Posted in Devotional, Self Help

Forgiveness

Did you know purple hyacinths are an emblem of forgiveness?

Do you think about forgiveness?

Lately, I have been thinking about it constantly.

I feel like when you’re going through life changing hurdles it makes your mind think about those kinds of things.

There’s so many situations in my life right now I wish I could change even though it’s obvious most of them I cannot. I decided life’s too short not to make some alterations if I can. Often, we get so wrapped up in the pain that someone or their actions caused us, we don’t think about what we are letting it do to ourselves.

Do not judge, and you will not be judged. Do not condemn, and you will not be condemned. Forgive, and you will be forgiven.

Luke 6:37

We may not be able to change the action or situation, but we can change how we react to it. Life is hard whether we want to say it out loud or not.

It’s not fair. It’s not equal. It’s not promised. Don’t count on it being easy.

I told my daughter last week I wanted her to find forgiveness. I wasn’t suggesting she do it for the person that hurt her, but rather for herself. It broke my heart to see her hurting because of something she can’t control so I reminded her that God would want her to show forgiveness.

I didn’t want to tell her how she should feel, but I wanted her to think about it.

For if you forgive other people when they sin against you, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. But if you do not forgive others their sins, your Father will not forgive your sins.

Matthew 6:14-15

There have been many situations in my life I can’t change, ones that affected me so deeply I’ve had a hard time of letting go. I can’t help the way I feel, and I realized there are many feelings I can’t stop. But, I can forgive.

And, forgiving is letting go.

Too often, I think we struggle with forgiveness because we don’t want to let someone off the hook so easily. We don’t want them to believe what they did is OK or they can get away with it. We want them to feel our pain, show some remorse or have some sort of empathy towards us. We may want them to suffer dire consequences so they don’t do it again. We may want them to just realize how it feels.

In reality, maybe we are the ones who need to realize forgiving someone is not letting them off the hook but rather setting ourselves free from the situation. If we carrry it around and hold on too tightly it will only continue to control our feelings.

Showing forgiveness and letting go doesn’t make a wrong right. It doesn’t show trust or worthiness to anyone but yourself. It shows you have enough self respect and care for yourself and God. No where does it say to forgive and forget. Forgive and be wary but do not hate.

Sometimes people just continue to hurt you, and there’s no explanation why or it’s something much deeper. Sometimes it’s not about you at all. Sometimes it’s just who they are with no explanation.

I’m the person who analyzes everything. I always want to figure out the why, but in reality I can’t invariably know why.

And when you stand praying, if you hold anything against anyone, forgive them, so that your Father in heaven may forgive you your sins.

Mark 11:25

If someone hurts you, take care of yourself first, then help others with what you have left. Forgive them, but do it for yourself. You’re not admitting you were in the wrong, you’re just choosing to let it not control you anymore.

In this life the only person we are responsible for at the end of our time on Earth is ourselves. We can help others, we can guide them, mentor them and support them, but we can’t save them. The only actions you are going to answer for is your own.

Choose peace and choose salvation. Be kind and be the bigger person. Your mental health deserves it. And, at the end of the day that’s all you can do.

Posted in Self Help

Sorry

Old friends, current friends, new friends. How well do you stay in touch with them? Better yet how often are you the one initiating contact?

I was the friend who was good at communicating. Good at remembering birthdays and special occasions. Good at sending cards or presents. Good at staying in touch. Always hosting parties and planning get togethers.

Eventually, that me faded into the darkness. Perhaps, the darkness I live amongst these days.

I don’t do a very good job at calling anyone lately. I rarely send birthday cards anymore, and I’m doing well if you get a text on your actual birthday.

Don’t take it personal. It’s not about you at all. Trust me.

And, I’m sorry.

One of my college roommates visited me this past weekend, and it was so great to see her. I wish we lived closer and could meet on a whim for lunch. We stay in touch. Not as much as I would like to, but as much as I’m capable of at the moment. It’s not that I don’t want to talk more, see her more, communicate better, it’s just that I don’t intiate it often enough.

I’m not going to say I don’t have time. I could make time. We always make time for what or WHO is important to us if we are honest. At the moment, I just don’t want to always do it. Maybe I need to, maybe I should, but some days I just can’t.

She works, she has a husband, she has a life. She gets it. She assured me she is always there for me, always available to talk, has a spare room if we need a place to stay overnight. But, she said she doesn’t always know what to say and doesn’t want to say the wrong thing. She’s a great listener, so she listens, encourages and is supportive.

Like I told her, you don’t have to say anything.

A friend loveth at all times, and a brother is born for adversity.

