Hold On To Hope


A few weeks ago my youngest, Matty, called me into the family room. He wanted to show me a preview to a movie he thought I’d enjoy. He asked if we could see the movie together when it came out. Of course I wanted to but I wasn’t sure this movie was good for him.

You see, he is a deep feeler, who is very empathetic, and this movie would make him feel deeply which is often uncomfortable for him. For example, when a slow song comes on the radio, he often asks for us to change it so he doesn’t have to experience the emotions that come with it.

Yet for the past few weeks whenever he would see the preview for this movie he would remind me of the opening date, January 11. He was persistent that he wanted to go together and that I would enjoy the movie.

So last night I took Matty on a date to see ‘ A Dog’s Way Home.’ This movie took my son on an emotional roller coaster ride. At one point when a dog lost his mom, he reached over and put his arm around my neck, pulling me in closer. It hit me to the core to have his little six year old arm wrapped around my neck holding me closer to him. (And for those of you who know our story, understand why that hit my heart so deeply.)

At one point when I knew he was feeling so deeply for the dog, Bella, in the movie, I asked if he wanted to leave. “No, Mom, it’s going to end up okay. Let’s keep watching.”

The power in those words hit my heart. He had the hope that all would be well and that hope carried him through the range of emotions he was experiencing.

I share this with you today because you may too be experiencing a range of emotions because of your current circumstances. I invite you to join me to…

Pause. Breathe. Pray.

May we not allow our emotions to be our compass in life. Instead may we hold on to the hope that all will be well in the end to help us get through. And may we, like Matty, be willing to stretch ourselves, out of our comfort zone, to have life experiences beside those we love.

With love and hope,


First Grade Wisdom

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Today I was the mystery reader in my youngest’s class💝 As I was leaving this was on the door.  I thought I’d pass along the wisdom I learned from a first grade classroom today💕🙏💕 

With love and hope,

Midday Pray

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Yes, I have set a daily alarm for 2 pm to remind me to Pause. Breathe. Pray.

I find I am good at pausing in the morning and before bed but I really don’t take the time to stop doing and simply be in the middle of the day. 

Plus my kids start getting home around 2:15 so it’s a great time to lay down the work and prepare to put my mom hat back on.

I am sharing this with you today in case you, like me, need a reminder to pause and be.

I invite you to join me to set an alarm to remind ourselves to...

Pause. Breathe. Pray.

Practicing this is so much different than saying it.

My hope for each of us is that we take this time to be still and renew our mind for the next part of our day. We can keep going, going, going or stop to refuel. What will serve us, and those around us best?

Let’s choose to do that.

With love and hope,

Be With Who You Are With


My daughter and I spent over an hour waiting for a drs appointment yesterday.  (No worries, all is well😊) But during the wait, we didn’t have screens to look at (except admittedly I grabbed my phone to snap this pic when I was inspired to write this post.) We were sitting beside each other, at times talking, at times silent. Yet we were together without distraction.

I say it to my kids all the time, “be with who you’re with.” Yet saying it is different from living it. I am not perfect at the practice but my hope is to walk the walk for them, not just talk the talk. Yes, it would have been a convenient time to catch up on emails and texts, but tomorrow if I found out my cancer was back how would I have best spent my time today? Being with my daughter and not on my screen. Using this as a gauge is not how I want to live my life yet often it brings me perspective on what the wisest choice it to do in the moment.

Recently I heard an inspiring talk by Simon Sinek which reinforced this idea of being who you are with. Simon spoke about how relationships are built in the gaps in life.  In the down times when we may sit still, silent and are bored, rather than picking up our screens to make real connections with those who are beside us, whether we know the person or not.

In my book, Our Struggles Have Purpose, I share many stories of engaging with others in those gap moments through my walk with cancer. My life is richer because of the connections I made by being off my screen and choosing to engage with the volunteers, administrative assistants, nurses, parking attendants, hotel employees, etc. To be honest, I didn’t know that is what I was doing then, I think I was just in survival mode and missing my family so I engaged with those around me. But looking back I am grateful I chose to engage with people in person and didn’t just spend time lost in my screen.

I share this with you today to encourage you along your walk in life. The truth of Simon’s message is too potent to ignore. And the real connections we will make in life happen when we lay down our phones to be with who we are with.

I invite you to join me to…

Pause. Breathe. Pray.

