Friday, February 17, 2017

The Inevitable Change


Change. Is it really a bad thing? I think the biggest reason why people get depressed or develop anxiety is the constant change that happens to all of us at any given moment. It's the unpredictable nature of life that leaves our hearts unsettled. Change happened to me when I found out my father was diagnosed with cancer. And even though you watch a loved one going through the struggles of an illness, and realize that their time is coming to an end, the inevitable change is almost still the same as if someone left your life suddenly. Many would disagree with that, only because there's the element of preparation involved. Nonetheless, it's a huge change -- the change that your life will take on once someone you love and known has gone away for good. It doesn't feel "normal" and creates a sense of fear. It's just a "new normal" for many of us.

Change can also mean a change in atmosphere -- a big move (whether moving on up or moving on down), getting married, divorce, finding out your pregnant, a new career -- all of these with the element of surprise and excitement, and some that causes anger, grief and anxiety. Think about this: if life were to remain the same all the time, how would we progress from point A to point B? We would have no challenges, eliminating strength and endurance, and even experience to make us strong and knowledgable. If you haven't let go to an unfortunate change, like clinging to the past of an ex lover or a loved one who has passed, your nostalgia will not only drive you nuts, it'll hold off your life. It'll prevent you from finding a new love, or it will leave you standing in the same emotional state (depressed and withdrawn) until you realize that everything needs to change. Everything needs to move on, pass on, so you can live on.

Your health can change at the drop of a hat. One day, you're able to run 2 miles or perhaps, do simple things like drive to the store, go shopping, cook and have a good time with your family and friends. Sometimes, a change in our health will prevent us from being able to do any of that. We take our health for granted. We sometimes complain over a simple cold (I'm guilty of this), and we sort of morph into big spoiled crybabies, when there are people out there doing more in their wheelchairs that we can ever imagine doing with our own healthy and able bodies.

Perspective. It's all how you see it. I've learned that you can actually have peace in the midst of chaos. You can change your thinking around in order to prevent you from going crazy. The myoclonic seizures that I was suffering from at night has been calming down. I do attribute much of it to the effects of the vitamin D, which I have now stopped, but most of it was due to the way I was thinking right before bedtime. Why is it that most of us start to overthink about negative things in our lives once we put our heads onto our pillows? I think about my mom, and how concerned I am about the cancer coming back. I get worried that she's sleeping alone, now that she lost my father. I worry about the next day, and the things I have to do or edit and publish. I especially overthink about preparations for guests coming over, which makes me insane, because I obsess over every detail. So now, I give all of those thoughts to God right before I sleep. One by one, I tell him, "Here, take this thought, and oh, here's another one, and don't forget to take care of this big one too." He grabs all of my worries for that evening and reassures me that they'll be taken care of, or at least, put on hold until tomorrow with tomorrow's own set of worries. After I adapted to this habit of giving my problems to God, I rarely get myoclonic seizures or "sleep jerks" any longer. I get them once or twice a week as opposed to every single night, leaving me awake until 5am. Big change! A good change!

We can rejoice, too, when we run into problems and trials, for we know that they are good for us--they help us learn to endure. And endurance develops strength of character in us, and character strengthens our confident expectation of salvation. --Romans 5:3-4

I wanted to share my thoughts with you in case you are having a dilemma with letting go or just simply accepting 'what is' -- accepting the change that occurs all the time in life.

Another note I want to say is that on my Facebook page, I will no longer be promoting it like I used to. For some reason, it is drawing a very young (13-18 years of age) from Vietnam that don't even speak English. I'm worried that the promotions are drawing 'bots' and I want to keep my site clean from unauthentic viewers, and more interactions with real people. Twitter and Facebook both have been dealing with this issue. Periscope just recently deleted millions of bots, so the follower count went down dramatically. As on mine, I lost 1,000 followers due to them being unauthentic. I am happy about this 'clean up' in social media. I hope that it'll bring in more of a meaningful discussion in the comment section.

