Black background, yellow sunflowers, yellow area with words, how to live your best useful life

How To Live Your Best Useful Life

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All Scripture references come from the King James Version of the Holy Bible (KJV)."

I found this writing prompt that said, when you look at your life, looking back, what did you do with the time you were given  Have I been living my best useful life?  My first thought was sorrow. In my life, I look at it in segments of time. There’s before I was sick, a 7-year gap, then after the gap. Before I was sick, I led a full, rich, busy life. My time was devoted to raising my children, loving and supporting my husband and building my network marketing business. I was busy.

I contributed to the school, I was PTA President, Brownie leader, and soccer mom. We took the kids to all their ball games. We sat there in the cold and cheered them on. I was living what I thought was a useful life.

Grab your bible verses here

While everyone was either at school or work I took care of the household; I shopped, I cleaned, I did laundry. During that time I was working to build us our business. I could do presentation calls while I took care of our home. I had a system and it worked. I was making progress, we were making money, everyone was busy, life felt good. Yes, useful!

Then in 2001, I got sick. A flesh-eating bacteria paid my body a visit. In addition to removing sections of my body, in order to save my life, they had to remove my hands and feet. The next seven years, segment 2, involved physical healing. Of course, that didn’t take seven years.

Black background, yellow sunflowers, yellow area with words, how to live your best useful life

However, the mental healing took, what seemed like, forever. I couldn’t figure out how to succeed in life. Where should I go from here? My husband Mike, ever the supportive one told me to take all the time I needed. It wasn’t as if I was going back to work because I had always worked from home. I wasn’t living the useful life I should have been. The question was, how would I contribute? As a mom, I’d always been present. I just needed a project. A book? A blog? Wait!

It took me 7 loooong years to jump on the blog bandwagon and once I started, it seemed to take roots, thankfully. So now, we are in segment 3, which is the “moving forward” segment. I’m starting to feel useful again. I’m blogging, I’m researching, I’m learning, I’m excited. Everything is good!

My relationship with my Lord has been pretty consistent through my adult years. I didn’t accept Jesus as my Savior until I was 26 years old. However, my 7-year healing gap was when I really learned to trust Him. I spent more time in His Word and I called on Him more for strength and guidance.

Woman reading bible

So what have I learned about living my best useful life?

Living useful means that you have to be “present” with your family. Focus on their well-being. Teach your children.

Living useful means you have to raise your children in the Lord. Teach them to have a personal relationship with Him, not just salvation. Yes, that is critical. However, they need a real-life relationship with their Savior. His Word tells us to “Train up a child in the way he should go: And when he is old he will not depart from it.”. Proverbs 22:6.

Living useful means teaching your children to be independent. My kids learned to cook and to care for mom when she needed help. When it came time to live on their own, they flew, and I believe successfully.

2 men and a woman at a wedding

Living useful means you understand that God is with you at all times. It’s so important to be with Him as well. He loves you, he cares for you. Be present with Him.

Living useful means you must nurture your relationship with your spouse. Mike was never disgusted with my body like I was. He dressed me every day and never once flinched, yet I cry every time I stand naked in front of a mirror. My husband is my hero for everything he does for my kids and I. He’s been patient and supportive and loving. I thank God every day for him.

Husband and wife with their arms around each other, smiling

Living useful is not about physical abilities. It’s about where you are mentally. I had moments where I felt sorry for myself, heck I had years when I felt sorry for myself. Life is too short to waste it like that.

Living useful is to give back. Help others. Donate to charities. Sit with a friend when they need a shoulder to cry on.  If you would like some great ideas, here is a wonderful post called 105 of the Best Random Acts of Kindness that will help you in giving back.

Living useful is to make use of your downtime. Read a book. Learn something new. Study your Bible. Pray!

Living useful means you must challenge yourself. I don’t typically like to shop by myself. However, there have been times when I needed a gift and I just jumped in my car and went to the store. The clerk helped me with checking out. Those were the most rewarding days. I did it myself! I can do it! WooHoo!

all words, today wilk never come again, be a blessing, be a friend, encourage someone, tske time to care, let your words heal, not wound

Living useful is finding joy in your life. We have so much to be thankful for. God is so very good. He’s blessed us in so many ways, every day. You might look at me and say, “Wendy, how do you figure?” I’m alive! I’m fairly independent. My family loves me. I am so very grateful!

Living useful means you forgive. Forgive yourself and others. Life is too short to carry a grudge. For a long time, I struggled with my situation. I hated being a burden to others. What I’ve come to realize, however, is that I’m still a blessing to my family, friends, our church, even to people I’ve never met. My prayer is that I can inspire others. I pray I inspire you. I’ve learned to forgive myself…finally.

all words, i want to inspire people, i want someone to look at me and say because of you i didnt give up.

I challenge you to let go of the baggage that’s holding you back and keeping you from living a useful life. What has been in your way? How can I pray for you? Please leave your comments below. I’m so thankful for each of you who reads my blog. I want you to know that I pray for you. I encourage you to pray for me as well. Let’s live usefully together.  

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  1. Thank you for sharing some of your story. I can’t imagine what you’ve been through but I’m so grateful for how God is using it to inspire others. I appreciated how you defined being useful in so many practical ways.

  2. Thank you, Wendy! Lots of things to think about. I have struggled with similar feelings after I was diagnosed with MS and simply can’t do all the things I used to do. Asking for help is hard, accepting help is even harder.
    Thankfully I have a large and loving family and an amazing community of friends who have supported me through life. Not to mention my awesome husband who I met after I had left and abusive marriage. Life is good, now I just need to make it more useful.

    Karen |

    1. Hi Karen,
      Don’t sweat the small stuff. Yes, it’s hard asking for and accepting help. However, sometimes you just have to do it. Forgive yourself when you feel bad about it and move on. We both have to accept that there are things we just cannot do. That’s very hard. But if we focus on what we can do, there’s so much more there than we realize. Thank you for reading.

  3. Thank you for such an inspiring testimony! I moved into a Senior apartment complex about 7 months ago. I’m trying to make new friends. It occurred to me most of the people just stayed to themselves and did not get together. No regular activities go on in our community room and when something is offered hardly anyone attends. I’ve had R/A since I was 28 which has taken it’s toll on my body, along w/so many other medical problems. But the Lord has been so good to me He has helped me overcome every obstacle. I’m now 69 yrs old and I feel better now than I did when I was 40. Thanks to caring doctors and a loving God. Your article on Pinterest Living a Useful life struck at the core, Lately, that’s what I’ve been seeking and asking the Lord to show me make sure I’m doing that. I meet with a few people in our complex on a monthly basis trying to get together a committee to come up with ideas to get together and enjoy where we live. It’s been touch and go some have dropped out and that was a little discouraging. However, after talking to friends who keep encouraging me and after reading your article, I will continue on doing what I feel to do here to help.
    You keep on giving your testimony. I’m going to read it to my committee members. I’m sure it will touch other hearts as it has mine. Love

    1. Thank you, Pamela, for a wonderful comment. You lifted my heart with your kind words. Best wishes as you reach out to those around you to encourage usefulness. Stay happy!

    1. Hi Kate, thank you for reading. I agree, presence is critical and I’m guilty of not being there too. Let’s focus together on that!

  4. Great post! Lots of things to think about in here! I’ve had to adjust to a new normal since brain surgery as well.

    1. Oh, wow, Christy, that must be hard. However we can do all things through Christ which strengthens us, right? I appreciate your visit. Keep praying!

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