Friday, May 31, 2013

O Humble Me

What is your sin ? The  one that weighs heavily upon your shoulders ? The one that follows you , shadowing your successes ? The one that places a blemish on your self-worth ? The one that hurts your very soul ? What is your sin ?

There are many ways of sinning . We sin intentionally , fully aware of what we are doing , but finding justification for it . We make excuses for our sinning : Well , it's only once in awhile that we sin like this  . God will overlook that , because of our service , commitment and dedication . We come to church every Sunday . . . we serve . We are not like those other people who don't even acknowledge His Presence . Yes , He'll overlook this once in awhile sin .

There are the sins that we do almost everyday , but we consider them tiny , insignificant little sins , almost like  not sinning at all . We keep on with no fear of repercussion until it is brought to our attention . We are caught before we even acknowledge that it is a sin .  That sin is slammed right in our face . That sin is not so tiny  anymore .

What about the ones from our past that are so dark and dirty that we are afraid to confess to God . He might not love us anymore . What will He think of us ? How can we come before Him with the shame of our sin ?

We all sin . We all have experienced these types of sins . Is one any greater than the other ? Sin is sin . There are no levels of greater or lessor . We know that because of the weight of guilt we feel when we sin . In the end , we need to lay down our sin before the feet of Christ . That is the only way the shame can be lifted .

What is your sin ? Let me be the first to lay down my sin . . ..
Have a Blessed day everyone .

Thursday, May 30, 2013

Simply .. . . .

Some of the best things in life are the simple things that cost absolutely no money . Simple things , when used , have a huge effect on our bodies .

Simply water :
Water , has been my lifesaver ! It's great for nausea , upset stomach , dehydration , diarrhea , constipation . . . . basically everything . I also like to drink water after a very filling meal to get rid of that heavy feeling .

I have to be honest , water is something new to me . It's only entered  my life a year and a half ago . A nurse from my insurance sent me a cookbook for cancer patients . This cookbook also listed the side effects of chemo and what remedies one can eat or drink to help ease the discomfort . Water was listed as a remedy for almost all side effects . I was so nauseous back then that I took a chance and tried it . It's been a love affair ever since .

I don't buy water , but use a Brita pitcher with a filter . I use a 96 oz. empty juice bottle that I fill 3/4 of the way with water and place in the freezer . When ready , I fill the rest of the way with fresh water and it stays ice cold all day .

Simply Walking :
Now , everyone knows how much I literally detest working out . To me , the gym is the most germ-infested place ever . Yuck ! Even walking has turned into exercise , but I have to admit , it is much better than any other workout .

I don't walk alone , but with a partner , simply for the reason of entertainment . It's always better to have someone with you to pass the time so it doesn't seem like a workout . By walking , I don't mean a leisurely stroll . Pick up the pace a bit and walk farther than a couple of blocks .

Don't do like I did and wear flip flops or sandals . You'll need appropriate footwear like sneakers or you'll hurt the soles of your feet . We don't walk everyday , but when we do , it's usually for a good 50 minutes to an hour time . By the time we are done , I'm usually covered in sweat and feeling it everywhere .

Simply A Bath :
I've always been a " shower girl " until a few years back . When my children were small there was no time for bubble baths , sleep was more important .

Taking bubble baths has become a muscle relaxer for me since the aging process has started . I feel my body more than ever , every joint , every muscle gets a workout daily . Soaking in the tub also provides mental relaxation . I've written many a blogs in the tub .

Every single one of these " simple " things does my body good free of charge . It can't get any better  than that .
Have a Blessed day everyone .









Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Simple Living

I really love to watch any show that pertains to country living such as  Mountain Men or my favorite , Alaska : The Last Frontier . I'm always amazed at how self-sufficient these people are in rustic surroundings .

They can build their own homes , grow their own vegetables and hunt for their meat . Their life looks hard , yet simple . Let's be honest , I like to pretend I  can live like that , too . I know that I don't have what it takes to live that kind of life . I 've grown lazy in my old age .

For awhile now , I have been considering how I can incorporate simple living into my lifestyle . How can I change my life for the better regarding my finances , my health and my relationships ? How can I bring some of that green country living into my life ?

Emily and I have come a long way trying to achieve that . We pretty much cook and bake from scratch , making our own pancakes , pasta , crepes and cakes , even ice  cream . I have canned in the past and believe in recycling . We have made our own cards , crocheted items and hand crafted many gifts , but its not enough  .

I want to live a life that is healthy and stress free . I don't want toxins and chemicals in  my cleaning supplies . I certainly don't want any preservatives in my food . I want my body to be as healthy and strong as it can be to help fight this cancer .

So where does one start ? By focusing on one thing at a time . First , I began with my weight  by eliminating eating pasta , rice , potatoes and bread . It's been about three weeks and I have lost a measly four pounds . Even though the weight loss has been small ,  I have noticed how my body reacts when I do occasionally eat carbs . Basically , I get sick . That alone tells me how much better I am without carbs in my body .

Believe me , sometimes , I feel that if I eat another apple . . . . . but I know that in the long run it is better for me . Have a Blessed day everyone .




Tuesday, May 28, 2013

This Is The Story Pt.2

After reading " The Grocery List " , I felt such compassion for  that poor woman . How many times have I been in that position ? Too many times to count . I can vividly remember the feeling of defeat and hopelessness of not being able to provide for my family .

Can you imagine the desperation she felt to walk into a store and basically beg the owner for credit ? His reaction , unfortunately , was very common , but when he asked her to place her list on the scale . . . wow , that was brutal .

