Thursday, March 31, 2011

Emotional Pain

All of us have had our share. If you have ever been a member of a club, group, church or any other organization, no doubt you have had emotional pain. It seems as if no one can agree on anything.  If you have ever had a ”friend” who talked about you behind your back, or told lies about you to make themselves look good, you have had emotional pain.

As children and teenagers, our hurts are usually due to someone telling an untruth about us. As adults, we expect maturity to step in and end any chances of these things happening. Not true. Sometimes adults can be as vicious and mean spirited as any child ever thought of being. It makes me angry when this happens, and I have to admit, I hold a grudge. A very long, deep rooted grudge that will hold on with all it’s might.

I was discussing this character flaw the other night with my husband who is studying to become a Christian counselor. He is serious about his endeavor, and has a lot of practice material with me as his wife…when it happened….these were the words I heard. “Well, you’re just gonna have to get over it.” What? I just poured my heart out to you, and that’s all that Mr. Counselor has to say? Now, me being me, realized that the look on his face was not that of a kind, loving counselor, but that of a husband that just thought “oh No, was that my OUTSIDE voice?”  When my blood pressure finally came down, I had to go over that again in my head. What he really said was, “ With  God  as the engineer, Jesus as the architect, the Holy Spirit as your block mason, and you as the mason’s apprentice,  you are going to have to build a bridge to get over it, or it will eventually kill your spiritual life.”

I have been holding a very large grudge for a while now. It stems from a person twisting and adding to her opinion of my family and ending with a person I loved and respected believing her. It was a jealousy issue that allowed a person with a little power to manipulate a situation and actually ended with us being asked to leave a church.  It emotionally destroyed me. Let me add that Jesus and I still talk daily. Nothing and nobody will take that from me. He is my best friend, but I do see where this was leading. I haven’t been in corporate worship since this happened. I can’t trust anyone. I don’t want to try to trust anyone, because it will only hurt more.
It’s now three days later and the Lord has been working on me night and day. Forgiveness does not come easy for me. Not when it involves one of my children. Not when it is to a person who lied. Not when they don’t deserve to be forgiven….wait, that last part…..none of us deserve to be forgiven.  Jesus gave us that gife.  It’s called the grace of God.

Now some of our bridges may be small. Some medium and some large, and yes, like mine, some extra large, but he is right. Wait, did I actually admit that my husband was right?  Was that my outside voice? There is a comment he uses that drives me nuts. “It is what it is.”

If we expect to receive forgiveness for our sins from the Father, then we have to be willing to forgive others, and “build a bridge to get over it.”

Is this hard to do?  Definitely.  Is it possible to do? I believe it is. Check with me in a few more days. I’ve got a meeting with my engineer, architect and block mason.  What a lot of work I have to do…..

As the Judd’s used to sing, ”We can build a bridge, between your heart and mine. Don’t you think it’s time? Don’t you think it’s time?

Let’s all focus on building our bridges to get over it…..we all sin and fall short of the glory of God.

P.S. Susan you’d better be having a wonderful time in Cancun. Just writing this one blog made me have to think way too hard! It also made me open my heart. God Bless you Susan. He will never leave you or forsake you. He’s proven that.

Terry Browning
Plant City, Florida
Guest Blogger

Saturday, March 26, 2011

Thoughts From A Friend

Our Journey Together, the name of Susan and Becky’s blog: what does that mean to you? How are you doing with being “together” when someone faces enormous challenges, be it Susan or another loved one?

Yesterday I accompanied Jane, my college roommate and my best friend for more than 45 years, to a consultation with an elder law attorney. Jane’s husband Mac suffered a catastrophic stroke and is in a nursing facility. Since he probably will never be able to come home, Jane needed to figure out how she will manage the rest of their lives. In our Washington DC area, nursing home care costs nearly $100,000 per year. We are 65, so there are probably lots of years ahead.

Jane and Jo
Later in the day, I thought about why Jane wanted – needed – me with her. Aside from being close friends, I think one of my roles in our long relationship is being a truth teller. She counts on me to say what I think, with love, and she knows that she can trust it even if it’s not what she may be thinking. From the first days at Mac’s hospital bedside when there were awesomely difficult decisions to make, Jane was comfortable with me asking doctors the hard questions. My gift to her was saying what needed to be said but was stuck in her throat.

