Quality of life

I’m Not Made of Butter

You know those survival shows where you can only take one thing with you? Mine would be a really good candle, coffee, or butter. I know…Don’t pick me as your partner.

We talked yesterday about Satan, and how he loves to mess with us. Hey Satan! Dat You?

So, maybe this week we will whack Satan around, because I can see he has been all up in my business. Like…encouraging me to spread myself too thin.

A week ago, I snapped. I just blew!

I live an extremely sweet, simple life, but what had I done? I had joined 10 or so social media sites thinking more is better when trying to reach people for encouragement. I have one word to sum that up. “Bullshit.”

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I missed that memo! I am an Encourager, and I am on this earth to love people. I had myself spread so thin over these social media sites, that I was failing at doing that one thing really well.  To write.

Last month I published 26 pieces on this Blog. This month? Up until yesterday, I had published 5.

Last Tuesday night, I sat down on the edge on my bed, and deleted my social media accounts. All of them except Facebook, and Instagram. I’ve had a LinkedIn account for 10 years! Bye bye. How did I feel the next morning? A little lighter, and almost giddy.

I enjoy Instagram because of the photos. My gift is not photography, but I can snap a pic, and write about it. My daughter is the photographer, and I’m hoping God will combine our gifts at some point. Wouldn’t that piss Satan off? To combine our gifts into an unstoppable outreach of encouragement!

Look at the areas of your life that God is blessing, and focus. God has given each of us at least one gift. His hope is we will use it for His Glory, not ours.

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Present Moment, Quality of life

Keep Planting Seeds

I have been pondering ‘discouragement’. There are a lot of people out there who are becoming discouraged in life. Mainly, I am seeing writer’s allow it to imprison their gift.

Writing is a gift. For me, it’s a way God can work through me to say something to you. I don’t spend hours developing a Blog, and I don’t do any research, unless it’s to look up a word for the correct usage. It’s just a matter of sitting down in front of this screen, and letting the words flow from my heart, through my fingers, onto this keyboard.

It’s Springtime, and this always makes me want to plant a garden. This house came with a fenced in area for that purpose. I gaze out my kitchen window, and imagine seeing raised beds full of veggies. My father was a gardener, and I’ve had gardens in the past.

Today, I have no desire to tend to it. It a lot of work, and combine that with the Texas heat, and it’s a big, ‘no thank you.’ I’d rather plant seeds of encouragement. As writer’s, we plant a seed every time we click the ‘Publish’ button. The seeds are our words.

Who will harvest our crop? That, we don’t know, but I will keep planting until God tells me different. Just by writing when we feel the urge, and casting it out on the Internet, God has the opportunity to use it. Use the gift God gave you. Keep planting seeds.

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Present Moment, Quality of life

Miracle Grow

I was watching my little dog this morning. He was sitting, but anxiously awaiting my daughter’s door to open. That is all he wanted. To see my daughter walk into view.

How simple is that?

We both give him attention, but I am the Mama. I make sure the food and water bowls are full, give him a bath, and get drugs from the vet to keep his fleas at bay. She gives him attention, and tells him how cute he is all the time. He gets more excited about her.

We nurture what we give our time to. I have a tendency to want to hurry things along. Help God out a little bit. I’ve had to come to grips with the numbers I see from this Blog. How many Bloggers have quit thanks to the numbers? If I compared the numbers, to the time spent, I wouldn’t be here, but since when is this Blog about me? I am just the writer.

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My boyfriend filled our planter boxes with flowers this week. It makes us a little nervous because we have a knack for giving them too much attention, and they die. I believe the same is true for a Blog, or any page where you focus on the numbers.

Too much attention can kill it. I unfollowed a Blogger this morning because he posted 4 Blogs yesterday. I love to read, but I don’t want to just hear the writer talk. Feed me.

Looking at the flowers planted, my boyfriend said, “I hope they spread and get fuller.. that will be the perfect scenario.. but I am just hoping to keep them alive long enough for that to happen right now..” He added, “I bought Miracle Grow!”

We can look at our writing in the same way. The seeds are planted, and the flowers are starting to bloom. We hope that our words will spread, and become fuller, but right now, we are just hoping to keep the writer in us alive long enough for that to happen. If we need an extra boost, God is the miracle in Miracle Grow.

In the meantime, just keep writing with as much Integrity, and Love as possible.

