Friday, April 29, 2016

Living Life


                                                   Everyday is a brand new day, everyday
                                                   is a journey.

The threat of dying, really taught me how to live. I can't even remember the person I once was before my cancer nor do I want to. I sat here at my desk this morning contemplating my life. I cannot convey to you enough how much my life has changed nor how happy I have been, especially in the last five years. 

I have truly been blessed in so many ways. My children still seem to enjoy my company. I have plenty of friends and many interests. I am in a much better place than the majority of cancer patients. I work full time and I take no medication. It's unheard of for someone in my condition. 

Things could really be so much worse than what they are now. It would be so easy for me to forget all that and start feeling sorry for myself. I love my life and I am grateful for this journey, because it has shown me how to really live. 

I believe that I am living my life the way I was meant to all along. How many can say the same? Not many. 

Have a Blessed day everyone.

Thursday, April 28, 2016

Throwback Thursday

                                               Everyday is a brand new

                                               day, everyday is a journey.

  It's time for Throwback Thursday where we take a look at an old post. Once again, we are back in 2013 at a time where I was in chemo. At that time, I was still working full time and taking off for chemo infusions. I was very fortunate to receive the treatments on a Friday where I had the entire weekend to rest. There were times where I also would take an occasional Monday off, but they were rare. 

Normally, I would get off work at 6:30 a.m., run home real quick to grab my chemo bag and head out for my treatment. As crazy as this may sound, I would look forward to this time as my relaxing moments. Everyone would know I was partaking in chemo and basically left me to rest all weekend. By the time I'd get home later in the day (usually by 3p.m.) I was so exhausted. 

The following post shows a time where all I wanted was to get home. I had a rough night at work and a rough infusion. Sometimes we just want to hide under the covers and stay in bed all weekend. Also, I never ran into that lady again much to my dismay.

 A Day Of Chemo

After a particularly difficult night at work, the last thing I wanted to do is go for my chemo treatment right after. Glancing down at my pedometer (an insurance thing) I walked 10,934 steps in a 9 hour time limit. I was exhausted, feeling the soles of both my feet burning.

My experience that day was tiresome. My eyes were red,  I was tired  and wanted to sleep. Labs left my arm bruised. I developed a rash of sorts, requiring my doctor to spend extra time with me. The nursing staff was short-handed due to the flu outbreak. My clinic nurse had to take care of my infusion which is done in a different part of the clinic. The steroids (all 6 pills) left me immediately bloated and gassy. I was so uncomfortable, just couldn't find my place to settle down and take the infusion. I kept tossing and turning on that recliner. Nothing could hold my mind's attention. I went from crocheting to reading to puzzles . . . even tried to take a nap, but nothing worked.

Afterwards, I had to stop at the clinics pharmacy to pick up my prescription. Of course, it wasn't ready. On my way home, I needed to stop at CVS to pick up my thyroid medication that my insurance suddenly didn't want to pay for after 5 years. I swear to you, I thought I would never get home. All I wanted is to get into my comfortable jammies and sleep.

 I honestly have to say it wasn't all bad. There were good moments, too. In the waiting room, I was crocheting a baby hat and this women came up to me wondering if I would sell her this hat for her baby girl who was seven months old. I wanted so badly to finish it before they called me in, because I wanted to give it to her for free. Of course, I couldn't. I keep thinking about her and hope we run into each other again.

Another good thing that happened was that everyone at the clinic kept coming in to congratulate me on those slippers. What a warm feeling that left inside of me. I guess, this chemo was bittersweet!
Have a Blessed Week everyone.

Wednesday, April 27, 2016

A Quiet Day




                                          Everyday is a brand new day, everyday is a journey.

Did you ever have a day where instead of getting up when the alarm rang, you turned over and went back to sleep? A day where you really didn't care what was going on in the world? A day where you didn't want to see or hear another person? A day of quiet? A day of total silence?

I'm not depressed or upset, I just want silence. I didn't even sit by my desk to write today's post. I didn't want to see the world outside. I don't want to think too much or focus on anything. I want to be still.

Be still and know that I am God.

There's so much busyness in our lives that we need a time to do absolutely nothing. We need to recuperate our bodies, our minds and our spirit. I hope you find the time today just that. May God richly bless you.

Have a Blessed day everyone. 

Tuesday, April 26, 2016

First Impressions

                  
                                          Everyday is a brand new day, everyday is a journey.

Have you ever had a moment where you wish you could redo? I've had plenty of them! This morning was one of those mornings where I've added to that list. 

I get up pretty early (around 6:45a.m.) on a good day. This morning I had a purpose so I made sure I had an early start. We have eight units in this building and one washer/dryer for everyone. If I don't get up this early and run downstairs with a load of laundry, I can forget about doing laundry. I only have the morning to do anything before rushing off to work. 

So I jump out of bed, grab my bathrobe and don't even bother combing my hair or doing my face. For the next two hours, I'm running up and down the stairs, doing one load after another. All this still in my bathrobe, slippers, no makeup and messy uncombed hair, which by the way was standing up!

