Monday, October 31, 2016

The Reading List 2

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

I've been spending more time reading actual books. There is something so comforting in holding a book that cannot ever be replaced by a phone, I-pad or kindle. I love the act of turning pages in expectation of what each one holds. I hope that in this day and age of technology we forget  and replace actual books. That would be truly a very sad day indeed. Here are some of my current reads.

Three Sisters
by: Susan Mallery
The Three Sisters are not blood sisters at all, but three identical houses that sit together on a hill. The story lies with what happens in each of these houses and the three women living inside. The houses may be identical on the outside, but inside they couldn't be more different just like the women. They become fast friends as each one is experiencing a tragedy and that's what binds them together as they try to make sense of the mess of their lives. A beautiful story, where of course, I love the heroine that has the worst attitude the best. I would recommend this story for a book club since in the rear of the book there are several discussion questions regarding the story. 

Finding Peace For Your Heart
by: Stormie Omartian
This book dealt with depression, suicide and basically mental health. It offered so many different verses, steps, guidance on all types of issues such as divorce, envy, etc. Tons of information and advice to help us through the maze of life. She keeps reciting from personal experiences and the demons in her heart. All the help one may need or if you are curious as to what the Word of God says on any of the above mentioned topics. 

Common Misunderstandings About God, Jesus And The Bible
By: Dr. Joey Krol
I have to admit that I am a little biased here since the author happens to be my very own son, but I did actually learn a few things I didn't know. For instance, that famous saying of God only gives us what we can handle. It's good to know that it never came from the bible. I personally never cared for it anyway. Now I can tell people to stop saying that to me whenever struggles in my life occur. I always felt it was a cop out for people who had no idea what to say. Do we really believe that when we're struggling and in pain? No one wants to hear that. What we should say is that our strength comes from the Lord. Anyway, the book is filled with bits of info such as that one. 

Well, the Winter months are fast approaching where we'll spend more time indoors catching up on our reading. Or at least, I like to think so. Hope you can check out these goodies. 

Have a Blessed day everyone. 

Saturday, October 29, 2016

My Earliest Memory

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

The three small children ran through the farm fields, happily laughing, their blond hair glistening in the Summer sunshine. All around them the golden rods of wheat swayed gently amidst the breeze of the day. 

That's my earliest memory of my brothers and I. How old were we? I'm not sure, but I had to be younger than seven. That's how old I was when we arrived in the United States. You see, that memory was of a time in Poland where we lived on a farm.

Why that scene has been etched in my mind, I can only speculate on it's meaning. It could be the freedom as children we experienced. The only responsibility we had was to keep our rooms clean, respect our parents and do our homework. We were together, often bickering about who's turn it was to do a particular chore. That's the life of a child.

I wish I could say I had the same problems now, but of course, that would be more of a fantasy than reality. As we grow older, so do our problems. I've been thinking so much of the past lately and I know it has to do with my grandmother Bernice dying. 

Death. . . that's not a new experience for me. Having cancer has often brought up that possibility. It's not the first or the last time I will think about it. Although, I have to say, it feels a little different this time. My main concern is not really the losing of a close loved one as much as being in eternity together. I want to spend eternity with all the people I love, admire and respect. I worry about their salvation. It's so important to see them there. 

Have a blessed day everyone. 

Friday, October 28, 2016

This Is Now

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

These past few weeks, my mind has been centered on my grandmother Bernice back in Poland. Even though this time should have been spent celebrating her 97th birthday, it turned out to be more bittersweet than we anticipated. You see, my grandmother Bernice is in her last days here on Earth. 

It breaks my heart to see a woman who has made such a huge impact on my life as well as my children, suffer. We imagine death to be a peaceful act of someone simply closing their eyes, taking a deep breath and passing on. Unfortunately, it isn't always so. I've seen a grown man with tears rolling down his cheeks in pain as he lay dying. There are some who pass quietly in their sleep just as my Uncle has a few years ago. Either way, death is not pleasant nor should it be.

We should be made to FEEL something. When I saw pictures of my grandma now, I cried. I cried because this woman was someone I loved. She was kind and loving to me. She would call me every Monday morning and listened to me retell the daily frustrating antics of two small children who were misbehaving, constantly fighting and driving their mother crazy. Usually, this involved Emily. I can still remember what she would say, always the same thing, too. Oh, Wladzia, (my name in Polish) the apple doesn't fall far from the tree. 

When I became a single mom, she took care of them so I could go to work. She and Emily would play dress up with Heehee (Emily 's stuffed bear) and she was excited at the sight of Joey's growing spirituality. She wanted him to be a priest and would caution me not to push him, but allow him to make that decision himself. Of course, he did end up being a Pastor.

I have so many beautiful memories of this great woman. I don't want her to suffer. It becomes very personal and dear when it's someone you love. I don't think people realize how important it truly is to be right with God. Don't wait until you someday become old. You may think you have plenty of time to sort things out. . . later. Trust me, tomorrow isn't promised, we can die anytime. Resolve your issues now. Get right with God now. Ask Him into your heart now.

