My Birthday Blog

Reflecting back over my life I can say that I am tremendously grateful for everything, the good and not so good. I am forty-three today and more grateful than ever that I am still alive. I was born on an island called Formosa, meaning Beautiful Island, in the Pacific. Today, people call it Taiwan. When I was born, my birth parents made a sacrifice and gave me up for adoption. It was thought that baby girls were expendable back then, so the government was taking us and shipping us to Mainland China to grow up and work in Chinese work camps. My birth parents decided to leave me at an adoption agency with hopes that American parents would adopt me.

Little did I know that before I was ever thought about on Earth, when my mom was thirteen years old, had a dream of adopting a Chinese baby girl. As she grew into an adult, she married my Dad. They could not have biological children so they searched and found the very adoption agency where I would be placed.  They put their names on the waiting list. Three and a half years later, while stationed at an Air Force base in Taipei, Taiwan, my mom received a phone call. There were about thirty babies to choose from and they were invited to come “pick one out.” My parents prayed about which one they should “choose.” When they arrived, I was the only one screaming! (My mom says I haven’t shut up since!) But she knew that I was the one they were to take home.

I have asked her numerous times, “Mom, how did you know which one was me?” She lovingly and laughingly answers, “Well, it was tricky, because you all looked alike!” We were all wrapped in swaddling. The only thing showing was our tiny faces.

Growing up in America was tough because back then it wasn’t “cool” to adopt outside your ethnicity. But knowing I was different and knowing that I was thousands of miles away from my origin, deep down I knew I was sent here for a purpose. God doesn’t deliver me OUT of someplace not to deliver me TO someplace else…

Overcoming racism, bullying, and other childhood and youth issues; overcoming financial crises, persevering through marital turmoil, and surviving life threatening and terminal prognoses, I can say that God has had His hand on my life since at least fourteen years before birth. He had my very life planned out. Knowing that my Heavenly Father knows best and has already written my story into His, enables me to trust and have peace that surpasses human understanding. Nothing I have gone through has surprised Him and my responses to my circumstances haven’t surprised Him either. He has turned my trials into triumphs and tests into testimonies of His love and mercy. I am a trophy of His grace. I pray that my life exhibits His love, His light, and His miracles.

God had a plan and purpose for me before I was born and He has one for you.

Jeremiah 29:11 For I know the plans I have for you declares the Lord “Plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.”

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Love at 30,000 feet

Being a flight attendant affords me many opportunities to ‘people watch’ all over the country.
I’ve witnessed numerous romantic, humorous, cold, angry, and scary exchanges between passengers, families, and friends. But today, I was honored to be privy to true love.

It warms my heart to see love in action regardless of feelings. The kind of love that’s sacrificial, burdensome, and true.

Today, a wife with quadriplegia, her husband, and an assistant boarded one of my flights. It took two customer service reps and her husband to board her onto the aircraft. He carefully picked  her up and maneuvered her from her wheelchair into the straight back chair used to move passengers into the cabin. By the time they settled, 15 minutes later, the man was sweating. He was red in the face but smiling and looking amorously at his wife.

I briefed them on the nearest emergency exit and we discussed how to proceed in case of an evacuation. We also talked about what they would do in a water landing. It was decided that the assistant and the husband would sandwich his wife in between them along with the seat cushions.

As other passengers boarded, he placed her neck pillow behind her head and draped a blanket over her to keep her comfortable.

During the beverage and sack service, he fed her peanuts and pretzels and gave her sips of drink in between bites. He read the Sky magazine to her and she giggled each time he whispered in her ear.
They spoke kindly to each other and always made eye contact. He also took pictures of the scenery outside of his window and shared each snapshot with her.

They played an electronic chess game on his smart phone. He held the screen so she could see it and she would dictate what move she wanted to make. When she won the game, he called her a ‘weasel’ and she laughed.

He cleaned her mess and wiped her face. He was constantly adjusting her in the seat as she kept slumping over. They even had a lively debate over a product found in the Sky Mall magazine.

When all the other passengers deplaned, one of the ramp personnel came aboard with the straight back chair. The woman’s husband gently climbed over her and stood in the aisle poised to lift his wife.

