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 27, 2014

There is a Purpose for YOU.



Wherever you are, what ever you are feeling, whatever you are going through or doing - I feel led to tell you, YOU are NOT a mistake.  God knew what He was doing when He made you.  God made you with a purpose in mind, whether you know it or not. God has a plan for your life.  Part of your life's journey is recognizing and discovering just what that plan is, you just have to believe. God tells us in His Word:

"Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, And before you were born I consecrated you." (Jeremiah 1:5)

and

"Even the darkness is not dark to You, And the night is as bright as the day. Darkness and light are alike to You. For You formed my inward parts; You wove me in my mother's womb. I will give thanks to You, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made; Wonderful are Your works, And my soul knows it very well.…" (Psalms 139:13)

No matter your situation, God wants you to know that He knows you intimately, He made you, He loves you and you can bet He has a plan for your life. 

If you don't believe me - ask Him and He will personally show you that it's true.  You can also search your Bible and find out for yourself.  (If you don't have or can't get a Bible, message me privately in the comments section below, and I'll see if we can find a way to get one to you).

I know, because He is doing it with ME and God is no respecter of persons.  I was born 3 months premature at a time when the hospitals didn't have all the "fancy" medical equipment they have now, I had to stay in the hospital for forty days and forty nights.  They thought I was going to die - but God knew otherwise.    It is one of the reasons why my mother named me "Kelly" (which means warrior or fighter).  He has a plan for my life and He has a plan for YOU.  He has no favorites.  But YOU can bet, He loves YOU special.  It's true, He does and if you are going through a prodigal time when you are journeying home and wondering how you are going to make it - know that He is right there with you, encouraging you and even though you don't know it - directing you right back home to Him.  The Bible says:

"There is NOTHING that can separate you from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus." (Romans 8:38)

He directed you to this page because you needed to receive a Word from Him, for whatever it is you are going through or experiencing.  I have dedicated this blog to Him for Him to use as He chooses - and He chose to bring you to it.  Allow Him to guide you, to love you, to fill your heart with peace and to direct you - because you are important to Him.  He has called you by name.

"But now, thus says the LORD, your Creator, O Jacob, And He who formed you, O Israel, "Do not fear, for I have redeemed you; I have called you by name; you are Mine!"When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; And through the rivers, they will not overflow you. When you walk through the fire, you will not be scorched, Nor will the flame burn you." (Isaiah 43:1-2)

God is not a God that He would lie.  The truth is in His Word.  We need to believe it, believe Him and allow Him to mold us into whatever it is He wants us to be.  Believe me when I say that there is NO greater joy than to be used by God.  To realize the gifts He created you with and the fact that He wants you to use them!  That's why He gave them to you in the first place!  If you don't know what your calling is, PRAY.  He's not purposely trying to hide it from you, but He is a God who gave you free will - which means you have to seek Him on it because You want to really know what that plan is.  And as you do seek Him, He will reveal himself to you and will open up doors.

He's your Father, He loves You - He has called you by name.  You have a purpose  - find out what it is.  You'll be ever so glad you did...

November 26, 2014

Today-John Denver-lyrics


Count Your Blessings~

Life is GOOOOOOD!
I woke up this morning counting my blessings... It always gets my goat how people want to rush right from Thanksgiving to Christmas not giving Thanksgiving the respect it deserves.  It's *not* about the food - its about the thanks.

I don't know about you, but it made me a bit annoyed when I saw that stores were going to be open at 6pm Thanksgiving evening so that people could begin their "holiday shopping."  How sad is it that we live in a country that can't even spend ONE WHOLE DAY just giving thanks?  Something that we should do EVERY day.  It makes me shake my head...

What are you thankful for?  Do you have your health?  Be thankful!  Do you have family around you? Hug them up mighty much!  Do you have a roof over your head? Food in your belly?  You may not have everything you want (and who does?) but be thankful for the little things because when you really think about it - they amount to much.  This comes from a  cancer survivor who has learned not to take any day God gives me for granted.

New beginnings can be intimidating.  Change is scary - but it can also be exciting! Be open to new opportunities that present themselves to you.  You never know what's behind "door #2"  it may be exactly what you need.  Be prayerful but also be willing.  I say that from personal experience - with new beginnings ahead of me.  Don't be fearful be faithful and expect God to bless you because He wants to!  You just have to believe!

Look ahead of you - not behind.  The rearview mirror in a car is smaller than the wide window in front of you for a reason!  Think about this past year and be thankful for the lessons you learned, what are you taking with you from this year as it passes by? What are you leaving behind?  What are you looking forward to?  What are your hopes?  Your thoughts?  Your dreams?

