Monday, August 31, 2009


My small group has gotten into the *sort-of* habit of doing high-lows when we get together. We share with each other our "highs" of the week and the "lows" of the week. The last family that I lived with did high-lows most every night at dinner. I like this. I think it really does help us learn to love each other better - rejoice with those who rejoice and mourn with those who mourn. (Thank you Mike Watson for the great series of relational growth teaching!)

So, today I want to share my high-lows. I always like to start with my lows, so I can end talking about the things that make me happy. So, here are my lows of the day:

1) I never got my coffee - when I was able to make it to the break room, it was all gone. I made a new pot and by the time I made it back to get some coffee, that pot was all gone. No coffee for the coffee fiend today!

2) I had to explain to at least 10 people today that no, I am not going to school and yes, I am staying in Austin and continuing to work at ACS. I am VERY thankful to have my job and to have roots where I am at, so that is not a complaint. It is just still hard. I think I am in a new phase of grieving this and it is just hard to not be where I want to be!

3) I got a call from a good friend today who had a doctor's appointment. It didn't seem to go poorly, but also didn't seem to go well. The doctor ran some additional labs and told her she will have to wait for the results before knowing more. From what she had to say, it doesn't sound like he did a good job of telling her what he was looking for/ruling out or if she should be concerned. I think most people's default is that when the doc only gives you a penny's worth of insight it leaves a lot of room for questions, doubt, fear, etc. I'm a little perturbed that he didn't take better care of her and arm her better to know what to do in the mean-time while she waits. Plus, she is supposed to be leaving to go to school across the country and he didn't tell her if it was advisable to stay or safe to go -- seems like he just left the ball completely in her court. Don't doctors understand that we look to them (rightly or not - absolutely NO judgement here) for wisdom and guidance? Yes, we have to be our greatest health care advocate, but if you don't know what questions to ask the doctor, he should be kind enough to help guide you through the muddy waters. Sorry - this could very easily become a fact, maybe it has! I'll stop it here.

Here are my highs. I am so gonna rock the highs out of the water tonight!

1) Jenn is having her baby. Like right now! PUSH!! Welcome to the world little Emily Loraine! I can't wait to see you tomorrow. I couldn't wait for you any longer tonight, I had to come home. But I am so looking forward to meeting you face-to-face tomorrow and seeing this beautiful doll that I have been praying for, for the last nine months! Do you have any clue how loved you are? Any clue how many people are waiting to hold you and kiss you and cradle you and teach you about life? Oh, this world isn't that frightening when you have people who want to embrace you - and you have LOTS!

2) As if No. 1 isn't enough... I talked to an amazing, and hilarious woman today at work. She insisted that I am the only "case manager" she wants to talk to from now on. When she calls back if it isn't me and the Cancer Information Specialist who answers can't transfer her (which we can't), she will hang up and call back until she gets me. Does she realize I am one of about 250 Specialists in our National call center that is open 24/7 (of which I am there 30 hours a week)? I tried to explain, but to no avail. She insisted that when she wants something, she gets it. You know, I believe her! In her thick, New York, elder Jewish woman accent she closes the call by saying, "Oh Baby, you have just been the sunshine in my rainy day! You're such a Doll! May God bless you all the days of your life. No really, I mean that; all the days you live! You have given me hope today and that is more than anyone has offered in a while. God love you." It made me laugh and smile and gave me warm-fuzzies all over!

3) When I got to work this morning and checked my schedule, I saw that I have tomorrow off! Wow! I had requested the day off like 4 months ago and had forgotten about it. Since I didn't change my schedule after getting re-hired back to work, they never cancelled this time. I thought about giving it back. But given that it is now 10:30 at night, Emily is joining the world and I want to hang out with her and Jenn & David a little tomorrow, and that well...they're paying me to sleep in, I figured I would go ahead and take the time off! It is probably really good for me. Plus, the couple I'm staying with is getting back from vacation tomorrow. This will give me a chance to do a once-over on the house and make sure everything looks nice for them when they get home.

Yay for high-lows! It's good to practice sharing what's going on in life. It isn't always easy, but it is good. What are your high-lows for the day/week? Please share them with me. I really do want to know!

Sunday, August 30, 2009

Oh, I am Just Not Ready

I am just not ready for the weekend to end and to go back to work tomorrow. I have so greatly enjoyed the solitude and the time away. It was great to have two consecutive days where I didn't have to talk to anyone about cancer and where I didn't have to talk to anyone about not going to school. I got to spend time doing fun things that are healing to my heart in some funny way. I got to hang out with just God and myself. I spent time watering plants and trees and birds and making the house all clean and sweet smelling. It was just such a great weekend that I am not ready for it to end! I rather like having time alone, away from the realities of sickness and pain and the fragility of human-kind. I'm not saying I would want it this way forever - not at all. I just don't think I'm ready right now. Alas, it is 9:00 pm, which means it is time to get everything laid out and ready for work tomorrow because the day will be coming ... ready or not!

