Cancer, Children, Making Cancer Fun, Uncategorized

An Emotional Day and a Great Big THANK YOU!

Today is an emotional and exciting day for me.  On January 2, 2017 I created a Go Fund Me page at the encouragement of some friends and after a lot of prayer.  See, I wanted to write this book. A book I felt God calling me to write, that I really didn’t want to write, but that I knew could help other families facing a childhood cancer diagnosis.

I was still broke and trying to get back on my feet after 6 years going through a domestic violence divorce, Emily’s cancer, and a move across the country to be closer to family. I was rebuilding my business, living paycheck to paycheck, and while I had enough money to cover my bills, I didn’t have the thousands of dollars it was going to take to publish a book.  See, I didn’t just want a book. I wanted one that was beautiful to look at and read, one that had pictures of our journey, and would inspire hope in the reader’s heart. I was going to need an editor, a graphic artist, buy an ISBN number and purchase initial copies to give out.  

We raised almost $4,000 and one of the first people who donated was my daughter’s surgeon. I cried.  People believed in my vision.

Many, many, many people encouraged me to start a nonprofit instead.  I knew that was not God’s plan for me.  See, there’s already a teeny tiny pot of money available for the childhood cancer world. I didn’t want to be sticking my hand in there too. I wanted to be giving to that pot instead. I knew companies like Amazon, Apple and Disney were able to make huge contributions to those very nonprofits because of their businesses. I wanted to be able to do that too. I started by doing lots of Buy one Donate one events and donating books to families and hospitals. I committed to donating a portion of the proceeds from MCF book sales to support nonprofits that make cancer fun for children and their families. 

Now Making Cancer Fun isn’t Amazon or Apple (yet!)  but today marks a significant day. Today marks the day I can give my first real donation. And I am so excited about the nonprofit chosen.

Out of Zion is a free creative arts program for children with medical and special needs. Kosj and Jaymi created this program in honor of their beautiful son Zion, who fought an aggressive brain tumor for one year before crossing over to be with his Creator. Zion loved music and creative arts, always singing along, dancing and exploring any instrument he could get his hands on. Out of Zion was born out of a calling on their family to extend the love, joy and faith that their son embodied. Kosj and Jaymi know first hand what it is like to have a child facing a difficult diagnosis and medical treatment. Their desire is to create a joyful and supportive environment for children and their families who are fighting similar battles while carrying on Zion’s legacy. Through Out of Zion,  Zion continues to inspire and bring hope to children, parents and entire families who need it the most.

Now many of you might not know, but my background is in theatre. At three I wanted to be a ballerina. When I hit 5’8″ at thirteen I decided instead I wanted to be an actress. I went to college, majored in Drama and my first job out of college was with a touring children’s theater.  Out of Zion combines my two loves: making cancer fun for kids and the arts. I can think of no better way to honor God (who I believe was preparing me for making cancer fun from that very first improvisation class) then to support a beautiful, impactful organization, and a family that stands for everything I believe in.

So whether you have purchased my book, shared a post, left a review, or just prayed for me along the way, THANK YOU. Thank you for believing in me and my vision, Thank you for believing FUN is a viable and important coping skill. Thank you for being part of this journey.

This is just the beginning. I have a second exciting product coming out (hopefully this spring!) and it is my prayer each new product will bring more revenue to give back bigger and bigger each time, supporting lots of nonprofits along the way.

So while $300 may not seem like much, for me it’s huge. Like Confucius said, “The man who moves a mountain begins by carrying away small stones.”  This is my small stone.

PS Here’s a peak at the work they do:

choice, coping, covid19, divorce, Quarantine, Uncategorized

Fear, Choice and Death

Ever have somebody want to kill you? I mean actually plan and plot and tell your daughter how they were going to do it?  Someone who made it their mission to destroy you. Now imagine walking around every day knowing that there was someone out there who’s sole desire was to kill you.  

I remember they day I made the choice.  I had spent months walking around in fear of my soon-to-be-ex husband. Constantly looking over my shoulder. Unable to sleep because of every creak and squeak in the dark.  And one day I decided to stop.  I decided I had already given eight years of my life to someone who didn’t deserve them.  I wasn’t going to give one more day.  I understood the reality. “Women are 70 times more likely to be killed in the two weeks after leaving than at any other time during the relationship,” the Domestic Violence Intervention Program reports. I was taking a risk by leaving. I was taking a bigger risk by staying.  I was tired of being afraid. Tired of giving control to someone who had been controlling me for 8 years. I wanted my control back. And that day I took it.  If I was going to die, I was going to die without giving  him one more day, one more minute, or one more second of my life. I choose to let go of fear and trust my fate.

I never looked back.

Twelve years later I realize what a defining moment that was for me and how it would affect my life and my choices forever.

This morning I woke up to a headline that read, “US Reported More than 10,000 Covid-19 Deaths in Four Days.”  Crap, that’s a lot of people.  That sounds scary. So, I ran the numbers.

  • 14,400,000 have had a positive COVID-19 diagnosis
  • 279,000 have died
  • .019 % of people diagnosed have died
  • We have 331,000,000 million people in America
  • Only .043 % of the population has had COVID-19

Ok Tara, back into your rational brain.  Take a deep breath and repeat, “I will not be afraid.”

I know that’s easy to say when I’m not a nurse or doctor overworked, exhausted and surrounded by death. I know that’s easy to say when I’m not one of the 279,000 families that are celebrating Christmas this year without someone they love. I know that’s easy to say when I’m not over 65 and that stat doesn’t apply to me.

My mom and I argue on this. She’s afraid to leave the house. I get it, she’s 74.   So far she’s missed all 3 grandkids birthdays, Mother’s day, her birthday, my birthday, my brother’s birthday, our Annual 4th of July BBQ, a trip to Cali to see my brother, Halloween with her grandkids, her annual Vermont trip, and Thanksgiving. Well not completely missed, if you count the occasional outdoor social distancing visit where we have sat 20 feet part and passed cake through an elaborate system of who touched it last.

I’m hearing about nursing homes that are in full shut down mode. We have a close family friend in one. I asked my mom if I could send her an Advent gift. Her year has been even harder than my mom’s because she doesn’t get to do backyard 20 feet apart distancing dates.  I figured an Advent calendar that gave her a fun gift to open might give her something to look forward to each day. My mom said no packages are allowed in. Apparently, I have more access to a local inmate than my grandma-by-choice.

I try to think how I would feel if situations were reversed. If that was me. I wonder if I was at an age where I might already be celebrating my last holidays, what would I want to do?  It leads to me to the ultimate question: is life about living or about being alive?  I mean, what’s the point of being alive if I’m living in a paid Medicare version of jail?

