Advice On Life, Get Health & Fit, inspiration, Mind, Body, & Spirit, Positive Corner, Review & Reflection, Starting A New, Uncategorized

My Mom’s 4 Year Anniversary: Quit Smoking Cigarettes

Good morning, good afternoon, or good evening! Depending on when your reading this blog haha. Anyway…I wanted to celebrate my Mom, Margaret Reilly Vitrano on her 4 YEAR ANNIVERSARY ON QUIT SMOKING CIGARETTES!!! I’m so proud of her and so are her other family members and friends. She started her journey to quit in 2018 when she went to the doctor and got several health scares. I first wrote about her journey in my previous blog “My Mom Quit Smoking Cigarettes After 48 Years!”.

Me and My Mom in the beginning of her journey in 2018, Brooklyn.

Unfortunately Margaret aka Margie aka my Mom aka my best friend (I know that’s a lot of A.K.A’s lol) wasn’t immune to all heath issues after 48 years of smoking cigarettes. She has Emphysema, which comprises COPD (chronic obstructive pulmonary disease). The disease develops over time and involves the gradual damage of lung tissue, specifically the destruction of the alveoli (tiny air sacs). Luckily it isn’t life threatening if treated and carefully monitored, however it can affect everyday life tasks.

Credit
Credit
Credit

My Mom wasn’t immune to the consequences of smoking for so long, however she is much healthier now that she has quit. Life has changed a lot in 4 years! My Mom and I moved from an apartment in Brooklyn, N.Y. to a house in Charlotte, N.C. Read about it in my previous blog “Hello, After One Year 🙂”. I got married in December of 2019 so all three of us live together in our house in North Carolina. The family has extended a bit since then because my sister had her baby girl, Rosemary and now has baby #2 on the way. My sis and her family also live in North Carolina. Unfortunately deaths did occur in the family and there were HUGE health scares for many with the Covid pandemic. Despite all the emotional up’s and down’s within the past 4 years my Mom did not have any cigarettes at all! This is a HUGE accomplishment within herself.

Me and my Mama in our backyard in N.C. 🥰
My husband (John), Me (Catherine), and my Mom (Margaret). All smiles 😁

I conducted a short interview with my Mom, Margie Reilly Vitrano to gain some insight on how she kept on track for years, especially during heartbreak and stressful times. Here are the questions and answers below:

  1. Q: How long has it been since you quit smoking? A: It has been 4 years on 4/20/18 since I quit smoking.
  2. Q: Why did you quit smoking? A: I got sick and was told I had to quit if I wanted to get better. I was hospitalized for a few days due to sickness.
  3. Q: Who motivated you to quit smoking? A: Me. I have been thinking about it for many years but was unsuccessful. It was mostly my daughter Catherine she got tough with me and wouldn’t let me quit my goal.
  4. Q: How did you finally quit and not smoke cigarettes again? A: I needed help so I used the smoking patch that I got through the 311 help line and they sent me free products to use.
  5. Q: How has life been since you quit? A: Better! I can breathe better, walk better except when it comes to walking up hills. I still have some of the symptoms of a smoker, but not as it was before. Some things don’t go away you just learn to live with it.
  6. Q: What was the hardest thing about quitting? And what was the easiest? A: The craving for a cigarette and nicotine taking a puff and just holding it between my fingers LOL. To tell you the truth nothing was easy about quitting, but I can say now that has been sometimes I forget how long it has been since I quit. I rarely think about smoking.
  7. Q: What advice can you give to people who want to quit smoking? And how did you coop with staying away from cigarettes for good? A: Just stick to your goal and don’t give up quitting! It is the hardest thing I had to do. but I failed many times before I got it right. Also using a support group on social media helped a great deal. There you can vent and people respond to your pain and suffering. Also they give advice and talk about their experiences and their journeys to freedom. It took many many years before I was truly ready, about 12 years to be exact. I would call the help line every year and they would send me free patches and gum. Sometimes I used them for a day or so then sometimes not. I knew I had it just in case. I was getting sick and not being around my family gave me the courage TO STOP AND REMAIN SMOKE FREE all of these years. I also started a new chapter in my life as a retired woman.
My Mom and the family dog (Ricki).

My Mom isn’t perfect however who is? She is a normal woman who overcame an obstacle and shared her experience with that obstacle. Good news my Mom has also inspired me and my Dad to quit smoking too. We have also been cigarette free for over 4 years. My Dad has also overcome many heath scares throughout the years and he is going strong too.

My Dad (John) and Me (Catherine). NYC visit 2022
❤️😊.

If you have a story about overcoming an obstacle in your life and/ or your own “quit smoking” story please share in the comments below. Thank you and have a blessed day 🙏🏻.

