Friday, August 31, 2012

My Natural Preference...(and an update)

   As a teacher, I find myself repeating important information.  I say the same thing over and over, maybe rephrasing it, because it's important.  I will say something, then say it again because I really think the point has to be made....see what I'm sayin'?
   This morning when I was doing my devotion, I realized something I discovered a long time ago: some things in the Bible are repeated a few times so they must be things that we are supposed to "get." This morning's devotion was like a compilation of everything I've been "getting" over the past month.
   Here it is from Jesus Calling by Sarah Young:
Grow strong in your weakness. Some of My children I've gifted with abundant strength and stamina.  Others, like you, have received the humble gift of frailty.  Your fragility is not a punishment, nor does it indicate lack of faith.  On the contrary, weak ones like you must live by faith, depending on Me to get you through the day.  I am developing your ability to trust Me, to lean on Me, rather that on your understanding.  Your natural preference is to plan out you day, knowing what will happen when.  My preference is for you to depend on Me continually, trusting Me to guide you and strengthen you as needed.  This is how you grow strong in your weakness. (James 4:13-15, Proverbs 3:5, Isaiah 40:28-31)
    I didn't think I was gifted with weakness.  I've always seen myself as a strong, take charge kind of person.  I'm at home in leadership positions or working as part of a team. Having cancer...twice...really makes you slow down and think about what's going on in your life.  I've been forced to slow down and admit that I can't do everything; sometimes I need help and it's okay to ask for it.  I've been forced to be weak.  In my weakness, through more purposeful time spent with Jesus, I've developed a different kind of strength.  This strength doesn't have anything to do with leading, but instead following the One who will lead me  beside the still waters and restore my soul. (Yes, that's from Psalm 23).  This strength is what helps me meet the everyday challenges, big and little, and continue to grow in grace and mercy. This reminds me of some of the "truths" from the book The Lies Women Believe and the Truth That Sets Them Free by Nancy Leigh DeMoss:
  • By God's grace, I can choose to obey Him regardless of how I feel.
  • There is no excuse for ungodly attitudes, responses, or behavior.
  • I  do not have a "right" to "feel good." Regardless of how I feel, I can choose to give thanks, to obey God, and to reach out to others.
  • God has given us powerful resources- His Holy Spirit, His Word, His promises, the body of Christ- to minister to our emotional needs.
  • I may not be able to control my circumstances, but my circumstances do not have to control me.
      I had to face the fact that sometimes I like to wallow a little instead of taking responsibility to do what I know I need to do instead of using the excuse "I don't feel like it" or "Since I'm sick, people need to make allowances." This, sometimes, may be a fine line because I find myself trying to be okay when I really do need help. This is when I need to heavily rely on the Holy Spirit's guidance.
   "Your natural preference is for you to plan out your day, knowing what will happen when." Oh, I so resemble that remark!!!  God wants me to trust Him.  This particular thing is a growing process for me. I'm finding the more I realize I am weak and need assistance, the more I find the strength I need to handle whatever the day brings! 
    Bottom Line:  It's so not about me, my abilities, my wants, etc.  It's all about him and His character and will for my life.

   Great doctor visit today. White count has doubled since Tuesday. No blasts (I had to ask what they were...leukemia cells) in the lab work. Still waiting for chromosome results to determine next phase (hospital = 2 weeks or outpatient 5 days X 5 weeks).Doc told me that some of the treatment involves arsenic..."As in Arsenic and Old Lace without the old lace? Rat poison is going to help make me better?" I asked.  Apparently in the right doses administered correctly the answer is yes. I have another question: Who sits around and figures this stuff out? God's got to have His hand in this!Sis went with me today and we both prayed with Dr. B. So glad God's got this and continues to be faithful!

Thursday, August 30, 2012

Encouragement and Lots of It!...(and an update)

   This morning's devotion in Jesus Calling by Sarah Young talked about how there was no where I could go that Jesus couldn't find me. (Check out Psalm 139:7-10) My favorite part:
No set of circumstances could ever isolate you from My loving Presence.  Not only do I see you always; I see you as a redeemed saint, gloriously radiant [Getting some sparkle on!] in My righteousness. That is why I take great delight in you and rejoice over you with singing! (Zephaniah 3:17)
   You know, I'm not the only one that's going through a trying time.  A very precious little girl came close to drowning and is fighting for life as her family, friends, and total strangers lift her and her family in prayer. Check out her Facebook page: Please Pray for Rosalie. One of the girls (now an incredible young woman) from church camp days has a sister (30 years my junior) who is battling cancer.  She is living out her practical faith as a true warrior. She also has a blog.  You can see her latest post on The Journey.  Some trials are in other forms...hurricanes, failed relationships, financial troubles, etc. Whatever is going on, whatever the day may bring God is big enough, near enough, and loving enough to be with you every step of the way.
   The following is a compilation of encouraging words I've been sent and found.  I hope they bless you like the have and continue to bless me!
  • Shared by DJ on Air1 (a radio station):  When you go through something bad, you've got 3 choices: You can let it define you, let it destroy you, or you can let it strengthen you.
  • From Joyce Myer Ministries:  We don’t have to work at getting rid of every stressful situation. We need to embrace God's peace.
  • From a friend: "You will have courage because you will have hope. You will take your time, and rest in safety. You will lie down unafraid and many will look to you for help." Job 11:18, 19
  • From Joyce Myer Ministries:   The purpose of faith isn’t always to keep us from having trouble. It is often to carry us through trouble. If we never had any trouble, we wouldn’t need any faith.
  • KLOVE (a radio station) Verse of the Day:   "Those who listen to instruction will prosper; those who trust the Lord will be joyful." Proverbs 16:20
  • From a friend:  "God's peace is joy resting. His joy is peace dancing." FF Bruce   
  • Verse from a song shared by a dear friend: "Oh joy that seekest me through pain, I cannot close my heart to Thee. I trace the rainbow through the rain, and feel that promise is not vain, that morn shall tearless be."
  • Another one from Joyce Meyer Ministries:  Everything we run away from has power over us; everything we go through, we conquer.  
  • A Facebook post from a friend: Do not let your hearts be troubled, neither let them be afraid. (Stop allowing yourselves to be agitated and disturbed; and do not permit yourselves to be fearful and intimidated and cowardly and unsettled.) John 14:27 AMP I don't believe in coincidence. I believe that everything that we go thru happens for a reason and on purpose.. Openly admitting that I question many things... But deep within me I know my God holds the steering wheel! Listening intently this morning and realizing that this is a work in progress..purposing in my heart to get outta my own way, setting myself up to "buffed" for brilliance..wearing the "t-shirt" that proclaims 'IT IS ALL GOOD'!! We are all diamonds in the Rough... Have a beautiful Day my loves! ♥ GET YO' shine ON!!
   Some days are charcoal days. In spite of that, I know God's character never changes. He is working things to my benefit (Romans 8:28) I don't have to understand, I just have to look to the One who knows.
   Very good day! shopped a little with a friend (early, not at peak time or weekend). Paid my first hospital co-pay and thanked God I have insurance. Blood pressure and temperature continue to be down. Doctor's appointment tomorrow; expecting a good report. Still sit in amazement at the awesomeness of God!