I’m reminded that fear is unbiblical. (Isaiah  41:10, Deuteronomy 31:6, Joshua 1:9, Philippians 4:6-7, just for starters)

Common sense is biblical.  God says, “For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power, and of love and of a sound mind.” (NKJV 2 Timothy 1:7) and a personal favorite when I feel my thoughts running wild.

So where is the line?  I mean, even after I decided I wouldn’t let fear of my ex rule my life, I was still cautious. I kept my alarm system on.  Parked in my garage so no one knew I was home. Stayed off posting where I was on social media (something to this day I am still aware of, and will often post only after I leave a location) and that’s just for starters. I didn’t just say, “Well I’m not afraid and so I’ll walk down the train tracks with the train coming!” (Back to that whole “sound mind” thing.)

I still don’t want to eat inside a restaurant and my daughter thinks it’s crazy.

I admit, I still wash all my groceries which I also know the “experts” are saying we really don’t have to do anymore, but for some reason it makes me feel better thinking of all those people who touch my  food.

Neckgators make me nervous because they are COVID sieves and might be the equivalent of wearing nothing.  Like everything concerning COVID-19, the data on this changes weekly.

And I may or may not be the person who complained at Physical Therapy because no one was properly wearing a mask, including the receptionist who took her’s off completely to walk around prompting everyone else to think it was fine to do the same. And I may or may not now book my appointments at the end of the day so I am usually the only one there and the receptionist who was reprimanded after my complaining is gone for the day. (I have been warned by caring friends…if she ever offers me a coffee I should politely decline.)

With all of this though, I know that I won’t see my mom.  God forbid I am the one who unknowingly gives her COVID and she dies. My sister would never, and I mean never, forgive me.  Openly, I think my mom has a high likelihood of dying from COIVD. Not because of her age or because she has zero underlying health conditions and is probably healthier than I am, but simply because she believes it will kill her.  What we believe is powerful.  What we fear is more powerful. ( Job 3:25) And science proves to us fear destroys the immune system. So yeah, I’m not gonna be the one who kills off mom.

But it still hurts my heart.  Not just for my mom but for our country.

I think of the long-term financial devastation for small business owners. Restaurants that are closing, families that are behind on their mortgage, rent payments and utility payments.

I think of the child who just shot himself on a live zoom class during virtual school.  I guess school shootings still happen even if you’re remote.

I think of the vendors who rely on the holiday selling season for their craft shows which have been canceled. Those people who lost their income to Amazon and Cyber Monday.

I think of all the nonprofits who rely on 5K’s and in person Gala’s to raise money for very important causes in our country, ones that affect more than .019%.

I think it’ll be a few years before we see the mass financial devastation our choices have caused.

And I wonder if it’s worth it for .019%?

I know it’s worth it to the almost 300,000 families who lost family members. It matters to them.

But it also matters to the families of the 10,000 children that die every day from starvation. (Everyday. That’s 40,000 in four days.) Nobody has invested $9 billion dollars in the last eight months to change that. But, I guess that’s because the majority of those children we don’t know and they’re a different color.

I guess it matters of the families of the of the 261 alcoholics that die every day.  But on election night, “Where is the nearest liquor store” was the number one searched  Google term.

I bet it matters to the 97,966 business owners and all their employees who (as of Sept 2020) have permanently closed their businesses. An according to Kevin Kuhlman, VP of the National Federation of Independent Business,  “If economic trends continue at this rate, one in five business owner anticipates they won’t be able to make it until the end of the year.”  That’s a lot of employees out of work and a lot of money relocated to a handful of large corporations as consumers take their shopping elsewhere.

I think the biggest thing this virus should cause us to do is stop and think. Think about our choices, the way we go through life, the way we treat other people and just what we prioritize.

Just like my ex-husband, I don’t know if COVID will take my life, but I do know that it won’t take my peace. I do know I won’t let it control me with fear. Regardless if I live or die, I will not be afraid.

The choice is ours.  

Photo by Jon Tyson on Unsplash


Your Energy is Giving ME Anxiety.

My anxiety is getting worse. I’m calling it anxiety but openly, I’m not 100% sure if that’s exactly what it is. It starts to feel like a combination of anger, impatience, wanting to throw something and wanting to cry all at the same time.  It’s bizarre.  And while the glass of wine helps (doctor’s orders remember?) this morning at 7am when I was dropping my daughter off at school, even I couldn’t justify day drinking with the, “Well it’s 5 o’clock somewhere” excuse.

So now I’m sitting on my couch with my heart pounding wanting to yell at someone and wondering if I should go back to bed, try some meditation, or  just run around the block. Since I don’t run, I’ve settled just on typing. I know journaling was one of the things that kept me sane in the hospital with Em.  A stream of consciousness running from my heart to my head out of my fingers onto a keyboard in many ways has been better than all the years of therapy I’ve been to. (Apologies to my former therapists). Maybe writing will unearth some deep revelation or “Ah ha!” moment which will cause this anxious feeling to disappear in a puff of smoke.

Instead, the bunny just starting to rattle his pen and now my heart is beating even faster. Great.

Last night I kept thinking maybe my body is telling me something and I’m just not listening? Maybe it’s having to talk louder and louder and now at it’s at a point of screaming and that’s what I’ve been feeling? I mean, I am a spiritual being before I am a physical one (one of my favorite quotes is: “We are not human beings having a spiritual experience. We are spiritual beings having a human experience.”) Maybe this feeling of rage/impatience/exasperation that I’m calling “anxiety” is just my body’s attempt to communicate? 

What’s strange, is this seems to have come out of nowhere.  In which case I feel forced to ask myself….well what’s changed? 

I wonder. I stopped going to yoga because of my knee issues (started PT this week).  So maybe it’s the lack of exercise?

Fall is my least favorite time of year, knowing that winter is mocking me and hiding around the corner. So maybe that’s it? But truth be told, it’s been hot and sunny here in NJ and it’s November.  I mean this morning on our drive to school I wore a t-shirt during an hour that’s normally freezing out. I even ate outside both Saturday and Sunday last weekend because it was so gorgeous. I think back to growing up as a child in NJ and how by Halloween I was often torn between wearing a snowsuit and my costume because it was friggin’ freezing.  Even as a child, I hated the cold and would more often choose the snowsuit. My mom used to try layering me with multiple layers under my costume in an attempt to keep me warm, which didn’t really help, and only resulted with me moving in a slow motion fashion like the Stay Puft Marshmallow Man.  So even though I’m not a scientist, I’m pretty sure they are right about this whole global warming thing. (And then I secretly feel guilty because my laying on my deck basking in the sun is really because my grandchildren’s future planet is slowly dying.)

