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Showing posts from September, 2012

God Moments Of My Life

As October rolls around , I would love to start something a little different . In the past , I have asked each of you to share a God Moment but now , I want to share some of mine .These moments
re-affirm how much God really loves me and carries through on His promise to take care of me for as long as I love and believe in Him .
    Throughout the month , I will open up my heart to you and let you in just as you have done to me . So , let me start with a God moment of my own . . . a very old one .

GOD MOMENT :
                       My son Joey , has always wanted to be in radio since the tender age of 5 when he was presented with an old fashioned tape recorder . That tape recorder was the start of a passion to be in radio . For the next 10 yrs. or more , he would follow me around with a fake microphone asking me what caller I was .  He grew up and became an on air personality .
                     Years later , believe my shock , when he announces to me that he is leaving his current…

Up Close With Cancer

She sat at the lunchroom table surrounded by a crowd of people , showing off her  medical pictures of the inside of her knee . She just recently came back from FMLA after having knee surgery .
    " Hey , I should have brought my cancer picture . We could have had a regular Show and Tell , " I said . Everyone laughed and soon lunch was over .
     Walking back to the office , my mind was flooded with memories of the past . It's funny how you remember certain things like the way something may have smelled , or tasted , or how raw the emotion you felt , as if it was yesterday .
      I remember the day , the doctor came in smiling down at me , holding in his hand an 8 1/2 x 11 glossy picture of my tumor . My cancer . The colors were so bright they bounced off the print . I looked at it and wondered how anything so ugly could grow inside of me . Where did it come from ? How did it happen to be there ? Why did it grow ?
     Back then , I wanted to frame that picture of …

Shape It Up

Have you ever gone on a food binge of your favorite foods ? I have . . . . this week . It seems all good things are bad for you . Now , my body feels like I'm hung over but from food and not alcohol .
   To be honest , it hasn't really been only this week . I have , sort of , slipped off the wagon from healthy eating . On the weekends , we would order out occasionally  and it began to be a habit .
   After changing your diet and being on it for quite awhile , your body will develop an aversion to unhealthy things . You still crave those things , but you don't feel well after giving in to that temptation . That's what I'm experiencing big time this week . . . . . the after effects of unhealthy living .
   With the weekend ahead , I headed straight after work to the fruit/veggie market to stock up on some fresh foods . This month alone , I have nothing but doctor visits and tests . I'll be expected to get on that dreaded scale . One of my kindergarteners once …

Be Still

Coming in to work last night , I discovered we all had to update our e-mail accounts with a new system . Setting it up for an update  , I realized my computer would be down for a whole forty minutes ! Forty minutes is a long time to be without a resource that is needed to run a business . Staring at the screen , I grew impatient by the minute waiting for this update to be over . This little upset caused a huge delay in my daily routine .
   Being still is not a strong point of mine . Usually , by the time I'm finally still , that's when all the chips are down and everything has fallen apart . I always have this desire to help things along instead of just letting things progress at their own level . Usually , my interference makes things worse .
   Opening my new e-mail , I came across the posting of that position I'm applying for . It's been almost a month and still no news or interviews . All that has been happening is alot of bragging and name dropping from some of …

Hoarding Up !

Fall is here . You can feel it in the coolness of the air . It is a time for preparation for the coming of the winter months . That's what Emily and I have been doing . . . . .preparing . Making a list of things we will need , we went shopping for a few of them .
    Hoarding up includes from medicine to facial tissues . To getting our car in working winter order to sealing our windows and doors . Stocking up on flour , pasta , toilet paper  and laundry detergent . Why the squirrel act ?
   Not only do I feel that we will have a cold winter , but I need the sanctity of my apartment . I can understand the animals that hibernate in winter to prepare for the other three seasons . I'm looking forward to the quiet solitude and seclusion .  I have no desire to be out there playing in the snow .
    Last thing , Emily and I want is to slush around in the ice and snow , doing our shopping for trash bags  . We are not one of those people who want to go sledding or skiing or throw …