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

One, Two, Three...Eyes on Me!....(and an update)

   This is my third day home and I'm still lovin' it!  I've continued to do my devotion, but have been sleeping a lot, so I've missed a few days on the blog.  I decided to combine the last three devotions from Jesus Calling by Sarah Young.  When I looked back over them a phrase that most teachers will recognize came to mind: "One, two, three...eyes on me!" The central theme I got from the devotions (I say that because God could show something different to someone else. I've found that when I read the same scripture at different times in my life I get something different from it each time that applies to that particular time of my life.) is to keep focused on Christ by being in His Presence.
   On Monday the phrases that stood out to me were:
Spend time with Me for the pure pleasure of being in My company...I can add sparkle to the routines of daily life...A mind that is unfocused is vulnerable to "the world, the flesh, and the devil," all of which exert a downward pull on your thoughts...The best remedy is to refocus your mind and heart on Me, your constant Companion...My Presence goes with you wherever you go, providing Light for your Path.
   On Tuesday the phrases that stood out to me were:
Grow strong in the Light of My Presence.  As My Face shines upon you, you receive nutrients that enhance your growth in grace...this interaction strengthens your soul...This meditative time with Me blesses you doubly: You experience My Presence here and now, and you are refreshed by the hope of heaven, where you will know Me in ecstatic Joy.
   For today, Wednesday, the phrases that stood out to me were (pretty much everything!):
Demonstrate your trust in Me by sitting quietly in My Presence.  Put aside all that is waiting to be done, and refuse to worry about anything.  This sacred time together strengthens you and prepares you to face whatever the day will bring...The most effective way to resit evil is to draw near Me.  When you need to take action, I will guide you clearly through My Spirit and My Word.  The world is so complex and over stimulating that you can easily lose your sense of direction. doing countless unnecessary activities will dissipate your energy.  When you spend time with Me, I restore your sense of direction.  As you look to Me for guidance, I enable you to do less by accomplish more.
  So here's my take: Those who know me know that the one word that stood out was SPARKLE. I love sparkly things.  The idea of Jesus adding sparkle to my day felt like a heart hug! I am guilty of getting so caught up with the business of life that I sometimes just "do" my quiet time devotion or "do" my Bible study. This was a great reminder to focus on what's really important...Jesus.  Take time for what's really important...Jesus.  When I focus on Jesus, He goes with me where ever I go...not just when I sit and have my devotion or have a purposeful time with Him.  Now that I think about it, when I focus on Him, all my time can be purposeful. Being in His presence makes my time purposeful.
   Tuesday's words for me were "ecstatic Joy," since that's this go-round's theme. The words "light" and "shine" also put me in the thought of "sparkle" from the day before. Being in God's presence daily and receiving the nutrients to grow in grace and strengthen my soul do give me peace and assurance here and now and strengthen the hope I have for heaven.
   Today's devotion really tested my Martha personality. It's hard for me to just sit at any time. I tried this...just sitting quietly in His Presence. It's amazing...I didn't feel like I wasn't doing something. I felt like I was strengthening my relationship with my Savior. Did I spend a lot of time sitting quietly? Probably not as much as I should, but I know I can now.  It's okay to work on my Mary side. (Check out the story of Mary and Martha in Luke 10:38-42 in the NIV and the Message.) I especially like the "I restore your sense of direction" for I need direction (not just when I'm driving) everyday. Do know I need to spend more time in His Presence to work on the "trust" issue.  Realized this today when my phone rang and saw it was Dr. B's office.  Momentarily felt dread, but answered anyway. Just a reminder that I had an appointment on Friday. Relieved! Was thrown off because I thought they always called the day before to remind...silly me!
   So now you know I think God is telling me...One, two, three...eyes on ME!

    Still feeling good! Blood pressure continues to be good...I'm convinced it's because I'm home and not in the hospital.  Yes, I was the lady at the drive-thru at the bank who used a kleenex to get the container and return it. Yes, you had to wait on me while I put the money in my wallet and then used anti-bacterial lotion before I drove away. :-) Met with my Bible study at Panera! Met between lunch and dinner crowd, but was overjoyed to be able to be there! A sweet friend brought lasagna and salad for dinner. Sis did some shopping for me and visited. Continue to nap throughout the day, but still love being home!!!!God continues to be faithful and true!

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Messy Day; There's No Place Like Home...(and an update)

   I can't not share yesterday's devotion.  I did it before Dr. B came in to tell me I could go home.  Here it is in it's entirety:
"Trust me in the midst of a messy day. Your inner calm-your Peace in My Presence-need not be shaken by what is going on around you. Though you live in this temporal world, your innermost being is rooted and grounded in eternity. When you start to feel stressed, detach yourself from the disturbances around you. Instead of desperately striving to maintain order and control in your little world, relax and remember that circumstances cannot touch My Peace. Seek My Face, and I will share My mind with you, open your eyes to see things from My perspective. Do not let your heart be troubled, and do not be afraid. The Peace I give is sufficient for you." (Jesus Calling by Sarah Young, p. 249) John 16:33, Psalm 105:4, John 14:27
   Yesterday, Sunday, marked the end of the fourth week of my hospital stay. I'd been well taken care of, my friends called, texted, emailed, facebooked, sent cards, and visited. I remember waking up without a headache and thinking, "Four much longer?" Sometimes I get a bit frayed around the edges and at those moments God reminds me that He truly has everything under control.  The portions of the devotion that really spoke to me I put in italics and in bold. I was reminded that my peace and God's presence is not dependent on what's going on around me.  Eternity is my destination...the messiness of any day is not that big a deal. I don't have to maintain order and be in control...circumstances don't determine my peace. I like God's perspective...I don't have to be afraid because He is sufficient for all my needs.
   Now, the devotion really helped me through my "I'm bummed because I can't be in Sunday School and at Church" mood.  Remembered a song (which would have gone well with Saturday's post about Moments) by Bekcah Shae that  reminded me that being in the moment with Jesus is the best place to be...doesn't have to be a location.
    So then Dr. B comes in and tells me my counts look great and asks if I would like to go home.  You know what I said...."Yes, absolutely!" She did give me specific things I can and can't do, but I was so okay with that! Texted my Sis and she came for me after church. That gave me enough time to get unhooked from my IV, my PICC line removed, and enjoy lunch.  The food service lady even came up to say good-bye and let me know she had programmed my food preferences into the computer and would be sure to have soy milk for me the next go-round. Church friends came at the perfect time, took my grocery list and shopped while Sis took me to get meds filled and to enjoy my first veggies on a sandwich in four weeks. Love how God works things out!

