The Sunshine Factor

where sunshine is a way of life


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Sisters

sisters are gifts!

sisters are gifts!

SISTERS*
by Debb Stanton

There are many types of sisters out there
the kind you are blood sisters with
the ones you choose to consider to be your sisters
and the Sisters in the Catholic Church
(I am not Catholic, but I appreciate the Benedectine order)

The nuns are the lucky ones:
they get to devote their whole lives, their whole beings to God
It’s nice to have a sister in your blood family:
she shares your beginnings
The ones you find along life’s way
to brighten your life and brighten your day —
now THOSE are the major finds of a life!

This is to my sister
(the find along the way kind):
I love how you:
make me smile
make me laugh
make me think
make me feel
bring hope alive
dole out courage
are always there
won’t give up on me
are the ideal friend, too

Know that I love you
I pray for you
I am inspired by you
I am proud to know you
I am blessed to know you
and I am healed

* Lovingly dedicated to you-know-who
300px-Natural_blonde


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The Adventure of Debb’s Blog and Her New Trail: Part Two

nature often inspired Debb to write

nature often inspired Debb to write

Want to know how Debb decided what posts would be in her blog?  She explains it below.

I promised God that I would post something every day, since He had inspired me to write a blog.  Amazingly, I was able to accomplish this.  (I try not to make promises lightly, since I am a woman of my word; but this promise to God – well, I thought that maybe I was promising in the heat of excitement and realization, and maybe I wouldn’t carry it out.)

In September I noticed that my early morning walks often yielded an idea for a post (or many posts).  I drafted the post or posts in my head while walking and enjoying nature.  (Oftentimes, the posts did talk about the nature I’d seen.)  I’d come home from work and rush to the computer so I could capture my thoughts.

The more I wrote, the more lively my imagination became.  I no longer cared what my audience would think.  Whatever grabbed my attention is what would show up in my blog.  I laughed at myself within posts (for instance, when I had bragged to my boss I was a good cook, and when he came to dinner, the dinner bombed – haha) and put myself out there as someone who makes mistakes – plenty of them at times!

Next up:  what forms of writing did Debb employ?  See you next week!


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Jenn’s Cancer is Back – Please Pray!

Howdy folks,

I may have mentioned Jennifer D to you before.  She is my pastor’s wife who played guitar, along with her husband, for our wedding (and sang for us too), and she is an extremely lovely person with a very talented voice.  Today in church she sang “At the Cross”, and there probably wasn’t a dry eye in the place.

I bring Jenn up now to you now if you are so inclined to pray for her — this request is actually from her.   After successfully beating colon cancer a couple years ago, she has had numerous surgeries for possible lung cancer.   That’s the real kicker – she’s not a smoker.  Now, as it turns out, they did find a tumor in between her two lungs — AND the cancer has now affected her lymph nodes.

Jenn and her husband see the oncologist on Tuesday, October 29th.   Please surround her with your prayers.   I so appreciate the prayers for her, as she will feel better as she feels your prayers.    She has a tremendously strong faith, but even she could use a boost right about now.   Jenn is a wonderful person, and I want her to be around for her brand new grandson (first grandchild) who lives way out in Montana.  I want her to be around, period.

Sincerely,

Debb


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Editorial: I Don’t Believe It

Grief

Grief (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Today I’d like to address the issue of grief and the common misperceptions about it.

I ran into a friend the other day who was grieving the loss of her dog.  I expressed my condolescences, being an animal lover myself.  “No, no,” she assured me, “I am doing just fine.   I’m in a new season of my life now, and I really like it.”   That might have been believable, had she not been overly exuberant about her new exercise routine and all the changes she was making in her life – almost like she was trying to talk herself into being “okay” about her loss.

Some people claim that God does not want us to be sad or get depressed.  This is what I don’t believe.  God gave us various emotions for a reason, so we could feel all the highs and lows that life dishes out.  Even Jesus wept and grieved.  I don’t believe we are to always be happy.  Nice goal, but totally inaccurate.

What I do believe is that we live in the real world.  Sometimes it is great and we are able to grab the brass ring.  Other times, it is human to have feelings on the negative side.  It is okay to be human.  It is not okay to always put on a brave front.   It is not okay to deny yourself feelings.  Besides, it is how you act on those feelings, and not the feelings themselves, that is important.

September is National Mental Health Month.   Speaking of that, I’d like to quickly address the subject of depression.  There is a type of depression that has nothing to do with what’s going on in your life (situational).   Some depression is caused by imbalances in the brain.   That kind of depression (major depression) and other mental illnesses cannot simply be swept under the rug or denied — much like I could not wish away the cancer that my body came down with four years ago.

Just to recap my opinion about grief…to get over a loss, walk right through it.  Sure, it’s going to hurt.  But living in denial of your feelings can have negative consequences in your future, too.

 

Debb Stanton


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Poetry Saturday: Mister

English: The original Piggly Wiggly Store, Mem...

English: The original Piggly Wiggly Store, Memphis, Tennessee. The first self service grocery store, opened 1916. Français : Le premier supermarché Piggly Wiggly ouvert en 1916 à Memphis, Tennessee (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Mister
I went grocery shopping yesterday

I was in the canned fruit aisle

She was in a wheelchair at the other end of the aisle

and her husband was behind her pushing a shopping cart

 

The lady kept asking “where’s the fruit?”

even though I called out to her and pointed:

“I just passed the applesauce, ma’am,

it’s on your left.”

 

She probably didn’t heart me

but by the tone of her husband’s retort

you would think

she had committed a federal crime

 

He responded, “You don’t need that.

I spend too much on your groceries.”

He yelled at her further

but I won’t repeat it here ~

you get the sickening idea.

