The Potter’s Wheel

I was talking to my daughter yesterday about God, and how He has always taken care of us, and our every need. We don’t have any needs, and I don’t really see Him dropping the ball.

It is Tuesday Beautiful Souls. I woke up counting how much time I have today before I’d be sitting in the Chemo chair. It reminded me of opening a box of assorted chocolates. They are so pretty, and the smell is intoxicating, but you don’t really know which one to choose.

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This whole Chemo thing has been a battle between God and me. I would like a softer, easier route, but He sees some things that need to be burned off. Stubbornness being one. I told my daughter yesterday one of the first things I learned through this is, I’m not in control of much. She sees the rough edges I so proudly wore being burned off, and made smooth.

I was also thinking this morning of when I first started Chemo, and was my perky, confident self walking into the room. After the first few sessions, I didn’t feel much difference. It was when I woke up one morning to a pillowcase covered in long brown hair that it knew it was about to get real. When I showered, it fell out and stuck to my body.

I recall trying to get it off my skin, but there was so much I just stood in the shower and cried. It was like the cleansing, Part 1, had begun. What may not have been affecting me much on the inside, was drastically changing what I saw on the outside. Knowing other things in my life I had been though, and won, I remember thinking, “I can handle this.”

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That was my first mistake. It’s not about me, and what I can take. It’s about God, and His idea of what I can take. The entire process started off slow, and relatively easy. After my fourth Chemo, I could feel it building up inside of me. One week in between treatment wasn’t enough to flush it all out. It was a gradual build, just like a slow spin on the wheel.

The spin became more intense, so by the time I had my 12th treatment, I didn’t know who I was anymore. I surely didn’t recognize her in the mirror, but God is a good, and loving God.

After my 12th treatment, I had a three week break. The doctors told me I wouldn’t see any hair growth until months after my last treatment. The mirror showed the edges softening. My eyebrows came back dark grey, and fluffy, and I have a thin layer of hair on my head. It feels soft, and fuzzy, like a peach, and it feels new, like I know I’m gonna be in a few weeks.

After the 3 week break, the fire got intense. The Red Devil, (A/C) stepped in for the burn down. My thought has always been, God is going to burn this tumor down, and that will be the end of it. I guess I didn’t think that I would also be in the fire with the tumor. After today, just one more treatment. Can I do this? No way, but God can do it for me, and He will.

 

mescarf (135x240)Barbara is a Jesus Freak, 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

Scoop and Skim

It took me 50 years to learn the art of napping. All I can say lovelies is, be a faster learner than me. We all have 24 hours in a day. It’s how we use them that brings quality to life.

1Holmes Backyard Photographs

This is a photo of my backyard 10 years ago. When we bought this house, the backyard resembled a football field, cradled by these Texas Live Oaks. It took me 3 years to surrender to having this pool put in. It took a certain pool company to even attempt it. Most companies wanted to bulldoze the trees down, so they would have a clean, easy slate.

My then husband was a designer, and he loved landscape design, so he had it all figured out.

That pool was my first glimpse into the present moment. I love hands on type work, where you can see the fruits of your labor. The pool company showed me how to take care of it, and give it’s weekly maintenance. This was one of the first, successful saltwater pools, so if we had a hard rain, it would beat all the salt out. Nothing like waking up to a green pool!

1Holmes Pool #1

Here is a bird’s eye view. This was the backyard, so you can imagine what all needed taking care of inside the house. That was my life. Taking care of man-made beauty. Did it bring me joy? One small part of it did. Turning on the waterfall, and gazing into the clear blue water.

The maintenance entailed turning all power off, and backwashing the pump. Unrolling many feet of hose, and placing the end far away from any flowers for the dirty water to have a safe place to go. Roll the hose up back up tightly with precision, and then dumping 50lb bags of salt into the pool. That was the chemical part. Now it was time to scoop and scrub.

This was my favorite part. I would take a long handled net, and walk along all the large rocks you see encompassing the pool. Scooping and skimming the surface of all the debris from those blasted trees. The trees brought some shade, but they were mainly left there for looks. If it looked good, it stayed, no matter the financial cost, or the price I paid personally.