On my last run, I'm folding my laundry and here walks in my landlady that I have never met only her husband. She's here waiting for the Village inspector to do his walk through of the building. I looked like crap! I was so embarrassed that I didn't even bother finishing the folding, just grabbed the clothes and ran upstairs. 

Of all the times for us to finally meet, did it have to be when I looked like a dishrag? I wasn't even dressed! This is what happens when one lives in an apartment. All the tenants see your shame. One cannot hide in their "home" wearing their boxers. Here the entire building sees you in your pajamas. It's one big slumber party!

Besides, I don't want her to think I lounge around in my pj's all morning doing nothing, especially when she was dressed nicely looking great!

Have a blessed day everyone.

Monday, April 25, 2016

Friend To Friend

                                          Everyday is a brand new day, everyday is a journey.



I just noticed not too long ago the changes that Facebook made on my page. It included a short intro about myself in so many words. What can I say in just a few words that can convey to people who I am?

It's kind of funny how we are trying to connect with others via social media instead of face to face. It's really been the decade of the cellphone, linking us to everyone and everything.

The same day I noticed my Facebook changes, I opened up my devotions for the day and the top three questions stared back at me. 

 1. Who are you?
2. Where did you come from?
3. Why are you here?
These are three very important questions to which you need to know the answer.

  It also made me think of friendships. I've mentioned before, numerous times, on the variety of my friendships. As I stared at the three questions, I couldn't help but think of them. I mean, I am very well aware of who I am, where I'm going and why I'm here. Yet, what if we asked those same questions in regards to friendships, my friends in particular. 

1. Who am I to them?
I've always considered myself a good listener and that might be why I like to write rather than talk. So I'm very in tune with their feelings and their well being. The question here is how do they see me? Do they see me in the same light as I see myself? Am I a good friend to them? Do I provide what they need?

2. Where did we come from as friends?
Like I've said before, I like the diversity in friendships. My friendships come from all walks of life. I have friends from work, school, old neighborhoods, church etc. and yet I don't feel that I have one solid friend that I have known and gone through life like my mom did. My mom has a good friend for over forty years as her BFF. No one friend knows everything about me, only compartments of my life.

3. Why are we friends?
Each of my friends provides something special that I need. I have a friend who I goof around with and one who mentors me. One to cry and one for adventure. One for crocheting, one who appreciates good wine, and one who likes mysteries. I cannot have just one friend, I need multiple friends when combined make the best BFF's ever. 

Either way, whether you're like my mom and have only one bestie for life or if you're like me with multiple. We are here for the purpose of fellow-shipping with others whom we can help or they help us through this journey we call life. 

What do your friends mean to you? Have a blessed day everyone.

Sunday, April 24, 2016

Thru The Bible

 
                    
                                                        Everyday is a brand new day,
                                                         everyday is a journey.

It has always been a dream of mine to read through the Bible. Not just read the words, but read, ponder, analyze each verse. That's one long Bible study, folks. And a little scary, too.

One can never know what is in store whenever we begin a major project as this one. I say a project because this will take at least five years. A project of restoring my soul. A project of becoming wiser in the word of God.  It would certainly be a dream come true for me. 

One thing I don't want this Bible Study to turn into is automated reading. Almost like a timeline. A schedule. Instead, let this be a set aside time for me and God. 

Do you know what I like the best about this Bible Study? The fact that he takes his time with it explaining book by book, verse by verse. There is no rush nor deadline. He spent ten days on just explaining what was needed for this study and the technique we would use. 

I'm learning so much and it's just the beginning. I believe that if you claim to be something or claim to believe in something, one should learn as much as possible about it. I know it may sound crazy, but I actually feel closer to God. Definitely recommend doing the same for all of you. Open up the Bible and really study it.

Have a Blessed day everyone. 

Saturday, April 23, 2016

An Ordinary Day

                                         Everyday is a brand new day, everyday is a journey.

The alarm went off at 6 a.m. as planned. I got up groaning and whining, finally losing the battle as I sank back into bed. I made all these plans the night before and right then, I had no desire to fulfill them. Two hours later, my guilty conscience won out and I finally got up. 

What was so important? I wanted to make the last of my Ministry donations before my surgery. Since I was shutting down until at least June, I wanted to make sure there were no outstanding deliveries to be made. My apartment would be free of boxes!

The drive meant a whole 44 minutes each way, but the morning sun shone brightly leading the way.  The trouble was that this place was sort of hidden away on the wayside and one could easily pass it by. And that's what I did at least four or five times. I kept turning around and turning around searching. I almost gave up wanting to head back home. The only thing that kept me looking was that I didn't want to repeat the performance a week later. 

It didn't help that my left leg was acting up riddled with arthritis and aching for the past three days. It felt like I was pulling a cement block with each step. After sitting in the car, driving around, it was definitely throbbing full force. It was time to finally find this place. 

