Category Archives: God

God’s Wake-up Call

Someone reminded me today that our pains are God’s way to awake us from slumber, inactivity.

Pain from illness can be one of the biggest wake-up calls. Pain is our wake-up call to awaken, to look deeper into ourselves, to adjust the course of our life. I believe God tries to be as gentle as possible, and only if we ignore the call does the pain get stronger. So, my pain is unbearable at times. I hide myself from the world. I know I need to try harder not to hide, disappear, hibernate. I know I need to find my smile each and every day, lighten up, eat better, and yes even exercise (yikes). But who can do any of this when we are in pain?

I came across this quote and it also serves as a reminder of a much needed wake-up call:

“Pain is a spiritual wake-up call showing you that there are oceans you have not yet explored. Step beyond the world you know. Reach for heights that you never thought possible. Go to places you have deemed off limits. This is the time to take off the shell of your past and step into the rich possibilities of your future. God does not give us dreams that we cannot fulfill. If you want to do something great with your life-whether it’s to fall madly in love, become a teacher, be a great parent-if you aspire to do something beyond what you are doing now, this is the time to begin. Trust yourself.” ― Debbie Ford, Spiritual Divorce: Divorce as a Catalyst for an Extraordinary Life

One of my favorite actors, Anthony Hopkins portrays one of my favorite writers, C. S. Lewis in the movie ‘Shadowlands’, and in more than one scene we hear “Pain is God’s megaphone to rouse a deaf world”. Lewis’ full quote:

“We can ignore even pleasure. But pain insists upon being attended to. God whispers to us in our pleasures, speaks in our conscience, but shouts in our pains: it is his megaphone to rouse a deaf world.” ― C.S. Lewis, The Problem of Pain

I know God has a purpose for our pain, a reason for our struggles and a reward for our faithfulness. So with grace in our steps, hope in our hearts – let’s not give up!

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Give it to God …

We hear this a lot – ‘Give it to God’. But this story brought it home for me and gives me a too real perspective. Life is short.

The below link will take you to a blog post by the country duo, Joey & Rory.

Excerpt: “We came home, Not to die. But to live.To bask in the glory of the beautiful life He’s blessed us with, and try not to question why we can’t have more of it together. And why He is allowing this to happen. So we don’t have forever. We’ve got right now.”

http://thislifeilive.com/enough/

Be inspired. Pray for all – since we are going through something. Live your life to the fullest … with grace in our steps, hope in our hearts.


Energy Fading…

Another week passed, few days closer to the holidays. I am tired of the person I see in the mirror. My health has become stagnant, so has my life. I find myself pushing good people away, and wanting the bad people to want me. I make no sense these days. My emotions are forever on a see-saw. Loneliness is not when you don’t have anyone with you – its when you have many people around you, but not the one you so desperately want. God, can I miss the men in my life anymore than I already do?? I want my brother, my father and my forever heart Michael just for one more day. Other times, I think wow, how easy would it be to just succumb to the pain of my life and the tumors raging inside my body and just be with them. I try so hard not to pray for death but for life. Most days I fail, especially lately. I am broken. My heart, my spirit, broken. I am lost. This time of year is just so hard. I let so very few people see the real pain behind my smile. Am I just too quiet for the world? A doormat?

I know I am a smart person, my IQ says so…but for the past ten years, I have made so many stupid mistakes. I know deep in my smart mind, that I should never allow myself to get attached to anyone unless they also feel the same towards you, because one sided expectations can mentally destroy us. Yes, they can. Lately the worst feeling is being used by someone who I thought actually, genuinely cared for me. I know I love with all I have, I give all that I have. When I love, I see no limitations. But I have to keep reminding myself, if someone hurts me, betrays me, I must love myself more, enough to let go.

I understand the theory of letting go all too well. Just tired of it. Tired of living it. I know….how we need to walk away sometimes, not to make someone else realize how worthy I am, but for me to fully understand and accept my own self worth. I know every heart has a story to tell – I just wish mine would be more about life than death; about light, than darkness.

I know today I look extra sad…mirrors don’t lie. I am actually sad every day, but today, well I just don’t have any more energy left.


