Monday, April 30, 2012

What's Your Reason For Living ?

  One of my subscriptions happens to be to " Joni and Friends " . In one of her devotionals she happened to ask someone " what's your reason for living " . This , I'm sure , stops people in their tracks . . . . . .wondering . Sure  made me stop and think about mine .
   After trying to think of profound , life meaning  and spell bounding answers .......! It's actually simple .
   I want to live a Christ - like existence . I want to have a personal relationship with the people in my life . Upon my death , I want everyone to have warm memories of me . That may not be realistic but it's something to strive for .
   At one time , my answer would have been my children . I have always worried about what would happen to them after I die . Not anymore . My children have accepted Christ amd I know they will be alright . I have peace on that score .
   What is your reason for living ? Write me and I will post it here . Again , no names will be shown for privacy sake . What is your reason for living ?

On The Eve Of May

    Woke up this morning to alot of commotion outside my window . Peeking out , I noticed some workmen across the street . . . . briefly . What really caught my eye was the weather . A person walking , wearing a heavy coat . The windy sway of the trees . The gloomy overcast . . . no hint of sun . A small drizzle here and there .No hint of summer on the eve of May .
    As I settled in my bath , reading a book of poetry , I came upon a poem about the ice cream man . I thought of summer and the children when they were small . How the ice cream truck would park itself outside our house waiting for the four of them to burst out barefoot for some ice cream . The four ? My Joe and Emily right along with their two cousins , Kathy and Carol . They could hear that ice cream truck miles away !!! Used to hate that truck . Wish he would park it somewhere else . He knew my kids were faithful clients !
     The Ice Cream Man
      by: Rachel Field
When summer's in the city
And brick's a blaze of heat
The ice cream man with his little cart
Goes trundling down the street

Beneath his round umbrella
Oh,what a joyful sight !
To see him fill the cones with mounds
Of cooling brown or white

Vanilla , chocolate , strawberry
Or chilly things to drink
From bottles full of frosty fizz
Green , orange , white or pink

His cart might be a flowerbed
Of roses and sweet peas
Thde way the children cluster round
As thick as honeybees

Sunday, April 29, 2012

Increase Yourself !

    Recently , I've watched a show on T.L.C. featuring a woman who was overtly obese weighing in at over 550 lbs . The show had nothing to do with weight loss .  Really , it doesn't matter what the show was about . All I noticed was how confident this woman was about herself . Her image . Her appearance . Herself .
     I was so impressed by this woman . She posed in a bikini , not a swimsuit , but a bikini ! How could one not be impressed with her confidence . She loved herself the way Christ loved her .
    I have struggled with my self image all of my life...especially now . This woman has achieved something I haven't but desired immensely . Impressive indeed ! I wish I had that confidence . I wish I could pose in a bikini  and be proud of my body .
    Reading my devotional today , I thought of that woman . It dealt with increasing your self acceptance and provided a 5 step practical tips to improving your opinion of yourself . This is not the first time I have read in my devotionals about acceptance of oneself . In fact , there have been many . It makes me think that this is a very common problem many of us have .
    If you are one of those people , just as I am , who suffers from lack of confidence regarding your appearance . . . . .well , I hope this helps .
1. never speak negatively about yourself . Acknowledge every good thing in you through Christ Jesus and not by focusing on the wrong
2. let God determine your worth . Remember that you already have been accepted by God.
3. avoid comparing yourself to others . We are not called to compare , but to comply .
4. keep your flaws in perspective . See where  you want to improve , but appreciate your progress .
5. discover the true source of confidence . Place your confidence with God . Do your best and leave the results to Him .
   See yourself the way Christ sees you . Have a Blessed week !


Settling In

     Now that my treatment is over  , we can exhale . It seems like we've been holding our breath the whole time . We moved into our apartment right at the same time we found out my cancer returned . This apartment  always seemed like a resting stop until further notice .
     As I slowly get my health back , I've been wondering about our "rest stop" . Looking around our place I've had this desire to really settle in , redecorating and buying some things . Six more months until our lease expires and right now it looks like we'll be staying for awhile . Let's make it a real home .
     This is big for me . I certainly thought we would be moving elsewhere but that didn't work out . At least not now .  On to plan B .
      So what is plan B ? Just getting comfortable . Originally , we weren't going to buy anymore furniture or replace with newer versions if we were leaving . But now , I have a strong desire  to make it our own .
      I'm tired of living in the future . Tired of dreaming of my desired place . That time will come eventually . Time to live for now  and enjoy our surroundings . This should be our little haven . Hanging up new curtains in the kitchen and already it looks different . Yes , new lamps and beds . Ideas popping inside my head .
      Smiling , I'm looking forward to the summer , to my better apartment and the better new me .

