Friday, December 11, 2015

I Hope You Dance

Dance of HopeI Hope You Dance

I love the well known song by Leeanne Womack
Worry, Dread, Fear, and Pessimism are not ways to live life to it's fullest.  Besides the fact that they make one miserable, these negative feelings steal energy, joy, and the ability to connect in healthy ways with others.  
As a cancer survivor, I have had my share of dealing with these downers.  We have to recognize and acknowledge the grief, disappointment, and other roots of these feelings. It is important to be kind to ourselves and give our hearts time to recover.  But it is also important to know when to rise back up, find new purpose, and move forward.  
May your 'dance of life' be one in which you choose hope, gratitude, joy, and love as your favorite steps!

Whenever one door closes I hope one more opens,
Promise me that you'll give faith a fighting chance,
And when you get the choice to sit it out or dance.
I hope you dance....I hope you dance.

Monday, August 31, 2015

Book Review: It Is Well With My Soul, Meditations for Those Living with Illness, Pain, and the Challenges of Aging

"We are never too old or too young to change, never too far for God’s hand of mercy to reach us, and never beyond the hope of God’s redeeming love."
Shelly Beach wrote the above statement in Section Six of this book, It Is Well With My Soul,  Meditations for Those Living with Illness, Pain, and the Challenges of Aging.
She illustrates this truth beautifully with her openness in telling her own story and ones of many others throughout this inspiring book.  Full of real human life struggles and emotions, the book applies God's Word in practical helpful ways to bring hope and healing to hurting hearts.  As a Stage IV Lung cancer survivor, I found this book greatly beneficial.
(I was provided an electronic copy of this book by the publisher for honest review.)
It Is Well with My Soul:

Sunday, May 24, 2015

Silver Linings

...focusing on Yeshua, the initiator and perfecter of faith. For the joy set before Him, He endured the cross, disregarding its shame; and He has taken His seat at the right hand of the throne of God. (Hebrews 12:2 TLV)

Upon looking back at the last four years now of being a lung cancer survivor, I observe there are often silver linings in the midst of pain.  For the first year, I wanted my life back just as it had been before cancer-without the loss & grief that critical illness brought into my life.  But looking now at who I am today, I realize I like myself much better than I used to!  
When you are given a 16% chance of survival, there isn't much time for pretense any more.  Just simple living with real raw feelings & relationships that are truly meaningful in life.  No wasted efforts spent on things that are not enjoyable or important- only time pursuing what really matters to me in life and gratitude everyday for the big and small pleasures that come.  
I have many imperfections, just as before cancer, but am better able now to let GRACE do its work within me and not strive in my own vain efforts....
Not I, but CHRIST is the author & finisher in my life!
I think Milton expresses it well in the words below:

I see ye visibly, and now believe
That he, the Supreme Good, to whom all things ill
Are but as slavish officers of vengeance,
Would send a glistering guardian, if need were
To keep my life and honour unassailed.
Was I deceived, or did a sable cloud
Turn forth her silver lining on the night?
I did not err; there does a sable cloud
Turn forth her silver lining on the night,
And casts a gleam over this tufted grove.

~John Milton

Sunday, January 4, 2015

Sunday, November 9, 2014

Living ln Difficult Times

I have, at times, found myself not really living life
but just waiting
for the next big thing to come.... 
The problem with that was I missed out.
Inspiration and connection with God,
each other, 
is often found when & where we least expect it.  
If you find yourself in 'waiting mode' today,
begin to look for what is already there within or around you.  
Perhaps there is more than you have ever thought existed
Maybe you just need new eyes!
   Eyes to see:
   Beauty in the midst of pain
   Hope in a time of despair
   Calm in the throes of chaos
   Creativity while beside a pool of boredom
   A spark of light where you thought none existed!

For thou wilt light my candle: the Lord my God will enlighten my darkness. (Psalms 18:28 KJV)

Lord, let our eyes see what you have for us at this very moment.  
Open our hearts to receive the fullness of life that is your gift 
available to us at all times!


Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Together We Stand

~** Intertwining Roots -- The Redwoods **~ 
-(Author Unknown )

Blessed is the man that trusteth in the LORD, and whose hope the LORD is. For he shall be as a tree planted by the waters, and that spreadeth out her roots by the river, and shall not see when heat cometh, but her leaf shall be green; and shall not be careful in the year of drought, neither shall cease from yielding fruit. (Jeremiah 17:7-8) 

You probably know that the giant redwood trees grow only on the West coast of America. No place else on this earth.....
The strength and size of those trees are stunning. They are giants... standing so close together that their branches seem to filter the sun right out of the day, and their towering tops brush the clouds from the sky. 
If that seems too poetic ... go stand there yourself. The majesty of it all demands talk in whispers between the long moments of silent staring. 
And in your heart you keep repeating, "Only God..." 
Most of the trees have burn and char scars, recalling difficulties past.
Some even have huge caverns carved out of their middles by gutting fires 
... so big that two or three people can stand inside ... but they still grow, so full of life they can't be killed. 
And that makes all the scars seem unimportant....
It's as if one day God said, "I think I'll build a tree. Who cares if it takes 500 years or a thousand or whatever. I just want a tree. 
Who's counting?" Don't you suppose that He has some of the same patience with your growth? Character takes time ... and scars. But God keeps going for the ultimate and that's part of what He meant when He said, "And he shall be like a tree." 
So what's the secret of the redwood? How can it last so long and endure so much? Unlike the palm tree whose tap root goes down into the ground as deep as the tree is tall (30 feet up... 30 feet down), the redwood has no tap root at all. That's why you never see a redwood standing alone. 
They are always in clusters ... in groups called groves. The might of the tree is not in itself. Here is its strength ...for every foot in height it grows up, the redwood tree sends its roots, not down, but three times that distance ...OUT!
That's right... OUT! 
If the tree is 300 feet tall, its roots go 900 feet out ... intertwining with all the groping roots from the other redwoods in the grove. By the time a few hundred years go by, those fellow-shipping roots are so woven with one another, there is no way a tree could fall down. It is held up by the strength of its brothers and sisters. 

So how long will you grow? How tall will you be? What trials will be yours? Who's counting? I just heard God say, "I think I'll build a tree...and he shall not stand alone." What a beautiful picture of the church. Alone we are vulnerable and can easily fall, but together, our lives woven and intertwined and through time strengthen each other and support each other. So together we stand, scars and all, bound by the love of the Savior. 

I {Jesus} am praying not only for these disciples but also for all who will ever believe in me because of their testimony. My prayer for all of them is that they will be one, just as you and I are one, Father--that just as you are in me and I am in you, so they will be in us, and the world will believe you sent me. (John 17:20-21 NLT)