Tuesday, January 31, 2017

The Gamut Of Emotions

An Icy Morning

Jer. 9:23-24 (ESV) “Thus says the LORD: ‘Let not the wise man boast in his wisdom, let not the mighty man boast in his might, let not the rich man boast in his riches, but let him who boasts boast in this, that he understands and knows me, that I am the LORD who practices steadfast love, justice, and righteousness in the earth. For in these things I delight, declares the LORD.’” 

The Gamut Of Emotions

After last Wednesday’s diagnosis I have been put through the mill of emotions; sorrow, pain, sadness, fear, grief, and believe it or not faith, hope, and joy. Now I feel like I’m being hit with a new emotion for the day, denial and off in the distance I can see anger galloping toward me. 

"No, it can’t be! They’re wrong. Wait for the test results. Doctors who know what to look for and feel for CAN be wrong, it’s rarer than the cancer you’ve been diagnosed with, but it does happen. Miracles happen too." < -- That's my mind talking. 

If you just thought to yourself after reading ‘Miracles happen’, “Yeah, she’s in denial.” Go away! Get very far away from me and leave me to believe all that I’ve believed and have already lived through and experienced in my life! MIRACLES DO HAPPEN!

You don’t think it strange that people of no faith haven’t experienced a miracle in their life? They’re the ones who allow doctors to be the last word, they allow doctors to be their miracle cure. Yeah, I’m not about to put my faith in man. You see the world today? It’s because people, millions of people have put their faith and trust in their fellow man! Don’t misunderstand me please, I believe Doctor’s serve a purpose, but I believe only YOU know what’s best for your body and they should work WITH you so you both have the same vision as to where to go in treating you.

You know where the miracles come from? Emptying your reliance on man and placing your faith and hope in a God who created the very disease/injury or illness you are struggling to rid your body of!

Here’s what I’m reading, from a friend who is on the same page as me in seeing HOPE; and it has only been because I see HOPE, not a death sentence that man wants me to see. Surrounded by survivors, I see HOPE.

Article Summary by A Von Butz.

*From the conventional medical perspective, cancer is a disease that for all intents and purposes is just as untreatable today as it was 40 years ago.

*Cytotoxic chemotherapy chemicals destroy both good and bad cells leaving aggressive cancer cells behind and leaving patients prone to more cancer.

*Radiation treatments are increasingly being shown to trigger secondary cancers in patients within years after administration.

*We rarely hear about patients actually being cured from cancer when opting for chemotherapy and radiation. At best, these treatments might help extend a person’s lifespan by a few weeks, months, and sometimes years − usually with serious side effects and greatly reduced quality of life. At worst, such treatments kill patients more quickly than if they had chosen not to undergo them at all.

*There’s no money to be made in telling you how to avoid cancer in the first place. The “bread and butter” of the cancer industry is unleashing the next, latest-and-greatest cancer drug.

Think about that. “There’s no money to be made,” in a nutshell, every illness and disease can be prevented and cured but the ones making the money on your illness and disease are NOT going to tell you about it. They’ll pump you with drugs and radiation before they tell you of the holistic treatments that are in testing stages. They’ll say, “Oh it’s very expensive,” but what they mean to say is, “My colleagues don’t make one dime on holistic therapy.”

Prayer results in promise! I believe in the power of prayer and as a witness of the way it effects me, just this Sunday I woke after what I believe, hundreds upon hundreds of people are praying for me. Not just in this country, in other countries as well. Not just of the Christian faith either, many faiths (even atheists and non-believers, mind you) are all sending their thoughts, their prayers, their positive energy toward ME! I woke and felt rested. I didn’t want to cry, I wanted to go out, look at cows, look at the landscape, breathe in the farm air. (Yes, if you know what a farm smells like, I WANTED to inhale the aroma!)

Most of my mind is a blur. I’ve been doing so much reading about cancer my brain hurts. I AM optimistic, that’s the good thing but I’m hoping my doctor’s share the same optimism and deliver to me a shared treatment plan that I can get behind. What I don’t want is someone telling me that THIS (cut you open, dispose of tissue, and radiate) is the only option. I want to hear what is out there and being tried and tested, I want to be the face of the cure not the face of the disease. I DON'T want to be microwaved!

Now keep in mind, I have never been operated on in my life, not even a tonsillectomy. I’ve never broken a bone or been in a cast. I’ve kind of sailed through life uninjured until I hit forty-seven and was hit with arthritis and severe gum disease. Now at fifty, I am being hit with breast cancer? Boy, God must see a strong little soldier in me all geared up and ready to go into battle and ready to FIGHT tooth and nail for a promising outcome! 

But through it all, I prayed. I steadfastly prayed and God has either answered immediately or made me patiently wait but rest assured, He has never let me down once! Now if He’ll just step in and let the Doctor’s know and understand that He’s in control and He’s got this and guide them to an informed treatment based on knowledge, not MONEY! I do truly believe from the very General Practitioner to the breast specialist to the timing of all of the appointments, God is here working His plan. Now just let me accept His plan. 


2 Cor. 12: 9 (KJV) “And he said unto me, My grace is sufficient for thee: for my strength is made perfect in weakness. Most gladly therefore will I rather glory in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me.”

Sunday, January 29, 2017

What I leave Behind

Job.30:18 “By the great force of my disease is my garment changed: it bindeth me about as the collar of my coat.”

*No poetry Sunday, I have too much to say

What I'll leave Behind

Being hit this week with the diagnosis of cancer has left me in an emotional state that is totally foreign to me. I’m a person of light, love, and hope and this week I was tossed out onto the battleground of a disease that has plucked many members of my family (whether blood or friends) away and out of my life.