Maybe the disappointments in our lives make the wonderful moments all the more meaningful and special?  New beginnings can be scary - but they can also be wonderful!  I recently bought a beautiful old fashioned quilted board that I am calling my "Bucket Board" for 2015.  I am pinning on it items that I plan on doing in 2015 and quite frankly, it's exciting!  I only pin on the board small items that signify something I'm going to do.  Things to look forward to!  Instead of being disappointed in the things that didn't work the way I wanted them to, I'm realizing that it just means I need to trust God and know that the "no's" in life may lead to better "yes' " than I can see.  I have to trust that God knows what He is doing, even if I don't understand it.  (Remembering once again that He sees in full while I only see in part.)  And instead of being upset about those "no's" I can praise Him and be thankful for the things that are going to be better in my life than the things that He has said no too.  (Does that make sense?)

My 2015 Bucket Board, a quilted fabric in an old historical frame! (From my favorite shop Paint & Rust & Pixie Dust!) - (Prior to posting a few items on it). The flowers are actually stick pins! Items on there currently? A Spring Re-enactment - New England is filled with people who LOVE history and history itself! I'm in good company! My silly Matchmaker's card - God only knows who He'll bring into my life in 2015! Yenta do your work! LOL! My info on Dennisport Summer Cottages.  These are just a few items on my bucket list for 2015. More to come!
The truth is, life is what you choose to make it! And its all in your perception.  You can choose to go through it heavy hearted and negative (and that is what your experience will be) or you can sit a little straighter, lift your chin up a little higher and say, "Okay! I'm ready for the good stuff Lord! Watch'a got in store for me?  Bring it!  And I thank you IN ADVANCE for it!"

What is it you want it to be?  If you don't know - think about it, pray about it and then go after your dreams.  Make them a reality.  God gave you gifts for a reason - to use!  One is never too old to learn - learn something new!

What are you thankful for? Think on these things or so the Bible says:

"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)

Life is good.  There is always something to be thankful for. Think on these things.  Surround yourself with people who love you for who you are! Who build you up! Who take an interest in you! And take an interest in them!  Relationships are a two way street they involve giving and taking (or as I like to call it "receiving").    That's the only way they work!  What are you excited about for 2015?  Give thanks!  Spend some time appreciating all the good things in your life and thinking on them.  If there are bad things or things that have upset you this year - recognize them for what are/were.  We have no control over the decisions that other people make.  Pray for them.  If someone has disappointed you or hurt you - read my blogpost below - let it go. We can only take responsibility for ourselves. The decisions other people make, they make and we just have to accept it and move forward.  But moving forward can be a GOOD thing!  It helps you to learn and to grow as an individual.  Thank God for those growth moments - even if you experience "growing pains."  You learn, you grow and you move forward.

Spend time being thankful before you rush into the Christmas season.  Take a moment to count your blessings, view what your learned from the year soon to pass and plan as if you have a future!  Each day God gives us is a blank sheet of life that we are allowed to write upon.  Write well!

November 25, 2014

Tim McGraw - Live Like You Were Dying (Official Music Video)


Is Your "Check Engine Light" on? What Are YOU Doing About It?


My check engine light came on in my car a few days ago.  I kept looking at it with dread... Knowing that it wasn't a good sign, but not wanting to deal with what it *might* really mean, I knew it was a symptom to a problem, one that I would need to get resolved.  I have a great new friend who is an experienced auto mechanic who told me he would be happy to take a look at my car, and would fix it for me.  It was a sweet gesture, one that I sincerely appreciated, but I bought my car a year ago and it is under the warranty of the dealership - I knew where I needed to go to get it fixed - straight to the source, back to the dealership.  Sometimes the same thing happens to us.  A "check yourself" light appears (which most consider their conscience, but which I have come to know as a prompting of the Holy Spirit).  When that "check your spirit" light comes up within me, I know that I need to go right to my Creator and get checked and fixed for whatever isn't sitting right within me.
We often forget that when Jesus was crucified on that cross, He was crucified for YOUR sins and MINE.  He took upon Himself all the sins of the world.  That is amazing to me…  He looked through the course of history, down the road straight at you and I and added our sins to the load he was carrying.  Everyone else’s too.  We contributed to the pain and anguish Jesus took upon Himself on the cross.  It’s really humbling when you think about it.
Forgiveness - We are called to walk in it.  It is not a choice it is a command. The truth is that in order to receive forgiveness from God, we need to forgive.   You can’t move forward in your life if you are stuck on what someone else “did or didn’t do” to you, and in not walking in forgiveness, the only one who remains hurt by it and stagnated by it ultimately is – you.  You won’t be able to get past it.  You won’t be able to move forward – forgive.  The peace that floods your soul is well worth it.
It is easier said than done.  One of the hardest things to do; is to forgive.  Or even to ask for forgiveness.  But God commands us to do so.   The Bible says:
“Let all bitterness and wrath and anger and clamor and slander be put away from you, along with all malice. Be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, as God in Christ forgave you.” (Ephesians 4:31-32)
We need to stop pointing the finger at someone else and take a good, hard look at ourselves.  “He did this to me!  She did this to me!  They said this! They did this!”  What did you do?  Examine your own heart.  Stop pointing the finger at someone else and take a good hard look at your own self.
From the beginning of time, beginning with Adam and Eve, people have blamed someone else for their own sins instead of taking responsibility for their own actions.  We feel ashamed when we go against God and therefore look to alleviate the blame and guilt by blaming someone else.
Why didn’t Adam dispute what the serpent said to Eve?  Why didn’t he protect her?  He was there.  He knew that what the snake had said was totally opposite to what God had told him.  He not only allowed her to listen and eat of the fruit, but also ate some himself.  Eve was quick to blame the serpent and Adam was quick to blame Eve.  They chose not to take responsibility for their own actions.
“They (Adam and Eve) heard the sound of the Lord God walking in the garden in the cool of the day, and the man and his wife hid themselves from the presence of the Lord God among the trees of the garden. But the Lord God called to the man and said to him, “Where are you?” And he said, “I heard the sound of you in the garden, and I was afraid, because I was naked, and I hid myself.” He said, “Who told you that you were naked? Have you eaten of the tree of which I commanded you not to eat?” The man said, “The woman whom you gave to be with me, she gave me fruit of the tree, and I ate.” Then the Lord God said to the woman, “What is this that you have done?” The woman said, “The serpent deceived me, and I ate.” (Genesis 3:8-13)

