Pencil Sketch, Coffee Conversation, by Marcia Carole

I've spent several weeks in Italy for a number of summers during the past few years. I've done it on a Rick Steves, shoestring budget. My days in Italy are some of the happiest of my life. There, life slows to a comfortable pace, the food is great, the conversation is lively and fun, and I get to make art on the streets each day. I stay in the same little, old world, old school B&B. I have become friends with the kind owners of La Magnolia over time.

After bounding out of bed in my cozy B&B room in Lucca, Italia, I often head to the local cafe for my little breakfast that comes with my room. I order a cappuccino and a puffy, sugary breakfast pastry. As I sip creamy, strong coffee and munch on flaky white delightful breakfast treats, I wonder how this could be healthy and sustain me for my morning at a delightful, cheery Italian language school. However, when in Lucca......

Fast forward to my current winter battling cancer and trying to eat a very healthy diet. I have eliminated coffee and refined sugar, along with a number of other things, to help my few remaining blood cells get a shot at being healthy. I've decided to do this after a bit of research. There are all sorts of ideas about diet, cancer, cells replicating or dying, in a sea of cancer care information. Actually, it is more like the Pacific Ocean of information. (Please don't send any:-)

One day, I hope to have a small cappuccino and little pastry, once again. It's just a little thing. It's not essential. I know. It will be a very special treat, and I will really appreciate holding the coffee mug in my hands while practicing my Italian with friends from around the world. That is, if I land in Lucca once again. "Un Cappuccino, per favore," I'll say with a smile.

But, you know, even if I don't ever have another cup of coffee, here or in Italy, I know God will be tender-hearted and merciful to me, and He will bring many blessings into my life as I trust Him and persevere through this difficult season. He has shown Himself to be so faithful throughout the story of my life; I wish I could share it with you. I know He will bring good out of this. I even know He is fighting on my behalf right now, today. 

As you know, we consider blessed those who have persevered. You have heard of Job's perseverance and have seen what the Lord finally brought about. The Lord is full of compassion and mercy. James 5:11