Have a Blessed day everyone.

Thursday, October 27, 2016

When We're Wronged

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

One of the hardest things to do is to pick ourselves up when our whole world crumbles. There is a feeling welling up inside of us that we cannot, could not ever possibly rise up from this rejection. Rejection, because that's basically what it is, a rejection of our deepest desire. 

There are so many of my friends that have gone through heart wrenching and painful moments in their lives where someone hurt them deeply. It could be a husband or wife, who has betrayed and left the family home. Or a father/daughter relationship that has struggled for way too long. How about the two friends whose relationship broke in half due to something no one can even remember any longer. Unforgiveness can eat away all our JOY leaving us with nothing, but with bitterness and emptiness. 

To all those who have been hurt and unable to forgive, let me ask you what exactly are you hoping for here? What would help you forgive? Do you want the person who has hurt you to scream out for everyone to hear that they were wrong? That they're sorry on their hands and knees? Or perhaps you're looking for restitution of some type? What kind of outcome would satisfy you in order for you to forgive?

For me, it always was about the snobbery. I wasn't good enough to be part of that special clique. I was constantly seeking to prove them wrong by engaging them in discussions via social media. Of course, my opinions were never welcomed nor did they ever match theirs. Looking back, I can see now that I could never be part of them, because of how different my views were. Besides, did I really want to belong to something I so vastly disagreed with in the first place?

When we feel rejected, it's difficult for us to move on. We are looking for something from the person who has inflicted that wound. We keep thinking that if we forgive them, it's like admitting weakness and they'll have a hold on us. Forgiveness isn't about absolving someone, it's about lifting the heavy chains of oppression that satan has over us. When we forgive, we let go and gain control back in our lives. Isn't it time we lived free?

Have a Blessed day everyone. 

Wednesday, October 26, 2016

Here We Go Again

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

Negativity generates and breathes anger.

There was a time where I loved to watch reality television. One thing I can tell you is that when these people fought, they fought with everything within them. It would be violent with a lot of throwing things and ripping out their hair. Another thing I noticed was that they never acknowledged their part in any of the fights. Everything was the other persons fault, usually followed by expletives. 

Look at the picture above. You can see the house reflected in the water perfectly. It's the same when we glance in the mirror and see our reflection in it. A real smart sister-in-Christ once told me the first thing we all need to do when addressing a situation is to accept our part in it. No one can take the entire 100 percent of fault. Acknowledge your part. Once you do that, I guarantee you will see and handle things differently. 

Back to the reality shows. I recently turned one on and began watching. This particular one involved so much anger, yelling and screaming. Almost immediately, I could feel myself become agitated, the anger welling up inside of me rooting for the one wronged. I became so wrapped up in that story line that suddenly my tone changed when speaking with Emily. I could feel myself becoming one of them. Angry. Negative. Blaming.

Negativity generates and breathes anger.  

All of you have to bear with me, because I feel that there are some of you who are needing to let go of some issues. I really feel strongly about the forgiveness issue and the Holy Spirit has placed these few blogs on my heart. I need to say it. I'm not out to point fingers, because I am just as guilty. 

There is so much discord within my family, my friendships, my co-workers. We cannot allow these feelings to fester into a mountain. Even if that happens, God can and will move a mountain if He has to. Why don't we just talk to Him about it? Ask Him to help us in ridding ourselves of anything that hurts our soul. Help me, Lord, to overcome this! 

If you're one of those people that thinks they don't have a problem with forgiving someone, let me ask you a question. Can you comment on a person who has hurt you without bringing up the old hurt done to you by them? Can you mention them without anger? I don't think so. Just the tone we use is evidence enough. Don't let bitterness encase your heart.

Have a Blessed day everyone. 

Tuesday, October 25, 2016

Oh, That F Word

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

Lately, it seems that I cannot go anywhere or open a book or devotion without some reference to forgiveness. At first, I would skim over it, really dismissing it's contents, because I have no need for forgiveness. I dealt with what I needed to a very long time ago.

We all think that, don't we? You know that's a lie. The problem is that I do have issues, ones I thought I let go. I think, in a way, we always have something ranging from the minimal to the major. I, myself, have been harboring issues in regard to my old Church, my Ministry and even some of my family. Even though I have forgiven these offenses, I haven't been able to let go of them. Everything would seem fine and then suddenly we run into that person or see them on social media only to evoke these emotions once again. Talk about re-opening old scabs!

Unforgiveness holds you hostage. Forgiveness does not mean reconciliation. Some of us live in a self made bubble where unforgiveness reigns.

I wish I could remember where I read the above phrase or who actually said it. It certainly makes a lot of sense. How many of us are stuck in unforgiveness? Never moving forward or letting go of past hurts. I know plenty of you who are struggling with some sort of hurt. Well, so am I. I feel as if God has placed this on my heart to share with all of you. We're all harboring something and it's been far too long. We need to address these issues and rescue our soul. 

