Sunday, November 23, 2014

When I Was Hungry

Our sermon this morning was based on this scripture.  I have heard it so many times, and it always makes me think if I am loving and serving in the way I should.  

Matthew 25:31-46New International Version (NIV)

The Sheep and the Goats

31 “When the Son of Man comes in his glory, and all the angels with him, he will sit on his glorious throne. 32 All the nations will be gathered before him, and he will separate the people one from another as a shepherd separates the sheep from the goats. 33 He will put the sheep on his right and the goats on his left.

34 “Then the King will say to those on his right, ‘Come, you who are blessed by my Father; take your inheritance, the kingdom prepared for you since the creation of the world. 35 For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in, 36 I needed clothes and you clothed me, I was sick and you looked after me, I was in prison and you came to visit me.’

37 “Then the righteous will answer him, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you something to drink? 38 When did we see you a stranger and invite you in, or needing clothes and clothe you? 39 When did we see you sick or in prison and go to visit you?’

40 “The King will reply, ‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.’

41 “Then he will say to those on his left, ‘Depart from me, you who are cursed, into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels. 42 For I was hungry and you gave me nothing to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me nothing to drink, 43 I was a stranger and you did not invite me in, I needed clothes and you did not clothe me, I was sick and in prison and you did not look after me.’

44 “They also will answer, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry or thirsty or a stranger or needing clothes or sick or in prison, and did not help you?’

45 “He will reply, ‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did not do for one of the least of these, you did not do for me.’

46 “Then they will go away to eternal punishment, but the righteous to eternal life.

The other day I had a young woman come in my yarn shop.  She told me she had been wanting to come in ever since she saw us sitting on the porch knitting and crocheting on Worldwide Knit In Public Day which was about four months ago. 

She was a small, pretty girl and she had brought a bag with her to carry the yarn in that she wanted to select.  She went back into the shop and began to gather yarn.  She filled up her bag, so I took her a basket and asked her what she was planning to make with all this yarn.

She began to tell me that she wanted to make a colorful granny square afghan and put it all together with black.  I told her of one that I have that my mother made many years ago, purchasing 25 cents worth of yarn each week.  Then she asked me about how to stitch it together, and I told her she could come by any time and I would help her figure out a method that she liked.

After she piled many, many skeins of yarn on my counter, she began to tell me that she hadn't been out of her apartment for months, and this was her first venture out in public and she was enjoying talking to me.   She explained that she was bipolar and had great difficulty going out in public.  She told me about her medication and how it had helped her.  She thanked me for offering to help her.

I invited her to come to Memories any time and sit with me and others and work on her crocheting.  She seemed excited but timid at that prospect.

After she had visited for about an hour, she asked me to add up her purchase and she would have her boyfriend withdraw the cash and come back later to pay me and pick it up.  

This is when I realized that I would probably not see her again or her boyfriend.  And I was right.  She has not come back.  It didn't bother me at all, as I saw a much greater purpose in her visit than how much yarn she was to buy.

In reflecting on this, and explaining to my husband, we decided that I was able to give her just what she needed.  She needed someone to listen to her, let her build her confidence in going out in public, validate her dream of the beautiful afghan, and someone to talk to her and treat her like the valued person that she is.  I felt like God sent her to me, and I somehow gave her what she needed that day.

I will pray for her that she will get brave and go out again and that she will get to make that afghan she is dreaming of.  Hope and dreams and faith in the good in this world can help us all move forward in life with confidence.  I pray she will grow in her confidence.  I pray that she has someone in her life to love her and take care of her.

God wants us to treat each person we meet with love and respect and have no concern for what that person can do for us, but what we can do for them.  I pray that I will never miss an opportunity to reach out to others.  Everyone needs love, a smile, a hug.

