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Starting with ME!!

For many years, I was very frustrated with my prayer & spiritual life.  I can’t believe how many years and countless hours, I spent in fervent prayer, asking God to change my life, my circumstances, my husband etc.  All of these prayers trying to externally affect and influence what was happening or had happened in my life.

Or how many times did I feel that God played favorites?  He blessed those he wanted and snubbed others?  Or that some people were born under a “lucky star”?

Better yet…….I had the distinct feeling that all my prayers went no higher than the ceiling?  And believe it or not, from this vantage point. I really don’t think they are supposed to.  What do I mean by that?

I mean just this………..all effective prayer and spiritual focus begins with me.  In your case…..you!!  In days gone by I would spend 90% of my time in prayer, focused on changing external events, circumstances, people etc.  I would play the “if only” game……stating “if only I had a better education, my life would be different”.  If only, I had a better job, more money……..you fill in the blank.  I was always one “if only” away from what I wanted.  This was a very unproductive and wasteful expenditure of time.

It was when I was in the midst of cancer and EVERYTHING had been removed, I began to ask God to work INSIDE OF ME!!  I would ask him to change me, heal me, help me, guide me.  I became completely malleable in the hands of God, with no pride or predisposition about what he should do in my life.  I gave him my entire existence and being to exercise within. I spend countless hours reconciling with a God that I did not previously know.

In those moments of surrender I found unspeakable peace, pure joy in His presence, acceptance as His beautiful daughter and ultimately healing for my broken spirit.  He moved and worked within me daily and showed me who he was and what he intended for me.  I saw that He does not play favorites, he is pure LOVE.  That love is available to all of us, regardless of how long you have been away, what you have done while you were away or where you are right now.  He just wants US, pure and simple.  He never moves, sleeps, wanders, gets distracted or grows tired.  He is always in the same exact place, if there is any change in proximity to God….it is WE who do the moving.

Today I had the honor and privilege of praying with a beautiful young lady who is going through tough times and has a very difficult home life.  We talked for an hour and she shared her heart, her life, her pain and through tears she prayed that God would change some of her family members to stop doing some of the things they do.  God Bless her, I cried when I heard this familiar type of prayer. I remember praying similarly for many years.  After she prayed, I asked God to strengthen her.  I asked Him to impress upon her the pitfalls of addiction and keep her from making similar choices in her life.  I prayed that God would walk with her in the valley she was in and protect her innocence and virtue.  It was really a wonderful and tender time together.  I could feel her emotions and pain as I connected with her and we talked to God together.

My prayer life today is so different from at any other time in my life.  First of all…..I look forward to it.  It is my daily meeting with God.  I send Him emails and messages all day but at least once a day we meet.  In this meeting I get very quiet in my spirit and open myself up for Him to examine and see what has crept in during the day…….doubt, fear, disappointment?  I bring it all before him and confess that it is there (he already knows it).  Then I ask him for his “goggles”.  With my God Goggles………doubt and fear can become faith.  We remember and recall.what great things he has done in the past, either in my life or another……..faith naturally flows back in when we recollect past victories.  The Bible is full of victorious stories if you feel a little dry.  Very often when I pray, I cry……not sad tears but “I am so glad to be here tears”.  At times when I am praying with someone else, I cry because I can feel their pain or deep wounds.  I never had this ability before I had cancer.  It is especially true if I am holding their hand or touching them.  I have recently read about something called being an “empath”, I am not sure it is to that degree but it is a similar thing for me.

I say all of this to say this, as I have learned to pray in this way (asking God to primarily work in me) my life HAS changed.  The things I had prayed for, for years, have come to pass.  I do have the life that I always wanted and had eluded me.  My life is not perfect but it is far from the tormented existence I had before cancer.

So God………change me and change my life.  Start with me  🙂

Amen!!

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Florida Today article………….Daffodil Gala

Fifth annual Daffodil Gala

When: Sept. 10
Where: Holiday Inn-Viera
Benefitting: Space Coast Cancer Foundation
Amount raised: $52,000

 The setting was festive, but the mission at Saturday night’s Daffodil Gala was serious: Raise money to help local cancer patients.

“This is our opportunity to help people survive the most deadly challenge of their lives,” said Dr. R. Duff Sprawls of the Space Coast Cancer Center, as he welcomed guests to the event at the Holiday Inn-Viera.

