Friday, September 12, 2014

On The Air!

I had the privilege and honor of being on "The Apple Seed," a show on KBYU. My friend, Sam Payne, interviewed me about my role as a chaplain. I hope I did the role, and the calling, justice. 


Today's episode will also be available in their audio archive (www.byuradio.org/appleseed​) later this afternoon. I start at 14:00. 


Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Relief -

There's something about red rock mountains, sand under my toes, and running water, that does my soul good. Zion, and its surrounding communities feed me and fill me. Spending time there is healing and restful. It is so nice to unplug and focus on the here and now. Practicing mindfulness - living in the moment, is so easy when surrounded by beauty.

We visit often, considering Zion, Springdale, our home-away-from-home. We even have our favorite place to stay - Canyon Ranch - where we can cook in our little kitchen, sit on the grass and bird and people watch, visit with Mark and Karen, the managers, or just chill. We usually take our bikes with us, and we don't get in the car the entire time we're there - walking or biking are our favorite modes of transportation.

We try to do something new every time we visit, and even in this small area, we are able to do this, going home with a list for the next time. This time we were able to tour the "backside" of Zion - the northwest area, outside of the typical Zion bus tour. Absolutely stunning - left me wanting -

Everyone needs a place of respite, a Zion, whether it's a bedroom with a lock on the door, a favorite coffee shop, a backyard, or a place in the mountains, by water, or in the desert.

I am blessed that my Zion is so nearby. I am a better person when I've had some time to breathe - particularly breathing in clear mountain air. Life comes back together, my balloon is deflated (that's good), and I can continue on with my life, being me, being whole.






Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Pop -

Ever been at a point in your life when you are about ready to explode - a balloon ready to pop?

Well, welcome to my life, again -


Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Another -

On Thursday I "celebrate" 2 years since finding a lump in my left breast. I'm overflowing with emotions - regret, despair, sorrow, hope, fear, loss, joy . . .
There are many things I'd like to say, to write, but right now isn't the time. Except for these few things:

Know your breasts.
Never be afraid to call your doctor about "something small." There are no small things.
Live in the moment - embrace life, daily.
Move forward -
And to that Ronda 2 years ago - tread into the unknown in faith, hope, and curiosity.
Life is grand - although not easy.
Live a life of no regrets.

Namaste -




Friday, August 22, 2014

High Fives -

It has been one heck of a week:
Friday - Phone dies. Have to purchase a new one. Haircut, not the best.
Saturday - Pick up phone. Pick up Thule bike rack for car. T-mobile to figure out some broken apps. Demolition Derby - Right on.
Sunday - Dinner for the masses. Clean up. Configure phone while watching movies.
Monday - S-Z phone numbers missing from phone. Attempt to send e-mail to those whose e-mail addresses I have, while installing updates. Computer crashes. Really crashes. Work out - intermittent sprints for 1 hour. Most running I've done in my entire life. Best Buy shopping. Purchase computer.
Tuesday - Attempt to work from laptop that doesn't have my school-related material housed on it. Back to Best Buy to pop a few files onto a USB drive. Maria to pre-birthday lunch (sister turned 50 on Thursday). Assemble all UVU Fall 2014 documents, write syllabus for 3 classes, send all material to copy center at UVU. Attempt to watch a Netflix movie on 10 month old TV. Can't. Call Netflix support. Fixed. I tell Scott I need a day-off, will take Wednesday off. Rain.
Wednesday - Work out-  can't run, rain. Meetings (virtual), waiting on new computer. Netflix not working. Call Netflix support, Costco warranty support, Vizio support. Trouble shoot for 3 hours. Determine it's the TV. Waiting on repair services. Weed yard and add lights to yard for David Lopez's wedding dinner on Friday night. Rain.
Thursday - Hair trim, pick up copies at UVU, sun, but not enough to swim with grandbabies one last time. Walk up Rock Canyon. Listen to Tempest talk about Indians and Star Wars. Pick up new computer. Lose all Microsoft Office files, including e-mails. Work for 2 hours with BB dude to reconfigure. Chaplain meeting - incredible visit with beautiful people. Buy groceries at 10pm.
FriSday - Work out - sprints, again. Work on setting up computer. Find all files except for Adobe Suite. Hurray. TV to be fixed on Wednesday. David's dinner here tonight. Sun is shining. Too cold to go swimming. What's with the August weather?

Now why am I high-fiving? I did this ALL without a Diet Pepsi - not a single one. Wahoo! Accomplished all of this without a single harsh word or loud voice between Scott and me (well, one, but an apology). And - we've had a guest with us (and his girlfriend and her friends during the day and evening). I am so proud of myself!

Off to sit down and read until 5pm, when preparations for David's dinner get under way.

I. can. do. hard. things. weeks. 


Spoke too soon - all day with online GeekSquad help. Finally dropped the computer off at 4:55pm. Wedding dinner was beautiful, began raining right before dessert. Computer ready tomorrow - promise!



Friday, August 15, 2014

New Pics -



Have you seen "Love Actually"? There's the scene when the bride goes to her husband's best friend's house to get a few photos of her in her wedding dress. The guy doesn't want to show her the pictures, but she pops in a video, and all the shots are of her. And she is happy to see these pictures. 

Now - I know I'm not gorgeous, photogenic, young and sassy, but these photos - wow. Nick (who chronicled my cancer journey) can capture me exactly for who I am, and I'm almost in tears right now, because they are so very very perfect. 

Nick - thank you for helping me see me - see the me I see! (And my honey - awww, love this man.)






Friday, August 8, 2014

NieNie -

I've been reading Stephanie Nielson's blog since her plane accident. Stephanie's accident happened shortly after Cliff's accident. They were both in the Burn Center at University of Utah, although Cliff left just before Stephanie was transferred from Arizona to Utah. Jenna and I attended a Burn Unit support group, and it was there we met Stephanie's mother, Cindy. I will always be touched by Jenna's comment to Cindy - "What would you like me to pray for? Because I know God hears and answers my prayers." What a simple message with simple and strong faith - from both women.

Well, Stephanie's story is amazing - she has been to hell and back, and is living a very rich life, a very public life; she is a brave woman.

I'm still struggling some with comparing the life I have now to the one I had 2 years ago. My biggest issue is that I feel like I have 2 years of make-up work to do. And so some days I get this frantic feeling in my chest - heart butterflies, and I guilt myself into thinking I need to do a little more, push a littler harder, love a little stronger. Be more, do more, my typical life-time battle.

I've been praying lately for a reaffirmation of the message I received last July - "The life you were leading before cancer no longer suits you." And as beautiful as this is, I struggle with the remembering, hence the prayers. Well - this morning I received that reaffirmation, a simple message from Stephanie's blog, that although my angst is so very very different than her life-changes, still is great confirmation:

A nurse explained to Stephanie's sister-in-law Lisa, who was visiting that day, that everything would be different now and that things would never be the same for Stephanie.  Ever.  If they, as her family and friends were constantly comparing her to the way she used to be, then they and Stephanie would never be satisfied.  It would never be enough.  If, however, they learned to compare her to how far she had come, each step of the way, and see the miracle that her body is surviving and changing, then watch success would be a leap forward, not an inch, from a devastating moment.

Thanks Stephanie; this reminder to stop looking back and begin looking forward is what I need, again, and again, and again - I needed your kindness today.