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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November 24, 2012

Maybe...




“Maybe you could sit beside me? Listen...It has taken me a long time to hear it. If you listen closely, maybe you will hear it too...”


“Maybe in the beginning, I bowed to it, and then with amusement, begun to dance with a dramatic spring in my step, an exaggerated dose-do.”

“Maybe it promenaded me with its notes. It cajoled me and seduced, captured my attention and made me want to chase after it. I never felt fear – only fascination. It held my hand like a familiar partner, our fingers entwined and I allowed it to lead me from experience to experience. Learning all the while…”

“Maybe I’d become so comfortable; I’d taken it for granted, expected it to repeat itself over and over again. Like a person who has worn a perfume or cologne for a number of years, and become de-sensitized to the scent, it became part of the fabric of my life. The verses consisted of “routine, habit, and comfort.” Lulled me and became repetitive to the point where maybe I felt entitled.”

“Maybe that is when it happened… Just when I felt entitled, the tune changed. To one I didn’t recognize. The tempo changed and the steps became too fast. The partner holding my hand was a strange one, harsh and cruel. Spinning me around and around till all that was familiar was a blur.”

“Maybe the hand that spun me gripped my fingers in an icy grip so tight it hurt. And I just wanted it to stop. Just TO STOP. But the rhythm had become one I didn’t recognize and at times was so loud I thought my ears would never stop ringing. And I didn’t recognize the steps. And I stumbled over and over again. Feeling lost. Feeling afraid. Feeling alone.”

“Maybe, when the spinning stopped, I no longer recognized my surroundings. I no longer recognized myself… Maybe that is when I began taking pictures… Of myself. To prove to me who “me” was. That I was still “me. The “me” I had always been… The “Me” I am still…”

“Maybe, that is when I felt a new partner take my hand, with a sisterly kind of touch, matching me step by step. Gentle soothing fingers held mine; the notes became lullaby - Taking away the sting of those preceding it and allowing me to work through the steps, responding to every stumble with a firm reassuring grip. Not allowing me to falter. Each step giving me renewed confidence that assured me I was not alone.”

“Maybe, the scenery has changed. But it’s okay. I’m okay…Can you hear it? Listen…. The notes are different now or perhaps they are not… Perhaps it is ME who has changed. I recognize the melody, it's my life song.  It's far from over and if you've listened carefully you've heard the high points and the lows... But there are so many more "highs" then lows.  It has been written by the greatest composer of all.  And while I don't know the ending He does.  He is the conductor of my soul. The Author and Finisher of my faith - the Alpha and the Omega. This song, it was written just for me and while I may not know the next verse - I know the Author of the song and maybe - JUST maybe that is good enough."

November 21, 2012


What's Cooking? Do You Feel Like it's You?



Have you ever heard the story of Shadrach, Meshack & Abednego? Three very BRAVE men who found themselves in one extremely HOT situation; (not of their own choosing)… How many of us have felt the heat of a situation similar (perhaps in a smaller measure) as that below, and managed to keep our calm and wits about us? The story is taken from the book of Daniel, Chapter 3. There truly is nothing new under the sun that presents itself to us in life. The circumstances may be different, but the pressure of the “cooking pot” of life is STILL the same. Our deliverance, salvation, hope, stability, love – all come from God. When our eyes are focused upon Him, He is the balm that can keep us when otherwise “our goose would be cooked.” We can be confident that although things continuously surprise us – that NOTHING surprises HIM.


Don’t allow the heat of a situation to make you be the main ingredient in a simmering pot. We have to remind ourselves that the victory HAS ALREADY BEEN WON.

He didn’t promise life would be easy…. But He did promise He would never leave nor forsake us through it. Sometimes that’s the only thing we can hold on to. But it shouldn’t be considered an “only” it is what we need. And who knows that any better than “our Creator?” Read Shadrach, Meshack and Abednego’s story as told in Daniel Chapter three below – and think about your own life and let God minister to you right where you are at. His word is the same today, as it was yesterday, as it will be tomorrow.