Proverbs 17:17

I appreciate all the calls and text messages I get from my friends and family. I welcome them, I really do. I don’t appreciate the ones who just want the story. I’m not trying to hurt any feelings, I’m just being real. And, if I’m anything right now, I’m real. Sorry if that steps on any toes, but like I said, it’s not about you.

My life is full of ups and downs. There are only a few people who I talk to on a regular basis, who keep me grounded, and I’m pretty sure you know who you are. It’s just the way it is.

I won’t deny I need a village. I need a village of encouragement, of prayers, of constant positivity. I need a village of support for my kids, of understanding, of compassion, of caring hearts and constant praying.

And, if you’re part of my village, thank you from the bottom of my heart.

Like I said, I love hearing from my friends, getting text messages or voicemails from you; know that I’m just not always good at communicating back right now and being the best kind of friend. I have good intentions. But, like I said don’t take it personal, it’s not about you.

Please keep the text messages, the voicemails, the “hey I just wanted to let you know I’m thinking about you,” or the “you are on my mind and in my prayers” messages coming. I like hearing from my friends, I really do.

I want all of you to know I will be here for you if you need me. I will listen to you cry about the fight you had with your husband. I will give you a hug and tell you it’s going to be fine when your son tells you he hates living at home. I will always be here for you to listen to your problems, let you vent, give you a hug, go to lunch with you, or whatever it is you need. I really will.

I’m not too busy for my friends. Not too wrapped up in my own problems. And, my problems aren’t more important than yours. My problems are just mine, and they consume me every day. They sidetrack me with distractions, but I’m here.

Some days, I live in another world all by myself. One that just grips me like a vise. I get lost in my own mind. A place I imagine is similiar to what Hell is like, a dark pit where I am just spiraling out of control, falling to the bottom of an endless pit.

It’s OK. I don’t go there as often as I once did. More often now, I pray and talk to God.

When we first got the cancer diagnosis I told some friends, but didn’t tell everyone. Of course people wanted to know what was going on, but I didn’t want to talk about it. I needed some space on the subject, I needed some time to digest it all.

By the next spring pretty much everyone knew and I felt I couldn’t go to the grocery without someone approaching me. Sometimes it was without any very nice thought out words, but hey, I know it’s hard to know what to say. Sometimes, I just don’t want to talk about it.

Anyway, when we got bad news again last summer, I turned into a hermit-like person, and stayed away from everyone. It made life easier in some ways, but I felt alienated from my own world. I guess because I was in a sense and in another dark place.

It’s kind of like being at that party, underdressed with everyone looking at you, talking under their breath, wondering what you are doing there anyway. All of a sudden you are in the spotlight, up on a tight rope, alone and without a net. No where to go and no one to catch you.

Two are better than one, because they have a good return for their work: If one falls down, his friend can help him up. But pity the man who falls and has no one to help him up! 

Ecclesiastes 4:9-10

I’m sorry I don’t talk more in the group chat, I’m sorry I don’t go to lunch always. I’m sorry we don’t come for the get togethers. I’m sorry for everything.

I have good intentions of always doing things, being a part of socializing and in the crowd. Some days I would just rather be alone in my own house, than alone in a crowd.

It has been too long since I’ve seen my daughters. My child had the flu twice within a month, is still working on getting well, over an illness. We have college visits and college decisions, we have sports, we have other family worries, and we have all the normal concerns of a family. Just like everyone else.

And then, we have cancer.

I’m sorry if I’m not as friendly as I should be. I’m sorry I don’t engage in small talk. I’m sorry if it seems awkward at times to be around me. Please don’t feel like you have to treat me any differently if you see me at the ball field or the grocery or anywhere. Don’t be obliged to talk about anything in particular or bring up the elephant in the room. Just act normal. It’s OK, you aren’t suppose to say anything in particular or know what to say.

That goes for all of my family, too.

None of us know how to act, how to avoid the obvious. We are just doing our best to be an ordinary family.

Any kind of normality is our aim.

And, that elephant in the room? We are just dealing with him one bite at a time.

xo

Posted in Self Help

Rhetorical Questions

Cancer will take you through hell and back, but yesterday we just had to travel through a snowstorm.

How did everyone like our snowy weather?

The boys would have loved a little more on the ground this morning to go out and be boys in, but for me I was out in it enough last night.

The drive to the Cancer Center yesterday was filled with non-stop rain. After emerging from our two-hour visit in the basement, out of touch with the outside world, we were greeted with a blanket of white, and snow falling like crazy. I couldn’t believe how hard it was coming down.

The drive home wasn’t too bad, other than witnessing the after effects of accident after accident. But, the snow continued to fall, slowly mixing with rain the closer east we got.

