Posted in Uplifting


Yes! Spring is here, at least on the calendar. I can smell and see the early signs of spring; the trees are starting to bud; the early flowers have made their way through the soil and are blooming. Even with all this early activity I can’t help but wonder is spring really here to stay or will winter make a comeback?

Will the snow once again blanket the ground instead of the flowers and grass? Will the weather stay a wonderful temperature of not too hot but just that nice mellow warm of in-between summer and winter? As I wonder about the season, we are just starting to enter I find myself mirroring that same feeling for myself. I feel the urge of new life within me, as though I’m starting to come back to life from the winter of ups and downs of cancer. I feel the excitement of new possibilities and zest for life like never before. As though fear has nothing on cancer so why not truly seize the day and truly live while I can. Then the thoughts of will the cancer come back or a secondary one be found?

These back-and-forth thoughts of mine are just as fickle as the weather in early spring, but I know I’m not alone. You don’t have to have cancer to hear the whispers of self-doubt. We all have them, from relationships, career and living out our dreams. Those whispers can keep us from living the life we are meant to live. The whispers of winter can keep you thinking it last forever, that the promise of new life will never come. So, maybe what we need to do is treat those whispers of fear the same way as being followed because those whispers can take your life just like the stranger if left unchecked.

The first is…

Keep calm, acknowledge what’s happening. I know this can be hard, but you can’t ever see the bottom of the pan when the water is boiling, you need it to cool down first.

Pay attention, take those thoughts captive, be alert, don’t let the fear consume you. Don’t just go through life and let thoughts consume you. Be in charge of them, like 2 Corinthians 10:5 “We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ.”

Ask for help, Prayer is a big one for me. You can also find someone you trust to confide in because sometimes those whispers are nothing more than a kitty with a very big shadow following you and when spoken out loud you are able to see the truth.

Spring may seem to be on hold BUT it’s still coming, and I can look forward to new life no matter what the calendar or scans say.

Isaiah 43:19

19 See, I am doing a new thing!
    Now it springs up; do you not perceive it?
I am making a way in the wilderness
    and streams in the wasteland

Posted in Uplifting


Do you remember the fun activity of writing in the dirt or sand? You’d write with a stick or finger, maybe play tick tack toe perhaps another game of looking at footprints and trying to figure out who they belonged to. Any of these are fun but they always make me think of the story in the Bible where Jesus wrote in the sand when the women was caught in adultery.

The woman was brought to Jesus by the Pharisees, we might think of them as hypocrites or maybe the hall monitors of the time, they wanted to tattle on the sinful women testing Jesus, he knew this and rose above it by writing in the dirt and asking who is without sin to cast the first stone. He wrote twice in the dirt who knows what was written but when the Pharisees read it and then asked who is without sin to cast the first stone, they could do nothing but walk away leaving only the women on the ground and Jesus. (John 8:1-11)

I have for years read and loved this story, I feel the love and compassion coming alive from the pages but today something more came to me. I read and reread this because in the passages it says a few things I never got before.

First it says Jesus straightened up and asked the women where are you accusers? At first glance you are probably thinking no big deal but the fact that Jesus was mentioned as straightening up (or he stood up) means he was on the women’s level. Yes, he was at her level the son of God on the level of an adulterous women and then he stood up not a judgmental stance but to show this woman she too could stand tall.

Second, He asked her a question then waited for her answer. He gave her respect by asking then waiting for a reply. After showing her respect he wanted her to see for herself that those that brought her to him were gone and he did not condemn her so why stay on the ground but stand tall don’t do it again. Walk away holding her head high know she was loved and should live that way.

I thought how many times I forget to open my eyes; I stay on the ground beating myself up for the things I have done, I forget to stand up then walk away living loved. I forget I can live no longer condemned a life to its’s fullest loved and forgiven. Whether I live feeling condemned or turn into a Pharisee the hall monitors with the judgments for others neither on is the way God wants us to live.

Maybe a good thing to write down and remember daily is, “Woman, where are they? Has no one condemned you? She said no, sir and Jesus said neither do I condemn you.”

Posted in Uplifting

Winter Blues

This winter has been one for the record books, it has been one of the wettest and coldest I can remember. It is wonderful for the drought that has plague California and Nevada for so long but has left me in a “funk.”