All I could think about was how that poor woman must have felt at that point . . . humiliated and broken . Yet , the power of God is so great that He provided for His child . He not only provided food for her , but He gave her dignity back when the grocer obviously tried to take it from her . . . .to diminish her to nothing .

As I sat there in Church that day , I took this story as another affirmation from God . Whatever I lay at the Foot of the Cross , He will provide whether that is His love , food , or finances . I don't need to worry as long as I place my trust in Him . 

Learning to trust is something I've been working on  for awhile now . My journey started way back in 2007 and whenever I look back , I see what an incredible journey it has certainly been .

This story has brought to mind why we are really here on earth . It's not to gain status quo or financial wealth . It's not to see how fast we can climb both the social and the career ladder .  As I see it , I am here to help others , to encourage others , to minister to others . I could care less about the size of my home or bank account . I just want enough to have my bills paid , food on the table and to be surrounded by people who love me . That's all I want .

There are people all around us who  need help . Maybe , it's help in the form of a shoulder to cry on or financial . Whatever it may  look like , everyone needs a helping hand . Will you offer it  ? Will you take that step to help ?

Have a Blessed day everyone .

Monday, May 27, 2013

This Is The Story Pt 1

Sitting in Church this past Sunday , I was pleasantly surprised by a package from Linda . Inside this package was a folded piece of paper and since I'm a very curious person , I opened it .

It was a story titled " The Grocery List " . There is a message within this story that everyone of us should read , but most of all , learn from it . So this is the story . . . .

A poorly dressed lady with a look of defeat on her face , walked into a grocery store . She approached the owner of the store in a most humble manner and asked if he would let her charge a few groceries .

She softly explained that her husband was very ill and unable to work , they had seven children and they needed food . The grocer , scoffed at her and requested that she leave his store at once .

Visualizing the family needs , she said : " Please , sir !I will bring you the money just as soon as I can . " He told her he could not give her the credit , since she did not have a charge account at his store .

Standing beside the counter was a customer who overheard the conversation between the two . The customer walked forward and told the grocer that he would stand good for whatever she needed for her family . The grocer said in a very reluctant voice , " Do you have a grocery list ? Put your grocery list on the scales and whatever your grocery list weighs , I will give you that amount in groceries ."

The woman hesitated with a bowed head , then she reached into her purse and took out a piece of paper and scribbled something on it . She then laid the piece of paper on the scale carefully with her head still bowed .

The eyes of the grocer and the customer showed amazement when the scales went down and stayed down . The customer smiled and the grocer started putting the groceries on the other side of the scales . The scale did not balance so he continued to put more and more groceries on them until the scales would hold no more .

The grocer stood there in utter disgust , Finally , he grabbed the piece of paper from the scales and looked at it with greater amazement . It was not a grocery list , it was a prayer , which said :
" Dear Lord , you know my needs and I am leaving this in your hands ."

The grocer gave her the groceries that he had gathered and stood in stunned silence . She thanked him and left the store . The other customer handed a fifty-dollar bill to the grocer and said : " It was worth every penny of it .Only God knows how much a prayer weighs .

Part two tomorrow ! Have a Blessed day everyone .

Sunday, May 26, 2013

Be Still

Experience
                 
Sitting alone at home , that word pops into my head . Emily is out with a friend and I'm totally taking advantage of the quiet . Since I have to work both Saturday and Sunday , a few relaxing hours are a must to unwind .

Experience

It's been so stressful at work , at home , at church . . . .it seems everything I touch involves stress . Almost overnight , my peaceful existence has been invaded  and captured  by the enemy . Conquered ? Far from it ! I have God on my side !

Experience determines how I handle myself during these troubling times . I'm not going to lie , I lost my temper in the beginning when the pressure became too much . I blew it and immediately felt bad about it . I've noticed that when I'm stressed , anger gets the best of me . This is certainly something I need to work on  .

Once the initial shock of being attacked subsides , years of experience take over . I have learned that when troubles appear , a person can get angry and blow off steam , but in the end , it's better to be still .The truth is , it's never just one thing that falls apart . It usually resembles a dominoes affect .

As I watch things crumble slowly  , one by one , I become quieter and quieter . One reason is because I know there is nothing that I can do , it's something that has to happen . Second reason : He is in control and I can't manipulate the situations no matter how much I try . Third reason : I don't want another eruption of bad behavior on my part .

So I sit here , drinking a cup of coffee and watching some television . In a few hours , I have to go out into the world again . I'm grateful for the few hours of respite . He always seems to know what I need without voicing a word .

Have a Blessed day everyone .

Saturday, May 25, 2013

God Is Able

I want to share a testimonial of something that happened last night . As you know , I was experiencing a weak , defeatist moment where I broke down . After I was done feeling sorry for myself , I couldn't sleep , so I decided to read some of my many  email devotionals waiting to be opened .

The very first one ( and I kid you not ) happened to be titled : God Is Able . I started reading . . . .

God is speaking to you, today. He knew you would need encouragement; He knew you would be looking for that word to direct you, comfort you and deliver you! It's not by accident that you are reading this devotional today.

God is specifically and clearly speaking to you. He wants you to know that He is able! You don't need another sign, another verse or another song-He is able. I know you feel like you're all alone sometimes-but He is always with you! I don't know what valley you are going through, what sickness is troubling you, what bills need to get paid today .I don't know, but God does and He has a miracle scheduled for you .



I literally broke down all over again , but this time for a different reason . I felt such overpowering love for HIM . I felt like shouting at the top of my lungs . I LOVE GOD !