According to Rick Warren, there are 5 stages of grief, but I believe this also represents unforgiveness, too. 
1. Denial
2. Anger
3. Bargaining
4. Depression
5. Acceptance
We're all in denial about our part in this struggle. It's not us, but them. They're at fault. Remember, it takes two people to create an issue. No one fights alone. We all know how anger is rooted deeply preventing us from forgiving and letting go. Any reconciliation attempts usually result in us making a deal. If only that person would admit their fault, then we could forgive them. Of course, we're innocent in all of this. Depression sets in when the isolation of that someone becomes permanent in our life. Finally, we just accept that we cannot ever repair this wrong doe to us. 

Unforgiveness sure is a lot like grief, isn't it? It certainly brings us grief. Do you see how easy it is for things to escalate to the point of no return? Words really hurt more than our feelings, they hurt our soul. Don't you think we should do everything possible within us to forgive that someone? It doesn't have to be public, it just has to be sincere! It's time, it's gone on far too long.

Have a blessed day everyone. 

Monday, October 24, 2016

My Heart Is There!


                              There is nothing more beautiful these days than the colorful changing of the leaves. When the weather shifts, becoming colder and windier, we enjoy hearty soups and all things pumpkin! The desire to burrow down in our comfy abodes for the long haul of Winter is strong. After the busyness of Summer, we're ready to just relax.

Already my mind is fluttering away like mad with ideas for all indoor projects. Even in my Ministry, we collect donations of yarn like little squirrels hiding their precious nuts. Winter time is spent crocheting more items than any other Season, usually donating to several charitable organizations per month. Yes, it's a busy time for my Ministry. 

There's also our hearts. They, too, need a time of preparation for the upcoming months. Just think of all the Holidays that we celebrate during this time. We have a harvest where we give thanks for the past year for both the good and the bad. That's what Thanksgiving is all about. Then we have Jesus' birthday. Another special time for our hearts.  A new beginning on the New Year! My heart is there! My heart is there! 

I can see God everywhere. I can see Him in the bold colors of the falling leaves. I can see Him in the bounty of the harvest. I can see Him in the beauty of the freshly fallen snow. I can see Him in the fierceness of a thunderstorm! Can you feel Him in the gentle breeze upon your face? My heart is there! My heart is there!

So, I'm ready. I'm ready, because my heart is there wherever God goes! 

Have a Blessed day everyone. -

Sunday, October 23, 2016

Under Construction

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

I dislike construction! It seems we cannot go anywhere without a roadblock or deter posted preventing any further movement in our designated path. Or the process is incredibly slow. It is told that Ruth Graham's gravestone bears the words Under Construction: Thanks For Your Patience. Such a wise woman. I hope I show such wisdom as I grow older.

I've spent this weekend basically on my own as Emily went zip lining with her friend Jan in Rockford. When I'm alone the apartment is super quiet as I go about my daily chores. Therefore, my brain is in overload analyzing and brainstorming on everything going on in our life. 

I've found out something about myself. When change happens or a new plan is set in motion, I have no problem grabbing it with both hands. I'm all on board with whatever needs to be done as long as there is a plan. If this is what needs to be done, let's do it! That's my attitude. I'm out of the starting gate fully charged and energized!

My problem lies with endurance. Halfway through the plan, it becomes difficult. It's already been awhile and I may become tired of the length or just impatient. Things may require a deter or a roadblock, discouragement settles in slowly, but surely. 

I still finish the race, but I have a habit of settling. I settled when it came to choosing a mate for life. I settled with every man after that. I settled with my career. I settled for the type of cars I drove. I settled where I lived. I just plan settled. 

Whenever people ask me how they can pray for me, I always say pray for strength and endurance. I say that for a reason, because I know myself. I know where my strengths lie and where I struggle. I think all of us do, even though, some of us don't want to admit that weakness.

Where are your strengths? What have you settled in? We're all under construction avoiding all deters and blocked roads as we struggle through this journey we call life.

Have a blessed day everyone. 

Saturday, October 22, 2016

The Table

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

Before I joined the company I work for, I worked at the corporate headquarters of a well-known franchise. I have two very distinctive memories that spring to mind whenever I think of them. 

The first was the aroma of freshly ground, freshly brewed coffee whenever one stepped into their cafeteria. That delicious, rich smell I have never been able to find outside of the corporate building, not even in one of their stores. 

The second involved the CEO's desk. His desk was immaculate, with absolutely no clutter of any kind. Whenever one would pass by his office, he would have one sheet or folder on his desk. He believed that one could only work on one thing at a time. It's easy to guess that he didn't care for clutter.

I am nowhere near his style of working. If anything, I'm the total polar opposite. I have piles upon piles of stuff on my desk that threaten to spill over onto the floor. To be honest, I like it like that. Everything can be easily accessible by merely reaching for it. 

I have often dreamed of switching from a desk to a table where I can easily lay out all my things. Of course, I would use organizers to neatly display on my desk. Even now as I write I know it is a lie. It would be even messier than now. Who am I kidding?