Advice On Life, Bible Talk, I ❤️ JC, inspiration, My Journey, Positive Corner, Raw Poetry

Be Kind to Your Thoughts

Let your thoughts be kind.

Try to ease and comfort your mind.

Do not let the bad thoughts stay on rewind.

Let your thoughts be strong!

Tell the devil to take a hike, take a trip, so-long.

Any negative thinking comes from the enemy so it has to be wrong.

Let your thoughts be gentle.

Don’t let anxiety and worry get you mental.

Like scheduling an important doctor’s appointment or some dental.

Let your thoughts practice self love.

Like in the Bible the characteristics of a dove.

Give that negative self talk a GREAT BIG shove!

Let your thoughts get you to the promise land.

Where God will be happy to shake your hand.

Don’t let the enemy weigh down your soul like quick sand.

On earth and in heaven worshiping Jesus is always in demand!

Proverbs 17:22
Credit
Advice On Life, Bible Talk, I ❤️ JC, Mind, Body, & Spirit, My Journey, Uncategorized

Get Happy! It’s Good for You :)

Lately it’s been difficult for me to stay happy. A lot of family issues have rose and I have been feeling more anger and frustration with things more then ever. I won’t get into what situations they are because I want to protect the privacy of my family members during some really difficult and heartbreaking times. All I will share is we have experienced a couple of deaths in the family lately as well as unresolved issues with siblings. Both are literally making me feel like I have no control and things will not get better anytime soon.

I know what you are thinking if you know me and read my blog posts. How is a child of God feeling this way? Aren’t they suppose to be joyous and happy because they understand the plans God has in store for them? Aren’t Christian’s suppose to be happy no matter what life throws their way because they have Jesus on their side? Well the truth is being a Christian doesn’t shield you from the pain and tragedy of life. We go through it just like everyone else. (…”so that you may [show yourselves to] be the children of your Father who is in heaven; for He makes His sun rise on those who are evil and on those who are good, and makes the rain fall on the righteous [those who are morally upright] and the unrighteous [the unrepentant, those who oppose Him].”) Matthew 5:45 AMP. The meaning of this scripture in the Bible when Jesus preached to his disciples is it doesn’t matter if you do good or not or believe in Him or not you will have trouble in this world because this world is ruled by the enemy. In short bad things are going to happen that’s life here on earth and their is basically nothing you can do about it, WRONG!

Matthew 5:45 AMP

If you feel helpless, sad, angry, or frustrated for any reason give it up to Jesus. He will help you through any struggle you might be facing, even if you don’t feel like praying do it. This is what I tell myself everyday. (““ Ask and keep on asking and it will be given to you; seek and keep on seeking and you will find; knock and keep on knocking and the door will be opened to you.”) Matthew 7:7 AMP . God loves it when we come to Him with our troubles because He is here to help us.

Matthew 7:7 AMP

Get happy and find the joy whatever struggle you are going through today. I have NEVER stopped praying even when I don’t feel like it. ( Rejoice always, pray continually, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.) 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18. Happiness comes from God just like all of the other good things we feel because God is ONLY good and righteous. If we seek God we are seeking happiness and love. God is the purest form of unconditional love. (9 Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the LORD your God will be with you wherever you go.”) Joshua 1:9. He wants us to succeed in everything we do because we are His children and He loves us like the best Father you have ever had. When people disappoint us in this life God will be there. When we go through struggles of loose and death He is there to comfortable us if you allow Him.

Joshua 1:9

I will seek happiness even in struggling times and reach out to others who may need my help or just a listening ear. We are put on this earth to be there for other people just like God is always there for us. If your are struggling with finding the happiness and joy especially during a difficult season of your life, just STOP trying to fix things on your own and give it up to JESUS. Don’t let the enemy win! (But resist him, be firm in your faith [against his attack—rooted, established, immovable], knowing that the same experiences of suffering are being experienced by your brothers and sisters throughout the world. [You do not suffer alone.]”) 1 Peter 5:9 AMP.

1 Peter 5:9 AMP

If you are having any difficulties in your life right now and can’t seem to find happiness or joy please share your story below in the comments. Sometimes just getting out what is bothering you can help you heal. Have a blessed day 🙂

Credit: Holy Bible App, Bible Study Tools, and DailyVerses.Net

Advice On Life, Bible Talk, I ❤️ JC, inspiration, Mind, Body, & Spirit, Positive Corner, Pure LOVE, Review & Reflection, Uncategorized

Always Count Your Blessings

The entire world seems to be turned upside down by fear over the past few weeks from this coronavirus scare. Many people might be questioning God’s existence or cursing Him for letting the human race spine into chaos. But I say to you do not blame God it is not His fault. If you want to blame anyone it is ourselves who are responsible for chaos here on earth. We are the reason why things go wrong! God isn’t he loves us all and He wants to see us thrive and praise Him.