It started with subtle signs about a year ago in 2015, the year my aunt succumbed to some kind of cancer and my non-blood uncle to lung cancer. The signs were there but I brushed them away trying to hide from them so they didn’t see me and begin to form on me. I do know they went the cut me open, spread the disease, and radiate me, only for the diseases to stay dormant a year or two and resurface, wiping them out entirely. This is the way it was for members of MY family.

I’m thinking that this is the unexpected earthquakes or avalanches, tornados or hurricanes that come in and rattle the very routine existence you live. Day after day we routinely wake, have coffee, shower, go to work, sit on facebook and many do it day after day thinking possibly this is all God has planned for my life.

I was asked what I’m feeling right now and honestly, I don’t feel. What is on my mind is what I might have to leave behind, then with this morning's sermon I was smacked with the reality that this is just God shaking up the routine I call life.

Have you ever lived through a tornado, hurricane or earthquake? Did you lose anything? Well for some, they lose EVERYTHING while some lose a little, and some nothing at all. Sometimes lives are lost and the ones left behind have to sit in wonder of what just happened and try to grapple with the reality that their lives were shaken completely off the axis of routine living. 

You may think that your life is going to end because you can’t live without routine but let me tell you, God does not like people to become stagnant and stuck in a routine for months or years on end and this is the reason we have shake-ups in life that come completely out of nowhere.

My routine life is going to be shaken up big time. I will no longer wake, sit at the computer, write and surf the web, nope it will be slammed with test after test, surgery and possibly radiation for days on end, week after week, then I’ll either be defined as a survivor or a victim. I choose survivor, but MY plan might not be God’s plan. My husband’s routine of waking and sitting on the web, playing his games, surfing YouTube will be massively shaken but I’ll see him trying to cling to what he thinks is HIS routine not realizing that God is in control of ALL OF OUR routines! Hubby will try to remain in control when basically we’ve never been IN control in the first place.

While I think about what I might leave behind, my husband, son and my family I also have to think of what lies ahead for me and that is the journey to our amazing Father. Yes, no matter what I am put through I will still see God as amazing. He doesn’t want me to focus on what I’m leaving behind, He wants to chisel away all routine brick and mortar and place my eyes on the spiritual route that my life has been and will continue to be in the hereafter. 

Day after day I wake and want to just wallow in a bucket of tears, and that’s okay because right beside me is my Amazing God saying, I can carry this load for you, I’m here for you. Isn’t that amazing? When we think we can’t take anymore, can’t cry one more tear, we have God, the Comforter ready to carry the weight of the load. We might think he’s forgotten us but no, it is during that time He is remembering all the beauty He created in you and looks and says, “I did good! She’s beautiful!” That my friends, is my solace, knowing God sees the beauty in me that he created and I gave to the world.

As much as you want to cling to that routine fantasy life, and hide from the reality that has shaken your world via tragedy or illness, keep in mind that it is NOT your life, it is God’s life. Just because you bought and own that new electric self-driving car it is not yours, it is in the hand of something more powerful and electrifying than you.

When a tragedy strikes and your comfort of a routine is gone, don’t fight to get the mundane actions of a day back, take this time to seize the opportunity to CHANGE your routine, because rest assured if you don’t, God will!

1 Cor. 15:51 “Behold, I shew you a mystery; We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed,”


Friday, January 27, 2017

The Tests - Be Strong

2 Corinthians 1:3-4  “Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies and God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our affliction so that we will be able to comfort those who are in any affliction with the comfort with which we ourselves are comforted by God.”

The Tests

As the nurse wheeled me over to the other side of the hospital to await the trials of the day, tears flowed as people passed. Tissues placed throughout the hospital were grabbed along the way. Faces flew by in a collage then a whirling kaleidoscope fashion. 

I had papers to fill out, my husband handled questions to be answered mostly because words got caught up in my throat and wouldn’t come out. The nice lady took one look at me with tears rimming her eyes before sending me on my way with the comforting words, “I’ve been right where you are today, be strong,” These words were going to be the most frequent words heard for the next year to come. 

Mammogram first – I have to say I think I landed in an Angelic domain of hospital workers because every single person who cared for me had a glowing beauty about them. The first one being, Shantay (I think that’s spelled right) I won’t put too many names out here but that was the most beautiful name and the bubbly blonde connected to that name filled me with laughter on one of my darkest days. 

You would have never known that I was just told I have cancer or that I was about to experience a squishing-squashing ceremony of the boob. I told her, “If I can’t laugh, I’ve got nothing to hold onto.” She agreed and we continued with our out of the ordinary sense of humor. 

For example, the door she wheeled me through had big taped up cracks and I told her, “You did that didn’t you? You just wheeled someone into the glass and cracked it!” She replied, “I’m a dangerous driver.” Chuckle. 

I was handed a smock? Dressing to cover ‘my girls’ but as she noted I would be needing to change again and again and that I should just leave it on. As we were wheeling to the next session of ‘boob academy’, she noted, “Are your girls in?” 
“Well no, I just wanna flash everyone I pass! After this experience, I think I’ve earned that right.” More giggles and laughter. My tears were drying, my nose tender from all the rubbing; my head was pounding from no food, no water and the whirling of the room and tests. She had to part but didn’t leave without the comforting words ‘stay strong’ tear-rimmed eyes, and a gentle touch of the hand, “I wish I could go with you.” Bonding words if I ever heard. 

Onto the c-t scan – The nurse who came to wheel me into the c-t room was another angelic beauty. With piercing blue eyes and wavy black hair, she introduced herself and handed me off to ‘the table’ where a Mr. Clean looking man stood awaiting me to get on the bed. Haha, not a funny thought there, is it?