   Totally loved being home today! Kind of felt like Dorothy...There's no place like home! Slept all night without interruptions. Took a shower! Enjoyed visits, texts, calls and many blessings.Had blueberries in my oatmeal for the first time in four weeks! Ate an apple today.  Enjoyed one of my favorite salads. Napped on and off all day. Didn't realize how heavy a half a gallon of milk was...guess I still need to get some of my strength back.  Going for blood work tomorrow and expecting a good report. God's character never changes...He is Ever-Faithful and my Rock!

Sunday, August 26, 2012

Not Really a Post, but an Update

   It has been a great day...home from the hospital for a while! Just up from a nap to take my night meds. Sis picked me up and took me to fill prescriptions. Friends from church did grocery shopping. Sis also took me to McAlister's and my sandwich had lettuce and tomato (not a big deal to some, but it was to me). I can have salad, with a few restrictions. So excited to take a shower! I appreciate the prayers; have more blood work this week and a doctor's appointment. Love it when God surprises me with unexpected blessings in the middle of life's craziness. God is faithful!

Will work on a post tomorrow...the adventure continues!

Saturday, August 25, 2012

All My Moments...(and an update)

This morning's devotion was about God being the Eternal I Am. It was kind of like yesterday's when it talked about God being everywhere; this talked about God always having been and always will be.  Here's more from Jesus Calling by Sarah Young:
...In My Presence you experience Love and Light, Peace and Joy.  I am intimately involved in all your moments...I am central in your innermost being...Do not be alarmed by your inability to remain focused on Me.  Simply bring your thoughts gently back to Me each time they wander.  The quickest way to redirect your mind to me is to whisper My Name.
    This is what stood out to me this morning and throughout the day:
  • Again...JOY in God's presence.
  •  God is intimately involved in all my moments...everything that happens to me, not just every day, but every moment of every day. For some reason, the whole "moment" thing makes me feel closer to God and more like He really knows me and cares about everything in every moment...the cancer, the side effects, the poop, the boogers, the headaches...all of it.
  • Since God is central in my innermost being, I don't have to be afraid or worried about the outcome of any of my moments. God, the Creator, Sustainer, and Healer, is here with me every moment.
  • Talk about an "ah-ha" moment..."inability to remain focused," I resemble that remark. My mind does wonder...sometimes during quiet time, sometimes while I work on my Bible study, sometimes while I pray.  I like this KISS (Keep It Simple Sweetie) approach..."The quickest way to redirect your mind to me is to whisper my Name." Gonna be doing a lot of whispering!!!
Trust and Joy:
  • Trust in the Lord always, for the Lord God is the Eternal (Nice tie in to today's devotion.)  Rock. Isaiah 26:4
  • With joy you will drink deeply from the fountain of salvation! Isaiah 12:3
  • But may all who search for You be filled with joy and gladness in You.  May those who love your salvation repeatedly shout, "The Lord is great!" Psalm 40:16
  • From my journal: "Laughter is joy overflowing. (Lots of joy overflowing today!)
   So the whole "moments" thing got me thinking about some special moments that I had today.  Had an early morning visit from a school friend who brought cards made by my students.  She happen to be here when Dr. B came and also prayed with us.  It was really neat.  I am so thankful for an oncologist that recognizes a God thing when she sees it and prays with me every morning. Something else really cool...Dr. B and her daughter are participating in the Glow Run 5K which benefits the  The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society.
   More moments...more friends from school visited throughout the day...found out one use to work with someone I know and attended church with...nice visit with family playing with "Find It" and Bro-In-Law's new phone. Sis picked up the bracelet I won on Facebook and brought it to me. Friends called to check on me...looking forward to visits tomorrow. Cards, emails, and texts continue to encourage me and bring joy to my day.

   Another really good day! No headaches. Another med was discontinued today. Still no go home date, but getting closer.  Blood counts were very good today...second day in a row no transfusions needed. Got to take a bird bath today! (So looking forward to being able to take a shower again!) It's really weird, tomorrow will mark week 4 of my hospital stay...I feel like the month of August hasn't really existed for me. I praise God that, in spite of the long stay, I've experienced a minimal amount of side effects and feel well enough to be up and about. God continues to be my Rock, Strength, and Strong Tower.

Friday, August 24, 2012

Everywhere, God is There... (and an update)

   Have you ever wondered how God can be omnipresent- everywhere all the time? Don't think about it too much because, speaking from experience, you'll end up feeling like your head is going to explode. It's kind of the same way when I think about's going on right now and God is in the past, present, and future (ooo...I need to stop now before my head explodes!) Over the last few years, during Bible studies I've learned more about God and eternity. I have come to the realization that I don't have to understand it all; I can't understand it all.  I don't have to understand it all to accept it all. (Okay, if you're reading this and saying, "She's not as smart as she thinks she is if she just accepts something she can't prove." That's totally your opinion, I'm okay with that, and we can still be friends. [Just know I am so going to be praying for you and there's nothing you can do about it... :-) ] )

   From today's devotion in Jesus Calling by Sarah Young:
I am all around you, hovering over you even as you seek My Face.  I am nearer than you dare believe, closer than the air you breathe. If My children could only recognize My Presence, they would never feel lonely again...Be blessed by My intimate nearness.  Since I live in you, let Me also live through you, shining My Light into the darkness.
   Some of you are thinking, "That whole 'hovering over you' thing kind of creeps me out." That's okay...God knows how you feel.  Think about this: If it's someone you know in an intimate, personal relationship, then being that close will not creep you out.  I've heard people say they sometimes feel lonely even in a room full of people. I can understand that if it's a room full of people you don't know well. If you're in a room full of people with whom you have no connection or share your life journey, you're going to feel alone. If you have a connection, a relationship with someone, you won't be alone. Since God is omnipresent, when you have a relationship with Him you won't be alone, whether there are people present or not.
   I've posted this song before, but this time it's the lyric version:
   More encouragement:
  • On a card: "Our bodies are fragile but our spirits are strong."
  • "Those who know Your name trust in You, for you, O Lord, do not abandon those who search for You." Psalm 9:10 (Goes along nicely with today's devotion, don't you think?)
  • "You thrill me, Lord, with all You have done for me!(Which has been amazing, just saying!!!!) I sing for joy (There's that word again!) because of what you have done." Psalm 92:4
  • From Joyce Meyer Ministries:  "Trusting God brings life. Believing brings rest. So stop trying to figure everything out, and let God be God in your life." (Maybe I don't have to figure out eternity, ya think?)
    No headache last night...woohoo! Neutrophils (something about white blood cells) are up which means I'm closer to having fresh fruits and veggies! do not want to be near me if you have a salad in your possession, because I would seriously take you down just so I could eat it. Missing my fresh fruits and veggies! Did discover that cooked carrots and zucchini are very tasty...a combination I'd never tried until today. No headaches today...yippee! Doc said baby steps; making progress every day. I can see the light at the end of the tunnel, but not sure how long the tunnel is at this point. Another med taken off the long list. Baked cod tonight! Now having soy milk! Someone on staff noticed I'd put my primary language down as Klingon. Sweet visit with a friend today; looking forward to visits tomorrow. Going to watch a movie tonight.  Blessed by calls, texts, cards, and emails. My Omnipresent God continues to be Faithful and True!

