Thursday, February 26, 2015

Lent is NOT Christmas

Lent is not like Christmas. People drag their feet towards lent rather than the eager countdown to Christ's birth.  The Easter bunny does not hold a candle to Santa Claus.  I think deep down we know that we may have focused a little too much on the secular side of the holiday, focusing on gifts and parties and indulgences rather than the coming of Christ. 

During Lent, we cannot do this.  Lent is a period of preparation for the greatest gift of them all:  Christ's death and resurrection.  Lent is a time where we need to prepare ourselves to be worthy of the gift of Christ's sacrifice. Lent reminds people that they need to change. While the gift of Christ is freely given, it comes at a cost. The cost of Jesus' crucifixion. The crucifixion is also freely given, yet it reminds us that we need to be better people to honor the gift of death in order that we might have life everlasting.  The gift of the resurrection reminds us all that God has the power to transform. 

God has transformed me.  When I was 12, I lost my hearing to an auto-immune disease.  At the time, the doctors did not know what was going on with me.  My blood work was very abnormal and I was put on many experimental therapies to try and stop my hearing loss.  Three years later, many drug therapies later, I still lost all my hearing.  I stand before you today, legally deaf.  I wear cochlear implants that allow me to hear, but for a period of time, I did not hear at all. 

During this time, I have a very vivid memory of being at church.  We had all stood to say the Nicene Creed.  I could not hear at all.  At this point, I was deaf and without any hearing aids.  I became very, very angry.  I felt abandoned by God, and I thought it was very pointless to be at church when I felt that I could not participate in the liturgy.  I remember to this day, the furious tears, and the hot feeling under my skin as I sat down and refused to participate in the rest of the service.  My mind was screaming, "How can I do this and not hear?" 

And then the Eucharist began. I felt a sudden peace come over me.  My tears stopped.  My heart rate slowed.  I felt like I was being hugged.  I distinctly remember the presence of the Holy Spirit.  And it spoke to me.  And I heard God tell me that I did not have to HEAR to participate.  My Christ Walk had little to do with what I was HEARING and everything to do with what I was doing in my life. 

Throughout the years, I have come to realize that God gave me other gifts besides my hearing (and now my cancer).  And I have learned that I can manage my disease through exercise, good nutrition and managing my mind, body, and spiritual health.  I invite you to join me in the Christ Walk program to see how the Holy Spirit can transform your life, mind, body and spirit.

Christ Walk is a 40 day program designed to prepare yourself mind, body and spirit to lead a Christ-filled life that is also healthy.  In 1 Corinthians, 6:19, Paul states: "Do you not know that your bodies are temples of the Holy Spirit, who is in you?" 

Our bodies house the gift of the Holy Spirit.  Very few of us treat our bodies like temples.  Rather, we make choices that treat our bodies in a careless fashion.  We eat too much, drink too much, fail to exercise, misuse medications, stress too much and make choices that do not care for this body that has the Holy Spirit within us.  We do not treat ourselves like temples. 

Lent is an opportunity for us to relook at our everyday habits, not only spiritually, but also physically and mentally so that we can turn to Christ in all of our choices, not just in our prayer life.  A Christ-like life, is something that we should chose to try and live each day.  Not just on church holidays. 

This Lent, you have chosen to do the Christ Walk program.  What does this mean? Instead of giving up chocolate, or sweets or other temptation, I ask you to take a walk with me.  Christ Walk is a Lenten devotional that uses walking different biblical routes to symbolize the journey we take with Christ in our everyday life.  You will choose a biblical route to walk this Lent.  They are listed in the appendix of the Christ Walk book.  You will choose one of the routes that appeals to you.   There are many different routes you can symbolically walk during the next 40 days.  You will collect miles towards your route in different ways.  You can walk, bike, swim, volunteer or pray in order to earn miles towards your route.  By the end of Lent, you will have collected enough miles towards your chosen route and completed your journey. 

