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 again...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.

Monday, November 18, 2013

I love Sundays

I love Sundays for a few reasons.

Church - I get to fellowship with God's people (his church) I get the opportunity to feel the presence of the holy spirit. I get to learn more about God's word & how to apply it to my life from the sermon. I get to connect with people. I get to see God's love through his people as they greet one another, pray for each other, sing praises together, give back through tithes what is already God's and we steward for him.  It's such a beautiful and amazing thing & I am privileged to have the freedom to be a part of the church of my choice.

My family - Sunday afternoons are spent with family. Sometimes we hang out together watching a movie, playing a game or video game together, reading together, and sometimes we just are near each other and that is nice too.

As you can see I try to skip the computer time on the weekends & be with my family more. Sometimes I get preoccupied with other things & I don't put my family at the top of my list. In the light of recent events, I have been working to change that.

Yesterday, we had a friend bring us a meal that she heated up for us to eat for lunch. It was delicious but it afforded me the time I needed to sit down with Gabby to work on a school project that she has due this Friday. Which means that tomorrow I will be editing her video so she can turn it in on time or early.  I did not want her to wait until the last minute because life is unpredictable and since we are waiting & unsure when my appointment at Ann Arbor will be, it made sense not to wait.  So Gabby & I sat together at my computer and I typed while she spoke to me what she wanted to say for her project.  I helped her change her wording and make it come across just as she desired and intended.  I must say that I am an extremely pleased & proud mom.  I was before this project but I am even more so now.

Gabby was asked to share about her favorite educational experience thus far in her life and she chose to share about something we have been teaching her about since she was very small.  After we typed what she wanted to say, we waited until bedtime for the rest of the family to be upstairs for quiet and ease of nerves as we recorded her video.  Not only did she do a great job choosing her topic, composing what she wanted to say, but also how she presented it on video. I honestly haven't watched it back on my computer yet but it looked pretty good on the camera & I can't wait to edit and add her picture to it tomorrow.  I am hoping to be able to share it on here in the next few days. It is a message for all and when I post it, if she doesn't mind, I will share why she selected the topic she did.  So stay tuned.

As for an update of me.  On Saturday I made myself a little nervous as I checked out the size of the tumor. I try to keep track in my mind how large it is so I can report to my doctor if there has been any change in it.  Saturday I thought the size had perhaps doubled. I was scared to even think about it or share it with anyone but I did. I needed more prayer.  Because I had to abruptly stop nursing Sadie and it was only a few weeks ago, the milk has not completely dried up.  One of the things suggested to help is cabbage leaves so I had Adam purchase a cabbage for me.  On Saturday night before bed I finally looked up the instructions on what to do and followed them.  By morning, things had changed some and the size of the tumor wasn't quite as large as I had thought the day before.  I believe that prayers were answered and cabbage leaves were helpful.  Guess I'll be grabbing a few more cabbages to help me along this journey. haha

Yesterday near the end of service I was told that my son wanted to come into service and pray for me near the altar. Morgan came in as well and we walked up front where we could gather to pray.  What happened was beautiful.  My children laid their hands on me, as they had done on Friday when I desperately needed it. But this time many from our church family gathered around us. I could feel hands on my back, shoulders, arms, etc and I could hear so many voices praying. I could feel the presence of the Holy Spirit as people prayed over me and my family. I was completely caught up in the moment of being in God's presence with so many that love him that I felt lifted up before the cross, before the throne. Tears uncontrolled, poured down my face as I lifted my hands as high as I could to accept God's healing & to praise Him for all he's done & all he will do in my life and in my family & in those that I may not know but have been connected with during this journey.  When God's people come together in agreement, amazing things happen.  Most of the pain had stayed away most of Sunday.  I tried to go to bed early last night & did but only slept for an hour or so when I woke up & couldn't get back to sleep.  I finally came down stairs and spent over an hour in God's word. Pouring over some verses that led to other verses. I journaled about what I had read & wrote my prayer for the night and by the time I had finished, it was late. I returned to bed and slept for about 6 hours straight. I woke up this morning feeling refreshed and as if my body was back to before this diagnosis.  I suffered very little pain today. Was able to help out at Morgan's school a bit and meet up with someone who is going to help clean my house.  I made several calls that were on my list, including a haircut, and worked on homework when my older arrived home.  As I snuggled with Sadie on the couch to get her to fall asleep I felt my eyes were heavy & decided to give in to a nap.  It was a great day!  Made possible by a mighty God.  I did reach for something this evening & stretched a bit too far and am paying the price of some pain but I am so grateful for a wonderful day.

