that crazy cancer girl

My journey through cervical cancer

Hurt People, Hurt People

hurt-people

Fine then!!! I don’t want to talk to you either!! I slammed the door and ran up to our bedroom. Oh boy… when did I get so moody and so uptight over the littlest things? I laid across our bed and tried to think about what exactly it was that we were arguing over.  Why were we arguing? How did that one little thing turn into something blown way out of proportion?

When I was a teenager, our church kiosk was still one that you had to put the letters on instead of these fancy computerized ones now. The youth would take turns going out and putting up the letters for the week. When it was my turn, I was handed the sheet that simply said, Hurt People, Hurt People… Was this some kind of joke? Where was the rest of it? I walked back inside and said I don’t understand this, how is anyone else going to understand? The secretary simply said, that was it and to go put it up.

As I was putting it up, I wracked my brain and wondered what could this overly simple quote mean? It took me weeks before I realized that it meant that people who are hurting lash out and hurt others…

Ouch… That’s what I have been doing and I am not proud about it at all!! I have in fact been physically hurting to the point where I get angry because I want it to go away. I am missing out on life! I am missing out on fun things and places to go, simply because I am hurting so badly. If someone says something that strikes me wrong, I fly off the deep end without even thinking about it… Hurt People, Hurt People.

When we go through times of trial and times of heartache, shouldn’t we be uplifting each other? Shouldn’t we be leaning on each other and encouraging each other? Why is it so easy to lash out when we are hurting? That’s exactly what Satan wants… He wants us to be ugly towards each other and to tear each other down when we need encouragement the most.

As I slowly got off the bed and made my way towards Darin, I apologized and ask for forgiveness. Darin understands what I am going through, he has been walking this walk with me for almost a year. He knows when I am hurting and when I feel good. We share all these emotions together. He wraps his arms around me and I whisper, I’m sorry once again for my quick reaction to hurt before I think. He tells me that he forgives me and we pray together for healing.

Do you hurt when you should be helping? Do you allow your words to lash out at others when they don’t deserve it? Next time you start to lash out, why don’t you take a moment and think about your words before they leave your mouth. Our words have the ability to truly hurt someone. Do you want to be responsible for hurting someone else? The Bible tells us not to hurt others, even when they have hurt us first. In Romans 12:17, the Bible tells us, “Do not repay anyone evil for evil.” Instead, “Bless those who persecute you; bless and do not curse” (Romans 12:14). The Bible goes on to say, “Do not take revenge, my friends, but leave room for God’s wrath” (Romans 12:19). God is the one who will repay those who hurt you.

Take time out today to make someone’s day by giving them a compliment or telling someone you love them out of the blue. You may be hurting from physical or mental pain, but don’t let that pave the way for your day. Encourage and uplift!

Romans 8:18  For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worth comparing with the glory that is to be revealed to us.

 

Leave a comment »

God Wants Time with You!

thRVI70EPF

When I was a teenager, I had something that every teenager has… an attitude. Some days it was a great attitude and some days it was seriously lacking. I realized back then that depending on my attitude, it would either be a good day or a bad day. On those bad days I missed out on a lot of fun things. I was hard headed and didn’t want to give in.

Lately I have been dealing with depression and a lot of attitudes it’s completely normal given the circumstances I am in. When I first started on this journey it wasn’t that bad compared to what I am facing now. It was easy to have my bad moments and then quickly get over it and move on an figure out what needed to be done to fix it. Lately it has been compounded things over and over again and it has drug me down to the point where I am struggling to pick myself back up.

I won’t go into detail, but the pain has simply been ungodly and I have a feeling it’s only going to get worse. Today I had chemo and I got up and put my devotional books into my bag along with my ipod, headphones, snacks and my prayer quilt and headed off to the cancer center. I was by myself today because the kids had loads of activities and Darin had to work. Everyone was going one way or the other. I was a little bummed that I didn’t have anyone to sit with, but in a way I took it as a blessing to spend some time with God.

They hooked up my port with the meds and I put the feet up on the recliner and put my headphones in and had praise and worship music on and started reading my devotions. It felt so good because I haven’t been reading my devotions daily like I should have been. I was craving much needed time with God and as I sat there reading and listening to the music, I felt a peace come over me that I haven’t felt in a very long time.

