Sunday, August 31, 2014

Taking A Peek

Well , he's gone . Or at least , I believe that to be true since I witnessed him moving some furniture earlier . 

One of our neighbors , Smoking Steve , has been evicted from the building . Apparently he is a peeper . What exactly  he has been spying on  or doing or where , I have no idea . I do know that a month ago the police came with a warrant , taking computers , cameras  etc. out of his apartment . They were also asking to speak to the landlord . The next thing we know , he was evicted . 

It's strange , you know , but I believe it has to do with his job . Both of us worked the second shift and we would leave and come home at the same time . Since the incident , he hasn't left the apartment . I think he lost his job , too .

Ran into him last night and I acted as if nothing has happened . He didn't look anything like the man I have known these past 3 1/2 years . He has always been a loud mouth , speaking against everyone in the building . Very opinionated and arrogant man , that Smoking Steve .  Now , he couldn't even look at me , lowering his gaze as I walked   past  . 

I really felt pity for him . How quickly we can fall . He didn't resemble that same cocky man any longer . How did he get to this point ? Why ? The decisions he made way back have come to haunt him now and I felt sadden by these turn of events . I certainly hope he takes this trial in his life to turn things around for the better . It's never too late to start over . I just hope he realizes it .

Have a Blessed day everyone . 

Saturday, August 30, 2014

2 Loaves Short Of A Miracle


The morning began with numerous errands  and a long list of " to do 's " in the apartment as the summer days are drawing to a close . We ran around cleaning carpets , airing out pillows , changing curtains and linens . 

As one season ends and the other lies on the threshold , a good cleaning is in order to get rid of the past , making room for the new . It has become a routine task for us , one that we both look forward to and detest at the same time . 

Who on earth wants to scrub the oven or refrigerator ? Cleaning out drawers and cabinets create an even bigger mess . All this work provides us with physical exercise as we run up and down flights of stairs with endless loads of laundry . 

The end result becomes our joy as we survey the neatly stacked shelves , the kitchen practically sparkling and the living room never looked more inviting . We smile with anticipation of a good night's sleep in our freshly scented bed linens . All so worth the achy muscles we will feel the next day . 

Or at least Emily will . Anything that doesn't belong in the main rooms or anything that is  considered clutter , ends up in my own bedroom for later disposal . I can work on it during the night at my leisure and when people come over , I can always close the door . 

My bedroom has always been a messy concoction of boxes waiting for deliveries to various charities , boxes overflowing with yarn and stacks of different projects yet unfinished . On my bed , lay the current project I've been working on . It will be a few days before my room is set right and another couple of days when it becomes a mess once again . 

Regardless of all the hard work , we were looking forward to the evening since we were treating ourselves to a carry out supper . I , myself , had my niece's latest flavor of wine  , " 2 Loaves Short of a Miracle " , chilling on ice to enjoy with my supper . 

Pouring myself a generous tumbler of the wine  , my mind on putting my feet up , I became very careless . Just as I placed the glass down , I knocked it over completely , spilling all that precious goodness all over my table . 

For a split moment , I felt angry at my stupidity until I saw the wine's label staring back at me . I burst out laughing , shaking my head at the raw irony of the wine's name : 

2 Loaves Short of a Miracle 

If that isn't the truth . Here I  have been working hard all day and just when I thought I would be rewarded for it with a glass of wine . What happens ? I spill the entire contents . Thank goodness , it wasn't the whole bottle . . . . . . and how was your day ? 

Have a Blessed day everyone . 





Friday, August 29, 2014

The Perfect Timing

That thing I've been waiting for  . . . . Do I even know what it is          anymore ?

I've been holding on to a dream for so long , that I 'm beginning to think that maybe it isn't right for me . Living a life more of fantasy than   reality . Waiting on God can be a very long process and in the meantime , I'm cheating myself out of living in the here and now . 

On my recent trip to Springfield , fear gripped my soul as I looked around and took in my surroundings . Are we really ready for this ? Would we be able to fit in ? Such a major life changing move , talk about being bold and fearless , living by faith and not by sight . 

God knows what He is doing . I know that in our hearts , we are ready , but in every other way , we're lacking . There is still so much preparation needed that can only be done here  . 

Dreams do come true , but the timing has to be just right  . When that time does come , everything will fall into place like dominoes . Little effort will be needed on our part . 

For someone who detests waste , I have certainly spent much of my precious time moaning and whining this year in regards to this dream becoming a reality . Like a spoiled two-year old having a tantrum , I have fought not only others , but God . 

Only God  allows us the opportunity to prepare ourselves in every way possible so we are not caught unawares in a difficult undertaking . So why am I not taking it ? 

Sometimes , we need to be hit hard with reality before we understand the message behind our trials . While waiting may be hard , there could be practical reasons as to why we haven't achieved our goal . 

Let's live in the here and now , leaving tomorrow to God's perfect         timing .

Have a Blessed day everyone . 


Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Strong As A Bull

She's strong as a bull .

People have made that comment pertaining to me , from childhood until I was stricken with cancer at the age of 42 . You see , I have always been the strong one in the family , both physically and mentally . 

There are people who freeze or become emotional during trials or hardships . I react . I may spend a day crying in despair , but I will get up . I will rise and face whatever comes my way . 

Then why can't I accept the way things are now ? Is it the waiting ? Has the hurt gone too deep ? Perhaps a tinge of jealousy ? A little bit of anger thrown in ? 

I believe it has to do with my age and how I deal with things at this stage of my life . I dislike conflict and all that goes with it . If I could sweep it under the rug and runaway from it , I would . Yet , conflict is everywhere . 

We overcome one hurdle , another rises up to challenge us . Our life is a constant learning process where we can grow as individuals spiritually , mentally and physically . What was so vitally important to us five years ago seems totally pointless now . 

