Thursday, January 27, 2011


Well Mom is here in Kansas.

We're celebrating an enormous milestone that I never thought would come. It's been a year today since her breast cancer journey began.

This time last year we were all gathered in Mom's hospital room post-op and telling her the good news (under the circumstances) that they found no further trace of cancer after the sentinel node biopsy. I still remember her groggy "good!" response and the nurse chuckling that she'd been asking about that while in recovery.

It was an enormous praise and relief to begin the journey with something positive (or negative, if you get my drift). :-)

That was a time of intense heartache, panic, stress, followed by moments of the peace that passes all understanding. I still remember the following night watching the snow fall outside the hospital window and being awakened by the snowshovels as the maintanence staff tried to keep ahead of the biggest snowstorm to hit their area all of last year.

Then there were the hourly requests for potty break. Hey, that was great news because it meant everything was in working order! Mom and I got so good at our system that we didn't have to bother the nurses all night, that is until they needed something from Mom. It's funny now because Mom kept saying how sorry she was to constantly get me up, but I was so glad to know that she COULD get up. During that time, we had to celebrate every little step forward.

Even though I still had to constantly get onto her for using that crazy right arm to get up from bed and chairs - she got so frustrated with that one. But it is with great fondness that I remember the nickname with which she dubbed me. Maybe we can get matching hats that say "sergeant" as a memento. :-)

During chemo when Mom lost her sense of taste, we said we were going to celebrate the return of her tastebuds with chocolate cake as soon as treatments were completed. Well tonight we celebrate the one year anniversary of her journey with (what else) CHOCOLATE CAKE. Wee!

The hair is back and growing longer and thicker every day. One more month and she'll be done with the Herceptin treatments, then four years more with this crazy pill and it will be completely finished.

Yet tonight we celebrate more than just a milestone of a year down in her journey.

We celebrate LIFE!

Sunday, January 23, 2011

Living A Full Life

So many wonderful things have taken place the last several months that at times I cannot believe they are happening. Makes me also wonder what God is up to. :-)

Last fall I had to make a difficult decision in my life, but since that time it seems God has opened up doorway after doorway and confirmed Himself all over again in the paths I'm walking.

Shortly after making said decision, I was asked to be a part of the praise team at my church. I've not had a place on the platform since 2000 due to having to back off of involvements to deal with life's difficulties and to be more available to my son during that time. Plus losing my voice capacity had a bit to do with it too. I've been back in choir now for five years with a new worship pastor but have maintained a background stance. Not sure what the catalyst was that prompted our worship pastor to take notice of me, but I'm so thankful he did because it feels absolutely incredible to be used once again in my heart's desire - music.

Then there was winning first place in the salon fair at my school, additional confirmation that I'm on the right track. The past month there have been so many situations where God has opened doors that have allowed me to share with a few of the girls at the school, one who fell away from Him in high school after the failings of their youth pastor were revealed. She and I have been talking extensively. I love being used by the Lord in such ways. It also shows me how this industry will allow me a front-row seat in God's arena.

Today my Sunday School leader asked me about sharing my testimony in class in a couple of weeks. Wow! Heavy load and I haven't shared like that in Lord knows how long. But my son is eighteen now and is living proof what a life sold out to God can accomplish even through the mistakes we make. My life has been dedicated to raising him and that part of my path-walk is rapidly drawing to a close.

So maybe the idea of opening my own salon is on the horizon. I'm still jiggling doorknobs in that regard to see if any are open at the present time. I'll walk through those doors as I can and share that journey with you as it develops.

My life feels very full at the moment - busy too! Makes me wonder what is coming up around the bend.

Saturday, January 15, 2011

Happy News

Our little writer's group received some awesome news this past week at our meeting. One of our own signed a contract to be published!

It's now official.

Mighty Bri has written a great horror piece that has elements involving Thor, the god of thunder. With the new Thor movie coming out this summer the timing couldn't be better. He's about as excited as the guy gets - maybe a little dazed too.

Or is that too much Jack Daniels?

So starting this spring the book will be available in electronic format and hopefully hardcopy later in the year. They'll go through the jacket design turmoil, debates over whether to change his title or not (alert to writers - your agonizingly thought-out title most likely will not be the published final so don't waste too much time on it), etc., etc. His new blog page on publishing is located at if you wish to follow his exploits.

So now we other GK Brainstormers will have to get our butts in gear and follow suit. Twill be some tough shoes in which to follow.

And Brian remember - don't forget to make it to meetings from now on, you hear? We know where you live and will be glad to drag your sorry butt out of your absinthe stupor!

Saturday, January 8, 2011

Faith and Fear

Graduation is fast approaching!

This time I mean me from cosmetology school. My son's graduation will follow shortly upon its heels but at the moment I've got alot of decisions to make for myself first.

Isn't it amazing that in just two and ahalf months I will be taking up the mantle of cosmetologist and accepting my professional grade shears from school? It's so freaking AWESOME!

Sorry - I am an 80's child remember.

So several options lay before me, but I'm having trouble throwing one very risky venture aside - that of establishing my own salon. My original plan called for me to work about three years in a salon to learn additional trade secrets and then to open my own place. Then that changed to maybe two years. Recently I decided to re-evaluate after one year. But now faith is taking a stranglehold on me.

There seem to be some other things happening in the heavens that may be pointing in the direction of sooner rather than later. Much sooner. I can't yet share all of those specific things yet, but I've been deep in prayer concerning this possibility. Some of my close family and friends have also committed to praying for leading in this regard as well.

I'm scared to death!!!

But I'm also jazzed about the possibility of becoming a small business owner in a short amount of time. The decision needs to be made very soon.

Any of you praying readers out there are invited to join with me in seeking the Lord's direction.

And whatever direction that may be, I'll step out in faith - regardless of my fear.

Saturday, January 1, 2011

Welcome 2011

It is with great joy that I spit goodbye to 2010 and wholeheartedly embrace 2011.

This first day of 2011 has been fun and relaxing, unlike this time last year when all you-know-what was breaking loose in my family. First there was my mother's cancer diagnosis confirmation, followed shortly by my grandmother's (mom's mom) death. Then the seemingly endless chemo treatments, job layoff, the unexpected loss of mom's best friend, etc., etc., etc.

But then again there were some glimpses of light even in the midst of absolute chaos and darkness.

Even though it was difficult to lose my grandma, it also seemed to be time. Please don't take that as being cold and unfeeling, but my mom was responsible for Grandma's visitation and care and with the looming surgery, recovery, then chemo it was time for someone else to step in.

That someone else ended up being the Lord, as He took her home to be with Him. He is, after all, the best caretaker anyone could need. Grandma ended up in good Hands.

The job loss also had a bright spot - it allowed me to be more available to my mom when she needed it and not just when it was convenient for the job situation. I didn't have to feel constantly torn between my responsibilities to work and my God-given responsibilities to my mom. It has also given me a chance to embrace a new calling and explore the possibility of realizing a long-held dream.

I've yet to come up with a positive light shined on the loss of Mom's best friend, but perhaps that's one that will have to wait until reaching the other side. There's some questions that will never be adequately answered until we have a chance to ask them face-to-face.

I hope God has a way to duplicate my questions in my notebook. Heck, He already knows them.

So many difficult things have happened this past year, and yet each one seems to have driven me closer to the Lord's feet. I can definitely say I've laid prostrate there so much of this past year. I guess that's another positive that's come from the difficulties myself and my family have faced. It gives greater meaning to the hurts.

And greater hope for the future. Welcome 2011!