This is something that many of us still do today. Instead of taking responsibility for the hurt and pain we have inflicted on someone else – we blame the individual, instead of taking responsibility for our own actions.  It is the same thing that Adam and Eve did.
"If we claim to be without sin, we deceive ourselves and the truth is not in us.  If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness. If we claim we have not sinned, we make him out to be a liar and his word is not in us.” (1 John 1:8-10)

"Do not judge, or you too will be judged.  For in the same way you judge others, you will be judged, and with the measure you use, it will be measured to you. “Why do you look at the speck of sawdust in your brother’s eye and pay no attention to the plank in your own eye? How can you say to your brother, ‘Let me take the speck out of your eye,’ when all the time there is a plank in your own eye? You hypocrite, first take the plank out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to remove the speck from your brother’s eye.” (Matthew 7:1-5)

It is easy to see the wrong that someone else does, without first examining our own hearts to see what wrong we have done.  It has been the course throughout history.

The best thing we can do is pray.  Ask the Lord to check our own hearts to see if there is anything we need to correct within them and trust that if we have given our lives over to Him, He will help us to change whatever needs changing.

It’s not easy to forgive someone for hurting you.  I think the more you love someone, the more it hurts.  Maybe that is the measure? It may take time, it may take a lot of prayer or even fasting to get through it.  Be honest with God, let Him know that you are struggling with this.  Ask for His help.  There are some things we can’t do in our strength, we need to ask Him for His.  In forgiving someone it releases the “sting” of the pain of whatever the situation is and allows you to move forward resting in the knowledge that just as God has forgiven you, you have forgiven them, even if you have to start out by just faithfully saying what you are not yet feeling in your heart.  As you verbalize it over and over again it will eventually happen to be a reality, in God’s time.

Lord, I’m hurting. I’m angry, I don’t feel forgiveness in my heart for this situation I feel deceived and really hurt.  I ask you to help me forgive _____________________ (name of individual(s)) as you have forgiven me for my sins. I ask you to help me to release  (her/him/them) from the pain they have caused me.  I willingly forgive (her/him/them).  Help me to walk in that forgiveness and make the words of my mouth be the truth in my heart.  I plead the precious blood of Jesus over this pain and ask that you make my forgiveness a reality so that I can let go and move forward.  I pray that (her/him/they) would come to know You as Lord and Savior so that they too can experience the forgiveness I have experienced in personally knowing you as my Lord and Savior.  I also ask for any pain I have unknowingly, unmeaningfully caused (him/her/them). Release me from unforgiveness and help me to move forward. In Jesus’ precious name I pray. AMEN.

 

November 24, 2014

Draw Me Close - Hillsong - Worship Video w/lyrics


Maybe...


Maybe the best thing is to not hide the pain behind anything that would numb it. Not to soothe it with any previous methods you once used, but to allow yourself to feel the full force of the anguish. 
To cry
To scream
 To feel.

Maybe in order for a wound to heal we have to wash all the dirt out of it and allow it to air dry before we can suture or bandage it up.
Maybe the methods we’ve used in the past have not healed the hurt only hidden it.

Maybe it’s okay to be disappointed or angry and plain ol’ upset.
Maybe in order to move forward, we need to step back…  Even if it is uncomfortable to do so… Let the hurt out. Allow yourself. Have you ever?

Maybe God is trying to show you something about yourself that you haven’t wanted to see.  Is He peeling your fingers off your own eyes?
Maybe sometimes life hurts so badly that we don’t want to face the pain.  What do you do in those moments? Deny it?  How many layers of denial is that wound festering under?

“He came to set the captives free.” (Luke 4:18)
Maybe gangrene has set in and it’s time for us to allow God to operate. To take out the infection.

