Monday, December 30, 2013

Glad tidings! appt tomorrow, Gabby's game trip

We had a very blessed Christmas for sure!  Not only did we get to celebrate the birth of our Savior Jesus Christ as a family but we got to celebrate it with my parents & sisters & their families.  It was so nice to get to see the cousins play together.  I remember all the fun I used to have with my sisters & cousins.  We'd play outside at my grandparents house when they lived at the lake.  We shoveled a spot to ice skate & then we'd go inside to warm up & dry our clothes near the wood stove or fireplace that Gramps had going all hot & toasty.  We'd go back outside later & skate, sled, and as we got older we were allowed to use the four-wheeler with this dented metal saucer attached to the back with a rope.  We'd spin in circles on the ice and laugh until we couldn't laugh anymore.  We'd hook the big sled up to the snowmobile and pile in it and ride around on the ice.  Grandpa had some fun toys for us to be spoiled with and we usually played pretty nicely together.  Oh the memories we I really loved watching our kids play with their cousins in the snow, sledding, digging holes to sit in down near the old garden at my parent's place. Seeing the smiles, hearing the laughter, and watching as they lined their darkened glasses up on the table as they all came back in the was fun!

I am thankful that Adam was able to make the drive over to Felch on Wednesday. He almost didn't make it because his car wouldn't start.  We had tried jumping it and were just about to give up & he was going to stay home because he had to work on Thursday and Braly started crying & my eyes were welled up with tears when I told Braly that we needed to pray.  It was a simple prayer.  We said, Lord, please start Adam's car & not let it have any trouble, we simply need to be together this Christmas.  Adam didn't hear us praying & within seconds he tried the car just once more and it started right up.  We thanked God and drove to Felch for our family get together. :)

The kids and I stayed until Friday evening so that we could spend some extra time with family that was visiting.  It was nice but it is always nice to get home & sleep in our own beds.  My parents gave up their King size bed to us and I slept with all 4 kids on that bed.  Rather funny and kinda wish I had a picture of all of us smooshed in that bed.  Reminded me of how we used to sleep a few of us cousins in a bed together at Gram & Gramp's house when we were younger.  Quite interesting to say the least.

As far as presents go...we normally do 3 presents for our kids each plus some stocking stuffers. We picked 3 so its not overwhelming and the significance is that the Wise Men brought Jesus 3 gifts.  One of the gifts is usually a little more expensive than the others but doesn't break the budget we have set aside.  This year our traditions were not followed.  We had a few groups and a few individuals help us out and our kids (and us) were extremely blessed.  It was different for me because I usually do all the shopping & wrapping while Adam is working his tail off for the busy season of delivering everyone's packages but this year, half the gifts were wrapped so it was a surprise to even me and it was fun!  We were blessed with some things we were in need of as well as fun things.  So thank you to all who were so generous to us. We really appreciate your thoughtfulness and generosity.  We pray that you will be blessed for all the blessings you shared with us.  Thank you so very much!!!

Tomorrow, Tuesday the 31st, I have an appointment to have my blood drawn to check the tumor marker, I think they will also be checking the estrogen levels to see if they are coming down to 0 as well as checking whatever they need to check before I get my shots.  I have to say, I'm a little nervous about it and have been reminded by some friends that I need to place it in God's hands and not worry about it.  I have had a headache the last few days & today it made my tummy feel sick. Well, at least that's what I think.  I'm not sure if the headache is from thinking about the appointment tomorrow or if it is from the meds (because just about all the meds I am on can cause headaches).  So I'm asking for prayer for peace about this appointment and that God will have those numbers have dropped drastically.  Oh & that my kids will all be healthy again. Sadie & Braly were treated for ear infection & bronchitis earlier this month just before we headed to Ann Arbor and now they and Adam seem to be coming down with another cold while Gabby & Morgan are finishing up the ear infections and bronchitis they were treated for last Monday.  Health and healing and a stronger trust in God and less strife are what we are praying for in our home.  As a dear friend shared with the kids yesterday in Kid's Church, Philippians 4:6.  I think this scripture was as much for me as it was for them so thank you for listening to what God wanted you to share!

Philippians 4:6

New Living Translation (NLT)
Don’t worry about anything; instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need, and thank him for all he has done.

I almost forgot that I didn't share how the football game went for Gabby.  Let's put it this way, she summed it up by coming in the door after 11pm Sunday night and the first phrase out of her mouth was, "MOM, I had SO much FUN!"  They left Escanaba a little before 1pm to head to Green Bay.  It had been snowing all day & kept snowing until late that night.  They drove about an hour, stopped to get something to eat & I think they took it with them.  They drove the rest of the way & got bundled up and went in for the game.  Gabby had warmers for her boots and hands and said she didn't need to use any, that she was warm enough. She had her sign to hold up. Though it wasn't very big, she held it a little and the other 2 girls that had also won tickets helped hold the sign when they were scanning the crowd on the Jumbo-tron.  Gabby said they didn't see themselves on it but they had fun trying.  And she enjoyed watching the snow throughout the whole game.  I'm not sure she really watched the game at all but they had a lot of fun anyway.  We sat at home looking for them in hopes we'd see them on tv but didn't.  The principal texted me a picture of Gabby & the other 2 girls but since I don't know their parents I won't share their pic on here.  So instead, I'll just share the pic I took of Gabby holding her sign just before she left the house. You may have seen it on facebook.  Thank you to all who shared her picture, video, and story.  We hope that you will continue to share the video with people.  In this day & age where videos are shared to show how to make things, do things, & teach us, it can be used as a tool that can share God's message that he loved us so much to send his son Jesus and it isn't judgmental, just an 11 year old sharing her heart because she wants for all to hear about Jesus.

I took a break from typing this but as I finish it up right now, I can hear joyful playing, laughter, love, and cooperation from all 4 of my kids in the other room and it lifts my heart and brightens my day to hear and see our children that God blessed Adam and me with getting along so nicely.  Thank you Lord for my husband and for our children!!!  I have learned so many lessons since becoming a parent. Lessons I may not have learned or understood quite the way I do since becoming a mom & so I am very thankful.

Sunday, December 15, 2013

How Gabby won her Game Ticket!

Welcome. If you've gotten here from seeing Gabby on TV at the Packers vs Steelers Football game, welcome!  Happy you are here to check out her video.  Here's a little info about why Gabby did the video in the first place.

When I was first diagnosed with Stage IV breast cancer (it has metastasized and is in my bones, is incurable by doctors but treatable) at the end of October/early November 2013 , Gabby asked me, "Mom, what happens if you have to go to Heaven soon?  I don't want you to leave us yet."  With tears in my eyes, I replied, "I don't want to leave yet either but if I do, then God will help Daddy take care of you guys and provide for all of you. God is always here to provide for your needs."  She paused sadly for a minute & then asked sweetly, "Is it okay if I pray for Jesus to come back & get us all for his Second Coming, the Rapture, so we can be together?"  I replied with, "Of course, but you do realize that God doesn't want to send Jesus back for those that have asked Jesus into their hearts (are saved) until EVERYONE has had a chance to hear about Jesus and decide for themselves?  So you need to do your part to share the gospel with as many people as possible" Our shy girl simply responded with, "oh, okay."

About 2 weeks later Gabby was given an assignment for her Language Arts Class.  All 6th graders were to share their favorite educational experience. The top 3 were to win a ticket to attend the Packer vs Steelers game on Dec 22nd with the Principal. I think there are nearly 200 6th graders at Gabby's school.  They were to do a creative response using any media source they could utilize. 

