Chemo curls and chia pets

It is amazing to look back over this past year and see all that has transpired. A year ago I was in the middle of chemotherapy treatment for breast cancer. I had lost all my hair and had barely enough energy to make it through each day. My goal was to finish chemo, get through surgery and be cancer free. Praise God for his strength and seeing me through to that goal. I am now enjoying good health, have enough energy to run most days, and only have to see my oncologist every three months to get the all clear. But most important during this past year and half, my daughter met and fell in love with wonderful man and they are getting married on Saturday!! We are so blessed to have Andrew as part of the family.

When I started growing my hair back after completing chemo I remember telling a friend that I didn’t care if a chia pet grew out of the top of my head, I was just tired of being bald. Well, careful what you wish for! My hair came back so curly that it very much resembled a chia pet.  A cute and sassy chia pet, but chia nonetheless.

Chia pet

Now my goal is to find some sort of a cute hair do for my daughter’s wedding that doesn’t have everyone remembering those old “ch ch ch chia” commercials. I visited my hair stylist recently and she diligently tried to tame the beast and alas, it will not be tamed. So I have gotten used to wearing a head band and just letting those chemo curls do what they will. It still is much better than wearing a baseball cap every day and I don’t have one that would match the wedding colors! What I have learned through all of this is that hair isn’t really that important. Unlike Sampson from the bible, my strength is not in my hair. It doesn’t define me. While I like having some again and it does keep me warm (who knew being bald would make me so cold?!?) there are so many more important things in life—like love, health, family, friends, and spreading the good news of God’s grace and mercy.

In Luke 12:7 when describing God’s care and concern for us, Jesus tells us that God even knows the number of hairs on our head. That verse now makes me laugh. God had quite a job keeping track of mine this past year as it all fell out and then started growing back! Regardless of my hairstyle I will rejoice in the God who loves me and has healed me. On Saturday I will celebrate with my daughter and Andrew as they start their life together….even if I look like I have a chia pet on my head!

4-6-2013 at Blackbird

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!

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