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Spreading Sadie Sunshine to Missouri

This is the Cover Photo for our Sadie Sunshine Chapter Facebook Page
Created in Memory of our sweet Sadie Caroline (that's me holding her)

Our Sadie Sunshine Chapter of Crochet for Cancer was formed in April, 2013, in memory of my 17 month old grandaughter, Sadie Caroline, who we lost to cancer on December 21, 2012, after just a six week battle.  It is impossible to express the heartbreak and disappointment and gallons of tears this has resulted in.  But in the midst of this valley, I discovered Crochet for Cancer and decided this would be a wonderful way to remember our little Sadie's sweet life - by spreading Sunshine and smiles to others fighting this terrible disease.  So much love is being shared by our volunteers for those with cancer that it is hard to comprehend some days.  The ripple effect of her life and smiles and battle can be seen every day in the giving taking place in her memory.
Sadie's Profile Picture on our Facebook Page for
Sadie Sunshine Chapter

During the first couple of months when we were just beginning, there was a little girl in Illinois who began her journey to fight this terrible disease.  Our Crochet for Cancer leader, Tracy, got a request to send hats to this little girl, and passed the request on to me.  I had some beautiful hats, and she was one of the first individuals that I sent to.  Little Janet is a beautiful, perfect little child.  Like Sadie, you would look at her and wonder how in the world she could end up fighting such a battle.  But fight she has.  To me, she is a hero, just like our little Sadie and so many others who are so brave and trusting and fight the fight with a smile, making friends and touching lives all along the way.
Little Janet in 2013 wearing one of our first Sadie Sunshine
chemo hats made by my good friend, Tracy

I have made friends through facebook with Laura, Janet's Mom.  She is a wonderful, strong woman, not afraid to share her faith, just like my daughter, Amber, has.  Laura knows that God is in control and she trusts Him every step of the way.  In a way, we are kindred spirits, Laura, Amber and I, understanding each other's journey and the faith that is required to remain standing in the midst of this unimaginable storm.
Little Janet today in her Sadie Sunshine chemo hat
with matching blanket and monkey sent to us
all the way from Germany, by my Sadie Sunshine friend, Michelle

Little Janet beat this one-of-a-kind cancer once, but it has recently returned and she is again fighting and receiving the treatment that she needs - but this is not all she receives at St. Louis Children's Hospital.  Just like our Sadie received at Monroe Carell Children's Hospital at Vanderbilt, little Janet is receiving the love and caring and support of the people she meets there.  In the process, she is making many new friends and having a positive effect on their lives.
Sadie Sunshine Profile Picture in Honor of
Childhood Cancer Awareness Month, September, 2014

At Sadie Sunshine Chapter we donate to several hospitals and organizations in Kentucky and Tennessee.  In fact we have such an abundance of Sadie Sunshine, that we have reached out to the St. Louis Children's Hospital and have arranged to give to the children there.  Since little Janet is a familiar face there and a very special child to the heart of our Sadie Sunshine Chapter, we have decided to ask her to be our Ambassador there and help to distribute the hats and other gifts to the children there in Sadie's name.  In fact, this all came about this morning, early, as an idea as I was corresponding with Laura on my iPad  - I call these God moments, when I allow Him to lead my steps.
Sadie - Always my Sunshine

I understand that Laura and little Janet are excited to be a part of Sadie Sunshine in this way.  What a blessing this will be to the children there, and their parents.  Thank you, little Janet, for coming into our lives.  We love you and plan to meet you in person one day very soon!  
Happier Times - Fall of 2012 just before Sadie got sick -
We will always Remember and Celebrate this Precious Life of Sadie Caroline

Please, anyone who reads this, say a prayer today for little Janet and her family, for Sadie Sunshine and all of our family and volunteers.  Our mission is simple - to bring Sadie smiles to those in need.  Our little Sadie and her sweetness can live on in this very special way.  God is leading our footsteps.

Monday, August 11, 2014

Serving Because of Loss - Stepping Through The Door

Sometimes it doesn't make sense.  We lost our sweet Sadie Caroline to a terrible cancer.  She was just 17 months old with her whole life to live.  She was beautiful and sweet and happy, yet she suffered and died at the hands of this disease.  There was nothing we could do but pray and hope and believe.  We were so sad and heartbroken that we didn't get what we prayed for.  We wanted her healed so that she could live a long and productive life.  But it didn't happen.

You would think that this would make us angry or bitter, withdrawn and beaten down.  Oh yes, we have cried our eyes out and asked why and been depressed and heartbroken and have struggled since her death.  You might think the only thing we can do for Sadie now is decorate her grave and remember her sweetness and mourn her loss.

But for some reason, this just isn't enough for Sadie.  I mean, she would have done great things and blessed so many....if only she had lived.  So it seems that my daughter and I just can't settle into the loss.  Instead we decided to move forward and celebrate her little life by doing our best to bless others in her memory who are suffering.  Strange, really...most people would not launch themselves into personal ministries because of a loss.  They would be finding a new life and a new normal.