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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

The First Sentence

I opened a letter from the imaging center where I had my most recent mammogram. The words filled the entire page, but after that first sentence, I didn’t need to read anymore.

“We are pleased to inform you that the results of your recent breast imaging exam(s) show no signs of Breast Cancer.” This last letter was the opposite of the first one I received exactly one year ago. The first letter told me the exam saw Cancer, and the last one said, “End of story.” There was a beginning, and an end, but my story is far from over.

Some of the journey is documented here, but who you see today is the woman on the other side. How did I survive? Through love, and God. That is also what you read about here.

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In the same way the first sentence of that letter caught my attention, so will the first sentence of a Blog. I’ve been reading a lot of Blogs recently, and they show me who I used to be. I’ve had the privilege of being a lot of what I read. The Entrepreneur, Motivational Speaker, Stepford Wife, Preacher/Teacher, and those roles helped create who I am today.

Even though I may not fully see her yet, I know where she’s been. I don’t write long Blogs, because after about 500 words, I lose interest, and imagine you would too.

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Do you ever wonder why you’re here? I have been thinking about that a lot, and I don’t really know why. All I know is, God opened this door three years ago, and here I stand.

I love to write, and am working on two books to be published. I want to give you something to hold in your hands, write in, and highlight different colors. Using a Kindle, or tablet is all fine and good, but it’s not the same highlighting a screen, as it is a paper page.

Seeing who you’re not anymore, helps you along the path of who you want to be. Every circumstance has strengthened my character, and my relationship with God. Sitting here I am reminded of the first sentence of an Ed Sheeran song. “I gave all my oxygen to people that could breathe.” Been there done that. Today, I can tell you how good it feels to breathe.

meBarbara 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

Feel the Music

Feel the Music (Overcomer)

I have been waiting all day for an inspiration.

Listening to the radio, and paying attention to every song, but nothing resonated.

I was calling it a day, and stretched out to read some Blogs from my WordPress community. As I was reading a Blog written by simplemesimplelife, I cannot even describe what came over me. She wrote a beautiful Blog, learning about Letting Go, and you can read it here. In the last paragraph, she mentions me, and refers to me as a kindred spirit, and an overcomer.

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I was overcome with emotion that she would mention me, and refer to me as an Overcomer. My darling friend, thank you for inspiring me for tonight’s song.

I have not thought of myself in that way before, but that is what my Blog reveals. The star of my story is God. Whatever it is you may be going through, I know He’s not gonna let it get the best of you! Turn them speakers up, and remind yourself. You’re an Overcomer!

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

 

 

 

Present Moment, Quality of life

Hope and Love

It was 5 am when I heard a distinctive sound. Numi was about to throw up in my room. I scooted her outside, thanked God for waking me up, and protecting my row of shoes.

My phone was blinking, letting me know I had mail. It was a comment on my Blog, and it touched my heart so deeply, I’m shaking as I type this. God was at work early this morning.

A woman found my Blog during the night, and read Blog after Blog, after Blog.

She left a comment, but then had a change of heart and asked me to delete it. I will do as she asks, but her comment will be forever imprinted on my soul. I needed to hear her words.

God works through people. They tell us what we need to hear. That is my hope while I write. That God will work through me, and you will read something you need to hear.

This woman validated what I have been doing the past three years. I’ve posted so many Memes on social media, I told my daughter yesterday, “My life is a Meme.” She laughed and disagreed, but from all those Memes, I could run some of my favorite ones through my mind at any time. I am mindful when talking with friends, or I’ll give them a quote from a Meme.

You can laugh along with me here, but it’s true. So, what God has called us to do, which is encouraging others, is a gift. People are reading our words, seeing our Memes, and it helps keep them going. What I want this woman to know is, the comment she left this morning will help keep me going. When you leave a comment, your words fill me with hope and love.

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One of my all time faves.

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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

You Found Me

There is a song by Big Daddy Weave entitled, “You Found Me.” It describes the day God found him, or he was saved. It goes on to say, “To be held so tight, I’ve never felt so free.”

To be saved. That has numerous meaning today. Life will shoot us full of holes, and we long for those hole to be filled. To feel a sense of completeness. To feel like a whole being. I used alcohol for many years trying to fill in those gaps, but that hole I was using everything to fill, was a God shaped hole. He was the only one that could fill me up.

