The Silent Killer

We recently learned that less than 10,000 people have died in the United States from Covid-19 only. The virus might have played a part in the other deaths they currently include in the total, but they don’t actually know that right now.  

Know what they do know? They know that every year at least 20,000 women will be diagonosed with ovarian cancer, and 14,000 of them will die from it. This year.   

That’s an awful lot of women, and it’s like that every year. 

MY STORY
I started to feel sick in early 2009, but it took more than two years to find out what was happening to my health. There were many visits to many doctors, until my endocrinologist finally noticed something amok with one of my hormone levels. And, she said something curious: “We’re having a hard time locating your right ovary.”

I went home and searched the internet for the hormone she’d mentioned—I had never heard of it, and had no idea that I should be concerned. Then my search came back with one answer: ovarian cancer. I clicked a link, and found a long list of symptoms. I fully expected I would read down that list and be completely reassured that I did not have cancer. Instead, I could recognize almost every one. In fact, I almost felt relieved to have all of those symptoms point somewhere.

Nine years ago next month, a basketball-sized tumor was removed from my body. I did indeed have cancer, but I do not have cancer today. I praise God for that, and I urge you to become familiar with the symptoms of this awful disease. I know it’s scary to think about it, but it’s better to discover a problem sooner than later—especially a problem called cancer.

DON’T IGNORE THESE SYMPTOMS
There is no diagnostic test for ovarian cancer, and because the symptoms are so varried, it’s often not discovered until Stage 3. That is why this disease is so deadly: they find it too late!  

14,000 women
will from
Ovarian Cancer
in 2020

While any woman can have any of these symptoms and not have ovarian cancer, if the symptoms persist for more than two weeks, please make an appointment with your OB/GYN.

  1. Pressure or pain in the abdomen or pelvis (I remember telling one doctor that I thought I needed to do a juice fast or detox, because I felt so bloated.)
  2. Difficulty eating; feeling full quickly
    (By the time dinner was ready, I’d lost my appetite. If I did eat, I could only manage a few bites.)
  3. Urinary concerns, such as urgency, frequency, or difficulty emptying your bladder (Had pointless, invasive, and completely unnecessary tests.)
  4. Change in bowel habits; constipation and/or diarrhea (Yup.)
  5. Unexplained, unusual, excessive vaginal bleeding (You don’t want to know.)
  6. Weight loss (Yes. That’s what scary.)
  7. Weight gain
  8. Nausea (I ate a lot of watermelon that summer. It was almost all I could stand.)
  9. Shortness of breath (This was awful. I could hardly do anything, without needing to rest.)
  10. Vomiting (Yes. Almost daily.)
  11. Tiredness, low energy (Oh, yeah.)
  12. Painful menstrual cycle
  13. Painful intercourse
  14. Abdominal swelling (I looked nine-months pregnant.)
  15. Dull ache in thighs or lower back

    oca bracelets copy

HELPFUL WEBSITES 
Presidential Message
Ovarian Cancer 101

Ovarian Cancer Awareness 
Cancer Center 
CDC Ovarian Cancer Fact Sheet

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Wednesday’s Vote

(Addendum below…)

I know everyone expects impeachment to pass Congress, but I am praying that God honor His Word concerning Israel and bless Trump with a victory against this corrupt impeachment. I simply cannot think of any leader in history who has done more to advance Israel’s cause. I pray the Lord use this vote on Wednesday to exalt Himself and prove that His promises to Israel stand as true today as they were 6,000 years ago—irrevocable!

“And I will bless them that bless thee, and curse him that curseth thee: and in thee shall all families of the earth be blessed.” Genesis 12:3


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ADDENDUM
I just need to add something. Again, unlike everyone else I’ve heard on the subject, I have a very strong conviction that if the impeachment passes Congress, it will also pass the Senate. I know every single conservative voice out there says it’s impossible, but I don’t think it’s impossible at all. In fact, I think the Senate Democrats already know who will vote with them. I think they’ve known since Nancy gave her thumbs up. In fact, I think that is WHY she gave her thumbs up. So, if you don’t want him impeached, I believe the time to pray is now. Don’t put your confidence in what all these politicians and talking heads tell you.