I received another call from Ann Arbor today. Adam took the call while I was at the salon. They are still working on gathering all my records and needed me to sign more release forms.  Gosh how I wish this process was a little faster but then I am reminded that I need to fix my eyes on Jesus and to focus on His timing through all of this.  It will unfold in His timing and it will be the right timing.  God knows what he's doing & I am waiting on the Lord to renew my strength.

My devotion today was a reminder to rest in God's peace. To live in close communion with Him. I am to stay in touch with Him even during my busiest  moments.  To let His spirit give me words of grace as I live in the light of His Peace.  The verses to go along with this passage in my devotion are also happens to be the verses Adam's aunt shared with me today too. 

Philippians 4:6-7 Do not be anxious about anything but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.

John 7:38 Whoever believes in me, as the Scripture has said, streams of living water will flow from within him.  

Ephesians 5:18-20 Do not get drunk on wine, which leads to debauchery. Instead, be filled with the Spirit. Speak to one another with psalms, hymns and spiritual songs. Sing and make music in your heart to the Lord, always giving thanks to God the Father for everything, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ.

It never ceases to amaze me how God knows what I need before I do. How he orchestrates the timing of verses others share with me along with my devotion so that I hear the much needed word a few times to let it sink into my mind and heart so I can meditate on it and remember it.  Memorizing verses has been instrumental in getting through these tough times as well because when I can recall a verse or part of a promise God has in his word, I can pray it over & over to help me fix my eyes on HIM.
One of my all time favorite verses since I was about 4 years old. Last verse tonight and I have to get some sleep.
Hebrews 13:8 Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today, and forever.

So no matter what is changing around me, and things are always changing. I know Jesus is my solid foundation and will never change. I can count on Him. I hope that you will put your trust in him as well if you haven't already.  He remains unchanged & he never leaves! Praise God!

Friday, November 15, 2013

Being Real...Good news...and 15th of the MONTH

Last night Adam came home late since he was on road training the seasonal help. He sounded terrible. Very hoarse, congested, and had a slight fever.  He showered, ate, took some meds, I prayed for him & then he went to sleep.  It wasn't much longer after he went to bed that the kids were in bed, then Sadie fell asleep, and then I climbed in bed since I couldn't keep my eyes open.  I thought, great, I will get lots of sleep. No alarm clock to go off in the am since the kids didn't have school for deer day.  My night consisted of waking up several times. Sometimes every hour with hot flashes. As I lay in bed praying for Adam, for my friend who had surgery, for the lady preparing for her bone marrow transplant & for others that asked for prayer, I figured there was no point being upset that I was awake, perhaps lots of people needed prayer & I was to intercede for them.  When I woke up for some reason, I thought that the breast tumor had grown in size and my mind started to get anxious & fearful.  I gathered my clothes for a shower but when I got into the bathroom I felt sort of sick. Shaky & weak.  I started thinking, what if the cancer is still growing at a super fast rate & what if the hormone treatment doesn't work fast enough or the right way.  Fear was creeping into my mind and all the what ifs were haunting me.  I started praying as I picked myself off the floor to shower & saying the name of Jesus over & over again.  As I dressed, my mind wandered again to the place of fear of the unknown.  I whistled for my kids to come help me. I wasn't sure whether I felt I would throw up or pass out or what so my kids touched me with their sweet, soft hands and that reminded me that God will take care of me.  I made my way down the stairs to sit on the couch but grabbed my cell phone first.  I had heard the text notification so I read the message from my friend. She was wishing me a better day today than yesterday with less pain and to be energized by God's love.  For a brief second I thought I could just deal with this on my own and then thought better of it. God has placed so many people in my life & my family's to help us through this hardship so I wrote back:

"Feeling shaky. Prayers needed to push back...actually remove all fear."

She replied back with a prayer for me:
"Dear Heavenly Father, I pray to you that you would take this fear and shaky feeling and bind it. Don't allow this to find its way into her mind. I pray your spirit and love would be felt upon Jeannette and guide her today, tomorrow, and each day through this. I lift this to you in your precious name. Amen

I was so thankful to have my children home with me because I handed the phone to one and asked them to lay hands on me and pray this prayer over me.  And then they hugged me with those soft, loving hands again.  I immediately picked up my devotion book another friend had sent me and found today's devotion.