For me there is no longer any normal.  My ship has crashed and broken, never to be rebuilt the same.  I had to launch myself into something with true meaning..and instead of waiting around, I sprung to action. God lead me down the pathway and opened the doors and I went down the path and walked through the doors.  And it has been amazing the lives that have been touched and will continue to be touched by Sadie's life and our heartbreak.

Sadie Sunshine Chapter of Crochet for Cancer is my own ministry created out of my love for remembering Sadie, my love of crocheting, and my desire to help bring smiles to others.  Because of my own pain, I have a unique gift of empathy and caring for those facing similar circumstances.  It brings me such joy to see the smiles and know the feelings of love represented by our gifts of chemo hats, blankets, prayer cloths and prayer shawls.  This ministry is in my life all day every day through my involvement on the facebook page, the main Crochet for Cancer organization, people coming in and out of my shop, and others I become aware of who are fighting cancer.  The postman and I are friends as he either delivers a package of Sadie Sunshine to me from my volunteers, or picks up a box or package of Sadie Sunshine to be delivered to cancer patients almost every day.

My daughter was lead down a different pathway and through different doors as she created the Sadie Smile Toy Drive to benefit the children who are sick in the hospital.  The toy drive has been huge for two years and she has delivered truck loads of toys to several hospitals and to Child Welfare offices.  What a blessing it has been for her to be able to facilitate bringing such joy to children who are suffering.

A new calling for my daughter has been to go with her church mission group to serve at an orphanage in Haiti.  She is there now and they taught Bible school and loved on 115 children living in poverty without parents to love them today.  Why would she choose to do this?  It required a lot of planning, money, travel, risk, uncomfortable living conditions and more.  It is because she was open to God's calling her to go...she followed the path and walked through the door.

The benefits and healing to both of us are huge, and we pray every day that we can make a difference in this world.  We had such a loss that it is hard to imagine, but we were also blessed beyond measure.  We loved Sadie and she loved us and her life was beautiful, and she was beautiful, and that is what is important.

Have you had things that happened in your life that maybe shut you down or made you become depressed or bitter?  Ask God to lead you today into a better, more meaningful life, and then go where He asks.  Instead of dwelling on your problems and focusing on yourself, reach out to serve others.  You cannot even imagine the benefits to your own well-being and that of others until you take that step through the door.  Every day is a gift...share your life and love with those in need today.

Find out more about our ministries by going to these sites:

Monday, July 21, 2014

Information Overload!

Sometimes in life we get overwhelmed and is then that we need to take a step back and look at what we are occupying our time and our mind with and what changes can be made so that we are more relaxed and content.

One of the things I needed to do was to cut back on my "information overload" as Roy called it.  I have unfollowed several facebook sites and people who were providing me with lots of information, but at the same time causing me stress.  When you are in the middle of the forest, it is hard to see the trees, but when you take a step back they become clearer.  This was a good step for me....what is clouding your mind today that you could eliminate?  It is very liberating to take back control!  

Every day is a gift...enjoy this one and free yourself of a little mind clutter if you can.  Look around at the beauty around you and relax your mind.

(Pictures taken from Pinterest posts)

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Blessings in Disguise

You know how awful it feels to lose a job or have some other life changing event happen?  It feels like the world has come to an end.  I have lost jobs, been divorced, had no money, wrecked my car, lost loved ones, and more.  Many times I can look back on these events and see that something good happened as a result of this event that would not have ever happened otherwise.  Looking back....we can see...but in the present, while it is happening, it just feels awful, like the whole world is spinning without us, no one cares, everyone has a purpose but us.

I've learned this in life, because of my life experiences, to look for the silver lining and anticipate good things.

In 2012, my little 16 month old granddaughter Sadie Caroline was diagnosed with a terrible cancer that took her little life in a short six weeks.  This is one of the most tragic things I can imagine...the life of a child taken away.  While it was happening, I was strong, but no one could have convinced me that I could look back and see the blessings.  It seems almost crazy to think about the blessings, but you see, that is what gets me through each day.  Everything about her...every moment, good and bad, was a blessing in my life because it was Sadie...and she was our perfect blessing.

Three things stand out for me as blessings that many of you might fail to see as blessings if it happened to you, but I see these in my mind's eye every single day that I go forward.

