Tuesday, February 14, 2017

Our 5 senses

I may have shared a post about this before but it's an ongoing thing for me and I imagine it is for others as well, so we're talking about it again. After all we are all human and have 5 wonderful senses that God gave to each of us. Taste, Smell, Hearing, Touch, and Sight. We learn about these senses at a young age. These 5 senses are part of our flesh. What we may not learn right away is that there is the supernatural realm (our first or parent realm) and that when we operate in the supernatural realm, we often have to ignore our fleshly senses.

I've talked about fasting before. And one of the things about fasting is that the flesh says, "hey, I'm hungry, feed me!" The flesh part of us is trying to demand to be known and heard. It can even get angry and cause a headache. But if we are led by the Holy Spirit to fast and pray and we are following the Holy Spirit, we often need to tell our flesh to be quiet. That it doesn't matter what it's saying, we are going to obey and follow the Holy Spirit. This is NOT usually easy. That flesh has a way of rising up and making itself known. Well, when a person is dealing with a medical diagnosis that the doctors don't give a good prognosis of and that person is walking by faith and not by sight, that person often has to cast down imagination and have it be captive to God. It can be a daily, hourly, or even minute by minute struggle to tell that flesh to behave and line up with God's word. I live that struggle at times. But I am so thankful that God's word is powerful and alive and at work in my life in order for me to get through it.

Last week I had another chemo treatment. Right now I have them every 3 weeks. They drew the tumor marker number and it came back as being a handful of points higher than it has been. The increase can indicate that the cancer is growing again. But this number alone isn't usually something that the doctors get concerned about. They often ask if I am feeling pain anywhere. If there is something unusual or different in the pain department. And if so, they often call for a scan of some sort. I had not been having any unusual pain in my body. But when I read that number and it was higher than last time, the devil started trying to play on my imagination and make me think that stuff is going on. I believe that I am healed. And I walk by faith and not by sight so I have been praying against this distortion of what I KNOW to be true. I have been praying that I walk by faith and not feelings.

Yesterday I was sharing with a couple of people how when my mind starts to wander and think the worst, I bring it back into line by quoting scripture. This morning after I dropped my kids off at school, I had the radio on K-Love and just before I got out of the van, I smiled REALLY BIG. There was a quick teaching about how we need to walk by faith and not by sight (those 5 senses), and then the man proceeded to say, it is important that we walk by faith and not feelings. I believe that God hears my prayers. He hears me and I believe in Him and love the connection I have with him. Right then and there it was a little breadcrumb to show me that he heard me and I need to just keep trusting him. Over the last month I've had a few of these breadcrumbs to remind me that He loves me and wants me well. He hears my every prayer and need. He knows what I have need of even before I ask. And it's neat when he confirms to me that he heard my prayers.

I encourage you to try talking to God today. To voice your concerns with him and tell him what you need. He loves you oh so very much and he wants to have a connection, a relationship with you. Do you long to have the connection I have with God? You can.  It starts by telling him that you have sinned and that you believe he died and rose again to save you from your sins AND heal you both physically and mentally. And then confess with your mouth that Jesus is the Son of God and commit your life to him, you will be saved and have taken the first step into having that connection with God.  If you've just taken this 1st step into connecting with God on a personal level, please feel free to message me. I can help point you into the direction of what you can do next.




Thursday, November 10, 2016

A+ Great Job!!!

It's the end of the first marking period for my kids at school which meant attending parent/teacher conferences. Since I have 3 in school, that meant meeting with 13 different teachers. I had to make an appointment to meet with Morgan's teacher since she's younger & that's how her's was set up. But for the older 2, I had to go to each classroom and wait for my turn to talk to the teachers. I did a pretty good job with conferences yesterday. I saw 11 of the 13 teachers and I did it in under 4 hours. Yes, that was a lot and I was starving by the time I picked the kids up from church but that means that today and tomorrow's half days are mine to spend with the kids. :D I'm very excited about that and it was worth being patient and all the steps my fitbit counted. Although the plantar fasciitis pain kicked in and I was quite tired last night, it was worth it for the extra time with them today & tomorrow.