 

Fast forward to my next stop:

a grocery store where they have fresh produce and dairy

A man one aisle over was yelling at his wife

I thought:  “Oh no, not another one!”

I was horrified when I turned the corner:

it was them!

I will call the man Mister

but he really does not deserve a nice title like that

 

This time he shouted at her

that he might as well leave her and go home

and when he came back

maybe she would have a shopping list ready, for once

 

Where is the love, man?

Do you hate yourself so much

you take it out on your wife?

Don’t you have any empathy

and did you forget –

you are no better than she?

 

My tender heart gets torn up so easily

when I see and hear things like this

I probably should go shopping when the stores first open

(since I am a morning person anyway)

and there might be less hate around

due to not a lot of people being up that early

 

Hate unfortunately is ever-present

but I still like to avoid it

Let’s let our love shine forth

so people don’t have to be humiliated

and treated so badly


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Poetry Saturday: Happy Birthday Again!

English: Breat Cancer ribbons

English: Breast Cancer ribbons (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

HAPPY BIRTHDAY AGAIN
Many August twenty-fourths ago
I lost my dear sister to cancer

Then on that same day four years ago
I received my breast cancer diagnosis

August 24
is my second birthday of the year
I got a second chance at life
so I can call it a rebirth.

The only problem is
Sandra couldn’t be cured of her cancer

So now I live life for both of us
waiting patiently to see her again in heaven

Trying to live fully
so that my life counts

Forgetting the bad and the have-nots
and remembering with gratefulness the haves and the good

Happy 4th Birthday!


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Stories

I am a music lover who particularly enjoys songs that tell a story. (I’m not surprised, since I like stories so much.) The more you listen to a story song, the more details you pick up. Stories can bring on many different emotions and can teach you something, if you’re paying attention.

I think human beings are a form of storytelling. Sometimes there’s plenty of action or suspense or mystery going on in their lives, questions to be answered, character descriptions…

What story are you telling by the way you live your life? Do people see the real you, or are you an actor portraying yourself?

Let’s carry this one step further. If you were a story or a book, what type would you be? Adventure, comedy, poetry? Sunshine Factor wants to know. Please let me hear from you soon. Thanks!

00000——–> the zeros are a gift to you from my cat Rachael.


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Sunshine Factor Blog Turns One Today!

copy-sg201935balloons.jpg Hello, dear readers, followers, and friends!   of193teddybearbirthday

I thank God above for Sunshine Factor reaching its first milestone. A year ago today my first post went public; I had no idea what life in the blogging world would bring, but I’ve loved my first year! I have met so many nice people through WordPress; I am humbled to have received 160 followers (not counting my Facebook peeps). I have written 575 posts so far, which leads me to believe I do have something to say. 🙂  In the past year I’ve started some other blogs, I collaborate with Eric in the Story Squared blog, and I collaborate with Lyn in the Sunday Showcase blog.  Adventures aplenty abound!  🙂

Blogging has turned my world upside-down (in a good way), and I am so thankful for all of you out there and for the chance to share some of my writing. I have also learned a lot from you, and I cherish our friendship.

I recently changed my blog theme to include some of my favorite things: castles and tartans! Let’s see how long I keep this theme! LOL

Thanks,  and God bless you,                                                  4201_1140582920254_1419477_n-puppies-in-a-bowl

Debb

 

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Poetry Saturday: Prayer

English: Holy Willie's Prayer is a poem by Rob...

English: Holy Willie’s Prayer is a poem by Robert Burns. It was written in 1785 and first printed anonymously in an eight page pamphlet in 1799. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

It’s another day
a good reason to pray

What is prayer, really?
Just talking to God, ideally

He’s interested in what we have to say
then we choose – will we obey?

We can listen to him too
He can make sense of our goo

Don’t make a fuss
Prayer can never be taken from us


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Death of a Dream, Birth of Forever

When 15
I had dreams of becoming a concert pianist

All factors
seemed to point in that direction

till one day
it dawned on me

I was told
“Get off that piano! You’ve been on it way too long today”

This happened every day
until finally I saw the light

I would never get to Juilliard
much less Carnegie Hall

Though I didn’t know it at the time
that was the death of my dream

Meanwhile I continued working with words
(had loved them since a child)

Occasional poems would be written
and I was told to journal every day

The journal was opened in spurts
but never for more than a week at a time

I just couldn’t connect

Then divorce happened
and I went to writing school

Cancer then showed up
but I flung defeat in its face

With the help of many
I overcame my malady

My optimism never left
and it pointed me in a new direction

I finished writing school

I started dating my ex-husband
the past was exonerated

and a new dream began
Hope encouraged me to start a blog

My sweetheart was back in my life
and my words began to find a home

on the computer screen
and in my imagination

No longer
did I have to try to force myself to write every day

Now you wouldn’t be able
to tear me away from it

Sometimes I write more than once a day
I have found my true calling
(I believe)

Now I am living a new dream
still love music of all types

but my dream is that of forever

Now married to my former husband
who encourages my writing and loves it

I have come full circle
and forever is already here


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Following Your Heart

37326028“You don’t have to live your life the way other people expect you to.” – Chris Guillebeau

I wish I had read this quote years and years and YEARS ago! It is so true. I found out during my cancer treatment that I did not wear the prosthetics and the wigs that people were trying to convince me to do, and this made some people angry. What, that I didn’t follow their directions? (or avoid things because of THEIR fears?) Once I followed my own heart and got boldness from cancer, I’ve never strayed back into my former people-pleasing ways. I have never been one to follow the crowd, and now I figure, why not live that way with ZEST? ZING? CONFIDENCE? 🙂

I’m still the person that I was before, but the real me has come out. Now I’m a sensitive, loving, sweet and spunky (no longer timid)  lady. 🙂


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Quote Series Day 17 – and Debb’s Prayer Poem

“Whoever acknowledges me before men, I will also acknowledge him before my Father in heaven.  But whoever disowns me before men, I will disown him before my Father in heaven.”

