Tuesday, March 18, 2014


"Be strong and courageous. Do not fear or be in despair of them, for the Lord your God is with you.  He will never leave you or forsake you."  Deuteronomy 31:6.

I am in a Bible study at my church called Common Ground for women.  We are presently using James Macdonald's study, "Always True,"  and this is the memorization verse for this week.  I usually don't bother memorizing verses as I can't remember things anyway, but the leader taught us to use physical actions to help us remember, and it worked!  I am pretty pleased with myself, as I even typed this without cheating!

I started this post with this verse as fear is the biggest stronghold I have in my life.  As a child I was fearful of many things.  Some normal, like death and bugs.  But also some not so typical, like riding a bike or skating.  Even my "normal" fears were extreme.  I thought if I couldn't hear or see, I was dead.  I screamed hysterically whenever I saw a bug.  Just to let you know I no longer have these fears! 

But I still have other fears.  One is about my cat.  I fear that I won't be able to make wise decisions when the time comes to do so.  Another fear is about my writing.  I fear I will suck at my efforts and no one outside my devoted family will read them. 

But I will press on.  Why?  I have to in regards to my pet.  He trusts in me to take care of him.  I am responsible for him.  I need to in regards to my writing.  I need to use what God has given me to encourage and inspire others.  I need my life to have meaning.  I need to have what struggles I have gone through to have purpose. 

So when I think of these things, I try to remember that God is with me.  He sees me and hears me.  I am not alone.  He will never leave me or give up on me. 

Why do I believe this?  There are multiple reasons.  But even if there weren't, what alternative is there?  I can't do life alone.  No one can.  One might think one can.  I used to.  But now I know better. 

"God’s perfect love takes away fear." I John 4:18

Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Breast Cancer

A few weeks ago I felt a lump on my breast. 
I am usually very religious about checking myself every month like you're supposed to, but for some reason I forgot the last few times.  So when I put on a new underwire bra, it poked me on the side.  I felt that area and the lump.  It felt so weird, like a soft, squishy ball.  Of course this happened on a weekend (don't they always?) so I had to wait until Monday to get some answers.
I remembered that a few years ago after having my yearly mammogram I had to go back in to have a diagnostic mammogram and an ultrasound.   I don't remember what they said but it was nothing.  My new lump was in the same area.  I had never felt it before, so it must have grown over the last few months.
I always wondered if I would know if I had a lump or not, as my breasts are very lumpy anyways.   How would I know the difference?  But I knew that if I kept checking myself every month, I would learn what was normal and what was not.  And I did.  At least the cyst confirmed that theory.

While I was growing up my mom had numerous cysts over the years.  She told me of a big, long needle they would use for a biopsy.  Thankfully none were cancerous.  But I am terribly afraid of needles. 
And I couldn't imagine losing my breasts.  I like my breasts.  I like that I have breasts!  I didn't realize how much they are part of me until I had the first tests a few years ago.  It finally hit me what a big deal breast cancer is.  Our breasts are a part of our identity as women.  For better or for worse, they are a part of who we are.  I didn't want to lose that.  Especially when there is not much else feminine about me! 
So I went in to my OBGYN and had the diagnostic mammogram and ultrasound.  Cysts.  And no biopsy with a big, long needle.  Whew! 
I write this to tell you to check your breasts every month!  If you don't know how, you can go to the American Cancer Society website.  It may save your life.   

Wednesday, March 5, 2014


I have two updates to share with you.  One: my cat Chocolate, urinated again on something he enjoys.  His cat massager.  That is not him!  Anyways, he went on the gray rubber ring, so I was able to at least wash it, as opposed to the cardboard box last month.  I don't know why he is doing this.  Is he losing control of his bladder, like his bowel?  I hate this limbo time, where I just have to wait and see if this will be a common occurrence or an unusual aberration.  I mean, who among us hasn't wet our pants in our lifetime? 

The second thing is I am starting an online writing workshop Thursday through Writer's Digest.  I am taking memoir writing.  I wrote my memoir, and although it starts out great it seems to lose its way through the middle.  I realize I don't know what I am doing.

A blog from Steve Weins http://www.stevewiens.com/ reminded me of how when I am afraid sometimes I just have to push through and do it.  Teaching ESL comes easy for me.  Being with the animals at the humane society comes easy for me.  But when it comes to my own elderly cat, sometimes I am clueless.  I wish we could have a common language where he could tell me what is wrong and I can tell him I will take care of him. 

Writing is another thing.  Whenever I sit down in my chair in front of my computer my stomach does a little dance.  It is not a happy dance.  And I pray, "Jehovah Jireh, give me wisdom."  One minute I think I know what I am doing and the next I am thinking, "am I crazy?"  It would be so easy for me to quit.  But I have told too many about my story and my memoir, partly because I know this propensity I have to quit when the going gets tough.  But in my heart, I don't want to.  Like Steve's son being afraid to go to school, I must just do it.