Happy Birthday, Bart!

Happy Birthday, Bart!

 

Balloons going up into the sky 

 

 

 

 

In honor of my son’s birthday, I awoke this morning teary-eyed as I faced another day without Bart. The idea came to me to write him a letter…

 

 

Dear Bart, 

 

I miss you so much! As I wake up this morning thinking about you, on the one hand, my heart cries out that I want to see you, ruffle your hair, hug you, and tell you how much I love and miss you! On the other hand, I am grateful that you are in Heaven where joy and peace are not dependent on circumstances…you get the chance to praise and worship, where the focus is on God’s love and grace and where Jesus is the star! 

 

 

 

 

I do have some questions for you… 

 

  • Do you celebrate human birthdays in Heaven?
  • Do you get a glimpse of our happy and loving
    moments here on earth?
  • Do you know that your sister, Amy, has a wonderful husband, Patrick,  and four beautiful children who know so much about you…as if they have known you here on earth?
  • Do you know that week before last when we were in Crested Butte with Amy, Patrick, Sam, Jackson, Lila, Neal, and Patrick’s parents that Lila and Neal choreographed a dance to the song “I Can Only Imagine” in honor of you?
  • Do you know that your friends still stay in touch with me on Facebook to let me know how much they miss you?
  • Do you know that I failed to write everyone a thank you note for their love, support, and gifts when you died?
  • Do you know that Paschal High School still sponsors the Bart Granger Memorial Golf Tournament every September, and Coach Herb Stephens won’t let the 200+ boys start playing until he talks about you?
  • Do you know that Bradley Boyd is getting married?
  • Do you know that your Dad and I divorced and that we are still friends who share an unbreakable bond of love for you, Amy, and her family?
  • Do you know that I wrote a book about you, your death, and how many treasures I have received from God and how grateful I am?
  • Do you know that every year around the time of your birthday, the day you went to Heaven, and sometimes around Christmas, I get personal “heavenly emails” which let me know that you are well and God
    understands I need an “update” on how happy you are?
  • And lastly, will I remember these questions when I see you in person?

 

______________________________

 

In light of today being your birthday, let me share today’s heavenly “emails” with you. You have already heard how I awoke thinking of you. Wait till you hear the rest!

 

 

 

Email #1

 

When I had breast cancer, a close friend gave me a little black box of daily uplifting Bible verses. They sit on our breakfast table, and this morning, I pulled out the one in front (I always file each one we read in the back). The verse this morning was from: 

 

2 Thessalonians 3:16. 

 

“May the Lord of peace Himself give you peace at all times in every way. The Lord be with you all.”

 

I keyed in on “peace at all times in every way”, because I need His peace, especially today.

 

 

Email #2

 

Then Albert and I went to church, and the chorus of one of the songs was: 

 

 

“We exalt Thee, 

 We exalt Thee

 

 We exalt Thee, O Lord.”

 

 

 

Tears welled up and spilled down my cheeks as I remembered visiting the place where your ashes were strewn and listening to my tape of Christian music that nourished my soul. I would sing along (when I could) through my tears. This chorus was in one of those songs. As I listened, I was praying, “God, even though I am in excruciating pain and sorrow, I trust and exalt you. It comforts me to know that Bart is with YOU, and I know YOU will continue to love and comfort our family.” 

 

 

 

Email #3 

 

This one was Amy’s.

 

 

When I talked to her on the phone and shared my story of the song in church, she shared a story of her own. Jackson, age 11, had four basketball games yesterday…his team played in a double elimination tournament.
She said he reminded her of you because he sticks out his tongue when he plays.
She told me that at one point she felt she was watching YOU because his
facial expressions reminded her of yo

 

 

I commented, “That was your email from heaven.”

 

 

 

 

Email #4 

 

This one was your Dad’s. 

