Monday, September 30, 2013

September's End

If I had to define what September brought , I'd have to say - worry . Never has a month swept  in like a tornado and leveled every feeling of security as September . Whatever was , has gone . 

 When my finances took a hit with sudden unexpected bills , I dipped into my savings . Almost a year into my chemo therapy and another several dips into the rest of the savings left it depleted and now we have to start all over . It's been quite awhile since I had no safety net , no nest egg for that rainy day . 

The old saying , be careful what you ask for  , took on a very personal meaning this month , with work slowing down considerably . A couple of shutdown days with no pay occurred and promises of more to come  suddenly turned the future bleak . 

I've been looking for a package from my company for years , hoping to settle near my son's family . Now , as that might become an actuality , I'm really scared . . . . scared of not making it . Scared of regretting that decision . Just plain scared of the unknown . What if I'm not ready ? 

Most important question of all ? Is it really  a smart move on my part to take my daughter away from all of her friends and move somewhere where she will be alone when I'm gone ? 

September has been a month of worrying . A month that has placed many concerns and questions into my head . Am I really doing the right thing ? Is God's plan , really my plan ? 

As the winter months loom ahead , I question if I need to make preparations for a new set of plans . Even the personal goals of both of us have been challenged with results not as pleasing . Is it time for new ones ? Should we abandon the original plan , hopes and wishes ? The winter months are good for things such as these pondering's  . . . . it's called hibernation . 

Have a Blessed day everyone . 




Sunday, September 29, 2013

Running Out Of Gas

I'm bored . There's nothing to do . 

When my children were small , I'd hear these two phrases quite often . Children have no idea how to be still and need constant activities to occupy their busy little minds . Now that they're older , they have no time to be bored . 

Nothing infuriates more than to hear that in an adult . For me , there's not enough time in the day to accomplish what I need to 
do . It boggles my mind to think that anyone could be just plain bored . There's so much a person could be involved in , especially in this day and age . 

I often ask myself , how can it be that you can have a person who is involved in everything  and then another person who does nothing . They each have the same opportunities , yet one partakes in them and the other isn't even aware of them . 

These days , I find myself running out of gas . I'm extremely tired and physically feeling the long term usage of chemo . It's been almost a year ( if not already ) of nonstop treatment , something I've never had to encounter before . This is very foreign for me . 

Keeping busy has always been a way of life for me . I like the feeling of accomplishment that follows when a project comes to a completion . The thought of not being able to be active fills me with failure . The failure of not living my life to it's fullest  potential . 

I know there have been times , I've complained about not having time to myself or just wanting to sleep in late , but it's those times I feel like I'm really alive . Even now , as I write , my eyes are closing with sleep . I'm very tired , my friends and keeping up is getting harder and harder . 

The thought of taking on anymore activities fills me with despair . There is a point where one takes on too much and becomes embroiled way over their head . I certainly don't want that to happen to me . 

As I look ahead to the coming months , I can see already I will have to say no to a lot of activities . I know I will have to rest more and not feel guilty for doing so . What happens when we run out of
 gas ? Trot back on foot and it's a long , long walk .

Have a Blessed day everyone . 



Saturday, September 28, 2013

A Day Of Gratitude

Silence is truly golden . We are quiet around the apartment today . Each of us lost in our own thoughts , thinking and absorbing the everyday of what is placed on our plate . Some things we just shrug off and others are harder to bear .

Life has a way of sucking away whatever joy one may have been experiencing , knocking us off our feet and we lose our balance . . . . all in one swift movement . How does one become numb to the everyday struggles let alone the life changing ones ? 

We take a deep breath . We breathe in and out slowly and we move on . . . . . quietly  . . . . . throughout the day . We become grateful for whatever tiny glimmer of happiness we encounter . We count our Blessings .

We say to ourselves  . . .things could be worse . .. .. and that , my friends happens to be true . Things could really be worse . 

As we move about the apartment today , we know that we are not in control . We know we are just servants of God and His will is what will be done .

Yes, it's truly silent here . Each one of us lost in our thoughts , wondering . . . . . trusting . . . . . Him .

Have a Blessed day everyone .

Friday, September 27, 2013

SMILE

You know , I write about the many things I experience in my daily life , but I rarely post something for no particular reason except to bring a smile to your face . The link I have below is of a couple . I've always wanted to be a couple , but it has never quite happened for me . My wish , that my children will have this experience in their life . My son is married , my daughter is not . I hope to be around to give my daughter away to the Godly man meant just for her . Double click please.

  
http://www.fark.com/cgi/vidplayer.pl?IDLink=4365716 ;;


Have a Blessed day everyone . 

Thursday, September 26, 2013

Feeding The Soul

What feeds your soul ? We see ads in christian magazines , preachers preach and titles on books that ask that very question . It is a very popular question . Even I , have written about it  .

With all that has been going on in the last two months around here , especially the rise of the Ministry , I feel it's time for me to feed my soul by partaking in a fast . 

I will be taking prayer requests for others if anyone is interested , please message me on facebook or email at lottiekrol@yahoo.com . 

There is nothing to worry about regarding myself or Emily , it's just that sometimes I feel we need to prepare for what is coming spiritually , not just the bad , but also the great things that are coming into our life . Things are happening so fast , we could easily lose our footing . 

Have a Blessed day  everyone . 


Wednesday, September 25, 2013

The Journey

Building up my soul for the journey . 

Isn't that what we all want ? What we strive for as Christians ? We want to build up our soul for the journey , because we know that sometimes the journey hurts . Yes , hurts . 

The thing about starting a journey is that it can change midstream without you even being aware of it until well immersed in the middle of it . 

Our expectations develop of the way we think it will end or how we want this journey to end . We try to enhance it by fasting , volunteering , praying more or additional bible study . All of this in the hope that our journey will end successfully in our favor . 

The fact is , it never does . If it did , we all would be jumping up and screaming : 

I WANT A JOURNEY , LORD ! 