Suggested sources:
Music: write a song
Poster: design a poster
Dramatization: perform
Essay: write an essay
Video: create a video.

Gabby came home & told me she had decided what she wanted to do for her assignment.  She wanted to share when she asked Jesus into her heart and we decided to do a video that we could share with people all over the world in hopes that we would do our best to help spread the "Good News" that Jesus died and rose again so we can have a special friendship with God and go to heaven.  I've uploaded it to YouTube to share with all of you. Watch for yourself to see why Adam & I are so proud of her.  And please share the video with as many people as you can.  Even though Gabby is extremely shy, she wants to do her job to share the 'Story of Grace' with everyone. So share, share, share please.

Thursday, December 12, 2013

Ann Arbor said

Like I said, I'm sorry I haven't had the time to get an update to all of you that have been waiting & praying. We greatly appreciate your prayers & thoughts for our trip.  We did not find much in the way of new out.  They told us that had we gone to them first, they would have chosen to put me on the same treatment plan that my doctor started.  That was nice to hear in a way and gave us reassurance in my oncologist.  They asked questions about the pain I experience and checked it out. They said that they often have people get spot radiation treatment that can help decrease the pain down to 1 or even 0 so they are recommending a referral to a radiation oncologist for us to get more info.  I'm not sure about side effects or anything like that so we'll have to ask questions & get info before deciding.  They also asked if I understand my diagnosis...that I have stage IV breast cancer that has traveled to my bones & is incurable by doctors but is treatable.  They said that they hope that I get a long time out of the current hormone treatment I'm on (which sounds like 18 months to 2 years being the typical) and then we may have to try other medications or even chemotherapy.  They said when my current treatment stops working, that I should go see them, they may have a trial I can be a part of but I'd have to get in on it before starting another treatment plan.  Having that news said again like that, was kinda depressing but I know that God is bigger than any of that and I have faith that he will grant me a miracle of complete healing from this disease.  I know he can, I'm praying he will.  We had dropped the kids off in Grand Rapids with my sister Rachel so that they could be together. Sadie does so much better when she's not with a parent but is with her siblings.  Adam & I ended up staying at a Red Roof Inn at a medical discount rate since my appointment was so early in the morning and we had to be there even earlier so that we could get registered.  It worked out nicely since they had a Big Boy Restaurant attached to the hotel.

After the appointment, we were able to meet up with a friend from nearby while at the hospital and visited with her for a little bit. Then we met up with my aunt, cousin, & 2 of her 3 children for lunch. We enjoyed our visit. Then met up with Adam's cousin for her quick lunch. So sweet of her to drive to where we were to meet us.  Then we headed to Meijer to be able to look for  a few things that we don't normally get to look at.  We enjoyed walking around & looking. We purchased a few things from our list, including a neat plaque for our dining room that says Family Rules.  We headed back to Grand Rapids and we celebrated my niece's birthday with pizza and then Build a Bear.  Our kids thought that was one of the coolest parties to be invited to. They thoroughly enjoyed choosing a bear & some clothes and accessories all while staying within a budget they were given.  We got to see Adam's brother & his wife as well, since they recently moved to Grand Rapids.  It was nice to see so much family!  Wish we could have seen even more but time did not allow.  On Saturday, we had a yummy pan-e-cake breakfast and then met up with Adam's sister & her boyfriend for lunch. Then we made our way home.

We've finally finished putting all the trip stuff away & we've been working on decorating for Christmas. It is a slower process than usual but still enjoyable.  We ran into some light problems for the tree but after purchasing another strand of lights, I think I'll be able to get the garland on the tree so the kids can hang their ornaments. They've been waiting to do that for days.  It is one of their favorite parts of the Christmas season to reminisce about each ornament as they hang them.  I enjoy tons of ornaments on the tree so we'll end up with like 7-8 on each branch. lol  And the tree, even if it is tall and slim, will look beautiful.  Bethlehem Town is up and I've got a few other things out already.  We spent yesterday going to Morgan's Christmas program at school twice, celebrating her as star student in her class, and then getting a little grocery shopping done & back to watch & then bring Morgan home.  In the meantime, I've been working to figure out how to make a sign and share Gabby's video with even more people and figure out a sign for the football game she's headed to on Dec 22nd.  I think her picture is going to be in the Daily Press too but I may call them & tell them that they should run a story with it too.

Today Renee` helped me make some presents for the teachers to say thanks for taking such good care of our kids.  Just a small token of appreciation.  I had fun making the stuff.  It is so much more fun to do crafts with someone than by myself.  My sweet Sadie is a little crazy right now, getting into everything she can get her hands on. I think she's getting tired and may need a nap.  Tonight we got to Gabby's first band concert. She plays the Oboe and there is to be a feature of the Oboes since there are 4 of them that play this year. I'm excited about it but Gabby is quite nervous and wanted to miss school today so she wouldn't have to go to the concert. She's such a shy girl, that's why it's so amazing that she wanted to share the video she made for school with so many people.  She has moments when she feels shy that we are trying to get even more people to view it & share it with others.

Time to wrap this up but not without sharing some of God's word with you all.  This one comes from the Pre-School devotion that we do at night.  It's called God is Faithful. It talks about how people sometimes make promises but are unable to keep them at times. But God is faithful because he always CAN keep his promises, and he always WILL, no matter what. He will never change his mind.  You can depend on God and trust him, no matter what!  The verse says "Let us hold firmly to the hope we claim to have. The One who promised is faithful." Hebrews 10:23 NIrV. And the prayer says Lord, you are faithful to do what you say, I know I can trust you every day.
What I try to remember and remind our children and others is that God is faithful. No matter what.  Through all of this so far, He is walking by our side or even carrying us through. He is faithful!  And I hold tight to this hope and having hope gets me through so much because it also gives me a trust in the One who created me and loves me.  I have put my hope, my trust, my faith, in the One True God who created me and well....Everything!  Do you have this hope?  If not and you'd like to, you can email me at or you can watch Gabby's youtube video (which can be found on a previous blog post ) to see how you too can obtain this hope!  Below is the Merriam-Webster dictionary definition of hope.


 verb \ˈhōp\
: to want something to happen or be true and think that it could happen or be true
transitive verb
:  to desire with expectation of obtainment
:  to expect with confidence :  trust

Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Still finding things to be thankful for

All I can say is boy do I serve a mighty God.  I know I just shared yesterday but I am so thankful for the amount of prayers, encouraging words, & love shown to us today. Amazing!

Today's devotion has my name written all over it.  Just read & you'll see what I'm talking about. Perhaps you too have been battling attacks on your mind, if so, this is for you too. Or maybe you'll need to remember this for a later day.

"Do not be surprised by the fiery attacks on your mind. When you struggle to find Me and to live in My Peace, don't let discouragement set in. you are engaged in massive warfare, spiritually speaking. The evil one abhors your closeness to Me, and his demonic underlings are determined to destroy our intimacy. When you find yourself in the thick of battle, call upon My Name: "Jesus, help me!" At that instant, the battle becomes Mine; your role is simply to trust Me as I fight for you."