He has never let me down . I may not understand why things are happening the way they are , but it doesn't matter because He does . No matter how bad things may seem , He is in complete control of the situation .

I am so grateful to Him for sending that message to me . I needed that boost , that comfort that only He could provide . Thank you for loving us !

I hope that every single one of you feels His love the way I do . Have a Blessed day everyone .

Friday, May 24, 2013

My Lot In Life


I have received many compliments on how well I'm handling
my " lot in life " , sort to speak . Little does anyone know that's not entirely true . There are many times that I'm feeling very down  and defeated with my " lot in life " . During those times , I put on a good front in public , but when I get home , I'll have a good cry .

Moments like that are rare for the most part . I'm more happy than I am sad . I try to comfort myself remembering something Charles Stanley said .

Trusting the Lord makes obedience easier and obedience produces ever-increasing trust .

It's hard to understand when things just seem unreasonable . It's even harder to be obedient and stay the course . We always want to know the " why " this is happening to us . Since I have cancer , everyone automatically assumes that is my lot in life . Far from it . I have gone through a lot worse in life than this little ole cancer .

The way we respond to God's challenging assignments reveals our level of commitment .
 
I have learned to stay the course , but when those rare days come , defeat slumps my shoulders and I lament the " why " . Your mind struggles with reasons and questions , fear overtaking logic and you want to run the other way .
 
 Obedience is always the best choice, because the Lord is trustworthy and wise.
 
Have a Blessed day everyone .
 

Thursday, May 23, 2013

May Updates

  I started these updates a few months ago , because one day , I sort of ran into a blank wall and didn't know what to write . I wish all of you could read the e-mails I receive . People really want to know more about something I wrote about earlier . I get asked so many questions that I've decided to do one at least once a month .

This month alone , has been one of the most busiest ever . We have this desk-sized calendar and it's filled with appointments and events . It's also been a very topsy , curvy month with emotions rising from low to high .

The number one question this month has been regarding  my new treatment . I've only had two so far , but my body has been adapting beautifully . I am extremely tired , more than any other time , but I can deal with this just fine . I take about 3 or 4 days off from work  to rest up . When I'm at work , it really tires me out where I'm dead on my feet by the end of my shift . My hands have recovered nicely from the previous treatment , but my feet still have a way to go .

Another burning question happens to be about my new landlord . What's new ? Absolutely nothing . Ever since  he dropped by the day of the closing , there has been no sign of him at all . I did speak to one of my neighbors and learnt some news . The previous owner had quite a few of these buildings and he bought two of them . That is some serious money .

Do you remember the family that suddenly moved out and left the place all trashed ? Well , it has surfaced that they were not paying their rent and that's why they left in the night . You never know what's behind all the smiles on people's faces .

My Uncle John passed away this month and his death is still very much felt . My grandma is taking this extremely hard , which is understandable . My mom still has moments where tears come falling without explanation . He died quite young and for the men in our family , this has become a warning to take care of themselves better .

My niece's daughter graduated 8th grade this month ! When I saw the pictures of my mom with her , I thought to myself , my mom is truly Blessed . Not many women can say that they witnessed their great-granddaughter's graduation  and looked great doing it . It made me teary-eyed staring at that picture . . . . . all those generations standing together . Will I live long enough to see that ?

The biggest transformation took place with Emily . Not only has she committed her life to Christ , but she was baptized . What all of you don't know is that she did that completely on her own . That's probably the first thing in her life that she didn't need my help . Right now , like a lot of people after baptism , she is being tested . I have to say , I'm really admiring her in this test . Again , prayers fro strength and endurance are very welcomed .

It's been a hectic month , with every high came a low , with every smile came a tear . Through it all , I have become very proud of my family , especially my children . I love seeing the young adults they have become . I can't wait to see what else God has in store for them .

Have a Blessed day everyone .

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Let It Rain

The morning began just like any other , filled with errands . Somewhere between filling up with gas and heading to a shoe store , the heavens opened up and exploded in a downpour . Everyone scurried for shelter as if the water could melt a human being if touched by it .

We shopped on , undeterred by the darkening of the clouds and thunder heard overhead . Finding a pair of shoes was more important than a little rain . As long as we don't see a huge funnel in the sky , we are good .

It seems that everywhere I look , lately , there have been quite a lot of stories on storms . How to prevent a storm : how to overcome a storm : Even the  weather channel has spoke of impending storms . The people around me are weathering a storm of their own . The storms are everywhere . No one is exempt .

Driving home past the woods , Emily and I couldn't help noticing all the beautiful , green , lush grass and trees . You could see the deer approach the rain soaked leaves as if to take a sip . When the storm is over everyone comes out to partake in the beauty .

To me , a storm cleanses the earth . It refreshes and revitalizes the life on it . It's almost like a baptism , where  one is renewed and washed clean to start living again .

When a storm happens , I don't complain about the inconvenience of it . I think of all the debris that will be washed away . I think of all the lakes and rivers that will be replenished with fresh water . I think of how God has provided for all the living things here on Earth by having water to drink and water for our crops to grow .

Of course , there are the storms that wreck havoc like tornadoes , floods , hurricanes . . . No one likes those , not even myself . Only God knows what purpose they are serving .

These small storms that come and go , I can handle those . Here it is the afternoon  and the sun is shining . All traces of the earlier downpour gone and the world in Elmwood Park smiling once again . My red Durango looking a lot cleaner , too .

Have a Blessed day everyone .