Traditions

Traditions have come to mean so much to me , especially when it comes to passing them down to my own children . When you have had to face illness or death , you start thinking about the " after " part . . . . after you are gone . To me , the best way for your memory to be honored is by continuing the traditions you've started .
   Now that Joey has a family of his own , it brings much joy to see him re-enacting some of these traditions . Like when he reads a bedtime story to Hannah or Timothy , he'll change his voice for every character . That is something he got from his own childhood . I'm glad he is doing the same with his own children . It must have been a happy memory for him and that brings me great joy to know .  
   Parenting is hard especially on a single parent because you are alone . There isn't anyone to help shoulder some of the burden . By the time the children are grown , you feel tired , worn out and wonder about all the mistakes you have do…

I Am Job

After spending a night of tossing and turning , I finally get up to the early morning cold . It's neither light nor dark outside , but somewhere in between . The cold has entered my muscles and joints and I feel myself creak with every move . I am tired and long to get back under the covers with my heating pad .
   Since the temperature drop , my knee has been acting up causing me much pain . The arthritis taking over . Stairs ? I wince just thinking about them .  I hate cancer . Cancer has stolen my strength and my body . I want it back .
   Getting ready to make that familiar trip to the hospital  evokes absolutely no joy . Today , marks the first day of many more to come these next few weeks . My calendar is packed with visits and tests and I'm tired of them . Oh , where is my bed ?
   As I go through my second turn with cancer , I find myself thinking of Job alot . I am not righteous as he was , far from it , but I can feel the pain he went through covered with sores an…

Traffic School

It came in the mail  and in big letters it read " TRAFFIC SCHOOL ". Really ? Was that necessary ?  Right there , for anyone to read or see , broadcasting my delinquency . It's been over 6 weeks of waiting and I almost thought they had forgotten about me . This being my first experience with something like this , I wasn't quite sure what the procedure calls for , so I called them . Do you know we have an office that just handles traffic school ?
  Let me tell ya , folks . I've always had a fear of being tasered . Once , I had a van where the drivers side window was stuck and wouldn't roll down . Couldn't wait to get that fixed . This scene played in my mind . Example :
     I'm being stopped by an officer and he asks me to roll down my window and I , of course , can't . So I try to open the door to let him know that and he thinks I'm threatening him so he pulls out his taser and POOF ! I get it .
  Yes , I played that scene in my mind foreve…

All Of My Life

The day passed quickly with numerous odds and ends performed amidst a mixture of pleasure and duty . Still , all that busyness couldn't erase the taste of failure that loomed overhead from the night before . How do I not bring it home ? How do I stop caring ? How do I become what I was before ? How do I become two people ? One work and one home ? I simply can't .
   The open road has always held an appeal to me . It spells freedom . Never have I wanted to get on it like now . Just get in my car and drive , wherever the road may take me , let that be my new home . A clean slate to start over .
   All of my life , I've stepped up , I volunteered , I gave up lunch , I came in early and left late . I've raised my hand and took on whatever had to be done . Not just at work . My home . My friends . My church . I've always taken on whatever had to be done whether I wanted to or not . But I did it because I understood the need for someone to take the lead . No matter who…

Where Are The Sistas ?

I'm a middle child with two brothers . It's no small wonder that I've always desired a sister . I can remember pleading with my mom for a sister well into my adulthood . It wasn't meant to be .
       Sisters have always been protrayed as " two peas in a pod " type of relationship . Their connection one of telepathic proportions , might as well be siamese twins . They 're qualities involve reading each other's thoughts . Whether it was in movies or books or greeting cards , sisters have always been protrayed as an one of a kind relationship that no one can break .
     Okay , so where are these sistas ? I don' t mean to be cynical  but I don't know of any sisters that have that kind of relationship . The ones I do know are either fighting or in constant competition with each other . So where are those saint-like sistas ? I'm sure there are some out there . The sistas , I know with that kind of relationship are usually not related bu…

