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Crazy & Thankful

I have been watching and reading about cancer fights by young women who exhibit such courage and grace and wisdom that I am reminded of my blessings (No matter how sick I am.) Crazy, Sexy, Cancer is a documentary by Kris Carr and while I lay in bed with my latest round of either the flu, or a cold or shingles or herpes or an autonomic adverse reaction to my heart which left me soaking a bed all the while my heart was in a race to the heavens with it’s 150 bpm, I am reminded (by my husband who said it could be worse which at the time didn’t feel very supportive, but he is right.) As a two time cancer survivor I am reminded of the grace of God on my life that has sustained me through a lifetime of an under reactive or over reactive Immune system. I am reminded of the sheer tenacity of my spirit to overcome the incredible challenges that have come my way and I awaken thankful and grateful. My friend lost her beloved husband last night, unexpectedly while I was irritated with mine. I am reminded once again to Be grateful for what I have. I have a hardworking, loyal man who adores me. Through thick and thin, in sickness and in health. He appears to be a rare bird these days as I am sure most men would be long gone. I am reminded that I am going on 10 years since cancer came marching across the landscape of my life. Did I have all the support I needed in loved ones? Nope…(they apologized, said they were scared) and do I understand why people who love you leave you in the middle of your darkest nights? I don’t…but I do know that GOD never left me. That was an amazing truth, that in the midst of drowning in the sorrow and fear and pain, GOD was there.

So this morning, I am reminded to count those blessings, the dog snoring peacefully, the hot water, my sleeping husband, the home that sustains me in winter. I am reminded that I have a choice to be thankful and to count every blessing. Every teeny tiny blessing which all add up to one blessed day, which brings me another blessed awareness of a life worth fighting for.

Presents

I am sliding into winter with the best of them. Dark, long days and the chill that wraps us all in dreams of beaches and warm summer days.

I am determined to love this season. The most wonderful time of the year.

I am doing this by putting on our “Happy Light” and putting on songs of”Happy” Pharrell Williams  Happy,  Katrina and the waves “Walkin in Sunshine” Iz “Somewhere Over the Rainbow” and dancing boldly with my husband and our puppies. every blessed morning.

I am doing this by counting my blessings. A warm bed to lay my head, a snoring husband, warm water, hot tea, the ability to write my thoughts, the call from a friend, fresh produce in winter, a friendly village of people who surround us on the mountain. Options because I still live in the best country on earth. In spite of our problems, we are free. We have food sources and we can worship God as we see fit. We can get in our cars and travel. We can speak our minds and our hearts.

I am doing this by bundling in my mother’s old fur coat and walking the trails covered in snow. Watching healthy deer tip toe through the forest beside me. Watching the blazing blue skies illuminate the white frosted pine tree’s on the mountain. A winter wonderland like no other.

I am doing this by putting on some Christmas clothing and going to a new neighbor’s Christmas play of the Nutcracker. Watching children in the midst of the season, with joy in their eyes. Being thankful for the magic of children and new friends and old being a part of my days. There is much to be happy about and every day is a gift from God, a present to be unwrapped and enjoyed. Choosing to do just that. One long winter day at a time.

So yes, this is a most wonderful time of the year.

Now, I’m off to get HAPPY.

Thankful

What is the answer to life? More God in my life. More Jesus, more love. More learning how to roll in the deep with the maker of my days and not struggle under the crushing weight of the waves that come crashing down upon me. More of raising my eyes unto the hills and knowing where my help comes from. My help comes from the Lord. I am learning to become thankful for all things because I gave God my life. My life is his to do with as he will. When I am thankful in all of my days, thankfulness brings witness to grace and grace brings with it peace and the ease of assurance that I am in HIS hands. Thankfulness is the key to open me to more grace from God’s storehouse of love. It opens the flood gates for the spirit of love to reside in my eyes, that I may see the many gifts he has given. From the light on the wings of a thousand feathered birds landing in a field of gold, to droplets of rain on my windowpane that are nourishing a tiny insect and it’s family, I have been given eyes to see all of these things. I have been given ears to hear the gentle snoring of my beloved beside me in our bed, the sounds of Mozart in the air, the laughter of my eighty eight year old dad who is still with me on this blessed earth, all gifts. Knowing that the very breath I am breathing is a gift and to know  that it has come from his love. I am on a quest to see the grace around me, to know more intimately the hand that feeds me, to hear the voice that gently calls my name in the third watch of the night. I am hunger and I am thirst and there is no quenching the fire within me apart from the grace of thanksgiving. There is no filling of the wine or the breaking of the bread inside the tabernacle of my heart, apart from thanksgiving. I see lack and he is plenty. I feel fear and he is faith. I wander while he waits. Only grace can restore me to peace again.

I am thankful this morning for the many gifts of his grace. For the wisdom to know that the answer to everything empty and wild in me is thanksgiving to the one who brings life and heals wounds and has covered me like a blanket in his love. I am thankful for the grace in a tempust storm. This amazing grace morning I will raise my eyes into the dawns early light and see the wonder of the gift and say thanks in the hushed tones of one long waiting for an answer to her pain. The answer is thankful, the answer is grace.

Amazing grace how sweet the sound that saved a wretch like me. I once was lost but now I’m found was blind but now I see.

Nail Scarred hands /after a marriage ends

I begin to dance around a trust issue with God. I am running in bare feet from anything remotely church, sliding in and out of walking a crooked mile with my weapons drawn. I am no longer trying to wear the white veil of Christ’s purity, if I’m going to be hurt it will be on my terms. I pick men who don’t want to ride any deeper than my body and I use them for a moment to change my pain. I take the hammer and I drive the nails into my own soul and I bleed.I still go through the motions of life. I water plants and I feed dogs. I run every day around the park in the evening light and I breathe the pain in and out as my feet pound the pavement. I lay in bed for months after a car accident renders me still more broken. I am angry and hurting and involved with a married man when two “Christian” women call me a whore. I absorb it all and wonder when hell’s fire will burn my feet.

