God, When she became the fire

God Uses Scraps

The saying, “Big Hot Mess”, has new meaning to me. I just watched a video by Steve Harvey, and he broke it down simply. Let’s see if I can do the same.

I like simple. There is nothing fancy about me, but I’m happy. I had fancy, but my life was not a happy life. I could walk through my home, and see pretty things, but I couldn’t look in a mirror.

You see, my then husband and I were living above our means. We were buying all these beautiful, expensive things, and putting them on credit cards. That will be in the book I’m writing, but I haven’t needed to use a credit card in 5 years. Lesson learned.

Steve Harvey used to work for Ford Motor Company. He was a foundry which builds the engine block. The block is the foundation of the engine. You have to have a solid block before adding pieces to the engine. It all begins with scraps. Twenty something years later, Steve is a spokesman for Ford.

Ford uses scrap metal to build their engine blocks. The scraps are laying in a junk yard, and look useless. Are you underneath a pile of junk? Like some of the things that are happening in your life right now feel overwhelming? You may be in the furnace being melted, so God can use you!

hotmessWhen I was willing to let all that stuff go. To walk out of the glass house I had built for myself, it was like God said, “Yay! There you are. Let’s get to work!!!”

You see, I was a mess. I felt like a car that had been wrecked. I was so tired of keeping up with the Jones’, and I didn’t even know anybody with the last name Jones!

All the pieces of my past. Everything I had been through were piling up. I was my own personal junkyard, and the pile was getting pretty intense! Then here comes God.

Steve Harvey showed a video of how an engine block is made. They would dump all that scrap metal into a fiery furnace, and it would melt down into liquid form. A machine would pour the liquid into a mold, and here comes my favorite part…A giant claw would come by and grab the mold! Have you been melted down, and then grabbed by God?

Well, hold on tight baby cuz this is where it gets good!!!

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Going through Breast Cancer last year changed me. I had been writing for three years, and felt like I was doing okay with it. Those three years were my ‘push ups’.

Can you do pushups? They start out small, but the more you do them, the better it gets. What starts out with 5 pushups, goes to 10 pretty soon, and as long as you keep doing it, (like writing, and publishing each Blog), you are at 100 before you know it.

Well, I had written over 350 posts, and found out I have Cancer. I wrote less last year, but when I could think, I wrote. God was refining me. He used what I was going through not only to encourage others, but to melt me down, and pour me into His mold for me.

When I first started writing, I was covered in junk. Writing has been a very healing process, but you see, I was choosing what to write. I was picking up a piece from the top of the pile, and writing about that. I would ask God to bless it and write it.

Then after doing so many pushups, I was getting stronger but not becoming more brave. I was not brave enough to share the really good stuff. The stuff that was painful to share. That is where Cancer came in. Through Cancer, God made me brave.

Steve mentions in the video that once the hot liquid becomes solid, his job was to hit it with a sledgehammer. Wait….I’m having a Pat Benatar moment.

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After about 3 weeks into Chemo, I would come home and pass out. It started off slow and was a gradual buildup of the toxins invading my body to kill that major toxin. Once I had more of the bad stuff in me, than good, God would hit me with his mighty hand.

Like a sledgehammer.

People would ask me what it felt like to have Chemo. I would sorta laugh and tell them, “It feels like being hit by something a lot bigger than me!” My God is big!

Steve would hit the block with a sledgehammer, to make sure it was solid. To make sure there were no air holes, or loose pieces. Then here comes the best part. If it passed the test….wait, did you get that? Let me write it in bold for ya….”If it passed the test…“, the block would continue down the conveyor belt and start receiving additional pieces.

Am I preachin good? We have to be solid before God will add anything else!!!

If you have made it this far into what I’ve been trying to share, you are a Badass! This is probably one of my longer ones, but it has been spirit led. I will not put any restraints on what God wants me to share. No more picking what to write from the top of the pile.

I know you have already spent a good chunk of your time with me, and I am grateful, but if you can spare 30 more minutes, here is the video by Steve Harvey. Be blessed.