The first was the phone call...that terrible phone call that told me something bad was wrong with Sadie.  They thought maybe meningitis, but were running all kinds of tests, including a bone marrow test to eliminate cancer.  I sat down at the piano and just played the sweetest music I could while these tests were going on, and I prayed.  After traveling to be with her, amazingly she was better!  They determined that she was OK and ruled out cancer.  Now here is the blessing...we had the best few days together anyone could hope for.  We played and hugged and sang and read books and played hide and seek.  It was wonderful!  But then we soon discovered that the cancer was hiding and after about a week she was back in the hospital and the diagnosis was not good.  We could have been bitter that they didn't find it the first time, thus delaying her treatment, but instead I have thanked God a thousand times for that time together, because you see, it was her last time at home, and I got to spend it with her and make it the most special weekend possible.

The second was at the hospital.....she was attached by wires and tubes to all kinds of medicine and attached that she could hardly play or move and it was so difficult to hold her and love on her.  A different doctor came in the room and ordered all that stuff detached from her.  For that one evening, she was able to walk down the hallway, play and move around and live the life of a little baby girl what turned out to be her last time of freedom.  Her Daddy, Tim, in fact spent a lot of this time with her and talked about it at her funeral as his lifetime of memories with his little girl occurring in that one night.  As it turned out, this was her very last night of freedom to have fun.  We could have been bitter that this happened and felt that her treatment was delayed a little, but instead we were oh so grateful for our time with her...but more than that....her time to have some fun because it would be her last.

The third was when Amber called me and someone had gotten us tickets to go to Amy Grant and Vince Gill's Christmas Concert at the old Ryman Auditorium.  It was close to the hospital and we were so tired and stressed, it seemed like a good thing to just go.  At that time Sadie was in intensive care - she was paralyzed, nearly blind, had holes drilled in her head to relieve pressure - everything was just awful and not looking good at all.  Tim was going to stay at the hospital with her while we relaxed just a little while.  Amber figured it out that she could come get me and we would stop by the hospital  on the way to see Sadie.  It was a miracle because the hospital let us all go in the room at once - this had been the only time the family had all been together at one time since the diagnosis.  We all went in the room, we smiled and played with her as best we could, then she started to fuss and was in pain.  Everyone left the room for a brief time and I held her little hand and sang a lullabye and also a silly little song I always sang to her, and was able to sing that sweet baby to sleep one last time.  You see, that was Tuesday night, and by Friday we had lost her.  I will forever remember singing to her that last time as she was not very responsive after that evening.  I treasure that moment, even though it was in intensive care and the most awful thing I could imagine.  I will always treasure those moments and remember them as special as they were.

Sometimes in life we are dealt with all kinds of problems and times when we can't even think about facing tomorrow, but I can tell you from experience...there is always tomorrow and it can still have joy.  I don't have the kind of joy I would have had with Sadie in my life and watching her grow, but I still have joy every day.  I have these three blessings in disguise and many, many more from my life to remember in my minds eye - and many more to come.  Sometimes we don't know they are blessings until the time has passed, so we must always be aware and looking for them because they are always there.  God is always with us, and for sure, He knows what He is doing in our lives.  It's up to us to look and see and count our blessings, even the ones in disguise.

Friday, May 2, 2014

Serenity Found

In November, 2012, my life changed forever.  God gave me the most precious little girl grandbaby and she was named Sadie Caroline.  She has the most beautiful eyes, double dimples, big smile, and blonde hair and gave us so much joy.  In an instant our joy turned to worry and distress - she was diagnosed with an aggressive form of cancer - Acute Myeloid Leukemia which presented itself in her central nervous system.  Sadie was 16 months old.

We prayed and loved on her and were courageous by her bedside for six weeks, and then the cancer took her away from us.  As you can imagine, we have struggled so as to how this could have happened to her and to us.  She was perfect and we loved her so.

During my whole life I have found peace in the Serenity Prayer because I know it is just a losing battle to fight against the inevitable or to try to change something that is not possible to change, and I should not spend my energy on such things.  When I was called and told that Sadie was sick, I searched for something to hold onto, something that might make me strong as I was called to do things and face things I had never done or faced before.  I had a necklace in my shop with a charm on it with a cross and the words "God Grant Me Serenity".  I have worn it every single day since that day.  I guess I may never put it away, because I can reach up and touch it when I am troubled, and it reminds me that God is with me and will help me.

