Mama Schliep and My Cheerleaders
"I can whine or I can worship!" ~Nancy Leigh DeMoss, author of Choosing Gratitude
My faith is different than that of most people I know. I named my second daughter Emerson, after Ralph Waldo Emerson, who most closely conveys how I feel about spirituality. Oprah always asks, "What do you know for sure?" and here's what I know for sure: There is a universal consciousness that connects us all. This belief crosses all religions and faiths and bolsters me up in the face of any attitude or belief system which seeks to divide us from each other, from the environment, or from the universe. I find lessons from Jesus, from Buddha, from Emerson...and from friends reassure me that we are one and the consciousness, God, is wonderful.
Whenever I am doubtful I need only look as far as the Schlieps. Cathy Schliep is one of the most faithful souls I've ever encountered. She has had her share of heartache and yet she is the first to find comfort in her faith which never seems to fail her. She sends me daily texts, posts, and love. We taught together through one of my toughest teaching years, and she watched over me as if she were truly my Mama. She is a great Mama, which brings me to my friend, Cathy's daughter, Dana.
Something else I know for sure: I hear God's words through Dana. Anyone who knows Dana, knows that she has a way with words. She can rattle off an inspirational speech as if she worked for hours writing it. I coached with Dana for years and I can point to specific moments in our friendship which renewed my faith. Dana also introduced me to a pain management system called Hypnobabies which not only helped me have a drug-free childbirth with Emerson, but helps me as I deal with Chemotherapy. (Dana also had her 3rd child drug-free in the backseat of a car at a YMCA!) She's God's and my own champion. Which brings me to another champion, Michelle Costello.
Michelle is the hardest working, most magnetic person I've ever known. We also coached together for years, but more importantly she convinced me to go out on my first date with Michael. I was going to bail, but she wouldn't hear of it. And that's the thing about Michelle: she has such faith in other people that she will never give up on them. I've watched her coach literally hundreds of girls to be the best they can be...and I'm including myself in that number.
I told Dana and Michelle about my diagnosis before I made any sort of social media post. I hadn't told many people, but I wanted to tell them because I knew they would give me the strength I needed to tell the world. And they did. Live it, Love it, Fear it!
Cheers to Mama Schliep, Dana and Michelle!