Posted in Devotional, Self Help

Helpless

Therefore I tell you, whatever you ask in prayer, believe that you have received it, and it will be yours.”

Mark 11:24

Do you ever just feel uneasy and can’t put your finger on why?

Lately, I have felt out of sorts in a way, but I can’t figure out the exact culprit. Maybe it’s a combination of things or maybe I’m just tired and overwhelmed.

When in my life have I not felt overwhelmed? It is hard to remember.

It seems to be a recurring role that I can’t rid myself of for one reason or another. I just keep hitting snags, unable to settle back into a rhythm.

Last year at this time, I would say I was in somewhat of a downward spiral. Not one of my finest moments in life, but sadly I was in a very critical place mentally and emotionally. I was a mess to say the least, and for the next few months I continued to descend.

It felt something like when you get to the top of that climb on a monster rollercoaster and feel as if you are going to stall that second before you are full speed ahead in a downhill fall. Gravity is tugging at you so hard you can’t pull yourself up or breathe.

The sad reality of it all is no one noticed.

No one.

Not my friends, not my family, not even the real me. Not until one night, when my hubby was smacked with a sudden truth about the trouble I was in.

I took myself to the doctor, multiple times, and I prayed for strength, multiple times. And, every day, every week, every month I was slowly able to pull myself back together.

I started my blog shortly after that, started taking better care of myself physically and mentally, eating healthier, exercising more, doing things I enjoy. I was in a very good place…and then the virus hit.

It has taken an extra mental effort to get through the last few months, but I am well aware of the struggle. I feel like the social distancing and other precautions were already starting to take place in our lives last year when chemo began. With the virus it was all of a sudden not a choice of when we should distance ourselves, but rather a constant of just having to do it.

Tonight, I was talking to a friend from the past who has been struggling with her own personal hardships for about the same two years as me. Different situations for us, but ironically some of the same harsh effects. Hers was sudden, where my situation is ever evolving.

I realized many of us are going through a variety of troubled waters these days resulting from different situations, but we are suffering from the same emotional and mental difficulties.

We all feel helpless. We all struggle. We all are heartbroken. And, we all have to find the strength to keep moving forward.

In these times, we cannot allow ourselves to slip backwards, to fall, or allow ourselves to suffer mentally. We just cannot.

And, I won’t. I have the strength, and I have the Lord to help me. I know that.

Pray for each other. Build each other up. Show support. And, most of all take notice when you know something just doesn’t seem right with those around you. Don’t ignore what’s staring you in the face.

We all have the opportunity to help someone, each other. And, sometimes we may be helping someone without even realizing it.

Like I always say…if you can help someone, then help them. The reward is far better than paradise.

And remember, if we all pray for each other, someone will always be praying for us. xo

Posted in Devotional, Family

“In Sickness”

When you said your wedding vows did you ever really think about the promises you were making to someone?

All these milestone anniversary celebrations I’ve been seeing on social media, along with hubby being ill and in the hospital, has me thinking about life and the responsibilities we take on.

Like me, many of you were probably young when you got married and 20 plus years later find yourselves quite a bit different than you were back then. I think we all change, mature, focus on different aspects of life, figure out what matters and what simply does not.

…to have and to hold from this day forward, for better, for worse, for richer, for poorer, in sickness and in health, to love and to cherish, till death do us part…”

Most of us said those “for better or for worse” vows and not once gave it a second thought. We never imagined that we would be anything other than happy, blissfully in love, and old and gray enjoying our grandchildren well into our 80s or even 90s. It never crossed our minds that we would go through bad times, hard times, worse times, or that one of us would have failing health and sickness.

I know on my beautiful wedding day, almost 28 years ago, the thought of dealing with “for worse” or “in sickness” didn’t enter my mind. I was marrying someone I loved, and we would live “happily ever after.” First, we would buy a house, then have kids, and it would be a perfect little life forever and ever.

That’s what I wanted to believe because every girl wants the fairy tale. Right?

But, in reality I had tucked any of those “for worse” thoughts way in the back of my mind, buried as fear that I hoped would never be truth. Problems wouldn’t plague us, we would always love each other the exact same, nothing would change, and we would stay in that fairy tale forever.