Take my weight , for instance , I'm slowly accepting my shape and learning to love myself . On certain days , it doesn't even matter .  In the past , I've wanted to be married , now I could care less . We change and so do our priorities . 

My biggest challenge now is my desire to move elsewhere , closer to my son , perhaps starting a new career . It's something that seems so far out of reach right now . My frustrations are starting to show affecting all areas of my life . 

Am I still the strong bull ? Unfortunately no , it has been a very long time since I have been referred as that . I think the cancer has taken that away from me and it should . 

Physically , my body is definitely not what it used to be . Mentally , I have been knocked down a peg or two , realizing I have quite a lot to work on . Spiritually , I certainly have grown . 

So I may have changed quite a lot since then , but at least , I like who I am on the inside . 

Have a Blessed day everyone . 

Throwback Thursday

Believe this or not , I do hold a lot back from the world , only posting what I want people to know . That's the problem nowadays , people let all their dirty laundry out to dry and then are shocked that people talk . 


I was very skeptical about social media back then  and had no desire to become part of the " in crowd " , but I am very glad I listened to my son , Joey . 


I struggled during my second bout with cancer . It seems I was attacked from every angle , experiencing problems with my FMLA paperwork and my anger regarding the cancer's comeback . Trust became the theme and being positive a huge hurdle to overcome . 


Turning The Negative Into Positive

      So far , today , has been very trying . Just when I thought all the paperwork has been taken care of....BAM.....it's not . There is so much red tape , who can keep track of all
this ? It shouldn't be like this ! You shouldn't be swimming in red tape ! A person should be concentrating on healing ! UGGGH!
     This is all my fault . My inability to deal with issues . I know this is God's  way of having me face and deal with it . Learning to trust HIM . Learning to leave all my  troubles with HIM . I read once that when we ask God to teach us a particular " thing " we also need to ask him for mercy  as we go through it . Teach me  trust , Lord , but show me mercy first !
     As bad as today has started out , I really am trying to stay positive . I keep telling myself that the latest snag is just a minor delay . Trust , Lottie , trust . With a renewed hope in my heart , I went on Facebook .
      Now , I have to admit that it took a lot of persuading from my children to join Facebook . You all should know  by now how I am . I hate filling out forms...why can't they just log me in themselves ? I have to admit that when I finally did , I BECAME  A JUNKIE !
     I have been criticized for being too open . For putting it out there . Everyone knows my  business . I don't believe that I'm saying anything wrong or bad about others .The era of our mothers where everything was kept hidden and SSSSHH and not talked about is over . How are our children , our daughters gonna learn if we don't talk ?
     Like my Pastor , I just went off track .Sorry .
      First thing I see on Facebook  is someone 's comment on how difficult of a day they had . Second thing I see is the comments people wrote to uplift this person . To me , this is what its all about . There are so many negative things in our lives , we need to let it out so others can help us turn it into something positive .
     This journey of mine isn't just about me . It's also about the people around me . Maybe , there is someone out there that is feeling and going through the same thing . Maybe  , they need to be uplifted . Maybe , the people in their lives want to know what their thoughts are . Maybe , someone out there already went through a journey similar to mine and they have some advice for me . Whatever it is .....I just want my journey to mean something .
   Last night , I made a discovery about myself ......the trust issue . Today , I want to start changing how I deal with things . How do I acquire that trust ? Well , today, I'm turning this negative day into something more positive . I ' m trying not to stress out . It will work out . I want to place all my Faith into the Lord .
   One thing , I don't want to do is shut myself away from people and not talk about it . That's not gonna happen , sorry .

Have a Blessed day everyone .

Monday, August 25, 2014

A Busy Schedule

The constant flow in and out of my room exhausted me . I couldn't just lie there and allow them to sit with me or talk at me . Maybe I needed to function in my role as pastor or felt some kind of obligation to entertain them . I didn't want to hurt anyone's feelings by asking him or her to leave or not to come .
Excerpt from 90 Minutes In Heaven .

One cannot rest in a hospital . The hospital staff dominate your mornings and afternoons . It's only the evenings that one is free , but then the family and friends take a turn . 

Early in the morning , you can hear the commotion of bursting activity outside one's room  . Doctors and interns surround your bedside in a sea of faces as they poke , exam and confer with one another on what to do next. 

" How are you feeling today ? "

You find yourself repeating over and over again the same response  as one group leaves and another enters . Nurses efficiently float in and out your room performing labs , taking blood pressure  and temperatures , bringing medication right on schedule . 

Then we have what I like to call the early morning daily visitors filled with questions :

Would you like a paper ?  
Will you be taking communion this morning ?
Perhaps a visit from a priest/pastor ?
Would you like to place your meal orders ?
Are you ready for your walk ?

Oh , I walked . I walked after breakfast , before lunch /after lunch , before dinner/after dinner and before bed . I walked those hospital hallways and sat staring out the window at the traffic below . 

Around mid-morning , x-rays and Ct scans were on the agenda . After lunch , occupational nurse and therapy . Another round with my oncologist and his groupies . Then the oncologist's assistant and his groupies . Finally , we end with the resident on call with his groupies . 

Supper . Friends and family make a visit , in case  we are lonely bearing gifts . Phone calls happen all through the day . Mine usually began around 7 a.m. and if I didn't answer , whoever was on the line , would call the nurse's desk worried I might have passed . Obviously , they haven't seen my schedule . 

I know I'm being funny , but I really  am Blessed to have so many people who love me . They have continually shown their support and I certainly hope that everyone can see the humor  in all of this . 

Have a Blessed day everyone . 