Some examples of the different routes you can walk include the following:  One route is the distance between Bethlehem and Jerusalem; signifying the journey between Christ's beginning and his end.  Another route is the "Via Delarosa, or the Way of Sorrows.  This route is the journey Jesus made as he walked through Jerusalem towards the cross.  There are several routes from Paul's missionary journeys.  There are many different routes to choose from.  You will  choose a route that calls to you. 

If you are unable to exercise, each 15 minute block of prayer, volunteerism, or outreach opportunity you take on will count as a "mile" towards your goal.   Christ Walk is designed for anyone at any level of fitness to participate.  In fact, I have had Christ Walk participants in wheelchairs and walkers that have found ways to earn miles during their Christ Walk journey.  Your miles, however you walk, run, bike, swim or pray through are steps you can use on your walk with Christ. 

The goal of Christ Walk is to build a strong temple so that we all can continue to do the work that Christ calls us to do in the world.   

God does call us to change.  We are called in our baptismal covenant.  We are called when we confirm that we are members of the body of Christ during confirmation.  We are called daily to represent God's love here on earth.  This is not just a call of prayer, but also a call of action.  Being a Christian is all about everything we DO and every way we ACT and the CHOICES we make not only with one another, but also with ourselves.

When I was growing up, I used to say Christmas was my favorite holiday. My father, a priest, would always say that Good Friday and Easter were his. This always made me scratch my head as a child

As I have grown older, the gift of Easter grows each year and I have come to think of it as my favorite holiday. I use the Lenten period to prepare myself mind, body and spirit to receive the gift of God and strengthen my skills to use myself in God's calling in my life. Lent is a time that we can spring clean our lives mind, body and spirit so we are prepared for the springing of Easter. Lent is my time to rededicate myself to God's calling in my life.

Lent is not something to drag one's heels. Rather, look with anticipation the coming journey and the change God can make within you. At the end of this forty days, You WILL be a changed person. 

In closing, I would like to share with you the Christ Walk prayer: 

The Lord be with you: 

I will try this day to walk the path set before me
I will try to walk a little longer, a little stronger
I will walk with my mind, body and spirit
I will walk with others, I will walk for others
I will walk when others cannot
I will be still and know that you are God on the days I cannot walk
I will walk with you Lord, on the path you set before me
When my own feet fail, I know you will help me get up and walk again
I will imagine what it would be like to walk in Christ's shoes
And try to live my life as though I was on Christ's path
I will pray that I walk the path I am called to and not turn down paths I am not
Today, Lord, on my journey I will Christ Walk
And I am thankful that you Christ Walk with me too.
Amen (Used with Permission, Christ Walk: A 40-Day Spirtual Fitness Program, 2015, Church Publishing Incorporated)

Come, Christ Walk with me.

Tuesday, February 17, 2015

An Introduction to "Christ Walk"

What is Christ Walk? Christ Walk is a walking program. It is designed to improve your physical health. I have a list of biblical routes for you to choose a biblical journey to walk during the next forty days. There is a chapter a day to help lift you up spiritually as your make your journey.

As I write this book, I will never claim to be an expert on what is the best thing for you to do to have a spiritually and physically healthy life. I am not a theologian, although from my studies, I would argue that anyone who studies and works towards a closer relationship with God could be considered a theologian. I do not claim to have all the answers. Much like any Christian, I have many questions that I constantly seek answers for, which to me is an act of faith. I am not an expert on health, although I have worked in the healthcare field for the last 12 years with an emphasis on health programs and training. I do not claim that this book is the answer to all of the questions that you may have. It is not a diet, nor a guidebook or even a recommendation on how you should live.

This book is a personal reflection on my experiences, beliefs, and knowledge on having a spiritually and physically healthy life. I have written this book after six years of running a Christ Walk program at two churches. The program was well received and provided an opportunity for the participants to grow spiritually and physically. The book is set up in a manual/journal format in order for you to have an interactive experience in the Christ Walk journey, much as the participants in the class experienced! At the end of the 40 days, this book should be as much your book as it is mine. I have designed the book for individual use as well as for groups. The appendices include options for group leaders and options for individuals to transform their Christ Walk experience from journey to journey. And there is always another journey. Christ Walk should not end after one 40-day period. These 40 days should transform you in to new journeys and new goals.