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

That Leg Thing

    When Monday rolled around , I practically skipped to the doctor's ! I've had enough of the pain and wanted nothing more than relief ! Little did I know I'ld spend better part of my day  there . Close to 6 hours !
    Funny , how I've become familiar with the layout of that Hospital . Give me the unit number and already I know which direction to take . My one problem ? I didn't bring enough yarn with me . Was I bored ? You better believe it !
   After sending me for x-rays , which proved everything was working in order , all three doctors stared down at my swollen knee perplexed . Why is this thing swollen . All tests were looking good with just a small amount of arithitis .
   A lightbulb appeared ! Let's drain the knee , send the fluid to Lab and  inject with steroids  . Ahhhh , my friend the steroids . We all know how much I love steroids . Then I asked a stupid question . Will it hurt ? " After all you have been through , this will be nothing ". Yeah , right . Did it hurt ? You better believe it . I think they heard me screaming in the lobby .
    Immediately , I could feel the difference . I'm amazed at people , whom I know , that walk around with leg pain and do nothing about it . Even now , I'm so happy to be rid of this pain  . Hopefully , it won't come back .
    What brought this on ? My doctor thinks it was all the medications I have been on . The side effects of my chemo . When I looked in the mirror the next day what did I see ? Red face . Here we go again . My friend the steroids . I'm still red .

Monday, April 23, 2012

Music To My Ears

      Looking around the room , watching the children sing to our theme song at Sunday School , actually brought tears to my eyes . A  year ago , these same children wanted nothing to do with worship time . They wouldn't participate . Some stood there like lumps saying nothing . Others sat at the table coloring . Coaxing them to join in was  an ordeal .
    That ordeal turned into a GOAL . I wanted them to sing ! I wanted to expose these children to worshiping God through music and song . I had visions in my mind of these same children learning songs by heart and loving it . For some , this would be the only place they hear Christian songs .
    I am fortunate to have a Pastor's Wife who shared that same vision with me . Ater changing the curriculum for the new Sunday School year . . . . .  here we are  . . . . .  six months later , and these same children will be singing in front of the congregation at our church .
   Whether they remember all the words , I'm not sure , but I see their faces riveted to the screen every Sunday trying to mimic the hand motions for every song . No more need for coaxing these childrens to putaway their crayons , no more need to coax them to move , to sing ....TO WORSHIP !
    I think that every Sunday School teacher has one goal actually make a difference in a child's life . There are times we go home feeling defeated , feeling more like a babysitter than a teacher . But then ,. there comes a moment--a magical moment where a goal becomes a reality . Suddenly , what you hear is music to your ears .

Sunday, April 22, 2012

Judging Me , Judging You

    We are a judgmental society . Some of us have developed a disease of it and some have a minor affliction , but we all judge to some extent .
     I have been asked how I come up with material for this blog . Well , while taking a bubble bath ! Like tonight , I woke up , my leg throbbing . After much tossing and turning , I decided to get up and take my bath . As I soaked , I reflected , reflected and reflected again on the days events .
    I have missed the last two Women's Group . My leg hurting and my thyroid flaring up I have decided to stay home and rest . At a church event  last night , I ran into a fellow Women Group Sista . After exchanging pleasantries , she chastized me , with a smile , for not coming to last week group . I held back my words and smiled back . In my mind , I thought , so she was there last week . . . . . . . what about the other weeks ? Judging me , judging you .
  I realized , while taking my bath , how quickly I ended up judging her the same way she judged me . I have no idea why she hasn't been coming .There could have been many reasons that I know nothing about and yet........I have judged her just as she judged me .
  It's so easy to sin . We both come to church , we both come to Bible study and we both serve  and yet.........we so quickly judged each other .
  At the church event , they were taking prayer requests .  On our way home , Emily asked me why I didn't stand up and ask people to pray for my leg . Why ? Because I didn't want to get into a lengthy explanation . I have been writing about it forever . People assume that once you go into remission everything is OKAY . Well , it's not . Other ailments occur .
  Will I go to the Group next week ? Probably not , at least not until the doctors sort this thing out . Will I be judged by this woman ? Probably , but that's okay . She just doesn't know what's going on in my life . We shouldn't judge but we do . Judging me , judging you....