The Zooey Deschanel look-alike saw that I was already dressed for the occasion (the left-over smock from the squishy room), and asked if my ‘girls’ were in and well… in Joni fashion, I said, “No, I’m in a flashing mood today.” Mr. Clean chuckled and said, “Well I need to take pictures.” He thought about what he said and said “No, not like that, hahaha” He went on to poke me with an IV which would be used for a fluid to run through my veins and, his words, ‘make me feel like I wet myself’. As if I didn’t feel that way already before we met. 

I was sent through a Stargate portal and as I looked at a blinking light, right beneath it said, ‘Do Not Stare at the blinking light.’ Too late, I’m in a fog, I’m flashing people and I don’t even care at this point. “Be strong,” Mr. Clean said as I finished up with the portal and I was slowly taken away and wheeled over to the next leg of the journey, the pre-op!

The doctor who would perform ‘the surgery’ they called it (it was really just a 16 gage needle being stuck into my ‘girl’), looked a little like Kevin James. He was a jovial dark-haired man with soft hands and very capable of the duty set before him. He comforted my husband and I and we were told how routine this procedure has become. 

I had never experienced such a wonderful group of teammates. Sure being in this profession you need a spot on personality and caring compassionate ways but they handled me as if I was the Queen of England and treated me with kid gloves in every aspect of this journey. My longest waiting time was in the pre-op stage because as you can imagine, this process is apparently routine and the doc was working on someone else as I waited. 

His soft voice talked me through every step and while I was laying in an uncomfortable position (due to my arthritic pain) I lay still as David Crowder music played in the background gently lulling me to a safe comfort zone as my breast was being poked. BillyBob (male anesthesiologist) had asked what kind of music I like and no hesitation went into proclaiming my Christianity. David Crowder and Kari Jobi I said, and the young lady at the sonogram machine smiled, BillyBob said it was a nice upbeat sound.

BillyBob had asked if a young lady could come in and observe the process since she is in training. I said, “Sure, the more the merrier!” My sense of humor was kicking into overdrive. This is when we waited for ‘the surgeon’.

As I lay a foot from the sonogram screen with my left arm over my head, I gazed at the huge lump with sadness. I just stared and then said something… “Is this like the sonogram they give to look at babies?” The doctor in all seriousness said, “Yes, that’s exactly it!” I said in a deadpan rye way, “Is that my baby?” I could see his face turn blistering red as to hold back an outburst of laughter. “Is it a boy or a girl?” I asked. He calmly offered, “We should know by Tuesday.”

He went on to clean me up, gave me the pat on the back and I finally hear, “Good job! You did great! I have some really good samples here and now onto the hardest part, the wait.” 

All of their faces screamed ‘poor girl’ but I wouldn’t allow the down faces to carry me or them through the rest of the day, I went on to say, “I’m hungry! I haven’t eaten all day, no water and I’ve been up since 3 a.m.”
The doctor said, “You deserve to go and eat something.”

I giggled, “Chili from Wendy’s?”

He offered, “You earned two!”

“Tell my husband?” a little chuckle came out and a tear passed my cheek.

The observing girl offered, “You should get a Frostee, too!” I laughed. “Yeah, you both need to tell my husband that!

They both wheeled me back to the pre-op station/cubby hole and announced that I did really well to my husband. “And?” I said. “And she earned two chili’s from Wendy’s.” And the observer piped in “And a Frostee.” Hubby laughed and shook his head. This has to be hard on him too, I thought.

Thirty minutes later after a jello, water, IV removal, and BP checked as well as my temperature, (and a long awaited pee!) Then we were sent on our way into the blustery cold and blowing snow filled day. Wendy’s (drive-thru), home, then reality to deal with all that happened on this much eventful, test and tear filled day. In that order. 

Thursday, January 26, 2017

Cancer

Pss. 16:9 “Therefore my heart is glad, and my glory rejoiceth: my flesh also shall rest in hope.”

Cancer

I was going to sugarcoat the title, dress it up for you and try to make it mysterious, but no, I’m all about the blunt truth of the matter. By reading this you more than likely won’t learn anything that you haven’t had a suspicion of at the mere mention of ‘breasts’ and ‘lump’.

I woke yesterday morning at 3:30 am. and knew I wasn’t going back to sleep knowing I had to be at the Dr.’s office by 8:30. I quietly scooted out of bed, allowed my hubby to get a little more sleep because something inside was telling me that this was going to be one of the longest days of my life.

After praying, making coffee, and settling in front the computer, I reflected on what *I* thought today was going to be. Yeah, that was shattered as soon as the doctor examined me! First of all, let me say, I now know why the young mousy looking doctor the day before had the look of serious concern hung on her face and had called this doctor immediately after inspecting my ‘lump’ and set me up this wonderful tell all appointment.

I’m glad she did but I just wish I could wake up from this nightmare and go back to my boring ‘bring God to the people’ life! I guess God wants more, and I’m okay with that, alright?

I have to say, first of all, my little puppy (my left breast) has never received so much attention in my life! It was kneaded like dough the day before and this visit was no different, she wanted to see why a Hershey kiss was wandering around inside the soft dough instead of a little eensy-teensy chocolate chip, if you know what I mean. And worse off she brought an intern in to see what the real deal looked like before they popped it in the oven to be x-rayed under a microscopic crew of people!

This is where I heard the words. I was standing in a long tunnel and she seemed to be whispering, it didn’t help that she looked like the angelic Georgia Engel from the Mary Tyler Moore Show. Ironically on the day of MTM's death. 
The sweet voice, murmuring the words, “we’ll be here for you” she whispered, “we’ll get you through this.” My eyes just hazed over and I probably looked like I had just sucked a lemon because I was trying to make out the words as they were slowly coming into focus, the word, the sound -- c- an- cer.