The Bible is rife with stories about journeys and food and eating and celebration. God did not intend for us to be at war with food, nor did he intend for us not to use our feet and our bodies in our daily lives. I am filled with awe that Christianity spread during a time when there were no cars, or trucks, or trains, or airplanes to get our prophets and disciples to the place where they wanted to spread the word. There is a reason God gave us feet! To use them, to walk with them, or run with them or jump with them, but all to the Glory of God and taking care of the temple he created within each of us.

When I have struggled with how to live my life, for the strength to get out and exercise when all I want to do is stay at home, or when I have been conflicted by the stresses in my life, I have always felt that God was there to help me and provide me strength and guidance. I remember running my first half marathon. Around mile 9 I began to fail and doubt. I began to pray that God would wrap my legs in strength and endurance. I felt the power of the Holy Spirit lift my legs and make them strong again. I truly believe God’s strength helped me finish my race. The belief that I was not alone rejuvenated me. I believe that God walks with me in every step that I take. I believe that the Bible is filled with inspirational guidelines on living a healthy life. Through the next 40 days, I would like to share that with you, as well as sharing a bit of my life and my journey through Christ Walk.

Each day, there will be a Bible verse related to a reflective piece on healthy living. Some of these days may be more body-focused and other days may be more spiritually or mentally focused. All of these days will help you on your journey to a healthier you! If you are physical unable to walk, I ask that you look at your life in ways that you can change it and improve it. Everyone has things that they can do to make their life healthier. Perhaps your goal will be to study something new on your journey, or pray with more discipline or focus on changing your nutritional habits. If you cannot physically exercise, discuss with your health care provider on some options that you are willing to do to change. There is a place in this journey for everyone. We may need to be creative on the method that the journey is completed. I ask that you pray through those chapters that are not applicable to you and really focus on the ones that speak to your personal experience. I have tried to write to many different perspectives and needs. I am aware that this book will not work for everyone, but if you cannot make the journey on your own, consider how you can help others on their journey. Keep an open mind and again, consider, “what can I do to change?”

So how do we make a healthy body? We take care of it. We exercise it, we feed it, we nurture it, and we rest it. Scientifically, the best exercise that most people keep up with is walking. I find that very reassuring as most of the stories and journeys in the Bible were done by foot. Consequently, as you begin this journey with me, I am going to ask you to pick a walking goal (see appendix A) to focus on during the next 40 days. There are different walking goals depending on your fitness level. Some people have walked the Via Delarosa (Jesus’ journey through Jerusalem to his crucifixion, one of my favorite routes) during Lent; others walked Jesus’ Birth and Death (the distance between Bethlehem and Jerusalem); while others have walked Paul’s missionary journeys. There is a complete list of suggested journeys and distances for you to set for your goal (Appendix A). Or you may choose to set your own goal! It is up to you. But as we physically walk through our Christ Walk journey, it will help to focus you on your spiritual goals as well.

Through the Christ Walk journey, we have taken the parable of the ordained journey and translated that to actual physical walking goals that are pulled from routes that Jesus and the disciples took during varying missions. You can find a breakdown of each of these routes and their miles to include a map of the routes in the Holy Land in the Appendices. Some of these distances are estimates. At the time I developed the routes, I was using a ruler and a map grid to figure out how far we would go. I take full responsibility in any inaccuracies and beg your forgiveness as these are supposed to be representative.

I chose some of these routes because they touched a very special part of me for different reasons. These biblical journeys represent different themes to me and I will share with you how they became a part of the Christ Walk Journey for me.

