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Sunday, March 31, 2019

Our Cancer Creed

As we close our March month of Mantras, it only seems appropriate to finish with our Cancer Creed... it has been the hardest of truths to share as we walk this cancer road... for we do the tears and we do the pain, the worry and the stress.  No one wants to admit it, but when we peel back the veneer and let the honest speak... the fear and the dark of this shadow valley... they are there.

But so is Hope, and Faith and Joy and Courage!


We Won't Go Down
without a Fight!

Praying the Sweetest Blessings over you this night,
May you find that there is always Grace enough for each step of the Journey.

My Love, Always,

Saturday, March 30, 2019

Hope for the Heart...

Love and laughter are two of the most important
universal cancer treatments on the planet.
Overdose on them.  ~ Tanya Masse

Finding strength for the cancer journey encompasses more than just the physical, concrete aspects of the battle... we need strength of heart, strength of will and strength of soul to face the cancer beast.

It is a fight that none of us should ever have to face alone.

May you be surrounded by love this day and trust always in God's faithful promises to hold you safe.

Know that when we link arms together on this journey we find strength immeasurable for all our tomorrows...

Walking this road together,
My Love, Always,

Friday, March 29, 2019

Home Run!

The cancer journey is a lot like baseball...

Each of us comes up to the plate alone.  We ready our bat, we face the ball, we prepare for the pitch.

But that treatment... that surgery... that test... Sometimes we swing and miss.  Or we hold back and then miss the perfect pitch. The ump yells too loud... our Strikes pile up.  The smile wavers... Hope is fragile, Joy slips away.

Every cancer patient has days like these.

We're tempted to give up... for how many strikes can one person endure?

May I encourage you to hold fast and trust in the next pitch?  The game's not over.  Your team is cheering you on.  You truly do not face the plate alone...

When you swing and miss, just remember that every strike brings you closer to the next Home Run...

So, let's Ready our Bats, take a Deep Breath, Face the Ball and Hit it out of the Park!

My Love, Always,

Thursday, March 28, 2019

Counting Daily Joys

Marking the good.  We find ways to honor small milestones... 

A special lunch out at the end of a treatment.  A lazy afternoon nap in the sun.  A sweet burst of unexpected laughter with friends.

  Count the process, find joy in the moments, treasure the gifts.

It's the best way to Hold tight to the Blessings!

Wednesday, March 27, 2019

Turning Our Face to the Sun

Don't look back. You're not going that way!

Trusting in the Grace-Giver to set the path before us
and light each step of the way...

"Thy Word is a lamp unto my feet,
and a light unto my path."
     ~ Psalm 119:105

Monday, March 25, 2019

Everyday Gifts

Today's Moments become Tomorrow's Memories...
Let's make them good ones!

Sunday, March 24, 2019

Sunday Speaks... Finding Joy

Slow Down... Breath in Deep... Today's a Gift...

Choosing the Blessing

Treasuring the Simple Joys this day!

Saturday, March 23, 2019

When Fear Overwhelms...

Hope beats Fear Every Time!

Praying Blessed Hope over your journey Today.
Our God is Faithful to protect those He Loves...
Fear will dissolve when we turn our face towards Hope!

My Love, Always,

Friday, March 22, 2019

Hope is like the Sun...

Truth for today...

Hope is like the sun, which, as we journey toward it,
casts the shadow of our burden behind us.
~ Samuel Smiles

Keep your face to the sunshine and you can never see the shadow.
~Helen Keller

Thursday, March 21, 2019

Just Survive Somehow!

Any Walking Dead fans out there??

Yes, I will admit... a slight obsession with the show :-)

There is one character on the show who has a very terse mantra:

"Just Survive Somehow"

Enid had lost both her parents and was alone in a world of zombies (I know... great story line, right?! Lol!)

When Rick's group found her she had trouble trusting in the safety they offered.  She had been surviving on her own for too long...and constantly retreated back into her JSS mindset.

But Just Surviving isn't really living.

As a cancer warrior, we sometimes find ourselves in the Just Surviving Somehow mode.  The cancer treatments, the nightmare side effects, the poor prognosis... it's a death spiral.  And that's the truth.

How can you even begin to think about really living?

Yesterday we allowed the Sadness of a cancer diagnosis to find space... to be open and honest about the emotions and heartache we feel.  Cancer is hard.  There is no easy path.  It is suffering in spades.

Winston Churchill speaks to the suffering:

We shall draw from the heart of suffering itself
the means of inspiration and survival.
~ Winston Churchill

Perhaps, you are reaching deep through the heart of suffering even now, looking for inspiration and survival.  It is the Hope that anchors us.