 

 

After dinner with friends at one of our Mexican restaurants, I received a group text (that also went to Amy) from your Dad. He played golf today and sunk a twelve-foot putt on hole #13!!! His text started with
“unbelievable” and ended with “go figure.”smile

 

  

_____________________________

 

 

 

Isn’t it amazing that after these 22 years of missing you, God faithfully sends “messages” to reassure those who love you that you are alive and well, and that, as believers, we will join you and get to experience no more suffering…”

 

 

I love you so much, and my heart is breaking. Perhaps that
is a positive thing…without love, it wouldn’t break.

 

 

See you soon,

 

 

 

 

Mom

 

 

 

 

______________________________  

 

 

 

 

 

 

This verse says it all!

 

 

 

Revelation 21:4

 

4 And God will wipe away every tear from their eyes; there shall be no more death, nor sorrow, nor crying. There shall be no more pain, for the former things have passed away.” NKJV

 

 

 

 

 

____________________________

 

Here is a video I created today that I shared on Facebook…

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Breast Cancer: Shocking News!

Breast Cancer: Shocking News!

Why is breast cancer such shocking news?

In this article, we explore why so many women are getting breast cancer, why it is such shocking news, and what you can change NOW to prevent this disease!

We are shocked by the news that a friend or loved one has Breast Cancer. But, how paralyzed we feel when we hear  WE have been diagnosed with Breast Cancer! All of us have cancer cells in our bodies, so how can we avoid this disease?

Recently a dear friend who lives in California called me just as I was leaving my pre-op appointment at the hospital for my final reconstruction surgery.

I hadn't talked to her in way too long, and it excited me she had called. After discussing my upcoming surgery, I asked her, " How are you doing? "

She answered, "Well, you won't believe it...!"

I replied, "Oh, no, don't tell me!"

"Yes," she said, "I had a double mastectomy two weeks ago."

Let me say that she is the epitome of health and fitness. When we lived in Texas, we went to yoga classes together. I didn't place my mat too close to hers because I was embarrassed how stiff and unbending my body looked compared to hers!

She is one year younger than I and works out faithfully!  Her beautiful appearance and elegant demeanor landed her modeling jobs after moving to California.

Furthermore, she continues to model after mastectomies and treatments. So, it saddened and shocked me to hear that she was experiencing the same breast cancer path I have traveled.

Why Are So Many Women Getting Breast Cancer?

Breast cancer occurs when the DNA of the cells is altered. According to Wikipedia, the risks are due to genetic and environmental causes.

"In 5% of breast cancer cases, there is a strong inherited familial risk.[7]"

So what causes lurk in our environment?

What changes can we make to prevent getting breast cancer? The older we get, the more our chances of being diagnosed with cancer increase. "A woman is more than 100 times more likely to develop breast cancer in her 60s than in her 20s."

 

 

Watch this short video by Chris Wark on how to reduce the risks of breast cancer.

Chris Beat Cancer: A Comprehensive Plan for Healing Naturally by [Wark, Chris]

I would HIGHLY recommend this book if you have been diagnosed with ANY kind of cancer, or if you know someone who has. It shares a Colon cancer survivor's story who opted out of chemotherapy after surgery. Chris Wark shares a toxin-free diet, lifestyle, and therapy guidelines he used to help himself heal.

Genetics ONLY Plays a Small Role

If you have breast cancer in your family history, or other types of cancer such as ovarian, lung, thyroid, etc. you need to have genetic testing done.

Ask your doctor to order the test or tell you who to contact. Most insurance companies will pay for part or all.

I had the testing done AFTER finding out I had cancer. My mom had ovarian cancer, her sister had colon cancer, and my dad had thyroid and lung cancer.

The test revealed I do have a Chek2 gene inherited from my dad for breast and colon cancer. This particular gene does not skip generations.

As a result, my daughter is going to have the testing done also. If she does not have the gene, her daughters will not be at risk. So if genetics is only 5% of the cause, what other risk factors are there?

