Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Goal of 1000

Gratitude. I am committed to living a life of gratitude. I am committed to finding the joy in everything in life. The gifts that God gives. The gifts that surround me each day but I am too busy to recognize. The ones that at first may even seem like a bother or an irritation. And the ones that are even super obvious. The ones that are spiritual, physical, materialistic...ALL OF THEM.
What has prompted this new way of living? A book called One Thousand Gifts by Ann Voskamp. It is about joy, grace, thanksgiving, and the gifts that God gives. Not just the obvious gifts, but the ones that we often overlook. For example, for me, one thing that I am super thankful for is highlighters. Seriously, I LOVE LOVE LOVE highlighters. Now, have I ever stopped to just be thankful for my highlighter? No. Not one time. Never! However, I am so very thankful for them. Thankful because they allow me to make obvious the things that really stand out to me in my Bible and books that I read. They also allow me to see what prayer requests I have each month that are answered (I highlight at the end of every month the prayers that were answered and carry the others over to the next month).
Now, I am quite convinced that every single person can find things to be thankful for every single day. It's a choice. It's not a matter of circumstance, but choosing to be thankful. So, today I start my list of 1000 things I am thankful for. Will you join me? It will make a difference in your life! If you don't think so or you need further encouraging, please go get the book I mention above! The author is from Nashville and she has an amazing story to tell and tells it in such a unique way. This is definitely not like reading "just another book." It will change your life.

My first 5:
highlighters
bottled water
my Kindle
tote bags
Chick-fil-A

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

When All Else Fails

Father, I am crying out to you as I sit here wide awake at almost 1:00 AM in a quiet house able to hear my own heart beating. My thoughts have taken over and been flooded with the memories of February and March of last year. I miss her Lord. I miss Kate. I so desperately need to see her, to talk to her, to hear her laugh, to see her spunkiness, to experience life with her. I really miss her.
A whole year later and I thought I would be better. I thought I would really be okay with knowing that she is now healed in heaven and with You all of the time. But I'm not. My heart still hurts at the memory of when I found out her cancer had returned. My heart still aches when I think of seeing her in the hospital and at her house the last two times I saw her. My heart is still heavily burdened for Tim and how he is dealing with things as we approach her 1 year since death.
I don't even know what to do other than just sit and cry. Is that what I am supposed to do? Just sit and mourn her and cry? Is this ever going to get any easier? Will there ever be a January, February or March when I don't think of her and cry but instead I think of her and rejoice that she is with You?
I'm so thankful Father that you allowed me to meet Kate early in our chemo treatments and form that instant bond. I'm so thankful that I had a reason to look forward to going to chemo - so that I could hang with my buddy as we were both poisened and make jokes along the way. I am so grateful that I had the opportunity to share You with her and I am so thankful that she no longer has to worry about recurrence, new cancers, body image, or living in this fallen and sinful world.
I am thankful, but I still hurt so bad. Please Father take this pain away. Erase the painful memories with happy ones. Ease my heartache. Let me smile when I think of Kate instead of cry. Let me laugh when I look at the pink boxing gloves she gave me instead of cry when I think of her telling Tim she wanted me to have them and keep fighting. I can just see her now Lord with those gloves on just punching the daylights out of her punching bag. Spunky!
Comfort me Lord. Comfort Tim, her sister, and her parents. Remind us at random times that you are our rock and fortress. When the feelings of despair come, lead us to the Rock that is higher than we are and allow us to rest in the shadows of your wings. Allow me Lord in the moments of stillness to reflect and be grateful for the 11 months I was priveleged to know Kate instead of the 2 months I lived the suffering with her. When the fears come over me as they randomly do remind me that you have not given me a spirit of fear, but that you have enabled me to walk through every single day without fear because of  the promises you have made in your Word.
Thank you Father for the privelege to be able to come to you through your son, Jesus. I pray that every single day I live it to glorify you.
Amen.

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Lesson Learned Through A CT Scan

Over the past week, I have had several symptoms arise that warranted a call to my oncologist. After speaking with her, she wanted me to come in for a CT scan, labs, and see her afterwards. Luckily, the symptoms I was having was totally unrelated to any form of cancer - thank you Jesus! However, a few other things were discovered on the CT... a small liver lesion consistent with a cyst, and 2 small nodules on my right lung that are too small at this time to know what they are. I was told not to worry one second about them and we would do another CT in August to check for growth. Hmmm, okay. This was all yesterday.

So, yesterday was quite a day. After getting home, and especially once it started to get dark (I always find it interesting that darkness is associated with Satan and things always seem worse when the sun goes down and it gets dark outside) I found my mind wandering to the "what could these nodules mean?" When I kept my focus on the promises God has personally given me, I felt perfect peace. When I started using "worldly logic" I began getting upset, worried, and all out scared at the prospect of facing cancer again. There is nothing that can be done about these findings for 6 months unless symptoms arise. So, this means waiting. A very hard thing to do, but a necessary one. There is so much to be learned in the waiting periods of life. The times when we are called to just be still and know that He is God. In those times we are to recall His promises to us, and rely on His provision of perfect peace through His Son. We are to obey and surrender it all to Him. We are to obey...which is the ultimate sign of full surrender to God and His will for our lives.

With my health, it's hard to surrender out of emotion because every single part of me wants to give in to the worry and fear and cry out, "but God..." However, it's a CHOICE. I have chosen to obey and surrender because of my belief in His sovereignty and His Word. If it is anything of concern to the doctors and my health, He will make it obvious, and if not...well then, why spend the next 6 months worrying and wasting precious time?

So  this means no internet searching what these nodules could mean because it just gives Satan an "in" to my thoughts and makes my fears seem rational and warranted despite my promises from God. Instead, I am taking every negative thought captive and replacing it with Scripture. The result??? I am finding a perfect peace settle upon me and I have joy.