Live Like Laurie

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Friday made me realize how selfish I am. While I go about my day looking for things to complain about, there are people with greater struggles but are more thankful for their blessings.

On Friday, we celebrated the life of Laurie Pufpaff, a life lived to the fullest extent possible. For the past ten years, she battled with cancer, but she lived with grace. She didn’t let her diagnosis hold her back. It never kept her from living. If anything, it gave her more of a reason to do the things she loved.

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Her battle spoke volumes to so many people. She showed true faith in not questioning God in such trying times. She is an example of a true believer. She never gave up on God, and I believe he did the same for her. It’s easy to thank God in good times, but it takes strength to be thankful during the hard times.

Now don’t be mistaken, she didn’t lose her fight to cancer; she won by the way she lived her life. Cancer didn’t stand a chance against this fighter. She continued to be a wife, a mother, a friend, and an educator. Her presence could light up any room.

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I met Laurie in high school, and she became Mama Puf to me and eventually the whole lacrosse team. She was our team’s biggest fan. She was always positive and encouraging, even if we weren’t very good. I went to a game a few years back, and she was the first person I ran into. Years after her kids had graduated, she was still cheering the team on. That’s who she was.

I never heard her complain. Even when she was hurting, she continued to wear a smile, and that smile is how she will be remembered. The amount of love at her funeral on Friday illuminated her character, and it provided evidence that she touched every life she encountered.

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That’s how I want to be remembered. I want to be more like Laurie. I want to love unconditionally, live fully, and trust God always. I fall short in all of those areas, but Friday was a reminder of what a great role model Laurie was. She was everything I hope to be. I am already so far behind, but if I can be half the women she was, that’s something I can be proud of.

Now I challenge you. I challenge you to live more like Laurie. Be the light for others, even in the midst of your own battles. Show the world that no matter what comes your way, your God is greater and so is your strength!

Rest in peace to one of the greatest angels this world has ever known.

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If Life Were Easy

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Life being easy – isn’t that a funny thought? Let’s be real, no one has an easy life. If someone tells you they do, I can reassure you – they’re lying. At some point, we’ve all been through hard times. But think, what if life were easy?

We would go about our days with no cares in the world. We would lose sight of why we’re here in the first place. Life is hard, and it’s hard for a reason. We have to remember that. If we didn’t have difficult times in our lives, when would we lean on God? I strongly believe God has allowed us to struggle at times so we come back to him. He helps bring us through the hardest of days, all we have to do is believe and ask.

While reading the book of Genesis, I finished on a pretty powerful verse. “You intended to harm me, but God intended it for good to accomplish what is now being done, the saving of many lives.” Genesis 50:20.  Joseph told his brothers, who sold him into slavery, that he forgave them. He forgave them because God had a greater plan for him, as he does for us. Jacob suffered through many rough days, but he clung to his faith, and it provided him with the strength to conquer the sins of his brothers. We don’t always understand the plan during the storm, but when the rain ceases, it’s clear. We must hold tight to our faith and know that God keeps his word.

He waits for us with open arms. So when times get tough, remember: you have the Creator of Nations on your side. He is waiting for you, rooting for you, and there for you when you need him, even when you think you don’t.

Trust in the LORD with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make straight your paths.” Proverbs 3:5-6
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