The Eighth Commandment

Exodus 20:15 “You shall not steal.” The eighth Commandment.

This one is pretty straight forward, right? Do not take anything from anyone if it isn’t yours. One author says that if you follow this commandment, then you are pretty much obeying all of the commandments. Murder is stealing a person’s life. You steal another person’s spouse when you commit adultery. When you are envious of another person’s possessions, it could lead to stealing the possession. If you don’t tell the truth, you are stealing justice from another.

We have all been given the right to possess property. No one has the right to steal anything that belongs to that person. The reasoning for this is that God has given us these material items in order to be good stewards for Him. Whatever we have, we are to happily and willingly give to others, especially the poor. The Bible talks about tithing 10% of what we have to God. Stealing from what God has given us, is basically stealing from God.

What about when someone steals something that isn’t material? Perhaps like a person’s good name or dignity, or an idea or song. That is stealing. God has given us all gifts or talents which are to be used for Him. God gave me the gift of writing. I know I don’t always use my writing for His glory but, dear Lord, how I try.

It is interesting that when Christ was crucified, He was placed in between two thieves. The first thief to be saved was the one who said to Jesus, “Jesus, remember me when you come into your kingdom.” The thief knew. Jesus took all our sins upon himself and died for us. He died for thieves, so that every thief who trusts in Him will be saved. Is there any way we can possibly thank Jesus for this?

Letrozole

My oncologist started me on Letrozole. I have been on it for one month and thought things were going fairly well. Although there were two days where I had a severe headache and I had blurry vision. Then I started feeling nauseous in the mornings.

But, emotionally, the past two weeks have been horrible. I suffer from depression and I have medication which helps me. However, someone threw a heavy, black blanket on me and it was sucking me down. I have not felt this terrible in a long time. It was like I had the wind knocked out of me. I couldn’t breathe. I cried at the slightest thing and any comment my husband made had me in this black hole of despair where I could not stop crying. I was in anguish. I was in such pain that I just wanted to die. Unless one has gone through this emotional pain, you just can’t imagine how much it hurts.

Before the weekend, I messaged my oncologist and told her what was happening. I was told that the Letrozole shouldn’t be affecting the Venlafaxine I am on. It was suggested I go off the Letrozole and see how I am in two weeks. Like a trooper, I said I would keep taking the Letrozole and see how it was going.

Saturday started out kind of fine. But the day quickly deteriorated. By Sunday, I was a massive mess and I was playing hell on my poor husband. I told him he would end up hating me and that he should leave me. I just kept thinking, I need to talk to someone. So I picked up my phone and called my best friend. I was crying when I told her I needed to talk to her. Thank goodness for Elizabeth.

As I was sobbing, I told her what was happening and she said it certainly sounded like the Letrozole was really messing me up. She managed to calm me down and we even laughed at my craziness. I have stopped taking the Letrozole. Even though I know it will take a while for the drug to get out of my system, I feel better.

I did google Letrozole and found that there are many common side effects. One of the less common side effects are depression. Bingo! Exactly. Do I want to risk it and try taking the Letrozole in two weeks, just when I am starting to feel better? Would you blame me if I said, I am afraid to? The Anastrazole made me sick. I was stuck in my bed, sick. I don’t go to bed sick unless it is bad. The Letrozole made me despicably depressed. There are only four estrogen suppressing medications. Two more to go?

The Seventh Commandment

The seventh commandment is “You shall not commit adultery”. The first author I read, had it titled “Do not commit adultery”. The second author titled the seventh commandment as “The Joy of Sex”. Well, that one caught my attention.

I wonder if my adult children are reading my blogs. If they have, I wonder how many times they have groaned and hit their heads against a wall. My oldest daughter told me I share more than what she would share online. I forgot to ask where exactly she was talking about, but I didn’t. So I might as well just tackle this commandment the way I have everything else.

