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Showing posts from May, 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 s…

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 plac…

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 recycli…

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…

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 st…

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…

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 k…

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 chal…

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 th…

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 . Whe…

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 happene…

Turning The Pages Pt.2

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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 sto…

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 wi…

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 acco…

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…

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 reme…

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…

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…

A Celebration Of Womanhood

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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 …

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 se…

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 . Cou…

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 , becaus…

A Women's Retreat

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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 Retr…

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.......…

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 nothin…

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 sec…

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 wh…

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…

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 tha…