I spat back, “What? How do you know without a mammogram, without tests?” Her eyes, fixated on mine, the tunnel coming back, “Many…women…come here, I know, I feel, I see.” I couldn’t make out one iota of what she was saying. A blur, a fog… I need my husband in here. 

The tears. This is going to be hard to read for the so many women who have been right here where I am; they know, they feel, they see, it hurts. I heard something about work and I proudly stated I was a writer. What kind of writing? Believe it or not, I’m writing, non-fiction, a memoir. Boy this more than likely will be the next chapter, I said via a little chuckle, through the dripping tears. 

My inability to walk, due to arthritis in my back was obvious so they offered me a wheelchair ride to the other side of the hospital for the mammogram, the c-t scan and then onto post op for the lovely ‘biopsy’. I could not have made that journey on my wobbly legs and my heavy sodden heart.

I think I’ll stop here because, this one day, the worst day of my life, warrants more than one post. As you can imagine so much filled that awful darkened day that I need to reflect on all of it before I forget. As if I could ever forget. 

As I wait for the official news, the one where it is verified that I am now on a journey of many women, I’m now one of you, I’m one who will be down the line cheering on other Breast Cancer Survivors. Because... don’t you cry for me, I AM A SURVIVOR! A FIGHTER! A DEFENDER OF GOD! 

All future posts you must read at your own risk, I will be blunt, I will smile, I will laugh and you will see for yourself a woman, who knows, who feels, who sees. 

Prayer, Light, and Love will carry me! God bless you all for journeying with me! 

Pss.20:5 “We will rejoice in thy salvation, and in the name of our God we will set up our banners: the LORD fulfill all thy petitions.”

Pss.21:1 “The king shall joy in thy strength, O LORD; and in thy salvation how greatly shall 
he rejoice."



Tuesday, January 24, 2017

Bringing You The Fruit



Prov. 3:5-6 “Trust in the LORD with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding. In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths.”

The Week Begins…

Well, the week has arrived and I was scheduled for my doctor’s appointment barring any weather upsets that would keep me from going. I was a little nervous, not scared or worried just the normal what doctor’s deem ‘The White Coat Syndrome’. That’s when your anxiety heightens as well as blood pressure rises before and during the doctor visit. 

I think I was anxious because this wasn't just a routine exam where she’d look at me and give me a clean bill of health and send me on my way. No, this is more of the serious nature visit where you’ve found the dreaded lump and your mind reels with lies and stirs with emotions. 

I haven’t told my mother yet and for one reason only, first her mind doesn’t comprehend like it used to and second, I don’t need her negative spin on it for sure. She’ll just worry and think I’m dying of cancer, then tell me about her aunt and every other person who has died from cancer in my family (as if I don’t already know). I DO NOT need that kind of negative thought process! 

So today, the 24th I went and just as expected, I didn’t hear words I wanted to hear and wasn’t patted on the back and said good job, received a lollipop and sent on my way. No, today I heard words like biopsies and mammograms and further diagnosis. All of this I was expecting knowing the size of the lump in my breast. Tomorrow I go for a ‘consultation’ to hear what needs to be done then she’ll scoot me out the door to have my breast squeezed like oranges but I’m praying no juice comes out. Yes, I still have my sense of humor intact.

After reading an email (biblical of course) I think this very email was just what the doctor ordered for me today. It said something like God is pruning me. Have you ever seen a ripe peach tree with a bunch of peaches scattered on the ground? The tree is pruning itself of all the bad peaches or over-ripe ones. That’s sort of like me, I need pruning so my testimony of Christ is the proper fruit to go out to all of the people. I can’t give you all dead fruit so he is using my circumstances to give you an abundance of fresh fruit. 

From Ministry Today: 
“Jesus told his disciples that God acts as a gardener in the lives of those who claim him as Lord. He wants his followers to be abundant producers of good fruit, showing the world that they are children of God. But this is not enough. Instead of simply harvesting the fruit that is produced, the Lord grabs a pair of pruning shears and begins to trim the branches. A little here, a little there, until he is satisfied with the end result.

John 15:8 “Herein is my Father glorified, that ye bear much fruit; so shall ye be my disciples.”

My take on the whole situation is God deems me worthy to prune. I’m not just a fruit producer spouting off scripture; I’m a living testimony of God and His masterful plan. I’m not taking lightly the diagnosis of ‘biopsies’ and ‘treatment’, I see it as bringing you fresh ripe fruit for the picking. 


Gal. 5:22-23 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, Meekness, temperance: against such there is no law.

I had every intention of leaving my blog behind in the New Year to focus on my writing, my fictional writing and me. I guess God had other plans. He wants me to continue bringing you His Word so that you yourself can savor the juiciness of hope and love. 

While the world bathes in hate, while people spit off everything wrong with the world and people sling mud to feel good about themselves, I’m claiming my ministry of bringing God to you and possibly bring you to God

Don’t you see, the power of LOVE is stronger than any hatred you can sling. You can try to affect people with your mudslinging but the power of God is more powerful than any anger and hatred you try to stick on people. Your hate is laughed at, God is not mocked!  

My journey continue…


Philippians 4:6-9  “Be careful for nothing; but in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God. And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus. Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things. Those things, which ye have both learned, and received, and heard, and seen in me, do: and the God of peace shall be with you.”


Friday, January 20, 2017

Seeing LIGHT In The Dark

Prov.16:9 “A man's heart deviseth his way: but the LORD directeth his steps”.

