It has now been seven years since I started this blog. How quickly time goes by! We are many members but we are one in the body of Christ. Therefore you do not journey alone! Hopefully through this site you will be encouraged by the fact that many things you are going through in your own walk, others are going through (or have gone through) as well. Sometimes we think we are "going through things alone." But we are not. God said that "He would Never Leave Nor Forsake Us." (Hebrews 13:5) and that "There is Nothing New Under The Sun." (Ecclesiastes 1:9). No man is an island. It's easy to forget that. May the words in this blog help you to think, encourage you in whatever spiritual state you are in and may the Lord use them to help us to grow in Him! He is the Author and Finisher of our faith!

I don’t want any readers to think that I am “promoting” being a prodigal. I definitely am not. But what I am hoping to do – is to encourage those of us who either have had or are currently experiencing a hard time in our walk to be honest about it. Personal conviction is a powerful thing, especially if you truly love the Lord. I think that sometimes the Body of Christ critiques and judges to the point where the person who is at the other end of that pointing finger feels ostracized, alienated and alone. I don't think that that is what Jesus intended. When I read through my Bible - I see a firm yet gentle restoration that Jesus ministered to those around Him. Look at John 21:15-19. When Peter who was at an all time low point in his walk - he was firmly, yet lovingly restored by Jesus. He didn't tear him down, or yell or make him feel any worse then he already did. He spoke to him lovingly and gently - and in doing so, Peter was able to repent and minister in a much more powerful, humble and confident way and it became one of the largest ministries ever.

Please note that I am only a vessel, my calling - to write. I dedicate this blog to the Lord and ask that He use it to reach out and touch whoever needs a special, loving, personal touch from Him. My hope is that the Holy Spirit allows you to see Him through the words (and not me). We go through things so that we can extend our right hand of fellowship behind us to assist and help someone else. Our Bible is the same today, as it was yesterday as it will be tomorrow. (I am far from perfect and do not profess to have all the answers...) but the good news is - Our Heavenly Father does! His love, forgiveness, grace and mercy is real!Nothing you are experiencing in your walk comes as a surprise to Him! May He be glorified through this blog and may God bless you at whatever stage in your walk you are in!~

I am a Breast Cancer Survivor

I am a Breast Cancer Survivor
I was diagnosed with early stage triple negative breast cancer on June 24th, 2010 - I have been cancer free for 7 years now. It was only a chapter in my life - NOT my life, but the impact is one that has changed my life forever. Its important for women to know that 80% of the breast cancer diagnosis come from women who don't have a history of it in their family (My family didn't). Early detection is the key. For more information please click on the pink ribbon above. It could save your life.


June 30, 2010

You've Got A Friend In Me

You've Got a Friend in ME - When the Rubber Hits the Road

Its early morning... And I'm being still, chasing away fear and preparing myself for my first Radiation Oncology appointment. I'm thinking so many thoughts... Thinking about friendship - and what that is.  Thinking about the people who over the last two weeks have either run from me - acting as though I have leprosy or something and the ones who have shown their true colors of friendship. I was trying to think of how I would act - if this was someone I loved. Its so different when it happens to YOU.  I thought I knew how precious life was already.  But you know - when its YOU standing at the frontline of this. The colors of life are more vibrant. It's like before everything was beautiful in a "water color" kind of way. But now, its like deeper hues of vibrant color. What has been wonderful is the outpouring of love from those that are my REAL friends.  Checking on me, lifting me up, reminding me that I WILL survive this.  That this is not my life - its only a chapter in my life.

At the same time - what has hurt even more than the diagnosis - is when I thought someone would be there for me  - they weren't. They left my side. Avoided me. Stopped communications.  Thinking that I would not notice the change. That hurt. And to the people who have done that - I just want to say - It hurts, but I understand. Because sometimes when this happens to someone - you don't know what to say. Heck - its happening to ME and I don't know what to say! LOL All I can say is although your reaction has hurt me - I love you still.

That will not be my focus. My focus is on the Lord. Who said "He will never leave nor forsake me." Who said "I  hold you in the palm of my hand." Who told me - "Nothing will keep Him from me." (I'm being lazy - you look them up! ;P) I'm hedged in and totally dependent upon HIM.  Perhaps that is the best place to be. "Sitting on my Father's lap." (LOL) Even at 43 He lets me!

People will disappoint you ALL the time. We are imperfect. Geesh if I wrote down my imperfections it would be like a long scroll.. "Hear ye, Hear ye..." I think in the quiet of the morning - we all know the things we need to work on within ourselves.  Even if we don't confess them outloud.  WE KNOW what they are, don't we?  Today - I'm working on quieting my fear. Because fear is not of God. He is ABLE.

