Skin Deep

I never quite understood the effects that exema, until just recently. I never knew what exema can actually do to you and the skin you are in. I never had the problem with exema, didn’t quite concern myself with it or others that suffered with it because it didn’t effect me. That is until lately where I’ve tried creams, ointments, aloe vera gel, and even prescriptions didn’t cut it. Everything provides a short term relief. It’s like masking a wound with a bandaid and not giving it proper care. If you’ve ever had an open wound and poured hydrogen peroxide on it… then you can understand what lengths I’ve gone to. By the way, peroxide I would not advise to do… but I was desperate. I scratched my skin so badly that my skin was raw. 

My grandpa dealt with exema and I recall he got it really bad. My bout is not nearly that bad … just between the fingers. Just enough to cause great discomfort. I didn’t think it was or is hereditary. Some say it’s “stress” in our lives…. sorry than I’d be covered! Lol 

As I think of my scratched, raw skin…. I think of our relationship with Jesus Christ. So often we mask our appearance and put on an act. Sometimes pleasing to Him and other times, He might just be shaking His head like any parent and say ” Oh Child”. The thing is Christ can see right through us, if we are fake or real. So why hide who you are, He creates no mistakes. Literally….. love the skin you are in, even if its irritated. Love your Mind, body and soul…. just as Christ loves what He has created in us. 

As my skin is raw …. I realize that’s how Christ wants us to be with Him. Not faking who we are but rather like are raw cracked skin…. allowing Christ to break through the surface of our skin and let His light shine through us. No matter the situation we are in. 

As I know as my skin burns, itches and is irritated. No matter what, this is the skin I’m in. I will continue to find something that will work for me. Not everything works the same for the next person, I’ve realized that. Last night, I bought a lotion at “LUSH” called charity pot. Oh my goodness…. I Put it on my hands for night. I didn’t wake up throughout the night because my hands being inflamed. My hands will heal in time. I am liking this lotion, so for now I will give it a try. I like this product because it has natural ingredients. So time will tell. I will be patient. 

 It’s crazy but no matter how irritated my skin is. I’m willing to be patient, as I find something that will work in its healing process. I guess that’s how Christ sees things with us. As our hearts or lives may need healing and as we continue to seek His face. He will provide for our needs. It is up to us to surrender, everything to Him. It’s about finding purpose through the pain. 


Mirror image 

Sometimes when I look in the mirror. I wonder ….Just wonder, what do people see ..when they see me?! Yes, I question myself. I am entitled…. are you going to say you’ve never thought about it?! Would I ever minipulate or change how God made me? The answer to that is NO, but if it was to do with my health…. I wouldn’t second guess it.  I don’t believe surgery should be cosmetic, you are changing what God created. I commend people that have lost weight and gone for the gastrointestinal surgery to get rid of extra skin, tuck or tighten where everything needs to be. Essentially it is for a better healthier life style. 

I sometimes think of God’s intervention knowing that He knows which route I’m about to take. He changes my course due to an accident that might occur a mile ahead of me. Shielding me with His protection. 

I often think of the near misses that happen around us, without our knowledge of what maybe ahead. I look into the mirror and study my mirror image, somewhat curious what others may see. 

I am pleased at my reflection, as I study it further…. I see the hidden hurt. As I push through the walls I’ve built around me. I see, I’m in a good place in life. I’m blessed, I’m content at life’s goodness and grace. Would I change anything? No …. I don’t agree with messing with God’s handy work. I am thankful that I am content in how God made me. 

I feel for people that are discontent with there reflection they see. It saddens me how many people go for surgeries to change there appearances. It is sad, really …. why are people so unsatisfied of who they are. Has society robbed our self esteem where we  think we’re not worthy. Our image reflects how it makes us feel… less of a person because we are not on a cover of a magazine or we don’t have that model figure. Remember Marilyn Monroe in today’s standards she would be a size 12-14, so cut yourself some slack and love the skin you are in.

It’s time to take ownership of who we are. Start to love the reflection. More importantly, start loving who we see in the mirror and not try and change it.  It’s time for us to appreciate all that we are. Be thankful what God created in  us. Once we respect ourselves and love ourselves, we become better people to be around. I’m not saying to become conceited. Just really appreciate the body, shape, appearance you have. Embrace it. If we do not truly love ourselves how can we love those around us. Look in the mirror and compliment yourself. Lift up yourself because that’s where the ripple effect will start. It starts inside of ourselves.