Being on a journey is hard . It's painful , it usually goes on the path you specifically told God you didn't want to be on . He must have misunderstood you to allow this to happen . You're absolutely sure of it . It must have been His off - day .

If we could sway  or predict the way our journey would end , it really wouldn't be much of one , would it ? Would there be a lesson learned ? A change for the better ? 

Building up my soul for the journey . 

Building something usually involves rolling up your sleeves and sweating . . . something that none of us like .

Have a Blessed day everyone . 




Tuesday, September 24, 2013

A Baptismal Rain

It was pouring rain heavily upon us . This was the last thing we expected when Emily and I set out for a walk in the late afternoon . We didn't get very far , only two blocks , when the heavens opened up and it rained upon us . 

Running home as fast as my old body could take me , I glanced back and there was Emily walking calmly . Walking calmly with her hands outstretched upwards towards heaven and smiling . 

I'm getting baptized all over again . 

How do we keep that feeling fresh ? How do we stop our faith from going stale ? You take a walk in the rain . . . . the baptismal rain . 

It's the everyday little things like an afternoon sudden burst of rain , to remind us of His love for us . Or our  love for Him . Experience a baptismal rain for yourself and see the rainbow that comes after .

Have a Blessed day .




Monday, September 23, 2013

What I Miss

Many times , I have written about the great things that have happened to me since my cancer , but there are many things I really miss about my old life . 

I really miss being agile in my movements , especially when it comes to stairs . It's so difficult for me to climb stairs . The chemo has affected my knees and my legs , making  my joints very stiff . Arthritis has settled in and my feet ache when the weather changes making foot care my top priority . 

I really miss being smaller in weight . I don't recognize this person I'm seeing in the mirror , although , I do like her character  better . This is one of the hardest things for me to accept in myself . I think that I will never lose weight because God wants me to love and accept myself the way I am .

I really miss daydreaming about my retirement , my senior years . Daydreaming and planning my golden years , years that I now will never see . I can only plan months ahead and I can't even see myself years from now . 

Cancer took all of that away from me . I have had many Blessings since then and I count myself very honored to have them bestowed upon me . When people look at me , there is a huge misconception that I am just a carefree person . I've accepted this disease so beautifully  and with ease . I'm moving on with my life and living it , but what people don't see is the times I've broken down .

I wish cancer didn't make just a huge change in my life , but it did . It affected my entire being . It changed me mentally , physically and spiritually . Will it ruin me ? Never !

The good thing is that the things I love about cancer outweigh the things I miss . 

Have a Blessed day everyone . 


Sunday, September 22, 2013

The Apartment On The Avenue


The apartment on the avenue stood on a corner , towering over all the single family homes . Life here within the walls of the eight units has been bustling with life's troubles , trials and triumphs . Much ado about nothing playing in full 

force . 

Arriving back from  work one early morning , I noticed how full with cars  the parking lot was , spilling over into the surrounding streets . When did that happen ? Moving in three years ago , there were only three of us here . There was plenty of room for everyone , but that wasn't the case any longer . The apartment on the Avenue was full , full of life . 


Wondering when that change actually happened is a mystery to me , but isn't that how life really is ? Change occurs all around us little by little , but we are oblivious to it until we are faced with the finished product . It's no wonder we are completely taken off guard and unprepared , filled with shock and dismay as to why it all happened in the first place . 

The occupants of each unit right smack in the middle of their own story , some happy , some sad and some wishing they even had a story . The shouts of pain , anger or laughter echoing  through the vents and hallways like a whistle announcing the beginning , middle and end of a stage in their lives . Each of us locked away in our apartment , but yet , right in the middle of our neighbor's lives , listening  to their story unfold . 

How many times have I wanted to scream out  " No , don't do that  " , or " Please , don't say that " , but have kept my words to myself . I am the intruder , aren't I ? This isn't my story to tell or live , I'm just a silent uninvited guest unbeknownst to you . Your life is no secret to me . 

The people who dwell in the apartment on the Avenue will change from time to time  as well as their stories . They will come and go as the seasons sometimes cold , sometimes hot and sometimes feeling just right . Oh, if the building could speak of all the stories past , the secrets we would know . Maybe , they're better off left unsaid . 

Have a Blessed day everyone . 


Saturday, September 21, 2013

A Day In The Past

Wisdom, insight, and understanding.

1. Wisdom is the ability to look at life and its difficulties from God's point of view
2.Insight is the ability to see through life and its difficulties from God's viewpoint. In other words, as I grow in the Word, I gain the ability to penetrate the surface level of irritations and problems.
3. Understanding is the ability to respond to life's situations and difficulties from the holistic, panoramic comprehension of God's viewpoint. 
As I get a hold on the Word, I not only gain insight to see the inner workings of a matter, I discover how to respond to effect the best outcome. I am able to learn from my decisions, even when things don't turn out my way.

There was a time in my youth where I believed a person should live with no regrets . I thought I was one of those people . . . . . back then . Now , I find myself rehashing so much of my past life , finding nothing , but regrets . 

I wholeheartedly regret not being a Christian back then . I believe the decisions of my life would have been based on the principles of Christ and the outcome would have been different . 

As I watch young mothers with their children or wives with their husbands , I'm both amazed and encouraged by their ability to start off right in life . How were they able to make that right decision and I haven't ? What did they know that I didn't ? 

You could say circumstances might have been the problem , but now , I honestly believe it was the unbelief . . . . . my unbelief . 

Yes , I was a Catholic and yes , we went to church . The children had CCD classes every week and had all their sacraments , but I did not follow Christ's principles . I engaged in premarital sex , we were living together , chose a non -  believer as a mate and father for my children . 

It seemed so right then and so very normal . When I see that happening now in others , I just want to scream no , don't do it ! Don't take that same path that I did . Take the path of Christ instead . 

You could say , I'm feeling very melancholy today , but the older I get the more I wish I took that right path . Life is so hard , but I chose even the harder one . 

Have a Blessed day  everyone . 



