Blessings on State Bed & Breakfast

The Innkeeper's Cancer Battle graphic

The Innkeeper’s Battle: Cancer Makes Me Look Good

Gray haired woman in green hospital gown lying in hospital bed

I recently posted a video on my business Facebook page, filmed from my hospital bed after four days in the hospital. I’m sure some people cringed when they viewed it. I know the rules about posting professional videos! I even presented a social media workshop at an innkeeping conference a couple of years ago. Lights, camera, make-up, clothing colors, I know what to do! I just didn’t do it.

Here’s the deal: I wasn’t advertising my bed and breakfast or trying to get you to long to be one of our guests. I was just talking to you. Sharing my heart. It wasn’t about my appearance; it was about my message. When I went through chemo the first time, I knew I looked unwell. I know I didn’t look so great Thursday morning filming that video. I posted a photo on social media as I was (finally) leaving the hospital on Friday. I didn’t look so swell there, either.


Do you know what several people saw in my video and picture on Thursday and Friday? They saw me. And they said how good I looked! I’d been in bed since 11:00 Monday morning! On clear liquids. Seeing medical staff at all hours of the day and night. I looked “good”? I want to “look good” – I think we all do. I didn’t look so good to me, but apparently you all are looking beyond my appearance. I believe you’re seeing my heart. And that’s how cancer makes me look good.
Gray haired woman wearing sunglasses riding in a car

I’m pretty sure that we’ve all done it. We see someone who’s going through something. They are struggling physically, emotionally, or in some other way. Like me, they might not have their trademark red lipstick on. What’s the first thing we say? “You look sooo good!!” Really? I look good?

Do you know what? Too often, we look on the outside. Nice clothes, nice shoes, nice hair. It’s human nature. When I’m wearing something new or feel like I look good, I appreciate it when others notice.

When those who love us look at us when we’re going through a trial, they’re looking on the inside. And that’s a good place to look! It’s the right place. The Lord is always focused on the heart, and that’s a good example to follow. It’s what’s inside that counts. When I know I’m not looking my best and I hear someone say, “You look so good!” I might want to roll my eyes, knowing that if we’re talking about physical appearance, it’s not very accurate. But that’s not what they’re really talking about. There’s more to it.

Gray haired woman in royal blue topSometimes when you say, “You look so good!” I believe you’re really saying, “I’m so glad you’re still here!” OR “I’m so happy to see you!” It’s not about my appearance, my hairstyle, my outfit, my shoes, or my red lipstick. It’s about my heart. I hope that what you’re really saying is that you can see my heart and that you can see my love for the Lord flooding my soul even during the deepest trial. I pray that’s what shines through.

I recently received a beautiful comment from Jen S, a Blessings guest. She replied to one of my posts, saying, “Awwww!! I rejoice with you! God is so GOOD!! By the way, I just have to mention how beautiful and radiant you look!! His joy shows well on you! May God grant you many more days like this, according to His will and purpose!!”

That’s it, my friends. The joy of the Lord is my strength, and apparently, it shows in my appearance. My prayer for you: May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, so that by the power of the Holy Spirit you may abound in hope. ~ Romans 15:13

bald woman in black jacket leaning on a while pillow

I learned during my first go-round with chemo that I could look my worst and still be my most beautiful to my friends. It happened when I was totally bald – no eyelashes, no hair on my arms – sallow skin, tired eyes – but I’ve decided that I think it just means, “I’m so glad to see you! I’m so happy you’re still here.” or “We’re going to get through this!” or “I love you.”

Please keep telling me that I look good. It means a lot, even when I deflect. Feel free to call and stop in. I may not be wearing my signature red lipstick, but I’ll look forward to seeing you!

I still want to answer more of your questions. But that’s a post for another day…

Blue two-story Victorian home with bunting and American flag

Blessings on State Bed & Breakfast is an award-winning all-suite bed and breakfast inn located in Jacksonville, Illinois. Hospitality is our hallmark. We offer many amenities, including overnight accommodations in a 130-year-old vintage mansion, Wi-Fi, expansive lawn and gardens, all-season fireplaces, and multi-course breakfasts. Come see us!

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