that crazy cancer girl

My journey through cervical cancer

Blessings of a New Year

blog 2014

 

I thought I had signed off for the year, but my brain is full and needs to be emptied. ūüėČ Someone told me I should write about my year… Even our pastor this morning challenged us to think back to the blessings we had through this past year.

I will be honest I really do not like to write about the end of the year and reflecting over a year because it makes me think that somehow I have to detach myself from something or someone. Kind of like the end of an era and in a way I guess it is with another year being gone. However I am keeping this on the happy side of things today. ūüėČ

First of all I am going to remember my year with you. Yes you. I am going to get all “Jerry Maguire” on you when I can honestly say You complete me. My parents have always said through out the years that God puts people in your path for a reason. Whether it’s to teach you a lesson, to make you a better person, to help you with something or to completely change your life. I may not have understood that back then, but I completely comprehend and believe every word of that now.

I have met some new friends this year and have been so blessed that they were put in my path. They have made my life happier and more complete. New fishing friends, church friends, my closer relationship with my brother and sisters and friends that I chat with on Facebook and have only met once or twice or not at all. I think about you often and am so glad we are together. I look forward to what our friendship will become in 2014. My friends that have been with me for all these years have grown closer with me and I love our time together. I love to laugh with you and make so many memories together!!

I have also been faced with so many challenges this year and many times have looked up to the sky and made that statement that this is all can handle, please no more. However for all the bad there was there was just as much good!

2014 for me is a new year. I have to make a change in myself before I can make a change in my marriage, in my family, in my friends and in my world. I can only hope and pray that I can make that change.

I have never been one for New Years resolutions. I feel why set myself up for failure? Yeah it might be a pessimistic way of looking at things, but it’s what I have come to realize for myself. I however do know that I need to become a better mother, a better wife, a healthier person, a better friend and a better person overall. Are these New Years resolutions? No there not, but ideas for what I know I need to do.

However if I had to make a true resolution, then it would be to fight with everything in me to make it through this awful disease called cancer. Whether I need to become a lab rat or go back on chemo and radiation if this surgery doesn’t work… Whatever it takes to be with my family, I am willing to do!!

If you do make resolutions and it is truly a resolution, resolute, resolved, then RESOLVE to begin now. There is nothing keeping you back, right? In reality, if there is something you mean to begin or quit or change then waiting until tommorow is just plain dumb. Start with your resolution today, right now. No one is going to hold you to your resolutions, (although they say its best to keep you accountable). You need to be your own advocator. I am also preaching to myself. ūüėČ

Today I am looking back over the past 12 months and evaluating what I have and haven’t done, what I should change and what I shouldn’t. It puts things into perspective for me.

I pray that 2014 will be life changing for you. Whether you plan to get married, have kids, move in your town or to another state. Whether you get a job, lose a job, lose a loved one. Know that all of it has a plan for your life and you are not alone. Whatever happens for you in 2014 I pray you find peace.

Happy New Year!!

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My Scared Thoughts

The lights are off the house, the tree is back in the box, baby Jesus has been carefully wrapped back up in the manger and put back in the box. It doesn’t even look like Christmas has been here. We usually keep everything up till after the new year, but with surgery coming up next week, I figured today was the best day to get everything in order.

The kids were sad when everything was put away. They said, Mom it looks so sad and empty in here now. That is so true. We build up the anticipation for Christmas so much. Months in advance we shop and decorate then come Christmas morning it’s all over within 10 minutes. Paper and bows are flying every which way. The screams of happiness and hugs. We even hear, Your the best parents in the world… ūüėČ It all ends so quick though and as the kids run off to play with the new toys, the parents just kind of sit back and sigh.¬† It’s the truth huh?

This Christmas was different for me. It’s the first time that I truly¬†savored every moment. The thought is in the back of my head constantly. The thought of is this going to be my last Christmas? Is this going to be the last time I see our kiddos squeal in delight as they open gifts? Will this be the last Christmas eve service I go to? The thoughts go on and on and the answers aren’t there. This surgery next week is what the Dr’s are calling my last option. I hate those words… Last option is not what anyone wants to hear at any time.