Breast Cancer Journey, Present Moment

Test of Faith

I haven’t had any reliable Internet the last couple of days. Seymour and I took off, and drove to the beach. We saw the ocean, but it was raining, so we didn’t get to enjoy it as we had planned. The trip wasn’t about walking on the beach. It was about all the time spent together in the car, sharing a room, and talking and listening to one another’s life stories.

As I was driving to my Mammogram appointment Thursday morning, all these recollections of my Breast Cancer journey came to mind. Driving down a country road, toward the city, I saw a slide show before me. Moments where my faith was tested, and I was ready to call it quits. Seymour mentioned that I suffered in silence, so why did I feel so exposed?

I arrived at my appointment, was escorted to a screening room, and stood before that massive machine for the first time in a year. The last time I was there, I could only hug it, and sob. This time was different. The technician had to keep moving the machine upwards to accommodate my height. I was stronger now, so maybe I was standing a little bit taller.

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The technician used the machine to take pictures of both breasts in 3D. When she was done, I went to sit in a private lounge, just for women waiting for the test, or the results.

I sat down across from a woman, I guessed to be retirement age. She had been crying, and was clutching the front of her gown, trying to keep it from falling open. I had been right where she was sitting, so I asked her, “Are you okay?” She started to cry some more.

She told me that she had been so faithful with her Mammograms. She had received one every year for as far back as she could remember. She was late in getting this one, and when she did, they saw something concerning. They had just done a more in depth one, and she was waiting to hear the next steps. She was at her beginning, and I was at my end.

The first thing I assured her of was, there is no such thing as ‘late’. You are here now, and that is all that matters. I shared the names of all my doctors with her, and she frantically took notes. The technician came back to get me, and as I left, I looked at her and said, “God bless you.” She whispered the same to me, and I told her, “He does everyday love.”

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My journey created a profound intimacy with God. It’s still there, even though my journey was coming to a close. God was getting ready to test my faith, as see what I had learned.

The technician escorted me to a different room, which I recognized immediately. There was the table I had laid on during my biopsy. She asked me to lay on the table, and open the right side of my gown. I laid down, and asked her, “You realize the lump was in my left?”

She said, “Oh I know Mrs. Holmes, but we saw something in the right that we need to take a closer look at.” My world stopped. I realized I had been so concerned about the left one, that I hadn’t paid much attention to the right. I felt the warm gel hit my breast, and the wand of the sonogram machine started sliding around. At that point, I lost all control.

I broke down, and started sobbing on the table. The female technician patted my arm, reassuring me that it was all okay. I told her, “I cannot do this again! I cannot go through it all again!!!” But you know what? If I needed to go through it again, God would be there. My next thought was, I would have both breasts removed, so at least I could come back as a 36C!

She completed the sonogram, and left the room to review the results with the Oncologist. When she returned, she exclaimed, “You are all good Mrs. Holmes! It’s only a cyst!” There was more than one test given here, and thanks be to God that I was able to pass ’em both.

Barbara is a Writer, a Mom to her 17-year-old daughter, a recent Breast Cancer survivor, and she loves God. When she started this Blog in 2014 Letitgocoach was the name that stuck. She enjoys helping people Let Go of what is holding them back from having a beautiful life. Her life is beautiful, and an example of Letting Go and Letting God. You may connect with her via email. Letitgocoach@gmail.com

 

 

 

Breast Cancer Journey, Present Moment

First and Last

I woke up this morning to the sweetest Meme awaiting approval on my Facebook Timeline. She posted it my personal page, but I met this woman on my Letitgocoach Facebook Page.

tycoach2This is not the first time, and I hope it won’t be the last. To hear it is oh so sweet.

The appointment with my Oncologist went very well on Monday. We basically thanked one another for being there, and said our good-byes. He said if anything comes up where I need him, to just call. Well, let’s just say, “Thank you Doc, but I hope this is the last time.”

I have my mammogram tomorrow morning. This will be the first one in exactly one year. The first time I had one it showed the lump in my breast, and was extremely painful! They are not supposed to be painful lovely. I had waited until I couldn’t wait any longer to go have the mammogram. I remember standing there, hugging the machine, and sobbing.