Maybe it will feel better if we endure the pain of God cleaning it out instead of the continued familiar pain of carrying it ourselves.  Not sacrificing long term pain for short term gain by ignoring the fact that we’re hurting.
“A bruised reed He will not break and a dimly burning wick He will not extinguish.” (Isaiah 42:3)

“The Lord is near the broken hearted and those crushed in spirit.” (Psalms 34:18)
Maybe it’s time to change the song. To get rid of the refrain that has been engraved in your mind and replace it with a new one.
Maybe it’s time to make it better so that we can have it better.

Maybe we should be careful for what we pray for because if we received it, we would really realize that it wasn’t what it presented itself to be…  Not God’s best AT ALL. The red flags should not have been ignored.
Maybe our vision was wrong and God has to correct our spiritual discernment, like an eye doctor would correct our physical vision.
Maybe one day we will rejoice that God allowed the door to close instead of feeling the pain of that closure. 
"The steps of the righteous are ordained by God."  (Psalms 37:23)

The only way we are made “righteous” is by the precious blood of Jesus Christ who gave up His life that YOU may have life.
Maybe sometimes we just need to get out of our own way.  Stop blocking God’s best by what YOU think you want.  For the truth of the matter is if it doesn’t contain the fruit of the Spirit it’s not God’s best.

“But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness,  gentleness and self-control. "  (Galatians 5:22-23)
Maybe if we do all of the above we shall be like:

“He makes my feet like the feet of a deer; he causes me to stand on the heights.” (Psalms 18:33)
Maybe one day (even if it is not today) we will realize the why of it and be able to rejoice and praise God that He knows so much better than we do, and as we look around and count our blessings (those that only came into being once we let go of what we held so tightly, even to the point where God had to pry it out of our hands), we can thank God that He knew what was best for us all along. Like a grown child thanking a parent for their insight, wisdom and discipline; something at the time they were not able to do.

Maybe, if your hands are holding tight to something that you refuse to let go of, your fingers are not open wide to receive.  You deserve the “more” that God has for you –  let go and open your hands to receive a blessing so wide you will not be able to hold it with both hands!
“Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen. (Hebrews 11:1)

Just believe.

Demi Lovato - Warrior (Official Video)


November 23, 2014

The Dog Whistle

What are you listening to? What message are you choosing to hear?
Sometimes there is so much noise around us that we cannot hear what it is that God is saying to us, so loud are our thoughts, the world, our situations that we mistake the "not hearing" for God not talking to us when all we simply need to do is get quiet.

When I was a little girl, my father brought me to a police auction, there were thousands of unclaimed stolen or found items that the Police Department decided to put to good use by selling and using the proceedings for a good purpose.  I remember sitting by my father's side watching bikes go up for auction, jewelry and other items.  I had my allowance in my jeans pocket and it wasn't until a tiny little dog whistle went up for auction that I realized what I wanted to bid on.  A small silver dog whistle.  I can't recall why I wanted to buy that dog whistle, maybe it was the fascination of something that you blew in that only dogs could hear.  But I bid upon it and I won.  I walked up to the podium to collect my winnings, blew into it and was fascinated by the fact that although all I heard was air going through this silver small instrument, any dogs near by could hear a high pitched whistle meant for their ears alone.

There are times when God wants us to quiet ourselves before Him so that we can hear what it is that He is saying to us.  Set aside the distractions and spend some time with Him and just listen.  We often miss what God is doing in our lives because we have our own agenda or life is yelling so loudly all around us that it is drowning out the voice of God, for no other reason than because we let it.

I reached a fevered point in my walk this past week where I had had enough of the noise.  Enough of the distractions, a point where I didn't want to hear the thoughts and accusations from my prodigal journey (that has been over) but still was haunting me.  I had enough!  It is when I reached that point when all the noise was harassing me and I was crying out to God to make it stop that I heard God tell me:

"Be still and know that I am God." (Psalms 46:10)

When I stilled myself (and that is something that takes a tremendous effort for me to do, because my mind is always going), He told me:

"Demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God and to take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ." (2 Corinthians 10:5)

It was only when I did that, that my mind had no choice but to quiet.  Any accusation or something I was trying to put out of my mind and could not do - simply had to flee when I stated, "I don't want to think about that any longer.  I bring my mind and my thoughts under submission to Christ."  Amazingly, the thoughts left.  They couldn't harass me or hinder me anymore and I was filled with peace.  Now, whenever I see those thoughts trying to make their way back into my head I declare that my thoughts are to be under submission to Christ.