Fast-forward 10 years, and today my life is simple. The house I live in today is about the size of the guest house sitting behind that pool. The monthly payment on that house, was more than I make in a month today. When I left that life behind, all I had was God, my daughter, and me. I can see the natural beauty of life, and have time to care for ‘who’, and not ‘what’.

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I recall moving into our first little house, almost 4 years ago, and staring at the bed. I could not remember the last time I took a nap, because I wanted to, not because I had run myself down. I announced to my daughter in the other room, “I’m taking a nap.” She didn’t question it, but surely she thought it was odd. I fell across that bed, and let myself rest.

I believe God taught me that for a reason. It was normally just a 20 to 30 minute power nap. Anything longer than 30 minutes made me feel worse. I got napping down to a science, and saw that if I took better care of me, I was able to take better care of those who needed me.

My quality of life is based on the time I give it. God, and Chemo have taught me I have very little control over the way I feel, and what I can accomplish in a day. I am just grateful to be writing this the day after Chemo! I have been strong for 30 years, so I discard that cape, and trust God in every area of my life. What do you need to scoop and skim out of your life?

 

mescarf (135x240)

Barbara is a Writer, Certified Letting Go Coach, 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. She found out in March of this year that she has Breast Cancer. Going through Chemo, and believing God for a miracle is where she stands. Her life is beautiful, and an example of Letting Go and Letting God. You may connect with her via email. Letitgocoach@gmail.com

 

 

 

Flying the Nest

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Stepping out on my front porch this morning, I looked up at the bird’s nest that has housed four baby birds, and saw only two. They have grown up so fast! Just a few weeks ago, I saw four bald heads up there. They had a few, small random hairs on their heads. I could relate!

I have raised my daughter to the best of my ability, and trusted God to do the rest. I have not said ‘No’ to her very much because I trust her judgement. I would rather her learn everything she can, while she’s still in the nest, so when she flies, she will know what to expect. I want her to have strong wings, like the eagle, but watching her learn to fly sucks.

She is going to a concert tonight without me. I have always told her, “I trust you. It’s just the people around you I have a problem with.” The band is Twenty-one Pilots. She was introduced to this band by a boy that came into her life a year ago via social media. This boy was in a world of pain, and she was there to listen. It was hard to watch, and she got hurt, but she learned a lot from that boy. God’s grace was upon her, and He healed her ruptured heart.

I prayed for God to send the right person to accompany her to this concert. I wanted her to go with someone I felt would protect her from the crowd. One of her very best friends is a guy she doesn’t get to see very often. One time they were hanging out together, and she asked to ride his skateboard. He handed it to her, and she hopped on. When he saw she was going to crash, he dove toward her and landed between her and the pavement. He is going.

Yesterday, I did something completely illegal. She received a letter from her boyfriend, that lives in Missouri, and she wrote him right back. He had gone on a mission trip, and didn’t have his phone for 10 days, so her wrote her a letter. The good ol’ days right? She wanted to mail her letter to him immediately, so I sat still and told her, “Go ahead. You know how to drive.”

She has been driving since January with a permit, and will have her license in a couple of weeks. She is an excellent driver. Better than most adults I know. She drives me to Chemo once a week, and I usually sleep on the ride home. That is how confident I am in her ability to drive. I believe she has been uneasy about driving alone, so she has lingered getting her license.

I saw this letter as a good opportunity to let her fly. She hopped in her car, and drove off to the Post Office. We live in a very small town, so the Post office is less than a mile away. The only thing you have to worry about here, is a cow, or tractor, stepping out in front of you. When I first learned of my Breast Cancer, she drove me in and out of downtown Austin, so this was cake.

After she had left, I stepped out on the porch, and leaned against one of the large posts. I was filled with peace, and knowing that God had this. Now with this concert, I have to believe, God will protect my daughter from the world around her. There is a prayer I have been praying over her since she was tiny. It has saved my sanity as a parent, and gives me strength.