On the count of three, they situated her into the chair. All the while he was mumbling sentiments only she could hear and she grinned. As he was gathering the leg and foot pieces to her wheelchair down from the overhead bin, her eyes welled up with tears. He was sweating again as it took them another eighteen minutes to deplane.  When he saw her eyes glistening, he bent over with a huge smile and said, “Stop honey-it’s quite alright.”

When they exchanged vows many years ago, he meant what he said. He committed to care for her during sickness and in health, for better or for worse -regardless.  As it turned out, she wasn’t always in this condition. But one day, a drunk driver took her ability to walk and use her arms. At one time she had a tracheotomy which left her voice hoarse and barely audible. He is very thankful she is alive.

They thanked me for the pleasant flight and I told them the pleasure was all mine. I am grateful I was able to be a part of their story of love, even if only for a brief 57 minute flight.   

Wishing you lots of love& laughter!
 With a grateful heart, Corinne 

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Considering disabilities and being grateful for them.

The past several years have been less than a fairy tale for me. I’ve struggled and overcome several terminal and life threatening illnesses, my eighteen year old son who has profound disabilities (Cerebral Palsy, mental retardation, Autism) almost died- twice, and my “typical” children have been far from typical. I’ve bounced back from financial hardships and have persevered in order to reconcile my marriage. Nevertheless, I am so grateful that I am alive to see the sunrise on this side of heaven. 

This morning I woke up praying and being grateful for one of my children in particular. All of my five children have traits under the Autism umbrella. But this one specifically has paranoid schizophrenia, extreme attention deficit, and obsessive compulsive disorder. This child who is an adult now, has been extremely taxing on our family. This child has caused many arguments and stress that has affected our health, marriage, and threatened our family unit. However, I still love my child simply because he/she is my child. 

Taking a step back and looking at this through God’s eyes, I am grateful for the good things that have come about because of he/she disabilities. This child literally saved my life and saved my youngest child’s life on two occasions. Had he/she not been born with these “disabilities”, my youngest child would have died, twice; and I would have joined my youngest child in heaven three years ago. The same characteristics that categorize my child with paranoid schizophrenia saved our lives. When I weigh the challenging things against the positive things, the positive things far outweigh the negative. God indeed has a purpose for everything that appears “abnormal” or “wrong” in our lives. I am living proof.

Yesterday, in a moment of self wallowing, I stated that sometimes I wish our family was the “normal” all American family. One of my other “not so typical” children said, “Mom, I don’t know a family that is truly “normal”. They may appear that way to the world, but when you get closer, they have idiosyncrasies like we do.” You know what? She’s absolutely right. Ours may be more pronounced than others, but no one and no family is perfect. 

Well said, child of mine. 🙂

Live on purpose and laugh out loud!

Practicing being grateful one day at a time! 

 

 

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You are what you eat

I get quite a few requests for help regarding diet and life-style changes from pharmaceutical to natural methods. I wanted to clarify that I am not a medical professional. I am just a stroke/disease/cancer survivor and a mother of severely health challenged children. 

Let me state that everyone is different and everyone is battling different health issues. Even if the health diagnosis is the same, we are each different so our bodies respond differently to different things. There is a book called Healing is Voltage by Dr. Jerry Tennant. I highly recommend reading. It’s a great starting (middle & continuing reference) point for anyone who has ailments in which they desire healed. I refer to this book often. There are also several great “diets” that work:

Alkalinity, Gluten Free, Raw, Casein Free, Cancer free, Hallelujah are examples. I have combined several of these to customize a personalized diet for me and for the kids. I usually do Non-GMO and organic as well. If I can’t pronounce it, I don’t buy it.

(Remember no disease, cancer, virus, bacteria can live in an alkaline environment.) 

One of the premier ways to become alkaline is juicing veggies and fruit. Many stories of stage four cancer being eradicated and the patient becoming totally 100% healthy! In fact they are healthier than they were pre-cancer/disease. 

Superfoods such as almonds, avocados, and blueberries are terrific as well. One of the most alkaline (ph) things to consume is Himalayan Sea Salt. It has all of the trace minerals your body needs to work properly. The pinker the salt is, the more trace minerals are in it. Drinking alkaline water is another key factor in becoming alkaline and healthy. I have a machine that is attached to our water supply at home. It removes the chlorine and puts back the natural nutrients that water is supposed to give us. Be careful when researching machines. There are several imitators and scams out there. 

