“People are just as happy as they make up their minds to be.”  What do you think about that statement?  Are we responsible for our own happiness? 

In the past, I used to think that my happiness depended on others.  When I was first married, I thought my husband was responsible for making me happy.  I didn't actually say it; but if I was upset or angry, it was usually his fault, or so I thought.  Part of it was immaturity and part of it was me being selfish. The other part was not realizing what true happiness is.

There are many ways to obtain happiness; make more money and you will be happy, spend less time making money and spend more time with family and friends, smile more, laugh more, get out and socilize, volunteer and give back to the community, hum, sing, dance and the list goes on.

All of these ideas are admirable and can indeed make us happy.  The problem is they don't last.  They are only temporary fixes. These are not the ways to be happy. If one is to find true happiness, he must rise above these worldly ideas.

Obtaining true happiness must come from within.   The basis of true happiness is in direct relation to what I think about myself.  Do I like myself?  Would I want to be my friend?  We can change things about ourselves.  We can be friendlier, we can be more positive and outgoing.  And while this is true, that happiness must come from within, is it enough to sustain us through lifes ups and downs?

I believe true happiness goes much deeper than that.  True happiness is directly related to what I think God thinks about me.

Think about that for a moment.  Does God love you or even like you?  The Word of God is very clear about what God thinks about you.

And when I think of what God thinks about me, I cannot be sad.  I am instantly happy because He loves me so much that he died for me.  He loves me when I am grumpy, through my successes and my failures, and forgives me no matter what I do.

In answer to my question, Are we responsible for our own happiness? I believe the answer is true.  Happiness is actually a choice.  It begins and ends with you.  You can choose to believe what God says about you or not.  Therefore, seek the happiness that comes from above.  You owe it to yourself to find out what He thinks about you.


Something about Nothing

I need to write more.  But often times, I sit and think!  What should I write about?  Coming up empty-handed many a time, I decided that today I would write something about nothing.  So here goes.  How do you do that?  Another dilema, but because it is about nothing, hey, I have nothing to lose.

Today it is hot; registering 31 degrees outside.  That is almost unbelievable weather for September and in B.C.  I remember when we came to Vancouver Island, approx. 8 yrs. ago; it took me 2 summers before I felt I could put on a pair of shorts. The weather was always a bit cool, it seemed. (even though some people wear shorts all year long out here).  Such a contrast to this year; it has been the best summer for lovely, hot weather.  That is, if you like it hot and I do. 

However, I am often not sure of what to do on days like this.  For one thing, I am not a gardener; I have tried and thought I would like it; but alas, I do not.  I do like to get outside and enjoy the sunshine.  I tried to take the dog for a walk; but she wouldn't go.  Really, she planted her feet firm and was very happy when I turned around to come back home.  Now what?

I decided to ride my bike.  I could hear my dog voicing her disapproval at being left alone, as I pulled out.  I rode down town Sidney.  As long as I was moving, there was a bit of breeze.  But when I stopped and waited for traffic, (there are a lot of 4 way stops in Sidney) it was very hot, especially with the helmet on my head. Perhaps, I should have headed down Lochside Trail.  At any rate, I came back home, to the somewhat cooler temperature of my house.  Thank goodness for insulation.  I am enjoying a nice, cool glass of water and writing this post. 

Now, I am going to read. No cooking, baking today.  I think we shall have a nice, big salad.  Perhaps, my favourite kale recipe!!  Yum!

 So what is your weather like, today?  What do you do on a hot summer day?


Another dull and rainy day here in B.C. on Vancouver Island.  What do you make of it?   Well, you could stay in bed for the day, curl up and read a good book or bury your head in the sand.  Seriously, though, if you let it, the weather or any unhappy circumstance in your life could get you down.  You may begin to feel a "grump" coming on or at the very least want to complain.  That's how I started to feel this morning.  Fortunately, I caught myself right away and remembered that this is the day that the Lord has made; I will rejoice and be glad in it. Immediately, I began to smile and even sing. I had a great day, working a few hours at the preschool.  Later in the day, I had my annual check-up at the cancer clinic and was declared "cured" by the oncologist, who said he doesn't need to see me anymore. I am overjoyed.  And, yes, it is still a dull day and raining, but not on my parade.

Help! I just can't do it!

Purge that is!  I just can't seem to do it!

It seems like spring is in the air here on Vancouver Island.  We have had some beautiful sunny weather and warm temperatures over the last few days.  People are beginning to work outside in their yards.  My husband acquired a green house and is getting excited about starting his garden early this year.  My next door neighbour has been washing his windows.  And of course there is spring house cleaning, where people begin to purge things as they clean.  In with the new and out with the old, I guess. 