Prayer of Protection for Your Family by Kellie Copeland Kutz

Allowing her to be a part of this world, but not of this world is rough. She knows more about what’s going on in the world, than I do. We talk about everything, and she shares with me all the crazy stuff she sees on social media. It’s a scary world out there, and I’m not excited about letting her go into it without me. Mama’s…Do your best, and let God do the rest.

A footnote: Right after I finished writing this, I stepped out onto the porch to get some air. The bird’s nest is now empty, and they are flying around the front yard. Exactly as planned.

mescarf (135x240)

Barbara is a Writer, Certified Letting Go Coach, and Mom to her 16-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. She found out in March of this year that she has Breast Cancer. Going through Chemo, and believing God for a miracle is where she stands. Her life is beautiful, and an example of Letting Go and Letting God. You may connect with her via email. Letitgocoach@gmail.com

Doing It Afraid

Lastnight was the first night since the port placement that I didn’t sleep sitting up. I was tired of that position, so I curled up in a ball on my left side, and woke up with no pain.

I was scared to lay that way. The left side is where the tumor, and port live for now. It felt so good to lay the way I would normally sleep. God had His arms around me through the night.

This entire journey, has been ‘doing it afraid.’ I was terrified what the mammogram would show. Then came the biopsy, where I laid on the table and wept. It hurt like hell. It wasn’t the procedure itself, I believe it was the doctor. If you have the right people in your path, this should not be painful. They are there to ease your pain darling, and care for you.

this-is-the-daySo today was the day beauties. The day the bandage was to come off from the port placement. I was so scared to pull it off. Having no clue what it was going to look like underneath. Let me just say, I’ve always been a wuss when it comes to bandages and needles. Welp…That is fading fast. Every part of the journey makes us stronger and better.

The fear of the unknown is what it was. Not knowing for sure what it was going to look like once the bandage was off. It was nothing like I had imagined. It was merely stitches, in skin, and a slight lump where the port is resting. As I stood before the mirror, pulling at the adhesive, repeating, “God help me,”  it was nothing to fear at all. He had it all planned.

Tomorrow I start Chemo, but at this point, there is less fear. God has traveled this road before me, and He will be there tomorrow as well. Thank you for your love and prayers Beautiful Souls. Much love to you.

 

 

 

 

Past Is Past

Our past refines us, but does not define who we are. We all can make make poor choices The timing of everything is divine and can devastate life as we know it. Be strong and know there is a plan in place and it doesn’t have to be ours.

wastesWhen my alcoholism was at an all time high, there had to be someone watching me because I couldn’t. We lived in a two story home with two steep staircases and I fell down those stairs head first, many a time. The landing was ceramic tile and I may have been bent from it but not broken.

Bad things can happen from the choices we make. I chose to try and navigate the stairs when I knowingly had too much to drink. Even though I woke up sore and bruised and sometimes on the floor instead of the bed, God was watching. This thing called ‘free will’ will can be really painful.

A lot of my friends don’t know I am a recovering alcoholic. To look at me you would never know. I choose to share it in hopes of helping others. It’s been almost 17 years since I had a glass of Chardonnay and I have no desire for it today. God completely removed my craving in an instant.

blog So what about the people who don’t get to hide it. The media feeds off negativity and digs up every ounce of dirt they can get away with. I’m guilty of reading those magazine covers while waiting in line at the store. It’s our choice to believe what we read and we are not supposed to judge.

What we read is one person’s side of the story. Just like these Blogs are my perspective and you can choose whether to believe it or not. There is always more sides to the story if it involves people and not just thought. I rarely name people, except Mr. Smith, but there are a lot of Smith’s.

There is only one Mr. Smith that I know and love, but he has a past. Some of it has been documented for people to see and they enjoy showing me. There are many sides to the stories of his past, but only one that I choose to believe. Years of best intentions gone bad and he has paid a huge price.

The man he is today reflects everything he has gone through. He has the tattoo running down his spine as a reminder of his pain. About a year ago I chose a title for a book I am slowly working on. Getting to know Mr. Smith, he told me about his past. He sent me a picture of the tattoo and it shocked me beyond belief. The words that were written is the title of my book. The man he is today is not his past but people will not let it go. The past made him bent not broken.