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A Life Well Spent.

November 15, 2010


H. Ilona Sweeney


A life well spent

May 11, 1912 to November 9, 2010

Death is nothing at all.
It does not count.
I have only slipped away into the next room.
Everything remains as it was.
The old life that we lived so fondly together is untouched, unchanged.
Whatever we were to each other, that we are still.
Call me by the old familiar name.
Speak of me in the easy way which you always used.
Put no sorrow in your tone.
Laugh as we always laughed at the little jokes that we enjoyed together.
Play, smile, think of me, pray for me.
Let my name be ever the household word that it always was.
Let it be spoken without effort
Life means all that it ever meant. It is the same as it ever was.
There is unbroken continuity.
Why should I be out of mind because I am out of sight?
I am but waiting for you, for an interval, somewhere very near, just around the corner.
All is well. Nothing is hurt; nothing is lost.
One brief moment and all will be as it was before.
How we shall laugh at the trouble of parting, when we meet again.


What can I say about my Grandmother, Ilona Sweeney, which would do her life justice??  She led a long life that she lived with an admirable independence.  She lived through the Finnish civil war, two world wars, and the disco age.  She went to art school at a time that women did not further their education.  Her portrait of JFK is in the white house archives!  She met my grandfather, Dennis Sweeney, when she was a waitress in Boston and he was a student at Harvard.  She countered his wit and caught his eye.  He said in a flirtatious manner, “how about another pea there sweetheart”.  She calmly took her ladle and carefully placed on his plate a single pea.  He was hooked!  When she was a young mom she would ride her bicycle around the neighborhood and eat healthy, even to the point to drinking the vegetable juice that was left after she boiled them, at a time she was mocked for it.  Guess she was right about exercise and eating your vegetables!  My sister Katie and I always joked about that Grand mom wanted to be the Herbalist in the woods.  Green before it was P.C., She always did what she knew was right without a care for what the neighbors might think. 

She would mutter and walk away when Eva Marie Saint was on TV taking great delight that she “was aging poorly”  Poor Eva, all she did was go on a few dates with my grand dad before my grandparents even met!  She would say the bluntest things that could make you tear up at times, but at the end of the day you always knew that you were loved. 

Grandma’s independence and blunt tongue was coupled with a love for family and her God. I remember the funny things that she said and did, but I only feel her love for me and my family.  I also knew that her faith was a simple but strong faith in her God.  She knew that if she wasn’t in sync spiritually that she would not be in sync with her family  I ask that if you only remember a little of her, that you remember these two things : her deep  love and her faith.  Thank you for honoring her memory.

Romans 8:31 – 39

31 What, then, shall we say in response to these things? If God is for us, who can be against us? 32 He who did not spare his own Son, but gave him up for us all—how will he not also, along with him, graciously give us all things? 33 Who will bring any charge against those whom God has chosen? It is God who justifies. 34 Who then is the one who condemns? No one. Christ Jesus who died—more than that, who was raised to life—is at the right hand of God and is also interceding for us. 35 Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall trouble or hardship or persecution or famine or nakedness or danger or sword? 36 As it is written:

           “For your sake we face death all day long;
           we are considered as sheep to be slaughtered.”[j]

37 No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. 38 For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons,[k] neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, 39 neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.


Biggest loser? Perhaps.. July 2010 update

July 16, 2010

It has been quite a while since I have updated my progress with weight loss. So without further ado, here are the numbers.

my weight loss vital statistics : current weight 164.2 lbs ( 11 stone 10.2 lb or 74.5 Kg) this is a total loss of 74.6 pounds (5 stone 4.6 lb or 33.8 kg) with a “mere” 19.8 lbs (1 stone 5.8 lb or 9 kg) to go. ( I dropped my goal weight to 145lbs , 10 stone 5 lb or 65.8 kg)

Psalm 30:12
that my glory may sing your praise and not be silent.O LORD my God, I will give thanks to you forever!

hello pals

July 16, 2010

It has been a busy summer in Sharkey land. Between baseball, swimming, fireflies and fireworks, it has been hard to fit in anything else.
But fit in something else I have. My husband and I decided that now would be a good time for me to go back to college. I have my associates in science of nursing (RN) but I am now back to get my bachelors of science in nursing. Very exciting. I am just now finishing my first course. God has been gracious to me indeed.
After more than 8 years away from collegiate life, His grace has been more than apparent in my gradebook. He has also reminded me of Ecclesiastes 12:11-13 (English Standard Version)

11 The words of the wise are like goads, and like nails firmly fixed are the collected sayings; they are given by one Shepherd. 12My son, beware of anything beyond these. Of making many books there is no end, and much study is a weariness of the flesh. 13The end of the matter; all has been heard. Fear God and keep his commandments, for this is the whole duty of man.