  • Dietary
  • Obesity
  • Lack of Exercise
  • Hormonal
  • Stress-Related
  • Environmental

 

Read More about the Peaks and Valleys of breast cancer! Stay tuned for more blog posts where we will explore each risk factor along with steps you can take NOW to prevent or heal breast cancer. And, yes, cancer can be healed!

 

DON'T wait until you have been diagnosed (like I did)  to make changes in your lifestyle that can help you avoid cancer.

 

Disclaimer: I am not a doctor. I will always share sources and experiences. If you are diagnosed with Breast Cancer or know someone who has, it is up to you to do your own research and to choose your treatment plan.

These posts may contain affiliate links, which means I may receive a small commission, at no cost to you, if you make a purchase through a link. See my full disclosure here.

Who Do You See?

Who Do You See?

Your Image

Photo by Matt McNulty on Unsplash

In The Busyness of Life, Who Do You See?

“…that everyone who sees the Son and believes in Him may have everlasting life, and I will raise him up at the last day.”–John 6:40

As I read this scripture, my eyes rest on “sees the Son.” I ask myself, how often do I see Jesus? How often do my daily activities distract me and keep me from seeing the Son? Do I care that He is standing in front of me? Do I walk past Him not even noticing His presence?


Picture This!

First, picture yourself walking down a busy sidewalk with strangers coming and going. Next, you spot a close friend approaching. She/He hasn’t looked up because of reading text messages.

Therefore, you get to decide. Are you going to look at her/him and walk on past? Or are you going to make eye contact and greet your friend with a warm hug?

Will you enjoy as much conversation as you both have time for? If you choose to stop and visit, will you carry the vision of your friend and pieces of your conversation with you as you “tackle” your day?

As I read, “…who sees the Son and believes in Him…”, I ask how many times I SEE HIM during my regular day.

Or

Do I walk on by because I am too busy to acknowledge His presence, talk to Him, and take part of Him with me?


Jesus Gives Us What We Need

In John 6, Jesus tells his disciples that God gives the true bread from Heaven. They jump on that, and ask Him to give them that bread ALWAYS!

He replies,

“I am the bread of life. He who comes to Me shall never hunger, and he who believes in Me shall never thirst. But I said to you that you have seen Me and yet do not believe.” John 6:35,36

Rushing Past

How many times do I rush past Jesus during by “busyness” not recognizing what He wants to offer me?

No wonder I get stressed over my “to do” list, fret over silly challenges, and close myself off to others’ needs!

My intentions are good I want to spend more quality time SEEING Jesus every day.

Therefore, when I realize I am slipping, I have to recommit myself to start my day with Him. Only then can I see Him, recognize His grace, and share His grace with others.

[bctt tweet=”When the fire of prayer goes out, the barrenness of busyness takes over. –George Carey” username=”karynalmendarez”]

So, when I don’t start my day with Jesus in prayer, empty busyness takes control. I take my eyes off of Him, and I forget to call on Him for help.for big or little things!

Not Alone

I’m not the only one…

In Matthew 14:29–30 Jesus called to Peter asking him to walk on water to join Him. Peter got nervous watching the waves caused by the strong winds. He began to sink when he took his eyes off of Jesus. He immediately called to Jesus to save him.

What was Jesus’s response?

“Immediately Jesus reached out his hand and caught him.” Matthew 14:31

Amazing Grace

Isn’t that amazing? Jesus didn’t chastise him focusing on his circumstances. He immediately reached out His had to catch Peter. He is waiting for us to call out to Him to save us in ANY situation.

Above all, I know I need to try harder to SEE Jesus each day spending time with Him in prayer and in His Word. Only then will I focus on His power and love.


Prayer:

“God, thank you for reminding me that Jesus is my friend worth seeing and listening to. Please give me the drive to start my day with Him. Forgive me when I am so busy and distracted that I take my eyes off of Jesus and forget to call on Him for help.”

