Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Day Two

ay Two
Sunday :
The morning set the tone for the rest of the day . A fellow teacher was a no-show for Sunday School , the older children were a little more energetic than usual and I woke up with a bad attitude .  It was hectic , chaotic and fraught with stress . 

I couldn't shake that mood no matter how much I tried . It followed me around for the rest of the day like a bad shadow .I was unhappy with everything that came my way . What a terrible way to spend the Lord's Sabbath . 

As the day unfolded , the devil took hold of me and went to town , not letting go . . . . . but just like when I went down into the Baptismal water , I came up filled with the spirit . That spirit lives inside of me and whenever I stray , he pulls me back from the dark side so I never slip back into the darkness for long . 

When night came , all the dirt of that horrible day left me . It was definitely time to turn this vacay around . Taking pen to paper , a list was made for each day left . Tomorrow  is a brand new day . ....a new beginning ....a new chance to make up for today .

Time is so important to me and here I am wasting it on useless  and unwanted behavior . If I go on like this , this sense of renewal will never happen . Come tomorrow morning , a whole new me will emerge from her slumber .

Have a Blessed day everyone .

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Day One

Day One 
Saturday :

The first day of my long awaited time off from work . Too bad that I  spent most of the the day sleeping . When you work on third shift . . . . that's just how it is . 

I have huge plans for this vacation . I won't be spending it laying on a beach somewhere or in a hotel room . There really won't be much time to sit around with my feet up . 

This week , I will spend time clearing up not just the clutter in my apartment , but also in my mind . I feel so tired and so very drained both physically  and spiritually . Never have I felt such a burnout . All I want to do is sit and do nothing . 

I know that part of it has to do with the affects of chemo . Chemotherapy affects my thyroid in a negative way . Usually , I need more sleep , at times , I even take extra naps . The longer you have been on chemo , the more tired your body becomes . After a certain period , I know my thyroid will regulate itself again . 

So today , I do absolutely nothing . I take out my crocheting , my shows  and a glass of wine and just do nothing . The apartment is quiet , with Emily having dinner with her adopted family . The day goes quickly and I float with it . This is the first day. 

Have a Blessed day everyone . 

Sunday, November 24, 2013

Old Barns And Me

Since my cancer , I have struggled with my body image . Cancer takes so much away from you . A person loses their hair , their lashes and their eyebrows . These things are the obvious losses  that everyone associates with cancer , but what about the other things that aren't a standout .

A person with cancer can gain a lot of weight from all the steroids , like I did . Majority of the people I have encountered also had to deal with arthritis in their legs . Cancer treatment can affect our organs and other parts of our bodies . Some people are prone to blood clots or develop a thyroid .

Either way , cancer takes a lot from a person and that usually means we change not only on the inside , but also on the outside . I no longer remember the person I looked like before this cancer and  I've had  difficult time accepting the person I see in the mirror . How is that for irony ?

As I watched this video below , I thought of myself and the struggles I've had with acceptance of my weight . What was will never be again . I can see that now . So I should put away the mirrors and just remember the image of my old self in my head . Just like the old barns out there , I still have my use , even if a little wider . :)
Double click , please .



http://www.youtube.com/embed/J8Ioa1gVVeA?showinfo=0&rel=0

Thursday, November 21, 2013

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

ERROR , ERROR

It has been a month of flashing signals strewn across my path , screaming " ERROR , ERROR " right back at me . Some say it has been related to the sudden weather changes , the storms that seemed to ravage the earth , but I believe otherwise .

Signals appear to provide a warning that something is not right . Perhaps . . . .

The car  signals flash across the panel whether it is the  " check engine light " or " car door open "  , each alerting us to stop and take notice .

The computer screen continues to " buffer " or an " error " appears , informing  you that your " PC data is low  " or it's time to delete your cookies .

A message appears on your television informing you of cable being disconnected or to refresh the signal . Perhaps , a payment is past due ?

Warning lights flashing everywhere . I've experienced all of these this past month . I wonder if there's more to it than meets the eye ? Even now , as I try to write this blog , my computer decides to act up and refuses to save .

What happens when we ignore these warning signs ? The car breaks down or we have an accident . The computer crashes or needs to be repaired . The cables  goes out and suddenly we don't know what to do with ourselves .

Warnings , signals and errors . What do they mean here ? I think it's time to listen and take heed .

Have a Blessed day everyone .



