Tuesday, September 30, 2014

All Is Well With My Soul

A few months ago , I visited a Church near my home , one that I've been meaning to check out for awhile now . It's good to go out and see how other Churches operate and maybe gain another perspective on things . This one I really liked .

At the end of the service , the following song was played accompanied only on piano . I really loved the way they presented it to the congregation by first telling us about the author . 

When we sang it , I cannot express the oneness I experienced with the Lord . Tears came pouring down my face freely as I loved and was loved in return . 

That's what has been missing within my heart , that spiritual awakening and closeness with God . I hope you enjoy this as much as I did . 

This hymn was written after traumatic events in Spafford’s life. The first was the death of their only son from Scarlet Fever in 1870. Second was the 1871 Great Chicago Fire which ruined him financially (he had been a successful lawyer and had invested significantly in property in the area of Chicago which was decimated by the great fire). His business interests were further hit by the economic downturn of 1873 at which time he had planned to travel to Europe with his family on the SS Ville du Havre. In a late change of plan, he sent the family ahead while he was delayed on business concerning zoning problems following the Great Chicago Fire. While crossing the Atlantic, the ship sank rapidly after a collision with a sea vessel, theLoch Earn, and all four of Spafford's daughters died. His wife Anna survived and sent him the now famous telegram, "Saved alone …". Shortly afterwards, as Spafford traveled to meet his grieving wife, he was inspired to write these words as his ship passed near where his daughters had died.[3]

It Is Well With My Soul
(Original lyrics)[1]by: Horatio Spafford
When peace like a river, attendeth my way,
When sorrows like sea billows roll;
Whatever my lot, Thou hast taught me to know,a
It is well, it is well, with my soul.
It is well, (it is well),
With my soul, (with my soul)
It is well, it is well, with my soul.
Though Satan should buffet, though trials should come,
Let this blest assurance control,
That Christ has regarded my helpless estate,
And hath shed His own blood for my soul.
My sin — oh, the bliss of this glorious thought! —
My sin — not in part but the whole, —
Is nailed to the cross, and I bear it no more,
Praise the Lord, praise the Lord, O my soul!
For me, be it Christ, be it Christ hence to live:
If Jordan above me shall roll,
No pang shall be mine, for in death as in life,
Thou wilt whisper Thy peace to my soul.
But Lord, 'tis for Thee, for Thy coming we wait,
The sky, not the grave, is our goal;
Oh, trump of the angel! Oh, voice of the Lord!
Blessed hope, blessed rest of my soul.
And Lord, haste the day when my faith shall be sight,
The clouds be rolled back as a scroll;
The trump shall resound, and the Lord shall descend,
A song in the night, oh my soulb
a "know" (at the end of the third line) was changed to "say".
b "A song in the night, oh my soul" (last line)
was changed to "Even so, it is well with my soul".

Have a Blessed day everyone .

Monday, September 29, 2014

A Monday's Change

When we change our words, we change our hearts. And when we change our hearts, we can change our world.

Jennifer Dukes Lee

This past weekend , I found an article on how we need to change our view regarding our work life . It seems that there are more people who dislike their jobs than ever before . The article focused on how we need to adjust our attitudes when we can't afford to change our careers . 

Easier said than done . If you're like me , work is work . It is  a place we go to make a living salary . We have more bad days  than good , but we make it through somehow and look forward to the weekends . This does not define who we are , it is just an extension of us . 

I have been with the same company for nineteen years . It's difficult to get excited  when we've done it all , said it all and worked with all . Everything is the same , it just has a new name slapped on it . 

The article was a very hard read for me  in the sense that it could actually work . I don't believe in instant  therapy . Things take time and that goes for how we feel regarding our jobs . Adjusting our minds and hearts is not something that can be done in a snap . At least not for    me . 

I need to examine why am I feeling in a particular way . Could I change some of my circumstances by a shift change or a department change ? Maybe I need to address a situation in a better way ? There are things we can do to make life at work more satisfying , but it all requires time and patience  . 

I know I go in everyday with a smile on my face ready for what the day may bring . Situations happen , people's moods happen , management decisions happen and quickly my smile fades away . I try to adjust that attitude daily , because even though  I may not care for the job I'm doing , I care how I do my job . 

It's Monday , and we're heading out again , leaving our families and the sanctity of our homes to provide for our loved ones . If there is ever anyway to lift our spirits while doing so , let's think of them every time  work becomes a chore or a challenge . Isn't this why we  go out there in the first place ?

Have a Blessed day everyone . 

Sunday, September 28, 2014

Who Me ?