Another wise warrior challenges us to go beyond Just Surviving:

Surviving doesn't mean just staying alive...
it means LIVING to your potential.
~ Antionette

So... where are you tonight?  
Ready to do some Living?
If we're on this side of the dirt, then there's living to be done.

May your surviving turn into more than just hanging on,
but truly Living up to your

All My Love,

Wednesday, March 20, 2019

Giving Ourselves Permission to be Sad...

I would rather speak about Hope. Always!

It is the only thing stronger than fear.  That's Truth.

But... while I love to speak Hope, there's another side that needs to be heard.

And that's Sadness.  There's something about a terminal cancer diagnosis... It can bring fear and panic, often anger and perhaps bitterness, then as the reality sets in, most will begin to experience a grief born of great loss.  A loss of health, of hope, of confidence, of time, and ultimately even of life itself. 

Anjuli Paschall offers a beautiful perspective on Sadness over at InCourage...

So often, the moment sadness starts to push up, we shoo it away, hammer it down, and seal it shut. We are so tempted to resolve our feelings with quick fixes. We ignore our heartaches or bully them away. When tears emerge, we hide them, brush them off, or shame ourselves. But what if, for a moment, we spoke our sadness? What if we invited it to rise and gave it space to breathe? What if our sadness from years ago or just yesterday came to the surface and was met with welcome? What if our hearts are stuck back in high school or a painful divorce or a miscarriage? Can we give ourselves permission to still hurt? Even if we’ve been single forever, can we still talk about our longings without apologizing? Moving into this new year, healing is waiting, knocking at the door of our hearts eager to be let in.
I offer you permission to be sad. You can cry till your eyes hurt and throat burns. You don’t have to have a good reason to break down. You can cry even if you’ve been crying about the same thing for years. You don’t need to explain it with perfect sentences or complete thoughts. You have permission to feel the memories that make it hard to breathe. Even if your pain is from childhood or your college years, give it permission to come up. Give yourself grace to invite sadness — big or small — to the table of your soul. 
If someone were to sit beside you today and ask you what you’re sad about, what would you say? You might squirm, murmur a few things, or be silent. But if they waited patiently, what sadness tucked way deep down in your soul would you share? 
What if the person sitting beside you was Jesus? Jesus, who wept with Mary and Martha when their brother, Lazarus, died. Jesus, who helped a father care for his sick daughter. Jesus, while dying on the cross directed his friend, John, to comfort His mourning mother. Jesus, who leans into our greatest sadness and says, “Come.” He is your Counselor, Friend, and Father.
Let Jesus comfort your soul.

Our Hope in God isn't just a wish or an optimistic desire.  Our Hope is a sure confidence in God's promises and a strong belief in His faithfulness...

"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."
~  John 14:27

Sadness will come.  A terminal diagnosis just cannot be "wished" away.
I know.

But Hope.
Yes, Hope in God's sure promises will walk side by side with our sadness.

Praying His Peace over the Sadness tonight,
And that Peace?
It gives Hope for the journey...
May you feel His Love holding you close as you walk this road,
you never walk alone.

Tuesday, March 19, 2019

Moving through the Valley

Your deepest valleys lead you to your highest mountaintops.
                                                                  ~Matshona Dhliwayo

Taking a step forward into Hope.

Monday, March 18, 2019

Hold on to Hope...

Whatever you do, hold on to hope...

The tiniest thread will twist into an unbreakable cord.
Let hope anchor you in the possibility that this is not the end of your story,
that change will bring you to peaceful shores.

From the minute we're born, our lives are telling a story.  But no one ever expects Cancer to interrupt that story.

Mom's pancreatic cancer added another chapter to her journey.   How do you ever write that chapter?

Whatever you do, hold on to Hope.  Yes... the tiniest thread of Hope
will become an unbreakable cord.

Cancer, especially a terminal cancer diagnosis, makes one think about the legacy our lives are writing... and Hope anchors us to the possibility that this is not the end of that story, but a change that will bring us to peaceful shores.

I needed these words tonight.  

Graced to Hope,

Sunday, March 17, 2019

Saturday, March 16, 2019

Bear Prints...

A smile for the weekend, friends... Watch out for Bears!

Love and Hugs,

Friday, March 15, 2019

Standing in the Storm...

Courage in the face of the impossible... that is what the pancreatic cancer patient faces every day.  It is a storm that is constantly battering and blowing us off course.

And when the wind does not blow our way, we stop and adjust the sails.

Praying always for each one facing this fight.  You courage is lighting the way for those following behind...

Cheering you on this night!

My Love, Always,

You never know how strong you are until being strong is the only choice you have.
~Cayla Mills

Thursday, March 14, 2019

Courage doesn't always roar...

Courage doesn't always roar.
Sometimes courage is the little voice at the end of the day
that says I'll try again tomorrow.
~ Mary Anne Radmacher

Wednesday, March 13, 2019

Focus on the Fight...