In Mark 12:31 it says” Love your neighbor as you love yourself. No other commandment is greater than these.” 

If you think about it… it makes sense …. if we can not love ourselves, how can we truly love those around us. It starts within us. Love the life you live, live the life you love.

Questioning God

Have you ever had a walk with God?  I mean really… heart to heart. Unloading your heart with raw emotion. Well… let me tell you, it doesn’t always go as according to plan.

In this day and age…. we want instant response, quick answer. Everything is at our fingertips…. but not answers we want from God. With Him we need patience and time and to be honest we all lack in that department.

I love walking along the country side, taking time with our creator. This is my favourite pass time. Honestly, this is when I really lay my burdens down. If you will … I leave my anxieties, my failures, and my worries at His feet. I take that time to reflect how blessed I am and how much I need Him. I can not imagine doing life without Him. I seek His strength because I am just a weak vessel. I need my Captain, to man the ship. 

As I wait on His direction and ultimate peace. I try not to be anxious about “anything ” in life. I do find comfort in the fact He loves me. I never used to be apprehensive to get out of my comfort zone. Now, I would prefer to only be in my comfort zone. I almost have to coax myself to get going. I do not enjoy crowds anymore, where I used to light up a room. I feel my zeal has just faded and I’m ok with being in my own company. Is it that I am putting up a protective barrier around me. 

I question why we are put in situations that cause us to stress more than we need to? I question my purpose? Lately, I’ve questioned God and no I did not get instantaneous answers…. I’m in waiting.

I know I have evolved or changed in these past few years. Yes, grieving (you may get tired of me saying it but it is what it is) grieving has taken something from me. I’m more in tune with who I am now. Essentially who I want to be or even who I want to spend my time with. Yet I still question… is this barrier I place around me a “good” thing?

Negative forces really pull me down into a spiral whirlwind, that I realize I need to distance myself from these negative forces in my life. Life is short. Why must I force myself into a situation knowing the outcome? Is it just going to hurt me in the end? Why do I try to please people and really put there feelings above my own? Why do people have so little regard for the person sitting beside them?

I question myself…. right or wrong, there is no easy way out. The only way to face any storm in life …. is head on! I just wish …. just wish, I didn’t feel I need to put my battle armour on. I feel in these moments…. I am so alone. No matter how much I ask others to pray for me, I feel so alone. Not in a sad way… I know God is walking with me. I’m alone and I’m ok in my own space… I’m not sad about it. It just surprises me because I used to be the biggest social butterfly out there. 

Yes, in this moment I’m seeking His wisdom, direction and even clarity. Sometimes, I just have to yell it out in frustration because I feel no one hears me. I know I have His attention…. I just need to trust Him more. 

As I learn to trust in Him and seek Him I am thankful for the friends that believe, motivate and encourage me along the way. To my unsung heros, my prayer warriors, I need you in my life and I’m so blessed to be able to call you my friends, you are more than that. You are my family, my sisters and brothers. I always wanted a big family… interesting how God fills that for me!

I still question God, even when I seek His guidance. Patience is not my strong suit. Yes sometimes, I’d like to have a road map printed and laid out in front of me. Well, life is not like that. Am I a doubting Thomas? I don’t believe I am…. I don’t doubt God’s grace nor His infanent wisdom. Maybe, it’s the fact I’ve changed so much…. I question and doubt myself. Perhaps even second guessing myself… where I never used to. Yes, life is a journey and no road map to tell us which way to go. We learn as we go. I just pray that I keep seeking and doing His will. No matter how hard life may get or the obstacles that may fall in my path…. that I will still surrender my own stubborn will and follow where He leads me. 

Opening the door to Tomorrow …..

In life there is so much uncertainty. I realize we do not embrace each day with enthusiasm but more reserved anticipation. We want more and yet in some sense we fear stepping out and achieving something greater. Scared to stretch ourselves past our own limits. In our own way we are allowing ourselves to be captivated by fear. 

