Tag Archive | hope

Comments for a Cause – Mesothelioma Research


It’s that time of the month again when I close out my Comments for a Cause for last month and declare my charity for this month.

Last month I did see a significant increase in comments, leading to me making a healthy donation to St. Joseph’s Orphanage in Cincinnati. It’s the orphanage where I was raised and I’m thrilled, throughout my life, to look for ways to give back to them.

This month, I hope to receive more, and more, and more comments to help me make a difference in the world. Remember – comments are free for you, and donating is fulfilling for me! Invite your family and friends to come, read, comment, joke, nudge, and simply smile in a comment in order for it to count.

heather-bio-photogrunge_tattoo_butterfly_6_1_mesothelioma_sticker-p217721819615573652en7l1_216FEBRUARY’S CAUSE: Mesothelioma Researach

In January I received a touching email from one of my dear readers, Heather Von St. James. She shared with me her story and a link to her blog. Heather is a self proclaimed “poster child for hope after mesothelioma” for those suffering from asbestos disease. Here’s the link to her blog:

Read more: http://www.mesothelioma.com/blog/authors/heather/fear.htm#ixzz2JficdJUf

You know, I never heard of mesothelioma except for an occasional legal commercial. I didn’t personally know anyone who was a sufferer, and like so many of us, the awareness went right past me. I regret that it happens when we are unaware. Now that I know one of my dear readers is affected, I won’t ignore it any more. Why don’t you take a moment to learn more as well by visiting Heather’s blog (above).

Here’s a bit of Heather’s story, in her own words:

“I am 44 and a mother to a quirky little 7 year old, Lily. She is my only child and I couldn’t imagine my world without her. When Lily was just 3 ½ months old, I was diagnosed with Mesothelioma; a rare type of cancer caused by asbestos exposure, which kills 90-95% of those who have it. After intense treatment and a long recovery, almost 7 years later I’m still here and cancer free! My journey through cancer was quite a terrifying one and I’d like to turn my struggles and obstacles into inspiration and hope for others. One of many things that came out of my battle with cancer is a holiday I created called Lungleavin Day. This is the anniversary of my surgery (Feb 2nd) in which my entire left lung was removed. Lungleavin Day is a celebration of life and facing your fears. Each year we celebrate with nearly 100 loved ones. The idea of this day is for everyone to fill a blank plate with their fears and smash it into a bonfire at my Lungleavin day party, symbolizing people throwing their fears to the fire. I also use Lungleavin day as a fundraiser for mesothelioma research.”

Thank you Heather for the courage to share your story! Thank you for turning your fears and suffering into hope for others! You inspired me. You touched my heart. And I wish to shine the light on your cause in return. I say, Happy Lungleavin Day to you as you celebrate tomorrow! I will celebrate in your honor as well!

Be healthy, be aware, be gracious, be hopeful … and be blessed!!!!!

Poised to Move – original poem


POISED TO MOVE

Standing in the midst of change I look, in wonder, for a clue.

Seeking a sense of what is to come and where the spark will lead.

There is electricity of excitement as closure soon approaches.

All threads coming to a final knot in my current circumstance.

And yet, there is no mourning, no bitter regret.

There are only memories – sweet and enlightening.

I have done what I could and that is enough.

I have worked, learned, inspired and changed.

I am better than before and complete in this space.

I turn my head toward a new possibility, unseen and yet so sweet.

I speak and options begin to appear.

I reach across the unknown to find familiar hands to guide me.

I am safe.

And so I move into tomorrow with confidence.

And this too, brings me peace.

I am poised to move.

~ Barbara Bernard Miller

Expansion and Shrinkage


I have been watching and noticing the stories in our world these days. I am so aware of the great dichotomy that exists in our cultural and communal conscience. On one hand we have the expansion of fear. On the rise is disappointment, danger, disregard, and disrespect. The news makes me nearly breathless with the stories of evil acts and heartbreaking sadness. I know the dark is growing but really, do we need the microscopic details? Does it do us good to see the gore and analyze the wickedness? The swelling madness is a symptom but it is not our truth. At least, I think not.

And, on the opposing side we see the shrinkage of hope. There is so much attention and focus on the shriveling economy and the descending  doom that we can scarcely catch a breath. We can see a kind deed if we look but it is hidden from first glance. And I find very few people willing to take the action to coax it into the fullness of possibility. Are you looking for the small hope to grow in your life? My desire is to see the shrinking hope expand to a pulsing, powerful movement of positivity.

We have the power to reverse the tide. We have within our hands and mouths the power to change the way we connect. Do a kind deed. Speak a kind word. Create a tiny ripple, and then a wave of positive change. All it takes is the enticement of your true creative and positive nature to raise itself up and lead.

Are you up for the challenge? Do you see the opportunity for hope and possibility in your life? Expand and be blessed!

Let us grow …


“What you grow in the good times becomes your strength in the hard times.

Therefore, let us grow and let us share love, peace, charity, forgiveness, generosity, and hope.”

