Tuesday, November 23, 2010


I know I've mentioned in a previous post that I have been reading up on how to eat healthier, not to lose weight - goodness knows I haven't done that! But I read a very interesting book, "Anti-Cancer: The New Way of Life" that goes into great detail about the food we put in our body, the atmosphere we live in and the consequences to our bodies. I have cut out most white sugar, bread and pastas. Many people believe that sugar is a big culprit when battling cancer. I've also added more veggies and fruits into my daily routine along with some strange spices and green tea.

I have enjoyed cooking using these new parameters. To me it is much more fun to shop in the produce section where you see the vibrant colors - you can compare, smell, touch what you are about to buy. Picking up a box of mac and cheese just doesn't have the same effect on me.

Tonight I made chicken fajitas. Ingredients: chicken (no hormones, cage free), red and yellow peppers, onions, garlic, sun-dried tomatoes, mushrooms. I thought it was so pretty that I had to take a picture of it.

When I was young I thought it was so crazy for the adults to take a picture of the dinner table before a holiday meal. Why in the world would someone want a picture of food? I finally understand. When my grandmother cooked a holiday meal it was a masterpiece. It was art. She didn't open a can of this and a box of that. The food on the table represented hours, even days, of preparation. It was a moment to cherish - to see all that labor end up one table to be enjoyed by the people she loved. What a great gift.

For the past three years I (with help) have prepared our Thanksgiving dinner. I look forward to it. Of course, the bounty I lay before my family will never compare to the meals my grandmother prepared, but the sentiment is the same. I love these people and want to offer to them a part of myself.

We will be missing one from our table this year. Andrew is in Japan. I saw a post on facebook that they will have their Thanksgiving meal on Wednesday night. I try not to think about it too much - this mamma hen doesn't like her chicks so far from home.

Well, I'm turning in for the night. I will start my Thanksgiving cooking in the morning. I hope you have a happy Thanksgiving with the people you love.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010


I began reading a book this week that breaks down Psalm 23 verse by verse. Of course, I have been familiar with this scripture for many years, but as I feel I have been walking "through the valley of the shadow of death" for almost 2 years now, it has become a real comfort to me.

As you know this Psalm depicts Jesus as our shepherd and we are his sheep. Sheep are really pretty dumb. They have to follow the shepherd or they will walk right off a cliff. We, as the sheep of God's kingdom need to follow the Good Shepherd (Jesus). Not only in where we walk but also how we talk, think and love.

In this book it talks of how Jesus loves - and if you've ever been to church more than a few times you know we are suppose to love as Jesus loves. Not just the folks we like or admire, but everyone. That is so difficult to do isn't it? In 1 Corinthians 13:4-8, Jesus gives us the instruction booklet for love. I read through the reference quickly because I'm familiar with it. I felt an urging to read through it again, slowly this time and read between the lines. This is how it read (emphasis is mine, of course):

Love is patient with your enemies, love is kind to your enemies. It does not envy anyone of anything, it does not boast even about your children, it is not proud of it's accomplishments. It is not rude to your enemies, it is not self-seeking at your job site, it is not easily angered at your neighbors, it keeps no record of actions against you. Love does not delight in evil even when it happens to your enemy, but it rejoices in the truth no matter who comes out on top. It always protects even your enemies, always trusts your enemies, always hopes for good for everyone and always perseveres and doesn't give up on those that disappoint you.

When I finished reading it this way I couldn't go on any further. This cut me to the bone. This is not one of those times where I can say, "well, I'm only human!" Yes, I am human, but the goal of a Christian is to become more Christ-like every day. I prayed and I ask God to reveal to me my shortcomings...sometimes it is hard to hear the answer to a prayer.

This scripture is not saying "play nice" it is saying "love". It doesn't mean smile and wave at your neighbor even though you don't like them. It means truly love them, pray for them. Our pastor has a saying, "you are suppose to love on people, even if they don't look like you, talk like you, dress like you or smell like you. Jesus died on the cross for them just as He did for you!"

I pray that we all can follow our Good Shepherd in his example of love - and I pray it begins with me.

Good night and may God bless!

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Dreamy Day

I woke up this morning shaking the cobwebs from my head. I had a really rough night last night so I resorted to a pretty strong sleeping pill around 1 a.m. It's one of those drugs they advertise on TV and warn that you can do things such as drive a car and not realize you are doing it! So on mornings like this I joke with myself. If you were a fly on the wall you might hear me say something like, "Hey, Huguley, did you know you are walking down the hall?" or "Huguley, do you know you just put on a purple shirt with green pants?"

