Blessings come when you least expect it.

Hi all,

I’ve had a very busy week that started on Monday when I got a call from a friend to come over. That visit changed our family of three to four temporarily, and we couldn’t be happier to help out in a time of trouble. This new sweet blessing in our life is 10 and she is full of energy. I have always loved her and will protect her now and always with my life. It has been awhile since I have had a 10-year-old in the house, since my kids are 27 and 25 and I must admit I am loving it. I have been going non-stop every day since and I can only give the glory to God that I have my energy back.

You see I had been sick for almost two months until last week and not even up to speed over the weekend when I got this call on Monday. I had been upset that I had lost two of my three jobs and couldn’t imagine how I was going to make it financially through the summer but I was never mad at God just upset that I got sick. When I came home with this sweet precious girl I thanked God for bringing her to me and had the realization that if I had not gotten sick I wouldn’t have been home to give her all the attention and love that she needed right now. With that I praised him for being such a great and all-knowing God. Even when we don’t always see the reason for what is happening around us there is a purpose for everything.

I have always trusted that God knows what is good in my life and that he will never leave me. No matter how hard things get I have never given up on him because he has never given up on me or my children. I am going to let God lead me through this journey with this lovely child and I will let her know that he is there with her always.

We all go through tough times but if you will embrace God and have faith, he will guide you through your struggles. It is also important to be open to family and friends that are there to guide and help you. People are there waiting to reach out to you, sometimes you just need to take first step and ask.

I am a person who is a giver, it is in my blood, and is something that I absolutely love to do but I’m TERRIBLE at asking for help. I was talking to our pastor, Jeff Wells one day, I love our pastor, he’s the best. I told him how hard it was for me to accept help that I wanted to give not receive. He asked me how I felt when I helped someone and I said that it made me really happy, then he said why would I want to take that joy away from someone who was trying to do that for me. I sat back and looked at him and said that I hadn’t thought of it that way, he’s so smart! I really got it and although sometimes I still have a hard time, well most of the time I have a hard time, but it stayed with me. Whenever that uncomfortable feeling comes over me when someone says they want to help me in someway I think back to what Pastor Wells told me and I remember not to take someone else’s joy away.

I am sitting in bed right now writing this while this sweet girl is next to me eating gold-fish crackers and watching Ice Age: Dawn of the Dinosaurs, this is the second Ice Age we’ve watched tonight. Can life get any better than this. 🙂

Palms 4:13

Thank you God for the blessings you have given my family.

I love you all.

Love your family
Pray often
And smile 🙂


Posted in Accept Help, Ask for help, Blessings, Faith, Families, Find Joy, Inspiration, Praise God, The Glory to God, Trust | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 7 Comments

The power of PRAYER!

Hi y’all I hope you are having a blessed day,

I want to talk about the power of prayer and how GOD is always there in your life, you just need to ask for his help. Now I’m not talking about only reaching out to GOD in times of trouble or great need, but to praise him for all he has given and done for you. GOD also wants you to not try to take on the hard times by yourself because I’m sure you have found that it just doesn’t work.

When your problems are just too much for you to handle or so over whelming that you are on your knees, then you need to release it all to GOD. Yes, release it. Sometimes GOD is just waiting to see how long it will take you to have FAITH in him and PRAY.

This is what I pray when it is more than I can handle:

Jesus I have tried to do this and I am not strong enough to do it alone. I am giving this up to you because you can do anything in your infinite power. If it is your will for this problem to be taken care of or healing to take place then I know that you can make it happen. If you want someone to come into my life to walk me through this journey I will be open to this, but if it is your will that I continue through, I will accept and praise your will.

In Jesus name, Amen.

Now trust me this is easier said than done. There have been times where I have been on my knees crying out to GOD for help, and out of pure exhaustion and a whisper from GOD, that I finally release it to our Lord. Those times I almost immediately felt a complete release of all the weight of worry, stress and a peace came over me that could only come from God. There have also been times when I felt overwhelmed and prayed for God to take my load, telling him that I was releasing my pain and worries to him. I knew what I was saying wasn’t the truth because I still felt tense, anxious and I immediately asked God to forgive me because I was still holding on to my problems. I promise you that you will only have release from GOD when you have total faith that he will be with you and carry you through.

My latest time of crisis has been my health which started going down hill in early May. It started with pain that had me in a fetal position for hours not knowing what was wrong and afraid to eat anything for fear of it hurting or setting off another attack. I so have GOD with me, because after the first attack started I was supposed to babysit for a couple and when I called to cancel, Chris answered (he’s a doctor) after talking to me he said he thought it could be my gall bladder. No I didn’t go to the ER like he suggested, I have no insurance and no way to pay for it 😦 . He kept calling and checking on me that night and his wife Erica called the next day, they are an amazing couple that give so much to our church and are wonderful parents and people.