Every second, everything changes…

They say cats have nine lives…well, I am beginning to believe so do I. I know I have had many health scares. And it has changed me in a way I am still fully learning to understand and accept. But today, once again, I got some positive news from my doctors. For months, I feel like I have given up. I just don’t have the best support system. Easy to give up – when you feel so alone. Picking out headstones, finalizing my living will, giving away my clothes, furniture. But today, doc told me the cancer stopped spreading. And although I am far from out of the woods, I may, just may, once again outlive my prognosis. I sit here, outside in NYC at Central Park crying as I try to write this. I don’t think many can understand how I feel. I almost completely gave up. I know I did. But I am over the moon happy that this stupid smiling depression of mine didn’t get the best of me. I was born a preemie and I will always be a fighter. I know this deep down inside. I just lost sight of it for awhile. I was barely hanging on. But I am finding the strength somehow to keep moving forward. Living with a death sentence hovering is, was, will be – my own prison. Few things in life, can forever change a person. Getting a diagnosis of cancer just puts things in perspective but then pain can make us lose that just as easily. Focus shifts. Goals change. Desires lost. Seconds turn into years. Cramming a lifetime into days. I have been doing this all my adult life. Pushing people away. Begging them to stay. Cursing. Praying. Hoping. Letting go. Learning. Crying. Screaming. Accepting.

Many don’t understand that tomorrow is not a given. I lost my way for a bit, as I always do. But I remain hopeful that tomorrow will come. …that many tomorrows are still here for me. I feel like I am cheating death. And maybe I am just living life…to the fullest. Not looking backwards. Time. Timing. Timeless. Who knew the aggressive cancer would respond so much better than expected to my last course of treatment? I didn’t. I would have bet all I had – oh wait, I did. I am still in shock I think, as I write. Not sure why, I have been here before. This should be home for me. Being sick has been my stability. Sounds crazy but that has been my label for too many years. Immune system shot. I get sick at the mere mention of a cold. But today’s news, and the way I have been feeling the last couple of weeks, has me happier than I dare to believe. Do I dare hope? One minute I am fighting to literally breathe, the next I just give up, resign myself to dying, and now I can’t stop smiling. Life. This is my life…the pain, loss of strength, nausea, weight fluctuations, exhaustion, and shortness of breath are beginning to gradually fade. I know my body is healing…I can go up and down the stairs without gasping, less pressure from the tumors in my chest, weight stable, can enjoy food again, more positive outlook is evolving. Weeks have turned into months, and I pray against all that my next scan will show that the cancer is in remission. A girl can dream. Yes. Now I just have to figure out my life. For months, my life meant dying. I have been preparing for death. I am ruined financially. I am fragile. I am happy but shocked. I don’t know what to do now. I wasn’t expecting to be brought back from the edge of death. Learning how to live. *sigh* That is always my dilemma. Do I allow myself the luxury?

So I will never stop thinking or asking my doctors, “Am I dying?” I’m just not quite sure where I am and what I should be doing. I understand that the cancer will at some point take my life but not today. Sometimes doctors don’t have all the answers. Only God does. And He spared me once again. I guess my job here on earth is not completed. And for that I am grateful. A huge part of me apprehensive. So I am going to go out there and continue to live my life. Trying. It’s almost like I have been living in reverse somehow.

On a logical level, we all know life is short. We say this all of the time. But few of us actually live accordingly.

“We are all dying, every moment that passes of every day. That is the inescapable truth of this existence. It is a truth that can paralyze us with fear, or one that can energize us with impatience, with the desire to explore and experience, with the hope- nay, the iron-will!- to find a memory in every action. To be alive, under sunshine, or starlight, in weather fair or stormy. To dance with every step, be they through gardens of flowers or through deep snows.” ― R.A. Salvatore

Truer words have not been expressed … LIVE your life TODAY! Don’t ignore death, but don’t be afraid of it either. Be afraid of a life you never lived because you were too afraid to take action. Death is not the greatest loss in life. The greatest loss is what dies inside you while you’re still alive. Be bold. Be courageous. Be scared to death, and then take the next step anyway.

I remain forever hopeful, crying through my tears with grace in my step …make that dance steps.

Today…everything changed.


Let Go of Grudges Day…

I have declared today, “Let go of grudges” day. In honor of #GoRed for women to raise awareness of heart disease, I say we let go of all that hinders a healthy
heart for all.

I am all about forgiveness and moving forward. I have written many times, that I imagine people dead, so I forgive them; more for myself. I don’t live my life
with regrets. I don’t think anyone owes me anything. I am solely responsible for my feelings, actions and reactions. I believe grudges are for those who
insist that they are owed something; forgiveness, however, is for those who are strong enough to move on. So, let’s move on. When we choose to forgive, its not like we are condoning the bad behavior; we are not relieving the responsibility or to excusing the behavior. To me, forgiveness is a personal act that can transfer emotional control back into our hands. Its my choice now. I don’t seek an apology from the person who hurt me. I just forgive them quietly in my heart. Don’t let pride dictate your life. Nor away your choices.