—– Jesus  (Matthew 10:32, 33)

THIS DAY by Debbie Loesel Stanton

Dear Jesus!

Here I take my stand, dear Lord ~ ~

I acknowledge Jesus as the Lord of my life,

and therefore I acknowledge you, Jehovah G-d, too, on this day and for all time.

You are the one who inspires this blog

and brings the sunshine I am always talking about.  🙂

I ask for help and guidance in my blog,

You have saved my soul

and saved my life from the ravages of cancer;

I dedicate Sunshine Factor WordPress blog to you this day

and may I be your instrument

to bring joy and your love and blessings to others on their own journey.

In Jesus’ name I pray (simply saying what’s on my mind and heart; talking with you),

Amen.

P.S.  Lord, I also ask you to bless the other Sunshine Factor – the company who makes animal and bird feed and vitamins.  🙂


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“God never shuts a door without opening a window.”

— Unknown

 

I have called God “God of the Second Chance” for a long time now, because it’s true – just when you think you can’t go on or something is so terrible, an answer comes or the situation changes.  That is why this quote is so appropro!  🙂


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Scripture Memory

Hello friends,

I am curious about scripture memory — what method do you use – how often do you choose a new verse to memorize, and how, for example – could you help me? I have the Topical Memory System but didn’t get past the third verse —

Thank you,
Debb


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“Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.”

John 8:32

 

The context in which this was written defines freedom as holding to the teachings of Jesus and being his disciple.  I know that for me personally, when I live my life this way, I do feel a freedom.  As Christians, we do not and should not expect freedom from pain and loss and hardship.  But freedom from inner worries and turmoil is the freedom I feel.  When nagging thoughts from the past come up, I can be free of those, too.


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English: A logo for the Quote of the Day on Si...

English: A logo for the Quote of the Day on Simple English Wikiquote (but may be used elsewhere). (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

“Being perfect is only a figment of someone else’s imagination.”

— Debbie Loesel Stanton

 

I wrote this during my anti-perfectionism series in April.  Even more so now, I don’t believe I am or ever can be perfect; that is why me being perfect (or needing to be) is in someone else’s mind.   I love myself, imperfections and all.

How do you feel about this subject?


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My Father-In-Law’s First Blog!

Sunday greetings to you all!

Today I finished setting up a blog for my father-in-law, and it is now out there!  You know how I love to blog, start new blogs, change them quite frequently, etc.  (Yes, Tom, I know – grin)grace-family

Please visit Bob’s blog at http://mealtimeprayers.wordpress.com and give it a try.  These aren’t the typical prayers you say at a meal.  They’re almost like gems of teaching.

Thanks,

Debb


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Houses

You may remember that I love to look at various types of home architecture.  Especially in my neighborhood, there are no two houses that look alike (well, except for the townhomes, which come with three floor plans).

I got to walking in my neighborhood

dreaming in my own little world as usual

wondering about the lives of the inhabitants inside the homes

Are they happy?

Now that they’ve “arrived”, have they found the contentment they had sought?

Or have prior conflicts and shattered relationships just followed them?

 

And how is the house of my heart?

Dusty and cold?

Or filled with sponges that soak up everything around it?

 

I don’t mind being a sponge

but sometimes I wish I wouldn’t be so absorbent

pay attention to what’s going on with me

yet still care what happens to my loved ones

 

Can there please be a happy medium?

I look for that every day

I don’t want to be carried out with the tide

 

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Debb…Now

English: The original Piggly Wiggly Store, Mem...

English: The original Piggly Wiggly Store, Memphis, Tennessee. The first self service grocery store, opened 1916. Français : Le premier supermarché Piggly Wiggly ouvert en 1916 à Memphis, Tennessee (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

My immune system is very low, probably because of late-onset cancer survivor side effects.  That’s what would explain my many bouts with illness this past winter; usually years go by without my getting even a cold.

I figure there are ways I can enhance my immune system, which coincides with the change to my eating patterns that I have already been working on.    I will list the various aspects of what my life is like now – not that it’s earth-shattering news, but it will serve as a reminder to me.  Somehow, if it’s out there for you all to see, it makes it more real.

  • The juice of one lemon in hot water, drunk when I get up in the morning, before eating or drinking anything else.  It is said to help with digestion and rebalancing your insides, and I’m sure the Vitamin C won’t hurt either.  If it’s a typical lemon from the grocery store, I get the juice from only  half of it and save the rest for the next morning.  However, lately in the story I have found Tropicana sells bags of small lemons, so I have one of those per day.
  • Speaking of lemon juice, I am willfully surrendering lemonade, one of my favorite drinks.  Forget the added sugar — I will be satisfied with water.
  • My dietician is delighted that I am digging (loving) vegetables and fruits – the more variety and colors on one plate, the better.  They are helping me to feel better and not so tired.  Long Live Vitamins!  🙂
  • Speaking of vitamins, I want to get into a regular routine again for taking them.   It’s amazing how little time this takes, but I sometimes don’t take vitamins or other supplements simply because I want to get going and out of the house for work.
  • My daily walk of 30 minutes.  I want to do this in the morning before my shower, then any dancing around the house or walking at work I do will be a bonus.
  • For sure, taking a little time each day for spiritual reflection will be a good practice.  (So would listening to soft music when I come home from work each day be helpful, but one thing at a time.  🙂 )

Do you know of any other healthy practices that would help me?


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NaPoWriMo #13

Richard Warren, among 10 passengers in the lan...