I can’t really blame fall this year.

So what else has changed?

I had an unfriending this week. If you follow me on Facebook you heard the news. I removed someone who was constantly attacking my faith and labeling me as a “Conservative” and a “Republican” (which in today’s climate, is basically like using words that years ago might have left you with soap in your mouth for such profanity).  Ironically, I’ve always been a registered Independent. I also arbore labels because it assumes we know everything someone believes, thinks, or feels.  Liberal? Oh, you must be one step away from a Communist.  Conservative? You must be picketing Planned Parenthood and throwing Bibles at people’s faces.  So before going down a long political tirade ….. I’ll simply say it was hard for me to set that unfriending boundary. It was hard to say, “Wow, even though we disagree we can’t agree to disagree”. It was hard to say, “I’m sorry you can’t talk to me like that.” (Then wonder, was I really sorry or just pissed?) It was hard to see a 15-year friendship be gone with a click on my laptop.  But mostly it made me so sad to realize someone I had been friends with – good friends with – was constantly so triggered by me. I mean, once I posted a selfie in my living room and you could see a cross hanging on the wall behind me and he just had to make a disparaging comment about my faith.  Strangely I, the Christian, didn’t even notice the cross in the photo until he pointed it out. I found it odd that the cross is what stood out to him the most. As if his eyes were drawn to the sign of Jesus. Then that just started me wondering all about what his spirit was really trying to tell him…not me.  But that’s another post.

Yet, I don’t think the unfriending has caused my heart palpitations because these started before last week.  So I’m brought back to…. what else is different?

I’m working differently. I live on zoom now. I love it because it has proven to me I can have complete and totally freedom to travel, live and work wherever I want.  The flip side is, thanks to COVID and this bondage called Emily’s high school, I don’t actually get to travel, live and work wherever I want.  One of my BFF’s just got a swanky RV.  Correction, her husband got a swanky RV. She’s still not sold on it. I’m drooling over her new found freedom of the road. I mean, she now can literally pick up and go anywhere she wants simply with one foot to the gas!  But, like me, she is also bound to school and her husband’s M-F 9-5 job so yeah, it’s more like a mockery of freedom that she might use a few times a year. (Which I think she is 100% aware of but her husband is still in blissful denial). So, I think I might do an under/over on how much this RV is actually used and then maybe won’t be so jealous after all.

So what else is different? (See how I keep asking myself that?) Trying to dig deeper to the bottom of this. 

My daughter’s grades. Ugh, that is a tough one. She is struggling in high school.  I know this could be a late effect as a childhood cancer survivor, but it’s never been an issue until this year. And, like everything with childhood cancer survivors, you never know if “that’s the reason.”  I mean, it also could be that since she is a proficient lip reader maybe the zooms and masks aren’t working as well as she thinks they are.  (Afterall, you don’t know what you didn’t hear. It’s not like you can say, “Hey that thing I didn’t even know you said because I didn’t hear it, can you repeat that?”)  Or maybe it is virtually schooling, and only being in school 4 hours a day and only live in person 10 days a month, just really isn’t working. Maybe if COVID never hit she would be doing just fine.  Or maybe, it’s because she missed 10 days in the first semester for doctors’ appointments and surgery and it was just too much, to soon and it set her back. Or maybe, it’s because I pushed her into honors classes and a level 3 Spanish class because I thought she could handle it because that’s what I did (ok not the level 3 Spanish – I actually failed French my freshman year but shhh….don’t tell her that).  Maybe I am trying to make her into the student I was and not accepting the student she is. And maybe I need to let her find her own way. She is responsible and does want good grades and maybe “regular classes” and not honors classes are ok.  Maybe I’ve being sucked into the cultural lie that an honor student bumper sticker actually means anything more than a parent feeling like they got a gold start in parenting, when really that honor student still might drop out of college or move to Oregon where now after Jan 1st meth was just decriminalized.  Or maybe it really is a late effect of chemo. 

The truth is I don’t know, I’ll never know, and I need to find a better way to support her. Support her more like someone I was coaching instead of just getting frustrated she doesn’t openly and joyfully embrace all my scholarly knowledge on how to be an “A” student.  Or maybe, it’s just because she’s on Tic Tock too much (my personal nemesis) and is short circuiting her brain with scrolling (an actual real possibility and much more toxic than chemo). And maybe that’s all my fault because I don’t enforce those Unglue apps or put strict time limits on her phone or change the Wi-Fi every day and make her do chores to earn screen time like all the Karen’s in the world probably do.  So maybe my anxiety is because I feel deeply responsible that I am failing her as a parent and my free-wheeling, non-structured lifestyle has doomed her for a life of struggle and failure.  (Although I also believe if you asked my daughter if she had a “free-wheeling relaxed mom” she would probably laugh in your face.)

Maybe my anxiety is coming from the list of worries I have running through my head 24/27.  Like:

  • My daughter’s hospital just informed us on 10/30 that starting 11/1 our insurance is no longer accepted there. That means all 9 specialty doctors are dropped. Yup.  I have to deal with that. Started making calls yesterday. I keep asking the universe, “What’s the good that will come out of this?” I’ll let you know if I ever get an answer to that one.
  • I need to get us new cell phones. Yup, less then 6 months after I just paid off our current cell phones and am reveling in the $50 a month cheaper phone bill, her’s is glitching and mine is heating up like a Duraflame.  Funny how that works. It’s not the money even that is stressing me. It’s the having to call, go through a bunch of robot prompts, talk to a customer service person, find out what our options are for upgrades, compare plans and then maybe make 2-3 more similar calls to see if that’s the best deal that has me stressed. I would love to be a Kardashian and just be like. “Hey I’ll post a pic of me holding the new iPhone 12 on IG and I’d like new ones for my entire family for free. Great thanks!
  • The dog needs her checkup, Em needs two cavities filled (her first) and I need to book my 6 month ultra-sound (apparently my boobs like to be checked every 6 months because once a year isn’t enough for them). 
  • There is a giant bin in my office that needs to go to the consignment store.  And it’s going to be a pain in the ass to drag down the stairs and get in the car. And the consignment store lady isn’t all that nice to begin with. So maybe I should just drop it all off at the Salvation Army. But then, I feel like I’m throwing money away. And then I wonder if that bit of cash is worth my sanity.  It’s a toss up right now.
  • I have a list of things that need to get done between my two businesses which I honestly know one person will never be able to do on their own even if I did actually grow up convinced (and trying to convince everyone else) I was secretly Wonder Woman.
  • Oh and I need to cook dinner….again. Turns out as an adult you have to do that every night. Yeah, no one tells you that horror story growing up.