The Crown Of Exultation

The Crown Of Exultation
                                           The believers we had a hand in bringing to Christ will be our " Glory and Joy " before the Lord . Just imagine how you will rejoice in Heaven upon seeing and talking with people who recognize your contribution to their spiritual development .
                      Dr. Charles Stanley

   When we think of bringing people to Christ , we think of people we have nurtured and mentored for a period of time as if watching an infant become a toddler .  There are others that we come into contact everyday , even for a second , that we have  had an effect on but aren't there to see them grow spiritually .
   We go about our daily lives without thinking that there are consequenses to our meager actions . I say meager because some of what we do , we consider insignificant . It's like those Walmart  e-mails we get where it shows people not in their best outfits . Don't we all do that ? We put on whatever for a qu…

A Season For Everything

With the approach of Fall so near , I find myself in anticipation of the coming months . In the past , I've loved the Spring and Summer months and dreaded the other two . Funny , how things change as we get older . I'm quite looking forward to the dreaded other two .
      I have come to appreciate the different seasons . Each one has something different to offer . The activities of the summer has left me longing for the stillness of winter's hibernation .
      I honestly don't care for the snow shoveling and car sliding . The bursts of cold air as you go from one destination to another . The warming up of the vehicle takes forever . I have memories of my younger years when I took a bus everywhere . Standing in the freezing temps. with my feet buried in the snow waiting for that bus that was always late . Shivering , my feet turned into icicles . Yes , winter is definitely not my favorite .
    There is that moment , though , right after a snowfall , where beauty…

Nosy Me

I have become my own worst enemy . Have you ever experienced that moment of realization that you have become something you never thought possible . Something that you disliked very much in others . I'll become a nosy parker ! Yep , that's me .
    Last night , across the street , an ambulance came , a fire truck and a couple of police cars . Streets were closed off . Red and blue lights flashing everywhere , I run to the window . Yes , who knew I could run . My face peering out , I anxiously tried to assess the situation , calling out to Emily the " latest " .
     " Mom , why are you so nosy ? Every little sound , you're at that window ."
    I stopped in my tracks and looked at her . What ? Me ? Lord , what has happened to me ? What have I become ? I'm a busybody ! A nosy parker !
    And she is right . Sitting at my desk , trying to figure out just exactly when this started . Maybe , I always was like this and just refused to see it ? I couldn&#…

A Red Delicious

Pushing the grocery cart through the aisles at the fruit market , I look for sales . Coming upon the apple stands , I spot the most beautiful Red Delicious Apple ever ! An apple we all have seen in the hands of the Evil , Wicked Stepmother of Snow White . In those movies , the apple is perfectly shaped  and unmarred in any way . The color red is a red that only exists in the movies . . . . . until this morning .
  Picking up the apple , I turn it over in my hands , admiring it from all angles . The beauty .  . . . the color  . . . the smooth , shiny texture . I've never seen one like this before . I'm completely enthralled by what I see .
     Now , these apples  sit in my bowl upon my kitchen table , I somehow , can't bring myself to eat them just yet . I want to admire them awhile longer . I wish I had them two weeks ago when I taught my Creation lesson . What a perfect example of what God can create .
   The Creation . . . . .one of the easiest lessons . . . . God cr…

The " Louds "

We have new neighbors that just moved in two weeks ago . Just like the others , we have given them a nickname . We call them the
" Louds ". They are a family of four with a grade school level child and a small infant . We call them " louds " because that's just what they are . . . .. loud .
     All hours of the day and night , they are forever banging around above us . It makes no difference if it's 3 p.m. or 3 a.m. They make sure they are heard .
     Their belongings are left carelessly in the hallways and outside . They use two parking spots instead of one . They leave the doors open , even at night . Their bicycles block our storage units and doorways . They are the Louds Family .
    Emily considers them rude and inconsiderate of others . I just smile . You just have to admire their sense of freedom at doing whatever they want whenever they feel like it . Free spirited beings .
    Imagine , sleeping in or just staying in bed all day  long . You e…

And The Nominations Are . . .. .