Whenever I'm in trouble like this and can't seem to find my way, I pray . . . . and then I found it. Lugged that box halfway through the parking lot and halfway inside the building. All I wanted was to turn around and head home as soon as possible. The last thing I wanted to do was talk with people and was secretly hoping no one was there. I could leave it by the door and leave. 

My plan was definitely not God's plan, because the place was full of volunteers and I was greeted extremely warmly. You know, it always amazes me how people react whenever a donation is made. People really love receiving homemade things. And I needed to see and hear that, because there are times when I feel the opposite. 

I came home, put on some relaxing clothes and snuggled into bed watching Hercule Poirot. It didn't matter that it was almost noon, I was tired, my leg was hurting and I fell asleep until dinnertime. 

And how was your day? Have a Blessed day everyone. 

Friday, April 22, 2016

The Anniversary

                                                    Everyday is a brand new day,
                                                    everyday is a journey.

Old friends, old scenes, will lovelier be,
  As more of heaven in each we see:
  Some softening gleam of love and prayer
  Shall dawn on every cross and care.
J. KEBLE.

Nine years ago, on May 25, 2007 I had my surgery to remove my seven pound tumor. That's when my journey began. It seems almost ironic that here I am, once again, having a surgery in the month of May, nine years later. It seems only normal for me to think back and reflect on where I was and where I am now.  

There are many differences here. One, I was in severe condition then so it's no wonder my recovery was so very difficult filled with many setbacks and complications. Two, I had no idea what cancer was all about. I was absolutely naive and I certainly approached it in that matter. Three, I felt it was a one shot deal where I would have the surgery and chemotherapy and I would be done forever. Cancer would never return again.

When I first learned of the upcoming surgery, my first thoughts were in total panic. I'm being honest here. There are some places we never want to go back to and this was certainly one of them for me. All the horrible memories flashed before me of what once was and I panicked. There was no way I would go through this again. 

Now my thoughts are different. I still may have some trepidation regarding my recovery, but at least I understand the absolute need for it. I understand what cancer is and how it affects my life. I have accepted this journey and hope to help others come full circle with their chronic disease as I have. 

So as the month of May approaches, Happy Anniversary to me as my journey continues. 

Have a Blessed day everyone.





 

Thursday, April 21, 2016

Throwback Thursday


                                   Everyday is a brand new day,

                                    everyday is a journey.

It's another Throwback Thursday where we take a look back to an older post and give a small update on where we are now. We have been looking back to the year 2013.

 As I re-read the following post, all sorts of emotions came flooding back. You see, this is the beginning of my Ministry, only I had no idea what it was back then. All of my life, I only made one type of thing . . . blankets. I never attempted to learn anything else. I never thought I could. It seems that the year 2013 was certainly a magical year for the development of my craft as well as my Crocheting Ministry. It was in the Fall of that year where we officially began. 

Since then, we have had many additions to our family. And that baby chest of items? Well, I've donated the whole lot to charity. What's funny here is that I knew deep down inside something was brewing, I just didn't know what that was.

 Oh, Baby, Baby

As the New Year unfolds, so have thoughts of babies. That's all I think about: crocheting baby hats, baby booties, baby hair bands. You name it, I want to make it  or at least learn how to.

I'm not exactly sure if the birth of my godson's firstborn has brought these feelings out or not. My niece Kathy is also expecting. I'm in the mood for pushing a pram.

Scouring different websites for pattern, I've decided to make two sets of everything: one for Emily's  and one for Joey's future children. I'm tired of waiting for them to make that next move in their life. Now, they're on my time clock. We can call it their baby hope chests from me.

The funny thing is that I've never made anything, but a baby blanket. So far, everything I'm making is coming out looking great. How can that be? My baby hats actually made me stop and think that I should make hats for children going through chemo. Very cocky of me. Very unlike me to think I could actually pull it off, but I do have newfound  courage from my last project.

The lady that wanted my baby hat yesterday really surprised me. I find that everywhere I go people are really interested in crocheting or at least handmade items. I started thinking that maybe God was trying to tell me something. Maybe, there is something here He wants me to see and do, but what is it?

Certainly something to pray about. Whatever happens, I know I have found something in my life that provides so much satisfaction and fills my heart to the fullest. Isn't that what it's all about? Emily always says that her food tastes good because of the love she puts in it. Maybe, that's why my baby items are coming out good . . . . it's for my future grandchildren. 

Have a blessed day everyone.

Wednesday, April 20, 2016

Highlight Of The Week #14

                                                            Everyday is a brand new day,
                                                            Everyday is a journey.



Ever since things started progressing at the end of last week, I felt so much better about things. I had a purpose, a goal to take care of during this time. This provided a release of tension and my focus was reverted away from stress.

If I had to define this week, I would call it the week of doctors. Every day I would rise early and head out to the hospital for yet another appointment. Out of the five work days, I only worked two whole days. I was definitely busy. One appointment led to another appointment. I felt purposeful. 

On Thursday night as I drove down the winding parking lot of the hospital, I noticed the security on duty right behind me, lights flashing.They followed me all the way from the second floor to the cashier, lights flashing and all I could think of was "are they pulling me over?" 