Then one night, months and months after running I am awakened in the deep pockets of the night and I sense HIM there. HE is so tender with me I begin to weep. Why would grace want to be with a wretch like me? HE is holding me in particles of being that can only be described as holy and I am being washed clean again and again. HE is transfiguring my brokenness with his beauty because he wants to be with me. HE wants to be the balm of healing in my broken places. HE holds me in my wild, tormented soul and the splintering from pain begins to be made whole. Like the heavy wooden cross he carried up the hill, the nails driven into his hands and the sword in his side, took my sin so that I would NOT be my sin. No matter what sin is done to me, no matter what sin I do to myself, I am NO LONGER that sin because he is my grace. He is the washing of the water, he is the bread and the wine.

The Keeper of me

As some of you may know I am writing a book called

The Keeper of me

Look for it in the coming months.

The cover shot is the featured image

You will find it on Amazon and Barnes and Noble and through me! It will also be available in Kindle form.

If all goes well there will be a song with this project.

The Keeper of me will help to support Orphans

Feel free to share the news!

What is, what has been and what will never be…making peace with my truth

My eyes will never see the great wall of China. I will never see the top of Kilimonjaro, nor the bottom of the ocean. I will miss Paris in the spring and the Nantucket Lobsters. I will never  see fireworks light up the sky in Sydney, Australia. I will never be a grandmother, nor birth a baby. I have no chance of going to swim with dolphins in the wild. I am a mostly home bound, chronically ill 60 year old woman. Many of my days are behind me now. I can’t see much without my glasses. I stumble a lot when I walk the trails. I have a lot of wrinkles and my hair, once thick and shiny is now stringy and thin. So thin I can see my scalp. I have survived two cancer go rounds and my breasts are scarred and useless. I hurt every day and parts of my body go to sleep if I lay or sit too long. I am always struggling, things that used to be easy are now really hard. My 88 year old Dad, says that he still doesn’t find it hard to do most things. I’m starting to know that I am older than my dad. He just returned from an 11 day trip to Alaska. I can barely go to the store down the road.

I share this because there comes a time in every ones life where we have to take life on life’s terms and say “Uncle” I didn’t think it would happen so soon but there it is… MS, chemical poisoning that nearly ended my life, accidents and deaths have taken their toll. Two time cancer survivor and septic infection comeback kid. 7 car accidents, struck by lightening through a phone and bit by a brown recluse spider in my bed while my husband slept beside me. Two rapes and an assault. Became pregnant in the rape. Lost the child to an auto-immune attack upon my body. Never had a baby in my arms to call my own. Rejected and despised, abused and beaten.

Do I want to write my truths? No I don’t. But this is who I am and this is what has made me. I can read off this litany of lists and understand broken. What amazes me is that I am still here. Fighting infections almost daily. Still trying to walk 10,000 steps a day. Still writing and trying to be a friend to others. Still learning to keep my mouth shut. Trying to be a wife and a friend and a daughter. Still trying to raise awareness for the bee’s and the babies. Still trying to care.

I have let a LOT of people go in my life. Those who were indifferent to my suffering, those who talked behind my back, who judge me harshly, who are not kind to me. DONE. Don’t have time to not be on my side any more. Life is short and I only have so much energy.

I have tried to make amends and to keep my side of the street cleaned up so to speak. I try to not be bitter or resentful. Some days that just creeps in like a dark cloud across the sun and I am learning to release it sooner than later. I try not to be jealous of those who are well and take it for granted every single day. I try not to be sad when I see the support and love some people get when they have  just one of the diseases I have had and they got to go on after a short rough patch in their lives. I have very little support and I can get pretty angry about that. Like what did I do? Why can’t I have what others have? A loving supportive community of real arms and helping hands to lift me when I’m really broken. I know this is sounding pathetic but it’s truth and it’s human and sometimes it isn’t pretty.

But you know what else is truth? I am still loved by a few people, very deeply. I have, with the help of a few beautiful people, raised up 14 water wells and have fed an estimated 4000 kids. There are people on this earth that I helped to be born. There are people on this earth who know more about Jesus and God because of who I am. There are people on this earth who would have died had they not come to me as my patient, I am a prayer warrior and people have been healed and delivered. Prisoners have known Christ. Homeless people have met the Lord. I have been used by GOD and that gives me hope that this pain wracked life has not been in vain. Songs that I have birthed have been sung and played at churches and funerals and weddings. I have won awards on this earth. I have written words that changed the shape of a heart and opened a mind. So my life has had some purpose and a lot of grace and love from the Lord Jesus Christ. I am held in his nail scarred hands. I am truly blessed in ways unspeakable. Mysteries have unfolded, glimpses of his glory, I have been transported into the very threshold of Gods presence. Changed without measure. I live as saints of Old, I am touched by angels and kissed by God and I have burned for it.

This is a crazy blog. Much like Paul in the book of Corinthians who bragged of his weakness and his walk with GOD and his love for the very ones by which he writes and in doing so he is encouraging himself. I am trying to encourage myself as I make myself fully known. I have long been told that I am not enough. In Christ I am more than enough. One of the strongest and bravest people I have ever known.  Because he loves me and lives in me..I don’t have to be perfect. He doesn’t look for perfection, he looks for our hearts. He wants us in his arms. He wants us in his sight.

After the poisoning

After the poisoning

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A month before I was poisoned

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Me at the age of 30

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4 years before the poisoning

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Some of my babies

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Finding peace