Saturday, August 23, 2014

Looking For Survivors

I wanted answers , but perhaps even more than that , I wanted assurance that I would be well . I wanted to be normal again . I wanted to walk out of the hospital on my own two feet and go back to my former way of life .
Excerpt from 90 Minutes In Heaven .

During the entire time I was in the hospital , I never thought about the  severity of my condition . I only thought about what I had to accomplish for that morning or day . It wasn't until I was home healing that my condition  began to sink in . 

It happened one morning quite innocently as I wanted to find another person with ovarian cancer . You see , in these past four months , I had met many cancer patients , but none with my type . I wanted to hear a testimonial of a fellow survivor . I was looking for hope . 

I surfed the net , visiting websites of ovarian groups . I read their        stories , not just a few , but every single one . Several things stood out right away :

1. I was truly ignorant on the various terminology associated with cancer . Every single  patient knew the type of drugs that were administered to them and their side effects . They spoke of their CA125 counts . They spoke in detail of their procedures/surgeries . 

I did not know any of these things . It wasn't because the doctors didn't explain , they did , I wasn't really listening . I just wanted them to fix or take away any health problem I was experiencing at that moment . I didn't want to know the how or what , I just wanted them to do . 

2. I realized they didn't live very long . The longest survivor I was able to find , had ovarian cancer for twelve years and it came back four  times  . 

3. It kept coming back . It didn't matter how old they were nor  what stage they were at , the cancer kept coming back . 

I didn't want it to come back and I didn't want to die . I didn't just go through hell and back , so I could do it all over again . I would never be done with cancer . It would eventually kill me . 

Like a woman possessed , I kept surfing the net trying to find a different outcome . An outcome that could reassure me of a different ending . I was looking for hope . Someone , please tell me that I wouldn't ended up like these women . 

Living by faith , not by sight . 

My cancer didn't come back for almost five years . With each passing year , hope grew and grew , where I believed I was rid of that dreaded cancer . When it came back , I was devastated and angry . I believed I was healed , but little did I know , that healing comes in all forms and so does hope . 

If I didn't believe in that hope , I most likely would have wasted those five years , but hope kept me going . Kept me waking up and embracing life . 

Now , 7 1/2 years later , I had three bouts with cancer already , but I have lived these years . . . . and I intend on doing so until my last breath . Even then , I will live on in my Father's Kingdom . 

Have a Blessed day everyone . 

Friday, August 22, 2014

Year Of The Whining

Time has a way of sneaking up on us when we least expect it . Summer is winding down and the new school year begins . Christmas a mere four months away . Where has the time gone ?

Looking back , I have to admit , this past year has not been my best shining moment . For someone who claims to be so good at     adaptation , I have done a lot of whining . 

When they eliminated my position , I felt a sense of freedom , long not experienced . Suddenly , I could take off work whenever I wanted  and for as long as I wanted . There was no one demanding my immediate attention nor looked to me for guidance . The feeling was liberating , indeed .

My attitude has undergone a drastic change as well . Gone is the accepting , cheek-turning woman  , wearing a smile . The halo cast aside , as the horns make an appearance and stay for awhile . There is no retreat to lick my wounds in private , my opinions have been known to those who need to hear them . 

As the days turned into weeks and then months , a side of me has emerged that hasn't been seen since childhood . I complained , I          yelled , argued and demanded . I whined and whined like a small child  needing a nap . I wanted all that I could not have . 

The year of the whining has begun . 

When the stress and demand became too much , I laid down my arms and took a break . The whining didn't cease , it was just done in 
private . 

This year , I have learned of my darker side . A side that I believed didn't  exist any longer . I have learned that we all can have our moments of shame  and shameful it has been for me . 

Have I truly tried to make things work ? Have I given it my all ? Or have I considered all of this a partial stopover to a better destination ? 

So the whining ensued over and over again . It's a good thing the year is almost over . . .. this year of the whining . 

Have a Blessed day everyone . 

Thursday, August 21, 2014

Throwback Thursday-

Each day is like a journey . We have no idea where the path will take us . It is unknown to us .   Sometimes , we expect one thing , but find something else altogether . 


We finish one journey and begin another one . The learning process never ends , but keeps going until our last breath is taken . 


Our Faith keeps us strong and on the right path . 

What is my journey now ? I can only place my trust in God and take one step at a time in the direction He leads me . 



Trust , Trust ..... Where Art Thou?

    This being my second time around , I find people asking me primarily the same question . ......Is it the same ? Is it the same chemo type ? Are you feeling the same ? Are you having the same side effects ? etc, etc, etc . It's basically the same question . How is it like now ?
    There are more differences than similarities . I'm not even sure if there are any similarities other then the fact that I have the same cancer . Before , I dealt with my spiritual side . The part that was missing.....lacking in my life . Now it seems I'm dealing with my personality......my character.....the type of person I am . Or want to become .
    I have been walking around doing all the right things : going to church , bible study , volunteering , trying to behave in Christ-like way . I have seen a change in me and others have too. I haven't really gotten where I want to be . In fact , I have found I have a lot of flaws in me . It seems I have been working on the big things , but there are other things maybe not that noticeable to me . The key phrase here is " noticeable to me ".
   Yes , things are different now , only on the surface . For instance : the old me would have fought if confronted , blocked , hurt . Now ? My son says it best : I want peace at all cost . I will sweep it under , walk around it or  walk out the door before I have to deal with it . I do not want to deal with  anything . I want a peaceful existence . Or am I more afraid of the old me coming back ?
    So have I really changed ? Or have I just changed the way I handle things ? Again , I started writing about one thing and something else is coming out . God is so funny at times .
     Another thing I have noticed is that I put things off.....things that I don't like to do...unpleasant things . Or I break off personal relationships before they get serious because somehow I'm psychic and I can look into the future and see it will never work out .
      Boy , I'm really messed up . It really is all the same thing . I'm scared . I'm scared of my old-self coming back . I'm scared of getting hurt in a relationship...being taken for a fool . I'm scared of trusting . That's what this is all about....TRUST.
     Don't we all say , "I trust in the Lord" or " leave it with Him", but do we really ? I know I have a hard time with trust . I did an exercise on trust with my Sunday School Class once where they had to fall back and have their partner catch them from behind . I was amazed how these children trusted each other . They were falling back without a moment of doubt . Like a swarm of flies . Why can't I be like that ?Why can't I do that ? I want to let go .
    So is it different this time ? You better believe it . It's alot more personal somehow . All my fears , my vulnerabilities are right here in the open . I feel exposed before God. I am a Christian and I'm afraid to let go ....completely let go .
   I think I just found what my journey is all about.