I went to my regular doctor within a few days and he said he felt that my gall bladder was probably what was wrong but said I needed an Ultra Sound to tell for sure. I had that done and yes it was conclusive that it had hundreds of stones and needed to come out. For two weeks I got sicker and could barely eat and my worry was how I was going to afford surgery. I prayed that GOD would heal me so that I wouldn’t need the surgery or that he would somehow allow it to happen. Trouble was I was still holding on to all the stress, worry and not really releasing it to him, as I was getting sicker and sicker. I knew that I had to release all to him to take the load and I told him if it was to happen it would be his doing no mine.

On May 14th I saw a surgeon who said my gall bladder was very sick and needed to come out now. The nurse asked when I would like to schedule it and I said “tomorrow” thinking that she would say no way, but she said “how about 1:30”. What are the chances of that happening, I really don’t know statistics but most surgeons are usually booked up. I was so sick that day that I couldn’t even walk on my own into the office or sit in the chair. The next thing GOD made happen was that when it came time to check out they wanted me to pay for the surgery up front before I left that day. I was stunned and told them I had no insurance and didn’t make a lot of money so I would need to make payments. They informed me that full payment was needed and they didn’t take payments. GOD intervened again and I just stood firm and said that the only thing I could do was pay some, and make the rest in payments and they agreed. I had to go to the Surgicenter next and went through the whole no insurance and little money thing again when they said they needed almost $4,000 now for the surgery IN CASH! Are you kidding me, really who carries $4,000 in cash with them, but after I told them what I could do they told me to wait while they talked to someone higher up in the office, they soon came out and said they would work with me. YEAH GOD!

I slept like a baby that night, I had no anxiety, worry, nothing because I knew that GOD had it all in his hands. Later that morning we went to the Surgicenter, I checked in and the last doctor to come for money was the Anesthesiologist. I went through the same speech with the lady and she informed me that they wanted the all the money upfront and no they didn’t take payments, I was so tired of hearing this and was so sick that I just didn’t care and I knew GOD had my back so I just explained everything to her and it was all I could do and everyone else was working with me, she did agree to take payments. That being said do not take NO as the final answer, talk to them and explain what your situation is and ask them to please work with you and remember you need to be working with GOD and he will work with you.

I went in and was out of surgery in 45 minutes. I was told by both doctors that I would have a lot of pain and nausea and be given pills for both. I told them thanks for the information but that I knew I wouldn’t have any pain and that I would be OK, they just looked at me like, this lady doesn’t know what she’s talking about wait till the pain hits her. I want to tell you that I had so many people praying for me and I had put the situation in GOD’s hands and I NEVER had 1 second of pain. I had tenderness where they made the 4 cuts for the Laparoscopy but never pain. I went home within an 1 1/2 hours and did really well except for not being able to eat, which is normal after surgery.

I started to have problems 10 days after surgery when my blood pressure started dropping very low, this was also when I started going back to work. You see I work 3 jobs, 7 days a week so normally I’m a very busy lady. I had been cleared to go back but I was finding myself still very tired, and I was discouraged because everything I was reading said most people go back within 10 days. I found I was getting worse by the day, I could hardly get from my bed to the bathroom without getting dizzy and my hands and body were shaking uncontrollably. I went to my doctor he did blood work and told me I was dehydrated and malnourished, from not eating and my blood pressure was too low. I needed to start monitoring my blood pressure and see how labs came out. He also told me since my blood pressure was so low I needed to get off of one of my medicines – Inderal, which can cause your blood pressure to be lower and try to eat and drink more.

I went through two different lab tests within two weeks looking for different things, started taking a blood pressure medicine to get my blood pressure up to normal, but exhaustion and the shaking was still bad any time I tried to do anything. I did better eating and drinking more and have slowly put back 5 of the 8 pounds I lost. The reason I don’t eat well is that I had Gastric Bi-Pass surgery about 10 years ago so I don’t eat much, and when you have this surgery you don’t eat a lot after, so it really messed me up.

It is now Tuesday 7/5 and I have gone to church for staff prayer and I’m very tired but it’s only for an hour so I know I can do it. I love our hour of prayer together and it is very important to me to be there since I’ve been sick and I’ve missed so many. I did OK for a while and then started to shake like I was in a deep freeze so I asked for prayer from all of my staff family. They surrounded and laid hands on me and prayed, while they prayed I asked GOD to please if it is his will to heal me great and if not to lead me to a doctor who would tell me what was wrong with me.