I closed my eyes and prayed and then fell asleep as I felt so at peace. That is something that never happens because my mind never shuts up! The rest of the day I was able to pray for some of the other patients and just could not stop smiling. I know that people were praying for me today and I know that God was craving time with me! I felt your prayers without a doubt! I still tonight as I sit here in bed typing this have a smile on my face and peace in my heart. It feels so good not to have that spirit of depression in my face non stop. I fully believe that God was just waiting for me to bring it all to Him through prayer and devotions.

Anyone can call themselves a Christian, but if you don’t feed your mind and spirit with God’s word and prayer then what are you gaining? It’s the same thing as a marriage or a friendship, if you don’t invest time and energy then what kind of marriage will you have? What kind of friendships will you have? God is the same way, He is our friend, He is our heavenly Father. He wants to spend time with us and the only way we can do that is to talk to Him and read His word.  I pray everyday, but with so much going on I have not read the bible as I should. I have no excuse because the time I spent on Facebook, or my phone I could have been reading the bible or my devotions then. I know God forgives me and my spirit needed that time today to spend with my God.

How about you? Do you read the bible everyday or read a devotional everyday? How do you feed your spirit? How do you get a closer relationship with God? He wants to have one with you so bad! It doesn’t take much and if you don’t have a bible, please let me know and I will get you one!! I don’t want anyone to miss out because they don’t have the tools to feed your spirit and have a closer relationship with God! Talk to Him tonight, that doesn’t cost anything. He is waiting!

Romans 5:8   But God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us

2 Comments »

Why is Trust so Hard?

trust

Lay your head down tonight
Take a rest from the fight
Don’t try to figure it out
Just listen to what I’m whispering to your heart
‘Cause I know this is not
Anything like you thought
The story of your life was gonna be
And it feels like the end has started closing in on you
But it’s just not true
There’s so much of the story that’s still yet to unfold

And this is going to be a glorious unfolding
Just you wait and see and you will be amazed
You’ve just got to believe the story is so far from over
So hold on to every promise God has made to us
And watch this glorious unfolding

God’s plan from the start
For this world and your heart
Has been to show His glory and His grace
Forever revealing the depth and the beauty of
His unfailing Love
And the story has only begun

And this is going to be a glorious unfolding
Just you wait and see and you will be amazed
We’ve just got to believe the story is so far from over
So hold on to every promise God has made to us
And watch this glorious unfolding

We were made to run through fields of forever
Singing songs to our Savior and King
So let us remember this life we’re living
Is just the beginning of the beginning

Of this glorious unfolding
We will watch and see and we will be amazed
If we just keep on believing the story is so far from over
And hold on to every promise God has made to us
We’ll see the glorious unfolding

Just watch and see (unfolding)
This is just the beginning of the beginning (unfolding)

 

I have listened to this song over and over for weeks on end now and last night I had the privilege of hearing it sung by the man who wrote it. Steven Curtis Chapman. It was such a beautiful concert! Like so many other songs, the words of this one seems to hit right where I need them to hit. It seems to be maybe a promise from God that my story is not yet done.

I’ll be honest with you all… I’m not always put together, I am not always positive and I am struggling. Yes, I am human… This month has been a tough one. I have battled depression more so than ever. Matter of fact as I type this I have a huge lump in my throat. Once again, I am asking God, how much more? When will I be able to feel a little relief?

Yesterday we joined some friends at Busch Gardens for the day. I have to rent a motorized scooter because I simply cannot walk that far anymore without feeling like my lungs are going to spontaneously combust right out of my chest because of my low blood count. I’m embarrassed by that stupid scooter and as a family it doesn’t bother me that much. However when friends joined us yesterday and they saw me in it, it took everything I could to not cry from embarrassment. I didn’t want to allow my friends to see me weak. I started making jokes about it just to make myself seem like I was okay with it.

I finally blew it off and we did enjoy our day riding rides and laughing. About midday though, I started to feel pretty crappy. I had ridden a roller coaster that shook me just maybe a bit too much and I hurt all over.  I started praying that God would allow me to be okay to make it to the concert that night. It was taking place in Busch Gardens and we had planned on spending the day riding rides and then attending the concert. I didn’t want to put a damper on everyone else’s day so I put on a good face and kept going.

By the time the concert came around I was almost in tears from the pain. I had brought some of my pain pills so I took them and kept smiling. As I listened to Steven Curtis play and he would tell stories in between his songs. I closed my eyes and just listened. He started talking about how we go through things in life that we didn’t plan on, minor things and major things that blindside us when we least expect it. He continued on and it had started to drizzle and I kept my eyes closed because the hot tears started forming in my eyes.

