#write31days – Day 19

imageOne of my primary goals in writing for 31 consecutive days is transparency… so here I am… being transparent.  I REALLY did not want to write this evening… I did exactly what I wrote about in my last post… thinking too far ahead (or perhaps behind…) of the posts to come… and I didn’t want to go there.

Well, of course I wrote…reminding myself of baby steps…two sheets of paper at a time… the great thing is that I was able to recall some really hard decisions and have peace over them vs my usual “could I have done more” mental interrogations.

And yes, that’s where God and His gracious healing power comes into full view… because of those hard days and seemingly impossible decisions, I was learning to receive God’s glorious embrace and willingly take refuge in Him… if only for a short while… make no mistake though, He was teaching me how to lean into Him for the days too difficult to imagine.

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#write31days – Day 6

 As rocky as 2013 started, I had no idea just how crazy life would get! Even as things were becoming very clear my dad’s lifestyle demanded a dramatic change, I was finding myself thanking God for the multiple hospital visits throughout 2012.  As difficult as those times were, God eased me into accepting the New Norm for my dad – the roles were shifting – his sense of independence waning as he fought changes with all his might – his identity was completely wrapped up who he believed he should be – along with the unrealistic expectations he placed on himself….and any deviation triggered tailspins of Looney Tunes  Tazmanian devil  (if you’re younger than oh…say 45, you might want to google the reference!) proportions.

I was thankful, because in the year prior, I not only made a point to become more informed about my dad’s medications, bills, etc. (stuff that’s so easy to overlook ), I was given the gift of time to get to know my dad as an adult – a person outside of my bubble.  There was a big part of me that didn’t want to accept the change either…not because becoming a caregiver wasn’t my cup of tea…because he was my dad…the strong, independent, pain in the rear guy who loved to help other people in his community.

Today…as I’m still learning to Embrace a New Norm, I can’t help but think about a few Tazmanian monster moments of my own….

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#write31days – Day 5

Another day filled with unexpected moments…and God met us in every single one! My response is what Beth Moore describes as a “holy habit” – here’s an excerpt from her Daniel study to explain:

Imagine of being guilty of prayer. This was Daniel’s ‘holy habit.’

There are 3 ways you can respond to an emergency. Each of us knows what it’s like to receive a phone call, an email. Life changes and we are thrown in a completely urgent situation. One hour before everything was okay. How do you react in a middle of an emergency? You must be ready in advance.

1. We can panic. 2. We can become paralyzed. 3. We can pray.

What happens when we panic? When we panic we do the wrong thing. It the nature of panic.

What happens when we get paralyzed? We do nothing.

What happens when we pray? We do the power thing! In a crisis you can do one of three things. Heaven moves when we hit our knees and we pray. God is all about relationship and thru prayer he forces the issue of relationship and we cry out to Him for help.

Holy habits vs. old patterns. God can change our patterns. What if we began to react in the spirit vs. the old patterns? Daniel reacted in the Spirit, making petitions to God.

I’ll be honest, my holy habits still require LOTS of practice, but that’s point – habits take work!

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#write31days – Day 4

It’s funny (odd) that almost three years later and the events of 2013 are still so clear – the great thing is that the memories don’t sting like they did before…another blessing and benefit of faith-based counseling!

Hopefully it won’t take 12 days to write through 2013, but January/February certainly set the tone…even if I didn’t have a clue at the time!  I remember a member of senior management asking me if I really needed to be at the hospital with my daughter (she was there two weeks) – yes she was an adult, but honestly it didn’t matter what the age – I’m a firm believer every patient deserves to have their advocate present…and what better advocate than mama?

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#write31days – Day 3

Yes…it’s actually day 4 and I’m just now posting day 3!  Nonetheless…here we are…still discovering a New Norm…since it’s almost 11PM I leave the writing as is..no extras…especially since I still need to write today! As promised, I will start sharing details of 2013 events to help you see/understand the ways God grew me in preparation for this current battle called cancer….more importantly, to show you how God continually met me on the battlefield of life so I could praise Him with confidence!

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#write31days – Day 2

One thing is for certain…handwriting 2 pages isn’t enough room to fill in all the blanks! But that’s okay… something tells me I should avoid the Reader’s Digest version anyway.  I need to share the uglies of life… ’cause  I’m pretty sure God showing up in my messy life isn’t really all that different from how He’s eager to show up & show off in yours. I like focusing on today – today isn’t all that painful – today I’ve let go of a lot of things – today the idea of the unknown isn’t oh so scary – today it’s easy to praise Him.

The challenge in this journey of faith is praising God when we’re knee deep in the muck of life – and that’s only possible if we’re willing to stand firm on His promises – when we’re willing to call on Him – cry out to Him to see us through – when we set pride aside and allow others to walk beside us in the dark hours of unknowns…

And that folks is what I call relationship – that degree of intimacy only achieved by spending one-on-one time with Him. The great thing is that God is so….so God that He gives us ALL of Him….ALL the time: 100% of His love – 100% of the time – how grand is that?!

So tomorrow and in the coming days, I will focus more on the so-called uglies (you can also check out a couple of recent posts shown below) so you can see more clearly how He loves to show up for us.

It’s a WIN-WIN-WIN Situation  Part 1 / Part 2 (click on part 1 or 2)

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P.S. If there’s anything in particular you’d like me to clarify, just ask – I’m pretty much an open book!