I have always wondered why God made our bodies the way He did. Why are we so sensitive in some areas and not in others? Did He make a mistake or was this His intention? All I know is that it has taken me until my current husband to realize the joy of sex in a truly loving relationship. There is nothing more beautiful when two people truly love each other to realize the full joy of having two bodies as one. This is in the Bible, dear one.

The Bible celebrates the sexual act of love. It has to be exclusively within marriage and it is a gift from God. Just read all passages in the Bible celebrating love. There are unashamedly erotic passages within the Bible. However, always between a husband and a wife. Sex is the superglue between a husband and a wife. It is a force for good. It has even been said that there is a close connection between our sexuality and our spirituality.

“Let him kiss me with the kisses of his mouth! For your love is better than wine… Draw me after you; let us run! The king has brought me into his chambers.” Song of Solomon 1:2 & 4.

While having sex before marriage is wrong, marital infidelity is the worst sin. Even though you may think that as long as one doesn’t actually do it within their marriage, it’s okay. No it isn’t. Thinking about it, leads to looking, leads to flirting, leads to talking, leads to bam! It is just wrong. All of this involves whispers, lies, secrets, unknown futures, and hurts. If someone has no problem in deceiving their mate, then what else would that person not do? How could the wronged person trust their partner again? I just keep thinking about that. I keep thinking what else would that person hide from me?

As long as a husband and wife share romantic evenings, movies and sensual pleasures between each other, that is all within the superglue force in their marriage. Sorry – no threesomes or anyone or anything else. When a husband and wife love each other, having sex rejuvenates, restores and superglues the bond between them.

“The husband should fulfill his marital duty to his wife, and likewise the wife to her husband. The wife does not have authority over her own body but yields it to her husband. In the same way, the husband does not have authority over his own body but yields it to his wife.” 1 Corinthians 7:3-4.

There you have it. I wonder how many phone calls I will get from my children. At least, I know they have read my blog. I should be happy about that.

The Ups and Downs of Finding a Good Bra

I cannot tell you the amount of time I have spent looking for a good fitting bra. For the longest time, I went with whatever I could find at WalMart. Bad choice. Especially for a woman who is not small. Not large. Let’s just say medium sized.

After my divorce, I went with Victoria’s Secret. That was a bad choice as well. But I wanted pretty bras. Bras that would lift and separate. You do get pretty with Victoria’s Secret but you do not get a well fitting bra that is meant for anyone over an A cup. Those bras are made for teenagers and young women who are a size 0. Don’t let me go there about size 0.

During my chemotherapy treatments for breast cancer and prior to my radiation treatments, I was warned by the radiation oncologist to not wear any bras that have underwires. Fine. I was done with Victoria’s Secret anyway. But where do I go to find a good fitting bra that would still be pretty? I have a new husband and even though I am aging, I don’t want to have my breasts hanging by my waist.

I googled and researched and found barenecessities.com. They have a huge selection of bras. I mean huge. They have 406 T-Shirt bras, 977 DD+ bras, 145 back smoothing bras, 1005 Underwire, and the list goes on. They have 578 wire free bras which is what I was looking for. So I read through all the reviews and I tried to make my selection.

I decided to try their “chat with an expert” to get a proper size. Don’t do it. When the expert had me measure myself, she managed to come up with my size as 38DD. I have never in my life been a 38DD. Not even when I was breast feeding my children was I a 38DD. I remeasured myself and knew I should be a 38C. But I went ahead and ordered one 38DD. When it came, I couldn’t stop laughing. My head fit into one of the cups. Thank goodness they will pay for the return postage and refunds are easy.

Then I ordered bras. Many bras. I tried them all on and finally managed to narrow it down to 4 different brands. However, after wearing the four different brands for several months, I have now eliminated 3 brands. Here are my reviews:

Glamorise 2452 – It is a pretty, pink bra that has a front closure with hooks. It actually has 2 rows of latch-ins. But! It has 5 hooks. I don’t know about you but after the second hook, I am done. Many times, once I had the last few hooks done, the first ones would slip out. Not only that, the front closure is not comfortable. After wearing this bra for approximately one month, I was done.