I couldn't help but ask the cashier the very question. Apparently, they were there to help someone with a flat tire on the first floor.  If you have problems with your vehicle, the security at the hospital parking lot are there to help. That service includes flat tires, getting gas, locked keys or a jump start. Good to know. 

Since I've been at the hospital all week, you could say that the cashier has come to know me. As she handed me the receipt, I wished her a happy weekend. 

"What, you're not coming tomorrow?"

"Nope, I decided to take a vacation!"

Have a Blessed day everyone.  

Tuesday, April 19, 2016

The Primary Care

                                                       Everyday is a brand new day,
                                                       everyday is a journey.

My appointment was for 6:20 p.m. It felt so weird to be at the hospital at that time with the halls completely empty. I mean empty. I felt a little better about this appointment since my old doctor was unavailable so they sent me to someone new. What a God moment!

My new Primary Care doctor, let's call her Dr. M., is the best! We had such a good rapport and everything was looking great. All my vitals were excellent. Blood work for liver, kidney and sugar were excellent! Even my thyroid was looking great ( borderline) and didn't need any medication for now. 

She did hear a faint heart murmur which she felt was a coincidence, but still had to be checked out further just to be on the safe side. So another appointment has been made for an Echo (an ultrasound). At least, this next date won't be for a while so I get a small break from doctors. 

The whole point of this visit centered on my EKG or so I thought. After I left, I felt relieved to have set up a new contact with my Primary Care doctor. It's been a long time coming. Here I am preaching all the time about preventive medicine and I myself am guilty of not complying. Well, all of this will change.

If I have learned anything, it's this, things certainly happen for a reason and God knows what He is doing. 

Have a Blessed day everyone. 

Monday, April 18, 2016

The Anesthesiologist

                                                   Everyday is a brand new day,
                                                   everyday is a journey.

 So on Tuesday I went to see my hernia doctor which led to my next appointment the following day with the anesthesiologist. I've been waiting for this one since I know it's needed for my surgery, especially the EKG. I was delighted, because the ball was rolling towards my surgery.

My appointment was located in the surgery clinic so I was excited to see what everything looked like and even meet the actual people who might take care of me in pre-op. As I waited and waited, I thought nothing of the tests that would be done on me. I mean, I'm  pretty much healthy on the inside so why wouldn't I pass?

Well, I failed the EKG. I mean, how could I fail the EKG? I thought I was pretty calm. Even my blood pressure was far better than in the past few days. So of course, they couldn't okay me for surgery at this time. They sent me to my Primary Care doctor. Another appointment set for the very next day. 

I wish you could have seen my face when they told me. I was so disappointed, because I can't stand my Primary Care doctor and I haven't been to see her in years. Another problem? I might have to have a stress test. Images of me on the treadmill flashed before me. I hate the treadmill! 

Shoulders drooping and muttering disgustedly under my breath, I walked in total despair to my car. Oh why, oh why, is this happening to me?

Have a Blessed day everyone.

Sunday, April 17, 2016

The Overnight Bag

                                                    Everyday is a brand new day,
                                                    Everyday is a journey.

One thing I've learned in my journey is that a well supplied overnight/chemo bag is a major necessity. This tote bag holds all the bare essentials that every chronic illness patient could ever need. I've had mine now almost since the very beginning. 

I received my first overnight bag from Phil's Friends, an organization that passes out these bags to cancer patient via mail or hospital visits. A friend of mine (Karen) volunteers over there regularly and placed me on the mailing list.

The other day I took it out of it's regular hiding space to make sure to replenish any stock I might need for my hospital stay. Going through the contents brought back some memories, both good and sad. Some of the things inside I've had since the very beginning like my crossword puzzles. The pages have actually turned yellow!

So what is inside? Well, don't forget I've used this for my chemo infusions so it does vary a tiny bit from a hospital stay. 
1. a book for reading
2. a bible for my bible study
3. a notepad 
4. some pens
5. a collection of crosswords and assorted puzzles
6. toiletries such as lotion, deodorant, shampoo, conditioner.
7. makeup case
8. my phone (can access my emails and podcasts)
9. comfortable jammies (hospital gown the first nite only)
10. some yarn

Of course, if I was going for chemo I wouldn't need my jammies nor my shampoo. I would add in some water and few snacks so I wouldn't go hungry. I do plan on keeping myself busy and entertained. Either way it goes, you will be there for a while. 

Have a Blessed day everyone.

Saturday, April 16, 2016

The Anxiety

                                          Everyday is a brand new day, everyday is a journey.



It's only natural to worry and be nervous. Who wouldn't be in my shoes? People misconstrue my anxiety to mean a fear of dying. That couldn't be farther from the truth. I've dealt with that issue way back in 2011 and it wasn't pretty. 

So what am I worried about?

When I was pregnant the first time, my mom gave me great words of wisdom. She said, "The first time we're scared, because we have no idea what to expect. The second time we're scared, because we do know."