Humble Disclaimer: The ideas for this blog came after I read one of the Our Daily Bread devotionals. Each devotional has corresponding scriptures which complement the writer’s story.

Some of the devotionals speak louder to me than others. When I am convicted, the act of sharing my thoughts helps me act on what I write. I guess you could say I am writing to myself!

I never want to sound “preachy” or self-righteous. The “cracks” in my “pot” are wide and deep.

I am living proof that “a cracked pot” can survive traumatic challenges. But, being a retired baby boomer causes me to consider how much time I may have left. Thriving, not surviving, is my passion. Spending time with Jesus is my lifeline.

What are some ways Jesus helps you thrive? Comment below!

Please share this article with anyone you know who is suffering!

The Peaks and Valleys of Breast Cancer

The Peaks and Valleys of Breast Cancer

 

Breast Cancer: Now What? Women of all ages fear the dreaded words, “I think you need a biopsy for breast cancer.”

I am not the poster child for annual mammograms. Before November of 2017, my last one was about ten or more years ago. (I don’t even remember when it was!)

When my doctor found a lump in my left breast during a routine pre-Medicare physical, we both agreed I needed one.

The peaks and valleys of breast cancer

THE PEAKS AND VALLEYS OF BREAST CANCER

Breast cancer is different for each woman who is diagnosed. I can only speak for myself in saying that there are initially many more valleys than peaks.

[bctt tweet=”For those of us who are breast cancer survivors, there are so many challenges (VALLEYS) we go through…mental, emotional, physical, and spiritual.” username=”karynalmendarez”]

MENTAL VALLEYS

We may ask:

      • Why me?
      • What is breast cancer?
      • How did I get cancer?
      • Am I going to die?
      • What happens next?

After the biopsies (which are NO picnic) and diagnosis, we ask:

  • Do I need to be in a hurry?
  • What treatments are available?
  • Do I have choices?
  • Which treatments are right for me?
  • How do I prepare for surgery?
  • What treatments are right for me post-surgery?
  • What will recovery involve and for how long?
  • How can I keep it from recurring?

The lingo the physicians throw at us requires another college degree to understand what they are talking about! This adds to our mental stress.

EMOTIONAL VALLEYS

Then the questions arise:

  • How will this affect my relationship with those I love?
  • What lifestyle changes will be necessary?
  • How do I keep a positive attitude?
  • Won’t the stress play havoc with my emotions and affect my healing?

PHYSICAL VALLEYS

  • How much pain will I be in and for how long?
  • Will the treatments make me sick?
  • Will I lose my hair?
  • Do I want reconstruction?

SPIRITUAL VALLEYS

Spiritual valleys creep in even if we have a deep-rooted faith.

  • Am I being punished?
  • Did God “zap” me with this disease?
  • I am scared. Can God help me?
  • Will God heal me?

Sign Up to Get This “Cheat Sheet” and Subscribe to the OYT Newsletter!

10 Things I Wish I Had Known About Breast Cancer


PEAKS IN THE BREAST CANCER JOURNEY

Fortunately, there are also PEAKS in this journey! There are many more I will be writing about in upcoming posts…

I wrote this journal entry after having multiple biopsies, ultrasounds, and MRI. Then came the needle biopsy, which was not as painful as the mammograms had been. After I got the call from the surgeon that I had cancer, I wrote this journal entry…

“This morning when I awoke, I was thinking about peaks and valleys. Since I am working on a logo with mountains and sun (hope) behind it for my website, I want to write about the peaks and valleys of surviving breast cancer. I am going to begin blogging about the steps you go through…emotions, decisions to make, physical pain challenges, spiritual challenges, family challenges, etc.

Then I read the Our Daily Bread devotional about The Great Physician (to read the article, click on the link at the end of this post).

I was reminded that striving for spiritual well-being could be much more crucial than physical healing because physical pain is temporary and spiritual healing is eternal.

The prayer in that day’s devotional really rang home.

