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Archive for the ‘courage’ Category

     As a Christian I am struggling with the line between fear and faith.  My parents are both cancer survivors.  However, right before Christmas they both had tests done that have come back with suspicious results.

       I listen to my mother say that she is not going to get worked up until she talks with the doctor about the results.  In general, I agree with that.   My mother is pretty much a positive thinker, which is a great thing.

         My father is cut out of a different cloth.  He automatically thinks negatively; he can’t seem to help it.  His mind goes to the worst case scenerio.  It is experience related…he has had the worst case scenerio happen to him before…so he just expects that to be his luck.   Both mom and dad will be meeting up with their respective cancer doctors before the first week of January is over.

          I am a product of both of my parents.  I am at times a positive thinker….and at times, automatically hit the negativity zone.  I don’t like it that that is true; but, it is honest.  I work hard attempting to focus on the positives.

           The problem is…fear.  I fear hearing the situations that they are facing will possibly return them to the medical world of tests, surgeries, treatments, complications, and hospitalizations.  This is a world that is both isolating and overwhelming, with people.  🙂  I realize that that sounds contrary….but, it isn’t.  

     You are surrounded with people in the medical field….this specialist, that oncologist, the anestesiologist (sp?), the radiologist, the pharmacist, the dietician, the family doctor, the nurses, the insurance company…the list goes on and on.  The isolation comes when you must seperate yourself from the general population because of the possibility of infection.  The isolation that the patient feels when heading in for the surgery or the treatment…no-one else can do those things for them.  It is in isolation that fear takes root and does it’s dirty work.  Discouragement can set in…thwarting all of the good and positive things that are at work in the healing process.

     The thing is, once you have been a survivor…your history can limit treatments.  It can also be eye opening to the types of situations you may be facing this time around.  My mother has  developed conditions that can be life threatening, since the last time around.  Both my mother and father had difficult side effects and complications from their various treatments, in the past.

     I am a firm believer that God is in control of everything.  I don’t claim to understand the mind of God.  But, i know that he allows things to happen that are very difficult to go through.  If left to our own devices…most human beings would opt out of the difficult things and shoot straight for the easy path…myself included.  My head knows that much can be learned during these hard moments in life…that God has things for us to gain in those moments.  I know he has things to be accomplished during those moments…he puts people in our path for us to connect with and to share with.  We will do our best to bring glory to his name throughout.  For he is worthy of praise in all things.

        So, I will work at praying that God will have mercy…that he will guide and direct us as we face these additional challenges.  I will ask for wisdom, clarity, patience, faith, courage, strength, healing, financial blessings, and any area of lacking; that we may need to overcome in the face of these trials.  

       What i am thankful for, is that we don’t have to pray for love or sharing; or, willing family members to help out.  We are blessed in those areas.  We are a family that knows how to support one another; and, whoever is in need around us, at the time.   Roomates have often been the recipients of the overflow of our big family.  There have been roomates that had no one to look out for them…they were alone in their journey.  My family is nurturing in nature.   I am thankful for that compassionate part of our family. 

     I am thankful for those in the medical community who also have compassion, skill, knowledge and who are sensitive in the way that they go about promoting healing to their patients and their family members.  They are our allies in the war that has been declared on our loved ones..they are on the front lines of battle trying to help our loved ones to have a full and healthy life; so we pray for all of them who will have contact with us.  We respect their skill and dedication.

     We have so much to be thankful for…and, we are.  Are we greedy to wish for health and financial blessings to meet the demands put on the family as we go thru these things?  I don’t think so.   I know that God has a purpose; I pray that we realize it and make the most of it as he would desire us to do.  I am just selfish enough to wish, as Jesus did on the cross, that this cup would pass from out of our hands; if God so desires. 

         Again…the line blurrs between faith and fear that these medical challenges may not pass from us!

           

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       Maybe I am naive, I don’t think that I am…but, truly I try to think well of others unless they give me a rather royal reason not to.  Tonight , I am more than a little annoyed at a few teenagers.  I stopped off at the local library and was perusing the books in the upper level when i overheard a conversation between some teens and a female newcomer.  One of the two males told one of the females to go over to another young male teen who was quite some distance away from them up near the counter.