I don’t know if I should toss it up to the weather or the fact, I have had more life changing health conditions that will be on going for me. I’m thinking that both have a lot to do with my funk. On a lot of days this winter I’ve given myself pep talks and pray like I had never before. This is not like me, this funk, this no energy or wanting to embrace the seasons in my life. Then as I was reflecting on these feelings, I realized that perhaps yes, a lot has happened the last few months and yes this “funk” is with me, but it won’t define me. I may have cancer, but it has given me a new perspective on life. Cancer is not a death sentence; it is a life sentence; it pushes me to truly live in a way I have never before. So, I acknowledge my “funk” that I’m in and validate it, doing so is when I feel free and at peace.  Extending grace and validating feelings sitting in the season of winter is the fastest way to healing.

Pep talks and prayer do work but for me the time I chose to be still and reflect giving grace to myself is when the winter of my soul began to thaw and heal. I think it is amazing that in the stillness of this season is where I am fining more growth so that I can embrace this season in my life, it has been hard but that’s when the most growth happens. I needed this winter of quiet and reflection so I am ready for my spring, when ever that may be.

Just like this winter has been one for the record books so has this time in my life. I have always enjoyed this passage in the Bible, perhaps you will too.

A Time for Everything Ecclesiastes 3:1-22

1 For everything there is a season, and a time for every matter under heaven:

a time to be born, and a time to die;
a time to plant, and a time to pluck up what is planted;
a time to kill, and a time to heal;
a time to break down, and a time to build up;
a time to weep, and a time to laugh;
a time to mourn, and a time to dance;
a time to cast away stones, and a time to gather stones together;
a time to embrace, and a time to refrain from embracing;
a time to seek, and a time to lose;
a time to keep, and a time to cast away;
a time to tear, and a time to sew;
a time to keep silence, and a time to speak;
a time to love, and a time to hate;
a time for war, and a time for peace.

Posted in Uplifting

I’m going to win!

On my morning walk the other day I heard a big commotion at the front door of a house I was getting ready to walk past. As I looked up to see what was going on I notice a very rambunctious 3–4-year-old girl trying to get ahead of her dad and older sister. She moved past with speed and shouting with all her might of “I’m going to win!” and of course, she did, she made it to their car way ahead of her family who could have cared less, in fact were telling her to slow down, but that didn’t dampen her spirits she jumped up and down with happiness in knowing what she already knew. She had indeed won!

How many of us still have that childlike excitement of things. Or have that ownership of good things to come. The knowing that we can do whatever we put our minds to. That little girl didn’t look at the obvious which was her dad or sister could have beat her with little effort. Instead, she buzzed pass in the firm reassurance of winning even before she made it to the car.

The fact that most of us look at overwhelming odds then choose to see defeat instead of shouting and seizing the victory. Is maybe something that happens as we age. We seem to get jaded by life and the monotony if living can bring.

But….what would it be like if we took some of our life experiences, lessons learned and kept the excitement of the little child in all of us. There would be no stopping us! What would it be like to dream again and go for it. I don’t believe you are ever too old to dream, if you have a pulse and breath coming and going from our lungs then why not?

As I was reflecting on this I am reminded of the parable of the talents that Jesus told.

Matthew 25:14-30English Standard Version

The Parable of the Talents

14 “For it will be like a man going on a journey, who called his servants[a] and entrusted to them his property. 15 To one he gave five talents,[b] to another two, to another one, to each according to his ability. Then he went away. 16 He who had received the five talents went at once and traded with them, and he made five talents more. 17 So also he who had the two talents made two talents more. 18 But he who had received the one talent went and dug in the ground and hid his master’s money. 19 Now after a long time the master of those servants came and settled accounts with them. 20 And he who had received the five talents came forward, bringing five talents more, saying, ‘Master, you delivered to me five talents; here, I have made five talents more.’ 21 His master said to him, ‘Well done, good and faithful servant.[c] You have been faithful over a little; I will set you over much. Enter into the joy of your master.’ 22 And he also who had the two talents came forward, saying, ‘Master, you delivered to me two talents; here, I have made two talents more.’ 23 His master said to him, ‘Well done, good and faithful servant. You have been faithful over a little; I will set you over much. Enter into the joy of your master.’ 24 He also who had received the one talent came forward, saying, ‘Master, I knew you to be a hard man, reaping where you did not sow, and gathering where you scattered no seed, 25 so I was afraid, and I went and hid your talent in the ground. Here, you have what is yours.’ 26 But his master answered him, ‘You wicked and slothful servant! You knew that I reap where I have not sown and gather where I scattered no seed? 27 Then you ought to have invested my money with the bankers, and at my coming I should have received what was my own with interest. 28 So take the talent from him and give it to him who has the ten talents. 29 For to everyone who has will more be given, and he will have an abundance. But from the one who has not, even what he has will be taken away. 30 And cast the worthless servant into the outer darkness. In that place there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.’