Finally, I wonder if maybe it’s something bigger than me. Maybe my body is just feeling all the anxious anger in the world right now.  Maybe it’s like a tuning fork (I mean after all, we are just lots of tiny spinning bundles of energy) and I’m being affected by the worldwide vibrations of election angst, anger and hate.  Energy which is so out of alignment of who I am and what I value, that my body is fighting against it and causing these feelings of panic and stress. I wonder what would be different if I just allowed that energy to move through me. Not stay with me, but just let it flow like a river passing through and continuing on it’s journey downstream. Maybe it’s the fighting, the resistance, that’s causing the anxiety.  It’s strange to think maybe I am feeling the whole world’s pain.

Ok I know I just lost a bunch of people right there. That’s a little far out even for me. But is it? I mean science tell us we truly are just energy. And if you believe you have a spirit too and all spirits come from one source (God)  then we all are connected. Quantum physics is teaching us more and more about this every day.  It fascinates me.  So maybe while I have been attempting to live in my own ignorant blissful pink bubble, I have failed to acknowledge I am affected by the world around me.  I know it’s becoming hard for me to watch the news. Any news. I start to feel like I’m being manipulated on what to think and how to feel. I also feel like I’m choosing sides just choosing which station to watch. No matter what the final election results show, one this is clear. We are deeply, deeply, divided. There was no red or blue sweep.  There will be tens of millions of disappointed and angry people regardless of the outcome. Almost a 50/50 split that is shocking I think to everyone on both sides. That’s a lot of energy. That’s a lot of vibrations. Maybe that’s why my body feels like it’s being hit with electric shock therapy.

So if that’s truly the deeper reason for my anxiety what is there to do? I guess the only thing I know to do. Connect with a higher vibration. Connect with God. Maybe not going to church every week (I stopped when COVID started) has been like a slow power drain. I was charged up enough to last the first few months but over time my battery life has gotten shorter and shorter until now when it’s completely drained.  My own energy source is so weak that everyone else’s energy is overtaking me.

It’s a strange image in my head.  I feel and see myself differently when I am filled with the Holy Spirit and fully connected to God. I picture myself as a bright glowing body of energy. Shinning so brightly that whatever other energy tries to get into my space is drowned out by the brightness of God through me.  Yet, without that energy source I picture myself hollow, open and vulnerable to everything and everyone else around me. Being tossed about like an empty glass bottle at sea. At the mercy of the wind and the waves around me.

So maybe I’ll try that. I’ll try praying and meditating every day and filling myself back up and seeing if that changes how I feel. I mean, I expect it will help (there’s lots of medical research to show a strong correlation between meditation and a reduction in anxiety) but I’m more curious in how much will it help. Enough to really experience a daily difference? Enough to not need to self-medicate with wine? Enough that Emily would see a difference? (Now that would be the true test!)

I’m not sure, but like any good Christian, I’m ready to do some good ol’ fashion scientific research.  I’ll report back and let you know!

*and see, journaling was better than day drinking…cheers!

Photo by Anthony Tran on Unsplash

coping, Quarantine, Uncategorized

I Might Not Be Motivated Anymore

I feel like when I was younger it was easier to be motivated. I secretly wonder if other “‘grown ups” feel this way or if it’s just me. Sometimes, I think maybe I just “used up” all my motivation in my twenties simply getting through the complete chaos of my life at that time. Like, maybe we are born with a certain amount of motivation and over time we deplete it like the gas gauge in our cars and after a while we just run on empty until we come to a puff-puff and stop.

It’s funny, because I have spent over two decades coaching hundreds of women and I hear it over and over again, ”I don’t feel motivated and I just don’t know why!”  So that makes me think maybe it’s not just me. Women who are stuck in a rut, wanting to change, but finding themselves procrastinating, and avoiding doing the actual work that is required for change.  Over the years I’ve watched big dreams and goals die simply because the dreamer was waiting to, “feel motivated.” 

Unfortunately, I get it. As I’m writing this I am remembering I promised one of my favorite nurses I would do a video for her (God I hope she’s not reading this) and literally every day I say, “Em we have to do that video!” It’s a month later and alas no video.

I also have a desk I want to repaint. It’s my grandfather’s, one of the bigger projects in my “redecorate my home saga” and I keep avoiding it. Because truth be told, having to pick out a “light shade of gray paint” starts to bring on an anxiety attack simply because we all know there is at least 50 shades of gray and probably more like 50,000 shades of gray according to Lowes.

I could go on and fill up this whole page with a list of things I’m “planning” on doing as soon as I start to get going to get motivated….

In my head, I know this stems from a basic misunderstanding of motivation.  In my work life, I have found motivation always follows action.  Sure, we might be briefly motivated by an inspiring speaker, a hyped up video or a mind shifting book, but those tend to be fleeting temporary moments of motivation. Only when we start in action and see results, does motivation last.  It’s like this crazy diet I’m doing. I’m not motivated to eat a salad for lunch or drive 20 minutes to my yoga class.  Sure, I want to lose weight and fit back into my jeans, but when that donut is calling my name and it’s raining outside motivation is hiding warmly tucked into my covers exactly where I want to be. It’s only when I put on those skinny jeans after weeks of calorie counting, it’s only after I can do a perfect one armed plank and I see tangible results from my actions that I get a deep lasting motivation… and think, “Hey this is worth it!” (Ok let’s be real. I’m still trying to master a 20 second plank with two arms much less one…but one can dream….)

I was recently asked how to “get motivated.” So here’s what I came up with based on what I see works in business.

  • Choose one small action that you can do in the next 24 hours that would take a tiny step in the direction you want to go.
  • Choose to do just one small action each day for five days without concern for the results or the feelings. Just the action.
  • Start with the end in mind. Think about where you ultimately want to end up. Break that down into small realistic steps and commit to 90 days of action only towards this goal.  You can change anything in 90 days if you stick with it.

So I guess it’s time to take my own advice and find one small project I want to complete and take one small action each day towards this. Which brings me back to procrastination…I mean I have a gazillion projects which one am I motivated to do first? So if I have to choose just one I’ll choose getting Making Cancer Fun ready for our next product launch because openly it feels 100% overwhelming.

So here’s to hoping if I commit to just the action, then maybe, just maybe, I might feel motivated after all….

* I’d love to hear your thoughts on this? Anything you are feeling unmotivated about too?*

PS if you want an updated on the Gigglers, they are back this weekend and this is the current conversation at my kitchen table while I’m writing.