Approach problems with a light touch. When your mind moves toward a problem area, you tend to focus on that situation so intensely that you lose sight of Me. You pit yourself against the difficulty as if you had to conquer it immediately. Your mind gears up for battle, and your body becomes tense and anxious. Unless you achieve total victory, you feel defeated.

There is a better way. When a problem starts to overshadow your thoughts, bring this matter to Me. Talk with Me about it and look at it in the Light of My Presence. This puts some much-needed space between you and your concern, enabling you to see from My perspective. You will be surprised at the results. Sometimes you may even laugh at yourself for being so serious about something so insignificant.

You will always face trouble in this life. But more importantly, you will always have Me with you, helping you to handle whatever you encounter. Approach problems with a light touch by viewing them in My revealing Light.

Psalm 89:15  Blessed are those who have learned to acclaim you, who walk in the light of your presence, O Lord.

John 16:33  I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.

If you know me personally, you know that this made me cry. Tears of joy and tears of peace. God reminded me that He is in control. He provided me with the support and the strength to cast the fears out of my mind and put my eyes on him again.

I wanted to share this with you because I am not perfect. I do not always have it together. My eyes are not always fixed on Christ.  I am human & a sinful one. Thankfully the Holy Spirit dwells within me and God has put people around me to help me get through these moments no matter how short or long they may last.  Be encouraged friends. God loves you the same as me and if you allow him, he can do the same for you.

Some GOOD news!!!!

Hours after I read the devotion and received God's peace, I received a phone call from the geneticist to tell me that the panel for my special genetics testing was done and everything came back NEGATIVE!  
 Praise God

Just received a call from our insurance company to tell me that the specialist that was billed as out of network (so we would have to pay the full bill) was incorrectly billed. Praising God for more good news. They will re-bill it and go from there. :)

Prayers are being answered. Still requesting that more be lifted for us.  And a dear friend of mine was told her dr found a lump in her breast at her exam and she needs to have a mammogram done.  She is scared and needs prayer so please pray for her. Peace and comfort as she waits for results. And a report of excellent results too!

And finally for today.  It is the 15th of the month.  Today is the day that I change my contacts & also the day I have Adam put sulfur in the water pipes (if the right season to kill tree roots).

AND Today is the day that Ladies need to do a self exam of their breasts. Please don't put this off. I know they say to do it with your cycle but some ladies I know have long cycles. Some ladies are reaching menopause & don't have a cycle, and some have regular 28 day cycles.  Please, take the time today to do a self exam. PLEASE!!!!  If you don't know how, as your doctor for a handout or google the instructions.  No excuses.  Some insurances are starting to cover mammograms at the age of 35 for a baseline.  Schedule your appointment and go get squished!  And men, you should be doing self exams for yourself as well.  Sorry if this makes people feel uncomfortable but to me, if I can remind even one person, it's worth it!

Thursday, November 14, 2013

Small Ann Arbor Update

Well, it's not much but it's something worth sharing. I got a call from a New Patient Advocate down in Ann Arbor that a friend had hooked me up with when she was there recently.  The new patient advocate called and was able to transfer me to the correct person working on my admission.  I left her a message and someone called me back a little later.  She emailed me the Records Release Form so I could sign it & email it back to her so they can get all my info in their hands & schedule my appointment so if more tests need to be done, they can happen soon.  While on the phone with the lady, that's when Sadie face planted on the floor (see the pic I posted on Facebook). I hope I didn't sound like a terrible mom as I scooped her up & calmed her down as quickly as possible. The lady asked if I wanted her to call me back later but I said, "If you would just hold on for a minute, I can get her settled down quickly."  In my mind I was thinking, NO WAY lady, don't hang up, I need to get this process moving forward and not just waiting some more.  In our conversation, she asked me if I have an appointment with my doctor soon and I said, yes, in 2 weeks but he was hoping that I'd been seen by you guys before I met back with him again.  Her response was, Oh, he wants things done ASAP?  I said, why yes, he does!  So as soon as my phone beeped & told me I had a new email message, I printed, signed, & then scanned & emailed back the form they needed. :)  I did my part. Now waiting for the next step to be done.  All in God's timing.  I'm praying for God to hook us up with the BEST team of doctors and nurses for ME and what's going on in my body.  Thank you for continued prayer.  And perhaps you are the kind of person that can't find the words.  Well, just tell that to God. He knows what's in your heart. You don't have to be what some might say is eloquent. You don't have to pray perfectly. He just asks for you to be you and share your heart with him.  Give it a try. Sincerity is a great start no matter the words.  Here's a song I love because it reminds me that God wants all of ME!