How often we shy away from folks in a tough place! We think that there’s nothing we can do to change the situation (probably true) or we believe we have to come up with something to say that will make it all better (definitely not true). We may convince ourselves that we’re not good at this, and someone with better skills or experience will be more effective.

But here’s the thing. We are made to live in relationship, no doubt about it. And in each of our relationships, there is a special value that meets the other person at their point of need. Each of us has unique roles in the lives of those dear to us. My role, and your role, is probably not the same for every relationship. So we need to focus on the specific relationship and think carefully about what we uniquely offer. Then do it!

Perhaps you are valued as the cheerleader. You can always be counted on to rally flagging spirits, to brighten any situation. You’re an in-you-face happy person and make it your job to encourage happiness in others.

You may be a doer. Not comfortable with offering words or sending cards, you show up and do what needs to be done, without being asked or needing to be thanked. I remember two work friends who appeared at my house while I was on leave to take care – very difficult care – of my mother. They cleaned out my (yucky) refrigerator, organized my pantry, and made a list of what I needed. They left it on the counter and quietly went home.

Are you a play pal? There are very few situations that cannot benefit from a little well-timed silliness. Don’t be afraid to make someone laugh so hard that tea comes out her nose. It may be initially messy, but everyone will be the better for it.

I can easily be silly OR weepy. I’m always a little taken aback when I hear of somebody being afraid he or she will cry in front of the person who is having a terrible time of it. What are we saving it for?! Shedding tears speaks to our love and deep caring. It can also offer a much-needed opportunity to the other person, inviting them to relax their stiff upper lip and release their feelings.

You may have special value as a witness. You have been through some pretty tough challenges yourself and have come out the other side. Your simple presence, without even having to talk, reassures others that they can do this, too.

And if you are related by faith, pray. It’s gotten to be a standard comment – “You’re in my thoughts and prayers,” but people who share deep roots in their faith go farther. They promise to pray by themselves and offer to pray with those who need it. (Ask first.)

I’m sure you can think of other roles that are valued in your own relationships; let’s hear about them! The good news is that none of us has to fill every role, that’s why we live in community – real or virtual – and together, we make a pretty good package. The important thing is to be the best play pal, or doer, or truth teller you can possibly be. Jump on in, make that commitment. Nobody can be another you, no one else has your history with your dear one, nobody else can give exactly what you can give. And that's plenty good enough.

We all journey together, in good times and bad. Thanks be.

Guest Blogger

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

I am the victim of generosity

Real generosity is doing something nice for someone who will never find out.  ~Frank A. Clark

I leave for Cancun, Mexico this coming Saturday because of the generosity and kindness of a great many people.  I am a very lucky lady.  Thank you so much for your gifts!


enjoy these quotes on gratitude

Gratitude is the memory of the heart.  ~Jean Baptiste Massieu, translated from French

The only people with whom you should try to get even are those who have helped you.  ~John E. Southard

Not what we say about our blessings, but how we use them, is the true measure of our thanksgiving.  ~W.T. Purkiser

Source of Quotes

Monday, March 21, 2011

getting started the most important step

Success is the sum of small efforts, repeated day in and day out.
Robert Collier

Creating goals can be stressful. In fact, any kind of change can take a toll.  Mr. Collier here has the right idea.  Make a goal and then break it down into small steps.  Each small step will seem pretty do-able and then eventually you will be almost all the way there. 

Case in point, I had a client that knew eating breakfast would be helpful to her in her weight loss goals.  Unfortunately, she didn't like breakfast, didn't want to cook and was frankly, overwhelmed by the idea and how much weight she had to lose.  When I asked her if she could eat a cracker or two crackers every morning, rather than eat nothing, she laughed and said, "yes, but that doesn't count...does it?"  Sure it counts and then perhaps she could add a strawberry to that or a carrot stick and before she knew it we would be talking full fledged breakfast.  She realized that she could break each part of her strategy into smaller goals and this way it was much easier.

This can be done with any goal that you have.  Make the steps so silly and small it borders on ridiculous and then eventually you will be soaring through the steps.  Especially, if your goals are feel good goals rather than beat myself up goals.  I think that is how goal setting came to be regarded as not so fun.

Another fun way to create some success is to make a goal poster or vision board.  Collect some magazines, buy a glue stick and some poster board and get to work.  If you don't find a nice picture of what you want you can draw it or just write it in on the poster.  I have some posters where nearly everything on them has been achieved and it gives me such a good
feeling that I don't want to throw them out. 