Fear of what tomorrow could bring. Fear of what we could actually do, if we pushed ourselves beyond our limits, we set before us. Why can we not embrace each day with the zeal or zest for life? May it be in a job search or health has taken us down a different road or have we taken a sabbatical from life because we needed to recharge. Whatever the circumstances are, we anticipate what is ahead. 

As I think of all the graduates that are moving out into the world. How things are about to change? How some will go straight into the work force, some to school and some in limbo, unsure of what to do. It is not an easy transition… A little scary as well. As a parent, it is letting go a little more and more with each passing day. 

Do I fear this transition? No I believe I don’t. I am embracing it. I’m excited how things will turn out. We have been blessed with amazing kids. It’s just exciting to see what’s beyond, as we open the door. We will walk with our kids and try to guide them as best as we can. In the end… it is up to the kids, what road or route they will travel. As parents we will stand by and pray that we have done a good job in preparing them for what lies ahead! Again, we loosen our grip of the reigns as we allow them to step into the world.

As we step into the abiss of the unknown, I believe that no matter what happens our roots is what grounds us. Hold to your roots, your faith and yes test the waters before you. Escape into the world, always be aware of who you are. 

As you step closer and push open the door. Take the next step as terrifying as it may be you are not alone. Take a step if you stumble, don’t be afraid… we all stumble, sometimes we fall. We just need to continue to get back up and persevere. What people will remember is how we rise from a fall.  Hold your head high and walk through the door and embrace what lies ahead. Enjoy your rollercoaster ride of life. 

Broken Record

I realize in some of my posts….. going back, I have repeated myself on occasion. As I see it…. this is my journey, I’m taking ownership and stating my claim. Somedays this is how I feel, it may seem maindane to some, repetitive to others, Or captivating because sadly you can somewhat relate to my grief. This is where my heart is at. Never to be the same again, forever changed.

Do I feel broken beyond repair? I used to. I honestly did not know how I’d survive the loss of my sister. The grief was all consuming. My heart felt as if it shattered into debri not knowing how to go on. Every breath felt laboured, every step forward was forced. Every morning I woke up…. I’m alive. I felt guilty, Yet …. I was blessed …. or even spared my thought was….why? What does God want from me? 

Honestly, the grief felt as if I was slowly being suffocated. I struggled with every breath I took. To make a simple decision was exhausting, still is at times. I remember driving my vehicle shortly after my sister died and I could not remember if I stopped at a stop sign, used my turn signal or let alone how I made it home. I’m thankful for God’s hand guiding me through this journey, literally grabbing the wheel and getting me home safely. 

As broken as I have been and sometimes still feel. The hurt in my heart isn’t as painful. I find to talk about her is keeping her memory alive, and I don’t breakdown at the mention of her name. I know it’s been a few years. I needed time, grief is a process we need to go through. I believe it will take a lifetime. With that said…. I feel that I’ve been groomed in away to cope, I’m in a better place than I was. Life is a journey and I am thankful for each day because each day is a gift. 

It’s not that I have forgotten her, I never will. It’s just gotten easier to breath. I have a new normal, or I walk at a totally different pace. Not that life will ever be so called “normal” again. I am making the best of this life, I have left. I am so thankful for this life I have been give. 

I have a husband and three amazing boys, that give me that constant drive. To make this world, we live in just a little brighter. I am thankful. Life hasn’t been easy but it is good. 

Everyone’s journey is different. I feel empowered by being able to express myself this way and allowing others to see how far I’ve come. To me, it is a huge accomplishment. Yes, some may think I’m putting too much out there. I’m not forcing anyone to read my blog, this is my story, my journey and my soul purpose is to help someone along there journey as well. If I can help lighten someone else’s load …. it’s worth it. 

I’ve enjoyed blogging and I have come across some inspirating writers that are sharing there journeys as well. It is helping me understand more, of the terminal side, I feel I’ve needed this kind of therapy. It’s my outlet,  My hideaway, my place to call my own. My voice when really …. I don’t want to speak. Yet…. inside me, deep down there is so much that I feel the need to express. It’s just easier for me to put it on a screen in front of me. That’s how it is for me, again it maybe different for someone else.

