Tuesday, June 15, 2010

You are never forgotten!

This was a post I found in drafts from a couple of months ago that I didn't post..I tend to do this often but not finish....I decided to post it just like it is......

Isn't it a great feeling to have been friends with someone, lose touch possibly because of geographical distances, different stages in life, priority shifts within your family or for whatever reason but reconnect and pick up right where you left, losing time but never the "real" connection?

This is the way it feels to me to always be connected to God. I can't imagine life without him. I always feel connected, no matter where I go, reside, whom I'm with or around...I'm so grateful that I don't feel any distance. He is always there for comfort in the middle of the night, when no one else is even faintly awake or during the day, as thoughts overtake your mind or going down the road when all you have is time to think.....

It is the greatest feeling, I can't explain...but I hope you know what I'm talking about too!
All my love,

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Rainy, Sunny, Rainy

Another post I found today from September, 2009. Hope you enjoy it, although it wasn't finished.

Today has been a metaphor for how our lives seem at times. It started off dreary, dark and rainy and it wasn't long that the sun was out shining so brightly! The change within a couple of hours made me peer through the window, just to make sure that by my opening a blind wasn't the real cause for the sunshine. Lo and behold, it was absolutely beautiful and sunny. I would have thought by the start of the day that it would be a dark and dreary day. The sunshine gave me energy. It was beautiful and sunny for most of the day....and then hours later, it started to rain again...all you can see are clouds and it has started to chill. It isn't as thrilling as the warm sunshine but it is occupying the space of hours that will end the day.

I must say it is normal to see the weather change throughout the day but not like today. It made me think of circumstances in our lives and how it can change, hour by hour. At times, the unexpected sunshine peeks through when we aren't always expecting it, giving us the push to make it the rest of the way!

Monday, January 11, 2010

I'm baaaacccccckkkkkk!!!

Wow, it has been so long since I've blogged...it wasn't purposeful, just necessary! I have missed everyone so much.
My life has been a revolving door of "good news, bad news" but I choose to go with the good news and leave the rest behind.
Since I've last been on here, I've been to Houston, Texas to get a second diagnosis. The news from that was a miracle! I have thanked God so many times for such wonderful results. I came back home, they required that I go through all the same testing AGAIN. The results came back inconsistent with the prior results. I've decided that the up, down, back and forth keeps me in neutral so I am going forward. My fuel is my faith and God is my protector...so what am I sitting still for...too much to do, so little time!!! :-)
So many will say, "you don't look sick" or "you haven't ever looked sick" and for that, I'm grateful...unfortunately it wasn't that way and hasn't been that easy...not that I've wanted any type of pity but sometimes it makes me feel as if people think that I'm faking. I wish it were that way, I know I have pushed myself way beyond what I knew I was capable of doing...and for that, I'm guilty.
Chemotherapy causes chronic sleep problems. I thought it was just me until I just read an recent cancer newsletter that said that 75% of Chemo patients end up with sleep problems. It is because of the steriods they give you before and after chemo. It is also the reason you never look like you lose any weight and it is also the reason after chemo, you can't lose weight. It takes awhile for it to work out of your system.
Well, I had already started having problems with sleep prior to chemo so the drugs only intensified the issue. I have now gotten something to help me rest and I can't tell you what a difference in being able to sleep has done physically for my body. Oh my, it has given my body renewed energy. Wahoo...it has been wonderful! I am feeling stronger every day.
I asked my Oncologist why I have sweet cravings. I have never had them before and since chemo, I feel like I could turn the kitchen upside down looking for something sweet. The doctor said it happens in about 25% of chemo patients and they aren't sure why. While I was sick, I could care less about food, especially sweets. Now I will get up in the night without even realizing it and I'll wake up in the kitchen. It is kind of scary but my doctor said again, it is the medicine that I'm on for sleep and the chemo affects the sweet cravings! It is sorta funny but I'm switching medicine so at least I know that I'm on a sweet hunt! ha. I don't have that during the day, I guess because I take the meds at night.
Other than all the obvious things, I am so grateful for another year! No matter what I've gone through and will continue going through, I'm so blessed! Today, I was talking with one of the doctors and they said, "you are just too young to have gone through this much mess".....and then they told me that I was above average mentally for how I've handled what has been dealt, I just say, "thank you Lord"....I couldn't have made it without HIM! I'm so thankful that along the way, that I have had wonderful family, friends, co-workers, etc. who have continuously supported us through prayer, e-mails, letters, cards, food or whatever contribution you might have made.
Thank you, thank you, thank you!!
Much love,

Saturday, September 12, 2009

After I wrote my last post earlier today, I found this....