Have a Blessed day everyone . 

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Praying Warriors

"Well , then you won't have to do a thing . We'll do it for you . We're going to pray . We're going to pray all night . I'm going to call everybody I know who can pray . We're going to do this for you . You won't have to do a thing . "
Excerpt from 90 Minutes In Heaven

Prayer is an awesome antidote to any problem . Get a group of people to pray for you or over you and immediately you feel safer and calmer to handle any situation  . You know He got this .

During my stay in the hospital , I had many prayer warriors . Some of them I've never even met . They all prayed for me and continue to do so . 

Joey would call me every morning with the question of the day :
" What are we trying to accomplish today , mom  ? "

I would tell him of the latest medical problem I was facing and he would pray right over the phone with me . Somehow , I always felt comforted when he prayed , as if he had special favors with God . Silly , isn't it ? 

Friends and family hate to see their loved ones in distress of any kind . A dear friend once said to me :
" Lottie , I wish each of us could take an hour of your pain so you could just rest . " 

Prayer warriors  . . . . . I believe we call them that , because prayer is a fierce weapon against all evil whether it is in the form of health issues , personal issues or financial issues . Prayer is a comfort to those in need . 

I remember that time very well . I remember the love I felt , the comfort that others provided and that I never knew I craved . I'm really enjoying this book once again . Sometimes , we just need to re-visit where we  have been , just to appreciate where we are now . 

Have a Blessed day everyone . 

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Oh , That Awful Pain !

I'm sure I whimpered , moaned , or even screamed several times during the rest of the torturous ride . The vehicle rocked back and forth , in and out of traffic, and the entire time the siren blared . It was the most painful , nightmarish trip of my life .
excerpt from 90 Minutes In Heaven

I remember the pain very well . There are no words that can describe the pain that was associated with my cancer . Those first hospital stays will reside in my mind until my last breath . It is a reminder to me of who I was then , where I was  and I never want to go there again . 

My first set of doctors and hospital were a lot to be desired and after the second surgery  and poor neglect on their part , my family decided to transfer me  to Rush Presbyterian . I never understood the importance of choosing a doctor  and a hospital . I thought they were all expected to provide the best care imaginable to patients . I was so naive .

I had so many monitors , tubes and wires attached to me that it took the EMT over an hour to untangle me from the mess . When they moved me to the stretcher , I lay surrounded by monitors , barely any room for me . 

That ambulance ride will be etched in my mind forever . My sister-in-law rode in the front with the driver  and I could hear her talk nonchalantly about sports . My meds were wearing off and I needed another dosage . Perfectly on time as the ambulance drove off . 

The drive to Rush  was no different than the excerpt above . I couldn't have described it better if I tried . At every jolt , I felt like the monitors would surely knock this stretcher down , as they tipped and rocked . All through this pain , I heard my sister-in-law chatting and I wanted to scream out at her to stop , because I was hurting . 

I felt as if I was being punished for every sinful act I had done . A purgatory purge of my soul through this illness . I accepted every single tinge of pain as the cleansing that  needed to be done . It was the longest ride of my life and I thought we would never get there . 

Rush was expecting me and they wheeled me into a private room where the EMT's lifted my lightweight body onto the bed as if I were a mere feather . There was a doctor there that gave me a shot and to this day , I can't remember his name . I always referred to him as my pain doctor . For the first time in a month , I finally felt numbness and the pain subsided for awhile . It was awesome . 

My care changed dramatically upon arrival to Rush . There were many challenges , but the staff provided me with the best of care possible and that made a huge difference . I will never forget those people , they became my second family . 

It's experiences such as these that keep me humble . I never want to forget them . 

Have a Blessed day everyone . 




Monday, August 18, 2014

Blah Monday

I almost forgotten it was Monday .

 Last night , I opted to go to bed early since fighting sleep was tiresome in itself . Slept like a baby all night , waking early , but lounging in bed until mid-morning . 

Sometimes , a person just needs to lounge in bed .

The weekend was filled with heartbreaking news of sudden death in a friend's family : A family member going through an illness : A family dispute keeping everyone apart : A young woman's  ex-boyfriend in a new relationship : A friend's loneliness as she celebrates her dead husband's birthday . 

Now it's Monday . 

With a heavy heart and a solemn expression , I get up from bed to make coffee . My heart is just not in it . If I could stay home I would . I don't want to talk to anyone nor deal with their petty , idiotic behavior . 

People have real problems and it breaks my heart that they have to go through them . Moments like these are better for being still and not saying anything . Let the calmness and comfort of God's love blanket us in His loving arms . Close your eyes and allow yourself to feel that love . We all need to feel that love right now  .

Blah Monday .

I have no encouraging , inspiring stories today . Today , there are people suffering real emotions and I have no way of comforting them . I can only pray for them . 