I am Becoming more vulnerable as a writer allows me to really dig into getting to know me. Crazy as this sounds…. I’m extremely proud of myself,  for being vocal, for allowing myself to recognize I needed an outlet. Stretching myself out of my comfort zone. Not becoming isolated in my own thoughts. I believe we all need to find a way to express ourselves. I am thankful for my source of expression and my form of healing. No matter what happens in this lifetime…., I can honestly say I’m no boxer but I sure know how to put up a good fight! 

“To survive it is often necessary to fight and to fight you have to dirty yourself.” -George Orwell-

Captivating Love

I have seen our children grow up faster and a little more before there time. Sometimes I feel they have been robbed of a childhood. That child likeness is gone. They have been molded differently. As the  changes in our lives have prepared them to be these amazing young men that we are blessed to call our sons. 

Not too long ago, our oldest and I were talking. I mentioned something in passing…. how I didn’t remember an event. He replied…. ” you weren’t really there….you were but you weren’t.” Ok …. come again?! I was confused. Then he explained… “After Auntie Lisa died… you died too. We lost you for a very long time. It took you a long time to smile again.” I apologized and wished I could’ve “been there in the moment ”  He told me how hard it was to watch me go through and see my heart break into a million pieces knowing no one could fix it. 

Yes, we have experienced a great loss. I have changed. Our kids have changed. They are more caring and sensitive to the ones hurting around us. They are very intune when this mama is having  a day, “a Lisa day”. Missing her a lot…. but the boys seem to fill that void and cover me with hugs. Even if they are towering over me now, they still show love.

I am proud of the young men they are becoming. I often think change is good, didn’t realize this change would rock us all. It felt like my foundation was shaken and I had major structural damage. I realized I needed to be carried. And my husband and kids did just that. 

In moments of grief …., grocery shopping was a challenge to say the least. Thank goodness for cell phones and my kids on the other end walking me through the grocery excursion, until I was in my vehicle and the key in the ignition. Moments I should not have been behind the wheel. God’s grace again watching over me. 

Sometimes I’m sad because our kids grew up without me being “present ” there in that time and place. Again, God’s divine plan was at work. I’m thankful for the teachers that each of my kids had, each one walked with our kids and allowed them space and gave them the security to talk to them. God sees the big picture and I don’t. 

Sometimes I talk about Lisa and get misty eyed, yes the tears come. Sometimes I will share stories of her because Lisa was always one to light up a room. I just let my tears fall if they come, honestly I’ve come to a point I don’t care who sees me cry. This is my journey…. no one else’s. Yet, I feel compelled to share my experiences. It has taken me a few years but I believe we are here for a purpose. 

Everyone’s journey in life is so different. We may have similar experiences where we understand each other. Walk beside a friend but can never quite grasp the depth of the pain they are dealing with. 

For quite sometime after my sister’s death, I felt so alone. I got annoyed with Facebook posts about sisters…. I went off social media for awhile because I couldn’t handle everyone else’s life was picture perfect and mine seriously sucked. My Go To person was gone. My only sister gone. 

My friends tried to fill the void but honestly….. no one can. She is irreplaceable. No one will ever replace her. No one ever will…. as grief continues to work it’s way thru me. 

I don’t know if it is the season or weather or what is going on that I miss her more and more lately.For anyone that sees me, my outer shell is very well put together. Inside, I’m broken and some days, just some days I feel I’m beyond repair. 

I do admit…. somedays I just put my best foot forward and “fake it till I make it”… attitude takes it from there. Call it survival mode. We do what we can to face the day ahead. 

Sometimes I catch myself….. whispering to myself…. “five more steps, you can do this. Don’t make eye contact. Just keep moving. ” I used to say I’m my own therapist…. actually I agree with that and I’m pretty good too! 

Thunder Storm

Have you ever be in a deep sleep and suddenly woken with an earth shattering boom? It’s like your heart just skips a beat trying to find a proper rhythm after that. It’s hard to fall back to sleep after such a rude awakening.

Life is similar to a thunderstorm. Let me explain this analogy, in life we experience hiccups or speed bumps or rude awakenings. A Health scare, a betrayal of a friend, things just not going “as planned” . I’m sure there are more, only to list a few. These can all contribute to the thunderstorms of life. 