I often wondered why or how I could be so disorganized and messy with my own room, but yet, every other part of my life had to be perfect. Was this my one escape where no one else was allowed? Or perhaps no one could see the mess I am in or created? I wonder if we all have a place like that where our polar opposite exists. A place to hide and be anyway we wanted to be. . . . mess and all. Naked to no one, only to God. 

Here I am, Lord, a horribly disorganized and messy soul all vulnerable in front of you. And yet, He still loves me. 

Have a blessed day everyone. 

Friday, October 21, 2016

October Q & A

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

One would think that with all the sharing I do on this blog about my life, people would have nothing to ask me in person. On the contrary, people want updates. So here we go!

1. What is going on with your Tiny House?
My tiny house situation has been put on hold for now. There is nothing more that I would love than to buy a THOW (tiny house on wheels), move to Decatur by my son, and live out the remainder of my days doing ministry work. This is how I see my retirement. I don't plan on stopping to smell the roses, but plan on being active for as long as possible. I am so close to being able to retire from my company with full benefits that it would be silly of me to throw all that away. 

From time to time, you will see me posting a picture of a Tiny house, especially one with a layout I love. Recently, a friend found a THOW company located not too far from us. You can bet your boots I plan on visiting! You see, even though I may want one, I also want to see one first in person. What if they're too small for me? Pictures can be modified, but what we see with our own eyes can't be deceived.

2. Are you okay now?
I love this question and get it quite often. People have a misconception to cancer treatment. They think that one goes through treatment and when it's over, the cancer is gone forever. So I get this one a lot. Their you are good now usually means I'm healed and I beat cancer. When it comes back, whether it is a few months later or years, they're shocked. Their expressions are usually followed by but I thought they took it all out or didn't it work last time?

Cancer is so complex and extremely smart. I would highly recommend for everyone to watch a few documentaries on it, especially if you have someone close to you diagnosed with it. One thing I have learned over the years is that cancer is definitely a lifestyle and not a one time thing. It is a decision to live life to the fullest. 

3. Have you ever seen a therapist for your cancer?
When I first was diagnosed back in 2007, I went through a very long, difficult and painful recovery. I endured many health setbacks which were hard for me to handle. During that time, the hospital had a cancer counselor that came around to chat with us. She helped me channel some of the pain by listening to soothing music, meditation and by talking about my fears. 

Since that time, I have begun this blog for my children as a memoir for them when I'm gone. I never expected it to turn into what it is now. It became a sort of therapy for me as I shared my experiences. For the majority of time, I forget there is an audience and look completely surprised when I run into a reader. So I'm not against seeing a therapist, but this works for me much better. I think we should do what works best. If that means a group session or a private one or keeping a journal, as long as we are working things out within us that's all that matters. Do what works for you.

Have a blessed day everyone. 

Wednesday, October 19, 2016

Life Happens

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

Life has a way of repeating itself from generation to generation. I often think about the similarities from my grandmother's time to the present. Were her struggles the same as mine? We carry so much baggage around. Does that baggage continue it's journey through the ancestry pool? Were their lives any different from ours? Can we honestly say our lives are much better now?

Life happens so quickly. We grow up, get a job, get married, have children. Some of us end up divorced or widowed or in a broken relationship. The children are grown and we find ourselves alone. Life happens quickly.

What do we do then? If you are anything like me, you're always looking for that something else, for that next thing in my life. I mean, we have lived and done all the important things on our list, but what comes next?

My mind has been so full of memories, ideas, and the future. My grandma Bernice, back in Poland, will turn 97 this month. One would imagine it was a month of celebrations, but instead, she has been feeling very poorly. I haven't been able to get her out of my mind. How much life has she gone through? Endured? Survived? The people she has loved and the mistakes she wishes she could change. 

Life happens so quickly. I wonder how we feel at the end of our lives. Do we feel fulfilled, a life lived or a life full of regrets? I believe it depends on whether we have Christ in our lives or not. Have we lived according to His commands? Just like the Apostle Paul said, I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith. That's what I want to be able to say when I'm at the end of my life. Life happens so quickly, don't waste it.

have a blessed day everyone. 

Tuesday, October 18, 2016

Taking A Break

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

This year has certainly been a year consumed with my health. From February until September, it has been all about my cancer. I've spent one appointment after another with various doctors and treatments. I am tired. I jokingly made a comment to my radiation doctor that I wasn't planning on seeing anyone until January of next year. He didn't think it was funny. 

When it comes to my health, he need not have worried. I do take care of myself and keep all appointments. I understand the importance of doing so. I just wanted to take a small break and focus on other things. There's only two or three months left and January will be here. Then the cycle will begin anew. 

I feel as if my life has been on hold all this time. Is it any wonder that I want to think and breathe something else? Take today, for instance. It's so beautifully sunny and breezy. I just want to sit with my face turned upwards and feel the warmth upon my face. The last days before the real chill comes. 

So I'm taking a break, spending some time writing stories I've long set aside. There's a pile of half started crochet items that I've never finished. My next bold step taking refuge in God's hands. So much more to experience. So much more to share. So much more to do. 