The first year I did Christ Walk, I think I only had three different routes to choose from: a beginner route, intermediate route, and advanced route to challenge different fitness levels. Over the years, I have added other routes as I journeyed through the Bible. I have also added Group routes because we are all in this together! Research also supports the impact of groups and teamwork on being successful in obtaining goals. People who set goals together are more likely to stick with them and be successful.

The Nazareth Challenge was one of the first routes I developed. It is 65 miles between Jesus’ hometown of Nazareth and Jerusalem. This is approximately 1.6 miles each day for 40 days to walk the distance of the route that Jesus preached to reach Jerusalem. The goal was very special to me because as a military wife, I am often far from home. I look at my journey now as leading me to my final resting spot one day and I find that very satisfying.

The Jerusalem to Damascus Route: This journey represents Paul’s conversion on the Damascus Road. The route is approximately 3.75 miles. What an amazing journey to find your way to being a Christian and God’s love. I can think of no greater journey than Paul’s conversion. If he could walk this route blind, anyone can do it. For me personally, I have a hearing loss that I will tell you more about in another story, but Paul’s loss of eyesight did not stop him from his calling. This is a wonderful journey to choose.

The Jerusalem Challenge: During Jesus’ final days, his route through Jerusalem included preaching at the temple, the clearing of the temple, the Last Supper, his arrest at Gethsemane, his trial and Peter’s denial and then his crucifixion. This is roughly a 2.2 mile route. This is known as the Via Delarosa or The Way of Suffering. What a powerful image to walk the distance of Christ’s ultimate sacrifice for us each data during Lent. And you can reflect on our walks the great gift we have been given. This is a lovely, lovely journey to try as you explore your spirituality and relationship to God.

The Damascus to Caesarea Journey: This is a journey of 5 miles a day representing the walks that the disciples took on their missionary journeys. I find it powerful that the disciples traveled such great distances without cars or other forms of modern transportation. Aside from a donkey or camel, these journeys were taken by foot. See yourself as part of a mission and a way and a journey and step proudly each day on your challenge.

The Bethlehem Challenge: I think of this challenge as the Alpha and Omega Challenge. It is about 5 miles between Bethlehem and Jerusalem and this represents walking the route from Jesus’ birth to his death. This is Jesus journey from where God put him in the world to his ultimate calling. Where will your journey take you?

The Exodus Challenge: Not for the faint of heart. This challenge was chosen for some of the most advanced of my Christ Walk participants. This is the route the Jews traveled to get to the Promised Land: 375 miles or 9.4 miles/day or 18750 steps per day. (You may use this one as a group challenge). We are all on our journey to the Promised Land.

The appendix in the book has additional group journeys where teams can pool their miles towards additional (and longer) challenges/routes found in the Bible. The second year I did Christ Walk, I learned that the journey was a lot more fun when we did it with teams. The teams provided a support system to get each of us through our different strengths and weakness on our routes.

If you are doing Christ Walk as a group, I recommend that during the first week, you coordinate some fitness professionals to come in and discuss principles of healthy living. It is also useful to have them provide some type of fitness testing so that you can be provided with some baseline information on the fitness level of your body. These numbers such as blood pressure, resting heart rate, body mass index, weight, cardiovascular fitness can give you some objective information on what you need to change. These tests can be repeated at the end of the journey to show the progress you made.

Finally, since I am not a dictator, I have always let the Christ Walk participants find their own journeys. There may be another route that speaks more deeply to you than these favorites of mine, and I encourage you to find that route and journey it. The point is to get up and get moving. The journey cannot get started if you are sitting down.

Each day, there will be a place for you to fill in your steps/distance, your activity, your feelings for the day and your spiritual thought for the day. Do not rush to finish the book. This book is designed to be read one chapter a day. This way, the book is a journal to help you on your way and improve your Christ Walk experience. If at any time you need to change your goals, feel free to do so. Life is a journey and many bumps happen along the way! The test of the issue is that you continue to have faith to continue on the journey, even if it is in a different way that the one in which you started. If you are doing this as a group, these journal entries may help your group to share their Christ Walk experience and deepen your understanding of a life of walking with Christ. See Appendix B for Recommendations for Groups.