Thanks for reading!

For more of Deb's articles, please visit: www.debrapasquella.com or join her on Facebook and Twitter. Check out her cooking blog for some of her famous recipes!

Tuesday, February 14, 2017

Happy Valentine's Day to My Country

Today, I saw a few posts and some live streams of a couple of my friends a little bummed out about today. There are three ways to enjoy love: give love, receive love, BE love. There are a number of ways of just BEING love. For instance, donating to an animal shelter, purchasing items for the person behind you in line at the supermarket, or even spreading some good positive vibes out there in the world. This world has become so angry, full of people with enormous amounts of resentment. To approach them on a bad day would be an explosive catastrophe. It didn't make things better once the election was over.

"Love Trumps Hate" doesn't work so well when you're displaying hate yourself. The definition of a "peaceful protest" doesn't include burning up our own flag, carrying protest signs that say "electrocute Pence" or romanticizing about assassinating our President. That's not love. When you preach love, your actions should prove it as well.

In 1 Corinthians 13:4-6, it speaks about the true definition of love.

Love is patient and kind.
(Patience hasn't been seen by the left. They haven't given the president a chance. And they're definitely not displaying kindness in any way.)

Love is not jealous or boastful or proud or rude.
(Rallies at the *Pride* Parades for the LGBT have become extremely boastful, *proud* and rude.) 

Love does not demand its own way.
(They demand quite a few things, including the death of our president.) 

Love is not irritable, and it keeps no record of when it has been wronged.
(How many times have you seen irritable protesters destroying other people's property, blocking traffic and harassing other bystanders and beating the living daylights out of other Trump supporters? How many times have they brought up the same rhetoric of past 'no nos' by our president?)

It is never glad about injustice but rejoices whenever the truth wins out.

Love never gives up, never loses faith, is always hopeful, and endures through every circumstance.
(To endure in every circumstance is to realize that there was a fair voting system and that our president elect won fair and square. To not accept this is to protest -- fine. To become destructive because you didn't get your way is not OK. It demonstrates hatred, which is going against all that the  left preach.) 

Sometimes I think it would be better to be a kid -- too young to vote and too young to truly understand the madness of politics. I wish I could just 'go out 'n play' without thinking about how crazy this world really is. I don't remember anyone becoming so incredibly vile and toxic when their candidate lost an election. They voted, the person lost, and it was back to the grind as usual. I mean -- there were a few protestors here and there, but the average adult didn't get into it with one another about whose candidate was the better choice. I remember more love when I was a child -- more acceptance -- more tolerance.

"He's NOT my president!"

No. He is. You're in the U.S.? He is. You can always go to the 77 other countries where they don't value women, throw gays and lesbians off from rooftops, behead Christians and circumcise young women. Female genital mutilation (FGM), also known as female genital cutting and female circumcision, is the ritual removal of some or all of the external female genitalia. The practice is found in Africa, Asia and the Middle East, and within communities from countries in which FGM is common.  The Women's March taken place all over the United States made me chuckle, thinking, "Wow, you really have no idea, do you?"

With that being said, I'm just going to say Happy Valentine's to my country! I am so happy that I am a born and raised citizen of the United States. I am very happy that we now have a president who not only wants to protect us and our rights, but wants to make our country a safer place to live in. We should LOVE that about America. But many who say they're all about "love" are truly all about hate.

For more of Deb's articles, please visit: www.debrapasquella.com or join her on Facebook and Twitter. Check out her cooking blog for some of her famous recipes!