Yup, that's what I'm talking about.  And today the fiery darts kept flying.  As you may have read on Facebook, today was Morgan's birthday.  What we would have hoped to be a great day to celebrate her birth. God blessing our family with her...was not so wonderful for her.  She woke up happy, excited, to come downstairs and have a great day only to lay on the floor in the living room. She said she didn't feel good but I figured it was because she was just overly hungry.  Gabby helped make a waffle for her and I finished it up. I even brought it to her to try to help her eat it so she'd feel better.  She actually looked kinda pale so I didn't force anything and I made sure to grab the bucket that was nearby (I hate cleaning stuff off the floor so I try to keep buckets stashed.).  Good thing too because a little while later, she threw up and then declared that this was the worst birthday ever.  How sad I felt for her. She was upset she wouldn't be able to share her cupcakes for snack. I said, well it's a good thing we didn't finish frosting them because now they'll be super fresh when we do in on Wed.  She threw up like 5 times and then she fell asleep for somewhere between 1 -2 hours.  I don't really know because she was laying on the chair and I was trying to get Sadie to calm down & nap since she had gone to sleep somewhere between 9-10pm, was up several times & then stayed awake (which means I was too) from 5:30am on.  I was trying to rest as well but the phone rang a few times & one was Braly asking for cough & cold meds.  So I started getting things ready to head out the door. Since Sadie was not herself, a fever had resurfaced on Saturday after having a few good days & then she was not herself last night or today, I took her to the walk in clinic after bringing Braly some meds & getting his lunch card replacement squared away.  Sadie ended up with an ear infection & is now on antibiotics. She still wasn't herself completely the rest of the day but thankfully tylenol and motrin help some.  She's resting now so I'm going to make this as quick as I can.  Morgan got better after her nap & her day turned out to be better than she had originally thought. We ended up with nuggets from Wendy's and a chocolate frosty too.  Gabby was complaining of her chest feeling tight and just overly tired or weak.  Yes, the enemy is attacking my family hard core.  The kids fighting has been almost unbearable lately. It just hurts me to watch how mean & nasty they are being to each other. Lashing out with words, actions, the whole lot and I HATE it. And so I keep praying.

I was thinking the other day how I had gotten off track with doing devotions with my kids & how it has affected them so I started back up. We've been doing them before bed nearly every night for the last 2 weeks or more and even though they were used to doing them and LOVED them before, they have been less than happy about them this time around.  It isn't like they are long.  They may be too simplistic but at the same time, they are basic and really good!  So instead of getting down on myself or giving up because I am being met with rude comments, displeasure, inattentiveness, and more, I am determined to persevere and  get them used to them again. I know that they are getting something out of each devotion and I just wanted to encourage others that you may think about trying a devotion time with your kids. Do it!!!  Yup, I just used the Nike slogan! It doesn't have to be extravagant. You don't have to feel as though you are inadequate. There are so many good devotions out there.  You just need to look to find one to fit your children. Their ages, stages, etc should be considered but find something.  And you might be met with open arms for a devotion time or maybe crossed arms and disgust but don't lose hope...their hearts will change.  Don't get frustrated...God is working on them and in them and you shouldn't give up.  Even ones like I have that love God, need to get right with him again and things will fall back into place better.  Tonight when we read our devotion. And we've been taking turns passing the book around.  My oldest asked if we could take it with us when we head downstate.  ABSOLUTELY! was my answer.  And I was thrilled to hear that question.  SO don't lose hope.  Don't allow negativity to take over.  Keep on the best you can and know that good things are getting in, even if they don't act like it.  And this time of year, there are so many cool, fun, great devotions to do like Advent ones. Some are even free.  (Here's one from one of my favorite websites. Focus on the Family.)   So give it a go & start somewhere.  Like I've said before when it comes to making healthy choices and this applies to many areas of our lives...start where you're at & go from there.  Make it your goal to do better today, than you did yesterday. Don't compare yourself to others. Just keep your eyes on God. He'll help you!  And I'm cheering you on too!

Food for thought from God's word that goes along with the devotion.
Ephesians 6:12-13 For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms. Therefore, put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand.

 1 Samuel 17:47 All those gathered here will know that it is not by sword or spear that the Lord saves; for the battle is the Lord's and he will give all of you into our hands.

Philippians 2:9-11 Therefore God exalted him to the highest place and gave him the name that is above every name, that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.

1 Peter 1:8-9 Though you have not seen him, you love him; and even though you do not see him now, you believe in him and are filled with an inexpressible and glorious joy, for you are receiving the goal of your faith, the salvation of your souls.

Monday, December 2, 2013

Ann Arbor Appointment, Thanksgiving, God's Perspective, Birthday Celebration & more

I have to type this as fast as I possibly can because it is late. I need to be in bed so I'm not so exhausted tomorrow and I'm sorry but it's going to be a really long one since I haven't updated in several days.

My Ann Arbor Appointment has been moved up to this Friday. We have to head down early, after I get the next shot of the estrogen decreasing stuff. My appointment is early Friday morning.  I am trying to bring everything I can think of, we made sort of a timeline of events to see if that helps out.  And we're unsure whether they will do any other tests.  So here's the prayer request we have.  We are seeking God's path for us in all of this. Our plans have changed. Even if we were on the path God had us on before, things have changed & we are trying to regroup & seek God's perspective on this. We need prayer, clarity to see God's path for us.  The neat thing is that my Nov 30th devotion had the statement "Talk with me about whatever  is on your mind, seeking My perspective on the situation."  How fitting right?  And then the sermon on Sunday was talking about how we make plans. And plans can be good. but sometimes those plans get changed by something unexpected and we have to regroup and ask God for his direction.  Isaiah 55:8-9 says "For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways," declares the Lord. "As the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts."  So since God sees the big picture and he knows what's best for us, it's important for us to seek his will, his perspective, his direction, his way.  That's what we need prayer for. And this reminder is wonderful too. Jeremiah 29:10-11 This is what the Lord says, "When seventy years are completed for Babylon, I will come to you and fulfill my gracious promise to bring you back tho this place. For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you home and a future. And even though some days are easier and some are harder than others, I cling to these 2 verses. I think I learned them when I was really young because my parents had a record, yes I said a record, with a song that was written from these verses.  Proverbs 3:5-6 Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding, in all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make your paths straight.

I will be honest with you..yesterday and today were especially hard for me. Even to the point that I have had a hard time even eating. Probably lost a few pounds.  What is my problem?  Well...the "what ifs?"  I've been thinking about this Ann Arbor appointment and what happens if they tell me more bad news?  Or there is nothing different they can do to help me?  Or well....who knows. But for some reason it has me all worked up and I think it is satan trying to work his way into my head.  Today I spent most of my day battling mind games.  So you can add that to your list of prayers we could use.  That the mind games cease and are not allowed to even enter our minds.  It's a place I don't want to be again, that's for sure.  Thankfully I have an amazing, loving, faith filled mom that talked with me for 2 1/2 hours and pretty much told me that I can't allow for these thoughts to even enter my mind.  What difference does it make what the doctors say or don't say?  She reminded me that I've already put my trust and my hope in Christ and the healing I believe he's going to bless me with. There are so many of you praying for God's blessing on my body and I'm asking for God's will to be shown to us and for us to follow his path.  She reminded me of these things and said that I need to just focus on God.  Of course she's totally right.  So I prayed that God would help me refocus on Him and not the what ifs.

Our Thanksgiving was quite nice.  My sister Rachel came up from downstate and was a gem & stopped at Ikea to pick up the sideboard we were looking to get and put in our dining room like a buffet table. I've been searching for this piece for a long time and finally came across it on my favorite organizer's site. She has one and it was exactly what I was looking to do with it.  So Adam spent some time picking things up in the early morning before most of us were up & then he put the sideboard together because 'some assembly was required'.  More like all assembly.  He did a great job & it's so wonderful.  I have started filling it with the placemats & tablecloths but have not finished with everything I plan to put in it.  I've still got to collect all the stuff that is in a few different places.  And I'm really hoping that it takes Sadie a long time, like really long time, to figure out how to open the doors. They are quite easy to open & I really am not looking forward to her taking everything out to play with it.