This one won’t be painful, unless I have a really sucky technician. My hope is that I have the same one I had the first time, so she can see what God did in that year.

I’m a completely different woman from the first time, but it won’t be my last.

My surgeon wants me to have one every 6 months for two years. I looked at her like, “Gosh! Will this journey ever end?” The journey continues, and I’m just better than I was at the first. Thank you God it wasn’t my last.

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Barbara is a Writer, a Mom to her 17-year-old daughter, a recent Breast Cancer survivor, and she loves God. When she started this Blog in 2014 Letitgocoach was the name that stuck. She enjoys helping people Let Go of what is holding them back from having a beautiful life. Her life is beautiful, and an example of Letting Go and Letting God. You may connect with her via email. Letitgocoach@gmail.com

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Present Moment, Quality of life

Big Gurl

My comment yesterday about the human cock, worried some friends. Maybe they think I’m going to start writing about my sex life, and turn x-rated. I don’t feel a need to give you the details of something so sacred to me. Some things are best kept in the bedroom.

In finding a more authentic me, do I need to spill my guts?

If so, it will fall to the pages of a journal. You read about my past loves quite frequently, but I don’t use their name. What you read is what I learned from the encounter, not always the encounter itself. I wasn’t ready for most of what happened in my life, so why would I expect you to be. Placing a name to the feelings I may be wrestling with is like blaming them for what I feel. No darling. I’m a big girl, and I make my own choices.

I feel at a very infinite level. There is scar tissue inside of me, not only from the Breast Cancer, but life itself. The scars are proof enough I showed up for it, and you get to read the beauty of it. There is enough hurt in the world. I am here to share the healing.

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Barbara is a Writer, a Mom to her 17-year-old daughter, a recent Breast Cancer survivor, and she loves God. When she started this Blog in 2014 Letitgocoach was the name that stuck. She enjoys helping people Let Go of what is holding them back from having a beautiful life. Her life is beautiful, and an example of Letting Go and Letting God. You may connect with her via email. Letitgocoach@gmail.com

 

Present Moment, Quality of life

And It’s Over

It has been a day of celebration for me. No more Cancer, and no more treatment!

Just three more days, and my 30 days of writing will come to an end. God knows I have a thing about 3 days. He always shows me something in that amount of time.

I am curled up on my bed, and sitting on one of my favorite blankets

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Just look at that Mama. It is an awesome cloud of gentle goodness! This is the blanket I took to Chemo with me each week, and wrapped myself in it during the treatment. A friend gave it to me for that reason. She wanted me to have some type of comfort in that uncomfortable position. It gave me great comfort, and still does.

Have you ever met someone online, and hit it off with them immediately? Now, I know some of you probably have some horror stories about that, but I have a few girlfriends I have met through social media, but not in person. It feels like we have known each other forever, but we haven’t. Just kindred souls it would seem.

Today I got to meet one of them face to face. It was my last Radiation treatment, and we met for lunch afterwards. She started my day, celebrating my journey on Facebook, and then she met me in person to continue the celebration. We met at a lovely restaurant, and had the place pretty much to ourselves. We shared an appetizer, and then this happened.

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Before we could decide what to order for lunch, the waitress brought these.

The manager had given us a serving of each one of their desserts. Now, everyone knows I love cake, and I had mentioned that we would be eating cake today, but this?

It is just like God to give me more than I was expecting. It was beautiful sitting there chatting with Seymour, (her pen name) and willingly placing myself in a sugar coma!

My daughter stayed home today while I was away. She did her schooling, and even took a Grammar and Composition test, which I will check once I’m done typing. I have learned to take advantage of the quiet moments. To do things in that moment, that generally flow better, opposed to when there are distractions. The house looks and smells beautiful.

That is what we do. We care for one another, and bring beauty in focus. She cleaned the kitchen, tidied up the house, did her schooling, and probably 100 other little things I have yet to notice. Her best girlfriend is spending the weekend with us, so they are at dinner now. She got pushed for time, and was distressed that her closet had landed on her bed.

