A Ton of Fun and a Pound of Perservance

If you’ve ever been on a weight loss program or know someone struggling to lose weight, you’ve probably heard this statement before … maybe even said it yourself.

“Oh my gosh! You’ve lost a ton of weight!”

I’ve been on a weight loss journey for the last few months (okay — my entire adult life) and have managed to shed nearly 30 pounds in the last four months. I’m at a crossroads of emotions that waffles (Mmm, yes please, with maple syrup – maybe a side of bacon while we’re at it) between annoyance that few people have noticed my transformation to irritation at those that exclaim the above-noted phrase.

Oh thanks! You think I’ve lost a ton of weight, do you? To have lost a ton of weight implies that I had to weigh considerably MORE than a ton when I began my weight loss journey. I started thinking about that phrase and quite frankly, it really chaps my buns (make it a Kings Hawaiian with lots of soft, creamy butter) to be given such a back-handed compliment.

So … just how much is a ton of weight, you ask? Check out this list of what is in the neighborhood of a ton:

• An African elephant
• A rhinoceros
• A walrus
• A hippopotamus
• A fully-grown giraffe
• A barnyard cow
• A Smart Car or 2 Golf carts
• A fourth grade class

These are but a few animals or things that weigh roughly one ton – give or take.

Being called a fat cow in middle-school was a crushing blow to my ego, to be sure, but surprisingly, those comparisons still sting, even at my advanced age. I’m smart enough now to know that all of that sticks and stones stuff of childhood is a whole lot of bologna (not a favorite, but sliced thick, sandwiched between wheat bread toast and crushed wavy potato chips slathered with a layer of mayo, and hey — we’re in business). I’m human after all, and words still hurt.

 

I know I should have thicker skin by now (yummy potato skins served with a generous dollop of sour cream — you betcha), but alas, I still find I’m a tad bit sensitive when it comes to any weight related issues.

While it is nice to have people notice the fruits (most especially all things strawberry, blended up in a nice thick shake), of my weight loss/exercise labor – I really don’t want to be compared to a ton of anything.

If you feel the need to compliment someone who is working hard to shed a pound or two (maybe just a slice of pound cake wouldn’t hurt), why not compare them to something a little less offensive. Try instead … “Oh my gosh you’ve lost the equivalent of weight to that of a fully grown Shiu Tzu or a large sack of potatoes!”  (Best when sliced Julienne and fried to a golden brown, generously sprinkled with salt and served with a ton of ketchup. Oh wait, I digress – not a ton per se, but rather, about 12 little packets from the fast-food place.)

Whether we’re working hard or hardly working to maintain our girlish figures, we gals NEVER, and I repeat – ABSOLUTELY NEVER AND UNDER NO CIRCUMSTANCES, do we ever want to be compared to African mammals or barnyard beef stock. (You’ve got to try it reduced down to a lovely au jus served as a complement for thinly sliced roast beef.)

So, the next time someone says, “Wow, you’ve lost a ton of weight,” stand up for yourself and remind them that losing weight is not a piece of cake (Cake? Did someone say cake? I could go for a piece of red velvet covered in mounds of Buttercream right about now).

(Me thinks this weight loss thing is for the birds — specifically if it’s drumsticks and wings in a large bucket of the Colonel’s extra crispy).

The struggle is real. All calories are not created equal. It’s not about what I’m eating … but rather, what’s eating me! And right now – what’s eating me is the fact that life isn’t the same without the fun foods. The reality however, is that I’m a little more fun without carrying around a ton of extra weight.

I may have lost some weight, but I pray I’ll never lose my sense of humor …

Do you not know that your bodies are temples of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God? You are not your own; you were bought at a price. Therefore, honor God with your bodies. 1 Corinthians 6:19-20

Blessings in Christ and as always … happy reading … and maybe try a little healthy eating while you’re at it!
Kathy K.

Happy Father’s Day 2.0

*This is from a blog I posted many years ago. I updated it and am re-sharing …

Father’s Day is one of those “iffy” kind of celebratory days. If you were lucky enough to have a Leave it to Beaver or Brady Bunch type of father growing up, then Father’s Day is most likely a happy day filled with warm fuzzy memories. If however, you’re like so many people who grew up with a childhood swathed in dysfunction – then today is oftentimes a day spent suppressing buried pain.