Friday, September 20, 2013

Living Simply

Living Simply 

The definition of living simply varies depending on the person's  lifestyle . Anything to do with " simplifying " usually means getting rid of something , whether that  happens to be cleaning out the cupboards or friendships that no longer are vital  . 

To me , living simply involves the spiritual , the mental and the physical well-being of every aspect of my life . Individuals that can achieve all three are far and few , most likely residing in the hills all by themselves . 

Spiritual :
I am a wallflower . I love to serve behind the scenes and Emily seems to have an addiction with serving anywhere and everywhere . Every Sunday , she rushes me out the door to arrive well ahead of everyone else . She wants to be there on time and ready to serve . 

I usually sit in the car enjoying a cup of coffee and crocheting a bit before the service starts . I cannot tell you how many people approach my car offering to walk me inside . I don't know what they're trying to tell me . Maybe they think my faith might waiver since I rarely have an opportunity to listen to the sermon in Church , teaching in Kidzone .

Little do they know that I probably spend more time in the word because of that very fact . If I can get a subscription online to any devotional , audio from any preacher , I do it . Even my bookshelf has taken on a different literary makeover . My emails do not consist of family, friends or business content , it's all about Jesus . My journey is all about developing a deeper and meaningful relationship with Jesus and His followers . 

Physical : 
Exercise is something I don't indulge in , but participating in all things healthy is a lifestyle I enjoy living . I love finding more nutritional ways to cook with vegetables  and fruits from other cultures . Preparing things homemade without the preservatives like canning , making pasta and baking from scratch benefit my body . 

Exercise to me involves taking the stairs or a walk in the evening . Drinking water to replenish and flush out all the toxins in my body . . . .. plenty of water . I currently drink 126 oz. per day . 

Taking care of yourself physically , soaking the tired ole bones when needed . Rest your feet upon a footstool once in awhile . Try this small exercise for tired feet : 

Lay down on the floor with your bottom up against the wall . Your feet should be up flatly pressed  alongside the wall . This is to help your blood flow freely  from your toes through the rest of your body . 

Mental : 
I think this is the most important part of living life . If you don't maintain a positive outlook , then everything in your life will seem dreary , disappointing , lonely , angry . That mallet of life will hit harder with each word . 

Believe me , I am probably the hardest on myself type of person you've ever met , but I don't quit . I may lock myself in the bedroom and bawl like crazy , but only for a time . Then I pick myself up and move on . 

Let me give you the biggest tip in dealing with trials  : Occupy yourself . Keep yourself so busy you will not have time to think about any of your troubles . Everyday will seem easier  and easier to get by . Go to every invitation or event sent your way . Join or volunteer at your church . Take up a hobby . Anything , just don't sit there in the dark and cry . 

I fall  and when I do , I hit the floor hard . There are times , when none of these things help me at all . . . . . for a couple of days . I will wallow . I will eat all the wrong things . Right now , I[m pigging out on oreos . One thing , I can guarantee that I never went through any trial alone . I always put my hands together and bowed my head to God to help me and each time He was there helping me each day to overcome . Eventually , it became easier and I could breathe again .

Have a Blessed day everyone . 


Thursday, September 19, 2013

The Interview

Recently , I've had the ultimate privilege in being featured in an up and coming , Thought Collection Publishing , which has been founded by my niece Kathy . It's good to have family members that can promote your work . Hey , A girls gotta do what she gotta do . 

The following is my interview with her and at the same time , take a peek at her publishing page , Thought Collection Publishing . 

Crocheting Ministry
 Monday, September 16, 2013 - Kat Lahr

Lottie Krol is One To Know. 

Below is my interview of her, getting to know more of her Crocheting Ministry

How did the Crocheting Ministry come about?
People would approach me whenever they would see me crocheting wanting to learn more about it. The interest was so great that a few suggested I start a group to teach others. Since I was a ministry of one already, donating whatever I made to organizations, I had the idea of combining the two so we can serve the community and teach an old craft to someone new.
When did you start crocheting like this as a ministry? 
I started crocheting when I was first diagnosed with ovarian cancer in 2007. As I was going through my treatment and recovery, I turned to crocheting as an outlet to help me redirect my focus on something other than my cancer. At first, I started making this huge blanket that had no pattern or design, mixing different textures of yarn together. The goal was to take my mind off my pain.  The next thing I knew, the blanket was huge and quite ugly, a representation of the tumor that grew inside of me. I found it to be very therapeutic and decided to use this gift as a healing process for myself by donating things that I've made. 
What were some of the things you have donated? 
The latest things I have donated were over 665 pairs of children's slippers that were donated to UIC Children's Cancer Clinic. I have made baby blankets for Mary's Room Crisis Center in Sheboygan Wisconsin and a blanket for a child at Children Memorial Hospital that was requested by his sponsor. 
What is the purpose of the Crocheting Ministry?
I wanted to have a Ministry where a group of individuals would use their crafting talents to benefit the community both here and around the world by making blankets, hats, and scarves for the homeless, crisis centers, women's shelters, and hospitals. 
Does everyone know how to crochet? If not, are you teaching them?
Right now we have 13 members whose abilities range from novice to seasoned professional. We all have our gift whether that is crocheting, knitting or sewing. Some of them prefer working with a loom rather than a hook. What I'd like to see is all of us learning from each other the different techniques styles and craft . 

Who taught you how to crochet?
I learned how to crochet when I was a little girl from my mom. Coming to the United States as a small child from another country, making things from scratch was commonplace. My great-grandmother was a seamstress, my grandmother could crochet, knit and sew, so it was passed down generation to generation. Now I only crochet and wish I'd learned all aspects of crafting, but now that I have started this Ministry, the opportunity is there for me to grow.
How old are the members? Tell me more about who they are?
The members all happen to be female, as young as 10 to 70 yrs. old. They are women from all ethnic and social backgrounds who either want to expand their knowledge of the craft or have a desire to learn one. Each of the women brings her own style to what they're making. 