Here’s My Take: Seeing light in the dark

I know many of you think me to be ‘flighty’ with the peppy step in my words. You can only visualize my happy-go-lucky happiness that I carry with me every day, so for many of you to hear of my breast dilemma it might come as a surprise that I’m taking it as lightly as I am. 

I think you all kind of understand my beliefs of right and wrong, good and bad, Light and dark, God and Satan. Yes, God and satan (nothing about him is proper so I don’t capitalize his name.) If you don’t understand then read my past seven years of posts to enlighten yourself.

For forty of my fifty years of life someone (or something) has always tried to steer me away from the truth and light that I hold dear to my heart and soul. Everyone thought me weird and strange because of my beliefs and many of you believe the exact same thing as I but have too much pride built inside yourselves to admit to it. I’m okay with that, I’m a warrior and I’ll carry that uneasiness for you. I got your back.

My take on the entire situation from my back problems to my breast problems is going to bring God into the equation as always, of course; with a little dash of satan tossed in because where there is Light there is dark hanging in the outskirts waiting to drown out the Light. 

Let me take you back in time a bit and remind you of my husband becoming blind. From the search for a new home (in Nebraska) to a new doctor to medical funding for a cornea transplant, all happened in God’s time not our time. Sure hubby would’ve liked not going blind at all but, such as it was, he did and got his sight back when God was good and ready for him to receive such a miracle. All of those years were fought with the Light and Dark.

Almost immediately upon the return of his sight, my back went haywire. I told you how driving for three eight-hour trips to Omaha did my back in (to me - four hours each way, three times in a week) and as much as hubby and his mother (she can make the Omaha trip in two and a half hours – each way) want to think otherwise, the driving did me in completely. Then we had to do it again when he lost his other eye completely. The trips through the high winds, torrential downpours all took its toll on my overworked back. With limitations on his driver’s license due to being blind in one eye, I was the sole driver in the household.

I went to get my back checked out by a Nurse Practitioner in town. I know they are not doctors but she would set me in the right direction, right? Wrong. She sent me to get an x-ray and I never heard from her again. The x-ray people called and told me I had Lower Lumbar Facet Joint Arthritis in my back and that physical therapy might help with the difficulty walking. Don’t ask how it was paid for because that was nothing short of a miracle also. 

Fast forward to four almost five years later and I still can’t walk right and of course, satan is all too ready to put negative stuff in my mind to have me thinking of all of the WRONG things, and searching google doesn’t help either. I’m sure most of you are accustomed to checking out headaches or insomnia only to find a dire explanation via WebMD or any other source??? Like, you have a brain tumor and death is imminent. Well yes, we’re all going to die, but google searches will have you there much faster than God ever intends.    

As much as I want someone to say this is all normal for a perimenopausal woman, I’ve had no such feedback from anywhere except the worldwide satanic web! It is the dark in a lightened path, I tell you!

So, here’s my take on this as whispers from God come into my ear but resounding trumpets blare in my ear from satan. In other words, I’m listening to that still, small voice who reigns my soul. I’m going to see the light where the dark tries to obscure my vision.

Matt. 10:27 “What I tell you in darkness, that speak ye in light: and what ye hear in the ear, that preach ye upon the housetops.” 

 I saw MS info on facebook and the meme seemed to be clearly referring to my disability since I have eighteen out of twenty symptoms. Now as I sit here today with hindsight and I see satan’s machinations at play to get me to believe in something that just isn’t true, I have arthritis AND I'm premenopausal! That’s it! I will NOT be put in a tube to be radiated to find out otherwise just so you know. 

The storm last week keeping me from my doctor visit? Somehow instilled fear in me that I hadn’t had up until then, I’ve been prancing around and joking because I don’t believe it is as serious as satan would have me believe. He used the FEAR of my aunt, uncle and father’s death to have me second guessing MY disability and illness. 

The ice storm Jupiter gave satan ample time to play with my head as I scurried to make a new appointment and had yet another week of waiting time. All time that he has to mess with my head. BUT, I don’t think he was expecting me to place God higher than himself. He expects everyone to listen to all his lies and deceit and as people listen, it then becomes their truth. 

HA! I have a lump on my breast, a cyst, it will be drained and all will be okay. And if this isn’t the case and the negative thoughts win out in the end and cancer is found and I’m given six months to live, let me tell you, I will die in the arms of the Lord because this will be HIS will and no other will can play in the game of chess except dark and light, white and black, good and bad, right and wrong. I love playing chess and yes, I ALWAYS choose the WHITE side of the board. I don’t ever remember in all of my life ever choosing the black side of the board. This is not racism, these are just colors, and technically neither is a color.

“When you photograph people in color, you photograph their clothes. But when you photograph people in black and white, you photograph their souls!” 
― Ted Grant

Luke 11:36 “If thy whole body therefore be full of light, having no part dark, the whole shall be full of light, as when the bright shining of a candle doth give thee light.”


Our God is an awesome God He reigns!

Thursday, January 19, 2017

Doctor Appointment: Take Two

out my front door before the meltdown

Luke 1:30 “And the angel said unto her, Fear not, Mary: for thou hast found favour with God.”

Doctor Appt.: Take Two

Well, I’ve been in kind of a funk this week, not a negative hate-the-world kind of funk an ‘oh well, deep sigh’ kind of funk. It kind of has had my days in a cloud and I can attest to the fact that this morning, the heavy veiled visible fog has my mood affecting my outside physical world.

You see, I was really looking forward to a much-needed Doctor’s appointment on Monday. I slept a good nine hours on Sunday evening so I was raring and ready to go come Monday morning to go and see the doctor.