I grew up somewhere in the middle with a father that didn’t fit the mold of either Ward Cleaver or Mike Brady, but leaned more towards a Don Corleone or Archie Bunker type of father. I knew my dad loved me … but he parented with fear and yelling rather than hugs and praise.

My father issues date back to my parent’s volatile ugly divorce when I was six. Growing up is hard enough for the average child, but when you throw in a nasty divorce, custody battles, feuding parents, weekend parenting, remarriages, step-children, half-children … woo-wee, you end up with a recipe for scarred, emotionally handicapped children. Oh wait – maybe that was just me.

Like so many people with father issues, entering into a relationship with the Lord of the universe came with its own set of challenges. God is supposed to be my Abba Father; my daddy; my protector, an ever-present help in time of trouble. That’s quite a leap of faith for someone with daddy issues. The image of a Heavenly Father that thunders from the mountain tops and wants to smite me for my disobedience is easier for me to identify with because I grew up with thunder.

My dad wasn’t a horrible dad, mind you. For most of my childhood he was simply an absentee father, which left me with rejection and abandonment issues. The time I did spend with him was often stressful as I lived in fear of his unpredictable temper. The saddest thing about our relationship was I don’t think I was ever able to share an honest opinion or emotion with him. I was very guarded with him until the day he died. I regret not ever being confident enough to truly share my feelings with my earthly father.

It’s taken a lot of years, but I’m happy that I’ve finally reached that comfort level in my relationship with my Heavenly Father. There is nothing I can’t share with him. Once I was able to get past the fear of the thundering and smiting Father – the loving, protective Father surrounded me.

Rather than dwelling on the negative memories of my relationship with my dad, today I celebrate my father and hope he’s enjoying his Father’s Day in Heaven celebrating with the angels and his Heavenly Father.

I still miss my dad — especially today.  I’m comforted by the knowledge that my father developed a deep relationship with God before his passing, so I know we’ll be reunited someday. I look forward to our reunion knowing that all those painful memories of my early childhood will be long-forgotten and we can spend our eternity enjoying our heavenly relationship.

Even if my father and mother abandon me, the LORD will hold me close.   Psalm 27:10 (NLT)

Happy Father’s Day, Dad! I hope you’re flying high!

Blessings in Christ and as always … happy reading!

Kathy K. 

Get Past Your Triggers

I am most like Jesus when I am silent under attack. ~ Pastor Rick Warren

Her words cut deeper than a serrated hunting knife. Her verbal barbs and subtle innuendo disguised in false humility wounds more than physical blows. She’s someone from my past that knows my stories and manages to always push my buttons. Somehow a few unkind words from her and I instantly become that 14-year-old ugly duckling with a mouthful of braces and a face full of acne.

She’s a distant relative which makes it difficult to eliminate her from my circle of influence. Each time I talk with her (which is becoming less frequently these days) it takes everything within me to hold my tongue and not retaliate with snarky responses.

It’s likely that most of us have at least one toxic person in our past (or present) who has the ability to trigger painful childhood memories that effectively suck us into an abyss of unresolved emotions and/or juvenile insecurities. Oh wait … maybe that’s just me.

I recently saw a program featuring acclaimed Christian speaker and writer, Beth Moore. When asked how do we completely rid ourselves of poisonous roots of insecurity and fears stemming from childhood dysfunction that refuse to be vanquished, Ms. Moore quoted Matthew 15:13: “Every plant not planted by my heavenly Father will be uprooted …”

God is not the author of fear, insecurity, low self-esteem or any other childhood hurts that haunt us. He didn’t plant those destructive roots in us. That was Satan’s doing. They can only be destroyed by using the proper tools. Practical tools such as prayer, reading the Word of God and then applying it to our lives is the best means to start with.

Refuse to isolate yourself or “eat your feelings,” (which I’ve been known to do in the past). Neither of those things will help; only compound the problem. Join a small group, talk with a trusted friend or pastor. Don’t let your hurts fester inside you. Let it out and talk it out.

There are any number of Christian books that can help you to work through any unresolved childhood issues you might have. I highly recommend Joyce Meyer’s number one bestselling book, Battlefield of the Mind. This book is as helpful and relevant today as it was when it was first published 20 years ago. Visiting with a trained counselor may be necessary for some of us who are unable to process our dysfunction any other way. The road to recovery will look different for every one of us.

Once you’ve successfully dug up all of those destructive roots from your life, you need to plant something more substantial in its place. If you don’t replace a negative influence with a positive one, you’ll continue to be vulnerable to the enemy who will easily swoop in and attack your mind and emotions all over again.