Monday, November 18, 2013

Temptation




 
 I stare at the scene above with longing . The memory of sitting on the patio of the cabin , sipping coffee in the early hours of the morning fresh in my mind  . Hannah dangling her feet back and forth on the swing  ,Tim deep into his vacation journal . The rest of the world still fast asleep as the ducks swim close to the edge of the lake , looking for a handout . 

I could have sat there all day . 

I stare at the scene above with longing . 
The tranquility of that scene ,  a lure from the everyday mundane responsibilities that I find so overwhelming . I yearn for a change and it can't come fast enough for me . 

Reality brings me back to the messes of my cluttered apartment  , the over-scheduling of all my responsibilities and the  too tired attitude of a weary body . 

The changes at work have brought a renewal and a rebirth within me that I wasn't aware lay dormant . Escape is so appealing right now . Don't we all wish we could just jump into our cars and drive wherever the road may take us far away from it all ?

The temptation . . . . . the lure  . . . of leaving it all behind . Who hasn't felt the pull of it ? None of us are exempt . We may not be able to physically act it out , but we can visit there in our dreams .

Have a Blessed day everyone  and keep dreaming of your special place .

Sunday, November 17, 2013

My Cup Half-Filled

We always feel like we can accomplish everything we set out to do . We can make a list of chores , errands or even a bucket list  and assume that it will be done sooner or later . In reality , most of our expectations are not realistic ones . If you are anything like me , you load your plate very high and only consume half . By the time we get to the other half , it's already spoiled or unappealing , losing it's charm .

I find myself in this situation over and over again . How many times can a person start over ? As many times as they have to . So , I'm redecorating a little , making room for some things and letting go of others . Cleaning out my closets and sometimes even coming out of the closet if need be .

Things haven't been turning out quite the way I have expected , but we adjust to whatever God has in store for us . Didn't I just pray " Let Your will be done " ? So here I am . . . . very tired and disappointed in that will , but I know it is the right thing for me .

The following poem I received from a mentor of mine , Barb Snodgrass . She somehow always seems to know what I need to hear at a precise moment in my life . Hope you enjoy it , too .

Drinking from my saucer I've never made a fortune, and it's probably too late now. 
But I don't worry about that much, I'm happy anyhow 
And as I go along life's way, 
I'm reaping better than I sowed. 
I'm drinking from my saucer, 
'Cause my cup has overflowed. 

Haven't got a lot of riches, 
and sometimes the going's tough 
But I've got loving ones all around me, 
and that makes me rich enough. 
I thank GOD for his Blessings, 
and the Mercies HE's bestowed. 
I'm drinking from my saucer, 
'Cause my cup has overflowed. 

I remember times when things went wrong, 
My faith wore somewhat thin. 
But all at once the dark clouds broke, 
and the sun peeped through again. 
So LORD, help me not to gripe, 
about the tough rows I have hoed. 
I'm drinking from my saucer, 
'Cause my cup has overflowed. 

If GOD gives me strength and courage, 
When the way grows steep and rough. 
I'll not ask for other blessings, 
I'm already Blessed enough. 
And may I never be too busy, 
to help others bear their loads.. 
Then I'll keep drinking from my saucer, 
'Cause my cup has overflowed. 


Have a Blessed day everyone .

Friday, November 15, 2013

The Written Word

I never knew there was a writer inside of me waiting to burst forth until a re-occurrence of my cancer . Most people begin their writing career with a  notebook and a pen , jotting down random thoughts of significance throughout the day . Not me , I began with a blog . 

What started out as a diary , quickly turned into a therapeutic exercise of placing pen to paper all the pent up emotions of life with cancer . What I couldn't express to others verbally , came pouring out like the explosion of floodgates long guarded . 

The written word became a healing process without my being aware of it . When or how , I'm not exactly sure , but it has helped me shed the layers of pity and anger that so easily could have enveloped me . 

The written word holds much power scrolled with the mighty pen of real emotion . Why did it take almost half my life to realize a passion long hidden inside of me ?  Could it be I needed to gain experience to voice my pain , my joy and my desires ? 

Maybe , but I believe the real reason happens to be time . There is more of it now than in my younger years . During those years , my passion for writing lay hidden and dormant while life was spent changing smelly diapers , washing dirty little faces and countless hours of evening homework . 

Nowadays , I can only dream of running away to a cabin in the woods by a lake where I can sit on the front porch  , sipping wine and allowing nature to become my muse as I pen the written word . Perhaps a novel ? Just like in the movies , eh ? 

As  I sit here , a woman fast approaching fifty , I count myself fortunate to have found a passion to indulge in during my latter years . A passion and a joy that truly defines who I have become . All due to the power of the written word . 