Tuesday, February 07, 2017

By Faith Alone


Have you ever felt that intense heaviness on your heart -- the type of pain that only exists when you lose a loved one or when the love of your life parts ways with you? Some say that a breakup is very similar to a death, except the other person is still out there choosing not to be apart of your life. For some, that can be the most painful thing in the world. I wrote about the broken heart syndrome before in this post. It's similar to what I feel happened to Debbie Reynolds and Carrie Fisher. The pain was too much for Debbie Reynolds to bear -- to see her daughter go before her. No parent should ever see their child go first. In that article, I also had spoken about my dad's passing and how I reacted to it. I kept getting severe chest pains. I finally had to be hauled away by the ambulance because I passed out. The EMT said, "I was the one who helped your father in his last days, you're going through the broken heart syndrome." And that was the first I have ever heard of it.

The American Heart Association gives us the definition of it.

Breakdown of a Broken Heart Broken heart syndrome, also called stress-induced cardiomyopathy or takotsubo cardiomyopathy, can strike even if you’re healthy. (Tako tsubo, by the way, are octopus traps that resemble the pot-like shape of the stricken heart.) Women are more likely than men to experience the sudden, intense chest pain — the reaction to a surge of stress hormones — that can be caused by an emotionally stressful event. It could be the death of a loved one or even a divorce, breakup or physical separation, betrayal or romantic rejection. It could even happen after a good shock (like winning the lottery.) Broken heart syndrome may be misdiagnosed as a heart attack because the symptoms and test results are similar. In fact, tests show dramatic changes in rhythm and blood substances that are typical of a heart attack. But unlike a heart attack, there’s no evidence of blocked heart arteries in broken heart syndrome. In broken heart syndrome, a part of your heart temporarily enlarges and doesn’t pump well, while the rest of your heart functions normally or with even more forceful contractions. Researchers are just starting to learn the causes, and how to diagnose and treat it. The bad news: Broken heart syndrome can lead to severe, short-term heart muscle failure. The good news: Broken heart syndrome is usually treatable. Most people who experience it make a full recovery within weeks, and they’re at low risk for it happening again (although in rare cases in can be fatal). ---read more here.

Here's what I learned from God speaking to me. Whether you believe God spoke to me or not is up to you. I can only share what I heard, felt and what was impressed upon me. He told me that it's impossible to experience the broken heart syndrome if you have faith. See, when you have absolute faith in God and your afterlife, as well as other's afterlives, you know that they're going to be okay. More importantly, you're going to be okay too. Faith is the one thing that's been scientifically, (yes, scientifically) proven to show that people who had faith, are more likely to cope with grief much better than those who do not have faith.

Trust me in your times of trouble, and I will rescue you, and you will give me glory. -- Psalm 50:15

Since I know it is all for Christ's good, I am quite content with my weaknesses and with insults, hardships, persecutions and calamities. For when I am weak, then I am strong. -- 2 Corinthians 12:10

When you trust in God and have absolute faith in Him, there is nothing you cannot get through. As the ol' saying goes, if He brings you to it, He'll get you through it. It may sound cliché, but it's my truth -- it's my belief. Times of crisis and hardships can strengthen our character too.

We can rejoice, too, when we run into problems and trials, for we know that they are good for us--they help us learn to endure. And endurance develops strength of character in us, and character strengthens our confident expectation of salvation. -- Romans 5:3-4

Sometimes, I let my mind rule my emotions, especially when my mom's health is declining or she has to undergo some sort of procedure or struggle through the awful effects of the chemo. During this time, I'm very vulnerable. And even now, seeing her in such pain from her cancer and how the strongest of pain killers doesn't even help her much at all, it kills my heart, or at least, it feels that way. I've seen my dad suffer through this for some time, and now she's going through it -- almost in the same way.  Watching someone you love so much, suffer so terribly...really is painful. I wish I could take her pain away, I wish I could regenerate her cells to be healthy again, I wish...

My mom was losing a lot of blood due to her condition. We had to keep taking her to the hospital for blood transfusions all the time. Now she is taking iron intravenously every week. I thought about the story in the Bible about the woman with the issue of blood. Although these illnesses may have been different, I had faith that this can help us in our own situation. First, let me tell you the story about the woman Jesus healed who had an issue of blood.