Have a blessed day everyone. 

Sunday, October 16, 2016

All Wrapped Up

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

I've been so wrapped up in my next bold step that I've allowed it to consume me completely. I've lived and breathed that project to the point where it became my idol. Everything else piled high in a dark corner somewhere as if not important. 

Every project we begin, starts with a fire within us. That same fire burns deeply and brightly infusing our souls with a fervor to get moving. We dare not miss a single Sunday of Church. We make sure we tithe exactly 10 percent of our income. We make a prayer list of how we want the project to turn out. Heck, we even do an altar call the very next Sunday for discernment with our eyes and ears. We do all that, because we expect it all to happen now.

It is very unrealistic to think it will be an overnight sensation. The minute things begin to stretch, we begin to doubt ourselves, our actions and even our calling. We tell ourselves that perhaps we have read the message wrong from God. I mean, otherwise, it would have happened already. All our Christian friends tell us that all we have to do is leave it with God. Well, we did that. Obviously, there must be something wrong with me.

That's where I'm at now. For the last two weeks I barely slept, tossing and turning, wondering why it hasn't happened yet. I have stressed myself out with worry and frustration. When the weekend finally rolled around, I slumped in defeat. 

Then Jesus said, "Come to me, all of you who are weary and carry heavy burdens, and I will give you rest.
Matthew 11:28

I just love, love this Bible verse. That's how I felt walking into Church this morning. I felt weary, not tired. There is a difference. Of course, God always provides exactly what we need. We just need to listen. 

 "I do believe, but help me overcome my unbelief!"
Mark 9:24

That was today's message. I need to take a step back from this obsession of mine. I need to refocus my mind and look at this from a completely different angle. Maybe even lay it aside for now. 

 "I do believe, but help me overcome my unbelief!"

Have a Blessed day everyone. 

Saturday, October 15, 2016

A Proud Moment

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

As parents, we know our children better than anyone else. We know their faults and their strengths. We also have a mountain of hope for them especially when they fall down and disappoint us. I was very blessed to be a parent of children who didn't party hardy, drink or smoke or partake in drugs, or break the curfew. I was extremely blessed in that respect, but as normal everyday people, they had their faults. 

Both Emily and Joey had their one problem that followed them throughout their growing years. Many of nights I've spent on my knees begging and praying to God for them to overcome their faults. As I've said before, I love being a parent of grown children. I can now enjoy the fruits of all that labor. Don't ever give up on your children. Don't ever stop praying for them. Don't ever think they'll never amount to anything. 

Joey struggled in school all his youth and yet here he is with a Doctorate. It is my absolute pleasure to promote his very first book
Common Misunderstandings About God, Jesus And The Bible. You can purchase a copy on Dr. Joey Krol, sounds nice, doesn't it?

Have a Blessed day everyone.

Wednesday, October 12, 2016

The Next Bold Step

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

In all fairness, I have to admit this next bold step of mine has been proving more difficult than I expected. I didn't think it would be. I honestly thought this would be the easiest of them all. I'm sure you can imagine my frustration and surprise when one obstacle after an another has been placed in my way. I'm beginning to think it might not happen or maybe it was never meant to happen? Nah! It will take a little longer, that's all.

I like things to go according to plan, methodically and efficiently for all the pieces to fall into place. Remember, I over analyze everything? Everything is ready, except for that one final piece. 

It's hard to wait, isn't it? It's like that question mark that Beth Moore spoke about at the conference. Imagine drawing one, the first curve we make is the very beginning. It goes so smoothly, doesn't it? So easy and comfortable to draw, but get to the end of that curve where it bends . . . that's when things become a little difficult. I'm at that curve with my next bold step.

On the positive side, I am feeling much, much better since my radiation. There was a moment there where I doubted ever going back to normal. Or as normal as possible. My appetite is coming back and any side effects with my digestive system haven't been seen since my trip to Springfield. Time does heal things, even if it is done slowly. 

Also, I woke up to find out it has been raining and everyone was posting double rainbows all over Facebook. Now, the skies darkened and it looks like a storm is coming. I love being inside the house for these storms looking out from my window. For some strange reason, they fill me with inspiration to write. Too bad I will be leaving for work in a bit and won't be able to do any writing. 

Have a Blessed day everyone. 

Tuesday, October 11, 2016

Just Fine

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

I've been in a Proverbs 31 Bible study with Lysa TerKeurst's Uninvited. She asked a very particular question last Friday.  Are you good at faking fine? I fake fine every single day. No other words come out of my mouth. There are a select few who will hear me tell the truth about how I'm feeling and only then briefly. 

In fact, I can remember a time back during my first bout with cancer, when a friend called. She asked me how I felt and I told her . . . . . the entire truth. It was a bad time in my recovery or should I say lack of recovery. She thought I had lost my will to live and had all our friends call me to make sure I didn't take my life. 