My parents brought a turkey over & cooked it in the Nesco roaster. It turned out great. My sister Natalie came over & cooked up a storm. My Gram also joined us & made a delicious layered dessert.  I think this was by far Gabby's favorite.

We used to make our wish lists out from the Black Friday papers late at night on Thursday after we had eaten ourselves silly and spent time hanging out together. Not anymore with the way they have changed things & now the stores all rush to be the first to open & take your money.  I honestly didn't find a whole lot that we needed or even wanted.  I made a short list and sent it with my sisters who decided to brave the crazy people & head to a few stores. I was totally ok if we didn't get any of the things on the list.  Adam headed to bed kinda early since 5:30 am comes quickly and that's what time he had to work on Friday. :(  The kids & I decided to watch some Dragons: Defenders of Burke episodes since it is one of the shows we watch together.  We had just finished watching 2 episodes when Morgan ran to the basement to get the cup she left down there and she came back to tell me that the floor was wet. Oh crap I said. That means the sewer was backing up. I told the kids not to flush the toilet and headed down to see the damage. While down there I could hear the toilet flush despite my warnings. Ugh. I yelled up the stairs. Don't flush the toilet. It was Braly & of course it is just auto-pilot to flush after using the bathroom. I was frustrated but not mad. I heard Morgan telling him that mom said not to flush. What do you think happened next?  You probably guessed it. She went into the bathroom and she ended up flushing the toilet. By this time my mom had called to say they arrived home safely & I was raising my voice...yelling, at the kids not to use any water.  I was trying to explain to them that each time water went down the pipes, it had to come back up somewhere because there was a blockage.  My dad so wisely advised shutting the water off of the toilets and I hung up the phone & recruited 2 girls to help me in the basement. We had to move all the things in the way, just in case it got worse for some reason. And we had to clear out the area where the drain cleaners would work. Which happens to be our laundry room as well.  Clean clothes were hauled upstairs. Dirty ones moved to a different location & up off the floor.  I was annoyed & frustrated that this was happening again, even after we had dumped copper sulfate down the pipes to help kill the roots.  oh well. I had a choice. be annoyed & angry or do what all my devotions had been telling me to do for the last few thankful. So I literally started saying things I was thankful for out loud.
I was thankful for
~2 girls that were helping move things without complaining.
~a son who was upstairs taking care of a crying Sadie & keeping an eye on a foster cousin
~that the mess wasn't as bad as it was the first time this happened just 2 years after we bought the house (I think it should have been disclosed but it wasn't)
~that Adam had already gone to sleep before this happened because he would never have gotten a decent sleep because he would have been worried. As it was he woke up to use the bathroom & came back to bed and asked how bad it was.
~Gabby's willingness to make signs to post on the sinks, toilets, and shower.
~that I had pain meds that were working so I could move things
~I was EXTREMELY Thankful for a set of willing hands from a wonderful lady from church who came over on Friday after the drain cleaners came & she cleaned, bleached, & scrubbed everything.  I felt bad asking her to do this but ever so thankful for her!!!
~limited damage.
~wise advice to shut water off to toilets
~I'm sure my mom was praying (she always does).
~and that it wasn't too stinky. My girls laughed at this one.

They had actually asked me what I was doing when I started saying these things and I told them that I was trying to seek God's view & be close to him because I had a choice to make.  I think I chose wisely but had I not been seeking God over the past few weeks and practicing being thankful, I'm not sure I would have made the same choice that night.

It turned out that it was a bunch of roots again. Probably from the crazy tree in the neighbors yard that doesn't really give us any shade but finishes dropping its leaves after the sweeper's last round of the neighborhood to pick them up. It causes branches to fall all the time, & roots in our old drippy pipes.  So now we've got it scheduled in the budget to be done in the fall each year.  Less of a headache & better that way. I'd rather pay them to do their job than to have to scrub & sanitize that junk.

I'd love more prayer to relieve the pain I've been experiencing the last 2 days. I think that always contributes to the mind games and since I've made this link, I'm going to try to figure out what to do if it happens again so the mind games don't happen & drain me worse than the pain already has.  This evening I've got pain on my left side, under my arm and I've never had pain there before. I'm not sure whether I pulled a muscle or if it is something else so I just commit it into God's hands & leave it there.

Today we got to celebrate our sweet Morgan who turns 7 years old tomorrow.  (Adam will be working late so today was the best day to celebrate this girl who deserves to be celebrated!!!)  She is a delight to have in our family...most of the time. haha  She reminds me so much of my baby sister Natalie that I laugh. Sometimes my laugh is out of frustration but in all sister Natalie has an ENORMOUS heart, she's trustworthy, reliable, great to work with, persistent, loves God, and so much more.  If Morgan turns out like her, she will be an awesome adult.  In the meantime, Adam & I have our work cut out with this one.  She is easily distracted, yet when you tell her she's going to get a consequence, she happens to know exactly what you've been asking her to do the last several times.  Amazing how that works.  When given a few things for her to do, she starts out great & gets distracted sometimes between task 1 and 2 but more often it's after the 2nd or 3rd task, even if they are simple.  Her sweet mind is always a buzz with other things she'd like to do or check out or think about.  It's always a challenge to get her to accomplish tasks.  She's got the cutest smile, the best hugs & kisses. Her heart is in the right place for just about everything.  She's just a sweet girl and Adam & I are thrilled that God blessed us with her 7 years ago.  We walked a different path when she was born.  Our plans to bring her home after just a short, normal hospital stay were changed & we walked the NICU path in Green Bay for nearly a month.  We are so thankful for her, she's simply a blessing and a miracle that God saw we needed to be a part of our family.  Thankful that path was fairly short even though it was filled with many ups & downs. At one point I wasn't sure whether she'd make it since she turned blue & needed some breathing assistance.  She's feisty & strong.  I think God made her just that way so she would fight to survive.  She is exactly how she needed to be & by no coincidence.  God knew what he was doing.  Now we just have to help mold her to what God is calling for her to do with her talents, gifts, & what she has a passion for.  He designed her special & for what, I'm not sure yet but we enjoy her!!!!

I told you this one was going to be long.  So to wrap up the prayer requests...
1. Ann Arbor appointment will go as God plans
2. For God to reveal to us the path he has for us & help us walk it
3. That the pain subsides or is under control
4. No matter what goes on, that the mind games will stop & not be a constant battle
5. Our minds will be filled and focused on God and His will
6. Complete healing despite what the doctors say or can offer with treatment.
7. I have been praying that God will bind the cancer from spreading & cause it to die & be removed from my body
8. That God will also heal the damage already done to my bones
9. And if it's his will, to allow me to grow to be an old lady, unless he sends Jesus to come for all who have asked him into our hearts.
10. Pray for hearts to be prepared for God's work to be done from seeds that have been planted.

If there is something you have need of prayer for and you are okay sharing, please leave a comment & I will pray for you. We have an amazing God who is BIGGER than anything we are going through. My aunt stopped by at just the perfect time yesterday and reminded me of that. She went out of her driving way to make a rather large circle because she felt that God was directing her over to see me.  I must say that I never expected it but I truly needed her hugs and prayers & words of encouragement.  God knew and he provided before I even knew.  He really is BIGGER than everything!  I urge you to seek him. If you are near Escanaba and need a church, please join us at New Life Assembly of God.  Services at 9am and 10:30 am.  We'd love to see you there!  Oh...2 of my kids will be in the UnGrinched play on Dec 15th so come watch. It's gonna be really cool & has a great message! More info at .