I was ready to be home, but so hyped from the day that sleep wasn’t on my mind.

Another round of treatments over with and a short break before we go to the next step. I welcome the break, but there’s always the “what’s next” part that’s lurking in the back of my mind.

Why does life have to be plagued with next steps?

I guess the answer is pretty simple. The alternative may not be a better option.

Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding.

Proverbs 3:5

It got me thinking how one choice, one decision, one thought, one incident, one diagnosis leads to what happens next. Every thing we do, think about, decide and under some circumstances have no control over ultimatley affects what comes next.

I know it’s up to the Lord, and we as mortals have no say so in what happens throughout our life, even when we like to think our decisions and choices matter.

Do our choices really not affect our destiny? We are the ones who live with them.

The heart of man plans his way, but the Lord establishes his steps.

Proverbs 16:9

We’ve all had one of those moments where we have thought to ourselves one choice or action prevented something else bad from happening, or maybe something good.

Last week after leaving the grocery, I decided to make a quick last minute stop before heading home. It was only about a 10 minute detour, but I realized later if I had headed straight home I may have been involved in an accident that was ahead of me.

I couldn’t help but think maybe that was God’s work.

Yesterday, on the drive home I had some of the same thoughts.

I don’t want someone in my family to have to fight cancer. I don’t want this to consume our lives. I don’t want my children to struggle. I don’t want this to be happening at all.

But, in reality I’m helpless. Powerless. Defenseless. In a fight that isn’t fair. In a fight that I have no control over.

Then, I think what is fair about life? And, am I really paralyzed?

For the LORD your God is the one who goes with you to fight for you against your enemies to give you victory.

 Deuteronomy 20:4

I could name 10 things off the top of my head that’s unjust and keep going. The thought makes my eyes burn. My heart aches. My stomach is uneasy.

Other struggles pop up in the back of my mind, but I quickly push them back. I can’t solve the problems of everyone today, even though I know at some point in the days ahead I will have to face them.

That’s for some tomorrow in the near future. Today, I concern myself with what is here in front of me at the moment. Just take things one step at a time everyone says.

Although, is one day at a time, one step at a time really the answer? I get tired of people telling me that all the time. They don’t know what I’m dealing with. And, if I have any faith in God, why do I need to take things one day at a time?

Yet those who wait for the LORD Will gain new strength; They will mount up with wings like eagles, They will run and not get tired, They will walk and not become weary.

 Isaiah 40:31

It’s so ironic how we spend our lives planning out our days, our weeks, our months. Planning meals, vacations, carpools for the week. Scheduling appointments, birthday celebrations, play dates and dinner parties. Saving for college, graduation, anniversaries. All to get ahead and make life more manageable. Yet, when we come to a road block, a hurdle, or a challenge, we have to take it easy, not get ahead of ourselves and take one day at a time.

It doesn’t make sense in a way. It seems kind of backwards.

Do we live life in reverse?

People always say don’t worry about the future. Don’t worry about tomorrow?

But, don’t we spend our whole life planning for that? Don’t we plan for the future all the time?

Why do we have all these double standards?

Commit your work to the Lord and your plans will be established.

Proverbs 16:3

It is hard to accept we are not in control of our lives, or what happens to us or our loved ones. It’s difficult to swallow the fact we cannot protect those who matter the most.

We all have to be willing to accept the consequences of our actions and acknowledge we are not in control. Some things just happen. Call it fate, because it is inevitable.

Everything has already been decided. It was known long ago what each person would be. So there’s no use arguing with God about your destiny.

Ecclesiastes 6:1

All these questions in my mind. Many, I already have the answer, even though it may be hidden somewhere in front of me in plain sight. Others, I’m searching for validation and fighting to accept. Obviously, some I don’t want to acknowledge, not quite yet.

Does time really heal all pain?

I hope so.

I have a right to be sad about some things some days. Some days I just have a right to be sad. But, don’t let your heart be mournful about it or feel the need to answer my rhetorical questions. I know the writing is on the wall, facing full-frontal, but sometimes the heart just needs another day before it sees what the mind already knows.

And, some days we just need a few minutes alone to regain our peace.

Posted in Self Help, Uncategorized

Seeking Peace

Today, it’s rainy and the weather is depicting my afternoon mood. I’ve had some time to sit and think, and just have my mind to myself.

Ever feel like some days you’re in this pool of water and you don’t know which way to turn to get out of it?

It’s kind of one of those days for me. It’s not a bad day, but you know how things go when you have time to think too much? Unfortunately, I’m at a crossroad with not much say in which way to go.