Thursday, August 23, 2012

(EN)trust and JOY! JOY! JOY!...(and an update)

  Today's devotion from Jesus Calling by Sarah Young , p. 246, was more about trust.  It was actually entrusting...your loved ones to God.
Entrust your loved ones to Me; release them into My protective care. They are much safer with Me than in your clinging hands...When you release loved ones to Me, you are free to cling to My hand.  As you entrust others into My care, I am free to shower blessings on them.  My Presence will go with them where ever they go, and I will give them rest.  This same Presence stays with you as you relax and place your trust in me.Watch to see what I will do.
  After reading this, I wondered why I found it easier to trust God with myself than with my family and friends. I think it all goes back to my control issues and Martha personality.  I want to take care of my family and friends.  I want to make sure they have what they need.  I want to make sure they're safe.  I'll pray for them, then I want to try to do God's job. Yes, noticed the frequent use of the word "I."  So what I'm thinking is that when I pray for my family and friends, I should trust God with my treasures knowing He cares for them a gazillion times more than me. His presence is enough for us all.
   Joy continues to keep popping up, so I thought I'd share some of the "joyisms" from the last couple of days:
  • Verse of the day from my favorite radio: Psalm 146:5 "But joyful are those who have the God of Israel as their helper, whose hope is in the Lord their God."
  • Posted on Joyce Meyer Ministries today:  "When we give God our worry, He gives us His peace. When we give Him our cares and concerns, He gives us His protection, stability and joy."
  • From my journal: "When we are filled with Jesus, then life is filled with joy."
  • "You have made know to me the paths of life; You will fill me with joy in Your presence." Acts 2:28 NIV
  • "Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith, Who for the joy set before Him endured the cross." Hebrews 12:2 NIV
  • And one of the funnest (Ignore the grammar, please!) versions of "Joyful, Joyful" can be found in the movie "Sister Act."
    Another good day.  Night headache, but got to sleep later.  Visit from school friend...miss being there! Napped on and off. Took a bird bath and changed clothes. (Isn't it amazing how the simple things turn in to such big deals that we look forward to?) Starting to be taken off meds one at a time.  Told I could blow my nose as hard as I wanted...platelets were good! Visit with a special lady; enjoyed ice cream and snacks. Now have a very cool game to work on and share. Unplanned nap in middle of Facebook post; this is why things are a little later tonight.  Enjoyed calls, texts, and emails. God continues to reveal Himself as the Ever Faithful and Peaceful One.

Trust versus Fear...(and an update)

  Today's devotion talked about two things I view as opposites: Trust and Fear.  This is what was in today's reading from Jesus Calling by Sarah Young, p 245:
Trust Me, and don't be afraid.  I want you to view trials as exercises designed to develop your trust-muscles.  You live in the midst of fierce spiritual battles, and fear is one of Satan's favorite weapons.  When you start to feel afraid, affirm your trust in Me...Speak or sing praises to Me...Trust Me, and don't be afraid; for I am your strength, Song, and Salvation. (Isaiah 12:2)
   You know how when someone says, "Trust me," you just know not to trust them?  It's hard to trust someone you've just met or that you don't know very well. ("Oh, I know where she's going with this," you might be thinking..."She's going to preach." Well, maybe just a little.) You have those people in your life that you trust...some to varying degrees based on how long or how well you know them. Some may say, "It's hard for me to trust Jesus." So how well do you know Him? I've been getting to know Him since I was fourteen. It's not been a constant, everyday relationship.  Some times I'm better about intentional time with Him. Looking back, I'd have to say it's been the last 5-7 years that I think I've been pursuing a more intimate relationship with Him. Have I arrived? No. Do I still have some "off days." Yes. I have, however, noticed my "trust-muscles" have gotten a bit stronger and I always have opportunities to develop them even more. You can't get to know Someone unless you spend time with Him.
   Just a bit on fear...One of the things I remember from my youth minister days is part of a lesson about fear.  We used an acronym for fear:  False Evidence Appearing Real. Think about it...some of the things we fear don't come to pass.  Others may come to pass, but, because God is in the mix, He is able to quiet our fears and help us through.  And here's a quote from a friend's Facebook page: "Our future may look fearfully intimidating, yet we can look up to the Engineer of the Universe, confident that nothing escapes His attention or slips out of the control of those strong hands." --Elisabeth Elliot
    So apparently crickets are plentiful several places.  Was talking to a friend today, and she shared about a problem with crickets at he office where she worked.  She said that she was trying to step on this huge cricket and every time she put her foot down, she missed. When the other ladies in the office saw her, not knowing about the cricket, they thought she was dancing. So now...I know a Cricket Dancer. (Oh, she finally got the cricket.  She was convinced that it saw her shadow, so she sneaked up on it and went in from the side without letting her shadow fall across it until she was ready to step.)

   No headaches! MRI came back clear. Doc said my brain was "normal," but I had to tell her that I had friends that may argue with that assessment. Still waiting for biopsy results. Increased BP meds. Can blow my nose gently now (Hey, it's the little things!). Wonderful visit with a precious friend this morning. Visit with school friend; loved hearing about her new job and school stuff. Enjoying a blingy, pink hat. Sweet friend prayed over me today.  Wonderful Bible study with two incredible ladies. Great visit with Sis. Thankful for my phone so I can have long chats with friends and get encouraging texts and texts from my nephews that make me smile. Appreciate the card and emails; they brighten my day. God continues to be my Rock, my Fortress, my Strong Tower, and my Ever Present Help!