Warner’s 2771A – It is a pretty looking bra. I bought one in a beige color. It fits well. However, the band is overly stretchy and very thin. The band extends from the sides of the cups. It does not go underneath the cups. Yes, I can easily snap the hooks in but when the band nearly wraps around me twice, then it is too stretchy. I would not recommend this bra.

Bali 3463 – This bra did not look at all like the picture. This bra is something I would have bought at WalMart. The band on this bra does go all around, underneath the cups. It is stretchy as well. A little thicker than the Warner’s. However, the band tends to fold over top of the cups. For the most part, the bra is comfortable but I would not ever buy this bra again.

Vanity Fair 71380 – I bought a purple one and a beige one. I love this bra. The band and the cups are spot on. The band is stretchy but not overly so. It does go underneath the cups. The whole bra is constructed really well. Exactly what a woman who is a 38C needs. This bra lifts and separates the girls. The bra fits so well, that I hardly notice it. Which I can’t say about the other bras I have had. I have always had to play with straps, the band, jiggle, jostle and pull.

When it comes time to order new bras, I’m not sure what I will do. Right now I am on a diet and losing weight. I want to wait until I am down to the weight I want to be before I order any new bras. I have been looking at the Third Love bras. I will have to see.

Onwards to A New Medication

Anastrozole did not treat me very well. I was taking it for about three weeks when it knocked me a one-two punch that left me quite sick.

I got up one morning and it was a struggle. I definitely felt like I had had one bad drinking night. Getting up and walking was not easy. I felt like the room was spinning, I was nauseous. My head felt huge. I had bad diarrhea. It was like a bad stomach flu and a bad drinking night.

I emailed my oncologist and she said to stop taking it. Then after a couple of weeks, if I was feeling better, I should start taking it again. Well, in between all of this, I had the visit with the gynecologist and I was not going to take anything again until I could see my oncologist.

The first thing my oncologist told me was since I had diseased lymph nodes, I must take an estrogen suppressing medication. She told me the statistics are that the medication suppresses reoccurrence by 50 percent. There are four different medications that I can try. We now know Anastrozole is out. I am now on Letrozole. I was told the side effects were similar but she is hoping my body will be good with this one. She also told me that there are creams and gels that I can be given to alleviate the dryness in the vagina. However, she said not many of her patients experience this problem.

I then asked about doing tests to make sure that all the cancer is gone. I have many friends and my children who are asking this question. She said that they have done a battery of studies on people who underwent many tests after treatment compared to those who didn’t. They determined that there was nothing to indicate running tests after cancer treatment was beneficial.

My oncologist then went on to tell me how she loved my hair coming in. I told her it had a mind of its own. She has extremely curly hair and told me there are hair products for curly hair. She uses one that she puts on while her hair is wet and then lets it air dry. Not only does my oncologist give great medical information but really important information on hair products. Cool!

The Fourth Commandment

Remember the Sabbath day, to keep it holy. Six days you shall labor, and do all your work, but the seventh day is a Sabbath to the Lord your God. On it you shall not do any work, you, or your son, or your daughter, your male servant, or your female servant, or your livestock, or the sojourner who is within your gates. For in six days the Lord made heaven and earth, the sea, and all that is in them, and rested the seventh day. Therefore the Lord blessed the Sabbath day and made it holy. Exodus 20:8-11

This is the fourth commandment in its entirety. As I am typing this verse, I am wondering, what about the wife? Or does the you imply both man and woman? Husband and wife? Mother and father? That has to be the answer since the fifth commandment is to honor your father and mother. I better move on from this question.

It has been said that this commandment is the longest and has three parts to it. Verse 8 tells us what to do, then verses 9-10 specifies how we are to do it and verse 11 explains the why.

