Wednesday, June 23, 2021

{ When is the last time you relaxed? }

This may sound like the strangest question, but stop for a moment and really think back to the last time you stopped and relaxed?

You'll probably say "Oh just this morning, I sat down for 5 minutes."

Ok, but did you actually relax?  And I mean relax in the sense of, leaning back, closing your eyes, dropping your shoulders and taking a deep breath.

I have noticed that the past 3 months, through this difficult season we've been in, my neck and shoulders have been so sore.  I kept thinking, I may have tweaked them somehow, but I can't think of anything I did that would cause this tightness and soreness.

Then it struck me.  I sat down, dropped my shoulders and my neck, and really relaxed.  I had no idea that I had been walking around stiff necked, tightened with all the stress I've been under.

The situations we are facing are still here, but I made the decision a few days ago, that I will not allow them to continue influencing my well being, and my joy.  In case you didn't know, joy is not a feeling, it is a choice.  I know, I know, I lived my whole life thinking it was a feeling only to realize it was a choice that I could make every morning.  How liberating when you actually take that step and choose joy.

No, it doesn't take away the problem, and sometimes it doesn't completely take away the worry either, but it does change your attitude and allows you to enjoy your days, instead of living under a constant dark cloud.

I didn't realize just how much stress I was carrying on my shoulders, until I sat down to work on my new meal plan.  I leaned my head back on the couch, closed my eyes and let my arms drop at my side.

It felt like 100 pounds lifted off my chest and shoulders.

In that instant I choice joy.  I said to myself "Right, enough of letting the giants around me pull me down, make me sad, take my joy.  It's up to me."

And so I did, I chose joy.  I got up,  I cleaned, I rearranged, I laughed, I played with Marley, I watched a favorite show and I fixed a yummy meal for my family.  It felt so good to be back to myself.  

We can embrace the goodness in our days, or we can let the worries take us over.  I was choosing to let the darkness guide my every step, and oh my goodness, it was dark.  I feel so much better just being myself, working around the house, cooking and baking and moving through my days with a smile on my face.

Thank you all so much for the sweetest comments you've been leaving.  I know your prayers are working and helping me shift from this dark place I was in.  Really, thank you from the bottom of my heart.

I know I haven't been posting much, things are difficult as you know.

Today I went with my sister in law to a chemo class, where they explained her treatments, side effects, what kind of breast cancer she is dealing with and all that stuff.

It was an overload of information, we asked questions, as many as we could think to ask at the time.  Then we walked out, looked at each other and literally said "What the hell?".

See we are at that point right now, where we are still all so confused to what is going on.  We talked in the car about how we never in our minds, thought that we would be here one day, going to a chemo class and facing such a huge battle ahead.

My sister in law and I have known each other, and been friends since 1988.  33 years.  

There's a lot of history, we went through a lot together, grew up, spent weekends as teenagers watching movies and laughing until the sun came up.  Watched each other get married, have children, become adults and make huge moves across countries.

And now this.  The one thing that never crossed our minds.

But we face it with laughter until our sides hurt.  We keep saying, we laugh so we don't cry.  

As we sat and listened to all the side effects that she is possible facing, losing her hair, her eyebrows and her eyelashes, we sat stunned not knowing what to even think.  See for us, we look at each other the same way we did when we were 15 years old.  
We don't think that we are 47 and 46, we still feel young.....well, for the most part, honestly our bodies let us know daily that we are no longer teenagers.  
But, the way we are going to get through this, is with laughter, and that same young spirit we have always had.  It's going to be tough, but we will get through it as a family.  

So whatever you're facing, whatever seems impossible to you at the moment, just remember to sit down, tilt your head back, close your eyes, drop your arms at your side and release that tension and stress.  Then get up, put a smile on your face, choose joy and face that giant.


  1. Keeping Hayley in my prayers. As a recent 10 year survivor of Ovarian cancer I can tell her and you that ATTITUDE is everything when dealing with cancer. You have to do what you have to do, but doing it with a good attitude makes all the difference. Not sure where she's being treated, but if there is a MD Anderson remote location near you they have some wonderful support groups.

  2. Dear Sandra,
    I am so glad your sister-in-law has you to go through this with. I was in chemo four years ago this month for breast cancer. It's hard. Not gonna lie. Faith in God got me through. Having close friends and loved ones to go through it with you really helps. May God bless your family and help you all. May he heal her completely. I paraphrased Psalm 118. Can't remember the verse. I will live and not die and declare the goodness of the LORD in the land of the living. Also, I believe, help me with my unbelief.

    The darkness is real, but choosing joy and saturating yourself with the word of God works wonders. I used and listened over and over.

    Sending a hug,
    Laura of Harvest Lane Cottage

  3. I love your attitued - it is what will permit you and your sister-in-law to go through the tough times ahead.


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