Now, it should be said, this may seem like nonsense to those who follow a doctrine that says Christians have replaced Israel, so every biblical promise regarding Israel now pertains to the Christian only. Well, I cannot go into detail on that matter, but I would urge you to ask yourself if the Bible actually proves that position, and therefore you believe it because you are convinced and willing to die for that belief—or, if you believe it based on what someone else told you, and aren’t really sure you’re ready to risk your life for it. If you aren’t willing to take a bullet or face the guillotine, good. There are lots of good, biblical teachings out there that can give you a sound foundation. Then, we can all be like Corrie ten Boom, ready to risk our life and reputation for their sake, which is what Trump has actually done, and why I am asking God to prove Himself here. (Um, if you don’t think he’s risked his life for Israel, well, yeah. He has.)

My Filthy Rags

I had three major confrontations with the Lord in 2001. They began at the women’s Bible study (testimony here) and continued through the summer, when I finally dipped into a pile of articles Doug had given me to read.

Those articles would eventually be life changing, but I didn’t want anything to do with them at first. Oh, I was very happy for him, because he’d finally found a ministry that actually addressed his spiritual need. It was the first time we’d heard anyone use the term sexual addiction, and these men* had testimonies to back up their articles. He felt so much hope, and I was hopeful, too. Maybe, this was the answer we’d been waiting for, and all my suffering would finally be over. 

You see, while I recognized there was a spiritual war going on, I didn’t realize Doug and I each had battles to fight. I thought this war was his war, because it was his fault. If he would just do the right thing, we’d win the war and live happily ever after. Wasn’t I doing my part?  Keep the home fires burning, Caroline! Despite the fact God had been dealing with me all year long, calling me to yield to His will for my life, I just didn’t understand that there was something for me to do. I was sure our problems started with him, and would only end when he stopped living a chronic cycle of Sin-Repent-Repeat. In the meanwhile, I would be the good Christian wife I thought I was and endure this suffering. Isn’t that what longsuffering means?

Wives, God doesn’t call us to endure our husband’s sin. If we’re just holding our own, trying to get better at enduring, we’re wasting our time. That’s as far away from being a help meet as we can get. Yet, I know that’s what most wives think they’re supposed to do: don’t quit on him. Without meaning to, they become his enabler.  

You see there is a difference between godly endurance and human endurance, and too often we confuse them. Godly endurance stands out, because it bears spiritual fruit in both you and him. It doesn’t enable him to stay unchanged and in sin, but instead reminds him that his race isn’t over. We don’t ignore his fall and fail to hold him to account, but urge him to get up (repent) and keep going.  

I’m not sure when I gave in and picked-up an article, but I do remember the words took me by surprise. Like a tsunami. The first article was called, “Why People Remain in Sin and Bondage,” by David Kyle Foster. I remember thinking that maybe this article would help me understand Doug better, but instead it helped me understand myself better. It was an incredible experience. Yes, it was life changing.  I very clearly recall sitting in bed and sensing the presence of Christ beside me. I could see myself next to Him, my head down, looking at the pure white drapes of His robe. It was then I finally saw my filthy rags. I wept, I repented. My eyes were opened. For so long I had seen myself somehow ahead of Doug on this course, but suddenly I realized we were in the same place. I had no advantage over him, because I didn’t struggle with his brand of sin. I was not further ahead, because I had grown-up in Sunday school classes. We were equally wretched sinners, both in need of a Savior. 

Looking back now, I realize that God was preparing me for what was soon to come. If our family was going to survive the onslaught Satan had prepared for us, I was going to have to rise up out of my selfish version of Christianity and become a woman God could actually use. I was going to have to put my flesh in its place, just as much as Doug would—though in very different ways. I was now in the war.

*David Kyle Foster (Pure Passion) and Steve Gallagher (Pure Life Miniseries)

TBT: The Question That Changed My Life

It’s Throwback Thursday, so I am sharing a post from April 4, 2016. It is about a question I was asked at a critical time in my life in April 2001. It literally did change my life. It was the beginning of the end of me.