Tears For Linda

    My dear , dear friend Linda . I have written about her since day one . Her cancer has spread to her liver now . The chemo is not working and AGAIN it has been changed . There are moments in our lives where we fall to our kness in prayer . This is one of those times . I am begging , begging everyone to pray for her and her family . As her husband , Bob , was telling me her " progress /update " , I couldn't find any words . What do I say ? What can I do ? I love this woman . Please pray for her .


You stood before creation
Eternity in Your hand
You spoke the earth into motion
My soul now to stand
You stood before my failure
Carried the Cross for my shame
My sin weighed upon Your shoulders
My soul now to stand
So what can I say
What can I do
But offer this heart O God
Completely to You
So I’ll walk on salvation
Your Spirit alive in me
This life to declare Your promise
My soul now to stand
So what can I say
What can I do
But offer this heart O God
Completely to You
So what can I say
What can I do
But offer this heart O God
Completely to You
So I’ll stand
With arms high and heart abandoned
In awe of the One who gave it all
So I’ll stand
My soul Lord to You surrendered
All I am is Yours
I’ll stand
With arms high and heart abandoned
In awe of the One who gave it all
I’ll stand
My soul Lord to You surrendered
All I am is Yours (4)
So what can I say
What can I do
But offer this heart O God
completely to you.....

Read more at “The Stand” song – Hillsong United

Saturday, April 21, 2012

I'm Watching You

   I've been following this blog called ," Blessed By Brenna ". It is a blog about a baby born with a skin disorder called Harlequin Ichthyosis . A baby , that at first glance , makes one aware that she has an illness just  by  looking at her appearance .
   Recently , the mother wrote of an experience where the child was gawked  at in public . I felt for that mother . I couldn't image being gawked at by others in that fashion . I wear my scarves in different ways  , I put on eyeliner and eyeshadow to hide the fact I don't have lashes but you can tell that there is something ......a little something different about my appearance than the average persons . Yet , I have not been stared at .........until now .
   I went to work as usual . Arriving , I  flash my I.D. and show my purse contents to the security guard . His eyes never left my face . He's not looking inside my purse or my I.D.  You could see the perplexation on his face as if he is trying very hard to figure out just what is the illness affecting me . You might say he finds me attractive  and that's why he can't take his eyes off me .There is a difference when one looks at you admiringly  and when they look at you confused .
  That irked me . I thought of baby Brenna and people staring at her . Like Brenna's mom said herself , I'd rather they stare but ask questions to be informed rather than just rudely stare and keep quiet .
  Yes , that security guard was new and didn't know me but still .. . . .. .

Monday, April 16, 2012

The Drive Through Of No Waiting

     As a mother , I have used that famous description of the fork in the road when trying to explain changes in my children's lives . This has become a favorite lecture of my Emily's . Whenever , she had an important decision to make , she would always bring up those two roads in front of her . Which way do I go , momma ?
    Now , that she has become a young woman of 23 yrs. , she has added another pitfall to her dilemna of the two roads . Instead , of just seeing the two roads she also has to avoid a ditch on her way to the two roads . At times , when things are pretty bad , she actually falls in before she reaches the road .
    I try to hide a smile as I listen to the current indecisions and yes , she has fallen in ! The young are so impatient to live life . They want to experience it right NOW ! If someone is getting married , they want to be married , too . A new job ? A steady boyfriend ? A pregnancy ? When is it to be my turn ? They don't want to hear explanations on why it's not their turn . The one getting married is 10 yrs older and has waited her turn but that holds no satisfaction to them nor consolation .
   I want to slow down and enjoy every bit of my life . All she wants to do is go full speed ahead to all the good stuff . Where is that drive through of no waiting ?
  What is the hurry ? When we were their age we did everything early . Early marriage , early parenthood ,Early responsibility . I've always wanted my children to wait and take their time to experience these things . The pitfalls of each generation to be repeated over and over again . I don't want a repeat .
   Right now , we both are experiencing huge changes in our lives . A fork in the road , where total trust in God is needed . As I dropped her off at work , we prayed like we do every morning . She seems to believe her day will go smoother if I pray before her work . So I pray . I pray about the fork in the road for both of us . I pray about the ditch . I pray about trusting Him . I pray about guiding us . I prayed quite beautifully . My darling daughter , Miss Negative of the year , interrupts with her negative comments on how this will never happen for her .
   I opened one eye and stared at her not saying anything . She quickly changed her tune . Sorry God , erase that last comment , words coming from her . I close my one eye and continue . I pray for her patience . And mine , too.