So I hoped.

Isn’t that just being young and naïve?

The thing is we really don’t know what we are in for when we take those vows. We cannot see what path life will take us down, nor the complications we will encounter. The choices we make, the chances we take, and the laws we live by will all have some sort of impact on us and our relationships.

But, when we are standing at the altar, staring in the eyes of the one we are about to say “I do” with, none of that stands in our way. We think we are prepared “for better, for worse, in sickness and in health.”

But, I promise no one is ever prepared for that. Not really.

We cherish the happy times and believe the better will outweigh the worse, but in reality life is hard and “for worse” is inevitable at some point. They say all’s well that ends well, but that’s not always the case either. We just have to believe God has a plan for us, and trust our life happens the way He intends it.

Just as everyday life seems to have no normalcy for society these days, my life has been on that course for awhile. I have been learning to live in the path God has designed for us and my “for better or for worse” vows are something I remind myself of often.

We all are guilty at some point or another thinking we have it so bad, until we really do. But, the truth of the matter is someone out there always has it worse. On some days, I feel I am the friend who has it worse, but in reality I know that belongs to someone else.

In spite of all the sickness, the pain, the heartbreak, the tears, the worry, the inevitable….In spite of all of that, I am blessed and grateful for my own health, my children, my family, my memories and all the “for betters” I have in my life. There are so many happy memories, so many good times, so many blessings, so, so many. And, I am grateful for each of them.

When you are feeling down, think about your own “for betters,” your health, your riches, your love, and everything you cherish. They far outweigh anything you can imagine. Don’t lose sight of them, don’t take them for granted.

You made those promises, but you were never promised which ones life would give back. xoxo

Posted in Cancer, Devotional

Helpless

Do you ever feel helpless?

I find myself feeling helpless often these days. The unknowns, the whys, the hurdles. All of it just keeps mounding.

With every page we turn, we encounter another issue. Every phase presents us with another obstacle.

I guess I always believe if we can get through one hindrance the situation will get better. In reality, each barrier just introduces an unfamiliar stumbling block, and we start over in a different direction.

The sadness to all the realities we face is one day the barrier will deal us an impediment we can’t get around, and we will run out of new directions.

The Lord is close to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit. The righteous person may have many troubles, but the Lord delivers him from them all.”

Psalm 34:18-19

I know all my prayer warrior friends are disappointed in my weakness, but life got a little more real for us this week and sometimes the thought of that is just too much. Those serious heart to hearts on the two-hour drive home from the Cancer Center prove to leave me with a lump in my throat, an ache in the bottom of my stomach and an ocean of uncried tears.

I’m sorry, but if you haven’t walked in my shoes please don’t judge me. Don’t tell me how to feel, or tell me to pray harder or give me that wise piece of advice. Just for a selfish minute let me wallow in my own self pity.

Let me feel bad for myself. Let me be negative. Let me question God. Just for a minute let me be.

For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, declares the Lord. For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts.”

Isaiah 55:8-9

Let us then with confidence draw near to the throne of grace, that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need.”

Hebrews 4:16

Therefore, my beloved, as you have always obeyed, so now, not only as in my presence but much more in my absence, work out your own salvation with fear and trembling, for it is God who works in you, both to will and to work for his good pleasure.”

Philippians 2:12-13

Posted in Cancer, Self Help

Hurry Up and Wait

Jan 16, 2020, morning

I sit here tonight in solitude. The house is so quiet as if sound has escaped existence. It is a peaceful quiet at first, but I have a feeling of restlessness inside. The noiseless night makes me uneasy and allows the darkness to creep up into my thoughts. Scanxiety has set in as scans are only a week away.

Is my uneasy mind justifiable or just nerves shaking my sanity?

I close my eyes and breathe in deeply in hopes of exhaling all the negative emotion. Only one week to get through this leg of the journey before we set out on another unknown. I sense my peace…out there lurking in the shadows desperately searching for my soul. Somehow it will find it’s way to me. 