May we turn off the notifications and tune into those beside us. Life is too short to not pour into our loved ones. And who knows who we may meet in line, in the elevator, or in the waiting room.

With love and hope,


P.S. First, if you’d like to listen to Simon Sinek’s powerful message, watch HERE.

Meet Chomps


Meet Chomps.

He is my fourth child.  And yes, I just said “he” about a stuffed alligator.😏

We got him for our youngest in NC this summer after we moved my parents.  Chomps has become a part of the family and even made our Christmas card this year🤷‍♀️

My youngest made Chomps an office recently which included a name plate, a pen and paper, phone, a clock, and in the left back if you zoom in you’ll see a picture of Matty and Chomps. Oh, and Chomps is dressed for the job, with his collared shirt and watch on💝

Why am I sharing this?

Because my son used his time, energy, skills and resources to make this office for his buddy.  The whole process brought him so much joy.

As we move forward with our resolutions this new year I want to encourage you to invest your time, energy, skills and resources as needed to grow into your best self.  Yet I also want to invite you to join me to...

Pause. Breathe. Pray.

As much as we hope to achieve personal goals this new year, may we not lose sight that part of our growing into our best self is to be a part of helping others grow into their best self. Making that office brought so much joy and purpose to Matty. May we too find joy and our greater purpose by using our time, energy, skills and resources to help others.

Even though Chomps is a stuffed alligator, Matty’s love and care for him has enhanced our life.  And I hope their story enhances yours💕🙏💕

With love and hope,


“Therefore encourage one another and build one another up.” - 1 Thessalonians 5:11

A Real Gift


Have you ever had someone come into your life that you know was placed there by God?

This summer while I was at the ACC walk in North Carolina there was a dinner for ACC fighters, survivors and our families. Our seats were assigned and we were placed with someone I had met through our ACC group on fb who has a heart of gold and a great sense of humor.  There was also a couple at the table with us that we didn’t know.

We all introduced ourselves and over the course of the dinner we learned more and more about one another.

In my book, Our Struggles Have Purpose, I talk about Divine Appointments God has orchestrated in my cancer journey.  Well, he’s still at work.

Shalil and her husband Frank’s story couldn’t be more parallel to ours.  Shalil and I both had tumors in our palates and we were able to bond over things no one else understands such how our voices don’t project as well with an obturator, how drinking from a straw doesn’t always work to our husbands now checking their own palates on a regular basis for lumps or bumps.   

You may be thinking that all of us with ACC have our tumors in our palates.  But the truth is, in that room of 20+ of us, I believe we were the only ones with it in our palates.  ACC is unpredictable and others have had their tumors in their scalp, eyes, ears, sinuses, tongue, jaw, breast, lung, and more.  So the fact Shalil and I were randomly placed together was more unique than one may initially expect. 

Plus, it wasn’t just the two of us that had a lot in common, our husbands had a ridiculous amount in common as well.  Both are Navy veterans, they had the same jobs on nuclear submarines, both had wives with ACC and both have been pillars of support to us during our walks with cancer to name a few.

This week Shalil and Frank were up in Connecticut visiting their son, Matthew😊, who is too a sailor and stationed in Groton where Stephen was based.

We were able to connect again in person and the four of us spoke for hours about things most others don’t understand like the zingers of nerve pain we both get, having trouble puckering our lips depending on how the obturator fits that day to what life is like after treatments end and living life the best we can both not having had clear margins and the uncertainty of a reoccurrence of ACC.

I share this with you today because there are people who understand us and our story at a richness and depth others don’t.

I wholeheartedly believe God places people next to us in life for a reason.  Yes, we were placed at the same table at an ACC event but maybe someone is placed beside you in line today at the grocery store, post office or the person is your co-worker you sit beside every day.

I invite you to join me today to...

Pause. Breathe. Pray.

May we keep our eyes, ears and hearts open to the divine appointments God has waiting for us today.  May we engage in conversations with new people placed along our paths. Who knows, we may make friends for life who understand us like no one else does.  

With love and hope,


Gratitude not Regret

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Today our crew took a refreshing walk. I will not pretend all were on board for this to take place. It’s never easy to get going but in the end, we are all smiles and grateful we did it. (Plus our relationships are stronger for it.)

I share this with you today as we begin to think about our new year ahead and the goals we will be setting. I invite you to join me to...

Pause. Breathe. Pray.