Daniel Chapter Three

3 King Nebuchadnezzar made an image of gold, sixty cubits high and six cubits wide,[a] and set it up on the plain of Dura in the province of Babylon. 2 He then summoned the satraps, prefects, governors, advisers, treasurers, judges, magistrates and all the other provincial officials to come to the dedication of the image he had set up. 3 So the satraps, prefects, governors, advisers, treasurers, judges, magistrates and all the other provincial officials assembled for the dedication of the image that King Nebuchadnezzar had set up, and they stood before it.

4 Then the herald loudly proclaimed, “Nations and peoples of every language, this is what you are commanded to do: 5 As soon as you hear the sound of the horn, flute, zither, lyre, harp, pipe and all kinds of music, you must fall down and worship the image of gold that King Nebuchadnezzar has set up. 6 Whoever does not fall down and worship will immediately be thrown into a blazing furnace.”

7 Therefore, as soon as they heard the sound of the horn, flute, zither, lyre, harp and all kinds of music, all the nations and peoples of every language fell down and worshiped the image of gold that King Nebuchadnezzar had set up.

8 At this time some astrologers[b] came forward and denounced the Jews. 9 They said to King Nebuchadnezzar, “May the king live forever! 10 Your Majesty has issued a decree that everyone who hears the sound of the horn, flute, zither, lyre, harp, pipe and all kinds of music must fall down and worship the image of gold, 11 and that whoever does not fall down and worship will be thrown into a blazing furnace. 12 But there are some Jews whom you have set over the affairs of the province of Babylon—Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego—who pay no attention to you, Your Majesty. They neither serve your gods nor worship the image of gold you have set up.”

13 Furious with rage, Nebuchadnezzar summoned Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego. So these men were brought before the king, 14 and Nebuchadnezzar said to them, “Is it true, Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego, that you do not serve my gods or worship the image of gold I have set up? 15 Now when you hear the sound of the horn, flute, zither, lyre, harp, pipe and all kinds of music, if you are ready to fall down and worship the image I made, very good. But if you do not worship it, you will be thrown immediately into a blazing furnace. Then what god will be able to rescue you from my hand?”

16 Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego replied to him, “King Nebuchadnezzar, we do not need to defend ourselves before you in this matter. 17 If we are thrown into the blazing furnace, the God we serve is able to deliver us from it, and he will deliver us[c] from Your Majesty’s hand. 18 But even if he does not, we want you to know, Your Majesty, that we will not serve your gods or worship the image of gold you have set up.”

19 Then Nebuchadnezzar was furious with Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego, and his attitude toward them changed. He ordered the furnace heated seven times hotter than usual 20 and commanded some of the strongest soldiers in his army to tie up Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego and throw them into the blazing furnace. 21 So these men, wearing their robes, trousers, turbans and other clothes, were bound and thrown into the blazing furnace. 22 The king’s command was so urgent and the furnace so hot that the flames of the fire killed the soldiers who took up Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego, 23 and these three men, firmly tied, fell into the blazing furnace.

24 Then King Nebuchadnezzar leaped to his feet in amazement and asked his advisers, “Weren’t there three men that we tied up and threw into the fire?”

They replied, “Certainly, Your Majesty.”

25 He said, “Look! I see four men walking around in the fire, unbound and unharmed, and the fourth looks like a son of the gods.”

26 Nebuchadnezzar then approached the opening of the blazing furnace and shouted, “Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego, servants of the Most High God, come out! Come here!”

So Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego came out of the fire, 27 and the satraps, prefects, governors and royal advisers crowded around them. They saw that the fire had not harmed their bodies, nor was a hair of their heads singed; their robes were not scorched, and there was no smell of fire on them.

28 Then Nebuchadnezzar said, “Praise be to the God of Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego, who has sent his angel and rescued his servants! They trusted in him and defied the king’s command and were willing to give up their lives rather than serve or worship any god except their own God. 29 Therefore I decree that the people of any nation or language who say anything against the God of Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego be cut into pieces and their houses be turned into piles of rubble, for no other god can save in this way.”

30 Then the king promoted Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego in the province of Babylon.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~


When I think of the above story, I think about my own life situations.  How "well" or "not so well" I have handled them.  What I learned from them.  As long as we have breath in our bodies we will continue to be transformed by the renewing of our minds.  There is no shame in that... I think we us to call them - "growing pains."

November 10, 2012

Know to WHOM You Belong...