      The male told the pretty young female to go ask the less attractive, and clearly not a member of their particular cliche, whether he stole “Jake’s” skateboard.  Understand that this is winter here…and, the boy clearly challenged the young woman to go harass the other young man.  Which she promptly did with a malicious smile on her formerly pretty face.  You could hear the young man stand his ground and say No, he didn’t take it.  You could also hear his hurt and embarassment.  When the young woman came back she held out her hand, into which the teen male poured change; as the young woman said, see I told you I would do it!

          I do not know any of these teens.  I turned to go check out my books when i heard the teen boys tell a younger boy (possible sibling) to go ask him again if he took “Jake’s” skateboard.  The young man being harassed cried out…I said NO I didn’t take his skateboard.  The young sibling came back to the two other teen boys and said…what did you tell me to do that for; after he saw the two teens laughing hysterically.

           At this point, i fully realized that it wasn’t some longstanding issue with a missing skateboard in which the teens suspected the other young man of stealing.  It was clearly some cruel twisted bullies who were getting their jollies out of publically humiliating someone who they believed deserved to be treated that way.   This made me very upset.

            Not only did these two young teens use other people to do their dirty work, they subjected every person within hearing distance into being some kind of accomplices just because we overheard it; and, if we did not intervene then we were just as guilty as them; in my eyes.  They were clearly enjoying the misery of another human being; misery that they caused with their cruelty.

            I am not normally a person who likes to draw attention to myself in public situations…but my spirit would not be quiet.  I felt someone had to address what they were doing.  I told them that they were being very rude and that it was time to grow up.  They lowered their eyes and quickly seperated.  Did I do enough; will it change their behavior?  Probably not.  However, in my heart…if i had walked away and kept quiet about what they were doing…then, I would not have had peace in my heart. 

        Why do some people feel such need to hurt, humiliate and tear down another person?  Who are they to decide who is acceptable and who is not?  How sad is it that these young people felt perfectly safe and secure doing what they were doing without fear of being challenged? 

             Personal integrity is important…never forget that.  Never forget that coming to the aid of another person is a compassionate thing to do and there is not enough compassion in the world.  Pretend that compassion is an unending well (it truly is)…and dip into it often.    Peace and love from one person to another; God bless!

        

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      This week we celebrated two very special things here in the United States: one was Monday, November 10th which was the Marine Corps Birthday…and yesterday, which was Veteran’s Day.  Both dates give honor to our military men and women.  We should celebrate our armed forces because they sacrifice so much for us.  We have men and women who are seperated from their families, often in dangerous situations; defending our country and those in other countries who need defended.

       We have some pretty awesome troops who need support.  I have heard about a wonderful program that does just that.  It is a program that would be a wonderful project for school children or teen youth groups across the nation.   Activity directors in nursing homes would also be a great source for this project.  Even former Veterans can continue to serve their country by reaching out to those who presently serve our great country in the Army, Navy, Coast Guard, Air Force and the Marines. 

       The idea behind http://www.make2tell2.com is to make 2 cards of love and tell 2 others about the project.  They can be holiday cards or just cards that express respect and caring.  This is a great way to lift the spirits of those serving our country when they need an emotional pick me up.  These cards can express patriotism, faith, gratitude, caring, support, encouragement, and communicate comfort to those who need it!

         Please spread the word…get involved…support our troops today.  It doesn’t take much effort and it can mean so very much to the individual who receives it.  After you make the cards…please send them to:  Make 2 Tell 2, 991 Road
325, Harvard, NE 68944  This is also a great way to teach young people about service and about community.  We all need encouragement at times…this is a wonderful way to do that for our troops overseas; it can have a tremendous impact on our military personel.  Thank you!

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       Today is the Marine Corps birthday…hope it is a great one for all of our men and women in the Corps.  God bless you for all of your sacrifices for us civilians.  For those serving overseas we thank you and we appreciate you. To all of the Marines who serve here at home on U.S. soil…your sacrifice is also appreciated.  May you have safety and well-being till you are stateside and home again with your family & loved ones!