I can also attest to the FACT of God’s timing never being OUR timing. We make plans and expect them to go off without a hitch because for some odd reason the majority of folks feel like they are in control of their own lives. I imagine in non-Christian households when plans don’t go their way, they chalk it up to coincidence or just bad timing. Whatever the case may be, I’m on the God Plan so…I sort of expected Monday to turn out the exact way it did.

Let me start by saying hubby had a scheduled eye doctor appointment and that is the reason I made Monday’s breast check-up appointment for myself. He was off of work, and I was ready in every way to see what path the Lord had set for me with the much-needed exam but it was not meant to be.

The winter weather advisories started streaming in well in advance of the storm. I made an appointment on the 11th I believe and on the 12th, four full days before my scheduled appointment, the murmurs were rippling through the airwaves “Ice Storm Jupiter could wreak havoc on motorists come Monday.” 

Great, another named storm ruining my plans. Weathermen have been totally wrong before so here goes optimistic Joni, holding on to hope and wishing to breathe the storm AWAY! Didn’t happen. My plans are not His plans. Instead, I woke to evidence of Jupiter (the storm) playing mental anguish with my mind. 

On Sunday, (yes Sunday) my husband’s doctor had canceled his Monday visit to our area; the doctor and all of his assistants come in from Omaha, heard the severe storm reports and canceled. They called on Sunday to inform us!

I have to admit, I was holding out hope for my visit but one look out the door basically shattered any hopes of making it into town. This was my view of the storm that day:

“The petrified tree branches are creaking with the slightest breath of wind. Weakened limbs snap and fall missing the electric wires and the beloved truck. Littered is the lawn with limbs gone by. The darkened sky speaks to my heavy heart and the tears from the clouds erupt into ice pellets that are attacking everything in its path. Blessed be His name, the Protector of all.” ~ Joni’s thoughts

More had fallen after this pic was taken

The ice storm was mesmerizing, to say the least, and opening the doors to the tomb outside awaited me. The ice had clung to the road like a wet napkin, the branches small and large were breaking in the slightest wisp of wind, and the silence of no human life was eerie. I felt I was opening the door on a graveyard where the dead were resting but the icy atmosphere was tapping out a Morse code telling me to beware, stay home, and be safe.

The call came shortly before noon that the office was going to remain closed as the treacherous roadways were impassable. I had read story after story of 18-wheelers toppling, and one caught fire after it slid into a ditch and tipped over on the highways out there. I was safe, I was inside and didn’t have to break my neck and already pained back. God protected me! 

The next day came and my mind was blinded by the sunshine and hugged by a new day, a new chance to reschedule my much-needed appointment. 

My thoughts on the 17th were something like this: “Like an ocean of diamonds, the trees are lit by the sunshine’s glare. Ice is meeting the warmth in a creaking display of sound. Ringing out through the trees are resounding sounds of hail beating a tin roof echoing with the lightest wisp of wind. Will the weighted ice give way and topple more limbs or will a subtle melt leave intact the beauty of the days brightness?” Joni is a darned good writer! I wax poetic OFTEN.

I called the doctor’s office and started to get anxious when the day I wanted wasn’t available and after a good cry and a shower I listened to what God had whispered in my ear, “Just call and take what they have!” and so I did, making hubby’s work schedule work around ME. Tuesday the 24th! Yes! It’s going to happen! The positive influx of emotions filled me once again!

And so here is where I am today, I checked the weather and lo and behold, guess what Tuesday looks like? Snow and ice, AGAIN! After the big meltdown from ol’ Jupiter with the teasing of spring-like temps (yes the upper forties is spring-like after our lovely 28 below zero windchills left us bitter.) (pun intended)

So here I am (and shouldn’t be) questioning what God is up to now! With a lighthearted spirit, I walk hand in hand with God knowing full well He will carry me through this juncture of my journey. 

The journey to continue…

Mark 6:8 “And commanded them that they should take nothing for their journey, save a staff only; no scrip, no bread, no money in their purse:”

Tuesday, January 17, 2017

Ice Storm 1 16 17






The petrified tree branches are creaking with the slightest breath of wind. Weakened limbs snap and fall missing the electric wires and the beloved truck. Littered is the lawn with limbs gone by. The darkened sky speaks to my heavy heart and the tears from the clouds erupt into ice pellets that are attacking everything in its path. Blessed be His name, the Protector of all! 

Friday, January 13, 2017

Breasts

Pss.22:9 “But thou art he that took me out of the womb: thou didst make me hope when I was upon my mother's breasts.”

Breasts...the title alone got you to click

I imagine since the beginning of time, breast were being obsessed over just as they are this day and age. I imagine Eve tiptoeing toward Adam with her head hung low after biting the apple and having sex with satan and enticing Adam with the apple so he could see what she saw. 

His first bite opened his eyes and pierced his soul and what was the first thing his eyes beheld? Breasts, the alluring nakedness of her sensuous curves had him wanting her in a sexual manner. And there you have it, man has never gotten his soul returned to him. This is the very lust that man and woman must fight.

Today man objectifies, ogles, lusts, breathes and pants heavy just looking at breasts. Whether they are real or fake, small or big, round or sagging, men lust after breast. What they don’t lust after is the reality of all that breast really are. 

If the breasts are fake, man doesn’t see the scars that it took to make them that way, or the pain and stitches the woman had to endure so he would look at her and pay her any sort of attention. Without those fake breasts, she is just another woman in the garden.

If they are real, men don’t see what the woman has to go through with wires poking them to keep them up, or what pain a woman lugs around as they get too heavy to carry causing all sorts of back pains, or the natural way gravity takes a hold of them pulling on them making them look like dried grapes hanging on the vine. 