It has been one month since chemo and radiation stopped. I know without a doubt that my tumor is rapidly growing. I won’t go into detail on here on how I know, but I know. The pain has come back full force and God and I talk a lot! I am praying that this last resort is going to work. I want to grow old with my amazing hubby. I want to see our kids graduate and get married. I want to hold our grandchildren and rock them in my rocking chair. All these hopes and dreams for my future and somehow I can’t get past next week.

I will be honest with you, I am angry! When no one is around I scream, yell and cry! I ask God questions and beg Him to heal me and yet nothing I do or say is making a difference. However I am not giving up. I am not giving up on God, or His plans for my future. I love the old hymn from when I was a kid that says,

Many things about tomorrow
I don’t seem to understand
But I know who holds tomorrow
And I know who holds my hand…

I will never understand what my future holds, but I know I have given my life to God and He wants great things for me. If that includes dying and going to Heaven then I have to be okay with that knowing that is what God has in store for me. If all goes well and I get to enjoy years with my family, I will never take things for granted anymore. Those disagreements over the petty things with my hubby, the phone calls from my Daddy that always seem to come at inconvenient times and even when the kiddos want to sit on my lap when I am in the middle of something. My kids won’t always want to be near me or sit on my lap because they will eventually grow up. Those phone calls from my Dad will eventually end as he is getting up in years. So many things we take for granted on a daily basis.

Life is so very fragile and cannot be taken for granted. God has plans for each and every one of us. He formed us in our Mothers womb and knows how many hairs we have on our heads. None of us know what our futures hold. We can plan and plan our future and what we want to do, but it can all be taken away in the blink of an eye.

Just because I put baby Jesus back up in the attic does not mean He is away. He is in my heart and He is holding me through all of this. I can’t give in to my fears, I can’t allow the bad thoughts to fog my head. I have to live day to day and enjoy every moment I have with the beautiful family that God gave me.

How are you going to live this year. Will you continue with the same as you have been? How about trying to change things up and find out what God has in store for your future? Life as a Christian isn’t easier, but if you end up in a situation as I am in at least you know where you will spend eternity.

If I am not on here before the New Year, I pray that you have a safe and blessed New Year. Please pray for me Jan 2nd that all goes smoothly and that this will work. God bless you all!!

Psalms 30:5 For his anger is but for a moment, and his favor is for a lifetime. Weeping may tarry for the night, but joy comes with the morning

 

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Merry Christmas!!

Gift Boxes and Ball

Do you remember playing hide and go seek as a kid and as you are hiding you have that overwhelming feeling that you are going to pee your pants? Yeah, that’s me right now. ūüėČ I am so excited for Christmas! Maybe not the way you think I am though. You see I LOVE to give gifts. I seriously get so happy seeing the look on other peoples faces when they open gifts. I have always been the type to want to surprise others with something when they are least expecting it. Christmas is no exception. I can’t tell you the amount of times I have ask my dear hubby if he wants to open just one gift before Christmas. Seriously the man has the same amount of patience as God! He always wants to wait!

Are you ready? What makes you most excited, giving or receiving? Of course it’s always nice to get a gift, but nothing like the pure joy of watching someone else open a gift from me.

What about the gift of Jesus? Can you imagine the anticipation that Mary and Joseph felt that night? I remember waiting to give birth to all 3 of our kiddos and sometimes the anticipation was more than I could bear. I wondered who they would look like, would they be healthy, what would they be when they grew up? So many questions that I had in my head. However I can’t imagine the questions in Mary’s head that night. She knew she was giving birth to the son of God. Wow, no pressure huh? Do you think she knew that He would die for our sins?

I couldn’t imagine giving one of our son’s life to save the lives of others. But God did and He called Jesus our gift. Our gift of forgiveness, our gift of love, our gift of peace. He came to earth for us. I believe the world has strayed so far from the real meaning of why we celebrate Christmas. We only have Christmas because of Jesus. It’s not about the gifts or parties or ugly Christmas sweaters. It’s His birth in a stable on a cold winter’s night.

Tomorrow we will go to the Christmas eve service at our church in anticipation to celebrate His birth. Wednesday morning we will wake up and read the bible story around the Christmas tree like we do every year to remind ourselves that it’s about Him. Then we will enjoy the day with family. What are you looking forward to this Christmas? Whatever it is I hope you have a wonderful Merry Christmas with your family or friends or however you are celebrating this year. Don’t forget what Christmas is truly about. Merry Christmas!!