The Biblical Alphabet

Although things are not perfect
Because of trial or pain
Continue in thanksgiving
Do not begin to blame
Even when the times are hard
Fierce winds are bound to blow
God is forever able
Hold on to what you know
Imagine life without His love
J oy would cease to be
Keep thanking Him for all the things
Love imparts to thee
Move out of "Camp Complaining"
No weapon that is known
On earth can yield the power
Praise can do alone
Quit looking at the future
Redeem the time at hand
Start every day with worship
To "thank" is a command
Until we see Him coming
Victorious in the sky
We'll run the race with gratitude
X alting God most high
Y es, there'll be good times and yes some will be bad, but...
Z ion waits in glory...where none are ever sad!

This and that...

A quiet Saturday morning with the sun trying to peek out but so far unsuccessful. Today we are shutting down our pool as the weather as been overcast and the trees are beginning to drop acorns and such and pool maintenance becomes more work than pleasure. I must say that I only spent 10 minutes in the pool all summer. However, Kimberly laid out by the pool or went swimming most days she wasn't at college or working. She by far has gotten the most enjoyment.
Angela's college classes are from 7 a.m. to 11:15 a.m. 5 days a week and Kimberly goes a couple of days a week from 8 a.m. to 6:50 p.m. with an hour to drive home. Kimberly has decided that right now she is tired of Biology before she even applied to dental school. Although she is only a couple of courses away from applying, she wants to transfer and work towards becoming an accountant, which was her 2nd choice. I had hoped she would finish her pre-dentistry classes in case she might want to go back to that but she has to make the decision. Our only requirement is that she get a degree so whatever that is...just do it!
We are adding a bathroom downstairs or should I say that I'm helping with the decor and Steve is doing all the work. It is wonderful to have someone who can figure out how to do anything. He started with nothing but cement floors and has already built out the walls, set up the plumbing, is currently working on the electrical and will soon doing the tiling. He is one of those people who can pick up anything and figure out how to do it and loves it! It certainly isn't one of my talents, I guess that is why we work together so well. :-)
So far it seems today is going to be another just getting things done days. Since I've been sick last year, we've spent more time at home than we have in 22 years! I love to go and do things but realize that I still have to limit the amount because I get so tired. The girls and I went out one day shopping and after about 2 hours, my legs and feet were killing me! I used to be able to marathon shop. I can't do that anymore nor is it really necessary.
July 4th we spent at home putting in landscaping, Labor Day spent at home working on the new bathroom (we did go to a friends house for a cookout but not out of town) and so I guess Thanksgiving and Christmas will be spent tiling our other 2 bathrooms! ha. My brother said, "well I guess if you are staying home you aren't spending money"...wish that were true but adding/changing cost a whole lot more than going out of town. However, the benefits will last longer so I guess all is not lost.
Yesterday Steve had a test run as part of his yearly physical and so as I was waiting I got into a discussion with a few men in the waiting room. The first man said he had brain and lung cancer and was waiting to hear if his wife had cancer, the other man said he was a 5 yr. survivor of cancer and the other man said he is the only one in his family who has not had cancer yet. As we sat and talked, the man who had the brain and lung cancer couldn't say a sentence without swearing and was just mad at life, the 5 yr. survivor was full of joy and just laughed heartily at the simpliest of things and the 3rd man whose family all has cancer was very interested in hearing about how I had gone through cancer this past year.
It was quite interesting as each man shared their feelings, which is pretty uncommon for men to do but I was the only female in the room and we knew that none of us would see each other again so the conversation became quite interesting! The 5 yr. survivor just told the funniest stories about what he went through with the cancer in the Netherlands (believe me, it seemed barbaric in comparison to our hospital standards). He viewed it as something he had to do and found it to be very funny. The second guy whose family all has cancer says he faithfully gets check-ups and was very serious about health issues and the fact that God/faith is what got me through. The 3rd guy with the brain and lung cancer couldn't wait to go out and smoke, only wanted to swear, thought doctors were stupid and just wanted to get back to work.
As I sat and listened to each one tell their side of the story, I couldn't help but be immediately drawn to the one that was so joyful, encouraged by the serious one who took his physicals faithfully and disheartened at the one with the cancer who was blaming the work he did, the building he worked in and people in general. It again showed me that it doesn't matter what you face in life, it is how you face it.
If I only had a short time to live, I want to live it....not begrudge each day. I'm not judging, as I too have walked the road of uncertainty....I'm just saying, we have to work sometimes no matter our situation to find joy but there is joy in every situation!!
Last night we were watching a documentary on the history channel of 9/11. One of the tapes had a man on the phone saying, "Monday night football saved my life!" He said that he had been up late, overslept the next morning and was only 15 minutes from being on the 38th floor of one of the Trade Centers. You never know why a situation happens in your life but it could be slowing you down for a reason. We often views the bumps in the road as keeping us from doing what we think we should be doing but remember if you have an ultimate belief that your life is in God's hands...well, we have to let him be in charge!
So today find enjoyment in the things that slow you down, look around and enjoy the scenery because it may be scenery you have passed by many times but were too much in a hurry to notice......as I always say, if God is concerned about every sparrow, how much he must be concerned about me, you, I , us....let him be the manager of your life's situations!
Now go and take on a wonderful day!!
Have a great week!
Love to all,

Monday, September 7, 2009

So long but not forgotten.....