Click here to read  “Self-Examinations Are Always Graded On A Curve.” 

Honor Thy Mother

I want to share a video with you.

I just watched it again for the first time in seven years. It’s a video of my mother, and I hope you will watch it to the very end.

I don’t really know what inspired me to conduct an interview, but I’m sure it was the Holy Spirit. Even the questions I asked her—I sound like I knew what I was going to say. I didn’t. It was entirely off the cuff, unedited. And, I’m serious about watching to the end. I couldn’t believe the last shot. Only God!

By the way, Mother would have been 88-years-old today. Instead, of blowing out candles, though, she is in a place of incredible joy with the One her soul adores. Oh, I miss Mother daily—she crosses my mind a dozen times, or more. How she would delight in her many great-grandchildren! She would be “at the height of her glory,” as she used to say.

Yet, I would not wish her back from Heaven. Instead, I rejoice for her victory over death, and the fact that we’ll see each other again. I can’t wait to find out all she has been doing. What a life she is living now!

So, without further ado, in honor of my Mother’s birthday, I humbly invite you to watch this video. If you are in any way at all touched by what you see, will you share it? Maybe, someone you know needs to hear what she has to say. (It can be share directly from YouTube.)

Thank you for remembering Stella with me, even if you never knew her.

“Does the Preacher Smell?”

There is no preacher, Bible teacher, or minister who is perfect.

We should not expect to agree with them on everything, or to even like them that much personally.

In fact, sometimes their ministry style might even be disagreeable to us. Maybe, they aren’t compelling, or too emotional? Do their words stumble out of their mouth? Or, are they too smooth? Too well-groomed? Too tan? Too casual? Too formal? The “wrong” gender?

We are picky people!

While an awkward speaker, frumpy-looking pastor, or overly-primped and powdered Bible teacher might not be someone’s preference, it should not cause any of us to reject the biblical truth they present. Being charismatic, attractive, articulate, or agreeable are not requirements for the ministry. We American Christians have made the outward things so important, but we’re wrong. Perhaps, we just don’t want Jesus as much as we want our idols, superheroes, and superstars.

In the coming days, I plan to share some Bible Prophecy messages from various speakers. None of them are perfect. Some of them I’ve had internal battles over myself, because something about them was a hindrance for me. Perhaps, a doctrinal position, their lame jokes, or their style. In certain cases, I still have to win the victory our my pettiness each time I watch them.

It’s a good thing, though. It’s good to be have my petty shallowness called out, because I don’t want to be petty or shallow. I don’t want to miss a good word, just because the vessel God chose doesn’t suit me.

So, that’s my appeal to you. Please, don’t reject a speaker, because the vessel doesn’t appeal to you. Listen first. Test it. Is the critical point he’s making biblically sound? Of course, this is good to remember in any situation where we are on the receiving end of ministry. Guard yourself against being hindered. If the preacher smells, just plug your nose—but keep your ears open. He just might have something to say that God wants you to hear.

❤️

About Maria

A couple days ago I posted about Maria Montessori-inspired games I had made for my granddaughter. Michel Fauquet, one of my dear, blogging friends, shared a quote of her’s with me:

“The action comes ahead of the thought,
and the thought comes from the action.”

Maria Montessori (1870-1952)

I really liked that quote, because it seemed to apply to what I have witnessed with Lucy. I wanted to share this one, too:

“Do not tell them how to do it.
Show the how to do it and do not say a word.
If you tell them, they will watch your lips move.
If you show them, they will want to do it themselves.”
Maria Montessori (1870-1952)

That quote really spoke to me. We always hear, “Do as I say, not as I do.” Yet, children really only do what they see. They copy us. It’s very interesting, and very compelling.  It also rings true with my play times with Lucy. One of her games is putting beads on pipe cleaners. She watched with such intensity as I did it, and then did it herself. We played silently for several minutes. Silently! I was in awe.

Today, we played with Play-Doh. I was telling her to squish it, but she didn’t quite get it. Then, I squished it for her, and she smiled. She got it. We sat in near silence. I rolled the Play-Doh into a ball, and she would squish it. (By the way, Lucy is 22-months-old.)

