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Showing posts from September, 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 pro…

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 b…

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 , …

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…

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 fou…

Joey Vs. Emily

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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 , spea…

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 tim…

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

Yeats

It's been a very trying weekendthus 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 love…

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 al…

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 though…

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 expre…

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
 scho…

Some Days

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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 …

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 e…

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 .
 …

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 . 

MY SAVIOR 
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…

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 …

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…

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 . Wh…

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 mem…

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 …