May we remember the first step towards any goal is the hardest to take. The reasons not to do things often outnumber the reasons to do them. Yet the truth is taking the easy way out is what inhibits us from meeting our goals. Therefore, it is worth fighting through the resistance to take the first step towards accomplishing the goal at hand.

Whatever goals we set for ourselves, may we remember to amplify our why behind the goal and turn down the excuses so we can look back with gratitude and not regret.

Here’s to our next, and hardest, step forward...

With love and hope,

What is Christmas?


Christmas has meant many things to me throughout my life - a day for loved ones to gather together, a day to give gifts to those we love, a day to receive gifts from loved ones and a day where we lay down all that can be second, and put one another first.

Christmas is a day we express our love to one another through our words and actions.

This was my view of Christmas for most of my life. Yes, there was church involved but that was secondary to what Christmas meant to me.

Yet for the past number of years, Christmas has taken on a whole new meaning…

Christmas is the day we celebrate Jesus being born.

Now if someone said that to me years ago, I would have politely smiled and moved on. And maybe some of you will stop reading after this line.

I understand.

But for those who keep reading, let me share with you what Christmas is.

Christmas is the day we celebrate Jesus being born. Why is this significant? Because Jesus came into the world to bring light into the darkness. To show us a way to live that would give our lives purpose and meaning. For me, coming to know, love, and trust in who Jesus is has transformed my life.

How did Jesus transform my life?

He is a wonderful counselor.

I share my honest and raw heart and he listens. I am fully known, flaws and all, but I know he still loves me. To be fully known and still be accepted and loved as I am transformed my heart. Now I hope to live and give this same gift to others that Jesus gives to me.

He is our mighty God.

As I walked through cancer, knowing God was in control gave me a peace beyond understanding. He is in control of the number of my days. Rather than clinging to having more days in life, I have opened my palms up to Him and said, “let your will be done.” And while I am here may I live out the love I get from you, towards others. To trust in God wholeheartedly, and place my life in His mighty hands, has transformed me to live and love more freely.

He is our everlasting Father.

When we think of our father, we may have mixed feelings that arise. Some of us may have had an incredible fathers growing up, others of us may have had a father who were abusive to us, or somewhere in between. Maybe some of you had fathers who were not present in your life. No matter our story with our father, God tells us that he is not only our Father, but our everlasting Father. He is there for us anytime, any day. To know God is always there for me helped me know I am never alone. In my walk through life I often have felt alone, even when surrounded by loved ones. Yet now when those moments happen, I turn to God, my everlasting Father, for wisdom and guidance. Trusting I am not alone, and He is with me always, brings me comfort and peace.

He is the Prince of Peace.

What does society say will bring us peace? Money, titles, things.

Jesus said, “Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid.” - John 14:27

Rather than following society for peace, I started following Jesus. And since following Jesus I have truly started experiencing more peace within. Don’t get me wrong, I am a wife, a mom, a business owner. I don’t float around all day in this serene space. Yet, when I start feeling troubled, or fear begins to grip my heart, rather than running to the store to buy things, which I used to do, I…

Pause. Breathe. Pray.

I sit with Jesus for a while and am reminded that He is a Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, and Prince of Peace.

I share this with you today to show how Jesus’ life transformed my life. Yet he wasn’t born to just transform my life, he was born to be a light to all, including you.

No matter what Christmas means to you and your family, I hope you have a joyful day with your loved ones and that the light of Jesus’ love shine into your life.

With love,


“For a child is born to us, A son is given to us; And the government Is upon His shoulder; And His name will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.” - Isaiah 9:6

Peace I Give You

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Yes, there are things to do today but there is no better way to start our day than to...

Pause. Breathe. Pray.

God is able to give us a calm within even when there is a storm outside. And may we remember even in the busy we can be a vessel of love to those we cross paths with yet we can’t give what we don’t have ourselves. So let’s fill up on love this morning so we can be love today wherever our to do list takes us.

With love and hope,

“Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled....” - John 14:27

Gifts From the Heart

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Me: “Is there anything you want to get your brother or sister for Christmas?”

Our 6-year old: “I made them gifts.”

As I looked at the gift I thought to myself, it may look different but it’s filled with love. Then I gave him a hug and said, “that was so thoughtful of you.”

I am sharing this in case any of you, like me, needed that reminder. I invite you to join me to...

Pause. Breathe. Pray.

May we remember the best gifts we can give are from the heart and filled with love❤️🎁❤️

With love,