I went to my office and worked at my desk which allowed me to relax and the shakes to subside and eventually I needed to go to the church for something and when I walked in the doors I saw a friend who was minutes away from leaving. I looked at her and thought, she might know what’s wrong, since I knew she had a problem with her hands shaking. I asked her what caused it and she told me they diagnosed her with Benign Tremors, I got so excited because something inside me said this is what’s wrong. As soon as I got back to my desk I looked it up and there it was BENIGN ESSENTIAL TREMORS, and everything it said fit what was happening to me.


Yes I know you are not supposed to believe everything you read on the internet, but I know a lot of good medical sites and I came home and spent hours and hours checking everything out. I did go to see my doctor and we talked about Essential Tremors and all of my problems leading up to thinking this was what it was and starting back on the Inderal. He agreed that it was probably a right diagnosis, but he needed to check to see how my Thyroid was, which is what the web site also said to check. He told me to keep on the Inderal and let him know how I was doing in a few weeks.

Let me tell you another way GOD helped me through this. When I read the first information on the Essential Tremor site, under medication that might helped it listed as the first medication: Inderal, which is a beta-blocker. I have been on this medicine for the last 20 years because of the stress that has been in my life (no I have no heart problems) When I saw that Inderal could help, as soon as I got home I got my pills and took one right away (my blood pressure was normal again) and within 2 hours my hands were no longer shaking and haven’t since.

Finding out about the Inderal was such a blessing because having been on it, I had it already. You see twenty years ago I thought I was having a heart attack and went to the ER and after a full cardiac work up the Cardiologist told me my heart was just fine but I was under a lot of stress so he put me on a Beta-blocker, Inderal. So when I think back now maybe I’ve had Essential Tremors for a long time and the Inderal has kept the tremors under control and it only showed up when I suddenly stopped. How amazing is GOD that he put me in the path of someone who had something that possible was what I had, and that I had the medicine that I could take in my home to get right back on to test it and it worked right away. Our GOD is so powerful.

I am now exercising to build up muscle tone that I have lost due to being in bed resting from lack of energy and being so sick.

All this said, NEVER GIVE UP, PRAY and GIVE IT TO GOD! It may not happen in the time period you want but he will help you through this. Be specific when you pray, ask for exactly what you want:

God I need someone to come into my life to get me to the right doctor or right person.

Please give me the strength to walk through this journey with your guidance GOD.

GOD I am so week and in pain and I need your healing power to reach into my body and hold my (fill in the black as to what is wrong in your body) in your hand and heal it and make it well again and if it is not your will at this time please lead me to a doctor who can help me, because I know it is not your will that I suffer.

Our GOD is so great and good and is only waiting on you to call out to him. I try to thank our Lord every day for all that he has done for me and my family, even in the hard times because he is there with me and I know that he will never leave me. I know this was long but I want you to know that no matter how bad things can seem GOD is always there and I can only show you if I let you know by telling you my experiences and there have been many, hence the name – What I’ve Learned.

I love you all,

Love your family,
Love life,
Pray often,
and smile 🙂


The following sites are some I used for information:

Info Med Search
Physicians for Essential Tremors
International Essential Tremors Foundation
We Move-ET
ET Peer-to-Peer
Health Encyclopedia
Web MD

Posted in anxiety, bed rest, beta-blocker, Cardiologist, crisis, dehydrated, diagnosis, dizzy, Essential Tremors, exercise, Faith, Families, Feeling God's not hearing your prayers, gall bladder, healing, Inderal, Inspiration, journey, lack of energy, Laparoscopy, letting go and giving it to God, low blood pressure, malnourished, muscle tone, no insurance, on your knees, pain, peace, power of prayer, pray, stand firm, strength, Stress, surgery, surgicenter, times of trouble, Tired, Tired and worn out, Tremors, what I've learned, why won't they work with me on payment for medical | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 7 Comments

No you didn’t just tell me my child has cancer!

My son Michael was 7 when he came home from school one day saying his right upper leg hurt, he told me he tripped on the playground. The pain was not bad so I didn’t take him to the doctor, but over the next few days the pain kept getting worse, so much that he was crying and not wanting to walk on it.