Then Christ will make his home in your hearts as you trust in him. Your roots will grow down into God’s love and keep you strong. Ephesians 3:17 (NLT)

The only thing you want to have rooted and grounded in your soul, mind, will or emotions is the love of Christ, the Word of God and the Holy Spirit.

Don’t let painful triggers shoot you down … arm yourself with all the weapons of God’s arsenal and defend yourself like the warrior that God created you to be.

A final word: Be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. Put on all of God’s armor so that you will be able to stand firm against all strategies of the devil. Ephesians 6:10-11 (NLT)

Blessings in Christ and as always … happy reading!
Kathy K.

Suffer the Silent, No More

Many, many years ago, I lived just south of the San Francisco Bay area. Occasionally that meant that the heavy fog that San Francisco is so famous for, drifted down towards my neck of the woods. While San Franciscans easily navigate their way through the heavy marine layer, for a girl who hails from the Phoenix desert, I was anything but comfortable with the foggy conditions.

Battling depression, panic and anxiety attacks or other mental illnesses, oftentimes feel like a life lived shrouded under a heavy fog. At least, that’s the way depression frequently felt for me until I finally received treatment for my chronic battle.

As a young girl, I was regularly plagued with anxiety and an oppressive darkness that somehow always loomed over me. Back in those days, depression wasn’t really given a name, but those of us who silently suffered were labeled as moody, sullen or emotional. I attributed my darkness to my parents’ divorce and the rejection I felt when my dad remarried and started a new family. I never dreamed that depression was a genetic disease that many of my family members suffered with as well.

With age and an ever-changing kaleidoscope of life changes, my panic attacks steadily increased in severity and regularity. Depression descended like a giant joy-sucking black hole of despair and stayed with me much like an unwanted relative who didn’t know when they’d overstayed their welcome. I was frequently overwhelmed with thoughts so dark and deep, they terrified me.

One day not long ago, I was seized by the strongest, most powerful anxiety attack I’ve ever experienced. This attack caused intense heart palpitations and an inability to breathe. A woman my age can’t afford to be too careful and I mistook the symptoms for a heart attack that sent me to the ER. This incident literally scared me into finally – at long last – getting the help I truly needed for my depression and anxiety attacks.

More than 300 million people suffer from depression. I can’t speak for any of these other sufferers, but I was embarrassed and ashamed of the recurring depression and anxiety episodes. I foolishly believed that as a Christian I should be able to pray away the darkness or wish away the sadness. I honestly thought the depression I lived with was something that would eventually pass on its own – like a cold or a stomach bug. I naively resisted the urge to give my problem a name because there’s a certain stigma that comes with those two damning words regarding depression: mental illness.

Thankfully because of widespread media coverage on mental illness, it’s becoming more acceptable to talk openly about depression and anxiety. It’s becoming more commonplace to admit when we are struggling and to get the treatment we need rather than silently suffering.

It’s easy to tell someone to “just suck it up and get over it” when depression attacks us. But if you’ve never had to crawl your way out of a pit of despair, talk is cheap and really of no help to someone who can’t breathe their through a paralyzing anxiety attack.

If it were simply as easy as changing our thoughts or willing ourselves out of depression – then no one would ever need suffer. No one wants to depressed. Finding the right health care provider and right treatment – be it medication or therapy, is key to learning to combat this illness. That and for me, having faith in Jesus Christ. As a Christian, I believe that even in this, God can use my pain and suffering to help others.

I’m slowly finding my way out of the darkness; the light is making a comeback. As Christians, there is no shame in admitting we have a health problem. There is nothing wrong with believing that God can heal us instantly and supernaturally. But we shouldn’t feel guilty if God chooses to heal us with the help of a competent doctor or properly prescribed medication.

I don’t care how my breakthrough comes … just so long as it comes … and I KNOW it will.

Don’t suffer in silence. Get the help you need. And most importantly … don’t ever let the enemy convince you that you are all alone in your struggles. You are not alone … fix your eyes on God.

Why are you down in the dumps, dear soul? Why are you crying the blues? Fix my eyes on God—soon I’ll be praising again. He puts a smile on my face. He’s my God. Psalm 42:5 (NLT) (Message Bible)

Blessings in Christ and as always … Happy Reading!

Kathy K.