I can only take comfort in the knowledge that there are reasons that I can't even comprehend for what is happening . Something good will come from all of this . I have to believe that . I have to show faith and hope . 

Walking out the door for work , I know it will be difficult today to smile , to deal , but each step I take , a friend will come with me .

Will you walk with me , Jesus ?

Have a Blessed day everyone . 




Sunday, August 17, 2014

Cancer , My Pal ?

I miss my treatment time . Strange , isn't it ? Hard to believe that I would miss something that held so much pain for me in the past . I have come full circle with my illness , accepting the life I am forced to lead . Why not extend my hand in friendship to this monster called cancer . 

Every two or three weeks , depending on the type of treatment , I would pack my chemo bag from Phil's Friends and head out early in the morning for my treatment . At that time  , I was still on third shift and I would quickly stop by the apartment after work , grab my bag and fight the early morning traffic to get to my appointment . I rarely made it on time . 

The length of my stay didn't matter to me at all . In fact , the later the better . While others would grow impatient with the waiting , the tests , the examinations and finally the treatment itself , I welcomed it  . 

My trusty chemo bag held all I needed for a day of relaxation . Puzzles magazines , books to read , even a bible study workbook , fruit and veggie snacks to munch on kept me occupied . Let's not forget my    yarn , which all the nurses wanted to know what I was currently working on . 

The last two bouts with cancer , I opted not to have a chemo partner to go with me and I'm glad for it . I much preferred the quiet time and often felt dismayed if a chatty roommate appeared . The phone never rang , because everyone knew I needed my sleep .

Since I was still working , this quiet , relaxing time was something I ended up looking forward to and enjoyed regardless of the side     effects . 

On the plus side , I think the treatment also made me feel more secure , safer knowing that my cancer was bombarded with ammunition on a regular basis . It could only retreat , right ? 

Have  a Blessed day everyone . 


Saturday, August 16, 2014

Love Thy Neighbor

I gazed at all the faces again as I realized that they all had contributed to my becoming a Christian or had encouraged me in my  growth as a believer .
excerpt from 90 Minutes In Heaven . 

The same thing happened now as it did almost eight years ago . That darn book that I started reading back then out of sheer boredom , was holding my attention once more . I couldn't just read through the chapter , but had to put it down and think . . . . . and think I did  . 

Who would meet me in Heaven ? Who would be the first person to walk up and embrace me ? Would I be surprised by the people that made it to Heaven ? How about the ones who didn't ? 

I am aware of the impact the people around me have on my life , but do I know of my impact on theirs ? 

We go about our daily life unaware of how we affect the people around us . How many times have I ruined someone's day by rude , careless , tactless and hurtful words ? Have I ever changed a person's life for the worse , because of my behavior towards them ? 
I think that would be the hardest to bear . 

I walk around thinking I'm encouraging others , especially women , but I know that I can be  insensitive and hurtful at times . We really don't see all the cracks and flaws in the mirror . If we do , we  make excuses for them . 

I remember the hurts that were thrown my way, but most of all , I remember believing them  . I remember how hard it can be to get over them . If only we paid more attention to how we speak to each other . 

I want to bring people to Christ by my actions , not drive them in the opposite direction . Sometimes we need a reality check into our behavior . None of us are perfect people in nature , but we need to be as close as we can in the way we interact with others . 

So the next time we offend another person , please Lord , provide us with the courage to say " I'm sorry ".

Have a Blessed day everyone .




Friday, August 15, 2014

Simply Simplification

I have learned in my lifetime that when your house is falling apart to the ground , sometimes it's better to just knock it down to it's foundation and begin anew . 

Since I have begun this journey of renewal , I've looked back at various parts of my life to see what is working and what isn't . This evaluation has led me to change my course of direction . I have no desire to patch things up , I'd rather start fresh . 

The foundation is solid and strong . Why not keep it and rebuild with simplification in mind . I've always been a wash and wear type of woman , opting for my feet to be planted on solid ground rather then the air or water . Airing out the closet and clearing up the clutter to live more simply . Isn't that how I began way back ?

Somewhere along the way , I have strayed from my path  onto a more grandeur journey . One that has left me feeling empty and unfulfilled . Sometimes retracing our steps  is the only way to move forward . 

I've been meaning to go back and re-read 90 Minutes In Heaven for years now . The first time I read it was really more because of             boredom , being stuck in the hospital . Spiritual books did not interest me , especially the self-help types . That's how I viewed this particular title . 

Little did I know , that this book would literally change my life . Every page I read , I felt I was experiencing myself , as I laid in the hospital bed fighting for my own life . It was instrumental to the changes I have made in my own life . It set me onto this new journey that has led me here . 

As I read each paragraph , I found myself drifting back to that time , my mind flooded with assorted memories  and emotions running high . This is not a book one can fast forward on . You have to stop , think , analyze and move on . I can see this will take awhile . 

Have a Blessed day everyone . 


Thursday, August 14, 2014

Throwback Thursday

I have told the following story many times and it has remained one of my favorites . It tells of the beginning of my love for crocheting and the Ministry I've founded . 


It also tells how a hobby we love can become a therapeutic , healing process during one's crisis in life . As Joni says , let your trials become your friend .


 Something good can come out of a pile of dead ashes  . A rebirth occurs as we rise     up . 