That was a horrible feeling I never want to experience again. I don't tell people how I truly feel for that reason. People who don't have cancer have this belief that all one needs to do is be positive. . . . all the time. You shouldn't cry. You cannot have a bad day. You need to maintain a happy attitude to fight this cancer. If they only knew how it truly was for us patients.

So instead, I fake fine every single day. I don't tell you of the aches and pains in my legs that I deal with every day. I don't tell you how I have to watch what I eat or I'll be sick. I don't tell how exhausted I am every night. I don't tell anyone my true feelings. 

So how am I? Fine. Just fine. Isn't that what we all say? I'm not the only one who fakes it. I think there are many people out there who fake it everyday. Why is that? I believe it is because we feel people wouldn't understand. So there are people walking around with all sorts of hurts out there afraid to voice their thoughts in fear of not being understood. We really need to do a better job at showing and offering compassion. Maybe we should stop talking and do a little more of listening. Listen to what they have to say, hold their hand and keep our mouths shut. 

Have a blessed day everyone. 

Monday, October 10, 2016

A Poem

                                  Everyday is a brand new day, 
                                                   everyday is a journey.
Today I took a mental walk 
along the dusty cobwebs of
things long ago.
I did not cry, vent or rejoice
as I watched from above 
flashes of events that tugged
at my heart so.
I stood at all the crossroads
some I deliberated long
 and some not at all.
Each turn and bend a new 
memory etched forever on
my soul.
Did I do wrong? 
Should I have said no?
Why did I do that?
I could have done so much
The easy and painless memories 
so quickly erased,
 their existence gone.
The dark and brooding, 
the unforgiving ones locked
away in a vault to be opened
frequently on dark foreboding
nights where pity reigns.
Why do we go there?
Why visit at all?
Only painful and sorrowful 
memories live there
all alone.
I walk among these shadows
one last time,
 saying my farewells
to be locked away 
where no one dwells!

Have a blessed day everyone.

Sunday, October 9, 2016

The Best Days

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

It's funny how much we change as we get older. I can remember a time when I was young, energetic and full of spunk. I could stay up all night, lay down for a two hour nap and run off to work like it was nothing. Nowadays, I'm lucky if I stay up past eleven at night. 
When the weekend rolled near, plans were made that involved actually leaving the house. Always on the look out for some fun thing to do.

I feel like I've done a complete 360 degree. None of the above interests me at all. Now, my best days involve doing absolutely nothing. I guess, that's the first real signs of being old.

This morning as I prepared for Church, I happily realized there was no place in particular I had to be at after the service. No errand to run. No social gathering of any kind. I could joyfully skip home, get into my comfy, mismatched outfit and do whatever I wanted. 

Doing whatever I want doesn't necessarily mean bumming around the house watching television. There is nothing wrong with that, but I actually love anything to do with my Ministry work or writing. I love all the behind the scenes stuff that no one sees or even knows about. I could sit here and write for hours on end, lost in my own little world. The same goes for looking up different charities, shopping for yarn, washing and packaging all finished items. I love what I do.

That's my best kind of days. Sunday is my best kind of day. We wake early and go to Church. We sing our hearts out and get our Jesus on to sustain us through the week. Then we come home, shut the doors and do our other work. What could be better than that? Or at least, it is for me. For Emily. We sit down and break bread as a family, sharing with one another anything that has happened. We don't get to eat together every day. Our work schedules are way too different.

So what's your best kind of day? Why is it your best day? What makes it so special for you? Do you even have one? Make time for your best kind of day.

Have a blessed day everyone.

Saturday, October 8, 2016

Rah, Rah, Go Pink!

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

It is a well known fact that my place of work (Avon) donates tons of money to breast cancer every year. We hold fundraiser after fundraiser and even select October as the breast cancer awareness month where we wear pink every Friday in support. 

In fact, one can see the famous breast cancer pink symbol everywhere. There are several types of merchandise ranging from water bottles to license plate holders. One can even ride in a pink taxi as a show of support. Let's not forget the numerous 5K Walks sponsored every year by various organizations. Breast cancer awareness and fundraisers have come a long way. 

That's wonderful, but what about all the other cancers out there? How come we don't see anything for the lung, the throat or even mine (ovarian)? Sometimes, I feel a real frustration when fellow co-workers inquire why I'm not wearing pink on Friday. I mean, I'm wearing teal for ovarian, why do I need to wear pink? They just don't see my point of view at all. 

We have been doing this for years now and I still get the same question. One would think I wouldn't need to repeat myself anymore. This year, I didn't even bother answering with my usual teal reply. I just said no I'm not participating. You would think I was a terrorist for the looks I've received. 

I don't think it's too much to ask to have my type of cancer have the same fundraisers as the breast. All cancers are important no matter what type you may have. Don't you think I want to wear a teal tutu and teal heart ears? Or participate in a 5K Ovarian Walk? Heck, I'll even blog about it!

So I'm sorry, I'm not running around Rah, Rah, Go Pink! What about my cancer? Or the neighbors? Or your friend's wife? Why don't we have an universal color for all cancers united? This way, no one feels left out and everyone has a chance to celebrate by screaming I'm a survivor arms in the air as they cross the finish line. Rah, Rah Go Survivors!