So, how do we measure the steps we took, the distance we traveled? I recommend the purchase of a pedometer, which can be clipped to your belt or pants and will track the number of steps/miles traveled each day. Recommendations from the experts encourage every individual to take 10,000 steps a day for heart health. You may need to work up to this level of activity, and perhaps this will be one of your goals. Roughly 2,000-2,500 steps equal a mile. Depending on the maker of pedometer, it may tell this for you, or you may have to calculate your stride if you want to be more accurate. For the purpose of Christ Walk, we generally give 1 mile for every 2,000 steps. There is a brief description on using a pedometer in Appendix C.

If you want to bike, swim, dance, aerobics or whatever you choose for exercise, it takes about 15 minutes to walk a mile, so every 15 minute block of exercise can be calculated as a mile. The important thing is to choose an activity that you enjoy and do it. The purpose is to get out there and move, to think about every step you take as walking with God. I am not big on punishment and it is your walk with Christ, so you will have to take it up with your conscious if you cheat! That is up to God. Your job is to give it your best shot with all your heart.

So take your first step(s) and see how many steps your pedometer took you today.

Thoughts to ponder:

1. What is my goal?

2. How do I feel about my goal? Is it reasonable/attainable/realistic? If not, how can I make it something that I will stick with the next 40 days?

3. Who can I reach to help me out on my journey?

4. What do you think about the following scripture in relationship to your own journey?: “ So on that day your feet have walked will be your inheritance, and that of your children forever because you have followed the Lord my God wholeheartedly.” Joshua 14: 9

From "Christ Walk: A 40-Day Spiritual Fitness Program," 2015, Morehouse Publications. Used with Permission.

Wednesday, February 11, 2015

Top TEN Things You can Do for Lent This Year

It's that time of the year!  Lent is fast approaching.  Some of us are excited about this time that forces us to reflect on spiritual disciplines that make us stronger and some of us dread the thought of giving up our comfy lives and the status quo.  I would ask you to rethink this.  When Jesus went into the wilderness for 40 days and 40 nights, he gave up both physically and spiritually in order to prepare himself for Easter and the resurrection.

When I was growing up, we used to give up chocolate or sweets or candy for Lent as a sign of our spiritual discipline as children.  In recent years, the acts of "giving up" have been poo-pooed as not truly building spiritual discipline.  Rather, there has been a fad of "taking up" and "doing acts of goodness" during the Lenten season.

Not that there is anything wrong (indeed, doing good acts, is always a good thing) with the "taking up" movement, but we do a disservice to the purpose of "giving up" when we put it aside as a potential discipline to take on.  You see, discipline of the body is one of the hardest habits to establish.  In fact, I will be bold enough to throw out there, that it is through physical discipline that we also learn to establish habits of spiritual discipline.  It takes repeating a behavior over and over to make it apart of who we are as individuals.

You see, it's HARD to stick with physical disciplines. Your body talks to you in ways that are difficult to ignore when we take on physical disciplines or when we give up things that are bad for the body.  We feel pain, hunger, moods, cravings, soreness, wants, and needs.  When we take on physical discipline, we become very aware of the SELF.  This forces us to forget the self and focus on the spiritual aspect of WHY we are choosing to give something up.  Are we giving up things for Lent for ourselves or for God?  What is the purpose of the discpline that we have chosen?  When you give up bad habits, you must learn to identify whether your body really needs something or if you are feeding the physical form, when you should be feeding the spiritual needs of the body first.

From my perspective, everything we do to create discipline in our bodies can translate to discipline in our spirit because it forces us to think about how we want to live our lives and the choices we want to make.

If you are struggling with what to do this Lent, I'm going to provide you with some of the top habits you can practice that will lead you to a healthier mind, body, and spirit:

1.  Do CHRIST WALK THIS LENT!!!! :)  Sorry, I had to plug my book--it's a day by day companion towards a healthier life mind, body and spirit.  I'll be with you every step of the way! Read it and join me on a journey to a healthier YOU!