Really interesting. I’m enjoying all that Lucy is teaching me.

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Take Ten

“Friendly suggestions are as pleasant as perfume.”
Proverbs 27:9 (TLB)


I think it’s important for everyone to give themselves a break.

Literally, give yourself ten minutes to do nothing. No matter how busy your life is, how behind schedule you are, how much is left on your list—give yourself permission to take a break.

  • No media.
  • No reading.
  • No phone calls.
  • No text messages.
  • No thinking.
  • No talking.
  • No worries.
  • No excuses.
  • No guilt.

Just rest. Close your eyes. Quiet your mind. Take a power nap. Count your breaths. Put your feet up, or stand outside. No walking, though, because that’s too much like exercise.

If you want a cup of something or glass of another, have it ready before you go. No pouring or stirring allowed on this break.

Then, just stop your work, and walk away. (It will all be there, when you get back.) Don’t make a big to-do of it, just tell the world you’re on your ten.

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I’m a big fan of productivity and hard work, but sometimes we just need a break. We need a breather. And, we need not feel like we’re doing something naughty, because we shut our eyes for two minutes. Did you know that just a ten-minute nap can boost your energy and focus for hours? Yet, instead of giving ourselves permission to stop, we make ourselves keep pressing-on. I admire persistence and perseverance, but we need to allow ourselves to step away and tune out.

Hope you’ll consider this friendly advice. 🙂

 

Easy Chocolate Shell Recipe

Now, when I say this is easy, I mean you can make this recipe with one hand tied behind your back and your eyes closed. It’s really easy!

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EASY CHOCOLATE SHELL

 1/2 cup milk chocolate chips  
 1 level tablespoon refined coconut oil 

1) Place chips and coconut oil in a microwave safe container.
2) Heat on high for 20 seconds.
3) Stir.
4) Repeat steps 2 and 3, until smooth and combined.
5) Store in the refrigerator a small canning jar, or other microwave-safe container. Reheat as above, 20 seconds at a time.

I’ve only made this once, but it came out really well. Even the Saxophone Player liked it. I like the fact it uses coconut oil, instead of shortening. I think that pretty much makes it health food, right? 😉 

FYI: This is an adaptation of the recipe in the video below, which uses dark chocolate. I didn’t have dark chocolate on hand, so I used milk chocolate. Knowing milk chocolate has a higher fat content, I adjusted the chocolate to oil ratio. If you like the coconut smell, you can use unrefined coconut oil. 

 

Penny Saver: Red Peppers

Right now, red peppers are $2.99 a pound in the market. That’s kind of ridiculous, yet red peppers are so healthy, add great flavor and color, and taste wonderful.  How can anyone resist them? I will buy the nicest one I can find, and make it stretch for as any meals as possible. (I’ll tell you below how to help a fresh pepper last as long as possible in your refrigerator.)

I also will shop the old produce rack, where the produce manager puts items that are over ripe or damaged. I recently found two bags of red peppers for only 79¢ a pound. Only one pepper had any spoiled spots; the rest  were just a little wrinkled.

2018-03-14 15.01.51a

So, I rinsed them all and set them to dry.

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Then, I seeded them and sliced them. I laid them out on a cookie sheet covered with waxed paper, and placed them in the freezer.

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Once they were frozen solid, I layered them between waxed paper in a freezer container. If you don’t have a freezer container, any air-tight container or bag will do. If you use a plastic bag that isn’t for freezing (which means it is thicker plastic), just double bag it.

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Now, my peppers are ready to use. I’ve saved money, and I’ve saved time.

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“She is energetic, a hard worker, 
and watches for bargains.
She works far into the night!”
Proverbs 31:17-18 (TLB)


 

TWO STEPS TO KEEP FRESH PEPPERS FRESH

1. Cut and wash only the portion of the pepper you will use, leaving the stem and seeds intact.
2. Put the remaining pepper in a plastic bag or container, with a sheet of paper towel.

I have kept peppers this way for well over a week. I know nutritional value diminishes as produce ages, but there are always aesthetic and fiber-content benefits.