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Raging Storms

When a storm is brewing , you could smell it in the air . You can look outside your window and see the darkening of the clouds . If you held your hand out , you could feel a drop or two land in it . A storm is coming .

Don't you wish , you could know ahead of time when the storm is coming to your  private life ? You could prepare for whatever would happen . You could prepare yourself emotionally by protecting your heart . Everything could be ready for you to weather that storm . You might just whiz right through it as if it was nothing .

If we are aware of the storm's coming , it's usually because we are the ones who caused it . Sometimes , we do start our own storm . We do it knowingly what havoc it will cause . We've all done it , but only few of us have learned from it .

When a storm occurs , we are usually taken by complete surprise . We skip along , happy as can be  and suddenly , we're flat on our face . We're wounded and hurt , wondering what has happened . We get on our knees and pray for MERCY .

It's heartwrenching to watch the young weather a storm . They experience every pain of a storm . Every single tear that drops they feel . They can only see their storm and not the light that is shining at the end .

As we grow older , we grow stronger in our faith , in our ability and strength in dealing with storms . I ,myself , no longer wish to know the future or the advance notice  of a storm's coming . What for ? So I can worry about when it comes ? Or how bad it will be ? Why should I waste precious time about something I can't control ?

People want to pray for me . I always ask them to pray for strength and endurance , because if I have that , I can weather anything . I am old enough to know that these storms are fleeting . I know the storm will stop and the rainbow will appear . I know that I am nothing without God and that He controls all . That should be the comfort to anyone going through a storm . I hope everyone can remember that .

Have a Blessed day everyone .

Monday, May 20, 2013

Turning The Pages Pt.2

Deadline : Sunday

One day left to finish Destiny's Journal for her 8th grade graduation . In one day ,  she will go from a gradeschooler to a
full-blown  teenager . Where has the time gone ? I can still remember her at the age of two weeks , when her mom ( my niece )
brought her over while she finished school .

Yes , Destiny has been a huge part of our lives from day one . Glancing her way , I notice what a grown up young lady she has become , makeup and all . In fact , taking a look at all our children , made me realize how fast they are growing  up .

Time is flying by faster than we want it . I wish I could make life so much easier for all of them . They have so much living to do , and not all of it happy .
How do we let them know what's coming ? How do we prepare them for the future ? How do we prevent the tears ? Life isn't all joy .

We really can't . When Joey left , at the age of 19 yrs. , for Missouri , he ran out the door without so much as a glance back . I stood there , teary eyed , waving and watching the car's lights disappear . He was flying high and couldn't wait to start living alone in his first apartment . It took his car breaking down a month later , for him to come down to earth and realize life isn't a bowl of cherries .
Life is hard and keeping our Joy is even harder . Our children are growing up faster with each generation  or maybe it seems like that because I'm grower older , too . I think it's the latter . It seems the older they get , the more control we lose . As they gain independence , we end up being more like advisors than parents  . Isn't that what we strived for when we brought them home from the hospital ? Whatever .
I guess , my great words of wisdom to them is to start out in life the right way . When you start out the right way , even when you fall backwards , it will be alot easier to get back on track . In other words , they follow in my footsteps . Everything they need to know on how to live their life is in that Bible .
Have a Blessed day everyone and God speed to all the grads !

Sunday, May 19, 2013

A Story To Tell

Writing a blog is difficult . It's also difficult to explain  what a blog is to someone who came from another country and happens to be not familiar with one . One of my friends is a fellow Pole , who has been here a little over ten years . Whenever , I try to tell her what I do concerning this blog , she looks at me confused . I don't think she has ever heard of a blog before , in the end I just wrote the name on a piece of paper and told her to look it up when she had time .

She is not alone . Writing is difficult . I can't just sit down and whip up a story in five minutes flat . There are times when my mind is a total blank . I know what to write , but I just can't find the words . When words do flow beautifully , one could be interrupted constantly and the flow gets jumbled up . Lately , my computer is the culprit , messing up whatever I write . You just can't rewrite the same story the same way . It always comes out different .

One can never tell what story will be a hit with others . I have written blogs that I thought were like WOW , only to receive a mediocre response . The ones that I felt were not my best , almost too embarrassing to post , brought alot of praise-worthy e-mails .

I have found that people just want to hear that there are other people out there with the same issues as them . They don't want to feel alone with their problems . They may feel unable to express their emotions and are looking for someone to do that for them . If I get a good response , it's because someone out there is going through the same thing .`

I would be lying if I said that writing my blog was for others , because in reality it has become my own therapy session . A conversation that I have with God in full view of others . This blog is for me . It helps me deal with life , especially my cancer .

I can't help , but wonder , what my dear friend will think of my blog or of me when she reads it for the very first time .
Have a Blessed day everyone .


Friday, May 17, 2013

Oh , How He Loves Me

Everyday , I am reminded of how much God loves me . . . . every . . . . .  single  . . . . . day . He provides for me and takes care of me emotionally , physically and financially . No matter how bleak and dire things may seem , He surrounds me with His love and things always somehow work out . Things may work out in ways that I didn't expect or even wanted them to go , but it is better for me in the long run .

My computer has been slowly dying . I can't even be on it long enough to finish any one thing  without it turning off on it's own . My monitor is still the old fashioned box , but it didn't matter to me as long as it worked .

I almost bought a new tower the other day , but I held off not feeling good about it . The money is there , but that would place me in a vulnerable position financially . What if something came up ? I didn't want to take that chance , an old memory quite fresh in my mind .