There are many times I felt the earth beneath me shatter. Like the carpet beneath me was pulled so vigorously I ended on my back. Leaving me to shake me head and wonder … how will I recover from this? Or I honestly was blindsided I didn’t see that coming.

Let me list a few for you…. call it therapy. As I recall my events in my life as they unfolded, sometimes leaving me shaken. In the end only after time did I see God handy work. At the time, I couldn’t understand… why?

*For me the first was a simple lie that a friend told me…. ruined my trust in people. I’m very skeptical now, not as gullible or trusting. Until I caught my friend red handed in the lie, hand in the cookie jar. That friendship was never the same after.  

*Let’s not forget the ultimate betrayal of what I thought was my friend. This one, hurt me to my inner core. This one hurt me more than anyone could. I’m thankful I was able to forgive but in all honesty, I wasn’t sure I ever could, it took me a few years to get to that point.

*Then, there was the health scares. Mine and my families. I remember being high pregnant with our youngest and our CO2 detector went off at 2am. We evacuated and we were told to go to emergency. We had oxygen masks put on our kids. And we found out later that had we not had the CO2 detector we would not be alive today. I’d like to say that’s God’s grace. 

*Health scares were eminent and really kept us on our toes. My sister had cervical cancer, my brother having a few brushes of death due to going into anaphylactic shock because of bee stings or later on fish, my dad broke a wrist essentially forcing him into early retirement, mom going through her journey of breast cancer and coming  out of it a fighter, that she is. As for myself, I’ve had a few brushes myself…. I’ve had many surgeries due to my endometriosis. One in particular was …. I woke up from surgery with a very sore throat. I couldn’t figure out why? Eating was a challenge, I had liquids, ice cream and anything not to make me swallow too much. Speaking and singing just was laboured, it just hurt. That was until my follow up appointment. Which I found out as my Dr. informed me … I had to be intubated. I did not want to wake up from surgery so they had to put a device down my throat, which scrapped my throat causing discomfort for a little while, as it started to heal. 

*Then diagnosis of my sisters second bout of cancer. They said it was small carcenoma lung cancer which went metastatic Very quickly. Which ment the doctors could not pinpoint where it originated from. So a terminal diagnosis was a hard pill to swallow. 

As I look back, yes our family has had our share of health issues or some would call scares. I call it God’s work in progress. Only now can I say, in every instance you look back and I’ve seen Gods hand in it. At the time, in the midst of the storm we have blinders on. We question God??? We wonder …God where are you?? We feel we are forgotten…. we cry out to God as our hearts feel broken. Only to come to realize we were not walking alone in those moments…. He was carrying us. 

So, it is by God’s grace I’m still here. I am truly thankful and blessed. No matter what storms may come in life I’m not afraid to put on my heavy armour and Walk a road less travelled. Unfamiliar territory can be scary and treacherous but with Christ all things are  possible. I just want to do Him proud in the end.

2 Corinthians 12:9….. 

But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me.

Mustard Seed

The other day I went for a walk along the country side of life. I saw a field of mustard seeds. I thought of the bible verse found in Matthew 17:20 “If you have faith as small as a mustard seed, you can say to this mountain,’Move from here to there and it will move. Nothing will be impossible for you.” I am reminded that we need to step back into our child like faith. 

Let the mountains be moved, Let the heavens declare His glory. Let us see what our Heavenly Father desires us to see. Let us be move willing to stand firm in our faith, be grounded, steadfast and unmovable. Imagine if we walked in our faith, unshakable. 

I was thankful to take my walk and have this time with our creator. Wow…. we are such a blessed nation.  Think about it. How do we offer our thanks and praise to Him. Is it only on Sunday morning? Or Do we praise Him through every storm that comes our way? Are we willing to change for a mustard seed. Where is your faith? Are you scared of how God can use you? 

I believe we all need to step back into a child like faith. It amazes me how unshakable kids are, how sure and confident. We need to become more trusting in our faith. Big fancy theological words won’t get you to heaven. A personal relationship with our Lord and Saviour…., now we are talking! 