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Feeling any Love?

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He loves me, he loves me not, he loves me, he loves me not… I stood picking the petals one by one. By the time I got down to the last few petals, I realized what the outcome would be. Crap, not the outcome I wanted. I started again until I got the answer I wanted, which of course was He loves me!!

I know without any hesitation that God loves me. I have known this my entire life, even through the “not so Godly years”… That’s a whole other blog. ūüėČ

Lately I have been feeling not so loved. This is a war that is happening in me, My mind knows that He loves me, but my heart is telling me something else. If He loves me then why is He allowing me to go through this? My heart is hardening and not allowing me to receive the love He so freely gives.

I¬†picture God‚Äôs love as a bountiful banquet table, but often I am not¬†at the table. I am crouching by the floor hesitantly collecting the crumbs of love as they drop to the floor. I just don’t think I am that lovable to actually sit at the table. How many times have we thought of ourselves as unworthy? How many times do we separate ourselves by choice? God loves me so much and wants me to sit at His table, but I am pushing away because I am in pain and I am angry that I have to go through all of this. I want to accept His love, but I don’t feel like I deserve His love. Somehow I am comfortable sitting on the floors picking up the crumbs.

I somehow forgot that He chose me. Even though I am going through this fierce battle that rages through my heart, mind and body, He chose me.

I often feel like I am on the outside looking in. I feel like I cannot enter in to His love for me. I can accept the fact that He gave His life for me, but being worthy of all His love offers is something I have battled with.  I see Him pouring His love on His other children, but I feel left out wondering and questioning when is He going to pour His love on me?

He never promised life would be fair, He never promised rainbows and unicorns through every turn of the road. He DID promise that regardless of what we go through we will never go through it alone. He knew that I would question this, I am human and humans questions everything. Especially when we feel so alone and left out of a love that He so desperately wants to share with us. I know that even though I feel angry, even though I feel left out right now and even though I think I am all alone in this journey, He LOVES me!!

Where are you tonight? Are you sitting on the floor gathering crumbs because you think that God could never love someone like you? Regardless of what you are going through, what you have done and what you are doing now, He still loves you and wants you to feast at His table. He loves you no strings attached! Accept His love, He has plenty to give!

He love me, He loves me not, He LOVES me!!

Zephaniah 3:17  The Lord your God is with you, the Mighty Warrior who saves. He will take great delight in you; in his love he will no longer rebuke you

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Why I can’t be Happy… Or can I?

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The old farm house we grew up in had a large circle driveway. It wasn’t paved just had gravel. Every time it would rain the bottom of that circle would fill up into 2 huge mud puddles. As long as it wasn’t thundering or lightening our sweet mama would let us put on our bathing suits and go out and play in it. One particular rainy day my sister Becky and I decided to go out and play and give ourselves a mud bath. I can only describe it as pure joy! We laughed so much, threw mud and made little towns and tracks with the mud. We had the best time playing in that mud!

When we were done we went to go inside. Little did we know mama had just got done mopping the kitchen floor. We made little muddy foot prints from the front door all the way upstairs laughing the whole way. That’s when we heard it… Yup the noise that only a hard working Mother can make. It’s sort of a mix between a wail and a scream. Suddenly that joy was gone, we knew we were in trouble! After cleaning ourselves up and changing we had a mop waiting for us down stairs.

Have you ever had your joy quickly removed? I feel like I did that day when Mom screamed. Lately the joy just isn’t there. Maybe it’s the cold weather, maybe it’s the fact that I have cancer or facing a surgery I simply do not want. I’m not sure what it is, but the joy is gone. I’m not really laughing at much and I want to be alone. It’s a bit scary as I have always been the life of the party. My Mother named me Sarah after Sarah in the bible because she knew I would laugh a lot. And I do or at least I did. I laugh at everything and try my best to get others laughing. This is a whole new world I am experiencing. I don’t like this feeling and the worst part¬†is I don’t know how to fix it.