That's sort of how I feel. We don't ever want to forget where we've been, but we never want to go back there and experience it again. So of course, I'm a little anxious in regards to my recovery and the pain. The one good thing is that it couldn't possibly be any worse than the first time.

Another anxiety of mine concerns the Fmla paperwork. Now, I have no idea how it is for everyone else, but here by my work, these people are horrendous. I believe their main job is to make your life hell so you go back to work as soon as possible. That's exactly what I want too, but not before I am completely healed. I detest dealing with them. 

I finally received my paperwork yesterday (a whole business week later!) and will be taking care of that issue in the coming week. Once it has been faxed over to them and they have acknowledged that it's received, I will relax until after my surgery. You see, we will be playing this game of have you received them or not for a couple of days. It seems we have to fax them a few times before they actually get them. These people are something else.

So you'll probably hear or see me pulling out my hair with frustration in the upcoming week. Pray for me, please.

Have a Blessed day everyone.

 

Friday, April 15, 2016

The Appointment

                                                      Everyday is a brand new day,
                                                      everyday is a journey.

  So what's holding up the surgery date? The hernia doctor, which I don't even know what the official name for this type of doctor. What are they called? When the call finally came for an appointment, it was more of a relief to finally get the ball rolling. Since all my doctors are part of the hospital, they are only in the clinic on certain days. This one has afternoon hours. I was a little disappointed, because that meant another day taken off work. It seemed as if I've been taking off quite a lot lately due to all these tests and visits.  

So my hernia doctor, let's call him Mr. B, walked in and my heart did a little skip. What a hunk! Young, dark and handsome. Beautiful eyes. I always had a thing for Italians. Be still my heart.  I guess some things do not change. 

Anyway, he finally agreed to a date. The surgery will be on May 4, 2016. I'm to be the first surgery of the day for both of my doctors. His nurse gave me instructions on the evening before prep, a folder with paperwork to bring with me and a bag of special soap to bathe myself with numerous times that night. I walked out with a whole set of appointments, one starting the very next day. 

Nine years ago, it was so different. I didn't do any of this stuff in preparation. That could be because I was in severe condition so I was admitted almost immediately after my Ct. Scan. A huge difference.

The good news? My hernia is very minor and it seems it will be more of scar tissue removal than anything else. There will be no need to cut me open from top to bottom as in the past. I have a major scar down my front from all my other surgeries. That is a blessing since I don't have a good history with recovery from surgeries. 

Maybe the pain won't be as bad either? Hoping that's true. 
Have a Blessed day everyone.

Thursday, April 14, 2016

Throwback Thursday

 

                                              Everyday is a brand new day,

                                               everyday is a journey.

Every Thursday, we take a look back into an old post and try to do an update on where we are now. Today's post is from 2013 way back in January. 

Reading this post over again, the first thing I noticed is how much my ways have changed in regards to fasting. Somewhere along the way, my fasting has become repetition instead of reverence toward God. We have to be very careful that the routine of praying (and fasting) does not become stale. In a way it's good that I look back on these old posts, just to take a good look in the mirror. 

This year, I've decided to turn off the television and my Facebook games (which I love). So far, I haven't turned that telly back on. There have been a few times  that I did and found there was nothing appealing on for me. The Facebook games I'm still playing, but only three of them. 

I think the important thing here is to make sure your reasons for fasting are pure. I have to admit that there were times I've fasted in hopes of losing weight more than a desire to deepen my relationship with God. 

 

A Fast Purpose

January, can you believe it's here already? This month sure packs a punch. A new year with a new purpose where we can wipe our slates clean and start over. In our Church, we start the year with a 21 day fast of our choice.

Every year, I participate in the fast. You could say I have been playing pretty safe with the fasts, always choosing something easy like giving up sweets. I decided that this year I would do something bold and challenging, as a way to show God my loyalty and devotion to Him.

So what did I choose for my fast?
1. I will fast the entire month instead of just three weeks
2. I will not play my Facebook games
3. I will spend that time in my devotions
4. I will eat one full meal and substitute rest of the time with fruits, veggies, juicing etc.

You may think it's a pretty ambitious list, but there is a reason. Every year, I'd choose something that didn't really affect me like sweets. How often do I really eat sweets? Not often. This is why I say it was a safe choice. It didn't require much of me. What if I had to really give up something that I liked? That's where my list comes in.

You may think that playing Facebook games is nothing, but I really like these two that I play . . . . everyday. Already, just the thought of doing this makes me want to skip this one little thing and play.

My devotions: Remember last year at this time, I subscribed to all these different Preacher's websites and devotionals? My plan was to read them on a daily basis as to have the Word in me. Well, I have at least 38-40 of them sent  to my e-mail daily and I just can't keep up with them. They have been piling up and as of now I have 2295 of them. Instead of playing the games, I plan on going through them.

The food itself and the duration of the fast has more to do with the fact of how monks of long ago would go into seclusion to fast and pray. It will intensify my fast a little more, giving the fast that bold and challenging aspect.

