Sunday, December 28, 2014

J.O.Y. - 2015

I’m sure you’ve heard of people choosing a “word” at the start of each New Year. The word usually has something to do with what you hope for or want to be.  I had always wanted to pick a word, but would usually forget or decide the word I had chosen wasn’t good enough, or some other excuse. The same thing happens when I decide I’m going to start a journal, a diet, a cleaning/organizing plan…

A few months into 2013, I got my first word… BRAVE.  I had breast cancer.  I was going to need to be brave and hold onto my faith to get through it.  I soon learned that being brave had very little to do with what I could do, and had everything to do with what God could do.  God gave me unexpected strength.  He made me brave.

As 2014 rolled in, I was finishing my radiation treatments.  No more cancer!  My next word… SHINE.  I wanted to shine with the victory God had given me over breast cancer.  I wanted to shine with all that He had done in my life.  Matthew 5:14 in The Message says,

“You’re here to be light, bringing out the God-colors in the world,”
                                                           and that’s just what I was going to do.

It’s hard to shine all the time.  I sometimes wondered if I was really shinning at all.  Did my flaws and mistakes and short-comings dim that light?  I realized again that my “word” had very little to do with me and had everything to do with what God was doing in me.  He shines.  He is working and moving in my life and that light can’t be put out.  It doesn’t matter what stupid things I do, He’ll shine through.  That’s another word… GRACE.

With 2015 waiting in the wings, it’s time to pick another “word”.  Several words have come up in recent months and definitely have meaning to me for this time in my life…. HOPE, FAITH, PEACE, LOVE, BEAUTIFUL.  I went to The Word (aka. The Bible) to help narrow it down and I found this passage (emphasis mine):

“Be assured that from the first day we heard of you, we haven’t stopped praying for you, asking God to give you wise minds and spirits attuned to his will, and so acquire a thorough understanding of the ways in which God works. We pray that you’ll live well for the Master, making him proud of you as you work hard in his orchard. As you learn more and more how God works, you will learn how to do your work. We pray that you’ll have the strength to stick it out over the long haulnot the grim strength of gritting your teeth but the glory-strength God gives. It is strength that endures the unendurable and spills over into JOY, thanking the Father who makes us strong enough to take part in everything bright and beautiful that he has for us.”
                                                  -Colossians 1:9-12, MSG

OY.  God had given me strength to endure (be brave). He let me shine his God-colors to the world and much more.  You can be sure that all of that spills over into JOY.

Each day I want to choose JOY.  I want to remember everything God has done for me and look forward with joy to all that he has in store.

“when troubles of any kind come your way, consider it an opportunity for great joy.”  James 1:2 NLT

And it’s not just about my joy.  I want to share joy and bring joy to the people around me.

“Everyone will share the story of your wonderful goodness                         
    they will sing with joy about your righteousness.”  Psalm 145:7 NLT

Bottom line, I want my life to point back to Christ.  I want it to be undeniable whose I am and where my JOY comes from. So in 2015, I’m all about the JOY and I’m wishing the same for you!

Thursday, October 9, 2014

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

What Your Heart Needs for the Hard Days

Praise be to the Lord, to God our Savior, who daily bears our burdens. (Psalm 68:19 NIV)
We all have hard days. Sometimes just dealing with the everyday things in our lives can be difficult. It's often in those tough times that just asking for help feels like weakness or defeat. In the new devotional, " What Your Heart Needs for the Hard Days", Holley Gerth shares 52 Psalms-based devotionals that remind us that we are not alone and not defeated when we feel like we're at the end of our rope.
Whatever your hard things are - disappointment, depression, stress, anxiety, hurt, loss, loneliness..., God had promised to be there, right alongside of us.  He'll give us joy.  He'll give us peace. He'll give us strength. He'll give us exactly what we need, when we need it.
"You serve a God who has the hairs on your head not only numbered but memorized. He knows the details of your life even better than you do. He never loses touch with your heart. And because of that, you can always have hope. Because even if you can’t see what God is doing, you can trust he is already acting on your behalf. Nothing is too difficult for him. No challenge is too big. No detail is too small."

Hey! I’m giving away a copy of Holley’s book!
You can enter to win it below!

God bless!!

Thursday, June 5, 2014

Easy Peasy Boobie Squeezy!

I had my “one-year after diagnosis” mammogram on May 16th (one-year, give or take a few weeks).  Piece of cake, although I will admit that I was a tiny bit anxious but I’m guessing that’s normal.  It helps that at the Patricia L Scheifly Breast Health Center, they give you your results right away… no sitting at home and waiting!

