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Love

Book Reviews

Messy Beautiful Love – Book Review

MessyBeautifulLove.coverBook Description:

Messy Beautiful Love delivers an incredible testimony of grace that offers hope for today’s marriages and a spark for rekindling love.

Love gets messy. 

Financial problems, sickness, aging parents, a chronically unhappy spouse . . . trials will inevitably come that threaten your marriage. No matter how long you’ve been married or how strong your relationship is, sooner or later you are going to have a mess to clean up.

Messy Beautiful Love is about cleaning up messes God’s way, exchanging your ideas for His, and being prepared for both the best and the worst that marriage has to offer. 

When you surrender your relationship to God, then and only then will you experience the blessing of marriage as He intended. This is the blessing of obedience.

Messy Beautiful Love is an invitation to that obedience. The cynical world says marriages don’t last, but God knows better. Tune out the world and tune in to Him. When you do that, a beautiful marriage is not only possible, it’s inevitable.

Review:

Most fairy tales end with… they lived happily ever after.  But have you noticed that none of the fairy tales every go back to revisit the happy couple later to see just how happily ever after they lived? I don't think so.

Have you ever wondered why you don't hear that about real couples? Is it because we are not perfect people, and we don't all wear rose-colored glasses? Married people are not happy 24/7/365, we aren't made that way. Let me speak for myself here, I am usually a happy person, but I can be upset, mad, sad, or even a little witchy. (We don't say that other word in our house.)

I love the way Darlene Schacht shows us that even imperfect people can have a good, even great marriage.  She points out that God should be the center of every marriage, and that marriage should be founded on mutual love and respect.

I really don't want to give anything away here, but I will say that Mrs. Schacht starts this book by sharing a story that could've ended her marriage. It is a story that most of us wouldn't admit to anyone, but she wrote about it to help all of us.

Are you married?  If so, you need to read this book! Yes, you! 

While I read this book, I smiled and laughed. I also felt empathy and sympathy. I could relate to many things, and I bet you will too.

If you read this book, please share with me your thoughts!

Thank you to BookLook Bloggers for providing me with a free ecopy of this book in exchange for my honest review.

Family, Photos, Travel

Life, Lessons, & Love

Let's see, where shall I begin?

I have been living life instead of blogging, and I have really missed it.  I have thought about blogging while I'll be going and doing, but haven't sat down to actually write. 

Hopefully I will get back in the groove.  I've been reading a lot of new books to review, trying new recipes, will be planting a garden soon, traveling, etc.  So, I do have material to write about.  I even have some photos. Imagine that.

Speaking of travel, I recently went to Hawaii. 

It was beautiful!! Rainy, but still beautiful!

One day the sun came out while we were in our room, and as we all noticed the spectacular view I know I heard all of us inhale as it took our breathe away.

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This photo doesn't do it justice, but this is the view from our room.  I should say that this photo has not been edited at all.  I resized it, and here it is. 

I learned a valuable lesson while in Hawaii.  Don't go to Hawaii during the rainy season, and expect to lay on the beach. We were able to walk on the beach though, and that was nice.

Something else I learned was that fruit and vegetables taste so much better in Hawaii.  I am not kidding.  Oh, and french fries with truffle oil are delicious!  If you ever get the chance to eat at the Truffle Fries at the Yard House take it!

I absolutely positively love these two ladies. 

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This is my seester, Jenn and my Granny. 

I will tell you more about our trip next week, but I wanted to profess my love for them both here today.  They already know how much I love them, but I wanted you to know too.  Plus, I like this photo of them.

My seester and I haven't spent a whole lot of time together, so this trip was super special for me.  We shared clothes (a first), make-up, she painted my toes (another first), laughs, looks, etc.  We will never forget this trip that Granny was kind enough to take us on.  Hopefully it won't be the last trip we all take together.

Be sure to come back tomorrow.  I am having a giveaway that you won't want to miss. 

(Hint: PW)

My Battle with Breast Cancer, You Asked - Answers

Answers to Your Cancer Questions

The other day I asked if you had any questions for me regarding my cancer, and several of you actually had questions.  Believe it or not, I always cringe when I hit the publish button on one of the "do you have any questions" posts.  I don't cringe because it is a bad post, but I cringe because I fear that no one will have a question.  Silly, yes, but very true.

So here are the answers to your questions.

