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Showing posts from October, 2014

Life Lesson # 10 ~ ACCEPTANCE & THE BARE TRUTH

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Life Lesson #9 ~ HAPPINESS & FAMILY TIES

Eight years ago I was diagnosed with Triple Negative Breast Cancer. To say life handed me a curve ball is a gross understatement. I was devastated, in shock and lost for about a week. I spent my time replaying those four little words trying to figure out my next move. I looked around, wondering, what was the point of any of it, cancer at 32 years old, married less than a decade to the love of my life. I'm an only child, what was this going to do to my parents? And our boys, oh, and what this monster was going to steal from them. But in asking myself those questions, I realized I had much more to fight for than just my own life; I was fighting for my all of my family, for my children and their futures. Besides, who was this tipsy, drunken beast anyway, trying to tell me what to do and where to go? Huh, that wasn’t going to happen, not if I had any say in the matter! Anyone who knows me knows I’m a fighter, I don’t give up easily and cancer was not going to take me down without a fi…

Life Lesson #8 ~ LIFE'S LITTLE MOMENTS

What comes to your mind when you think of an anniversary, possibly a birthday, graduation, cancer recovery, maybe a personal triumph, simply an accomplishment of any kind or the loss of a loved one? Life, in itself, is made up of small, beautiful, painstaking and mostly complicated moments. These moments are set in time, more than dreams and always wide open to interpretation. Our moments of celebration in life can be remembered as particularly breathtaking, brilliant, beautiful and pure or positively slanted in our perceptions, altered and crashed in the wreckage of our best laid plans. 
Life Lesson # 8: Life can be amazing, full of little moments worth celebrating!
That is, if we can keep from being caught up in our opinions, full of good intentions, so busy making plans for everyone else and ourselves, maps included, we forget to live in the little moments life offers us along the way. While we’re busy out planning, life is continuing, moving with meaningful points of intersection, a…

Life Lesson #7 ~ FORGIVENESS

Have you ever been so hurt, you had no clue where to begin to unravel the mess you’re in? In those moments our joy seems almost suffocated and choked out of us doesn’t it? We hesitate to step outside of the gray zone because it’s safe. We can see the right and wrong of our actions, we watch our joy crushed and fleeting and still we continue to use our words, our actions and brokenness as weapons of retaliation. Even worse, our tongues inflict hurt not only into the lives of those we love but deep into our own hearts in the process. When joy flees, and un-forgiveness moves in, all our hidden scars and hurts come to light, especially the ones festering just under the surface. We draw lines, wrong or right and worse we stop listening, our compassion flees and lives are shattered. 
Our insecurities in life tend to guide us more than we know, pushing our buttons, lashing out at our joy, stealing our ability to relate and love. We find ourselves overtaken by the hurts we have suffered, the w…

Life Lesson #6 ~ PERSONAL GROWTH

In many ways; I’ve spent the first part of my early 40’s missing. If I'm being totally honest, to a large degree, I was also in hiding. Where did I disappear to? Well, that’s an interesting question if I do say so myself. I guess you could say I was stumbling around in a maze, through parts of myself I didn’t want the world to see or know about, as well as areas of my life I had kept hidden away from myself. In many aspects life suddenly opened up, but not in the ways I had hoped. I was handed a ticket, boarding an unexpected, unplanned flight whose path was anything but ordinary. I was suddenly thrust into the unknown regions of disaster and many times disbelief. Who I thought I was and whom I've actually become are complete polar opposites. So to answer the question of where I’ve been and even what I’ve been doing, is simple; I’ve spent most of the last two years growing. I found and opened doors inside myself I honestly hadn't realize existed. Mostly, I’ve fumbled throu…