Now, I like spring cleaning.  But, try as I might; I just can't get rid of things.  I just rearrange or move things from one place to another.  When I think about purging, I am taunted with "Maybe, I better keep that; I might need it later."  or  "So and so gave me that, I can't give it away."  Maybe it's a young person's thing; my daughters have no problem purging. 

But purge, I must.  I think of my mom, who is 84, and will not throw away anything. She keeps empty boxes and tin cans; because they are pretty and she may use them someday.  Yikes, will I become like that?  I hope not; but I do keep the boxes that my appliances and other things come in; because, well, it might break down and I might have to send it back.  or What if we move, I will need them to pack things in. 

Oh dear, I do have a problem.  I must find a way to part with things; but I just can't throw them out.  Some are not really good enough to give away.  What do you do with those things?  I need to find the answer and the sooner the better.  They are rapidly becoming clutter, on my shelves and in my closets, and will soon find their way out!

I see clutter as not only a physical problem; but it can also translate into an emotional and spiritual problem.  Why, you say?  Because it's always on my mind and it keeps me from doing other more important things.  It's like a heavy weight that I just can't get rid of.

There, I've put it out there and now I see how silly I'm being.  Of course, I can do this.  It's important to my well being and those around me.  So, I'm off to purge! and get that good feeling.



Are Your Limitations Holding You Back?

Recently, our pastor stated "Do not give up; do not accept the limitations that you have!" 

I have been pondering that statement as I am nearing the completion of my book, "TWICE Lessons, Insights & Healing from Cancer".  I could feel limited by the fact that I don't know anything about editing or publishing a book.  Actually,  I don't even know any people in the field. I don't have the funds to really publish it myself.  But like the following people, I will not be bound by these limitations, however big or small.  I know my God is big enough to handle any limitation that I might encounter. 

I am encouraged by people, like the ones below who have accomplished much in their lives, despite the limitations that they have.  They have learned to overcome. 

Kevin Connolly is a young man, who was born without any legs.  He is currently a professional skier, photographer and skateboarder.

Joni Eareckson Tada became a quadraplegic as a teenager through a tragic diving accident. She has become a great speaker, author, artist and evangelist. 

Liu Weil lost both his arms in an accident at the age of 10.  He learned to play the piano with his feet and won China's Got Talent Show in 2010.  His motto is very inspirational ""I can die as fast as possible, or I can live a brilliant life.  And I chose the latter."  Wow! 

No matter what our limitations are, we must not let them stop us from doing what we want to do, or even yet, what we were meant to do.  The challenges they bring can serve to teach us and make us stronger if we will not give up.  There is really nothing that can hold us back except ourselves. God, in us, will enable us to do the impossible. 

In Deuteronomy 13:19, God spoke to his people and said, " This day I call the heavens and the earth as witnesses against you that I have set before you life and death, blessings and curses. Now choose life, so that you and your children may live."

Let's live life to the fullest and experience God's blessings.


Do you know who you are?

Today, I am so thankful for who I am. And who am I?  I am a woman, a wife, a mother, a grandmother, a retired school teacher, a cancer survivor, a dancer and so much more.  I am also a daughter.  I am the daughter of Charles and Kathleen.  But more important than any of the afore mentioned, I am a daughter of the most high God!  He is my abba Father and I am adored by him.  He lavishes His love on me and wraps me with favour. He has given me great and precious promises.  He has plans to prosper me. Wow!  Because of the sacrifice of his only Son, Jesus Christ, and the blood that was shed for me, I am worthy to receive all that He has for me.  It is all that I could ever want or need.  Do you know who you are?

You Just Gotta Dance!

I know I have written about dancing before.  But I am so excited that I must tell you what I am doing now.  I just started tap dance lessons.  That's right!  I had my very first ever tap dance lesson on Friday night and I can't wait to go back this Friday.  It was so much fun and low impact; so I don't have to worry about hurting myself.  At least not yet, it is a beginner's class and I was able to keep up with the steps so far.  I imagine that it can get a little trickier as we begin to put certain steps together to make a routine and I need to remember the order.  However, that will be good for me, too.  It will be another challenging exercise for my brain as well as sudoko that I enjoy.  Last week, I wore running shoes to class; but I am going to look for a pair of tap shoes as soon as I get the chance.  It will be a lot more fun, to actually hear a tap.  Of course, if I don't tap at the same time as others, it may be a little too telling.  Oh, dear!

Are we accumlating wealth only to spend it on our health?

"Most people work hard and spend their health trying to achieve wealth. Then they retire and spend their wealth trying to get back their health."

