Hills and Valleys...haven't you heard it said that life comes in hills and valleys? Sometimes you're up, sometimes you're down. Sometimes things in life are exceptional, sometimes they're unbearable. If you're in a valley, just simply hold on, for soon you will be uplifted to the top of the next hill - sailing through once again.
That can certainly be true. However, one time I heard someone say that their life was more like two train tracks running along each other at the same time...always some good and almost always some bad mixed in with that.
It made perfect sense to me.
Blessings & Battlefields, both! The trick is to NOT land or stay on the Battlefields track alone. Many things in life are out of our control. Those aren't our fault, but no doubt, we must do our part to always be looking at the Blessings too, especially when we are stuck in a Battlefield.
Life can be beautiful if we can learn to balance both sides. Prayer & Faith help tremendously. Psalm 41:6 says God is our refuge and strength, an ever-present help in trouble. Sleeping, eating well, exercise, water (& coffee) can be huge benefits to living a life well lived. Believe it or not, some of us need to be told to sleep. :)
In those fantastic times when we land and stay only on the Blessings rail...
Well, ENJOY & Be GRATEFUL!
She's obviously Giving something away, and it appears to be COFFEE, which happens to be my blood type.
When I was younger I lived by the "You owe me" concept. Everyone owes me. The world owes me.
One day it occurred to me to actually do something special for someone else. Imagine! I started doing small things, picking up the house after someone, sending
a note of appreciation to a teacher, letting someone in my lane during congested traffic. As the years went on, my mind became "retrained" to focus on others' needs, and my own challenges seemed to greatly diminish. Each time I sat in front of my own challenge, the answer was to immediately focus on giving in some way, to someone else.
When our 13 year old dog passed away, our kids were devastated. A friend called and said, "You know there is only one CURE to that devastation...a new puppy!" As with our own lives, the only way to CURE a "You owe me" mentality, is to realize that we actually owe the world!
Our care and counseling pastor addressed us calling on all of us to make the world a better place. He said that even though he counsels people who are struggling daily, he would call on them too. Think outside of ourselves to make our part, of our world, a better place.
The key to moving beyond ourselves is to reach out to others, expecting
NOTHING in return. Sometimes we will be let down by family, friends, or co-workers. Sometimes we will even let ourselves down. Stand back up and give anyway. We will be amazed at the blessings we receive.
Not only will it change them, but us.
Change Lives.Give to Others.
**To Who & What could you give right now???
A hug, a smile, flowers, a meal, a call...**
We are mothers. We are mothers of preschoolers and mothers of teenagers. We are wives. We are economists, teachers, authors and entrepreneurs. We are sisters, aunts, friends, and women. We are a breast cancer survivor and a breast cancer previvor – turned survivor as well. We are BRCA.
Our mother passed away just two weeks after she had turned 39. My sister and I were 7 and 12 years old at the time. Our mom had breast cancer that metastasized everywhere. It seemed extremely strange to have her die so young. Our aunt had also been taken by cancer years later. Our journey continued when my sister found her malignant lump within days of her 35th birthday.
It was then we discovered together, we are BRCA1 sisters. We both carried our mother’s genetic mutation which gave us approximately 87% of developing breast cancer and a 48% chance of developing ovarian cancer in our lifetimes. Since it is a genetic mutation, each of our 6 children have a 50% chance of carrying the broken mutation as well. In many ways, that is the most difficult pill to swallow.
We have both had double mastectomies, breast reconstruction and hysterectomies – I, to prevent cancer and my sister to remove it, along with over a year of chemotherapy and several trial drugs. After that point, we looked at each other and said, “So, what do we do with all of this?”
We picked up and have each done various things “with IT.” Some big things we have done together include being featured in a Marlo Thomas book and honored at the Vice-President of the United States residence. We’ve each done many things in our separate communities as well. Ironically, in 2017, after spending a week together, I found a lump under my arm. How could it be??? I’d done every preventative surgery I could have done. I’m BRCA. There must have been a bit of tissue left over from mastectomy and it turned. Doctor’s had always said there would be 5% breast tissue that remained. Terrific!
After a few years, losing my hair, 46 cancer treatments, etc…I am Thankful for each breath, blessing, day, and tiny hair that falls in my sink! One of my favorite verses and the one Appreciate The World is based on is Genesis 12:2 when God says to Abraham (and us):
I will make you into a great nation,
and I will bless you;
I will make your name great,
and you will be a blessing.
We are Blessed to be a Blessings ya’ll!! I pray you are Blessed today and that you can Bless someone else.
Change Lives. Give to Others!
Joy in the Jazz! The “C” word affects so many of us.
(I refuse to say the actual “cancer” word, because I feel it
gives it power.) I hesitate to share these personal
experiences here because if you are affected by
The “C” word, in any way, it is YOUR personal walk.
No one can tell you for sure how to be, how to feel,
how to act, or what to do. With that said, there is
no way I could have made it through without the stories
and help of others. I carry all those in my heart who
may not see any relief to this disease on this side of heaven.
5 Thoughts from this “C” patient:
1) This RED DEVIL chemotherapy being pumped into me is ridiculous! Really – you have to put on a gown, gloves and a mask to push it into my veins?? I respond each time you go to push it in my body by claiming, out loud, Isaiah 1:18: “Though your sins are like scarlet, they shall be white as snow; though they are red like crimson, they shall be like wool,” says the Lord.