God wants you to hear what He is saying to you.  He wants you to put yourself in place where you can receive what it is He is saying.  Sometimes that is harder said than done.  (I know this personally because I am just that hard headed).  It isn't easy to quiet your mind - remember, the mind is the battlefield that ol' slewfoot tries to steal ground upon.  In writing this, I'm visualizing one of the battlefields of Gettysburg.  Opposite sides stood facing each other on opposite ends and then they charged against each other.  Yelling, "CHARGE!!!"  But first they came to the battlefield.  The battlefield is your mind.  Satan wants nothing better than to infiltrate your territory and he does it by whispering accusations and things in your ear.  You choose whether or not you are going to allow him to take ground, or you charge back with the Word of God as your weapon.  (This is why it is important to hide the Word of God in your heart).  Even the most mature of Christians forgets that this is the best weapon we can use against the attack of the enemy.  God's Word.  God's Word and when we don't know what else to do - prayer!  I realized this week that I had been trying to fight the thoughts and accusations that were coming into my mind with my own strength, or I was allowing those thoughts to seriously kick my butt.  I wasn't fighting back and God had already given me ALL the weapons I needed to fight.  Once I reached a point where I was in so much anguish and pain from allowing the enemy to beat me up that all I could do was drop to my knees and cry out - "NO MORE.  Oh God, NO MORE! I don't want to think these thoughts ANYMORE Lord.  HELP!"
That I heard Him so clearly tell me:

"Kelly - demolish every argument and every pretense that sets itself up against the knowledge of ME.  Any time those unwelcome thoughts or remembrances pop up in your mind you tell it that YOU are taking it CAPTIVE and make it obedient to ME."

I did and it cleared the battlefield.  Wiped the enemy right out.  Restored my peace and reminded me who it is who I have given control of my life - God.

Get your mind focused on Him.  Be still and know that He is God.  We can't do anything in and of ourselves - but in Him and by Him and through Him, we can do ANYTHING.  The battle has already been won - when Jesus died upon that cross and rose from the dead - He defeated the devil. It is walking IN that victory that it is the hard part. But He also tells us in His word:

"I can do ALL things through Christ who strengthens me."  (Philippians 4:13)

Who are you going to believe?

November 21, 2014

Barbra Streisand - A piece of sky


"Just Keep Swimming..."


I am a movie buff! I love to go to the movies, be it as a date, with my family or even by myself!  There is something so wonderful about getting lost in a good story and having a hard time coming back to reality once that good story is over.   (I won’t mention the fact that one of my weaknesses is movie theatre popcorn with extra butter… J)

When I went through breast cancer, 4 ½ years ago  I underwent a lumpectomy, chemotherapy and radiation, compared to what many of my Pink sisters have had to undergo, what I went through was “small potatoes,” the changes physically to my body were minute because I caught it early (early detection is key!) and looking at my body other than one ½ an inch scar right where you would place your hand to say “the pledge of allegiance” or the large scar where they removed 9 lymph nodes from my left arm pit – you would not know the trauma my body or my soul had been through; the scaring to my soul more intense than that outward signs on my body; the emotional cuts and damage deeper.  My body physically changed, (I am in no way belittling those changes) but my soul completely changed.  I’m a different person than I was 4 ½ years ago.  Rougher around the edges, my BS meter went with my cancer.  I have “no screen door” to my emotional house anymore.  I speak my mind and I speak it well.   Everything I do, I do with vibrancy and an intensity which can only come when you have had to face your own mortality.  I love deeply without reserve and I feel intensely (and I also think my American Portuguese temper has sharpened with a lower tolerance for the BS and drama people try to intertwine within life).  

Life is so short; more people should know this without having gone through what I or my Pink sisters have gone through.  I am very much aware that one must live life FULLY.  NOW.  Tomorrow is not promised to any of us, although we live as though it is.  I pray that it does not take you a life threatening illness or tragedy to see how precious life is and how you should thank God for every gift of every day that He blesses you with.
One of my favorite Disney movies is “Finding Nemo” the character, “Dory” one that won my heart over as soon as she came onto the screen.  Dory is a little blue and yellow fish who has a love and a zest for life.  She is a “good Samaritan” who is optimistic and even though she suffers with short term memory loss her outlook on life is one that I found myself agreeing with, understanding and appreciating so much so that I had her image and famous saying tattooed on the back of my right shoulder (see the above picture).  Dory is the ideal friend, one who sticks with you through good times and bad and one who encourages you when you are at your weakest.  We don’t know Dory’s entire story, because we are not told what has happened to her in the past, my guess is that because of her issue with short term memory many of the people in Dory’s life probably became aggravated and left her.  (This can happen sometimes to cancer patients whose families cannot handle them going through a life threatening illness,  hopefully in the case of Dory this is something that her short term memory cut out, we don’t know because her past is not revealed to us – although I’ve been told a “Dory” movie is currently in the works… Not sure if that is true or not), but Dory’s outlook on life when times are rough can be summed up in one expression she uses in the movie:

“Just keep swimming…”
Dory’s motto is one that I have felt deeply.  It stayed with me for months and months until I simply decided I had to get her tattooed on  my shoulder.  There are times in my life when I have had to encourage myself with those words – “Just keep swimming.”  If a fish doesn’t keep swimming, it dies.
“Just keep swimming.”
God not only wants us to “keep swimming” He wants us to float on our backs.  He wants us to trust Him.  He wants us to remember that “He’s got us!”  Have you ever floated on your back in a pond or the ocean before?  You simply cannot do it without letting every worry drop out of your mind.  You have to free yourself of everything that would bring you down and cause you to sink.  To me, it is a trust gesture.  You lie upon the water with your arms spread out and your legs spread out and your face lifted up to the sky and you simply, float.
God wants you to float.  He wants you to trust Him.  He wants you to the wonderful rays of the sun He created on your face and to feel your body light and free. 
Don’t only keep swimming – float.  When we trust in Him (and I’m still learning how to do this…) we float like cream when we leave all the scum from our worries on the bottom.  Once we do that, we have no other option BUT to float on the top.  Next time you are in the water (or maybe even your bath tub is big enough for you to try it… Try floating).  You simply can’t do it with a heavy heart.  It’s not possible.  Give each worry and disappointment and concern to God.  Lay it right at the foot of His cross  because that’s where they all belong.  You’ll find yourself floating.

My 2015 Bucket List
As 2014 draws to a close I’m thinking of all the things I had “put off” for another time and making plans to go forward and do that which I had decided to wait upon (my bucket list if you will).   Next Spring, I shall attend my first re-enactment! New England is full of history, which I have come to passionately love. I shall attend a NASCAR race in New Hampshire and get all caught up in the excitement of the speed of seeing my first race! I shall travel the many beautiful historical sites of the Grand Ol' US of A (including the Rocky Mountains) and I shall go on a Wagon Trail trip and see history through the eyes of being a "pioneer." I shall do ALL the things I have wanted to do but had put off (due to someone else's change in their choice of life decisions). Life is TOO short. Although I felt like "sinking" I decided to "just keep swimming" and part of that swimming is knowing that every day is precious.  A gift.  Make use of your time wisely and surround yourself with people who genuinely love you and care.  

"Be very careful then how you shall live, not as unwise but as wise making the most of every opportunity because the days are evil." (Ephesians 5:15)

Think of those things that you want to do in 2015 and pray that God will give you the days to do them.  What have you been putting off in your life? Plan it!  If you were waiting for someone else to get their act together and they haven’t – go without them! Even if it means going by yourself!  Sometimes the best times I have had have been adventures on my own and you never know who you'll meet in the process!  It’s their loss! LIFE IS SHORT.  Make the most of every opportunity that God opens up for you.
Dory has it right - SWIM.  But go even further than that - FLOAT.

November 20, 2014

you'll never walk alone - Susan Boyle - Lyrics


Be Still and Know that He is God


Loves me, loves me not...
Sometimes God just wants us to “Be still and know that He is God.”
I don’t know about you, but being still fits right up there in my mind with being patient, which has never been one of my strong points.  Throughout the course of my walk with the Lord, I have learned *not* to pray for patience (for that brings trials and tribulations of which I have had my fill!), but to pray instead that God helps me to utilize the patience that He has already blessed me with.
It is not an easy thing to do.  There is a prayer that my mom once taught me as a child, it is called the Serenity prayer.  I guess it is supposed to bring serenity to whatever situation one is praying about it.
“God grant me the serenity
to accept the things I cannot change;
courage to change the things I can;
and wisdom to know the difference.

Living one day at a time;
enjoying one moment at a time;
accepting hardships as the pathway to peace;
taking, as He did, this sinful world
as it is, not as I would have it;
trusting that He will make all things right
if I surrender to His Will;
that I may be reasonably happy in this life
and supremely happy with Him
forever in the next.
Amen.”