To clarify the spelling of my name. Lol

I debated whether to even share this or not.  It doesn't really bother me that people misspell my name or even mispronounce my name all the time.  Heck, I even answer to any of my sister's names too.  Kinda got used to that growing up in a house with 3 other girls and my mom or dad going through the list of our names or even coming up with creative mixed names for us and finally saying "which ever one you are!"  I don't want to make anyone feel bad if they've always misspelled my name and never realized it.  The ONLY reason I'm even writing this is because when people find out they've been spelling my name wrong for a very long time, they feel bad and say, "Why did you never tell me this?"  Well, it's not a huge deal to me.  I go by so many nicknames too that even though I truly love the name my parents gave to me and the spelling, I don't let little things like this get to me.  So in a fun way, I will tell you how to remember how to spell my name.  At least I find it kinda fun. lol

Ever hear of an old show called The Original Mickey Mouse Club?  Do you know the name of one of the most popular girls on there? She starred in some beach movies with Frankie Avalon.  Well, most people can spell her name with no problem.  All you have to do for mine is add 2 letters in front of hers.  Je +Annette  = Jeannette.  Yup, my name has 2 Ns in it.  Even if this doesn't stick in your mind, no worries.  Do you know that I've tried for a long time to get the pharmacy to change the spelling of my name & they still can't get it right.  Oh well.  So if you are trying to tag me in something on Facebook & you can't figure out why....you may have missed an N in the middle.  Have a good laugh & a great day! ;)

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Praying for Others...please join me.

Today I dedicate this post to a few others dealing with cancer that need prayer.  An acquaintance who has quickly become a friend is having surgery tomorrow. She was diagnosed with breast cancer a few weeks before me.  I know she believes in prayers and miracles and I will post my prayer on here. Please join me in praying for her.  And another person, who I've never met is having a bone marrow transplant on the 20th I think.  I will type a prayer for her as well.  I believe in prayer so much.  It's not like waiving a magic wand or anything but praising God & interceding for others in need.  I find prayer a blessing to me as well as others & I can honestly say that I can feel God holding us closer as you all pray.  Days & news that should be a lot harder are bearable as you all pray for us.  So thank you!

Heavenly Father,
You are amazing. You are full of grace and mercy. You carry us through tough times and sent your son to die on the cross so that our debts are paid. There is nothing we can do to deserve this and yet, you freely and willingly gave us this gift in your son Jesus Christ.  Thank you for the love you have for us.  Lord, I bring my friend before your throne and ask that you guide the doctor team as they operate on her tomorrow. I ask that you steady their hands, bring them clarity for any decision making they need to do. I ask that there be no complications from any anesthetic or anything that they use to do the surgery. I ask that clean margins are able to be gotten and that everything goes smoothly Lord.  Make your presence known with her & with those around her all day tomorrow.  I ask for a quick recovery for her with no or minimal side effects.  We praise you for all these things.

I also ask for you to prepare the body of another woman waiting for a bone marrow transplant.  Lord, you know what she needed even before she knew. She has faith in you Lord and so does her husband and I ask that you prepare her body to accept and do great with the transplant that is to take place in the next week. Lord, guide the physician team. Steady every hand that there be no mistakes with her nor the donor. I ask for the donor to be blessed and have a speedy recovery.  Father, please heal this woman with your touch like only you can.  Prolong her earthly stay with her husband and let all praise be given to you God.  You are our creator, You know every intricacy of our bodies better than any physician does.  There are things that even the most intelligent human cannot understand but you do.  You wove us together so precisely and I ask that you touch this woman's body and bless her & her family with a much needed healing.  I praise you God for who you are and for loving us unconditionally.  Be with both these families as they await word from the doctors about their loved ones surgeries.  Protect their bodies from infection and heal them, recover them in a mighty way.  Thank you Lord.  In Jesus' name. Amen