I think I covered everything for now.  I appreciate you sticking with me until this very end.  Feel free to share our blog with others. To add us to prayer lists. To share Gabby's school video with as many as you can.  As shy as she is, and if you know her, you'll know she's SUPER DUPER shy, she wants for as many people to hear the message she shared in her video as possibly can.  I can't remember if I shared what she had told me before this assignment (and frankly I don't want to lose this message nor do I have the time to go read my previous posts so I'll just share again).  She had asked me that if I had to go to heaven what would happen?  I answered her question with honesty as well as faith.  And then she asked me a really good question that was sort of unexpected.  She said, is it okay for me to pray for Jesus' second coming when he calls all the believers to heaven?  I told her yes, or course it is. In fact, people pray for this to happen all the time.  But then I said, if you want that to happen, you should do your part to share the gospel, share Jesus and what he has done for you & what he can do for others. Because God wants for everyone to have a chance to choose whether they ask Christ into their heart or not.  2 weeks later, she had a Language Arts assignment for sharing however she wanted, her favorite educational experience.  She picked the day she asked Jesus into her heart. And we made a video.  She later won a ticket to a football game because her presentation was one of the best out of nearly 200 kids in 6th grade at her school.  I close with her video again.  Please share this. If you are shy or don't know what to say, send people this video. It tells how to ask Jesus into one's heart.  My shy girl knows that I am promoting this video. And though she kinda feels weird about it, because she doesn't like being the center of attention, she is convicted in her heart to share the love of Jesus to as many people as possible and so I am promoting it again.

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Joy Day

Today I was scheduled to get the bone strengthening shot at 9am. They called me at 9:45 and wondered where I was.  Ummm...I thought it was for 11:30. Silly me. I had made my last few appointments for 11:30 so I thought I had done the same with this one. NOPE.  Thankfully they were able to squeeze me in at 11:30 but that meant a much longer wait time. I had to have my port accessed. At least this time I remembered to put the lidocaine on with my pretty holiday press and seal to keep it from getting on my clothes.  They drew my blood from the port and then we had to wait for the labs to come back with my creatinin level to show that my kidneys were working fine.  In the mean time, I chatted with those that walked by & weren't busy. Messed on my phone answering texts and facebook messages. When the results came back they brought them to the nurse immediately.  Then of course the doctor has to release the shot orders and he had just stepped into a room with a patient.  Sheesh!  I had to wait longer. Then they took the iv stuff out of my port and got the orders for the shot to be given. By the time we left, I think we had been there for nearly 2 hours.  Oh well. Thankful that I had someone great taking care of Sadie & Braly.  He was still home sick today. Kept complaining he'd get dizzy when he was up walking around for a little bit. Temperature was back to normal all day today but still coughing.  At least its quiet right now.  Hope he sleeps better tonight.  Just in case you were wondering, this was a subcutaneous shot and I opted to try it in my arm. It burned as the solution went into my arm. But wasn't too bad afterward.  A little sore to the touch so I was protective of it today. Mostly when Sadie gets a little crazy she bumps it. And my port was a little sensitive today too since they accessed it.  It's really quite strange the feeling that I get when they access it.  I thought last time that it was because I forgot the lidocaine & got myself all worked up so I got slightly woozy but not exactly. The same thing happened this time & the nurse told me that some others describe it similar when it's accessed.  So that kinda made me feel better, that I wasn't the only one that got that weird, odd sensation.

The doctor popped in to tell me that I should hear back from Ann Arbor by the end of today and if I didn't that I should call them tomorrow.  He said that they had agreed with the treatment plan he has me on which makes me feel good but for some reason, I still want to make the trip down and confirm everything else.  they did not call me today so I will be making a phone call to them sometime tomorrow.

I think I mentioned that Morgan finally decided she's okay with getting her hair cut and I was fortunate that there is an opening for her tomorrow.  I think she'll like having her hair a little shorter again.  She looks cute now & will look cute with it shorter. And I think it will be easier for her to maintain herself more.  Which will be good for all of us.  I have to often tell her to take her hair out of her mouth. I don't honestly know how people can suck in their hair.  I can't stand having 1 piece in my mouth let alone a whole mouthful. lol  And she keeps getting food in it because it falls in her face so frequently & then she's mad when I have to help remove said dried, gross, or sticky food & it hurts.  I do hope she likes it when it is done.

Gabby came home very excited from school.  That is saying a lot because she has been completely bummed that Braly has stayed home yesterday & today. In fact, she was willing to sit in the line of fire, so to speak, of Braly's coughing & use his blanket because she was hoping to get sick & be able to stay home today. We explained to her that if she did that, she would not likely get sick that quickly but rather wreck her extra vacation days by being ill.  She opted against that.  So back to her coming in the house all happy....she handed me her paper with her grade from the video project she did.  She got 100% some lovely remarks on her paper and she was grinning from ear to ear.  I praised her for her score, told her how proud and pleased I was, not just with the grade, but because she showed so many people her heart & shared Jesus, the only way to get to Heaven. And then she handed me a folded up piece of paper. I thought, oh, maybe her teacher had written me a note. I unfolded it & started reading.  She had won a spot to attend the Packer vs Steeler game in December. She & 2 other students will be going to the game (freezing their little bodies) with the principal, and will stop for lunch on the way down & dinner on the way home with both meals being paid for as a reward for having one of the best projects to share with her class.  Pretty cool!  She's pretty excited about winning. I know she didn't really care about that part of the whole project in the first place and I don't think that she thought she'd win.  I think there are close to 200 kids in her grade that all did this project so that's pretty neat for her to get selected as a finalist and then have her name drawn.

So that's our big day.  We got 4 loads of laundry put away so we won't have nearly as much stuff to do tomorrow and we're planning to make some photo books for free from Shutterfly.  Should be a fun day tomorrow. I'm happy the kids don't have to go to school. I love spending time with them. Now to just keep the peace among all of them and still get a few chores done while having fun & making memories.