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

On the Path...(and an update)

   Follow the Yellow Brick Road to the Emerald City where you'll find the Wizard of Oz. Sounds simple enough. Dorothy followed the Yellow Brick Road, met some really great friends on the journey, had some scary adventures, and finally got home. (Stay with me here!) My devotion this morning made me think of the Yellow Brick Road and how it allegorically tells how when we follow God's path for us we can meet some really great friends on the journey, have some scary adventures, and then end up at home in eternity.
   Here's part of the devotion from Jesus Calling by Sarah Young, p.244.
...You are walking along the path I have chosen for you.  It is both a privileged and a perilous way:  experiencing My glorious Presence and heralding that reality to others...Do not worry about what other people think of you.  Stay on the path of life with Me.  Trust Me wholeheartedly, letting My Spirit fill you with Joy and Peace.
   Some of the things that spoke to me in this include that my path was chosen for me. As much as I'd like to think I'm in charge, I know I'm not. I look back over the years and realize there were a few times I veered off a bit (thinking maybe I would be a biologist, a doctor, etc.), but always knew I was designed by God to be a teacher. My path has been privileged...I've been blessed to share this life journey with some amazing people and experience some amazing things in some amazing places all over the world. My path has been perilous...dealing with disease (mine and family members'), car accidents, weather. Because I've had such a great support system of family and friends, I've not felt like what other people thought influenced me.  My family and friends like me for who I am, not what I may be able to do for them or what body parts I may or may not have. I am staying on the path God has chosen for me and, as I continue to be in His presence, I am seeing the path a bit clearer each day. I am learning to Trust wholeheartedly. I am letting the Holy Spirit fill me with Joy and Peace.  As a matter of fact, those are two of the breath prayers I use to calm down and help myself relax. As I breathe in I say, "The joy of the Lord" and as I breathe out I say, "is my strength."  As I breathe in I say, "Jehovah Shalom," and as I breathe out I say, "He is my peace."

   Another good day...actually, better than most. No headache today!  MRI early this morning. Counts were up, so no extras needed. Took a bird bath today! Bone Marrow Biopsy this afternoon...they let me take pics of the bone and marrow they removed! (If you're saying, "That's just gross!" you're wrong.  That's just cool to a science teacher who loves to scrapbook!) Enjoyed visits, calls, cards, and texts. Read some more in Dee Henderson's soon to be released book...awesome! Enjoying some vanilla chai tea before I turn in for the night. God is Good!

Monday, August 20, 2012

Healing...(and an update)

   Wasn't a able to do my devotion first thing as usual.  Battled the headache from the dark side most of the night. When headache finally subsided, opened Jesus Calling by Sarah Young and found this:
I am a God Who heals.  I heal broken bodies, broken minds, broken hearts, broken lives, and broken relationships.  My very Presence has immense healing powers. You cannot live close to Me without experiencing some degree of healing...The healing may be instantaneous, or it may be a process.  That is up to me.  Your part is to trust Me fully and to thank Me for the restoration that has begun...
   This reminded me that physical healing is only one kind of healing.  So many minds, hearts, lives, and relationships also need God's healing touch. All of these types of healing may be instantaneous or involve a process...our part is trust.  Trust that God's got this.  Trust that God's going to work it out for our good (Romans 8:28) and wants us to prosper and not come to harm.  Trust that God wants us to have a hope and a future. (Jeremiah 29:11). Trust God's character.
   According to Webster, trust is "an assured reliance on the character, ability, strength, or truth of someone or something." That Someone is our Creator, Sustainer, Deliverer, Hope, Refuge, Peace, Strong Tower...fill in your favorite attribute of God.  
   So do I need to know the how, when, where, what, where of my  As much as I want to know, I don't need to know.  I just need to trust.
    Neat thing I learned today: It's easier to get my IV pole over cords if I pop a wheelie!Today was another good day. No bone marrow biopsy today...MRI was scheduled instead. Napped on and off because of another night of little sleep (pesky headache...prayer request: no headache tonight, please.). MRI was postponed until in the morning. Just had one unit of blood and will be getting the next. (Late because of MRI wait.) Fun visit from college roomie! Visit from sis and nephew. Blessed by calls, texts, cards, and emails. God continues to be faithful!God's grace is sufficient; He is my peace and rest!

Sunday, August 19, 2012

JOY again...(and an update)

  This was on the page I used in my journal today:  "When we are filled with Jesus, then life is filled with joy."
   From my devotion this morning:
I continually call you to closeness with me...I offer rest for your soul, as well as refreshment for your mind and body...Knowing me intimately is like having a private wellspring of Joy within you.  This spring flows freely from My throne of grace, so your Joy is independent of circumstances...If you feel any deficiency, you need to refocus your attention on Me.  This is how you trust Me in the moments of your life. (Jesus Calling by Sarah Young, p.242)
   Forgot I had this song on my iPod.  Heard it this morning just before devotion.
    Joy continues to be my theme.  I also noticed something else; joy is connected to the presence of God. (Yes, I realize this at the time I need to realize this...God ROCKS!)  True joy is not a result of things or circumstances. It is the result of an intimate relationship with my Creator and is independent of things and circumstances. Wow! This would explain why, as I've gotten older and spent more time in the Word and being in God's presence, I've been able to to see the "bright side" of things. I also thing joy has a direct correlation with peace. And, because the joy of the Lord is my strength (Nehemiah 8:10b), joy strengthens me as I deal with each aspect of my life.

   Another good day! Although counts were down, not low enough for transfusion (told probably would have one tomorrow). Bird bath and change of clothes...napped on and off after a bumpy night (pesky headache). Friend brought movies, which I've already put in the order I plan to watch; I might watch one or two out of order just so you don't think I'm OCD :-) Nice visit with talking about the everyday things. So blessed by calls, texts, and emails! Praising God for His peace, faithfulness, and love!

Saturday, August 18, 2012

Adversity is Not My Favorite Word (and an update)

   I was not really "pumped" about this morning's devotion.  The first line, "Expect to encounter adversity in your life..." did not make me want to read more, but I did.
...Stop trying to find a way that circumvents difficulties.  The main problem with an easy life is that it masks your need for Me...anticipate coming face to face with impossiblilities: situations totally beyond your ability to handle.  This awareness of your inadequacy is not something you should try to evade.  It is precisely where I want you- the best place to encounter Me in My Glory and Power.  When you see armies of problems marching toward you, cry out to Me! Allow Me to fight for you. Watch Me working on your behalf, as you rest in the shadow of My Almighty Presence. (Jeus Calling by Sarah Young, p.241)
    This devotion reminded me of a part of the book Lies Women Believe by Nancy Leigh DeMoss.
Living an obedient life does spare us from many problems that are the natural consequences of a life lived apart from God and His ways. But that does not mean that those who follow Christ will be exempt from problems...Even those who have been redeemed live in earthyly bodies and have to deal with the realities of temptation, sin (both our own and others'), disease, loss, pain, and death. Becoming a Christian- even being a mature, godly Christian- does not wrap us up in some sort of celestial cocoon where we are immune to pain...But -here's the good news- God is not removed or detached from our problems...the God of the Bible is "a very present help in trouble" (Psalm 46:1KJV).
Found some great scriptures....Psalm 46:10, Psalm 100:5, Psalm 121:1, Psalm 91:1 &2 (Link is to all of's all good!), and I Corinthians 10:13.
   Definitely need God through this.  Even though I may not be thrilled about this particular segment of my life journey, I am thankful for a God who is by my side. I am thankful for a God whose character never changes. I am thankful for a God who reveals His love through His word, His creation, and His people.
    So on my floor we have a Cricket Wrangler.  Now, the Cricket Wrangler is very similar to a Cricket Hunter, except he doesn't really go on hunts.  He just takes care of the crickets that appear in some of the light fixtures and vents. I had heard about him, but didn't need his services until today when I noticed a couple of dark insects crawling across inside my ceiling light.  He took care of them quickly without harming them. I heard from a nurse that she saw a cricket crawling along the floor board toward the Cricket Wrangler.  I'm thinking he may also be a Cricket Whisperer.