Here Comes The Rain

              It's been raining on and off all day . I love the rain . In my younger , youthful years I would walk in the rain with my face turned upwards . . . . . thunder and lightening welcomed ! I felt no fear of being struck . I only saw the beauty of thunderstorms . Never quite understood why people were afraid of them . Want to see God's awesome power and beauty ? Checkout a thunderstorm .
             What a lovely weekend it has been ! During the middle of the week I played hookie from work doing absolutely nothing but relaxing and being lazy . I have been so tired and feeling worn out that I decided to take a break . No Women's Group . . . . . . no overtime . . . . . .no work . . . . .  nothing  . . . . . just me and Emily and Diamond , of course .
             Talk about needing some time off !!! I feel great ! As the rain poured down , I could feel all the tiredness wash away from me . The worry and fears . . . . .everything . Looking out the window , all I saw was the beauty . There is nothing like a good rain to wash everything bad away . The grass and trees looked so very green . So very refreshed ! That's what I needed ! I needed to feel refreshed . . . . anew . . . clean .
             All weekend long , with the curtains billowing fiercely , I felt Spring was finally here . Spring to me has always meant a new beginning . A fresh start . My orthopedic appointment around the corner , I knew the pain in my leg would be gone soon . I felt hopeful . The rain began to fall . Let it come . Let it wash away all the old . Let's begin anew . Here comes the rain . . . . welcome it .

Sunday, April 15, 2012

On My Knees

      A time comes when we all have experienced " waiting ". . . . . . . where the waiting takes awhile . . . . . . it becomes almost a fantasy instead of reality . . . . .  .but when it does come . . . . . .after the joy subsides . . . . . .  one becomes afraid . . . . . afraid of losing that joy . . . . . that it's fleeting  . . . . pins and needles . . . . heart in our throat . . . . . . . don't take my joy  . . . . . on my knees I fall . . . . Dear Lord . . . .

Dear Lord,
I’m on my knees again
I come to you because you understand.
I’ve tried so hard, but I just can’t change myself
That’s why I know I need your help.
So here I am, this is my plea,
My only hope is your love for me.
I’m reaching out so desperately.
Come take my hand, take all of me, just as I am.
Oh Lord you made what’s broken new.
Why can’t I learn, to follow you?
I want to know you, to feel you in my soul, I surrender all control.
So here I am, this is my plea,
My only hope is your love for me.
I’m reaching out so desperately.
Come take my hand, take all of me, just as…
I am not afraid to follow you where you lead me
I can leave the past behind me.
I’m forgiven, and I’m free
My only hope is your love for me.
I’m reaching out so desperately.
Come take my hand, take all of me, just as I am

Read more:

Friday, April 13, 2012

A Broken Mirror

    This is something I wrote  few years back and was saving this for  Friday the 13th . Hope you enjoy !!!

