The Right Time

To change as gracefully as the seasons.

I had to smile at myself as I was trying to make the bedroom blinds hang level. Gently releasing the left cord and then the right, back and forth until it fell into a level edge. I thought, “Wow Barb. If only you could do that in real life.”

Just by pulling the right cord.

My circumstances are changing, but it’s not happening fast enough for me. The first glimpse was last Christmas and it was like God whispered, “Get ready. It’s coming.”

I know I’m being ridiculous. We don’t end a day in Winter and wake up to an immediate Spring. (We sorta do in Texas, but you catch my drift) It happens gradually my darling. Each day and night becomes a little bit warmer, until we arrive in a new season.

I made this comment to my daughter. “By the end of March my life will look totally different.” It just fell out of my mouth and I don’t know whether to be excited, or scared.

circumstances

 

It’s not my job to hurry change or slow it down, but today I want to. Just like the blinds, I wanted to hold one cord in each hand to feel that sense of control with this change. I wanted to see the sun streaming in instead of looking at the clouds.

I want, I want, I want, is not how it works, thankfully. I’m not in charge and today I can be grateful for that. Have Faith in what you know. The sun is still shining above the clouds. I don’t have to see it to know.

The dominoes are lining up, and a gentle breeze will begin their fall, at the right time.

Better Than Good

A simple question we’re often asked is, “How are you?” How do you respond? Your response determine’s how you feel. Rise above the feeling of ‘okay’, to good. If you feel ‘good’, say, ‘great’ and on up. Be better than good.

An excellent read by Cristian Mahai, When Okay Is Not Enough.

when-you-focus-on-the-good-the-good-gets-better-inspirational-quote

Sow Some Seeds (Part 7)

Here are the last of our seeds.

My hope is they are planted in your heart, and you will reap a harvest of goodness now, and in the coming year.

Here are today’s seeds:

I will pause whenever I am feeling sorry for myself today, and remember that this is the only day I have and must play it to the fullest. What my part may signify in the great whole, I may not recognize, but I am here to play it and now is the time.

I will remember that those who have fewest regrets are those who take each moment as it comes for all that it’s worth.

Live in the now. Play it to the fullest! Have no regrets.

This is my day!

These are my seeds.

Thank you, God, for this precious garden of time.

Wishing you a beautiful Christmas, and a New Year filled with God’s very best!

Parts of this Blog are taken from The Seeds of Success, by Og Mandino.

Enjoy the Day

You can hear the natural flow of the day when there is no additional noise. The air conditioning is blowing steadily through the air vent above my head. Sitting in the middle of my bed while typing, the cool air is landing on the back of my neck, arms, and shoulders. There is a ceiling fan on in the room quietly circulating the air.

Sitting in stillness and quiet is a vital part of well-being. It’s taught me to sit with myself and get to know who I am with no distractions.

I’m doing less with my phone.

I tested myself this week, and left my phone at home while out with my daughter. The only part I missed was the ability to take pictures of the moments. Some phones contain better camera’s than actual camera’s. I wonder if that’s intentional, so we rely on them more.

 

morning

Enjoy the day!

Feel the Music

My daughter received a stereo for Christmas from her Dad. This monster, is a dream come true for most. She hooked it up herself, but there was one piece she missed.

The sub-woofer.

My daughter is all about the bass. She got the cord she needed from her Dad, and hooked it up right before she left on Friday.

IMG_20170417_124342035

You will note this sound system is against an outside wall. I walked into the kitchen after she left, and that entire wall, all the way past the kitchen was vibrating!

The house was literally moving.

To feel the music. This song just came on, and it has a lot of bass, so here ya go! The Mac says it best. “I feel it in my heart, I feel it in my soul. That’s how I know.”

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.

demons

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.

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.

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 for my body to breathe.

 

Cry It Out

I just needed to write. There is something about it that pulls all the frazzled ends back into my tapestry of life.

waiting

This is one of my favorite pictures, and I used it in a Blog written one year ago. To think of it today reminds me, this has been my year of waiting. I don’t mind waiting. God has given me plenty of practice, so I’ve become relatively good at it. It helps when you know what you’re waiting for. This week it was a call.

A week ago Monday, I had a call from my breast surgeon to see when I wanted to schedule the lumpectomy. We talked about Chemo, how I was doing, and when was my last treatment scheduled.