Monday, November 11, 2013

Prayer Requests Nov 11th

Today I had to opportunity to go to Morgan's school & help out in library.  This is something I've done for my kids in elementary school for a few years now. I think since Gabby was in 3rd grade.  I love helping out the librarian as well as helping the kids select & check out their books.  I love to read & I enjoy having the opportunity to see them get excited over books.  It also gives me the ability to connect with different teachers and staff so they know that they can come to me if my kids need help, are having trouble with something or to say they saw my kids doing something nice or behaving nicely or even not so nicely.  It helps me feel more involved in their education. Sadly I only have Morgan left at the elementary school so I have to find other ways to be involved with the older two.  Over the weekend, Morgan attended a birthday party & forgot some of her things & it just so happened that another teacher at her school was able to bring them to school with her for us to get things back today.  See, that's what I'm talking about. A good reason to be that parent that is around a lot. haha.  As I signed out of the office log and was about to leave with Sadie we saw a UPS package car pull up to the school.  Sure enough, it was Adam training a seasonal driver so we waited for a few minutes so we could say hi. Sadie was thrilled to see Daddy & get a squeezy hug from him.  After our sweet surprise, we headed home and I spent some time trying to get some medical records together.

I still haven't heard anything from Ann Arbor so I'm asking for prayer for a few things...
1. That Ann Arbor will get all the items needed so that we can get an appointment.
2. Wisdom to know whether to take the kids out of school to go with us downstate.
3. Prayer that the genetics testing comes back negative for everything. (this is actually VERY important!!)
4. That the cancer cells will stop copying and actually die
5. The pain in my hip and back will decrease
6. That God will guide the physicians with my care.
7. For a supernatural healing of my earthly body.

You may have noticed that I added a map to the blog. When talking with my family, my kids were quite interested to know locations where people are praying from.  I didn't think it was necessary for everyone to enter their actual location with name for safety reasons.I think the map that I found goes by IP address location.  Oddly enough, I think ours actually shows up as Grand Rapids instead of the U.P. Lol.  If anyone knows of a better map to show the locations of all God's Prayer Warriors, I'd be happy to look at it.  I am thrilled that so many of God's people are coming together to pray.  It makes me cry tears of joy to know that good is already coming from a situation like this.

May God richly bless each & every one of you as we join together in prayer.  I sincerely thank each of you as you think about us & pray for us throughout the day.  Don't forget to give thanks to God for what he has done already, no matter what the circumstance is.  Blessed be HIS name!  Oh and Happy Birthday to my BIL. Hope that your day was wonderful! We love you! :)

1 Thessalonians 5:16-18
16Rejoice always, 17pray continually, 18give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.

Friday, November 8, 2013

No School Friday

Today I slept in. The kids did not have school and I was thrilled because I had stayed up late last night praying & responding to some messages.  I needed to get some extra sleep and so did Sadie.

Tonight as I sit at my computer desk I feel as though my back is slightly sore like it used to be but I don't feel overly tired, in pain, nor anxious as if the diagnosis I got is not affecting me.  My spirits are up. I am hopeful & in a good frame of mind right now. My children are sleeping, my husband has crashed on the couch (as usual after a long work week) and I am messing on the computer.  All seems fairly normal and then I am reminded that it is not at all the same as it was just a few weeks ago.  This whirlwind of events has happened so suddenly, quickly & invading my usual 'normal' life that I feel it should be a bad movie that I just decide to turn off my tv. It reminds me of the feelings I had when we received a call about 3 years ago stating that my sister's husband had died. When that call came I kept hoping that it was a mix up of information & that he had only been hurt but that was not the case.  My family has not been lacking in the grief and troubled times.  And the bible tells us that even when we are children of God, we will face challenges.  We need to remember that God shows himself to be loving & faithful, full of grace & mercy in the days, weeks, months & years to come.  He's always with us.

Today I had the opportunity to hang out with a dear friend of mine. Our children played together so nicely & we had the time to sit and chat. We talked some about my diagnosis and about our families, marriage, hopes etc. It was a much needed escape away from sitting in my own home & trying to make sense of the news that the cancer has invaded my bones.  She shared a verse that I have quoted & used as I trained for my first 5K race. One that has helped me keep going to get through some rough patches in life & will help me again.