2. Quit Smoking:  You want to get healthy?  If you smoke, stop.  It's bad for your body, your family and your spirit.  You are using a drug to fill an empty void in your spirit.  If you want to do one thing for the body that will make it healthier--give up that tobacco this Lent.  You.  Can.  Do.  It.

3.  Give up Your Soda Habit: Not a smoker?  AWESOME.  Soda drinker?  Just as bad.  Sugar is just as bad a drug as tobacco and it's going to kill you.  If you aren't ready to go full on granola and cut all sugar from your diet, the first step is to kick the soda habit.  And I'm talking ANY soda.  No diet, no real, no fake drinks!  Switch to water, seltzer water, seltzer and 100% fruit juice, tea, coffee, water, water, water!  Soda is a terrible habit. Soda is poison.  You'll never hear me say otherwise.  It's a great goal to aim for during Lent.

4. Eat a serving of Fruits or Vegetables with Every Meal or Snack: We all need more fruits and vegetables in our diet.  If we consciously choose to add a serving to every meal or snack, then we will build our palates into eating the right number of servings without having to think about it.  Add fruit to cereal, yogurt, smoothies.  Add greens to smoothies, eggs, hashes or soups.  Have some sort of salad with every dinner or lunch.  Snack on raw veggies and fruit with hummus or cheese or nut butters.  When we try to add more of the good stuff into our diets, what slowly occurs is that there is less room for the bad stuff.

5.  Quit Drinking: Let me be frank--I don't think that having alcohol on a moderate basis is a bad or sinful thing.  I think drinking turns into a sin when it controls our life.  When alcohol controls you, we've got a problem Houston.  Much like any other drug, food, substance, etc., if you abuse it, you shouldn't use it.  And it doesn't hurt any adult to loose the booze for any period of time.  Again, it's all about discipline.  And face it, alcohol, while enjoyable, is an unnecessary caloric source to fuel the body.  Give you body a break from it and see how you feel at the end of 40 days.  If nothing else, you'll have helped to reset your body and give it a rest.

6. Add more Steps to Your Day: I would be remiss if I didn't suggest that we walk more, run more, swim more, exercise more.  After-all, that's what Christ Walk is all about.  Commit to finding out how much you walk and go a little further (I suggest using a pedometer or fitness counter.  Read all about it in Chapter 2 of Christ Walk).  BONUS TIME:  Pray with every step you take.  God can be with you (and is with you) even during exercise if you allow yourself to have a conversation with God while you move.  It's just about how you frame that exercise.

7.  Meditate/Pray for 20 minutes every day WITHOUT DISTRACTIONS! Meditation and Prayer is awesome.  Seriously, the impact on your blood pressure, resting heart rate and overall well being is well documented.  But man, it's hard.  20 minutes without distraction?  WHERE exactly are you supposed to find that in your chaos that is life?  Well, that's discipline.  Finding the time for what you think is important and then doing it--that's discpline.  It's one thing to say "I will do x, y, and z."  It's quite another thing to go out and do it and commit to it for 40 days.  I double, dog dare you to try. :)

8. Take a break from Eating Out.  If you cannot commit to not eating out for 40 days, perhaps commit to NO FAST FOOD during Lent.  We eat out too much as Americans.  We cannot control what goes into our bodies and how many calories we eat when we eat out all the time.  Reducing the amount of time we eat out or even just cutting the fast food, establishes a discipline for eating real food, food with our families, and food that we know we are putting into our bodies.  BONUS CHALLENGE:  Put the money you would have spent eating out in a jar.  At the end of the 40 days, see how much you saved.  THEN, give that money to a local food bank or community meal.  There are a lot of people out there that need that food money more than you.