If you could find the pulse of our website and blog it would be Fighting this Cancer with everything we've got... Perhaps that is why Robin Roberts quote resonated.

"It's about focusing on the fight and not the fright."

Anyone who has received that cancer diagnosis can identify with the fright... our hearts beat hard and stomachs rebel when the overwhelming reality sinks in.  We know that kind of fright.

But to really fight, we need to get past the fright, past the crippling fear and paralyzing panic and on to the steps we need to take in order to beat this beast.

We could close this post with another favorite quote, from Theodore Roosevelt, that is so apt to our fight... when we don't know where to begin or what to do:

"Do what you can, with what you have, where you are."

It's a good day to make a start,
My Love, Always,

Tuesday, March 12, 2019

Standing Up to Cancer

Powerful words!

Standing Up to Cancer Together...
Praying for every one in the Fight tonight!

My Love, Always,

Monday, March 11, 2019

Crossing the Ocean takes Courage


No matter what our "ocean" may be... it takes courage to sail away from safe shores.

Be it a cancer diagnosis, financial struggle or family strife...  Praying as we set the course and face our ocean head-on.  May courage be our companion and strength our shield this day...

My Love, Always,

Saturday, March 9, 2019

What's it Gonna Be?

When Life gets bumpy we have 2 choices:

Step Forward into Growth
Step back into Safety.

What's it Gonna Be??

Daring Greatly is not for the faint of heart!
But the rewards can be breathtaking...

Happy Weekend, Friends!

May your day be filled with only the Best Surprises,
Love you,

Friday, March 8, 2019

The Storm

There's no storm that God won't carry you through.
No bridge that God won't help you cross.
No battle that God won't help you win.
No heartache that God won't help you let go of.
He is SO much bigger than anything you will face today.
Leave everything in His Hands and embrace this day confidently
knowing that He will take care of you.

Trust His Promise,
He loves you more than life itself.

In Grace, Always,

Thursday, March 7, 2019

Whisper the Promise...

The cancer journey is hard.  Sometimes too hard.  We falter under the weight.  We lose sight of Hope.  We doubt God's goodness...

When mind and body are pushed past what can be endured, the Promise-Giver whispers Hold on to Me...

The Promises of God are rich and true and written especially for you, and for me.  When we struggle?  Take a verse and make it our own.  Read the Scripture, then Whisper the Promise... Let His word speak Hope to our heavy hearts... Here are some of our favorites:

When you go through deep waters, I will be with you.   Isaiah 43:2
The Promise:  When I go through deep waters, God, you will be with me.

For I know the plans I have for you," declares the LORD, "plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future."  Jeremiah 29:11
The Promise:  I know God has a plan for me... a plan to prosper and not to harm me, a plan to give me hope and a future.

Be strong and courageous.  Do not be afraid or terrified because of them, for the LORD your God goes with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you."  Deuteronomy 31:6
The Promise:  I will not be afraid nor terrified because you Lord God go with me and will never leave me nor forsake me.

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.  Isaiah 41:10
The Promise: I will not fear for God is with me.  He will strengthen and help me, He will uphold me with His righteous right hand.

Truly he is my rock and my salvation; he is my fortress, I will not be shaken.  My salvation and my honor depend on God; he is my mighty rock, my refuge.  Trust in him at all times, you people; pour out your hearts to him, for God is our refuge.  Psalm 62:6-8
The Promise: I will not be shaken, for God is my rock and my salvation.  God is my fortress.  I will trust in him at all times, I will pour out my heart to him, for God is my refuge.

The Lord will fight for you; you need only to be still.  Exodus 14:14
The Promise:  The Lord will fight for me, I need only to be still.

Cast your cares on the Lord and he will sustain you; he will never let the righteous be shaken.  Psalm 55:22
The Promise:  I will cast my cares on the Lord and he will sustain me; He will never let me be shaken.

Then your light will break forth like the dawn, and your healing will quickly appear; then your righteousness will go before you, and the glory of the Lord will be your rear guard.  Then you will call, and the Lord will answer; you will cry for help, and he will say: Here am I.  Isaiah 58:8-9
The Promise:  When I call the Lord will answer, when I cry for help, he will say: Here am I.

On the day I called, you answered me; my strength of soul you increased.  Psalm 138:3
The Promise:  When I called, you answered me, you strengthened my soul.

Praise the Lord, my soul, and forget not all his benefits - who forgives all your sins and heals all your diseases, who redeems your life from the pit and crowns you with love and compassion.  Psalm 103:2-4
The Promise:  I will praise the Lord and will never forget all his benefits - He forgives all my sin and heals all my diseases, He redeems my life from the pit and crowns me with love and compassion.

Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.  Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls.  Matthew 11:28-29
The Promise:  I will come to God when I am weary and heavy laden and He will give my rest.

Our soul waits for the LORD; he is our help and our shield.  For our heart is glad in him, because we trust in his holy name.  Let your steadfast love, O LORD, be upon us, even as we hope in you.  Psalm 33:20-22
The Promise:  My soul waits for the Lord, he is my help and my shield.  My heart is glad in him, because I trust in his holy name.  Let your steadfast love, O Lord, be upon me, even as I hope in you.

God is our refuge and strength, an ever-present help in trouble.  Therefore we will not fear, though the earth give way and the mountains fall into the heart of the sea, though its waters roar and foam and the mountains quake with their surging.  Psalm 46:1-3
The Promise:  God, you are my refuge and strength, an ever-present help in trouble.  Therefore I will not fear, though the earth give way and the mountains fall into the heart of the sea, though its waters roar and foam and the mountains quake with their surging.

*     *     *

For everything that was written in the past was written to teach us, so that through the endurance taught in the Scriptures and the encouragement they provide we might have hope.  Romans 15:4

His Word is Powerful, His Promises altogether Trustworthy.

Graced to Hope anew this day,

Wednesday, March 6, 2019

We all Struggle...

In our cancer journey sometimes it helps to re-frame the perspective...
perhaps we might choose to move our focus from the struggle to the win,
placing our Hopes firmly on the Goal,
accepting nothing less than Beating this Beast of a cancer.

A Daring Goal to be sure...
but one so worthy of every ounce of fight we have!

Daring Together, Always,

Tuesday, March 5, 2019

A Daring Goal...

Faith is the daring of the soul to go farther than it can see.
                         ~ Anonymous

Monday, March 4, 2019

Today might be a Great Day...

 trust me...

It might be the day to start something New...
The day to start the something you've been Putting Off.

Your present circumstances don't determine where you can go;
they merely determine where you start.  ~ Nido Qubein

No matter what happened yesterday or last week or a year past...
No matter what your present circumstances are,

Today is a Great Day for New Starts!

Saturday, March 2, 2019

Moving past Fear

What do you do when Fear has you paralyzed?  The unspeakable... the tragic... the living nightmares...

Fear can stop a heart.

A cancer diagnosis does that.  It can simply stop you in your tracks.  The fear, the unknowns, sheer dread of the outcome... the panic cripples...

And how do you ever move past the fear?

Take a breathe... then take a step.

This principle served mom well throughout her cancer journey.  From the moment she heard the diagnosis, to the debilitating treatments she endured, this mantra gave her the permission to just take the next step.

She told me that if she allowed herself to look too far into the future, knowing the harrowing side effects of the chemo and radiation, she wouldn't be able to do it.  But by taking a breath and just taking the next step... one day at a time, she could endure.  And not only endure, but live life well for that day.

It reminded me of the oft-quoted joke, "How do you eat an elephant?"  {}  "One Bite at a Time... One Bite at a Time."

There is truth there.  

Whether it's a cancer diagnosis, a financial calamity, a spouse's betrayal, or a child's heartbreak... fear can consume and paralyze us.

Take that breath.

Then take a step.

Just last week our pastor closed his sermon with a challenge that spoke volumes to this heart:

"Do not ask the Lord to Guide your Footsteps
if you are not Willing to Move your Feet."

Amen and Amen...

Graced to take that breath,
and move forward past the fear
into God's unfailing Promises.

Love, Always,

Friday, March 1, 2019

Speaking Words of Hope

Some call it Affirmation... or a Declaration... Spoken Truth... a Mantra...

Jen Hatmaker calls it a Cancer Manifesto.

Words that encourage, calm, give purpose, and help keep us centered in the midst of turmoil.

Tamera Anderson-Hanna calls a mantra our personal mission statement.  She shares how mantras can help us gain focus on goals, set an intention for a period of time, and also be personally empowering.

The dictionary defined mantra as a motivation chant, like the "I think I can, I think I can" you repeat over and over to yourself on the last stretch of every marathon you run. 

And cancer is the most difficult marathon any of us could ever run. Truth?

Maybe we need a mantra.

A little Encouragement... and a whole lot of Hope!

Mom found her mantra early on in the cancer journey.  This poem was a sort of touchstone and helped keep her focus when treatment became grueling....

Cancer is so limited.

It cannot cripple love,
It cannot shatter hope,
It cannot corrode faith,
It cannot destroy peace,
It cannot kill friendship,
It cannot suppress memories,
It cannot silence courage,
It cannot invade the soul,
It cannot steal eternal life,

It cannot conquer the Spirit.

               ~ Author Unknown

The month of March is our March Mantra Month...

Join us each day for a Word (or two) of Hope for the Journey!

My Love, Always,