After she left, I went into her room, and hung everything up. Then I lit a candle and closed the door. When she walks into her bedroom, her bed will look inviting, and her room will smell like the peach candle. We do this type thing for each other all the time, and I love it.

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This is her mug, but I borrowed it for today. It’s holding one of my favorite red teas, and I brought it to the bedroom to enjoy in closing. Thank you for sitting here, and sharing in my day of celebration. The Cancer treatment is over, but thank God the journey continues.

Barbara is a Writer, a Mom to her 17-year-old daughter, and she loves God. When she started this Blog in 2014 Letitgocoach was the name that stuck. She enjoys helping people Let Go of what is holding them back from having a beautiful life. She found out in March of 2016 that she had Breast Cancer. She has completed Chemo, and is going through Radiation. Her life is beautiful, and an example of Letting Go and Letting God. You may connect with her via email. Letitgocoach@gmail.com

 

 

Present Moment, Quality of life

It’s Almost Over

A year changes you a lot. It’s hard to believe that a year ago, the lump in my left breast was so painful, I could hardly breathe. Fast forward to this moment. I have one more Radiation treatment left. That lump is not there anymore, and this Breast Cancer Journey is ending.

Every ending has a new beginning. Sitting here at my laptop, I’m not certain what that looks like, but I know it will come. My daily routine will have a hole to be filled.

My daughter didn’t sleep well lastnight because Numi was in her room. She wouldn’t settle down, and go to sleep like she normally does in the hallway, so tonight Numi will have different sleeping arrangements made for her. A good night’s sleep is very important. It sets the tone for the following day, and tomorrow is a day of celebration.

There were parts of this journey that taught me to celebrate something as simple as breathing. I couldn’t have coffee during Chemo, but today I am savoring a cup of freshly ground drip. Each day is a celebration. It has taken time, but it’s almost over.

 

 

 

Present Moment, Quality of life

I Don’t Wanna

I didn’t really wanna write today. This is Day 20 of challenging myself to write everyday for 30 days. It comes very easily for me now, but as you can see, I waited all day to do it!

I woke up this morning physically tired. It’s not unusual for a Friday because I just had 5 straights days of driving back and forth to Radiation. It’s a 45 minute drive there, and back, for a 15 minute appointment. Today, I slowed way down, and took some time for myself.

More life. Less rush.

Yesterday, I thought more coffee was the answer to get me through the day. After leaving Radiation, I drove to one of my favorite coffee shops downtown. Beside the coffee shop is one of my favorite shops. It’s owned by a mother, and daughter, and they have some of the prettiest things! They have a floral department in the back, so I popped in there first.

I have become friends with the mother, and she knows all about my Breast Cancer Journey. We talked, and got caught up on each others life. By now, I am standing in front of the cooler gazing at the flowers. I asked about the purple Hydrangeas, but she wasn’t sure they would last long. There were three of them, and one had started to wilt, so the others would too.

She said, “They might last a day.” I told her I would take them and love them for today.

She opened the cooler, and pulled them out. We walked over to the counter where I was ready to pay her for them, but no. She handed them to me with a wink and a big smile.

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I leaned over the counter, gave her a hug and whispered in her ear, “I love you!”

She responded with the same, and I made my way over to the coffee shop. I brought them home, cut the stems short, and put them in water. By the look of them, I knew they would be pretty for at least one day, but I wasn’t sure if any longer than that. When I saw them this morning, they were more beautiful than yesterday! They had perked up and in full bloom!

“When a flower doesn’t bloom, you fix the environment in which it grows, not the flower.” ~Alexander Den Heijer~

 

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Barbara is a Writer, a Letting Go Coach, a Mom to her 17-year-old daughter, and she loves God. When she started this Blog in 2014 Letitgocoach was the name that stuck. She enjoys helping people Let Go of what is holding them back from having a beautiful life. She found out in March of 2016 that she had Breast Cancer. She has completed Chemo, and is going through Radiation. Her life is beautiful, and an example of Letting Go and Letting God. You may connect with her via email. Letitgocoach@gmail.com

 

 

 

Breast Cancer Journey, Present Moment, Quality of life

People Mean Well

My daughter and I live in a very small town. We found out recently, that people ride by and look to see if our vehicles are here. They know when we’re home, and when we’re not home. I’m sure they mean well, but in today’s world, that could be considered ‘stalking.’