Of course, I always have a request that I'm praying for and usually I take on others' requests also. If any of you wish for me  to pray for you specifically during this time, you can contact me via e-mail at wladyslawakrol@yahoo.com  with your prayer request. Otherwise, please pray for me to have strength and endurance during this time.
Have a Blessed Week everyone.

Wednesday, April 13, 2016

FIFO

                                                        Everyday is a brand new day,
                                                        everyday is a journey.

--Algernon Charles Swinburne

Organization has always been a love of mine and yet, I've struggled to maintain order all of my life. Over the years, I've tried different methods which would work for awhile. Then the mess would stock pile up again. I would become frustrated with myself for not being able to maintain the organization I so longed for. 

Since I seem to have all this time on my hands now, I've decided to tackle some of this mess. My desk is constantly cluttered with papers and such. It's no wonder since I do have a Ministry and this blog. Besides, everyone gets mail. 

I do have to admit that this new method of mine seems to be working out much better than all of the others. New meaning in the last six months or so. I've decided to use a method that is well known in the manufacturing world as FIFO. It actually stands for first in, first out. You always use the ingredients, components etc of the earliest date of production first. 

I apply this very method to all my work here at home. I have two stacks on a shelf. One labelled "IN" and another labelled "out".  I think you get the gist of what I'm saying or how it works. It actually works pretty well. I take care of all the oldest issues first and if I get behind, I don't feel overwhelmed at all. 

Let's see how long this method lasts before I tire of it. Have a blessed day everyone.

Tuesday, April 12, 2016

Rest

                                                     Everyday is a brand new day,
                                                    everyday is a journey.

rest1
rest/
verb
verb: rest; 3rd person present: rests; past tense: rested; past participle: rested; gerund or present participle: resting
1.
cease work or movement in order to relax, refresh oneself, or recover strength.

"he needed to rest after the feverish activity"

synonyms:relax, take a rest, ease up/off, let up, slow down, have/take a break, unbend, unwind, recharge one's batteries, be at leisure, take it easy, put one's feet up;
Google's definition.

I used to feel guilty for resting and not being productive. We all are defined by something. It could be love, or as for me, by accomplishments. I adore busyness and cannot understand people that are bored. There is always something to do. 

I've learned that all the busyness in the world cannot make me more productive if I am too tired, ill or malnourished  in any way. We need rest. Our bodies need rest and so do our minds.

I've also learned to forgive myself when I didn't go to Church on Sunday, because of being tired or due to sickness. I used to think that I had to go regardless how my body was feeling. It was a sin not to do so. 

God expects us to rest. This is why we have the Sabbath, even though it could be any day of the week, as long as we rest. This is something that Emily and I observe. Sunday is set aside as family and Church day. We do no labor of any kind. There is no laundry, housework or mopping of floors. We do so not because of a religious checklist of things we shouldn't be doing, but because we know one thing leads to another. If we make an excuse just this once, we will end up  working and there will be no rest.

We know that people may look at us weirdly whenever we decline an invitation on a Sunday, but we just don't want to get into a habit of cancelling family time. Life is so short, folks. It's over before you know it.

Have a blessed day everyone.

Monday, April 11, 2016

Overcome By Grace

                                         Everyday is a brand new day, everyday is a journey.

Discouraged in the work of life,
Disheartened by its load,
Shamed by its failures or its fears,
I sink beside the road;--
But let me only think of Thee,
And then new heart springs up in me.
S. LONGFELLOW. 

I made a mistake. Not just another mistake, but the same one that I keep repeating over and over again. I should have been written up, instead I was shown Grace. He has shown me Grace. Moments like that bring tears to my eyes, because I am so unworthy of that Grace.

There are many incidents such as the above, where I was shown Grace. What is Grace? Grace is something we don't deserve, but we receive anyway. Let's say we are pulled over for speeding, but the police officer lets us go with just a warning. That is Grace. We deserve a ticket, but we were shown Grace instead. 

It took me a long time to understand what Grace really meant. It was through Bible study and reading of The Word, that I have absorbed the contents of that definition. 

There are many faiths out there in the world. What amazes me is how little people know of their faith. What their doctrine represents and how to use it in their everyday life. To me, if I am to claim to believe in something, I need to know everything about it. I want to educate myself in regards to it. I am a person of questions. And a seeker of answers.

Grace. I've been thinking so much about it. We are shown Grace on a daily basis, but it isn't until we develop a closer relationship with the Almighty before we become aware of it. Why is that? Why do we take so many things for granted? We are so selfish. We are such Israelites.

Even now, as I await this next chapter of my cancer journey, He has shown Grace, Love, Compassion and Forgiveness. Today in Church, we sang I am no longer a slave to fear. I am a child of God. How true! What do I have to fear? Absolutely nothing for I am a child of Abba. I knew then, everything would be just fine. 

Have a Blessed day everyone. 

Saturday, April 9, 2016

The Call

                                                               Everyday is a brand new
                                                               day, everyday is a journey.


--Emily Dickinson.