There has been a rare opportunity at work for three positions that are open . Yes , three . It's a rarity , for sure . Things like this just don't happen very often by my work . Recognizing that , people have been applying left and right . I'm one of those people .
    All last night , people were comparing their acheivements on who was better , who was their competition , who didn't stand a chance , who was in the running .
   Off in the corner , working quietly , was a fellow co-worker of mine who is applying for the same position as I , but in a different department . She was worried that her achievements might not be enough or better than the rest . She was worried she would not get this promotion .
    I can understand her worry . Just because we are Christians doesn't mean everything is handed down to us because we
 " believe ". Just because I pray for something doesn't mean I will get it . We are placed where we are for a reason and this may …

And The Story Unfolds

I awoke this morning to a banging and clanking  from somewhere in my building . Looking out the kitchen window , I saw a huge dumpster parked right in front . They were cleaning out the nasty , smelling apartment .. . . . .finally .
      They  didn't come right away , instead , the odor reached the hallways right with  the flies . It was nasty and I felt disappointed in managements lack of a quick response . There is the legal side , I guess , to consider . That smell will take awhile to clear out .
      There were no dead bodies in the apartment , to the disappointment  of the other tenants . There was no scandal , so they made one up for themselves .
       " These people were in the witness protection " or " They were on the run from the police " or " they were laying in the ditch somewhere " . No one wanted to believe they just simply left .
        Maybe , the other tenants are right . Everytime , I go into the laundry room , I see the bo…

Choosing Wrong

My building stands on a corner with a STOP sign . Throughout the day , I will hear and see all sorts of hand gestures , angry outbursts and obscenities from everyday people . People that we see at the corner store , gas station , schools and even at Church . There have been times , when the drivers would get out of their  cars and confront each other  . And it wasn't always , man vs. man , either , or young vs. young .
       One day , Emily and I will see an accident because of that STOP sign . People are so impatient , so rushed , so angry of something so minor . Can you imagine if it was something major ?  Maybe that STOP sign means more than stop your vehicle . Maybe , it should mean stopping and taking stock of ourselves .
     After picking up Emily's glasses , we did some errands . These simple errands , consisting of pumping gas and picking up some cleaning supplies , took us over an hour and a half . On the way home , we hit traffic and a train . Why does it t…

What I Know Is True

What do I know that is true ? I know that God showers His love and forgiveness upon me . I know He will always provide for me whatever I need . I know He sent His only Son to die on the Cross for me . I know I will go to Heaven one day to be there with Him .
    What do I know that is true ? I know I will always have cancer . I also know the dark shadow of death will chase after me . I know this disease will shape my future . Having this cancer also brought alot of good things in my life .
     What do I know that is true ? I know my children love and respect me  , but most of all , they like me . I know they care what I think and what I do . I know they love spending time with me . I know I will leave a little bit of myself in them . I know they will mourne me after I'm gone .
    What do I know that is true ? I know that I am good at my job . I care about doing the best that I can not just for myself but the people around me . I like the challenging part of my job but not the m…

Missing In Action

On a Friday , at about 7 pm. , Police came knocking at my door . It seems that one of my neighbors has gone missing . Actually , it was a family of four . A wife , a father and two small toddler boys . No one has seen them for over a week . Their van has been gone from the parking lot . Yet , their bikes , strollers and a red wagon were still in the laundry room .
   That's not what brought the police knocking on our doors . The family living below them in the basement has been smelling an odor . Flies were coming through their vents . All of that plus the missing family living above them . . . . well , they made their own conclusions . They called the police and the management company , voicing their concerns .
  After bringing all of us tenants into the hallway , it was discovered that we all had experienced a fly problem . Unlocking the door proved to be difficult , taking an entire twenty minutes . The  minute the door was opened a stench came pouring out . It was dark , eq…