Have a Blessed day everyone . 


Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Simply Food


Ever since I was a little girl , food played a huge role in my life . I was not a skinny child nor was I overweight , but somewhere in the middle . Coming from the old country into the U.S. , meant my mom made  homemade cheese , 

pasta , jam and bread on a daily basis  .  We ate well , but I never appreciated it . All I wanted was pizza , canned spaghetti and  a peanut butter sandwich with a twinkie for dessert . I wanted to eat like an American . 

When I had my children and became a housewife  , I was introduced to a variety of foods from all walks of life . Our house was the center of familial dinners for holidays and birthdays  . During those years , I learned how to garden , cook and can goods  . 

Next came being a single parent and that changed everything in my life . Dinners weren't as elaborate , but they were a lot more fun with picnics on the living room floor and breakfast pancakes for dinner . Money was scarce as well as time . . . . mom had to work . To compensate for the lack of things  and for  a lack of a family unit , Friday night pizza became the norm . 

Food took  a drastic turn when I was diagnosed with ovarian cancer in my early forties . No matter what I ate , chemotherapy  produced a metallic aftertaste  . As I battled nausea , saltine crackers became the best thing I ever ate , and  once again , food changed everything . 

Nowadays , my life involves eating healthy with a lot more fruits and veggies . Food has done a complete 360 degrees since I came to this country at the age of seven . I can feel the difference health-wise  whenever I fall off the wagon and binge . 


Food plays such a significance role in our life . Not only does it supplement a need for nourishment for our bodies , but it offers comfort and it becomes a social link to forming relationships . 

What we eat doesn't matter , since we can go from delicacy to necessity and still have a sense of togetherness with our loved ones . So let's break bread together .

Have a Blessed day everyone . 

Sunday, November 10, 2013

Life's Changes

I've been feeling tired lately , none of it making much sense since I'm taking a sabbatical from my chemo treatment . Shouldn't I be feeling the opposite ? Everyone's first instincts would be that I need more rest and I probably do , but I believe it's my schedule .

I think that as we experience different stages in our life , we create a schedule that best accommodates our lifestyle . That schedule may work for us for a few months or even years . For me , the schedule I have been living for the past six years is not working any longer . 

I have been working second and third shift for 18 years now and it has been a perfect setting for any  personal activities that I've been involved in during that time . Now I find myself scrambling from one activity to the next , barely finding the time to do it all . Time is very precious to me and I just don't have enough of it . 

 An opportunity has risen for me to go to first shift and I cannot wait for this change to happen . I may be losing the 10 % differential , but I will be gaining so much more in precious time and in precious sleep . 

Over the last couple of years , I have made many schedules and wrote about them here on this blog . They may have worked like a charm in the beginning , but as time went on , they were difficult to maintain . The results usually showed days of missing blogs , a messy apartment , missing appointments and playing catch up . 

Sometimes , we need to make necessary life changes so we can serve the people in our life better . I am no good to anyone if I'm too tired to be the best I can be and that means I may have to say no at times . 

The problem here may be in the form of having to wait for these changes to be implemented . Since I am the Area Lead at work , I may be the last person to actually go to my appointed shift . That would mean waiting until next May and that would not be cool at all . 

Until then  my friends , I am tired and it's beginning to show . Have a Blessed day everyone . 

Thursday, November 7, 2013

Messes Of The Past

You want to know what she will look like older , look at her 
mother .
OR
You want to see what she is like , look at her mother . 

We end up being just like our mom , whether we like it or not . As young women , we set out into the world full of high hopes and dreams , vowing not to end up like our moms . We love our moms , but we will not be doormats for others to trod upon . We will be different . Our moms are too nice and forgiving and they will not stand up for themselves . Well , we will not be anything like them . 

Sounds familiar ? The fact  is , we become them because our moms feel and love  us . They are not doormats , but they would do anything for us . It's only natural for us to end up like our moms since they are our first introduction into the world and into how things are done . 

Our childhoods shape how we interact with others , the relationships we will have , how we deal with our emotions and how we keep our home . 

If it's a childhood with pleasant memories or not , we go in two directions . Either we become exactly like our moms or directly the opposite . 

Many times I've visited the home of a friend's parent and  although , the style and decor may not always be similar , the housekeeping usually is the same . We learn how to cook and keep our home in order from our mom . 