It all started when I broke a mirror.It was in late September on a Saturday night as my mom and I were getting ready for a wedding.I completely shattered the entire full length mirror into kazillion pieces!! Not a million but kazillion pieces!!!!! Oh well,seven years....
Yet ,I had the best time ever.I can't even remember when I enjoyed a wedding more.This wedding was something else.It was full of young people who danced and danced the whole night.The DJ didn't take a single break! I felt like I was in a club.Thats the way it should be.Life is for the living.
I looked around and saw us old folks just sitting and watching.Thats how life really is.The young are so full of expectation and wonder but most of all.....impatience for tomorrow to come.What are we?We're tired.We know what tomorrow will bring and it won't always be pretty.
In the same week,Emily had an opportunity to see Emeril Lagassi ....LIVE!!! How great is that.He was coming to Arlington Park and do a LIVE show and you could meet Top Chef finalists from different seasons.It was like a food festival where you could try different dishes and wine too.It was FREEZING!!!!
But it was worth every goose pimple on her body.
Emeril prepared his famous Emeril salad ,roasted chicken,spiked tea [ I wonder what he spiked it with}and steak dog wrapped in bacon.It was so cold and no sun at all.Did I tell you it was outside? Everytime Emeril yelled out STEAKDOG the sun would come out.It turned into a game with Emeril and the crowd screaming STEAKDOG just so the sun could come out.
She came away from the experience with autographs of the top chefs and pictures of Emeril which we framed all.The funniest thing of all is that she goes to food festival loaded with food and what does she bring home? A small apple.Thats my girl.
I told Emily not bad at all considering I broke the mirror into a kazillion pieces.Then she proceeded to grab another mirror,"Lets break this one ,too".
The thing is that I haven't been feeling like writing lately.This happened in late September and here I am writing about it now.Now you could say that its the broken mirror and seven years bad luck that kept me feeling down and not writing.That is not true because,you see,I believe in JESUS CHRIST not lady luck.

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Keeping The Faith

             As I headed out for testing on my heart , it never occurred to me that I would encounter a fascinating young woman along the way . After signing in at the Heart Center , I sat down preparing for a lengthy wait . Pulling out my crocheting for this particular reason , I was very surprised to hear my name called out . It was only a few minutes wait .
            A young woman in her middle 20"s smiled at me as she led me into the room where my tests were to be done . She introduced herself and I'm ashamed to say I can't remember her name .
         She was full of questions about my cancer . How did I find out I had cancer ? What was my chemo like ? Where did I have my surgery ? How many stages were there ? Did I have a complete hysterectomy ? How long ago was my  first bout with cancer ? The questions were endless . She seemed genuinely interested in my cancer .
        She spoke of her Pastor's message this past Sunday at church . How he spoke of healing and never giving up our belief in being healed no matter what health issues we were  facing . I told her how I believed I was healed the first time and how difficult it was for me to accept this cancer coming back . Do you know what she said to me ? Don't ever stop believing you are healed because we live by Faith .
        On my way home , I thought about this young woman . I thought about her in the evening and when I woke up this morning . I'm still thinking about her .
      Lately , I have been fighting " doubt " . Doubt within my ministry , my friendships , my relationships......basically my everything . I thought about walking away from my everything . Even this blog . I'm tired , I'm crabby and I just have been thinking like noone cares .
      I feel like God sent her to me to remind me to keep plugging believe keep the faith . He cares.......

Monday, April 9, 2012

Letting Go

     For the past month , I have written about all my illnesses and about my inability of adjusting to life after going back to  work . Nothing has improved in that area . Honestly , I've been avoiding the only obvious solution ........letting go of something . Until my health improves , I don't see any other solution . My body isn't what it used to be and quite honestly , it never fully recovered from my last bout with cancer . If anything , my body feels weaker .
    But what do I let go of ? Every activity I do , I really enjoy . I don't love one more than the other . Let's make a list :
1. doctor appointments
                                    they can vary . This week alone I have three . Obviously , I can't let go of this .
2. once or twice a month events
                                                  this includes things like lectures , town hall mtgs , fellowship dinners at
                                                  church and any other church event . I don't feel like giving any of that
                                                  up since it is only once a month .
3. Sunday school
                           I don't think people know how much time it takes to be involved in Children's
                           Ministry . This is also one of the ministries that it is difficult to get volunteers in .
                           It's also one of the most fulfilling of ministries . I love doing what I do , I just wish
                           there were more volunteers.
4. Women's Group
                                I have been in a group since day one . If not with my church than a girlfriend .   
                                 Not only as a Bible Study but as a fellowship with other women . I can't imagine
                                 my life without it . It is very demanding of your time but also very fulfilling
                                 spiritually .
5. my work
                  I work 9 hour days and sometimes that includes a Saturday . There is nothing that I can do
                  about my work schedule and obviously can't give this one up either.
          I literally don't know what to do . This doesn't include my errands , or housework or family events . I have no idea of what I should let go of . Maybe , I'm going about this the wrong way . Maybe , I should ask myself , what would I gain  by giving up one of these things . If I gave up Bible Study , would that time be served better doing something else ?
         I would appreciate prayers as I want to make the right decision for me . All I know is that I can't go on the way I have . I forgot my blog !!! I certainly don't write in here as much as I used to anymore . I definitely don't intend on giving this up !!