Today's devotion is again about thankfulness. Today it said to remember that to protect thankfulness.  We must remember that we reside in a fallen world where blessings and sorrows intermingle freely, so thankfulness needs protection. Whoa.  That's so true & why it is easy to be pulled in the wrong direction so quickly & easily & to lose sight of God. That's why we are to keep our eyes fixed on Jesus.  The devotion goes on to say how precious are my children who remember to thank me at all times. They can walk through the darkest days with Joy in their hearts because they know that the light of my presence is still shining on them. Rejoice in this day that I have made, for I am your steadfast Companion.
Psalm 118:24 This is the day the Lord has made; let us rejoice and be glad in it.  As I have said before & I'll say it is a lot easier to praise God when things are going good & we have a good or even great day. And sometimes things go so great that we even forget about God.  Sometimes we only pray when things are bad & we need help or healing or for things to change. But God is a jealous God. He's jealous in the way that He wants ALL of us. Remember that song I shared last week or so?  He wants the entire YOU. The good, the bad, the ugly. He already knows the things you have done and yet, he still wants the entire package.  That's saying something about His love for each of us. Don't you think???
There is a song that I learned when I was a little girl that references part of Nehemiah 8:10. It goes: The Joy of the Lord is my strength. The joy of the Lord is my strength. The joy of the Lord is my strength. The joy of the Lord is my strength.  Of course the tune does not come through here (which makes it better, honest) and if you know the tune, you've probably got it stuck in your head now. You're very welcome. haha  But the truth of the matter is: when I find joy in God, He is my Strength.  This has helped me so much during the first part of this obstacle and journey I am walking.  I am certainly grateful for God's love, his everlasting, unfailing, love. I am thankful for being able to find Joy when it might seem lost and to know that God is my strength & will carry me through this. It has been  just over a month since I was first told that I had breast cancer. And then the news of the PET scan that said it had metastasized into my bones. Ouch. what a bomb to drop on me & my family.  Do I wonder why it happened to me?  A little. And then I think, Lord, there must be a reason, or many reasons, and though I may not understand them all, I trust you.  I am staying positive and believing in a full healing. I know we've got people all over the U.S. praying for us & letters & cards are coming in from so many people, people we don't even know to say they are believing & praying for us.  It's really very cool. And we've got people in Spain & even France.  God is moving in a mighty way. He is using this to call more people to spend more time with him. Please do it!  Not just to pray for me & my family but show Him your heart!  That's my prayer for all of you. Get your heart right with our Creator. He loves & cares for each & every one of you.  He's using this disease, this diagnosis, this pain, this platform to bring people closer to him and answer many prayers. I know there are prayers I have been praying in several areas & for several people & he's using this to answer them. I jokingly said, "Hey God, I would have been just as happy with a yes answer in another manner but since you know what's best...I'll just praise you & say Yes Lord, use me!"  Love & blessings to you all.
Good night!
Jeannette :)

Monday, November 25, 2013

Wish I was...

More clever at coming up with titles for my posts.  I lack in the creativity area and instead just type from my heart & experiences.  So I'm thankful that is what many of you are looking for & enjoy.

Today was a great day physically. I felt pretty good & was able to do things and not have my body feel as though it were aching so badly.  Good thing because Braly was home from school with this crazy cold that seems to keep grabbing each of us and not wanting to let go.  He was tired when he got up. Didn't eat as good as he usually does & then rested & watched Sadie's shows until about 11am. I think he started to feel better or he was just thoroughly bored with her shows so he messed on the computer a little.  Sadie fell asleep for a bit, I had a friend come to visit for a little bit & take the trash out and then I talked Braly into letting me shave his head & cut his nails. He dislikes getting his hair cut so for him to say yes made me happy.  I trimmed up Sadie's hair too. Now to take Morgan to get hers cut. She has been trying to grow her hair for a few years but it hasn't gotten as long as she'd like and she keeps sucking on it which I think is totally gross so I told her I'd take her to get it cut. She finally said yes tonight so I need to remember to call for an appointment.  I think we'll try to get our family picture taken after Thanksgiving.

Tomorrow I am scheduled to get the bone strengthening shot and perhaps find out if my doctor was able to get Ann Arbor to schedule me for Dec 6th or if I still have to wait until the 19th.  I'd like to see what they have to say but just taking everything in stride. Not much else I can do except rely on God's timing.

Thankful for all the prayers and laying of  hands on me yesterday. I truly believe that is why I had a good day today & why I had a good day last Monday. I told Adam that I may have some friends start coming over on Tuesdays for a small group & I'm sure we'll pray.  I'd love to have another great day because of prayer. If that's the case, I may schedule people to come over & pray every other day of the week. ;)

The kids were so wonderful, for the most part this evening. I appreciated them working together to pick things up & help each other out. It was nice to see that & feel the teamwork rather than arguing that has sort of taken over for too long.  I am still working on getting them back into the habit of devotions each day. And I am sad to say that they seem annoyed with me making them read or listen. I think that they just don't get how important the quiet time with God is and I want to model that & teach them. I haven't always been the best example for this so I am trying to change that & am getting resistance.  But some things that are worth while don't come easy so I press on & keep trying.  I believe that I am far more persistent than my children when it comes to many things & they will not wear me down to quitting.  Not now, not in this season of my life when I am a fighter & learning to be ever so thankful.

Tomorrow my kids have school but once they get home, we have a few days vacation. Too bad Adam doesn't as that would be delightful for all of us.  He works so hard to take care of us & provide insurance, our home, food, clothes, and so much more.  He is amazing & I am so very thankful for his hard work & dedication. I respect him for his integrity and I think he's a huge blessing!!!

My devotion says that I should thank God frequently because this practice makes it possible to pray without ceasing.  I think that's the key to teaching my children to pray for more than 2 minutes. Help them think of all the people and things they are thankful for.  They've asked me how I can pray for such a long time and I told them, well, I'm good at talking, I enjoy doing it, so maybe that's why I'm good at praying. I just keep talking to God like he's my best friend. I tell him about how I'm feeling. Ask him to take care of certain people, certain situations, bless some, love on some, reveal himself to some, soften the hearts of others, show his truth & wisdom, and so much more.  For me, it doesn't seem hard to pray. So maybe sharing those kinds of things will help bring an ah-ha moment to my children in the not so distant future.  For now, I pray for each of them & that they will find that connection with God like I have...well maybe even more so, because that would be really cool!

So tonight, I leave you with 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18  Be joyful always; pray continually; give thanks in all circumstances, for this is God's will for you in Christ Jesus.

May you find just how deep, how wide, how great, & how awesome God's love is for YOU today!

Jetta :)

Sunday, November 24, 2013

More Thankfulness...even through the storm

Thankfulness at this time of year seems quite fitting.  People all over are sharing at least one thing they are thankful for each day of the month so at closing of the month they will have a beautiful list of at least 30 things they are thankful for. That doesn't necessarily mean actual "things" but I think you get what I'm saying.