Richard Warren, among 10 passengers in the landing party, when the Mayflower arrived at Cape Cod, November 11, 1620 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

PILGRIM

The people coming over on the Mayflower

were a brave people

guided by their faith and aspirations.

They chose a road little traveled

because it would lead to a goal ~

freedom and life.

In America, they learned new ways

and built community amongst themselves.

 

I am here now

as a modern-day pilgrim.

My course is set

and my faith is ready to lead the way.

There are obstacles to overcome

but this is just part of life.

A whole new world awaits me

though the path may get rough.

I forge ahead,

knowing that trials and learning experiences

will build my character,

and with pain comes beauty out of ashes.

 

I am — a pilgrim.


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NaPoWriMo #11

Writing

Writing (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

BEING

If you ask me, I’d rather be writing

I’m not into fighting.

To write is the greatest thing in the world

Let the flags be unfurled.

It is important to find your place

whether it’s running a country or running a race.

To be who you are meant to be

Is for everyone my humble plea.

Remember you have power

even in the shower

to hear your heart’s call

and for nothing less fall.


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Happy Easter!

“Christ has risen.”

“He is risen indeed!”

So goes the saying that has been heard on Easter for centuries.   I personally look forward to hearing this each year, sort of like being able to greet the birthday person with “Happy Birthday!”  A Celebration!

The darkness of Good Friday, with solemn remembrance of the ultimate sacrifice on the cross, brought salvation to all from the hand of God.

But that would not have been really complete if the Resurrection, Jesus coming back to life and rising from the dead, had not happened.

Acknowledging what Jesus did brings us eternal life.  Our bodies age and die, but our spirits get to live on and on – for always and forever.  The life we are living right now is merely a shell of what is to come.  How beautiful!  How amazing!  How forever!

Christ has risen!

 

English: Christ is Risen! A nice pre-1917 East...

English: Christ is Risen! A nice pre-1917 Easter postcard. Flickr data on 2011-08-13: Tags: Old picture, Christ is Risen!, Easter, postcard, Public Domains License: CC BY-SA 2.0 User: paukrus Ruslan (Photo credit: Wikipedia)


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“For Those Tears I Died” Song

Since it is Good Friday, I was thinking about a song that I learned in college dorm devotions and chapel.  It definitely speaks of what Jesus came to earth for and how His suffering was not in vain.    This song is probably the only song I would ever sing for a public solo, and here are the words as best as I can remember them:  (I am sure they are the public domain by now)

 

You said you’d come and share all my sorrows,

( )

( ) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

you said you’d be there for all my tomorrows.

I came so close to sending you away,

but just like you promised, you came here to stay,

I just had to pray.

 

CHORUS:

And Jesus said “Come to the Water, stand by my side.

I know you are thirsty, you won’t be denied.

I felt every teardrop when in darkness you cried,

and I strove to remind you that for those tears I died.”

 

______


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The Beauty of Jesus

Chinese depiction of Jesus and the rich man (M...

Chinese depiction of Jesus and the rich man (Mark 10) – 1879, Beijing, China (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The Beauty of Jesus

Beautifully,  nature glorifies God

Even the rocks and hills cry out

Always enduring with love

Uttering words of comfort to the soul

There’s no one as wonderful as He

If I took a million years to tell Him, to

Fully express my love for Him, I’d still need more time

Understanding can always be found with Him

Love is His nature, and I am His.


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Poetry Saturday – “Faith, Hope and Love”

Today’s poem uses the “negative description” style – example:  “love does not live under stones.”

FAITH, HOPE AND LOVE

Faith does not hide in the gutter

and it usually doesn’t disappear in the hard times.

Rather, it burns brightly in the heart

and gives the soul something to hang onto.

 

Hope does not drown in the ocean

since it does not disappear somewhere in the tide.

Hope springs up like a tiny tulip

in the last of the winter’s snow.

 

Love does not discriminate

and it is not just for a certain age group.

The demographics of love

are rooted in the universal language.

 

Faith, hope and love exist today

like the Good Book says,

But these three entities are not equal.

The greatest of these is Love.

__


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When Your Heart Cries

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When your heart cries

do you listen?

Are you surprised at what it’s telling you?

Or do you disregard

this very important part of you?

 

Please, do not put regulations or rules on your heart.

Let it live free

and know that

for this time you are supposed to be here

created to be just the very way you are,

please do not think you’re unimportant,

because you do really mean so much to us.

 

I get sad when I think about

people who put themselves down,

they think their head should rule their heart

and they’re sometimes busy

putting up a facade-like wall.

 

They say I’m a good judge of people and character,

thank you very much,

and I already know

that I have not found anyone on WordPress

that I dislike.

You each make my day

in your own unique way

and I wouldn’t give you up for anything.

Neither will I throw your trust away.

 

I’m hoping and believing for the day

when the only thing we cry about is

the joy we see, feel and experience,

and the total awesomeness of

everything around us.

 

Meanwhile,

know that I love and appreciate you

and I’m happy to be walking along with you.

 

Love,

Debb

 


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Where Does She Get Her Ideas?

Have You Any Ideas^^^ - NARA - 534177

Have You Any Ideas^^^ – NARA – 534177 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I wrote a post last fall, when Sunshine Factor was pretty young, about going for a walk and getting a lot of good writing ideas.

Today I found out that I can get a lot during my meditation time.

And yesterday as I was on my blog I got the words “wax bikini”.   Weird, huh?  But I decided to go with it.  The result was the limerick I put on my other blog for today’s post, http://poetryweekly.wordpress.com.   I figure, I get these thoughts for a reason.  🙂

Inspiration hits me through many venues, so I go about my life aware of the possibilities.