I am pleased to say that all of them got on the honor roll.  One child got ALL As. And the other two had one A- each and the rest were As. Even though this looks great for each of them, it isn't what makes me proud of them.  As I sat down with each teacher and talked with them about my kids, I had a hard time not tearing up with what I heard (yes, I'm 'that' mom). And to be honest, I wouldn't expect anything else because of what Adam & I have taught them over the years.  Here are some of the things I heard:

Your child is quiet, shy, but very respectful, a hard worker, a perfectionist, creative, kind, sweet, participates, great to have in class, wish I had more of her, love having her in class, she's going to have a successful high school career, dedicated, smart, determined, and so much more.

Your child is serious, interesting, kind, always ready to answer questions, hard worker, participates in class all the time, respectful, mature, good understanding of self and things around him, fun, love having in class, look to him in class because he enjoys it so much, fast worker, good time management, determined, great kid, and so much more.

Your child is respectful, hard worker, quiet, even when the kids around her are making a lot of noice. Felt bad saying it but she is a student that the teacher can use sort of as a buffer and put next to anyone in the class (especially those that don't always follow directions) and she can count on her to sit quietly, do her work without added instruction, etc. She understands her material, is helpful, a hard worker, and oh so much more.

These things are what make me a proud mama. I care that they are doing their best. I care that they treat others with respect. I care that they are kind and helpful. They might not always do those things at home, however, I know it's in them and it's what we keep teaching them to be loving and kind to all. I love hearing that they are respectful of adults and other students as well. That they are hard workers. That makes me tear up because I get to hear that the lessons we've taught them are paying off. Their character is by far, way more important to me than actual grades. But I also know that because of teaching them good character qualities, it will help them succeed and do their best and push for those good grades.

This year I tried not to just listen to the nice things that the teachers said but to pick something that I could encourage each of the teachers about while I was there. They have a tough job. Not all kids want to be there, not all kids want to learn, not all kids are taught good character qualities and they have to treat these kids with respect and teach them despite whether they want to learn. I appreciate the teachers. I think they care about each of the kids and thought they could use some uplifting words. I'm sure they each had at least a couple of difficult meetings with parents last night and again this afternoon. Just wanted them to  know they are doing a good job and to keep it up.

I challenge you, as a parent, to encourage and uplift your child's teacher. If you are homeschooling your child/children, I hope that you get encouraged. Your job is a lot of work. I won't homeschool my kids because I know myself and I would be too frustrated with them not doing their work and I think it would affect our relationship with each other but I know it's tough work. I have worked with each of my kids before they started school and I help them with their homework or any schoolwork they don't understand and need extra teaching of. I make sure they have materials to help them succeed by providing books to help them in each subject and we look things up online together when necessary. It is a TON of work but they are soooo worth it. Great job parents. Keep up the awesome work to help your kids succeed in their academics and more importantly their character skills (it actually helps me as I teach them too).
Have a great day! I plan to.

Tuesday, October 25, 2016

Proud of my boy!

Today was the 2nd and also last day of basketball tryouts for Braly. He has never played basketball besides in our driveway and maybe a little at school in gym class. So when he decided to try out for the team, I was impressed. Once he decided to try out, he practiced most afternoons after school. I really enjoyed watching him practice. And I really loved seeing Adam teaching him some things on Saturday.

Yesterday when I picked him up from tryouts, he was a bit bummed. He said that he didn't think that he had the skills like some of the other kids. I asked him why & he said that there were drills that he was unable to complete because he'd never done them before. I could understand that statement. I just didn't want him to be all glum and think that everyone was better than him and for him to sulk about it feeling sorry for himself. He had a legitimate observation and that was completely okay. He was right too. Many of the boys that tried out have played for a couple of years. Maybe even done basketball camps. So yes, they were better skilled.

When I picked the kids up from school today, Braly said that his plan was to have as much fun during the tryouts today as he could and do his best. I told him that was all I expected from him. When I went to pick him up from tryouts I found out that he was handed an envelope with his name on it. Inside was a piece of paper that said whether he'd made the team or not. I think he told me that there were like 15 spots on the team and there were about 7-9 kids that would not make it. He opened his envelope and said, "well, I didn't make it but that's okay." And the cool thing was that even though he was slightly disappointed, I knew he really was okay for not making it because of the way he said it. Yes, it's sad that he didn't get a spot. But he went on to say that the boys that he heard made it, they were really good and they earned their spots. And he was pretty sure that they put a lot of time into practicing basketball each day. He said that many of them practice after school, they eat dinner, and practice some more. He said they work really hard to be good players.