If we are unable to let go of a grudge, we waste time stewing over it – time that we never get back – it’s lost time. We let the anger from holding a grudge, make us bitter. And this has long lasting affects on us – our lives, our health – health problems that result from the anxiety, depression, increased heart rate, and elevated blood pressure that grudges can cause. Just sad.

Confucius once said, that to be wronged is nothing, unless you continue to remember it. So, remember it, learn from it, and move on.
Charlotte Brontë wrote, “Life appears to me too short to be spent in nursing animosity or registering wrongs.”… Yes, I couldn’t agree more. Life is too
short. Every day a gift, working on making each day a blessing.

I don’t mind the wrinkles near my eyes and mouth – I have earned them! When I smile, light shines brighter from my eyes, and I pray only nice words come out
of my mouth. With God’s grace, I will let go any resentment I may feel. I want to be free, unburdened or weighted down with regret and grudges. Even
those who have wronged and hurt me, I forgive.

“Let today be the day you stop being haunted by the ghost of yesterday. Holding a grudge & harboring anger/resentment is poison to the soul. Get even with
people…but not those who have hurt us, forget them, instead get even with those who have helped us.” – Steve Maraboli

Everyone, have the day you have – no pressure. I will walk forward with my head held high, my heart pure with grace, hope and faith.


Words to live by…. ♥

This is a powerful idea….one that I believe God is helping me to continually achieve by sharing my words here…..With God’s Graces…

Message


Prayers answered….♥

A few weeks ago, I went to Central Park Women’s Imaging Center for my annual mammogram. They called me a week later informing me I needed to come back immediately for another mammogram, more breast imaging tests and an ultrasound because they had found a suspicious dense mass in my right breast. So I went back Friday for another mammo. The ultrasound tech reassured me she couldn’t find anything.

Last week was a long, all consuming one, where of course, I panicked. I asked everyone to pray! Today, I learned God has spared me once again. I heard the most wonderful words, “ok you can go, all clear. See you next year for your yearly mammo”….

I audibly sighed and wanted to hug those women. I called my Ob-Gyn to see what she had to say. She was reassuring as well. I’ll never forget the date….the heartache, the relief, the joy….so many emotions in one short week. No biopsy needed was music to my ears.

I participate every year in the breast cancer walk, but this year, it will take on extra special meaning and focus. I cannot stress enough the importance of getting a yearly exam. Time is of the essence! I have lost an aunt, too young, to breast cancer many years ago.

The waiting was the worst part. Feeling alone. You start to think about horrible possibilities. I have to admit, I was scared; convinced that my luck had run out. That I had somehow failed. God has spared me so many times that I didn’t believe I would be lucky again. I have lived most of my life sick, performing under the radar.

No more. This is a new year, a new chance at getting it right. I still can’t stop selfishly smiling, praying and crying – all at the same time. I am convinced that God has a plan for me that I haven’t quite figured out.

Telling my friends also helped relieve the stress of worrying about whether I had cancer again. My friends are truly my pillars of strength. Writing here helps tremendously. So a big thank to you to those who read and follow my journey here…thank you for prayers. Just thank you. Tonight I am a big pile of grateful mush.

Praying that many out there are as fortunate as me…getting another chance…life is short. My faith won’t waver. My hope won’t die.

prayer


Do I dare pray for another chance at life?

I find myself at an all-time low. Snow falls all around me outside, tears inside me. Last week I reached a small positive milestone, I was able to walk, in the ice and snow, and managed to keep my anxiety low, not falling, slipping nor breaking any bones since marking my one year anniversary of getting hit by a car. But this past weekend, brought me much heartache…a man I was dating verbally and physically assaulted me. I am mad at myself for allowing myself to be treated poorly and tolerating these selfish, insecure people in my life.

I am sure we have all heard the saying, “Never let someone be your priority, while you remain their option” – but how many actually follow this sage advice?! I know I have not…but I am working on it…

It’s no secret I have a weakness — I see people better than they really are or better than they see themselves. My expectations and trust of people always gets the best of me because I place them high on top of the totem pole instead of leaving room for their faults and issues so, when they do something that goes against what I think of them; I always, always end up being disappointed and in tears. When getting involved in a romantic relationship this kind of thinking has always lead to my own personal heartbreak because I chose to make a man my priority when he only considers me his option.

No more. And just when I thought things could not possibly get any worse…I find myself lost…yet again. I got worse news from my doctor…heard those dreaded words, “you need a biopsy”. Seriously! I am trying to process…words replaying in my head….dense breast tissue, spot compression, need for additional projections, sonogram, ultrasound exam, aggressive cells…biopsy…I don’t know how I will survive the wait in between more tests.