When my children were teens , I had some extra money in the account so I treated myself to some new curtains for our place . The very next day , an old bill came in the mail that I've forgotten about for almost the same amount . I could have paid it if it weren't for those darn curtains . Everytime I'd look at them , I'd be reminded of that fact . Now , the curtains are long gone by now , but not the lesson learned from it .

So I turned around in the store and went back home without one and decided to deal with it until an opportunity arose . During this time , our building was sold and the new owner came knocking to introduce himself . He brought with him a letter stating what my rent was and how much  security deposit I paid two years ago .

Well , that security deposit amount was wrong , because I paid two months instead of one . After checking things out , it turns out the previous owner only gave him one month deposit instead of two . Called the previous owner and a check for a whole  month's rent arrived today . Now , I can buy a tower and if I want maybe even a flatscreen monitor .

The amazing thing is that I didn't even ask God for it . I didn't pray for it or even expect it . It maybe frustrating , but that's life .  Yet , He still provided for me . A parent always wants to make their child happy .

Have a Blessed day everyone .


Thursday, May 16, 2013

An Old Entry

Here is an old entry in a journal that I found from 2010 . Whenever I re-read an old story , I always try to picture where  it took place and how I felt at that time . Hope you enjoy it .

Sept. 4 , 2010
Saturday
I'm on my way to Dallas , Texas and I started re-reading " 90 Minutes In Heaven ". This book was and still is my lifeline when trying to deal with cancer . Here it is 2 1/2 years after my last chemo and I still need this book .

Everyone I meet , all want to know more about my cancer . The two most asked questions are :
1. How do you feel about dying ?
and
2. How can you stay so happy knowing you have cancer ?
I guess , I'm supposed to be crying and depressed . Cancer has changed my life and in many ways it's the best thing that could have happened to me . Ponder that for a minute .

It was Joey that asked me if there were any words of wisdom , anything special that I wanted him to know . At that time , I couldn't think of anything , my mind going blank . Don't even know what it is I said to him , but I couldn't stop thinking about it .

I have a desire to write about my experience  for others to read about, especially my children  and their children . Memories are the best thing I could leave behind . After I'm gone , let these journals be a comfort to them , right along with the memories we make .

There are so many people that have prayed for me that I never even met . I never felt so much love by so many people , but most of by God . I guess that is what cancer has done for me  . . . . . I feel love .

After reading this , two things stuck out . One , that it actually ended up being 4 1/2 years before that cancer came back . Oh , how I wish it was that long again .  Two , that I still feel that love .
Have a Blessed day everyone .

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

A Walk For Two

Emily and I have been walking in the neighborhood . Today , I actually enjoyed myself   since the weather was beautiful . As we walked , taking in the beautiful display of vibrant color in  all the flowers , the following came to mind . Even now , if I close my eyes , I can still smell the lilacs , honeysuckle and jasmine in the air . I love summer .


I remember , I remember
the house where I was born
the little window where the sun
came peeping in at morn
he never came a wink too soon
nor brought too long a day
but now , I often wish the night
had borne my breath away

I remember , I remember
the roses , red and white
the violets and the lily cups
those flowers made of light
the lilacs where the robin built
and where my brother set
the laburmum on his birthday
the tree is living yet

I remember , I remember
where I was used to swing
and thought the air must rush as fresh
to swallow on the wing
my spirit flew in feathers then
that is so heavy now
the summer pools could hardly cool
the fever on my brow

I remember , I remember
the fir trees dark and high
I used to think their slender tops
were close against the sky
It was a childish ignorance
but now 'tis little joy
to know I'm farther off from heaven
than when I was a little girl .

by: Thomas Hood

I hope all of you can take a loved one  for a walk to enjoy the beautiful scenery our Lord has Created . Have a Blessed day and take the time to smell the roses .

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Thought Conditioners

I'm fat .

I'm aging terribly , looking older than what I am .

People will talk about me .

I'm such a bad teacher .

This is how I think about my own self-worth . I put myself down before anyone else can by using sarcasm or making fun of myself . Self-doubt and uncertainty lurk behind the crevices of my mind , ready to pop out at the lastest opportunity .

Since happiness and effectiveness depend upon the kinds of thoughts we think , it is absolutely impossible to be happy if we think unhappiness producing thoughts .

This has always been my problem . Why do I do that ? Not really sure . I think I rather critique myself  and hide all my faults because I'm afraid of seeing my imperfections reflected in people's eyes .

A man's life is what his thoughts make of it .

This pattern has trickled down to my children . I hear it in their words as they speak of themselves and I want this cycle to stop here with me . I feel terrible that I have passed this down to them .

As long as we are respectful and don't swear , I don't think we give much thought to what we say in front of our children . We spend so much time trying to instill how they treat others , we forget to show them how to treat themselves . . . . or at least , I didn't .

If ye abide in Me and My words abide in you  ye shall ask what ye will and it shall be done unto you .

In simple words : fill your mind with spiritual words . You will condition your personality with spiritual power so God's will can operate within you . The words of the Bible are great thought conditioners . We just need to read them more often .

Have a Blessed day everyone .

Monday, May 13, 2013

Bereavement

Spending the evening with my mom , we were trying to remember when was the last time we had a close family member die . I thought it was my grandfather , but I was wrong .

It was your sons , Lottie .

I was stunned . . . . how could I have forgotten ? It's been twenty-two years since Richie and twenty-five for Fonzie . My sons . . . .

Of course , we have had distant relatives pass , but no one really close , until now . We truly have been blessed .