The tropically elegant dinner brought in more than $50,000 for the Space Coast Cancer Foundation, an organization established in 2006 to help cancer patients and their caregivers cope with the financial and emotional demands that come with the diagnosis and treatment of cancer. The foundation helps patients pay for transportation, pain medication, anti-nausea medication and utilities.

After mingling and browsing the silent auction items, guests sat down at tables decorated with birds of paradise and twinkling lights and immediately were given an eye-opening demonstration of the importance of the event. Everyone who had been touched by cancer was asked to stand. About half the room the audience rose. Then everyone who knew someone who’d had cancer was asked to stand. All were on their feet.

After the greeting from Sprawls, Dr. Richard M. Levine, also of the Space Coast Cancer Center, introduced Volunteers of the Year Alice Alderman and Kathy Skalet. Both have volunteered extensively to help cancer patients, he said, including working with Relay for Life and the Daffodil Gala.

Next, he brought Survivor of the Year Dawn Faust to the stage.

Faust was diagnosed in 2009, he said. Since then, “volunteering is her No. 1 hobby to help cancer victims find hope and strength.”

Faust, an account executive with SCB Marketing, said she was humbled to be singled out for the honor. “When you work with cancer patients, you find yourself in the company of people who are extremely brave.”

She gave a moving description of her first meeting with Levine.

“On the day that I met Dr. Levine, I had been turned away from two other oncologists because I lacked insurance,” she said. “I asked if he would please treat me. He said I was a cancer patient, I was in a community of people he was committed to serve.”

He told her to worry about getting better and let him worry about the treatments.

Being a cancer patient is like being handed a giant Rubik’s Cube, she said.

The Space Coast Cancer Foundation helps patients figure out how to solve that most difficult of puzzles.

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Daffodil Gala Article on SpaceCoast Living

5th Annual Daffodil Gala Raises Over $52,000 for Local Cancer Patients

Proceeds benefit Space Coast Cancer Foundation’s Patient Transport Van

More than 240 people attended Space Coast Cancer Foundation’s 5th Annual Daffodil Gala, presented by Vitas Innovative Hospice Care, held on Saturday, September 10, 2011 at the Holiday Inn-Viera. The event honored Kathy Skalet and Alice Alderman as Volunteers of the Year and Dawn Faust as Cancer Survivor of the year.  The annual event also included a silent auction, live music and dancing.

The $52,000 in net proceeds funds the purchase, maintenance and operational costs for a patient transport van.  This service will ensure that patients in need will have a ride to and from their appointments.

Space Coast Cancer Foundation, a 501(c)(3) charitable organization, was established in May 2006. The mission is to assist cancer patients and their caregivers in our community with financial and emotional demands that are associated with the diagnosis and treatment of cancer.  The foundation provides direct financial assistance to help pay for transportation, pain medication, anti-nausea medication and utilities.  In addition, the foundation and board of directors supports local oncology education and research.

Space Coast Cancer Center Board of Directors include:  Richard Levine, MD, Linda Bradley, Tina Norman, Eddie Norman, Harry Jones, Esq., Melissa Flammio Clark, Nancy Payne, Grace Vista, Linda Miedema, PhD and John Riordan.

http://www.sclmagazine.com/5th-annual-daffodil-gala-raises-over-52000-for-local-cancer-patients/

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Update….. I will NOT be speaking at CAV…….Women’s Inspire Oct 5, 2011…. Update

The following is a link to the event that I will be speaking at Oct 5, 2011.  Join me as I tell my entire story, highlighting the healing God has done in my heart and soul!!  Good stuff!!

There will be beautiful women, delicious desserts and fabulous fellowship and God using me to touch hearts and lives!!  

Sorry folks……….a change in plans.  Thanks for your interest!!  I will let you know where God will be using me next!!    Be Blessed!!!

Hope to see you here:  http://www.churchatviera.org/content.cfm?page_content=calendar_include.cfm&date_id=33659&event_id=917

 

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From the “making Strides Against Breast Cancer” Kick Off Event!!

AMERICAN CANCER SOCIETY KICKS OFF THEIR “PUT ON YOUR PINK BRA” CAMPAIGN PDF Print E-mail
msabc-small-for-web     And Yes, I wore my pink bra OUTSIDE my clothing!!  🙂

The room was a sea of pink…pink shirts, pink ties, but mostly pink decorated bras! The American Cancer Society held its annual Kick Off on August 25, 2011 and unveiled the “PUT ON YOUR PINK BRA” campaign. The Making Strides Against Breast Cancer (MSABC) walk is being held on Octo”bra” 22, 2011 at 8am at The Avenue Viera. Making Strides is a non-competitive 5k walk to raise awareness and funds to fight breast cancer and to provide hope to all people facing the disease.