Do you still feel sometimes like this is not happening? (from Debby)

Yes, I feel like that a lot.  When I was newly diagnosed, I prayed that God would give me the strength to get through this, and I believe that is exactly why I feel the way I do. 

Do you have a bucket list, even one you might have had before you found out about the cancer? Are you the "I've re-thought my priorities" kind of person now or are you "I'm not doing anything differently just because I have cancer" kind of person?  (from Denny144)

You know, I've never had a bucket list.  There are things I would love to do before die, but I've never really sat down and made a list.  When I first found out about the cancer, I told McD that I want to take my Dad to New York so we can watch a Yankees game together.   He told me that we would do that, but after I kick this cancer. 

I think I am a "I'm not doing anything differently just because I have cancer" kind of person.  I have cancer, but cancer doesn't have me. 

How do you keep your spirits up?  (from Carolyn)

I've never been one to be down.  If I start worrying about something, then I immediately pray about it.  I try to give my worries to God and let him deal with them.  It isn't always easy to do, but that is what the Bible tells us to do, so I try my hardest.

How do you pray about this?  (from Carolyn)

To tell you the truth, I am not really sure how to answer this one because prayer is such a private thing for me.  I've prayed for strength, courage, healing, and patience.  I've asked God to use me through this battle to help, encourage, and bring awareness to others.  I've asked that a cure be found.  I've thanked God for giving me this battle and not our kids, or other family members.  And, I've thanked him for the strength, courage, feverless days, and patience he has given me.  I also thank him every. single. day. for such a wonderful husband.  I don't even want to think about going through this without him. 

What's something new you learned about yourself in this ordeal?  (from Carolyn)  

I am stronger than I thought.

Are you able to receive your treatments close to home? (from Kimela)

Yes.  We live out in the middle of nowhere, so it takes us about 20 to 25 minutes to get to the clinic.  My doctor from the big city comes here once a week, or I would be traveling to get my treatments. 

Are you planning to celebrate the end of chemo?  (from BB)

Several people have mentioned that we need to have a big party, but that would involve me being the center of attention and I am not a big fan of that.  I'm sure we will have to do something!

Is it worse/better than you anticipated?  (from BB) 

There is a little bit of both.  For some reason I had it in my head that chemo would be a breeze for me, and the first treatment almost did me in.  The second treatment went a lot more like I thought it should, thanks to the shot they gave me.  The hair cut is better than I anticipated.  Oh, and the tastes.  My tastes are a lot worse than I anticipated.  But it is such a minor thing that I feel ridiculous complaining.

Your surgery was going to be done in two stages…and I wondered about that…as to why they would not do it all at once?  (from Monie)

When I told the Wonderful Wizard of Boggs that I wanted to remove both breasts he gave me options, then he let me decide.  I chose having two surgeries.  The second surgery will be when they do the right mastectomy, and start the reconstruction process.   I will have the same amount of surgeries doing it this way, and no pain on the right side until the next surgery.

Did your chemo start immediately after you got your port?   (from Connie) 

My port was put in on Monday, and that Thursday I received my first chemo treatment.

Did it HURT?? (from Connie)

I had heard that there was a freezing spray that they can use to numb the area before using your port, so that might have been the first thing out of my mouth the day of my first treatment.  They used the spray and it didn't hurt.  I felt it, don't get me wrong, but I mainly just felt the pressure.  When I was admitted to the hospital they used my port, but when I asked for freezing spray they looked at me like I was crazy.  They didn't use the spray, and it was just a week after getting the port so it hurt a little.  The nurse assured me that it gets better with time.   I suggest using the freezing spray.

What kind of cancer is your … her2 positive? hormone positive?  (from Connie)

My cancer is IDC (invasive ductal carcinoma).  It is HER2 +, and hormone positive (ER/PR+)

Do you know the things that cancer cannot do ?  (from Kathy/Swampwitch)

Yes, I do…

Cancer is so limited . . .
It cannot cripple Love
It cannot shatter Hope
It cannot corrode Faith
It cannot destroy Peace
It cannot kill Friendship
It cannot suppress Memories
It cannot silence Courage
It cannot invade the Soul
It cannot steal eternal Life
It cannot conquer the Spirit.

Do you know how much you are loved ?  (from Kathy/Swampwitch)

Honestly, I had no idea until all of this happened.  The outpouring of love and support has  been overwhelming, humbling even.  I cannot thank everyone enough for their love, support, and prayers.