Audience participation segment:

How do you get your inspiration for what to write?  Or, if you are not a blogger but get ideas for other things, i.e. hobbies, how do the ideas make themselves known?  It would be fun to find out.


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Cherish

There were songs with this title, sung by Kool and the Gang and The Association.  Much as I love their versions, I am not talking about music here.

I’m talking about the privilege to cherish people, love, freedom, and our dreams.

Cherishing someone or something adds a wonderful quality to our life.  It fills in the bare spaces and somehow makes the unknown less scary.  It adds value to our days and peace to our nights.

What and who are

Publicity photo of the music group The Associa...

Publicity photo of the music group The Association. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

you cherishing today?


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Why?

WHY?

Why?

Why not?

Isn’t it normal to have a slip

and to be human?

My childish self would say

no, I’ve come too far

and progressed too well

to lose it all now.

At the beginning

is where I don’t want to go back to.

I’m still the same person

(I’m happy for that)

who strives and works hard

and is hard on myself

If I go back to the beginning

I only want it to be a place

where I learn more patience

and love for myself

Would I treat my child this way?

I believe I would be a really good parent to someone

so now I can practice on myself.

Loving guidance,

more patience,

less foot tapping,

and knowledge that healing is still possible

don’t let the laughter leave

I can still have joy amidst my trials

but please, I still need help


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Happy Birthday to my dad Richard!

Written in Latin, Polish and German. Discovere...

Written in Latin, Polish and German. Discovered in 1827 by Josef Chmel. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

My German reading and writing dad Richard passed away in 1991, and today was his birthday.

I imagine in Heaven they don’t measure time, and he is probably oblivious to the goings-on down here.

Heaven is where his physical body, that was so hard-working and strong, was able to take a rest, and now he has a spiritual body.

The man was very wise, and his favorite books of the Bible were Psalms and Proverbs.

As I’ve mentioned before, Dad was a great story teller.   He had a vivid imagination to boot.

He loved the out of doors, nature and animals.

As a child, he told me time and time again to “write it down.”  Even though he meant write down the time and date someone left a phone message, that instruction has served me well.  Especially now that I’m a writer and it is helpful to write down ideas before I forget them.

His very-strong work ethic, love of God and wisdom are what I try to emulate.

His youngest daughter, she with the same bone structure, eyes, nose, humor and imagination as he, waits for the day she can see him again.


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Seeing and Doing: A Story Poem

Statue, Three Servicemen, Vietnam Veterans Mem...

Statue, Three Servicemen, Vietnam Veterans Memorial (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

After Roger*’s time in the service,

his life went down the tubes.

Too much booze

and not enough work

and post traumatic stress

did a number on him.

A request out of the blue

gave him the courage

and the necessity to live again.

His buddy from the war

had asked if his friend could look after his wife

and children in case he should

not make it home safe.

With the buddy gone now, the buddy’s wife

was dying of cancer.

She was living in the hospital

but her two children had nowhere to go.

The place where Roger was house sitting for the winter

would not let the children stay there unless he was married.

Marcy* said,

“Sure, I’ll marry you,

if you can stand an ugly shell of a person

who can’t give you anything in return.”

Roger by this time had given up the monkey on his back,

gotten a job as an early morning  newspaper delivery person and  as a waiter.

All his money went toward feeding and clothing his new stepkids.

I saw him at this restaurant once ~

his eyes were penetrating and watchful

as if to wake up out of a dream

and watch the patrons

and try to remember how it felt

to live like they do.

Can you see him?

Marcy walks around in a daze

when she has a day here and there

with enough energy to walk.

Repeat motions.  Repeat thoughts.

Repeat fears.  Enough repeats already.

Can you see her?

Ryan* and Shelby*

feel alone in a scary world,

walking to the shelter after school

until their new daddy can pick them up after work.

They’re missing their precious Scruffy,

the dog they had asked for so many times

and now who had to be given away

so he wouldn’t starve.

Can you see them?

Will you help them?

* fictitious name


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Daily Prompt – December 29th

“Tell us about the role that faith plays in your life – or doesn’t.”

Top of the World

Faith plays a big role in my life.   Through the abuse in childhood to a couple near drownings, abandonment as a teen, miracles, and complete cancer recovery, I just “know that I know” that God was with me every step of the way.  I owe my life to him, as without him I would probably be dead already.

My faith has always given me something to hang onto even when I felt very unloved and like there was no one on earth that wanted me around.

My faith nicely took away my problem of worrying.

It got me through my breast cancer and allowed me to remain positive and inspired through it all.

My faith helps me to see that it’s not all about me, and there is a grand scheme to this thing we call life.


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Daily Prompt – Dec. 31st – Use It or Lose It

Write about anything you’d like, but make sure the post includes this sentence:  “I thought we’d never come back from that one.”

When my husband and I divorced, it was a peaceful divorce.  We were labeled as “the friendliest divorced couple.”   Yet, we had each changed, gotten intolerant and impatient with the other, and gone our separate ways.  At the time, there seemed to be no solution but to be divorced.  I couldn’t possibly think of ever getting back with him.   Though peaceful, our divorce was very sad.  I thought we’d never come back from that one.

But then cancer happened to me.  And  being laid off from a 25 year job happened to him.  Because we were still friends, it just seemed natural to lend each other support.  It felt right.  Dave took me to my first chemo appointment, in fact.

Then, that year of my breast cancer surgery and treatment, we were good buddies again and went to many cancer benefits together.  I just wanted to HELP people, and Dave has never changed his generous nature; he wanted to help cancer survivors too.  This even led to us going to a benefit for a family whose house and dog were lost to a huge fire while they were out of town for a hockey tournament.   When I saw the news story, my heart went out to them because my family had also had a house fire.

Out of town we went to that benefit, and I had written to the grieving mom that she would recognize me at the benefit because I would be the bald lady.

