One Year Off Facebook – Best Year of My Life

Hello Healing Partners!

I enjoyed one year staying OFF Facebook. So why in the world would I get back on this site? Here are a few lessons I learned.

1. If we want to change the conversation, we need to participate. Contribute. People will talk about the same things unless we give and share something different.

2. Go where people are talking and connecting. We don’t do telephone calls anymore. I learned not to fight the technology, but use it in a great way to leverage how to get the message out to a lot of people at one time. Uh, kinda like this blog! 🙂

3. Be brave enough to share your story. I probably would’ve been fine burying the cancer journey and all its difficulties. But God showed me that there are too many people who are healing from something. I learned what to apply in my life by watching other people heal. Maybe your story will help someone, too.

The healing journey shows that we can approach familiar things differently. Facebook is how most of my family communicates. Instead of dreading the barrage of online stickers or oddly-posed selfies, it was time for me to engage in the conversations and start contributing with messages that show the love of God.

I’ll be guilty of the occasional food foto and even a two-sentence rant about standing in line for way too long (you know, things that don’t really matter). But my prayer is that those are limited. Instead, could you pray that I use social media to show the powerful and purposeful, life-changing love of God to others?

The one year off Facebook might seem like the best year of my life, but there is so much more to come.

What about you? How do you benefit from your online activity? (other than having a great time here on my blog? Okay, I’m kidding). How has online content influenced you in your own decisions? Do you regularly learn new things online?

Let the words of my mouth, and the meditation of my heart, be acceptable in thy sight, O Lord, my strength, and my redeemer.” Psalm 19:14

Blessings,

Mahal

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The Weird Thing About (Not) Picking Up Stuff From the Floor

Right before going into surgery, my oncologist told me and then my family separately, that I was to do no housework for thirty days after surgery. He reiterated that it was important that I be very gentle on my midsection and allow it to heal after the hysterectomy.

Do you realize how many ways and times we bend our torso on a daily basis?

From picking up socks and taking out the trash and even turning to reach for something on the kitchen counter, we rely heavily on our core. Even though the inflammation is gone and I can very well bend and reach any which way my body allows me to, I still pause before bending to pick something up from the floor.

It’s a weird quirk. I actually think it’s a mild form of PTSD and it is slowly going away. Unfortunately, this avoidance also gets in my way. If there is a piece of paper that falls to the floor, I can go hours before bending down to pick it up. Basically, my mind says, if it doesn’t bother you, then don’t bother.

I’m not too accepting about this. I know it will  change. But I know that we all have that “odd little habit” if we have gone through an ordeal. I’m not a scientist, but I’m sure there is an area in the brain that actually helps us recall that incident and it’s designed to have our brain and bodies respond in a way that preserves us.

I think what’s most important is that we realize when that habit or mental block does not serve us anymore. Clearly, the disarray of unopened mail and file folders on my work space is NOT preserving me anymore. Now I need to re-wire my programming and do things that let me know I’m safe and I can replace the avoidance responses with other responses that are appropriate.

When I have to pick something up from the floor, as I’m pausing, I’ll tell myself, “Just one,” or “Just this one.”

I hear my own voice, saying out loud, that I’m only picking up that one thing. Then I don’t feel overwhelmed and most importantly, I won’t avoid the chore. (Which the other members of my household appreciate). 🙂

Let me encourage you to give yourself the permission to set new parameters for yourself in your season of healing. Get creative in forming new responses or cues that will help you in new situations and give lively meaning to situations that were once daunting.

What is your odd little habit and what can you do to overcome it?

Blessings,
Mahal

New Normal After the Dust Settled

Hello, Healing Partners!

I’m happy to report that life is, yet again, different. I have more energy and I can get through my work days without having to lie down and nap throughout the day. My food allergies have subsided for the most part and I can fret and riot about as I normally would have before going through treatment.

But I have a deeper appreciation for things now. And I freely celebrate the little things.