Life is just so full of pandemonium and sorrow. I feel like my mind is racing a 100 miles an hour, and I cannot slow it down. I don’t really know where the anxiety comes from today.

HA! Really, who am I fooling? I should say I don’t know which direction the anxiety is coming from today, because it’s coming from all directions.

I feel like everywhere I turn there are dilemmas, uproars, battles, and drama. Doesn’t anyone appreciate peace anymore?

I close my eyes, rub my temples, and wish my head would stop pounding. Some days I just need to go over things in my head, work through them and find my own comfort. Other days I think about everything going on around me, most of what I can do nothing about, and it consumes me like a black cloud.

It’s heartbreaking. And, almost impossible to stop. My family has been known to not tell me about situations going on just so I won’t worry. It’s not really that I worry all the time, like they think, it’s just so much chaos bewilders my brain. It puts me on overload.

I feel like I’m such a good multi-tasker. Organized. Fab time manager.

Why, do I carry the weight of the world?

I was talking to a friend recently, and we were having a discussion about how men and women are wired differently. I think that is so true, but I think different personalities are wired different, also.

Some men should be women and vice versa.

I have joked about that with a few couples I know saying the man is more like a woman with sappy feelings and tears in his eyes, balling over the last episode of This is Us.

I feel some people are empathetic, wear their heart on their sleeve, always think about others, are generous, kind and care about the overall human race. We will title them do-gooders.

Give, and it will be given to you. Good measure, pressed down, shaken together, running over, will be put into your lap. For with the measure you use it will be measured back to you.

Luke 6:38

Others think more in the form of me or I, are more self-centered, bullyish at times, selfish and prefer to do for themselves without considering doing for others. Whether they are this way by default or it never even crossed their mind is up for debate and depends on the person of course. With uncertainty of how to refer to them, we will call them an egoist.

Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. Rather, in humility value others above yourselves.

Phillippians 2:3

Who’s happier of the two?

I think many of us have an answer, or at least an opinion, so I will leave that for you to think about. I feel a good deal of us have a little of both in us, or at least in some situations; however most, like many people in general, either think about themselves or primarily worry about others.

The Lord wants us to show humility, forgive, be patient, and live by The Golden Rule…

So in everything, do to others what you would have them do to you, for this sums up the Law and the Prophets.

Matthew 7:12

I had coffee with a friend today, and she made me feel so good when she said my blog makes her want to do more and do better. I hope everyone feels that way.

I want to feel better, do better, show good to the world and share what I’m going through in hopes of helping others find some inner peace.

Too often we are mistaken. We believe our happiness, our inner peace come from somewhere or someone. You may have outside contributions or influences, but that destination is only reached from within.

Dig deep inside your soul and find it. It is there, somewhere, waiting in a calm setting, with a quintessential mindset in a serene moment. Seek God, and as you calm your mind and search for peace within your heart….It will come to you.

Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you. Not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your hearts be troubled, neither let them be afraid

John 14:27

Posted in Self Help

Life’s Little Instruction Book

I have some of those little life instruction books somewhere around the house.

Remember those?

Some days I think I need to dig them out, reread them and figure this life thing out. But, I don’t think life comes with a real instruction book.

Or, does it?

Listen to advice and accept instruction, that you may gain wisdom in the future.

Proverbs 19:20

I’m the first to admit over the last year and a half I have been a real mess. My family knows better than anyone, and I kind of felt bad the other day when I was talking to my uncle and he said sometimes my blog makes him feel bad. Then, he said for me to keep writing.

I hope he, and all my family, realize what a comfort it is to have them to talk to and listen, and what a blessing my blog has been for me. I will apologize to all of them in advance, but I don’t think I’m through the storm yet.

I guess I’m glad people worry about me, but really I don’t want them to worry. Even though I know they still do.

I understand.

It’s all kind of hypocritical coming from me since we all know I worry A LOT! I don’t mean to, it’s just I can’t stop my mind from reeling. It’s possible my thoughts don’t focus in the right place. When I make a conscious effort to accept what is and trust God with the rest, I can actually stop the worry.

At least for awhile.

Sometimes, I get so wrapped up in my children’s struggles, and my own, that I forget to take a breath, look to my side and ask God for help. I am trying, it’s just a work in progress.

There are a handful of challenging days and “fall to my knees” moments, but I realize this is the new normal. Right now, this is our world.

I don’t claim to be perfect. I falter. But, I also know how to pick myself up.

He gives strength to the weary and increases the power of the weak. Even youths grow tired and weary, and young men stumble and fall; but those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint.