I'm glad they've been heartened by my example , but I've had a great deal of difficulty accepting myself as a source of inspiration and courage . I don't know how to cope with their admiration  and praise , because  I didn't do anything .
Excerpt from 90 Minutes in Heaven .

I can remember when Joey mentioned me on his radio program for the first time , announcing my cancer . It set off an interest that has always amazed me . The following Mother's Day , he made a CD of all the call-ins  that were made in reference to my well-being . 

Why ? Majority of his listeners were women and I had ovarian cancer . Women wanted to know , needed to know . It could have been any of them  . This curiosity regarding women's health has followed me all of these years wherever I go . It makes no difference if we are at work or in a hospital , fellow women approach me with various questions . 

I never thought that my journey could inspire or encourage anyone 
   else . After all , I've never professed myself as having all the right answers . I've struggled and continue to struggle in acceptance of the life that cancer has made for me . I didn't choose it , it chose me .

I'm always caught off guard whenever approached by someone who reads this blog . I seem to forget that people actually read it . It has become a therapeutic journal of my daily life . I share my thoughts , my struggles and my beliefs , laying them open for everyone to see . 

The same goes for my Crocheting Ministry . This is a passion , a love story of sorts , that provides so much joy within my heart .  How can this be a selfless act ? It can't , it gives me too much pleasure . 

I guess we go through struggles so we can share and help others to feel they are not alone . It is normal to cry , to have a pity party and even be angry . I did all three just in these past two weeks . 

As women , we need to encourage each other instead of tearing each other apart . There's too much of that out there . So am I an         inspiration ? I certainly hope so , but so are you . We all have that within us . How we behave affects others . It can be good or it can be bad . Let's make it good . 

Have a Blessed day everyone . 

Saturday, September 27, 2014

A Long Recovery

During that long recovery , I learned a lot about myself , about my attitude and my nature . I didn't like many things I saw in Don Piper .                                                                                                        Excerpt from 90 Minutes in Heaven .

There's nothing like an illness or a trial to bring out the very best and the very worst in us . We all want to boast of the transformation that has the positive effect on our life , but the worst we want to bury forever . It's difficult to acknowledge the bad parts within ourselves . 

I can vividly remember the first time I became aware that my attitude and behavior has changed since the illness . . . . . for the better . A friend of ours , that I haven't seen for awhile , came up to me full of compliments on the " new me " . 

" The new me ? " , I inquired with a puzzled look on my face . 

" Yes , you're more easygoing , carefree and happy now . You were so angry before " , she remarked .

Let me tell you , I almost flipped with shock . 

We have this picture of ourselves in our heads and somehow , it's always a great picture . When my friend made that remark , the image of myself , shattered to a million pieces  . I realized that maybe , I wasn't such a good person before my cancer  . That alone , was a huge pill for me to swallow . 

How do we come to terms with the ugly that lives inside of us ? We face it head on . Accept that we did the ugly . Forgive ourselves for the ugly and move on . 

These seven years with cancer have  certainly taught me a lot about myself  , but I also know , that I have a lot more to learn . There will be times that I will see a smile in my own reflection in the mirror , but I also will see some tears . The whole point is to better ourselves , so I'm sure there will be more skeletons that will get rattled in this closet . 

None of us are born perfect in every way . We constantly have to work on ourselves . Every treatment I have undergone came with a whole set of different emotions that I never knew took residence  inside of 
me . 

What emotion will I experience next ? Who knows ? !Whatever it is , I'm ready as I ever will be . Life is hard , we can at least learn something while living it . 

Have a Blessed day everyone . 

Thursday, September 25, 2014

Throwback Thursday

It's been a very trying week with the arthritis in my leg acting up making it very difficult to walk , climb stairs and even sleep at night . I'm looking forward to the weekend

The following story made me smile , which I badly needed .       Sometimes , things happen the other way we may want them to for a reason  . God may have a better idea . This obviously was the case 

here . 

Looking back , I can  see the small indications of how my Crocheting Ministry was formed bit by bit . 

This Is The Story

This is the story of a couple of blankets that I made last year  , actually it might be longer than that . I started a project where I would make blankets for the nursing home . I gave myself a deadline of Christmas which at that time wasn't more than 6 months away or so . Not much time , I know .

The game plan was for my neice Kathy to take her daughter and their tiny doggie (Jackie ) to entertain the seniors and to pass out the blankets . After leaving several messages , we found that no one was calling us back . Christmas came and went  and still no call back . It seemed no one was interested in what we were offering . 

I was extremely disappointed . Maybe , my blankets were just too plain and simple for the city . In a situation like this , your  self-esteem plummets downward .