“Father in heaven, it’s so hard to see beyond our pain. Please let us sense Your mercy in this moment.Lift our eyes beyond ourselves. Let us find a new vision and source of health in the care of Christ, who heals.” –OurDailyBread

My journey has included double mastectomies, decisions about treatments, love and support from family and friends, and radical changes in diet and lifestyle. As of August 2018, I am cancer FREE!

In this blog series, I will share honestly and openly what I have experienced,  what I have learned, and specific changes you can make in your lifestyle to prevent or heal cancer. Yes, cancer can be cured…

Watch this documentary: https://cancercanbekilled.com/

Go to ChrisBeatCancer: https://www.chrisbeatcancer.com/

My intentions are not to convince you what to do, only to give you information and inspiration to make choices, live every day striving to deepen your faith, and find complete healing and wellness.

 


Breast Cancer Blog Series

Would you be so kind to SHARE and COMMENT?

Help me to help others by hovering over the image and sharing it on Pinterest, Facebook, and Twitter!

Please reply below with questions you have about breast cancer.


Credits and Disclaimer

Our Daily Bread

Video: Beyond the Shock

Photos: Pixabay, Canva

These products and information on this page are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease. This website is not a substitute for professional care. Always consult your medical doctor regarding your medical care. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read on this website.

Where is My Safe Place?

Where is My Safe Place?

How are you celebrating July 4? As we join family and friends to honor our country and the process that made us free, ask yourself…

Where is My Safe Place?

Is it a cozy, comfortable chair? How about under your favorite tree?

Our Forefathers and their families shed blood, sweat, and tears to make sure our United States of America was free from Great Britain’s rule. They formed the thirteen colonies and paved the way for our government to be “by the people” and “for the people.”

Today our country’s government officials and citizens are at odds on several issues. The news media loves to focus on those differences and make us feel that our Constitution and Declaration of Independence are being ignored.

Is the state of the Union our sole source of feeling safe and secure?

As we celebrate our country, our families, and our freedom, can we remember where our refuge comes from?

Where Does Our Refuge Come From?

 

Psalms 46:1 assures us:

God is our refuge and strength,
    an ever-present help in trouble.

Refuge can be defined as a condition of being safe or sheltered from pursuit, danger, or trouble.

  • God is our safe place
  • God shelters us from danger and trouble through His strength
  • God is ALWAYS present

What Does Having God as Our Refuge Do for Us?

 

The answers are in Psalm 46:2-10.

Therefore we will not fear, though the earth give way
    and the mountains fall into the heart of the sea,
though its waters roar and foam
    and the mountains quake with their surging.[c]

There is a river whose streams make glad the city of God,
    the holy place where the Most High dwells.
God is within her, she will not fall;
    God will help her at break of day.
Nations are in uproar, kingdoms fall;
    he lifts his voice, the earth melts.

The Lord Almighty is with us;
    the God of Jacob is our fortress.

Come and see what the Lord has done,
    the desolations he has brought on the earth.
He makes wars cease
    to the ends of the earth.
He breaks the bow and shatters the spear;
    he burns the shields[d] with fire.
10 He says, “Be still, and know that I am God;
    I will be exalted among the nations,
    I will be exalted in the earth.”

https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Psalm+46%3A1-10&version=NIV

Knowing God is our Refuge:
  • Drives our fears away (v.2)
  • Shifts our focus away from the world’s problems knowing that God is in control (v.6)
  • Assures us that no matter how chaotic things get, we can find quietness and strength in our Father’s love (v.10)

 

Have mercy on me, my God, have mercy on me,
    for in you I take refuge.
I will take refuge in the shadow of your wings
    until the disaster has passed. Psalms 57:1

 

On July 4th as we celebrate freedom and patriotism, let us also give praise for…

God is our refuge…safe, secure, loving, forgiving, ever-present, and just

 

How will you spend your July 4th? What are you thankful for?

Leave your comments below:)