Giggler 1: Do you know how much personal shoppers get paid? $70K! That’s like $18K more than teachers. We need to ditch the teacher idea and become shoppers!

Giggler 2 : I have a better idea let’s still be teachers and then be personal shoppers on the weekends!

Giggler 1: Or ice cream testers ,we can make $60K a year.

Giggler 2: That’s not a lot of money.

Giggler 1: Yes it is!

Giggler 2: No it’s not. Your house is probably like $300K (side note how does she know what houses costs?) It’s not a lot of money. But it depends where you live (and then goes on to explain housing costs and salaries nation wide….. ok confession giggler #2 is my giggler….)

Other ideas they are actively considering:

  • food stylists
  • ice cream testers
  • water slide testers
  • panda mommies
  • professional bridesmaid (apparently you get paid $1K a wedding)
  • Private Island Caretaker ($150K a year)

*UPDATE* They have decided on a professional bed warmer. ($200K a year) to take naps in other people’s beds.

And in other news I now may be changing careers…..

Photo by Zhang Kenny on Unsplash

Children, diet, Uncategorized

Giggles, Diets and My “New” Medication

There are teenagers running all over my house. They are loud. A teenage girl giggle is apparently one of the loudest sounds on the planet breaking all sound barriers. It’s also more contagious than COIVD19. Once one shriek is heard expect others to follow.

I was trying to sleep last night. I kept getting woken up. I believe at once point I literally shouted downstairs, “I can hear your entire conversation, be quiet!” 

Emily yelled back, “Wait, you can hear what we’re saying??

 “YES I CAN!” I may have screamed back.

Ok, so I couldn’t really hear exactly what they were saying but I figured if she thought I could she would quiet down simply out of, “I don’t want my mom to hear us” since it clearly wasn’t out of, “I don’t’ want to keep my mom awake.

I am happy she is happy and that my house is filled with teenage giggles. I’m glad she has great friends who have great parents who have great values. I’m glad she wants them all over here to hang out and take over my house. Too soon it will be quiet and those giggles will be filling dorm rooms instead of her bedroom.

I also have to admit I am super cranky.  Recently, a lot super cranky.  (Emily will attest to this.) In case you haven’t heard I am on a diet. You can call it whatever you want, “Getting healthy,” “Creating healthy habits,” “Getting fit” or whatever other sad-attempt-to-put-a- positive-spin-on-it you can think of, but just remember the word is actually just DIE with a “T” attached.  I have lost over 10 pounds and a total of 6 inches in 6 weeks.  Today, I put on a pair of jeans I haven’t worn in a year. (Ok it is 2020, has anyone really worn jeans this year?)

This also means I am not self-soothing myself with Entenmann’s donuts and Oreos. I have had to come face to face with the fact that chocolate really is my self-medication and makes me feel better when I eat it. In the past I have joked that Oreos are my crack, however this is no longer a joking matter. I actually had to make an appointment with my doctor because my anxiety is through the roof.

I calmly explained that while I have suffered from anxiety in the past, it has always been caused by a specific reason.  (I mean being stalked by your ex and keeping a stage 4 kid with cancer alive feels like it should come with a free anxiety pass.) But now I am safe and my daughter is happy (hence the giggles at 2am) so why am I finding myself snapping and panicky? It’s bizarre and I can’t figure it out in my head. Things that don’t make sense in my head then … cause me more anxiety.  (Like how that works?) I have been told I am an overthinker and only recently learned not every talks to themselves in their heads.  I can’t even imagine going through life as one of these bizarre non-self-talking mutant-humans. (You can learn more about this strange phenomena HERE.)

Then, of course,  I tell myself to, “Get it together!”  I lovingly question myself with, “What the heck is wrong with you!!!” And finally blame myself with, “If you had a better routine, worked out more, meditated, or were more organized” you wouldn’t have this “problem.” All of which just seems to increase my anxiety.

My doctor thinks it’s my diet.  Now, instead of stopping at Wawa on my way home to literally soothe myself with the delicious smoothness of a perfectly crack-high inducing donut, I am snapping and hyperventilating.

So, it seems my choice is fat and happy or skinny and cranky?  She suggests I drink a glass of wine at night.  Yup, that is my prescription. She’s been my doctor for years. She says anything she gives me will have way worse side effects than a glass of wine. And, since I don’t have an addictive personality (maybe I haven’t been 100% upfront about my donut issues) she feels it’s the “safest” way to go.  If I start drinking a bottle a night that’s a different story. (I think about sophomore year health class and learning how all smokers start smoking just “one” cigarette.,.. but decide not to bring that up.)  I was married to an alcoholic so I am definitely leery although somewhat excited (?) about my new “medication.”

I have decided it’s more fun getting fat. I like margarita’s, donuts and anything covered in cheese. It’s less fun getting fit. I don’t enjoy working out, drinking water like it’s …well water, and measuring my cheese so I can log it in an app.  “Why God? Why did you make it that way?????”  I am angry and resentful of this “the way the world works” knowledge.

It’s Saturday night and I’m typing this in my office (yes it’s 24 hours later and there’s still squeals of giggles coming from the other room … only now with “new” gigglers added” ). I just picked up pizza, salad and poppers for the gigglers. I was upfront with them. I’ll feed you dinner I just won’t cook it….what do you want? (Don’t worry, I have long ago given up on that pre-child fantasy about being the Pinterest mom who has an adorable Halloween themed Saturday night dinner planned for the giggler and her friends…that mom probably drinks way more than a glass….or at least that’s what my jealous judgment thinking rationalizes.)

I cut a tiny slice in half and savored every bite.  Pre-DIEt I would have had 2 slices. My sad half slice will have to do if I want to keep wearing these jeans.

Then, that horrible voice which must truly be from Satan himself starts up:

Do you really want to wear these jeans Tara? I mean COVID cases are going up and there’s a more than 50% chance you’ll be in full lock down again soon and wearing yoga pants and no one will see you anyway because zoom is from the waste up afterall…

Then I remember these last six weeks and how gooooood it felt today to put on these jeans… and I sulk away with my pathetic half slice and a mason JUG full of water.

I already drank my glass of wine too so no luck there.

I hear it has been said, “Nothing tastes as good as skinny feels”…apparently that person never had an Entenmann’s donut. 

Here’s to being the skinniest anxiety ridden person you know. Cheers.  

PS Literally as I am trying to post this the gigglers have just intruded and taken over my office and are planning a fashion show in the pile of dresses I have set out for donation/consignment. I am equally grateful they want to hang out with me and confused on how such small humans can make so much noise.