Isaiah 40:29-31

The chaos, the uncertainties, the burdens, the overwhelming number of trips to the cancer center, and living with the unknown is all part of life. It takes some getting accustomed to, but under all of this disarray there’s some good to be found.

If you haven’t lived it, you won’t understand.

My overall health is getting better, my anxiety isn’t as bad and I don’t cry everyday. I will never be the same again, but change in my life is inevitable. My whole motivation to get myself back together is my children. They are everything to me.

I look at it with a weird sort of analogy. When on an airplane and the cabin loses pressure the oxygen masks fall from the ceiling, passengers are instructed to first put on their own mask, and then assist children with theirs. It just took me awhile to adjust my mask. But, I want my children to know I am here now.

Don’t panic. We’ve got this!

It may still be messy at times, but it will be OK.

I’ve tried to become more aware of how to help my kids deal with their dad being sick. It took some hard knocks, plenty of pain for our family and some undeniable facts to realize maybe we have all made some mistakes. People take all sorts of avenues to deal with life’s nasty truths, and most of them aren’t pretty.

In most cases we assume a serious life threatening illness would bring a family together. Sometimes it does, and sometimes it just doesn’t. We all deal with pain and reality in different manners, at different paces, with different resources.

People have no idea how cancer can tear a family apart. It can take some bad situations and make them worse, cause problems in finances, relationships, mental health and even addictions. People don’t think about that, but it’s true more often than anyone would like to admit.

Most everything I have read says be honest and realistic with your children about cancer. Honest about the state of health and the illness, then, realistic about quality of life, diagnosis and the effects.

Reading can comfort you, warn you of the eruption that can occur, provide resources and aid, but it can’t predict.

Everyone digests facts and their discernments differently. My children all have differing personalities and traits that have enabled them to absorb our situation in their own way. Some of them have handled it much better than others.

For me, I have used faith to come to grips with all the woes. The Lord has helped comfort me when I could not change the circumstances, provided me with strength I didn’t know existed, and helped me weather the trek.

I have realized I can read all the books in the world for advice on how to talk to my children about cancer in our family. I can encourage them to talk to me about their feelings, seek God’s help, or go to counseling. What I can’t do is tell them how to feel, expect them not to worry or tell them what will or will not work for them.

I can only offer advice and support them.

I can be strong for them when they can’t be strong for themselves, tell them I love them and pray for them. I can get them help if they need it, I can ask for God to give them strength and lead them.

I can assure them the Lord is always there for us, they are stronger than they know, and we will get through all of this together, but I can’t help them if they aren’t willing to help themselves. And, more importantly I can’t stop the bad news that keeps coming at us.

Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud.  It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs.  Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth.  It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.

1 Corinthians 13:4-7

I can be their mother, be a fighter, be the anchor in the storm, and show them unconditional love that never fails. But, in the end the best I can do for them is to tell them to have faith and trust in God’s little instruction book.

Posted in Self Help

Saving Grace

Do you ever feel like God is sending you a message, tugging at your heart to do something, using you to help others?

Ever since I got over the initial shock of my husband having cancer, I have felt this pulling at my heartstrings. It has been a constant hunch, and one I just kept searching to find the cause, the reasoning, the purpose of.

My life has been a whirlwind of letdowns, disappointments, heartbreak and tough to swallow moments in the last year and a half. Let me tell you it has been a long, difficult road I never imagined I would still be on.

Actually, if I’m honest, I say STILL be on, because if it weren’t for some realizations and people in my life I probably would not be sitting here writing this blog, or even living for that matter.

It is AMAZING what can happen if you pick yourself up (with a little help), have a conscious mind to keep moving forward, stay positive and trust the Lord.

I am a better person because of ALL the hard times I have been going through. I am so glad I have my faith to carry me through, because without it I wouldn’t be able to do anything I can do. There really is such a thing called saving grace.

If you look up “saving grace” in Dictionary you will find the meaning as, “the redeeming grace of God; the sudden intervention of God’s saving grace; a redeeming quality or characteristic.”

If you turn to the biblical meaning of saved by grace it’s more along the lines of receiving a gift from God that we do not deserve. Despite the fact we did nothing for Him, He sent his only son to pay for our sins.

My daughter attends Baylor University in Waco, Texas, and goes to Harris Creek Baptist Church there. She talks about it often and the lead pastor, Jonathan Pokluda, who she refers to as JP. She really likes JP and asked for his book, Welcome to Adulting, which she got for Christmas.

A couple of weeks ago she told me I should watch the live feed of Sunday’s service and check out JP’s sermon, which our family did. A good message, liked his preaching but I can’t recall what the sermon was about.

