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

Tuesday, July 11, 2017

Live Happy Die Happy

Today is July 11, 2017 – I awoke with a dream.  

I was at a funeral.  Handout was black, a photo on the cover, of people in dark clothes.  A daughter and her Godmother I recognized in the cover photo.  I was dressed in a grey pant suit.  In my dream, I just woke up from a nap.  My husband didn’t like how I was dressed.  I wondered why nobody asked me for input on the handout.  I tried to find my way upstairs to change.  I hadn’t yet bought any clothes that fit the skinny me.  The place was full of people.  It was all dark.  Before I could change my clothes, I wondered why no one asked me to speak.  I wanted to speak.  Then the thought came to mind about my Nana’s funeral.  I couldn’t speak about her then.  Also thinking who I am today in Christ is because of her.  This is my Jesus story.  I can show up, stand up and speak up thanks to being loved by my Jesus, my Nana and now myself.  When I die I want a celebration-everyone to be dressed in white.  I want to be dressed in a Victorian white bridal dress.  As I am the bride of Christ going to meet my bridegroom. 

I say Thank You Nana.  You see I loved her.  She loved me.  When I was a teenager she gave me a booklet about why I was here and where I was going.  I wasn’t ready to consider it.  I kept it though as it was from my Nana.  When I got married my Nana suggested I not wear a white dress because I lived with my boyfriend before we got married in 1976.  I chose a blue dress with flowers!!!  Why? Only God knows!!  I could have chosen an ivory dress.  I'm thinking I already had issues!!!  I made that blue dress mean:  I'm not good enough!! 

 My Nana encouraged me to watch Billy Graham several times.  This time I did.  I was 24.  I watched the TV Evangelist on the couch with my husband.  When it came time for the invitation we both sat there then turned off the TV. That night at bedtime on my knees alone beside my bed I responded to the RSVP.  I invited Jesus into my heart.  My journey from ‘worthless to priceless’ began then.  It was Spring 1978.  I had a desire to read the bible.  I had not opened a bible before that.  I attended a bible study at my neighbor’s home.  When they prayed I left the room?  I was afraid.  

I heard them say “Thank You Jesus for dying on Calgary’s cross”.  Calgary’s cross?  I didn’t know Jesus died in Calgary.  That’s where I was born.  I soon realized it was Calvary's cross not Calgary's cross!  

Soon I opened my home to a Friendship Bible Study Class.  My neighbor looked after the children.    

Because of my desire to know Jesus I wanted everyone to know Him too.  I was on fire for Jesus.  I recall talking about Jesus to those who had cancer.  Or writing them a letter.  Eventually I shied away from talking about Him.  There was no response, just rejection.

Then my Nana died.  It was 1985.  I was devastated.  That’s when my journey with depression began.  She was my best friend.  I was lost without her.  She was my encourager!  I always ran to her with my ‘poor me’ stories.  She’d encourage me by pointing out something wonderful about the person I was complaining about.

I did the same thing last night just before bed!!!  I encouraged a friend who doesn’t know Jesus and who was deeply distraught by another person’s way of being.  On our walk I mentioned that as far as the East is from the West God does not remember our behavior, He just loves us.  Loves us unconditionally.  Jesus gave me those words to say.  I didn’t think about what to say, I just said it.

In the Bible, it says not to worry about what to say, the Lord will give us the words.

Then at bed time I sent a text to encourage finding one thing to acknowledge that person for.  As well as mentioning  This organization promotes blue ribbons with 'Who I am makes a difference'. 

I know this will make a difference.  Because the person she had to deal with was depressed.  I could feel the depression and understand it.  On our walk, together that day I shared briefly about the journey of ‘poor me’ depression/suicide, not accepting love and not feeling worth being loved.  If that person does not accept love or love themselves they will stay in the pit and there is nothing that she could do to change that person.
But then at bedtime the thought came and the text message was sent . . .  from heaven!!  From the heart of the Father.

Getting back to the blue dress!  The heart of the Father knew there was a missing link in my life due to my 'worthless' beliefs which only He could change to 'priceless' beliefs.  In 2012 I showed up for a speaking engagement dressed in a white simple bridal gown. I had no idea when I planned that event that it would make such a difference in my life.  God showed me that I am His bride.  It's been transforming to my spirit to believe I am His beloved for 5 years now.