There are three of us , my two brothers and I , each of us with a different approach to cleaning . My older brother is a spotless person with not a speck of dirt anywhere to be found , even though he would disagree with you regarding that fact . The rest of us are just like our mom , casual housekeepers who do the usual round of chores , but you will find dishes in the sink or a load of laundry . 

Now that my mom is living alone , her apartment is spotless , nothing out of place . That's because she is only one person and she spends one day a week making sure it stays clean . 

I often wonder , if that will happen for me . The older I become , the more I do the things that make me happy . You could say , I'm living out my dreams . The last thing I want to do is housework . Will I ever be free of the chains of housework ? 

If we become our mothers , then all I have to do is look to her for that answer .

Have a Blessed day everyone . 

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Living Among The Clutter

There is nothing more that I detest than clutter . Right now , it seems I'm living in the midst of it , feeling suffocated . I'm constantly tripping over things or moving things from one corner to the next . 

 Right above  and below us lives a family of four and somehow they fit all of their things without the clutter feeling . There is only the two of us , why can't we do the same ?

We have too much stuff ! Storage around here is certainly a problem . Some of these things we have held on to for years
 ( like VHS tapes ) hoping it will come back into style ? ! 

I know myself very well  and I know this stifling and suffocating feeling I have been experiencing has nothing to do with my apartment as much as my life . For whatever reason I'm carrying these feelings around , it's time to do something about them , even if that means a cleaning overhaul  . 

So I'm planning a remodel . Furniture will be moved . Things will be discarded . New things might even take their place . Cupboards will be cleaned out and the cabinets polished , but the real work needs to take place on the inside .

 I am the clutter-er and I can  keep doing the above mentioned over and over again , but it just keeps going back to the same thing . It's not the apartment or lack of storage , it's the person creating the clutter . So let's clean out those cobwebs and see what we will find .

Have a Blessed day everyone .

Sunday, November 3, 2013

A Sort Of Update

I've seen better days ,
but I've also seen worse .
I don't have everything that I want , 
but I do have all I need . 
I woke up with some aches and pains ,
but I woke up . 
My life may not be perfect , 
but I am Blessed . 

I've joined a chronic illness group at church . We've only met a few times since we all are sick most of the time . I've never been one to sit in a circle and get all touchy feely with my emotions especially when it came to the crying part . I deal with situations a little differently . I may have a pity party going on for a couple of days , but I always pick myself up regardless of how I feel mentally . I may have a difficult time accepting how much weight I have 
gained , but I move on with it . I can't take a " woe is me " kind of 
attitude . 

Spending time with children 
is more important than 
spending money on children . 

I have to be honest with you . . . . . I have been experiencing great jealousy regarding my grandkids . This year , we just haven't been able to get together as much as we normally do . . . . hence the jealousy of everyone else who had the opportunity to do so . 

One day , while flicking through facebook , I encounter a picture of my grandchildren posing with Aubrey's dad and his wife . Here they were smiling and hugging my kids  . . . . and these kids were loving it . I turned to Emily  and said :

" Who are these people with my babies ? ! " 
" Those are the real grandparents , mom ."

And how was your week ? 

Have a Blessed day everyone . 

Saturday, November 2, 2013

My Other Blogs

This weekend , Emily and I are relaxing at home , taking care of a few chores around the apartment . As we kick back , let me share with you some of my favorite blogs that I follow . 

A HOLY EXPERIENCE 
A lot of us are familiar with Ann Voskamp and her 1000 Gifts , but I really enjoy reading her blog and keeping up with her family of eight and their life on a Canadian farm where she home schools all of her six children .

CONFESSIONS OF A FUNERAL DIRECTOR
A look at the life of a young funeral director and how he deals being surrounded by death all the time . A great perspective into the ups and downs of a funeral home .

JENNIFER DUKES LEE #TELL HIS STORY
A blog about  a young mother with two children living on an Iowa farm trying to live life for JESUS . A  great look into the life of a young woman and the everyday chaos that occurs . 

HOLLEY GERTH
Holley is a married , older woman who has had to come to terms to a life without children . She has become one of my favorites , maybe because of our ages . 

BLESSED BY BRENNA
I have been following this little toddlers battle with a particular skin disease from day one as her mother happens to be friends with my Aubrey . I am amazed at the strength of this mom as she deals with her daughter's illness . 

A VOICE FROM THE  PEW
My close friend , Maureen 's blog  that describes her love for our Almighty Father . She is an advocate for women and their struggles showing God's love and tenderness to them . 

I certainly hope you find time to check out any of these blogs as they are close to my heart and I hope they will become close to yours. 

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 ...