Are you open to men joining?
You would be surprised how many men know how to crochet or want to learn, including both my grandson and my nephew, which is funny because none of our girls have expressed a desire to do so. This Ministry is not about gender, it's about serving our community regardless of what race, color or sex you are. In fact, we have a man who is considering joining that is adept at crocheting and would like to expand his skills. 
What are the members making? 
Right now we have numerous items we are working on for different organizations. The women are split up into three groups. Group one makes baby blankets and receiving blankets, group two makes adult-size blankets and group three makes scarves, slippers and hats. Each group represents a different organization. All beginners start with making a scarf and work their way up based on their comfort level or their desire to learn new things. 

Where will be pieces that are made be donate to?
The baby/receiving blankets will be donated regularly to'' The Lullaby Birthplace of St. James Hospital. They have approached our Ministry about having blankets made. The scarves/hats/slippers will be donated to a women's shelter with the largest need. The same for the adult-sized blankets that will go to the homeless. My goal is to provide for many organizations at the same time. I plan on sending letters to these type of organizations to best determine what their need happens to be, so we can provide it. 
Where does everyone meet? How long? 
The purpose of our meetings is primarily for the women to drop off their goods and pick up more supplies. It's also a good opportunity to learn another technique or get more one on one lessons. Then there is the social aspect of it, getting together with a group of women to chat. I may provide information to the women regarding a group or a project. We meet once a month on the second Saturday at noon. The time and date has been chosen by them to adjust to their schedules. The first priority is always the family. All of this is to be done at their own leisure, we are not a factory. Enjoyment is key, because if the excitement is gone, it just becomes a chore and it will affect whatever they are working on. Attendance is not mandatory and there are a few women that work at home and I drop off /pick up the goods without them ever coming to a meeting. 
What are you the most proud of so far with your ministry?
The response I received with volunteers joining and their passion for what they are doing. I love to see all these young women in their twenties and thirties enjoying such an old fashioned craft. In this modern age for them to show a desire to take time out during a busy life to create something homemade, something for them to pass on to their daughters and to teach other young women is inspiring. It shows hope for humanity and for the future as we show compassion and forgiveness for others. As one member remarked, "It gives me joy to know I can make something with my own two hands that someone else will benefit from." 
Are you accepting donations for materials? Where can they be sent?
We survive on donations only. You can donate yarn, fleece/ flannel /cotton material or you can also send gift card to Michael's or Joann's Fabrics to Crocheting Ministry, 2646 N. 75th Ave, Elmwood Park, IL  60707. Prayers for our Ministry work is also greatly appreciated. I'd like to send an invitation to any organization to let us know how we can help you by informing us of your needs so we can serve our community. 

What type of growth then do you want for this ministry?
My vision for this Ministry is three-fold. One is outreach, I would love to have enough people volunteering so we can minister to many organizations at one time. I do have a personal dream of perhaps one day sending our baby blankets to Africa or the Philippians. Two is Craft. We as a society are forgetting the simple pleasures of creating something with our own hands whether it's jewelry making or crocheting a blanket. I want to be able to bring back the Arts to the young people especially, so they in turn can teach the next generation. Three is community.  This has helped me so much through my trials that I want to do the same for others. We are not meant to live alone, but among other people. Let's come together as a group to focus on something other than ourselves by helping the community we live in, which is really the world. By doing so, we develop strong friendships, learn compassion and in turn, really heal ourselves. 

Whatever happened to that first blanket you ever made?
I unraveled the whole thing and made blankets for my entire family for Christmas that year. 

Lottie is open to talking with others who may want to start their own crocheting ministry in their own town. Feel free to contact her atlottiekrol@yahoo.com

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Simply Money


Money . I've been avoiding this subject like the plague itself . How many of us can say honestly they are happy with their finances or feel they're in a good place financially ?  It really doesn't matter , because things can change drastically and we can go from rich to poor or reverse in a heartbeat .

Finances for me have always been like a roller coaster ride , sometimes high and sometimes  low  . There was a moment there for a couple of years where I felt financially stable with a nice enough nest egg resting in the bank .

This past year , with my cancer returning so fast after the previous time , my nest egg got fried , leaving me to start all over again . .

If I'm to live a healthy life , I need all aspects of it to be cleansed and free of any stress . Finances can cause so much stress and worry . We want to forget about the bills , the debt and hope that we can bury them somewhere deep , so they will never rise again .
Yet , they do , don't they ? Debt never goes away . It keeps haunting us until it's paid .

I wish I could take a class in just basics of financial freedom , not all of us are savvy in the fundamentals of investments and it can become quite heavy in content to comprehend . The things I have seen out there really don't fit the average joe . 

 People have different opinions on seeking financial advisers . Some think they are expert choices for future savings , especially our retirements and others think they make it look real easy , but are not realistic in regards to the person who is heavily in debt . 

Other way you may feel , it all starts with change . The change to make choices in choosing a different lifestyle . So we buckle down and cut down on our spending . There isn't a quick fix , you have to keep sending payments until it's paid . Then make smart choices for the future . 

As a person with a chronic illness , finances are a constant worry . You never know when the illness will take over and being able to work is not always an option . Even when you are working , health insurance isn't what it used to be when it comes to coverage  . Alas , your finances take a nosedive . It becomes a seesaw of highs and lows with us saving when we are well , to provide a little nest egg when the illness comes back . 

That's a very sad thought , because when we are chronically ill , we should focus all our energies on getting well and not becoming stressed with how we will pay for treatment . 

Have a Blessed day everyone . 

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

After The Crocheting

Sunday morning brought rain and cooler air . All I wanted is to turn over  and go back to sleep , of course ,   that didn't happen . I was needed as a backup teacher in Sunday School . Sleeping in will just have to wait . 

The minute I walked into Church , people came up to me wanting to know how everything went last night with my Ministry . Emily was serving upstairs and the same was asked of her . By the time we left , I had two more recruits ready to take up the hook in the name of Jesus .

If I ever needed affirmation that what I was doing was God
planned , God given , God led  . . . . . there it was .