There is a man who lives in this little town that seems to know everybody’s bizness. He knew when I was going through Chemo, when I had my surgery, and he knows I’m going through Radiation. He didn’t hear it from me, but somehow he knows these things. I wonder how?

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His wife has had Breast Cancer, and from what I gather talking with him, she is battling it again. He didn’t go through doctor’s to heal her. He knows people from years ago that cured Cancer naturally. He stopped by my house yesterday, and handed me a bottle of dark liquid.

How do we discern the right path? I believe there are signs along the way.

God has healed me, and He used everything I went through to do so. Will the Cancer return? I don’t know, but will cross that bridge if it appears. I thank God everyday for healing me, and I haven’t asked Him to send backup. In other words, I haven’t prayed this man into my life.

That was the first sign for me. Another sign is, whatever he just handed me is illegal. He told me he could go to jail for giving it to me. That was a big red flag because I don’t do illegal.

I would love to meet his wife one day. To see her, and hear her story. He said she has lost 40 pounds, and is healthy as a horse. Going through Chemo, I lost 20 pounds, and I didn’t feel healthy. I felt very frail, and missed that extra weight. Slowly, I am gaining it back, and 20 pounds kept me in the safe zone. Losing anything more than 20, I would be skin and bones.

As if I hadn’t heard enough, he just had to throw this in. This liquid tastes like death itself. For it to work, I will need to cut out ALL sugar, wheat and pasta. Welp, that did it for me!

I love wheat! My man has taught me how to make our own pasta, and I cannot imagine my life without chocolate. So, he was handing me something illegal that tastes like death, and I may lose 40 pounds because I would have to stop eating! I eat healthy, but love my treats. Everyday just happens to be an occasion to celebrate with a piece of dark chocolate, or two.

When people come into our lives, there is always a reason. I haven’t quite figured out the reason behind this man, but God will show me in time. He is pretty comfortable barging into people’s lives, so maybe no one has told him ‘no’ before. God knows I have learned how to do that too. Whatever the reason behind it, I know it will be for my good, and God’s glory.

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Barbara is a Writer, a Mom to her 17-year-old daughter, and loves God. When she started this Blog in 2014 Letitgocoach was the name that stuck. She enjoys helping people Let Go of what is holding them back from having a beautiful life. She found out in March of 2016 that she had Breast Cancer. She has completed Chemo, and is starting Radiation. Her life is beautiful, and an example of Letting Go and Letting God. You may connect with her via email. Letitgocoach@gmail.com

Breast Cancer Journey, Present Moment, Quality of life

Don’t Be Angry

I woke up thinking of a lady I saw at Radiation. She was agitated in my presence, and I couldn’t grasp how to comfort her. I thought she was scared, but I found out later, she was angry.

There are 5 stages of grief, and when I found out I had Breast Cancer, I went through them all. Some people get stuck on a certain one, but you need to keep going. Don’t get stuck, and roll around in one. If you do that, you are going to miss out on the point of the journey.

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I stayed in Denial for quite a while. Every doctor I met, told me the same thing, and I just sat there ready to bolt. My daughter would go with me to the appointments, and listen for me. Even though I was sitting right there, I wasn’t actually hearing what they were saying.

Then I got just flat out pissed off. In came the yelling match with God. Have you ever noticed, God doesn’t yell back? He just patiently waits for the fit to subside. All the questions, but the most popular one was, “Why?” I had plans for 2016, but now I was going to spend it killing Cancer? Well, God and Chemo took the anger right out of this girl.

Good ol’ Chemo. That is where I learned the most. I could write a book on that alone.