It felt like two doses of The Red Devil had been harder on me than the first 12 weeks combined. I still had two more doses to go, and in all honesty I wasn’t sure my body could take it. She said, “Maybe we can go ahead and do surgery then.” A light came on at the end of the tunnel.

She had to talk with my doctor, but she felt confident the lump was plenty small enough by now to be removed. So, the waiting began. I didn’t expect it to take this long, but 10 days later I received the verdict from my doctor. He said, “No.” That was when I had to cry it out.

I don’t know what God’s plan is, but it broke my heart when He said, “No”, to that plan.

wait

Did I mention the part where I got so pissed off, I called and left a message with my nurse that I wasn’t coming to Chemo next week? I was nice, but it happened, and it got her attention! She called me right back, so I didn’t have to wait long at all on that call.

So, I’ve gotten disappointed, angry, and cried, all within two hours time. I’m over it.

I try not to let my emotions get the best of me. I have always tried to keep it all under control, and let things like this just roll down my back. It normally works because I know a large part of life is a test.

If I can look at it as a test, and God as my teacher, it really inspires me to pass that test. I felt like I was failing the test, but then I realized, this test isn’t over.

I will know it’s over when God gets the glory from this journey. He gets the glory every morning when I wake up, but He is a Master at showing off in my life. He knows I love spectacular endings, so that is what I’m waiting for. I don’t see it yet, but I know its there.

Back to Chemo

I fell asleep early lastnight. Netflix continually lost the audio of the show I was trying to watch, so I just gave up, and shut everything down, including me. Perks of adulthood.

I woke up around 3:30 am, and remembered what day it is. My three week break from Chemo is coming to an end. Today is the Monday before Chemo Tuesday. There are so many feelings that go along with that thought.

My first thought was, this is #2, out of four, so I’m almost halfway done. I am learning so much along this path, and one thing is, God is big.

godis

I’ve had  this Meme for a while.

Just pondering it’s meaning, and today I see what it means to me in so many ways. There are no surprises to God. He knows our life story, because He is the Author, so me going through Chemo is no big shock for Him.

Looking back, I can see how everything just fell into place. My daughter and I have lived on our own, with God’s guidance, for almost 4 years. It was my job to keep her safe, and care for her the best way I knew how. Living life together, one day at a time, has brought me an extreme amount of joy.

Today, it would seem, our roles have reversed thanks to Chemo.

I didn’t know I would be battling Breast Cancer this year, but God did. It gives me great comfort knowing He has already gone before me to fight this battle, and God always wins.

boat storm quote

John 13:7 says, “You do not realize now what I am doing, but later you will understand.”

My daughter started driving the day she got her permit. We were leaving the DMV, and she asked, “Can I drive?” That was about a year ago. She learned to drive with my Ford F150, and I told her, “If you can drive this truck, you can drive almost anything.” It was hard for me to sit in the passenger seat at times, but she never put a scratch on it. She’s an excellent driver.

Daddy stepped in at Christmas, and gave her a car. Actually, he bought her two. The first one he bought, was her dream machine. A canary yellow, 2010, Chevy Camaro SS. I was amazed, and told him, “Uh, No.” She had been dreaming about this car, and he had searched the ends of the earth to find it. It was the hardest thing ever for me to say no.

He then bought her a more sensible car. Still sporty, but safer. Great gas mileage, and a thumpin’  sound system which is vital to her. He still has the Camaro parked behind his office. I am sure she drives it every chance she gets, but she now sees why it was a no. It’s way too much car for her at this age.

IF she hadn’t started driving when she did, I wouldn’t have a live in driver to Chemo.

What started out as something that had to be done, has turned into something she wants to do. She wants to drive me, and care for me in this way. It was very difficult for me to allow this to happen, but I knew I couldn’t drive myself. Chemo has helped me surrender to areas of my life that I couldn’t before.

I have to let people care for me.

Today, I will clean house, and restock the fridge.

Even though I don’t know how I will feel after Tuesday, I can prepare. Healthy snacks are a must after Chemo. I think I’ll buy flowers too. The last time I encountered The Red Devil, I slept for 3 days. It took another 2 days to feel somewhat human again, and 6 days to have a clear thought.