 There is Isabella ( my almost 11 yr. member ) who makes bracelets and sells them at school, so her mom can buy fleece to make blankets for our Ministry . 

This Ministry is God planned and God given and God led  . 

Sheilee , a senior in high school , is preparing a presentation for her teacher and class regarding our Ministry so they , too , can get involved either by joining or donating . 

These are children , our future , the next generation serving Jesus .
If this doesn't inspire you , an adult , nothing ever will .

This Ministry is God planned , God given and God led . 

Have a Blessed day everyone . 



Monday, September 16, 2013

During The Crocheting

Preparations were made for The Crocheting Ministry Club to
 gather . The table set with drinks and crisp . Hooks , looms and yarn lay in the corner of the living room . Every available chair was brought out to form a circle . We are ready to convene , where are the people ?

I felt anxious this time around as the members trickled in slowly . Today , it really mattered whether they showed up or not . Today , we were taking a picture for an upcoming article for Thought Collection Publishing . They may have come a little late , but came they did with crocheting bags in hand . 

Smiling to myself , I sat and observed all of them as they mingled with one another . I didn't need to be there , they were comfortable with each other , immediately offering their fellow crafters a hand with any problem they encountered . AND they had crocheting bags , like professionals . 

I felt proud , proud of how far they all have come in just a short time . These women have families , jobs and they still found time to crochet for others . The amount of items they have made was overflowing ! I never expected so  much , so soon from twelve members , reminding me of the story of JESUS feeding thousands with just a couple of fish and bread . 

Then , this Ministry wasn't coming from me , but from God . It was His will , His plan and I'm just a vessel . Now , if we could just get some donations . . . .

Have a Blessed day everyone . 




Sunday, September 15, 2013

Before The Crocheting

Running around with errands when I should have been sleeping , changed my attitude from grumpy to seriously ill tempered . What normally was my regular schedule intensified in nature by the fact that the Ministry Club was adjourning in my living room in a few hours . 

Emily was chopping away fruit  for a crisp in a steady beat that echoed throughout the small apartment . I raced frantically between the living room and bathroom erasing all traces of a cat residing here . Two of my ladies are allergic to cats and sterilizing the place before they came was a must . I vacuumed the sofa , chairs and every crevice of the carpet . A new bottle of Fabreeze was sprayed on anything and everything . 

Looking around the place , I breathed a deep sigh of accomplishment . It looked good and it looked clean . In waltzes Diamond and starts rolling over  the carpet her entire body as if getting a rubdown , spreading cat hairs to mark her presence .

Running back into the kitchen , I unpacked the remaining
 groceries . Threw the package of onions into the basket and instead it landed behind the shelf . Groaning and visualizing  the smell of rotten onions , I pushed the shelves away from the wall and it shook like the Tower of Pisa .  The shelf literary was falling apart right in front of me and . . . . my . . . . wine  . . . . .was  . . . . on  . . . the . . . bottom . 

Noooooooooo ! 

I screamed for Emily to start taking everything off the shelves as fast as she could while I tried to hold it up . Save the wine !!!! Who cares about the food . 

When everything was taken off , I let go and watched it crumble in a heap at my feet . The whole kitchen looked a mess , the floor not even showing . 

I poured myself a cup of coffee and locked myself in my room . I should cancel , I should cancel ricocheting in my head . I just couldn't believe the month I have been experiencing since beginning this Ministry . 

But why should I allow the devil to defeat me now ? 

I have come a long way in my 48 yrs . , I may have fallen numerous times in my life ,  but I've always gotten back up . It may have hurt , it may have taken a while , but I got back up again . Finishing up my coffee , I went back into the kitchen to clean up the mess . The Crocheting Ministry Club will be here soon . 

Have a Blessed day everyone . 


Friday, September 13, 2013

I Hate Fridays

No matter , whether your week was spectacular or just the opposite , there's that one day a week I don't look forward to . . . . . Friday . While other people are jumping up and down screaming . .

T.G.I.F. !   T.G.I.F. !    T.G.I.F. !   T.G.I.F. !     T.G.I.F. !

I just moan in complete despair . Don't get me wrong , I'm truly grateful the weekend is upon us , but first I have to get through Friday .

As far back as I can remember , things have always happened to me on a Friday . Come to think of it ,  I found out I had cancer on a Friday . Last week , my car battery died on that day , too .

The roads are crowded with everyone leaving early from work . People stopping at stores , beeping their horns , at a rush to get their weekend started . Chemo is always on a Friday .

It's the same at work . Everyone comes in , not really having any desire or energy to work , just trying to get through as quickly as possible . Which is a real problem for me .

My job consists of executing the schedule for the week  and by Friday , I need to make sure everything is done . Unfortunately , that usually isn't the case when I walk into work and see tons of work and not enough time to do it .

The people are already celebrating mentally and I have to push and push and somehow make things happen . It's not always their fault , sometimes  it's the machinery , the lab , the water etc . The list could go on and on .

Once , the power went out  and even though we were able to get it back in a few hours , all the computer systems had to be reset taking all night . Sometimes , we joke what did we ever do before computers ? The world revolves around them  .

You can just imagine the stress level on a Friday . By the time Saturday morning comes along , I limp out the door and drive home with no shoes on , vowing to drink a whole bottle of wine . That never happens . After one glass , I'm ready for bed . 

Have a Blessed day everyone .

Thursday, September 12, 2013

Keeping The Faith

Keeping the faith is easy to someone else saying it and it rolls off one's tongue beautifully , usually accompanied by a pat on the back and an encouraging smile . An " I'll be praying for you "  and a
" Call me when you need me " follows . Then the moment comes , when that well-meaning friend leaves and you actually have to do
 it .

Keeping the faith is very difficult , because in my own experience the trials that have brought you to this point just keep coming one after the other . It's never just one thing , instead , a bombardment of  just things .

I can handle an irritation , I can handle even a setback or two , but when an all out war ensues I run back into my place and shut the door firmly behind me . I get down on my knees and become a prayer warrior . I become the best Christian ever walking on this earth . It's all about God then .