I have had many conversations with friends and acquaintances since our loss of our sweet Sadie, and many chances to explain how I could still be standing and moving forward with many, many things and smiling and finding joy in my days.  It is hard to explain, except for the fact that God has given me the strength, insight and wisdom to make healthy choices and to seek and find serenity through Him.

In talking with a friend the other day who also is going through a tough time of her own as she has found out that her daughter and also her little toddler grandaughter have been diagnosed with Lyme disease, I heard myself say, "I wouldn't change anything!".  I do that - when I am talking about Sadie many times - I hear myself say something that doesn't compute when I think about it later and I have to think about it and determine why or how I could say that.  Especially, this one - because I would give my own life if we could just have Sadie back.

In reflecting on the fact that I said, and I heard it come out of my mouth, "I wouldn't change anything", I have determined that God has given me those words and thoughts and has allowed me to heal to a point where I do realize that IF I cannot change the fact that I have lost Sadie in this world, that I will focus on those things I can change.  He gave me wisdom and a way to move forward.  I still have my wonderful daughter, Amber, and her husband, Tim, and my precious grandson, Eli (who is the sunshine in all of our lives), my mother, and a wonderful husband.  I have my faith, my church family, my shop, my charity work in memory of Sadie, many friends, my health, this beautiful environment where I live and work, and on and on.  I have so many blessings - so, I know I can't change what happened to Sadie, but I can change how I live the rest of my days.

I will live facing the Sunshine every day and share joy with others.  I will not dwell on the past - I will look toward the future and expect it to be bright and beautiful.  And I will give thanks to God for being with me every day, holding me up when I want to fall down, giving me strength to say and do what I can to help others, sending me people in my life who love me, sending me people in my life who need me, and just helping me be joyful.

People say they don't know how I do it - I have had a lot of help!  And each person that God sends me keeps me on this positive journey I call my life. A special thanks to all of those people and those to come for helping me understand how I can and must keep on this positive journey.

If you have an interest in helping with making crochet hats and prayer shawls for the Crochet for Cancer chapter I have established in memory of Sadie, please "like" our facebook page and get all the details:

Also, my daughter has established a foundation in Sadie's name to help spread her smiles to those who need them.  It can be found at  There are many opportunities to serve in Sadie's memory that will benefit many - her smiles continue to live on in the lives of others through these charities.

Friday, April 4, 2014

Crochet for Stress and Anxiety Relief

I know that many of you, like me, live a life that encounters stressful situations!  We are constantly searching for peace and tranquility in a world full of turmoil, misunderstandings, illnesses and stress.

Many years ago I suffered from migraine headaches, and they are the worst.  They ruled my life!  I couldn't relax and enjoy anything, anticipating the next attack.  I constantly carried pain relievers in my purse to try to head off the next attack, and the pain relievers didn't help that much and they in turn caused stomach problems.  It was a vicious cycle.  Almost nothing would relieve the pain except to fall sound asleep, which was very difficult to do when in pain.

As time went along I also discovered that if I could find something that would completely distract me to the point of forgetting I had the headache, I would soon find that it was just gone!  At that time I did a lot of tole painting, and that became my passion and escape from stress.  I could get lost in my world of  creating of something beautiful with my brush.

A couple of years ago I began to crochet again after many years.  I had heard about the local prayer shawl ministry and got interested in creating beautiful shawls to give away to my friends in need.  As many of you know, once you begin crocheting or knitting, it is limitless what you can create!  I just cannot put down the crochet hook - there are so many beautiful things I want to make.

During this past two years, my life has taken a dramatic turn.  I was blessed with two beautiful grandchildren which gave me such joy, but in November of 2012, it was discovered that my little precious 17 month old Sadie Caroline had cancer.  She fought a very brave fight, and we all fought it with her to the very end six weeks later.  Such stress and sadness and broken heartedness resulted as a result her loss.  We would never see her become the beautiful woman she was meant to be.  She would not get to live her life and do the good in this world we had dreamed of.

I am thankful I have had my crochet, as it has helped me through this terrible time and continues to help me every single day.  I didn't really pick up the hook and say, ok, this will make me feel better - I just did it!  One day I got to thinking about it and realized that it was relieving my stress and giving me something to do besides think of sad and terrible things.  It was the one thing I had control over, as I definitely had no control over everything else going on.