This should be the happy season, the time when friends and family gather and enjoy being with each other. For me I just want to be alone. I don’t want to talk on the phone or return text. I feel bad because friends and family want to talk to me and check in on me, but I’m just tired of talking about cancer and treatments and repeating my schedule over and over. I know that sounds selfish and terrible because they care and I am so thankful they care. Believe me I don’t want to feel this way.

I know things won’t ever be like they were before cancer, but I want to feel like I did then. I want people to enjoy just being around me and not look at me with pity or cry for me. I just want people to want to hang out and have fun. Some friends won’t even hug me any more. Not sure if they feel they will catch it or not, but it hurts.¬†I’m not real sure where I am going with all of this tonight, but it feels better when I can just get it out of my head. I want to try harder to enjoy Christmas. I don’t want to feel the stress of making everyone happy with gifts or fighting traffic to make it to every party or get together. I want to feel God’s peace and the love of family and friends.

My surgery for the brachytherapy has been scheduled for January 2nd. I have about 2 weeks to try and relax and enjoy the holidays. If you are facing challenges in your life that is making you feel the way I am feeling can I pray for you? Can I ask you to pray for me? Christmas can be hard for so many people. Whether you have lost a family member or a job, maybe you just feel depressed from not being able to afford gifts for your family. Whatever it is, know that you are not alone. I know that God is with me and He is helping me. I just need to let go of the things I can’t control and let God take over.¬† Can we bring joy back to our lives?

1 Peter 5:7  Casting all your anxieties on him, because he cares for you

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When My Plan isn’t His plan

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Do you ever plan something and then all goes wrong? I am a planner, I needed to know the sex of our babies before they were born because I had to plan the nursery. I have a calendar that I plan weeks in advance so I know our family schedule down to the hour. I leave early for everything because I plan ahead for any traffic or things that might get in my way. I have to have everything planned out. Well I thought I had my cancer planned out. I would do treatments and chemo and follow the Dr.’s advice and I would get better. I have done all of this and I won’t lie some of it was extremely painful, but I did it because I knew it was part of my plan to get better.

Last Wednesday I had an MRI to see where the tumor was after all that treatment. I was praying for massive amounts of shrinkage. I was sure that they would look at me and tell me it was a Christmas miracle! Ok maybe not that extreme, but a good amount of shrinkage. Well don’t you know that the Dr told me it hasn’t shrunk that much at all. Have you ever seen a huge balloon that had been popped and it flies around the room deflating? Yeah that was me. I felt as though someone knocked the wind right out of my sails. I was so sure that it would have shrunk a lot more after going through everything I did.¬†Not my plan…

After looking into loads of options for me I was presented with the brachytherapy option again. Look back a few blogs and you can read about it and why I was so dead set against it. I told the Dr I absolutely did not want to do that. She told me she would research other options and call me back. When she called back I was presented with this statement, “Sarah, if you don’t do this you will die”… Well, that was not what I wanted to hear. I am young, I have 3 kids and a good looking bearded man that depend on me. BUT I did not want to do that brachytherapy!! I have heard nothing positive about this procedure. I have read every horror story you can imagine from this procedure. Even the Dr himself said it’s brutal and woman do not sign up to do this, but in order to save their lives they do it. Not my plan…

I will not lie, I am angry! I have questioned God a million times. Thousands of prayers that people from every corner of the country have been sent up for me. I know God hears them, but I questioned why He hasn’t fixed this. Why He wants me to go through this kind of pain. I simply do not understand the path He is taking me on. It wasn’t until Thursday night when I got my answer.

I have heard and read the story of Jesus my entire life. I have seen every play and read every verse of him dying on the cross for us. Thursday night my sweet hubby bought us tickets to go the The Story Tour. If you haven’t heard of it, look it up. It was amazing!! What it is, is major Christian artist sing the bible from Genesis to Revelation while the big screen behind them portrays everything in video form. During the part where Jesus dies on the cross, I stared at the screen and couldn’t take my eyes off of it. God allowed His son to endure pain so great that we could never fathom. He allowed it so that our sins could be forgiven. He had a greater purpose for what followed the pain.

I felt that everything I have planned was out the window. God has a greater purpose for me when all of this is done. I don’t know what that is as it’s not my plans anymore, but His.