You may say Jesus is a little over the top with casting the one servant into outer darkness but isn’t that what happens when we let what is given to us be left unused? We are then left in the darkness of despair, feeling less than, depression and hopelessness sets in, to me that is uttermost darkness. I think the one who made us knew we are meant for great things and when we settle for less the overwhelming darkness sets in, but He didn’t want that to happen.

I know with the new year hear maybe with a fresh start we could decide this will be our year to fully embrace our God given potential and not let the nay sayers win. To use our talents and just make a run for it.

I love how Martin Luther King said it ” If you can’t fly the run, if you can’t run then walk, if you can’t walk then crawl, but whatever you do you have to keep moving forward.”.

Posted in Uplifting

The Grand Finale

I have always enjoyed fireworks but loved the grand finale the best. Just knowing that the best is coming at the end, the anticipation of all the different fireworks put together for one last impressive show is the best part for me.

It doesn’t stop there for me the grand finale at the end of The Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade can almost bring a tear to my eye.

Maybe for me the ending of things is the beginning of something new is also another reason for me to enjoy the grand finale, who knows.

I have been thinking a lot of endings and beginnings lately, maybe because of a new year or because of my career and business adventure who knows but as I pondered this a thought came to mind that I had never really thought of.

I have always loved being a girl, even at a young age I would state with such pride “girl power”. I never understood how some males thought females are second class. I can get on my soap box on that one and stay on it instead I will spare you.  I believe that we were created by God, that we are so special that each of us are unique but as I read Genesis 2 about creation I realized that us women were not created as an after thought or second but as the grand finale. He wrapped up his creation with women. How awesome is that!

Genesis 2:20-24 New International Version (NIV)
20) So the man gave names to all the livestock, the birds in the sky and all the wild animals.
But for Adam[a] no suitable helper was found. 21) So the Lord God caused the man to fall into a deep sleep; and while he was sleeping, he took one of the man’s ribs[b] and then closed up the place with flesh. 22) Then the Lord God made a woman from the rib[c] he had taken out of the man, and he brought her to the man.
23) The man said,
“This is now bone of my bones
and flesh of my flesh;
she shall be called ‘woman,’
for she was taken out of man.”

In this world as women we can beat ourselves up and accept the thought we are second class but if we stop with the self-loathing, comparing…..on and on goes our list that bring doubt and not living our best lives.  Instead maybe when we start to go down the list of we aren’t enough we can stop and tell ourselves we are the grand finale so in that itself we are special and so loved by God that He chose to save the best for last.

Posted in Uplifting

Loving the Unlovable


I was a very young preschooler when my mom left the east coast and my biological dad. It was just the three of us. My mom, older sister and I went to make a new start in the west. My mom having so much courage to start new, to make a great home for us with little to no money.

This did not stop her, she worked tirelessly giving not only a roof over our heads but giving us attention becoming mom/dad to my sister and me. My hats always been off to my brave mom, but I didn’t always act this way. Being so young I had no idea what was really going on. Because I did not understand or know much at the time for a while I acted out. That’s putting it nicely, I did everything that would make the average person want to pull their hair out.

To my mom’s credit she kept her hair. She did what is so hard to do, she showed me love and kindness in spite of my actions. She would hold me tighter even during my fight.

I am sure time dragged on for my mom, but her loving actions paid off BIG time. I finally gave up the fight I allowed my mom to love me. I accepted what was going on, I was still hurting but I knew I had a soft place to fall.

I not only had my mom and sister but down the road I had a man who chose us, he married my mom and gave my sister and I his last name. Talk about love.

I reflect on this today because Christmas is coming up and for me it shows the best act of love we could ever witness. God, choose to show such great love to us unruly and a lot of times unlovable humans by sending us Jesus. Not only did Jesus come to die for us so we can live forever in heaven, but it was the lovingly way he lived his short life that speaks volumes on how we should be. I have people in my life that seem to be so unlovable, but I know I need to show love just like I was shown, and maybe at this time of year we can find it easier to love those unlovable in our lives and perhaps it will become easier for the rest of the year.

Zephaniah 3:17 The LORD your God is in your midst, a mighty one who will save; he will rejoice over you with gladness; he will quiet you by his love; he will exult over you with loud singing.