As time has gone along, I have been able to turn my anxieties over to God, and let him lead my life.  I had to realize that I could not fix this and I definitely could not deal with it all on my own.  Crocheting has helped me in so many ways - I can wile away the hours doing something I enjoy - I can then share my talents with others by giving prayer shawls and chemo hats away to others who are suffering - I can create something of beauty - I can learn new things and share my knowledge with others.  This is a door that God opened for me that I didn't realize I had walked through until later, and I thank Him for leading me to this place of peace.

I have several friends that have various reasons in their lives to be stressed and I have encouraged them to take up their knitting and crocheting and let their mind rest on something creative rather than on trying to solve problems.  They are now smiling with reduced stress, and time has taken care of many of the things that caused them to be unhappy.  If we focus ourselves on the positives in our lives, and give thanks for them - and couple that with reaching out to others who may be suffering - crochet or knit a few beautiful things - God will take care of working things out in His own timing.

God bless you - and if you have a skill like crocheting, knitting, painting, writing, or some other form of self expression - pick it up and do it - let your mind rest - and you will find peace!

If you crochet or knit and would like to become involved in something beautiful, please join me in the ministry I started in memory of my sweet Sadie Caroline - the Sadie Sunshine Chapter of Crochet for Cancer!  We are in the business of helping others and spreading Sadie smiles every day!  Check out our facebook page and "like" it to keep up with what we are doing!

Sunday, February 23, 2014

And I heard myself say, "Oh, It's Easy"

A little history for some who have not been following my blog November of 2012, my little beautiful 16 month old grandaughter, Sadie Caroline, was diagnosed with cancer.  After many prayer-filled days and nights and the agony of seeing her health deteriorate quickly, we lost this precious child on December 21, 2012.  This has been the most devastating thing I can imagine going through and watching her go through and watching my daughter and her husband and my little grandson go through.  The last year and a half has been the very most difficult time I could imagine.

All the while Sadie was sick and after out loss I have chosen to share the journey through my facebook pages and through this blog.  This loss has brought about change in my life that I could have never anticipated.

Along the way I discovered that sharing the ups and downs of this journey has been healing for me.  I find it comforting to speak of Sadie and our journey and express my feelings.  I have many people who tell me that I have been an inspiration to them.  I don't really know how I have found the strength, but that I have asked for the strength and peace that only God can provide, every step of the way.

I operate an antique and gift shop and also a yarn shop.  Each day I meet and visit with many different people.  Some know my story, and others learn my story as they visit.  Many tears have been shed and hugs and words of comfort shared in my shop and also online on my facebook pages. 

This weekend I celebrated 10 years in my shop with an open house.  I had very dear friends and customers stopping in all day long giving me words of congratulations and love and support and encouragement.  

I have two special friends - he is pastor of the Church of Christ, and she is his wife.  He happened to be in my store the day I got the call from my daughter that we had lost Sadie.  He prayed with me right then, and it meant the world to me that he was there.  His wife is a wonderful friend who has helped me in the shop some and has always been there as a friend.  They visited me yesterday and as they were leaving, she told me how proud they were of me and how I was glorifying God in the work that I do and the inspiration I am passing on to others.  And that's when I heard myself say "Oh, it's easy!"

As soon as I said that, I surprised myself and wondered how I could say that and feel that way?  In light of the fact that this has been the most difficult time of my life, how could I say it is easy?

After some thought, I realized it is "easy" because of Sadie and God's love.  I am remembering Sadie and trying to share her goodness in this world.  She can't be here to do it, and I am her grandmother, and I want others to know her and what a blessing she was and is in my life.  I prayed for God to guide me, and He has been by my side every step of the way.    So what has been the deepest valley of my life has also allowed me to stand on the mountain and sing praises and glorify God.  I'm not exactly sure how that happened because it has been a long and difficult uphill climb, but I know I could have never done it on my own.

Each day God sends people into my life that give me strength and encouragement to travel this road, and so it has become easier with each step I take.  What a blessing it has been to be able to grow out of such tragedy, and to feel sweet Sadie's presence in my life every day.  She can't be here physically, but nothing can take her out of my heart.

If you are going through a trial in your life, instead of trying to handle it all on your own, pray for God to give you strength, peace and courage.  You, too, can find yourself on the mountain top again singing praises and glorifying Him.  