He ended by saying, God has something to say to you and I need you to listen. This is for someone out there tonight… God says that you need to just trust Him. The tears started to flow because I knew without a doubt that God was talking to me. I don’t trust Him enough… I can say it all I want, but I do not trust Him the way I should.

He is the one who created me, He is the one who knows what is coming next around every turn, He is the one who knows the outcome of the pain I have to go through. Why should I not trust Him? Why is it so hard to wait on the one who sees my hurt? I beg and I plead and I cry because I’m done. I hate cancer and the way it makes me feel, I am in constant pain and it only seems to be getting worse and that is hard for me to understand when I pray non stop for Him to fix me… but He says, just trust Me.

Dear God, please allow my story to continue to unfold, please allow me to trust You with my full heart. Please God, please, don’t let my story be done yet…

5 Comments »

What do you Value?

faith__20family_20friends

Have you ever sat back and watched those in front of you. I’m not talking about at the market or in church or even people watching at the mall. I’m talking about friends and family. Lately I have been watching and listening. Today my brother and sisters drove down from WV to surprise me for the day because my birthday is tomorrow. We have not spent time together without spouses or kids around since we were kids ourselves. Just the 4 of us went to a local favorite and as we sat outside eating, I just sat back and watched. I listened to the stories and watched those beautiful faces and I enjoyed so much being with them today.

When I am in a room of friends, I love to sit back and watch. The animation and the way they laugh, I can’t get enough of! Growing up we would all pile around the dinner table every night and we all talked and laughed. Since there were so many of us, it seemed the louder you were the more you were heard. 😉 I have always been involved in the conversation and right in the middle of things. However lately, it seems like I just want to soak up my time with friends and family. I want to hear all the stories, I want to see the expressions and just enjoy every moment I can with all of them!

Maybe it’s the cancer or maybe it’s due to getting older, but I value my time with others so much more now. I took so much for granted when spending time with family. Giving a quick hug and kiss goodbye and saying, see you later! Now I hold on just a little bit longer and embrace our time a whole lot more. With my birthday being tomorrow, I honestly have that thought of, what if this is my last birthday, what if this and what if that. There is so much that we take for granted everyday! Regardless of sickness, we could get in our vehicle tomorrow and be in a wreck and die that way, we could have a sudden heart attack and go that way. We are never promised a tomorrow.

I think God is the same way with us, He wants to watch us, He wants to see what we talk about and how we enjoy our time. He made us, so why wouldn’t He be interested in every aspect of what we do. He wants us to enjoy being with others. He didn’t make us to be alone and I know that He would want us to appreciate every moment that we are given.

Until that day that God calls me to my Heavenly home, I am going to not just sit back and watch, but I am going to love more, laugh more and live a whole lot more. I am going to take extra time with those I love! I am going to enjoy every birthday I am given and smile every chance I get.

How do you live your life? Do you allow so much of the outside world to take away your happiness? When was the last time you just watched those you love enough to truly appreciate who they are. Life goes by so quickly, when you get to the end you might have great accomplishments, but how much have you missed with your spouse, your kids, your family and friends? Love your relationships and don’t take them for granted. Don’t take life for granted. It can all be taken away before you even know it.

1 Peter 4:8 Above all, love each other deeply, because love covers over a multitude of sins

 

 

2 Comments »

God’s Angels are Among Us

Angel-Of-Peace-angels-10952900-426-414

I have a treat for you all tonight! My Daddy has written another guest post and I am posting it tonight for him. I hope you read it and be blessed. He thoroughly enjoyed all the comments that you all posted on his other one he wrote, so if you don’t mind taking a moment when your done reading and post something for him then I know that will really make him happy!! Enjoy!!

 

Sarah and her family attend church there in Virginia Beach, so naturally when I was down there I went with them and I was so blessed in that service and met so many wonderful people. Several people there told me they read my last blog and I should write more, so I have decided to do just that. So for all of you who ask me to write, here it goes, this is also for you Sarah. 😉

Sickness, whether it be the flu or cancer, can be hard on anybody. When we have either one or the other illness, we want one thing, TO GET OVER IT!! For some, it may take medicine, for others, maybe a hot cup of tea and for the never ending ones, a healing. And that is what I want to share with you this time. What is a healing? How does it happen? Who get’s healed and who doesn’t? And the question goes on. Now if you are expecting me to give you the answer to these questions, forget about it. I can assure you, no one else has the answers either.