You know how we wait for something to happen. We wait and wait, growing anxious and hoping it will come soon. We try to occupy ourselves by involving ourselves in aimless activities, anything to keep the obvious thought at bay. That's how I have been feeling regarding the surgery date. 

I hate waiting. I hate not knowing. I need to be prepared, organized and plan my next move. Yesterday, I was feeling a bit irritated with the slowness of things. When we don't know something we become upset right away, don't we? We become impatient and take it out on others. 

I may not have gotten the call I was looking for, but at least I was able to get things rolling. We were able to set up an appointment  with my hernia doctor and applied for Fmla paperwork. Which, by the way, was actually a very pleasant conversation. Plus, we even did some stocking up on supplies. 

I felt relief to be doing something proactive. Others may lock themselves away during a crisis, but not I. I need activity. I need busyness. I need something to do. 

This weekend, I immersed myself into deep cleaning everything. I did some laundry, cleaned out the refrigerator and the apartment all before 11 a.m. Now I'm sitting before the keyboard hoping for the same energizing effort will spill over into my literary world. 

On Monday, I plan on visiting the nurse representative at work and having "that talk" with both of my bosses. We're moving forward folks, moving forward.

Have a Blessed day everyone.

Friday, April 8, 2016

Highlight Of The Week #13

                                           Everyday is a brand new day, everyday is a journey.

If I had to describe this week with one word, the word I would use is anxiety. I lost my soul to anxiety. I fretted and fussed over every imaginable consequence of the upcoming surgery.  I worried about the when, the why and the how. Why was it taking so long to schedule this surgery? What if I didn't have enough time for FMLA approval? That's what happens when we wait on something. . . we lose our mind.

So folks, I'll make it brief today. I plan on searching for my mind this weekend so I can start fresh on Monday. And people think I have it all together. If they only knew.

The funny side of the week. 

We were at Walmart ( Emily and I) when we both decided to split up and meet by the exist. So after I paid the cashier, I noticed that Emily was already finished with her errand and standing near the door. I pushed my cart towards her and she turned to me and said:

"Everyone is giving me their receipt to check off."

And I said . . . .

"Well, take out your pen then."

I laughed so hard all the way home. It was just what I needed to release all that stress. Laughter is the best medicine!

HAVE a blessed day everyone.
 

Thursday, April 7, 2016

Throwback Thursday

 

                                             Everyday is a brand new

                                             day, everyday is a journey. 

Every Thursday we go back to a post from yesteryear and offer an update on where we are today. The following post is from 2013.

  It was not a good year for Emily and myself. We lost many so-called friendships and even though we all have supposedly moved on, the hurt is still very much alive. 

 There are days when we all run into one another and the wounds open up anew. I've thought many times in completely erasing these people from our lives, but instead, I try to bring out the Christian inside of me outside of me and deal with these feelings. I can now see that it's not working. 

 Sometimes we have to sever all ties, because people will go out of their way to be inconsiderate, selfish and uncaring. We as Christians appear as very unwelcoming to the unbeliever (some of us I should say) because some of us are fake Christians. Yes, I said it. 

I think one of the hardest things to do is let go of that hurt. Forgiving is quite easy, but letting go and moving on is another thing. Forgiving includes erasing all thoughts of malice, hatred, and revenge out of our hearts. Do I hate these people? No. Do I have malicious intent for them? No. Am I out for revenge? Absolutely not! They hurt us and it's very hard to go out and trust people after that. I do realize the day will come when that hurt will leave us. 

 

Letting Go 

There is nothing worse than having to let go of something or someone that has played an important part in our lives. Sometimes letting go is a healing process that needs to happen so we can move on to the next chapter in this game of life we are playing. 

Letting go comes in all forms. There may be a person who leaves our life because of a breakup or moving away or by death. Letting go may involve getting rid of an idea or activity that no longer serves its purpose. 

Letting go can hurt, really hurt. 

As the year ends, Emily and I have come to the realization that we need to let go of some of these things that have come to mean so much to us. 

Reflection taking place of what was, what will never be and hopefully of what will come? 

The past becomes old and we long for something new to enter. Something better, something more meaningful. To move forward, one needs to let go, no matter how much it may hurt. 

Have a Blessed day everyone.

Tuesday, April 5, 2016

So You Think You Can Sing?

                                                        Everyday is a brand new day,
                                                        everyday is a journey.

I have a confession to make. I sing my little heart out every single Sunday during Worship. I really belt it out. The minute I open my mouth to sing, people around me always glance back at me. Could it be because I stink? Or maybe I'm too loud? Maybe sweetness comes out of my mouth. 

Wishful thinking, I know. It doesn't matter to me which of the three it is. I'm here to Worship God, so what's wrong with putting all of my heart into it? To my ears, it's pure sweetness and I know it is also to Him. 

I remember a particular story my friend from work told me concerning  her own experience in belting it out at Church.  She used to be a Worship singer who would lead with a couple of other women at her Church. So one particular Sunday, my friend has the microphone and is belting it out. Suddenly, one of the other women takes the mike from her in mid song.