Have a blessed day everyone. 

Friday, October 7, 2016

Signs, Signs, Everywhere Signs

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

Sign, sign, everywhere a sign
Blockin' out the scenery, breakin' my mind
Do this, don't do that, can't you read the sign?
By: Five Man Electrical Band

Do you remember that song "Signs"? There are signs everywhere and we look to them to show us what to do or where to go. Some of us can't make a move without a sign in our lives. When I was in high school, I would look for signs from boys, mood rings, astrology and even the body language of others.

I'm so glad I grew away from all of that and really leaned  toward following Christ. He's all the "signs" I need. I find that a lot of people seek signs for guidance and the excuse they provide. For instance, we stop because the sign tells us to. We make a left turn when the arrow turns green. This road is only a one way. If anything happens , well, I only did what the sign said to do. 

Some of us even take it a step further. We never move forward, because the sign is very comfortable and safe. Take a parking sign, we all want that perfect parking spot. Who would want to give it up? And according to Joyce Meyer's, some of us are parked at the point of our pain. 

I think we all have done that at one point or another. We become so fixated by what we are going through we cannot move forward. I know many people who are stuck in the same pain for years. They cannot say anything without making a reference to what happened to them. What they don't realize is that they're only hurting themselves. The other person could care less or has moved on a century ago. 

I did the same a few years back in regards to my old Church. I held on to the hurt to the point it became my best buddy. The problem was that I was the only one remembering anything. All those people moved on with their lives and soon forgot I ever even worshiped there. Having let go of it, I certainly feel better. Now, I can run into them and not feel any kind of pain.

There is another sign I would love to bring to your attention. 

Having a Crocheting Ministry has been a real blessing to me and to my ladies. In a three year period, we have donated our "goods" to over 72 charities, many of them having become our regulars. All that occurs on the generosity of our faithful contributors by donating yarn, material and even plastic grocery bags.  Without these donations, we could not go on as a Ministry. If anyone is interested in making a donation, you can send it to the following address: 2646 N. 75th Ave Unit 1E
              Elmwood Park, Il. 60707

Thank you and have a blessed day everyone. 

Thursday, October 6, 2016

The Pitiful Pit

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

We all have a pity pit, don't we? Joyce Meyer's had one made for the stage. She filled it with pictures of family and friends who have hurt her, past and present. In reality, her pit was the bathroom where she would lock herself away feeling sorry for herself, hating on all these people. 

My pit consisted of locking myself away in my room, usually at night while everyone was asleep. This way no one disturbed my pity party. I would turn on sob music, mostly country. Then I would pour myself a glass of wine (it only takes one glass to put me to sleep) and cry my little heart out. In my pity party, I became the martyr and everyone else the villain.  By the time morning rolled in, I was fine. My pity time didn't last too long.

What does yours look like? Where do you hang out with pity? Do you have a ritual you faithfully play out in the pity pit?

I desperately wanted a pity party in my pit during radiation. Somehow, it just didn't materialize. Instead of a sob, only a whining whimper would emerge. I even planned one, but I ended falling asleep before it began. Now, that's pitiful!

I came to the conclusion that God didn't want me to have one. It's as if He was saying to me to quit feeling sorry for myself and get on with what I sent you here to do. BUT, I still haven't given up on that pity party inside my pit when it comes to my radiation experience. I plan on having it one day. Not sure when, but it will come. 

Now why do you suppose I want to hold on to that? For some reason, I'm so stubborn  when it comes to letting it finally GO. Maybe there is still something else buried deep inside that refuses to come forth and be exposed. I wonder what that is. . . 

Have a Blessed day everyone.

Wednesday, October 5, 2016

Who Told You That?!

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

I didn't come here to be fixed overnight. I came here to be filled with the Word of God. That's what I kept telling myself at the conference. I've done several of Beth Moore Bible studies, so I looked forward to hearing her speak. I wasn't disappointed. As usual, Beth dished out homework by having us answer the following questions pertaining to our current life status. 

1. Where are you now?
I am tired, physically and mentally. I feel as if the radiation took away from me five entire weeks of life. My life ceased for that time  only consisting of eating, sleeping, radiation and work, leaving me exhausted in the process. All that work just for it to come back next year. I laid in bed this morning willing myself to get up and face the day. On the outside, everyone keeps telling me how wonderful I look and how healthy. What they don't realize is that an attitude is a choice. I choose to make an effort with a smile on my face regardless of how I am feeling on the inside.

2. Who told you that?!
Who told you it's coming back next year? Who told you it was all for nothing? Who told you your life was on hold? Did God tell you that? No, He did not. I told myself that or maybe the devil filled thoughts. You made people laugh and you listened to their stories, just by holding their hands. You came out of it with the compassion you lacked going in. You came out with the desire of starting your own group.