It was on the way home from that benefit that Dave and I discussed that it was silly to pretend it wasn’t happening.  We weren’t just hanging out, we were dating now.  That was 2010.

Near Valentine’s Day of 2012 Dave proposed to me.  And a little over two weeks ago, he and I married on 12/12/12.  This second time around is already happier than before.  And we would have missed it, had we not been open to changes.

Wildflowers


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How to take full advantage of Sunshine Factor

Whoah, now that’s different! Encouraging someone to take advantage of another? Well, in this case, it’s about using this blog to your best advantage.

Those of you who read Sunshine Factor in Reader on WordPress, or read me on your email notifications, don’t get to see that there are several tabs for this blog.

I have recently added a new page (tab) to Sunshine that you can click on to read about to follow my recovery walk (recovery as in recovering from (getting over) unhealthy lifestyle habits or old tapes that play in my head, and also recovery from cancer and leading a healthier life).

Poetry Castle Gift Shop is a place where you can order a story or poem to be written for a special person or occasion in your life, the author being myself.

All of the tabs are for different purposes, and when you feel like reading something specific, or follow what I am doing in my recovery, they’re there at your disposal.

How to see all the tabs?

Sunshine Factor’s web address is https://sunshinefactor.wordpress.com.  Put Sunshine Factor on your desktop as a shortcut, that way you can just click on that and there I am.  (On a PC, once you’re on the site, right click and create shortcut.  Are there any Mac users that could tell us how to put a shortcut on your desktop?)

From reading Sunshine Factor, you might have guessed that I like to use metaphors – words that say something is like something else – so here’s another way I can describe my blog:  Sunshine Factor is like a home in a neighborhood, and in this home I talk (post) every day about something of interest.   The other tabs on Sunshine are like my favorite neighbors in the neighborhood that I like to visit and chat with.

When I post something in one of the tabs, I will not notify you.    I will continue to post on the home page daily, and the tabs are for you to open at will.

Please help me get the word out about the improved Sunshine Factor – and if you’re another blogger, could you be so kind as to reblog this and tell your friends who might benefit from this site?  Thanks ever so much!cropped-795040-r1-026-11a_011.jpg

Debb and Dave’s Wedding Pics

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Okay, folks, ideally I wanted to present the pictures in an organized fashion so their progression would tell a story. But…the pictures are out of order, and sometimes the caption belongs to the picture above, and there are some duplicates but either way – this isn’t too bad of a job, since it’s the first time that I’ve put pictures on my blog. Right? 🙂 I figured you would like to see them sooner than later, yes?  I reserve to show you more pictures if I can find the good close up ones we have!  I guess this is me not trying to be perfect.  🙂

look at those beautiful curls!

look at those beautiful curls!

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the veil gets adjusted

the veil gets adjusted

"Princess Bride"

“Princess Bride”

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going to meet her groom

going to meet her groom

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bride and groom listening to the readings

bride and groom listening to the readings

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Debb with her "dad friend", Ort (Patti's husband)

Debb with her “dad friend”, Ort (Patti’s husband)

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Vows

Vows

Debb receives her wedding band

Debb receives her wedding band

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Mr. and Mrs. David Stanton 12/12/12

Mr. and Mrs. David Stanton 12/12/12

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Dave and Debb leaving for reception

Dave and Debb leaving for reception

Mrs. and Mrs. David Stanton 12/12/12

Mrs. and Mrs. David Stanton 12/12/12


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Current Events Poem by Unknown Author

The Painting entitled "Jesus Blessing the...

The Painting entitled “Jesus Blessing the Children” (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Someone left this poem on my desk at work.  It is beautiful, and I wish I knew who to give the writing credit to.  (Maybe it’s already on the Internet?)  I share it here today:

Twas 11 days before Christmas, around 9:38

when 20 beautiful children stormed through Heaven’s gate.

Their smiles were contagious, their laughter filled the air,

they could hardly believe all the beauty they saw there.

They were filled with such joy, they didn’t know what to say,

they remembered nothing of what had happened earlier that day.

“Where are we?” asked a little girl, as quiet as a mouse.

“This is Heaven,”declared a small boy, “we’re spending Christmas at God’s house.”

 

When what to their wondering eyes did appear,

but Jesus, their Savior, the children gathered near.

He looked at them and smiled, and they smiled just the same.

Then He opened His arms and He called them by name.

And in that moment, was joy, that only Heaven can bring —

those children all flew into the arms of their King.

 

And as they lingered in the warmth of His embrace,

one small girl turned and looked at Jesus’ face.

And as if he could read all the questions she had,

He gently whispered to her, “I’ll take care of Mom and Dad.”

Then He looked down on Earth, the world far below,

He saw all of the hurt, the sorrow, and woe.

 

Then He closed His eyes and He outstretched His hand,

“Let My power and presence re-enter this land!”

“May this country be delivered from the hands of fools.”

“I’m taking back my nation, I’m taking back my schools!”

 

Then He and the children stood up without a sound,

“Come now my children, let me show you around.”

Excitement filled the space, some skipped and some ran–

all displaying enthusiasm that only a small child can.

And I heard Him proclaim as He walked out of sight,

“In the midst of this darkness, I AM STILL THE LIGHT.”


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Poetry Castle Gift Shop Now Open

castle-by-lake_w725_h544

Hello,

I’ve added a gift shop to this blog – please check out the Poetry Castle Gift Shop page.   Thanks!

 


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My Christmas Wish List

English: Christmas tree

English: Christmas tree (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

free_126364

As a person who likes to cross my T’s and dot my I’s,

I’ll write this list in two parts.

The first part will be what I NEED.

The second part will be what I WANT.

