Saturday, September 16, 2017

How Did They Know?

True or False?

I'm a Christian and I'm not dead.  I am alive.

Today I'm going to share with you two discoveries.  To my surprise the computer knows a lot about me and a lot about you.

Discovery #1.  A Christian Promotional Company found out I'm a Christian and sent me an email about an upcoming Christian movie.

How did their computer know I was a Christian?  I got curious so I read to the end to find a contact.

I did find the contact person and sent an email to ask how they got my email address.  My inquiry went deeper than that.  I believe in ASK and you shall receive.

They sent my email to their department head because I went and checked out their website.

This company sends out books to churches.  SO I asked for some books too.

Guess what?  They sent 2 books to me for a special occasion we were having.  I was impressed.  I called to thank them for going out of their way to send those books and I also asked them to pray for the special occasion we were having.

Have you ever taken the time to take the extra steps to figure something out?  Something that intrigued you?  Something you don't normally do?

Well nothing is normal in my life since the cancer diagnosis.  It's like I'm living each day as if it were my last.  And I'm finding I'm doing some silly and some crazy things VERY spontaneously I might add.

Well the extra mile I went this time turned into a double blessing.  I got the free books and they're also looking for people to read books and write comments after they've been read.  I enjoy reading so I just might sign up.

The special occasion we were having was a CELEBRATION of courage. The family whose loved one we were honoring on her cancer journey took the books and the memories of a lovely evening home with them.

Discovery #2  The world wide web knows more about me and more about you - than we think!

The Christian company went online and found my email address from a speakers directory.  So I went online and looked me up.  This time I was shocked !!!  Google thinks I'm dead.  Why does Google think that?  You're wondering, right?  There are people who go around taking photo's at cemeteries.  

If your name is on a tomb stone guess what?  They think you're dead.  It's called Billion Graves.  The worlds largest resource for searchable GPS cemetery data!!  Now ya know it too!

I'd say most people get a tomb stone after their loved one dies.  After my father passed away we chose to buy a plot and a tomb stone so our children would not have to do that.  It is extremely overwhelming burying a loved one.  We thought we'd simplify things a bit for them.  They're not interested right now, but when the time comes they will appreciate what we did.

Google I'd just like you to know that I am more alive NOW than when i was dead - yet walking!!!!
Thanks be to the man who walked on water.  You've heard of him, right? His name is Jesus, I call him My Big G.  You can discover hope and healing at

Much Love,
Mrs. Encouragement

Saturday, September 2, 2017

What Goes with Espresso? Italians!!

After reading these 3 stories, you’ll believe everything happens for a reason.  

I’ve been paying attention to detail since looking back on recent encounters.  Usually the first encounter means there is more to follow > >

I saw them while in the security line up at the airport. Italians!!  They’re everywhere. 

You could tell they were from Italy.  They dressed the part.  They spoke Italian.  They looked like professionals.  I saw them holding their Italian passports.  They saw my Napoli carry on bag.  My husband being Italian overheard them talking about my bag.  I saw them again at our gate.  I wasn’t surprised when I saw them sit down in the aisle across from us on our Air Canada flight from Calgary to Victoria BC.   

The plane was full.  A lady was trying to fit in her luggage on the overhead compartment with no success.  I nudged my husband to ask the Italians if he could move their two small back packs over one compartment so she could easily fit her suitcase in the next section. 
He hesitantly agreed and spoke to the couple in their language.  They agreed.  He got up and moved their bags over.  That was the ice breaker.  You could see their demeanor change.  Like they had found a friend.  Dot & Vini (our nicknames) were about to become their friends.  Turns out they speak a little English too.  The hour flight was non-stop talking.  That’s what Italians are all about.  Communication!! 

We took a taxi together.  The 3 Italians sat in the back seat.  The quiet Canadian?  That’s me!  I sat in the front seat with the quiet foreign taxi driver.  Politely I told him.  They.  Those 3 Italians in the back seat would be talking Italian on our drive.  When we reached our destination we  had an espresso together.  It was a delight!  It had been 13 days without an authentic espresso since visiting the Canadian Rocky Mountains.  Banff, Lake Louise, Jasper.  Gabriella enjoyed the coffee and conversation.  Stefano not quite impressed by the coffee but by the conversation around food and travelling.  He was a travel agent in his younger years.  Now organizes tours in Italy.