He found me. God is always there. It’s up to us to let Him into our hearts. So, in essence, He didn’t find me, I found Him. It was just like the song says, “When I saw a flash of light and I heard the sound, of a voice like thunder shake the ground. It was the first time I remember ever feeling my heart beat.”  God and I have been forever friends for 18 years.

Lose yourself. Sometimes you have to lose yourself in the moment to be found.

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Maybe everyone wants to be found, but it’s best to find yourself first. That is an evolving experience for me. I learn new things about myself, and the people I have in my life help bring that about. Be a student of life willing to learn, and with that, a teacher will appear.

My daughter and I were watching one of our favorite shows. The woman in the show was going to break up with the main character. It scared her that she lost herself in him. Her Mother had a talk with her and she said, “You didn’t get lost in him. You got lost in the love you have for one another. That is where you find each other.” Two is better than one.

 

To be found you need to be good with feeling lost. We try to hold it all together, and be strong, badass women, but let me tell you that will give you a life of living it alone.

It’s up to you to love, and let yourself be loved. That is where you will find me.

 

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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

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

 

 

 

Breast Cancer Journey, Present Moment, Quality of life

Surviving The Storm

I have a bowl of candy corn sitting on the dining room table. When I wake up, I eventually make my way to that bowl and eat a piece. I don’t buy it year round, or stock up at the end of the season. It’s one of life’s little pleasures for me that I wait for and enjoy while it’s here.

As I’m typing this, the sky is just starting to get light. I sat outside in the porch swing this morning at 5 am. It was dark, quiet, and cold to me. That is how you know a new season is coming in Texas. You put on jeans and a flannel to sit outside, instead of shorts and a tank.

Even though it was dark, I knew it was a new day. In time, the sky would turn blue, and there would be color coming over the horizon. It won’t stay quiet because all God’s creatures will begin announcing the new day. I love sitting and listening to the quiet.

How do you know there is a new season coming over the horizon in your life?

You can feel it.

Just like the change in air temperature this morning on my skin, I can feel a new season is approaching. My last Chemo was a week ago, so thank God that is over. As I sat in the porch swing this morning, my mind was showing me snippets of myself from this year. There was a time not so long ago, the pain in my breast would wake me up and I would sit outside.

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Once I went to the doctor, and received my diagnosis of Breast Cancer, the pain subsided. There has been no more pain, but to get me to the doctor, God used pain. To get me on this path of healing, there was pain involved. Maybe you are going through something painful right now. Let me encourage you to surrender to that pain, and trust that God has a plan.

My mind showed me pictures of sitting in the Chemo chair. Sixteen times at least, and each time took three to five hours. There was one time, my body had an allergic reaction to one of the premeds. They had to unplug me from that, and give me meds for the reaction, and start all over again. That day I closed the place down, and sat in that chair for eight hours.

As you can imagine, the first lesson I learned was how to sit still. I’ve never been good at it. Oh, I could sit still if it was my choice, but to sit still with no choice was very hard for me.

After I came home full of Chemo, my body would just shut down. It would lay in bed for days, and not want to move. I had to tell it what to do. Drink water, and go pee. Sit up and eat something. Three days was as long as I could go without a shower. Just standing in the shower was a major feat. I had to teach my body every week what to do to stay on this path.

Now that the Chemo is over, my body can finish healing. It knows the drill by now, and is expecting to get hit with more Chemo after three weeks. I’m so excited to see how it feels to not get hit. To feel my body continue to heal, and start gaining the weight back that it lost. To feel strength come back into what used to be muscle. To stay out of bed more than in it.

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So, what about the heart? God showed me this week I have closed my heart off as to protect it. My body has been in survival mode for months, so it would seem, my heart followed suit.

Just like teaching my body that everything’s going to be okay, I had to tell my heart that this morning too. I could feel the hardness melt away, and it open up again. I can feel it beating.

The storm will cause us to hit the pause button on our life, and just try to survive. I am not the same person physically, mentally, or spiritually after Chemo. I believe I am better, and will continue to grow. We can either sit in the darkness, usually alone, or wait patiently for it to be light. Today I can feel the warm of the light not only on my skin, but also in my heart.

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Barbara is a God follower, a Writer, and Mom to her 17-year-old daughter. 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. Part of her mission is to show people they can start over at 50. Her life is beautiful, and an example of Letting Go and Letting God. You may connect with her via email. Letitgocoach@gmail.com