 Jan 16, 2020, evening

Today, was somehow a somber day. I could feel hubby’s uneasy mind in the room. He sat there and stared off into the morning, and I watched and wondered what thoughts filled his mind. One week until we discover the next journey. Some days I wonder what thoughts consume him. I worry he will tire of the fight and simply take the hand he is dealt without a thought to trade the cards. It wears on my mind, this journey. Giving up only means you’ve extinguished your options, or they’ve annihilated you. I pray for strength and positivity. This has to be just a wind in the road, doesn’t it?


As I look back on my journal entries, nearly four months ago, I realize I am in the midst of another wind in the road. This long road is taking me on a journey I don’t know how to navigate, yet I am here staying within the lines, doing the best I know how.

Familiar scenes surround me, yet they are still foreign to me. I will never get used to the unwelcoming landscape, no matter how hard it tries to consume me.

I sit and wonder why I am where I am. What is the purpose God has for me on this path?

Some days I can ease my own mind knowing it is my fated trek, but on other days like today I am anxious to know the why. I know we are supposed to trust the Lord to lead us, but I can’t help my soul is restless.

At times, it is hard to live and go through life not knowing what the purpose of it all is and the reasoning behind it. Maybe I am heading down a dead end with all my inquisitiveness, but sometimes my subconscious can’t let it go.

I know my journey has a purpose unknown to me, and someday it will reveal itself just like a clear day.

Until then, I must wait patiently and trust God will see me through.

Fear not, for I am with you; Be not dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you, Yes, I will help you, I will uphold you with My righteous right hand.’

Isaiah 41:10
Posted in Family

Happy Mother’s Day, With Love

13 And now abide faith, hope, love, these three; but the greatest of these is love.”

1 Corinthians 13:13

I have loved being a mother since the day I set eyes on my baby girl 22 years ago. Yes, it is hard to believe I myself have been a mother 22 years, and the fact I am old enough to have children even older than that is astounding to me. Nonetheless, I am.

Having four children has, hands down, given me the biggest accomplishments, while at the same time giving me the most difficult job, the most heart warming moments, the most joy, the most anxiety, the most heart break, the most laughs and the most tears.

Motherhood has offered the best times of my life, as well as some not so easy times. It has been a journey filled with love, learning, self awareness, acceptance, defeat, sadness, joy, maturity, realizations and lessons.

I would like to be able to say being a mother has been pure bliss, a happy, joyful journey with the best days of my life and nothing less. If I am truthful being a mother HAS been all of that, along with some heart breaking, some painful, and some difficult days as well.

For me, motherhood is without a doubt the best part of my life, and I wouldn’t trade it for anything in the world. I am so blessed to have four wonderful children who have made my family complete.

I would not trade any part of the journey, good or bad. The joy far outweighs the bumps in the road, and I will love them all the same until the day I die.

None of us are perfect, and we don’t live in a perfect world. Life is not always kind, but that adversity teaches us it is up to humanity to make it better and resist all the bad around us. As mothers we hate to see our children suffer, but it is our job to guide them on how to navigate the path even when it’s a difficult road.

I have always taught my children to be kind to others, don’t judge a book by its cover, or treat others harshly just because your peers may. We never know how people are living and it doesn’t hurt to just be nice to everyone. And, if people don’t bring happiness to your life than distance yourself from them.

I was so proud the other day when my youngest son, who I know has heard me tell my older children exactly that a million times said he just distances himself from people who bother him. It’s the little moments like those that make me feel worthy, like I’m not treading water, and they are actually listening.

I constantly tell my older children, “You don’t have to always do what I say, but you do have to listen to what I have to say.” I call that respect. And, if my own mother (and father) taught me anything, it is to respect your elders.

Many times I feel like the way I grew up and the way my parents were raised is obsolete in today’s society. Call it old fashioned or whatever you like, but I call it essential. As someone once said, if your children don’t learn to respect their parents growing up, they will never respect anyone. There is so much truth in that statement, and I have tried to raise my kids around that exact theory.

If nothing else, no matter where life takes them, I hope they will remember and live by those standards. I am hopeful they will invariably know how much I love them, even though at times they don’t agree with what I think or have to say. I pray they will remember what I have taught them and forever love and respect me.