I imagine you have heard or seen this quote before; but now, that I am retired, I have been thinking about the absurdity and the truth in this statement.  As we age, our bodies begin showing signs of disease like high blood pressure, heart disease, type II diabetes, arthritis, and cancer; just to name a few.  If you have a health plan and follow exactly what the doctor prescribes; then you may fare well.  However, what if you don't have a plan or you decide to treat your disease without the doctor's prescription drugs. You can spend a lot of your own hard earned money, seeking alternative ways to get well. 

Does it have to be this way?  Of course, the answer should be no; but more often than not it is yes.

So, what can we do.  We could lobby for more money but alas governmental funding is already being pulled everywhich way.  We need to do something now, to prevent the onset of disease and to even reverse it.

That something is to take responsibility for your own health.  True enough certain diseases are hereditary; but more often than not a case can be made to prove it's not always so.  What does seem to be hereditary is lifestyle or eating habits.  I have a book entitled, We Are What We Eat that I bought when I was first diagnosed with cancer.  However, since then, I have realized, that a better title would  be We Become What We Eat.  You could also say We Become What We Do or What We Think. 

First and foremost, we all know the health benefits of exercise.  It can help protect you from the above mentioned diseases, relieves back pain and the effects of osteoporosis, can improve your mood and general well-being.

Secondly, we are all aware of the importance of relieving stress in our lives.  Being at rest or at peace with yourself and getting a good night's sleep allows your own body's natural defenses to do their job.

And last but not least, let's look at what we are eating.  Once again, we all know that we should cut back on white flours and their products, eliminate our intake of sugar, increase foods with fibre and drink lots of water.  We are even told to buy organic if you can afford it. This is all good advice. 

But recently, I have been reading about the importance of eating food that is locally grown or even grown in your own garden, as opposed to food that has travelled miles and miles across our country.  Think about this, the food we eat can actually change our DNA over time.  So let's start taking care of our health now so that we can enjoy our lives later.


Praise Changes Things!

Live in an atmosphere of praise!  It changes things!  As I am writing my book, I am so reminded about this.  When I lay on my couch, Nov.2/06 at 79 lbs, thinking that I was breathing my last breath, I began to praise God.  My friend, Mary, had sent me a CD from Joshua Mills, entitled Praise Changes the Atmosphere.  Wow!  I was so impacted by that CD and here I am today.  I am well and enjoying my life.  And I know, it is because God raised me up.

I cannot stress enough the importance of praising God in everything.  We often take the everyday things for granted.  But, nothing happens to us by chance.  If we are a child of God, then He is watching over and seeing to every little detail of our life.  There are times, when praise is the last thing that we want to do. I know, I've been there.  But that is exactly the time that we must.  I believe that is when it becomes what the Bible says "a sacrifice of praise".  It wasn't easy, but as I acted in obediance to what God said, he filled not only my heart with praise but my mouth as well.  I became aware of all the things that I had to be thankful for and joy filled my heart.  So let's be a people of praise!  Let's change the world we live in!  Let's be a peculiar people!


I read an interesting article by Philip Yancey today talking about pain.  In summary, Philip suggests that pain can either turn us away from God or turn us toward God.  I think that is a true statement.   None of us like pain and we may even ask why there is so much of it in life.  As Christians, we can blame it all on the "Fall" (Adam and Eve), but that doesn't offer much help or seem relevant for our pain today.  We still would like to know why God continues to allow such pain and suffering. 

First, I believe that it was all a part of God's plan.  In my case, God used the pain to draw me closer to Him.  Nothing around me seemed to matter when I found out I had cancer.  At first, I didn't want to see anyone; but I sure did talk to God.  I'm not sure I was all that pleasant either; but I knew He would listen and not interrupt.  God did eventually lead me to what I should do; but not until I had vented all my anger and frustrations. 

Secondly, I believe it is because He loves us so much.  What, you say?  Hear me out.  If you love someone, you want the best for them.  God wants the best for us.  The best is what He has planned for us.  It is what we were created for.  Sometimes, we need a wake up call to discover what that is.  I know I did.  I can't say that I have arrived or that I've got it all figured out.  But I can say that I am a whole lot more at peace with myself and my life.

Thirdly, I believe it is to prepare us for the future events that will surely come as the Word of God tells us.  There is coming a time of great tribulation that will make it extremely difficult for believers of Christ to exist.  Perhaps, we will not be here, because we will be taken away in the rapture.  I don't know, Bible scholars can't even agree.  But I do know, this is a time to put oil in our lamps, in other words to build relationship with our creator, God, so that we will be ready for whatever happens in the future.

So, even though we do not want to embrace pain, we need to look at it from different perspective and see what is in it for us.