However, this past Sunday we all tuned in, and I can tell you almost everything JP had to say. His message had an enormous impact on me, and I walked away thinking about it every day since. For me, it was a moment of validation in my life.

Be kind, help others, turn negatives into positives, always trust God and let him lead us, and receive the gifts you are given with grace.

According to JP and his sermon this is some of what he had to say:

"Grace saves you. Undeserved kindness of God means you have been saved. 
Grace changes you. Faith changes what you do and you trust in it. Grace humbles you. Boast in your weakness not in your words."

As soon as I heard those words, JP had my attention. It was as if he were speaking to ME.

For it is by grace you have been saved,
through faith—and this is not from yourselves,
it is the gift of God— not by works, so that no
one can boast.

Ephesians 2:8-9

I named my blog Grace Love Biscuits because I wanted it to exhibit everything I loved and what I wanted to do in my life. Originally, Grace was going to be Peace, but after talking it over with my oldest daughter I felt Grace was more suitable. I wasn’t certain about the reasoning. At the time I just thought it was better, and now I know why.

Grace is all the blessings bestowed upon me. But, actually Grace is more than all that. It’s the undeserved kindness, it’s my undying faith, and my humbleness. It’s the kindness I receive and give. It’s my strong faith. It’s my trust in the Lord that I can handle what is given to me, no matter how bad or good.

A couple of people have helped me tremendously get to where I am, along with the Lord, and now JP. I’m so grateful. Without love, encouragement, and some graceful souls who maybe should have given up on me, I am in a much better place.

Stronger.

Kinder.

Smarter.

Humbled.

And, even able to admit my weaknesses and talk about them in the open.

But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect 
in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses,
so that Christ’s power may rest on me.

2 Corinthians 12:9

I owe so much to so many people for their unconditional love and support. I owe God for not giving up on me and His unconditional love.

JP said, “Take your mess and make it your message. Receive grace and extend it to others. Walk in humility and extend it to others.”

But love your enemies, do good to them, and lend to them without expecting to get anything back. Then your reward will be great, and you will be children of the Most High, because he is kind to the ungrateful and wicked. Be merciful,just as your Father is merciful.

Luke 6:35-36

I stumble every day. I’m a sinner. Some days I’m a downright mess. I pray for strength every single day. But, I have so much gratitude for all the grace in my life.

And, my youngest daughter, she has made me so proud going to Baylor, trusting her journey and remaining so strong. She has been a kind of GRACE to me I will never be able to describe, but one I could not live without. Her strength, her faith, her will, and the courage she portrays is so admirable. The last few weeks she has been my Saving Grace, and the name so suits her. xo

So, this is my unfolding message…all from a messy life.

Posted in Self Help

Thunderstorms

Isn’t it strange how sometimes you look back on situations and realize why something happened the way it did?

I went through a storm last week, literally, and thought really, on top of everything else?Then I read something that made me think about it, so I’ll share my viewpoint.

We look for thunderstorms and these obvious shows from God, but He is always there in the simplest places. I think many times we go through storms and question where God is, but if we want Him to intervene we have to pray to Him and ask Him for help.

Many times people question why God lets something happen or why He allows bad things to happen. Maybe God doesn’t let bad things happen, maybe sometimes He just doesn’t stop them. After all, God made the world good.

God saw all that he had made, and it was very good.

Genesis 1:31

He is readily there for us, if we just ask Him to be in our lives. I believe many times I have failed to ask God for help, but I am working to rectify that. Some days it’s easier than others.

Sometimes I have let my anger get in the way. Instead of being mad at God, which I have been many times in the last few years, I should be constantly praying and asking Him for help. God wants our constant attention, not just when something bad happens or we are in a crisis. We need to praise Him in good and bad times. He needs to be a constant in our lives.

for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God,

Romans 3:23

Many people I know are going through storms right now. Fighting cancer, health battles, marriage struggles, addictions, issues with their children. Life is never easy, and actually life is very difficult.

I met a lady at the cancer center last week, while alone in the waiting room. She was seated across from me, and the nurse came out to speak with her. Near the end of their chat the lady got upset. The nurse asked her if she was going to be OK, and I offered to sit with her. I wasn’t eavesdropping on their conversation, but I could easily hear what was going on. I knew her husband had cancer and was going through treatment and other health battles. And, I knew she was overwhelmed.

It’s easy to recognize your own struggles in someone else if you simply open your eyes.

I told the nurse I would sit with her, and she looked at the lady and asked if she knew me. I told her no, but I think we are going through some of the same things.