Life Lesson # 5 ~ STRENGTH

There’s something so beautiful in a woman’s strength. The way she carries herself, her passions, the ways she loves her children, how she builds up the man she loves and yes, how she sees herself, or at times even in the way she doesn’t see herself. As a little girl, I watched my mom’s beauty shine, brightly and many times unknowingly. I never doubted my mom, the belief I had in her or the amazing faith she lived boldly in front of me. Her passions were worn on her sleeve and I always saw how she was free to live, to be herself boldly as a daughter of the King. Even when I was weak, I was taught to have faith in my dreams. I was nurtured in my belief in the Lord, knowing He was strong enough, big enough to mend any broken wing I suffered.My mom taught me to set the world on fire, to let go of my fears, and step out, even off the cliff I was clinging to, believing I would land on my feet. She gave me wings, teaching me mercy, to have compassion; to give second chances and to love uncon…

Life Lesson #4 ~ ADVERSITY

As we go into the weekend, and I see all the pink surrounding every one of us, during breast cancer awareness month, I’m reminded our battle with this particular cancer, is more than skin deep. It's been close to nine years since I first heard the words BREAST CANCER thumping around in my world of possibilities. I was 32 years old, and getting close to celebrating our 10th wedding anniversary with my husband Johnny. We were raising our two boys, one in first grade and the other in third grade at the time. The year was 2006, January to be specific. We had finally bought our first home just six months prior, and had so many plans for our future, none of which included cancer of any kind. This was a time in our lives in which we should have been care free, excited as we began to find our own place in this big world, but life had other plans for us. Suddenly, there she was, like some kind of sick prank, waiting for me, wearing a bright pink robe with a sickle in her hand and a big sas…

Life Lesson # 3 ~ BRAVERY

Stepping back and looking at my life, the story most woven into my soul are the imprints of my children. Once with tiny feet, and small hands inside mine, now they wrap theirs around my own aging hands protectively, walking beside me strong and tall, towering over my small frame these days. My boys, almost 18 and 15, are becoming more like men every day, no longer babies anymore, but grown, independent young men, living side by side with Johnny and me as equals.
When I say life has been one big, at times overwhelming test of faith and bravery for these two, it’s no joke. I’m struggling to even find the words to begin to express the hurdles in a nutshell in which life has thrown their way. Preschool brought the near loss of their Nana, due to heart issues, who is one of the most incredible forces of unconditional love and spiritual influence in their lives. In grade school life handed them the fear of losing their mother to breast cancer followed by the diagnosis of prostate cancer in t…

Life Lesson #2 ~ STRESS

One word can sum up most of our lives, STRESS. I'm not saying other things like joy, love, faith, adventure, family, friendships, and work don't evoke the word happiness, but the real truth of the matter is this; STRESS is generally a key component to anything good in our lives. Stress, no matter how big or small is life lesson # 2 in my book of truths.
To say stress has had a key role or a front row seat in my life for the last two years is an understatement, especially the last eight months if we are being 100% honest here. I’m a living example of life turned upside down on most any given day. I have never exactly lived by the rules, but this year has been way off the charts even with my own natural ability to find and yes, bring out the bizarre in life. If I stopped and gave you a glimpse through a looking glass of where I saw my life going in January 2014, to say it’s nowhere near those coordinates of Christina’s great big map of bright big beautiful tomorrows, as an old Di…

Take Two , Life Lesson #1 ~ STARTING OVER

It’s been too long since I’ve penned anything to paper, and yet in those moments along the way, I’ve done a lot of living, smiling, laughing, beating my head up against the wall and yes, crying. What I know now, that I couldn’t have imagined then, is this: nothing in this life can change the core of who you are without your consent, good or bad.What has life been like for the past two years, well, anything but even keeled. 
If I have learned anything in this life of mine it is this: one, it's not easy, and two, it's not easy. Life is this weird kind of learn as you go boot camp. You know exactly what I'm talking about, a hard knuckles game, a teacher who likes to throw you into the deep end head first and scream SWIM, before you even know how to tread water.The other lesson,  life has taught me, besides not being easy is this; you have to learn to roll with the punches. Just because I survived breast cancer didn’t mean life was done teaching me how to rise above the turbule…