A few months pass and my Joe ends up speaking at Farmer City Nursing Home . A light bulb appears above my head and the next time I see him , I hand over my stack of blankets for him to deliver to this nursing home . 

Now , what I'm about to tell you next will place my son in an unfavorable light . Just remember that he is a MAN . I believe it might have been at my chemo party that I asked him if he delivered them .

Oh yes , the children made cards and presented them to the seniors along with the blankets .

Last July , we all went on vacation together . As we pulled into their garage , my eyes were drawn to a box that was filled with my blankets . At that moment , I remember faintly hearing excuses being made as I got out of the car and proceeded to stuff as many of the blankets I could into my suitcase . That totaled about two . 

I believe now , that the blankets were meant for a different purpose in a different place . I do have an idea , but I will keep that to myself for now . Yes , I have forgiven my son , after all he is just a man . 

Have a Blessed Week everyone .

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Joey Vs. Emily

I have two children , but I began my reign as a Mother with four . I should say that I have two children now .Two of my sons died within three years of each other . One from S.I.D.S. at the age of almost five months ( sudden infant death syndrome ) and the other of complications from Spinal Bifida at age one month . 

Joey and Emily were born as interlopers between the other two . Joey as a first born and Emily as my third . Never have siblings been so much different in appearance , yet similar in character . The latter they will never admit . 

They have used me like a yoyo between them  since they first laid eyes on each other . A tug of war played out as they both demanded that I choose which one I loved the most . Always rivals , always         competitive . 

Their appearance very different from each other ,  like day and night . A blond and a brunette , both with blue eyes  and tall in height . He's friendly in nature and she quite the opposite , only friendly to some . 

Yet , speak with them on a deeper level regarding faith , love , politics etc. and you can see their unity . This is where one can see they had the same upbringing , the same parent . Ask them separately , a question on marriage or children , they will answer almost identically . 

Of course , they both claim to have been left on the doorstep or adopted . Isn't that how all children feel  ? 

They have spent their childhood fighting terribly with one another and I spent it on my knees praying they would get along . Just as I finally began accepting the fact that it may never happen , I was pleasantly surprised while in the hospital in my early years of my cancer . 

They walked in together , arms linked , holding a picture of them with arms around one  other . Pressing that picture into my hands , their faces gleaming as if really proud of themselves . 

" We spent the whole morning together at the mall and even took a picture in a photo booth " . 

They must have thought I was dying .

 Have a Blessed day everyone .

Monday, September 22, 2014

A Monday Blessing

I ran into my next door neighbor coming up the stairs of our building , limping all the way . She looked tired and bent over slightly , her hair wildly askew , standing there in her bathrobe even though it was mid morning .

"Are you alright , Arlene ? "  I inquired , surprised to see her in this state . Her back went out again and the pain was unbearable , shooting darts up and down her one side . 

" I have something for you , Lottie . " She hands me a large box filled with designer handbags . Astounded , I stared back at her not knowing what to say . 

" Bless someone else with these " , she says . She proceeded to tell me how Blessed she has been all of her life . Even though she wasn't well off , she always felt that God provided for her . Now she wanted to share her blessings with others . 

I couldn't stop thinking about her all  morning . This woman was in constant pain from her back . Her health situation has caused her to be passed over many times career wise , going from one job to another . I'm sure it has affected her lifestyle , as well . 

Yet , she found time to think of others . Many people would look upon this situation and only see their glass as half empty . If only we all saw things things that way . Imagine how much better off we would be  and the positive affect our lives would undergo . 

Blessings are interwoven into our lives with a boomerang effect . What we give out , comes back with even more strength  and so forth and so forth . 

I look down at the beautiful handbags , wanting to keep one for myself . Who wouldn't ? I have to remind myself that there are people out there who have nothing . Or never had anything new or pretty or handmade . We all want to feel like someone cares about us . 

It's Monday , let's go out there and Bless someone ! Have a Blessed day everyone . 

Sunday, September 21, 2014

Love Is Crooked

O love is the crooked thing,
There is nobody wise enough
To find out all that is in it,
For he would be thinking of love
Till the stars had run away


It's been a very trying weekend thus far , where old hurtful feelings have resurfaced bringing painful memories along with it . Some wounds cut very deeply , leaving a lasting scar .

I have been resisting the temptation of retaliation , but it's been 
   difficult , to say the least . The first thing we want to do when feeling hurt is to hurt back . What does that solve ? Absolutely nothing . 

Instead , I have opted to change my mood by praising our Lord . It worked quite well . . . . . yesterday  . . . but it's a different matter today . Today , I'm sitting here pouring out the hurt with my other two 
weapons : writing and crocheting . 