They told us they wondered what the Italian connection was with me and my bag because my husband does not look like an authentic Italian.  According to Stefano.  The difference between Italians and Canadians in my opinion.  Italians think out loud, using their outside voice.  Canadians think and keep it all inside.  The Canadian might not be heard.  But the Italian.  Heard for sure.   
My husband has been here 43 years.  Stephano commented that Vini could pass as an Anglo Saxon.  Just like Stefano, not impressed with the espresso.  My husband was not impressed with the Anglo-Saxon comment!  He has blue eyes and fair skin compared to them but never considered himself Anglo-Saxon. 

We figured out how to add each other’s phone numbers to the ‘WhatsApp’ on our cell phones.  This is the test -  text message from Gabriella’s Italian cell phone. Ciao, grazie per il caffe.

The Italians were going to Ucuelet/Tofino for 3 days.  I encouraged them to stop at Coombs market on their drive for a good espresso.  That is exactly what they did!  On the way, there and on the way back.  They enjoyed their espresso and God’s creation.  They had hoped to see a bear but it didn’t happen on their trip to Canada.  Maybe next time. 
We had dinner together when they got back.  Stefano brought his own ground Italian coffee beans.  So, we made espresso for 4 with Caffe Vergnano.  A delicious coffee bean roasted in Torino.  From our guests, we learned about   When our coffee was finished we went to the car.  

Taking them on a tour of Victoria.  What impressed me the most about this Italian couple was their kindness towards each other.  When Gabriella was running out of energy on our tour of famous Butchart Gardens Stefano simply came to us and said “Gabriella is very tired.  IT would be best if we finished the garden tour within the hour.”  What a kind way of communicating the needs of his companion when travelling in a group.  

It was meant to happen.  Our encounter > > > >

At the last minute, they had cancelled a flight to Montreal.  Changed their destination to Victoria and explore the Island before heading back to Italy.  We accompanied them to the airport and said goodbye to our new Italian friends.  Guess what:  Gabriella & Stefano are going to be in Sorrento Italy the next time we are visiting there!  Ciao for now Italiani.  This is the text message when they left Victoria.  Not easy to find people so nice like you are!  Thanks again for everything and see you soon!  Ciao Stefano & Gabriella. 

Another story of encounter. 

My husband was wearing his Italian jacket on our way to have an espresso.  When we got to the coffee shop a lady stood up and said, “Bella Italia!”.  After she had reminded herself – OYM – open your mouth!!!!!  That gave her the courage to let go of her shy quiet demeanor.  That was all the Italian she knew.  She loves Italy.  We became besties, her and I since 2005.  Her name is Judi.  She is from Saskatchewan and lives in Victoria where we had planned on retiring. 

With 7 grandchildren in Calgary, we’ve chosen to run away to Victoria but always return home. 

Judi planned a 3-month holiday to Portugal and Italy to celebrate her 70th birthday this year.  I arranged for my brother in law and sister in law to pick her up in Sorrento.  They showed her around my husband’s home town and she got to meet the whole fam damily!  With our niece being the translator, she managed just fine.  They fed her well. 
It was meant to be that we met Judi in 2005 and Gabriella & Stefano in 2017.  The connection?  Italy and Espresso!  What makes you connect to others?

Now for the original encounter.  It wasn’t espresso that brought us together.  It was dancing!
In 1976 My Big G, God, knew I needed to learn how to ESPRESS myself.  I was sent to the dance floor at the Cabaret in Calgary where I met my future husband.  It’s a miracle that I found my voice within my being married to an Italian.  This Canadian girl, shy, quiet, polite, afraid to use her voice, girl. 

Boy have things changed around here!!  Not only did I find my voice, I know how to show up, stand up and ESPRESS myself where ever I go.  Using the language of Love.  Under the influence of CafĂ© LavAzza.