For example, I got my cell phone bill down to a zero balance and can start off with a clean slate. For some people, that might not sound like a big deal. But it was a huge victory for me, especially after two years of maneuvering through my budget to make sure that it didn’t get cut off – again.

On the people side, here is what God has done since January:

My mother accepted Christ and got baptized. She is in discipleship and steadily growing in the Lord. I also had the privilege to lead one of my cousin’s to the Lord, in the middle of Karaoke chaos. She spotted my Bible in my purse and started asking questions. Clearly, other had planted the seed in her heart and after a few more exchanges, we went to one of the quieter rooms at the family reunion and she prayed to accept Christ. My sister’s boyfriend also recently accepted Christ.

That alone can end the post! LOL.

New Christians in my family have made up the “new normal.” I see how my trial through cancer treatment has also been used by God to nurture a willing ear with these loved ones to hear about the things of God. I am thankful that the Lord has not delayed in showing me how it is all part of His plan and that He has a purpose for all of my seasons, even those laced with pain.

Plus, my daughter starts high school this year. YIKES! Truthfully, though, she has blossomed into an amazing young lady who has a genuine walk with God. When she was younger, I was her mom. As she grows, I GET to be her mom and witness the wonderful work of God through her own spiritual growth.

This is the new normal after the dust settled. It took tears, prayer, church, counsel, Bible reading, repentance, forgiveness, coupons, a strict budget, sacrifice, focus, steadfastness, Netflix, pizza nights, and several notebooks to come to this point. I am blessed to get to this point. I honestly didn’t think I would make it this far. God is so good.

I feel like I took the elevator to the second floor and I can finally see what’s up here. I can finally begin.

Psalm 118:5 reads, “I called upon the Lord in distress: the Lord answered me, and set me in a large place.

If you are in the middle of a healing season or are eager to get started, let me encourage you that the difficult phases will end and you can prepare yourself to embrace new chapters in your life that might have felt so far away.

Sincerely,
Mahal

Bible Study Blog!

Hi Everyone!

I wanted to wish you a Happy Sunday! I hope you enjoy church service today. You are also the first to know that I launched a Bible study blog: Magnify343, named after one of my favorite verses, Psalm 34:3,O magnify the Lord with me, and let us exalt his name together.”

It would be so great if you took a look! This site will hopefully have a stronger focus on Bible study, ministry, prayer and discipleship. The journey with my health and recovery has blessed me to engage in different ministries and the Lord matured me through these seasons! To celebrate, I started a blog that is geared toward the goodness and grind of studying the Word of God and the real-life workings of ministry. It is truly an offspring of Journals of Healing! Please be sure to visit the site and email me with areas of study that interest you. Have a wonderful Sunday!

Has it really been that long?

Happy Fourth of July, Blog and WordPress Fam! I hope you were able to celebrate today with good friends, family and summer foods! I’m glad to be back and I’m hoping to be able to post updates more often.

God has not ceased in showing me His goodness and I’m looking forward to sharing the amazing things that He’s done in my life and the new discoveries that have enriched my walk with Him.

Quick update:

My test results have been normal and my dr has moved my 3-month appointments to every 6 months! That’s an answered prayer in the steady healing. I’m not declared “cured” as of yet. I need to hit the 5-year mark (which is in 2017) before the dr’s determine that the cancer is under control.  But until then, I’m enjoying a new normal and even embracing the regular ups and downs of Southern California urban life.  🙂

Also, my daughter passed her first educational milestone by graduating elementary school. They call it culmination and all kinds of new terms. Pfft. I’m old school. Looks like a graduation to me!

Watching her walk that stage gave me a new experience as a parent. For those of you who have teenagers, you’ll know what I mean when I say it “hit” me. It’s a numbness of feeling stunned that I’ve taken care of her for so long and now she’s really moving on to the next stage of development, academics and life accomplishments. To know that I was there for her graduation in good health is truly a showcasing of God’s wonderful grace to give us that time together.

Okay, I’ll let you get back to your festivities! I will need to look at where I left off and start sharing more updates soon!