I've written several times in this blog since my last entry but each time I get distracted and so I close up my thoughts with the point of returning to finish and other things seal the time in my day. I have been negligent in my blog.

I've missed my online friends and family. In fact, many times I just miss the serenity of having quiet times at home and within my day. It seems funny that when I was so sick that all I could think about was getting back to "normal" but now that I'm back to "normal", I realized that maybe I never knew what "normal" was really supposed to be.

As I've said many times before, when I was sick, I lived every second, minute, hour and every day. I was very aware of the time on the clock because my life depended on the next moment hoping and praying that it would be better. It has been great....I feel wonderful, I still have physical struggles but I'm great! However, now I miss so many moments and time in my day. It is scheduled away even before I start that all the things I want to do and the people I want to talk to don't seem to happen because the schedule in my day impedes this type of productive process.

When I returned back to work June 1st, 2009, I knew it was going to be hard. I just didn't know how hard it was going to be!! It didn't take me more than a couple of weeks to realize that I was climbing Mt. Everest in an attempt to be "normal". It was so depressing because it was so physically and mentally demanding and my body was not up to it, that I was literally in tears everyday. Many of you reading this will think, I was around you and I didn't notice any difference. Well, you wouldn't because I'm great at hiding most things but inside I was a wreck.

I made a pact to myself that I would not give up or give in and I would assess the situation after I'd been to work 3 months, which is 60 working days. I had accomplished so much, traveled on business 4 different times in this short span and have literally tried to work through the mounds of pressure and internal/external goals. Although I worked long hours, the work didn't seem to subside and the pressure mounting, I realized that it had nothing to do with my physical strength but the stress of the position had just grown since I'd been gone and nothing was going to change that.

I have just reached the 3 month goal, September 1, 2009. I can say the stress has grown, the work has grown but my confidence that I can continue has also grown. Do I think it is too much to continue at this pace? Absolutely, it is too much for anyone. There has to be more in our days than starting bright and early and ending when the sun is going down at work.......it is an evolving process and I firmly believe it is going to be fine. :-)

Although I've not written, there are many others that are going through their own battles and journies through sickness and I've been personally impacted by them through direct contact or through friends and family.

First of all, Tammy Taylor who has posted many times on this blog is going through her chemo. She has highs and lows and knows and feels overwhelmed by the amount of time she must endure this process. Boy, I can remember hearing 6 months and feeling like they said 12 yrs. Until you been through it...you can't imagine it. It seems forever....but we are still praying and believing for her healing in every way as she continues to endure.

Pat Mabery-Lives in California but is a dear friend to one of my friends at church. She has just been diagnosed with liver cancer. Please keep her in your prayers!

Barbara Willoughby-She and her husband has been missionaries to Singapore for years. Originally from Illinois, she met her husband at Bible College and have done an awesome work in Singapore. She and I have talked over this past year. She has been an inspirational friend. She and her husband both have/had cancer. She was 49 and just lost her battle approx. a week and 1/2 ago. Please pray for her husband and 3 children. They are an awesome family giving their all to God to the people of Singapore and really need our support.

Chrisitie Jones-She is a cousin to my friend David at work. We have never met but she has been an awesome encourager throughout my journey through cards and prayers. Her mother-in-law was on vacation to Alaska this past week and had a massive heart attack. So unexpected...please pray for encouragement.

Grace-Diagnosed with breast cancer. She was having a port put in this past week at a hospital in Macon and they punctured her cortoid artery. Her chest cavity filled with blood causing a pneuomothrorax and has caused breathing problems. She was expected to be in the hospital for 4-5 days. They still have not been able to get the port inserted. Please pray for guidance and encouragement as they determine next steps.

David-Our neighbor across the street's son-in-law diagnosed with colon cancer and told by the doctors he only has a maximum 2 years to live. Please pray for God's will and encouragement as our Heavenly Physician is the one who determines our survival rate.

