Moving Forward

Moving Forward

Having cancer wasn’t part of my plans. And having cancer a second time?


Indeed, cancer is like a thief who arrives suddenly, stealing all of the things you hold dear. He then decides to stick around, drinking coffee with you each morning and lying beside you at night. If a bit of goodness comes your way, he’s always ready to snatch it away.

Eventually, as the months have passed, I can’t even recognize myself in the mirror. Body and soul, I have changed.

But there is that grasping onto the past, all of those dreams and plans that I had. Having lost control of my body and life, I want my old self back. That self who could walk without pain. That person who could easily work ten hours per day. Someone who could spend hours reading and then suddenly get the urge to write.

Now things have changed. I have changed.

Reading Wonderlife by Mike Foster, I find a quote to ponder:

“God can’t change who we’re becoming until we let go of who we were.” –Bob Goff

That’s my challenge at this point. Accept how my life has changed–how I have changed–and mourn for what I have lost. And then move forward.




Small Changes

Small ChangesThe other night I was bored. Really bored.

This doesn’t happen often as I typically have something that I should be doing. However, with the current flux in my work hours, I was left feeling depressed and shiftless.

Both my real life and virtual kitties were napping, so I turned on Netflix and began browsing through the most recent movies. Nothing new caught my fancy, but then I saw one movie that my husband and I had enjoyed quite awhile ago. With that in mind, I clicked on it to begin watching.

The movie was Constantine.

I was not a Christian when we first saw the movie. My tastes in entertainment often tended toward the darker side, to be honest. Back then, this movie was perfect for me.

But now? When I attempted to watch it during my night of boredom, I was a bit disgusted. It no longer held any interest for me, and I quickly turned it off, preferring instead to read before going to bed.

Part of the change in my tastes could, of course, be due to the years that have passed since the movie was originally released. But I also think it could be a result of my faith and the different perspective on the content found in this and similar entertainment that it provides.

I hadn’t really noticed the growth, but it was there, small changes over time.

As Ellie’s father says in the movie Contact,  “Small moves, Ellie, small moves.”


Solar Cooking

Solar Oven in Action
Solar Oven in Action

A few years ago, I became involved in the green movement. Not in protesting, but living. I ate vegan foods, bought organic, and switched to cloth bags. Cooking was from scratch and always whole foods.

While I did the homey stuff, my husband converted our house to LED lighting and started learning about solar power. Doing my own reading on solar power, I saw the next step in our progression toward a greener and more environmental life. I purchased a solar oven.

Our solar cooker was delivered while I was at work. When I arrived home, it was sitting in our living room. My husband’s reaction was not what I expected. He looked disapproving and asked, “What did you do?” Obviously, our solar oven sat in the closet, neglected for at least a year.

Then one day, things changed for some reason. We took it out of the closet and began experimenting. Reading the directions and looking through the included cookbook, we were a little befuddled. How did we align the cooker without blinding ourselves? How did we tell when the food was done? Did we have to watch it constantly, or could we forget it? Cooking with the sun had a bit of a learning curve, but we persevered.

We started with cooking the simplest foods—boiling potatoes or rice—and then progressed to more involved recipes. We began to see the potential of a solar oven, both for easy cooking and energy efficiency. It became our version of a summer kitchen, something that allowed us to have hot meals without heating our own home. Our traditional oven languished during the hot months, but we loved it.

Even for those who seek positive change, it can be difficult—especially for us older folks. We eagerly sought a more environmentally lifestyle, but we resisted solar cooking at first. It took a few years, along with a solar cooker sitting in a closet for a while, for us to take it on with a gusto.

And what of change that isn’t desired? Perhaps making those life changes that are wanted, such as our move toward a more environmental lifestyle, makes the others a little easier.