Don’t go looking for trouble

I saw my oncologist on Friday. It was my three month check-up since being declared cancer free (I love saying that, by the way!) It was a little surreal being back in his office after having spent so much time there in the past 10 months. He asked some questions, listened to my lungs, checked for swelling in my legs, asked some more questions, ordered a blood test, and said I didn’t need to come back again for another three months. It was rather quick and painless for an oncology appointment. I asked him what I should be looking out for or if there was anything I need to pay special attention to and he said, “Erin, don’t go looking for trouble.” While he later clarified and said if I had any unusual pain or swelling I should give him a call, his words have really resonated with me. How often do we worry needlessly, seek out problems, or fret over things that we can’t control?

God tells us, “Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God.” Philippians 4:6

Our minds can get so wrapped up in worry that we miss the blessings of the day. I am in a great club of women who have battled breast cancer and won!! We each have a choice to worry about the cancer coming back or celebrate the fact that it is gone. I want to spend every day praising God for healing me and giving me cancer free days, not anxiously wondering if it will return.

“Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothes? Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they? Can any one of you by worrying add a single hour to your life?” Matt. 6:25-34

worrying

What does worry do for us anyway? There is no good in it. While we are to be responsible with our lives and our health, there is no need to fear. I plan to take good care of my cancer free body: eat nutritious food, exercise, actively manage stress, rest well, praise the God who saved me, spend time with family and friends, and refuse to worry!  So that’s my plan. What’s yours?

Don't worry just praise

Valentine’s Day…cheers or jeers?

hearts

Ahh…Valentine’s Day: anticipated holiday of happy couples everywhere and dreaded day of endurance for many singles. Regardless of your relationship status this Valentine’s Day, I encourage you to soak in the love that never ends and bask in the warmth of our Savior’s embrace.

Give thanks to the God of heaven, for his steadfast love endures forever. Psalm 136:26

Valentine’s Day is a great opportunity to share God’s love with others and nurture yourself too. If we are to love our neighbors as ourselves, we need to be careful and not leave ourselves out of the equation. When we love ourselves well, we are reaffirming God’s love for His creation. Are you treating yourseslf well? taking care of your heart, body, mind, and soul?

14 things to do on February 14th that will fill your heart with love:

  1. Send a note of love and encouragement to someone who needs it
  2. Smile  (It will brighten your spirits and someone’s day)
  3. Do a favor for a neighbor
  4. Read Psalm 139 and ponder how God made you unique and special
  5. Savor a really good cup of coffee or tea (Let the warmth hug you from the inside)
  6. Volunteer at a soup kitchen, food bank, or homeless shelter
  7. Buy yourself flowers (if finances are tight, walk through a garden center and just enjoy the plants & flowers, marveling at God’s creativity is designing so many varieties)
  8. Anonymously pay for the person behind you in line at your local coffee shop
  9. Spend time in nature with the Creator of all good things
  10. Exercise!! Enjoy the endorphin rush J
  11. Sing (loudly and badly if possible. It’s more fun!)
  12. Ask God how much He loves you. Listen for the answer
  13. Bake and deliver cookies to a convalescent home
  14. Dark chocolate (Need I say more?)

You have filled my heart with greater joy. Psalm 4:7

my sweaty heart

my sweaty heart

When I got off the treadmill yesterday, I was surprised to see the sweat on my shirt had formed the shape of a heart. I know it’s disgusting but it makes a good point! When we treat ourselves well, inluding how we eat and exercise, we are being loving and we’ll feel better too (see #10 above.)

But I trust in your unfailing love; my heart rejoices in your salvation. I will sing to the Lord for he has been good to me. Psalm 13:5-6

Happy Valentine’s Day!

World Cancer Day

Today is World Cancer Day, a day set set aside in an effort to make known the global issues of cancer and work together to reduce the impact of the disease worldwide. As a breast cancer survivor living in the United States, I have had the benefits of there being a local, state, and federal focus on the epidemic of cancer. I received excellent treatment and I am so blessed to be cancer free. But it doesn’t end with me. Every nineteen seconds another woman is diagnosed with breast cancer. In much of the world a diagnosis of cancer is still a death sentence. It doesn’t have to be.

We all have a part to play in the battle to end cancer. I encourage you to watch the two minute video, “The Power of One” and let it inspire you.

http://y2u.be/V2sBqqX4dck

credit: Susan G. Komen

credit: Susan G. Komen

You can also visit the World Cancer website to become more informed: http://www.worldcancerday.org

“Never the less, I will bring it health and healing; I will heal them and reveal to them the abundance of peace and truth.” Jeremiah 33:6

Musical chairs

I went to a chemo infusion room today. Not for me but to visit a dear friend who started chemo this morning. It was a strange feeling walking into the familiar environment but knowing I wouldn’t be getting sick later. It doesn’t seem that long ago that I sat nervously in the chemo chair for the first time not knowing how the following months would be. Then after what seemed like an eternity I was sitting in the chair for the last time, exhausted and weak but grateful it was finally over. I remember new patients starting their chemotherapy journey that day as I was finishing mine, seeing their nervous faces and feeling an ache in my heart for them. And now it’s Patty’s turn at musical chairs, except in this game we all hurry to get out of the chair hoping never to sit down in a chemo chair again.  Tonight my heart aches for her too. As I talked with her today my eyes couldn’t help but linger at her beautiful long hair that will be gone in couple weeks… She is beautiful and strong and will bravely battle this disease, then soon will be her time to say good-bye to chemo chairs. Godspeed Patty!

musical chairs

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