  Today was definitely a good day. No extra chicken soup or blood needed! Temp stayed down. Very patient tech guy at Apple talked me through moving my iTunes library to my "new" computer (should have been done 3 years ago) and now have my Nano up and running! So blessed with visit from a precious friend and surprise visit from Sis and Nephew. Walked them to the elevators...nephew wore a mask backward;made me smile. Sharing my powdered peanut butter with the nurses. Enjoyed calls, texts, cards, posts, and emails. Continue to rest in the Presence as God remains unchanging and faithful!

Friday, August 17, 2012

Taking a Break and (an update)

Did a lot of resting in God's presence today.  Not going to post worries...God continues to be faithful and work in great and mighty ways.

So today was a bit of a challenge, but I still consider it a good day. No reactions to platelets. Specific prayer request...this pesky fever/headache thing. Enjoyed visits from friends and family who made today a good day. Rested a lot. Learned a cute way to make a head wrap.  Got a cute wig thanks to awesome ladies from the American Cancer Society.  In today's devotion: "Accept each day just as it comes to you. Do not waste your time and energy wishing for a different set of circumstances. Instead, trust Me enough to yiel to My design and purposes. Remember that nothing can separate you from My loving Presence: you are Mine." Enjoyed being in God's loving presence today.

Thursday, August 16, 2012

Better is One Day...(and an update)

   This morning's devotional was on having quiet time in the morning with God. I like doing my quiet times in the morning and have had a bit of difficulty developing this habit because I am not a morning person. (Okay...I can hear you guys saying, "That's an understatement!" and "I know that about you!") Do I think morning is the only time you can enjoy time with God? No.  Whenever you have it is not as important and that you have it.  Also, if you miss it...don't beat yourself up: FIDO (Forget It and Drive On). "God's loyal love couldn't have run out, His merciful love couldn't have dried up.  They're created new every morning. How great your faithfulness!" (Lamentations 3:22-23)

   So one of the scripture verses was Psalm 27:4.  Which made me think of a song and led me to Psalm 84. When a friend posted one of the scriptures from Psalm 84, I thought, " is focusing on what's important...being in God's Presence." I trust in God and know I am totally blessed! This is the song I was thinking of and it's one of my favorite bands singing...

   Today was the first day for kids at the school where I teach.  A dear friend came to visit this morning.  She retired from my school a few years ago.  She said she signed up for today because she knew I would be sad not to be at school today.  She was right. It's the first "First Day of School" I've missed in 29 years. We enjoyed visiting and sharing our faith journeys. Her sweet, gentle spirit was just what I needed today.
   Had a surprise visit from my aunt (my mom's sister), uncle, and cousin today. They've been to visit several times.  I don't think they realize what a blessing their visits are...every time.  Aunt stayed with me several times during my first go-round. She's always willing to lend a hand and has come over on several occasions to lend a hand.  Cousin lives a couple of hours away, but still visits and calls.  She's also willing to stay with me and help out. They brought me a sparkly card because they know I like sparkly things.  Another uncle (my mom's brother) sent a beautiful doily to put under  a basket he remembered I have in my room.  He said he remembered that I liked the pretty, lacy things.  These are the most precious people and I'm so glad God blessed me by putting me in their family!
   Loved seeing everyone's First Day pics on Facebook today! Talked to Sis about her first day as a second grade teacher at her new school.  Talked to both nephews about their first days. Enjoyed hearing from a few colleagues about their first days.  I lived the first day of school vicariously through them!

Another good day! No "extras" needed today. Doc said we'd look at numbers again tomorrow and possibly do the bone marrow biopsy again. Praying for remission (or total eradication would be good, too) so I can have a couple of weeks off before the next round. Calls, cards, texts and emails continue to bless me. God is Good; God is Faithful!

Still Trying to Stick to a Schedule...(and an update)

   I've been trying to keep up some type of "normal" schedule since I've been in the hospital. I do devotions first, before I get out of bed, then get up and stick to my morning routine (minus the make-up and shower) as closely as possible.  Most days I wash up; I love the days I can "unhook"  for 15 minutes to take a bird bath and change clothes. Today's schedule was disrupted by the headache from the dark side. It started as an 8 and moved to a 57. Couldn't think and couldn't read.  After a bit stronger med I was able to rest and the headache went away.  I was able to do my devotion:

I am the God of all time and all that is. Seek Me not only in morning quietness but consistently throughout the day. Do not let unexpected problems distract you from My Presence. Instead, talk with Me about everything, and watch confidently to see what I will do. Adversity need not interrupt your communion with me. When things go "wrong," you tend to react as if you're being punished. Instead of this negative response, try to view difficulties as blessings in disguise. Make Me your Refuge by pouring out your heart to Me, trusting in Me at all times. (Jesus Calling by Sarah Young, p.238)
One of the scriptures I looked up was Psalm 62:8 (NIV): "Trust in Him at all times, you people; pour out your hearts to Him, for god is our refuge. Seriously thought about not doing my devotional this morning...I thought the headache was a good reason to take it easy.  So glad I reconsidered.  Continue to be amazed at our amazing God who knows what we need when we need it and orchestrates the delivery of the blessings.
    So today I got to change clothes and wash up.  I washed my hair....for the last time for a while. My first clue was when I combed it out and it came out in the chunks.  (Last time, I was able to have lunch with friends, cut my hair short, and have florescent pink highlights put in it before it really started coming out.) I made a call to a sweet friend whose daughter came this afternoon and shaved what was left. Yes, we took pics for the scrapbook. I then let my friends pick out a couple of hats for me to wear at the hospital (and with some cute outfits I'm sure I'll need to get to match.). It was really neat when I was removing the tag from one of the hats and saw that it was made by a church in the town where I teach.  My uncle attends that, small world. Lovin' the ways God continues to reveal Himself.
   Now a have a duck to put in a row.  Let me explain.  A few weeks ago, in Bible study, I made the comment, "I just want to put all my ducks in a row."  One of my Bible study ladies replied, "Don't you think you should let the One Who made the ducks put them in a row?" Yes, she's well aware of my need to be in control and we all got a chuckle out of that.  So tonight, one of the ladies brought me a I could put it in a row.  God's blessed me with some pretty amazing friends!
  One more friend story...I have one container of Weight Watchers oatmeal left.  Just as I was thinking about calling a WW buddy about picking up some, she calls me to let me know she's stopping by and wants to know if I need anything.  Again...amazing!