My First Time

It was right after my first remission that a family friend was diagnosed with cancer . Walking into the hospital brought on  a wave of nostalgic memories . Some good  and some not so good . I came , carrying a bag of bagels , muffins and a gallon of coffee . I knew that his family haven't left his side to eat or sleep since his arrival . This , I knew  from my own experience .
   Inside , everyone was laughing and chatting in a strained sort of way , especially the patient . As I laid out the food , no one needed to be coaxed to eat as they suddenly  remembered how hungry they really were .
    I'll never forget how chatty the patient was , relating joke after joke , story after story . Regular life of the party . Or so he wanted to appear like that . In a few days , his surgery was scheduled to remove the tumor on his colon . He had colon cancer , stage 4 . I didn't know it was the last time I would see him so "alive ".
    After his surgery , I came by again…

FAILURE

Emily walked into my bedroom holding a pair of broken prescription glasses - hers . For a moment , a series of flashbacks dominated my brain . How many times have I seen this episode ?
   All she could think about was the cost of those glasses and how much it will set us back .  For the rest of the evening , she felt ridden with guilt , a complete failure . Of course , to me , it was pure nonsense because accidents happen .
   Failure has a way of ruining our good moods . It can knock out any sense of accomplishment and security that we have . This week , an opportunity at work has presented itself for a new position with more money and recognition . Am I qualified ? You better believe it . So what is the problem ? Me and my fear of failure .
   What if I don't pass the interview ? The math and the english test ? What if I don't get it ? No one likes to lose , especially me . No one wants to fail , least of all me . Nerves have set in and a fear of failure loom over me .
 …

His Infinite Grace

What a glorious day ! Looking out my opened windows ( yes , opened ) enjoying the breeze , I can't help but smile . What a difference one week can make . Was it only last week , a mere few days , that I was ready to bite everyone's head off ? Imagine what a few days rest can do for a person's sanity .
   God is so good to me . I'm amazed at His forgiveness and His patience  with me . Not only has He provided a very relaxing three day weekend for me , but allowed an opportunity at work last night for me to come home a whole five hours early . That's not all , though . I also have the apartment all to myself since Emily is at a birthday party . Didn't have to make supper , either . Can it get any better than this ?
    My blog , my e-mails , my lessons all caught up . My errands are done and the house is clean . I'm finally ahead of the game . I couldn't ask for anything more .
   When times are good , we seem to forget just how good we really have it . It…

Remembering The Day

" What's that guy's name ? The one dancing over there ? "
 " That's Doug ," I said .
" He looks great and happy ."
" Of course , the first time , you love life and are glad to be alive . The second time , you're like , CRAP ! It happened again ."
     That last part was said by me as I watched the third member of our little cancer group dancing with the bride . That was a conversation I had with my nephew-in-law at a Wedding I went to this weekend .
    I have a feeling I'm going to be very reflective this month . It will be a year since my diagnosis of the return of my cancer . My tests are coming up this month just as last year and I'm a little nervous . Don't want a three-peat performance .
    Trying to imagine my emotions upon the " third time " and I can't . What would it be like ? What would I be feeling ? It's morbid , I know , but I'm human and the feelings are there . It's easy to say…

The Rightful Bucket List

Afew months back , I shared mybucket list with all of you .I even crossed off a few things . Then my bucket list just sort of "froze " . It seems it will take awhile until I'm able to cross off the things on my bucket list . I still want to accomplish them but it's taking alot slower than I thought . In the movies , people cross them off like snapping their fingers .
   After reading Ann Voscamp's bucket list , my head hung in shame . Her list included giving thanks and helping others . What does mine include ? Mine is all about ME . My needs and my wants . How telling is that ?
    Oh , how I wish , I was at her level spiritually but I know I'm not there yet . No , I will not think this way . My shame and disappointment quickly disappeared . She is where she is and I can only look up to her . She is what I want to aspire to be . I will not diminish ( love that word and use it alot ) what I have achieved so far . My Joe is a therapist and I've had free…