I cannot change people , no matter  how much I may wish I could . There are all kinds of people in this world and love is different with every single one of them . 

Love is not only for two lovers . There are different kinds of loves . The love of a friend . The love of a parent . The love of a passionate 
hobby . Love . 

O , love is the crooked thing . 

The person or people that have hurt me , didn't they love me ? Of course , they did . Then how could they  inflict such pain and walk away without a care to what their words have done . Words and actions hurt , my friends , yet no one wants to claim their ownership . 

We find justification for our behavior by naming every imaginable fault of that person whom we just inflicted pain on so we feel good about our behavior . This is why I did or said what I did , because they are a so and so . 

O love is the crooked thing,
There is nobody wise enough
To find out all that is in it,
For he would be thinking of love
Till the stars had run away 

So yes , the hurt has resurfaced . Their indifference to my hurt an even bigger blow . With time , the pain will cease to matter , the memory fleeting and all emotion gone from it . The search for their " I'm sorry " , no longer prevalent in my life . Forgiveness settling in my heart . 

Have a Blessed day everyone .

Saturday, September 20, 2014

My Partner And I

I have a partner in life 
that follows me around 
wherever I go .
He is always close by , 
never venturing too
far away in case I may
need Him to hold my hand .

You see , life can be very 
hard sometimes and tears will
 fall . He is always near with a
 handkerchief ,  a loving 
embrace or a kind word . 
All I have to do is call out His 
name .

My partner has never disappointed
me nor has He ever been late . 
In fact , He's early  sometimes , 
walking beside me , His hand 
in mine . . . . . .
ready to catch me when I fall . 

I have never seen my partner 
face to face , yet I can tell
He is there . 
His presence is all around me
comforting in every way . 

We speak on a daily basis , 
with so much to tell one 
another , we cannot wait for 
our time together  . 

How can I be sure He is
really listening ? 

All I have to do is 
listen to the sway of the trees
in a soft breeze , 
feel the warmth of the sun
upon my face . 
I can smell the scent of a 
beautiful rose or 
watch the sunset 
at the end of the day . 

My partner is always with 
me wherever I may go . 
He promises to never leave 
me or stop loving me 
as long as I love Him back . 

Have a Blessed day everyone . 

I wrote this little poem after a very disappointing and hurtful event to remind me of what is really important in life . Friends and family may hurt or leave us , but God will always be with us . 

Thursday, September 18, 2014

Throwback Thursday

Baggage : we carry around so much extra stuff around that we become accustom to the weight and it becomes our buddy . When we finally drop that weight  , another form of baggage takes it's place . 

Why do we do that ? Are we so afraid of being happy , thinking we don't deserve to be free  of our chains ?  All of that requires work and for many of us , too much work . Breaking free of our baggage requires 

trust . Are you ready to leave your chains by the foot of the Cross ?

Word Of God Speak

   I should have titled my blog  "Traffic ". I sure spent alot of time in it today . So restless in the car with my mind drifting  in reflection . Thinking of my life and all the things I should have done but didn't . The things I did and shouldn't have . The  mistakes I have made . We always remember the mistakes first . All the warning signs that were there but I ignored . That feeling we get that something doesn't feel right . Why don't we heed it ?
   I thought of this program I watched a very long time ago . Where a group of women would come live together , as therapist worked with them on their many issues . There was this one woman there . I won't forget her . Her therapist gave her all these bags.....she called it her " excess baggage " and wherever she went she had to carry all her baggage with her .
   I watched her lug all this baggage into the bathroom , as she was cooking , on the couch with her , on the bus etc . One day , the whole group went walking in the woods . This poor woman carried that baggage uphill tripping and falling several times . Finally , she was so disgusted of this baggage causing her so much misery she dropped it and refused to carry it around with her any longer . She was tired of it .
   That's how we all are . We don't listen to warning signs that God sends us . We refuse to listen . We stop  our own growth . We get tired of waiting on Him . We plunge in and make matters worse . Or we become scared and don't move on at all .
   Word of God speak . Why is it so very hard for us to trust Him ? To hear Him ?
   Instead , we do our own thing and develop excess baggage that causes us so many problems . We almost have to be covered with bags before we finally listen to Him . None of us wants to be sitting in traffic 20 years later playing back all our mistakes in our mind  thinking why didn't I listen ?

Have  blessed day everyone . 

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Let The Music Play

I couldn't watch another TV rerun , so I decided to play the cassettes .
Excerpt from 90 Minutes In Heaven .

A friend of ours brought a CD player with a couple of CD's to the hospital to keep my mind occupied . I played those two CD's over and over again until scratches appeared on the disks . When I ran out of batteries ,  the nurses would go down to the Shoppe and pick up more for me . Music became my haven . 