No, my son didn't make the team. Am I a little sad for him? Yes, of course, I am, however, this boy just did some major growing up in the last week and he makes me so proud that I get to call him Son. He learned the value of hard work even when something is challenging. He learned to be a good sport. He had a feeling that he might not be at the same level of playing basketball and he still put himself out there and tried out. I am filled with joy and am proud that my son learned so much this past week. I've got an amazing kid!  And he may not have made the basketball team this year but he made the Jazz Band. I honestly don't have a preference what he chooses to do for activities. I am just pleased to see him joining groups, learning, observing, and doing his best.

Tuesday, October 18, 2016

Reminded

I have been struggling for the last several weeks with 'what if' kind of thoughts. Plain and simple, it sucks! The last post I made on here was great news that the tumor marker numbers were normal which was a great report. They have since risen a bit. The doctor said that it's hard to say what is happening because it's just a number and it can take time to level out. He asked me if I had any back pain. I said no. (He likes to use more than just a number to figure out what is going on and with insurance the way it is and not wanting to expose me to even more radiation stuff, he doesn't just order a scan unless he's got some things to back it up.) But wouldn't you know that the devil used that line of questions to make me think that I've had twinges of pain or for me to be "looking" for signs of pain. I know I need to be paying attention to my body and all but the mind games have become such a battle.  I am reminded that we wrestle not against flesh and blood but against principalities, powers, and rulers of darkness. And I am reminded that Jesus already won the war when he died and rose again but I must continue fighting the battles. I must put on my armor of God and stand against the wiles of the devil. And I WILL STAND!
After eating dinner tonight, even after avoiding most gluten for the day, I was starting to get heartburn. I drank some Apple Cider Vinegar which burns worse than any cough medicine I've ever had to take but it helped.  After putting the kids to bed, I came back downstairs because it still felt better to be sitting up rather than  laying down to go to sleep. I decided to watch a little tv but the show I wanted to watch was messed up from the storm last night. So I put on a movie I had recorded. Sometimes movies make me think too much. This movie, while it was good, it was also sad and it got me thinking about the future of my family. I don't try to wonder what will happen and I fully trust God to take care of me and take care of my family so I just told the thoughts to shut up and go away and that my thoughts and imagination are captive to God. The movie was over and I collected the rest of the dishes that were out so I could start the dishwasher. For a split second, I thought of just going up to bed but I absolutely knew that I needed to read the next devotion in the book I've been reading because I needed the arsenal in my mind against the father of lies as I lay in bed trying to fall asleep. I don't know about you but when the rest of my family is sleeping, it's when the devil tries to get to me the most so I have learned to arm myself with God's word of truth before I go to bed. It's like I jump into my armor and grab my sword and shield 'just in case' and then I'm able to pray and keep focused on Christ before I fall asleep. Some nights I pray for a TON of people and other nights it is much shorter.

So why am I still up typing this when it is so late and I have to get my kids ready for school in the morning? I'm typing this because I knew I needed to share it. This was way too perfect. It was definitely a God thing to put it all together the way it was in my devotion tonight.

You may already know, if you've read my blog before or talked to me in person, that I have several scripture verses that I say and pray about just about every day. One of them is "I will NOT die, I WILL LIVE, and declare the works of the Lord. Psalm 118:17  I say this verse because I believe that it is my choice to live and I'm not about to allow the devil to steal it from me. And I pray that I will live an abundant life because that is a blessing that God has given to his children. I also pray that I will walk by faith and not by sight, nor by feelings. I often say that it doesn't matter to me what the doctors have said, they can only do so much and they are not in control because if they were, I would think that they would heal people so they had a better track record. I say that I choose to live because I have a calling on my life, to be a wife, a mother, and to minister to kids and their families. Do you get where I am going with all of this? It was all wrapped up with a beautiful bow in my devotion from 90 Days to Possessing Your Healing by Kynan Bridges. Here's what my devotion was tonight. I share this with you because I know someone else needs to hear this too.

