Funny thing about life, it just goes on whether you are ready for it or not … Ready or not , the trick-o-treaters are going to ring the doorbell and before you know it, that once happy
Jack-O-Lantern is now frowning, growing mold, and rotting on your porch. After just a few shorts weeks of “normal life“, I came to the conclusion; I’m just not ready for it. Maybe the better way to say it is, “I don’t want a regular life!” After 2 weeks of “normal life“, (appointments, media events, couple of photography jobs, school fall fest…) my Spirit told me it was time to pull back and take some time to be still and just breathe. You might think that after everything I’ve been through with breast cancer that I would want my life back, but the truth is, I don’t want the life I had before I was diagnosed with cancer last November. Before cancer, I was overly stressed and constantly busy, striving to build my business. I remember having a major nervous breakdown over caramel apples that wouldn’t set. Really? Caramel apples? It was such a common thing for me to be easily irritated with my family when their schedules interrupted “my life“. I was always looking forward to what was next, never completely content in the moment and unable to enjoy what was right in front of me.
“Not only that, but we also boast in our sufferings, knowing that suffering produces endurance, endurance produces character, and character produces hope. Now this hope does not disappoint us, because God’s love has been poured out into our hearts by the Holy Spirit, who has been given to us.” ~ Romans 5
What was right in front of me was everything that was truly important, but my perspective kept me from being able to fully appreciate it. I have a deep meaningful spiritual life, a loving husband, 4 thriving healthy children, loyal friends, and a successful business doing what I love – this is my life! LIFE vs. caramel apples, work, twitter, facebook … Hmmm not really a hard choice, right? Cancer puts everything into perspective and there is nothing like pain & suffering to teach you to pay attention to what’s really important in life. Cancer brought me to my knees, it swept everything away like it was dust and left me lying naked on the floor in a pool of sweat. When you are so sick that you cannot get up off the floor without help, you find yourself grateful for the most basic things … like breathing. During chemotherapy, there were horrific days when all I could do to make it through was to focus on the sound of my breath. Being fully present in each breath brought me comfort, one breath at a time. I would whisper to myself, “You can do this Louise, just breathe.” The future was too terrifying to contemplate, the pain was excruciating, but in that moment , I knew I was okay . Then and now, I feel God using the pain, suffering, and heartache to mold my character in ways beyond my wildest imagination – always for my good.
“Be very careful, then, how you live—not as unwise but as wise, making the most of every opportunity …” ~ Ephesians 5
Ready or not? READY!!! To rebuild from the ground up, a-new-better-more-present-grateful-content-life. I’ve gotta tell you, building a new life takes some serious focus and determination because it’s so easy to fall into old habits. I’ve learned that if I truly want to be present in my life, I have to be incredibly selective with my time. In my new life I say, “NO” to nonsense and “YES” to everything that is truly important.
So what’s important ? Right now the top priority is being “Michael’s Mommy”. My son is 10, he still wants to hold my hand, cuddle and kiss in public – I’m not missing a minute of it. He was so brave through it all, watched me get chemo and went with me to radiation every day for 6 weeks. I can still hear his prayers in the back of my mind, “God please don’t let my mommy die, I don’t want to live without her.” I’m so thankful to be alive and to have the strength to pick him up every day from school, to cook for him and wash all his dirty socks. The best part of my day is to make him a healthy snack, like air-popped popcorn when he gets home from school.
It’s just salty-cheesy popcorn in a big bowl on the couch with a little boy, but it’s my new life and I wouldn’t trade it for the world. Perspective … it’s everything.
I don’t want to go on a big rant about how terrible microwave popcorn is for you and don’t get me started on GMO corn … I’ll save that for another day. But I will say this, if you are still eating microwave popcorn – STOP IT RIGHT NOW! You can run out to Target or Walmart and buy an air-popper for $20.00! It takes minutes to make healthy, delicious popcorn – it’s so EASY! Here is one trick I learned about how to make air-popped popcorn taste even lighter and crispier. Put your popcorn in and turn on the machine. Once you hear the popcorn begin to pop, turn off the machine and let the kernels cool for 1 minute. Turn the machine back on and finish popping.
|Rosemary Parmesan Air-Popped Popcorn|| || |
- ½ cup non GMO popping corn
- Olive oil spray
- ½ teaspoon fine ground sea salt
- 2 teaspoons finely chopped fresh rosemary
- ¼ cup loosely measured grated Parmesan cheese
- Place popping corn into air-popper and turn on. Place a large bowl under the shoot where the popcorn comes out. Once you hear the first kernel pop, turn the machine off and let the kernels cool for about 1 minute.
- Spoon the chopped rosemary over the hot kernels and turn machine back on to finish popping.
- Spritz with olive oil spray and then toss the rosemary, popcorn, salt and cheese together.
- Serve warm