Posted in Uplifting

Our Shadows

I really like this picture I took over a year ago. Not only did I take it during my favorite time of year, but you can also see the beauty of the tree and how changing and letting go can be so excitingly lovely.

I was looking at this picture the other day because it came up in my memoires on Facebook and as I looked at this picture, I noticed so much more about it. Yes, the leaves are gorgeous and giving a lesson but as I looked more, I noticed my shadow. The shadow of who I was only a year ago, the shadow of a person that hadn’t been told she had cancer, the shadow of feeling like she was getting back to living a different life than she ever thought, one that was a challenge but one she was so proud of and so doable.

Are you maybe in that part of life where when looking back to difficult times that aren’t that far in the past? You are thinking the difficult time wasn’t so hard and would give anything to have that time again?

Or maybe you are in that place of only being a shadow of who you were or who you want to be?

O, friend I so understand that and am with you, I get that longing and heart ache, but I also know that just like in the picture letting go and surrender can be freeing and so beautiful. You don’t have to stay stuck in the shadow of your former self thinking that it was the best it’s ever going to get. That looking back is the only way you see beauty or simplicity. We don’t have to live in our own shadow, were its safe to feel hidden. We can step out and into His light where He sees you, and still loves all of you, He is able to help you see the beautiful you. He is willing and able to give peace you never knew possible. To help you with the hard days so you are not all alone in your shadow.

The beauty is all you need to do is be honest and say Jesus you are my savior Gods only son who rose from the dead please come into my heart; I surrender it all, you are my Lord.

I know it sounds too good to be true, but it is, and you won’t know unless you quit over thinking and just surrender.

And, if you have already asked Jesus into your heart but are still having a hard time with where you are in your life. Just ask for Him to let you feel Him more near you than your problem, it’s amazing what a hug from God feels like.

Jeremiah 31:3 The Lord appeared to him from far away. I have loved you with an everlasting love; therefore, I have continued my faithfulness to you.

2 Corinthians 5:17 Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come.

Romans 10:9 Because, if you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved.

Posted in Uplifting

“It is Well”

Padme and I on our walk

I remember when the pandemic first hit, and the lock downs began honestly, I didn’t feel much different. I found that I missed some things but for the most part since I was already working at home it wasn’t that much of a change. Then time passed and as things began opening back up, I was realizing how much I was glad to get back to “normal”.

I am finding that “normal” is always changing. Just like it was during the pandemic and now afterwards it’s not the same as before covid, nothing in life is the same. Not when something major happens, nothing goes back to “normal”. Maybe what does happen is we either get so used to the dysfunction or problem that perhaps it becomes our new normal.

We accept the new normal and move forward, or at least that is what we should do. Lately I am finding it easier said than done. Some days I am angry I can’t just have my old “normal” of daily walks, yoga, work and even pots (postural Orthostatic Tachycardia Syndrome) yes, pots. My health journey with pots can be a challenge but somehow manageable. Now my new normal post-surgery and cancer diagnoses is much different than anything I had experienced before. To be on what is called active cancer surveillance is living with constant checkups, scans, screening appointments, calls and lets just keep watching. I know I am not alone, this constant feeling of being thrown overboard in rapids and having to succumb to the rapids to make it out alive can be hard.

The anger I have of wanting life to not be so up in the air can be so challenging that on my worst days all I can do is just pray for strength to just make it through the day. Strength to see just one good thing in my world, sometimes all I can do is just say help me, and He does. It is in these moments I feel God more near me than all my anger, hurt, frustration and pain. I find that the one or two worded prayer in desperation is all that is needed, no eloquence just honesty. God is not put off by honesty, what a comfort that is in itself. To know I have a soft place to fall, and all is well even when not all is well in my world.

It will be years of active cancer surveillance for me, and I know I’ll have my hard days when I get tired of watching and waiting but I also know I can’t wait for my “normal” to ever be what it was instead this is my life now, my learning curve and the only thing I can do is leave it to the one who knows all and know that all is well with my soul.

The song “It Is Well With My Soul” was written by Heratio Spafford who had his own tragic life events almost like the life of Job in the Bible. He wrote from a broken but inspiring place. I have found this song so comforting to me.