The more you cook foods, the more nutrients are cooked OUT of the food. Microwaving kills all nutrients in the food, so what you are consuming is empty calories. In the case of vegetables, raw is best, steaming is better, sauteing is good. Frying and boiling are ok. 

I used to say “I can’t afford to eat healthy.” Now, I say, “I can’t afford NOT to!” I added up receipts over the past several months and my grocery costs are lower than medical co-pays, deductibles, pharmacy cost, treatments such as chemo/interferon, and over the counter meds. 

Best wishes on your journey to health! 

Live Well & Laugh Often!

Corinne 

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Friendship & Friends…

Throughout my years studying and living this subject, I have come to some revelations regarding friends and friendships. One, they are not the same thing. You can have many friends but unless you have an exchange with them, you aren’t in a friendship with them. You may be someone’s friend and they not be yours and they may be your friend and you not be theirs.

To have friendships, both parties must reciprocate at some level. I often witness some friends doing all the giving and some friends doing all the taking. But for there to be an actual relationship between friends, called a friendship; both, must give and take. It is possible to be someone’s friend and for them not to be yours; or vice-versa. I used to grimace at the fact of befriending someone only to have them reject me at some point in the future. But now I realize that everyone who comes into my life; it’s for a reason, a season, or a lifetime. So if I feel inclined, I will take the risk at befriending someone.

When I was little, I was taught that if I was going to be a friend to someone, be the best friend they could ever have. I don’t always succeed but when it’s possible, I do my darnedest.

I recognize that everyone in my circle of friends or friendships sharpen me in one way or the other. They challenge me to levels of greatness and humility.

I have also learned that not everyone has the capacity or capability of having a friendship. You may be able to be their friend, but them not be yours. I also recognize that not everyone can love or does love at the same level. The love they emit is directly related to the love they have experienced or have received. If they have never experienced unconditional love, its impossible for them to give it. If they have never realized sacrificial love, its impossible for them to sacrifice at a deep level for anyone.

There will be seasons in life when you will be someone’s friend and then move on to help someone else. This will also happen the other way around, where someone is your friend during a season, then move on to help someone else. When this happens in either circumstance, don’t be offended. It’s a part of the circle of friendship and friends. I was told that if you have one true friendship, you are wealthy. How wealthy are you?

Be a friend to someone, not because of who they are and what they give, but because of who you are and what you can give to them.

Love and laughter,

Corinne

 

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Compartmentalization

I had a successful first trip back to work after being on four months worth of sick leave for SLE(lupus) & cancer treatment. I attacked the diseases holistically so I was able to return earlier than anticipated. However, I am still battling lupus. According to tests in early July both were gone and clear. But my most recent tests show SLE is creeping back up. But I went back to work anyway as a way to induce my encouragement of being well. Sometimes we have to encourage ourselves in ways that no other person can. While I am flying, I can compartmentalize and put my “sickness” on the back burner. Flying keeps my mind off of “me” and gets it on safety of passengers, flight crews, and security. I’ve had friends tell me that I wasn’t still for very long. But for me, four months IS a long time to be still. Is my health perfect? Nope, living with thyroid disease, that was caused by former chemotherapy and interferon treatments, isn’t fun. HOWEVER, I am a fighter and refuse to lay down and quit living just because. I am healthier NOW than I have ever been! 

While I’m 30,000 feet in the air, I am able to think and pray about issues that are “too close to home” when I am home. I am able to carry the stress from home in a healthier and balanced way by being away for a short time to process, analyze, and pray about the situation. When I was on sick leave and couldn’t physically separate myself from drama or pressing issues, I locked myself in my room and imagined I was on Little Palm Island or I would go a few miles away and take a walk to process, think, and pray. I always ask that the Lord let me see things through His eyes and point of view. When I do this, I panic less and pray more. 

