God Kisses

bwhite-lips1Some people call it lucky, some call it blessings, I call it God kisses. You know, that moment when you are totally blown away by a smell, sound, something you see or a tangible gift. They can seem random but always come right when I need them. Sometime in droves and sometimes they fall down from the sky as one long embrace.

God kisses, I need God kisses. Mind you, I’m not talking about a “good works,” or “what comes around, goes around” ideology because honestly, there is no reason I deserve these special moments. I believe they just come simply because we’re loved, no matter what. They are pure grace.

This is entry about a day filled with God kisses. This entry is about thanksgiving even in times of trials.

20140715-091818.jpgWe’re in Shawano, WI at the moment, volunteering at Camp Tekakwitha. (I plan to write more about that soon) It’s been a long week physically, my cancer treatment was successful but exhausting. On top of that, we had the added bonus of a few other ailments visit the Holland bus. Craig got himself wrangled up in a bed of Poison Oak and ended up consumed head to toe. We tried to find healing with natural means but couldn’t keep up with the pain and itching. So, he went to  urgent care and is slowly recovering with the help of steroids. At the same time, our son lacerated his left leg while playing a camp game and ended up in the ER with a whooping 17 stitches. So by the weekend, I really needed some TLC.

It was Saturday. I decided to run into town to replenish my ingredients for my nutritional therapy. I had an other treasures I was hoping to find as well, but only a few dollars to spare, along with a TJmaxx $50 gift card from my friend Kim. My first stop was St. Vincent’s thrift store, where I found fabric for our couch, which was totally shredded after 3 years of use. The fabric cost $7.50! Score!! My day was off to a great start. I recognized the little kiss and was so grateful.

Next, I met a friend for lunch. I really wanted to see her but was concerned about my budget. When I arrived I discovered it was “Restaurant Week” and my whole meal, including an appetizer, main and dessert was only $10! So, I was able to experience a rejuvenating lunch with a dear friend and another God kiss!

Plantlife EO'sNext I went to TJmaxx to find sheets for our Queen size bed. We’ve had the same sheets for about 10 years. You know how it goes, there is always something else that is needed, so you just keep making due. But this time, with the gift card in hand, I was ready to take the plunge and by new bedding. So, I went in but before I could get to the back of the store to look at the sheets, I got side tracked. Near the front of the store there was a stand with all sorts of soaps and Essential Oils by Plantlife. Why is that significant you ask? Well, folks began to respond to my blogs about my cancer journey, many of them suggested that I look at adding EO’s to my treatment. I agreed and already had a few basics on hand, however the cost of buying the really good ones was discouraging. So, back to TJmaxx. I approached the display and found a gift set of 8 EO’s by a company that’s mission is to consistently create all-natural body care products using the freshest organic herbs and 100% pure essential oils.  The package which would normally total over a $100 was on sale for $40! The extra few dollars on the gift card I used to buy Craig some of Plantlife’s soap to help with his rash.

The kisses were falling like manna from the sky. My last stop before going to get my nutritional therapy supplies was Goodwill. As I walk through the doors, I just knew I would find bedding. Sure enough! I found a brand new Ikea slat grey bottom sheet for $6.

I ended my day at Woodman’s grocery store where I had just enough left over to purchase all of my ingredients for my favorite green morning smoothie, filled with cancer fighting properties and healing nutrients.

These kisses are beautiful gifts, they come in all shapes and forms. This time they came in the form of treasures but they are all meant to lead us to the same giver. Take note, celebrate with thanksgiving and give a kiss back.

Hey, are you keen to try my Green Smoothie out?

Here’s the recipe:

Green Morning Alkalizing Smoothy

1 cup Frozen Pineapple chunks
1/2 Frozen Banana or 1/2 fresh Avocado  (this creates the smoothy texture)
1-2 TBS fresh chopped Ginger
1/2 cup fresh Spinach leaves
1 TBS fresh Basil
1 TBS fresh Cilantro
1 TBS fresh Parsley
Cayenne pepper to taste (I use about 1/4 tsp.)
1-2 cups Coconut Water
Blend well and drink up!

 

 

A Perspective on Healing Part 2

delicate_bloodroot-normalI had the pleasure of meeting a hero and a life giver two weeks ago. Debbie, a suburban mother, wife, Saint and business owner, welcomed our family into her home. After a lovely meal, Debbie began to share her journey fighting stage four melanoma near her left temple. My ears perked because I was diagnosed two years ago just before we left in our bus. Those spots have been taken care of but new spots are appearing as of six months ago.