A new friend brought me a gift yesterday which was a writing she had done called "The Stairway of Faith".  It speaks of God helping us up the stairway of our life with his outstretched hand there to help us and guide us up the next step saying to us "Come on up!  You can do this!".  If I can do this, so can you with God's help.

Please go to my web page in memory of Sadie and consider getting involved in our chapter of Crochet for Cancer.

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Do Over's and the Yellow Brick Road

This morning I was crocheting along so happily and Roy said "You finished up that ball of yarn already?" As I held up my work for him to see, there it was - a missed stitch on the edge about half way back! Don't know how that happened, but I had to rip out about an hour's work! This is just the way life is sometimes - we just have to drop back, rewind, and try again. 

This reminded me of my little grandson, Eli.  He loves do over's.  Sometimes when he is asked to do something and he throws a big fit and makes a mess of things, he suddenly realizes how much better things would have been if he had just done what was asked at the time.  Then he wants to go back and start again and do it over the right way so everyone will be happy.  God bless him!

We don't always get do overs in life.  It is a good thing that God forgives and allows us to start fresh each day and try to get it right and follow his laws.   They were made for us so that things would just go well for us.  If we break the rules, it might be OK for a while, but then before you know it we are wishing we could go back and just do that part of our life over again.  Every day we have decisions to make in the things that we choose to do and say and the way that we act and react.  Wouldn't life be great if we were always on the yellow brick road and never strayed?  It's just not that easy.

You can bet as I begin to crochet on this shawl again, I will pay close attention to the pattern and what my hands and fingers are doing to make it perfect.  If we stop and think and remember the rules as we go through life, we will have far less do overs than if we just run merrily along doing and saying whatever we feel at the moment.  

Take care today, pay attention to your actions and words so that you don't have to rewind. Taking back words, once said, is not as easy as ripping out crocheting. Every day is a gift - speak sweet words today.  Here's hoping you won't wish you could have a do over today.  

Monday, January 27, 2014

Flying With Broken Wings

Yes, we were flying high, soaring among the clouds, free and happy!  Then a health crisis began - one minute everything was beautiful and fine - the next minute, frightening, security of our loved one threatened, life changed in an instant.  Our precious, perfect 16 month old baby, Sadie Caroline, was sick.  Nothing else mattered - everything that was so important yesterday vanished.  All of our attention, prayers, concerns, love were focused on our baby girl.

That is how fast we can get everything put into perspective and determine what is important and what is not.  Until something like this comes along, we are so shallow in our faith and our lives, always living on the surface looking for happiness and personal satisfaction, thinking that we understand the plight of others with problems, but not really understanding at all.

We lost our baby to cancer within a very short 40 days and had to find a way to live our lives without her.  This past year has been a blur - almost like someone just scrambled up everything - and left us to try to put ourselves back together without all the pieces.  We were like birds who were flying along all happy, singing our song, and blap! - ran into a window and broke a wing.  After that we couldn't fly along carefree any more, plus we had to learn to fly with a broken wing.  Life is just not the same since our loss.

After a year I still have people tell me they don't see how I do it - how I can work and smile and live life with such pain in my heart.  This is what I have concluded.

 I can say for me this has been the saddest most heartbreaking thing I can imagine. But the thing that got me through is my faith that God is watching over us and that tomorrow will come. Life will not always be as we want it, but fighting it just never gains anything. Accepting the changes and finding our way again in the midst of change is the only way to survive. I have learned to pray for God's will to be done and for God to give me strength. I have learned that listening to others and reaching out to others is the best way to heal myself. This is how I can put one foot in front of the other - just get out there, stay busy, encourage others, have faith and pray for strength each and every day. My smiles are real - I love life even through the pain and sadness this has brought - I look forward to every day and it's opportunities and the people who will come my way that hopefully I can influence in a positive way.

 Life is a mystery to us, but God has a plan. Sadie is safe and happy in heaven now, and we all have to remember her sweetness and live our lives to the fullest without her physical presence, but hold her memory close in our hearts. Please, if you love someone, let them know today - tell them, give them a hug and a smile.

Click this link to see what many are helping me do in Sadie's memory - to keep her memory alive and share her sunshine smiles with others in need.