May memories of past encounters excite you to smile, say hello and invite a stranger into your home.  You just might be entertaining an Angel.

p.s. When my Mother-in-law came to Calgary for a visit in the middle of winter in 1984 she compared us to caged chickens.  White skin because we didn’t go outside.  It was TOO cold.  Those Italians must be free run chickens then.  What about chickens that used to be caged and now are called free run.  Do they leave their coops? 

p.p.s. In Victoria, the city of newly weds and nearly dead’s the traffic is crazy with all the free run chickens trying to get where ever they are going.  It’s too cold out east so the chickens are heading west for retirement.  Tired from shovelling the snow and being cooped up inside.  Ready to add a little color to their skin when the winter grey sky gives permission to the sunshine to occasionally show up. 

With Much Love
Mrs. Encouragement

Sunday, August 20, 2017

A Week of Memories

It's been a year this week since I had my mammogram which detected a tumor in my breast.

Dr. M called and left a message on my answering machine one day this week.

I had a follow up appointment with my surgeon the next day so when I received the message I was a little confused.

I called Dr. M's secretary and asked who Dr. M was.  She said Dr. L had made a referral.  Well I'm going to see Dr. L tomorrow does it have anything to do with that appointment", I asked?

Now she was confused so she read me the referral notes.  I said, "Oh, Dr. M is a plastic surgeon. And when did he get this referral", I said?  "In October", she replied.  "In October!!! and now it's August. I could be dead by now, but I'm not - thank goodness and by the way, I kept my breasts".

"That's great so I'll give your appointment to someone else.  Ten months is a normal wait for a specialist", she replied!

The next day I went to see Dr. L my surgeon, who performed the lumpectomy/partial mastectomy in November last year. He's also the surgeon who removed my gallbladder 24 years ago.  In and out of his office in 5 minutes - leaving with a requisition for a mammogram in Sept.  I gave him a thank you card which read:  Dear Dr. L - I chose you to be my surgeon.  I'm glad I did.  Word got out from my gallbladder to my breasts that you were the best!

He did such a great job - no damage to any nerve endings.  He is known to be meticulous.  Thanks be to God.

After that I went to get my breast prosthesis and a new bra.  I feel well balanced now.  Guess what? Our health care pays for 70% of the cost of the prosthesis and private insurance pays for mastectomy bras. Wow, am I lucky or what??  While I was there a lady was inquiring about a prosthesis for her sister.  SO I asked my fitting specialist "How can she buy one for someone else?"

"It is possible for a full mastectomy.  And this happens quite a bit in this office, as these are not available in all countries", she replied.

The other memory is recalling the birth of my first child who just turned 40!!!!  We had a back yard BBQ pizza party for her and her friends.  It was a blast.  By the end of the night, I was more tired than I was in giving birth to this bouncing baby girl at 8 lbs 7 oz.

May memories of your past fill you with gratitude and give you the courage to face your future.

Much Love,
Mrs. Encouragement
Dorothy Sessa



Friday, August 11, 2017

Little Instructions for Happiness

I got a card in the mail today signed:  Your Secret Friend.

This is the first time I've received a card from a secret friend.

This is how it reads > > > > 
Little Instructions for Happiness
Stay loose - learn to watch snails.
Make little signs that say "yes".
Make friends with freedom and uncertainty.
Cry during movies.
Giggle with children.
Swing as high as you can go.
Do it for love.
Take lots of naps.
Laugh a lot.
Hug trees.
Write letters.
Celebrate every gorgeous moment.
Read every day.
Do it now.
Listen to those older than you are.
Entertain your inner child.
Believe in magic.  > > >  John C. Fitts 

Inside it reads:  Wishing you lots of perfect little moments and out-of-the-blue reasons to smile.
Signed > > > Your secret friend!!

Well thank you SO much secret friend - whoever you are!!

May you be SO inspired to send a friend a card and sign it from a secret friend too!!

Much love,
Mrs. Encouragement

Monday, August 7, 2017

I Wish I was Never Born!

Out of the mouth of a child!  

She was only 5 years old.  I was very surprised to hear her say that. Actually I was shocked!  I had just said, to her mother "I'd like to go to heaven with Jane".  And she said "I'm right behind you!"  Shocked again! Jane is her friend with terminal cancer.