God has explained that we are to work or labor for six days of the week but on the seventh, we are to rest, give God glory and show mercy. Apparently, we were made to work or labor. We are to work for God’s benefit. Any task that we undertake, should be done with happiness and mercy. Every person needs to be working, whether you are employed, unemployed, a student, an at home caregiver, retired or disabled. Each one of us is meant to be able to work at something.

I like those affluent people who think they need to work seven days a week. Some have said it isn’t efficient to believe in God because it takes away from their business. Perhaps they would have a better business if they took one day a week off and observed a day of rest, gave honor to God and spent time with families. Or perhaps doing community work. I just think they are being greedy in wanting more.

Now for those people who provide emergency services, they are needed on Sundays. They are showing mercy to others by attending to those injured or those who need help. These people then do need to take another day off for rest and honoring God.

However, Christians today are just so busy and rush from place to place, job to job, one commitment to another. People are so wrapped up in themselves that they tend to forget others. The day of rest is to honor God, show mercy and spend time with family and loved ones. The biggest issue, these days, is time. Everyone has so little time. If someone infringes on that time, then there is a feeling of desperation. Not being able to finish everything. Do Christians not see that by giving themselves one day off to rest and honor God, this will give them a fresh start to the rest of the week? Just my thoughts.

 

 

The Third Commandment

“You shall not take the name of the Lord your God in vain, for the Lord will not hold him guiltless who takes his name in vain.” Exodus 20:7.

On the surface, this commandment looks pretty simple. Don’t swear using God or Jesus as a swear word. Really. There are so many other swear words which are so much better. Unfortunately, today’s society seems to keep using their names in vain. I also every once in a while, forget myself and use it. Some authors have suggested that any one who uses their names in vain, deep down inside know that there is a God.  That would include intellectual atheists/agnostics, activists, seeker-agnostic, anti-theist, non-theist, and ritual atheist/agnostic. I had to look up the list of terms that are now used for non believers. Then, all these people who have turned their backs on God, are knowingly acknowledging that there is a God.

It doesn’t end here though. Taking God’s name in vain applies to Christians. So many times, Christians will say, “Praise the Lord”. Unless that person is using it with their heart and truly thinking of praising the Lord, this is taking the Lord’s name in vain. Any person who attends church, sings songs, sits through a sermon without totally involving their head and their heart in the service, is taking the Lord’s name in vain. Actions without conscious effort and thought and involving the whole heart, is blasphemous.

Perhaps that is why I hesitate finding a church home. I have visited too many churches and not continued because of the lip service I see. There have only been two or three churches that have truly made an effort to welcome newcomers. As I stand and look at the congregation, many people are distracted by their children, their phones, their friends, etc. They are not paying attention and giving full heart to the service. It has become more a thing for people to be seen going to church. Then as these people leave church, they are in a rush to get to their next destination and finish all their tasks of the day (which is breaking the fourth commandment).

People taking actions in the name of the Lord is also breaking this commandment. Terrorists who think they are promoting their cause by killing others in the name of God, are breaking this commandment. Any one who says they are fulfilling a prophecy and taking action on it is a false prophet. Anyone who does not commit an action without truly praying about it and having their heart filled with love, is taking the Lord’s name in vain.

These are all actions I already knew were wrong. Readings by various learned theologians have shown that I was on the right track. Now I know how to categorize these actions. Jesus has said that anyone who comes to heaven declaring His name, could be turned away and sent to hell as He will know who truly has the Lord Jesus in his heart. Bottom line is don’t use the Lord’s name in vain.

Anastrazole

Going through this cancer journey can really do a number on a person. When it is breast cancer for a woman, what it does emotionally to a woman’s sense of sensuality, really hits hard.

First, you are diagnosed with breast cancer. Then a woman needs to make the decision to have a lumpectomy or a mastectomy. I can’t imagine having a mastectomy and going through the healing process. A lumpectomy still leaves a scar and I also have scars from the lymph node removal but the breast is still left with a permanent reminder.