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Pocket Prayer Cloth (Heart) - Prayer Shawl Ministry

Pocket Prayer Cloth - Heart (Crochet Pattern)
designed by Sadie Sunshine Chapter - Crochet for Cancer

Skill Level:  Intermediate

Materials Needed:
     **  Soft worsted weight yarn - pastel solid color
     **  Size F crochet hook

CH = chain
SC = single crochet
DC = double crochet
PC = popcorn stitch
SL ST = slip stitch
YO = yarn over
SK = skip a stitch

Finished size approximately 5" x 7" or smaller depending on yarn used.

Make 3 DC in the same stitch.  Take the hook out of the loop of the last DC and insert the hook in the top of first DC.  Hook the loop you just dropped and draw it through the stitch.  Pull tight and then CH 1.  Push the popcorn stitch to the front as you go to the next SC.

CH 18 loosely.

ROW 1 - Starting in the second chain from the hook, SC in each chain (17 SC total).  CH 1, Turn.

ROW 2 - SC in each stitch across (17 SC total).  CH 1. Turn.

ROW 3 - SC 8, PC 1, SC 8. CH 1. Turn.

ROW 4 - SC in each stitch across (17 SC total). CH 1. Turn.

ROW 5 - SC 7, PC 1, SC 1, PC 1, SC 7, CH 1.  Turn.

ROW 6 - Repeat Row 4

ROW 7 - SC 6, PC 1, SC 3, PC 1, SC 6, CH 1.  Turn.

ROW 8 - Repeat Row 4

ROW 9 - SC 5, PC 1, SC 5, PC 1, SC 5, CH 1.  Turn.

ROW 10 - Repeat Row 4

ROW 11 - SC 4, PC 1, SC 7, PC 1, SC 4, CH 1.  Turn.

ROW 12 - Repeat Row 4

ROW 13 - SC 3, PC 1, SC 9, PC 1, SC 3, CH 1.  Turn.

ROW 14 - Repeat Row 4

ROW 15 - SC 2, PC 1, SC 11, PC 1, SC 2, CH 1.  Turn.

ROW 16 - Repeat Row 4

ROW 17 - SC 1, PC 1, SC 13, PC 1, SC 1, CH 1.  Turn.

ROW 18 - Repeat Row 4

ROW 19 - SC 1, PC 1, SC 6, PC 1, SC 6, PC 1, SC 1, CH 1.  Turn.

ROW 20 - Repeat Row 4

ROW 21 - SC 2, PC 1, SC 3, PC 1, SC 3, PC 1, SC 3, PC 1, SC 2, CH 1.  Turn.

ROW 22 - Repeat Row 4

ROW 23 - SC 4, PC 1, SC 7, PC 1, SC 4, CH 1.  Turn.

ROW 24- Repeat Row 4

ROW 25 - SC in each SC across (17 SC)

BORDER - CH 2, SC in each row, SC 3 in the corner, SC in each sitch across the bottom, SC 3 in the corner, SC in each row  up the side, SC 3 in the corner, SC in each stitch across the top, SL ST in the beginning SC at the corner and finish off.

You are free to use this for any charity purpose or gifts, however, we would very much appreciate donations to Sadie Sunshine Chapter of Crochet for Cancer, mailed to Sadie Sunshine Chapter, c/o Memories Past and Present, 324 N. Elm Street, Henderson, KY  42420

You can find more information on our ministry at

Thank you and God Bless You!    

Saturday, January 11, 2014

Healing and Faith - Growing Deep Roots

I watered and tended my violets this morning (I have around 40 or so), and noticed how they are strong and thriving. Many times over the past year+ I have mentioned I guess my violets would die because I just lost interest in them and didn't water them until they were hanging over the edge of the pots. 

You see, I have been through a lot and have not been what I would call normal for quite a while.  I had a tragic loss of my baby grandaughter to cancer which sent our family reeling and trying to once again find our firm footing.  Only just recently did I start to get back to semi-normal and watered and tended them weekly as they require. 

Even through all that time of suffering, apparently they were growing stronger roots so that they could come back better than ever, because they are blooming and standing tall again today. Through faith and calling on strength that only God can give, we can go through periods of stress or illness in our lives and come out blooming with life in our bodies again.  Through nourishing my mind with God's word and promises, I found that I was growing deeper roots so that I could come back to life and start to see the joy in living again and let my light shine again.

Thank you, God, for each new day and all the opportunities to live. Grief has taken its toll on my heart, but it has made me see the world and people through new eyes.