When pain enveloped my body , music took me away . When boredom crept in , music entertained my soul . 

The funny thing is , I never heard of some of these hymns , but  I sure learned them by heart before I left the hospital . During my recovery at home , I began going to Church on a regular basis  and I sang all the worship songs out loud like a professional . 

Worship music reaches deep down into our soul and pulls out the emotions hidden there . They rise up and we begin to feel . 

Even now , as I drive to work or errands , I have found myself overcome with the expressiveness of my heart as the sweet music plays on . I could be singing along at the top of my lungs with             gratitude , happiness or crying softly filled with love . 

Music is powerful . 

One of my strongest memory from the early years with cancer happens to be with my therapist . She would come in , draw the shades to where it was dark .Turned off everything except the CD player . Speaking softly , she would tell me to close my eyes , breath in and out slowly , and imagine . . . . . . 

I would close my eyes and listen to the sweet soft sounds of rain         drops , tinkling of bells , the beach or whale songs , anything with nature  and I could feel my body relax . 

I will never forget this woman and what she has done for me . She taught me a vital bit of information . She taught me how to deal with pain . She taught me how to relax my body and my mind . 

The small things that can change someone's life . Someone thought of bringing a CD for me to listen to in case I became bored . Or an inspirational book . A skein of yarn and a hook . Look at me now . 

Have a Blessed day everyone . 

Monday, September 15, 2014

Sponsor Me Monday

On our refrigerator door you will find a cluster of pictures of children , all boys . No one enters our kitchen without inquiring about them . Who are they ? Why are they there ?

They're our sponsor children in the Philippines . We've been doing this for years now . It began with my son , Joey and his little boy from South America . I can't even remember the place , it's been so long ago , nor his name . 

I followed suit with a little boy named Jorge whose named  I pronounced like George . I was his sponsor for about a year when my cancer struck and I spent the summer months going back and forth to the hospital . It was Fall when I had a chance to catch up on old mail that piled up during my illness . 

Sometime during that time , Jorge turned into Reymark . Jorge left school and joined the workforce  like many boys in these poor countries do to help support their families . Reymark is not far behind in doing the same as his predecessor . He's already been missing
 school . 

Emily's boys have fared much better than mine . Her  first ( Chito ) graduated from a Hospitality Trade School and her current ( Daryll ) is an Honor Roll student with a diploma sure to happen  . 

It is a common joke between us , how poorly mine do and hers quite the opposite . It doesn't end there . Her letters from them are lengthy and full of stories about themselves and their daily lives . Mine barely write two sentences where they say " hello " and " goodbye " all in the same breath . 

All joking aside , we have always said that no matter how bad finances may get , we will find the resources to keep being sponsors . It is the most fulfilling experience to know we had a hand in changing
 someone 's life for the better . What we are doing makes a difference and I want to keep on offering hope where otherwise none existed . 

Won't you join us and sponsor a child ? Will you offer hope to someone who has no idea what  that means ? Change starts with us . 

Have a Blessed day everyone . 

Sunday, September 14, 2014

Some Days

Some days are just harder than most . Some days , we want to stay in bed and block reality from ever entering into our safe haven . . . our beds . Today , certainly was one of those days . 

It seems that another weekend went by in such a flash that I missed it entirely . Didn't we just come home from work on Friday exhausted , but excited for the time off ? What happened ? Where did it go ? 

The busyness of life happened . 

By the time all the outside errands are done , friends and family events celebrated , we return home to more chores . Cleaning , laundry , supper , bills . . . . when does it end ? We fall tired into our beds at night only to be awakened to do it all over again the next morning .

Friends , I'm tired . 

My left leg has been bothering me terribly , making walking difficult . I haven't been able to kneel without discomfort for what seems like years . The area around my knee has been swollen , aching with each drop in temperature . I think it's time to make those doctor appointments , something I have been dreading . 

My last appointment was in late April , my Oncologist happy with the test results , gave me the thumbs up for a great summer vacay from treatment . I took advantage and played hookie not only from doctors , but also from work . 

Alas , the time has come . I can feel every joint , every aching bone in my body . I am aging , almost fifty years of age in a few months  . 

When I think of my schedule for the coming week , my body cringes in response . All this upcoming activity , can I physically handle it ? At this point today ? No .

Some days are just plain hard . Today was one of those days . 

Have a Blessed day everyone . 