Blanket Therapy

   One of my vices in the early days of my cancer was crocheting . When you spend alot of time in the hospital you develop their schedule . You end up sleeping in  short naps through out the day . When you go home the schedule stays with you for awhile . Its very hard to shake it off . You're awake at all odd hours .
    I started crocheting making blankets .Called it my cancer therapy . At that time it was very close to Thanksgiving . I decided to make a blanket for everyone in the family for Christmas . I wanted everyone in my family to have something of mine to look  and remember me  by . From Thanksgiving to Christmas , I made 11 blankets . It kept me occupied during my healing process . I also played alot of computer games .
     Well , my blanket therapy expanded to friends , baby showers and donations to charities like Mary's Room . Funny enough , people started giving me yarn to make blankets for others . One goal for this Christmas  is to donate to a Nursing Home . Whenever my donation of yarn would start dwindling someone would always drop off some yarn without my asking . God's provision never stops to amaze me .
      It's amazing what a simple blanket does to a person . It seems to make people feel loved . Whenever I would present someone with my blanket they would be so touched . I never quite understood the impact it made . Maybe it was the idea of someone thinking of them and making a personalized gift just for them . The fact that someone took the time to make something . All homemade things make us feel like that .
      If there is anyone who may need a blanket let me know . I would be honored to make one .If anyone would like to donate yarn I would be so grateful .
      My dream.......to make slipper booties for all the children at St. Jude's . Who knows ? Dreams come true . you know .

Have a Blessed day everyone . 

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Prelude

We walked and talked for about an hour . Despite the cold , rainy weather , we had a wonderful time together . J.V. remembers that time well . So do I , but for  a different  reason ; It would be the last time I would ever walk normally . 
excerpt from 90 Minutes In Heaven . 

One of my favorite Disney Princesses has been Belle from Beauty and the Beast , because of the library scene . How could I not love a princess who loved books ? 

Over the years , I have collected various books in the hopes of having a library like the one in the movie . When we moved into the    apartment  , we had to get rid of many of these same books I've cherished due to space issues . 

This morning , I experienced a strong desire to read something , an actual book that I could hold in my hands . I reached into the shelf that stands in the living room  , overflowing with books and pulled out the first one my fingers touched  . 

90 Minutes In Heaven . 

When I read the above excerpt , my mind drifted to the weeks before my cancer diagnosis . . . . before I even knew I had cancer , trying to remember what or how I was feeling at that time . 

I remember that I could actually feel the tumor inside of me whenever I touched my stomach . I had problems going to the bathroom and took several laxatives to no avail . 

I remember people asking me if I was feeling okay , because I looked sickly having lost weight . I remember one of them asking me to see a doctor and as I swiped off at work for the day  . . . . I turned to her and said :

I'm going today and I will tell you all about it tonight at work . 

I never came  to work that night . Regardless , of all the symptoms I've listed and actually feeling that 7 lb. tumor , I never felt afraid or that any of this was serious . I never would have imagined that I had cancer . 

To this day , whenever I run into that same co-worker , I am reminded of that scene . 

Take good care of yourself everyone and have a Blessed day everyone . 



Monday, August 11, 2014

Inspiring Monday

Another Monday , another week . A person can really become quickly depressed  , as we head out into the work world . If you are just like  me , you have to dig real deep to become motivated for the work week ahead . 

We all experience moments of drought and this has certainly been a very dry season for me . Mondays have never seem so dreary as they do now . The urge to stay inside where we are safe is overwhelmingly appealing . 

I look for inspiration all around me , for that one thing that would awaken the ambitious career-minded woman in me . It becomes harder every week . 

Inspiration exists inside all the strong men and women who have come before us , along side of us and after us . They live incredibly difficult lives  and yet they get up every morning and live . 

Their heads may hang lower than normal , but the motivating factor in their life propels them to move forward  and overcome odds to achieve their goals . 

This past Sunday , Emily and I were watching a foreign documentary about a young woman who came to New York city with her husband and two children from Columbia . After only one week in the U.S. , the husband heads out to  Miami for work , never to be seen again . He knowingly abandons his family and she is left on the streets with nowhere to go . 

This documentary tells a story of this young mom and the choices she had to make to provide for her children . A very inspiring and admirable struggle of life . The young daughter grew up to be a writer and film maker and she dedicated this film in honor of her mom . In fact , both the children grew up to be very successful professional people . 

Sometimes , the inspiration we seek can be found in the faces in the midst of the crowds we walk in everyday . The person we accidentally bump into could have an inspirational story to tell of his or her life . That rude remark came from a struggle they're experiencing rather than their upbringing . 

Have a Blessed day everyone . 


Sunday, August 10, 2014

Growing New Skin

What do people gain from all their labors at which they toil under the sun?Ecclesiastes 1:3

The problem with standing still is that one's skin is busy shedding during that process , trying desperately to burst forth as something     new . 

So how am I to stand still ? Am I ready to be calm ? To be peaceful in nature and patience  ? 

I'm not exactly sure I can do that . Being still is not one of my greatest talents . 

It's been difficult trying to fit in , finding a place where I can be part of a team that accepts me . 

Always doing what is best for others , rather than doing what is best for me . 

So many setbacks this year . People leaving , criticizing my efforts , as I desperately cling to my self worth . 

I don't need your pat on my back . I no longer am looking for that special invite into your clique . 

I may have been on my knees , hurt , broken and crying , but I shall rise a stronger woman , because I am growing new skin . 

I will be still and I will rest my soul as I refresh my abilities as a leader . Do not mistake my inactivity as weakness . 

I am a mother .

I am a writer .

I am a ministry leader . 

I am a child of God . 

I am a success . 

Just wait until you see my new skin . 

Have a Blessed day everyone . 


Saturday, August 9, 2014

Finding Peace

When one is looking for peace , trouble finds you instead . 

Isn't that the truth ! What does it mean to find peace ? I think we all have our own definition of what peace looks like in our lives  . We're all looking for peace , I know I definitely am .

Sitting at the kitchen table , supper all ready ,  we bowed our heads for prayer  . It has become a tradition ,  giving thanks  and the reading of two random bible verses , then we eat . 

