Posts

Showing posts from August, 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…

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 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 b…

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 . Wh…

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 ! …

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 pres…

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 associa…

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 sid…

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 tha…

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 an…

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 t…

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…

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…

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 b…

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 meani…

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 hav…

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…

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 ab…

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 …

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 suppe…

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 …

-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 g…

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…

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 ha…

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 …

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 …

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 .