After waking up with the headache from the dark side, day improved immensely.Early morning visit from teacher friend. Washed my hair for the last time (Just think of all the primping time I'll save!) More platelets. Met two new nurses. (Thought I'd already met them all!) Bible study ladies came and met in my room. Enjoyed calls, texts, cards, and emails. Won a really cute cross bracelet in a Facebook contest. Oh...and tonight was baked cod!!! Had a nice long conversation with my bestest friend. God continues to be my strength, refuge, and unchangeable rock!

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Change...(and an update)

From Jesus Calling by Sarah Young, p.237:
...The world you inhabit is a place of constant changes- more than your mind can absorb without going into shock.  Even the body you inhabit is changing relentlessly, in spite of modern science's attempts to prolong youth and life indefinitely.  I, however, am the sam yesterday and today and forever.[Hebrews 13:8] Because I never change, your relationship with Me provides a rock-solid foundation for your life.  I will never leave your side...You have nothing to fear, because I am with ou for all time and throughout eternity.
From a card I received today:
In the ever-changing circumstances of life, there is a faithful, never-changing God in control. Every day begins and ends with His purpose- there isn't a detail that escapes His eye...a trial that doesn't touch His heart... or a single experience beyond His compassion. (The scripture verse was Philippians 4:6-7.)
   To say my circumstances, my body, my plans (There I go making God laugh again.) have changed over the past few weeks would be an understatement.  I, like most people, don't like change.  I kind of like the illusion that I am truly in control of every aspect of my life.  This was going to be my last year to teach...retirement was on the horizon.  After joining Weight Watchers and losing 73 pounds, I was healthier than I'd been in several years.I became a Weight Watchers Leader and loved being at the meetings and helping others on their healthy weight loss journey. This whole leukemia thing really threw a wrench in things. 
   So I came up with an idea that I presented to God.  Knowing we will have a new body in eternity and I will be in eternity with Him, I though it would be a good idea to get that body as a "loaner" here for a while. Since I'm  going to be there eventually, I can return it. Well, that didn't work out. 
   In the midst of this crazy, changing, whirlwind of life, God remains the only constant.  I find peace and hope in the craziness because I know His character never changes. (Check out this blog about the Attributes of God to get a glimpse of His character.)

    You know how when someone tells you not to do something, then you really want to do it? Today I was told I couldn't blow my nose...something to do with blood clotting issues (not boogers, this time). It was kinda like on the first day I was here and they told me I couldn't leave the floor...I had an overwhelming urge to go to the gift shop. In spite of this minor detail, it was another good day.  It was a quiet, restful day.  I enjoyed cards, emails, texts, and calls.  Sis and nephew visited. Nephew and I watched Tim Hawkins Youtube videos. I'm glad I can be up and about.  God continues to reveal His unchangeable character.


Monday, August 13, 2012

Rest, Relax; Odd Conversations...(and an update)

Learn to enjoy life more.  Relax, remembering that I am God with you.  I crafted you with enormous capacity to know Me and enjoy My presence...When you walk through a day with childlike delight, savoring every blessing, you proclaim your trust in Me, your ever-present Shepherd. The more you focus on My Presence with you, the more fully you can enjoy life. (Jesus Calling by Sarah Young, p.236)
Got the "Grace is an ocean" analogy going on!
    Today I needed to actually practice rest and relax.  I had more chicken soup (that's what platelets look like) and was able to get unhooked long enough to wash, change clothes, and wash my hair. (Yep, it's still there, but it's coming out...) After washing my hair, I experienced some pretty severe chills (a lovely side effect). When they started, the though Relax came to mind and breath prayers of Jehovah Shalom, God of Peace came to mind.  God brought the exact friend I needed with me to be the calming influence in the not-so-calm state of activity. As I focused on breath prayers and relaxing my tense muscles, I was aware of her whispered prayers of peace and wholeness (I should say here that the hospital staff was outstanding in their care...I didn't want you to think they weren't present.). I was able to relax and remember God is with me.  I'm savoring the blessings of friends God puts in our path who travel this journey...for a time or who join us at several points in time.  I proclaim my trust in God, Ever-Present, Ever-Faithful, Unchangeable!
   Odd Conversations...(If you get grossed out easily, you might want to skip to the Update.) So lately I've been having some weird conversations with God and my nurses.  One of the conversations involves poop. (Yes, this definitely gets "cool aunt" points!) Because one of the side effects of chemo can be diarrhea, I decided to pray about what I call "chemo poop." I let God know that I really didn't want to experience that particular side effect, so if I could "soft, not runny" would be good.  So this is one prayer I'm so glad has been answered. (Okay, if you're thinking, "She really shouldn't have posted that," remember, you could have stopped reading.) I'm not thinking this is sacrilegious because I know God cares for every aspect of my life.  I do, however, think sometimes when I pray for specific things, like poop, He probably chuckles a little. One of my nurses and I had an interesting conversation about boogers today. (More "cool aunt" points!) We were discussing the dryness of the hospital air, because I had requested a nasal spray.  She said she had noticed on the days she works her boogers are bigger than the days she doesn't.  I thought that was interesting because just this morning I was thinking that my boogers hadn't been this big since I was like five years old. When she left my room I thought, "Did I just have a serious discussion about boogers?" Wow...

    Another good day. Comical incident: A doc came in while I was having breakfast and  introduced himself.  I asked where Dr. B was.  He said that he was the doc that admitted me last night.  I said, "Really? Because I've been here two weeks." The look on his face said "mortified." He apologized for being in the wrong room.  I told him not to worry about it and to have a good day.  Great visit with dear friend who was calm in a not so calm situation; So more platelets today and it looks like I will be well cared for at least another week. They keep taking blood and putting it back in. Learning a lot about medical equipment. Enjoyed visits from friends, calls, texts, emails, and cards. Sad about not being at our back to school kick off, but was told about it. Relax seemed to be the word of the day...resting and relaxing in God's ever-faithful presence.

