Tag Archives: breast cancer

The Authenticity of the Writer

Why I write

I enjoy writing immensely. If I could just write and that was all, there would be no issue. Regrettably, that is not the case. Being obedient to the call that the Lord has placed on me is exciting and uncomfortable at the same time. Granted, I have been speaking my mind, and posting scriptures for years on my personal platform. However, using a professional platform to showcase my writing leaves me vulnerable and open in a way that I didn’t feel before. Even so, this is what has been asked of me.

I know that I can do all things through Christ who gives me strength. This is not in question. At the same time, I am being pulled to the front for all to see. As a result, I feel butterflies in my stomach after I publish my posts. I wonder if it will be received and if people will actually get it? “Am I qualified to write books as the Lord says that I will do?” These thoughts and more cross my mind. In any case, I believe the word when it says that God does not call the qualified, but qualifies the called. I can’t boast in myself, but in God! (1 Corinthians 1: 27-31)

The power of my Testimony                        

My testimony is powerful and will help many. I believe that with all that is in me. Be that as it may, it will also get me some side eye from the church folk. Yet I must fearlessly forge ahead! In addition, God blesses and adds no sorrow, so it will definitely work out. That is not the issue. He told me that I would have to be bold and courageous for this next season. Strangely enough, I happen to be both bold and courageous LOL. Truly. If you are a follower of my blog or even my personal social media, you can attest to that.

Authenticity is important in the christian walk. I remember being one way at home and another in public. Do you know how taxing that is? I’m sure some of you do. Some of you are that way. I am thankful to be continually pressing forward in the freedom that truth has given me. In fact, being truthful and leaning on God is how I live my life now. Of course that wasn’t always the case, yet I’m thankful to say I’ve progressed in the Lord during my Cancer journey more than I ever have prior to. (Psalm 107:1-2) (image source: Google.com)

My Progression

As a matter of fact, tragedy opened my eyes and ears to see and hear Him. Furthermore, I am home and not running the streets or in the salon from sun up to sundown. Instead, I am with my family. The growth that has been attained in my household is enough for me to shout, “Hallelujah!” Of course nothing is perfect, but let me tell you! The way my husband and I communicate with each other now versus a year ago is amazing progress. We are applying the word to our marriage, and as a result we are seeing the fruits. (Matthew 19:4-6) What gets me the most irritated in my home is not my husband but my children LOL. Discipline and consistency is what I am working on with them. (image source: Pinterest)

Who I’m writing to

I speak and write on these things to be encouraging to the body of Christ, but especially to married women. Consequently, I mostly relate to married women, as I have been married and divorced and married again. I write to the married christian woman who is not where she wants to be in God.

I also relate to women in general who are fighting the good fight of faith! (1 Timothy 6:12)

These women have a past that they need to forgive themselves for. As a matter of fact, they may have a “present” that needs forgiven. A “present,” that is rocky and bound with strongholds. I’ve been there too.

Jesus has already forgiven us, but we need to forgive ourselves and go forth with what He has called us to do. (2Corinthians 5:17) (Ephesians 1:7)

Transitioning

God is calling us higher as a body, and I recognize that. He is moving in a beautiful and miraculous way. The sermons the last few weeks at my church had many confirmations for me. In fact, this past Sunday spoke volumes to my spirit. It was the Spirit of God speaking through Pastor.

The Lord has revealed Himself to me in ways that have blown my mind. For this reason alone, my life will never be the same. He has changed the entire course of my life.

For example, I am a full time homemaker and writer. Who would have thought that would be my life? Not this lady. I just wanted to be in the salon, and write at my leisure as I’ve been doing for years. And not to knock housewives, because my mom was one, but that was not my plan. (Proverbs 16:1)

Still, it has been a great experience thus far. At home and the writing aspect. Of course with the writing, I have to keep learning the professional way to do things to pen a book. In fact, my writing keeps improving every time I sit down and type. Thank you Jesus! I am smiling as I write this because I know what He said to me. The vision is big and I only know in part, yet without the Lord it will not happen. (Proverbs 16:1) (Psalm 127:1)

At this point it’s all about obedience. It’s not about how I feel. All things considered, if you leave it up to me, I would still be in the salon and writing my little tidbits here and there on my facebook page. 

But God!

In conclusion

Finally you guys, I want to thank you. I know some look at me as if I’m crazy walking away from my salon to sit home and write. You know how I know that? Because I see some doing it when I tell them that I am not returning to the salon. They ask how can I leave something that was certain, for uncertainty? I try to explain this faith walk that I am on; however, everyone can’t receive it.