I realize more and more that I struggle with things that I need to accept that I can’t change.  Acceptance doesn’t come easy, especially if it is something that is dear to my heart.  I fume and I fume and I fume against it until I realize that fuming is fruitless, the situation doesn’t and hasn’t changed and there is nothing I can do in and of myself to change a situation.  I believe this is when God wants you to give it to Him.  Let it go.  There are certain things that we were not made to carry.  Jesus said,:
"Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For My yoke is easy and My burden is light." (Matthew 11:30)
Sometimes we have a habit of carrying over more than we were made to carry and when that happens we feel it in many different aspects of our lives in ways we were not meant to.  Emotionally, physically, spiritually.  Are you feeling emotionally exhausted?  Physically tired?  Spiritually weary?  Take a good hard look at your life and the situations in it and see what it is you should be turning over to the Lord.
I realize for myself that there are times that I am running against someone else’s tide.  If you are not careful the person who is drowning will unintentionally pull you under with them in their fight to survive. Be wise, be cautious, be careful.
Accepting the things I cannot change is one of the hardest things I have had to do.  I’m stubborn to a fault.  When I want something, I’m like a dog with a bone.  Pulling that bone away from me is not an easy thing to do.  I’ll hold on to it with everything within me, until God shows me no other recourse, but to let go.  Even if in the process He takes my teeth with him, still attached to the bone…
I was talking to someone this week , letting them know of this situation that I had let go of and was struggling coming to terms with, a situation not of my own doing or choosing, one that I simply “had to accept was something I could not change.”  The person I was talking with said to me, “Remember, the bullet comes out where it went in. It is good that you know that you were shot.”
Honestly, I don’t know what hurt more  - “the bullet going in,” or my allowing the “bullet to exit.”   I suppose allowing the bullet to remain would have done more damage than enduring the painful removal…  Only with its removal can come healing.  I have to accept that there are things I cannot change.  Even with having the wisdom to know the difference between the things I can and the things I can’t – still sometimes I stubbornly try to change them.  God brought me to a point where the emotional pain was so bad I simply said, “Okay, give me the dang knife – I’m going to cut the bullet out myself!!”
Weeping may come in the night, but joy comes in the morning.” (Psalms 30:5)
What are you holding on to? What do you refuse to let go of?  What are you struggling with? Perhaps the Serenity prayer is for you too?  It’s not an easy prayer to act upon.  I don’t let go of anything I love, easily.  But unless you let go of something, you cannot receive something else because your hands are already full.
It may hurt to let go of something you’ve been holding to so tightly, so fiercely.  But sometimes that is exactly what God wants you to do.  Let it go.  Let go.  Release it.  If you have to pray the prayer over and over again do it.
“God help me.  I can’t let go on my own accord.  I don’t have the strength to.  I don’t want to.  I don’t want to let go.  I know it is something I cannot change.  I know I have to accept it.  But I don’t have the strength or will to do it myself.  So I need your help. Help me to accept the fact that I cannot change this situation.  Give me the courage to release it entirely to YOU.  It is only with your strength I can do this.  I am releasing my will and my hold on this and giving it over to you.  In Jesus precious name. Amen.”
That’s what I call taking the knife and getting that bullet out yourself.  Trusting that God will help maneuver your hand so that it will be steady enough to do it, then slowly, the healing will occur. It may not be over night.  But this is where we know that God is saying to us:
“Be still and know that I am God.” (Psalm 46:10)
He’s got this – you gave it to Him.  Don’t take it back.  Don’t re-hash it. Don’t stress over it.  It is not yours anymore- you gave it to Him.  You released it. Let it go.
Healing takes time. Be patient with yourself.  One day, you will look back on a tiny little scar and perhaps remember what it was that caused that.  At that point God will have moved you on to greener pastures.  He has a tendency to allow us to look back and see how far we’ve come.
Once you have emptied your hands of what you were clutching so tightly God can fill it with what He truly has for you.  You never would have been able to be at a point of receiving if you hadn’t let go of what you were holding on to.
I can’t!” You say.
“You can!” He says.  “Trust me.  Believe in me. Know that I have your best interest at heart. Turn it over to me and let me show you what I have in store for you.”
It’s time to trust Him.
“Trust in the Lord with ALL your heart, lean NOT to your own understanding.  In all your ways acknowledge Him and He will make straight your paths.” (Proverbs 3:5)

 

November 17, 2014

Hillsong UNITED Oceans (Where Feet May Fail) Lyric Video


True Love



Let Him Love You.
You’ve probably heard the saying, “what doesn’t kill me, makes me stronger?” I wonder who it was who came up with that saying.  I’m not sure if the bad things that have happened in my life has made me stronger, but it has made me realize more and more that I am dependent upon the Lord.
There is a song that we use to sing in church that pretty much says it all:
"My Hope is Built on Nothing Less"
by Edward Mote, 1797-1874

1. My hope is built on nothing less
Than Jesus' blood and righteousness;
I dare not trust the sweetest frame,
But wholly lean on Jesus' name.
On Christ, the solid Rock, I stand;
All other ground is sinking sand.

 
2. When darkness veils His lovely face,
I rest on His unchanging grace;
In every high and stormy gale
My anchor holds within the veil.
On Christ, the solid Rock, I stand;
All other ground is sinking sand.


3. His oath, His covenant, and blood
Support me in the whelming flood;
When every earthly prop gives way,
He then is all my Hope and Stay.
On Christ, the solid Rock, I stand;
All other ground is sinking sand.


4. When He shall come with trumpet sound,
Oh, may I then in Him be found,
Clothed in His righteousness alone,
Faultless to stand before the throne!
On Christ, the solid Rock, I stand;
All other ground is sinking sand.


We were not created to be dependent upon ourselves.  We were made to depend upon God.  So many people try to fill that need with other things in their lives.  Sex, drugs, alcohol,work, material things, to name just a few.  But the truth is – deep inside there is a place that is meant just for God.  Our BIGGEST mistake is believing that other things can fulfill that need.
Listen Beloved – GOD LOVES YOU.  He does.  With a love that no one else can love you with.  There is NO greater love.  And to know it and to feel it and to experience it is like nothing you can compare.  The Bible says:

 “Taste and see that the Lord is good.”  (Psalms 34:8)
 
There aren’t adequate words to describe what the love of the Lord feels like – it’s personal.  It’s real.  It’s genuine.
Think of the feeling you get when the person you love most in this world, wraps their arms around you in one amazing bear hug.
Think of the joy you get walking along the edge of a shore, listening to the waves and the seagulls looking out at a beautiful horizon
Think about spending a day with your dearest and bestest of friends….
As wonderful as all of the above are, they still fall short of how wonderful the Father’s love is… There is truly no greater love. 