Saturday, August 29, 2009


I told a friend at work the other day that I just wasn't "bouncing back" as quickly as I would like from this whole Bethel thing. It was hard for me to make plans to go and then in the blink of an eye have to change course! I haven't done a lot of talking to other people or blogging about this, because I really wanted to spend time with God and know that I know that I am good with Him before dealing with the periphery of everyone else's thoughts and opinions. I need to know what God is saying to me in this. Not so much what Adam, Brandy, and Caleb are saying.

I think that today something in me turned a bit. I have had time to lounge around and spend time with ME. I said "no" to going to an amusement park with friends, helping with a service project at church, and helping to take care of a friend who isn't feeling well this weekend - for the sheer purpose of just having some alone time. All of the other things would have been great too, but they weren't what I really needed - they were distractions right now! I would have been very blessed to have spent the day with friends playing, serving with my church, or loving on a friend that needed me. Those are all things that would have blessed other people too, in some way. They just weren't what was needed. I had to choose which was the best investment of my time today. Sometimes these choices are hard, but I am glad that I chose the way I did.

My heart somehow feels less burdened. I feel a little more confident in resting in the Lord for direction. I have been singing and smiling and enjoying the day. I got some things accomplished, and that is good. I made laundry soap - which spells super yummy and I can't wait to finish off the last batch so I can start using this one! I played some games on the computer. I spent some time outside. It was just a great day - and I am very thankful for it!
The Fun Things I am Doing This Weekend

The couple that I am temporarily staying with is away on vacation for a few days. I have the house to myself. It is so much fun! I thought I would take advantage of the space and have a project weekend!

Yesterday, I scrubbed the kitchen. I loved it! I wish that I had the time & energy to have tackled cleaning off all of the cupboard doors. I didn't, though. I am happy with what I did! After getting a nice clean space, I let the fun begin!

Tonight I made a batch of Lip Balm. I adjusted my standard Peppermint Rose recipe a bit and I really think I like the way this batch came out! It's a bit heavier on the Vanilla Flavor. I think it will be fantastic for the autumn - maybe it's wishful thinking that the autumn will come very soon! I have hopes for a Cinnamon Spice recipe for the upcoming season as well. I'm working on a new base recipe as well, but not ready to make it in batches yet - this one will be good for the drier months of winter -- it has Vitamin E in it.

Tomorrow, I am going to make a good sized batch of laundry soap. I have some soap shavings that have been waiting for me to get to and I just haven't had the space. I think tomorrow will be a great time for that. It is so easy to do, it just takes some time and a willingness to slow down a bit. I think it is good for me!

While I'm letting the laundry soap rest, I may also make some shampoo from some soap that I made a few of months ago. It's Patchouli Lavender. I have been using the bar since it cured, but I am ready to experiment with turning it into a liquid shampoo. This will be a new one for me, because it is a milk soap base - goat's milk to be exact. I will start out small and see what happens. There is this piece of me that is fearful - probably irrationally - that once I emulsify the soap it will go rancid faster. I don't have anything to base this off of - at least not in the quantities that I will be making it in. I would like to get a good liquid base for shampoo, though because sometimes it is nice to have a liquid shampoo. I know it is probably what most people are used to, so it may sound strange for me to even refer to shampoo as anything but liquid. Since starting to make my own soap or get good quality natural soaps, I have found that I actually really like lathering up and soaping my hair down though. It works well, uses less soap, and I know exactly what is in it! Plus, there is something very fun about getting a fresh lather of creamy bubbles all over your hands! I reminds me of childhood!

I may be overestimating my ability for tomorrow. In fact, I'm pretty sure that I am! I may not get to it all, but it sure does sound fun. Doesn't it?

What are your fun plans for the weekend? Anything exciting?

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Thank You God for the Rain!

We are in the midst of a horrible drought. Tonight, it poured! There was a beautifully bright lightening show that preceded the opening of the flood gates of heaven. Once it started raining, it came pouring out though! It was SO beautiful!

There is something amazing about rain storms; something almost healing to the soul! The plants, animals, water sources all needed refreshed by this down pour. I think my heart did too!