Debbie shared how she had a biopsy that showed the severity of her situation. A feeling of panic set in as her results were read by her doctor. She was going to have to have a major surgery that would probably include a reconstruction of her face.  However, the doctor was not available for surgery for five weeks. Distraught, Debbie began to pray, research and look for other options. She said that God and her research lead her to a natural healing site where she learned about how food affects the healing process and there she also discovered “Black Salve.”

blacktopsalveBlack Salve is a herbal based product, featuring two principal herbs that are said historically to have pharmacologically demonstrated anti-cancer properties, Blood Root and Chaparral. Recent versions of Black Salve include Galangal root or Ginger root, and sometimes Graviola leaf. She dug more and found forums from around the globe with stories from folks who had success with the salve and other natural remedies. She decided to try it and over the course of five treatments and six months, she was healed. She was a cancer free and a survivor.

I wanted to hear more but I will admit that while she was telling her story there was a range of emotions going on inside of me, from excitement to skepticism. I mean, I’m a pretty open person when it comes to health care. I understand how our system is set up and am happy to use it to my advantage. However, I also have experienced the limitations  of that system and have been know to venture into homeopathic ideologies.

Hope began to fill my whole being as Debbie shared the details and my mind was being blown away by the simplicity of it all. She said that she began by alkalizing her body. Cancer can not grow in an alkaline environment. Typically our Western diet leans towards the acidic side of the PH scale. And so, Debbie removed meat, dairy, refined sugar and wheat from her diet. (You can find all sorts of information about Alkaline foods on-line)

Then Debbie researched the different formulas of Black Salve that are currently on the market. She also spoke with naturalpathic doctors and survivors from around the world on the web forums and found Alpha Omega Labs, which ultimatley lead her to the purest and most trusted formula.

Once it arrived she took a small pea size amount and placed it on the spot where the cancer had manifest. She covered it with a bandage for twenty four hours. After the time lapse she then cleaned the salve off of the spot, continuing to clean the spot twice a day with hydrogen peroxide, then vitamin E oil, keeping it covered and protected.

But, how does it work? I asked. She said that the Black Salve has been classified chemically as an “escharotic”, which literally means, it creates an “eschar” (a piece of dead tissue). In cases of skin cancer treatment using the Black Salve, the belief is that the eschar is the dead tumor. After treatment, the eschar is expelled by the body. (usually within 5 – 20 days even if the tumor is quite deep).  In layman’s terms the salve exposes the cancer and the bodies immune system kicks into high gear. The white blood cells rally and begin to move the foreign object out of the body. The body marches that cancer right up and out of the spot that the salve once sat. Eventually the escher falls off and the skin heals over beautifully.

I listened in awe as Debbie shared about her first round of treatment. It lasted about a month, she said. It was a pretty painful process as her cancer was so far along. She experienced headaches, a pulling feeling and was exhausted but had excellent resources and support from her husband and children.

Debbie’s first escher was the size of a dime.  She was then told to look for a white spot, which would signifiy that the cancer had a root and she needed to re-apply. She ended up having four rounds before she no longer saw a white root. It was 6 months of healing but in the end, she said it was worth it. With minimal scaring Debbie is now cancer free. Her story is inspiring and has had tangible, life changing effects on any who will listen.

I went home that evening with hope and a little container of Black Salve. I’m three weeks into my process of healing and plan on sharing the details of my journey in Part Three… Stay tuned. 

1185235_317813568364976_686088215_n*Debbie generously allowed me to share this with you all and when I asked her to read over it to make sure it was all kosher she responded, “I believe you got it all correct Jana! Wow… You retold my story pretty darn well! Funny to read this just now as I am leaving my store for the day & just spent an hour sharing my story with a gal who came into my shop. She was so excited to try it as her Mom died of cancer & she has concerning sun spots/pre-cancer. We ended up hugging & exchanging phone numbers and talking about how AWESOME God is when he gives us trials & survivals to share with others on ALL kinds of topics! We are one body at the end of the day~ we are called to unite in truth & share our journeys with one another! Your journey of band, bus & believing for better has touched so many- including me! All Glory to God for allowing our paths to cross!!!”

A Perspective on Healing Part 1

Healing MedicineWhen it comes to our health, there is an ebb and flow between managing and healing.

Ultimately, the day we are born we begin to die and so the idea of managing that process is appealing. However, when debilitating disease or life threatening accidents happen we begin to not just pursue managing but we fervently seek healing. We want to live!