As a woman goes through chemotherapy, there is the hair loss. Total hair loss over the entire body. Men love women with long hair. Hair has such power with women. Beautiful long tresses. Thick, full hair. Gone. Eyelashes, eyebrows, gone. All body hair gone. Then the next step is radiation that burns the skin. Everything is tender and sore after the chemotherapy but then to lie in a room where no one but you is there, listening to the machine zero in on the spots in your breast and armpit, leaves one feeling exposed and cold and alone and unfeminine.

Chemotherapy and radiation is done. There is weight gain which has made me feel terrible and I am now on a strict diet. The hair finally starts to grow back. Eyelashes were huge for me. The lashes are not all there yet but they are coming. The eyebrows have come back and the hair on my scalp is doing whatever it wants. I don’t want to put any creams into my hair to control it. Then it will look flat. And I don’t want to go with the spiked look.

My oncologist put me on Anastrazole, an estrogen suppressing medication. But after two weeks of feeling extremely headachy, dizzy, lightheaded, wanting to throw up and having bouts of diarrhea, my doctor agreed to let me get off and see how I do. Another requirement was for me to see a gynecologist to have my remaining ovary removed. I had a hysterectomy at the age of 40 due to complications.

I saw that gynecologist today. We went over my health history and then he talked to me about Anastrazole. He said it is a powerful hormone suppressing medication. He also said that it will dry up my vagina into a little knot and be painful. He said sex will be impossible. After I said, I had no idea, he said I need to talk to my oncologist about these estrogen suppressing drugs and get all the facts before I make the decision to continue or not. We also discussed having my ovary removed. We will go ahead with this.

I left the gynecologist and burst into tears as I was driving home. It feels like I am being punished. First this breast cancer where I am still struggling to feel feminine. Where I am struggling to think I might be attractive. Those are all very real feelings and it takes time to work through all of them. But now this. Urinating will cause pain. The vagina will be in pain and no sex. I didn’t know. I was relying on my oncologist to tell me. I want to be able to make an informed decision. Especially since it will be affecting such an enjoyable part of life. I will be calling for an appointment where I can get the statistics and find out what the percentages are. Right now, I feel like a truck has hit me. I don’t know if I will ever feel like a sensual woman again.

The Second Commandment – You shall have no other Gods

The second commandment in the long form is “You shall not make for yourself a carved image, or any likeness of anything that is in heaven above or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth. You shall not bow down to them or serve them, for I the Lord your God am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers on the children to the third and the fourth generation of those who hate me, but showing steadfast love to thousands of those who love me and keep my commandments.” Exodus 20: 4-6

So what did the people do at the base of the mountain while they were waiting for Moses? They were bored with the waiting so Aaron took their jewelry and made a calf out of gold. Really? I guess they didn’t know about this commandment because when Moses came down from the mountain with the tablets, he threw them down in frustration at these people. I don’t blame him. He is up on some mountain with God, who he can’t really look at. We don’t know how long he is up there and he is without food, water and shelter. I would be ticked too if I came down after listening to God and find these people partying it up with a golden calf.

As I am reading up on the ten commandments, I realize that we cannot just take the commandments at face value. Like this one. Do people think that just because they don’t have some idol or make some idol that they are free and clear? I don’t think so. There is more to this commandment (and all the others) that meet our eyes.

Every time I go to a church, I wonder about the cross that is always at the front of the church. What about all the crosses that are made into jewelry? I, myself, was given a beautiful cross on a necklace and I wear this necklace a lot. But I wonder how much emphasis we are placing on the cross. We all know Jesus died on the cross for us. For me, the cross is a reminder of Jesus being punished and put to death in the most horrific way. To be crucified by the Romans was to be a deterrent to everyone. If you commit a crime, or step out of line, this is how you will pay. I know that if people look at a cross and remember what happened with it, then it is a good reminder. However, when people seem to pray before and kiss the cross, is this crossing the line?

