"Let's kick cancer's booty and take some names."
LORD, after this suffering, let it be said that what has happened to me has really served to advance the gospel. As a result, make my Savior clear to all those around me. Because of my suffering and willing perseverance, cause others to be encouraged to speak the Word of God more courageously and fearlessly.
(Phillippians 1:12-14)

About Me

God is walking with me. This I know.

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Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Immanuel, God With Us

Hello friends. I was thinking today that I haven't posted in a couple of weeks about my progress with the cancer. It's just that things are going really well right now. There's not much progress to report.

I have an appointment with Dr. Yardley in the morning, then chemo #5 next Tuesday, the 7th. This last chemo went really well and I was hardly sick at all, besides this on-going sinus crud. I think a lot of folks are battling it though. I'm finally starting to feel like my old self today and am looking forward to this weekend. I have joined a Knitter's Fellowship with some of the ladies from Old Hickory Church of Christ and we get together on Thursday nights. It's so much fun and a guaranteed laugh or two. Friday night is the annual Ward girls dinner at my house. We have been doing this for the last few years and look forward to it every year. I make a standing rib roast, mashed potatoes, salad and dessert. Then we play cards or dominoes and have a blast. It's just Momma and her girls. I love them so much and can't wait for our time together. Then a hockey game with the Old Hickory Youth Group. They are some of the best kids in the world, hands down. They are sweet, funny, good looking and love the Lord. They have a great leader in Mark Adams. Scott and I adore them all and look forward to our time with them. And I think it's so very sweet of them to remember me in their prayers, which they do constantly. I'm just getting to know some of them but they are all very special to me.

So.....since I really don't have much news to share on the cancer front, I thought it would be fitting to begin wishing you all a Merry Christmas. Someone posted on their facebook status today that it's not Xmas. It's Christmas. They said, "Don't take Christ's name out of His own birthday." I agree. Christ should be the center of all our thoughts as we go through the year. I grew up hearing that we don't really know when He was born. However, December 25th works just fine for me. Stopping to reflect on the miracle of His birth is what I look forward to in December. As an adult, I'm trying much more to shine the light of Christ throughout Christmas.

Matthew 1: 23 repeats the prophecy found in Isaiah 7: "The virgin will conceive and give birth to a son, and they will call him Immanuel." Immanuel, as you may know, means God with us. Several people told me to buy a book called God Calling when I was diagnosed with cancer. I bought the devotional/journal book and have enjoyed it a lot. A constant theme throughout the book is God's presence with us. It's been a long time since I've let the fact that God never leaves us and is always with us roll around in my head. God with us.....hmmm...

I could use a 'with me' God.

When my eyes lazily open in the morning, before my feet even hit the ground.....God is with me.

When I drive to work and sing along with the radio and try not to cuss at the folks driving around me, cutting me off, putting on their makeup, going too slow for my taste......God is with me.

When I walk into my office and I have 4 installers waiting to talk to me, my desk phone and cell phone ringing and ringing and ringing........God is with me.

When I talk to vendors who angrily want their money and can't promise me product........God is with me.

When my email won't stop coming and I have bank statements up to my ears to balance.......God is with me.

When I go for chemo and the smell nearly knocks me out and makes me sick to my stomach......God is with me.

When I am home from chemo and the sight and smell of food nearly makes me throw up......God is with me.

When I get in the shower and kneel down and let the warm water fall over my body because it's the only position I can get in that feels better..........God is with me.

When I go to church and get lots and lots of good hugs and well wishes......God is with me.

When I get medical bills in the mail that astound me........God is with me.

When I celebrate Thanksgiving and other holidays, or just get together with my family and friends.........God is with me.

When a best friend sends me a text that reads, "Praying 4 u today,"..........God is with me.

When I call my Momma and I hear her sweet voice almost sing, "Hi baby!"........God is with me.

When I laugh and laugh and laugh with my sister and niece..........God is with me.

When I go bowling with the youth group and laugh until I almost cry..........God is with me.

When I sit down to Cracker Barrel biscuits and gravy (blessing!!)...........God is with me.

When I lay down in the bed at night.........God is with me.

I can sure use a "with me" God. And the more I realize He is with me, the more I desire to be with Him, where ever He wants me in this life, on whatever path He has put in front of me to walk. Psalm 26:8 says, "Lord, I love the house where you live, the place where your glory dwells."

God is with us, this season and always. Are we with Him?

Sunday, November 21, 2010

An Invitation to be Thankful

"In the palace, in the land of mercy, the king looked down from His throne. He saw the sick and the homeless and hungry. He saw me lost and without hope. And moved with compassion He sent out His only son with the invitation...to come.

So I stood outside the gates and trembled in my rags of unworthiness; afraid to even stand at a distance in the presence of holiness. And just as I turned to go, the gate swung open wide. And the King and His only Son....they invited me inside.

This is your invitation. Come just the way you are. Come find what your soul has been longing for. Come find your peace. Come join the feast. Come in. This is the invitation.

So now will you come with me to where the gate swings open wide. The King and His only Son are inviting us inside. ~Steven Curtis Chapman, "The Invitation".

As young children we are taught to say please and thank you. Somehow, through our adult life, we forget those simple words. "Please excuse me" turns into "move" and "thank you" turns into "it's about time!" We all seem to grow up and lose sight of our manners and our up-bringin'.

Once a year we stop and are thankful and we vow to carry it over into our lives in the new year. But the new year comes and school and work and troubles creep in and somehow the thankfulness we felt in November has dimmed to the light of an almost burned out flashlight. With each step it gets dimmer and dimmer until we are left walking in darkness. We eventually trip over something in the road and that is where we should drop to our smooth, unworn knees and begin thanking God. Most of us, though, skip over the thanking and head straight to the "get me up from here" prayers. We could stand a little more time on our knees. I love to see kids with skinned up knees. It means they've been out playing and falling down and running and jumping and living life like a kid should. I love it more when I see the scars and scrapes and cuts of adults who have lived out something down on their knees. And when they get up, they limp a little because wrestling something out with God can take it's toll on a person. But you see, when God allows or even invites His children to wrestle with Him, His constant goal is to make us over-comers. Even when God appears to be against us, He is for us.
"We are to walk as people who have encountered God, and some of our most transforming encounters are wrestling matches."

So keep up a thankful spirit this year and into the next. You never know what's around your next corner. There could be blessing untold and I pray that it is. But it could be a dark season, with the loss of a child, a job, a home, a family or your health. Thank the good Lord above for the things you do have. And if you're having trouble finding something for which to be thankful, drop on down to your knees and look at your life from a little lower place. When your nose is to the ground, you might just be closer to your promised land than you ever dreamed.

Happy Thanksgiving and may God bless you all richly. -