Feel like You are Fighting a Losing Battle? Just remember Who it is who wrote the rules of the game. That is when you have the authority and power to confidently yell out, "Checkmate!"


If someone were to ask me to sum up what I think would be the most important piece of wisdom I could give, all in one sentence, I would say, "Know to Whom you belong..."

When you Know that you belong to HIM then even in the midst of a battle - you can rest assured that He's got your back.

Sometimes that may be the only peace you have.  Know who has your back.

How did David do it? He knew who had his back.  He knew that he could not fight Goliath on his own strength.  He trusted NOT in himself. But in God. One small man, one big situation.  I'm quite sure he was shaking in his boots - but when he refocused on his situation - he realized that GOD WAS IN CONTROL.  That the battle wasn't his...  

We still have "Goliath moments in our lives."  What should we do with them? Know to Whom you belong...

When God told Noah to build a boat - society laughed at him.  They called him insane.  They mocked him and called him crazy.  I'm sure that had to be a hard thing for Noah to live through.  These were people that had been around him all the days of his life.  But still in the midst of the criticism and in the mocking and I'm quite sure the ostracizing.  Noah stood his ground and DID what it was God told him to do.  He knew WHO he belonged to.

Esther had to go before her husband, the king without having being bidden to do so - the lives and the fate of her people, the Jews rested upon her shoulders. And STILL she went forward.  Why? SHE KNEW WHO SHE BELONGED TO.

Jesus Himself was mocked and falsely accused and falsely judged by the very people He had come to love, to heal, to save.  And YET even HE who could have called down legions upon legions of angels to smite his accusers stayed focused.  Because He knew WHO He was.

All of the above are Biblical examples that prove that things haven't changed AT ALL. So when we find ourselves in situations where we are falsely accused, judged or bullied. We need to bring it to the Father and we need to remember to Whom we belong.

Situations happen that may knock us to the ground.  And there may be times when we feel down for the count.  Where we think - "I can't take it anymore Father. This time I'm down for the count."  Perhaps that is when we feel His arms picking us up from the floor.  Setting us on our feet. Helping us to recognize that the battle is NOT ours - but HIS.  And EVEN if YOU are in a PRODIGAL STATE - and perhaps you are thinking, "maybe on some level I deserve this."  You should know and remember that it is nothing BUT God's grace, His mercy and His love - and THAT alone which saves us.  It is nothing you earn, or do or makes you "good enough" - it is totally by the shed blood of Jesus Christ that has made a way.  You don't "earn" salvation.  

Isaiah 64:6 says, "Our righteous are like filthy rags."

So don't let the enemy beat you down with "you deserve this, look at you - you are not good enough and God has forsaken you."  Isn't that what he tried to tell Jesus when Jesus was having a desert experience? (in Luke  4:1-13). He combated it with the Word of God and that is what WE need to do. Know to Whom you belong.

In 1 Peter 4:12  Peter writes, "Dear friends, do not be surprised at the painful trial you are suffering, as though something strange were happening to you, but rejoice that you participate in the sufferings of Christ, so that you may be overjoyed when His glory is revealed."

In other words, Know to Whom you belong.

Sometimes that may feel as that is the ONLY thing you can cling on to.  But it is the MOST important thing. I think when we realize that the battle is not ours. That perhaps that is when we see the true power of God come forth.  Because He knows who YOU belong to. And even MORE than that the price that was paid was the highest price that COULD be paid.  And it wasn't even one that YOU paid yourself.

Thank you Father for Your grace, Your forgiveness, Your mercy, Your love.  Help me to remember WHO I belong to for I know I am not my own. I know that when I feel as if life is out of control, when I have run out of answers I can remember Who it is I belong to and I can turn to You.  And I can trust that as you have promised me, "All things work for the good of those who love the Lord." (Romans 8:28). As was the case with David, Noah, Esther and so many others - including and most importantly Jesus, I can rest assured that YOU are in control.  So for that I will praise and thank you and I will pick myself, dust myself off, step out of the way and allow you to step into the situation and show that the battle is YOURS.  Thank you Lord that in you I stand victorious.  Because I recognize to Whom it is I belong.

In Jesus precious name I thank YOU.
AMEN

November 7, 2012

Are You Becoming Contagious?