If you happen to know me, and you’re wondering what is going on, I will tell you like this: I am living my life in a way that I never have before. Freely! I am loving myself in a way that I wasn’t capable of before. Truly! In fact, my husband is loving me in a way that I didn’t know was possible. I would tell you that God has been working on me and through me, and I am letting Him. He’s stripped me bare and turned me to the mirror to face myself. Furthermore, I trust God. I am on that staircase walking up when I can’t see the next step. (Hebrews 11:1)

 

 

 

Vegan pepper steak (Seitan)

Ok guys so we are in our second week of Vegan eating in my home and I have just discovered Seitan, which is wheat gluten and the base for some great Vegan “meat.”

It’s packed with protein and if done correctly, taste very good.

My first batch was a fail 🙁😐

But your girl is no quitter! So I dumped it and tried again. 

The next batch was absolutely delicious.

I started with the wheat gluten and mixed my own batch of Seitan. I then simmered it for 45 minutes. This is the result of simmering: 

It was two loaves that I cut in half. I then stored one half and cut the other in strips like this: 

I then mixed soy sauce, paprika and garlic powder and marinated each piece. 

I sat them aside and started sautéing my onions, mushrooms, garlic and peppers in olive oil.

I fried the Seitan in coconut oil. I mixed some corn starch, ginger and water in a cup then poured it over the Seitan and Peppers. I made some brown rice. And here is the result:

It taste really good too. No one in my home have gluten allergies and if you do, I wouldn’t suggest partaking of the Seitan because it is Gluten. I can’t have soy at all so this is a great alternative. (The “Melt” is Vegan butter and taste better than the regular one) 

I thank God for being open to change. I am enjoying the new recipes. Here is another dish that I made with yellow potatoes, veggies and Seitan. 

I feel great by the way 😊

Hope you enjoyed. 

The “C” Word

What word comes to mind for you?

In my life right now, the word, Cancer comes to mind. It’s what I have been dealing with since I received the call in December of 2016 confirming my diagnosis after mammograms, ultrasounds and biopsies. Cancer sucks, by the way.

A double mastectomy with lymph node axillary dissection followed in January of 2017.

Stage 3 Metastatic Breast Cancer was the official diagnosis when it was all said and done.

Another C word that accurately describes my feelings after receiving the news was, confused.  I was unable to think clearly. Quite bewildered. How could I have cancer? Why do I have cancer? So many questions came to my mind. Things were going so well for me in my personal and professional life. I had school set to start January 3, 2017. I didn’t understand. I had lost my mom June of 2016 and was learning to deal with that. I was not comprehending why all of this was taking place. “I must be really strong Lord, ” I would say to God.

Confession. I had to accept my reality. I would not speak on it at first. I chose to tell a select few. Speaking of it made it more real; however, I had to accept the facts, and make appropriate adjustments to my life. Confession. I started speaking the word of God over myself. The word says, “The prayer of a righteous person is powerful and effective.” (James 5:16)
I believe God. I believed that He would heal me.

Comforting. This word describes the feeling I had after starting to rest in the Lord. Not rest in sleep or lying down, but in trusting God 100% with what was going on, depending on Him for all my needs. Rest from worry. Initially, I was reading everything I could get my hands on, and every google article. I was hungry for more information and also testimonies of others in a similar situation. Comforted also, by my family and friends who kept me lifted in prayer.

comfort

Courageous! Going through this journey has unlocked an inner strength that I didn’t know was there. I’ve been a strong woman all my life. I have tackled many things and overcome many obstacles. Yet this was my strongest one yet. This is not for the faint of heart. It’s so important to keep your mind positive in a bleak situation. It’s important to have positive people around you.

Throughout my cancer journey, I’ve learned to enjoy my day to day. Tomorrow is not promised. Heck, the next hour isn’t promised. I keep my eyes on the Lord. I spend more time with Him. I spend more time with my family. I see life with new eyes. It’s precious. Time should not be wasted. I see that I am completely dependent on God. We say that, but when it’s tested, you become acutely aware of it’s authenticity.

I have a disease that is killing people everyday. This fact does not go unnoticed by me. I have a great team of doctors, but the Lord is my healer. He told me that this was not unto death for me. Yet, He said that this was a process that I would have to go through and it would not be pleasant. Whatever I go through, as long as He is with me I can do it. I can do all things thru Christ who strengthens me. (Philippians 4:13)

I thought I would be done after Chemotherapy, but, no I had to do Radiation. My scans were clear and for all intent and purposes I am “cancer free”, yet I am not done with my treatments. I prayed countless times for an answer. I didn’t want to do it.  The Lord would not remove this from me. I asked Him too. As He told Paul, His Grace is sufficient for me. (2 Corinthians 12:9) I thank God for Grace. What I have come to understand in my quiet times with the Lord, that I need to complete the entire process. I am not to rush it along. I am not to rush back to work. I am to be obedient. When I am feeling a little better, I tend to become quite busy. That is not what He wants.