“It Is Well With My Soul” written by Heratio Spafford

When peace like a river, attendeth my way,
When sorrows like sea billows roll
Whatever my lot, thou hast taught me to say
It is well, it is well, with my soul

It is well
With my soul
It is well, it is well with my soul

Though Satan should buffet, though trials should come,
Let this blest assurance control,
That Christ has regarded my helpless estate,
And hath shed His own blood for my soul

It is well (it is well)
With my soul (with my soul)
It is well, it is well with my soul

My sin, oh, the bliss of this glorious thought
My sin, not in part but the whole,
Is nailed to the cross, and I bear it no more,
Praise the Lord, praise the Lord, o my soul

It is well (it is well)
With my soul (with my soul)
It is well, it is well with my soul

It is well (it is well)
With my soul (with my soul)
It is well, it is well with my soul

Psalm 62:5 NIV Yes, my soul, find rest in God; my hope comes from him.


Psalm 46:1 God is our refuge and strength,
    an ever-present help in trouble.

Posted in Uplifting

When some of us don’t ever get to the mountain top

This picture is of the hike I took on my last birthday. The trail starts at 6,223 feet elevation and ends at a little over 10,000 feet so the views are amazing all along this beautiful trail. I didn’t make it to the very top of the mountain, but I didn’t mind, I think the climb leading up to the look out where we stopped was more fun than getting to the final peak. For some on the trail it was all about the end, the goal, the destination the 10,000 feet top. Infact as I was coming down a few hikers asked how the peak was, when I said I didn’t go all the way they acted like my hike was a waist but to me just to get out and hike some was all I wanted to do.

Isn’t it like us though, to think life is all about the mountain tops and the final goal instead of the peace of just being where we are. The simple joy in just purely living. We tend to miss so much when we put the goal ahead of our day-to-day life.

I think that one of the reasons we can get so anxious and unhappy with our life is that we expect to have one big life on the mountain top. One goal after another, almost as if we would like to take a helicopter ride from mountain top to mountain top so we never have to deal with the hard climb, the sweat or dirt that gets us up to that beautiful top. What if life happens and we end up just only making it to a lookout point but not the final peak? Would that still be, okay? Would you still find the beauty at the lookout point, or would you feel like your life isn’t as good as the other people who “made” it to the mountain top.

When I find myself looking at the other people who have that kind of life. The people that seem to make it to the final top and stay there, I can be happy for them or start to get envious and not be happy with just my lookout spot but for me I choose to be happy, not trade in my peace for envy. Maybe my life is just a lookout point and not the glorious mountaintop but that’s okay too because it’s my life and my lookout point. The great expression, “In acceptance lieth peace” is so true.

(Foot note the expression is from a poem by Amy Carmichael but my mom would say this to me all the time growing up)

Posted in Uplifting

The Call

seven assorted colored rotary telephones
Photo by Bruno Cantuária on

I like this image of phones, back when we would have to pick up the call to find out who or why people were calling, it was almost braver to pick up not knowing who was on the other end. Now we have the luxury of screening calls, if you recognize or like the number then you’ll pick up. If you aren’t sure of the number or maybe, you don’t like that person then the best option is voice mail and even then, you can screen and choose what you’ll do. It’s almost like we don’t have to acknowledge what we don’t want to and only acknowledge the enjoyable or easy.

Perhaps, this is a reflection on how we are now handling life.

Just the other week I had a call that went to my voice mail because I have my phone on vibrate but even if I didn’t, I’m sure I wouldn’t have answered it because it was a number I didn’t recognize. I did notice I had a voice mail, so I listened, and even though her voice was pleasant, and the message wasn’t rude I delayed returning her call, almost as if I could delay hearing what I already knew, almost as if I delayed calling her back then I wouldn’t have to hear my pathology results and life would still be okay. I could spend just a few more hours not having my worst-case scenario happen but of course I had to call her back and face one of the worst things a person can hear.

How many times do we get those calls in life? The call from the doctor, the nock at the door in the middle of the night or papers given to us that we would rather never see. To hear the worst news can rock our world, it can make us wish for a life that is happy where all you have to do is not pick up and all is fine.

Although I did get that call and life as I knew it is changed, it’s just that I still have life for now. An easy life was never promised but yet we live like it was. Changed life or not I still have the gift of waking up. We never know when our last day to wake up will be. Not to get sappy here but knowing this somehow helps in a weird way and knowing I’m not alone in the good and the really hard days is what helps me the most.

All I do is call God who never screens calls, and he will give all I need for that moment.

John 16:33

“I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.”

Isaiah 41:10

“So do not fear, for I am with you;
    do not be dismayed, for I am your God.
I will strengthen you and help you;
    I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.”

Psalm 34:18

“The Lord is close to the brokenhearted
    and saves those who are crushed in spirit.”

John 14:27

“Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid.”