I took him to an Orthopedic doctor that could x-ray his leg, he explained that he had broken his femur, which is a very strong bone that doesn’t break easily. He said it made no sense how it broke, but he cast it and sent us home. After three weeks Michael was screaming in pain when he woke up one day, so I took him back to the doctor, they cut the cast off and took another x-ray of the femur. This time when he showed us the picture, the femur looked like Swiss cheese, he said that he wasn’t sure what was going on but wanted the best doctors to check it out so he suggested we go to a cancer hospital to get their opinion.

Maybe I was just stupid but he had said he thought it was a blood infection in the bone, and I really wasn’t thinking it could be anything else. I made the appointment, we went in, had lab work and then went back the next day (I did this without my husband, my choice because he was on a new job and I didn’t think anything was really wrong). I remember sitting across the Oncologist desk with Michael by my side when he opened the file and told me my son had A.L.L. Leukemia. I couldn’t say a word, I just stared at him and he said “do you realize that it’s cancer”. I started to cry and shake uncontrollably. I asked to use the phone and called my husband to come as quickly as he could get there.

All I could think of was cancer is a death sentence and my little boy is sitting there hearing this too. He was quiet but when we went home he asked to get on the computer and look up Leukemia and see how he could beat this and get better. That was when I knew I had to pull it together and read everything I could and PRAY, PRAY, PRAY!

After 21 BAD days of treatment because of inferior care and a doctor that was very ugly and demoralizing to my child, Michael become paralyzed from the neck down, was very jaundiced and so very sick that when I took him to Texas Children’s for treatment they couldn’t even give him any chemo for fear it would kill him.

I knew in my heart that the original hospital was not giving my son the best care and did not like the way the doctor treated my son, there was that little voice inside of me saying “SOMETHING IS WRONG”. Please listen when this voice goes off in your head, the doctors and hospital work for you because you pay them. If you or your loved one is not getting the best care you can tell them, I WANT ANOTHER NURSE OR DOCTOR, do not let anyone who is not working with you or treating you with care be around you. You have the right to fire them from your care. We went through many years of hospital stays, ICU and treatment because Michael also needed a Bone Marrow transplant. Yes we did have many amazing nurses during the many, many years we went through during this journey. PLEASE when you have a great nurse let them know how much you appreciate them, I still ALWAYS DO. There were a few nurses that were not good or nice and when that happened I went to the nurse supervisor and let them know that the nurse in question would no longer be allowed in my sons room because of the following reasons: let them know what your reasons are. I never had a problem with them replacing the nurse with someone else.

Be an advocate for your child or loved one. That is what I learned from the bad experiences we had in the beginning, I always look for the good in everything. Even when there seems to be nothing but bad I take it as a life lesson to learn from and then make it a positive.

There were many miracles that happened to my son to bring him through all of his life and death situations during this journey, but I will talk about them during another post.

Michael is ALIVE and 25 years old and here because GOD wanted him to live.

I will also talk about how much of an impact it is on the siblings who are going through a life altering situation in this journey. My beautiful daughter Shanna was 10 during this time when we were told to give him last rights and bring in the family. Michael was in a medically induced coma and paralyzed to keep him from moving because he was on a ventilator. He was unrecognizable because of the fluid buildup in his body and it had swollen to twice its size, even his head. They had us bring a picture of him and attached it to his ventilator by his head so that when we looked at him we could see what he looked like before.

Shanna told the nurses that she wanted to see her brother, but they said she was too young to go in. She was determined to go so they called in someone from Child Life to talk to her. They took a picture of Michael and showed it to her and explained how she would see a lot of equipment hooked up to him, she took one look at the picture of him laying in the hospital bed and said, “so what are you waiting for, take me in now”.
She walked in and kept her composure talking to him as if he were awake telling him she loved him, she never cried in front of him until she left the room later.

My daughter is 27 now but is scared from what she went through during all the years of him being near death more than once and having him and I gone all the time, in and out of the hospital, not home with her. We need to remember that the siblings go through a lot watching mom and dad worry, being separated from one or both, being jealous of the attention the sick sibling is getting and feeling guilty about it. There is so much to talk about on this subject that we will talk more about this soon.

Love your family,
love life,
pray often,
and smile 🙂

Posted in Caregiver, Caregiver Stress, Faith, Families, Inspiration, Stress, Surviving Childhood Cancer | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments

God is so good!

Hi and Happy Saturday,

Our Special Heart’s Ministry at WoodsEdge has been so blessed with all the amazing children and people God keeps bring. On Wednesday I found out about a woman named Angela from a group home for special adults that has been looking for a church home for some ladies. When I talked to her she told me that of the churches she had called most had told her they couldn’t accommodate them. Three of the ladies are in wheel chairs, one is legally blind, and the other two have other problems, I assured her that although I couldn’t have everything ready for this Sunday July 1st, but I would make it happen.