I have always loved rain storms. I think my favorites were as a child out at the farm. During the summer, I would take a trip to the panhandle of Texas and visit my grandparents at the farm. I remember my grandfather taking me out in the tractor one day and going through the wheat fields with him. It started lightening and we had a deep conversation about where lightening comes from, who makes it, how it warns us that rain is coming, and how when it thunders it is not God bowling. It was probably the deepest conversation I had been invited into in my seven or so years of living! That night, it poured! We got back to the Yellow House (that's what I called my grandparent's home) just as the rain began to fall on the Texas Plains! I loved listening to it hitting the roof of the house and beating against the aluminum siding of the window unit. The bonus was that my grandmother wouldn't let me take a bath that night - for fear that I would get electrocuted! My grandfather and I sat down at the kitchen table, ate a bowl of cereal together, and then played a game of cards.

This is the memory I commonly think of when I have the pleasure of observing one of God's really good rain storms! It brings me back to a simple day of hard work, lots of love, and good conversation! There is definitely something healing about rain storms! Thank you God for letting it rain tonight!

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

The Plans Seem to be Changing

Without saying too much - primarily because I do not feel like I have a lot in me to say - the plans are changing. I will probably write some things to post later, but don't feel as though I can really put my thoughts and feelings together into coherent words at the moment. I am not going to Bethel, however.

I am terribly sad! Even more than I am sad, I am very confused! I know that time (and a lot of prayer and rest before the Lord) will offer consolation and answers. For right now, I just feel a bit lost - and as if I have lost something!

As I'm sure you know, this came as a great surprise! It was not what I expected. I do still declare that the Lord, God, has ordered my steps! He will not lead me into harm and will not lead me away from His goodness! This whole process has been greatly bathed in prayer by myself and many trusted friends. We have been praying for a FULL provision of the Lord in this! I trust that even if it is not what I expected, this door closing at this time is mercy and provision by God!

Please be praying for me to have a great understanding, comfort, and peace. Please also pray that I pick myself up well and continue stronger, braver, wiser, and more committed to the Lord than I was before! May His glory be shown in this! Thank you!

Saturday, August 15, 2009

My Current Obsession and The Gift of Restoration

My current obsession is getting my support letters signed, stuffed, sealed, and sent! It's taking much longer than I expected. I guess it doesn't help that I am writing a little (or long) personal note to everyone. It just seems that it's appropriate to do! So, it is taking a L-O-N-G time for me to get them out! I now have several completely done and ready to go and many other's just about there. The other thing I have learned that may have saved me some time is that I should have just made a mailing list and printed labels! I thought about it and then decided not to, because I thought it would be more personal if I hand labeled all of the envelopes. I think that when I send out my update letters, they will be machine labeled!

While I'm taking a break from the very urgent task at hand, I want to tell you a really cool story from this morning.

While I was sitting at the table eating my breakfast, a young female cardinal slammed into the window. She fell fast to the ground! I jumped up and ran over to the window and gasped when I saw her lying on the ground. She was stone-still on her back, head toppled to the side, beak and eyes wide open. I thought for sure she was either dead, or would be shortly. I ran outside and kneeled down beside her and just started crying over her. I felt like the Spirit was asking me to "bless her". So I began to pray for her through my tears.

I saw a slow rise in her chest - then stillness again. I reached over and gently laid my hands on her chest -- something I have always been taught to never do! Don't touch wild birds - if they survive, it may be difficult for them to "re-enter" the I have been told. I just felt like it was the right thing to do, though. I continued praying for her, this time claiming dominion as given in Genesis. A minute later, another rise in the chest and a quick blink of the eye! I continued praying and asking God to revive his created one to the fullness that He made her in. I stroked her head very gently and started claiming her health; wholeness; recovery from this accident. Within about five minutes, she twitched her talons and picked her head up. A few minutes later, she flicked her wing and turned to her feet; standing very still. I backed away from her a bit, to not frighten her and continued to pray.

A little murmer of a song came out of her and then she flew about 2 feet toward me and stopped about a foot away from my hand. I reached toward her to see if she would flinch, and she didn't. So, I continued to touch her chest while I prayed some more. It wasn't long after that that she flew a few feet away from me and landed on a window sill on the porch and just perched there for about 30 minutes. She was flicking her tail, adjusting her wings, and breathing beautifully! I knew she was ok! More than that, I knew that God had revived her!! He heard my hearts cry for this little bird and was moved to re-create His created that was surely lost! I gave her a name - "Mercy" because the mercy of God was shown. It was beautiful!