Am I describing you ? Is that what you do ? That's definitely me . I'm going through some things now , but I have to believe and trust in God that things will turn out fine . He has never failed to be there for me and I need to hold onto that fact . His hands are over this trial of mine , no matter how bad it may get .

The more troubles that come my way , the more I believe that this trial must be very important and I have to keep the faith and 
endure .

I can assure you , that keeping the faith is an ongoing process . It never stops . Church isn't a place to go to only when you have a problem . Church is something we do every week , even when we're happy and everything is going fine .

Worship and praise is important , talking to Him  is important , even when we are angry . He still wants to hear us , even then .

We are an extremely busy generation of people , but we need to make time even if it is during a ride to work or a quick prayer at dinner . Being consistent will make us stronger in our faith and in our relationship with Christ .

Have a Blessed day everyone .

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

My Special Quirks


You know how it is , you 've been living together for awhile , getting under each other's feet . I'm starting to irritate her and she 's irritating me . I don't like the mess she makes when she cooks and she doesn't like the way I chew my food . I'd wish she'll go somewhere already and she thinks the same of me .

Do you have to make that noise . . . . ..

Can't you just . . . . .

Do you have to be this way  . . . .. .

Why are you so . . .

Oh, Mother !

Oh , Daughter !

Quirks . We all have these special quirks that at one time were sooooo cute , but not any longer . Living together can do that to a relationship . Lord knows , Emily and I have our moments when we're at each others throats over  something really silly ( like are we eating at the table or the couch ) , but we have to remember why we're in this relationship .

Now , you could say , " But Lottie , she has no choice because she's your daughter " , even though that's true , what matters is what kind of relationship we have . Living together is difficult and certain rules and guidelines have to be met or otherwise , those quirks don't stand a chance .

Privacy is a must . You can't be in each other's face all the time . There has to be a period of one only , whether that is in the evening alone in your room or a walk outside by yourself . You just can't do everything together . You need some breathing room or those special little quirks will drive you insane .

I know , I'm always excited when she has plans to go out and I can have the apartment all to myself for a few hours . Every evening , she practically shoves me out the door to work . Heavens forbid if I even think about calling in .

Our special quirks make us who we are , and no one else has the exact same ones . It's for what we're known  for and when we die , the family can talk about us at all the family dinners . Isn't it comforting to know our quirks will live on ?

Have a Blessed day everyone .


Tuesday, September 10, 2013

A Hot Invitation


The temperatures are rising and the comfort levels are falling . It's hot out there , folks . The last thing I want to do today is work , let alone write . My main concern is to stay cool and refreshed .

Today , I want to extend an invite to all of you to join me via wherever you are at for a moment of absolutely nothing but relaxation .

Let's pull down the shade and draw the curtains . Sit down in your comfy spot with your feet curled under or extended upon an ottoman . Wear only your comfy clothes , don't worry about matching or any tattered holes showing .

Right next to where your resting , make sure there is a small table . Upon that table all your necessary items are placed . All the items that will ensure you're not having to get up for awhile  . Place those items now . . . .

your cellphone and remote
newspaper , your favorite book , a puzzle  and  a laptop
a drink of your choice ( wine and coffee for me )
a lite snack ( fruit and cheese for me )

Yes , place them on that table , because once we sit down , only bathroom breaks allowed . We're not answering our door and we're screening our calls , because today we are resting and cooling off .

Will you join me ? Sit beside me ? Rest with  me ?

Have a Blessed day everyone .

Monday, September 9, 2013

Top Ten Best

This blog was created in the fall of 2011 when my cancer came back for the second time . It's been two years since then and now I'm battling cancer for the third time . This blog's purpose was to document my journey for my children . It has surpassed all my previous intentions and has become my therapy .

Cancer has become my best friend in more ways than I've ever imagined . There has been a lot of bad moments during this time , but nothing compared to all the great things that have happened to me since then . Sometimes , I think cancer gets a bad rap , because no one ever mentions the good changes it caused in their lives .

Here are my top ten best :

1. Cancer has brought me closer to God than ever before in my entire life . I have developed a relationship with Him and a desire to live my life accordingly to His will .

2. I have become a more calmer and happier person striving to work on my relationships with others rather than trying to " win " an argument .

3. I have found my purpose , living the life I was meant to live by helping others through my Crocheting Ministry , my blog and my Sunday School .

4. My health , besides the cancer , is in tiptop shape with  every ache examined on a regular basis . Never have I been so well taken cared of by my doctors and myself .

5. I have prioritized my life as to what really matters in life , what I call heart things . Money and power mean nothing . . . . time is everything .

6. Developing and continuing meaningful relationships with my children and grandchildren while I'm still here . Period .

7. I'm enjoying life and the stage I'm in at this moment .  I love the early mornings with birds chirping in the dawn . I love the scenery from my bedroom window . I love the breeze that billows my curtains . Yes , I love the stage I'm in right now .

8. I'm grateful for the new people I have met that also have cancer . I love being on their journey with them and welcome them on mine .

9. I love the work that I'm doing on myself  and the person that is emerging . I have a deep desire to better myself and the experience others have with me .

10 . But the best thing with this cancer is the fact that I am still here and can continue experiencing this journey I am on with all of you .

Have a Blessed day everyone .

Sunday, September 8, 2013

The Devil Chasing After Me

It's Sunday Morning , a lesson lies on the table in front of me on bravery . I could use some of that myself , right about now .

Ever since I began The Crocheting Ministry Club , the devil has been chasing after me , to discourage and for me to fail . I've been attacked many times before , but this time , it feels different . It's more personal , more menacing .

The moment I realize I'm being attacked , I retreat into silence . I become very still and immerse myself in the Word . I will pull out all my audios , my devotions and my music for comfort . I embrace the stillness and comfort in the knowledge that this will pass .

Be still and know I am God  .