Our ministry is here for ANY one who needs a place to be surrounded by love and to share how much God loves them. We must never let any man, woman or child not be welcomed in to the church. We all know that Jesus never turned anyone away and that is the goal I strive for in this ministry, I want to always do God’s work. I know I don’t always know what I’m doing in every situation but that is why I pray every day that he will lead me and give me the words and direction to do what is right for these people and families.

If your church doesn’t have a Special Needs Ministry but you know that there is a need, there are amazing people and resources to help you get started. Just because you may not see the Special children or adults in your church they are there. Likely a family has stopped coming or they take turns going because of their situation. These caregivers need to be in church receiving God’s word, they are tired, stressed, and may even think that God is not hearing their prayers. We need to help get these people into churches and bless their loved ones.

I would be glad to let anyone know of the resources that I have found if anyone is interested.

May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you
trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power
of the Holy Spirit. Roman’s 15:13

Smile today and be happy 🙂

Posted in Caregiver, Caregiver Stress, Faith, Families, Feeling God's not hearing your prayers, God bless our Special Children, Group Homes, Inspiration, Special Needs Adults, Stress, Tired and worn out | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Like a kid in a candy store :)

O.k. I wasn’t in a candy store but the first time I walked into a high-end grocery store where we live called HUBBLE AND HUDSON, you would have thought I was 6 and it was full of candy.  My friend Candace suggested we go and I had no idea that I was about to walk into paradise.  For me it was almost more than I could take in, my heart was racing and I couldn’t wait to see EVERYTHING.  I literally walked up and down every aisle checking out every item all the while not realizing that 2 hours had gone by.

I could not believe how many different kinds of spices they have much less all the different  meats, cheeses, produce and the list goes on and on. I know if you’re not a foodie this just doesn’t make sense to you, but really if you love food, your taste buds will sing and find that you are licking your lips while admiring all the beautiful food.  What can I make with that?  Oh I could use that in the pasta recipe I made the other day.  The possibilities are endless.  I don’t like to follow recipe’s, I love to cook from the refrigerator, pantry, or whatever I found at the store and see what I can put together.  No dish is ever the same because I may have one ingredient this time but not have it the next.

But I digress, back to Hubble & Hudson my play ground for food.  Really if you can find one in your area go, see the wonderland of food.  Sorry if you just don’t get it but those of you who get excited see new things they have never seen or heard of to add to your cooking repertoire you will understand.

Happy shopping and cooking.  🙂

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Inspiration can come from many places and things. It takes being open to all that is around you, having an open mind, heart and eyes. It can be in the eyes of a child and what the future holds for them. Or what about seeing an elderly couple walking hand in hand together, I just love that and so wish that it would have been me and my husband Rick if he had lived, in our later years. What about a beautiful Special Needs child that may live in a world all their own, but is always smiling and happy, all they know is joy. That is a child of God.

Tuesday is the day that we have Staff Prayer at church, and it was simply amazing. I knew when I walked out that I would write about this man, that was there to speak to us.



I am going to put up the link to his site and urge you to go there to listen to him talk, you will not be able to get enough. He uses the word of God and his beautiful dogs to reach out to people. I was so taken by him that I could have listen to him for hours. TALK ABOUT INSPIRATIONAL. Hank has the ability to relate his teachings to every man, woman and child in attendance no matter where they are in life. God has taken him to speak all over and to change lives along the way with his wonderful dogs and God in his heart.

To get to his site go to:

then go down to Kingdom Dog Ministry on Crystal Cathedral on Vimeo and watch him speak this is another place to hear him speak. Please let me know how you felt after listening, I would love to get feed back. This morning he had everyone in our staff on the edge of our seats and clapping at the end. It was a very powerful morning, one I won’t soon forget. I saw him as I was walking to the office and I had to go up and shake his hand and give him a hug (I am a hugger). I told him that I thought he had a very powerful message, and I could tell that God was using him to deliver his word. Hank told me that before he started this ministry he could have never have talked to people like he does, not even a few much less a church or arena full, but he is being lead by God to do this. I fell in love with this wonderful man and what he is doing to change lives for the better.

“Where there is love there is life.”

Mahatma Gandhi

Go out and get inspired and love your self.


Posted in Faith, Families, Feeling God's not hearing your prayers, Inspiration, Stress, Tired, Tired and worn out | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Untitled 3

Unjaded Muse Poetry

To the god of wine and total abandon
Never abandon me.”

©  Shanna McCloud

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