Friday, September 12, 2014

The Wall Crumbles Down

In spite of my stubborn resistance to showing emotion , before I left St. Luke's , the months of intense pain finally crumbled my resolve . I broke down and cried .I felt worthless , beaten down , and useless .I was convinced I would never get better .
Excerpt from 90 Minutes In Heaven

I think we all have crumpled in a heap and bawled our hearts out at one point or another in our life . A time where we can't take another minute of our trial . Our resolve caves in and we let go . I believe it's at this point that we totally hand the situation over to Christ and He takes over . We officially submit .

After four long months of surgeries , a dose of chemo , fevers , infections , tube feedings , colostomy ,  a fistula  and a reversal colostomy . . . . . well , I was done . 

My breakdown occurred two weeks after my colostomy reversal . During that time , all I had to do is go to the bathroom normally and I couldn't even do that . Two weeks of pure agony ! Two weeks of special exercises , laxatives and every man known method to help me along and nothing . 

Here I was with a heating pad strapped to my belly and doing knee bends at the same time . An old friend of the family decides to call and see how I am doing . All she did was ask how I was feeling and I burst  out crying , not being able to stop . 

Well , she had never seen me in this state before , panicking that I was suicidal , she made several fellow friends of ours call me through the remainder of the day . Encouragement flowed , phone call after phone call . 

Of course , I would never do bodily harm to myself or even contemplate the possibility . My fear and awe of God has always been real . I fear Him more than anything a mere human may do to me .

That episode taught me two things : (1) People really loved me ( 2) Be more careful about voicing my feelings . The second may sound strange to you , but I believe they were more scared that I lost hope and gave up , than the fact that I cried . In their eyes , if I lost hope . . . than all was lost . The people around me really loved me and they , 
too , were going through some emotional stuff . It was not just about me . We have to remember that . 

Have a Blessed day everyone .

Thursday, September 11, 2014

Throwback Thursday

Oh , the memories of those days ! I remember the FMLA paperwork very well , especially when I might have to use it again . I honestly believe they make it difficult so one becomes frustrated and comes back to work regardless if they are ready or not .

Today , I feel , is another quiet day . I wish I could spend it at home , but alas , works calls my name . Cool weather is here and this morning I actually heard the geese flying past . I am ready for the Season to change . Oh , how I wish I could hibernate like the animals !

I'm Falling Off The Wagon

     Discouragement hangs over me like a black cloud  creeping closer and closer . I'm falling off the wagon today . Spent the morning reading old notes from Sundays Past . Message after message trying to encourage my discouraging heart . Everything lies in His hands . You think I would be upset with my illness but instead I'm upset with the paperwork . Who has time to worry about that when I have all this red tape to untangle .
  One of my favorite verses in the Bible says ," Be still and know that I am God ". There is nothing more that I can do . A quiet day , today , spent reading my devotionals . Here is a poem I found....

GOD'S PLAN by:Kathleen Lyons
 as I travel on my journey
living life from day to day
I see the joy in GOD'S plan
and give thanks when I pray
but when the road gets rough
and my troubles seem to stay
I forget that GOD has a plan
and I search for my own way
I try to chart my own course
never knowing which way to turn
all the time I waste on worry
if only I would learn
for when my troubles pass
I can always see
it was all part of GOD'S plan
and never up to me

Have a Blessed day everyone . 

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Blessed Beyond Measure

Have you ever had so many Blessings bestowed upon you that you were in awe of God's Power ? That you  were humbled by His Graciousness towards you ? 

That has happened to me in the last couple of weeks , but last night was the cherry topping of them all . I could barely do my work as tears of Joy threatened at every crook of my mind . 

All I wanted to do is lay down at God's Altar and praise Him . I'm so humbled  , so thankful , so loved  by Him . I felt  deep in my soul that He would always take care of me . I shall fear not , want not worry not , because my God He is . 

As I finally arrived home and parked my vehicle a certain song came on that described my feelings at that point . It's all true . I wish you could feel inside my heart right now . I wish I could share some of this love He has shown me with all of you . 

I am not skilled to understand
What God has willed, what God has planned
I only know at His right hand
Stands One who is my Savior

I take Him at His word and deed
Christ died to save me, this I read
And in my heart I find a need
Of Him to be my Savior

That He would leave His place on high
And come for sinful man to die
You count it strange so once did I
Before I met my Savior

My Savior loves, my Savior lives
My Savior's always there for me
My God He was, my God He is
My God He's always gonna be

My Savior loves, my Savior lives
My Savior's always there for me
My God He was, my God He is
My God He's always gonna be

Yes, living, dying, let me bring
My strength, my solace from this spring
That He who lives to be my King
Once died to be my Savior

That He would leave His place on high
And come for sinful man to die
You count it strange so once did I
Before I knew my Savior