I have to go through this brachytherapy, I don’t have a choice because I want to live, I want to follow His plan. I have something great waiting for me on the other side of this. I know it will be painful and I know I will cry a lot and beg Him to make it go away. I know I will be depressed and go in my shell and push people away because it’s what I do when I am hurting. BUT that’s my plan, God could completely make me not feel a thing and give me a sense of peace and joy in my heart and completely heal me after this. I’m not sure, what will happen. I do know that I need your prayers for this. Prayers for the fear to go away, prayer for the peace in my heart and prayers for healing in my body, mind, soul and spirit. And prayers to follow His plan and not mine!

Jeremiah 29:11 “For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans for welfare and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope.”

 

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Remembering Christmas

 

 

 

 

 

 

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(Christmas at my Grandparents 1982)

 

I was always so excited to go to my Grandmom and Grandpop’s house for Christmas. I was guaranteed a big fat candy cane that was a foot long and a card with a crisp $10 bill in it. Back then $10 was a massive amount of money and I couldn’t wait to ask Mom to take us to the McCrory’s store on Queen St. to get something that was usually junk. Grandpop would have the living room decorated so nicely and lights lined up outside. However after that was done he would sit in his recliner and watch tv. Don’t you dare walk in front of him to get to the restroom. If you did you would hear about how you were in his way. It was usually safer to sit in the kitchen with Grandmom. She would always have her basket covered wine bottle and her smokes, but she also had all the trays of yummy candy and goodies on the table with her.

Once Grandmom passed, Grandpop had a little 3 foot tall tree he kept in a barrel and he would pull it out each year fully decorated and sit it on his stereo and plug it up. That was as Christmas as he got then. Although you never saw much affection between the two of them, Grandmom was his world and when she passed the light went out of his eyes. He didn’t really talk much and when we would go to hug him he would kind of pat our backs then push us on our way. I don’t know why, but thinking back to childhood Christmases, those evenings spent with Grandmom and Grandpop were some of my favorite times.

I think about what will our kids remember when they get my age? Have we made enough memories for them to feel that warm and fuzzy feeling thinking back to their childhood? This Christmas will be different for us. We usually go up to WV and spend it with my family. This year D’s parents are here for the winter and we will have Christmas here with them. We haven’t shared Christmas with his side of the family since our daughter was little. I know we will have a wonderful time together.

Christmas is such a wonderful time to remember things from the past and celebrate what is now. Spending time with family and friends is a wonderful thing to do this time of year. Make new memories that will last a lifetime!

I know this doesn’t have anything to do with cancer, but it won’t always be. I know many of you read this, but no one ever comments. I would love to hear some comments if you would take the time to post one it would be wonderful. So the question I am leaving you with is, what is one of your favorite childhood Christmas memories?

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Where are you?

manger-baby

 

Where has the time gone?!? I haven’t blogged in 4 days. Tis the busy season of the year with baking and parties and shopping and so much more. Sometimes we need to find that quiet moment to reflect on the true reason for the season. Today I am doing just that. I have a lot of things going on in this head of mine that needs to be straightened out.

A few weeks before I was diagnosed our dear pastor was diagnosed with stage 4 brain cancer. They did surgery, but it was to far advanced. This past Friday he went to be with Jesus. I remember walking into my Dr appointment one day and passed one of the rooms and there he sat with his wife and one of their 5 daughters and his grand daughter. I backed up and said Hi Pastor Chuck. He grinned that big grin of his and we chatted for a few minutes and through all of what he was going through, he looked at me and said we are praying for you. I had to excuse myself to get to my appointment and also because I knew if I didn’t get out of their I was going to end up crying over those few words.

We went to his memorial service yesterday and the amount of people that he had an impact on was amazing. The church was packed and then chairs had to be set up in the foyer and social hall. The service was beautiful and I honestly have to say it made me think. I hope it makes you think too…

I know without a doubt if I were to die right now where I would be going. I know that I would see my sweet Mother and my sister and grandparents that have went on before me, I thought what kind of impact have I had on people. What words would be said about me at my service? What could I have done differently in my life to have helped more people come to know God? So many questions that cross my mind when I go to funerals.