DO-Over or Just DO

A six-month dental cleaning and x-rays; annual mammogram; well-woman check-up; pap smear, pelvic exam; blood work, urine test; endocrinologist check-up; blood pressure check, cholesterol monitoring, weight, heart check, thyroid, eyes, ears, nose and throat, reflexes … and … have I forgotten anything?

The beginning of the year always brings with it lots of challenges regarding physical health maintenance. It’s not easy, comfortable or cheap to stay on top of our health. As we get older though, the more we stay ahead of the problems, the easier they are to correct.

Statistically, women outlive men by five to six years; with a woman’s life expectancy, just over 81, compared to men at 76 years. This may be due in part to the fact that men are 24% less likely to see their doctor for regular checkups. Dare I say it? Men … not smart!

Good health isn’t something we magically fall into, but something we should be actively pursuing if we are at all interested in being committed Christ followers – that includes both women and men. Yes, good health and responsible Christianity go hand-in-hand.

Don’t you realize that your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit, who lives in you and was given to you by God? You do not belong to yourself, for God bought you with a high price. So, you must honor God with your body.    1 Corinthians 6:19-20 (NLT)

Each time I read this Scripture I’m consumed with guilt and condemnation. I spent a good number of years treating my body like anything but a holy temple. In my late teens, I abused my body with drugs and alcohol. (Hey, it was the 70s!) In my 20s through my late 40s and early 50s, I traded drugs and alcohol for my drug of choice … food. Food was my “go-to” mood enhancer or leveler to be used recreationally or emotionally whenever circumstances, both good and bad dictated. In order to counteract the effects of so many food binges, I abused exercise in equal measure in the hopes of balancing the scales of my obsessive-compulsive eating habits.

Now that I’m staring down the barrel of 60 (sorry, I think I threw up just a little even thinking that out loud), my body which God designed to be a temple for His Holy Spirit is worn out, broken down and suffering from my too-little-too-late efforts of trying to “get healthy.”

It’d be nice to hop into my time machine and journey back to 1972 (the year my abusive behavior started in earnest) and begin treating my body like the treasured temple God has always known it to be. Obviously, that’s not an option. We can beat ourselves up, live in regret or make excuses for not taking better care of our bodies. If, however, life has taught us anything – we rarely get do-overs.

If there is a bright side to the “back-side of 60” it would be Philippians 3:13-14: … but I focus on this one thing: Forgetting the past and looking forward to what lies ahead, I press on to reach the end of the race and receive the heavenly prize for which God, through Christ Jesus, is calling us.

No do-overs, but there is always the promise of tomorrow and a brighter future:

And we are eagerly waiting for him to return as our Savior. He will take our weak mortal bodies and change them into glorious bodies like his own, using the same power with which he will bring everything under his control. Philippians 3:20-21 (NLT)

Blessings in Christ and as always … happy reading!
Kathy K.

Retired or RE-tired?

I have a number of friends who’ve recently retired from careers and jobs that they’ve held for a couple of decades. Along with the luxury of suddenly living life free from the shackles of a morning alarm clock, these friends are receiving financial compensation in the form of retirement pension funds. To which I say, “awesome!”

On the flip side of that excitement for my friends, I’m experiencing a fair amount of … dare I say it? Jealousy. I recently “retired” from my decades long career of full-time stay-at-home mother. From the time my oldest child was nearly eight, some 28 years ago, I was able to become a full-time stay-at-home mother. In that 28 years, I dedicated my life to staying at home full-time raising my three children. For 13 of the last 16 years, that has included regular after-school care, as well as, full time care during holiday breaks and summer breaks for my only grandchild.

Not only was I passionate about my “career,” it was the role I was created to fulfill.

During the past 28 years, I’ve cooked, cleaned, laundered, chauffeured and counseled my three children from birth until they each left for college. These weren’t the only tasks I completed on a regular basis. My job description included, but was not limited to, changing more diapers than I can count; I wiped up buckets of snot, spit and vomit; I walked the floor with crying, feverish, cranky, teething babies and toddlers and administered love, compassion and medicine as needed. I’ve spent immeasurable hours doing homework with kids who struggled with math, science, spelling and/or sentence structure. I’ve grilled those same kids who were studying for tests and spent countless hours working on diorama’s and science projects – so much so, that at this point in my life I feel as though I should, for all intents and purposes have a Master’s Degree in childhood education by now. Sadly, I do not.