Home Redecorating, Quarantine, Uncategorized

Stairs and Self Esteem

In my quest to “decorate” my home I started with the stairs. They seemed less intimidating. I mean, everything else involved multiple steps (kitchen counters need kitchen floors, dining room chairs need to match living room and involved way to many options that gave me a headache). Stairs? I can handle stairs.  They were also horribly disgusting and scuffed. So my choice was to paint them and just watch them get scuffed again…which ok, how do stairs actually get scuffed to begin with? It’s not like I’m kicking them as I walk up them. I don’t have a toddler coloring on them.  It’s like socks missing in the dryer…how does this actually happen???

Anyway, I saw some place (a place I wish I could now give credit) an easy stair fix that involved ZERO paint. Stair wallpaper!  Or at least that’s what it looks like to me.

I read a bunch of reviews. Funny how those work.  The same item has a five star review and a one star review. Again, like the socks and the scuffs, how is that possible?  Since Amazon and I have become BFF’s this COVID19 year, I searched for a few different patterns and found one that seemed to have more fives than ones so ….winner winner chicken dinner! (You can view the winner HERE.)

Seemed easy enough. Count the stairs. Six rolls per package and twelve stairs. PERFECTION.

Whole project took about an hour (maybe more, but that’s because I got bored half way through and finished them later). I’m learning this about myself. I like the idea of re-doing things but then the actual re-doing becomes tedious and boring after about 15 minutes. I expected it to be the opposite. That I would experience a meditative – disconnect from technology hour of joy. I pictured a very zen like stair- papering experience. Not…even…close. The only zen thoughts I had were, “How fast can I get this done, just get through this because I’ll be happy when it’s finished.”

Anyway, I cleaned all the stairs with straight rubbing alcohol and used scissors (which actually worked better than a straight edge) to cut and stick. (Yup, they are basically giant stickers!)

Super easy, and as I was laying on the last one…Taa Daaaaa….crap!  Apparently twelve stairs actually translates into thirteen steppy-ledgy-things (have no idea what they’re called). I was ONE SHORT!  So my cheap-o project now meant I needed to buy a whole other set for one stupid stair thingy.  Ugh!  (Ok so it’s like $19 bucks but still …)

I also saw on the reviews that when people bought packages in separate orders (yes it appears many people make exactly the same mistake) the second order colors don’t always match the first (I blame China).

I briefly contemplated just painting the bottom step white.  I also briefly berated myself that I didn’t place them out first because then I could have just painted the most inconspicuous step white.  And finally, I acknowledged that every time I saw this white painted step it would slowly destroy myself esteem because it would be a constant reminder that nothing in my life is perfect, finished, or looks the way I want.

Off to Amazon’s BUY NOW button I went.

And guess what? The colors matched PERFECTY! And even better? I posted the remaining five strips on Facebook marketplace for $12 and they sold in a hot second. So that second stair really only cost seven bucks and made someone else happy at the same time.

And now, every time I see them I think how they are perfect, finished and look exactly the way I want.

The Scuffy Before
Boredom Sets In
The Finished Project

I Guess It’s Time To Decorate

I’ve been living in my home for almost nine years and have refused to decorate it. This was not a conscious decision, but a deep subconscious rebellion born out of ressentiment about my living situation.

It started because of the home I had in Colorado that I loved. I bought it in 2004, all on my own, at 27 years old.  I loved my neighbors, had visions of filling that home with a family, and goals of remodeling it just the way I wanted.  Then life laughed at my dream and ten years later I found myself a single mom, living in an apartment, raising my daughter and trying to understand how this was my, “new normal” long before that became a 2020 catch phrase.  The irony of it all, was that before my daughter was born, my then husband wanted to wait before buying a house. He was content to have a baby in our apartment. I mean we did have the room. Three large bedrooms, a great community with multiple pools, a clubhouse etc. But I was adamant I would never, and I mean never, raise my child in an apartment! Kids need a backyard. A place to lay in the grass and connect with nature. A real home! Now I live on a third story apartment and my deck overlooks a cement parking lot. So much for nature.

Truth be told, it’s not a bad apartment. It’s two floors, three bedrooms, and two bathrooms. I have a nice size home office, my daughter has her own room, and it even has a large attic stuffed with all the things that in my mind should be in a “real” house.

I moved here quickly at the advice of my attorney and daughter’s therapist. I had no desire to ever leave Colorado. I literally sat on the shower floor and cried my eyes out the night before I left. I pathetically crawled out of the shower sopping wet, crawled across the floor into bed and sobbed, and I mean sobbed, myself to sleep. Yet, I had prayed about it. I knew deep in my Spirit God was calling me back to New Jersey. And once he spoke boldly into my heart, I knew without a shadow of a doubt that’s what I needed to do. Unfortunately, that deep knowing didn’t change the anger and sadness that filled me.  So rather than end up in the belly of whale like Jonah, I listened to God the first time, and moved. Resentfully, angerly, sadly, heartbrokenly and all the other -lys.

So it turns out, in some unconscious childlike-rebellion, I never decorated my home.  Initially, my plan was to move into an apartment for a year, establish my residency and finally finish the ongoing court battle with my ex-husband. I was still living in the midst of my nightmare, but at least would be surrounded by family and have the much-needed support for my daughter.

A year turned into five, and then three more, and now I’m looking at four more.  My current plan is to stay here until my daughter graduates High School. So yes, I will have raised my daughter in an apartment and she barely remembers her home in Colorado.  Even typing this makes my heart heavy and sad. It’s so not the life that I pictured for her. It’s not the dream I worked eight years prior to her birth building a business for. It was never my plan and I’m sad to think maybe it was God’s plan because I don’t like His plan.

This year as she entered High School she wanted to redecorate her room.  I’ve refused to even paint the walls because every time I think of painting I then think, “Why bother? I’m not staying here anyway!”  My furniture is a mismatch of pieces I took from Colorado, pieces people gave me when I first moved and was broker than broke, and random stuff I find for a deal. Unwilling to pay full price or invest in anything because you know, “I’m not staying here anyway.” 

After multiple pleas to paint her room, a heart filled with guilt that she’s in an apartment, and a half a year stuck in quarantine in the home I’ve refused to decorate, I have finally given in.

I figure just in case we end up quarantined again I might as well like where I have to hibernate.

So I’ll be sharing my journey of cheap-o renovation (because remember, “I’m (still) not staying here”) and decoration (which should be interesting because I care barely go to a TJ Maxx without an anxiety attack of overwhelm).

And since the first question when decorating seems to be, “What’s your style?” and my answer is, “I have no style.” I have no idea if this will be better or worse by the time I’m done.