As Jesus and the disciples were going to the official's home, a woman who had been hemorrhaging for 12 years came up behind him in a huge crowd of people surrounding Jesus. She touched the fringe of his robe, for she thought, "If I can just touch his robe, I will be healed." (So her faith was strong enough to believe this to be true!) Jesus turned around and asked, "Who touched my robe!" He knew exactly who it was, but the touch had so much faith in it, that he needed to find the woman that needed help. When he came up to her, he said, "Daughter, be encouraged! Your faith has made you well." And the woman was healed at that moment. Just by touching his tzitzis made her well. Tzitzis are specially knotted ritual fringes, or tassels, worn in antiquity by Israelites and today by observant Jews and Samaritans. So, I went out and bought a few Tzitzis and had them blessed. She placed them where her cancer is, and now her "issue of blood" has stopped, although she still needs her iron infusions. The story touched me because I believed that if my mom were to use these tzitzis, that her bleeding would at least stop for some time. By faith, she was healed in that respect. I still have hope.

My worst fear in the world is losing somebody I love. I'm sure I'm not alone with that fear. As I was praying, the sun was shining on my face, warming me in the midst of a cold day. I looked down and saw a bright silver heart made from the ice that was forming on one portion of the ground. I heard God speak to me and say, "The scripture in Psalm 91 that says, 'Though a thousand fall at your side, though ten thousand are dying around you, these evils will not touch you.'" He said "these evils" can reference to the broken heart syndrome. Evils are anything that oppresses you emotionally: fear, grief, depression, anxiety, etc. And although this scripture references to a much larger scale of 'warfare' -- this applied to me at the time of my prayer. He promised that I would be okay. Even if I saw every single one of my loved ones go before me, that no "evils" should touch me. He said that there is no such thing as a "broken heart syndrome" for those who have complete faith in God. So by faith, I am saved from these terrifying thoughts and grief of what's to come. When people get physically ill or perhaps, die from losing a loved one, it means they have little to no faith in God and heaven. They don't believe or (doubt) that they're going to be okay.

They did a scientific experiment, showing people who were going through intense grief after the death of a loved one. One group had faith, while the other group did not.

People reporting no spiritual belief had not resolved their grief by 14 months after the death. Participants with strong spiritual beliefs resolved their grief progressively over the same period. People with low levels of belief showed little change in the first nine months but thereafter resolved their grief. These differences approached significance in a repeated measures analysis of variance (F=2.42, P=0.058). Strength of spiritual belief remained an important predictor after the explanatory power of relevant confounding variables was controlled for. At 14 months the difference between the group with no beliefs and the combined low and high belief groups was 7.30 (95% confidence interval 0.86 to 13.73) points on the core bereavement items scale. Adjusting for confounders in the final model reduced this difference to 4.64 (1.04 to 10.32) points. Conclusion People who profess stronger spiritual beliefs seem to resolve their grief more rapidly and completely after the death of a close person than do people with no spiritual beliefs.----read more here.

There are many agnostics and atheists who don't have faith, or at least enough faith to get them through their challenges in life. I'm not saying it's an easy ride when you have faith, but the burden is much less. I can't make anybody believe in God, nor believe any of the awesome miracles that have happened to me. I can just hope that one day, someone sees me as an example and gets inspired to believe. We can't push "religion" down anyone's throats. God gave us free will, and with that, people are free to choose to believe or not to believe. But by example and scientific evidence that faith proves and improves the state of health, grief or pain. Prayer is the most powerful thing anyone can do for someone in my belief. Prayer is the link between you and God. And when it comes to healing, when two or more are gathered in prayer, God is there to heal and restore whoever needs it. Many atheists who were former pastors tell me, "Well, you know that what you are experiencing is oxytocin." Well, if it is, let me be happy with my chemicals flowing through my body, because I not only have faith that it's the Holy Spirit, I know that for me, it's truth. God will never let science prove Him. It's only by faith to which He exists. And that's only up to you.