         Quite often on the news, all we hear about is those who dishonor the Corps or who choose to perpetrate violence outside of war.  Those stories put a black mark on the minds of people who don’t have personal knowledge of the quality of most Marines.  I want to acknowledge the fact that there are more men and women who serve the United States in good standing; than there are who fail to act honorably.  Just by living their lives decently and serving when called upon to do so…they are heros.  It takes courage & commitment to serve in the armed forces.  They risk life and limb and deserve respect for what they give during their time in the military.  We need to honor them and support them; not just at the holiday time…but, year round.  Support their family members who sacrifice alot as well…by being seperated from their service person.

        This week, several Marines made the news with their heroic actions by saving many people staying in a hotel when they discovered that the hotel was on fire.  They immediately went into action and alerted the hotel guests to the fire and told them to evacuate.  One Marine said…this is what we are trained to do…when there is danger we are trained to go in…not run away! The williness to serve, that the Corps instills in it’s personel, is nothing less than admirable.  God bless each and every one.  So, for those who are serving in the Corps today; or, those who have formerly served in the Corps…thank you.   If you see a Marine today…tell them thank you for serving and wish them a Happy Birthday!  Semper Fi

      

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        Bravery is doing things you don’t want to do, facing things you don’t want to face, feeling things you don’t want to feel, taking a risk, acknowledging that you aren’t in control of all things related to you and yet, putting one foot in front of the other, regardless.

         Being brave doesn’t just apply to the larger things in life that we all have to deal with…bravery is applying the aforementioned things to the everyday, mundane events that take place in our lives and not giving up! 

          In both big and small moments we are brave…sometimes we are timid; that is ok.  Life is all about support and knowing where to get it when you need it.  You don’t have to be brave alone.  🙂  Was today a timid day or was it a test of bravery?  Big moment or small?  Did you reach out for support when you needed it?  Your timid day might be someone else’s brave day and tomorrow might be your day of bravery!  In the area of encouragement…be a giver and a taker…life will open up to you when you do so.

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Stand Up To (2) Cancer

        Do you know anyone who has been diagnosed with cancer?  Did you know that 1 out of 3 women will be diagnosed with cancer in their lifetime…1 out of 2 men.  So unless you are a family of one, with no friends and you are the luckiest person in the whole wide world…cancer is going to touch someone you care about, at some point.  If you haven’t had to deal with the enemy cancer yet…consider yourself blessed beyond reason.  There is a movement afoot to Stand Up To Cancer.  It doesn’t matter if it is breast cancer, colon cancer, blood cancers, brain cancer,ovarian, or any other kind of cancer…it is a destroyer and needs to be eliminated.  Please join forces to battle a plague on the world that we live in…help fight cancer.

        The goal is to Stand Up To Cancer and understand it…take it apart…so that we can more efficiently battle it and WIN!  That is the end goal.   Cancer is the enemy…it is a thief…it has stolen enough, artists, doctors, mothers, muscians, pilots, cab drivers, babies, teachers, clerks, lecturers, fathers, students, writers, researchers, husbands, factory workers, miners, fire fighters, sons, nurses, daughters, child care workers, politicians, sisters, waitresses, brothers, lecturers, speakers, wives, caregivers, grandparents, role models, athletes, neighbors, librarians, friends, social workers, police men & women, military men and women, designers, dancers, clergy, you get the idea…Cancer is not picky about who it chooses to invade and try to destroy. 

          It could be you next, or someone you care about.  Cancer claims one life a minute each day!  Can you believe that?  One person a minute per day is too many loses! That is 1,500 deaths per day… that is unacceptable.    Protect your health best way that you can, eat right, exercise, protect your environment, take your vitamins, stay away from contaminants, be aware and educate yourself.  Honor those who have fought with everything they have…help out someone in a health crisis with cancer…be a supporter to someone in need. 

          Once cancer strikes…there are many needs, physical,spiritual, medical, emotional, financial, transportation, and daily care needs.  Do what you can to lift someone up!  Life is precious.  Will you make a commitment to be a force to be reckoned with and help make an impact in the fight against cancer?