I've been thinking about my Uncle John and how peacefully he died . He went about his regular routine not knowing it would be his last . He settled down into bed , tucking his arm under his head and closed his eyes and never awoke again  .  His wife and children broken with grief .

When is the grief easier to handle ? Is it better for the family when we die suddenly ? Or is it better to know when one is dying ? Is the grief any different either way ? I've always pondered this question not knowing the answer .

Some people will argue it is better to die suddenly so the family doesn't have the burden of a long  and suffering illness . Quick and easy , the patient doesn't suffer , either .

Others have said they rather have the time spent , grieving as the illness progresses . Loving and caring for their loved one and having that chance of saying I love you for the last time .

I don't know which is better , probably none of it , because either way we have lost someone dear to us . I'm not sure even of what I wantg when the time comes . For now , we grieve , we remember , we cherish the moments spent with the person .

Have a Blessed day everyone .

Sunday, May 12, 2013

A Celebration Of Womanhood

When I was pregnant with my first child , my mom became very emotional as she watched my journey into motherhood . Even though , she had grandchildren already , it was her first from me . The whole process was more endearing and tearful just because I was her daughter .

There is something about watching your daughter become a woman . You see her maturing from a little girl , emerging from her shell . There are sad moments you cry with her , happy moments  that you act silly and scary moments where you wish you could shield her from life's pitfalls .

When at our best , we as women , are each other's encouragers and greatest supporters . When at our worst , we can be each other's adversaries diminishing our self-worth . None of us are exempt from the tower of shame . We all fall down and can be either of these women .

Today is Mother's Day , but in my eyes , we all are  mothers whether we have children or not . We all are mentors and role models in one way or another to someone out there . So let's celebrate being women . All the mothers mentoring the future mothers-to-be .

                                                    She is clothed with strength and dignity:
                                                    She can laugh at the days to come .
                                                                         Proverbs 31:25
Happy Mother's Day !

Friday, May 10, 2013

Cliques

The older I become , the more discouraged I am whenever I view the people in this world . I sometimes wonder how DISAPPOINTED God must be when He looks down and sees what has become of His great Creation . Imagine His hopes and dreams for all of us falling wayward to the side in a heap next to the gutter .

Recently , I came across some individuals that have their own clique . To me , this is so old , never really being exposed to it .I like a variety in life . There isn't any one type of food or music or literature  and even people that I lean in favor towards .  I have always been my own person and that could explain the  
" WHY ".

Being in a clique involves following a person and not making your own decisions .

Being in a clique involves having a group that only allows certain people to belong .

Being in a clique means there isn't any room for self expression just bossiness .

One can expect little snobby cliques happening in grade school or high school , but when I see  supposedly grown adults engaging in cliques , it saddens me . Filtering who is acceptable to join them and if you don't think like them or act like them . . . . well , you can't be in this clique .. . they just delete you and everyone else in the group better follow the leaders action or they , too , will be treated the same .

Chris Tomlin was the first christian concert I ever went to with a friend . There were so many young people falling to their knees in praise of God that I walked away from the concert feeling encouraged . So many young people loving God . This was our future generation .

As a baby christian I felt that all my fellow christians were so much better than me . They could pray better and boy , can they recite the bible verse by verse . It didn't take me long to discover that they weren't better at all . Even after all these years , I'm still here , but where are they ?
 
It so disheartens my soul to learn that there are young people out there involved in these little cliques . This generation has been raised in the social media and that's why I find it so dificult to believe this still exists . They have been exposed to the world 's diversity more than any other generation and yet , we still have snobbery .

I am not saying that all young people are behaving like this , but there are a few . I guess , I shouldn't be shocked , but I have so much faith and hope in our youth . It's so disappointing when one encounters the opposite . We need to pray for our young generation that they grow spiritually to become great leaders not cliques .

Many people misunderstand what being a leader really entails . It certainly doesn't mean you are a boss , but encouraging someone to become their full potential .

Have a Blessed day everyone .

Thursday, May 9, 2013

A Cup Of Coffee

A cup of coffee does many things . It can provide a perk when feeling sluggish and it can be a start to a great conversation . It can also become a comforting friend when one is feeling low . You can take a sip , close your eyes and unwind .

I am happy .

The minute I said those words , I knew , just knew the devil would come out and challenge me .

It started at work last night . I walked a record 32, 000 steps according to my pedometer . Everything that one could imagine going wrong . . . did . When it was all said and done I felt every single one of those steps in my back , my feet and my spirit .

Take a sip , close your eyes and unwind . I am happy .

I came home to sit and wait for a city inspector that never showed . By the end of the day , three more papers were shoved under our door with three more appointments . Apparently , they don't think I need sleep . People show no regard to us third shifters .

While waiting for that no-show , I tried to write my blog  to no avail . Couldn't even start my computer . It is officially down needing repairs .

Another long sip and remember you are happy .

An alarm goes off on the cell warning of the bank balance getting pretty low . No one is around to answer any of my phone calls and finally my phone runs out of juice . That darn thing just refuses to charge .

On days like this , I'm almost afraid of stepping outside . What else will happen ? Will I break down mechanically on my way to work ? How else will the devil try to steal my joy ? That's what he is trying to do . . . . steal my joy .

Glancing over at my Emily , ( her week since her baptism hasn't been any better ) sitting serenely in my armchair writing in her God journal . I notice how calm she really is in spite of all the disappointments . Why ? How ?

Because I trust God will take care of it all , she says .

All anger and disappointment leaving , my shoulders slump , absorbing her wise words . Picking up my cup of coffee , I join her in solitude and let God take care of it all .

Yes , I am happy and tomorrow I will feel it again .