Oh, and since I’m paying for everything in cash it will be a little a time and I’ll post and share as I go.  Maybe it will inspire you to upgrade your space, maybe it will make you feel better knowing that someone has 100% less style than you, or maybe you’ll celebrate my small victories with me (like the newly replaced mirror in my bathroom that should not be a big deal but somehow signifies the dawning of a new age of acceptance to me).

Don’t worry, along the way I’ll still be playing Jimmy Buffett, keeping my house at 90 degrees and dreaming of the day I decorate my palm tree for Christmas because remember, “I’m not staying here anyway.

Woman photo created by freepik –

Children, Uncategorized

Safety First. The Quiet Death of a Generation.

I just watched a news segment on back to school in New York. A reporter asked a young child who was headed back on his first day, “What’s the most important thing you were told about going back to school?”

His answer?

“Be safe.”

My heart hurts. I expected, “Have fun!” or a least, “Make new friends!” I’d have even been happy with, “Learn a lot!”

But, “Be safe” ?!??

I want to cry. What are we doing?!??! What are we teaching our children? How will life be different for a child who grows up with safety as their first concern? Will a child who is always afraid ever be brave enough to take a risk? Step out of their comfort zone? Think outside the box? (Where, oh no! It might not be “safe.”)

We know that in order to be innovative, to step up as a leader, or even to just truly excel in life, we need to be willing to take risks.  We need to be willing to step out of our comfort zone and be uncomfortable.  To weigh safety against achievement. Are we unknowingly raising a generation of  people who will seek comfort and safety before success? Can we ever really go through life and thrive if we are constantly consumed with our physical safety?

What if those who ventured onto the Mayflower first stopped to ask, “Is this safe?”  Or what if the pioneers who migrated out west in search of gold first stopped to think, “Is this a safe choice?”  Did Neil Armstrong hesitate and say, “Wait guys…I’m not sure the moon looks all that safe.” I can’t imagine very many people would ever achieve or even do much, if safety was always the constant concern.  (I mean, most of us would never get into a car or step on a plane and certainly never dare enough to climb up Mount Everest.)  

Do you know what I’m scared of? An entire generation of people who will never experience the thrill of victory, who will never realize what they could accomplish or achieve if they would just be willing to take a risk. Because we conditioned them from childhood to …  be safe.

Now, I’m not minimizing the reality of COIVD19. I talk with my daughter about wearing her mask, washing her hands, and bringing sanitizer with her to the point she’s rolling her eyes at me on a regular basis. One of my best friends, who has probably been the most proactive throughout this whole Covid experience quarantining herself for over 21 weeks, was recently was diagnosed. (Which only affirmed to Emily that no matter what you do, you might still get Covid so you might just as well go live life with abandonment, which openly really wasn’t the message I was hoping she’d get).  So yes, with school starting, I’m definitely concerned for her safety. Our current argument is what will be an “acceptable mask” to wear to school. One that is socially acceptable (think Gap or Target) or one that mom deems medically acceptable. (Think N95, Cambridge or Vlog)

But, here’s the stark cold reality.  I’ve always been concerned for her safety.  From drop offs with her violent and abusive dad, which were ordered by the court against my frantic pleas, and continued until she was finally hurt and then given a life time restraining order, to nights sleeping next to her in her hospital bed listening to the beep beep of her vitals while cancer was trying it’s best to kill her (it lost and she won). I think about her going to college and college parties and my stomach does these funny flip flops. I think about her driving a car and drunk driver’s and then I’m the one ready to puke.  I mean the first time she went to sleep away camp I thought I was going to have a full blown nervous breakdown after the second night.  (Was she OK? Was she crying herself to sleep? Did she have sunburn? Did she tell them she wanted to go home and they just weren’t telling me? My baby needs me and someone help me break into camp and rescue her!!!!”)

Yet, I have to acknowledge that those are my fears and my job as her mom is to prepare her for life.  To encourage her to be responsible, make wise choices, and pursue life with a courageous heart in order to go boldly after her dreams. I hope that I will have given her a secure foundation of belief, confidence, and courage to live life in a way that when she’s old and gray herself, she will not be filled with regrets simply because she played it safe.

Yes, she will get hurt along the way. As much as I want to protect her from every pain, tear and heartache I can’t. I can only be there to hold her hand and remind her I’m always on “Team Emily,” God loves her even more than I do, and she is stronger than she thinks.

So, I will sanitize her up, put a mask on her face, and send her to school…and my message will be this …”Em just remember….have fun!


I Missed Yoga, but Found a Flag

I’ve been thinking a lot about my core values over this season of COIVD, quarantine and political unrest.  Today, as I was driving through Highlands, NJ and a storm was coming in. (OK I was driving around because today I got up for outdoor yoga, yesterday it was sunny and gorgeous and I overslept, but today when it’s cold and rainy I wake up…only to find it was canceled…and a good reminder go when you can because in the current world COVID makes the rules when it rains.)

While I was driving home, I caught a glimpse of these beautiful flags flying in the drizzle & wind. I had to stop and take a picture (oh and a video for my insta of course).

My heart has been so heavy for our country recently. So much anger. So much hurt. People alienating each other with just a post or a meme.  People triggered over small things and silent over big things.  I find myself needing to stop regularly and reconnect with the higher energy of beauty and love that has always been and will always be in the world. A consciousness that comes from our Creator which I purposefully tap into because I refuse to be sucked into the darkness and anger that I feel swirling around me.

Yet, as I stood there in awe of these flags for a brief moment I was reminded…this is who we are. This is what we stand for. The flag is our physical representation of our core values.  And I was reminded, we are better than we’ve been acting.

50 stars and 13 stripes remind me:

  • We are the land of the free because of the brave.
  • We are one nation under God, founded by families seeking freedom of religion not freedom from religion.
  • We are a nation of equality, where all men are created equal. And while as a nation, we have had to mature to understand what “men” represents, (men= human race of every color and gender) each day gives us a new chance to embrace what “all” really needs to look like.
  • We are a land which protects inalienable rights for life, liberty & the pursuit of happiness.

As a country, we need to remember who we are, our core values.  Together, we need to eliminate anything that threatens our inalienable rights. Recognize where in the past (or currently) we aren’t living up to who we are, honor our core values and begin to stand in our greatness.