To me this reminds me that while I am to be a good steward to the gift of intellect that God has blessed me with, that is not where my focus should lie. I am to be grateful for His gifts for me and keep my eyes on Him throughout this process and beyond.

Not now God, I’m eating.

February 27, 2010

Ten months ago I would have never believed you if you had told me that I would be successful with weight loss.  Further more I would have laughed if you had told me that this journey of losing weight would bring me closer to God.  Less Karen = More God! 😉

For me this is exactly what happened. No, I don’t believe that the skinnier you are the more Godly you are.  In fact being Skinny can become an idol for many.  For me eating was my idol.  Instead of going to God with my whole life,problems and all, I turned to food , either overindulging or abstaining. it was my way of having CONTROL.  Often when God was pursuing me ardently, I answered him with “Not now God, I’m eating.”

Even if you have never had issues with food, you may recognize the sentiment.  “Not now God, I’m working on my career.  Not now God, I am raising children.  Not now God, I’m studying.   Not now God, I am out the door to church small group.  Not now God, look what you did to me. It is all so hard and unfair!” It all is the same,  it is self centered thinking rather than God centered thinking.  It doesn’t always have to be an ungodly pursuit in itself to be warped to our own purposes.

How great is it that God does pursue us with more patience and tenacity than any earthly lover ever would.  I was a girl interrupted by God’s grace.  I started to tell him not now God … and he said “Be still Karen and know that I AM GOD”  I am so thankful that He loves me enough so personally!

2 corinthians 10 :4-6

4For the weapons of our warfare are not of the flesh but have divine power to destroy strongholds. 5We destroy arguments and every lofty opinion raised against the knowledge of God, and take every thought captive to obey Christ, 6 being ready to punish every disobedience, when your obedience is complete.

Because He loves me, I am working on taking every thought captive.  Turning to him rather than a chocolate biscuit… ummm chocolate biscuit.. err, wait a second.. back on track again.  I am not saying this is easy, You all would be able to see right through that one.  It can be dang hard at times.  This is a lifetime of bad thought patterns that I am battling changing.  Without God I don’t think I could do it.  Since I am building trust in my Father God,  it is getting easier each time to resist and turn my thoughts on Him.  I do struggle when the scale isn’t matching what I think I deserve for the work I have put in, but then I am reminded that you don’t always want what you deserve.. what’s that bad egg smell and why am I being smushed into a hand basket?? Is it getting warmer in here?  😉

Weight Watchers vital statistics : current weight 179.7 lbs ( 12 stone 11.7 lb or 81.5 Kg) this is a total loss of 59.1 pounds (4 stone 3.1 lb or 26.8 kg) with a “mere” 29.7 lbs (2 stone 1.7 lb or 13.5 kg) to go.

brrrr… aka pictoral evidence of weight loss ;)

January 12, 2010

brrrrrr! oh the things I do for you dear friend Zoanna! errr, and my blog! 😉

For Zoanna

January 12, 2010

well, you didnt say I couldn't wear a coat over the outfit!!

what did you say?  Oh, this is cheating? 😉

oh ok, in that case.. brrrr.. here goes!

Biggest Loser, perhaps 8 months and counting.

January 7, 2010

Eight months down and a lifetime to go.  Funny how as normal human beings we are always looking for a quick fix for our problems with minimal effort on our part.  Tend to not want to take personal responsibility for where we have come nor in the solution.  We prefer a quick pill, tonic, or a wonder diet that will shed unwanted pounds in 2 weeks like magic.  I am sorry to be the bearer of bad news, but there is no such animal.  sure, it can work for the short term but in most cases you will gain what you have lost and then some.  Funny how life is like that, any time we go for the quick fix in life, we get spanked.   Real solutions take time, patience, hard work, and a lot of leaning on God.   Personally I know that my journey into self control will not be over when I reach that magic goal weight,  I am in this for a lifetime.  Praise God that He is able to carry me through some (most 😉 ) days!

I will have my honey take a picture in a few days to post.. but for now.. drum roll please 😉

Vital Statistics January 7,2010:

5 foot 6 inches tall 186.1 pounds (13stone 4.1 lb or 84.4kilos) which is a total loss of 52.7 pounds (3st 10.7 pound or 23.9 kilos)

I am pleased to note that, with God’s grace, I was even able to lose 4 lbs over the holiday season.   Now, I don’t want to give the impression that I have this whole dieting thing  wrapped up and tied with a beautiful bow.  Honestly, I still struggle with self control over food.  Actually, self control is the problem.  I struggle with giving God his rightful control over my life.  Thankfully He is good and gracious and is there when I call out in prayer when I am about to dive in to a tin of chocolate covered yumminess.  He reminds me that His LOVE IS ENOUGH and that I don’t need a yummy to feel good about who I am.    Being that I can be kind of a slow learner, good thing He doesn’t mind a little repetition in reminding me of that gem of wisdom!!