I sat with the lady and talked about my husband and she talked about hers. We shared our stories of what we are each going through. Even though her husband is older than mine and probably not as healthy, she realized my husband has encountered many added health battles because of his disease, where as hers has not.  I sat with her until the nurse came back to get her, and she hugged me tight when she got up to leave. Even though I sat there alone again in my own struggles, I felt good I had helped someone else feel better by simply opening my eyes and my heart.

We are all fighting our own battles, and sometimes we are taken down a road that seems impassable. However, we need to remember there is always someone else who is fighting along side of us and sometimes fighting harder. Maybe their fight isn’t the same as ours, maybe it’s worse, or maybe it’s just more difficult for them to deal with.

It’s easy to get depressed, think you’re alone in your attack and feel beaten, but if we thank God for our struggles we can become better and stronger. Sometimes we just need to step back, take at look at the situation and put it all into perspective.

Rejoice always,  pray continually,  give thanks in all circumstances; 
for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.

1 Thessalonians 5:16-18 

After all, if a stranger can make a sacrifice for us, don’t you think it’s appropriate to pass it on? Good deeds come back two fold, and as always…if you can help someone, then help them.

Posted in Self Help

The Struggle

The struggle is an endless battle.

A constant ongoing clash in my mind of worry and pain and stress. Some days I feel like it just consumes me and I can’t sleep, I can’t think and I can’t stop the anxiety it creates.

With everything going on with everyone in my world, life is just overwhelming at times, and I feel defeated. It makes no sense to say I can’t even pray for it to stop, but I get so disoriented, my thoughts are so unorganized and the anxiety just engulfs me. I can’t muster up the words for help. And, mentally I am exhausted.

I can’t find my bearings. It is the worst sensation I cannot rid myself of no matter what I do. I can’t focus on anything else. My mind is racing, I feel defenseless and want out of my own skin. It is an unimaginable feeling unless you have experienced it.

It can be a struggle on any given day, but put that day in my life right now and it is just about insufferable.

I feel powerless, because I am. Powerless in many of the situations because I can’t control them, can’t change them. Even though I am not meant to, I still, regardless of my efforts to put it all in God’s trusting hands, falter.

Yesterday, no matter what I did life kept coming at me for more. The weather alone, the drive to the Cancer Center, the drive back, dealing with issues with my children, the worry, the stress of the next few weeks…it was just all too much.

Last night I couldn’t sleep. I couldn’t relax. I couldn’t settle myself down. And today, I feel overthrown.

I’m just so drained, so tired, so emotionally empty. This morning I prayed for my children, I prayed for my husband and I just prayed for God to give me strength.



My struggles have been very real this week. I sought help from friends and the Lord, although I’ve been fumbling with my prayers. The time was overdue. I was in real need of a serious talk with God, so I had one.

Afterwards, I realized everything I already know, but just needed reminding of today. This isn’t the first day like this I’ve had and it won’t be the last. It isn’t the first time I scarambled around looking for the unfaltering help that is readily there for me if I just ask and it probably won’t be the last.

Setbacks make us stronger, whether we realize it or not. We just have to learn from them…take it one bite at a time, adjust our crown, trust in God and keep going.

“Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil; for You are with me; Your rod and Your staff, they comfort me.” 

Psalm 23:4

A few things to remember…

Rest–I believe in order for us to deal with difficult situations going on in our lives we have to be at our best. Last night, I couldn’t fall asleep and the sleep I did get was laced with bad dreams and a stormy mind. Sleep restores our mind and body. Rest=Peace, remember that.

Pray–It’s easy to get wrapped up in a racing mind, but it shouldn’t deter us away from God. That’s the devil working. He wants us to have doubt and make us so busy and confused that we lose sight of God and his word. Pray All The Time. And, if you are struggling ask Him for help.

Hope–Don’t lose hope. Be positive and trust that something good is going to happen. Even in hard times we have to have hope in order to get through whatever storm we are enduring. Thinking you can is half the battle.

Faith–Keep the faith. If we have a complete trust and belief in God, He can help take away our worry and pain. Without spiritual understanding and faith worry can consume us. Give it to God and rest easy.

Help Others–For me helping others always makes me feel good when I’m feeling down. It gives me purpose and a sense of worthiness to help others even though I’m feeling like I can’t help myself.

After all if you can help someone, then help them. Many times it is ourselves we end up saving.

Posted in Journal, Self Help

One Bite at a Time

Day 443

We got through the first of another round of treatments this past September and ended up in the hospital a week later. Every step of the way it seems we encounter another unexpected hurdle.

A year prior to that we were just starting on this path with treatment, surgery, infections and a multitude of complications.