I don’t want to be a run of the mill Christian, I don’t want to be a person who thinks if I do good I’m going to Heaven. I don’t want to be a follower. We tell our kids to be a rebel for God. So many kids out there think they are rebels because they don’t listen to authority and they go against the grain. Well we don’t want our kids to listen to others that try to get them to do bad, we want them to be leaders and not followers and to go against the grain, ruffle some feathers and get people thinking. I want to be a rebel and ruffle some feathers. The world is trying to get rid of Christianity, but I want to stand up for my faith and what I believe in. Even in public as a family we hold hands and bow our heads to pray at the table. People sometimes come up to us and say that is so good to see and others have not been so nice. I don’t care because when I pass I want to leave a legacy for our kids to follow just like the one my beautiful Mother left us.

I am reminded daily that I have cancer. God can either heal me or He can take me. I prefer to stick around for a long time to be with my family, but should He choose to take me then I know I am ready, but have I made a big enough impact on those who know me…

How about you? Should the good Lord decide to take you today do you know where you are going? Have you made an impact on others? If not then this Christmas season is the best time of year to make that decision! Jesus came to earth as a baby only to live and die for you.¬† Think about that today and if you have questions don’t hesitate to email me and I will answer them to the best of my ability!

John 3:16 For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten son, that whosoever believes in Him should not perish, but have aver lasting life.

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Dissapointment at it’s Finest

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This face… It sort of matches mine today. I wish every post could be encouraging and uplifting, however I am human and it’s just not possible. Have you ever been disappointed? Maybe you didn’t get the gift you wanted or you got a bad grade on a test you studied so hard for? Maybe your kiddo let you down or your spouse let you down. There are so many avenues to experience disappointment. Some people may not take my disappointment seriously, but to me I cried a lot today over a tube. Yes you heard it, a tube.

You see for me disappointment is complex. I can deal with hurt and anger and even sadness, but disappointment can leave me at a loose end.  It seems to just hover all around me and it seems hard to shake that gloomy feeling even when you are trying to forget about whatever disappointed you in the first place.

Yesterday I had a nephrostogram to see if I could get the tube out of my kidney. The tumor has shrunk enough to let some fluid through, but it wasn’t gushing through the way the Dr’s want to see. They decided to cap it for 2 day to see how my body would respond and Thursday if everything went fine then out it comes. They put a side note on it for me though. The instructions were if I were to develop a fever or feel flank pain of any kind then I was to turn the port back on and let them know about it.

All day yesterday it felt great. I thought I can do this and really talked myself into doing this. Well this morning I felt a little pressure, but not really any pain. I had a MRI this morning that was to take 45 minutes, but ended up being 2 hours stuck in a tube. Not the best scenario for this claustrophobic girl. After 2 panic attacks it was done and I got in the truck to come home and felt a little more pain. I told myself it was just because my back was hurting after laying in the same position for 2 hours. To me everything is mental… bad habit to have when in fact I am in physical pain. By the time I got girly off the bus at 4pm I was having serious flank pain. ( I hate that word flank… really makes me think of a side of meat!)

I decided to listen to my body and turned the port back on and that bag filled up half way. I know gross, but the truth is¬†that it just isn’t ready to come out. I had to call the Dr and they cancelled the follow up for tomorrow and I am stuck with this thing for another month. I came inside after hanging up and just cried in my husbands chest as he wrapped his arms around me. It was pure disappointment. That fog wrapped itself around me so thick that I just felt numb. Like I said some of you may think I shouldn’t get so worked up over a tube. Let me explain that through this whole journey of cancer, this tube has been the worst pain I have had. It has been pulled at, bled, replaced, the skin on my back has been raw and bled with scabs from all the tape that holds in the tube and constantly irritates my back. It has been slightly infected and I hate to say it, but nothing says hey sexy lady like a pee bag hanging out of you. It doesn’t make me feel real good about myself. So yeah it’s kind of a big deal to me.

I’m just getting tired and some of the fight has gone and I just feel worn down now. I did get my picc line out which was wonderful, but I still have a long road ahead of me. We have to wait for the results of the MRI to come back to figure out what the next step will be in my treatment. That makes me nervous because I am a planner and right now I have no control of what will happen next. Chemo and radiation are done and I don’t know where to go now. Everything just seems to be up in the air right now.