I think of the Statue of Liberty and what it meant to my mother’s ancestors when they first saw it as they entered Ellis Island. I think of how my Irish paternal great-grandparents felt leaving their home to escape starvation during the potato famine and coming to the USA with hopes and dreams of a new life and new possibilities.  I think of the people like my friend Kwan who just received her citizenship and threw a USA party.  How many pray to come here and sacrifice so much to get here.   I think of how much I take a simple thing like the American flag, protecting my freedom, for granted.  Even being able to write my unedited thoughts on a public forum is a freedom I might not have in another country.  Yet, with that freedom of speech comes deep responsibility. The responsibility that my words reflect my core values, not my fluctuating feelings. Much like a relationship that is destroyed in one hate filled rant, our words our powerful.

So I will use my words to speak love, respect and compassion. I will pray those who are hurting are healed & those who are victimized are vindicated. And mostly, I will pray that we remember our core values as a country because one thing will always be true, “a house divided against itself can not stand.”  we are stronger 𝚃𝙾𝙶𝙴𝚃𝙷𝙴𝚁.

Cancer, Quarantine, Uncategorized

Fear, Faith and a Facebook Post

be afraid meme

What I have learned from Covid ……. the superhuman power of FEAR.
I always viewed fear as a both positive and negative motivator.  My eyes have been opened. If I wanted to destroy a person, their family, their livelihood, their future, their nation I would use fear.

Linda Toupin.

I woke up this morning to this post by one of my favorite and most influential mentors. Openly, I was surprised that she had previously viewed fear as positive (and relieved to hear her heart has changed on this stance).

I have learned a lot about fear over my life and what I can confidently say is, fear keeps us from our best self. It cripples us. Paralyzes us. It stops our brains from working and puts us in reaction vs response mode. It causes health issues and, in some cases, can even kill us. As a Christian, I believe fear is the tool Satan uses to keep us from living and experiencing all the blessings God has planned for us.

We are told Satan can’t change God’s will for us, but we can. So, what’s the best way to get to us? Fear. (and fear that is usually based on lies)

  • Don’t quit the job you hate because what if you never find another one?
  • Don’t donate that much money to that cause because what if you are short on cash next month?
  • Don’t say “yes” to trying that new business because what if you fail?
  • Don’t speak up against the wrong you see because what if everyone turns on you?
  • Don’t break up with him/her even though they treat you poorly because what if you never find anyone else?

I wonder how many of us (myself included) have missed out on huge blessings simply because we were afraid?

The word “fear” comes from a number of root words but the one I find most interesting  is from the Old Norse word far which means, “harm, distress, deception.DECEPTION.

Fear is used to deceive us. (From a biblical standpoint Satan is referred to as “the deceiver of the whole world” Rev 12:9) Fear stops us from thinking logically and rationally about a situation. And it has dire consequences.

Some might argue there is “healthy fear.” We are afraid to stick our hand into a fire, (keeps us from getting burned). We are afraid of heights, (keeps us from falling). We are afraid of creepy crawling things, (keeps us from getting bit or stung). I would venture to say that’s not the same fear we are talking about. Are those examples of fear or simply examples of common sense? I don’t want to get burned, fall, or stung, so my brain logically tells me …hey don’t do that.

That’s entirely different than my body being in a constant state of fear with unnecessary adrenaline running around throwing off my nervous system, switching my brain into my non-rational flight or flight mode, and disrupting my immune, endocrine, and nervous system (and that’s just to start).

No wonder why Satan uses fear to cripple us. It weakens us mentally, physically, emotionally and most importantly spiritually. The famous saying, “faith and fear can not exist together” now makes more sense. We can’t hear God when we are deaf with fear.

What’s worse, is most of us use fear daily to control those around us. I admit I currently use the fear of losing her cell phone to “control” my daughter. (Things like, “If you don’t do XYZ you are losing your phone for a week!” may or may not be heard in my home on a regular basis). Maybe a boss uses fear to control his/her employees. Or a teacher uses fear to get his/her students to pay attention. And certainly fear is used in intimate relationships at an alarming rate in our country (

Today’s world surrounds us with fear. Fear that is being used to manipulate and control us. (long before Covid, the election, or 2020). The daily news, in my humble opinion, is the greatest source of fear-feeding. I recently posted that waking up and looking at the news is like waking up and asking, “What’s all the horrible stuff going on in the world today?

Now, I’m not saying we should live in ignorance. I am saying we need to balance that fear with faith. Faith in humanity, in each other, in ourselves and in God. For every scary fear-filled news story there is one of hope, love and faith. (

I wonder what would our lives be like if we didn’t live in fear? If we truly stepped into faith every day? Would we walk haphazardly down the street into oncoming traffic? Swim in the ocean when the red flags are up? Start collectively telling off our bosses? Probably not. Faith doesn’t mean we are stupid. In fact, it’s the opposite. We are told “God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind. (2 Timothy 1:7). Some versions translate sound mine as “good judgement” or “self control.” All things I want.

God tells me he has plans for me …plans to plans to prosper me and not to harm me, plans to give me hope and a future, (Jer 29:11 and the verse I claimed for my daughter during her cancer treatment). And guess what? That’s His promise to YOU too!

So we get to choose. Will we stand in the TRUTH of God’s promise to us or the FEAR of Satan’s lie to us?

I’ve lived through fear. Fear my ex-husband was going to kill me. It wasn’t “perceived fear” or “fake fear” it was real logical fear of a man who graphically described to my daughter how he planned to kill me. I slept with my windows locked, security system on and adrenaline running through my body 24/7. I also experienced “real fear” when the doctors told me my daughter probably was going to die and had one of the lowest cure rates in the childhood cancer world. And even recently another “real fear” I am not ready to go public with just yet. So yes, I get fear can be “real.”

But, here’s the thing. Fear is also a choice. Faith is a choice. And like resiliency, it’s a muscle we can exercise and build. It was much easier for me to move from fear to faith with my daughter’s cancer (like a 2-minute turn around!) because I was already building that muscle super strong during my divorce. Now, was it a one-time decision? I regretfully admit, no. There were more times than I can count where I was dealing with her cancer and my ex-husband endangering her life that my “lizard brain” took over, I went into full reaction mode, and would physically shake with fear. Now, looking back, I realize how much power I gave away in that reactive response. And how much of a foothold I gave the devil.

I’ve seen the power I have when I choose faith instead. The energy around me physically changes. My mind becomes clear. My heart peace filled. My feet grounded. I feel strong, capable and competent. That is the power of faith. That is the power of a God-filled spirit moving through me…or you.

As we move into what will probably one of the most difficult seasons our country has faced in many years (between Covid, the election, the reopening or non-opening of schools and a looming financial crash) we each have a choice on how we will wake up every morning and face our day. We will choose faith or fear? (Remembering that fear is usually based on lies, deception, and manipulation.)

It is up to each of us to choose wisely.