Mindy from Lite Rock 99.3 began the evening by telling the 250+ guests, breast cancer survivors, business and community members that the “PUT ON YOUR PINK BRA” campaign is designed to empower women across the state to wear pink bras in support of the fight against breast cancer. The pink bra is a symbol of how personal the fight against breast cancer is.

Lana Saal, Community Event Chair, explained that Florida was selected to be the only state in the Nation with this innovative marketing campaign. Further, Florida ranks 2nd in the Nation for the number of people who die from breast cancer. By participating in this largest fundraising effort in Brevard County, she stated, “You are raising awareness and saving lives.”

Breast Cancer Survivor Dawn Faust gave an emotional speech about how cancer saved her life. She stated, “My cancer diagnosis actually cured my life. The life that I live today is worth everything I have been through.” Her story of courage and strength echoed throughout the room as guests were riveted by each word she spoke.

An Extreme Makeover contest was held for survivors and the winners were announced at the Kick Off. Sponsors of the wonderful day of fun, beauty, and fashion made the day an incredible experience for six breast cancer survivors, made possible by Lexus of Melbourne, The Avenue Viera, Imperial Salon, Belk, Lane Bryant, Patchington, Pizza Gallery, Starbucks and Photographer Ray Baldino. “Before” pictures were displayed as winners took center stage to be revealed. The audience was captivated as their heartfelt nomination letters of their journey battling breast cancer were read.

MSABC Co-Chairs Jack Parker and Wayne Ivey announced a Call to Action. “This year’s goal is to raise $433,000 so get involved! If we can raise awareness and support, that will ultimately lead to hope and cures,” Ivey announced. Team Development Chair Erica Elliott followed up with a plea for all to register their teams and get started fund raising. “Form a team today and make a difference. With your support, we will continue to save lives and create a world with less breast cancer and more birthdays.”

Breast cancer survivors attending the event were recognized and each was given a pink flower, compliments of Suntree Florist & Gifts.

The American Cancer Society hosts a 24 hour support line for anyone in need (800) ACS-2345. To register a team, or for more information on the event, please visit www.putonyourpinkbra.com/brevard

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A Humbling experience

Tonight I am going to Space Coast Cancer Foundation’s Daffodil gala, this is the organization that I have been doing volunteer work for just over a year,  The Foundation helps cancer patients with transportation to treatment, underwriting treatment itself, funds the various support groups etc.  It is REAL help to local cancer patients.

At tonight’s Gala, I am receiving the honor of “Survivor of the Year”.  I am finding this to be a very humbling thing for me.  I have so much respect and admiration for this group of people, that to somehow be singled out……..well, let’s just say, it overwhelms me.  There are so many that have survived sooooooo much longer and put up such a brave fight for much longer than I have.

I just lost a very dear friend to Multiple Myeloma.  Bob, battled everyday for the last 5 years of his life with this insidious disease.  His last 9 mos, he was in the hospital almost continually.  Yet, every time I went to  see him in the hospital, he blessed me.  He reminded me once again how precious and fragile life is.  He built my faith in God and he still managed to make me Laugh.  Yes, we laughed and prayed and just loved one another.  I always left his bedside thanking God for Bob and my life and health.  I took my children to see him to remind them and give them a better perspective.  He was a gem and I miss him dearly!

Then I think of my dear friend Tony Brocato, who lost his battle with colon cancer earlier this year.  His passing took me by surprise and taught me a very valuable lesson about not taking for granted that there will be a “next time or visit”.  I never got that opportunity to visit with Tony again, there was no “next time”.  It was that lesson that made me a faithful visitor to my friend Bob.  Tony was such a blessing to me while I was going through my treatment.  He also would send me emails, phone calls etc and made me laugh.  He is another friend that I still miss so much.

There is only one draw back to working with and hanging out with fellow cancer patients…..you lose some really good friends.  I have counted 5 friends lost this year to cancer. These folks were awesome……..they had finally figured this thing we call life out!  They knew what mattered and what did not!  They had great hearts and were so very incredibly brave!  They were my teachers.

So, I have come to the conclusion that there is but one thing to do.  Accept this honor in memory of these wonderful people:  Pat Courtney, Wanda Gathercole, Debbie Strode, Tony Brocato and Robert Drummond.  All of them were my teachers!!