He is an ever present help in time of trouble. (Psalms 46:1)
He will NEVER leave nor forsake you. (Deuteronomy 31:6)
He will never go back on His word or promises. (Hebrews 13:8)
He loves YOU for who you are.  (Matthew 7:11)
He has plans for you. (Jeremiah 29:11)

Lord Jesus, I want to experience this type of love.  IF YOU ARE REAL (and He is), I need you to make Yourself REAL to me.  People tell me all the time how wonderful You are.  I want to know it personally.  Please forgive me for my sins, wash me with your precious blood.  Come into my life and make a difference.  Be my personal Lord and Savior.  In Your precious name I pray. AMEN”
 
If you have prayed that prayer, your life is about to drastically change in the most WONDERFUL of wonderful ways.  I prayed that prayer at the age of 21 and had NO idea what a difference it would make in my life.  That was 27 years ago...  I meant the prayer and God knew it.  He came into my life in the most AMAZING way and has stayed with me ever since.  You are about to experience the most amazing love of all.  And I so wish I could be right there with you to see you experience it so I could turn to you with a twinkle in my brown eyes and say, "I told you so." :)

 

November 13, 2014

Miley Cyrus - The Climb - Official Music Video (HQ)


Laughing with God


What new thing is God doing in your life?  Think about it…
I was laughing with my Pastor last evening, telling Him how our Heavenly Father knows what a dork I am…  That He knows me well enough to know that He has to reiterate things to me over and over again until He’s sure I got it. I had been working on my blog and accidently hit the wrong button – a formatting button that totally destroyed my format and made me have to start again. 

START AGAIN. 
I cringed. 
I gasped.
I threw my hands up in the air
 and then,
 I laughed. 
I really laughed.

Why?  Because once I got over the horror of hitting the wrong button, the formatting I created was better than what I had created previously. 
YES it was painstaking having to recreate a format, yes it was time consuming but through it all, it came out better than before.  And I laughed. There is a life lesson here and I got it.

“Do not call to mind former things, or ponder things of the past. Behold I will do something new.  Now it will spring forth; will you not be aware of it? I will even make a road way in the wilderness, rivers in the desert.” (Isaiah 43:19)
Your Father knows you intimately.  He knows when you are hard headed or having grizzly moments and need to be told the same thing over and over again until you get it.  He knows what it will take FOR you to get it!  He knows what you need better than you do.  We can take comfort in that.  I actually said out loud, “Yes Lord! I get it! Yet ANOTHER change! (I’m thinking He’s trying to make me LIKE change… I’m not there yet… LOL)  I think that covers everything now Lord! “ From my life, to my perfume, to this (your) blog – that about covers it! I get it!”

He may have a new thing planned for you.  I know you are probably like me – a planner, and like routine and things to stay the same.  I truly understand Peter Pan, I really do.  Being a kid was great, but we weren’t given the choice to remain one.  We had to grow up (whether we wanted to or not). The most wonderful people are those who have maintained their childlike fascination about things, even when they have grown up.  Life is a journey with hills and valleys and as long as we have breath in our bodies we will learn new things and experience lessons.  Some will be easy, some will be difficult, all include learning about ourselves.  We can struggle against the tide or we can go with it.  I’ve tried the “struggling against the tide part” and honestly, all I’ve done is gotten caught up in emotional rip tides because of it.  And it’s exhausting…  It is much more pleasant to take in what God is teaching me and walk through the shore of my life picking up seashells, enjoying the soothing sound of the waves and eyeballing seaweed… (I was recently told it is good to eat and that is one experience I plan to do without…)
What is God doing in your life?  What is He trying to show you?  Did He start out subtle?  Because if you don’t hear it at first, it will get louder and louder because He wants to capture your undivided attention and He won’t let you pass the class until you “get it.”  Then He will allow you to graduate and move on and when you look back at your life, hopefully you’ll be able to see the WHY of it.

“Oh I was so hard headed! I cannot believe what it took for me to learn what it was God wanted me to learn!” Hopefully we can say looking back.  “Oh I needed to learn this lesson in order to be able to help Sister So-and-So or brother Over-there later on in life.  I wouldn’t have known how to reach them if I hadn’t experienced what I experienced.” 
God has a sense of humor, what is He saying to you? What does He want to show you?  Are you listening?  Because if you don’t, He’ll just repeat Himself over and over again until you do.  Isn’t it time you passed the class? Hear that?  It’s the bell. It’s time to move forward…