I was able to sneak a picture of my mammo-pics (shhh…. don’t tell anyone).  The images on the top are of my first mammo last year with the cancer.  On the bottom are images of my cancer-free “cupcakes” now.  You can see that Frankenboob is a bit smaller after we got that stupid cancer out, but she’s doing great!!  All clear is what we like to hear!

Don’t forget to check your “cupcakes”, girls!! XOXO

Sunday, May 11, 2014

One Year Later

This was me, May 1, 2013, at my very first chemo session.  One year later, I was able to go spend a fabulous, creative (cancer-free) weekend with some of my best girls – some of the same girls that helped get me through the last year!! Feeling so thankful and SO BLESSED!!

I went for my 3-month check up with Doc Onc on the 5th.  He said that everything looked good. Had labs drawn.  I was complaining about feeling fatigued, so he checked my thyroid and iron levels – everything is normal.  Just going to have to make sure that I am getting plenty of rest, drinking plenty of water, eating right (ugh), and exercise.  I go in on the 16th for my mammogram.  Piece of cake!

Sunday, April 27, 2014

Coffee Break - Strong Enough to Face Giants?

Last month, I spoke at WACC’s Coffee Break and shared about my breast cancer journey.  Thanks to a tech-savvy friend, I have FINALLY figured out how to get the video up and running here on my blog! 
So pour yourself a cup of coffee, get comfy, and listen to my story.  I hope that you’ll be blessed because it was a blessing to be able to share!

Hair Update

I forgot to share my “hair update” that I posted on Facebook.
I don’t have much of a style yet, but it’s growing!! (No, it wasn’t curly before.)  I actually used the blow dryer and a little hairspray - first time in 11-months!

It TOTALLY reminds me of my Grandma’s hair!

I’m still thinking of things in relation to “this time last year”… this time last year I was getting my alien port installed.  This time last year I was having my node biopsy….  I’m sure that will fade as time goes by.  Going to see Doc Onc in 2 weeks for my check-up and I’ll be having a mammogram soon too.  Not gonna lie, I’m a teeny bit nervous.  I’ll let ya know who it goes!!

Wednesday, April 9, 2014



Wow. It was a year ago, April 5th, that I heard the words, "It's cancer". I know that in time, my biggest milestones won't be measured against my cancer journey, but right now I'm just so thankful that I'm sitting here full of the love I've received from friends and family, the strength that I've received from my Heavenly Father, and oh so grateful for victory over breast cancer. What a year!!


Friday, February 28, 2014


Life can get pretty prickly sometimes.  Sometimes it’s hard to see beyond the thorns.  But John 33:16 says, “I have told you these things, so that in Me you may have [perfect] peace and confidence. In the world you have tribulation and trials and distress and frustration; but be of good cheer [take courage; be confident, certain, undaunted]! For I have overcome the world. [I have deprived it of power to harm you and have conquered it for you.]” (AMP).
How AWESOME is that??!! You don’t have to stay stuck by your situations or circumstances! There is ONE who is mightier than anything you could face and He'll get you through it.

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

New Normal

Lately, my big question has been, “Now what?”.  Now that I am on the road to “normal”, what it that supposed to look like?  It can’t be the same as it was B.C. (before cancer).  My new normal should count for something, right?  And then I realized, God is stretching me. Calling me to go outside of the safe little bubble that home had become over the last year and share, in person – flesh and blood.  Share my testimony, my ideas, my talents… come out from behind the computer screen.

I had accepted an invitation to speak at Whittier Area Community Church on March 19th and in preparing for that, I started to panic. Every time I would sit down to write out what I was going to say, I’d start to cry.  I would cry because I am still overwhelmed at all that God has done for me and His faithfulness through my breast cancer journey.  I worried that I wouldn’t be able to speak in front of everyone, that I would just sit there and cry like a baby (with that ugly cry-face).  It’s going to be a train wreck.

Next, I was asked to teach an art “class” at Madam Palooza in Murieta on April 12th.  I’ve never taught an art class before.  I’ve never come up with an original project that I thought people would want to learn to make.  I accepted anyway.  I posted my class and quickly began to doubt. No one is going to want to take my class.  The other teachers have lots of people signed up for their classes already.  This is going to be an embarrassment.

Where was all of this coming from?  Worry?  Doubt?  Fear?  Insecurity?  God had given me victory over those things before – BIG TIME, so why wouldn’t He now?  It was not an accident that I was asked to speak and teach.  It wasn’t a mistake either.  I’m supposed to get out there.  I may cry, but I’m sharing God’s glory while I do.  I may only have one or two people sign up for my class, but I’m going to make it the best class for those two people.  This is my time to shine, to “be a light and bring out the God-colors in the world,” (Matthew 5:14-16).  It’s time to be bold and be brave.  Maybe that’s exactly what my new normal looks like.