I sat sentry over these four lives as they had surgeries, broken bones and unexplained illnesses. I’ve logged thousands of miles and so much time in the car carrying these children back and forth to sports practices and games, sleepovers, birthday parties and trips to the mall for the sole purpose of “just hangin’” that my car should have its own zip code. I’ve paced grooves in the floor waiting for these same children to return home from their first dates, boy/girl parties, junior and senior proms and trips back and forth to college – simply waiting to get the okay that they arrived safely and weren’t stranded in a ditch somewhere or taken hostage by a psychotic escaped convict. I’ve spent so much time on my knees in prayer for these children I should be nominated for sainthood.

I’ve cried gallons of tears watching as they broke up with the love of their life, had a fight with their best friend, grieved over the loss of a grandparent or favorite pet, crammed all night for finals, had a meltdown over teenage acne, flunked a test or a class, lost an athletic competition, got engaged, broke an engagement, got pregnant, had a baby of their own, left for college, left for grad school in another state, went on missions trips to a third-world country, planned weddings and got married.  Tears, tears and more tears – both theirs and mine shed in equal measure as I suffered right alongside them on so many occasions too numerous to count.

And this list is but the tip of the motherhood iceberg. Full-time stay-at-home mothering is an endless cycle of growth, challenge and unwavering commitment. My children are 26, 28 and nearly 36 years old; my grandson, 16 years old. The learning curve never stops as our children become fully-functioning independent adults who eventually leave home. We must adapt our parenting style to accommodate children who now battle many of the same adult problems that we ourselves deal with.

So, while my friends may be able to retire from their careers, my chosen career continues to evolve – my career will never allow me to completely “retire” from the rigors of full-time stay-at-home mothering. I will never retire, I’m just … tired, over and over again. So technically, I’m re-tired.

Would I like a nice fat monthly pension check for all of my years of faithful service? You bet your sweet *%! I would! In a perfect world, there would be financial compensation for mothers who unselfishly sacrifice themselves for the many years of devoted service behind the apron … behind the stove … behind the washing machine … behind the wheel. But alas, to date, the only compensation we receive is the satisfaction of knowing that IF we’ve done our job well, our children will leave the nest as strong, independent, caring, compassionate hard-working individuals who are able to take what they’ve been taught and pay it forward so that they too will become responsible, loving and committed husbands and wives and mothers and fathers of their own someday.

True, it may not be money in the bank, but it’s a satisfaction that can only come from a lifelong job done well. No regrets, I say, only amazing children that I have been blessed to care for and nurture and mentor. I feel fortunate that God hand-picked each of them for me and me for them. Perhaps someday instead of financial compensation, I will hear those much sought after words from my Heavenly Father … well done my good and faithful servant, well done!

Start children off on the way they should go, and even when they are old they will not turn from it. Proverbs 22:6 (NIV)

Blessings in Christ and as alwayshappy reading!
Kathy K.

Happy New Year

The turning of the calendar to a new month and a new year, brings with it a myriad of emotions. Many face excitement or dread, depending on the kind of year we’ve just gone through.

For a lot of us, we simply existed this past year, living day-to-day, only recalling what the year was like when our memories are jogged by the latest highlight reel of 2016 happenings.

This election year was a harsh reminder of the wide divide throughout our country, separating even the closest of friends.  As we prepare to welcome our new President-elect, those divides are magnifying exponentially, causing tensions to mount as we look towards 2017 with much skepticism or wide-spread fear.

Those “In Memoriam” videos remind us of those lost we lost this past year, who, for the most part, we’ve quickly forgotten. Those recaps remind us that life is short and that death comes to us all — celebrity, VIP or average Joe.

This new year promises to hold much of the same: some heartache, some joys, births, weddings, elections and of course — death. That much is certain. Regardless of WHAT happens each year, we all end up going the way of our ancestors before us, no matter our religious beliefs.

The most profound thing I read this past week with regards to the most recent celebrity deaths was a statement by Franklin Graham. The world-renowned pastor stated: “From the unknown to the most well-known, we all have something in common — death. Our time on earth is brief — the Bible says like “a vapor.” And each of us will stand before Almighty God to give an account. The decision that will determine where we spend eternity is whether we have believed in His Son, Jesus Christ, trusting Him as our Savior and following Him as Lord. There are no VIP passes or exceptions. Jesus said, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me” (John 14:6).”