Day 52:  You shall live

I shall not die, but live, and declare the works of the Lord. -Psalm 118:17

I cannot speak for anyone else, but I can remember times where I honestly thought I was not going to make it. I had accepted a lie from the enemy. Does this sound familiar? It may come in the form of a doctor's report, a symptom of illness, or a spiritual attack from the forces of darkness. No matter what it is or how it looks, you must make a conscious decision to declare the Word of God over your situation. David, the psalmist and king of Israel, understood this truth. he declared in Psalm 118:12, "they compassed me about like bees; they are quenched as the fire of thorns: for in the name of the Lord I will destroy them." The enemy was afflicting him; he was surrounded on every side. Like bees swarm around a person when they come near their honeycomb, so the enemy surrounded David. This is a tactic of intimidation and control. Why? It's because the enemy does not want you to obtain the blessing God has prepared for you. He does not want you to experience healing and breakthrough. Life David, you are going to have to open your mouth and declare, "I will live and not die!" It doesn't matter what the doctors say, you have a job to do and a purpose to fulfill. Don't give up now! You are too close to the "honeycomb." The devil may "sting" you, but he can't kill you because you have a covenant with Almighty God. Jesus came that you might have life and have it more abundantly. We recently received a testimony of a young lady who was diagnosed with stage three cancer. She got a hold of our teachings and began to declare that she was not going to die. She determined that cancer was not going to have the last word. Every day she spoke the promises of God over her life. After a very intense spiritual and physical battle, her physician declared that there was no cancer in her body. You shall live and not die!

Healing prayer: Father, in the name of Jesus, I declare that I shall live and not die, I will declare the works of the Lord all the days of my life. Your Word says that with long life You will satisfy me. Thank You, Lord, for health and wholeness all the days of my life. From this day forward I refuse to be intimidated by the enemy. I refuse to accept any of his lies any longer. Lord Jesus, I come to You as my Deliverer, for You know everything that concerns me. You are aware of every frailty in my life, yet You choose to love me unconditionally. right now, I receive Your zoe life in my mortal flesh. Never again will I yield to the evil report of the enemy, but I will set my eyes and hope on You. In Your name I will overcome every sickness, disease, infirmity, or hindrance. Amen!

You see that? It was all there in tonight's reading. Everything that I have been believing and speaking. All together to remind me that God is NOT done with me yet. He has a plan for my life, dying of cancer is NOT it and I do NOT quit this battle. I am praying for you tonight. Do NOT give up! Do NOT listen to the lies that you hear. Remind yourself of God's promises. His word is TRUTH! Speak it and believe it and receive it! It is sooooo worth it!

I had the guts to write this post tonight because of a message I listened to from my pastor and from other pastors that I listen to teachings from. It was confirmed to me in more than 1 teaching, which to me means that God is trying to tell me something and I should listen. This is a message of Hope from the book of Romans. This is a message that despite what you have going on in your life, no matter how hard it may seem to be, know that Praising God through the storm will get you through the storm. That's why I'm sharing...I am giving GOD the glory and removing any power that the devil had on me, any fear of what people would think that the numbers have gone up after they were down in the normal range for a few weeks and I am taking that power back. It is not going to be stolen from me because God is greater. I will continue to stand on God's word because I believe it is TRUTH! I hope you will stand against your battle too.

Tuesday, August 9, 2016

God is Amazing!!!

On Monday, August 1st, I had another treatment. This was the 3rd of the new chemo cocktail (that's what they refer to it as) that I was switched to. I've been doing treatments for every 3 weeks since the end of May 2015 with only a few breaks between for surgery & recovery. And you may not know that a few months ago the tumor marker numbers were starting to rise. That seemed to indicate that something was going on. So I was sent for a CT scan. The doctor said there were lesions on my liver from the cancer spreading. I was then sent for a biopsy to see what was going on pathology wise. It came back that the estrogen part of the cancer was activated again. The Her2 part was borderline so they wanted to switch the daily pill and the IV chemo meds that are administered every 3 weeks. They measured the tumor marker again (which is a blood test)  and it had gone up to 110. It should be noted that a number equal to or less than 38 is considered normal. And at one point the number I had was about 12 points away from normal. I longed for it to be in the normal range & kept praying about it.