On my first night back, my oldest daughter, age 24, had a near fatal car accident. She fell asleep while driving to work. Veered toward a median and overcompensated and ran off of the freeway into a woods. Had she not been wearing a seat belt, she would have died. Her guardian angels were working overtime for sure that night. When I received the news, I immediately prayed, weighed consequences, and calculated what to do.  Would I return home or continue my trip. With her being under the best care possible at a local hospital renown for trauma care, surrounded by her friends, and family, I decided to continue my trip. There was nothing else I could do but pray; and I could pray just as easily in the air and away from home as I could in town. 

Had I let her accident consume me, I would have been a nervous wreck and would have had to return home early. Being able to compartmentalize in order to separate distractions, unnecessary and necessary stressors, and delineate between must do’s and options, is key to living a healthy balanced life. 

Wishing you Love, joy, and peace!

Corinne 

 

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Perspective…its all in how you see it

I am often asked how I can see the “bright” side of circumstances or people all the time. The key? I look at them from a 30,000 foot view. Being a Flight Attendant has taught me to look at everything from 30,000 feet in the air. When you look down on people, places, things, circumstances usually you can see the whole picture. That’s how I look at the world. You say, “Well, yeah, Corinne, I am not a Flight Attendant and I rarely fly, so how do I do that?” 

Imagine that you are flying high above in the air. Close your eyes if you must in order to block out what you see. Once you are “30,000 feet” above, look down on your situation. Ask yourself, “Will this matter in a year? Five years? a decade? Will this matter tomorrow?” Breath deeply and list things for which you are grateful. 

It’s been said “one can’t see the forest because of the trees”. This is true in that if you are so focused on the tree (obstacle) directly in front of you, you can’t see the bigger picture (forest). When we are only looking at our issues and problems, we see frayed knots all tangled up in a big mess. But when we look down on it, we can see the whole kit and kaboodle: we see a beautiful tapestry being woven into a intricate pattern of love, life, peace, and joy. 

Many times I have to get away in my mind to see things clearly and wholly. I close my eyes and imagine it’s a year from now. And when I can’t see things from 30,000 feet above, I go higher! When your life is full of storms and clouds, there is a place above the clouds and storms where all there is, is sunshine. Go there, even if only in your imagination. 

Each morning I pray to see people, places, and circumstances through God’s eyes. If it’s a hectic day, I ask this more than once and sometimes often during the day. This gives great perspective on the challenge I’m facing that moment; whether it be dealing with a person, stressful situation, challenging circumstance or all three! 

I pray that your day is bright, sunny, and full of proper perspective!

Love and laughter,

Corinne 

 

 

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It’s ok to have a down day …as long as you don’t stay there.

I wanted to follow up my previous post with it’s ok to have a down day, as long as you don’t stay there. Some days may be weeks or months depending upon the gravity of circumstances, but don’t focus on them to the point that your mind takes you down a dark path to where you can’t return to your “normal” happy self. Everything you see is subject to change. None of it is permanent – good or bad. But if you concentrate only on the negative things, you will only notice negative things happening to you. 

I receive many calls that begin with “Corinne! you won’t believe what I’m going through!” …my thoughts are “that’s good, you are GOING THROUGH… you’re not stuck!” I may or may not say this right away depending on who I am listening too, but it’s true. Going through doesn’t mean stuck, unless you want to be stuck. It may seem like you are stuck for the moment, but you don’t have to stay there. 

The good news is we have many more things in which to be thankful than those things that we’d rather not have in our lives. 

When ever I am in this situation, I do several things: I make a list of those people, places and things for which I am grateful and gradually my mood, my thoughts, and my feelings begin to change for the positive. I pray. I listen to encouraging messages. I may call a girlfriend and have a laugh at something silly. I have to be intentional about staying positive, even when I am suffering. 

If you are stuck in a down state, try making a list… if you need help, ask someone who can point out all the good things in your life! 