My Savior loves, my Savior lives
My Savior's always there for me
My God He was, my God He is
My God He's always gonna be

My Savior loves, my Savior lives
My Savior's always there for me
My God He was, my God He is
My God He's always gonna be

My Savior loves, my Savior lives
My Savior's always there for me
My God He was, my God He is
My God He's always gonna be

My Savior loves, my Savior lives
My Savior's always there for me
My God He was, my God He is
My God He's always gonna be

My Savior loves, my Savior lives
My Savior's always there for me
My God He was, my God He is
My God He's always gonna be

My Savior loves, my Savior lives
My Savior's always there for me
My God He was, my God He is
My God He's always gonna be

My Savior lives, my Savior loves
My Savior lives, my Savior loves
My Savior lives
Read more at http://www.songlyrics.com/aaron-shust/my-savior-my-god-lyrics/#aLRT2ZtUvM2FBcXq.99

Have a Blessed day everyone . 

Monday, September 8, 2014

Volunteer Monday

There is nothing more inspiring than learning you have unknowingly encouraged someone to step forth and become a part of something bigger than themselves by volunteering . How ? By our own actions in serving our community . 

Since starting this Crocheting Ministry a little over a year ago , I would post the different organization that we have donated to along with any information regarding their work in the community . 

A deep desire was awakened in one individual as she read about the different charities in her own backyard . The serving in itself required so little of her , only a few hours here and there . She felt  she could donate that much to her community . 

We are taught to serve in our Churches , but we never think about serving in our neighborhoods . Why is that ? Please don't get me wrong , I think serving in your Church is very important . Churches need servants , but we often forget about the world needing us . 

Serving in a Church is easy , safe and convenient , but try being bold in your serving . Try stepping out and serving people who aren't Christians . Maybe people who have never heard of God . Or have heard of Him , but are angry with Him for their situation in life . 

Try packaging and distributing care bags to the homeless of Logan Square like our friend Gene . Perhaps spending a few hours playing bingo with the seniors in a retirement home like Brigette and Lola have done . Give up  a Saturday , once a month , labeling and packaging in the food pantry  like Cindy . Maybe  delivering goods to charitable organizations like Belen or Crystal once every few weeks . 

One thing I find is that people use that old adage of " I just don't have time " , way too often . Who has Time ? We have time to watch a movie . We have time to spend with our friends . We have time to sleep in on our day off , but we can never find time to help another person in need ? 

For I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me drink, I was a stranger and you welcomed me .Matthew 25:35
Volunteering seems to scare people, for some reason . Is it the harsh reality of it ? Or are we afraid their situation will rub off onto us ? I don't know why. It's almost like we want to detach ourselves emotionally so we don't have to actually feel . We know that if we begin to feel , we will begin to care . 
We can begin slowly . You have too much food left over and have no idea what to do with it ? Make a couple of plates and pass them out to the homeless . They're easy to find , they're usually holding a sign that says : HELP ME .
Have a blessed day everyone .

Sunday, September 7, 2014

Dancing Lula

The nurses on my floor all accompanied me down the elevator and to my waiting ambulance on the day of my discharge . Being surrounded by the nurses that fed me , medicated me, bathed me , and did only Lord knows  what else , made my going home that day so wonderful .
Excerpt from 90 Minutes in Heaven

I loved the nurses at Rush . They were more than nurses , they became friends . On their breaks , some of them would stop by for a chat to see how I was  doing . Being in a hospital for long periods , creates relationship that can feel like family . 

One nurse in particular , her name was Lula , stole my heart . Seeing her every morning , five days a week , she would tell me stories of her children , all ten of them . She always had a smile on her face no matter what she may have been feeling on the inside . 

Years later , I was invited by my niece Kathy to a Baptist Church in Chicago to hear one of her bosses preach . Of course , our Church being casual , we were very under-dressed . 

During worship , I saw  a familiar face . There was Lula , dancing up  a storm praising our Lord , right up front . She was smiling that same smile that I remembered so well . 

After the service , I introduced her to my niece and she did the same to the entire congregation . I used to be her patient and look at me now .  More dancing . More celebration . How could you not love her ? 

Have a Blessed day everyone . 

Saturday, September 6, 2014

At Summer's End

This morning was the first time in a very , very long time that I was able to fling open the windows . Let the cool , cool breeze come into my humble abode . I'm looking forward to Fall . 

I've noticed that I'm much calmer and carefree outside of work .  It has been horribly humid in the warehouse as well as the rest of the      building . Add in my hot flashes and all I've wanted to do is play     hookie  . These summer months have been a real struggle for me at work , preventing me from truly enjoying the weather . Home has become my haven where the air conditioner has been running on 
  high . 

