Monday, April 24, 2017

CRYING OUT






So many times I find myself in a situation where I have no idea which path to take. I’d like to say I’m one of those people who hears God’s audible voice giving me specific answers, but that’s not always the case. I often pray for weeks, sometimes toiling over a decision instead of trusting Him to guide me.

In those desperate times when we scan the horizon, and the path in every direction looks bleak, only one thing will get us out of our mess – crying out to God. His ways are more complex that our own, and He will answer in the most unexpected ways.



Saturday, April 22, 2017

BE VERY GLAD






“Be happy about it! Be very glad! For a great reward awaits you in heaven.”
Matthew 5:12



Thursday, April 20, 2017

NOISE


I often pray and then fill my life with so much noise that I can’t hear God speak. My busy schedule doesn’t make it any easier. That’s why step one is so critical. God often speaks in whispers. We must be silent to listen. And we can’t hear God if we don’t make time to get alone with Him daily. 



Tuesday, April 18, 2017

LIFE IN PICTURES




Thursday, April 13, 2017

KEEP GOING


It's okay to feel like an absolute and total mess, like you don't know what to want or what you want. It's okay to want to sleep all day for a while. It's okay to be where you're at. 

What's not okay is to deny where you are and how you are. To not look at the things that need to be looked at or not feel the things that need to be felt (this is [part of] what got you into trouble before).

Your task now is to feel and to mourn, and to let that process grow and illuminate yourSelf. To see where this road leads. To love yourSelf more fully, with more abandon.

You will survive. (Yes -- you will.) Stop asking how -- the how is not important. The showing up whole and wholly imperfect and authentic is what's important.

Trust. Trust. Keep going. Don't give up. Serve the world. serve the world your very best. The world needs all the golden soul good that you (we) can offer. So keep going. Don't give up.

Keep going.




Wednesday, April 5, 2017

LIFE IN PICTURES





Saturday, April 1, 2017

BIRTHDAYS TAKE ON A NEW MEANING


This birthday feels like a pretty significant one for me, as I say goodbye to thirty-eight. It was last year that I found a lump in my breast and my entire world changed after that moment. Thirty-eight was a hard year; a year filled with many lessons, challenges, and triumphs. Not just cancer-related experiences. I’m sure for most people, thirty-eight is not necessarily a particularly significant year in their lives. Eventually all the years start to mush together, and become periods of time or life-stages, rather than an individual 365 days. But in my case, I am quite confident that I will never forget the 365 days of being a thirty-eight year-old.

I think many people who have had cancer would say that birthdays take on a new meaning after you have been diagnosed. They truly do become a celebration, and an accomplishment, rather than just another year. I have noticed that most people view getting older and aging as something to fear, and something they don’t want to face. It seems everyone makes comments and complains about how old they are getting, or how much they’re dreading turning 40/50/60, etc.

Thank you 38 for being so patient, adaptive, critical and open to positions you never thought you'd be in. I have grown this past year more deeply and passionately than previous years. I have found more things to love and appreciate. I have learned to trust and be proud of the work I have created. I have fallen to the pressure only to be picked up by new possibilities. I have traveled and experienced some of the most beautiful places. I surprised myself. I allowed my heart to grow. I have simplified life in order to focus on the important things. I have seen life cruelties reminding myself to always be kind and put people first. I will always do what I love and love what I do and never again fall short to a standard.

A rock star once reminded me to "actively participate rather than continuously anticipate, to accept what challenges you and defy gravity." This year I will do just that.

I am no longer part of this massive majority of humans who fear birthdays and wish for eternal youth. I dream of getting old. I dream of turning forty. I think getting older is a gift. It’s a privilege, to make it through another year, and have your health. It’s not a given, and it’s not your right. I feel very blessed to get to have another birthday, and to be able to share it with the people I love most in the world. I’ve earned this day, and I’ve struggled to get here. And now that I’m here, getting older never looked so good.





Tuesday, March 28, 2017

ME TOO!


Here's the problem people, blogs are like show and tell. You only put your best material out there, right? Why would you write about the massive fight you had with your husband last night when instead, you can show us your cute kids and your new kitchen remodel? Now listen, I’m not saying don't show those things...please do actually, this is the story of your life and those things are indeed interesting. Great things happen in life. Celebrate that. But bad things happen in life too, and when it comes to those things that create deep wounds, we shut down into ourselves and don't share. Well maybe a vague side remark on facebook for 400 people to see... But not on my blog because it's too personal. Oh and my grandmother is reading this. Oh and some of my co-workers. 

The problem is, when we write blog posts according to what others may think, we churn out watered-down versions of ourselves. We misrepresent ourselves and dare i say, if you are a Christian, sometimes we can inadvertently misrepresent the gospel. Jesus came because we are messed up, not because we have it all together. When we pretend like everything is perfect, we are doing a disservice to ourselves and to others. And to the story of our lives. Your story is important...the good parts and the difficult parts. That's what makes a story good, right? Conflict, love, overcoming hardships, tension, great happiness...all of it. All. Of. It.

The blog world is weird because we all make it that way. I do too sometimes, yes, so I’m writing this to me as well.  I wouldn't say the blog world is a place where one goes to find honesty. That's hard enough to find in the real world, friends...let alone on the "intranet". But imagine a bloggy world where people felt o.k. about posting their struggles? A she-did-it-so-can-i kind of attitude.

My hope is that people start telling the truth (*in as gracious a manner you can conjure) about what's going on in their lives. It's good. It's good for us to put ourselves on the line. It's called vulnerability and it is super-challenging. But it brings about character and honesty. And it also brings people out of the woodwork saying, me too! I'm going through this too! Because we are all going through something. No one is perfect. And people need others to say so.



Sunday, March 26, 2017

LIFE IN PICTURES




Thursday, March 23, 2017

EXTRAS


I’m feeling really good these days.  Really, really good.  It’s funny, at my last visit with my Oncologist, I told her I was aging in fast forward.  Which isn’t as crazy as it sounds, considering that I started chemo as a young wrinkle-free 105-lb mom, and finished months later as a feeble, gray-faced, bald 120-lb old lady.

At least that how you feel, post-chemo. There’s a fast-forwarding of life that happens. These past months since my last treatment have been about me adjusting to a revised rhythm, and getting to know this new version of me. At just over 2 months post-chemo, I’m beginning to get color back in my face, and my hair, though very dark, is coming in with a vengeance. There are still no eyelashes to speak of, but I am pleased to note that the facial muscle twitching is dissipating.

Though I’m seeing improvements in many areas, unlike some diseases, there’s no graduation day with cancer. It’s never really over.  There are frequent doctor appointments, the next 10-years of Tamoxifen side effects to be managed, and – if things get really exciting – ultrasounds “just in case”.  

But life goes on, and our new normal actually feels…normal.  Fun, even – with a family of 6 there is plenty of fun.  So we are adapting. Accepting. Coping.

A friend of mine refers to life after breast cancer….extras (extra worries, extra pills, extra tests, extra hot flashes, extra weight gain, extra sleepless nights, etc) as “Survivorship Issues.” 

I LOVE this phrase, Survivorship Issues.   I love it because it reminds me that I’m one of the lucky ones.  Yeah, the side effects stink, and there are too many days where I battle my own anxieties (it’s a totally weird thing, calculating the age you can safely die knowing your children will be OK – my friends assure me this is both totally normal AND completely effing meaningless), and the phrase Survivorship Issues reminds me that all of these anxieties and tests and extra appointments and – yes – even the Tamoxifan side effects are all because I made it.  I survived.  

I’m a survivor. 


Sunday, March 19, 2017

LIFE IN PICTURES




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