Wherever you are in life - don't let the weeds of worry choke out the joy. Rise above it and allow yourself to bloom and be a blessing. Roses have their thorns but they are NOT their thorns. Lift your face up to the SON and allow yourself to blossom in the manner He created you to. Once you do, you will experience in the midst of whatever storm you are in what it means to have "the peace that passes ALL understanding." It is a daily doing - one that we must practice until it becomes a habit. I'm ready, are you?


Worry, WoRrY, W O R  R Y, WORRY!  Ever notice how worries reproduce themselves in your head?  Maybe you start out with just one teeny weeny concern that leads to another and another and another until they begin to drown out all the good things in your life.  Until they consume you.  Until you can't think about anything else except your next concern.

It can become habitual!  Worries spread!  Worries are contagious!  They can infest your head until they become so big that they are no longer little "nitpick" thoughts but big ol' anxieties that make it difficult for you to even see past them anymore.

For the last few weeks, I have found myself waking up early in the morning with a worry in my head. Believe me when I say it is *not* a fun way to start the day.  This morning, I woke up with a worry - and I decided. NO MORE.  I am not waking up like this ANYMORE.  The best way I know to combat things that I feel I have no control over and am "worried" about is to PRAY.  So today I woke up declaring the Lord's Prayer.

 "This is the day the Lord has made I WILL REJOICE AND BE GLAD IN IT!!!"

When I said it - it was more like I was commanding myself.  I WILL!  If I have to wrestle a worry to the ground and roll around and straddle it and contain it - I WILL!  As I lay there having this wrestling match with this worry - I got to thinking about Jesus.  The thing I love so much about the Bible is that it is the "living" word.  It may have been written in the past - but it is very much present and useful for today.  The Bible tells us in Ecclesiastes 1:9  "There is nothing new under the sun."

I'm quite sure the things I worry about are things that other people worry about. And here is the thing about worry - sometimes we spend so much time worrying we spend less time concentrating on what we can do to alleviate the worry.  We give "glory" to the worry!  Have you ever noticed that most of the things that we "worry" about don't even come to pass? Worrying can become an addiction! -And I decided, that that is one club I refuse to become a member of!
Problems are real.  Situations are real. Concerns are real.  I am not "belittling" them- they are all parts of life.  We acknowledge them for what they are, we do our best to work through them and we PRAY about them (put each one into God's more than capable hand) and we learn to release them.  We recognize that there are things that are out of our control. We work on the things we can resolve, we seek help over the things we cannot figure out how to resolve on our own - and we try to have the wisdom to recognize the difference between to the two.  There is a very well known prayer called "The Serenity Prayer."  It goes like this:

"God grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change;
the courage to change the things I can;
and the wisdom to know the difference."


We all have weaknesses and strengths.  Certain "worries" may  be the results of areas that God is trying to strengthen or teach us.  Skills we need to learn (for instance for me - it is the area of finance). Things we need to work on to better ourselves.  Those things take time.  In a microwave society - such as we live in, we can be impatient especially with ourselves.  Our impatience can expand our worries like someone blowing up a balloon.  Think about it... The worry is a tiny little balloon, but as we put more worry and thought and energy into it, as we get anxious that little flat balloon gathers air in it and gets bigger and bigger and BIGGER and BIGGER!  Until it fills every corner of our life - pushing out all the good things that are there.  There becomes no more room for anything other than that "worry."

I don't want to live like that - do you? I don't want to look back on my life and think, "yep - I lived from worry to worry..." Because guess what??? Problems ARE a part of life.  But they SHOULDN'T BE the main dish!  When I woke up this morning, I realized I've been living worry to worry!  Crossing off worries from my list and moving on to the next one!  Are you doing the same?  It's time to stop.  It's time to take the power back from your worries. And contrary to popular belief a person who is an optimist CAN still be a worrier!

