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Showing posts from July, 2014

Weekending Commonplace: Those who sow in tears shall reap rejoicing

Today at Friday morning Mass, the Psalm responsorial provided me with a message of hope and encouragement.

I've found that when I go to Mass or open my Bible during devotional time with an open heart and quiet mind, a verse will speak to me in my current circumstances like a gentle reminder that God is near.

I smiled as I heard the cantor read the words and then smiled as I knew I had to share it with you.

There are so many wonderful promises contained in these verses...

our mouth was filled with laughter, our tongue with rejoicing

Then they said to the nations, "the LORD has done great things for us, we are glad indeed."

Restore our fortunes, O LORD, like the torrents in the southern desert.

But the most amazing one is in the response itself: Those who sow in tears shall reap rejoicing!

No matter what you are going through today, repeat this promise to yourself over and over again...I shall reap rejoicing!

From Psalm 126

R. (5) Those who sow in tears shall reap rejoicing.

When in Doubt - Ask for a Biopsy

Sometimes life can change in an instant and sometimes it takes a gradual unraveling to reveal itself.

Here's how it unfolded for me...

June 24th - First Mammogram

July 16th -  Second Mammogram, Ultrasound, and Biopsy

July 18th - Received Diagnosis of Atypical Ductal Hypoplasia

July 24th - Consultation scheduled with Breast Surgeon

On Friday, July 18th I found out the results of the biopsy to my left breast...I have what is known as an "Atypical ductal hyperplasia of the breast"...and I'll be speaking with a breast surgeon on July 24th about scheduling a lumpectomy.

The other night when I signed off of Facebook by posting a picture of myself in bed and said that I was exhausted after a long day. Well, the reason was because I'd spent the day at the hospital having tests done.

Here's the definition of my current condition: "Atypical hyperplasia isn't cancer, but it can be a forerunner to the development of breast cancer. Over the course of your lifetime, if th…

What to Do When All You Hear is a Negative Voice in Your Head

I went to Mass this morning in a good mood and left in a bad mood.

I usually love going to the 8:30 weekday Mass, there are fewer people, the priest comes down from the raised altar and stands at our level for the gospel reading and homily. The entire service has a feeling of shared intimacy. It's usually the highlight of my week.

Not today.

As I prayed, all I heard was this negative voice that recited a litany of my failures over the past two years. All the times I had invested time and money into my writing career and all the times I had failed to produce the hoped for result. All the jobs I had applied for and dearly needed and every time been turned down.

Not only was the list uncomfortably long, the voice assured me that I had no hope and the string of failures was bound to continue.

As I sat there asking God to intervene, to give me a word of encouragement, the negative voice just got louder and more persistent.

I was reduced to tears as I kneeled in the pew. I kept asking …

Pain d'épice - From Kneadlessly Simple by Nancy Baggett

Since I learned how to make no-knead bread via Jim Lahey's book, My Bread, I have fallen in love with baking bread using this simple, foolproof technique.

Which is what led me to Nancy Baggett's book, Kneadlessly Simple. I've enjoyed Nancy's book because of the wide variety of everyday staples and more exotic breads that I was eager to try. Today's bread recipe fell into the latter category.

Nancy describes this bread as an "aromatic, flavorful, fruit-and-spice loaf...a French favorite, particularly in the farthest easter region of Alsace...quite spectacular  spread with cream cheese."

That last bit of description clinched the deal for me, since one of my favorite light-breakfasts consists of a slice of flavored bread spread with Labneh (a delicious spreadable yogurt cheese that tastes like cream cheese).

If you've ever wanted to bake bread but were intimidated, try Jim Lahey's or Nancy Baggett's books. You'll be amazed by how easy and ac…

Feeling Stuck? What to Do When You're in the Valley

Sometimes Life can feel like a series of two steps forward, one step back...despite all of our best efforts we are in a waiting place.

Today I came across this psalm and it perfectly described what the valley feels like for me right now. I'm working on several different projects, sending out emails, and in every case getting no reply...or at best another closed door.

I remembered the old days,
went over all you’ve done, pondered the ways you’ve worked,
Stretched out my hands to you,
as thirsty for you as a desert thirsty for rain.

Like David says at the start of this psalm, I remember the old days when it felt as if I went from one success to the next, when everything seemed to flow easily.

Hurry with your answer, God!
I’m nearly at the end of my rope.
Don’t turn away; don’t ignore me!
That would be certain death.

When we are there in the valley, it can feel more discouraging than even failure...because at least with failure, we can see the results of our actions.
The valley feels different..…