Have a Blessed day

Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Back In The Saddle

May has certainly come roaring in like a lion , not only with the beautiful weather , but also with the return of the routine in my life . My body has almost healed from the previous chemo and the mobility  feels great . Can't wait to take that hot bubblebath .

My apartment building has been buzzing with activity from painting the hallways to painting the trim outside . Workmen have become a regular sight  as has all the extra noise . Plenty of letters from managemnet have been pushed under our doors filled with appointments for one thing or another . I have endured all of it with a few grumbling remarks under my breath . . . . but I'm done , folks .

Emily and I have started walking daily around our neighborhood . In the beginning , it was a pleasure on a Sunday afternoon to take a stroll and view everyone's yard and flowers . . .  A leisurely stroll . Now , it has turned into  that dreaded , awful word called EXERCISE .

I swear , my Emily should join the military , because she would certainly make a great drill sargent . Whether I feel like it or not , we are going for that daily walk . . . . now . We are going to exercise and get healthy .

Eversince she has become baptized , she has been correcting me in all my heathen ways . I have the thirteenth apostle living with me and if I hear Mother !  again you might be seeing me on the news . All joking aside , I love seeing the Holy Spirit living within her .

I have also started my diet of no pasta , potatoes , rice or bread . At first , I was hungry . I wanted  all the things on my NO diet . I'm slowly adjusting  and pushing myself to stick with it .

Yes , May has certainly come roaring in like a lion ! My brain is bursting with fresh ideas and I can't wait to get started . It's funny , how happy I am . Shouldn't I be feeling depressed since my life is uncertain right now ? Who knows if this chemo is even working and I'm not even worried . Maybe , I finally got this trust thing . . . trust in God .

Have a Blessed day everyone .

Tuesday, May 7, 2013

A Women's Retreat

What do you need to receive from Jesus today?
Let him wash your feet, your wounds, the weariness from your heart
Holley Gerth

The women sat inside my car sheltered from the rain outside , awaiting their carpool to the Retreat . Their shoulders slumped and fingers clasping tissues , their faces distant with concern , sighing deeply .  

Life hasn't been easy and  trials were reflected in their eyes. Their posture weighted down with every awful mistreatment and abuse of living life . . . . the mallet of defeat hammering away at their self-respect . This retreat wasn't about wanting to go , but needing TO BE THERE .

" I have tissues if anyone needs some ", said Emily .

Oh, tears will be spilt . Feet will be washed . Wounds will be healed . Weariness will be lifted and a renewed , refreshed heart will come back . A sense of  , " we are good enough " , and " we are worthy to be loved ," will be imprinted upon their  soul .

That's what a Women's Retreat does to a heart  . I'm both envious and excited for these women . I've been there and I know what it will do for them . How much they need it .

The women that came back were smiling . It didn't matter the age differences or the ethnicity of their background . They shared , they cried , they laughed . . ..  they bonded .

What do you need to receive from Jesus today?
Let him wash your feet, your wounds, the weariness from your heart .



The picture was painted by our fellow church member artist Juan Carlos Baez .
 
Have a Blessed day everyone .

Monday, May 6, 2013

A New Chemo

I'm sure you all are wondering what kind of chemo I am  taking this time  and what are the side effects . My friends , anything is better than what I had before this . . . .anything !

I don't think the name makes any difference . I can tell you that it has every letter of the alphabet in it . There are people who know every name of every medication they ever were  on , but I am not one of them . I have all the information at hand if I need it , but it means nothing to me .

The meds , the dosage , the symptoms change everytime , but the outcome stays the same . No , the name doesn't matter . What does matter is how I handle it on the inside .

I have found that my demeanor during every treatment changed . Acceptance settled in . If I go into remission again . . . it means nothing . When I go back into treatment again . . . . it means nothing . I don't think I'll be making any announcements to anyone . It just is . I'll just go on as always .

Back to my chemo.........

So my chemo is actually twofold . I get an infusion every three weeks and at home , I also have to take a pill everyday for 21 days  . Then back to square one . Three treatments . The side effects are classic chemotherapy symptoms . I went from extreme to just downright boring and I love it .

I am happy to report that my rashes / sores are almost gone . My showers are getting warmer , but I find I'm still afraid of the " hot "
and they're still only lasting two minutes . I can't wait for the bubblebath that is coming . For now .....

Have a Blessed day everyone .


Sunday, May 5, 2013

You Alone

There are times in our life where we are so thankful for what God has done for us that all we can do is Praise Him . A time where every worship song becomes the anthem of our gratitude and love for Him . All we want to do is bow down before Him .

Who is this King of Glory
Beautiful and matchless one
Who is this King so Holy
Every knee will bow at His Throne

Every  mother gets on her knees and prays for her children , willingly offering up her own life . We pray for them so earnestly , to be surrounded by Godly people and make sound decisions . . . but most of all , we want them to be in love with Christ .

Jesus, the Lamb of God
Savior and King
You alone are Worthy
Of our praise forever
You alone are seated
On the Throne of Heaven
Glorify , Glorify , You alone

Today , this mother's prayers have been answered as my Emily dedicated her life to Jesus Christ with Baptism .

Who is this King of Mercy
Wonderful and full of Grace
Who is this King so Worthy
Nations fear and kingdoms praise

There is nothing more satisfying and fulfilling than to know that my children will go to Heaven . All my prayers have been answered . When it seems hopeless. . . . it isn't . . . . because through Him all things ARE possible .