I had my mammogram in December then I was told because it showed dense breast cancer tissue, which I was assured then, was common – I had to have more tests done. So, after getting the insurance company to agree to move forward, I endured more tests – different breast imaging tests. And today was more tests results day. Yes, another dark day!

The past couple of months, I have been accused of being negative. I just rationalized that I was a realist. I always believed I was a glass half full, turn lemons into lemonade kind of gal. Ha! Fast realizing that I am not so much an optimist as I am a pessimist with the largest worry gene. When the sun is shining bright, I carry an umbrella, anticipating rain; when the phone rings after 10pm, I envision twisted metal, heart attacks, start to mentally plan a funeral. Truth be told, I have never been the overly effusive, perky, upbeat cheerleader type. But I still thought I was a positive person, adapting well to change. Not afraid to be impulsive and take risks. I am admittedly not the type to in denial of every dark emotion I have had. I have had my inner demons of sadness make me doubt God at times, especially when I was younger. But I believe in God, and I place my faith in Him, and I pray, hope, and believe that things happen for a reason. Sometimes God wants us to trust Him through hell so that He can give us strength to see better days. And I am beginning to think I am like a cat with nine lives and then some…

Right now I am just channeling darkness….what can I say – I have dark hair, dark eyes…I am dark. So, I guess being an intellectual and a cynic, I have trouble admitting this but I have to believe this latest bad news will somehow turn out well.

I do volunteer work at Memorial Sloan-Kettering so I tend to keep up with research. I know all too well the statistics. I have just, once again, joined the growing ranks of cancer survivors who are confronting second, new malignancies—not a recurrence or spread of their original disease. Sometimes, the new cancer is an aftereffect of powerful radiation or chemotherapy treatments. Other times, genetic or familial risks play a role. And sometimes, lifestyle—diet or exposure to toxins—is to blame. The numbers are surging: An astonishing one in six people with a new cancer diagnosis had previously been diagnosed with a different cancer. Yup! That would be me. I always knew the risks, early on. We all need to know that many chemotherapy drugs are themselves cancer-causing agents. The chemo that’s eliminating a first cancer may cause another later; while targeting the DNA of cancer cells, the drugs also affect normal cells. I am proof of that.

Years after my leukemia fight, I was cautioned that I would most likely have complications from experimental treatments. And the past few years, I have had many tumors removed. For many cancer patients, radiation treatment controls tumor growth, decreases recurrences, and improves survival. Like chemotherapy, though, radiation itself is a cancer risk. As patients live longer after treatment, the possibility of a radiation-induced tumor rises. So, I tend to live my life with eyes wide open – even so, I am thrown for a loop. I knew, on an intellectual level, I am a high risk, and considering my health history, today should not have come as such a surprise. But it has. I cannot emphasize to other cancer survivors and patients how important it is to be brave, face facts and act fast…I know I will.

Considering I am such a worry wart, you would think I would be more prepared to handle today’s news. Learning that worrying does NOT prepare you for disaster. Learning that nothing prepares you. The worst has found me again, and you know what? I will have to deal with it … keeping hope in my soul…grace in my step…love in my heart. ♥

So the last couple of weeks, especially the past ninety-six hours, I am trying to remain hopeful, thinking about how different things can happen, be quite insightful, humbling and puts things into perspective.

Sending out a special request to all who read this, pray…for me, for you…for all.

“Life is short. Kiss slowly, laugh insanely, love truly and forgive quickly” ― Paulo Coelho


It’s a Bob Marley kind of night…

“Only once in your life, I truly believe, you find someone who can completely turn your world around. You tell them things that you’ve never shared with another soul and they absorb everything you say and actually want to hear more. You share hopes for the future, dreams that will never come true, goals that were never achieved and the many disappointments life has thrown at you. When something wonderful happens, you can’t wait to tell them about it, knowing they will share in your excitement. They are not embarrassed to cry with you when you are hurting or laugh with you when you make a fool of yourself. Never do they hurt your feelings or make you feel like you are not good enough, but rather they build you up and show you the things about yourself that make you special and even beautiful. There is never any pressure, jealousy or competition but only a quiet calmness when they are around. You can be yourself and not worry about what they will think of you because they love you for who you are. The things that seem insignificant to most people such as a note, song or walk become invaluable treasures kept safe in your heart to cherish forever. Memories of your childhood come back and are so clear and vivid it’s like being young again. Colors seem brighter and more brilliant. Laughter seems part of daily life where before it was infrequent or didn’t exist at all. A phone call or two during the day helps to get you through a long day’s work and always brings a smile to your face. In their presence, there’s no need for continuous conversation, but you find you’re quite content in just having them nearby. Things that never interested you before become fascinating because you know they are important to this person who is so special to you. You think of this person on every occasion and in everything you do. Simple things bring them to mind like a pale blue sky, gentle wind or even a storm cloud on the horizon. You open your heart knowing that there’s a chance it may be broken one day and in opening your heart, you experience a love and joy that you never dreamed possible. You find that being vulnerable is the only way to allow your heart to feel true pleasure that’s so real it scares you. You find strength in knowing you have a true friend and possibly a soul mate who will remain loyal to the end. Life seems completely different, exciting and worthwhile. Your only hope and security is in knowing that they are a part of your life.”