I NEED:

  • for wars to stop.
  • for peace to come to all peoples.
  • for homeless people to find food and shelter.
  • for all children to be able to have breakfast each day.
  • for all starving to end.
  • for love to prevail and judgments to cease.
  • for psychological help to be sought after by the criminals who kill others without caring.
  • for safety in our schools and workplaces – safety from evil killers.
  • for other things I’m sure I can add to this list later.

I WANT:

  •  a decent camera – the disposable ones we bought for the wedding just did not work well.   Plus, I was always told in writing school that each writer should have a good camera available at all times – like my friend Mary Louise Eklund.  Her stories are highlighted by the fantastic pictures she shares with us.
  •   I’ve debated about whether I want a laptop or not.  If I had a laptop, then I probably would be writing all the time – and I still need to live my life.  🙂  So cancel the laptop…
  • Time and funds to start self-publishing in the new year (yay!) and balance in my life.
  • My head not to grow too big.  I want to remember that it’s not all about me.


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The Tribal Dance [or:]/Let’s Stop the Hate!

English: This shows the population concentrati...

English: This shows the population concentration of Native Americans and Alaskan Natives in the United States during 2008, by state. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I don’t know if Hollywood is accurate

in portraying Native Americans,

their tribes and ways and dances;

If these portrayals are accurate,

then I think the Native American culture

is one I respect and admire.

Their movements are so fluid,

their fellowship thick and a shelter,

and their sense of community shines through.

 

Each dance of a tribe signifies something specific,

each telling a story.

A dance could be a request for rain

or one of sorrow

or even war.

 

Many of my good dreams come true,

so I am dreaming, especially lately,

of a tribal dance that we of many

tribes and colors and languages

can all share in.

Instead of many tribes dancing in many circles across the land,

we would form one gigantic loop across this country,

arms intertwined and hearts in agreement.

 

First we would dance the dance of anger and injustice

against people who would kill others for no good reason.

Then we would express our wish for peace

with our bodies and united souls.

With this powerful force we can stop the hate.

We can and will conquer this land as a harbor of peace,

where children and adults are safe in their schools and places of business.

Where we can all grow to fulfillment and realize our dreams –

if we can just put down the hate.

 

Lastly, we would join with others and make come true

the wishes of the Great Spirit,

where peace would reign, love would inspire and heal,

and hate would disappear as does the smoke around a campfire.

 

Amen – Lord, may it be so.

 


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My Wedding Prayer Poem

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This was the poem I wrote for my wedding – it started out to be a poem but then became a very long prayer.

THE LONG ROAD

Words and feelings of David A. Stanton and Debb Stanton

Composed by Debbie Loesel Stanton

 

It took us a long time to arrive at today.

Seventeen years of joy, heartache and remorse.

Nine years of continued friendship but separation, realizing what we had lost.

We thank God for cancer and unemployment, since those were the vehicles that brought us back together again.

 

Thank You, Lord, for never giving up on us

and for your grace that saves and frees us.

You give us free will

but you always remembered the covenant we first made together.

As it says in Romans 8:28 (with our loose paraphrase),

All things work together for those who love God and are called according to His purpose.

 

We believe it is your purpose for us

to walk this road together as one

to love and be with one another eternally.

The road we are on now is just the beginning, as Heaven is our true home and we

will be together there as well.

 

Jeremiah 29:11 states that you have given us a future and a hope, that you desire

good for us and not evil.

How well we can attest to that in our lives!

Debb has always called You “The God of the Second Chance” – because You let us learn through choices and just living in general, and You never turn Your back on us,

but let us try things again.

 

Dear Lord,

We would like the love you have given us for each other to be examples of how You

love your bride, the Church.

We are eternally grateful to you

and so desire to bring glory to Your name.

 

Thank You for this marriage,

and may we always live this life to honor You.

We love You now and forever

and are thankful the road is long

because it starts here and goes into eternity.

 

Amen.


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Daily Prompt: Oasis

Singer, instrumentalist, and composer Enya.

Singer, instrumentalist, and composer Enya. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

From December 4th Daily Prompt: Oasis

A sanctuary is a place you can escape to, to catch your breath and remember who you are. Write about the place you go to when everything is a bit too much.

I go to my living room.  Amidst all the water and sea pictures that calm me (as I do love the water very much), I can be still and just BE.   I can lie on the couch and see the sky and birds and trees beyond the window.   Here is where I relax for a half hour when I get home from work, listening to Enya or classical music – a great time to close my eyes and get back in touch with my feelings, breathe deeply, and just appreciate.  If being a cancer survivor taught me anything, it is about the importance of being and being thankful and appreciating life.

Now that it’s Christmas time I turn on the Christmas tree and turn off the other lights; I stare at the different ornaments and think about their collective histories.

My living room echoes the joy that is sometimes there.  My husband and I  gather there to talk over the day or to pray together.  When occasionally I actually have time to read a book, I go to my haven and am surrounded by my cats, purring their acceptance and approval.

Christmas Tree (1)

Christmas Tree (1) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)


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Moving On With Grace

Usually you hear the words “I’m moving on” from  a person who just broke up with somebody or is trying to forget someone.   I tend to think of moving on as any situation where you’re moving forward. 

When you’re moving forward into a painful area or time of your life, you can move on with grace by taking the high road.   Grab a hold of the grace that God gives you, give yourself grace like you would give a best friend, and give other people grace, too.  Patience and comfort are side effects of taking the high road.

When you’re moving forward into a good situation or time in your life, the high road is an excellent place from which to be thankful for your blessings.   The view is broad and clear up there.

Sometimes it is hard to take the high road or be thankful, but it is so worth it.  Maybe people will call us all “Grace” or “Graceford” one of these days.  🙂


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Revised Prayer Corner Page

White release dove.