I got to thinking about Jesus' life.  He is suppose to be our example, right? So maybe His life is a good thing to examine.  Here is someone who was born with a calling like NO OTHER.  From day ONE. If anyone had caused to worry - Jesus did.  People were trying to kill Him from the day He was born! Yet from what my Bible tells me - He was filled with peace. He is referred to in the Bible as the ""Prince of Peace." (Isaiah 9:6)  If anyone had cause to worry - Jesus did!  But time and time again He would look at people (with wonder it seems) and ask them:

"Why do you worry? Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life. What you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more than food? And the body more than clothes? Look at the birds of the air, they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your Heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable then they? Can anyone of you by worrying add a single hour to your life?" (Matthew 6:25-34)

What did Jesus do when He was concerned? His concerns were unselfish - they were about others and not about Himself.  Yet, when He came to the garden of Gethsemane and the worry of the cross weighed Him down - He didn't "sit there worrying." HE PRAYED.  Jesus knew that regardless of what He faced, His Father's will would be done. He was born for a reason. WE were BORN for a reason. As I thought about Jesus, I thought about how He had a purpose.  His life had real concerns. But I can almost bet that Jesus took pleasure and joy in the things in His life too.  He went to weddings, He ate at people's houses.  He played with children. I can bet you that Jesus found enjoyment in life. He never lost focus He kept His eyes on the path before Him. 
He walked in grace, mercy and love. Maybe He's telling US we need to do the same.
This day I am *choosing* not to walk my life in a thick mire of problems and worries - I'm not going to give them any more power than I already have.  I will acknowledge them, and do the best I can to work through them  - but I will NOT allow them to rise up like weeds, wrap their cords around me and choke the enjoyment of life out of me.  I won't let them be my focus on living anymore.

How about YOU?  Will you look back on your life and see it in terms of what you worried about? Or will you look back at your life and see all the sweetness of the things that made life worth living? And all the lessons that you learned because of it?

Don't sit there worrying about - give it to God. Release it. Pray about it. Realize that you are only ONE person. You are human.  There is very little that we have control over in our lives. A lot of our worries are over those that we love. Recognize that as much as YOU love that person - that God loves them more. He created them!  He really does! Give that child that husband that wife that situation to GOD.  He is much more capable of taking care of it than YOU are.  Trust Him.  He has your best interest at heart (and also their's. Here is something for you to remember - you can't out love God!)  Also, remember that sometimes God allows situations to come into our lives to mold us into what He wants us to become.  It's not meant to destroy us.  It's meant to help us grow.  Sometimes our problem is that we fight Him every step of the way.  Like a child dragging their feet as they go. Maybe our situation is one that He is telling us to trust more in Him.  He is our Heavenly Father - remember that we only see in part - but HE sees in full.  He knows SO much more than our little minds do.  We need to trust Him. As those worries come to our minds we need to recognize them, acknowledge them and give them to the One who knows.

He didn't give us life to live "worry to worry."  Life is suppose to be a gift - not a burden.  It's time to live it as such, don't you think? 

November 4, 2012

The complexity of YOU

YOU.  Three little letters that make up the most complicated word I know.  YOU.
When I put YOU together with ME it creates the most beautiful song ever. It drowns out my worries, my fears the whole rest of the world fades away. All I see is YOU.

Y
O
U

I've been looking for YOU all my life and I didn't even know it and some how YOU found ME.  The recognition, the satisfaction in just knowing YOU is one that I can continuously marvel at.  The complexity of YOU. The magnificience of YOU.  YOU are my favorite book - the one I keep close to my bed and re-read over and over. Delighting in the story of YOU. The shear pleasure of turning the next page learning more about YOU and anticipating the ending. 

YOU are my favorite work of art.  I can stare at YOU for hours with eyes that never tire. I know YOU by heart.  I can visualize YOU with my eyes closed.  To everyone else YOU may just be an "old"throw away picture. But to me YOU are a work of art.  I know every inch of YOU and stand in awe that in my eyes YOU are the mere essence of perfection - faults and all.

YOU are my favorite song - YOU are a symphony of complicated notes that bring me to the edge and push me over.  A well worn album that I play over and over again and find myself humming in the course of a day. YOU are the song that gets stuck in my head.

YOU are North meets South. YOU  are Tony to my Maria. YOU are Rhett to my Scarlet. YOU are Jake to my Elwood. YOU are Belmont to my Casey. YOU are Wyatt to my Josephine. YOU are Romeo to my Juliet... YOU  are my hero AND my villain all in one. YOU are Chicago to my Boston. YOU are the stars, the moon the sky.

