Category Archives: hope

How Do You Tell Your Story?

My first locket... Blessed, Hope, Cross, Pink Ribbon, Pink Heart
My first locket…
Blessed, Hope, Cross, Pink Ribbon, Pink Heart

I tell my story in many ways. This is how I began to tell my story.  I hope you are encouraged by my story.

On December 26, 2008, my life changed forever.  I was 47 years old when I was diagnosed with Invasive Ductal Carcinoma.   I did not think this would ever happen to me. In all reality, it did.  By the time I was diagnosed, the cancer was Stage 3a and Grade 3, a very aggressive form of cancer.  The silver lining in all of this is that it was triple positive cancer.

When you receive a diagnosis of cancer, your life changes forever.  From that point on, you are known as the one who has cancer.  Some people deal with it by talking to everyone about every detail.  That just wasn’t me.   I prayed, spoke as if I was already healed and immersed myself in worship. I am a woman of faith and I put my trust in God to bring about His divine will.

It took years for me to be able to talk about my diagnosis and progress without tearing up. Eventually, I  became the principal at my own school.  I began to share my story with those who needed words of encouragement. Inner healing began to take place every time I reached out to help others.

During that time in my life, Origami Owl Custom Jewelry found me.  With the assistance of one of my teachers, I designed the locket in the picture above.  Wearing my custom locket gave me voice when I had no voice. I chose each of the charms because they have special meaning to me:

  • Pink Ribbon – Symbol of Breast Cancer
  • Cross – My hope is in the Lord.
  • Pink Hope oval – I was speaking ‘hope’ over my situation. (positive attitude)
  • Sparkle Pink Heart – I love anything pink and sparkly.
  • Blessed Plate – I am blessed.

In October, 2014, I began to share my story through my Facebook page and on my blog.  The purpose for my Facebook page is to: inspire, encourage and empower. I recently reconnected with Origami Owl to discover that their Mission Statement embraces the very purpose I started my Facebook page.

“Our mission is to be a force for good; to love, inspire & motivate people of all ages to reach their dreams & empower them to make a difference in the lives of others.”

I recently became a designer with Origami Owl to tell my story and to continue to be a force for good, inspiration and to make a difference in the lives of others. Every story is unique and important. YOU are important. How do you tell your story?

As my story changes, so does my locket. I have added... Designer Charm, Blog, Hope (script) Also, I put all charms in a heart locket because the cause will always be close to my heart.
As my story changes, so does my locket.
I have added… Designer Charm, Blog, Hope (script) Also, I put all charms in a heart locket because the cause will always be close to my heart.
Heart locket-different angle
Heart locket-different angle

I invite you to visit the Origami Owl Stories page to read more stories. http://www.laurasjourneyofhope.com/origami-owl-stories

Be Blessed.

Laura

Keeping It Real

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I’m just keeping it real.  How is it going with your gratitude journal?

I have been keeping my gratitude journal since May 1st.  On April 30, 2015, I invited you to join in. So, how is it going?

I am journaling (writing my thoughts) right before I go to bed because it helps me focus my attention on the good things that happened during the day. I don’t really like to use the word journaling because for some that is the first roadblock and you might say, “I don’t have time for that.” or “I can’t add one more thing.” However, we all have 24 hours in the day and I encourage you to:

  • Take 5 minutes to reflect on something that you are thankful/grateful for and write it down. (beginning or end of day)
  • Make time for yourself.
  • Take time for yourself.
  • Keep it easy. (start with 1 thing) You don’t have to write a long list. Just start.

I said that I was just going to start with one thing and I ended up with 3 things on some days because once you recognize the positive things in your life, you will begin to see more and more positive and focus less on the negative.

Here is my journal from this week.

My personal gratitude journel
My personal gratitude journal

You can see on Mother’s day Sunday, May 11, 2015, I wrote:

  • Call from my girls
  • church
  • nice day

Okay…overall nice day.  I spoke to both of my girls on the phone. I could focus on the fact that one of my girls lives out-of-town and the other one works Saturdays and Sundays and always has since she had children. I’m keeping it real! That is very painful but I can’t change it so I accept it and focus on the fact that they called me.