White release dove. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I have revised the Prayer Corner Page here on Sunshine Factor and also at poetryweekly.wordpress.com and debbieloeselstanton.wordpress.com.

A completely confidential and anonymous operation, I will pray for anyone or any situation.  For those of you who would like even more prayer support, you can write me and I will post a prayer request anonymously.

Please tell all your friends about this page…

Take a look at the “new” page that gives more details.

Have a great day!

Debb


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What I Am Thankful For

Friends

Friends (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

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English: Diamond Engagement Ring with side sto...

English: Diamond Engagement Ring with side stones – In Platinum – 1791 Diamonds (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

English: pink ribbon

English: pink ribbon (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Today is a holiday in the U.S. that promotes thankfulness.

I wish giving thanks were on the forefront in other parts of the year too.

The holiday is known for feasting (and usually overeating).

Personally, I sort of gag on turkey and prefer other meats (if at all).

Back to the subject of giving thanks – here is my list of the past year (in chronological order):

1.  After dating a couple of years, my former husband and I decided we should marry again (see my countdown in the right margin).  It’s so much different, and better, this time around.  We wonder if it’s because of the difficult things we have had to go through the last five years that made us appreciate each other once again.

2.  I was in my first photo shoot in February; I saw my picture on a billboard on the way to work every day for 2 weeks in April.

3.  I found my new favorite author – Ken Barr of http://theroadcrew.wordpress.com  – and I asked him if he blogged and if so, where.  He said “WordPress”, and I was immediately hooked into this wonderful community we call WordPress.

3a.  Having three different blogs has really been a blessing in my life.  I have hit my writing stride and feel so artistically complete (and dreaming of and working on other projects too).  Thank You, God!

4.  Last April Fool’s Day I marked my 23rd year of work at the same company.  They have treated me very well.   I also have them to thank for my cancer care and recovery!

5.  At my job I have been learning many new tasks.  It is an exciting time there for me.

6.  I am thankful for all the incredible blogs I have been reading and for all the friends I’ve made through them.  So, in other words, you are my #6.

7.  My first follower on this blog, my first blog, is a phenomenal person.  (You know who you are)  His support and enthusiasm is a constant.

8.  I live in the U.S., which has its problems of course, but I love it here.

9.  I serve a God who loves me and wants the best for me.

10.  Last but not least, I am so glad I have life in my body, that I am here to write to you.   It’s an amazing journey!

Thank You, God,

and thank you, friends,

Love,

Debb


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Calling all minstrels, songwriters and music lovers!!!

Beautiful Chinese Bride in White Wedding Dress

Photo credit: epSos.de

Deutsch: Edelrose Wedding Bells (Kordes 2010).

Hi, it’s me again!

Those of you who know me well, know that 1) I ask a lot of questions and 2) I am not too proud to ask for help.

I am asking my WordPress family (and especially, my friends at The Ultimate Betty) to drop me some comments regarding love songs that could be adapted to be sung in a church wedding ceremony.  Include on this list Christian suggestions like “There is Love” , and secular love songs like “Faithfully“…  whatever you think would be nice or what you would like to hear sung at a wedding.   Guys, I would like your opinions too!  Oh, and what is that classical wordless song that is played at Christmas time?  Is it called “Joy”?  That probably would be wonderful and fit right in with the Christmas trees, poinsettias and candles…

You’re wondering what my taste in music is?  I love ANY kind of music EXCEPT country and rap.

2012 has gone by so fast that now it’s time to pick out a wedding song or two.  My pastor and his wife used to be a singing couple at coffee houses and restaurants, and Pastor to this day plays in the worship band – guitar, mandolin, etc.  A very talented couple.  Jennifer has agreed to sing for us, she sounds like a folksinger angel, and I think it’s only fair we give her some lead time so she can practice.  Or, if necessary, write a song like we like but have a few different words from the original…

Okay folks, warm up those typing fingers and contact me soon, please – or write me at stantonsunshineproductions@comcast.net.  If you know my phone number, please use it.  All ideas will be considered.  Also, we are flexible people so are quite open to many ideas.  You don’t have to know me well to put forth a pitch for your favorite wedding song.  🙂

OR…you could send me lyrics that you write (we all are, after all, writers) and Mary could probably whip up something good to go with them.  Don’t be shy now…upon sending me ideas, you will have my loyal thanks and devotion for a lifetime!  🙂 But actually I will reward the best idea if we use it…

Thanks!

Love you all,

Debb


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Another Pink Ribbon Day

English: pink ribbon

English: pink ribbon (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

published on debbieloeselstanton blog on 11/3/12.

“Another Pink Ribbon Day”

Now that October has come and gone,

The Pink Ribbon still has an important mission.

There are still breast cancer survivors

fighting for their lives

and other breast cancer survivors past the hurdle

doing all they can

to raise money for research, education

and patient care.

We wear pink ribbon clothes

and use pink ribbon goods

because we have formed an alliance

to let cancer know that we will defeat it.

We know not when, but

it will be done.

All the other colored ribbons

representing other cancers

need our support too.

We need to help others

so that they can afford medical care

for their treatment,

so parents don’t have to choose

between feeding their kids and getting treatment.

I thank all the corporations for funding research for us

and helping to raise awareness.

Dear Lord,

I pray for those who are dying from cancer,

that they receive hope and life on earth,

or with an ultimate healing in heaven.

Grant them strength and peace

and the same for their families and friends.

We know you’re not forgetting us Lord,

but it’s hard to believe sometimes

when things look grim.

We place ourselves in your capable hands

and even if we don’t know the outcome,

you do, and you will help us through.

Grant us to have one more pink ribbon day

and the promise for a better tomorrow.

Amen.

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