As I prayed , I gave thanks to God for the peace in our lives . Little did I know that our peace would be disrupted for the remainder of the day . 

This weekend the Village Festival reigned supremacy in our neighborhood  , which Emily and I participated in with gusto . We are very  fortunate to be so close to the village circle  where we can partake in events all within walking distance  . Others are not that        lucky . 

Cars lined our side streets in every available space as people parked and walked to the festival . As we sat and ate our supper , our peace was invaded . It wasn't the festivities , but a blasted car alarm that kept going off continuously ( and still is ) with  the proud owners enjoying themselves at the fest . 

We were lucky , once again , to have the car parked right in front our windows  . I thought I would lose my mind today . The tenant above us , threw something out the window . I really don't blame him , I was tempted to clap  and cheer him on  . 

I couldn't believe what was happening as my patience grew thinner and thinner and  the hours ticked away . I work hard all week and look forward to my weekends . I spent the morning dropping off supplies for my ministry ladies . In the afternoon , we walked and enjoyed the festival . 

We just wanted to enjoy the rest of the day in peace . Now , five hours later , where is that peace ? It's  gone  , right along with my mind . 

Wait ! It stopped ! Praise God , they finally came and it stopped !!!
After all these hours of that blaring noise , the quiet is so sweet . Yes , I have found my peace . 

Have a Blessed day everyone . 

Friday, August 8, 2014

Carrying My Cross

Cancer is not my cross . My cross to bear is my attitude  . Treat your trials as your friends .

Not sure where I read this or who said it , but it is so very true . Recently , I have been reviewing some old blogs to post on Thursdays and making an update on each one . 

In doing so , I have discovered what a dark time that was for me . Even though , Cancer was not new to me , ( my second bout ) I still experienced a downfall mentally regarding it . I knew it then , yet I didn't feel I could be totally honest with my feelings . 

You see , people tend to view sad and depressing emotional outbursts as signs of defeat . They feel as if one is on the point of despair and ready to plunge either into suicide or a mental decline . Even now , I can see all of you disagreeing with me , but I have been there with no one to cry to my deepest innermost feelings . When I cried , I was told to stay positive , because that was the key for my cure . 

Sometimes , all a person may want is to voice their frustrations out loud  to a sympathetic individual . That is all . Having a good cry releases all the pent up tension that we are feeling . Someone understands . Someone cares  . So , go ahead and have that good cry , just don't forget to get back up  again . 

I am glad to report that my spirits have definitely changed since then . I have accepted my disease as my friend , something to learn from instead of hate . There has been so much good that came from it , how can I detest it ? 

Have a Blessed day everyone . 

Thursday, August 7, 2014

-Throwback Thursday

   Today's look into the past blog , made me smile . -After 4 1/2 years of being   cancer free , it really was a shock when it   returned . Dealing with it was not something I did great as you can see in these couple of stories come every Thursday . I thought I was rid of it for good and the aftermath was no better . 


Nowadays , I almost welcome it . There is a certain  calmness that I have adapted toward it . When I go for treatment , I think of it as my spa day bringing with me my yarn , books and crosswords . I have my chemo bag ready just for these occasions filled with my goodies . I spend the day relaxing away from everyone and everything . The phone never rings on my chemo day . 



Mirror , Mirror on The Wall

  One of my hardest struggles didn't really come from the actual treatments of my cancer . They came from dealing with the aftermath of having cancer . There is nothing worse than going through a major struggle in your life and you defeat it expecting your life to go back to normal ......and it doesn't .
   Instead, you look in the mirror and see a stranger . Here I have had 4 children and always been thin . This cancer I have gained 80 lbs. My hair was different color and texture . Then there is the different person you are on the inside .
    This was a  major challenge for me . This is another reason why I am so upset this time around . I was just getting used to the " new " me and now I have to erase the slate and start all over . I have gained  7 lbs already. I don't want to go thru that all over again . I don't want to rediscover myself .
   Now I know what you all are thinking and I certainly don't want any emails about how my appearance doesn't matter . I understand all that  but lets be honest , folks , we all have a problem with how we look . Each of us would love to change something about our appearance .
   I don't need to go back to my original  " look ". I'm not that person anymore on the inside  but  I would like to meet somewhere in the middle . I guess , I just don't want to start all over again . I don't want to gain anymore weight . I was happy with the way I was looking. I feel I worked real hard to get to that point and it was for nothing .
   Don't get me wrong , its just my weight. When you've been thin all of your life and then suddenly you're like the opposite its very difficult to deal with .I would be happy with some weight loss . I don't need to be a size 4...I can be a size 12 instead . I do love my curves just not so much of it .

Wednesday, August 6, 2014

Who Am I ?

Can you dare to find joy in who you are today?
Holley Gerth

It seems I'm on a new journey rediscovering who I am now . It's funny to me , since it seems that not too long ago I made the same journey , but on a different path . 

Is that what life is ? A series of pathways where we re-discovers ourselves over and over again ? 

I find myself in a deeply dense forest , over-populated with thick foliage , shrubbery and slippery moss . Which way to go ? I have no idea . Each path seems dangerous . Dare I risk it all and take that path ? Maybe , it's best to settle down and make camp where I am for now  . 

Be still and know I am God . 

My mind has been swirling with indecision . Waiting on God can take quite awhile . Maybe God is waiting for me to make that move on my own ? 

It's that indecisiveness that makes me want to just wait . Last thing I want to do is become impulsive and make a mistake that will cost me more than I am willing to lose . 

All I know is that I want to leave the path I am on now . I'm not happy , feeling more like I'm out of sync and I need to get back in touch with who I am . 

Be still and know I am God . 