Monday, May 11, 2015, I only have one thing written down, “finish 1st draft of e-book”.  I was working on the first draft of my e-book until about midnight and I was just thankful to complete it before my deadline. (You can be looking for the release of that book in the next couple of months. It is about my journey through breast cancer as a working mom, wife, daughter and believer.)

Tuesday, May 12th, 2015, was a banner day because I wrote 4 things.  I was so excited that my physical therapy for my wrist was good. Sure it hurt but he said that the joint is becoming more flexible. (Thank you, Jesus.) A highlight from that day is watching my grandchildren and Wyatt actually kissed me goodbye, That’s huge. Also, I connected with a friend who I hadn’t spoken to in a while.  We get so consumed by technology that we forget the value of a real conversation.

 You can see from my entries that I’m just keeping it real, nothing fancy.

So how is it going? Post in Facebook comments or on the blog comments.  I want to hear from you.

Be Blessed.

Laura

Twice Sisters

I'm on the left. (Laura) My sister is on the right. (Cheryll)
I’m on the left. (Laura)
My sister is on the right. (Cheryll)

My sister and I are ‘twice sisters’ meaning we are blood sisters (born sisters) and pink sisters.  Both of us have been personally affected  by breast cancer which makes us pink sisters.  In September/October of 2014, my sister called me to tell me that her mammogram was flagged and the radiologist really wanted to do a biopsy because she saw a cluster of cells.  I told her that the majority of biopsies turn out to be benign and my motto was..’Don’t worry until you need to’.  Now, we all know that is almost impossible but I really try to practice the concept.

Cheryll had a real peace about the whole process.  It seemed like a lifetime had passed from the first call about the biopsy to the results call.  In the meantime, I prayed and prayed and prayed!!

She had just started a new job and I prayed to God that she would be okay and not have to join the Breast Cancer Survivor group.  I have traveled that road.  I was diagnosed the day after Christmas in 2008 with Stage 3a, Grade 3, Invasive Ductal Carcinoma.  I prayed that she would not have to go down that road and that she would never have to endure chemotherapy and radiation. I prayed for a clear report.

When she received the biopsy report, she was diagnosed with breast cancer.  I was devastated.  I thought I took the bullet for the family. I cried. I cried for her.  Then  I prayed…okay God, if she has to have this diagnosis, I pray they caught it early.

Thankfully, they caught it early at Stage 0. She would only need a lumpectomy and radiation. The doctor was amazed and told her that it was unbelievable that it was only Stage 0. Regardless of what stage the breast cancer is a 1, 2, 3, or 4, a diagnosis brings so much more with it. Not only does it take a toll on you physically but it takes a toll on you emotionally and psychologically. It’s not like a root canal that you fix it in 2-3 visits to the dentist.

Okay…my view/opinion about breast cancer… the very hormone, estrogen, that defines you as a woman ends up globbing together with other estrogen cells to become breast cancer. So the very hormone that makes you a woman, trys to kill you, and the treatment robs you of your hair, eyelashes, eyebrows and so much more. I hope you can infer that I find this entire concept, hideous, outrageous and unacceptable. However, I can’t change that so I will only give it this small paragraph.

I am glad to report that Cheryll is cancer free.  I have invited her to guest blog. I hope she is able to share her story soon.  I am blessed to have her as my sister and now we are twice sisters.

I invite you to follow me on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/laurasjourneyofhope.

Be Blessed.

Laura

Renewal of My Soul

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Along came a beautiful hummingbird and then his mate a couple of minutes later. They fluttered around the aloe plants and obtained the nectar from the aloe bloom.  Now, we had lived at that house 14 years and I had worked in the yard at all times of the day and I had never seen a hummingbird, much less a pair of hummingbirds.  Then, I remembered a verse in the Bible about God taking care of the birds of the air.