The attack feels more intense than ever , because  of the onslaught of misfortune and the degree of it . No longer am I dealing with minor disruptions and irritations such as a parking ticket  . . . . this time it really hurts in  areas  of my weakest points .

How do I know it's about the Ministry ? The Ministry is flourishing beyond all of my expectations . It has exploded with volunteers , goods are being made  and donations have started coming in . The very first attack came regarding the Ministry and then my personal life went downhill after that .

Am I scared ? You better believe it , but I know I will get through it somehow and it will pass .I just have to keep the Faith .

Have a Blessed day everyone .

Saturday, September 7, 2013

Single With Cancer

Driving home after work in the early morning hours , I decided to make a short stop for an errand . It was short and sweet , the way I like it since I felt anxious to get to bed after a tiring night . I hopped back into my vehicle  . . . . turned the key . . . . . and nothing happened  .

That incident paved the way for the rest of my day and it got worse with each passing hour  . One thing after another fell apart like a set of dominoes tipping over , my heart sinking with each event . As my stress levels rose , so did my blood pressure . It's times like these that I wish I was married or in a committed relationship .

It's so much easier to carry the load when there are two people lifting . When one is down , the other takes over  . I have watched my married friends leave all the stressful things up to their husbands and never worry about their cars breaking down or washing them . Their computers are working perfectly and all assembly of shelves / coffee tables are finished without any mishap . When that wayward child doesn't want to listen , you can yell out , " Go see your

father ".
Being single with cancer is no different . Many a times , I wish there was someone to rub my back or my feet when I'm feeling down or to take me to the hospital .  I wouldn't have  to worry about the financial aspect of it since there would be another paycheck coming in .  I certainly never imagined I would be going through cancer , let alone .

When things are going great and there aren't any worries , I never even give marriage a thought . The minute things start going downhill , I regret not having a hubby .

It seems as I age , I don't tolerate things as much . Don't want any hassles , I just want to live in peace .

So here I am , stressing out with my latest predicament . I retreat into my quiet zone until the storm passes , hoping it won't turn into a tornado . :)

Have a Blessed day everyone .

Friday, September 6, 2013

What's In A Name ?

Growing up with an unusual name hasn't been easy . All during my childhood , I wanted to be an Anne or a Mary or a Susan , anything but a Lottie . I felt like I was the only one who had that name in the whole wide world . It wasn't until I became an adult that I found out just how wrong I was .

My dad named me . It seems that both my parents had their choice of a name picked out and couldn't agree . After my birth , my mom was sleeping and dad took the opportunity to fill out the necessary paperwork without her knowing . It was a huge shock to her when she found out what he did upon waking .

When I was little and we lived in Poland , my mom couldn't bring herself to call me by my given name . Her choice would have been Elizabeth , so when we were alone , that's what she called me .

You see , Lottie is the name I have here in this country , but in Poland , my name is Wladyslawa the female version of my dad's . When we came here , they Americanized my name and I became Lottie . Mom loved it  and from that day on , she always called me by it .

It's funny how much emphasis we give to a name . Parents-to-be pour over name meanings so their child will be smarter , more popular and more beautiful than any other . Nowadays , the more unusual the better . I should have been born now . I would have fit in at school much better than I did .

Now , I look back and wonder what all the fuzz was about regarding my name . I like who I am now , I'm forgiving myself for who I was and I'm going to love who I will become  . I wonder if my parents saw all that when they named me ?

Have a Blessed day everyone .

Thursday, September 5, 2013

Thought Conditioners

I am fat .

I am aging terribly , looking so old .

People will talk about me .

I am such a bad person .

How many of us have held such negative and demeaning thoughts about ourselves ? I know I have . I've spent a lifetime thinking of thoughts such as these , always putting my self - worth down the drain before anyone else could . I have used sarcasm and poked fun at myself  for years , all because I didn't want people to be laughing at me , but with me .

I've always wondered why I allowed self - doubt and uncertainty to lurk behind the crevices of my soul and pop out at the latest opportunity . I know it's not from God and yet , I let it in and accept as fact . Over the years , they have become my best friends , settling in and getting comfy .

Now that my children are grown , I have seen the same behavior in them . Negative thoughts and feelings venture from their lips whenever life becomes hard . I hear it in their words , their voices and my heart sinks . Is this the legacy I've handed down to them ?

As the years passed ,  I pummeled myself with negativity , my children watched and absorbed every word and action to use themselves later on . Why did I not see this happening ? Is it too late for this cycle to stop ?

I wish I could take back all those comments . I've never realized  the effect they would have not just on myself , but on my children . Why shouldn't they behave in the same manner ? Haven't I shown them that this is the norm ?

While I can't remove the past , I can change the future . No longer will my grandchildren hear negativity , but praise , praise and more praise . I will encourage and shout out loud how absolutely unique and beautiful they really are becoming .

Have a Blessed day everyone.


Wednesday, September 4, 2013

The Worst Days

I am a lover of sunshine , open windows and breezy days . I look forward to three seasons out of the four : spring , summer and fall . Considering all of that , it really has come as a surprise to me to discover my new found feelings regarding this matter . . . . feelings of bittersweet disgust . This has not been a good summer . Here's a list of my top seven  worst complaints .

1. Chemo . This has been the first time I've ever had chemo treatment during the summer . In the past , I'd have my six chemo sessions and go into remission usually in the fall and winter time , but not any longer . If you are experiencing menopause , these treatments can make the hot flushes more intense .

2. Steroids . With every chemo treatment , a dosage of steroids serves as an accompaniment . Steroids help with the onslaught of side effects and are bearable to endure . Days of throwing up are far and few for a chemo patient nowadays . My body's reaction of hot flashes / red face are the downside to them .

3. Arthritis . My feet have always been affected by my treatment . Ask any cancer patient how their feet are doing and they will tell you stories about their knees , ankles and toes  . All these hot / stormy temperatures have filled my poor feet with pressure and I have felt every aching joint .