~ Barbara Bernard Miller

I posted this quote on my bulletin board at work today. There are so many people who are seeing the hard times coming or already swirling around their lives right now. I wanted to remind us all that we have some control over our situation. Perhaps not in what happens but certainly in what we put in our lives to prepare us to react to and cope with those situations.

And when I stand in good times and others do not, I hope I am conscious enough, aware enough, and courageous enough to step out of my joy to lend them a hand, a shoulder, a word of encouragement, or even a dollar or two – whatever I have that can ease the trouble. It’s so easy to forget sometimes that we aren’t alone, especially in the tough times. But the worst thing we can do is forget that we aren’t alone in the good times. That is when we can really make a difference.

Be a light in the world, and be blessed!

A New Day – original poem


A NEW DAY

With words of encouragement the dark clouds lift.

No longer standing on the edge of the cliff

I see the sun return to cover my path.

The fears that buzzed around my head are

Scattered by the gift of a conversation.

With the discovery of new information

And the realization of broken shackles,

What was once only a picture of despair

Has changed in a moment into a portrait of possibility.

Survival and sacrifice paved the past

Like a thick, dark carpet with a musty odor.

Now a turn in the path has revealed

Soft, fresh ground ready for planting.

With a dose of hard work to turn the soil and

A lavish spread of faith to fertilize the seed,

Old dreams can be cultivated once more.

No more neglecting the bleak view of the future.

New air and new life has brought a brighter day.

I round the corner and rush with anticipation

To enter the home and arms of my beloved hope.

All things are new and the change is

Wafting around me like a sweet perfume.

I have lived to see a new and brighter day.

~ Barbara Bernard Miller

Life, Death, and Hope


These are troubling times and this week is proving to be especially troublesome for people I care dearly about. My aunt, who has many health issues had double bi-pass heart surgery yesterday. We are in the critical waiting hours to see if she will be alright. Today, my oldest and dearest friend is having a mastectomy in the first steps of her battle with breast cancer. These are just the latest 2 in a long string of people  I know who are standing on the brink of life and death. That’s such a scary place to be for them, as well as those who love them and never want to lose them. We are not alone in this situation, as it is the way that life works.

Today, as we remember the crucifixion of Jesus, I take solace in knowing that God loves us more deeply and unconditionally than we will ever truly comprehend. I know that his fears in facing life and death were just as real as my aunt’s and my dear friend’s. His friends and family suffered even more at his scourging and crucifixion because they saw no hope in the cruel and awful sequence of his death. Where my family and friends are seeing hope in the surgeon’s skilled hands and in the faith of our prayers. In contrast, there is no comparison.

And yet, I know that Jesus is with us as we go through these trying days. He does not want us to suffer as he did. He does not want us to have fear and no hope the way his mother and disciples did. He wants us to know love, foregiveness, and the possibility of hope. He wants us to know of his love and his sacrifice. He wants us to know the sweetness of his resurrection and what that truly means for us.

Today, I pray in repentence for all that Jesus died for in me. I pray gratefulness for his resurrection and salvation. And I pray, with a spirit of hope and expectation, for the full recovery and healing of my Jeans – Aunt Jean and Jeannie Bear, who are facing their own surrender in these days.

If you are a praying person too, I ask you to join me in these prayers. If not, I ask that you send positive and loving energy to my Jeans … and be blessed!

“When Jesus therefore had received the vinegar, he said,

‘It is finished’

and he bowed his head, and gave up his spirit.” John 19:30

What can I do?


I’ve seen a lot of things on the internet recently, either articles or postings, that seem to be drenched in fear and the need to spread it. I don’t know if people are just focusing on the negative to a point that they fear everything and anything, or if I’m just noticing it in contrast to how I live my life. Trust me, I am realistic and not living a Pollyanna life. I know there is economic crisis, corruption, wars, and evil in the hearts and acts of mankind.

But I also know there is goodness, justice, kindness, and love. I subscribe to focusing on and changing that which is in my power. For example, I have no way to stop the Illuminati from taking over the world (if it exists or if they haven’t already). I cannot tell or affect if aliens are on their way to attack, abduct, or destroy. Nor can I suddenly make religions and countries change their beliefs and interactions with each other. I cannot make politicians be honest or corrupt men change their hearts. And I surely can do nothing if the world is going to end in Dec. 2012 as so many predict and believe.

But I assure you, there is plenty that I can do that actually makes a difference. I can be kind to my neighbors. I can teach my children right from wrong. I can be generous with my time, talent, and treasure. I can encourage the sad and love the lonely. I can forgive those who hurt me and end grudges that I may carry. I can (and do) pray to God and trust in his love. I can make a difference in my life, in my friends’ and family’s lives, and I can influence those that I come in contact with every day.

I read once that there are 365 versions of “fear not” in the Bible – one for each day of the year. Since that book influences me and my life, I find comfort in the fact that there is enough hope and protection to cover my every day. And if I should fall victim to aliens, the Illuminati, or the other evils in the world that people spend their time and energy to purvey, well, I know who wins in the end.

In the meantime, let us pick up our hope and our faith. Let us act in ways that make the world we touch a better place. Let our light shine brighter than the darkness that surrounds. And let us be blessed!