Gary-My cousin's bro-in-law just diagnosed with esophagus cancer. They are still trying to determine next steps and may possibly be headed to Houston, Texas for treatment. Another unexpected situation but no situation is unexpected with God...he knows our need even before we ask.

Carla-Young mother who attends our church was diagnosed with breast cancer and has just gone through surgery. Last I heard she was Stage 3 and was doing well. Another great need that needs lifted in our prayers.

I know I'm missing several more people that I've been talking with or praying for but my mind is failing me.

As we sit and enjoy the time with our families and friends on this Labor Day, please try to remember those less fortunate and those that are on the battlefields oversea fighting for our country. No matter what happens in life, it is what we do with our lives that ultimately matter....I've never been to a funeral yet where they talked about the material possessions any person contained rather it is the memories we make everyday that are most precious. I want my last memory to be standing on streets of gold and hearing the words, "well done my good and faithful servant, enter in"........and then seeing all my family.

No matter when our time on earth is done, it is our eternal soul that lives forever...I want to make sure that I'm in peace on earth and bound for heaven.

Have a peaceful night and a beautiful day!
Love to all,
Good night!

Saturday, August 8, 2009

In the stillness of the night....

Most nights I lie awake, unable to sleep and I listen to the quietness all around me. There is no one else awake, the lights are out...I get up and look out the window and the neighbor's lights are out....no one appears to be up.....all I hear are sighs of someone breathing but very still in their sleep. I toss to and fro wishing I could also sleep. My mind begins to race with so many thoughts of the day, week, on-going challenges and I'm reminded that although these thoughts over take my present time, this is the time my body should be getting energized.
As I try to find a comfortable position, it seems all my bones ache, which make me toss and turn more. I lean over because I know my faithful companions, my little dogs are sleeping on the floor beside me. I reach my hand down to pet them and they too are asleep and do not see me reach for them. I have to move closer to the edge of the bed just to reach them. They wag their tails but they do not venture to get up but let me know they feel me touching them. After a few minutes, I can even hear my dogs sleeping. In fact, Dakota (the boy) begins to snore. I listen in the night with envy.
As I lay awake, I realize even in the stillness of the night and cannot sleep that I am content. The secret of contentment is the realization that life is a gift and not a right. Every second of every day counts no matter if we are awake or sleeping. It makes me realize how many seconds, minutes and hours are really in a day. We usually wake up counting the time to work, time to have lunch, time to come home, hours before bedtime and bedtime.
I think maybe I should be counting my blessings. Time is more valuable than money because time is irreplaceable. Sometimes we are so busy adding up our troubles that we forget to count our blessings. "I will remember the works of the Lord: surely I will remember thy wonders of old. I will meditate also of all thy work, and talk of thy doings." Psalms 77:11, 12
I finally did fall asleep very late this morning, as I usually do and the phone started ringing around 7ish a.m. I was in such a deep sleep that I jumped up and realized that someone had taken the phone off my bedside table and so I started running around to find a phone. Normally if we get calls late at night or early in the morning, especially on Saturday, I think something is wrong. By the time, I get to the phone I hear the answering machine kick on. I realize that the call wasn't for me and later not that important to wake the whole family up on a Saturday morning. Jumping up like that out of a deep sleep makes me feel sick to my stomach. So what I thought was going to be a good morning to sleep....becomes restless again, so I just get up. I feel very frustrated that the only morning I get an opportunity to catch up on sleep from the week was taken away!! So now that I've been up, I feel very sleepy but unable to sleep so my day will not be as productive as it needs to be.
However, I am excited because today Kimberly comes back home from Nashville, Tennessee from Youth Congress. There are so many young people at this conference that the mall in Tennessee stays open all night. I know there are parties going on so I'm sure they all stayed up to blow-out the last night. Although I will be very excited to see her and find out all the fun they've had, I'm sure I will see a sleepy daughter come in and go straight to bed. However, it is always peaceful when all the kiddies are home and tucked safely in. It is a content feeling knowing everyone is safe.
So many things have happened this week in the markets and within my Corporation that I realize how lucky we are to have our jobs. It would be nice not to have to work but since we do, it is nice to know we have a place to go to. So many are without jobs....I just pray that things start to settle down, the economy picks up and people are able to find employment.
No matter the situation around us, we must still find happiness. There is more joy for our journey than there is disappointment. If we didn't have disappointment, how would we know the true feelings of gratitude? I don't like to linger long in the pasture of wonder but remember the promise of Jesus, "Cast all your care upon Him, for HE cares for you. 1 Peter 5:7
It doesn't matter who else cares about your situation, God does and that's all that really matters!!
Have a blessed day...and remember God who takes time to keep tabs on every sparrow, then surely HE keeps special tabs on you. You are not alone.

Love to all,