I've met two women this past week - one online and one in person. BOTH who have gone thru what I am going through now. Both radiate the love of Christ. They know the vibrancy I am talking about. How beautiful they are - kind of like how I picture Moses was coming from the Mountain. They've come from a "Mountain" they've "been" where I'm going and have come back again. And they are radiating the Holy Spirit. The peace that surrounds these two women is Incredible.  The way they willingly share with me the fight they experienced.  Their beauty from their battle is clear.  They have been changed. They KNOW who is in control.  I want that.  I shall have that and when I've gone through this "battle" and come out "the winner" I shall be a living testimony that GOD did it! IN ME.  And that because He is NO respector of persons what He has done for one, He will do for another.  I believe that!

Everyone at some point in their lives goes through a "fire" a burning off, a growing pain.  He says "I will not give you MORE than you can bear..." Only HE knows how much that is.  "The steps of a righteous man/woman are ordained by God." Our steps - our lives. What happens to us - may at times surprise us.  But it doesn't SURPRISE HIM. I'm so thankful in the midst of all this - that what it has done is brought me closer to my Father.  Revealed who my true friends are. Who those who REALLY love me are.  I thought I woke up every day already thankful for everything - but I realized I had only "scratched the surface." And I also realized in being a Christian - that THIS is what it is all about. Our faith, our believing.  This is the time where you see if you TRULY believe.

I'm wiser.. and stupider at the same time! LOL Well I'm still the "Dork" I've always been. Still running into things, still tripping over nothing. Still laughing at myself. When I first went to the doctor with my this lump, she asked me.. Did you run into anything, fall? And I laughed and said - Yes - I'm a Dork. I'm like a modern day Lucille Ball. ALWAYS running into something... But you have to laugh over it. Because I know that laughter truly IS the best medicine of all.

June 29, 2010

What is YOUR Goliath? Mine goes by the name of Breast Cancer

Sunday, June 21st I held a moving sale with my family. Hardly did I know that day would be the end of a chapter in my life as I've known it for the last 43 years.  I came in the house, got ready to take a shower - and noticed a lump the size of a nickel on my left breast. It was just "there." I ran down to show my husband and we called my mom.  My mom suggested that I be cautious and I make an appointment with my doctor for the next day - I did. Oh how quickly this whirl wind of events took place. Seeing my doctor she sent me for a mammogram (only the second one I've ever had) and an ultrasound. There it was - I needed to come in for something called a "core biopsy." I came in the next day had the procedure.  Now I know no one is fond of needles - but especially needles put in places that they "normally" would NOT go.  However I went visualizing the Lord holding my hand.  The song "Jesus Take the Wheel" going through my head. They told me it would be a 3-5 day wait for the results.  THREE TO FIVE DAYS.  It felt like eternity.  I started thinking of my life for over the past two years... And I realized that no matter what - I needed to begin my trek "back home" to the Lord. No matter what the results.

I thought about Shepherds - how when one sheep is missing they leave their "whole" flock to look for it. I've been "missing" for the past two years. Away from the safety, the warmth, the peace the comfort of the Lord. Like a rebellious teenager saying "no Lord! I don't wanna!!!" I'd gone my own way, looking for - I don't know what.  And knowing the whole time that I was "looking for I-don't-know-what." The ironic thing about it - is I realized during the whole time I waited for the results - that all I need my Father supplies.  And you know - He gives so much better so much more ample, so much more generously than I can provide for myself.  Does that make sense? These past two years - I've done things I'm not proud of and probably will only reveal to my inner circle of prayer partners - and you know - I think it is important for each of us to be as transparent with our walks as we can.  Because the fact is - so many other brothers and sisters in Christ are going thru similar situations.  This blog is NOT a confessional blog.  You see - the only one I really need to confess ANYTHING to - is the Father.  And the most ironic thing about it - is HE KNOWS EVERYTHING ANYHOW.  He knows!  You can't hide ANYTHING from Him. So why do we even try? Like Adam and Eve in the Garden - having eaten the apple - God knew it. He knew what they had done - but still - they tried to hide from Him.  We haven't changed all that much. (LOL) we are STILL trying to hide from Him.  But here's the thing - here is what I've learned - if you know the story of the Prodigal son.  You know that he realized how MUCH he needed his father.  He got to the lowest point in his life he could go and realized - He needed... He WANTED to return home.  And when he did - his Father was there - looking down the pathway - waiting, hoping for him to come home.  The Bible tells us his arms were open WIDE. WIDE WIDE WIDE.