However, this I do know, healings are real. They do take place and they happen everyday and I have been the receiver of many healings. Please allow me to share one with you and if I get many positive comments on my guest blog post, then maybe I will write more on this subject. 😉

It was the night of the 2nd day after my 6th and 7th back operation at John’s Hopkins Hospital in Baltimore, MD. These 2 operations were 4 days apart and both were done to install metal in me. The finished product is that I now have more metal in me then some of you have in your cars. 😉 My spine is encased in titanium rods held in place with 18 three inch screws. My neck is held in place with plates and screws. A bar goes through my pelvic bone horizontally and it holds my metal spine in place with a swivel hinge and that is how I turn.

They also removed 14 disc and 3 vertebra. I can assure you that it wasn’t any fun at all! How did I get myself into this mess? I fell off a crane 19 feet in the air and landed across a steel bar backwards…

Now here is the miracle. It was sometime in the morning hours when I felt I had to sit up after the surgery. When I grabbed the monkey bar to pull myself up, I used my left hand to push myself up. When I reached back with my left hand, my whole bed was soaked, but I paid no mind to it as I sweat all the time. All I know was, my back was killing me as the pain was almost more then I could bare. I heard a faint noise and I recognized it as a helicopter.

As it got closer to the rooftop helipad, the helipad lights came on. It was then, when my room lit up that I noticed that it was not sweat on my bed, but blood. I have always been a person who hardly ever gets excited over things, so I sat there and realized that since no one else was in the room, that it was probably my blood. But why was it all over the bed, the walls, the floor and me? I pushed that old faithful button and heard, “Yes, what can I do for you”? I told her that when I came into this room, it was pastel blue, but now it is red.

My goodness, I hardly finished talking and here they came, it was like a herd of buffalo coming in the room. This doctor started screaming orders and everyone was running and jumping to his commands. It was then that I started to feel weak due to the loss of most of my blood. The doctor, bless his heart, now had everything under control and he started to sew me up. IN BED… WITHOUT ANYTHING FOR PAIN! Yep, he sure did.

The cleaning crew started cleaning the room, starting with me. The doctor chased everyone out of the room and then explained what happened. He told me that a huge blood clot had formed and it had exploded, ripping my incision open and since I was on my side, when it exploded it went all over the room. He went on to tell me that I will never walk again and then left the room.

The cleaning crew came back in and then I started to cry uncontrollably. It was 4 am right on the nose when a black nurse came in and said, “Mr. Tom, may name is Sheila and the Lord sent me here to take care of you. For three solid days, Sheila never left my side. She bathed me, fed me, clothed me and we sang gospel songs together, plus we spent a great deal of time in prayer. She kept me alert for those 3 days, she helped me through those hard and painful days. When she was there, I barely felt any pain.

Then she had to leave, but said she would return. After 3 days, I asked the nurse is Shiela was coming in that evening. She ask me, “Shiela who?” When I told her about Shiela, the nurse told me that they do not have a nurse on the floor named Shiela. neither were there any black nurses who worked on the 8th floor.

I then asked for the head nurse and when I explained everything, she told me the same thing, no Sheila… There was indeed no record of any nurse named Sheila. My wife knew I would never lie about something like this, so she just shrugged her shoulders. My best friend thought I overdosed on my meds.

Well the day of my discharge had finally arrived and I was excited to get home. A young nurse came in pushing a small wheelchair and I simply told her that for me to get in that would be like Moby Dick getting in a sardine can! 😉 She said she would go and get a larger one. About 15 minutes later, in came a larger one and guess who was pushing it? You guessed right, it was Sheila! I then introduced her to my wife and my best friend. When she reached out to help me in the wheelchair, I stood up without a pain and walked from my bed to that wheelchair!! It was then that I realized that every time Sheila was around I had no pain.

When everyone got me in the car, Sheila leaned over me to buckle my seat belt and she kissed me on the cheek. It was like nothing I ever experienced. I almost felt an anointing on it!

When I got home, I was in bed for months and Dru my dear wife came in and suggested that we send flowers to Sheila to thank her for all she did. It was then that we were told that there were no black nurses on the 8th floor and there never was. I was also told there is only one Sheila in the entire hospital and she is a little white lady who works in the laundry and is soon to retire…

So the question is, who is Sheila? What was Sheila? Where did she come from? I will tell you, the scriptures have a lot to say about angels and there is no doubt in my mind that Sheila was an angel. Do you believe in miracles? I sure do! When I first surrendered my heart to the Lord, the very first verse of scripture I logged into my memory bank was, Hebrews 13:5 I will never leave you, nor forsake you.

All my life, my Jesus has kept that promise, even to the point of giving me a miracle and an angel.