Posted in God, heart, Love, Post Cancer, Uncategorized

Why did I just do that? Motives demystified :)

I don’t know about you but I am so encouraged by the following scripture:

Romans 7:15New Living Translation (©2007)

I don’t really understand myself, for I want to do what is right, but I don’t do it. Instead, I do what I hate.

(The apostle Paul is so easy to relate to at times.  I am so thankful that he was willing to be real in his writing and shared his struggles.)

How many times have you been in the position where you did not understand your very own actions or reactions to an event, situation or person?  I can so relate to living in complete and utter frustration at times to the way I have acted or reacted.  I have been completely mystified by the choices that I have made in the past when I knew (in my mind) that they were not good for me.

I have recently learned in reading a great book….“The Healing Codes“, that when we are in a heart vs. head struggle, the heart wins every time.  We do not do what we think…….we do what we believe.  I finally see that what I think is VERY different from what I believe and it is my beliefs that dictate my actions and choices.

So where do our beliefs come from?  Remember, everything that we encounter “leaves an impression” on us.  Consequently, we get our beliefs (what lives in our hearts) from a variety of places.  The multiplied impressions that are made over long periods of time, is what we believe. It comes from interactions, the way we are treated, the mistakes that we make, our families and friends.   The Bible admonishes us to guard our hearts ABOVE EVERYTHING!!! Read this verse and contemplate it in the light of this discussion.  Wow, it is a very STRONG statement.

Proverbs 4:23

New International Version (©1984)
Above all else, guard your heart, for it is the wellspring of life.

Your heart is so precious, it directs your entire life and what motivates you. Your heart is not your feelings, your feelings are merely a heading on the compass, your heart is your engine or driver.  It propels you towards what you have assimilated as “truth”.  So what if your engine is propelling you towards what you know is not right and healthy for you?  What do you do?  How do you heal a truly broken heart/belief system?

  • All true healing begins with acknowledging you have a problem.  Then bringing them before a loving God.  All “broken heart” issues come from a past hurt or acceptance of misinformation about yourself.  Your God has a correct estimation of you and knows you intimately and loves you.  Ask him to bring forth those broken images and memories and to heal you of the subconscious,  incorrect script that you have accepted into your heart.
  • God will bring forth those instances and situations where you were not valued/ loved properly.  It was in those moments you assimilated an incorrect valuation of yourself.  You bought an untruth, a lie, a bad script.
  • Ask God to heal those memories and help you to see yourself as he does……..worthy of every good gift, whole, integrated and HIS beautiful child.
  • You will most likely also have to do some forgiveness work when you identify the people and situations that hurt you and sold you the bad script.   Go ahead and do it, and repeat often!  Your heart will thank you!!
  • These untruths also block YOU from experiencing God’s LOVE.  God never moves or changes, he is Good all the time.  It is we who have heart issues that block us from experiencing the full love of God.  Once these lies and false beliefs are removed, when God whispers, you will hear him.
  • When the static of all this misinformation is removed, the still, small voice of God is loud and clear!!  YAY!!
I have my PHD. in this……..I picked up a very bad script in my second childhood home.  I was neglected and not valued in this household.  I was treated as a non entity.  What I wanted, thought, needed did not matter.  Through a 10 year process of living in this environment, I bought a bad script that told me…..I did not matter.  And throughout my adult life, I battled this “non entity” stronghold.  It was that stronghold that compelled me to pick the cast of characters I surrounded myself with at the time of my cancer diagnosis.   That’s right I chose the people who eventually abandoned me after my cancer diagnosis.  It was the diminished estimation of my own needs and value that allowed these non supportive people to have a major role in my life.  And of course these people abandoned me, suddenly I had undeniable needs that they were ill prepared to meet.  They stayed within the roles that I had always allowed.  They were not there for my needs, I was there for theirs and now that I was unable to fulfill that, they had no need for me.  
This was a very difficult lesson to learn at a  very difficult time but praise God, I got it!!
God and I work daily to see myself and others as he does.  This process takes time everyday, sometimes I take hours to search and find what lies lurking deep in my heart. I am so much better today, I continue to work in this area daily and help lead others in their own healing of their heart.  Our very lives may depend on these heart issues.
So, I leave you with this question.  What did you do or say this week that was in-congruent with who or where  you want to be?  Some heart surgery may be just what the doctor ordered!!
PS……..I have not arrived, I will probably work on this for the rest of my life.  I can say, I am so much further down the road then I was 2 years ago!!  Thank God!!  It has completely transformed my life!!