  

#write31days – Day 1

I went back and forth about publishing vs keeping the initial 31day writing revelations private & sharing later.  And then I slept on it and decided to publish as I go…the raw unfiltered journaling coversations with God…

So….instead of re-writing I’m going to post images each day from my journaling – hopefully you can read my handwriting! I’ll make a better effort not to scribble ☺️

    

#write31days

IMG_3174A few days ago I heard about ‪#‎write31days‬ – at the last minute I surrendered to the idea of doing something I’ve never done before…consistently write. As I browsed around for more info, it seems folks tend to write on one topic…or at least that’s where I landed! As I was saying, “Lord, lead me on this journey…” I heard the whispers He’s been persistently putting on my heart this past year “Embrace a New Norm”…

so here we go! Follow the journey to living a wonderful life with cancer – it’s ‪#‎GodGloryTime‬!

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It’s a WIN-WIN-WIN Situation – Part 1

 A couple years ago I participated in Beth Moore’s Daniel study – a game changer for me! At the beginning of the study, Beth shared something that was definitely an “ah-ha” moment….not just that God wins – as believers, we are winners in every fiery scenario!

Plain and simple…trials are a part of this thing called life – our attitude and focus makes all the difference. To sustain a positive attitude and maintain focus on God takes practice though – what Beth endearingly calls our “holy habits

This past June, I stumbled across Stephanie Ackerman’s blog on Documented Faith – here’s my take: it’s a place where individuals unite in a sense and focus on one key word each month accompanied by a weekly verse & short devotional by Stephanie – it’s pretty darn awesome! To learn more about Stephanie & Documented Faith, click HERE – there’s even a Facebook Group appropriately named Documented Faith where group members have the opportunity to post their artistic impression of the weekly verse.  I cannot begin to describe the amount of encouragement!

 Hebrews 11:6Now…. back to the win-win-win scenario… the “word” for August is FAITH and the first verse was Hebrews 11:6

“Without faith it is impossible to please God, because anyone who comes to Him must believe He exists and that He rewards those who earnestly seek Him.”

What we’re challenged to keep in mind is that we are on God’s timetable – often it coincides with our desires, but there are those times when we are pressed hard to hold on to faith – believing in God’s promises – believing we WILL see our victory – our reward, is GUARANTEED! Does that mean we get everything we want? Nah. However, it does mean we will get everything we need.  It does mean because we believe and because we earnestly seek Him, we will be made whole.  And that’s a promise I cling to every. single. day.

Earlier this year I shared my diagnosis of breast cancer that spread extensively throughout my bones.  This is where the rubber meets the road folks… and here’s the million dollar question:

How would my holy habits hold up?

Well, let me tell you…God doesn’t just toss you into a storm & say “good luck – hope it works out” – quite the contrary! To those who seek Him diligently, He teaches and trains you up for the roughest of storms…HE rides the waves of life with you, HE keeps you afloat, and HE provides safe harbor.

2014 was a fiery doozie of a year! It seemed like there was one challenge piled on top of another…and another…. and another! Stay tuned as I show you how God prepared me for the biggest fight of my life as some incredible  WIN-WIN-WIN fiery scenarios unfolded.

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God’s Growing Me….and my HAIR!!!!

I’ve been meaning to post pics of my hair and just haven’t gotten around to it…as if I’m SO busy! Luckily, I was diligent to take snapshots over the past few months to show progress.

roseanne copyFor those that don’t know me, my hair is naturally curly…very curly and I have spent the better part of adulthood trying to change it…rarely will you find a photo of me w/my hair natural.  The best way to describe the natural state of my hair is from the original SNL cast Gilda Radner’s “Roseanne Roseannadanna” – as we say in the South, “Bless Her Heart!”

With the help of numerous styling products & tools, I could pretend my hair was straight…pretend…in no way shape or form is my hair remotely straight.  But that’s the way it goes, isn’t it? We all seem to want the exact opposite of what we’ve been given – why is that, I wonder???

When I started chemo I thought, “well maybe my hair won’t fall out” – HA!!! I wasn’t two weeks in before the clumps of hair began falling, and quite frankly, it was kinda creepy to me – I was eager to have it cut and promptly ordered a precious Raquel Welch wig from Headcovers.com (they are SO nice and local!) – with all the yuck of chemo going on, I loved my hair! It was straight and spunky and all I had to do was put it on – a huge perk since I didn’t have the strength to fix it anyway:)

My family and friends would joke wondering…will it come back curly?  As curly? Not quite as curly? AND the super big question, “what’s my real hair color?”  Yes, my hair’s still curly as ever (you’ll just have to take my word for it!) with plenty of gray!  As the Texas heat and humidity is upon us, I’ve since set the wig aside and opting to go au natural  – funny how God eventually gets us back to basics – even with hair!

Before I worked up the courage to go without the wig, I sort of used it as a crutch and rationalized that wearing the wig gave me the opportunity to witness to others – when women would comment on my cute hair, I’d say, “Thanks! It’s a wig – a huge perk of chemo is that I don’t have to fix my hair!” and then proceed to witness about God’s faithfulness – especially during storms.  Well, let me tell ya folks, you don’t need a wig to witness – shocker, I know – funny how I failed to see that without the wig, others could see the real me and see God working through me by my actions and attitude without ever saying a word 🙂

God gives us opportunities to witness regardless of how we look or where we are in our journey of faith – all we have to do is be a willing vessel – with or without hair…

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