"You believe because you have seen me. Blessed are those who haven't seen me and believe anyway." -- Jesus (John 20:29)

For more of Deb's articles, please visit: www.debrapasquella.com or join her on Facebook and Twitter. Check out her cooking blog for some of her famous recipes!

Wednesday, February 01, 2017

Campaign Promises Kept, Trump Still Hated

No one is the same. Not one person can relate 100% to somebody else. It's just a fact. Sometimes, we have to agree to disagree, but in most cases, we see people's egos pummeling through an argument until they have won the final battle. Whose opinion is better? Time after time, I have seen people post up political arguments indicating, "My opinion is right! My opinion is better than yours!" And while their heart is truly for the better, there are instances where fear comes into play. Fear can mean voting for Trump simply because "you" do not like Mexicans or Muslims, without realizing that Trump himself, is not a racist. There is not one thing he has said to be qualified as a "racist." I do feel his extreme vetting is appropriate due to what we have seen with terrorism. The list of countries that have been put on a temporary ban are all the ones that Obama had picked. On top of that, Obama and Clinton were adamant about illegal immigration.

Listen to this video.



If you cannot view the video, please click here.

So now that you have seen both Barack Obama and Bill Clinton say the same exact thing on immigration as Donald Trump has, then why are you tearing Trump apart still? It was OK when they did it, but not Trump. And in my guestimation -- it all has to do with the misinterpreted "racist" remark he said about Mexico.

Tell me where you see "racism" in his commentary.

"When Mexico sends its people, they're not sending their best. They're not sending you. They're not sending you. They're sending people that have lots of problems, and they're bringing those problems with us. They're bringing drugs. They're bringing crime. They're rapists. And some, I assume, are good people."

I hear a wonderful statement by someone, and I'm not sure who that is (you can contact me with the full name if you have it) but it said, "I lock my doors at night, not because I hate the people on the outside, but because I love and want to protect the people on the inside." This is exactly what Trump wants for us: protection. He is not a racist, xenophobe, Islamphobe or homophobe.

What gets me is the fake news that's been spreading like wildfire. The biggest liars are LGBTQ Nation. They want to smear Trump's name and make him look like a bigot.

He's not.

In fact, he is more pro-LGBTQ than Hillary Clinton or Barack Obama ever was. Here's a clip of Hillary Clinton admitting she was against same-sex marriage.


If you cannot view the video, please click here.

LGBTQ Nation posted an article that read, "An executive order from President Donald Trump opening up discrimination against the LGBTQ community on the basis of religious belief is expected sometime this week, possibly as soon as today." ---read more here.

Soon after their fake news of Trump's so called "discrimination," a more reliable news source stated something entirely different. In fact, Trump is still enforcing Obama's anti-LGBTQ discrimination order and to protect their rights. And, the left went silent.

When facts are provided to those who have a deep hatred for Trump, the silence is deafening. This is not about opinions here. This is about credible facts that people just want to ignore. Well, what about Obama and Clinton being FOR the wall and being AGAINST same-sex marriage?  That doesn't matter because Trump said it so now it's just bad.

It's a very tense time in the U.S., between family and friends and even coworkers. I had a woman tell me today that she was fired out of nowhere after a political conversation. They found out she was a Trump supporter and later that afternoon, before she tried leaving the office, she was fired for an undisclosed reason. And of course, you can be fired over anything at any given time. That's in the contract that you sign when you first get employed.

If you ask me what my opinion is, I will tell you and respect yours as well. But if you are giving me false information and telling me they're "facts," then I truly don't respect where your opinion is coming from. I don't want to read your "alternative news" and I don't respect misinterpreted quotes. I respect facts. We all should. Or maybe that's just my opinion...

For more of Deb's articles, please visit: www.debrapasquella.com or join her on Facebook and Twitter. Check out her cooking blog for some of her famous recipes!