And now, dear brothers and sisters, one final thing. Fix your thoughts on what is true, and honorable, and right, and pure, and lovely, and admirable. Think about things that are excellent and worthy of praise. – Philippians 4:8

All things work together for the good of those who love Christ who have been called according to God’s purpose. – Romans 8:28

But if you suffer for doing good and endure it patiently, God is pleased with you. – 1 Peter 2:20b

 

Love, laughter, and joy

Corinne 

 

 

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Staying happy! … regardless

I’m often asked what’s my secret to staying happy regardless of circumstances. It’s a lesson I’ve learned over and over again and there really is no secret! I’m a Jesus fanatic and most of my friends know I am nuts about Him! He IS my life and the rest of my life, positive or negative is just a part of the scenery. Life is like a Rose bush, full of roses and thorns. And sometimes when a thorn presents itself, I intentionally thank God for the roses that are on my bush. I may have to deal with the thorns, but I don’t have to focus on them. That’s how I view “seemingly” negative circumstances that pop up. 

Here is my morning routine (usually- unless I’m flying) 🙂 

I greet each day intentionally and I am thankful for everything that is in my life at that moment. (everything: the good, bad and the ugly) For everything that comes into my life onto my Rose bush is created to hone me into a better person and more Christlike: living a life of love. 

I pray and make a list of things for which I’m grateful even IF I may think things couldn’t be worse. (My circumstances could always be worse) 

I read the Bible and if I have time I listen to pod-casts by my favorite Bible teachers. (At least a Proverb matching that day’s date…August 5 = Proverbs 5. Chris Bennett, Andy Stanley, Matt Chandler, Mark Driscoll are just a few) 

I read my daily devotional – Jesus Calling by Sarah Young

I may listen to positive books I’ve downloaded from audio.com (The Power by Rhonda Byrne) 

I pray for anyone who is on my heart and send encouraging messages to many of my friends on a daily basis. 

If I’m flying, I do everything mentally… I pray over my passengers, flight crews, and our days activities. I make a mental list of things for which I am grateful. Then I recall scriptures that I’ve memorized to carry me through the day. 

Proverbs 23:7 “As a man thinks in his heart, so is he.” 

Acts 26:2 “I think myself happy…” 

Love, laughter, and happiness…

Corinne 

 

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Setting Boundaries…Again

Setting boundaries seems to be cliche these days. I hear that term quite a bit in the circles where I’m involved. However, there are many times we set boundaries with everyone but the one person who may drain us the most. Or we may have set boundaries in the past, but as time progresses, we forget the limits that we set in the first place. It could be that we remember the limits but over time, we’ve become lax. Whatever the reason for not honoring the previously set boundaries, the key is resetting them as quickly as possible. 

Yesterday was a rough day on my emotions and physical being. All week long, I received communication from people needing help in different ways. It’s been awhile since I have opened myself up to those types of calls and then yesterday, four out of my five adult children needed me for “crises” in their lives. They all wanted help at the same time. I didn’t take time to make a mental break from their “needs” all day. By the end of the day I was more tired than I needed to be, more drained than necessary, and experienced more physical pain than I had in a few weeks. This happened all because I forgot about the boundaries I set in the beginning and I lowered my shield. 

I usually shield myself from negative energy; especially when my health is on the line. I do this by revving my energy level up as positive as it can get. Every morning, I pray, read the Bible, listen to pod-casts, I juice or drink a smoothie, I make a list of things for which I am grateful, etc. Yesterday was no exception. I was recently healed from several profound health issues using energy, holistic, and natural medicine. I used things God created to enable my body to heal naturally. So even on my up days, I have to be extremely cautious about the negative energy in which I expose myself. 

Everyone we come into contact with on any given day carries energy. We are made of energy and we are magnetic. Depending upon our energy level, whether negative or positive, that’s what we attract. All week long I was “up”, my energy level was high, it was positive, and every thing negative bounced off me like bullets off of bullet proof glass. I was able to handle several “crises” calls during the week and they not affect me. But by the third crisis on Friday, my level began to drop. Had I remembered my boundaries, this wouldn’t have happened. Last night, I carried a pain level of seven in my bones that I hadn’t had for the past couple of weeks. (the feeling of a spinal tap or liver biopsy without anesthesia comes to mind)  Now that I know what the cause of stress is, I will try not to expose myself to it again. 

With my endocrine system not working the way it was created to work and my central nervous system recently being healed, I do not want to carelessly and unnecessarily unravel any healing that has been done. 

May you have a positive day and surround yourself with positive people, things, and situations… 

 

 

Co

 

 

 

 

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