I also wonder about Catholics and their reverence for Mary. There are so many pictures, sculptures, images, etc. of Mary that it is all overwhelming. I know she is a holy woman and what she went through with Jesus is mind boggling. But she was a human woman who obediently served God. I need to ask the Catholics, isn’t Jesus more important than Mary? It feels, to me in my opinion, that Mary is placed over Jesus. That is just wrong. All the rosary beads, which I don’t understand, the figures of the Virgin Mary with pictures, feel like she is being worshipped.

Years ago I was in Rome and was able to tour St. Peter’s Basilica. My ex husband embarrassed me with how he, as a Catholic but not a practicing one, touched everything that was made of gold and cried over all of it. I walked through St. Peter’s thinking, what would Jesus think about all of this? I felt so uncomfortable in this church. The opulence was sickening to me. How many people lived in poverty, while the church was being built and were still expected to tithe to the church to make this church happen? How many people today make do without to tithe to this structure?

Worshipping something other than God, Jesus and the Holy Spirit is not just limited to what I have talked about but it also means what about career worshipping, money, sports figures, move actors, singers, material items that your neighbor has and you want. The list could go on.

It isn’t just the face value of the actual commandment, you shall have no other gods before me, it is everything leading up to it as well. We are human with desires, wants, needs and we sin. A lot. It kind of has one think that we can’t measure up. You are wrong. That is why God sent Jesus to us. Jesus died for all our sins. His death was enough. It doesn’t mean that we can go on living recklessly without thought. We still need to try and live with love in our hearts for everyone. But we need to place God in our hearts and love Him with everything we have.

What Does One Do?

It has been one year that Bill and I have been married. One year since we said for better for worse. In sickness and in health. Until death do us part.

It has been a very difficult year for the two of us. One week before our wedding I was diagnosed with breast cancer. Then two months later, Bill fell and had two hemorrhages on the brain. He was hospitalized for one and a half weeks. He was told to stay at home for two months and grow a beard. Which he did. It is a beautiful beard.

Through it all, my love has grown deeper for this man. My love for him leaves me breathless. I feel my love for him like a thread that weaves its way around me. All of me. Into my heart and around my soul. I dream about him. I think about him every second of every day. We found each other late in life but Bill is a blessing to me. God has granted us this time together.

And yet. Things are not perfect. I dream too much. I think too much. I think about my past and all the mistakes I made. I think about Bill’s past and all the women he has known. Bill is a handsome man with charisma. Then, stupidly, I think about what if we had met when we were younger? I keep imagining that Bill would have glanced at me, briefly, and walked past me. I imagine I would have fallen head over heels in love with the man. And then been crushed as he walked past me. His blonde hair, his stunning blue eyes would have captured my heart and not let go. Why do I do this to myself?

I tell myself that I am a creative person and I am a writer. That is how I get myself into trouble. My imagination just does not stop going. It is better than the Eveready battery. That is how I am able to write stories. My stupid imagination gets me into trouble so much. So I waste time crying over the past and my mistakes and faults. I see myself as imperfect, not good enough for a man like Bill. I would like to kick my imagination in the butt and out the door. Yet, if it wasn’t for my imagination, I would not be able to come up with the stories I write and God would get less frustrated with me. I think I am giving God a good run.

Head over heels in love. That is me. I look at Bill and wonder what he sees in me. And then I thank God that Bill is in my life and that he loves me. At times I am torn. I finally deserve Bill and then, because of my faults and mistakes, I don’t deserve him.

For better for worse. For richer for poorer. Well, I think Bill and I have pretty much covered those. Until death do us part. But I pray to God that, should I die first, I must watch over Bill. I need to be with him until the end of time. Forever. I want to be able to greet him when he joins me in heaven. I would give my life for Bill, as I would for my children and grandchildren. Such is my love for this wonderful man.