For he will command his angels concerning you to guard you
in all your ways”
Psalm 91:11

11 Comments »

Just Be Still

046

Growing up we always sat on the right hand side of the church near the back. The pews were wooden with this mustard color seat covers. I always had a hard time sitting still and would go back and forth from end to end of the pew. I would make forts with the bibles and hymn books on the pews. I would take the yellow tithe envelopes and would write, Dear Mom, do you love me, circle yes or no and send back. If she circled yes, I would write out, since you love me can we get a dilly bar at DQ after church. She usually would promptly send it back with “no” on it.

Every Sunday morning we were entertained by Sunday School, but in the evening services, we had to sit in the service. That’s when I would be going back and forth. Mom constantly would say, Be still!! She would give me “the look” and I would sit still for a bit then be right back up. I heard “Be still” quite often over the years.

This week after hearing more bad news, I have had many talks with God! By talks I mean me doing all the talking, yelling, screaming and frankly acting like a 2 year old without a nap. Over the past 2 days, I have talked non stop to Him. I don’t know what I am trying to accomplish by talking or yelling non stop, but it sure is helping me feel better.

Over and over from friends, from family and I have even seen it on Facebook, they tell me over and over in the past 2 days to just Be still… The first couple of times, I just blew it off. How in the heck is one to be still when I have a lot to say to God!?! Then again and again I kept hearing it, just be still.

Today I had to take the kids over to church for play practice and a lady that has been like a second Mama to me came over to the truck as I was getting ready to jump out. She listened to me bear my heart and then she said, Sarah, you need to find yourself a quiet place and just be still… At this point I just have to look up to the sky and say, OK, I GET THE POINT!!! How does one find a quiet place when I have 3 kids and a busy schedule.

God obviously wants to make me stop talking and allow Him a little floor time. It’s always so hard for me to let go of the reigns and allow someone else take control. However this is God, I have allowed Him control of every aspect of my life. Or have I? Maybe I do talk to much and don’t give Him time to tell me what He wants of me. I am in constant prayer of, God heal me, God help me, God, I need you, but I am not listening enough to hear what His response will be.

He may have something really great to tell me and little by little He has been using friends, family and Facebook to tell me to Be still and I haven’t listened… This week it is my goal to find a quiet place, away from our kids, away from Darin, away from the phone and the computer. A place where God can talk to me because I have a feeling that He has something serious to tell me. I just need to sit and Be still.

How much talking do you do? Do you allow others to respond to your talking or do you just keep going without taking a breath? When was the last time you listened to God? Truly listened to Him? Do you have a quiet place that you can go to allow Him to talk to you? Is it hard for you to be still? How about stopping tonight and listen for His voice. You never know when He has something really important to tell you.

Psalms 46:10  He says, “Be still, and know that I am God;
    I will be exalted among the nations,
    I will be exalted in the earth.”

5 Comments »

My Breaking Point

  • break·ing point
  1. point when coping becomes impossible: the point at which somebody loses the ability to deal physically, psychologically, or emotionally with a stressful situation
  2. critical moment: the point at which a condition or situation reaches a crisis

That definition above speaks volumes to me right now. Maybe I shouldn’t be blogging right now because the emotions are so raw that I can barely see through the tears…

This morning I woke up early and got ready to go have chemo. Our dear friend Kim came and got the kids and took them to Busch Gardens for the day. Chemo usually takes about 7 to 8 hours so I gathered my laptop, some snacks and my favorite prayer quilt that was made for me and off I went.

I was to meet with my oncologist today to talk about all the side effects I felt from the first chemo. He told me that he wasn’t sure whether I should continue chemo because it may be worse for my body and kill me off quicker then what I would if I just lived out the life I have left. He said regardless of what we did, this cancer will still kill me. I said no way buddy, lets keep doing it. He told me since I just finished yet another round of antibiotics and it still felt like I had an infection, that he was not going to do chemo today and I was to go straight to the urologist.

I got to the urologist and after doing a urine culture and it coming back negative for any infection, they wanted to do a scope to see what was going on. It looks like the tumor has grown into my bladder and is now started to block up where urine is supposed to come out. He wants to be sure so he scheduled a surgical biopsy for the 28th to see if I now have bladder cancer…

I just sat in that little room with my head spinning. I had just woken up to go have chemo and now all this in just an hour or so… I couldn’t believe what I was hearing, I just stared and said nothing. This is hard and I don’t understand why every time I go to the Dr. I leave with more bad news. How much can one take before they simply can’t take anymore.