  "Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance. Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything." James 1:2-4 (NIV)

How appropriate and perfect for this event in my life.  I need to persevere and fight so that I may be mature and not lacking.  I know there will be times when my flesh, my human nature wants to give in but that is why I have asked so many to keep us in prayer. Prayer of healing, prayer that the devil will not invade our thoughts & make us fearful.  While teaching in the children church at our church, I learned that in the Bible God tells us to not be afraid 365 times.  That is 1 "do not be afraid" per day. Must be pretty important & needed for God to mention it that many times in the bible.  We are to trust God with all our heart, we are to not be fearful.  Fear is the choice mechanism the devil uses. We all have fears and he knows how to make us even more fearful than we might already be if we allow him to get in our heads.  So I have been praying & reading God's word to keep the fear at bay.
Psalm 27
Of David.
1The Lord is my light and my salvation—
whom shall I fear?
The Lord is the stronghold of my life—
of whom shall I be afraid?
2When the wicked advance against me
to devoura me,
it is my enemies and my foes
who will stumble and fall.
3Though an army besiege me,
my heart will not fear;
though war break out against me,
even then I will be confident.
4One thing I ask from the Lord,
this only do I seek:
that I may dwell in the house of the Lord
all the days of my life,
to gaze on the beauty of the Lord
and to seek him in his temple.
5For in the day of trouble
he will keep me safe in his dwelling;
he will hide me in the shelter of his sacred tent
and set me high upon a rock.
6Then my head will be exalted
above the enemies who surround me;
at his sacred tent I will sacrifice with shouts of joy;
I will sing and make music to the Lord.
7Hear my voice when I call, Lord;
be merciful to me and answer me.
8My heart says of you, “Seek his face!”
Your face, Lord, I will seek.
9Do not hide your face from me,
do not turn your servant away in anger;
you have been my helper.
Do not reject me or forsake me,
God my Savior.
10Though my father and mother forsake me,
the Lord will receive me.
11Teach me your way, Lord;
lead me in a straight path
because of my oppressors.
12Do not turn me over to the desire of my foes,
for false witnesses rise up against me,
spouting malicious accusations.
13I remain confident of this:
I will see the goodness of the Lord
in the land of the living.
14Wait for the Lord;
be strong and take heart
and wait for the Lord.

I pray as I fall to sleep at night. I pray when I wake up in pain, I pray when I wake because I think I heard one of he kids getting up & I want to know what they are doing.  I have not just been praying for a supernatural/miracle healing for myself, but I've been using my prayer book to pray for others who need prayer.  I pray for my husband because he's pretty good at fixing things, even things he's not familiar with.  This is something he can't fix & I'm quite sure it bothers him terribly & he needs prayer for that. I have said it before & I will say it again. I believe in the power of prayer at any age.  Here's a cute & great example for you all.

Back in September when I was picking up Braly from Cross-country practice I had taken Sadie with me.  We were listening to the Christian radio station #WPFF in the van when they said that it was prayer time.  I always like prayer time and I usually join in agreement and pray whenever it is on. I hush my kids to do the same sometimes too. Well Sadie was the only one in the van & wasn't making any noise and I never said anything to her. But then I heard her babbling while the prayers were being lifted up and when I looked in the rear-view mirror I saw her not only babbling but also holding her hands together to pray.  My 17 month old child was lifting up prayers to our faithful Heavenly Father without being told or asked to. She voluntarily did it and I know that He knew exactly what she was saying.  Sharing this story reminded me of when Gabby was little. She did something similar when I was changing her diaper. She had clasped her hands together and started babbling.  God knows what she said.  They are never too young to communicate with God. I am reminded that the bible says  Truly I tell you, anyone who will not receive the kingdom of God like a little child will never enter it” (Mark 10:15).  I believe that we are to have the faith of a child. Not an unintelligent faith but a faith or dependence of full & complete trust in God.  Being a parent has taught me so much that I may not have otherwise learned.  I see the way my children depended on me to feed, clothe, change, and love them from the time they entered this world until now.  And the trust that they have that Adam & I will care for their every need is amazing. That is the kind of trust & faith we are to have according to Mark 10:15.  That is what I keep reminding myself when doubt or fear start to creep in.  God is in control and I have to remember that.

Thank you for your continued prayers. You are God's Warriors and he loves you so much!