Now I trust God. And I know that He is faithful. I know that it doesn't take much faith, only the size of a mustard seed, and that doubt takes away from my faith. I also know what God told me about being healed and I know He will keep that promise. So I keep pressing forward. It's not always easy. The devil likes to play mind games and he seemed to reserve planting the seeds of doubt for when everyone else in my house is asleep and I am trying to fall asleep or when I wake in the middle of the night. So I started a new devotion book using the Kindle app. I got a great deal on Book Bub and only paid $0.99.  I started reading one devotion each night before I go to bed from 90 Days to Possessing Your Healing . I figured that way it was fresh in my mind and it would be easier to combat the lies and doubts from the devil.  I'm not very far into it, only about day 11 but I will say, it has been quite helpful to me.

The other day I received an email from my patient portal from the doctors office saying that a test result was ready and I quickly signed in and opened it up. I found that it was from the blood draw on Monday and I actually already had a hard copy of the test but they had just put it into my digital portal. I thought it might have been the results of the tumor marker number and I have been praying that it would be down from 110. But it wasn't ready yet. And ya know what? That was okay. It gave me 1 more night to prepare my heart, and mind to receive what I have been praying about for so long.  On Thursday night, I read day 10 devotion and it talked about how we are to pray and believe that we have received what we pray for. It's actually found in Mark 11:24 and was the verse I had been praying for months. I actually had it as my screen on my phone to remind me but had recently changed it because it had become invisible to me from seeing it so much, or so I thought. The title of day 10 was actually "Don't pray and worry."  The devotion talks about us having an attitude of possession of what we pray for and believe by faith that we have received it.  Here is what struck me the most:

The moment you pray, you must take ownership of the miracle for which you are asking.


BAM!!!!  It really hit me right where I needed it.

I have talked about taking ownership of actions to my kids on several occasions. I'm trying to teach them to be responsible and :"taking ownership of choices" is one of those things.  So this really hit me.  It was time to remember that what I had already asked God for nearly 3 years ago, was already mine. His healing is mine! And part of the devotion prayer that I read had me state "that I refuse to be manipulated by the severity of my condition, but instead I choose to rejoice in Your great power and ability to bring Your Word to pass in my life."  This had hit me so hard square in my face and made such an impact on me that when I went to bed Thursday night, I was confident that the tumor marker number would be lower than 110 when it finally came through the portal.

I am extremely pleased and excited to say that Friday morning, I got an email saying I had another test result ready to be viewed and when I signed in, it was the tumor marker number and it was 20.9!!!!!!  Not only did God bring that number down, but he ALSO did immeasurably more and it is in the normal range. Praise God!!! To God be ALL the Glory!!!! He is amazing, He is good, He is our Healer!

It was nice to see a test result start lining up with what I know is God's truth that I am healed and he will restore my body from the damage that was done from the cancer. I am so thankful and continue to praise God for WHO he is, not just WHAT he does.

I hope that many find this encouraging to NEVER give up. God cares deeply about YOU! He really does. He wants you well. He wants you healed, restored, and for you to be strong in your faith and have no doubt that He will do what He says.  He loves you!




Monday, July 18, 2016

It's not Thursday but....

Since these fun updates seem so far and few lately I thought I'd try to shorten the gap from the last one to now.

It's not Thursday when I like to do my Thankful Thursday but any day is a good day to be thankful.

I am thankful that I have the ability and courage to attempt and succeed in making the invitations for my sister's wedding that is coming up quickly.  We couldn't find what she was looking for, nor could we find a good price so I made them and am awaiting their printing. They should be done on Thursday and I will be happy to hand them over to her so she can send them off to family & friends.

I have also been working on the inserts with hotel, registry, RSVP, and directions. Lining those things up was quite a challenge. I didn't get them perfect but I'm sure it will be okay because at least they will be done and ready for those invitations on Thursday.

I am thankful that tomorrow I am getting some new furniture for our living room. I am so excited to get a love seat that I can sit with Adam again. Due to the bones of my back only liking certain angles, I am unable to sit on our couch. :(  Which means I sit in a recliner by myself unless one of the kids comes to snuggle with me. I am thankful they can do that but I am excited to be able to sit next to my Love soon. :)  And we got the powered love seat so I can be extra comfy by stopping wherever it is most comfy!  Yay!!!

I am thankful that we have sold some of our gently used furniture and that we will be able to sell it all very soon.