No, while the female anatomy is an obsession to man it is the very heart of motherhood. Breast are to sustain an infant's life. They are not to sustain a man and his libido but I digress…

Prov. 5:19 “Let her be as the loving hind and pleasant roe; let her breasts satisfy thee at all times; and be thou ravished always with her love.” 

We have objectified women for centuries.

Cant. 8:10 “I am a wall, and my breasts like towers: then was I in his eyes as one that found favour.”

From pin-up gals to Victoria Secrets runway shows, women are to be objectified in today’s society never looked at as part of the human species. I’m curious, do men objectify their mother? Do they see her as a sexual, sensuous being that has had sex with their father? No, they see her as their life-giving nurturer who sustained their very life and breadth of being, nothing more. But when men are grocery shopping, what is it that grabs your eyes at the checkout counter; exposed skin of a woman more than likely, not Field and Stream or a National Geographic magazine.

From Marilyn Monroe to Dolly Parton, from Farrah Fawcett, Daisy Duke to the today’s obsession of the Kardashian clan. No one thinks to see the breasts as carriers of cysts, or dormitories for cancer cells, or over-bearing back-breaking hindrances, no they only see what the images titillate the eye with, they never see an entire picture of the shell being portrayed.

Ezek. 17:7 “I have caused thee to multiply as the bud of the field, and thou hast increased and waxen great, and thou art come to excellent ornaments: thy breasts are fashioned, and thine hair is grown, whereas thou wast naked and bare.”

Which brings me to the reason for a much-needed doctor’s appointment. Cysts, tumors or something out of the ordinary has taken over my left breast. Yeah, that’s something to be looked at, a lop-sided woman. I should fear this event in almost every woman’s adult life but instead, I’m empowered to bring you my journey. 

Hos. 9:14 “Give them, O LORD: what wilt thou give? give them a miscarrying womb and dry breasts”.

I find it quite amazing that God places hindrances in your life for you to admirably overcome to only toss another one in to see how you handle THAT one. It’s like a one-two punch that you hear about but seriously don’t ever want to experience or have to live through.  

I also find it quite confounding to go through almost three years of blindness with hubby to watch the success of the miracle of him regaining his sight only for my body to take a mystifying fall almost immediately after his sight returned. I strongly supported him, now it is his turn to be my Hercules and support me. This is me and the journey of my life.

And so the story goes… Monday an ice storm is going to hit this area we live in and it looks like something is going to try and hinder me finally being looked at to find out what has taken over my body. As I said, I could be down, sad and scared but instead, I am amazed that I am worth this much trouble for God to choose ME to carry this to YOU! Praise be to God!

Keep me in your prayers as the story continues not without surprises and twists and turns. 

2 John 1:10 “If there come any unto you, and bring not this doctrine, receive him not into your house, neither bid him God speed:”

Tuesday, January 10, 2017

Overwhelmed? Take it to God!

Blizzard of 2009
talk about overwhelming

1 Peter 5:7 (NIV), “Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you.” 

Overwhelmed

Have you ever been overwhelmed? Here lately my pain has overwhelmed me to the point of frustration and I don’t like that part of me, angry Joni.  The holiday took more out of me than I thought; I felt exhausted, tired and just totally done with the world. So what did I do, I took a time of rest! Something slashed me right across the face; maybe it was the 26 degrees below zero wind chilling temps?

While I love the cold I cannot and will not embrace extremely bitter, skin scarring, back biting cold. The winds alone feel like little shards of glass being plunged into your skin and any part of you that is exposed will surely freeze on impact and bleed when you thaw, so I stayed inside. While I consider myself somewhat of a recluse, the walls begin to close in on you and smother you in the bitterness of the season.

Top that off with a chronic pain and you have a recipe for disaster waiting to spin out of control and spit in the face of anyone that gets in your path. I try not to allow my pain to get that out of control and what is my saving grace? Well God of course. Prayerful meditation.

I realize that when people become so overwhelmed with say (snow) work, classes, bills, pain; their ability to fight is hidden and they shut down and give in to the ‘okay, you win’, worry and stressing about the overwhelming event, if you can call it that. It is what it is and that is LIFE. 

The only way that the events in life stop is if we die, and well, we don’t want that to happen, so what do we do? We deal with everything on a daily basis, sometimes by the seconds of the day and we need our prayerful meditations to just snuggle us tightly and get us through our life event. 

You know how people have huge walk-in-closets where they store everything but the kitchen sink? Yeah, I don’t have one of those. And then there are some smaller more reasonably sized closets; yeah I don’t have one of those either. Then there are the broom closets where you pack all of your junk in there until the walls are about to explode; yeah, I have one of those!

I’m telling you now, the bigger the closet the more problems of being overwhelmed you’ll encounter. People tend to hoard their life in a walk-in-closet when they only have a pantry size cupboard, that is when the overwhelming sneaks up on you and you burst. What to do? Take it to God and leave it in his mansion. He has plenty of room but you know what, He doesn’t store your problems or hide them or pile them back on top of you when you least expect it, nope He carries your junk effortlessly to the shores and places them by the sea. You see where I’m going with this? 

Have you ever watched waves crash on the shores? I remember when I was small we used to go to Ocean City, Maryland. I’d build sandcastles right close to the water but not too close for the waves to come and wash my beautiful creation away. By nightfall, the tide had moved in and my sandcastle became a part of the sea, no longer a part of me. 

That is what happens to our problems when we take them to God instead of storing them in our closets. He places them at the waters edge and it takes very little time for the hoarded problems to wash away. 