Instead of being fearful or angry at God let’s praise Him even more at a time like this and remember to be grateful for what you do have. Let us all counting our blessings today.

1. Blessed to be ALIVE!

If you are alive today then that is a huge gift and a blessing from God! Thank you, Jesus, for my life!

rooted and builded up in him, and established in your faith, even as ye were taught, abounding in thanksgiving.”
‭‭Colossians‬ ‭2:7‬ ‭ASV‬‬

2. Blessed to have FAMILY & friends!

If you have family and friends in your life you are so blessed! Thank you, Jesus, for ALL my family and friends. Please protect them in their time of need and keep them safe and healthy. In Jesus’ name. Amen

Beloved, I pray that in all things thou mayest prosper and be in health, even as thy soul prospereth.”
‭‭3 John‬ ‭1:2‬ ‭ASV‬‬

3. Blessed to have a JOB.

You are blessed if you still have your job or any source of income to take care of your financial expenses. Thank you, Jesus, for always providing for me with everything I need to survive!

“And God is able to make all grace abound unto you; that ye, having always all sufficiency in everything, may abound unto every good work:”
‭‭2 Corinthians‬ ‭9:8‬ ‭ASV‬‬

4. Blessed to have a place to SLEEP.

You are so blessed if you have a warm safe place to rest your head at night. Especially if you have a warm big comfy bed or even a nice couch. Many people don’t even have that so if you do be grateful and thank Jesus for that each and every day! Thank you, Jesus, for providing me with a warm comfy place to rest my head at night!

And let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, to the which also ye were called in one body; and be ye thankful.”
‭‭Colossians‬ ‭3:15‬ ‭ASV‬‬

5. Blessed to have clean WATER to drink and good FOOD to eat.

You are so blessed if you have clean, fresh water to drink every day. If you have good food to eat that is warm and delicious then WOW that is so great! There are countless people throughout the world that aren’t as blessed as you right now. Always remember to give thanks to God! Thank you, Jesus, for food in my belly and water to quench my thirst.

I will give thanks unto Jehovah according to his righteousness, And will sing praise to the name of Jehovah Most High.”
‭‭Psalms‬ ‭7:17‬ ‭ASV‬‬

Even though it may be hard to give thanks when things may not be as good right now because of the coronavirus. If you have even one of these things that I mentioned above you are so blessed right now! A thankful heart is what God truly loves to hear and see from his children. Give thanks to Jesus always in prayer and action.

May God bless you all!

Advice On Life, Bible Talk, Get Health & Fit, I ❤️ JC, Mind, Body, & Spirit, Review & Reflection, Uncategorized

7 Ways to Stay Safe & Sane, During Coronavirus Scare

Do you feel like this world has gone completely crazy? Are you afraid of the coronavirus? Do you know how to tell the difference between FACTS and MYTHS, RATIONAL and IRRATIONAL thinking at a time like this? If you are unsure about things maybe I can clear that up for you, so you and your family/ friends/ neighbors can ALL stay safe, sane, and most of all HEALTHY.

stay safe cartoon
Credit: Cleveland.com

  1. Do not FEAR. 

Being afraid of something like this will not make you feel any better or help you stay healthy. Fear actually does the opposite of keeping you safe and healthy it can cause your immune system to decline which can leave you a lot more vulnerable. This may seem scary to you especially with all the news reports and social media posts that tell you that you should be afraid. Always remember whatever happens you are NEVER in control God is and He will protect you. Just have FAITH and never FEAR.

‘Say to them that are of a fearful heart, Be strong, fear not: behold, your God will come with vengeance, even God with a recompence; he will come and save you. ‘ Isaiah 35:4

  1. Pray

Prayer is the most powerful act you can do especially at a time like this. Pray to the Lord and Savior Jesus Christ! Through Him anything is possible. If you don’t believe me read the gospel of John in the Bible. This is the best way to get to know Jesus and to understand who God really is. Remember to pray for understanding and God will reveal wonders to you with faith and patience through the Holy Spirit. Pray for yourself, family, friends, neighbors, coworkers, etc. You can literally pray for whoever you want whenever you want. God will hear you and answer plus give you strength during these difficult times.

‘Rejoice always; in everything give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus to you-ward. ‘ 1 Thessalonians 5:16,18 

  1. Stay home if you feel SICK.

Like any other virus that is contagious, it is best to stay home and away from other people if you feel sick. Do not go to places that have crowds of people. Avoid people that may be more vulnerable like the elderly, people with preexisting health conditions, and small children. If you feel like you are sick don’t panic just get to a doctor so you can get the help that you need.