We headed to church this morning and decided that since it was baptism day and we didn't have anyone being baptized this time, we'd be sure to help in KidsZone. Baptism day a favorite day of mine in our church because we are privileged to hear the hearts of God's people as they share why they are being baptized, why they made the choice to obey God with this step after asking Jesus into their heart.
So it's been a few weeks since the major news of the Pet Scan revealed Stage IV rather than 2 or 3 of breast cancer.  The kids in KidsZone have known for weeks that I was diagnosed with breast cancer & they've prayed for me.  Today Gabby's video was shared with the kids & I asked them some questions before we started our lesson on compassion.  Krista used the wonderful people in our lives to share how people are showing us compassion.  It seems to make more sense to teach the lesson when we can give examples that they'll understand and make it more real & applicable to them.  After our lesson we cleared out the chairs so that we could do worship time and have plenty of space for the kids to stand & worship with songs.  But the kids were getting a little wild.  Yup, that's what happens when everyone grabs a chair & carries it to the pile to line up & they are supposed to wait for the next step.  That waiting part is hard sometimes, especially for 1st - 5th grade kids.  So I grabbed the mic and started asking questions about what we were doing next.  I LOVE singing and I really LOVE singing worship songs to God.  I wanted to share something with them so that they would "get it" on why we sing to God. How it can bring us into his presence and meet our needs in so many ways.  I wanted them to experience what I so frequently experience as I sing to God in song.  They needed a little extra encouragement to quiet down and when they did, I told them that in my devotion time for the last several days there has been a theme. I asked if any of them could guess what the theme was. My hints were "this is something we often talk about a lot at this time of year" and it starts with the letter T.  Thankful, a sweet little girl said.  That's correct!  I said, ya know it's not too hard to be thankful when we are happy & everything is going good for us but we are to be thankful even when things that we might think of as "bad" are going on in our lives.  I went on to say how God is calling me to be thankful even though I have something in my body that I wish was not there and I said sometimes and even some days it is harder than others to be thankful but what God really wants is for us to show him our hearts.  He wants for us to praise him despite our circumstances. And I said, I want for all of you to sing to God with all your heart right now. I want you to forget about what the kids on either side of you think. Don't worry about how you sound when you sing. Just sing to God with all your heart.  Of course I got choked up when I told them that I didn't like what was inside my body & I wanted it gone but I still praise God for a lot of stuff & even with this circumstance.  I then shut the mic off and set it down & went to walk away from the altar only to be stopped by my son who hasn't been feeling the greatest today.  He asked if he could pray for me. I said of course. So he held my hands & started to pray.  And before I knew it, I could feel another set of hands on my right shoulder, my back, & then on my left shoulder, and a Morgan walked up under my arm & put her arms around me.  I was praying with my eyes closed & then I just began to sing and worship God while some were praying over me. I could hear so  many of the kids singing that my heart was rejoicing. I was thrilled to hear their voices and feel the Holy Spirit's presence.  God tells us that when we are thankful and open our heart and mind to Him we will be able to feel His Presence.  Last week our Pastor talked about how Moses set up the tent outside the camp (kinda like a temple) and was in God's Presence and how he was in God's presence on the mount when he got the 10 commandments.  God is so holy that we are not allowed in his presence unless we are blameless. I am thankful that Jesus died on the cross to pay the debt for my sins so that I can seek and be in God's presence because it is a great place to be. So as we sang the 1st worship song with the kids & we prayed, God's presence was in the place. I'm positive he was touching the lives of some of the kids and I'm not sure that their lives would have been touched in this way today or that they would have experienced that moment in the same way had I not been diagnosed with Stage IV breast cancer.  It's not that I'm in denial about this disease or that I really want it inside my body...I don't. But I am looking to God to thank him for what he is doing in people's lives as a result of me having to deal with this.  Do I pray every day for God to kill each cancer cell and replace them with good, healthy cells. YES. Do I believe that God will do it. Yes. In the meantime, I will try to do what I am asked by God to be a light and to be an example and to be the connection from reality to God who sometimes doesn't seem so real to kids, or even some people because we can't see or touch him like we can with so many things.  These kids are praying and praising God. They are the greatest warriors and I plan to continue doing my part, to the best of my ability, so that God can reach each & everyone one of them in such a way that they get an a-Ha moment and that they begin to own their faith so that no matter what happens, they will follow Christ.

Thank you God for using me to reach these kids to pull them into your kingdom even more. Please open their hearts so they can be real with you and learn to own their own faith. I mean that they will have such a faith in you that they will never walk away from you, not even when they are old enough to leave their parents & this church & go to college or on to somewhere else on their own. I pray that their faith in you will be strong that it will not shake when they experience trials of any size.  Thank you Lord. in Jesus' name. Amen.

Today after prayer, I was a little tired but the pain seemed to really die down in a big way & not dig it's way in to the bones of my back & hips. Being mostly pain free today so I could help Gabby finish her school project was really nice. I wish that her project wouldn't have taken ALL day Long so I could have spent time with the rest of the family.  But even the headache from the cold that has been hitting each of us was sort of whirling around in my head, I was able to help Gabby & enjoy sitting & moving in certain ways that were not hurting like that have over the last week.  I am super thankful for prayers each week. Last week when I was prayed over on Sunday, I had such a great Monday I was able to get a lot done. Hoping for another instance like that tomorrow. And praying that God's timing for when the appointment would be best to take place happens. Whether it be Dec 6th, 19th, or some other date.  Trusting God & praising Him, even through the storm.

Thursday, November 21, 2013

A Prayer of Thanksgiving

I keep reading that God calls us to be thankful. He is specifically calling me to be thankful, despite what is going on in my life & in my body right now.  I am called to sing praise to God my King.  An old song but a great one from Petra.

A devotion I read today shared this One of Webster's official definitions of thanksgiving is: "a public acknowledgment or celebration of divine goodness."

I had plans to spend some time today sharing different things I was thankful for.  I can still do that but I am so sad to say I completely lost sight of God tonight.  It happened after a series of events and I was a bad mom which I feel terrible about. I have a bad temper and can get mean at times. I let too many things build up and I said some hurtful things to Morgan, even after I had explained to my kids just yesterday that within these four walls, within our home, our family, we will not tear each other down.  No excuses of anything...I messed up and I apologized to my sweet sensitive girl. She forgave me and I mean really forgave me because a little while later she finally stopped doing 'her thing' and saw that I was in a great deal of pain and she climbed off her bunk bed & asked if she could pray for me.  Her prayer was something like Dear Jesus, we love you so much and we trust you dear Jesus. My mommy is hurting and needs to have the pain go away and you can get rid of all the cancer too. She prayed for a teacher at her school that had surgery & a few other things and just hugged me & I felt terrible for how I treated her. I am thankful for a child that as easily as she gets her feelings hurt (which can happen so quickly & for no reason) she also forgives and moves on that quickly too.  It is a rare soul that can let go of hurts so quickly & be so loving & accepting of others. She has a sweet spirit and I am thankful for her, even when she makes choices I'm not pleased with, she's learning and she's a one of a kind girl. She reminds me of my youngest sister so I know she'll grow up to be a wonderful adult that everyone that knows her will be fortunate & blessed to know her.

Time to list as many thankful things as I can to get my eyes back on God. I started sinking just like Peter did when he stopped focusing on Jesus when he was walking on water.  What an amazing thing to do, walk on water, and the lesson to go with it is so helpful. When we fix our eyes on Jesus, we can get through anything, when we take our eyes off him, the distractions can make us sink & take us down.  I must focus on thanking God for everything.

This morning when I was changing Sadie, she was having a tantrum & flopping all over the place. I was being patient (unlike later in the day) and ended up pulling Sadie close to me and then singing to her. She calmed down so nicely that I was able to get her changed to move on with the next thing in our day.  So thankful that my old, impatient self had not resurfaced.