I am thankful that my dad is coming over tomorrow to install a new pedestrian door in my garage. One that will open and shut. We've been without one of those for so long that it's gonna take getting used to.

I am thankful my mom is coming over to visit tomorrow too and she's bringing pictures to go through. I enjoy looking at pictures and so do my kids! Gonna be fun!!

I am thankful that my mother in law is so kind to make dinner for us and not only did she make an amazing meal but while it was cooking, she helped me sort through piles of clothes, the canning supplies, etc. We didn't finish today but we sure made a nice dent in the mess and I'm planning to get more of it done tomorrow before my parents get here.

I am thankful that my kids are buying into our new laundry system where they each do their own laundry like once a week. Braly did his today and I asked Gabby to help him hang and fold the clothes since I was busy & would normally help him. They worked together & Braly said, "Hey mom, we're already done!" Yes, that's what I was hoping for them to learn...that it doesn't take long.

I am thankful that most days I feel pretty good and can do many things with my family & get things done. I sometimes get frustrated that it takes me longer than I like but I have today & I will keep going and keep trying!

I am thankful for so much more but it is time for me to head to bed now. I am thankful that I have a comfy bed to sleep in and get rested so I can do more things tomorrow.

I am thankful for God's word that says, I will not die but live and I will declare the works of the Lord! Psalm 118:17  I stand on this promise just about every single day!


Friday, June 3, 2016

Feeling a little emotional

Doing things a little backwards today. I posted this on FB and thought I should share on my blog for any followers that might miss it on there.

Feeling a little emotional today and it's not even the last day of school yet. As I drove Gabby to school, she asked that I not just pray for her today but pray for her whole class. There's almost 200 of them. As I prayed for them, the tears started to fall from my eyes for several reasons, these kids are moving from junior high to high school in a few short months. I don't know all of them but I've helped out with different things at school and watched these kids. I know some of their stories and some have rough lives. I prayed for them today as if they were all my own and it made me think of how much more God loves each one of them because they ARE his. My tears are of a proud mom seeing what these kids have accomplished so far and I prayed for them to make wise decisions in all that they do, to be safe, to stay away from drugs and alcohol, to stay away from pornography, to stay away from bullying and to stay away from anything that could hurt them and cause more pain then what they may already be feeling. I asked for God to soften their hearts and call each one of them to have a relationship with Him. I poured out my heart for each one because even though they are not mine, I feel a sense of responsibility to guide them regardless of who they are. Parents of these kids, the class of 2020 only have 4 short years to finish pouring into their kids before they graduate high school. Don't waste even a day. Every day counts when it comes to these kids. They need their parents and community to guide them in good morals and with grace and love to be the best they can be. And I need to pray for the parents too because this is one tough job.
Today Morgan visits The "U" because next year she leaves her elementary days behind. I am thankful that God is helping us guide her into a lovely young lady too. I am thankful that we have had some experience already with 2 older ones to help guide her in the right direction. She doesn't get to make all her own choices but she is getting more opportunities. She too needs plenty of grace as we all do and I pray that we continue giving her a balance of what she needs.
Braly has a fun day today since his was postponed due to weather earlier this week. But thinking about him leaving The "U" and entering the junior high in a few months is emotional too. I don't think he's the youngest in his class by any means but he is quite mature and I look forward to him having some really great and amazing teachers in the 7th grade in the fall. And as I gear up for summer to be here in a few days with the kids finishing this school year I am amazed at all they've done and been through this last year. I am forever thankful and grateful to God for carrying us through each day and week, month and year. With man nothing is possible, but with God, ALL things are possible! He's is faithful and right by our side always.
To my amazing children, mom & dad are so very proud of your accomplishments this year. You may not receive awards, as in trophies or recognition in front of all your peers and school for being outstanding but you certainly are! You are kind, respectful, obedient, helpful, persistent, determined, loving, caring people and we are more than pleased to say these things and are blessed that God sent you to us. Each one of you are a walking miracle and huge blessings to our family!!!!!
Psalm 127:3-5 New International Version (NIV)
3 Children are a heritage from the Lord,
offspring a reward from him.
4 Like arrows in the hands of a warrior
are children born in one’s youth.
5 Blessed is the man
whose quiver is full of them.
They will not be put to shame
when they contend with their opponents in court.