There are those who will simply shake their heads and tell us they don’t believe in life after death; heaven or hell, God or Satan – and if they are right, then no worries. But suppose they are wrong and there really is an afterlife and that God is real?  If that is the case … there are no celebrity entrances or back doors into Heaven.

Yes, the future can seem daunting, fearful or worrisome – but as for me, I prefer to look to the future the same way I look at the past. With eyes focused on Jesus, trusting Him one day at a time. I believe He will direct my paths and keep me on the straight and narrow. I trust the Lord to correct me when I screw up; to comfort me when I feel down or isolated; to love me whether I feel as though I deserve it or not; to give me peace when I’m surrounded by chaos and to walk beside me day after day … month after month … year after year.

The New Year will be what we make of it depending on our attitudes and our level of faith in our Heavenly Creator. My attitude for 2017?  May there be peace on earth as we trust the Lord Jesus to reign supreme and take control of the madness.

You will keep in perfect peace
all who trust in you,
all whose thoughts are fixed on you!
Isaiah 26:3 (NLT)

Wishing you a happy, joyful and prosperous New Year, and as always … HAPPY READING!

Blessings in Christ,
Kathy K.

Imag-a-marry-um

The candles  are all extinguished. The linens washed, folded and stored away. The dress packaged and housed indefinitely in long-term storage. It is finished. The months of planning, shopping, crafting and preparing for my daughter’s wedding and the life-changing event is all but reduced to memories, photos and videos.

It was a magical day; one that turned out immeasurably better than all of the hopes and dreams I’d been compiling over the past 13 months – nay, the past 26 years. It was simply put, the most perfect day ever – the kind of day Hallmark movies are made of.

With the months of planning, it was so easy to see in my mind’s eye the way I wanted the day to go; to imagine how I would feel and react – so much so, that by the time the actual event occurred, it was almost like déjà vu.

In the past whenever I’ve planned and prepared so thoroughly for an event, I’ve found myself somewhat disappointed by the “real thing.” It’s as if my fantasies can’t quite compete with real-life experiences. Which is why I was so pleasantly surprised that my fantasies essentially paled in comparison to my daughter’s actual wedding day.

I wonder what else I’ve planned or imagined for my future that will either rival or pale in comparison to the real thing?

These days I try to imagine how life will be once my husband retires. I think about the future a lot – wondering if I’ll have more grandchildren. Pondering what life will look like in 20 or 30 years? So much uncertainty and not one of us can accurately predict the future.

I’m especially imaginative on the subject of death, the afterlife, heaven and hell.  I confess, I harbor a bit of fear where death is concerned. I pray that it won’t be as terrifying or painful as my imagination presumes. I hope that Heaven and my first conversation with the King of Kings in the afterlife will be a million times better than what I dare to hope, dream or imagine.

The Bible may give us clues to the afterlife (Revelation 21) – and we can make all the jokes in the world (if calories count in Heaven – then I’m NOT going!); but the fact remains, we won’t know until we get there!

While it was fun to fantasize about my daughter’s wedding day for months ahead of time, the real thing was so much better. All the things I worried about, didn’t happen so I wasted a lot of effort on stuff that didn’t matter. I can only hope that going to Heaven someday, will work the same way. I can worry about the when, where, why and how of it right now – OR I can choose to simply trust God that I’ll get there only when He says it is time.  I hope … believe  … and trust that it will be a million times better than my imagination.

“No eye has seen, no ear has heard, and no mind has imagined what God has prepared for those who love him.” 1 Corinthians 2:9 (NLT)

Blessings in Christ and as alwayshappy reading!
Kathy K.

Tame the Ta Tas

Do your boobs hang low?
Do they wobble to and fro?
Can you tie them in a knot?
Can you tie them in bow?
Can you throw them over your shoulder like a …

Whoa! Wait just a doggone minute! If you can tie your boobs in a knot or a bow and throw them over your shoulder, then you’ve got no excuse for not getting a mammogram!

October is breast cancer awareness month and early detection is the key to battling this disease that now strikes about 1 in every 8 U.S. women.

Let’s face it – no one likes having their ta tas smashed flatter than a tortilla. But whether we like it or not, mammograms are one of life’s “just do it,” necessities. Kind of like having your teeth cleaned twice a year or balancing your checkbook.

Thanks to her annual mammogram, my own dear mother discovered a tiny malignant breast lump which was successfully removed during a biopsy. She was later treated with radiation and thankfully no further treatment or surgery was required. Her story might have had an entirely different outcome if she would have skipped her annual mammogram.