Can I be honest? Really honest? I’m tired of putting on a brave face… For the first time through all of this, my faith is wavering. As a parent, if one of our kids were in pain, I would do everything humanly possible to try and fix it. As a child of God, I pray and I beg and I plead and I praise everyday. I wait in faith and expectation of His healing. I don’t really understand why He has not fixed it yet, why He has not reached down and helped me yet.

I don’t understand what He is waiting for. More bad news and more bed news, every blessed time and nothing has changed. My little white flag has become tattered and worn. I have finally reached my breaking point. I. can’t. take. anymore!!!!

I just sit here and I cry and I scream and I throw things because I am so angry!! I don’t even know who I am angry at, but I am so very angry and I don’t know how to fix it, I don’t know how to control it. I have kept my calm for almost a year, through procedures and surgeries, through hospitals stays and Dr. visits. I have praised God through it all and today I simply have nothing left in me.

I feel broken and raw, I feel depleted and angry… my faith has wavered so much that I don’t know what to think anymore…

I need you, I need your friends, I need your church… I need each and everyone of you to stand in the gap for me today. When Moses grew tired and weary through the war, Aaron and Hur got a stone for him to sit on and they both stood on either side of him and held his arms up through the war so Israel would win the war.

I am in my own war today and I need for each of you to hold me up. Hold me up in prayer, hold me up in your thoughts, hold me up and plead to God for help for me. I am so weary and I simply can’t do it anymore. Please stand in the gap for me today. I wish this could have been encouraging and helpful to someone, but today I just need a lot of prayer. I just don’t have the energy to fight anymore…

26 Comments »

How do you Spend your Sunday?

3fd95ab9e8d1cba21cff836079ad09141

Today, I am not going to talk about cancer, Doctors, appointments or anything that pertains to cancer at all. I don’t ever claim to hear from God through a audible voice. However I feel Him in my spirit and I believe He has laid this on my heart to talk about. I am not judging, pointing fingers or any of the above. I have battled with God about writing this, but I feel as though if I don’t write about it, then I would be disobeying Him and I for one do not want to be in that category.

I am going to talk about church attendance today… Everyday I open up my laptop and my home page is MSN. I see the news headlines scroll across my screen and some of them bring tears to my eyes. Back in March, 33 Christians were executed in North Korea for going to church and loving God. Islamist extremist group Boko Haram and others killed 1,631 Christians in Nigeria for their faith in the first six months of 2014. Two Christians near Kenya’s coast were killed July 7 following attacks by suspected Islamic extremists over the weekend on two predominantly Christian villages that left more than 30 people dead. Those 2 men were leaving a bible study.

The five-year-old son of a founding member of Baghdad’s Anglican church was cut in half during an attack by the Islamic State on the Christian town of Qaraqosh. Officials say Fulani Muslim herders attacked three Christian villages and killed more than 100 civilians. Hundreds of thatched-roof huts were set ablaze. Islamic State terrorists have begun their promised killing of Christians in Mosul, and they have started with the children. According to a report via CNN, a Chaldean-American businessman has said that killings have started in Mosul and children’s heads are being erected on poles in a city park…

I read story after sad story of Christians being killed just because they want to go to church. I read about the underground churches in other countries that are so full that they are digging underground for more space. These people risk there lives everyday just to hear the word of God being preached! As I go to our church and I sit down only to see pew after empty pew all around me. What ever happened to a family waking up on a Sunday morning and putting on church clothes and worshipping together.

I have heard every excuse in the book, Sunday is my only day I have to sleep in, I couldn’t sleep last night so I decided to stay home. Oh it’s to beautiful of a day to go to church, I’m going to the beach or I’m going fishing. I just don’t have time for God… Excuse after excuse because we simply just want God to work around our schedule.

I was raised in the church. We were there every time the doors were open. From Sunday School to Youth group, choir practice, band practice, bible study, boys and girls group on Wednesday nights. We were at the church a lot! When I got of age I didn’t go as much as I should have because I was away from God. I went when Mom or Dad invited me, but like so many today, I just found every excuse not to go. When I got married and started having kids of our own, we rededicated our lives to God and wanted to raise our children in the church the way we were.

Church to us is not a routine, we don’t go because it’s what we have always done. We go because it is a privilege that so many across this world do not have. We go because we NEED to start our week being challenged by a good message. I have always been a music person, so my favorite part of the service is the music. We sing and we clap, we raise our hands and allow the music to minister to our souls. The lyrics of the praise songs are sometimes exactly what my soul needs to hear. Music is the universal language and if someone come to the church and gets nothing out of the message, the music may be exactly what ministers to them.

