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 5, 2014

L'Chaim! To Life!

As a breast cancer survivor, I am very much aware of how precious life is.  My life has drastically changed over the last four and a half years.  While I survived breast cancer, my 20 year marriage did not. 
I guess the best way to describe it is like this: 
Prior to cancer, my life was like that of “water colors” and post cancer my life has been in “vivid, vibrant hues.”
One of my favorite musicals (having been a Theater Major) is “Fiddler on the Roof.” (A definite must see if you haven’t seen it already!).  I have a tattoo on my upper back that I had done after my experience with cancer that says, “L’Chaim!” which is Hebrew for  “To life!” life is to be celebrated and cherished and appreciated! It is a gift.  If you go to YouTube you can search for a great song from that musical that is called, “To Life!”  (Actually, I will post the song as a separate post. It is a wonderful song toasting life!)
I have little to no tolerance for people who lie or play games with people’s feelings, it’s wrong.  Bad things happen to people of ALL ages, and you never know what hand you will be dealt.  Life is precious; we often think that we are “promised” tomorrow.  The truth is; we are not.  God does not “owe us” tomorrow.  Therefore it is important to make every precious moment count.
I feel compassion for those people who want to make changes in their lives and set out to do so, and can’t.  I do not feel compassion for people who “wallow” in their situation and choose to be miserable and do nothing about it, except complain.  Life is what you make it.  If you choose to be miserable and surround yourself with people who don’t see the beauty in you, don’t build you up, don’t encourage you, don’t share your same interests, don’t care about what you care about or don’t treat you special – than of course your life will be miserable.
“A nagging wife is like drippings that never stop on a rainy day.” (Proverbs  27:15)
Job’s wife even advised him to “curse God and die!” (Job 2:9)
Can you imagine?  Here is someone who is going through anguish, physical pain, emotional and spiritual torment and in the midst of his suffering, his wife tells him to curse God and die!  That is not the advice that Job needed.  He needed someone who would sit beside him, someone who would hold his hand; someone who would PRAY for him, someone who would just BE there.    As a cancer survivor I was amazed by the people who treated me as if I had leprosy.  As if they could “catch” cancer from me.  There were family members and friends who stayed away, perhaps because in thinking of me it made them have to face their own mortality.  I don’t judge these people, I understand that it is difficult to see someone you love or care about suffer, but the best thing you can do for that person – is to BE THERE.  They are not looking for an answer from you, they are not looking for anything but an acknowledgement that you care.  When you go through a life threatening illness, you feel as though you are not connected with the world anymore.  That you are in a type of vortex, everyone else is going about their daily lives, and time has stopped still for you.  You don’t know whether or not you are going to live or die.  Your life has changed.  

Someone asked me recently, when I went through cancer if I had thought I was going to die.  Honestly, my mind would not go there.   As a Christian I know that my life is in God’s hands.  I gave Him my life at the age of 21.  I firmly have believed (and do so still) that:
“The number of my days, He will fulfill.” (Exodus 23:26)
Honestly, I had a small kid when I was diagnosed; my son was only four years old, my daughter was ten, my oldest son was fifteen.  I could not concentrate on the thought that I might die, because I was too busy fighting to LIVE.
When you go through chemotherapy and radiation (or any kind of cancer treatment), you are focusing on moment to moment, minute to minute, and hour to hour.   That is how I survived.  It is the ONLY way I could make it through treatment.  Every ounce of my energy went to fighting.  It went to believing, it went to praying.  I know that my life is in God’s hands.  There is nothing more that can be said.  That was four and a half years ago.  I have been healed of cancer, I am totally cancer-free and at my healthiest.  (Early detection is KEY). 
Honestly, even if you are not going through a life threatening disease or situation, we should think and praise God for bringing us through every desert experience we go through and rejoice and praise Him through ALL the moments in life that make life to be such a gift.
I truly believe in making memories.  I truly believe in paying it forward.  I truly believe in thanking God every morning for EACH day that He gives, for they are gifts.  No matter what our circumstances are.
If you are unhappy with your life’s choices, what are you doing to change it?  Are you in your own living hell? Have you imprisoned yourself?  Are you thinking only of “your needs, or yourself “without considering the feelings of others or whether or not what YOU are doing will hurt them? Does it even matter to you? We live in such a “me me me me” world that sometimes we don’t take the time to think how what we say or do affects someone other than ourselves…
Are you filled with complaining or blaming others for your unhappiness, instead of turning your life around to DO something about it?  Are you making excuses or pointing the finger at someone else for the choices YOU are making in life? No one is responsible for the choices you make, except YOU yourself.  Take responsibility and ownership for them.  IF you hurt someone (even unintentionally) ask them for forgiveness.  If you have been hurt by someone and they haven’t asked for forgiveness, PRAY FOR THEM.
Life is precious.  The Bible says,
“It is destined for man to live and die once and face the judgment.” (Hebrews 9:27-28)
“Jesus came so that we could have life and have it more abundantly.” (John 10:10)
But you have to want that abundancy.  Life is what you make it to be.  So if you are miserable and not doing anything about it – perhaps it’s time you did?
I am.  My life has drastically changed.  I have been on my own for almost five years now.  My life has been filled with change and major responsibilities, two of my three children live with me and to be honest the after treatment part (or post cancer) part has been a lot more difficult than the regimented treatment I went through.  Figuring out how to live has been quite a feat.  I have not gotten out much.  I have not dated much. God has shown me that it is time for me to make changes, from the people in my life who have chosen not to make changes in their own lives and have by their decision, affected mine, to the brand of perfume I wear, which recently was discontinued after 25 years!!! (Could God spell out change MORE clearly to me??!!!)
Life should not just be about responsibilities, but fun, enjoyment, laughter, love, friendship, trying new things, meeting new people, making new friends.  Opening your heart to ALL life has for you.  The time is now.  You’ll never get these moments back – see? Already another is gone!  We are to walk by faith and not by sight – but in order to walk you have to move your legs!  Are you moving your legs?
Step out on faith with me.  Believe that God desires to bless you, to guide you, to be with you.  It can be scary, I know!  The unknown and change is not always easy to do.  But in order to experience God’s best, that is sometimes what we have to do.  Step out in faith.
Open the door to new relationships and don’t be surprised if you find that God has blessed you so much more than you can imagine.  Squeeze my hand and feel me squeezing yours, we are MANY members but we are ONE in the body of Christ.  Stand tall, back straight, chin up.  This applies to everyone, not just cancer survivors.  Life IS worth living! Here we go!

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