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.


November 21, 2014

"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.

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