Some people come to church out of routine. They sit in the same pew every Sunday because it’s where there parents and grandparents sat. They don’t clap, they don’t sing, they simply come out of routine. They go home and continue living like they are not Christians. I’m not sure how many read the bible, but it says we will be singing, clapping and praising God non stop with a multitude of angels. If we sit in the pews and act like we don’t know how to make a sound, I can’t imagine how we will deal with the noise in Heaven. These are the same people the night before that are screaming and yelling during a sporting event with there favorite team. They give more of themselves to sports then they do for God.

God ask one day of us, one day to worship Him to hear a message, to be with other Christians, to uplift and encourage. One day…

What will happen when something tragic happens in your life and suddenly you are calling on God for help and He says, I have waited and waited for you to give me time and yet you only want me when you need something. What if He says, sorry I can’t help right now because it’s my only day off, it’s my day to go fishing or boating. Most churches last an hour to two hours. There are 168 hours in a week, you work, you go shopping, hang out with friends, sleep, go to bars, go to appointments and sporting events. God is asking two hours of your time.

As I was sitting in church today looking at all the empty pews, I prayed for those who just don’t get it. I prayed for those who are dying because they just want to go to church and hear about Him. I prayed for every person in our neighborhood who are steps away from the church, yet choose not to go.

There is a gentleman that comes to our church. He is 92 years old, still drives and walks with 2 canes. Once he is parked, it takes him approximately 10 minutes to get from the parking lot to his seat in the sanctuary. I look at him in awe because you can see he is in pain. He is a veteran and he loves his church. I think if he can get up every Sunday and put on his suit and tie and come to worship God, then we should have no excuses whatsoever. Regardless of cancer, chemo, hospital stays or anything else, my prayer is, God if you get me up on Sunday morning then I will go to church. Believe me, there are Sundays that I want to crawl in a hole and not go, but God gave me breath to get up, He gave me another day to praise Him in this storm, so I will!

We are so blessed in America to have the freedom to worship! We don’t have people holding guns to our heads because we want to hear more about God! Yet, we don’t allow ourselves the privilege to go. We leave the pews empty because God doesn’t come first in homes anymore. I’m not sure what you believe, but I know what comes in the end when I die. Heaven or Hell… I want to continue to praise God and keep Him number one in my life and I can’t wait to meet Him when I die. I can’t wait to see what He has in store for me! I can’t wait to go to church every Sunday as I am able. Won’t you join me?

 

“When the Lamb broke the fifth seal, I saw underneath the altar the souls of those who had been slain because of the word of God, and because of the testimony which they had maintained; and they cried out with a loud voice, saying, “How long, O Lord, holy and true, will You refrain from judging and avenging our blood on those who dwell on the earth?” And there was given to each of them a white robe; and they were told that they should rest for a little while longer, until the number of their fellow servants and their brethren who were to be killed even as they had been, would be completed also.” Revelation 6:9-11

1 Comment »

I Need Peace!!

thEBX4NMAN

I had gone a full 20 years without ever seeing the ocean. I didn’t know what it would look like in real life, I didn’t know what sand would feel like between my toes. I hadn’t known how different of a tan you could get at the ocean versus my back yard. Most of all I didn’t know the peace that one could experience while sitting on the beach.

When Darin and I met he wanted to bring me to the beach. Finally a few months after we had met, he picked me up from my midnight shift and off we went to Virginia Beach. It was around 4 am when we arrived. We went and had breakfast and then we walked on the boardwalk, found a bench and waited. While we were talking, I started to experience something that is still imprinted in my mind. Something that I will never forget as long as I live.

I stared out towards the ocean and the sky turned colors of purples, blues, golds and other colors that no artist could ever recreate even if they tried. Slowly the sun started to peak up over the horizon and I didn’t even want to blink because I was afraid I would miss something. I had never seen anything so beautiful!

Throughout the day, we sat in our beach chairs and waded in the water. We were knocked over by waves and body surfed till our chest were bright red. I laughed more that weekend than I had in years! I truly felt peace in my heart! I never wanted to leave, but those 3 days passed by way to quick and before I knew it, we were headed back to WV. Reality had to eventually set back in. After we were married and Darin got a job in VA Beach I was sad to leave as I wrote about a few weeks ago, but was so excited to experience that peace again.

