My landscape project for my painting class!

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I really enjoyed painting this. I love vibrant colors. Everyone in my class loved it. It felt nice to hear their kind critiques of my painting. I look at it and am a little amazed I was able to make something like this. Often times I lose sight of my gifts and abilities. This helps to remind me who I am.

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Being a messenger…

A Quick note: When I talk about God, I am not necessarily talking about God in the christian sense as I am more spiritual than religious. God means different things to many different people. In the end, it is what works for you! The term/definition of the word God may not be universal but love is and ultimately what I believe God is about. I wanted to point this out because it is important for me to be inclusive of others various faiths, backgrounds and beliefs, even if you don’t believe in God. Love is the key.

Often I forget our impact on other people, especially my own. I was reminded how important and powerful a difference one person can make when I met this wonderful lady on Thursday. My mom was diagnosed with Cancer in April and since then we have been bounced back and forth from doctor to doctor with no real resolution. The waiting was getting to us all. Thankfully due to the diligence of my wonderful sister she found out about a pair of doctors at a hospital in Nashville, Tennessee who everyone was raving about. So we drove the 9 hours from Michigan to this wonderful place.

Our first interaction at the Vanderbilt-Ingram Cancer Center was this sweet older african american lady. She reminded me of the women on the movie The Help. She had this southern charm that I loved. She called my mom baby, it was so sweet. Now that I think of it she reminded me of Cicely Tyson’s character in the movie. The encountar was brief but she left a ever lasting impression on me.

We had to go to registration next and that is when we met a true angel, a sweet woman named Linda. From the very start she spoke with such care that you couldn’t help but smile and feel the presence of god. She was so inspiring and so wonderful with my mom. At one point she pointed out how much she loved my smile and that she was going to make it a point to make me laugh so she could see it. During such a difficult, stressful time she put us all at ease. Our encounter was brief maybe thirty minutes but I will never forget her.

The rest of the day we kept meeting truly amazing people. People who embraced the true message of Jesus. One being my moms Oncologist Dr. Liu. Who was 200 percent amazing. He was so kind and gentle with my mom. He was the first Doctor to put my mom at ease. He didn’t treat her as a patient but a loved one. He made us believe he was her advocate now, saying that he only asked one thing and that was to stick with him throughout the whole process and even afterwards. Dr. Liu even came in on his day off, knowing that we drove 9 hours he made a special trip into the hospital. It was awe inspiring to see a health care professional who was in it for the difference he made and the healing he provided. After the visit was over he even returned a second time when the lab order was incorrect.

He made an effort to sit down with my sister and I, while we waited for my mom. He wanted to know how our visit with the surgeon went. Again he reassured us and confirmed everything again. That my mom was going to be just fine. I am confident that Dr. Liu will do anything in his power to help my mom and that is so reassuring to me.

As we started to leave the hospital there sat Linda, as she worked in the same area as the lab. I had to say something to her. She had helped us so much that I had to tell her how I felt. Again she was nothing but wonderful. My mom had been a little discouraged with her visit with the Surgeon. It was almost like she knew that my mom needed lifted up. She told her to look down… then to take two steps back… The she told her that she just stepped out of her grave. It was exactly what my mother needed to hear.

She then spoke about something that really hit me. She talked about being a messenger for god and it really made sense to me. I thought about how much she impacted us and how much of an angel she was. I forget how much of a difference that we can have on another. A little bit of kindness and compassion goes a long ways. Meeting her was a reminder of not only that there are some truly amazing loving people but that I have this ability as well. We are all messengers of love. People who value service, love, healing and peace.

All the stresses, pain and everything else in between don’t matter. It is the love and kindness that does.

So I will continue to embrace the light in my spirit and the love inside my heart by giving it to the world. The universe keeps sending me little whispers of how important my message is and how much others need to hear it. They all help confirm my importance in this world, they are my purpose.

Everything happens for a reason, sometimes we wonder why certain things happen but even the darkest of moments always have a light at the end of the tunnel. It is our experiences and connections on this journey that make us who we are. Those moments make life so much worth while. It is really the little things that can make the most difference, whether it is a smile or a sweet baby they all help light up someone else’s day and life.

We all are messengers. We all have the light, we just have to uncover it. When we discover and embrace that light and love, then we have the opportunity to share it with others who need it and lets be honest our world certainly could use more light and love.

Another reminder of the presence of my higher power was this trip as a whole from finding out about the Hope Lodge, to the incredible Doctors and staff at Vanderbilt, to the program at Vanderbilt that will cover 100% of my mom’s medical bills, to the outpouring of support and so on… I truly believe god brought us to Nashville. We were exactly where we needed to be when we needed to be. Have you ever noticed how the universe aligns for you? Another thing Linda spoke about was weathering the storm and that God was there for us, and I truly believe this.

My Mom, sister and I will get through this, and we will be even stronger than ever before.

People come into our lives when we need them the most. They are angels that help remind us what life is all about. Sometimes their encounters are brief while other times we have the blessed opportunity to share in their love, joy and happiness for an extended period of time. Either way their blessings are so important and their gifts last a life time.

Which reminds me of a greeting card I once got. On it was a cute little turtle who was planting a peach pit and in the background was a grove full of peach trees full of fruit. The moral of the story is that when we give our light and love to someone else we have planted a seed. With our love and care that seed blossoms into a beautiful peach tree.  It is easy to forget our impact on others, especially when we don’t see the outcome of that love and care. If only we could look back and see all the beautiful peach trees that have grown in our place.

We have planted so many trees and often times we don’t even realize it. Countless orchards filled full of love, care and joy have flourished because of our impact. Orchards that not only have life flowing through out its wonderfulness but bearing fruit that will give nourishment to others, leaving a seed to be replanted.  Each seed that is planted will grow into a new tree filled full of life, light and love with the opportunity to do it all over again. It is the cycle of life…

So remember even the quickest of encounter can plant a peach pit in the heart of someone that so desperately needs it. It could be as simple as a smile or hello.

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The Hope House is a god sent!

We just recently stayed at this Hope Lodge in Nashville, Tennessee. I am so grateful that these places exist. Without it many people would not have a place to stay or forced to rack up even more bills. So if you are looking for a good organization to donate to please consider donating to the Hope House. 

Dealing with Cancer is difficult enough and having this place helps ease some of that. These people are all angels and so is anyone who donates to the Hope House. You can donate to a specific Hope House. I was surprised how many there are.