm Going To Let My Little Light Shine!" What a perfect song to set the tone for my 67th year!

This little light of mine, 
I'm gonna let it shine.
This little light of mine,
I'm gonna let it shine.
This little light of mine,
I'm gonna let it shine.
Let it shine, let it shine, let it shine.

Hide it under a bushel basket. No!
I'm gonna let it shine.
Hide it under a bushel basket, No!
I'm gonna let it shine.
Hide it under a bushel basket? No!
I'm gonna let it shine.
Let it shine. Let it shine. Let it shine!

So today, I find I am so grateful as I reach 67...

I am so, so grateful for my "role models" for having "Moxie." Just a few of these include: Dolores McColm, my Mom, Amy Farrell and Jessi Thompson, my daughters, my husband, Bert, my friends Linny Clark, Sharon Hartnett, Vicky Westra, Peggy Sue, Eileen Thompson, Roberta Greene, and Sarah. My grand daughters Sihin, Emma and Jenna, my grandsons Jacob and Owen. Each of these angels has been an overcomer, a light-shiner, a gratitude-seeker, a courage-maker, an optimism-seeker and they have let their "little light shine" into my life. They have battled everything from the suicide of a parent, very difficult childhoods full of trauma, prejudice, horrible car accidents, people who are alcoholics, and stage four breast cancer to stuttering, having a hard time finding words, having friends betray them, leaving Ethiopia and coming to Spokane, and brain injury. When I see them, I am overcome with their courage, stamina, and perseverance against great odds.

And I am so, so grateful to God that He made me with "moxie" too. I am so grateful to be 
surrounded by those who love me. I am so grateful for my beloved husband and my precious children and grandchildren. I cannot imagine my life without them. They bring absolute JOY into every day! I am so grateful for dear friends who love me, just as I am. I am so grateful for every mistake I have made and every hard season that has challenged my soul. They have taught be to be courageous, lean on Jesus, and not to give up. I am so grateful that I was born with one large hand and one small hand. I have learned empathy for those who are different. I am so grateful for all of my wonderful and courageous students and consulting clients. Working with them nourishes my soul. I am so grateful for my Church and all who worship there. I am so grateful for every song we sing on Sundays that reminds me that Jesus is my Savior. I am so grateful that I cry easily and that people know my true heart. I am so grateful that I have a spirit that loves to celebrate EVERYTHING...holidays and people's victories, even the smallest ones. I am so grateful that I had parents who taught me that if I worked hard and never gave up, I could achieve my dreams. I am so grateful for every day I have spent in a classroom doing the thing God gave me a gift to do, be a teacher. I believe it is a sacred profession, and I have loved everyday of the last 47 years of going to work. I am so grateful that I love bright colors, flowers, and balloons and have the nickname of being "the balloon queen."  
I am so grateful to be 67 and to know I am God's child and that I am dearly loved and adored!

I am so grateful for this blog and having the opportunity to record my life-lessons.
Perhaps one day one of my children or grandchildren, or even the folks who read this from time-to time, will find something here that enriches their lives or know they mattered to me. I am so grateful for every comment that is left here as it feels like a connection to another human being.

So...at 67...I will let my little light shine!

May God bless you and keep you and hold you in the palm of His Almighty hand!
Love, Linda


Peggy Sue said...

Happy Happy Birthday Linda!!! I smiled through your whole whole post! every bit of it...because when you started speaking about moxie..it was YOU and yet I have not met you...well not in person...but maybe that matters little! When you got to the part that someone else said you had Moxie I almost laughed outloud! Because Moxie is not a word we use much anymore..and yet, its a wonderful wonderful word!
Oh how fun! you ARE the Moxie birthday girl...your words and way's with life shows it ...your love and bubbliness...you say what you feel and feel what you say! I hope your birthday was perfect!
I loved hearing about all those you love..and yes, your post inspire!!! hugs and love Birthday Girl!

Vicky said...

Happy Belated Birthday friend! I forget you aren't in my google reader and I have to go to my bookmark and click over :) I have some catching up to do!! So sorry I missed your special day- I hope it was as special as you are to me- to all of us really. Love that you and Peggy Sue have become such good friends too!! Love and hugs :)

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