At least , on the inside it is quiet . On the outside , my little village life has been turned upside down with construction on every street and on every corner  . Drills , jackhammers and John Deer equipment play havoc on a daily basis , starting promptly at 7 a.m. every morning . So punctual ! 

As the outside roars with busyness , so does the inside of our little apartment . While my Crocheting Club has been off for two months of no meetings , I have been busy preparing for the Fall . I've  gathered  yarn donations , done some ad work in promotions and an overhaul improvement of our Club . A new year is ahead of us with new ideas and plans . Looking forward to this new journey . 

As the summer days are at an end , I know appointments have to be made to the dentist and oncologist . Having taken the time to rejuvenate and just play  has been great , but it's time to get to work . A new doctor means an all out testing will be done from head to toe
   ( uggh ) , not looking forward to that . 

My peeping ex-neighbor is not the only one vacating the building . We have another unit that is leaving soon , so two new neighbors will be joining our little apartment family ( heehee ) . I wonder what they will be like ? 

A new season brings about changes that are welcomed and some that are not . Some are exciting and we cannot wait for them to happen , while others we hope never do . Changes occur on a regular basis , because it is a  must in our life to grow , accept and learn so we can move on to the next chapter of the next lesson . Isn't life exciting ?

Have a Blessed day everyone . 

Friday, September 5, 2014

A Four Day Feast

This past Labor Day weekend, was one of the most enjoyable times  of my life . I can't remember the last time I was so relaxed and content with my lot . 

We ended up having a four day weekend , since there was a power outage at work . We are surrounded by construction  and someone struck the wrong line , causing one of our transformers to retire early . 

I did find out that I am not equipped to drive in rush hour traffic . My goodness ! How do people do this every single day ? I could not deal with this on a regular basis . Maybe first shift is not for me  ? 

A group of us from work decided to go out for dinner and drinks and what better place than Friday's . I have never been there before , so I was looking forward to trying out their cuisine . I had their ultimate burger with bacon , which was so good and reasonably priced . 

We had so much fun together , laughing and catching up . In fact , this entire weekend was like that . Everyday was spent with either friends or family members enjoying a special meal  together . Salmon or take out , it didn't matter , it was the company . After the meal , a movie or a game was enjoyed . 

Even now  , the memories are so fresh in my mind of the kidding around , the bonding , . . . . . the love  that was shared . It was evident in all we did . In the end , it's the people in our lives that matter the most and the time spent together . Isn't that what it's all about ?

Have a Blessed day everyone . 

Thursday, September 4, 2014

Throwback Thursday

As I re-read the following story , I am transformed to that day . I remember that drive and I can see the beauty vividly in my mind . I haven't been down  that way in a very long time . 

When I began these Throwback   

Thursday 's , it was more for the readers who haven't been around from day one . I wanted them to know the beginning . 

 Also , I wanted to add on an update to where I am now . What I didn't expect was how much I would enjoy re-visiting the past . This is why we keep journals , dream diaries and pictures . . . . . to keep the memories alive .

Life Goes On

    There is a stretch of road that I take on my way home from my brothers house . It's simply beautiful during the Fall . All the greens , browns , reds  and orange tones are in full display in these woods . Once again , I'm amazed at God's beauty .
     The road is long and winding , surrounded by the woods . The seasons will change no matter what happens in my life . The leaves will keep falling and the snow will come . Once again , in the spring , everything will come back to life . Life goes on.
    I feel lifeless but very calm  as I drive through this beauty . I've had another draining morning  dealing with "paperwork" and " reps" . I'm tired and exhausted of dealing with these people .
    You call your benefits rep and he tells you they faxed a document over to your doctor . You call the doctor and he never got the document . You call them back requesting the same darn thing you asked for three days ago . .....PING PONG...PING PONG .......PING PONG .
    We are incompetent creatures , yet Jesus loves us . We kill , we hurt others , we lie ,cheat and steal . Yet , HE shows us mercy , grace , love , forgiveness and sent His only Son to save us . What do we do ? We beat Him , torture Him and nail Him to the Cross . He still loves us .
    We are very incompetent . We change peoples lives with a click of a button .What does it matter ? Life goes on . What is the worst that will happen to them ? It's a mistake . People do the same thing with God . When everything is fine , who needs Him ? What has He done for me lately ? How do you know its not a she ? When they hit a bump in the road , they fall to their knees and scream HELP ME ! Where are you God ?
    He truly is a loving God to put up with the likes of  US . Seriously . Take a look around . Look how we impact each others lives without any feeling of consequence . Nothing matters . No responsibility . No accountability . Life goes on , Right ?

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 ...