All those emotions and feelings are much the same today, but somehow I’ve become smarter, stronger and found more faith in God, trusting I will get through this. It won’t be easy, and I don’t look forward to this journey in many ways, but I know God has put me here for a reason.

I must be strong for my children. I have to be. There’s no choice in this.

I can cry, and break down and scream and say this isn’t fair as many times as I want, BUT I have to be there for my children. I must!! It is my place in this life to be their protector, to be their advocate, to be their strength. I can do it, and God will be there to see me through it. 

I will tighten my circle, straighten my crown and 
take each day as it comes. 
My Blessings come in all sorts of disguises.

October 2019

I have read this journal post over and over and over the last few weeks to remind myself of how far I have come. It has been a very distressing road, and recently I haven’t felt so strong. Some days I feel myself slipping back into that nightmarish hole I used to live in. There in the dark, I was partnered with loneliness and defeat, struggling to find the positivity in my life, while wrestling with every negative notion.

My children are my motive, along with trusting in God to give me strength and show me the light, enabling me to find the good. Some days I forget my mission is to help others find inner peace, while helping myself.

Other days remind me my children and I have weaknesses, and I realize how vulnerable they make us. Invasions through those cracks cripple us if we allow them in, but we have the power within us if we simply have faith.

However, finding inner peace is an easier task than retaining it. A constant struggle inside your mind, it takes patience and trust and understanding at all times. Negative forces are persistently challenging your thoughts, your confidence, your beliefs and your trust.

Don’t let them win!

Be aware of the flaws and use your armor and your mind to overpower the enemy. Sometimes we ourselves are our worst adversary, and in other circumstances we are warding off Satan. Or perhaps, he plays a role in both scenarios. Deter him with prayer and God’s word.

When I settle down and calm my mind I know where to find my source for inner strength. An anxious mind cannot focus on peacefulness, just as a restless heart cannot find trust. Close your eyes, relax, breathe and go to a happy place. Preoccupy your mind with a simple task. Do something you love.

A simple moment of shifting your mind, finding some sort of calm, distracting your thoughts can create an inner peace thought to be out of reach. Practice daily.

I beleive we all have a hidden fortitude within us. Use it in your favor. One day at a time.

As some wise soul once said, picture a huge elephant in front of you, draw a picture of it and write…One bite at a time.

We’ve got this!

Posted in Self Help

Sadness

Does sadness need a motive?

I’ve felt kind of sad all day today thinking about everything going on in my life. 

I watched the live feed from the church my daughter attends at college this morning with the boys, hoping that being close to God would make me feel less gloom. 

I’m not sure why I’m in this state of melancholy. My blog post last night was something I just needed to get out, something that was building up inside me and just needed releasing. 

I took a step forward, trying not to overthink everything going on with my kids, and I still have this sense of sorrow and aching in my heart. 

It has just become a process, a cycle and now I’m on the downswing. I’ve realized after so long it’s just unavoidable. 

I know all my friends will call or text tomorrow with their concern, but I’m letting you all know it’s just a rotation that I’m in, and this is a somber moment for me. Sadly, one of many, despite my positive attitude, my prayers, and my relentless effort to smile and stay upbeat.

He heals the brokenhearted and binds up their wounds

Psalm 147:3

Today, it’s just a mood, just a mode, just a day I need to cry and let it out. A friend told me crying is good, it’s okay to cry sometimes. And, it’s true. It’s a sort of cleansing of everything you’ve kept inside in order to remain strong.

As much as I try to ignore the uneasiness I feel, I know it’s just getting to me. The mounding incidents, setbacks, barriers start to pile up, and suddenly they crash down knocking the breath out of me, suffocating me.

My husband says I shouldn’t read the sarcoma pages I follow. He says I should stop, but I can’t. 

Reading those pages, understanding how others are fighting, and offering words of hope and encouragement to them is a sort of therapy for me. 

I know he doesn’t understand. He thinks it makes me sad and upset, and if I’m being honest he’s right. 

What he doesn’t recognize is I need to know. I need to feel that, to understand, and to offer anything I possibly can to help others. It is part of my own treatment, helping others feel like they are not alone in their own suffering. It’s comforting to me knowing I am not isolated in my life. 

It is the reason I started this blog…to help myself and to help someone else.

He and others do not comprehend this is a solo journey for me. No, not in a physical sense, but very much in a mental way. I am on a voyage that is unfamiliar. I am navigating and trying to watch over my children at the same time.

And, in all truthfulness there is no one there to guide me other than God. I know in my heart that is enough, but my mind makes me second guess myself. I will get back on track tomorrow.

But, the battle goes on inside my head.