I'm 63 it's OK for me to go.  But not a woman half my age!  When I met her again I mentioned being surprised by her daughters comment.  "Where would she come up with that" I asked?  "Too much TV, I guess!"  As we discussed life's circumstances it was easy to talk about heaven. 

How's your life going?  Are you wishing you could go to heaven sooner than later?  

Here is a link from an album I used to play for my kids about heaven -

Not only do I want to go there, especially when my life is challenging.  I know I'm going there. That's where I'll be when I'm not here.  I've thought a lot about death and heaven over the years.  Since my Nana passed away in 1985.  She was a special lady.  My best friend.  My encourager.  

Although I'm looking forward to heaven, I know it's not my time yet.  It's up to me how I choose to handle this day.  When my day is filled with a toxic negative way of behavior either from myself or some one else.  I get to choose how to be.  I get to choose to serve Christ or serve my emotions.  I get to choose if I allow another persons out of control emotions to manipulate me or not!! It's not a pretty picture when our emotions are out of control.

Have you got a person in your life who doesn't know how to shut up? Maybe  a person who doesn't know how to speak up!  Either way the emotions are out of control - verbal or silent it's no secret, it shows! Just take a look around.

When my day is filled with guilt, shame, past failures, circumstances and being pushed around by fear, it's when I'm tired of being pushed around by these bullies and living - based on should haves - that I can grace my life with my presence.  I am able to show up, stand up and speak up to those bullies.  

For it is through the death of Jesus Christ that all those bullies can be stopped.  For freedom has entered into my being through the love of Christ.  

I run towards my circumstances and grace them with my presence.  My life is overflowing with favor, love, forgiveness, grace and mercy.  I am not afraid of my circumstances.  My circumstances are afraid of me.   My circumstances do not determine my victories, God does.  My God won't cause me to look at my circumstances.  The enemy does though.  There is an enemy in all of our lives. The enemy can't cause me to miss what God is doing in my life.  The enemy will never have my permission to enter my mind.  The enemy wants submission and for me to give up on my life.  

This is impossible.  Impossible for me to give up on my life because through Christ all things are possible.  It is possible to stand when status quo is falling down.  Jesus said "In this world you will have trouble.  But take heart!  I have overcome the world!" 

What are the troubling circumstances in your life today?  Is today going to be your 'Enough is Enough' day?  Are you a man being bullied by the female in your life with her emotions.  Are you a woman being bullied by the male in your life with his emotions?  Take a deep breath.  Take a stand and say 'enough is enough'.  

Tell yourself things are about to change around here.  Take your stand.  Get off the fence.  Be the man, be the woman, full of more than enough love to love yourself enough to take a stand.  More than enough courage to be who you were created to be.  Say enough is enough to all the bullies in your life. 

I am happy that I was born.  I appreciate that life has been tough on me. For when the going gets tough the tough get going!  It's helped me to know there is a God in whom I can trust.  May your life be full of great happiness in serving Christ.

With much love,
Mrs. Encouragement 

Prayer to give your life to Christ.

Dear Lord Jesus, it's me! Today I proclaim, enough is enough.  I take my stand with you beside me and for me. You can have my life and whatever you want to do, you can do it.  I receive the gift of salvation.  I confess with my mouth and believe in my heart that Jesus is Lord.  I will not live in fear. I will not be broken.  I will not be ashamed.  What I did was in the past.  My present and my future are yours.  Your blood and death has cleansed me pure, as white as snow!  Thank You Jesus.  AMEN


Thursday, July 20, 2017

When you change the way you l oo k at things!

When you change the way you look at things, the things you look at change!

Quote from Wayne Dyer.

How do you look at your spouse, friend, sibling, child, neighbor, in-laws? If it's in a negative way of judging I encourage you to change your point of view.  See what happens.  How do you look at yourself, what does your self image look like?  If it's not good it's time to change!

