Saturday, September 22, 2012

Encourage Yourself

It's been too long since I last made a blog post - sorry everyone!  At times life s gets in the way.  It's at those times, those moments you need a little encouragement.  But what do you do when you have no one to lean on?  You have to encourage yourself.

This past week, I really went through a rollar coaster of emotions.  I had a not so favorable review at work, sorta bad family news about the health of loved ones, and more news concerning a sibling.  All I know to do is to pray for a way to help me know that I can make it - but it can be hard.  When people constantly turn to you for help, who is it that I can turn to.  That's why encouraging yourself is so important.

You can do it!

You are deserving.

You are fearfully and wonderfully made.

I CAN do all things through Christ who strengthens me.

Encourage yourself - it helps me.

Wednesday, September 12, 2012


As I watch the morning news, I am often reminded of how blessed I am.  The news used to be a place that I went to to get the morning weather report, traffic report, and to know what is going on in the world.  Too often these days, it has turned into a place where you are reminded don't eat that, don't go there, don't pick that up, and don't even think about...doing anything or you will get hurt, sick or die.  How depressing it can be.

But I am reminded of the better things and for that I start to smile. 
  • God - without my belief in Him, there is no way I could make it.  If you believe in a higher power, find peace in knowing you can draw strength to make each day a better day for yourself and others.
  • Health - Yes, I am starting to get aches and pains in my 30-something body, but I am thankful for my health.  I am not sick and I'm free of disease.  I am embracing learning and striving to live a healthier lifestyle in all ways.
  • Family and Friends - I am thankful for those people who are in my life.  I do whatever I can for them and hopefully they would return the favor if needed.  But if not, my life is enriched for being a part of theirs.
  • Others - I am reminded that God wants us to love our neighbors and others.  Sometimes this is not a easy feat.  The driver who cuts you off on the road, the person in a hurry in the store who bumps you are knocks you down and doesn't acknowledge what they goes on and on.  It's your reaction that determines truly who you are. 
This was just a few of things that I thought about this morning.  What are the things that make you smile?

Friday, September 7, 2012

Standing Up for Mary

My mother has cancer - lung cancer. When you are young and growing up, cancer is always something that other people get. It doesn't affect you. You feel sorry for those who have it but go about your merry way and really don't think about it - until it happens to you or to someone you love. That is what happened for me almost 5 years ago.

My mother went in for a routine doctor exam and was told she was pre-diabetic. As always happens in my family, she armed herself with the all the tools to take care of herself. She went to nutrition classes, took her readings and took the prescribed meds. Mama would share with me the recipes she got and she even started working out at the local senior center. She was getting healthier and it was great to see. One night I was woken by a call. Mama was at emergency, they may have to intibate her, come now. What?!? It had to be like 2am? Was this a joke? I tried to call my brother back but he didn't answer. I rushed to the hospital and she was taking a breathing treatment. Apparently she had an allergic reaction to her diabetic medication, lysinopril and it almost cut off her airway. She spent a day or two in ICU as they got her stabilized. She was put on steroids as a treatment and was sent home. Some how I realized something just wasn't right.

A week later I got another call. Mama was taken to the hospital for heart palpitations. By now I am starting to question what is going on. The palpitations were due to the steroid treatment. She was in the Cardiac Unit for observations and tests. One of the tests showed something - they weren't quite sure what it was. More tests were ordered. As we advance forward about a month, after a lot more tests and biopsies, I find myself waiting in the hospital waiting room. She was in surgery having a biopsy done on her lymph nodes and lung. If it is benign, they would remove her lymph nodes and the upper right lobe of her lung. If it is cancerous, they would close her up, she would have radiation and chemo to shrink the tumor, then they would go in and remove the lymph nodes and upper right lobe. It was cancer. My mother, a never smoker had lung cancer. I had read not so good things about lung cancer - I wasn't prepared for this.

But my mom is a fighter and a wonderful woman. She went through her treatments with the determination to live and fight this disease. Right now, she is doing wonderfully well. They don't see any evidence of the disease and will soon take her off of her chemo treatment - which he is happily looking forward to. We have lost others in my family to various forms of cancer. But I have always believed that my mother was given this disease to be a testament to others that you can beat it and you can live. Don't look down on those who are going through illnesses. It is only with your well-wishes and prayers that they draw the strength to endure.

As I listened to some of the stories on the Stand Up 2 Cancer show tonight, I was reminded of the stories that they did not highlight. They didn't tell my mom's story or may never know about her. But I do. And I am standing up for her. Lung Cancer is the least funded of all of the cancers but affect the most people. We have to stop the stigma that associates it with blame of something that you did to your self. No one deserves cancer. Support those who are fighting. I'm Standing Up For Mary. Are you?

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

My little obsession

I think I have a problem.  Well I wouldn't really call it a problem - maybe just a small obsession.  I was watching an Organized Like Jen video update on her FiloFax system and it reminded me to start using my Franklin Covey planner that I was so gung ho about earlier this year.  I really loved using it but the pages ending up being too thick for the binder so I couldn't put the entire year in it.  After finding myself not using it to its total functionality..I just drifted off to another notebook.  But then Jen did an update video and it reminded me why I purchased it - organizing my day and time is a necessity.

While looking at her video, I noticed another video about a life planner.  I watched it and the obsession began.  I have fallen in love with the Erin Condren Life Planner.  I really really want one, but I am just not able to afford one at the moment - plus my current planner is not done. I must have checked out every youtube video and every blog to thoroughly check it out to see if it is something that I really wanted.  It is.

What's so great about it, you may ask. From it's bright, colorful pages, to the simple designs- it's functional, personalized, and when I get one, everything I need to stay on task. (Anyone doing a giveaway or know of a coupon code? lol)

I would love to know if anyone is on the fence of getting a Life Planner.  If you have one, how has it made you more organized?

Introducing - Traveling Steps

Welcome to my first post on my new blog, Traveling Steps!  I am excited to start a new project where I share with you all those things that I find important as I travel through life.  These words are my traveling steps.

This blog will be a little about everything, but here is a little background about my main topics.

Southern Girl:
I'm a Georgia girl - born and raised in Georgia and I went to UGA. Go Dawgs!!!

I love Japanese culture, language, the country, and most of all the people.  I studied Japanese through school and went to Japan on several occassions - homestay, study abroad, and working as a teacher on the JET Program.  I am not actively involved with the JET Program alumni association.

Lung Cancer:
My mother, a never smoker, was diagnosed with lung cancer almost 4 years ago.  I hope to share her story.  Amazingly, doctors see no evidence of cancer.  We can only praise God for his blessings, healing, and favor.

Thank you for taking the time to read this.