Hello!~~~

Welcome!~

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.

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September 28, 2011

Because He Lives

"You Lookin' at Me?"


"You Lookin' At Me?"
Provided by Free Nature Pictures

Are there days when you wake up and you just want to S C R E A M?  No particular reason why, you just want to have one of those kid-like-roll-on-the-floor-type-temper-tantrum?  Today is one of those days for me... Now at 44 years if I did that, they'd probably come and put me in a white jacket and lock me up in a padded cell.  But when you think about it - I think if we allowed ourselves to have one of those it would do all of us a WORLD of good.  Better than any Yoga class, better than any exercise.  I think that keeping our emotions in and appearing "stoic" on the outside clogs us up like a stopped up drain.

Take a moment with me - try this! It's harder than it seems it would be.  Take out a piece of paper - write down ALL the things that you are feeling frusturated with.  Can you do it?  Let me see if I can do it... Here I go...

I'm frusturated that cancer has changed every portion of my life! That it was the breaking point in my marriage! That I had to go through treatments alone! That I'm struggling financially! That I'm having to adjust to being a "single parent" that I don't have all the answers! That I'm afraid of reoccurence! That I'm not promised tomorrow! That my body feels different than it did before surgery - even though I'm blessedly cancer-free! That everything I want seems dependent on money! That I'm not sure I should want the things that I want and if I got them if they would even workout or make me happier? That my emotions run up and down like a huge roller coaster ride! That sometimes God feels far away - even though I know He isn't and that I'm not suppose to go by my feelings - although my feelings are very strong! That God created me with the desire to LIVE although everything in this world dies and is not promised tomorrow!"

There! Ahhhhhh that feels somewhat better! Did you do it too? Now take a good look at that list (your list not mine.. hehehe)... What are YOU going to do about it? You can stew and sit and steam and do nothing to change your situation - or you can change your mind!  I choose to change my mind.  It is hard to accept that there are certain things that we have no control over.  But in saying that - even before I went through being diagnosed with breast cancer and having a quarter-size chunk removed from my left breast, and having gone through chemo and radiation I realize that - guess what? We NEVER have had control over our lives.  The Bible tells us "The Steps of the Righteous are Ordained by God."  Things happen to us that surprise us - but they don't surprise HIM. He sees down through the course of history - and yes even through what some of us think of as our "trivial lives" and knows.  He knows... (Does that bring tears to your eyes? Because its bringing tears to mine)...  And still He loves us.  He knows.  If He knew about it then, and He knows about it now - and STILL loves us than we have to love ourselves.  Love ourselves enough to accept that our lives are in His hands (by the way - they always WERE even before those unbelievable situations happened in your lives.  Even before you goofed up.) The difference the thing that matters MOST is what are YOU going to do?

Let me tell you a little story, one that I wrote off the top of my head...

There was once this frog.  He had somehow lost his way in a forest and was trying to find his way back to his pond.  As he was walking through the forest (or hopping rather..) he came to a clearing.  He saw a big pot filled with water and thought "oh my legs ache... Maybe if I just swim in that water for a little while I'll feel rejuvinated and will be able to find my way back to the pond."  So he jumped into the pot (not noticing the hot fire underneath it). It felt sooo good at first... The warm bath-like water was soothing and cajoling... He lay back and relaxed, "aaah, this is the life..." but after a while, he started feeling lethargic - the water felt warmer.  He began to squirm feeling uncomfortable, disoriented.  What had once felt good didn't feel good anymore.  He couldn't remember what to do?  Should he jump out of the pot back onto the hard ground? Unsure of how long it would take him to find water again? Or should he just stay there and squirm and try to adjust to the sudden spike in temperature of the water surrounding him?  The longer he stayed the hotter it got.  He began to get angry.  "Why is this water so hot! Why couldn't it stay warm? Why did I lose my way from my pond?!" He stamped his hot little foot in anger.  Then he realized he had to make a decision.  He could either stay in his discomfort and hope that it would get better by itself or he could jump out into the unknown and try to find his way back to his pond.  He jumped out from the pot onto the ground and looked up at the pot seeing the flame underneath it for the first time. Then he stopped looking behind him and focused on the pathway infront of him and went forward on his way."

We don't know what tomorrow holds - but it could be better than today? If we don't try - we won't know. If we don't believe and we settle and we stew and we complain - we may miss out on the blessings that are before us that we don't yet see. We can change the things about us that we are able to change.  So take a look at your list now.  (I'm looking at mine)..

Yes cancer has changed my life. Changed the way I think (taken away my bs meter...) but it has also brought into my life some of the most couragious, beautiful, strongest women I have ever met. Brought friends into my life that I never otherwise would have had the privelege of knowing.  Yes after 19 years of marriage I'm on my own.. But I have such love in my heart, so much to share, so much to experience, so much to do that I can't see myself being that way forever. So I've grown? Although I often get lonely and scared of these changes - they are not forever. That much I know. Sometimes change = growth. If we allow it. And as for my feelings - it is important not to be "led" by them but to acknowledge them for what they are. To do less is to dishonor yourself.