Hey, it's usually pretty quiet here in the mornings, so I have to do something to get things going...and I like to freak Grace out too.

I can't really go into detail about what I did today before the cobwebs scattered, but I do know the day has been a good one. I had my TAWG (time alone with God) and was given my strength for the day. Gracie and I took a walk down the street - killing two birds with one stone - I'm suppose to walk and get vitamin D (sunshine) everyday. I fixed myself some lunch. A dish that was so pleasing to the taste and to the sight, that I made a picture of it. If I figure out how to post pictures I will share it with you.

The aroma of the fresh fruit and veggies in my kitchen empowered me to make a cake! from scratch! I will pause here for you to gather yourself...... Not only did I bake a cake but I had to shell real pecans and slice real apples! It's always been a secret dream of mine to be a domestic goddess. Today I got to pretend I am! While my cake baked, I sat on the deck and cross-stitched until time to cook supper.

This day may seem mundane or just down right awful to some folks, but it was just one step lower than heaven for me. These are things I've always loved to do, but because of a heavy work schedule and busy children I never had the time or the energy.

The chance to spend as much time as I want with my Lord and Savior, enjoying the gifts of His sunshine and food and having a chance to bake a cake or cook supper for my wonderful family. Those are the things MY dreams are made of.

The only thing that could have made my day better was to have Andrew home. It's been 5 months since he left for Japan. I keep reminding myself that I gave birth to my children so they would have life, their own life...even if it is so, so far away.

I'm turning the page on this day. I hope I have lived it according to God's plan.

May you know the love, the peace and saving grace of our Father!


Friday, November 5, 2010

Not Giving Up!

This is one of those days that I hesitate to blog. The treatment didn't make me terribly sick this time. Just tired and when I start getting hungry I have to eat immediately! Besides that everything has been pretty good. I got my tumor marker number today (the number that indicates if the cancer is growing). It jumped up a whopping 4.3, the largest jump I've had. Needless to say, this is not great news. I was still in the bed when I got the news. I knew I had two choices. I could either pull up the cover and stay in bed or get up and do something. I could stay in bed awhile and probably no one would blame me or think less of me for it. I could just lay there and quit. Today I decided to not quit. I can't make any promises for tomorrow, but for today I'm not quitting.

I got up, got dressed and started cooking soup. The pungent smells of the different vegetables and spices were almost intoxicating. I enjoyed the different colors, different smells and the anticipation of how it would all join together and make a yummy meal. All this is such a glorious gift from God. These vegetables and spices that God made come to be. The enjoyment I received from them was a gift just as well. To enjoy the gifts He provides is such a glorious thing.

I have my good days and my bad days...actually I think most days are filled with good times and bad times. The bad moments I try to humble myself and ask "God, what are you trying to show me here". In the good moments, I say "Thank you God, for showing me this!"

So today with this disappointing news, what is it God, that you are wanting me to learn? Maybe to remember that you are in control? Perhaps to remember time is a vapor to us all? Am I to remember that you promised to never leave me?

And to remember that the gift I have been given is today. I have this day to trade some laughs with friends and family, to smell the soup as it cooks, to feel the fresh cool air on my face as Gracie and I take a walk. Yes, indeed, I believe this is a good day.

Enjoy your weekend and the blessings that God has in store for you!

Thursday, November 4, 2010


Good morning from my kitchen table! I think the dreariness of winter has come to stay for awhile. As I look out my window I see my own piece of Americana - a row of discarded halloween pumpkins at a neighbors house and in the distance the American flag in the yard of another neighbor. The scene may not make it to the front of a Southern Living magazine, but it is a pleasing sight to me, just the same.

Today is a treatment day for me. It's a mixed bag of nuts. I enjoy seeing my friends at the cancer center and look forward to catching up on what's been going on with them. I'm sure I will get to talk about how awesome God is with LeeAnn - always the highlight of my visit. I've started a new healthy eating plan - more on that later - and it is changing the way I feel - physically and mentally. I'm looking forward to discussing those changes with some of the nurses.

Then there is always the down side - the drugs they will pump in me will make me feel yucky and sad for several days. I am hoping the new eating plan will help me better manage the next few days.

Well, time to get started with the day. I hope you enjoy your own piece of Americana today!

"But the mercy of the Lord is from everlasting to everlasting on those who fear Him, and His righteousness to children's children." Psalm 103:17