A Subdued Mood

       My left leg has been throbbing with pain . Swollen , achy from thigh to big toe . I can't take the pain any longer . My leg has been getting worse and worse . I'm  anxiously awaiting my doctor appointments . Anxiously is not really the word I want to use .
       I thought of Jesus and all the torture and abuse He endured .....all without complaint . Not even all of that for Himself , but for me .
       This past week , I have wondered what each day must have been like for Him knowing what was to come  . What were His thoughts . His feelings . As I looked around , I wondered how many people thought as I .
      Every spiritual holiday , I feel like people miss the boat .That they are so wrapped up in the commercialization of the holiday that they miss the real message...purpose . Everywhere I went , I wished people a Happy Easter and let me say this ......the majority of them smiled back and wished the same to me .
   My emotions , my mood has been very subdued lately . As I thought about the Last Supper , I thought of the significance of it . On Good Friday , I felt like crying . On Saturday , it was anticipation and nervousness . Sunday brought Jubiliation . What a glorious day that was !!!
   I still can't believe how attuned my senses were this past week . Is it my age ? My spiritual growth ? Or is it the fact that I'm in pain with my leg ? Laying here Sunday night , in more pain than ever , I wandered about Jesus and His pain . I felt like a ninny . Christ endured pain that I can't even imagine just for me . I can't even handle my own pain let alone someone else's .
   That's how much He loves me . How could I not love Him back ?!

Friday, April 6, 2012

Missing The Past

           Throughout this Lenten Season , I have read of many traditions that people were partaking in especially this past week . Each devotional started with , " as we prepare " . . . .  I feel like I should be doing something . Like I'm not doing enough .
           A sense of emptiness fills me and I start to analyze , reflect  and revisit my life . This is a pattern I have just discovered about myself ....a pattern that every Holiday or special event brings out in me . With everyone of these gatherings I have felt a wave of nostalgia , a sense of loss that was very hard for me to interpret . For awhile , I thought that maybe I was on a verge of something experience that God wanted me to sort through .
          Alas , I think I figured out " this feeling " I've been having . I miss the traditions that we do as a family with our children .  My children are gone and there are no more special traditions to experience . They are placed on a shelf marked memories to be brought out and revisited at family gatherings .
        Children bring out something extra special to every occasion . It is called happiness and innocence . Things look differently through a child eyes . I miss those times . Now , I only have the memories .
       The positive side to all of this is that now I can make new memories with my grandchildren . Too bad they live so far away . Here's to all those TRADITIONS  we fuss about every year holiday . Happy Easter everyone .

Sunday, April 1, 2012

Tea With The Mad Hatter

             Yesterday , I spent the afternoon with the Mad Hatter having tea and sandwiches . The room was filled with Alice in Wonderland decor and the ladies all wore outrageous hats ! In case , you may think I've lost my marbles , let me assure you I'm perfectly sane .
               We had our yearly "Goodbye To Winter Tea " at my church hosted by my Pastor's wife . This year's theme was Alice in Wonderland . The men served us wearing white crisp shirts and black bowties . All the ladies dressed up in zany outfits and outrageously beautiful hats .  It was just lovely . The message was based on Alice's quest to finding out " who am I "?
               Who am I ? Where am I going ? What path should I take ? What should I do ? We , as women , are everchanging . We are constantly re-discovering ourselves . I find the older I get the harder it is for me to accept change . I just want to sit in  my comfortable corner and have tea with the Mad Hatter .
               Since I have returned to work , I find myself pondering these same questions . I feel displaced in my job , my group , my ministry , my friends . Something is missing . I wish I knew what that " something " was  so I could feel complete again . I'm searching for that " comfortable corner " to sit at undisturbed . I have screamed out to God many times asking Him these same questions . This sense of displacement is unnerving to me . Another change that I really don't want .
              Our guest speaker ended the message by saying we can be sure of one thing we are ..........we are the daughters of Christ .

Yarn Bombing My Life

                            Everyday is a brand new day, everyday is a journey. Some murmur if their sky is clear, And wholly bright ...