It’s been almost 15 years since we moved to the beach. We have lived on the bay literally with the beach as our back yard, we have lived in a house on stilts 2 streets from the ocean. We have been blessed so much to be able to raise our kiddos on the water.

This time last year, we were in Beaufort, NC for my birthday. As we were walking along the beach, I was in so much pain, I was having a hard time breathing and I was close to tears. I didn’t know I was sick yet and I was so upset that I couldn’t feel the peace at the beach that I usually had. We got back to the hotel and I laid across the bed. Montana laid next to me and she said, “Mommy you must really be sick because I saw you crying on the beach today and you love the beach.” I didn’t know how to respond because I didn’t know what was wrong with me.

It’s been almost a year since that weekend and obviously I know what is wrong with me now. I have been through so much in almost a year. This past week has been rough. Without my hair… I don’t feel pretty… I don’t feel like a woman. People tell me I am still pretty, but it’s so hard to believe them. My hair has always been my thing. Yes I know it’s a vain thing, but I’m just being real. No scarf, no hat, no bandana has made me feel pretty.

My heart has been on edge and when I look in the mirror, for the first time, I truly see a sick person. It’s hard to see me like this…

All week I have thought about one thing, going to the beach. I haven’t been in a long time. Because of meds or time or whatever is going on, it has prevented me from going to the beach. I told Darin I wanted to go, I needed to go! I need to feel peace within my body, within my spirit. I want to sit in my chair pulled up along the waves and feel the water laps over my toes, I want to hear the laughter of my kids as they run around and play, I want to feel the warmth of the sun on my skin and most of all be able to take a deep breath and know that it will all be okay.

I thank God so much for creating such an amazing thing like the beach and the ocean. It is such a mighty and powerful thing, yet it’s beauty is something that cannot even be fathomed. Peace is hard to come by and I am so thankful for the peace that I am able to draw from the ocean.

What brings you peace in your life? What makes you breathe better and makes the noise go from your brain? Are you able to experience peace when you need it the most? No matter what you are facing in life, you need to have that avenue to escape to. Don’t let life get to hectic that you aren’t able to slow down and thank God for what He has done for you.

2 Thessalonians 3:16  Now may the Lord of peace himself give you peace at all times and in every way. The Lord be with all of you.

3 Comments »

20140806_200846

Well, it finally happened… I woke up this morning and it looked like someone had hacked a hairball on my pillow. I was a little shocked that it was so much hair, but thought maybe I could cover it up with some other hair. I had 2 bald spots on the back of my head and when I went to try and cover up the spots, I ended up with a hand full of other hair. It literally was falling out in my hands. I panicked for about 2 seconds and then called my hair dresser. She told me to come on over and she would take care of it for me. I knew I probably could have let it go for a little longer, but I didn’t want to go around looking like a half plucked chicken!

I sat down in her chair and I am so thankful for a hair dresser that not only does my hair, but is and amazing friend of almost 15 years! I promised I wouldn’t cry because she is a social crier and would cry with me. I only had a few tears come out as she took the razor and finished off the rest of my hair. It wasn’t till I looked up and saw the final me… I had the biggest lump in my throat. I still didn’t cry, but sure felt like it!!

I do want to thank my parents though for a perfectly shaped round head! It makes a huge difference when your bald! 😉 I worried what Darin might think when he came home, as he has always been a fan of my long hair. He quietly took off my hat, shed a few tears and kissed the top of my head and told me I was beautiful! I love that man so much!!

As bad as I want to feel about losing it, I have to think on the positive side. I am going to save a ton of money on not buying shampoo and conditioner. I am going to be a lot quicker in the shower, I’m saving money on hair appointments, buying new brushes. I’m saving electricity by not using a curling iron or hair dryer and most of all, I will never have a bad hair day! The positive far outweighs the negative in this situation!

I’ll be honest though… I don’t feel that pretty right now. I will still smile because I am still alive, but it will take me a few days to get used to the new me. I’m not trying to feel sorry for myself, I’m just having a moment, then I’ll move on.

I’m asking for prayer tonight though. On top of this, my body is raging with infection to the point that it hurts to move. My whole lower half feels like it is going to fall out. Yes that’s personal, but this is my blog. 😉 The meds that they gave me from the hospital last week are not working and my Dr. has new ones for me, but I can’t pick them up till tomorrow when he writes the script when I go to get my labs done. So tonight, I need prayer because I am so very uncomfortable and I need sleep. Please pray for peace in my body, ask your friends to pray. I can’t thank you all enough when you pray, I feel God working in me. Thank you!

 

 

14 Comments »