Sunday, April 17, 2011

What Happens After a Storm?

It has been a very rainy Saturday. I have been indoors,, I am never alone. I have been indoors all day going deeper in my relationship with God. It’s almost time for me to go to bed but I felt I needed to end this rainy day on a special note.

What happens after a storm? The skies part open and the sun seeps out slowly. The flowers, after an April shower, begin to bloom into their vivid colors. The grass grows higher and higher, greener and greener. It doesn’t happen overnight...we have to be patient and wait. Some will not even notice. Some will take it in little by little. Others will stop and sit and wait. They will notice the changes going on around them. They will look up to the heavens and thank the Lord for all the beauty that the storm has brought.

In this moment, I am reflecting on something deeper. On May 7th, it will mark my 2 years since I finished chemo treatments from my blood cancer, Hodgkin’s Lymphoma. So many people told me to give myself two years to feel better, to gain back my energy again. It has felt like a long storm. But the clouds are clearing and the sun is shining brighter. I feel as if this storm is over now. I have learned many lessons. I have been tested in ways that I can’t even describe. Let alone it would go on and on.

I am grateful to have my strength that He has continued to provide me. It has proven to me who I am and what I am able to endure. It has proven to me that family history and genetics do not have to play a role on anyone’s life. It has shown me true love and that seeking anywhere outside of Him does not fullfill your soul.

My soul is getting cleaner and clearer. The adverse reactions and side effects of chemo drugs are wearing off. The changes I have choosen to make in my diet and exercise have helped tremendously. I feel my body is getting stronger. The aches and pains are not as dominent any more. My mind is clearer and I am getting better balance of my life daily. It’s a wonderful feeling. It has been hard to be patient but I have learned...and will continue to accept what is for now is only for now. It does not have to be forever.

I am grateful for all the support that God has provided my children and I. He is a good God and I cannot speak of anything but His grace, forgiveness, love and faithfulness. My faith has been tested and I have failed Him in the past but all is forgiven and my trust is fully with Him now.

Cheers to brighter days, promises fullfilled, dreams coming true. I’m in the process of closing some chapters in my life for good. I am following His word and listening to Him and His guidance for my path in life. There have been changes stirring within me and my spirit is ready for the first steps. Sometimes it takes a huge storm to discover your purpose, destiny, calling in life.

Blessings to all! Remember when you are in a storm and it’s coming to an end...look for the rainbow and sunshine and then thank Him for the beautiful gifts.

Blessings and love,

Saturday, April 2, 2011

Visual Journaling...Never Imagined

It's been awhile since I last blogged. Everyone tells me you are suppose to blog every week and post and twitter and status...blah, blah. I just don't have something inspiring to share sometimes. Sometimes I got nothing but being in a funk and that's not very inspiring.

So I thought I'd share something that I started doing that has helped me through...well...a lot. Two years ago when I was going through a very dark time in my life I started what is called a "Visual Prayer Journal". I would sit in God's word and pull out a scripture and write it down then design, pencil, illustrate all around it - page by page. Doing this helped me grow past my pain and I can honestly look back at these now and see the space I was in. Just like many other things in my life I put it on a shelf...until recently.

As I've been rediscovering my own inner artist again I have restarted my visual journal but in a more positive way. I have also started to teach others on this process and other ways to heal by art. I was asked by my Cancer Center and the Lymphoma Leukemia Society to do workshops on these as well. I never imagined how much 'more' healing I could do myself by sharing with others something so simple...and my story of surviving.

(NOTE: April 26th from 3-4:30pm at the Apple Hill Medical Ctr. Suite 188 & The LLS Conference on May 26th in Hershey, PA at the Hershey Lodge)

It is good to know that you are not alone. I've connected and reconnected with women my age who have been out of treatment for about 2 yrs now and compared notes. Life is different. For some it's different in small ways for others it is different in big ways. Getting through the 'different' takes more time, more healing and mostly patience.

Journaling has been a great source of healing but even more healing for me has been done by writing and illustrating a children's book. It's my own personal story that I was called to do. It's almost ready to self publish and I'm in that space of fear again. Sharing my soul and knowing others may not receive what I have written as a possibility to them is scary. The fear of opinions, judgements and rejection to a writer/artist who is ready to lay it all out there for the world to see just screams fear.

So before I am ready to publish...I must be ready. God is preparing me each day for what may come. I may only sell one book and that may be to myself and I am ok with that. It was written as my way of healing and closing my past pain and I am grateful for the gift of being able to share my story and my visions to others.

God Bless!