Isn’t God the father, God the Son and God the Holy Spirit amazing.  I think that’s amazing.  Here it is 39 years of getting to know Jesus.  When someone uses His name in vain.  I have no problem responding.  I never know what’s going to come out of my mouth.  If I'm afraid to say anything at the time.  I ask for courage for the next time.  My spirit soars like an eagle and words of love, acknowledgement of who Jesus is for me on my tour with cancer come out encouraging the person to be aware of how they use His name.  His name is above all names.

I love and trust Jesus.  Now people are commenting about seeing a change in me.  I am at Peace even dealing with the changes and challenges in life.  Even after breast cancer.  Not once did I even think about suicide or being mad at God.  I've wasted a lot of time being angry in my lifetime!!  Not anymore.  That is a miracle!  I believe in Miracles!!  Do you?  

Let the celebration begin:  Jesus loves me this I know for the bible tells me so.  Little ones to Him belong.  They are weak but He is strong.  YES, Jesus LOVES me.  Yes, Jesus loves ME.  Yes, Jesus loves me.  The BIBLE tells me SO.
Thank You Nana for standing up for Jesus.  Thank You Billy Graham for speaking up for Jesus.  Thank You Dorothy for showing up for Jesus.

Thank you cancer, now I live happy and will die happy! 

May you be blessed as you look at your life and see how Big God is and how He is constantly pursuing and loving you so you too can give all the Glory to God the Father, God the Son and God the Holy Spirit through all your circumstances.  Just Believe!

Mrs. Encouragement – Dorothy Sessa – Mamma D Butterfly 

I encourage you to read:

Friday, June 30, 2017

Why I'm in Canada, eh!

150   Happy Birthday Canada   150
I am Canadian! 

My grandparents came here in 1929 from Hungary.  They came over on a ship and landed in Halifax. My father was the baby in the family and the only one to marry a Canadian.  The rest of his siblings married Hungarians. My husband came here in 1974 from Italy.  He arrived on an airplane.  

My grandparents came here for freedom.  My husband stayed here for a better future for his family. Me?  Well I was born here!  I am Canadian, eh!

My husband didn't want to come here but his parents insisted that he come to keep an eye on his sister.  She had just got married at 17 to her finance who ended up living and working here for a few years after the engagement. Her Papa said to her fiance of three years - "If you don't come back and marry my daughter, the engagement is off."  So he came back to marry her and off they went to Canada!!  Her Papa was shocked, and very sad that his daughter left.  I guess he didn't realize that's what would happen.

When my husband went to the consulate in Rome to get approval to be a landed immigrant.  He told them he didn't want to leave his country.  He was a bum.  Didn't want to work etc etc.  His plan was to not get their approval.

Guess what they gave him his landed immigrant status anyway!!  The Italian family started to dream. Their dream was to all come to Canada work hard and then build a villa in Italy and live happily ever after.  It didn't quite work out that way.  Papa came for a year, another son came for six months. I came into the picture after 6 months.  By the time we applied for the others to come, they had girlfriends and didn't want to come to Canada either.  So the family was split.  Two children here and four in Italy.  My husbands sister ended up staying only 10 years then went back to Italy.  So now my husband is here on his own.  The parents are now gone and we all have created dreams of our own.

When we got engaged all the family were here for their first Canadian Christmas.  What a shock to experience a Canadian winter with its snow and cold winds.  Papa was not happy about our engagement because I was a foreigner!!  How could I be the foreigner, I was Canadian and living in Canada?  Mamma on the other hand encouraged it because we lived together before we got married. That was unheard of back then in a small town in Italy.

We did get married and learned to accept each other speaking the LOUD and romantic language of love.  We had 3 bambino's (babies), who are now married and each have bambino's of their own. What a wonderful life we have in Canada.  Believe me my husband paid a HUGE price by staying here. He missed his family SO much.  Canadian culture is so different than the Italian culture.

I feel blessed knowing two cultures.  It has been a difficult journey raising a multicultural family. Traditions we have created on our own.  Our children are creating traditions of their own.  Thank You Canada for a wonderful life.  I'd like to say Thank You to my husband Vincenzo for choosing to stay in Canada which created a strong and free life for our children.

May your memories of loved ones and days gone by bring a smile to your face for Canada Day.

With Love and Encouragement,
Mamma D Butterfly
Dorothy Sessa
I am Cdn.