As I look at the difficult people in my life and my circumstances.  I see that's what it took for me to be me today.  My struggle has been a lack of communication.  I didn't believe in myself enough to be a strong communicator.  In dealing with what I call a difficult personality.  Difficult because I couldn't see clearly that it was me that needed to change not the other person!  I was acting as if I was God.  I called the shots on who should do what!!!  That puts a lot of stress on relationships.  

I was creating the most difficult life for myself as I looked through the eyes of judgement.  Not through the eyes of love.  God is good everyday.  God is love.  God got my attention through His Love.  His love changes everything for the good.    

In realizing I am loved.  I am worth being loved.  I believe I can get what I want living in the desires of my heart through God who put them there. 

If I'm not getting what I want, then I'm not communicating clearly.  Just to clear things up so there are not any questions that come to your mind.This is in regards to wanting to get the other person on board with an idea. Once I'm able to see clearly exactly what it is that I want to do I must think about how I'm going to present myself and my idea.  

To be able to present an idea I must believe in me so that I can face all opposition.  Believe me I've had more than enough opposition.  

When I didn't know what to do with my emotions and had no sense of self worth to even open up my mouth to ask for what I wanted I hid under the bed and cried.  I was a depressed, young mother of three children. That's pretty sad - it's not a pretty picture.  Now when I don't know what to do the first thing I do is pray for the words to say.  I create a healthy boundary on my emotions and do not allow another persons out of control emotions leave me in shreds.  When that person is calm I approach the same situation in another way.  In a way that they will see value in what I am bringing into the conversation.  

I believe the world is so broken and hurting because love is missing. When love touches your heart hatred melts.  Love helps you to see the whole picture through God's eyes.  When love is present you are able to accept yourself and others just as you are; without judgement or criticism.  You are able to be yourself as well.  Because you know who you are.  You know your true identity.  No one can take that away from you.  The enemy can not find you and fill you with doubt.  There is no room for doubt.   

It's no secret how much you love yourself, it shows.  May you change the way you see yourself so you can stand up, show up and speak up in the game called 'This is Your Life'.  See what a difference it will make living with a smile on your face.  And see the change in others because they feel loved by you.

With Love and Encouragement, 
Dorothy Sessa 

Mrs Encouragement -

Monday, July 17, 2017

Pretending is Exhausting

Once upon a time a long time ago when I was asked "How are you?"

My response was, "Fine and how are you?"

Inside I was Frustrated.  Insecure.  Neurotic.  Exhausted!!  Afraid to tell the truth.

Pretending is exhausting.  Trying to be someone you're not is frustrating. Blaming complaining defending and justifying our behavior is because of our insecurities.  Being obsessive about life causes one to be neurotic.  I feel exhausted just thinking about it!!

Now when someone asks me how I am I tell them.  If I'm tired or hungry I speak up.  If I'm happy, I show it.  If I'm angry about something I stand up and say what's bothering me.

Today I was thinking about how much my life has changed being on a cancer journey.  I was thinking about coming up with a philosophy.  This is my philosophy.  I am what I eat, drink, think, read and believe.  Believe? That was new.  Having dealt with Type 2 Diabetes for 20 years I knew for sure I am what I eat, and drink.  I know why my blood sugar is too high after I've eaten something that I should not have eaten.  My body pays the price and so does my mind.

In dealing with cancer I've learned that we are what we think.  All those toxic negative thoughts built up inside of us cause disease.  So I've changed those thoughts around.   What about read.  I read a lot. I take life pretty serious.  When I feel I'm out of balance I'll watch comedians on YouTube to bring out the brighter side of me.  But the believe part.  I hadn't thought of that before.  As surprised as I was when I said my philosophy out loud, I looked in the mirror and smiled.  I said "I believe I am healed."

That felt wonderful.  I was smiling.  I was happy.  If someone asked me today how I was.  I'd say I'm doing great, I'm healthy and happy to be me. I am thrilled to realize I'm also what I say I am.  A self fulfilling prophesy!! Say it and believe it, what a difference a day makes.  It's great to be aware of what's true and what's false.

This summer, I'm going to expand my philosophy to include a list of ABC's.

May you be encouraged to come up with a philosophy for your amazing life this summer.

With Love and Encouragement,
D o r o t h y