Lymphedema is what I am currently dealing with in my right arm and hand. It causes daily swelling and pain. This is preventing me from working in my profession as a Hairdresser. You know I said, “Really, Lord?” with a smile, and a shaking of my head. “I get it.”

we can make our plans but the Lord determines our steps

We make plans. But God has His own plans. His are so much better. What an interesting journey this has been. I am still in the midst of it. The doctors told me at the beginning of January to dedicate 1 full year to this process, and I keep trying to interrupt it. The Lord also wants me to dedicate this time to Him, as He develops me spiritually. I will do hair again. I am not sure in what capacity, but I do not feel that it’s over. I do not want to work as hard as I was. I won’t be behind the chair all day. I do know that. I often overworked myself.  I have a love for hair and a passion to helping women look their best. When you look good you feel good.

The other passion of mine is teaching. Through my writings I am able to teach and it feels amazing.  I write daily. I can’t hold a pen too good for a long period of time, so I don’t write in my journals, I type instead in a notepad. I’m writing blog posts, in addition to another book. You have no idea how exciting this is for me. I have enjoyed writing even as a child.

Content. I am in a state of peaceful happiness. Yes, my life was turned upside down. Finances changed dramatically and body modified, yet my joy is still here. I find joy in the Lord, so even though life happens, I am able to have joy and peace. Though He slay me, yet will I trust Him (Job 13:15)

God is a keeperPsalms 121-5

There is still more ahead and I am excited, because the Lord has something wonderful in store for me. (Jeremiah 29:11 and 1 Corinthians 2:9) It’s already miraculous. I am healed! That’s God! I am not without problems and never want it to come across as that. I have daily struggles as you do. I have upsets and frustrations. I allow myself to feel whatever I need to in that moment. I am a firm believer in allowing yourself to feel; however, do not stay in a negative place. Keep it moving. And deal with each day as it comes. Deal with today, and tomorrow when it comes, as it says in Matthew 6:34, it will have it’s own troubles.

To commune with Him and hear Him speaking to me blows my mind! To have gifts revealed to me and confirmed is astounding! I have witnessed much during this time. This is something that I cannot put into words for you guys on this post. Not yet. I am gaining a great relationship. A meaningful one that has changed my life forever. Jesus is real. He is alive and on the throne. He loves us. He truly does.

Seek Him! While He still may be found.

I welcome comments.

Share how you cope with your trials. Maybe you can add to the “c” words?

Be Blessed.

Proverbs 3:5-6New Living Translation (NLT)

Trust in the Lord with all your heart;
    do not depend on your own understanding.
Seek his will in all you do,
    and he will show you which path to take.

 

 

 

 

 

Where we are weak…

God is strong. 

The Lord says that where we are weak, He is strong.

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“Each time he said, “My grace is all you need. My power works best in weakness.” So now I am glad to boast about my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ can work through me.”

‭‭2 Corinthians‬ ‭12:9‬ ‭NLT‬‬
 “So be strong and courageous, all you who put your hope in the Lord!”

‭‭Psalms‬ ‭31:24‬ ‭NLT‬‬

When do you actually find out how strong you are? When do you find out what you’re made of? How much can you endure? 

It’s through trials and tribulations that we all face in the world. 

I was sitting outside this morning enjoying my coffee and reflecting on this season of my life. 

I was reflecting on the loss of my mom last year, suddenly from a heart attack.

I didn’t understand. That was such a hard time for me. Do you think it’s easier to lose someone suddenly or watch them slowly slip away? 

Think about it…

I think about it and I wish I had more time with my mom. I would not want to see her “wasting away” but I definitely wish she was still here. We are selfish too, you know. 

We want what we want. We want who we want. Sometimes our loved ones want to go. Sometimes they are tired.

In the case of my mom, I felt, in retrospect, that she knew that she was leaving us. She said her goodbyes. How do people know?? I don’t know. But she did. 