Here is my vision board.  I have dreams that I am still working on.  In the center of the cork board is the word "JOY" in bright hot pink letters.  I can honestly say that I have a lot of joy in my life.  I have accomplished much that I wanted to and yet I am hungry for more.  I like the feeling of taking things off my board that are already done.  It feels good to survey the dreams on the board and think up bigger ones.  Whether or not you decide to take up this challenge and create a poster or board for you dreams and goals I will leave to you but I hope that you will keep the quote in mind.  You might find it helpful if you meet a challenge or an obstacle.


Friday, March 18, 2011

For your consideration

It was a high counsel that I once

heard given to a young person,

"Always do what you are afraid to do."

Ralph Waldo Emerson

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Bucket List Item Line

I was driving home from work the other day and passed a PT Cruiser automobile.  Every time I see one it reminds me of my grandmother Lucille Audet (the coolest grandmother on the planet).  A few years ago, when Tracey and I were single ladies, we flew to Maine to help Mom and Dad at the Surry house.  Mom flew us into Manchester, New Hampshire and from there we rented a car.

While at the counter the rental car agent offered us a free upgrade and it turned out creating more than a few memorable moments.  It has been a long time since driving a car has been fun but I can tell you that bombing down the road in late September with the top down brought that feeling back.  Tracey and I were delighted by the looks we got and the enjoyment we got out of that rental.

In fact, we all did.  It was a very pretty car and as it turns out the perfect car for those fabulous Indian Summer days of New England.  It was especially well suited to take in the beautiful scenery along coastal Route 3. At one point in our trip we visited my grandparents at their home in Fairfield, Maine.  We had been invited to my Aunt Sarah's home for dinner and since we didn't know how to get there we were going to follow my grandparents. 

When my grandmother saw our rental car she informed me that she had always wanted to ride in a convertible so she came along with me while my sister rode with my grandfather.  I will always remember that day because it was a lot of fun to make that wish of hers come true.  I don't think that she has an actual bucket list but crossing that off of her list, real or in her head, was a grand moment for me.  If you frequently read my blog I hope that you have taken my advice and have actually written yours out.  Your grandchildren will thank you as they will be given ways to show you that they love you by helping you cross items off the list.  It will no doubt be as memorable for them as that day with my grandmother was for me.

I am still hoping to find pictures of myself in that car to include with this post.  That day and that event with my grandmother was not planned and the only camera we had with us did not work (FYI this is why you carry on your camera when flying and do not pack it in your suitcase).  I wish that had not been the case on this day because I would have treasured that picture.

Anyhow, happy adventuring blog readers


Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Which Are You?

..."The pessimist complains about the wind.
The optimist expects it to change.
The leader adjusts the sail."

John Maxwell

Evening in the Archipelago
courtesy of
User: Mjio

Sunday, March 13, 2011

My Number One Dad

I hate to write a blog post in which I am bragging about how good I have it, but when it comes to my Dad, I guess I will need to make an exception.  When I needed my Dad, he came running and he has not left my side.  He takes care of my son overnights to ensure that I get good sleep and accompanies me to all of my doctors appointments, even if it means he has to sit in the waiting room.  Having so much support from him, the rest of my family and my many friends has made all the difference in my health.

My father's birthday is today and Mom came for a visit to help celebrate.  In true family tradition she made him his favorite homemade German Chocolate cake.  ( In our 5 piece family unit we were allowed to pick what ever kind of birthday cake we bought or home made.  I always liked the store bought white cakes with white frosting and pretty frosting flowers.  These days I opt for cupcakes but that is a blog post for another day.) Over the years she has perfected the German Chocolate cake, as only the lucky few can attest, and I have to say that today it was pretty yummy.

My Dad is a kind hearted man whose greatest joy is his family.  He has told me that he had always wanted to be a Dad and very much enjoyed his children and still does.  When he receives a call from my brother or sister he cannot wait to share with me the good news.  Nowadays, he has fallen head over heels in love with my son and together they have great adventures.  It really does my heart good to see the two of them chuckling over a the TV program Shaun the Sheep or playing cars on the floor.

My son will be two years old next month.  Cancer has changed a lot about the way I have been able to parent my son.  Thanks to my Dad, my son has had lots of laughs, cuddles, and good times.  Between my husband and my Dad, my son has not suffered or been neglected in the least.  He has two homes, two sets of toys and two different partners in crime.  He has an adventure with my husband by day and then paints the town red with my Dad by night.