So you see? I'm changing the way I think. Are YOU? Why don't you try it and see what results you have. Be patient with yourself.  Changing the way you think takes time and if you are your own worst critic (like I am) then you are harder on yourself than anyone else is... I often think of the scripture "Love your Neighbor as your Love yourself." (Mark 12:30-31)But here is the thing - many of us are loving our neighbors MORE than we are showing our ownselves love.  I think the change has to start first with us.  I have started thinking about how this body of ours is a shell.  We are in-cased within it.  First there is our mind, our body and our spirit.  How interwoven these three things are.... I think if we "change our mind" we will see a better result in our body and in our lives and of course our spirit.  I hope that doesn't come off as "New Agey" because I'm not at ALL. But I do think that is even Biblical.  Afterall the Bible tells us: "Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable--if anything is excellent or praiseworthy--think about such things." (Philippians 4:8)

It's time to change your mind... And jump outta what ever pot you are stewing in... He's holding us in the palm of his hand (Isaiah 49:16) and He tells us "I will continue to do a good work in you until it is finally finished." (Phillipians 1:6)  Choose to believe it. Change your mind... It will change your life... I know, because its changing mine.

September 25, 2011

Yentl - Papa Can you Hear Me?

Don't Put Your Muck in My Backyard...

There is a song that we use to sing as campers, at my Camp - Camp Foss. The words of the song went like this:
"Don't put your muck in my backyard, my back yard, my back yard, Don't put your muck in my back yard, my back yard's full..."


It was just a fun song that we use to sing - how strange is it that that seems to be the mentality of today? Everyone is concerned with themselves more than they are concerned with their neighbors?  What would happen to the world if everyone had that "Me! Me! Me!" mentality?

I had an eye opening conversation with a 21 year old boy this weekend - and I say "boy" because that was the mentality he had.  It was my father's birthday, I should mention that my father passed away 9 years ago... However, I have this tradition of honoring the memory of him by buying flowers, and a balloon and taking them to the cemetery.   Now I know my dad is in a "better place" but it makes ME feel good to be able to honor him this way.  I know this may be a bit childlike - but I like to walk over to his stone, talk to him a bit about life and what's going on and then, kiss the balloon, hold it close for a moment - sing Happy Birthday and then - release it, off into the air.  Here is the childlike faith part -part of me believes that God allows this balloon right into Heaven where my father is.  I watch it take off and go as far as it can possibly go until its out of sight....

Well, there I was in Stop & Shop, I had the balloon picked out and was waiting for the sales guy (him) to blow it up with helium for me.  As he was unpacking the mylar from its wrapping he noticed the balloon said, "Happy Birthday Dad" and he asked me if I was going to a birthday party for my father.  I told him that the balloon was in memory of my father, that I was honoring him and how.  He blinked, looked at me and said, "Don't."

Raising an eyebrow, I looked back at him and said, "I beg your pardon?"

He looked at me and said, "Why are you doing that? How long has your father been gone?"

I met his look with a stern one of my own, trying to hold back my temper.  "He's been gone for nine years now, but it still feels like yesterday."

He looked at me surprised and said, "You should just forget about him."

I was now offended.  I looked down my nose at him, feeling "old" for the first time.  "That is simply ridiculous.  You don't just "forget" your parents.  I'll never forget my father.  How old are you?" I asked him.

He looked surprised.  "I'm 21," He said.

"Well that is still awfully young." I said condescendingly.  "One day you'll understand.  If your parents passed away you would know how terribly hard it would be to just "forget them."

"No it wouldn't." He said.  "I always remember my mother."

"Probably when you want something..." I said under my breath.  He must of heard me...

"Yes, that is exactly when I remember her." He said.

I looked back at him surprised by his audacity.  He really meant what he said.

Now I don't know what his life "situation" has been with his parents, but from the calm manner he presented he came off as a brat.

"One day your parents aren't going to be here and you will miss them - even if right now you think you won't." I said to him with an air of someone who is "ohhh so much older and wiser than he. You don't realize it now because you haven't gone through it yourself.  I suggest when you get off work and go home you hug your mother tightly because not one of us is promised tomorrow."

"When my mother passes away," He said looking me straight in the eye. "As close as we are, I will forget about her."

I threw him a look of genuine disgust and pity.  "Thank you for blowing up the balloon for me." I said, and I walked away.

I felt extremely bad for his mother. For his parents.  I think about all I try to do (and have done) for my children and I hope at the very, very least if I should pass away that they would never choose to forget me.  To me that would be the ultimate heart breaker.

I also could not help but think about the scripture that talks about the "sign of times." It almost made the hair on my arms rise up with the matter of fact manner he seemed to be able to say, "when they are gone - forget them."

2nd Timothy 3:2 describes it this way:  "People will be lovers of themselves, lovers of money, boastful, proud, abusive, disobedient to their parents, ungrateful, unholy,"


Is that what we have come down to? Not a day goes by that I do not miss my father.  We had an imperfect relationship, but I loved him, there were times I did not like him - but I always, always loved him.  You do not realize how short life is until you have faced it yourself.  Until you have lost a parent and you would give your "right arm" just to be able to hug them one more time and say thank you.

Being a breast cancer survivor, one who caught it early - I've been given a second chance at life.  It changes your perspective.  When you are young, you don't realize that it doesn't necessarily mean that bad things are going to wait until you are old to happen.  Guess what? They happen to young people too.  I should know - I'm not that old.  Compassion, love and respect are things that should happen TODAY.  We've all heard the saying "Don't put off tomorrow what you could do today?" (I think that is right... but if not, you know what I mean.)  Don't wait to say your "I love you's" now.  You may regret it tomorrow....

And there aren't enough balloons in the whole world to make that sorrow go away...