The Detergent Commercial

Remember those 50's commercials where everyone looked perfect and dressed perfect . Not a hair out of place . It showed an immaculate housewife doing laundry . Everything was just perfect . Even her whites were glow in the dark white ! Unfortuantely , that kind of life doesn't exist . Or maybe , it's fortunate . It might become boring .
   Everyone's life seems so much better than the one we are leading right now . Even I need a small reminder of what I have . I'm sure there are people who think my life is something to be jealous of and may wish it for themselves . I know I look at others and think that way .
   I've read a sign at a church once that said " There's no need to keep up with the Jones's when you are keeping company with Jesus ."
    When I was young one of my favorite sayings used to be " I never want to go back because I wouldn't be who I am today ". The older I get , the more I believe that . I definitely don'…

Come Rest With Me

After having such a meltdown last week , it felt glorious to be able to just do nothing but rest . This three day weekend was exactly what this tired old mind and body needed .
  " Come rest in my arms , I will give you new strength "
  I found that written down on a yellow memo stickie among my papers . I don't remember the story behind that little note to myself nor when it happened . Maybe , the real reason was that I could find it weeks or months later to boost me up .
   It doesn't matter because I really did rest . Not only did I go to a Wedding and the Grand Opening Carnival for Sunday School , but spent some time cleaning up loose ends at home . I caught up on things that were getting lost in the " to do " pile . I read my devotionals and I did my laundry .
  I de-stressed in the tub with a glass of wine and listened to music . I watched Agatha Christie and laughed with Hercule Poirot . I crocheted my little heart out and ate takeout . Not one time …

Two Scoops Of Oatmeal

It'sfunny how our lives change when we hit middle age . Almost overnight , our world goes topsy curvy and we look in the mirror and don't even recognize what we see  reflected . Who is this person ? Everything in our lives changes . For some of us , our children have grown up and we become empty-nesters . For the first time in many years we can use the bathroom alone .
  My middles years have been spent fighting cancer . It was this month ( September ) last year that I first found out my cancer came back . Having just finished going through my regular testing , they came back not very positive . My cancer has awoken and started growing again .
   I remember , sitting with my chemo nurse , Maria , going over all the details . I asked her if I would be receiving steroids again . I didn't want to since I gain weight and become bloated with them . She smiled up at me . It's not just the steroids that make me gain weight .
  " Honey , you hit your 40's , got canc…

Desperate Lives

This week hasn't really been my "crowning glory ". In fact , it's been more of my " hall of shame ". It seems some demon has possessed my body . I 'm so full of anger but most of all , I'm so very tired . . . . . . not just physically tired but tired of everything . The two seem to go hand in hand . I've desperately been needing this three day weekend .
    What's even more embarrassing is the fact that my blog has become a sort of  venting vessel for my anger . Who wants to read a whole bunch of nagging and complaining blogs . No one . I have become my own worst enemy . I have become a negative nag .
     Even at work , I would stomp around like a toddler having a tantrum . That irksome person whom I 've sworn that I would love ? Well , I hated her  .
     Last week , as a Christian , I have failed . Has that ever happened to any of you ? Have you ever had a week where you wish you could erase ?
    When you know you have done wrong , you…

My Stolen Joy

Whenever , I think back to the beginning of my cancer , I always think of JOY . Yes , joy . The year of my cancer and the year after  was probably the most meaningful time of my life . That was the time when I decided to completely change how I live my life . The beginning of anything new is always great . The expectations are high and the rewards equally so .
   Now that time has gone by , I feel different . My second bout with cancer was a shock and that maybe why there is no joy afterwards . The " why " I feel misplaced , out of joint and out of place . I've been feeling lost . It's not anger at the situation , it's something else . The " else " that I can't explain or find .
  I do know it's not spiritual . I have grown in my faith and my relationship with the Lord . So , if it's not spiritual , then what is it ?
   Who am I fighting ? Maybe , I'm fighting myself . Maybe , things aren't moving fast enough to my liking . Yet , an…