He will redeem this RED DEVIL!
2) The HAIR DIVE – as in it falling out! How to deal with this is again, a very personal decision. Do you want to shave it? Try to save it? Have a hairdresser shave it, spouse shave it? When to shave it??? As I walked to our laundry room sink, to be “blessed” by having my best friend and husband shave my head just a few days after Thanksgiving…I was overwhelmed with the image of ALL those who went before me. The amount of COURAGE, people!!! After it was over, I was exhausted from the stress of it. Then after a short stint of wanting to throw up, I looked up and said, out loud, “Lord, Help me find the Joy in the Jazz!”
(I frequently substituted the 4 letter-word JAZZ for all other 4 letter-words I truly wanted to use. HAHA!)
3) How to CONQUER “C” TREATMENT –
Apple Pie & Peppermint Patties!!!!
4) A DARK PLACE can occur…in your mind & heart.
It is TOUGH!
We may tend to go to a dark place for days at
a time, not able to move or think clearly, allowing a
solid ground for mental & emotional attack.
Let us be mindful that the awakening and clearing is
coming and that in that dark place, GOD IS WITH US! Settle down, rest, receive what you need. The light is coming. He is strong in our weakness. (2 Corinthians 12:9)
5) Stand in the SHOWER AND CLAIM healing verses – or however you bathe.
Let’s do what we can. Touch the area of weakness in our bodies and say
these healing verses over them, every day! And no, you don’t have to be naked
to do it! 😉 These are my favorites, memorized:
Psalm 103:3 You heal all our diseases.
Isaiah 53:5 By Your stripes, we are healed.
Exodus 15:26 for I am the Lord, who healeth thee. KJV
There are many different ways of healing,
but ONE HEALER. Truthfully, we do not
know His will. It may be he heals us in heaven. I love and commend all of the COURAGE & FAITH so many of you live out. You inspire.
There is SO much power in our relationships. Next to God, you are the most powerful force on earth in your spouse's life. Have you ever thought about how much power we really have over and with each other? The words we use, the faces we make, the intimacy we share, the way we wake up and lie down, all heavily influence the other person.
There is power in your relationship. The power of commitment! Everything successful comes from commitment. Everything that is worth anything in life requires commitment. Your commitment to each other is a force in our world. It shares the message that as a couple, you can make a difference and you value each other.
THE POWER OF TWO
Are you and your partner different? Don't fight it, embrace it! Together you make a whole. Together you are complete and effective. Together you compensate for each other's weaknesses. God can use differences and struggles to make us better people and better partnerships.
THE POWER OF ENCOURAGEMENT
The greatest gift you can give your partner is encouragement! Be on the same team. Believe in each other. Talk about your future, not where you're at. Make time to dream together. Encourage one another with your words, actions, time and deeds.
THE POWER OF FORGIVENESS
Remember that forgiveness is not for the person you are forgiving, but for you. "Cut it Out & Move On!" Physically act like you are cutting a piece of paper, pretend to wad it up and then throw it over your shoulder. Leave it right there! Sometimes, we even need to forgive ourselves.
There is power in your relationship. But, always remember God's power is beyond comprehension. Give glory and honor to Him in all you do. Accept the power you have with one another and accept the responsibility that comes with it. Use it gently and gracefully.
1) Have we ever thought about how much power we share?
2) How do we encourage one another?
3) Is there something or someone we need to forgive?
Grow together, stay together.
Grow together, stay together.
It happens over and over. It happens in churches, at work, in cities and throughout countries. It happens in wealthy communities and poor communities. It happens across the world...THE GAP.
The gap is where one person in the marriage or relationship grow either emotionally, spiritually, intellectually or in any way, and the other person does not grow. One person excels in some way in life and the other does not.
It creates a gap. Becoming a better person requires stretching oneself. Becoming a better partnership requires each of you stretching yourselves. However, do not think you must each stretch in exactly the same way, just as long as you're stretching!
Isn't it funny that one key to a successful marriage is that each person grows as a person by themselves? It is like a paradox. But, it is the truth. Maybe one of you is trying to eat healthier and the other is taking a night class towards a second degree. Maybe you can find time to work out together. In both those scenarios it creates team spirit within your marriage. What does NOT create team spirit is when one of you moves forward and the other's feet remain planted in the same spot, refusing to move!
1) What are 3 things each of you are doing to make your life better?
2) What are 2 things you COULD START doing now to move forward?
3) What are some things you can do together to build a better partnership?
I came that they may have life, and have it abundantly. John 10:10
1) Conquers all!
2) Is a CHOICE, not a FEELING!
3) Yourself. It is important to stay positive because beauty comes from the inside out.
Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. 5 It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. 6 Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. 7 It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. 8 Love never fails.
(1 Corinthians 13:4-8)
In trying a new recipe, which is always a really bad idea for me, this was the end product. It is supposed to be a red velvet heart scone. I believe the word “cardboard” was mentioned at first taste by my lovely husband But, when I look at it I see LOVE! I see that Love can be really messy. It can have highs and lows. It can reach and runneth over into many areas. It can be built on something very ugly and turn into something beautifully made. It reminds that we are called to Love because He first Loved us by sending his one and only son.
John 3:16 You are Loved!!
Keep in mind that LOVE is also an ACTION, not a thought or a word. #Toughlove