Matthew 6:26 (NIV)

“Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they?”

I sat in silence once again but it was a good silence.  The kind of silence and time with God that renews your soul.  I knew God had my back in all of this.  I knew God was in control.  I went inside and began to review notes in my devotional book.  I read the notes from the Sunday that I was in the hospital, March 15, 2009.  In those notes was a phrase…“I know God remembers me.”  If fact, that phrase is listed 73 times in the Bible in reference to God taking care of us.  Then,  I listened to my favorite praise and worship song, “He Knows My Name” by Tommy Walker. Here are the words to the first verse/chorus:

I have a maker

He formed my heart,

before even time began

My life was in His hands

He knows my name

He knows my every thought,

He sees each tear that falls

and hears me when I call

He, my God, remembered me all along.  I just needed to go to the source of strength. My spirit had been renewed by some quiet time with God and the hummingbird visit.  I only saw them one more time after that day and haven’t seen them since.

I will look for them again this April/May.

I invite you to follow me on FB @http://www.facebook.com/laurasjourneyofhope

Be Blessed.

Laura

10 reasons I know that cancer made me a better person

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I understand more deeply.

I get hurt more often.

I appreciate more quickly.

I cry more easily.

I have hope deep in my soul.

I love more intensely.

I have a stronger faith.

I am thankful for God’s grace.

I believe in miracles.

I live more passionately.

Words cannot express the joy I feel when I wake up in the morning and realize that I have been given another day to:

live

enjoy my family

spend time with my grandchildren

go on date night’s with my husband

plan my daughters’ weddings

call the repair man for my washing machine…even though this should frustrate me, I am just blessed to be here.

Live life! Take nothing for granted!

I invite you to follow me on FB @ http://www.facebook.com/laurasjourneyofhope.

Be blessed.

Laura

How A Locket Helped Me Tell My Story

My Locket
My Locket

On December 26, 2008, my life changed forever.  I was 47 years old when I was diagnosed with Invasive Ductal Carcinoma.   I did not think this would ever happen to me. In all reality, it did.  By the time I was diagnosed, the cancer was Stage 3a and Grade 3, a very aggressive form of cancer.  The silver lining in all of this is that it was triple positive cancer.

When you receive a diagnosis of cancer, your life changes forever.  From that point on, you are known as the one who has cancer.  Some people deal with it by talking to everyone about every detail.  That just wasn’t me.   I prayed, spoke as if I was already healed and immersed myself in worship. I am a woman of faith and I put my trust in God to bring about His divine will.

It took years for me to be able to talk about my diagnosis and progress without tearing up. Eventually, I  became the principal at my own school.  I began to share my story with those who needed words of encouragement. Inner healing began to take place every time I reached out to help others.

During that time in my life, Origami Owl Custom Jewelry found me.  With the assistance of one of my teachers, I designed the locket in the picture above.  Wearing my custom locket gave me voice when I had no voice. I chose each of the charms because they have special meaning to me:

  • Pink Ribbon – Symbol of Breast Cancer
  • Cross – My hope is in the Lord.
  • Pink Hope oval – I was speaking ‘hope’ over my situation. (positive attitude)
  • Sparkle Pink Heart – I love anything pink and sparkly.
  • Blessed Plate – I am blessed.

In October, 2014, I began to share my story through my Facebook page and on my blog.  The purpose for my Facebook page is to: inspire, encourage and empower. I recently reconnected with Origami Owl to discover that their Mission Statement embraces the very purpose I started my Facebook page.

“Our mission is to be a force for good; to love, inspire & motivate people of all ages to reach their dreams & empower them to make a difference in the lives of others.”

I recently became a designer with Origami Owl to tell my story and to continue to be a force for good, inspiration and to make a difference in the lives of others. Every story is unique and important. I invite you to visit my new website and create your story @ http://www.laurastarner.OrigamiOwl.com.

Also, I invite you to join me on FB @ http://www.facebook.com/laurasjourneyofhope.com.

Be Blessed.

Laura