Statistics show that about 85% of breast cancers occur in women who have no family history of breast cancer.* In fact, the most significant risk factor for breast cancer is simply … being a woman and getting older. That’s not great news for us girls.

We can significantly improve our odds of avoiding this disease by doing a few simple things.  Regular mammograms are a must! While there is still some debate about the age to begin having regular mammograms, many experts agree that women should start screening by age 40. However, women of all ages should begin doing regular breast self-exams at home as early as possible. If you’ve got em’ – check em’ ladies!

Those same experts agree that healthy eating (eliminating fast-foods and processed foods) also increase our chances of living healthier lives and avoiding breast cancer. And I hate to be the one to break it to you … but yes, even regular exercise several times per week can improve your chances of avoiding breast cancer.

Sometimes it’s no fun being a grown-up and acting responsibly, but hey … there are worse things in life than mammograms. Can you say root canal? Or how about IRS tax audit? 

Throw them over your shoulder if you want… just make sure you tame the ta tas and get that mammogram soon!

Let everything that has breasts praise the Lord!

Don’t you realize that your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit, who lives in you and was given to you by God? You do not belong to yourself, for God bought you with a high price. So you must honor God with your body.  1 Corinthians 6:19-20  (NLT)

Blessings in Christ and as always … happy reading!
Kathy K.

*breastcancer.org for more info.

 

 

Dream a Little Dream of … Trust

At the age of 24, singer/songwriter, Jamie Grace had already achieved more recognition than the average dream-chasing singer.  Ms. Grace was nominated for a Grammy in 2011 and later won a Dove Award in 2012 for New Artist. Yet, in spite of this perceived success, this young woman was considering retiring from the thing she loved most: singing. She felt frustrated over the apparent stalling of her career.

In a recent Facebook post, Ms. Grace stated, “I’ve been trying to process why I feel like God is calling me to this amazing purpose yet for some reason things just aren’t working out.”

Ms. Grace’s career, however, took an immediate jump in popularity when just a few months ago she was randomly pulled onto to stage to sing with the Award-winning singer/songwriter, Adele. That random act was all the confirmation the Christian artist needed to remember that her dream … her unique musical gift from God was no accident and was given to her to serve a greater purpose. His purpose.

In her own words, Ms. Grace stated: “… being on stage with Adele was a reminder and an assurance that I do have a voice and the voice does matter.”

Most of us have dreams or visions of achieving something big at some point during our lives. Everyone’s dreams are as unique and specific as each of us are. My lifelong dream has always been to write a best-selling novel that impacts millions of readers – and to see that book made into an award-winning movie.

Life, however, frequently tends to get in the way of our dreams. Many of us may find ourselves in the same position as young singer, Jamie Grace, with stalled dreams and feeling somewhat hopeless and unfulfilled.

Many years ago after publishing my first book I had a nighttime dream that I was talking to the Lord complaining about my lackluster book sales. In the dream I was telling God I felt as though I was wasting my time with this writing business since no one was buying my books.

In the dream the Lord spoke to me and asked me, who are you writing for? Are you writing for the praise you receive from people or are you writing to please me? To which I replied, of course, I am writing for You, God.

The dream continued with God asking me, “If you were a great singer or musician but you never had an opportunity to sing at the greatest venue in the world … say, some place like Carnegie Hall, would you simply stop singing or stop making music?”

Thinking it must be trick question, I answered, “well, duh … no, of course not.” He answered me with an equally simple response, “Then why would you stop writing just because you’re not on the best-seller list?”

I awoke from the dream feeling more settled, more certain that the gift for writing words that God has placed in me wasn’t simply for the purpose of making money or making a name for myself. The writing gift God has blessed me with is to make a name for Him. Therefore, I must learn to trust and rely on Him to further and advance my career and stop worrying about who is or who isn’t reading my work.

What about you … what’s your dream? If things aren’t happening the way you’d like, why not turn your dreams over to the Lord. Why not let Him decide how and when to advance them. After all, God is the one who placed those dreams in you, so shouldn’t it be up to Him on how or when to use them?  You never know … perhaps, one day when you least expect it you will be randomly selected to display your gift for all the world to see.

“Delight yourself in the Lord and he will give you the desires of your heart.”                Psalm 37:4 (NIV)

Blessings in Christ and as always … happy reading!
Kathy K.