The other night I had a dream, one where our landlord came to the house for an inspection. The first thing he did was looked in our closets and started moving stuff around telling me that this closet needs to be organized. I woke with the overwhelming sensation of needing (no not cleaning out my closets!) but to organize my problems and prepare to load them up and take them to where God was standing and waiting for me to unload the accumulated junk in my life.(worries, problems, pain, stress) 

Sometimes we wait for a deadline to come upon us then turn to God when we should have been turning to God all along. We might think, ‘oh this is just a small problem (whether it is pain, bills, a dilemma) that we can handle on our own’, but we soon realize via the intensity, we’ve stuffed our closet to the max and there is no room. 

I’ll be the first to admit that I’ve taken so much to God that I feel I overwhelm HIM and can handle the small things on my own. Boy, was I ever wrong! Like I said, He has a mansion the size of an ocean to store your problems, to Him they are but a grain of sand. Have you ever seen a grain of sand? To me, it is smaller than a grain of salt. To Him, my problems must be smaller than a grain of sand!

Don’t be afraid to take the small stuff to Him. Allow him to organize that closet to where your little pantry looks like a humongous walk-in closet upon opening and allow the sea breeze to swiftly wash over your face lifting your hair in a whoosh to carry your problems away.

It’s that simple, take your overwhelming worries to God. Don’t hoard the small stuff either, it just clutters the closet. ;) 

Matt. 6:6 “But thou, when thou prayest, enter into thy closet, and when thou hast shut thy door, pray to thy Father which is in secret; and thy Father which seeth in secret shall reward thee openly.”

Monday, January 09, 2017

Happy New Year...To My Return!

The frozen Platte River
Prov. 7:19 “For the goodman is not at home, he is gone a long journey:”

Happy New Year…to my return

Well, that break went well, except I missed writing every day. I tried and I am committing myself to pulling out some of my fiction and working on it but my blog needs me, my friends need me. 

You might think I don’t see you suffering in pain, and you might think I’ve left you all behind never to spare another encouraging word but it is that need that pulled me back. I need you all as much as you need my encouraging words.

Again I am not pinpointing anyone out here; my words are for many who see themselves in what I say. Pain. Who doesn’t relate to that one? Sickness! Who can’t say they haven’t been warding off a sickness these past couple of months (if not years); Not many I’m sure. 

I realized something the other day and am quite honored to say that people respect me and expect a certain manner and moral compass from me. They look to me for inspiring and encouraging words and will quite surely make note of when I’ve veered off track.

I posted something on facebook the other day with a negative overtone. While everyone expects the positive and encouraging words from me, they are quick to call me on anything negative. It’s kind of funny though, for an entire year I watched people day after day (and still do) share negative and hate filled posts and no one calls them on spreading hate and negativity. They just bask in the glory of feeling good about themselves by sharing the hate with the world.

That’s when I realized something, people respect me so much and have come to expect a positive energy from me that when something appears to have a negative overtone they steer me back on the enlightened path. That’s when you know your words actually are having an effect on the masses. That’s when you know that you’ve touched the souls of many.

So by realizing people miss my words of encouragement, I of course do what I normally do and that is WRITE! I think you all miss my blog because it is like I am journaling and you like peeking in on all that is going on with my life and how much like your journey is to mine. Not in a bad nosey kind of way but a good concerned kind of way as you relate. You think to yourself, ‘I wonder how Joni is doing’ and maybe wonder what I do to get through the same pain-filled days you yourself might be trudging through. I think you might need that bit of encouragement that has left your reading days empty while I was away. 

I’m back. I can’t give up writing and I certainly can’t leave you all hanging in wonder. I’ve decided to take you on this journey of discovering my medical condition so I don’t feel so alone is the process of whatever is going on with my body. 

I’ll seek a doctor, I’ll get diagnosed and I’ll let you in on the homeopathic process I hope I’m allowed to take. The only way they can diagnose MS is through a spinal tap and just reading about it made me cringe, so that is a big no! An MRI okay, if it’s an open tube (I’m claustrophobic), if not, I’ll live with my disability as I’ve been doing for four almost five years now MED FREE! 

I have some stuff to share and no facebook post is enough space, I NEED my blog, I NEED to write, and most of all I NEED YOU, my friends who CARE about me. So come along on my continuing journey of Christ and see where it is I’m being led to now. If you’re reading this, like it or not, God called you along for the ride! 


My trees awakened by the morning sun!

Sunday, January 08, 2017

Poetry Sunday ~ Memories

4 Ezra 4:45 “Shew me then whether there be more to come than is past, or more past than is to come.”

Memories

When tears leak from my eyes I find
a place of healing that’s no surprise,
I find I’m lost once being found is not easy
To mechanically turn life around.

The glorious light of which I cling to 
Allows me comfort waters to wade through
I’m not the one who lives daily in fear
Let me make it clear why I’m still here

The days are long often filled with pain
I’ll say it again in life I’ll remain
The one who finds God in all that I do
As I waddle through memories I once knew

The past is there for me to step around
Tiptoe through eggshells for all I’ve found
Religion and alcohol a cocktail of frights
I made it through the dark stormy nights

I didn’t have a mother who cooked and baked 
I’m lucky to have had the food that we ate.
A penguin filled schoolhouse was my only friend
That carried my memories to the rivers bend

With a concrete garden and asphalt street
My life in Baltimore was never complete
Crimson skies lined my sunset dreams
Away from home’s not as murky it seems

I’ll go and drown my empty sorrow 
For all I carry to every tomorrow
What’s done is done what’s gone is gone
I’ll live my life and carry on.


Sunshine Award

Sunshine award