Sunday, August 12, 2012

Suffering...Keeping Reading (and an update)

  So this morning's devotional was on weakness...
Come to Me  when you are weak and weary.   Rest snugly in My everlasting arms...weakness stirs up My compassion.  Accept yourself in your weariness, knowing that I understand how difficult your journey has been.  Do not compare yourself with others...I have gifted you with fragility, providing opportunities for your spirit to blossom in  My Presence.  Rather than struggling to disguise or deny your weakness, allow Me to bless your richly through it. (Jesus Calling by Sarah Young, p 235)
   It's no surprise; I don't like to be "weak."  I like to be in control and take care of things (and people) and make sure things get done.  One of the scripture references struck a cord:
  "A bruised reed will not break, and a smoldering wick will not be snuffed out ." Isaiah 42:3
   It reminded me of the line in Group 1 Crew's song "He Said:"
"I won't give you more, more then you can take and I might let you bend, but I won't let you break"
   I though about this throughout the day.   Really tired...two units of blood.   Didn't make my regular trek around the unit today.  Remembered some encouragement from Nancy Leigh DeMoss's book Lies Women Believe. (Also mentioned in the post "Preparation for the Fight")
  • True joy is not the absence of pain, but the presence of the Lord Jesus in the midst of the pain.
  • My painful circumstances will not last one moment longer that God knows is necessary to achieve His eternal purposes in and through my life. 
   Yes...there's joy, trust, and it's not about me.
   It's interesting how many ways people tend to interpret suffering.  People have asked and told me some pretty interesting things, both last time and this time.  I was asked what I thought my "secret sin" was. Some one told me that it wasn't fair that this happened because...then listed the things that I did to further the kingdom.  Someone told me if I...fill in the blank...prayed hard enough, had enough faith, confessed my sin, etc..then God would make this right. Do I believe I'm "suffering for Jesus?" No. Jesus took care of all that on the cross so my eternity with Him is secure.  Do I believe in healing...absolutely.  Do I know exactly what that healing will look, God's got that one. I'm always dumfounded by some comments.  I didn't remember getting a "Get out of Suffering Free" card when I said YES to Jesus.
Therefore we do not lose heart...For our light and momentary troubles [Hey, compared to eternity, this is just a tick in time!] are achieving for us a eternal glory that far outweighs them all.  So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen.  For what is seen [all the crazy stuff we get so stressed about] is temporary, but what is unseen [God's glory...His Kingdom business] is eternal.  II Corinthians 4:16-18 [Brackets are my comments.]
Update: part of the adventure today...2 units of blood (Yes, have pics with nurse striking a pose). Who knew when the red stuff got low you could get so tired? Rested a bit more today; enjoyed visits from friends and family. Always amazed at how God send just the right person at just the right time with just the right comment. Scored bananas in a jar and a Frostie! Reminded of our True Hope. Continue to praise God for His faithfulness!

Saturday, August 11, 2012

Today's Word: Love (and an update)

   When I first started reading today's devotional, I have to admit, I was thinking ..."Come to Me? Really...I'm pretty much a captive audience." (For some reason I was sportin' a bit of attitude this morning.) but then I read:
When your heart and mind are quiet, you can hear Me inviting you to draw near.  Coming close to Me requires no great effort on your part;  it is more like ceasing to resist the magnetic pull of My Love.  Open yourself to My loving Presence, so that I may fill you with My fullness...This vast ocean of Love cannot be measured or explained, but it can be experienced. (Jesus Calling by Sarah Young, p. 234)
   In Ephesians 3:16-19, Paul talks about knowing how wide, long, high, and deep is the love of Christ.  While I was sitting quietly, a song came to mind. It was the David Crowder Band's " How He Loves."  Some of the phrases that kept going through my mind were "He loves like a hurricane,"afflictions eclipsed by glory," "If grace is an ocean we're all sinking," and  I don't have time to maintain these when I think about how He loves us."

   Sometimes we all need to take time just to be in God's loving presence and rest, knowing that His love is beyond measure.  Sometimes it's hard for me to rest and let God just love on me.  That's an experience I want to repeat again and again.
    The LOVE continues...People ask if I have any restrictions on visitors.  Not visit you have to be healthy and not bring in any fresh fruits, veggies, or flowers.  I was just thinking today about the visitors.  I'm amazed at how I know people from so many (that's a given), church, missions, high school, job, volunteer work, etc.  Equally amazing is their outpouring of love in the forms quality time, acts of service, words of affirmation, receiving gifts, and physical touch (toe hugs!)...what Gary Chapman talks about in his book, The 5 Love Languages.   Being loved by God and watching His love being exhibited in so many ways creates a humble, grateful heart.                                 

   Another good day!  No transfusions.  Cheeseburger (no lettuce, no tomatoes, etc.) and chips for lunch and enjoyed a piece of piece of cheesecake this evening.  Was excited to get to change clothes today, but had to change clothes a second time due to my inability to open a small container of pineapple. Enjoyed visits, card, emails, texts, and calls. Still feeling like a bit of a slacker, but so thankful that side effects were not as scary as I was told.  Praising God for his constant provision, healing, and wholeness.

Friday, August 10, 2012

Trust...the Word of the Day (and an update)

From Jesus Calling by Sarah Young:
Relax in My Healing, holy Presence.  Allow Me to transform you through this time alone with Me. As your thoughts center more and more on Me, trust displaces fear and worry.  Your mind is somewhat like a seesaw.  As your trust in Me goes up, fear and worry automatically go down.  Time spent with Me not only increases your trust; it also helps you discern what is important and what is not...As you walk close to Me, saturating your mind with scripture,, I will show you how to spend your time and energy. (p.233)
   Okay, amazing that this morning's devotional ties into what I talked about on time....Wow.
   Checking in with friends, I find this posted on my wall:
   Trust is the in the fact that God's got this.  (Check these out:  II Corinthians 4:16-18, Romans 8:18, Psalm 30:5 [Yes, joy made it to that one...imagine that!] Trust in the character of God.  Totally loved the seesaw analogy!  It's a work in progress...and it's progressing.

   Another good day! Received platelets today...first time ever...and they kind of look like a bag of chicken soup without the noodles. Yes, I took pics and I am going to scrapbook! Visits from friends and family...calls, texts, emails...very well cared for and loved.  Baked cod for dinner! Getting a bit sore, but still not experiencing some of the major side effects...constantly praising God for that! So they tell me that a transfusion will probably be in my future...another first. Incredibly blessed to have the family, friends, docs, nurses, assistants, housekeeping, nutrition many people being the hands and feet of God! Trusting and watching Him work!

Security Blankets and the Like

   So when I woke up around 3:30 this morning, I found myself reaching for my soft, pink sparkly blanket, wrapping my hand in it, then going back to sleep.  I have a wrap knitted by a friend I like to keep by me.  Even if I don't have it on, I like it to be close. Sometimes I like to just sit and hold my pink, fuzzy pillow.  Do these objects have any "magical" properties?  No.  They do, however, provide comfort.  Sometimes they are soft to the touch and I need the "softness" at that moment.  Sometimes the object reminds me of the special person who send them.  I kind of see all this as an extension of how God works through everything.  This reminded me of a story I heard in church one time.

There was a little boy who was having problems sleeping.  "Dad, I'm scared," he said as he lay in his bed.  From the room across the hall came the reply, "Son, God is with you. You're safe."  a few minute later the cry came again, "Dad, I'm scared,"  The dad replied, "Son, God is with you. You're safe."  "I know, Dad," came the response, "but right now I need someone with skin!"
    The presence of God is real and tangible.  It's hard to describe.  God, in His infinite wisdom with an unfathomable love, realized that as humans...we need someone with skin...that touch.  Sometimes we can be that "someone with skin" for others.  I'm thinking this is what "being the hands and feet of God" means.