 It’s amazing the transformation that takes place in our lives when we fully believe that Jesus died on the cross for our sins. Not just mine… He took the weight of the world with Him. Then, you think it ends there… after He is dead, buried…what happens …three days later…. He comes back from the dead… to remind us to follow Him and that He is going to prepare a place for us in heaven. Mind blowing. We have a Father that would love us so much, He allowed His son to take on the sins of this world. I cannot fathom that. As a parent, I am here to protect my child. Then, here’s God the Father really sacrificing His son for our sins, to give us everlasting life. What? Life eternal. 

As crazy as this sounds, it’s that simple. My question is this, if it’s that simple…. where’s your faith? Are you willing to test the waters like faith of a child? What are you afraid of? Are you willing to plant a mustard seed and let it grow? 

As I end this topic… I think of the song “Waiting here for You”by Christy Nockles … “if faith can move the mountains, let the mountains move. We come with expectations waiting here for you.” 

Humor vs Sarcasm 

In all honesty, I enjoy a good laugh then again… who doesn’t. Then there is the sarcastic humour. I realize, we as a society hide behind our hurts and lash out in sarcasm.

Yes, I know. I am talking to myself on this one!  Maybe, being a therapist to myself is a good thing. Only problem there… I don’t get paid. On the other hand I don’t have to pay someone either. It’s almost a win- win. Yes that comment was a little tongue and cheek there, sarcasm. Yes, I know it oh too well.

I realize sarcasm is a tough line that a times we choose to cross. It is a line that we sometimes push the limits and hurt the ones we love around us. So really it’s time. Time to bite the tongue. Time to choose our words more carefully. Think before we speak. Harsh words from the heart, you know I’m right.

I know, I enjoy a good bantering back and forth with sarcasm. There is a need to learn to control it. In the grand sceam of things PEOPLE can get hurt by that razor sharp tongue. Sometimes We realize that tongue is rather jagged, a little late. Did you have to say the last word? Was it really all worth it ? Just because you think it….. doesn’t mean it should be repeated.

I don’t think I’m just speaking to myself when I say it. Sometimes in those moments…. may it be in anger or just the feeling like you are about to loose it, pure retaliation. You sound off, the words that utter from your lips … are deep down hurtful and yes perhaps that was the intent. Those words you can never take back, so try to choose your words more carefully.

Yes, in the end sarcasm no matter how it is intended…. it hurts. Is it worth perhaps loosing a friend over a sharp tongue. Think about it….. the next time you are tempted to be sarcastic, is it necessary? Be careful how you choose your words.

Ecclesiastes 5:2-4

“Do not be quick with your mouth,

do not be hasty in your heart

to utter anything before God.

God is in heaven

and you are on earth,

so let your words be few.”

Or the famous saying we have all heard our mothers say. Even quoted by Bambi ” If you don’t have nothing nice to say…. don’t say anything at all!”

Need Recognition 

We all go through times in our lives where we feel the need to be acknowledged for a job well done. Perhaps a pat on the back, would be rewarding enough.  Some prefer the likes of an audience. 

Why do we need or feel the need to be recognized or noticed? Is our sense of worth wrapped up in what others may think of us? 

I don’t know why I have been wondering about this lately.  Is it because people crave attention or to be noticed and simply draw attention to themselves? Wanting to be in the spot light or centre of attention?? 

If we are going to talk about clothing…. we are in for something. I believe in dressing modestly and leave something for the imagination. Why do some feel the need to literally bare all? Ewww gross. First off , you should here what boys say about these dressers. It’s not pleasing to there eyes, more of an eye roll 🙄. 

Sorry…. I tend to roll my eyes at this sort of behaviour. I think that is enough said on that topic. Maybe more for another day. 

Although…. stepping back when I was in school, I could be the class entertainment. “Class clown” if you will. Surprisingly now I see through all that and I see the insecurities come to the surface.

Although, I’ve grown up since those days. I’d rather sit back and enjoy the show before me now. It’s more enjoyable, I can get lost in a crowd. I can blend in. I know I’ve changed a lot in the passed few years. Evolved in away that I’m more content than I have ever been with myself. I’m ok with that. 

I believe it’s a good thing. Sometimes maybe not so much. I used to be a social butterfly and now I am more isolated than I have ever been. Is it self preservation? I don’t know …. I am okay with the quiet times to slow things down and just enjoy my surroundings.