Today is Mae Love Kelly Malcolm's 99th birthday. She is celebrating at home with her four children and, this weekend will celebrate further with grandchildren, great grandchildren and great great grandchildren and other family members and countless friends. As we look to next year and her centennial 100th birthday, I didn't want to let this one pass without sharing some important lessons I have learned over the years from my grandmother.
1. LOVE WHAT YOU DO - whatever you choose to do in life - do it with PURPOSE. Love what you do. You spend a significant amount of your life laboring in a career. Pick something that you will enjoy doing; so that you are a joy to those around you. My grandmother was a nurse and nursing home caregiver and caretaker, an entrepreneur and a homemaker. In all those endeavors, she radiated joy to those around her.
2. YOUR WORD IS YOUR BOND - be a person of integrity. People may not remember your name, your occupation, or other details about you. But they will remember if their interactions with you left them with a sense of your character.
3. LAUGHTER REALLY IS THE BEST MEDICINE - Laugh and Laugh OFTEN. Learn to laugh hardest at yourself. Life is always throwing us curve balls. Learn how to embrace change and react positively to it. Attitude is everything and Laughter makes the path an easier and more enjoyable walk.
4. HAVE A SERVANT HEART - As a nurse, my grandmother embodied a servant heart. She had a joy for caring for others that has not diminished over her 99 years. She can still be found cooking in her kitchen and preparing food for the homeless and Christian shelters in and around Knoxville, TN on a regular basis. Serving others takes the focus off yourself; and pretty soon, your troubles melt away.
5. KNOW WHERE YOU ARE GOING - Life here on earth is short; although 99 years isn't a bad run! Do you know where you will go when it's over ? If you know where you are going; you can go boldly with a sense of purpose. In Grandma's case; she has known that the earth is her temporary home for most of her life; and this certainty and faith she has in her everlasting home has given her peace and purpose on her journey.
6. RESPECT THE EARTH - Grandma has a great love for the beautiful world that God has gifted to us. She still grows her own garden and plants her own flowers, tomatoes, potatoes and onions. She can frequently be found, salt shaker in hand, enjoying a vine-ripened tomato in her own backyard.
7. ITS NOT JUST THE DESTINATION - ITS THE RIDE - sometimes we don't know where we are going or how we are going to get there. Take time to enjoy the ride; you might end up on a great side road and see some great scenery along the way.
8. IN ALL THINGS - SHOW LOVE - none of us are perfect. At the end of the day, show appreciation for those around you, have humility and show LOVE. There's not enough of it in the world. Showing love doesn't cost you a thing. And the great thing about it is; when you show love, you receive love - its a win/win.
Happy Birthday Grandma - I love you! I'm proud to be your grand-daughter and can't wait to help you celebrate again next year!