The last time I saw her felt like a “goodbye”, she told me how proud she was of me and how much she loved me and that she knew I would continue to do well in life. She looked me in the eyes and was extra “loving”  My mother was not like that. She didn’t say, “I love you” often at all. And that was ok. It was normal. But there was more said and I left there feeling amazing at how she spoke to me. I felt like a little girl hearing from your mom how proud she was of you. I joked with her how she was laying it on thick LOL and I would be there to pick her and dad up Monday because they hadn’t been to my new salon since it was finished. They saw it a few times while it was being worked up and everything .

We made a date. 

That day never came. She passed away 4 days later from that conversation.

That same year in September, towards the end of the month, I felt a lump in my right breast. I was alarmed. I was in the shower and something made me check. It wasn’t a regular routine for me. Let me tell you though. As soon as I felt it, I instantly knew it wasn’t right. It wasn’t just fibrous tissues. I hoped, but something inside of me said otherwise. 

I called my Gynecologist. I saw her in October. She wanted further examination. She wrote me a referral for a mammogram. It would be my very first. 

I made that call after my 40th birthday party. I didn’t want to deal with it. I went for my mammogram. It came back abnormal. Then there were more tests. Ultrasounds and biopsies. 

All of which were abnormal. Hmmmm is this really happening?? That is what I wondered. 

After it was all said and done, I was diagnosed with Breast cancer. Initially they thought stage 2b before surgery. After they opened me up they discovered so much more disease and I was officially stage 3b. What? How? Why? 


The doctors said coming in October versus November would not have made a difference. From the size and spread of the tumor, it was inside of me for awhile. So during this time, my mother in law was hospitalized and my father. They both had major surgery. I didn’t want to tell them what was going on with me. 

Christmas Day was spent going to the hospital visiting them both. All the while knowing I had cancer, but didn’t want to tell them. 

I kept it under wraps and told my spiritual mom, spiritual sisters and natural sister. I slowly started to let it be known. I needed prayer. I needed strength.

My dad was also diagnosed with liver cancer. He currently is fighting that cancer which is stage 4 and spread to his bones. God help us. 

I say that you never know how strong you are until you go through. 

My life has been turned upside down. Yet still I stand! 

I am thankful to God for His mercy and peace. He has given me peace in the midst of this storm. 

“Though he slay me, yet will I trust in him: but I will maintain mine own ways before him.”

‭‭Job‬ ‭13:15‬ ‭KJV‬‬

Trials and tribulations do not have to be the end.

We will face trials in this world. No one is immune to them. Jesus was heavily persecuted and said that we would be as well. My trial may not be yours; however, it doesn’t diminish yours. 

We all share this human experience, meaning we experience similar issues. Issues that cut through race barriers. Issues that cut through religion and sexuality barriers. We are human. We are in a world where food that is meant to give us nutrition is killing us. That’s another story altogether smh.

I want to encourage you today that God never intended for us to live this way. He doesn’t want us suffering like we are. He loves us. He desires us all to be saved. He desires us all to come to an accurate knowledge of who He is. 

Death is not the end. Not if you’re saved. Jesus has Resurrection power! Hallelujah!


John 5:28-29, NKJV. “Do not marvel at this; for the hour is coming in which all who are in the graves will hear His voice and come forth – those who have done good, to the resurrection of life, and those who have done evil, to the resurrection of condemnation.”

I encourage you to live your life and enjoy it daily. I encourage you to get to know God. I encourage you to do things you love and be around people you love. I encourage you to be selfish with yourself sometimes. Understand how important time is and how you can’t get it back. Don’t allow people to waste it. Spend time with who you want. Be genuine in your dealings with people. Trust that God will set your path straight. Cast your cares on Him. Don’t live your life frustrated . Remember that we all have choices. We just have to deal with our choices, whatever that may be. 

Remember to be kind. In a cruel world that is rare, but people are kind. They’re out here.

 You want love? Show love

You want a friend? Be a friend. 

Let it start with the man or woman in the mirror. Many times we must encourage ourselves. But let’s also encourage others. 

Life is definitely what we make it. It’s about how we react to the situations we deal with daily. What is our thought process like? You know thoughts turn into actions, actions into habits, habits into character… 

I always say the battle is in our minds. Stay strong in your mind. Stay positive. Faith helps with this. Trying to go at it alone without God seems daunting to me. We all need hope. Without hope what’s the point of it all? 


What do you believe in? Trust in? It must be greater than yourself? Right?

 Take the limits off God! We’re limited. He is not. 

Regardless of what life throws at me, I know the Lord will never leave nor forsake me. I believe that! That’s real to me. My hope lies with Him. 

I love you for taking the time to read my blog. I truly love writing and expressing myself this way. This is healing to my mind and spirit.

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