4. Low A.C. at work . Since I work on third shift , everything gets turned down , especially the air . Talk about being hot during those 95 degree weather days ! It wouldn't be so bad if we didn't have to wear mandatory PPE's ( personal protection equipment ) such as hairnets , sleeves , long pants  and a shoe that completely covers . Staying cool  has become top priority .

5. Landlord . Since the building has been sold , I have developed mixed feelings regarding our new landlord . Honestly , I think he has taken on more than he can handle . Not only does he have a tuckpointing business , but two large unit buildings . If he has more , I don't know . There have been problems in some of the apartments , some minor and some not , it seems to take him awhile to get it done . Even when he is working on another unit , it somehow affects the rest of us . Right now , the washer is broken for over four days now and still hasn't been fixed all because he is on vacation . Maybe this is quite common for the rest of you , but not for me since a management group took care of us in the past .

6. Scheduling  . Our schedule was jammed packed this summer . I felt like I was running behind on everything . This summer was difficult for us as a family not being able to see my grandkids as much as I would like .  If they were free , we weren't and trying to orient our schedules to fit together  didn't always work out . That's how it goes sometime s.

7. Open windows . I need an open window and I didn't feel that this summer I could do that . Since my hot flashes increased tremendously , I really needed the coolness of the fall weather .

This summer was very difficult for me to adjust . The temperatures , even though not sizzling , seemed as if my body was on fire . This journey of mine has taken me on a route I certainly didn't expect . Next summer ? I plan on being better prepared .

Have a Blessed day everyone .

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

The Four Battles

Recently , I read an article on the four battles of the single Christian . Now , I've been single for most of my life , so I consider myself an authority on being single . Since I expected the article to be misguided and misleading , I eagerly read on so I could point out all the mistakes in their characterization . To my surprise , I found them to be spot on .

Battle one : people always want to know why I never married .
Answer :
This is the 64, 000 question that has plagued me all of my single life . It's not that I don't wish to be married , but because I haven't found anyone worth marrying .
People marry for many reasons . To have a family  and I already have children . For security and I 've taken care of myself financially all these years . For companionship  and all they want to do is change me . Why even go out with me then ?
As a Christian , I expect two things from a man : To go to church with me and to love me as Christ loved the church . Do you have any idea how hard it is to find both ?

Battle two : Being solely responsible for my finances , my home , my stuff .
answer :
 I believe , we all think we need someone to provide security financially , but in reality , we can do it alone if we have to . We can own a home ourselves , too , but in my case , maintaining  a home was difficult . You need a man to fix things when they get broken unless you have large sums of money in your bank account to hire someone .
Even now , I find myself wishing at times that I was married , especially  when I'm sick with chemo . If I was married , I wouldn't have to worry about working or money . I could jus concentrate on getting better .

Battle three : Making choices in my life alone .
answer :
Boy , is this true . Since I was a single parent , I really missed having someone to help raise  these children . Two is always better than one . Parenting and making decisions are two of the hardest combinations when you're a single parent .
The children maybe all grownup , but it still would be nice for someone else to take charge sometimes .

Battle four : loneliness and discouragement
answer:
I have to admit that I handle this quite well . I fill my days on purpose so I can never say I'm bored  or lonely . The times that I do ,  is when there is a party or event and you are the only one sitting at the dinner table without a partner . When a slow dance comes on and you have no mate to dance with .

As I get older and the fact that I'm sick with cancer , I often wish I wasn't as picky in my youth in choosing a mate . This way , I would have someone to drive me to the doctor's .

Have a Blessed day everyone .

Monday, September 2, 2013

Let's Worship


If you were to walk into my Church and sit beside me , you'd get an earful of me singing worship songs off-key . I don't have much of a singing voice , but every Sunday that I'm sitting in the pew , I sing loudly at the top of my lungs . There is a reason for that .

You see , I'm not much of an evangelist preaching the word on demand nor am I a prayer warrior that can speak ten minutes of praises before they even get to the prayer request .. . . . .

BUT

I will worship as loud and as long as I can . To me , worship is as important as the sermon . Every lyric is a heartbeat of my being . I sing each line as if it was praise to the Almighty , because that's what it is . . . . praise and worship of the King Most High .

I can't imagine , walking in late after the worship is done , because my Church experience wouldn't be complete . I feel like people really miss out on something special when they do that .

Many nights as I drive up to work , I'll turn on a good worship song , roll up the windows and belt out a tune . By the time I arrive to work , I'm completely relaxed and ready to face what lies ahead .

Emily said it best : When you're going through something in your life , those worship songs , every word takes on special meaning . Amen to that.

Have a Blessed day everyone .

Sunday, September 1, 2013

The Christian Life


Me : " So how does it feel being a Christian ? "
Emily : " Like I've always been a Christian , but didn't know it . It feels right , the way it should be ."



The first time I walked into a Christian service was at the age of nineteen as a guest of a fellow co-worker . It was unlike any
" church " I've ever been  to before . It was in a hotel 's conference room and the preacher was screaming that there were sinners in the room  . He could just feel it . There weren't any statues or a huge cross hanging anywhere . I thought this was a cult and couldn't wait to get the heck out of there .

I laugh whenever I recall that experience . Why was I so afraid ? Why was my heart so closed ? I wish I could provide you with an answer , but I don't have one .

Many times  I have wondered what my life would have been like if I actually stayed and accepted Christ at the tender age of nineteen . What kind of life would I be living now ? It would have been much easier , that's for sure . At least for my children .

I have made so many mistakes in my life that I wish I could go back and change their outcome . The worst mistakes ? The ones that affected my children . As parents , the last thing we want to see , are the mistakes we made play out into their adult life . Yes , there are consequences and if we don't pay for them , our children definitely will .

Looking back , I feel like I have wasted my spiritual life's potential . Imagine all I could have done to serve others , but didn't , because I just didn't know how to open my heart to Christ's love .

During these past seven years , I have seen many fellow Christians leave one Church for another or fall away to their old life . Lord , I pray daily not to become one of them . Let me always remember where I came from and where I'm headed . That alone , will keep me on the right path living a Christian life .

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 ...