I know God has everything under control and I will admit it’s even hard for me to hand Him the reigns as I want control, but it’s not for me to control. I would be a wreck if I was doing everything myself. I know in His time, He will show his glory through all of this! I pray I can be His vessel to use me for His greater.

Do you experience disappointment? Always remember God sees you and if you ask He can fix it.

 

Romans 5:3-5
“We can rejoice, too, when we run into problems and trials, for we know that they help us develop endurance. And endurance develops strength of character, and character strengthens our confident hope of salvation. And this hope will not lead to disappointment. For we know how dearly God loves us, because he has given us the Holy Spirit to fill our hearts with his love.”

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What Does December Mean to You?

I ran down the steps and there in the living room was the most beautiful doll house I had ever laid my eyes on! My Dad had built this just for me and my sister Becky. I don’t even remember what else I got that Christmas other then that dollhouse. We played with it for years before we outgrew dollies. I wish I still had that dollhouse so that I could have let my own little girl play with it as she was growing up. However just like many things they go by the wayside.

Back then I knew that Christmas was Jesus’ birthday, but the presents were what kept me up till all hours of Christmas eve. All 4 of us kids would pile into one little twin size bed and we could barely stay still waiting for morning to come. Our parents weren’t wealthy and we didn’t always get the latest and greatest gadgets, but we still received some pretty amazing things each year.

When I think of Christmas now I just shake my head. People are going to extreme lengths to get there children the latest toys and gadgets. Including killing others to get it. I read an article today of a woman who killed 3 people to get the last Xbox at Walmart for her kid. When ask if she regrets it, she said no way, my kid wanted and xbox and he got it and I’ll spend a little time in jail, but no one can take away his xbox… How is that kid going to feel every time he plays that knowing his Mom killed innocent people for it. I’m not sure about you, but that would seriously mess up my childhood.

Each year it gets worse and worse. The commercials are screaming at you that you have to have it. You have to get this or that for your kid and then they will love you. It’s not Merry Christmas anymore, it’s Happy Holidays. Even our kids are being taught about other traditions such as¬†kwanza and hannukkah in school, but they aren’t allowed to learn about Jesus being born in a manger.¬† I just shake my head and it’s makes me so sad that it has come to this. Now don’t get me wrong, I still get excited about getting things for our kiddos every year. I love to see there sweet faces on Christmas morning when they come down the steps. However¬†we do not get them the latest and greatest, we do not have the entire living room floor filled up with presents and we do not put ourselves in debt each year over stuff that just like that dollhouse will eventually go by the wayside.

We do like to have fun with the kids and love that at least a few of them still believe in Santa. We still have the Elf on the Shelf that visits us each year. They still leave out cookies and milk for Santa. I love when there eyes light up at the Christmas parades and all the light shows that we drive through. We aren’t against having fun during Christmas.

Today was the first Sunday in Advent. A time when we are preparing ourselves for His birth. I look back over the past year at our times of great joy and our times of sadness. We have gone through a lot this year and I will be honest, the depression is seriously trying to push it’s way though. This weekend I have been in a lot of pain and my dear husband was in the ER last night because his gout was so flared up that he needed something for the pain. It seems to have been one thing after the next. We were unable to go to church this morning because both of us just felt terrible. I piddled around the house and put up a few more Christmas decorations and cuddled with my kiddos. I had time to reflect on what this month will hold for us.

We have been so blessed through my illness and God continues to meet our needs even when we don’t expect it. Just like a pregnant woman is anticipating the birth of her child, I am anticipating celebrating the birth of Jesus. This month always humbles me and forces me to reflect on everything that God does for me and my family. We may not always have the latest and greatest gadgets and gifts, but we have God in our hearts and peace in our home. Come Christmas morning I will anticipate our kiddos running down the steps and seeing the gifts. We will sit down and carry on the tradition that my Father did with us and read the Christmas story first and then we will enjoy opening gifts, relaxing with family and remembering the true meaning of Christmas.

What are you anticipating this December?

Matthew 1:21 She will bear a son,  and you shall call his name  Jesus, for he will save his people from their  sins. 

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