I ran into my Father's arms on June 24th. My doctor called me at work and told me - the results were positive. I have breast cancer.  My world has changed.  My life has changed - but you know what hasn't changed? My GOD.  He is the same yesterday, today and tomorrow.  I gave my life to Him at the age of 21. That was 23 years ago. I have run back into my Father's awaiting arms - and you know what I've found? PEACE. I found security, I found comfort. I found love.  What was it I had been looking for before? I don't even KNOW.  I only know - that my arms are wrapped around Him TIGHTLY. TIGHTLY TIGHTLY TIGHTLY.  How would you be if your child was ill? If your child was hurting? You would wrap your arms around them and hold them close to you.  Kiss their head.  The Bible tells us "If we being evil give such good gifts to our children - how much MORE will your Heavenly Father give to you?"

I won't lie to you - I've been bewildered.  I've been scared. I've been shocked. A week ago - I was FINE. Well no - I wasn't.  But you know what? Ironically I am now.  I'm FINE.  Okay, so I have a Goliath in my life - its called breast cancer.  But you know what? This morning as I read my Word and I prayed.  I thought of David.  I thought of how his knees must have been shaking as he stood infront of this giant.  I thought of how the other soldiers must have been watching on - mocking him.  This shepherd boy. Waiting for him to get pummeled by this Giant of a man. Can you imagine their surprise when the Giant fell? Can you imagine Goliath's shock what his last thought might have been before he fell? David stood before him with one weapon - his faith.  His trust.  His love for the Lord.  He knew He was real.  He knew the battle wasn't his. He knew the LORD would win.

This stupid little nickel size tumor came as a huge shock to me.  But you know - it didn't to my Father. I and many of my Survivor sisters - who btw I'm just beginning to meet - are having/had a "Goliath experience." But the fight is NOT ours.  And our weapon - is our Faith. I don't know why my Father is allowing me to go through this - but this I know.  He is in control.  My eyes are on my Father.  My weapon - my faith. I'm standing before the Giant - and I know that as David did - I will win this battle. And my Father will be victorious and I will use this experience to extend the right hand of fellowship to the woman behind me (as women are doing now to me).

Everyone in their lives goes through a Prodigal experience at some point. Its what you choose to do with what you learn that makes the difference. There is mercy and grace and love in my Father's arms. In YOUR Father's arms.  He is no respector of persons.  He has no favorites. He loves all of us - just exactly the same. In the midst of the battle - there is PEACE.

June 7, 2010

Mud Day!

It's Monday or today it feels like "Mud-day" and I'm about to have a good ol'fashion temper tantrum.  You know the kind - like the ones you see at the grocery store check out line where the small kid throws himself on the floor and twists and turn like his body has suddenly converted into a spaghetti strand because his mom or dad won't buy him a piece of candy?  Yep - that describes it exactly!  If I were a pinball game I'd be on "tilt." Or if I were one of those cartoon Sunday newspaper figures - I'd have "x"s where my eyes should be and my tongue would be hanging out.

I wonder why once we give our lives to the Lord - once we've made that decision - He just doesn't take everything from there.  Wouldn't that make life so much easier?  I mean we would say something like, "Lord, I gladly turn over my life to you.  Here are the keys - here you go.  Freely with the free-will you've blessed me with.  This life is now all yours!"  And just let Him take the driving wheel from there.  Why can't it be that way I wonder?  I don't know about you - but I make a mess of things.  Not intentionally of course - but I do! I know that the reason why we go through things in life is so that we can reach back the right hand of fellowship later on (perhaps) to someone else who is going through a lesson that perhaps we already learned.  And truthfully be able to say - "I've been there - I've done that and I made it through."

I also know that "He is the Potter and we are the clay."  But this Kill (life) sometimes seems oooh sooo hot and more than this clay can bare. Have you ever wondered what He is forming out of "your clay?"   Of course He is in the business of smoothing out all the imperfections and He didn't say that it wouldn't hurt... The thing is - as long as we have breath in our bodies, we are learning. I imagine when we stand before him all of our beautiful glaze shinning bright.  No credit tourselves of course.  All glory going to Him who is the Author and Finisher of our faith...The only perfect Human. I think I must be a "cup" for I always think like a "cup half full..." Today I say through clenched teeth (almost chanting it mind you...) "There go I but for the grace of God..." Jesus how did you do it?! Or perhaps I should say as Scarlett O'Hara said in "Gone With the Wind" "I'll worry about that tomorrow..."

June 6, 2010

Healing Rain by Michael W. Smith

What Do You See in Your Own Kaleidoscope?