Thankful for scripture to encourage me and encourage others.
Thankful for Braly's glasses being replaced under warranty & the wonderful ladies that work there. So sweet and kind to our family.
Thankful that I could drop Braly's glasses off to him right away so he wouldn't come home with a headache today from having to wear the wrong prescription after his glasses snapped on Monday.
Thankful for a dedicated, hard working husband who is responsible & takes such good care of our family needs.
Thankful for the weekend to help Gabby get this project done since neither of us could concentrate this afternoon. Gabby kept wanting to finish reading the books she started this week.
Thankful for a family that ALL love to read, even Sadie loves it.
Thankful for a dishwasher that can be loaded & turned on each night so we have clean dishes in the morning.
Thankful for my parents & their wisdom & guidance throughout life's ups & downs.
Thankful for my sisters who are always there for me and willing to do anything I ask.
Thankful for time to chat with my sisters. We don't normally talk at night, but I really needed it & my sister made herself available & I appreciate the time we spend on the phone since we're so many miles apart.
Thankful for our home.
Thankful for friends that have diligently come over every other day to help with anything I ask for the last few weeks.
Thankful for a computer I can type my thoughts on to share with others.
Thankful for the conversation I had today with a lady here in town that said she didn't really know exactly who I was until she saw my picture last night on Facebook and then she made sure to chat with me. We had a blessed conversation. Thanks God for making that happen.
Thankful for a comfy chair at my desk
Thankful for having the opportunity to hear & see what a life changing experience Tanzania was for Mrs. Martin. Her presentation was so amazing that I had to tell my sister all about it.
Thankful for the many, many prayers & being added to so many prayer lists all over the place.
Thankful for a great doctor that has my best interests in mind (my appointment isn't official but may be moved to Dec 6th)
Thankful for a juicing machine though I have to figure out how to use it tomorrow.
Thankful for getting sleepy right now. Hoping I can be thankful for a peaceful, quiet, restful night of sleep for my entire family.
Thankful that the cold that swept through our home is nearly gone.
Thankful for the boldness of my daughter & her willingness to share the gospel of Jesus with so any via her video yesterday and that her shyness wasn't a factor for this project.
Thankful for cabbage leaves & that I can pick some more up tomorrow.
Thankful that I can take another pain pill in just about 15 minutes
Thankful that my son is so quick to get ready in the morning since he overslept today.
Thankful that even though my son complains about the things I ask him to do, he almost always does them.
Thankful that the cancer has not entered any organs or my brain.
Thankful that God is already working to kill the cancer cells
Thankful for the generosity of so many people, even ones that don't know us.
Thankful for God's word that I can use as a blueprint for all of life's situations.
Thankful for a camera to capture and remind me of memories.
Thankful for answered prayers.
Thankful for my super healthy Sadie who seems to be my shadow or connected at the hip to me. She adores her mama and that is so special to me.
Thankful for a comfy bed to sleep in and warm feet to put my cold feet on when I climb into bed.
Thankful for artists that write worship music so I can come into God's presence quicker & easier to praise him.
Thankful for music that speaks to my whole being.
Thankful for science to help diseases go away
Thankful for God's love that he unconditionally shows me so I can try to show it to others.
Thankful that tomorrow is Friday so Adam has the weekend off & we can spend some time together as a family!
Thankful for God's peace and presence!
Thankful for all the colors God created! I love color!

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Gabby's Video and my lesson of love for the day, email sign up

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I just finished putting Gabby's project video on a flash drive for her to take to school.  I am so proud of this video she did because it shows her heart.  Ya know how sometimes, we show people, especially the ones we love the most, our not so wonderful selves. Well that has been going on in our home for quite some time  now and it has gotten a little worse since the news which we received nearly a month ago.  It's so weird because the kids & I were saying the other day that it seems like forever and yet it doesn't. Time is a funny thing.  Anyway, I get offtrack sometimes.  This video was done as an assignment for Gabby's Language Arts Class. She was to share her favorite educational experience. It was to be a creative response using any media source she could utilize. I've uploaded it to YouTube to share with all of you. Watch for yourself to see why Adam & I are so proud of her.

Suggested sources:
Music: write a song
Poster: design a poster
Dramatization: perform
Essay: write an essay
Video: create a video.

Today I have been struggling with some extra pain. The doctor said that with the removal of the estrogen my cycle might be 'a little more' than usual.  This is proving to be right because I don't usually get low back pain for this reason so I'm asking for prayer for the pain to cease. It was more difficult lifting Sadie up today than it has been, which was frustrating for both of us. The low back pain didn't seem to respond to the pain medication much so I call on Jesus to bring the pain under control and bring healing so I can get a peaceful & restful sleep.  To keep my mind off of the pain, I worked on finishing the editing of Gabby's project.

I was fairly frustrated for the lack of speed with which U of M has made my Second Opinion appointment.  I am trying to remember that everything happens for a reason & I need to be patient for God's timing. I am a little confused as to whether we should continue pursuing U of M or whether we should seek another facility. I am also wondering whether they will all treat me the same way because I am already on a treatment plan. That is the frustrating part because I want answers and to get whatever other tests done as soon as possible for there to be answers but perhaps that is just it...maybe I think that I will get a different set of answers. Ones that I like better perhaps. Ones that don't show that it is in my bones. But if it is not in my bones, then why the pain. Because the pain has been real in these areas that were mentioned to have been affected by the cancer.  Maybe I have not accepted this as much as I thought. Maybe I am just hopeful.  Either way, I know that God can change it all. He spoke the world into existence. He can speak healing and new life into my body and my cells. He is able!  So as I wait for the video to finish uploading to YouTube, I listen to some beautiful worship music and I wait on the Lord to renew my strength. I will spend the next several minutes reading His word and listen for him to speak to me and comfort me. To kick out all the fear. There is not room in my mind or my life for fear. It does NOT come from the Great I AM!  It is not welcomed in my life!  As I wrote this I was feeling like a disappointment to God and to others because I am not happy with the long wait for an appointment despite my faith that God is in control and perhaps this is part of his plan to either guide us to another place or because he wants for us to have some time before they do any other tests to see that the current treatment is working.  I don't know...and that's why I feel upset and as though I am letting God and others down.  I know it's not really how God feels nor how others feel either...I KNOW this. However, that doubt crept in.  Here is an excerpt from my devotion today that is speaking to me and allowed me to cry out (literally cry) to my Heavenly Father just like I would my own Pappy when I am upset or afraid or doubtful.

The Light of My Love shines on you continually, regardless of your feelings or behavior. Your responsibility is to be receptive to this unconditional Love. Thankfulness and trust are your primary receptors. Thank Me for everything: trust in Me at all times. These simple disciplines will keep you open to My loving Presence.

Ephesians 2:8-9 For by grace you have been saved through faith - and this not from yourselves, it is a gift of God. not by works, so that no one can boast.

Ephesians 3:16-21 I pray that out of his glorious riches he may strengthen you with power through his Spirit in your inner being, so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith. And I pray that you, being rooted and established in love, may have power, together with all the saints, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ. and to know this love that surpasses knowledge - that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God. Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us, to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, for ever and ever Amen.

Psalm 62:8 Trust in him at all times, O people; pour out your hearts to him, for God is our refuge.

Psalm 19:14 May the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be pleasing in your sight O Lord, my Rock and my Redeemer.

Let me explain something about the devotion. First, I just mentioned that I felt like a failure to God & others because my emotions are taking over today.  I find that on days that the pain is increased, it is more difficult for me to keep my eyes fixed on Jesus. I need extra prayers being lifted up on my behalf, not just for the pain to go away but for me to stay focused on Christ. It is so amazing how God doesn't measure his love for us on how we're feeling or behaving. He gives us Agape love, an unconditional love, no matter what!  And with all this cancer stuff they do tests to find out what kind of receptors it has so they know what they can use to treat it, what is likely to respond.  When I read that thankfulness and trust are my primary receptors it resonated with me because of all the receptor talk I've been hearing & reading as I try to educate myself.  As for the verses right from God's word, well, if you watched Gabby's video already, you  know that she mentioned that it isn't anything that we can do on our own to be in God's holy presence. And so I am reminded again that it is not ME but it is GOD within me to help me get through this.  Isn't it fascinating that Christ's love for each one of us isn't just wide, it is wide and long and high and deep! Who else has that kind of love for us?  As much as I love my children, and would die to save their lives, I still don't have THAT much love like Christ does. Wow!  And I am to Trust in him at all times. Even when I don't get an appointment when I want. I am to trust him, even when I hurt, even when I don't think that I can...just DO IT! Trust Him, for his is my refuge. He is my shelter, my protection from danger, my safety.  He will take care of me & keep me from trouble.

So my prayer tonight is not just to claim my refuge in Christ but that the words that come from my mouth and from my heart will be pleasing to the One who holds me closely no matter what I do or say. Even though I know with all my being that no matter my feelings and behavior don't change the way he feels about me, I want to be His light to others in this dark world that is constantly seeking love.  Please know that Jesus loves you!  Yes, you, the very one reading this message. He loves you & wants you to come to Him.