         For us to win the war on cancer it requires courage, support, awareness, education and funding.  The television networks are joining together to bring those tools to the public and try to create a historic event that will hopefully rev up the odds of winning.  http://abcnews.go.com/Health/StandUp2Cancer/  There are many celebrities who are adding their voice and their talents to the project.  They have a wonderful website that you can view here that will explain more.  In the meantime, look for the program to hit the networks on Sept 5th, at 8 pm.  You can go to the website and read up on the idea here:  http://www.standup2cancer.org/  Let’s not be idle and let others do the fighting…there is something that we all can do…what are you willing to do to help?  Let’s envision a future without cancer!!!

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        Dreams are pretty important stuff, did you know that?  Most of us live our lives with a dream tucked away in our hearts.  Every now and again we take it out, polish it up with our tears and a loving swipe with a soft cloth, all the while going over the reasons why now is not the time to make them come true.  Regrets for not achieving our dreams can eat away at a person’s soul.  Why doesn’t everyone who has a dream try to make them come true?   Oh there are many reasons; don’t you know any of them? 

         There is never enough money, too many people are depending on us to keep our heads and not risk too much, health problems, demands on our time, a shortage of support, self doubt, low self esteem, fear, fear of failure, lack of hope, a lack of encouragement from others, a need for security, no experience with stepping out on faith, trust issues & even more amazingly, people are afraid of success, wow !; You get the idea…i could fill up this page with reasons why some people not to enable their dreams into become reality.

         So what is the secret that dream achievers have discovered that allowed them to turn a thought, a wish, a dream into reality?  You would have to ask each person what it was that was the turning point; the part where the light bulb came on and they pushed through and turned a corner from underachiever to dream accomplisher. 

          Each person’s answer would probably surprise you.  Each answer would be correct because the very thing that allowed them to move forward and achieve, I suspect is also the very issue that held them back in the first place. 🙂  Get it…i think that is the key, facing the issue that is holding you back and discovering how to use it as a tool to overcome and succeed!  Ahhh ha…the light bulb comes on, the key is placed in your hand, you now have the ability to turn it in the lock and walk through the door to success.

           But a successful dream has a price, for each successful dream there is a cost…a sacrifice.  Nothing that is worth anything of real lasting  value comes without a personal sacrifice.  When we sacrifice to accomplish the things that mean the most to us…we are showing our dedication, our commitment to it, we are acknowledging how valuable the goal is by how much we sacrifice.  Is it scary?  You bet.  Does it work?  Sometimes…but it is important to note that you have to have 100% commitment to achieving your goal…no wishy washy half hearted attempt will get you where you want to be.   Is your sacrifice worth the price?  Only you know the answer to that.  Know what you are giving up to achieve your dream and understand the consequences; and, be ready to accept them as the cost…otherwise…you might achieve your dream and loose something equally important or more imporant, to you than the dream!!!!  Communicate with your loved ones and make sure that your goals are in alignment with your most important relationships…that you have their support!  How much more powerful will your accomplishments be, when those you cherish most are backing you up?

          So what have you sacrificed to achieve your dream?  Are you satisfied?  Did you trade up your sacrifice, for your dream…or, did you make an error in judgement; and, cost yourself your dream and your sacrifice?  It is important to have your priorities in place to have your dream, and be happy with the purchase price.   Tell us what have you sacrificed to achieve your dream!!!

          Did you know that accomplishing your dreams can have a huge impact on others?  Sometimes, achieving your dreams can help lift up others, who don’t even know you.  Think of Michael Phelps the Olympic swimmer who just won 8 Olympic gold medals…he has inspired many, to reach out and try for their goals and dreams.  Most of us don’t collect medals for our dreams; but still, we accomplish milestones which feel like a nice shiny medal to us!  What motivates a person to achieve their goals, hopes and their dreams?

           I know of a group of people who are stepping out on faith…they are sacrificing much, to do so…they are going to walk in scary places…they don’t know all of the risks…but still…their commitment to helping others achieve their dreams is going full throttle…they are called the Impact Boot Camp Action Team.  They are headed to Philadelphia this weekend to learn important skills and techniques that will enable some very special person or organization to achieve their dream of impacting others in a positive uplifting way.  Read all about it here:  https://writeasrain.wordpress.com/2008/07/30/impact-action-team-makes-a-difference-in-the-world-through-boot-camp-training/  

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