3. What are you seeking?
I am seeking peace. More than anything I want to find that spiritually calming balance between all of my ministries. I don't want to feel flustered, rushed or frustrated, instead I want to feel fulfilled and contented. I don't want to give up any of them. 

4. How much more?
I'm already busy, but I feel that perhaps God is pulling on my heartstrings to do more. One more thing, Lottie. You can make it work. Make some changes, some adjustments, some better organizing. You start it and I'll bring the people. Just as I did with the yarn for the ministry, I will prepare for this next thing. God is pulling on my heartstrings for so much more.

How would you fill in these questions? Where are you at in your journey? We all have one. I hope you make the time for yours. The more I study the Word of God, the more I'm affected by what is going on around me.

Have a Blessed day everyone. 

Tuesday, October 4, 2016

En Route

                                                                     Everyday is a
                                                                      brand new day,
                                                                     Everyday is a

People know me so well. Coming home from my retreat, right away there are messages inquiring what I have taken away with me from this trip. They know I will share this experience with all of you. 

I had no particular expectation of my take away going in, but I did pray about it. As Beth Moore said at the conference, whatever this experience is offering I want it all. I felt completely the same. I am open to whatever they are giving out and let's see how it looks on me when I come out the other end.

My trip did not start well or at least the part concerning my health. I did not sleep a wink the night before since I was afraid of not waking up on time. I had to leave my house around 4:30 a.m. to catch the 7 a.m. Amtrak at Union station. Don't forget that I arrive home every night from work around 11:15 p.m. Also, I've been experiencing tummy problems for several days and I was concerned it would spill over into my trip. 

The entire "going" to St. Louis was perfect in every way. Everything was well organized and I spent the time catching up on my Proverbs 31 Bible study. The hotel was gorgeous and the food was delicious. For some wonderful reason, God decided to bless me with a strong tummy. For two whole days, I had no problems at all in that respect. I felt great. . . for two whole days.

The "going home" I was exhausted. I decided to stay overnight by Joe and Aubs., because I wanted to see their new church. That meant taking the early evening train, something I don't particularly care to do. It's always crowded and cramp. The two girls in front of me reclined in their seats, not leaving me much space. I knew I would miss my train home from Union station and I'd have to wait another two hours. I knew all that. I was tired, couldn't concentrate on anything, so I sat there with my eyes closed. My love for my son was greater than my distaste for the train schedule. 

I've always wanted to experience a retreat such as this one filled with several sessions throughout the day. I got what I wanted, but I also realized how exhausting it was. As tired as I was, I loved every minute of it. Definitely want to do it again. Tomorrow, I will share the knowledge I have learned there. For now . . . .

Have a Blessed day everyone. 

Monday, October 3, 2016

The Thirst Is Real

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

There comes a point in our spiritual walk where we are thirsty for a more in depth study of the word of God. We are no longer satisfied being fed milk and are craving real grownup food.
Simple Gospel 
Simple Grace

Isn't that the truth? There does come a time where one is looking for that something extra that can only come from God. Having just come off another bout with cancer, I find myself searching for that something special. It just seemed as if I've become so drained during this recovery. I needed to feel revitalized spiritually, mentally and physically. One can only do that on a retreat.

Having agreed to go with a group of wonderful ladies to the Joyce Meyer's Conference way back in February, I couldn't believe how appropriately the date fell right after the completion of my treatment. It must have been God ordained! 

Days before, I thought about what I wanted to accomplish during this retreat. Retreats are tricky. People tend to think that all will be well in their lives when the retreat doors close and it's time to go home. We don't realize that the work has only just begun. I didn't want my high expectations to rule over what maybe God wanted me to receive from this retreat instead. 

I prayed, leaving it up to God. What do I need to tackle in my life? What do I need to receive from this conference? Search my heart, Lord and let me see what I need to repair. I know, deep down inside, it will require lots of work. It is not a simple three day cleansing and I'm all done. I want to open up my heart and receive whatever He wants for me, no matter how painful the process may end up to be. 

That's only the first part of this retreat. The second part, I wanted to socialize with fellow women of God. Women need other women and I need them. I wanted us to all bond, to share our experiences and go away from this in a deeper sisterhood of Christ. We may come from all walks of life, but we are united by the blood of Jesus Christ. There is nothing more powerful to face the outside world than the cords that are formed as a group of believers. 

I needed to experience that with them. I needed to feel that. I needed to be that. I struggle daily with sharing myself with others. I am not a social person and this is extremely hard, especially when it comes to meeting new people. I have a tendency to come off as unapproachable. That's something I constantly need to work on. Now, this may surprise many of you since I'm so forward on this blog, but there is a difference in writing about things. I don't have to face anyone. I don't see any of your faces when you read this blog. Face to face contact is an entirely different process. 

So thank you fellow conference companions for allowing me to share in this experience with you. I hope many of you who haven't done a women retreat, do so. It's an experience unlike any you may have had.

Have a blessed day everyday.

Yarn Bombing My Life

                            Everyday is a brand new day, everyday is a journey. Some murmur if their sky is clear, And wholly bright ...