I may not know much of God’s plan, but I know He has one. I would have never imagined Chemo would be a part of it, but this path is only temporary. He is teaching me patience, because we are nowhere near done yet.

No More Pain

I caught our landlord, Pete this morning taking the trash down to the street. Pete is happily married, and he and his wife treat me like a daughter. It’s nice, you know? He takes care of all the manly stuff around here, and then goes home to his wife. I like it.

He asked how I was feeling, and I just beamed and told him, “Great!” He looked so perplexed, and said, “You are handling this whole thing so well.” (The Breast Cancer )

I looked at him and said, “It’s not me. It’s all God.”

toby

Breast Cancer was my secret for a while.

I ignored the symptoms for months, and self diagnosed continuously. Reaching for some other conclusion besides the big “C.” How can God get the glory for the miracle in store if nobody knows? I am sharing this journey in hopes of encouraging others through.

An ordinary woman, walking into the second half of her life with a daughter, a few of my favorite things, and God. If I can do it, so can you. How was I going to continue this mission with Cancer? For me, it was an ugly word, so how was there going to be beauty? Because God is a master at beauty.

God knows I am stubborn. He knows it’s going to take time to get me where I need to be. The best way to get my attention is physical pain. God doesn’t cause pain, but He will use it.

I was in a lot of pain. It took time, but it got to the point where I dreaded going to bed at night. I knew it was going to hurt when I laid down. I didn’t share this with anyone. Only the few people who saw me, could tell I was in a world of pain. They watched and waited.

They knew it was going to have to be my decision to go see a doctor. Finally, I surrendered.

healing

Do you know, the day I left that doctor’s office, my pain subsided? That night was the first night in months, I slept all night with no pain. By surrendering, and taking that first step into the doctor, and onto this path, God was pleased. I was terrified, but God was happy.

At first, I didn’t want anyone to know, or anyone to pity me. There is a difference between pity and sympathy. When I wrote the initial Blog about it, some friends were taken aback, and not sure what to say, so I just let them be. Others embraced it, and stood up as Prayer Warriors immediately.

My life seems more beautiful recently than ever before, or maybe I am seeing it through eyes of no pain. Whatever it is, there’s no more pain.

While I Wait

They say it’s Cancer, but they don’t know my God. I sit and listen as they tell me what they see, but I can’t assimilate all the words at once. I’m a writer, so I love words. Just not these.

whileiwait

The Insurance kicked in March 1st, and one week later I saw my doctor. She sent me straight to Austin, TX for the mammogram, and a few days later, I was having the biopsy.

The biopsy was Friday, and Monday afternoon my doctor called me in to talk. That is never good. She said the ‘C’ word, and said I have ‘Infiltrating Ductal Carcinoma.’ It’s the most common type of breast cancer in 80% of women, and typically hits the more mature woman of 50 or over.

My grandmother, mother and sister had it. I thought I would break the cycle.

I woke up this morning more grateful than a week ago. The Cancer Specialist cannot see me for another week. My doctor had to call four places before she could find one to take me in. Our Cancer centers are overflowing with people with a similar situation as me.

So, I have a week to wait and see a doctor’s plan for treatment. God has been in front of me on this journey. He has moved swiftly up until now. He’s not done teaching me how to wait.

God is working while I wait.

He needs time to line up the next part of this journey. What that looks like, I don’t know, but He has a plan. My first thought during this was, “How can God get the glory for this?”

Well, I can write about it, and hopefully encourage someone else by what I’m going through. God has given me a beautiful life. The last three years have been exceptionally beautiful. I’m not sure this is going to be pretty, but He promises to turn everything around for His good and His glory.

He has already proved that His plan is always better than mine.

god

There is a song by Colton Dixon, Through All Of It. I have no regrets, like he mentions in the song. God sees what we’re going through. He has seen every tear I’ve shed over this. My favorite part of the song is…’But Oh…You have been my God through all of this.’

There are no surprises for God.

He’s on the throne mighty as ever.

So, while I wait to see the next doctor, I see the beauty in life a little bit more. The pace of life has slowed, and what I thought was important is not so important. I hug my daughter every chance I get, and tell people ‘I love you’ more than before. My laughter still shakes a room, and I take time to notice what other’s may be going through while they wait.

Sometimes life feels like one big waiting room.