The Pinking of America

It’s October, and you can’t help but notice there’s A LOT of pink around.  I heard the expression that it’s the “pinking of America.”  So true.  October is Breast Cancer Awareness month. Turning everything pink in October has been a very successful campaign in making folks aware of breast cancer. Unless you live in a cave, I’m sure you’re aware of breast cancer.
But there’s a doctor out there, Dr. Susan Love, who has partnered with Avon, to create an organization called “Army of Women.”  Her goal is not just to bring awareness of breast cancer, but to actually find a cause and a cure. Then take the next step and PREVENT breast cancer all together.  She’s trying to dig deeper, get studies funded, get volunteers for studies, and do whatever it takes to eradicate this disease forever.  So, while I applaud the pinking of America in October, and yes, I’m even wearing my pink rubber bracelet this month, I must applaud folks like Dr. Love and the Army of Women program even more. Awareness is one thing, a very good thing, but finding the cause, cure, and complete ERADICATION of this hideous disease would be even better.
www.armyofwomen.org

Waiting on Life

So, here I sit, one-year later…. one year of being cancer free and adjusting to my new body. But how well have I really adjusted to my new life?

After surviving a life-threatening disease, you come out of it renewed, ready to live life to the maximum. You’re ready to fulfill your purpose. I wanted to awaken each day and fulfill what God’s plans were for me.

And I think I’m failing at that miserably…

More often than not, I’m the queen of procrastination. My main goal in life is to be a writer. I’ve started three books, but have yet to finish them. I even refer to myself as a writer, however it seems I’m doing anything but that. I am very involved in ACFW, which is American Christian Fiction Writers (www.acfw.com). Being around those other writers is inspiring and makes me feel like I truly belong. Here in DFW, we have a local ACFW chapter, which is the DFW Ready Writers (waving to you all!). It’s wonderful to be friends with other writers, as we all understand each other, and know that it’s okay to have voices in your head! (As in, our characters are usually talking to us!). I’m blessed with all of these people.

But I feel like I’m blowing my opportunities! I’m wasting the time I’ve been given, and letting all my other “jobs” get in the way. Being on the board of ACFW is just an excuse not to write. I’m doing everything in and around the writing world, except for writing! I’m very frustrated with myself.

My local writing buddies: RK, MO, JO, LG, KG, and JT are terrific and inspiring. I just hope they don’t give up on me as I work my way through this avoidance or procrastination… whatever it is that’s stopping me these days.

Oh yeah, I’m moving this weekend…But that’s just another excuse.

I said to myself I’ll write after I heal from my surgery, or when I’m finished with my term on the board of ACFW, or I’ll write after I get moved and settled, or I’ll write after our national conference in a few weeks. It’s like I’m waiting for everything to line up perfectly so I can sit down and write.

Well, life isn’t going to wait on me. So, why am I waiting on life to do what I really want to do? Especially after last year — You think I would’ve learned something. I should be living my life fully. Everyone should be…

Don’t wait on life. It’s always going to be a little messy and there will always be something that comes up and interrupts your schedule. We just need to work through that. I want to do the work that God has called me to do. So, I pray that my local writing buddies will bear with me — that they will continue to support me and even kick my backside on occasion to keep me going.

Isn’t that what friends are for?

Ups and Downs

The thing about writing a blog is I’m supposed to be open and revealing with my feelings. Well, that’s something that isn’t always easy for me. (My hubby and kids may disagree with that!). I try to be a very positive person, and not one who complains all the time. It’s rare that I show when things aren’t going well. Part of “Living life after cancer” is that although you’re so happy to still be here and loving life, there are feelings and emotions from the past that can back-up on you.

Right now, my husband and I are very blessed. Things are going well for us, we’re buying a wonderful new home, and things are good. So, why is it during this time that I’m waiting for the other shoe to drop? I HATE that! I don’t want anything to steal my joy right now. Life is precious. Why waste it waiting for the bad stuff to happen? I hate the cancer has brought that to me.

There are days, like one I had recently, when the feelings of what we were going through a year ago at this time hit me hard and backed-up on me. The fear that I felt came flooding in, overwhelming all the good that’s in my life right now. As a Christian, I almost feel guilty about having that fear in the first place, when I firmly believe that God is in control.

On this particular day, my sweet husband could tell something was up with me, and he encouraged me to quit fighting it, and to go with the flow. Let the feelings come. If that meant breaking dishes, having a good cry, or whatever, just go with it. You know, there are days where I wish I was the drama-queen type and I would totally lose it and smash every dish in the house. But that doesn’t work for me. However, talk to my husband, kids, or anyone who knows me well, you’ll know that I cry at the drop of a hat. I cry when I’m happy, when I’m sad, when I’m angry, when I’m frustrated, and when I’m being blessed! It is the one way I let out my emotions. When you tell me to go with the flow — look out! That means tears will be flowing.

When hubby encouraged me to let it out this day when my fear and feelings backed up on me, I sat there and had a good cry. God and I also had a few words through all of this, and for a few days after.

Of course, my husband was right. Instead of stuffing my feelings, my tears actually washed them away. So did talking to God. I don’t want fear to overwhelm my joy. It’s a terrible way to live. It was time to put that fear at God’s feet and just trust. Sometimes that’s so difficult to do, but it’s something we must learn to do.
I’m not saying I won’t have difficult days in the future. I’m sure I will. I just don’t want to waste my joyous days worrying about what may or may not happen down the road.

For me, that’s what trusting God is all about. I may still have my ups and downs, but as long as I trust Him, and enjoy every single blessing that He gives us, then we’ll get it through it. And guess what? Before you know it, you’ll have many more happy days than you do the tough days.

And I like these happy days!

Keep on truckin’ everyone!