YOU are my favorite well worn Teddy Bear that is missing patches of fur, a left buttoned eye and yet still  sits upon my bed. Full of memories of yester-year.

YOU are my favorite recipe - YOU stir up passion and delight and curiosity and satisfaction all within the same dish.

YOU are a thunderstorm that drives me to the brink of crazy! A stubborn mix of thunder and lightening and blinding rain which brings me to the edges of insanity.

I love YOU.
I want YOU.
 I need YOU

When YOU and me come together we become "WE."  Which is even more magnificent than "YOU."

Everyone should have a YOU. But in the complexity of WE. I'm glad its ME.


November 1, 2012

Do YOU Babel? (Yes I Know - I spelled it incorrectly)

Through patience a ruler can be persuaded, and a gentle tongue can break a bone.
 (Proverbs 25:15)

Did you ever play the game “Telephone” as a child? I remember playing this at camp with friends. We’d form a line, and the leader of the line would turn and whisper into the ear of the person beside her a secret and then that person would whisper it into the ear of the person beside her, and so on and so on until it reached the very last person at the end of the line. The person at the end would then turn to everyone and repeat what she had heard. How interesting it was to see that what had been the original “secret” had become distorted into something that the leader had never said – I always was astonished whenever I was at the beginning of the line to hear what the end results were, and then to clarify what the actual secret had been. It was funny as a child playing a game – as a grown up, not so funny.

Can you imagine what the world was like before the saga with the Tower of Babel? (Genesis 11:1-9). If I recall correctly, the people were trying to build a tower that would reach the Heavens. God did not want this to happen, so He confused their language. Can you imagine the chaos? The shock? The surprise? The confusion? And most of all – the astonishment?! Imagine being next to your life-long friend, “Ida” and all of a sudden you can’t understand a WORD she says???? And the results are misunderstandings, hurt feelings, anger - when perhaps what was said was meant in love?

I think that we have “Babel” moments continue to happen even in this day and age. You can’t perceive how someone else will receive what you say (or write), because people receive out of their own experience, values and even sometimes – pain. Not everyone thinks the same. You have no idea when you say something how it will be “filtered out” into the mind of someone else, no matter how it is said (and the same goes visa versa). So how do we limit our “Babel” moments? I suppose that is a continuous life lesson. I think sensitivity is key, being non-judgmental as each person’s story is different. God looks at the heart. Man can only look at the “outward appearance.” Sometimes listening is sufficient.

Through my experience being a cancer survivor, my insight upon things has drastically changed from bc (before cancer). I have become more compassionate and less judgmental. I have learned to listen more and speak less. When I talk with other pink survivors (breast cancer survivors), I realize, as I listen, that I am not looking at a mirror image of myself. Each survivor has their own story, their own journey and their own place from which they’ve come. Their experience or the way they cope with the aftermath of their “storm” is no less significant than mine. We are as different in our experiences (and backgrounds) as fingerprints on fingers. Yet we share one thing in common - We’ve all come face to face with a life threatening disease that has changed us in many different ways and in many different aspects of our lives. That is what unites us. Strangers turned into Sisters.

What makes me embrace my fellow pink sister is the fact that we allow each other to feel – whatever we are feeling. There is no right or wrong way. We allow each other to “express” our circumstances however the need is - to rant or rave, to pray, to vent or cry, to laugh or act ridiculously silly. These are a few of the qualities that endear us to each other. There is “NO WRONG OR RIGHT WAY.” We allow each other to FEEL. I think that is something that perhaps others can learn. Our stories are diverse – and yes, there are those “Babel” moments. Where you learn what the scripture means when it says, “To guard your heart.” (Proverbs 4:23) Understanding, compassion, forgiveness, patience and looking outside one’s self is something I think we would all do well to walk in. If I stub my toe, I may “hop around on one foot.” That does not make my pain any less relevant than yours if you’re not a “foot hopper” when you stub your toe. And while I can’t promise that I won’t laugh at how you express your pain ( if you are a friend of mine) I can promise that I will be there to help you through it and make you smile through your tears and certainly try to make you feel better than worse for stubbing your toe in the first place. Smiles and bad moods are contagious. You determine which one you’d rather spread. A smile goes a long, long way…