1You have searched me, Lord,
and you know me.
2You know when I sit and when I rise;
you perceive my thoughts from afar.
3You discern my going out and my lying down;
you are familiar with all my ways.
4Before a word is on my tongue
you, Lord, know it completely.
5You hem me in behind and before,
and you lay your hand upon me.
6Such knowledge is too wonderful for me,

too lofty for me to attain.

Who else knows my heart better than I ? Only You , Lord . Lead me onto this new path I am to take . Let me take your hand as you You lead me into discovering who I am next . 

Have a Blessed day everyone  . 


Tuesday, August 5, 2014

A Midlife Crisis

I'm almost fifty and I believe I'm going through a midlife crisis of some sort . The life of a recluse is more appealing to me as time goes by . My rose colored glasses have been tinted for a long time and in their reflection images of Sodom and Gomorrah reside . 

This is how I view the world . 

I feel like an outsider looking in , trying to fit myself into this equation called life . I am displeased , dissatisfied and disappointed with everything that surrounds me . Could I be living in the wrong place , in the wrong time ?

My friends tell me that I could be going through menopause .        Menopause ? 

When I was 42 years of age , I was diagnosed with ovarian cancer , which resulted in a hysterectomy . Chemotherapy followed and soon after that , I experienced my first night sweats and hot flashes . At first , I didn't realize what was happening until I added two and two together . Menopause has struck ! 

I read later that chemotherapy brings out your hot flashes , but that has been the extend of my symptoms . Do I believe this can be the cause of my emotional state ? Maybe , I'm not ruling it out . 

I've always thought that this feeling of dissatisfaction came from my spiritual side . As my spiritual side grew , I changed on the inside , trying to adjust to the secular world I have been residing in . 

Another thought was that maybe my heart was thirsty for another level of spirituality . I needed to spend more time with God  . I felt burnt out and perhaps a much needed rest from volunteering was in order . 

At the same time , a change occurred in my career . For a very long time now , I haven't been happy at work . I have been making the best of it  , putting on a smile and dealing with all the negativity . 

You see , I believe all of the above is correct . Menopause and the approaching age of fifty marks that the first half of my life is over . I want to shed my cocoon and reside elsewhere a whole new me . 

I have no desire to put on a brave face or a happy smile . 

I'm tired of being the one who always says " I'm sorry " just to keep the peace  . 

Maybe what I'm really tired of is making concessions for others while no one considers me . 


So , you see . . . . .
I'm almost fifty and I believe I'm going through a midlife crisis of some sort . The life of a recluse is more appealing to me as time goes by . My rose colored glasses have been tinted for a long time . . . . .  . 

Have a Blessed day everyone . 

Monday, August 4, 2014

Mission Monday

It's the first Monday in August . Can you believe it ? In a week or two , school will begin for majority of the children  . The weather will be slowly cooling off , as one season winds down and another prepares it's grand entrance . It seems the glory days of summer are almost over .

In the last couple of years , a rise in community social gatherings has occurred , especially within Churches . Groups have been forming to reach out into their surrounding neighborhoods for a game of softball , game day Fridays , picnics , family fests and even camping . 

People are trying to make an impression , a change  , reaching out to others who may be searching for something better . A message is sent signifying that change can be good and it can be fun , so why not come out and join us . 

Monday has come to mean a new beginning and even on the radio , people are encouraged to pay it forward somehow today . Pay someone's toll in front of you . Hold the door open or help carry packages to someone's car . 

Mission Monday : How are you planning to change the world today ? This week ? What is your good deed for this week ?

For someone like me , who seems to be shying away from people , this is an encouragement . At times  , it seems there is more evil than good in this world . There is hope , a light is shining , so let's pick up that torch .

Have a Blessed day everyone . 


Sunday, August 3, 2014

Hope

HOPE IS THE BEST OF THINGS  AND A GOOD THING NEVER DIES .
JONI

Where would I be without hope ? Hope has kept me moving forward even when a thick fog appeared and only a small glimmer of light could be seen . 

Hope has gotten me through difficult times during work hours . Everyday , I walk through those pathways that lead throughout the building of the packaging floor . I brave a smile when that is the last thing I am feeling on the inside . A stirring of hope flickers can be seen in my eyes as I drift off into wonderland dreaming of one day leaving . 

Hope provides me with a desire to keep on living even when the cancer refuses to abandon my body . Sleep on , little cancer cells , sleep on , because hope never dies . 

Hope fills my brain with memories of visits gone by , every tear stained blessed event etched forever in my mind . Oh , how I cherish every memory . The tantrums along with the laughter . One day to be present in the boredom of their everyday lives  . 

Hope is a wish waiting , a dream on the brink of completion . It is the ray of sunshine on a bleak cold day filled with despair . It offers comfort when sadness stands near . 

Someone loves us ! Someone cares ! Someone will be there to hold us close once again !

Hope is the best of things and a good thing never dies !

Have a Blessed day everyone .

Saturday, August 2, 2014

I Am Enough

Every time I step into the
corridors of my work place ,
where my cheek is turned 
constantly from side to side ,
I pray to the Almighty 
to let me know that
I am enough .

When old friends leave 
a lasting scar upon my heart ,
when their words are
bitter with venom , 
as they speak my name , 
I pray , Lord Jesus ,
to let me know
I am enough .

When the diagnosis 
is a grim one ,
as the doctor puts away 
the chart with a 
somber look in his eye ,
I pray Heavenly Father 
that I know 
I am enough .

As I watch the evening 
news unfold with each 
horrifying event after
another the sad stories ,
brother killing brother ,
I pray to God 
that I know 
I am enough .

As  I look in the mirror ,
seeing all the hills and valleys 
staring back at me . 
When others say 
I'm too fat or 
not pretty enough , 
I pray to the One 
who made me 
let me remember that
I am enough .

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 ...