Is any among you sick? let him call for the elders of the church; and let them pray over him, anointing him with oil in the name of the Lord: and the prayer of faith shall save him that is sick, and the Lord shall raise him up; and if he have committed sins, it shall be forgiven him. ‘ James 5:14-15

  1. Avoid CROWDED places.

Try not to put yourself in a closed, confined place with a lot of people. Depending on where you live in the world I’m sure most of these crowded places to avoid were closed by your city or state. Just in case try to avoid restaurants/ bars, schools, large office spaces, museums, parks, etc. Just use common sense here if there is a place with a lot of people try to not put yourself in that situation. Some people, unfortunately, do go out if they are sick or aren’t aware that they are sick so to stay SAFE and SANE just stay clear for now until things get better with this virus.

‘Be strong and of good courage, fear not, nor be affrighted at them: for Jehovah thy God, he it is that doth go with thee; he will not fail thee, nor forsake thee. ‘ Deuteronomy 31:6 

  1. Avoid touching your face especially EYES, NOSE, and MOUTH.

Try to work on being conscious of where you put your hands and avoid touching your face with unwashed hands. In this busy world, we live in it is often hard to think about not touching your face with dirty hands that touched multiple surfaces. Instead of having your mind wonder try to be in the present moment and pay attention to where your hands may go. If you feel this is impossible for you to remember then wear gloves as protection when you go out to a public place.

‘Many are the afflictions of the righteous; But Jehovah delivereth him out of them all. ‘ Psalms 34:19 

  1. Help others who are in NEED.

I know the thought of being around others right now might make you cringe especially if you’re a fearful germaphobe, however it is our duty as humans especially if you are a Christian to help others before you help yourself. If you are a healthy and able person check on your elderly neighbor next door. He/she might need some items from the grocery store. If you are fortunate enough to stay home from work with pay then someone might need a babysitter since most schools are closed for now. Pick up extra disinfectant and/or hand sanitizer and give it out to people that may need it. Don’t be afraid to help others this is the time to do it. God will be very pleased indeed.

‘give, and it shall be given unto you; good measure, pressed down, shaken together, running over, shall they give into your bosom. For with what measure ye mete it shall be measured to you again. ‘Luke 6:38

  1. Cover your NOSE & MOUTH, then WASH your HANDS. 

More common sense stuff that you probably learned as a kid yet it is easy to forget. When you cough or sneeze cover your mouth with your arm or hands especially when around surfaces and/or people. Then remember to wash your hands with soap and water for at least 20-30 seconds. Also, carry some antibacterial or hand sanitizer with you just in case soap and water aren’t accessible at the time. If you are in a part of the world that hand sanitizer is in shortage HERE is a way to make it at home.

‘The fear of Jehovah is the beginning of knowledge; But the foolish despise wisdom and instruction. ‘ Proverbs 1:7 

Just to make things perfectly CLEAR I’m not a doctor, nurse, nor do I work in the medical field. This is just my opinion on ways to stay SAFE and SANE in this coronavirus epidemic while incorporating some much-needed help from God through His word. Remember you can be a regular person like ME and still know how to exercise common sense mixed in with faith and prayer.

be-kind-to-address-fear
Credit: World Health Organization

HERE are some medical articles from doctors for more information on the coronavirus:

May God bless you all!

 

Advice On Life, I ❤️ JC, inspiration, Mind, Body, & Spirit, Positive Corner, Pure LOVE, Raw Poetry, Review & Reflection

Do Not Fear

Do not fear because God is with thee,

It is harder to explain to the blind that fail to see.

Fear is the ultimate weapon of Satan the enemy!

Bravery is contagious and so is a peaceful mind,

Others will seek godly strength but will lack to find.

Human strength is useless because Jesus alone can get you out of any bind.

Sickness and chaos will always be a part of this earth.

We can conquer death only with a spiritual rebirth.

Take on the power of God’s Holy Spirit with It’s mighty girth.

People fear more and more each and every day.

It’s harder to get through winter when it’s getting closer to May.

Stay safe in a world who encourages people to keep God at bay.

The only thing left to do is get on your knees and pray.

“fear thou not, for I am with thee; be not dismayed, for I am thy God; I will strengthen thee; yea, I will help thee; yea, I will uphold thee with the right hand of my righteousness.”
‭‭Isaiah‬ ‭41:10‬ ‭ASV‬‬

Advice On Life, I ❤️ JC, inspiration, My Journey, Positive Corner, Pure LOVE, Raw Poetry, Starting A New

Take Courage

Being fearful isn’t a way to live this life.

Afraid of the world, death, being cut by a sharp knife.

Having courage is the right and true way to be.

One day everyone will worship and be free as each one takes a knee.

Waking up everyday is a battle.

My Lord, my God how he seeks us like sheep in His cattle.

Something told me to write down my thoughts get them out of my head.

This is essential to a well rested night in bed.

Psalms 31:24