It served as a great encouragement to me. Not only did it remind me of the authority that has been given to me in Christ Jesus, but it also reminded me even more how much my Father in Heaven will care for me! This is such a great reminder at any time, but so powerful right now! I am letting go and leaving behind just about all that I humanly call my provision and trusting in God to provide for me. It can be very frightening! But I cling to my faith and trust that God - in His love and goodness provides for me! It reminded me of Matthew 6:26-33 (NLT) - emphasis mine.

"Look at the birds. They don’t plant or harvest or store food in barns, for your heavenly Father feeds them. And aren’t you far more valuable to Him than they are? Can all your worries add a single moment to your life? And why worry about your clothing? Look at the lilies of the field and how they grow. They don’t work or make their clothing, yet Solomon in all his glory was not dressed as beautifully as they are. And if God cares so wonderfully for wildflowers that are here today and thrown into the fire tomorrow, He will certainly care for you. Why do you have so little faith? So don’t worry about these things, saying, ‘What will we eat? What will we drink? What will we wear?’ These things dominate the thoughts of unbelievers, but your heavenly Father already knows all your needs. Seek the Kingdom of God above all else, and live righteously, and He will give you everything you need."

Now it's back to signing, stuffing, sealing, and sending! If I don't have your address and you would like to receive a support letter, please e-mail your address and I will get it out to you - with a personalized note! Blessings, my dear friends!

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

I'm Back!

My blog has been a bit neglected in the past weeks. It isn't because I haven't had anything to say! In fact, I have thought through at least 20 complete blogs that I would have liked to have posted. I just haven't had 1) the time to stop and write or 2) the easy access. I have been checking in on my friends blogs from my phone so that I could stay on top of what everyone else has been posting - I just hate trying to concentrate on writing out what I am thinking about while trying to type on a keyboard that is 1 inch by 1.5 inches. =)

So, today I would like to post my response from my quiet time this morning. I thought it was quite appropriate to post. Enjoy reading.

I'm a Captive Set Free!

In Luke 4, we see a scene where our Lord, Jesus, went to the synagogue in Nazareth. He chose to read from Isaiah 61:1-2.

"The Spirit of the Sovereign Lord is on me, for He has appointed me to preach Good News to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim the captives will be released, that the blind will see, that the down trodden will be freed from their oppressors, and that the time of the Lord's favor has come!"

I have been captive to many things; sin, sickness, and fear - just to name a few. But God has set me free! This scripture in Isaiah continues.

"To all who mourn - the time of the Lord's favor has come and with it, the day of God's anger against their enemies. To all who mourn (in Israel), He will give beauty for ashes, joy for mourning, praise instead of despair. For the Lord has planted them like strong and graceful oaks for His own glory!"

It is the Lord, God, who set us free!

I am privileged to have an opportunity to dedicate myself to a time of learning more about how God desires to move. I welcome the opportunity to learn how He desires to use His (broken and redeemed) children to bring forth His will and work on earth. I believe that God has great desires for this nation and world - I want a greater understanding of what these are and how to move in the power He established us with to accomplish this!

I know God is calling me, and I have decided to attend a ministry training school where the power of God is present! The instructors are fully submitted to Jesus and desire to chase after Him and accomplish the work He intends - all of the work He intends for us to do.

When Jesus walked this earth, He did so with great power! Of course! He is God! He gave His disciples the authority and instruction to do the same! I believe that just as the Lord instructed His twelve (disciples) to go out and heal the sick, raise the dead, and cast out the demons; we are (still) given the authority, power, and instruction to do these things! "Give fully as you have received" (Matthew 10:7-8)

It is just simply not enough for me to be a spectator in the spiritual war - I must engage!

"Therefore: Be strong with the Lord's mighty power! Put on all God's armor so that you will be able to stand firm against all strategies and tricks of the devil. For we are not fighting against flesh and blood, but against the evil rulers and authorities of the unseen world; against those mighty powers of darkness who rule this world, and against wicked spirits in the heavenly realms.

Use every piece of God's armor to resist the enemy in the time of evil, so that after the battle you will still be standing firm. Stand your ground, putting on the sturdy belt of truth and the body armor of God's righteousness. For shoes, put on the peace that comes from the Good News, so that you will be fully prepared. In every battle you will need faith as your shield to stop the fiery arrows aimed at you by satan. Put on salvation as your helmet, and take up the sword of the Spirit, which is the Word of God.

Pray at all times and on every occasion in the power of the Holy Spirit. Stay alert and be persistent in your prayers everywhere. And pray for me too. Ask God to give me the right words as I boldly explain God's plan that the Good News is for all. I am in chains now for preaching this message as God's ambassador. But pray that I will keep on speaking boldly for Him as I should." (Ephesians 6:10-20)