Its been a while since I last blogged. I have to do it when the inspiration hits me.  Today it hit me - hard.  I'm looking out my window and its pouring rain.  Or as we use to say when we were little - "It's raining cats and dogs..." (Why did we say that? LOL).  When I was a little girl my parents use to take my brother and I camping.  It was an inexpensive way to vacation.  We'd load up the car with our tent and our sleeping bags and our camping stove and we'd go to some great camp site.  One I remember in particular was in New Hampshire.  When it would rain like this my mother would say - "You kids should put on your bathing suits and grab a bar of soap and go outside and take a 'rainshower."  Today is that kind of day.  I'm tempted to go outside in my backyard, stretch out my arms with my palms facing up, lift up my head and feel the rain fall on my face, in my hair.  Soak me."  Funny how as a kid we'd do it in a flash.  But as a grown up we hesitate and just "think" about doing it.... It would feel sooooooo good. 

I started thinking about how we are all like "kaleidoscopes" there are so many facets to who we are, do you remember those long tubular things we were given as kids?  You'd hold it up to one eye and look through it and you'd see triangles of colors and things and we'd go "oooohhhh" and "aaaahhhh." Seems like a great simile of our multifaceted selves.  And the picture changes as we grow older... Perhaps the colors get more vibrant with our experiences as we age... Or perhaps it depends on your perspective as you're looking at your "life" - perhaps the colors become more dull and faded... Which is it for you?

I've learned over the last two years of my life "never to say never."  Because that "never" you say - might come along and hit you up the side of your head and surprise you.  I've also learned not to judge.  To watch, to think, to consider - but not to judge.  Being in a prodigal's state makes you look at things from a different perspective.  I like to think it has made me more "sensitive to others" perhaps more reflective. I'm not God - and I'm sooooo glad I'm not.  What a job and we think "being President" is a hard task. (LOL) why would anyone want to be God? NOT ME.  NosireeBob!  I'd probably be like the Queen in Alice in Wonderland "Off with her head!" (LOL -- well I'm an emotional woman... I'd probably act on my emotion and then be like oops! Aren't YOU glad I'm NOT God? ;)

We live in such a "All about Me" world. Seems like everyone is concerned about themselves.  "What can I get out of it? What's in it for me? What are you doing for me? What about me? ME ME ME ME ME. How sad is that? Is that love? Is that what we've come down to? If so, I hope I "never" think that way... That's not love. Love is when you buy a gift for someone not out of the expectation of receiving one in return, but because you wanted that person to smile. Love is showing a person in every way you know how that you love them not because you have to - but because you WANT to.  Love is being that shoulder for someone you care about to cry on.  Maybe that's all you can offer them at the time - but when you give all you have unselfishly - that's love.  Isn't that what Jesus did?  He gave all He had unselfishly.  He didn't have to.  He could have called a legion of angels to come get him and take him "home." But He didn't.  He gave everything He had. He "poured himself" out for us. Doesn't the Bible tell us that He is to be our example? Yet our present day society is "ALL ABOUT ME." No wonder the suicide rate is so high.

How do you love? Do you do it selfishly? Thinking its just about what you can gain? Do you e-mail or call someone only when they e-mail YOU first? Is it all about a scoreboard of points? You did this - they did that? It's "their turn now?" Are you a "fair weather friend" only reaching out when you feel like it? Thinking that person will always be around? How do people think that way? It crosses my eyes. Not one of us is promised tomorrow - that is what goes through my head every day that God gives me a brand new day.  I think - "This is a new day for me to show the people I love that I love them..." I guess when you watch someone you love die - you get a new perspective on what is important.  Of how short life is.  We take so much for granted until its too late.  Don't WAIT until its too late.  Do it now.  How much better it would be if we all thought and acted upon "its all about YOU" to someone else.  Made them feel special.  Instead of looking out only for ourselves. Have you done that today?  Made someone feel important? Made someone feel special?  Shown them that you love them?  As I ask this - I'm thinking of whether or not I have done that today myself... Its what I try to do for someone I love each day - make them feel special. Its what you do if you love someone. Truly love someone. An action means so much more than a gift. The Bible tells us "Give and it will be given back to you - pressed down, shaken together, flowing over - back in good measure." (Luke 6:38 and I believe this goes farther then just about the tithe - I believe this goes to every part of our lives - how we live)  - Oh now THAT is the kind of love I want. Freely I give - and freely to receive back. Not because I expect it - but because that is what happens (or should happen) when you love someone.  It comes back to you a double portion.  And it goes on and on  - like a circle, never ending.  That is how I think love should be.

The sun has just broken through the clouds and come out.  Just when I was going to grab my suit and take off into the back yard... An opportunity missed. Wow - how the weather is perfect for my blog today.  Don't let the opportunity to show the people you love that you love them.  You might not get another chance.