I was bargaining my way through every chance I got. Let’s face it. I usually get my way, but the doctor’s wouldn’t budge. “Can I take a longer break?” No. “Can we just stop right here?” No. “Do I have to come back and keep doing this?” Yes. They were focused on the cure. They had a plan to kill this lump in my breast, and they succeeded. I’m glad they told me no.

Waves of sorrow would wash over me during Chemo. I wouldn’t say I was depressed, but I definitely felt sorry for myself. I couldn’t do anything about anything! All I could do was open my eyes to a new day. Sometimes it took a few days to become stable enough to shower. I just laid in bed thinking of what I would write, if I had the well being to write it.

Acceptance.

This was the sweetest part of the journey. Once I finally accepted the journey.

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God didn’t do this to me. Being an overthinker, I went through every scenario trying to pinpoint what caused this Cancer. Does it really matter? It wasn’t about the lump. It was about what God was going to do for me, that I couldn’t do myself. When I got to that point, and I had to ask for help from God, and others, I believe God started to smile down on me.

God doesn’t want us to walk through this life on our own. He is with us every moment of everyday, but we tend to only call out to Him when needed. In my anger stage, I told God, “I can’t do this on my own.” He was there every step of the way, and my heart is full of His goodness and grace. Don’t be angry. This wasn’t done ‘to’ you, but God will use it for you.

 

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Barbara is a Writer, a Mom to her 17-year-old daughter, and loves God. When she started this Blog in 2014 Letitgocoach was the name that stuck. She enjoys helping people Let Go of what is holding them back from having a beautiful life. She found out in March of this year that she has Breast Cancer. She has completed Chemo, and is starting Radiation. She is in the midst of writing a book which you can help support with Patreon. Her life is beautiful, and an example of Letting Go and Letting God. You may connect with her via email. Letitgocoach@gmail.com

 

 

 

Breast Cancer Journey, Present Moment, Quality of life

Turning Inside Out

I don’t typically Blog at night, so my hope is, this reaches someone who needs it.

Today was a day of comfort. I got home late yesterday afternoon from Christmas visits. A friend I haven’t talked to in a while, spent time with me on messenger this morning, catching up. It was good to reconnect with her, and I always learn something after hanging out with a friend. Today, she told me, “It sounds like you are right where you need to be.”

There is a difference between ‘right where you need to be’, and ‘right where you WANT to be.’ If I’m right where I need to be, it involves growth, and preparation for where I want to be. I have grown a lot this year, and it’s all thanks to walking through this path of Cancer.

God has gone before me, and placed the right people in my path. Today, I wore some comfortable jeans, a long sleeve shirt, my favorite scarf, jean jacket, and furry boots to Radiation. Walking in, I was comforted just by what I was wearing. It didn’t bother me to trade in my warm clothes for the hospital top. I was still smiling walking down the hall.

When you go through Radiation, the technician takes an x-ray of the area first, before every treatment. That is how they know they have you in correct alignment before they zap you.

I have two wonderful, female technicians. They saw how happy I was to be there, and one of them said something that really struck me. After I laid down on the table, and the machine was in place for the x-ray, she tapped my leg and said, “Smile pretty for us on the inside!”

She was joking because of the x-ray that was being taken, but it has stuck with me all day.

Smile pretty on the inside.

Maybe what you’re going through has taken away your smile. Or, you smile, but you’re hiding the hurt inside. You are not alone, and let me encourage you, that you will get through it. Place your hand over your heart, and feel it beating inside of you. Life can feel like it’s turning you inside out, but until that feeling has passed, smile pretty on the inside.

 

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Barbara is a Writer, a Mom to her 17-year-old daughter, and loves God. When she started this Blog in 2014 Letitgocoach was the name that stuck. She enjoys helping people Let Go of what is holding them back from having a beautiful life. She found out in March of this year that she has Breast Cancer. She has completed Chemo, and is starting Radiation. She is in the midst of writing a book which you can help support with Patreon. Her life is beautiful, and an example of Letting Go and Letting God. You may connect with her via email. Letitgocoach@gmail.com