6 Start children off on the way they should go, and even when they are old they will not turn from it.

Proverbs 22:6

This is the first Mother’s Day in awhile I will have all my children together, in one house. I am so thankful and excited to spend it with them.

These days I relish every moment we spend as a family celebrating holidays and special ocassions. I don’t take any moments for granted like I have in the past, that things will always be the way they are.

At times, I have forgotten how precious this life is and how quickly it can all change. I worry about my children just as much now that they are becoming young adults (if not more) as I did when they were little. It seems as they grow the worries become bigger and life gets harder for all of us.

I regret I can’t share this Mother’s Day with my own mother, who taught me how to be a wonderful cook among other things, and my aunt who is like a second mother. Both of them have shaped my life and taught me so many different qualities that established the woman I am today. I am so thankful for both of them, and I know they understand how your heart can be heavy when you worry about the burdens your adult children face.

Regardless, of where they may be, they are in my heart forever.

I wish all the mothers out there a wonderful, special day. And, especially for those mothers who are fighting cancer along side their child right now…you have extra love and prayers for many more celebrations with them. xo

13As one whom his mother comforts, So I will comfort you; And you shall be comforted in Jerusalem.”

Isaiah 66:13

Posted in Devotional, Family

Thankful

Are you thankful for the time you have with your family or do you take it for granted?

Sometimes it’s hard to see what’s right in front of us. We get so busy focusing on what makes us unhappy we abandon all the good staring us in the face.

It has been a demanding 96 hours. Each day I have hoped for sunshine, but there is forever a storm lurking. That black cloud constantly seems to be chasing me, and I always seem to be running.

It’s an arduous journey with me continuously looking over my shoulder, waiting for the other shoe to drop. But sadly, that is the way of my life.

Today, I had a long chat with a dear friend, who I can always trust to be honest with me, spare me the sugar-coating and admit the hard truth to me. I appreciate her, the knowledge she has of my situation, the compassion she expresses and even the words she needs to say despite they are hard for me to hear at times.

I value our friendship because I realize, no matter what, I can depend on her to be real with me. The medical advice and knowledge she shares, the personal trauma she has experienced and how she can relate to what my children are going through. Everything I get from her comes in the form of a blessing.

She is sort of a soul sister to me, one I feel a connection with that I cannot explain. She gets me, and sometimes shares her thoughts and feelings that are already entertaining my mind.

And, on the days I feel like constantly crying, her honesty, her genuine heart is just what I need to make me feel better and acknowledge I have so much to be thankful for.

Today, it was no different.

For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, declares the Lord. For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts.”

Isaiah 55:8-9

She gave up some of her precious family time this afternoon to console me. That’s a true friend. And, she made me realize, portions of my storm are blessings I will one day look back on and appreciate.

We are in the midst of the country being shut down, social distancing with limited interaction between people and staying home to avoid exposure.

On top of all that is the chemo treatments, the complications, the fevers, the fear of going to the hospital, the traveling, the worrying, the stress, the sick puppy, having to put my child on a plane…this week has been emotional and stressful and too much at times.

It’s a challenge, and I’m feeling weak even though I force a cheery smile. But, I’ve been thinking about it, and in the back of my mind and with a sweet reminder, I know this is a blessing in disguise.

Having my children home, eating dinner as a family every night, no rushing out the door to get somewhere, no worrying about leaving a child or a dog home alone while we are at the cancer center. Quality time with my children before they go off to college in the fall, sharing memories of the past and making new ones for the future.

All blessings.

in everything give thanks; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.”

1 Thessalonians 5:18

It’s true how sad of a time it is for my senior and all the other seniors who don’t get the traditional graduation, but in hindsight we will appreciate all the memories we were able to make with just our family. All the quality time we shared and the togetherness we had.

Those are the times we will remember.

And, what if we never have another opportunity like this again? What if there’s not another season we are all together?

What if these memories are all we have?

Sometimes it’s hard to see the picture when you are in it. But, like my friend reminded me…what a blessing this quarantine is for us.

Another silver lining in the most unexpected place. No matter how hard life is count your blessings. In spite of everything, they are all around us.

And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose.”

Romans 8:28