Around the world different people groups and cultures have valued both but have not always had a balance.  Our Western Medicine culture tips heavy towards the managing side. In Western Medicine there is more of  an emphasis on expertise, counting on professionals, science labs and pharmaceutical companies to create ways to manage issues and prolong our health. Don’t get me wrong, this isn’t necessarily a bad thing but systemically in the United States our medical ethos is driven by the almighty dollar and doesn’t always have our best interest at hand. It is precipitated by the consumer’s demand for the healing process to move quickly; even if it is not natural, even if it may have side effects and have repercussions down the line.

For instance, if one were to experience a common inner ear infection, the prescription would most likely be suspension (synthetic) drops and possibly antibiotics. Those resources can only be had by going to a doctor to diagnose the ear infection and write the prescription out for the patient. Three things happen here, one because we have to go to an expert to get a diagnose, we enter the system and essentially say we are not qualified to take ownership of our healthcare. Two, because it is the accepted practice, if one doesn’t go to a doctor for a diagnosis there is less credibility and those around the one suffering may have less empathy. Basically, having the doctor affirm your diagnoses give it credibility. And, third, because we’ve put so much trust in the system, we don’t question the prescription. Or, if we do, it’s really only to know what to prepare for once we take it. (i.e.. dizziness, nausea, etc…)

But, what if one were to opt out? Swim upstream? What if we were to look a the relationship between natural resources that the earth has to offer and our bodies God-given ability to heal? What if we were to even go as far as to seek supernatural healing?

Chances are those who are die-hard Western Medicine supporters would view this exploration unfavorably. They would label these free thinkers as homeopathic freaks or fruit loops living off the grid, new agers, rebellious, trouble makers, leftists, outcasts but really at the heart of it they would be viewed as irresponsible. And responsibility is a big deal in a society that defines it as “following the rules, not questioning authority and duty.”

However, there is a rising up of well-rounded, intelligent, responsible, citizens who are finding the current system out of balance and seeking other resources.  I had the pleasure of meeting one of those citizens two weeks ago. Debbie, a suburban mother, wife and business owner, welcomed our family into her home. After a lovely meal, Debbie began to share her journey fighting stage four melanoma near her left temple. She shared how the Lord lead her to an alternative option. My ears perked because I was diagnosed two years ago before we left in our bus. Those spots have been removed but a few new spots showed up about six months ago.

I have had all sorts of input about what and how I should be caring for myself from reliable resource, folks who love me and are concerned for my health. 95% of the folks have a panicked and demanding tone in their advice to “Go Get It Checked Out.”  However, we have no formal insurance, so I can’t play the game exactly the way most people do. I have to find creative ways to work within the system on a limited cash basis. Because of the fact, I’m a bit more hands on and picky with my health care and the care of my family.  And needless to say, two years ago when I went to the dermatologist I wasn’t won over by his expertise or charm.

healing_1So, over the past six months I, along with my family, have been praying for supernatural healing and we’ve been sharing our need for healing and provision with anyone who will listen. Open to going the modern medical route but waiting for the right connection, for the right referral. Waiting is hard, but we have learned that God hears. I just never guessed it would come the way it did.

Here’s the thing though, as a person of faith and having experienced God’s faithfulness to the fullest, it makes total sense. At the end of the day, this meeting with Debbie was one more reminder that God went for the jugular when he sent his own son. He didn’t deal with the problem as something remote and unimportant. My body will surely die, one day. But until then any healing that happens in my life, physically, emotionally or spiritually is purely a reflection of what Jesus did when he personally took on the human condition, entered the disordered mess of struggling humanity in order to set it right once and for all.

There is much more to cover and I will write a Part 2, offering all of the details about Debbie’s story and how it is interwoven with mine. In Part 3 I will share the tangible process that I’ve been going through to fight my skin cancer. Part 4 I try to understand nutritional therapy and Part 5  I chronicle the emotional toll that the healing process takes.

Thank you for reading, and for your continued prayers and well wishes.

These Old Bones

fear came knocking

it found me waiting

they call it skin cancer

i call it frustaiting

i’ve got things to do, you see

this is not how it’s suppose to be

there’s the downtrodden and tired

i long to offer good company

i’ve got things to do, i say!

and you’re getting in the way

souls to offer healing and music to play

you’ll just have to come another day

surrendering my mind, body and soul

is that the key?

well, take these old bones

and LORD have mercy

take these old bones

and set me free.