You have no idea how badly I wanted to laugh out loud when she said this, but her own face was upset. She couldn't understand why anyone would do something so hurtful. She kept telling me, "Lottie, I know how to sing".

It really doesn't matter, because in her heart she felt that any praise she gave  to God could only sound like pure sweet harmony.  So I continue to sing out loud regardless of what others may think. These songs mean more to me than just lyrics, empty words. This is exactly how I feel about God and my love for Him. 

At my Church, there is a woman whom I love to watch as she Worships. She dances, jumps, claps as if she was in a concert from her youth. Her husband has a tambourine and this family really rocks the Worship!

If you've been raised in a conservative Church atmosphere as I was, this behavior may seem odd in the beginning. I have learned that there is no shame when it comes to love and I love God. Obviously, so does this family. 

Have a blessed day everyone. 

Monday, April 4, 2016

Mr. Right?

                                          Everyday is a brand new day,everyday is a journey.

Some time ago, I had lunch with a friend and suddenly we found ourselves discussing marriage. Have you ever thought of getting married?

Over these past 23 years, I've been asked that very question on numerous occasions. I really like my freedom, but it wasn't always the case. When I was younger, I did want to be married, but somehow it just never worked out. Now I find myself settled in my own skin and rather enjoying it. I want to be alone.

My view of marriage is more like a fantasy than reality.  It seems that married people complain about being married and single people complain about being single. In truth, it's always easier to face life's struggles with a partner. Whenever I have a difficulty in life, I ask myself why didn't I marry and they could be taking care of this or that issue.

Anyway, I have become rather selfish in my old ways. The last thing I want to do is take care of someone by being in the kitchen cooking, preparing, doing laundry and housework. Been there, done that. Unless of course, if there was a foot rub involved. 

So you see, I do have an unrealistic view of marriage. I'm  thinking more like Sleepless In Seattle than what is truly out there.  I also seem to attract men that are dependent on me. I'm searching for John Wayne and all I'm getting is Peewee Herman. I have never been great at choosing Mr. Right. It's time to hang it up. 

Have a Blessed day everyone. 

Sunday, April 3, 2016

Highlight Of The Week #12

                                         Everyday is a brand new day, everyday is a journey.

As the Easter weekend came to a close, so did the hectic schedule of events. It certainly didn't feel as if we were on Holiday, quite the opposite. When Monday rolled around, work was the last thing on my mind. My mind exploded with thoughts of the upcoming surgery and all the things that needed to be done in the meantime. 

As I waited for my Oncologist to call, I tried to keep myself busy with preparations. I've been through all of this nine years ago, so I basically knew what to expect and what I needed. Once I've made up my mind, I couldn't wait to get  things started.  

We did spend a hilarious day on Saturday together filled with laughter and a whole lot of giggling. Everything on that day was wonderful from the moment we got up to the moment we laid our pretty heads to sleep. Some days are just like that. 

I didn't realize how tired I've been all week. Tired of being a leader. Tired of holding it in and tired of comforting everyone else.  It felt good to stay in and lock the world out. Almost like the storm that raged outside flitting from snow to sleet to rain and repeating all over again. So did our emotions. Here we could be anyway we wanted to be. There was no need for the facade that became our masks to the outside world. 

As always, the simple pleasures are the best. They're calming, relaxing and love filled. I couldn't help but wonder what would my children remember about me? Would it be moments like these? Enjoying each others company doing absolutely nothing?

After an emotionally exhausting week, this was exactly what I needed. I hope you too, find peace this weekend.

Have a blessed day everyone.



Saturday, April 2, 2016

The Plan

                                                       Everyday is a brand new day,
                                                        Everyday is a  journey.

I am a planner and organizer by nature. I like everything in it's place, especially when it comes to my work life. My personal life is a lot more messier and more difficult to keep uncluttered. So it's only natural for me to make plans for this next chapter in my life.

I have about a month until my surgery, so I made a list of several things to accomplish before that day. The whole purpose is for the transition from work/ministry to invalid to be as smooth as possible. My whole plan consists of my recovery being just that . . . . rest and relaxation and no work of any kind. 

So what is my plan? Well, I thought of my regular routine and how I could make it easier for myself. I have an entire month to prepare all my FMLA paperwork which I'm sure will be ongoing throughout my recovery. There is my Ministry Club and arrangements will have to be made for someone to step up. Any grocery shopping or supplies that may be needing some stocking up, also. 

Even at work, I need to have that "courtesy talk" with both of my supervisors. Backups have to be retrained or updated on any current qualifications. The nurse and fellow co-workers will have to be informed. 

Anything and everything that could make life a little easier for us during that time I would like to get ready. The whole idea is to heal quickly and get back to work as soon as possible. I love to be kept busy and active so I wouldn't want to be at home for too long. 

During my recovery, I have hopes of catching up on some reading, crocheting and even writing. Even though my feet will be up resting, my door will be open for anyone to chat if they need me. Well, that's my plan and I;m sticking to it. 

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 ...