“You may not be her first, her last, or her only. She loved before she may love again. But if she loves you now, what else matters? She’s not perfect – you aren’t either, and the two of you may never be perfect together but if she can make you laugh, cause you to think twice, and admit to being human and making mistakes, hold onto her and give her the most you can. She may not be thinking about you every second of the day, but she will give you a part of her that she knows you can break – her heart. So don’t hurt her, don’t change her, don’t analyze and don’t expect more than she can give. Smile when she makes you happy, let her know when she makes you mad, and miss her when she’s not there.”

“He’s not perfect. You aren’t either, and the two of you will never be perfect. But if he can make you laugh at least once, causes you to think twice, and if he admits to being human and making mistakes, hold onto him and give him the most you can. He isn’t going to quote poetry, he’s not thinking about you every moment, but he will give you a part of him that he knows you could break. Don’t hurt him, don’t change him, and don’t expect for more than he can give. Don’t analyze. Smile when he makes you happy, yell when he makes you mad, and miss him when he’s not there. Love hard when there is love to be had. Because perfect guys don’t exist, but there’s always one guy that is perfect for you.”

“If she’s amazing, she won’t be easy. If she’s easy, she won’t be amazing. If she’s worth it, you wont give up. If you give up, you’re not worthy. … Truth is, everybody is going to hurt you; you just gotta find the ones worth suffering for.”

– Bob Marley


Each day…bring meaning to your life…♥

I have been working for a little over a year now, have tried dating again, meeting new people – what I am learning each and every day is that I am really looking for more.  I meet so many people that just go through the motions of their lives, they seem content with the routine.  I am so different – I have been so impulsive in the past mainly due to the death sentence that hung over my head with the cancer diagnosis.  But with gift of a day, I am trying to be more grounded, stable but I still have this sense of joie de vivre.  I am still impatient, impulsive but am working on it.

I see many people at work who just do the bare minimum.  I can’t – I want to learn, grow, be challenged.  Even when the day’s tasks are boring, I try to teach myself one thing a day – even if it’s just a new word, a new shortcut in Microsoft software.

I continually learn that you don’t go out to find meaning in life, you bring meaning to your life!  Meaning isn’t something out there waiting for you to discover. The meaning of your life is what you infuse it with – beauty or ugliness, happiness or sadness. It is totally your choice, and God wants it to be your choice because God gave you free will.

So many people keep telling me I look better these days, my smile is ever present.  But other people tell me how much weight I have gained; my Mom and her friend have called me ‘fat’.  I understand that in either case, it is just words – but words still hurt – at any age.  I have been totally inactive for years.  And even with my being back to work the past year, after the car accident this past January – I have been totally inactive again.  I am trying to get up, out and about more.  I am hoping with the warmer weather, I will be able to walk more and gradually lose some weight.  Need to get back to eating better, caring more about myself.

I have been a little happier.  I have finally rid myself of those people who were just selfish and using me.  I keep the negative people at a distance.  And just keep moving forward.  Sometimes you need to distance yourself from people. If they care, they will notice. If they don’t, you know where you stand. And you can save yourself some heartbreak and sadness.

And I am going to take the advice a friend offered recently – “Eat like a queen in the morning, a princess at noon, and a peasant at dinner”.

And I will continue on my path to learning, experiencing new things.  Key in life is to live the questions…If you ask questions, then you are never lost…If you ask questions, you will find deeper meaning in the world…and hopefully with most of my health woes behind me, I need to accept that scars remind us where we have been – they do not have to dictate where we are going…

I plan to keep working on having the life I want, the one I deserve.  I need to work on following my own dreams.  Read an e-book recently by Jonathan Mead and love this quote, “This is a declaration of authenticity, an act of spontaneity, and a call to live deliberately.”  ♥

Living deliberately how I choose to live my life and will focus most of my energies on my journey.  I absolutely cringe at the thought of having life happen TO me as opposed to actively creating the life I want, the life that will make ME happy….each and every day, strive to do something spontaneous and just  for myself.  Try it….♥


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