I could go on and on about my Dad but I will spare you an exceptionally long blog post.  I will just end this one by saying, Happy Birthday Dad!  You are my hero. 


Friday, March 11, 2011

Focus....on cancer....or.....Cancun?

Cancer is a scary word.  It strikes fear in the heart of the person who has just heard that diagnosis and then reverberates through the family.  It made me sad especially when I had to curtail some of my activities.  I wanted to be a successful and independent child for my parents.  I wanted my life filled with joy.  I wanted to open happy mail and not invoices for co pays and procedure costs.

Surviving Cancer is a full time job.  Your well meaning friends are concerned about what you eat and how often you exercise and how much medication the doctor prescribes.  My clients worry about getting me sick and are hesitant to come and see me if they have the sniffles. 

There are decisions that have to be made.  Organic or affordable.  Holistic or Traditional.  Radiation or Chemotherapy.  There is paperwork to read through so that you may be educated about your symptoms.  There are appointments to be made and kept.  With that comes with questions you must remember to ask.

In addition to all of this there is a son to raise.  A husband to love and partner with.  I have a family that need to spend time with me.  They are scared and feeling helpless and I need to reassure them that I feel supported by them.  Many of my family members live far away and cannot be here to cook for me or get a blanket for me when I am cold. My husband and I share a household that needs to be managed.  I have a business to run so that my student loans and bills can be paid.  I have to participate in my life all the while I am trying to save it.                      

I have been given an incredible gift.  The opportunity to trade the text I have written here for the photos that I have included.  I hope while trying to decipher the text you have been distracted by the pictures.  I am going to Cancun very soon.  I will leave this chaotic life for a week and have a chance to breath and reflect. 

I am going to leave cancer in Colorado and visit a tropical paradise because there were so many generous people who donated money to help get me there. I cannot track you down and be as generous to you as you have to me.  So many of you I do not know.  I will have to pay it forward.  I have a chance to recharge my batteries and then I can figure out ways to pass it on.  Feel free to send me ideas.

Thank you.  From the bottom of my heart I want you to know that this generous gift of yours comes at a time when I really needed a chance to get away and reconnect with the fighter inside.  I am tired and I need to refresh myself.  Thank you for allowing me to have this time with Roxanne.  Thank you for knowing that sometimes the best medicine is a chance to leave your circumstance and gain some perspective.  I will be better for this trip, so again I humbly thank you for what you have given.  I will be smiling and relaxing and with Roxanne's company I know that I will be laughing.


Thursday, March 10, 2011

Becky's Bucket List

 OK, here is a start.  The white items are done although if given a chance, I would opt for re-do's.   They were all fun.  So, I only have 59 more things to come up with!!!!!!!!!!!!

Go to the Grand Canyon
Visit New York City
Visit London and vicinity
Live in the UK for a year and explore every bit of it

Cruise the Greek Isles
Wander through the Acropolis in Athens
Go to Patmos
Go to Ephesus and Corinth
Live in sunny Florida
Lose weight
Lose weight again

Visit Las Vegas
Learn to roller blade
Learn to play golf
Learn to play golf better

Take a cruise
Spend more quality time with the people I love

Other places I want to see (not in any order)



Quebec City (again)


Europe in general.  rivers, cities, county sides, museums, churches, food, culture, history, cafes, chocolate

Jordan (Petra)

Washington DC

Buy an RV and travel the USA for a year (not going to happen)

Yellowstone (got reservations for July but we’ll see….)

Thinking about a hobby, maybe stained glass.  I’m not a knitter!

Meet Jo and Rich Turner

Become a better student of the Bible and disciple of our Savior

Teach Tan to swim

Go back to Vancouver and eat Dim Sum again

Reinstitute “Girls’ Weekends” every year somewhere new with my peeps 

Hold a Rich grandchild in my arms (as in Tracey and Joe Rich)

Live long enough to experience the Rapture of the Church

Attend Scott’s wedding (no pressure here)

Grow to be a kinder, more loving and forgiving, less critical and demanding  person

NEVER GROW OLD.  I want to get old but not grow old

I want to have the kind of influence in my family that my Aunt Rose did in ours.   We knew she could walk on water, we just never saw her try

Learn to play a musical instrument.  I love the harp but maybe a mandolin is more appropriate to a small home.  Problem is, no talent

Buy a very sexy RED or DARK GREEN convertible with just two seats for Paul and I to ride around town in