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Ovarian cancer will be diagnosed in 1 of 72 women; 14,000 will die. Please know the symptoms and risk factors: read Outshine: An Ovarian Cancer Memoir. Books at www.amazon.com. ALL PROCEEDS GO TO GYNECOLOGIC CANCER RESEARCH. I am a member of Rave Reviews Book Club and Rave Writer's International Society of Authors, and Patient Leadership Council for Tesaro, Inc. I WILL NOT USE YOUR EMAIL ADDRESS FOR ANY OTHER PURPOSE THAN CONTACTING YOU DIRECTLY. ALL ORIGINAL CONTENT COPYRIGHT 2011 THROUGH 2018.

Wednesday, December 24, 2014


                                      THE MAGIC OF CHRISTMAS

                                                   WHEN I WAS A CHILD:

 I remember my grandmother Edith reading us "The Night Before Christmas."

         I loved to string the cranberries and popcorn, then wrap them around the tree.

               Living in Southern California, we made snowflakes out of paper.

                    My grandfather always had "magic walnuts" for us to open.

                            Visiting Santa Claus was always special and magical...and still is.

                                                     NOW AS AN ADULT:

I do not dream of a white Christmas...
              I do dream of a peaceful Christmas.

I do not need to roast chestnuts on an open fire...
              I do pray that every stomach will be full and satisfied.

Bells do not need to ring during a one horse open sleigh...
              I do want to hear bells ring from churches around the world.

Gifts wrapped all fancy with paper and ribbons are not needed...
              Only gifts from the heart to those in need.

I want mistletoe above every door,
               A table spread of plentiful food,
                             Laughter, smiles, hugs, tears of joy,
                                            And the message of Christ's birth celebrated.

                                                      NOW AND FOREVER: 

The miraculous birth of Jesus the Christ is what is to be celebrated each December 25th. This very special birth is the true magic of Christmas.

                                          MERRY CHRISTMAS TO YOU

Thursday, December 11, 2014


There are many gifts that we can give to those who are ill, especially with a chronic illness like cancer. Here are some ideas:

     1. Those with cancer rely on their caregivers for so very much...why not give him/her a gift of your time? Spend a few hours or a day and play a game, read to them, pray with them, just enjoy conversation, or listen to their fears and strengths.

     2. Give the gift of housecleaning with either your own energy, or suggest the free service http://www.cleaningforareason.org/

     3. Share food: a pot of soup, fresh fruit, bread, high protein drinks, and freshly prepared vegetables.

     4. Bring small Christmas decorations and place around the home. Fresh pine or scented calendars can be difficult for some to smell due to allergies or nausea.

    5. Handmade items: Knit or crochet a blanket, cap, or shawl; sew a "belly pillow"; or give a cross-stitched item. Here is a blanket I treasure made by my daughter & granddaughter.

     6. Offer to write their Christmas cards for them.

     7. Take them for a ride; perhaps stopping at a favorite cafe or store.

     8. Provide CD's or tapes of their favorite music.

     9. Do some grocery or Christmas shopping for them.

     10. Stuff a Christmas stocking or basket with useful, small items: unscented lotion, soap, shampoo/conditioner, chocolate, hand sanitizer, tissue, small note pad, nail polish, mouthwash, lozenges, etc.

     11. Books, magazines, Soduku, crossword puzzles, etc.

                       MANY GIFTS THAT WILL MEAN SO MUCH...


If anyone needs a free copy of my book, Outshine: An Ovarian Cancer Memoir, to give someone with a chronic illness, please email me for a free copy. It is my Christmas gift.


Thursday, December 4, 2014


                                                        STEP LEFT

                                                               By Carmyn Sparks

"When you complain, you make yourself a victim.  
           Leave the situation, change the situation, or accept it.  
                 All else is madness!"  (Tolle)

Those "crazy makers" that come in our minds when we flee, freeze or fight to avoid the pain!

               How do we leave, change or accept the situation and avoid the madness?

In the New Testament the process is called "casting." 

              Matthew 6:25 “Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life,"  
              I Peter 5:7 "Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you."

When I was growing up I use to fish with a fishing pole and hook.  In order to lure a fish I had to put a sticky, slimy worm on the hook, yuck!  After a couple of years I finally graduated to a casting rod which came with a bright and slimly plastic worm. No hook to bait! 

It took years to get the hang of "casting!"  It looked so easy to throw that line in the direction I wanted it to go, but I would get my line stuck in a tree, hooked on the ground behind me, caught on my shirt or pants, tangled up between some rocks and once it snagged in my hair.
I never attained to the professional level of "casting," actually, not any where close.

The point is some things in life sound and look so easy that we feel, "Hey, that is easy!  I can do that!"

The Bible has what appears to be "simple" life advice until we actually choose to do it.  Over and over again we have been told by pastors, teachers, our friends and all other biblical inspirations, "Don't worry, God is in control."  "Let it go and give it to God." "Trust and obey." 

If Jesus tells us "do not worry," then the implication is He knows we will worry?  You can't stop something unless you started it!  Therefore, His purpose in telling us is possibly to show us when we do worry, we can stop!  He is just reminding us that we do have the choice to stop! 

Now that sounds and looks really easy, right?

Well, if you are like me, you haven't attained to the professional level of "casting."  Our line gets messed up somewhere, and sometimes when we do cast it way out and another "big one" comes along and tugs at our line, we reel back in!  We may continue to become a wiser "caster," so to speak, but most likely we will never do it perfectly!

There is no life without its "worries" and our human hearts beat so imperfectly, that at times we will fret!

In our walk on this journey called life when our line seems to be stuck or tugging us in all directions, it is time to step left.
                                          L eave
                                          E very
                                          F retful
                                          T hought

Step back from the circumstances of our fretting, worrying, being anxious, complaining, we just stop doing that and start doing this, "cast it upon Him".

Just bear in mind on this journey, there will always be bigger fish to fry!  But always remember what we catch can always be released! 

Carmyn Sparks, author of "Transformed by Tragedy," speaks and teaches in various churches and women's organizations in the Dallas/Fort Worth area.  Carmyn offers Biblical answers which serve to give insights and practical applications that identify and explain personal and interpersonal struggles in the Christian’s walk with God.  Because of her personal identification with other women’s sexual abuse issues, Carmyn has a viable platform from which to minister Biblical truths to women of various backgrounds and cultures. Visit the author's website at www.yoflife.com

Thank you, Carmyn for your insightful guest blog. Every time I cast out my rod and reel in a small or big lake, I will think and pray about when I need to stop fretting and step to the left!