Jesus, the Lamb of God
Savior and King
You alone are Worthy
Of our praise forever
You alone are seated
On the Throne of Heaven
Glorify , Glorify , You alone

To the mothers who are on their knees for their children . . . .keep the faith and believe . Have a Blessed day everyone .

Saturday, May 4, 2013

Hardy Dandelions

Taking Emily's lead , I've been busy this week cleaning out my closets .  There is nothing more depressing than going through your clothing , especially if you gained 13 pounds like I did .

In a recent post , I've mentioned that my weeds were more like dandelions . A dandelion keeps coming back no matter how hard you try to pull the root out . Since my cancer began , my weight has been my dandelion . I just can't seem to get rid of this darn weed . It's so frustrating for me ! Some people give up soda and lose 15 pounds . For me to lose that same amount , I might as well live on water alone !

Remember my step pedometer for my insurance ? Well , this past quarter we had to take a biometric test to earn $100.00 . The kit was sent via the mail , which required taking a blood sample and sending it back for the results .  

First of all , due to the chemo , I could barely squeeze out two drops of blood . The first kit ended up contaminated and I had to redo the test a second time .

The results were fine until it came to my stomache fat . I do have a gut and all that disgusting lard is right in my abdomen . I don't need to be my old skinny self , but I do want to lose this belly fat . Everything else can stay .

You know , it's not in me to give up . I will keep trying and trying until I get there . I ended up placing myself on a strict no pasta , no rice , no bread and no sweets  diet . I've been snacking on fruits and vegetables and quite frankly , it's getting old . Emily and I have started taking walks around the neighborhood . After all the huffing and puffing , I realized how obese I really am . Let's see what happens .

In the meantime , the closet needs to be organized and any  small clothing discarded . Emily is completely finished  and I'm still lagging behind as always . Pray for me everyone .

Have a Blessed day everyone .

Friday, May 3, 2013

Life And Death

How quickly life ends and death begins and life again .

It was almost 1 a.m.  when the phone rang . I almost didn't answer, but when I saw it was my mom , I reached for the phone . She never calls me at this time . When I heard her voice break down in tears , I immediately became awakened and alert . My Uncle John ( her brother in Poland ) died in his sleep . He was 63 years old .

Life ends and death begins and life again  .

Later that morning , Emily packs for her first Women's Retreat . All week , it's been an emotional roller coaster as her heart gets ready for a soul searching journey . There will be tears and forgiveness and renewal .

An old life ends and a new one begins .

Back in Poland , my Aunt and my four  married cousins along with their families , prepare for the burial of their father , husband and my Uncle . For them , life will never be the same again . Today's date forever etched in the memory card of their heart . There will be tears and questions of why now and then more tears .

And a new life begins .

That same night my Uncle took his last breath , my Kathy lay caressing her swollen belly . Dreaming of her unborn babe and the new life his birth will breathe into their little family . A child  . . . .
a son .

An old life ends and a new one begins .

As we all shed tears down here on Earth , in Heaven , Jesus opened His arms wide and my Uncle ran to Him . 
 
And a new life begins .

Have a Blessed day everyone .


Thursday, May 2, 2013

A New Way Of Life

I remember when I decided to get baptized . It was during a service that our Pastor spoke on baptism . At the end of it , he held up the 3 step booklet and asked if there was anyone who wanted to get baptized . In front of me sat my best friend , Anna . I leaned over to her and asked if she would baptize me .

Later , she told me that only a few days before , she broke up with her live in boyfriend , because she wanted to live with Christian values . She prayed to God that He would keep her so busy she wouldn't have time to think about it .

That was a God moment , because I never thought about baptism . I was baptized as a baby and I didn't feel the need to do so as an adult . At that moment , something came over me and I felt it was the right thing to do . I think God placed both of us together to serve out each other's needs .

During those three weeks of going through that 3 step booklet , brought us closer together . We bonded and since then have become very close buddies . We would practice the act of submerging and she would always drop me . She didn't drop me when it mattered .

I remember that Sunday very well . It was September 28 , 2008 . My niece Kathy was also baptized that day and my other niece Carol delivered her son within the hour after . When I came up from that water , I totally felt like a brand new person . I've never regretted that decision .

So why am I bringing it up now ? Well , there is a secret going around . A secret that will be revealed real soon .

Have a Blessed day everyone .

Wednesday, May 1, 2013

Moving On

These past few months have been incredibly busy in our home . The large desk calendar filling up pretty fast with activities , but the social scene is not the only change . Inner changes are happening in every crook and crevice leaving behind all things that are unwanted and ugly . Beauty becomes exposed . Some changes are necessary .

Ahh , those changes . It all began with Emily cleaning out some old boxes filled with her childhood momentos . Those things we like to hold on to for no other reason except not wanting to let go  . . . maturing . . .growing . . changing .

After all these years , she threw them out without any hesitation . Then came the chest of drawers , the closet , the knick knacks .....things were sifted through and discarded . Some tears were spilled .

I stood and looked at the pile discarded , getting bigger  and bigger , completely amazed . Then I looked inside my room  . . . the hoarders room . Why am I holding on to clothes that will never fit me again ? Shoes that are way too tight for my big feet ? That handbag that will never come back in style again ? Why can't I let go like Emily ?

We need to let go of the old to get on with the new .

We have such a hard time letting go of things , but they are just things . Emily has always had a tough time with change , yet here she was letting go . Why ?  Jesus has entered her heart and she knows she can't go backwards , only move forward .

We need to let go of the old to get on with the new .

It's time . Have a Blessed day everyone .

Yarn Bombing My Life

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