9. Commit to Eating Food from God's Good Earth.  That's right.  Eat God's food.  Not engineered food, not meal replacement bars, not frozen meals.  Real food.  If that includes a slice of cake with real butter, real sugar, real eggs and real flour, then do it.  At least it's a real cake, not a high-fructose corn syrup, modified wheat, preservative filled piece of something that leaves you unsatisfied.  By Gosh, if you are going to eat cake, eat the real thing and savor it.  Cut the boxed foods from your shelves and focus on eating whole foods made with your own hands.  If you want a truly EXCELLENT resource for eating the real food way, I HIGHLY recommend the 100 Days of Real Food Blog.  She has a step by step process for making REAL FOOD a part of your every day life.

10.  Be Happy:  You Exercise, you eat right, you pray, you make time for your family and/or you have a good family/work/life balance.  Ergo, You've got it together.  Good for you.  AWESOMENESS ABOUNDS.  Commit to being happy with who you are for 40 days.  Each day give a prayer of thanks to God that you've GOT IT TOGETHER.  There are a lot of people out there who are struggling to be right where you are.  Be happy.  You are precious as you are.  This pretty much goes for everyone.  Even if you have things you need to change in your life, commit to being happy.  When we let God's love flourish in our hearts and in our disciplines, we share that with the world around us.

Will you slip up?  Probably.  Discipline in any format whether physical, nutritional, spiritual or mental is difficult.  It takes commitment. The Lenten season is about commitment.  You are committing your practice and your discipline to God to be a healthier temple for God's work in the world.  There isn't anything bad about that as a "giving on, or taking up" approach to the next 40 days.  Even if you screw up, the good thing is that God is forgiving.  Get up and commit each day to the discipline you chose. Discipline is good for us.  It helps us define who we are and what we are committed to doing for the world around us.  When we strive to be healthy and do things for God the next 40 days, we are building habits that form ourselves into better Christians for a lifetime.

Happy ChristWalking!

Thursday, February 5, 2015

Guest Blogging Over at Plannting Roots!

Friends!  I have had the pleasure of being the guest blogger over at Planting Roots!  This is a terrific organization on building ministry within the military family!  However, their message is applicable to all!

If you would like to check out my blog on "Walking through the Challenges of Life" you can connect to my prose here.

My message of how you handle your life, your health and your challenges is something you will hear a lot of in my book: "Christ Walk: A 40 Day Spiritual Fitness Program." So, if you need a little boost to your mind, body and spiritual life, grab yourself a copy and start walking.  Each step takes you closer to the person you want to be for you, your family and God.

~Happy Trails and love and Hugs! Anna

Wednesday, February 4, 2015

It's World Cancer Day

It's World Cancer Day today
and I have no clue what to do with it. 

You would thing that since I have cancer I would have something profound to say. 

You would think that since I have a mother who is in remission from cancer I would know what to say. 

You would think that since I have a friend who just died from cancer I would have something eloquent to say. 

You would think that since I worked as an Oncology nurse, I would know the right thing to say. 

You would think that. Since I have friends and family and colleagues I would have a clue what needs to be said. 

I really don't. Cancer still sucks. I wish it would go the heck away, but it seems that with 1 in 2 people getting cancer In This day in age we will all be dealing with cancer in our lives. I really think this is the new chronic illness of the decade. 

It seems weird to me to have a day devoted to cancer awareness because for me, I'm aware of it every single day. I never have a day that it doesn't cross my mind and there isn't a day that goes by where I'm still trying to figure out the new norm. And with my kind of cancer right now, I wonder if the pre-cancer me is really all that different from the post-cancer me. I don't fit in a survivor category. I don't fit in the treatment category. I fall in the waiting category. Y'all know how I feel about that. I wait just as terribly without cancer as I do with it. 

But it seems that God has given me some sort of strength to deal with it. I follow my cycle of prayer, exercise, and connections that helps me when I feel especially "cancerous" some days. I don't feel especially strong. I don't really know if I'm managing it the right way. It's more like I don't know any other way to deal with it. 

For me, every day is cancer awareness day and that's about all I have to say about that. 😉